Monday, March 31, 2014


Sister Gummow arrived home on Saturday as scheduled.  It was the longest day ever!!  I think the last 24 hours were as long as her whole mission!  And of course, she was one of the last to arrive at baggage from off the flight - because she had found a cute Taiwanese family that came over for conference but couldn't speak the language very well and were looking very lost.  She and her MTC companion (that flew in with her) stopped to help them find their way around.  It was all worth the wait and we loved hugging her and hearing of her experiences.  Cafe Rio was our first stop for Mexican Food and then home to watch the General Women's Broadcast with cousins and family!

Thanks for all the love and support - this is her Missionary Mom signing off.........

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Completing the Circle

Well, here we are!  The last few days before Sister Gummow comes home!!  Pray for her safe return and that she will be able to continue to carry this wonderful spirit of love through as she adapts to life back in the states and as she returns to school and life.  
Since her homecoming talk is in several weeks and on Easter, for those who are in the area that would like to stop by and welcome Sara home sooner, we are opening our home on Sunday, March 30 from 7-9pm and again on Tuesday, April 1 from 7-9pm.  She will be thrilled to see you!  

Dear Family,

To be honest... I don't really know what to say.  It seems super unreal to me that I will be coming home this week.  I don't think it has really hit me yet.  It sounds that thankfully mom has thought ahead for me though so I don't have to worry about it :)  thank you!!!  I think I am open to seeing everyone anytime you want.  I'm sure I will be tired, but not more than I have been my whole mission, so it's ok!  I just want cafe rio... other than that I'm good with whatever... and I miss salmon dinners and real dessert... taiwan dessert is good, but it looks alot prettier than it actually tastes.  So... chili's lava cake... ha ha Watching the rebroadcast at our house with the girls sounds great.  I really want some time with aimee too so make sure I get some time to spend with just aimee and bryanna.  I really want to go get pedicures with aimee if she is up for it!  

So other than that, this week was full of miracles just like every week :)  We also had a special zone training meeting this week.  It was great and really helped me see some more things that I could do to help out our investigators and help myself become a more consecrated missionary.  I am so glad Matt could read that talk.  It was all thanks to my friend in the Leon France mission.  It is really cool to see how much the lord really takes our acts of faith to consecrate ourselves and lets us be the tool in seeing these miracles.  It doesn't mean we are ever perfect... I am far from a perfect missionary, but it does mean that we give our all and live with no regrets.  

This week I felt like we had no time to do everything and I know next week will feel the same, but it is ok I know that in the end I will have my whole life to be a missionary... just not the name tag, but it will definitely be forever written on my heart.  

To give a sum up of my mission I have learned more about who Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are.  It has been cool to see a loving Heavenly Father directing the work, seeing and feeling his love for ALL of his children.  I have tasted a bit more of Christ's suffering and His atonement has given me the strength to do more than I ever though I could.  The comfort and guidance of the Holy Ghost has been a source of confidence and strength. 

I feel like Chinese is not the only language I have learned on my mission.  I have learned the language of the spirit and the language of love.  I hope that I can just hold on to my light so I will be asking our family to do some weird things with me... like companion study!  Yay :)  I have some great goals so I hope that I can stay focused on what is most important.  

I love you all so much!  See you on Saturday!


Wen Jie mei

Jia you

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Second to the last email to post! Yikes!!

Well, we are down to 12 days before Sara comes home!!  She arrives along with 3 other missionaries from her mission Saturday, March 29th at 4pm!  Her homecoming talk is scheduled for Easter, April 20th at 9am. We are getting excited!!

Dearest Family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mom and Bryanna!!!! I agree with Matt saying that he can't believe how fast Bry has been growing up and I would add Dan in there too... so crazy... and mom somehow you really do look younger and younger over time so you will have to share with me your secret :)  ha ha I love you both and am so excited to see you in just two weeks.

I totally agree with Matt... I am not ready to come home either, but I feel like the Lord has been teaching me a lot about eternal progress lately.  He has really helped me realize that I will still have lots and lots of time to learn, so I just need to keep going and endure to the end and I will have countless amounts of things to learn.  
Also, luckily the Lord has continued to pour out the blessings upon us lately.  Last week we worked so hard and we were able to have tons of lessons and tons of new investigators.  The lord really does put us through trials sometimes, but then sometimes he just let us see miracles every where we go.  We went from having about 5 investigators with baptism dates to 11 in the past week.  It was CRAZY... we were inviting to baptism like crazy and even better we have tons of new investigators that we can invite to set dates with next week too.  Things were not perfect, and we are not perfect missionaries, but I have seen so much joy in sharing the gospel.  The biggest thing we are working through with all of our investigators is coming to church on sunday.  It is so important, but so difficult for the taiwanese people.  Our investigators all have work on sundays or if they don't it is the only day they have with their families so it is hard for their families to understand why they are coming to church/ waking up early when it is the only day they can sleep in.  It is definitely an exercise of faith to come to church, but I have seen how it really helps an investigators progress.  If they can come to church all of a sudden they have a whole team of people to help them progress.  

G.... one of my former investigators got baptized a few weeks ago and she is doing great.  She is already working on family history and will be preparing to go to the temple.  X..... is also doing super great and is way sad I will be going home, but we already planned to skype and facebook when I get home.  Thank you mom for adding people btw.  They always tell me once you have added them and are excited to see my fb.  Ha ha thank goodness for fb or I would be alot more worried about being able to keep in contact with all these people.  

I must admit the one thing I haven't been good at the past 2 transfers is writing in my journal, so I need to repent of that... I have my planner and I write my spiritual insights everyday, but I don't write the day to day stuff much because I am always too tired at night.  I know I will probably regret it someday so thanks for reminding me how important it is.  

So I don't have much time to say all the specific miracles, but we did have an awesome lesson with a member's non-member husband.  I think he really might end up getting baptized in a few weeks.  We also found some golden people who really want to learn about Christ.  We also have an investigator from Malaysia and one from Thailand... so cool!  It was so fun to teach them and we had to get special book of mormons for them in their language so they could understand us.  Other than that... we also found a family... they loved us because we are white, but it's ok... sometimes that can lead to interest in jesus christ so we are going to try it!  

I think this week I was just reminded again of how much companionship unity/any unity is important to find success.  We have had some sisters with companionship problems and it really reminded me of all the lessons I had learned from before and how much the lord shaped me during those tougher times.  I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and his perfect example.  It really helped me press through.

I love you all and I am grateful for all you have done

One other fun thing you can put on my friend Jessica Frazier's wall that her brother came to Taiwan with his wife and they took us out to an amazing lunch at Taipei 101 - so in the end I got to go up Taipei 101!  sooo neat and definitely another answer to one of my little prayers... thank them again for me!!!

Well I hope both of your birthdays are wonderful and I do have some stuff to give you when I get back so just wait and I will be very happy to re-celebrate your birthdays ;)  ha ha and I would love to babysit their kids when I get back!  I have missed being able to be around kids so much and would love to speak Chinese with them as well!  ha ha well have a great day and I love you all!!!

Sister Sara Gummow

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Tsunami" to Beitou

Dear Family,

So this week we did a fun little Tsunami to Beitou... which means for exchanges we both left our area and went to stay at the sisters in Beitou.  We wanted to help them out with some finding and hopefully help them get a few more lessons.  Unfortunately we didn't help out in all the ways we wanted, but it was still an awesome exchange and I know the sisters there are going to find so much success.  They are awesome!  
Other than that small Tsunami we once again had Tsunami's of miracles... but I must explain because they were a bit interesting...

So we had 7 new investigators... which is really crazy considering we were out of our area on the best finding night (friday and sat afternoon) and we had a leadership council meeting that took up our Wednesday.  We hardly had any other lessons with people on the street or anything and faced a ton of rejection, but it was cool to see that after rejection after rejection the lord gave us more little diamonds.  Every person we actually were able to stop and teach ended up setting up times to meet with us later and most of those people were families of 2 or more.  2 of which were also a member referral of a great family who really needs the gospel right now.  It was way different than what they are used to being buddhist, but they are more than willing to try.  They were even willing to set baptism dates with us and the wife asked us if that was the soonest she could get baptized.  It took us so off guard I don't know if we really responded in the right way... but it's ok they set the date and are on their way to getting to know their loving heavenly father.  

Another was an aborigine family of 3. They reminded me so much of so many of the people I loved so much in Taidong.  They are so cool and are going to teach us an aborigine song next time.  They also are willing to be baptized, but are already christian so didn't quite understand why they need to be baptized again, but next time we will definitely get them on board.  

The last was another cool family.  The mother is from Thailand, but her children all grew up in Taiwan.  She is divorced and a little xinku, but she is also already christian.  She doesn't go to church though, but has definitely felt the spirit before.  She also has a teenage son that was really interested.  He also wanted to invite one of his friends to come too.  Even better - he goes to the same school as my recent convert x... jie mei.  She said on Sunday that her and her brother would talk to him and invite him to church too.  Sooo awesome and lots of potential things going on too.  

Other than that we didn't get a ton of time to meet with our already progressing investigators, but they are all doing well.  The biggest challenge is still trying to get everyone to church, but the members have really been trying to step up and help us lately.  It has been fun to see how with a little encouragement the members are just so willing to help out.  They love this gospel too and want to share it, but sometimes it is really hard to know how.  We are really trying to have a focused effort with them and work in unity.  

Sounds like a lot of people are going through a rough time right now.  I was reading the scriptures this week and came upon a verse that talks about the last days.  It says specifically that we would see "men's hearts failing"  It brought to mind this mormon message:
Every time it makes me cry, but I also know how much the lord is with us every step of the way.  The thing that has been emphasized to me over and over again is how grateful we should be to have living apostles and prophets.  There are so many who are facing difficult challenges, but they are facing it without the anchor of faith (ether 12:4)... the anchor that can hold us steady in a world of confusion.  

Our church topic this Sunday was about how to strengthen our faith and one of the members told us of this funny experience when he was 20.  He and his friend decided they wanted to bike around taiwan.   So - to do this they were going to pack a tent and stuff and then stop at different elementary schools on the way to use their showers and stuff.  He said they had never really had that kind of experience before and they doubted their own ability so they had some money set aside so if they made it to a certain point and thought they couldn't make it they could take a bus home.  He said as they started it seemed really hard and almost impossible, but everyday they got stronger and whenever they made a wrong turn or got down it seemed like they would always run into little angels who would help them out (feed them and let them stay at their house...)  As they went on they went into areas where people were not quite as nice and the challenges were a bit harder, but because of their past experience they knew they could make it.  He said this journey is a lot like our journey in the gospel.  Sometimes we start out and maybe we don't even have much faith in ourselves.  We think of a plan B... if we fail, if we give up, then we can just go home, we can go back to who we used to be or what we used to be.  We may look at the distance to perfection and think there is no way we can do it, but as we start whether it be rain or shine, the lord will always be there to support us and give us little miracles on the way.  The thing is once we get stronger he may send us harder challenges, but it's just because He has Faith in US.  He trusts US.  I know that is exactly how the lord feels about our family and sometimes trials open doors to the gospel that may never have been there before.  When we are humble the lord can turn and make us strong.  The most important thing is that we cannot give up!  We must keep going with that "Perfect brightness of HOPE"  and we have to help others to see it too.  I know that you all have that power to turn our families view heaven ward.  To reach towards heaven and let him pour out more blessings and strengthen your faith.  

I have great faith in you all and I hope you are all preparing yourselves to hear the prophets words!  I am so excited to see what tools the lord has to help us overcome these challenges and come closer to our Savior.  

I LOVE YOU so much!!!


Wen Jie mei

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March is here!

March is already here and Sara sent some pictures of the lantern festival they were able to see in the pouring February rain.  The next one is at a Family Home Evening with some members

These are from the conference with President Holland.  She is right behind Sister Holland in the big picture.

"Yay! The first week in March was already filled with so so many miracles.  It is so crazy to see how much the adversary works on each of us to get us down, but when we can keep the hope of the gospel as a bright light in us it doesn't matter what is going on!  We can overcome it.  I have seen this power working to get the missionaries down and investigators, members... everyone.  It seems like Satan's greatest goal is to keep us focused on the darkness rather than the light.  Can you imagine if you looked up at the night sky and all you could see was the dark sky?  If you focused too much on the darkness it would be scary and lonely, but if you can look at the bright and beautiful stars it can turn a scary dark night into a wonderful amazing experience full of little miracles everywhere... that is how I feel like my mission is now.  I think the things I have gone through really have helped me forget myself and my own nothingness and focus on the greatness of god... He is all powerful, all knowing, and has enough love to fill any dark spaces.  I have realized while the darkness is there the miracles are more frequent and a lot more beautiful!

This week one of the miracles that really touched my heart was hearing a 14 yr old girl say her first prayer.  She was really hesitant about us missionaries at her door and about learning more about god, but after we said a prayer she was more curious and she was willing to accept our invite to say her own prayer everyday.  We wanted her to help us close our lesson with a prayer, but she was really nervous to say a prayer.  We talked to her and comforted her and explained prayer a few more times.  Then, we just waited.  She finally started and as she made it about 2 sentences into her prayer she started to pray for her father and became very emotional and finished the prayer in a rush.  I knew that it was her feeling her heavenly father listening to her prayer and that he really cared about this little girls father just as much as she did.  I love being able to witness people praying for the first time!  So cool to see them start to realize their eternal worth. 

The funny miracle was that we totally snuck into the apartment building because someone had just opened the door so we quickly ran in... it was obvious we didn't have a key to get around this building, but as we were knocking, we ran into the landlord and he told us anytime we wanted to come there to let him know and he would let us in and if anyone asked to tell them he said we could come in... ya what?  so cool!  ha ha and he said to visit anytime.  So there are cool people in the world who like us!  

Other than that, we were able to find 6 new investigators.  Most of which were found from knocking doors and asking for referrals, investigators family members who met with us because we were meeting at their house, or knocking doors at our LA's apartment buildings while trying to find LA's.  There are truly many many ways to find.  

I have a feeling march madness is going to come to us in a bit of a different way - full of tons of tons of miracles!

Loved the pictures and so proud of my bro!  I was actually there (at the temple) the next day and one of my ward members told me she saw him there.  Pretty awesome!!  Well I think that is about everything for now.  LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Sister Sara Gummow"

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Elder Holland came to my mission!!

Dear Family,

So this week was once again full of tons and tons and tons of miracles... so many tender mercies that it is hard to count.  I feel like every week just goes by faster and faster.  So this week's main highlight was the fact that Jeffrey R. Holland, and Elder Wilson, Elder Holstrom all came to our mission.  

They were here for some conference and were able to set up a special devotional for all the missionaries in our mission and then the next day speak at our sacrament meeting in West Taipei stake.  It was truly an amazing event.  Jared Winkel gave me a talk called "The miracle of a mission" which has been one of my favorite talks my entire mission and it was sort of like having a live version.  He really helped strengthen our faith and commit us to be better. 

One of my favorite things that he said was something I had been thinking about lately.  One day I just really wanted to know who wrote Preach My Gospel.  I wanted to know how it came about... but Preach My Gospel itself gives no glory to any of it's writers.  When he was talking to us he said he felt impressed to tell us why they developed it.  He said it was because so many RM's come home and were going inactive or completely losing their Faith.  They were not living up to the things they had been teaching. They were so concerned that they developed Preach My Gospel... not to convert more people like I had supposed, but to help convert the missionaries.  Through a careful study of Preach My Gospel we truly learn the basic principles that our Faith is founded upon.  We strengthen our Faith in the core of the gospel.  The church unit is simply a way for us to live our faith, but preach my gospel tells us what we actually believe in and gives us the means to develop that testimony.  It is not something you memorize, but something like the scriptures, we ponder and apply.  Preach My Gospel has changed my life and I hope that every member is reading it... and continues to love it's pages as much as I have on my mission.  I have a principle that I have lived by on my mission and that is every single question I have can be answered through PMG, the scriptures, and the white handbook.  Those three resources have helped me through so many trials on my mission as well as the good times.  

So other than the amazing conference ( mom - I met that random lady from Thailand BTW whose daughter is going to our mission soon) we also had some really neat finding and teaching experiences.  One of the good news is that my old investigator  (when we changed areas, we had to give her to the elders) but she passed her baptismal interview and should be getting baptized next week!  We should be able to go to it too so I am so so happy!  

The coolest teaching experiences definitely happened on Sunday.  So a few weeks ago we had a finding miracle and knocked on these two doors and they both had interest and became our investigators... well this week we were finally able to find a peike (member who could come to the lesson).  It was so neat to feel the spirit at these people's houses and our peike gave us a huge hug and thanked us for the opportunity to meet these two people.  The spirit that was present in their homes was so so strong and it was so clear that the lord loved them so so much!  I have never felt the spirit so strong that it moved us all to tears and moves me to tears once again just thinking of the experience.  The best part is - we get to feel it and teach them every week.  I feel so blessed that the lord is letting me be a light to so many in Taiwan that are in a dark place.  

My favorite thing that I have been learning still is that we are Noah's arc... he is shining on us and we are his hope in this dark and dreary world.  He looks on us and smiles.  The cool thing is that Elder Holland said the same thing to us.  He told us that we are the ones the lord is smiling upon (the exact wording I have been telling all my sisters on exchanges)  I know the lord is proud of our efforts to do good and fight of the powers of satan.  We are strong and we have the power to crush that serpent's head!  

I wish I could tell you all the other really amazing things that happened, but just pray that I can get around to writing in my journal so someday I can share them with you!  

I love you all!

Sledding looked like so much fun.  I'll look out for the package for sure!  Give Jill another hug for me if you see her!  


Sister Sara Gummow

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Last Transfer

So this is the official start of my 11th and final transfer!   I must admit I have very mixed feelings.  While I am excited to come home... I feel very scared... ha ha and shebude likai taiwan (will be sad to leave (sort of... doesn't translate well)).  I have developed so many great friendships here and seen so many amazing miracles.  I have left my heart in so many places here that it will be hard to leave.  

This transfer has already started out great.  My companion is amazing!  We feel so lucky to be together for one more transfer as well.  I feel especially lucky that she is my last companion.  She really has so much fire for the work and wants to keep working and doing her very best.  She has enabled us to see so many miracles.  I am so grateful for her.  One of the fun things we are doing as a companionship is we memorize a song every week, so when we aren't feeling the greatest or just need a bit of a spiritual boost we will sing and it cheers us up... and it also makes the Taiwanese people laugh to see us riding around on our bikes in the freezing cold singing at the top of our lunges smiling.  This week was "Lord I would follow thee" and last week was "hark all ye nations".    

So this week has been one of the coldest weeks ever! and it rained... a lot... and we don't have many investigators so we were finding a lot... but this week we saw so many awesome awesome things happen!
So to start out we were able to get some pretty awesome miracle referrals.  We were able to set up with two former investigators that popped up out of no where and still have interest.  Both of which know the gospel is true, but have faced some family opposition.  I think it is their time though and they really will start progressing!  We also ran into a little old christian lady.  At first she told us she was too busy to talk, but we asked if we could say a prayer to bless her and she let us in.  After, she showed us this job that she is doing and was complaining a bit about her life so we just said we would love to help and we helped her for the next hour.  She is aborigine so she doesn't speak Chinese very well, so we just sang to her for like and hour while we helped her do her job.  It was so fun and as we left we said and prayer and hugged her.  As sister G hugged her she broke down in tears, pulled away a bit and then hugged her again crying.  I went over and we just told her the lord loves her and He will take care of her.  Then we told her we would be back again next week.  One of the coolest things ever!  I really understood the line in "Lord I would follow thee" that says' I would be my brothers keeper, I would learn the healers art, to the wounded and the weary I would show a gentle heart.'  This song is one of my favorite songs because I feel like it describes exactly why I LOVE TO FIND.  It is so cool to be able to be the lord's hands in bringing about good.

One of the funniest things that happened was one night we prayed to find a mother and we did... she turned out to be kind of crazy and dragged us to this random miao where they were giving away free lanterns for the lantern festival.  So funny... but good story.  We actually got to go to the main place where they send off lanterns for the festival last p-day.  It was freezing cold and raining, but we have a cool video that the member took for us of us sending off a lantern.  The area was really pretty too so you will love the pictures.  My flash drive is having problems right now so I can't send them today, but next time I will for sure.  

Ha ha and I don't know why, but the whole kidney stone thing clearing up really did clear up my skin as well, so I am looking much better recently.

There were many more miracles this week, but that is all I can think of off the top of my head right now.  One of the cool things was that we made almost all of our WPS goals this week!  It was really exciting especially because we don't have many progressing investigators right now, so to get members at our lessons was a bit difficult, but the lord really helped us because we were trying so hard.  

We finished the week very tired, but feeling great... we faced lots of rejection and lots of freezing time in the rain, but we know we worked our hardest and the lord really blessed us so much.  
One of the things I studied this week i would love to you all to read a talk called, "recognizing god's hand in our daily blessings."
It actually reminded me a lot of what dad has been going through...  Elder Christofferson talks about when he first got called as an apostle how they went through a major time of financial trials and how in the end he was glad the lord didn't take away the trial right away.  It really allowed him to know his heavenly father in a way he would not have otherwise or may have taken more time. It also shares a cool story - I will quote it here:

In the 1950s my mother survived radical cancer surgery, which was followed by dozens of painful radiation treatments. She recalls that her mother taught her something during that time that has helped her ever since:

“I was so sick and weak, and I said to her one day, ‘Oh, Mother, I can’t stand having 16 more of those treatments.’

“She said, ‘Can you go today?’


“‘Well, honey, that’s all you have to do today.’

“It has helped me many times when I remember to take one day or one thing at a time.”

The Spirit can guide us when to look ahead and when we should deal just with this one day, with this one moment. 

I also really saw this come into play as we prepared to leave our house this week... as we prepared to go out the door every morning knowing it was cold and we didn't really want to go out in the pouring rain again for a long time... but as we took it an hour at a time, a day at a time... we saw so many miracles and we made it through happily even though looking at the prospect of 8 hours in the freezing rain looked terrible somehow it really wasn't bad at all. This talk was seriously so good and really helped me take a new perspective the hard things we go through in life as well as the many many blessings we really do have.  

I am so grateful for the savior and his love for us.  I feel like my testimony of Him is increasing everyday and I am so grateful to be serving Him with all my heart might mind and strength. 

ha ha - dad I will let you know when I have time to be trunky... for now I don't think I have any time to stop and think about it too much! :)  I love you all and my prayers will continue to be with you!  

Sister Sara Gummow