Elder Matthew Gummow

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Power Week! New Temple Film!

Elder Gummow's letter came early Wednesday morning.  He had a successful "Power Week" and we were excited to hear about the miracles that come from hard work!

Dear Parents and Family!

Sorry to email you guys so late this week.  This week was our temple week and I told forgot to tell you guys about it last week.

This week so much happened though!  It was a hard week over here as well as a week of learning and growing.  Power week was fun, we had an extra 2-3 hours of proselyting time everyday which came to a lot of use.

This week mainly had two miracles that blew our minds.

The first, L.....  Wednesday it rained, all day and the weather was freezing cold since it's winter over here.  I was tired and wet from Power week and I just felt like sleeping that day not working.  We spent that entire day tracting though trying to make good use of the time we had.  But after 2-3 hours of it nothing happened.  Depressed and downhearted we were heading back to the Church to do some English Proselyting when my companion runs into a guy on the side of the road.  It's someone I recognized and haven't seen for a long time.  His name is L......, he's a guy Elder Ward and I found a while ago.  He was a miracle and I was sure he would get baptized.  However after meeting him for the first time he just disappeared, and he would never answer his phone.  When we met him we talked for awhile and he said that he had just been busy with work and school, but he had been reading and praying.  Also he had just recently dropped out of school for a period of time, so now he had time to meet with us!  We set up that Friday and he came and he listen super intently and now we're super excited to see his upcoming progress.

The second probably is our friend H.......  We met him on the side of the road awhile ago, and he's been coming to Church every week since.  He's the one with the problem with Joseph Smith.  This week his heart miraculously softened though and he told us that he's been wanting to listen and respect us better when we teach him and that he'll keep coming to Church even if school or work gets in the way.  He loves the atmosphere there and is so willing to be a part of it we just have to help him find faith.  I'm sure he'll get baptized just not sure if it will be while I'm here.

I got to see Jerome this week, only for a couple minutes though.  He dropped off the stuff for me and was so grateful for all you guys did for him, he loves our family!  Although he did say that Daniel was playing computer games the whole time...:( that guy :)  It was great to see him and so weird that he knows all of our family and our house and he slept in my room.  He said he loved it though and is going to try and come back next year, don't worry though I can take care of him this time.

Thanks again Mom for taking care of him and helping him out while he was in America.  Everyone in the mission knows how great our family is now.  Your a legend here in the mission mom.  So awesome to see Daniel's pictures, he looks tall and big now, and shuai. 

I put the pictures of the temple on dropbox, there's only a few this week sorry.  I'm going to some more pictures on next week, I just can't find my SD card right now.  Oh and we got to see the newest temple video this week.  They have it here in English, it's incredibly amazing and I can't stop thinking about it, it  put's a whole new perspective on everything and a whole new perspective on my mission which I love. You guys have to go see it ASAP.  

Love You Family!!!  I'm excited to hear how Josh is now that he's back, I feel like he's changed a ton. It'll be exciting to hear from you guys!!!!

Also Dad and Aimee I'll be praying for you guys for sure.  Love You guys so much and Dad Happy Birthday this week!!!!!

Elder Gummow

Oh and Elder Holland never came to our mission, I'm so jealous :(.....  Lucky for Sara though! we did have a conference this week but it was with the Presiding Bishop of the Church.  His testimony is powerful and had everyone in tears, he's a great man and his son is serving in this mission too, super crazy. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jerome's Visit

I just dropped off one of Elder Gummow's recent converts at the airport.  He has been staying with our family for the past week and seeing many of the Utah sights with us as well as attending the wedding reception in Logan of one of the elders who taught him the gospel.  Even though it was a long drive for 5-10 minutes of visiting, the tears in his eyes made it all worth it!  These young men who sacrifice two years of their lives to bring the truth of the gospel and the plan of happiness into the lives of their converts will forever be close to their hearts!  We were grateful to have a glimpse of the world they are in and grateful for our dear friend Joanna from Taiwan who is living currently in Provo, who helped bridge the language barrier - since he doesn't speak English.  Here are a few pictures of our adventures and part of Elder Gummow's email response below:

Hello Family!!!

Wasai!  Your email was a great one, super good news from everyone and I couldn't stop laughing from looking at all the pictures of Jerome with you guys.  It's something I just never really connected before, You Guys and Jerome, like my two separate families and then you guys finally meet...it's so crazy.

How is Jerome?  Glad to hear about all the activities your taking him to and all the things you are doing to serve him.  I hope it's not too big of a burden to you guys, but I'm sure everything you do for him will impact him forever and help him to stay on the path of the Gospel. 

I'm just super glad that he could go to America and be with you guys and learn from your guys example how the Gospel can really bless him and his future life.  I'm sure it will be a huge help to his faith.  So really thank you guys so much.  Elder Gummow Family!

I'm so glad he was able to make it there safe and everything.  Things to send back with him....I'm actually all pretty good, zucchini brownies would always be nice and maybe some Cafe Rio :)  No, most of the stuff I need I can get it here, maybe Ruffles cheddar and sour cream chips! or Remembrandt Toothpaste, Thats actually what I need the most.  I'm almost out of it here.  More pictures of you guys would be awesome too. I always enjoy sharing family pictures with the missionaries and the people we meet here.   

Jerome's conversion story.  He was pretty cool, I can't remember ton's of it because I was just starting missionary work and I couldn't understand a lot of what he was saying.  Basically he was a member referral from Sister Goldade's recent convert.  She brought him to Church and he loved it there and got along with us really well.  He just loved the atmosphere of Church, how it's like a big family.  His family situation is hard, and he hasn't really been in contact with his family for years I think.  (So I'm sure visiting you guys is like a dream come true for him)  

After he had a bunch of challenges and was always trying to decide if he should get baptized or not.  But one day he prayed to God if he should get baptized or not and then the next day in Church the lesson was on Baptism and to not hesitate or fear.  He knew it was a message from God and that day set a baptismal date with us.  From then on he was super solid and committed to being a member of this Church.  He's got really strong faith and full of love to everyone.  I remember when I was in zuoying he used to bring treat every week to English Class to hand out to us, and always helped me laugh when I was down about my missionary work or other things.

This week was far as missionary work goes, was pretty simple - good week but nothing amazing.  We're still looking for some people really willing to get baptized. Right now we have some good investigators but it seem that their progression will be slower than other.  So right now we're looking for a new Matthew or Jerome.  This week will be a good week for that since we are out the door 9:00 every day this week.  This week is POWER WEEK!  

Love You Family!  Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement! Congratulations Dad on the new job, really great incredible news! 

Love You Family!

Elder Gummow

Monday, February 10, 2014

An Explosion of Good Things!

Our home ward held a fast on Fast Sunday for all the full-time missionaries.  There are currently 19 serving in our ward and for the two missionaries in our family, it made a real difference!  The challenges that they were facing were overcome and the work was able to progress!  We are so grateful for all those who pray for the missionaries each week! 

Our family has the opportunity of hosting one of Elder Gummow's Converts from Taiwan this coming week!  We will get to celebrate his year mark for becoming a member (He was baptized on Valentine's day) with him. He is coming over for the wedding of one of Elder Gummow's companions who also taught him -who returned last August.  We are excited to meet him, but a little nervous because he doesn't speak much English and we don't speak much Chinese!  It may be a week of pantomiming!  Haha!

Hello Family!!

First I just want to say thank you for all your prayers and the fasting.  This week was really a lot better.  Like a million, million times difference, and I feel the Lord, despite our weaknesses as missionaries in hastening the work and strengthening the wards.  

This week was a little estranged at the beginning and was looking like it might be the same as last week, but we pulled out of it about Wednesday, the time Guonian was over.  (Probably is related).  

We were still looking a little downhearted on everything as our best investigator started work on Sundays and couldn't come to Church anymore and then our other investigators were looking not so good.  But it all came together this Saturday and Sunday - yesterday.  

It was like an explosion of good things that happened yesterday.  The ward had completely changed their attitude.  I'm not sure why and what happened, but they were completely different.  We have been working really hard on starting a new mission plan and some programs for this new year with the ward but they were have a little hard time catching on.  But I think with the baptism of M... and also having some other good investigators come to Church on Sunday, there was a new fire in each of them.  The Young Men's President stood up and bore testimony for us and for this work.  The First counselor started two new activities to help members fill our schedules, and the Bishop was super excited to be able to go with us to visit Less-Actives and he bore testimony of it.  The work is really hastening - it's incredible!!

So with that we are really excited for this plan to start going through and into action and hoping that we can continue to be worthy and diligent to allow the lord to be on our side in this work.  It's impossible with out his help in touching the hearts of others.

I'm so grateful for a great ward and great leaders and for how merciful and loving our Heavenly Father is. This week on Sunday we we're able to see M... again (he came back for school).  He bore his testimony in a Church activity and now has read up to the middle of Alma!!!!  He's getting the priesthood this next week and also going to a family history activity with the members.  He's so incredibly awesome!  The bishop asked him if he wanted to be a missionary in his interview for the priesthood and he said yes.  Also he's going to do missionary work a lot with us this next semester because he's is practically graduated and all of his classes are not super busy.  YES!!!

Also our best investigator decided to find another job, so he can come to Church on Sunday now!!!  He was with us almost all day yesterday and had a really good time in Church as all the members were super welcoming to him and are working to help him find a new job. Also, M.... our new RC is like his best friend.

This work is awesome, nothing to complain about.  I think that I shouldn't have complained so much last week.  That something I learned this week.  I was reading Exodus when I realized that I was exactly like the Children of Israel...God had shown them some of the most craziest things and biggest miracles and helped them defeat one of the strongest empires in the world, but once the blessings stopped and then they wanted FOOD, they instantly started complaining against the Lord.  Why Would They Do That??!!  Then why should I complain when the Lord has given me so many blessing I can't even contain it all.  I am so grateful for most of all for the Atonement too, the greatest blessing above all. 

This work is true! Love You Family!!!  I'm so excited for J.... to be visiting you guys! That will be so awesome!  He loves to laugh and takes things pretty lightly so I'm sure that he'll love you guys, especially when you try to communicate in English with him.  You could try drawing pictures or something, Oh and Mom and Daniel you can teach him guitar. He always wanted to learn Guitar but I never had time to teach him here.  He'll love it, and love you guys!  I can't believe you'll be spending his 1-year baptism anniversary with him, it's too perfect!  Man you'll guys will have so much fun with him I'm so excited for him to meet you guys!!!

Also if you guys run out of things to do, He'll love the trampoline and Bryanna and basketball and eating...pretty much anything.  Watch cartoons with Bry and Daniel whatever. Also I think a sister from our district when Jerome was baptized will be taking him to the wedding so no worries about that. 

Elder Gummow

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tough week! New Pictures-

 Elder Gummow shared some pictures with us this week.  He didn't really explain them, but I believe the pictures are from Sun Moon Lake - a popular tourist attraction that they visited with their new convert last week on their P-day.  The weather looks great and I wish we had it that warm here in Utah this time of year!

Hey Family!

This week was actually pretty hard.  Maybe one of the hardest of my mission so far.  I just felt kind of abandoned in the work and had no idea what my companion and I should do. I guess it just happens that after the blessings come, there needs to be another trial of faith.
This week was really great with our new recent convert, M....  He is so solid in his faith at such an early time in his conversion process.  It's really inspiring.  He was with us everyday of this week - up until he went back to his home for Guonian (The Chinese New Year).  He helped us so much and we saw so many miracles doing missionary work with him.  
However, a big shadow fell upon our work about Tuesday night.  Our best investigator and our M.... both found information online against our Church and Joseph Smith.  It was scary, M.... luckily was fine, he's had spiritual experiences and he has a testimony so he overcame quickly the protest.  But our other investigator is still struggling in his faith.  He doesn't like Joseph Smith at all right now.  We tried to emphasize him gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  He was our best investigator up to this point too.  
All of our other investigators were busy too.  It was Chinese New Year, kind of like America's Christmas, so people are vacationing, etc.  We spent most of our time just tracting and eating with members. That was probably the best part - we had time to draw closer to our members and share the gospel with them.
The highlight so far this week I think is hearing Chase got his mission call!!!!  I didn't know that it was coming so soon!!!  He still hasn't emailed me yet!!  Where is he going??? When is he leaving  Love that guy!!  The first thing I thought of is Alma 17:2-3, I can't wait till he comes back and we can rejoice together in serving the Lord. 
This week was a setback, but we're not losing hope, Next week will be better than ever and we are looking forward to getting back to normal missionary work.  
Scary to hear about Sara, I hope she's doing better.  The same thing happened to my companion before so I know how scary it can be.  I can't believe Sara has kidney stones. That makes two in our family!!
Love you Family and I'm so grateful for your help and support.  Its definitely an anchor and support when trials come in the mission. Your the best!!!!