Elder Matthew Gummow

Monday, May 26, 2014

Exciting News!

Well, Elder Gummow was right about moving this move call.  He has been in Douliu for 2 move calls - which he has thoroughly loved!  But his last two move calls will bring him full circle - because he is going back as a Zone Leader to Gaoxiong where he began his mission!!  He is very excited  - here are some pictures from Sister Chen of him leaving the train station in Douliu and one from Jerome (his convert that came and visited us in February) who is from Gaoxiong and was excited to welcome him back!

Other great news is that I was able to sign him up for housing at BYU in the fall.  I found out that not only will he be with many other RM's from his mission, but that I randomly selected a room that also has a guy from mainland China signed up to live there!  It should be a great transition and a fun school year for him!


That's great news to hear!!  I was super hoping I would be able to get into Heritage...some of my favorite missionaries will be staying there so that will be perfect!  Plus staying with a Chinese guy that might not be a member that's as perfect as it could get! Thank You Mother for taking care of that, it should be super fun there and sounds like there is a lot of good people that will live there!!

This week, you're right - sad/exciting/happy/all of the above news. I'm going to Gaoxiong!!! I was in Douliu for only a short time and I thought that I would stay here for a long time but I guess not...I'm going back to Gaoxiong!!!   I'm going to be able to go on exchanges back to Zuoying, the best place ever, and I should be able to see all the people I met with in Zuoying!!  There is a bunch of people that I never got to congratulate or talk with, plus this time my Chinese is good enough that I'll be able to talk with them a bunch!!!  I'm super excited!  I think Jerome is still there too so I'll get to meet up with him again!!!

This was a great last week as well.  Douliu is doing so awesome.  Oh ya I forgot to say, guess who's taking my place here in douliu as senior companion!!!  It's Elder Ward!!! My companion in Zhanghua!!!!  He'll be taking over this area and be with Elder Zhu for the next move call.  I was so happy to hear! He is literally the most righteous missionary I've ever met and I can totally trust him to take over this area and our investigators.

This area has been exploding these last few weeks.  We had 7 new investigators and 14 lessons with members this last week and 6 people at Church.  It's been the best time ever on my mission with Elder Zhu.  Also L...(A...) came for 3 hours on Sunday and he's ready for baptism!!!  He's so awesome, and loves the Gospel. I'm hoping, but I don't think I'll be able to make it back to his baptism! :(  

I think that the Lord's preparing this area for when Elder Ward comes in...It's going to be a good time in Douliu for them.  They are going to do awesome together too.  

I'm super excited to go to Gaoxiong but I'll miss this area too...There are so many people that I've grown to love so much in this area!!!  NO!!!

Well it's down to the last 2 move calls.  Down to the finish line and time to end stronger than ever!  Gaoxiong was literally my dream place to go too.  God has been so loving and merciful to me, I get to go to GaoXiong!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm SOO EXCITED!!!

Love You Family and so good to hear about everything going on this week.  Keep me updated!!

Thanks for all you guys do!!

Elder Gummow

Monday, May 19, 2014

We're Building a Stake here in Jiayi!!

Elder Gummow sang and played the guitar in a special Mother's day activity for their ward the week after Mother's day.  I am so glad he gets to use his musical talents!  We look forward to hearing him sing when he returns.  He us accompanied, but didn't sing much before his mission.
Hello Family,

This week was crazy and awesome!  I feel like this week could really possibly be my last week here in Douliu, but I don't want it to be.  This place is awesome and it's starting to pick up like crazy.  This week we had about a thousand miracles, I can't count them all and I'm not even sure why they came at this time and so many at once.

This week we were blessed with a bunch of progress in our area.  A..., the investigator that came last week is doing awesome.  We met with him this week and he's been reading and praying and he's felt something from it.  He absolutely loves Church now and he's looking forward to his baptism on the 31st of this month.  Pray for him!!  We almost finished all the commandments and he's ready for an interview this week.  He also brought two friends to Church this week, they are both super awesome too!!!

This week another huge miracle, we met this guy named D.... on the street one day and he said his friend was one of our members and if the friend went to Church, then he would be willing to go with him.  Turns out the friend is our Young Men's President of this ward and super active.  So right after we met D...., he called his friend and they set up a time to come to Church.  

The best part was that this member gave a talk in Church on Missionary on Sunday and he was so grateful. As he was giving the talk to be able to say that his friend had come to Church that day for the first time.  He could say 1.Through being an example he helped his friend come to know the Gospel and 2. God gives us miracles if we are willing even just in the smallest way to share the Gospel we just need faith.

This week was super crazy! Almost every night we were just packed with new investigators coming in and out.  We don't even know where they all came from, some were self-contacts, some we met on the street, others were just crazy miracles.  

The week ended well with 7 Investigators at Church and 8 total new investigators, (including a new family that Elder Zhu found)  Douliu is crazy right now and we are so excited for it's progress!!  We're building a stake here in Jiayi!!!

Also another crazy thing Nick Smith the Return missionary met one of our RC's we met in Pittsburgh!! I don't know if you remember Chase but he went to Pittsburgh for school and then he just met Elder Smith there.  Chase is doing awesome!!

This week I'm just filled with gratitude and thanks.  I have a new testimony that God is truly merciful and graceful.  He knows we're trying and he's helping us to keep progressing all the way.  I find that I need to be more aware everyday of the blessings he gives us. He is truly a loving Heavenly Father and incredibly patient with us. What a great thing to know!

Oh and I just realized HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA!  Elder Zhu and I just realized that our older sisters are only 2 days apart in age.  His older sister's birthday is on May 18th!  Happy Birthday Sara!

Thanks parents for being so awesome, for being such a good example of faith and solid determination in following the Lord.  You guys have truly paved a way for us kids by letting us know the blessings of living according to the Gospel.  You guys are truly examples and representatives of Christ and that's something I feel I will be eternally grateful for.  Love you Guys.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day - Phone Call!

 We loved our Mother's Day Phone call/Skype from Elder Gummow!  It was bright and early - 6:30 am in Utah (8:30 pm in Taiwan) so we were only somewhat coherent after a late night the night before, but to see him and hear his voice was really awesome!  I didn't tell him I was taking this picture (he was talking intently to a family member) so I didn't actually get his smile, but you can get the idea.

He sent a few other pictures along with his email that arrived last night.  This one is his Zone in Jaiyi, I think.

He only has 2 1/2 transfers left and is scheduled to arrive home on August 20th!!  He will have 10 days or so before he starts the fall semester at BYU!


It was so crazy talking to you guys yesterday!!!  Literally all you guys have grown and changed so much.  It's awesome to see. Love You Family!!!

This week was a pretty good one all in all.  We had a couple good miracles and I think that the biggest one was on Sunday.  We had these two investigators come to Church.  Both really awesome and one of them was willing to make a goal for the end of this month! Our goal right now is too have another baptism at the end of this month, it's our whole zone's goal so we're working really hard to make that possible.  We just need more faith and it will be done.

Mother's Day was awesome here too.  We had a bunch of good activities and it was a good time to see everyone's families.  It was awesome to see you guys too!  Our family is so awesome!  I hope you realize that.  Being able to talk to you guys just made me want to be a better missionary, work harder and just keep going strong.  Thanks for the support!!!

I don't know if there's much to say since we just talked yesterday.  Basically Elder Zhu and I are just working on the finding and lifting up others and our district.  Oh and it's rainy season here so it rained almost every day this last week except for today and yesterday both beautiful weather days.

This week I feel like my testimony of prayer grew much stronger too.  When the rain comes and maybe some things don't go right in missionary work, the power of prayer has helped me so much to know - 1. God loves us and wants to help us 2. He's sees the best in us and wants us to become 3. God's wisdom is higher than ours we just need to be patient.

Thanks for the email on prayer this week Mom!  I'll definitely try it out.

 Love you Family!!
Elder Gummow

P.S.  Sorry we were going to send the Mother Day song to you guys today but it's not downloading for some reason!!  We're going to have to try it out next week.

Love You Guys!

Below are some pictures of them on P-day at a nearby theme park-

Monday, May 5, 2014

Continually Improving

Dear Family,

Well I don't know what to say much...The news was shocking, but I guess I saw it coming.  I hope Aimee's okay and I wish that I could give her a hug right now or something like that.  I can't imagine how hard it must be for her right now. One thing I do know is though even though I can't be there right now to help or comfort, God is there and very close by her. It's the most comforting and warming thing to know that the Gospel is true and that God is real and loving.  We are his Children.  He doesn't care what happens, what we do, who we are he just loves us.

I think I was super inspired by that thought this week.  God loves us, he sees our potential, and he wants us to change, improve grow better.  It's the whole meaning and the beauty of the Gospel.  Change is often hard though and requires "a load" like Elder Bednar said.

This week was harder for us.  Elder Zhu and I have been trying really hard this week to work towards our goal.  1 baptism this month.  We contacted for the most part of everyday this week.  With almost no able to see results.  But right now I'm just so grateful for the growth it's brought to us...personally and as a companionship.  We learned that in difficulties we don't complain or give up.  We do as Nephi did when he broke his bow.  We think of new solutions, we listen to promptings from the Lord, we humble ourselves, and we seek growth and improvement.  After all this is why God gives us difficulties.  To help us grow.

I just want to be the person that the Lord sees in me, and I want to change and follow the Gospel. Continually improving.  I'm grateful for the Atonement that gives me the opportunity to change, to be a better person.  And I hope to use it in my life forever.

This week I think I should say was hard, but right now - it's awesome!  All I feel is gratitude and hope for the future.  Maybe we won't find new investigators next week.  But we still have the Gospel, the Atonement, the chance to grow and to love others. The spirit to guide us and help us do the work as God would have.

This week ended pretty well with two investigators coming to Church for the first time.  They were both super awesome.  Adam and Ethan.  Both super similar and both looking for a Gospel and a place to feel belonged and loved.  We have great hopes for them!

Today we are going to eat with Tara's Son . He read all of the Book of Mormon this month so we're going to treat him out to a buffet.  What a Stud!!

L.. is doing good too.  He ate with a couple different members this week and met with our branch president for an interview.  The ward here is so awesome!!!

Love You Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Gummow