Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 30, 2012

A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child.

Moral: When we are teachable,
 our humility enables us to grow and to ride the crest of greatness and spirituality.

Dear Family,

So this week has been interesting... which is interesting in itself since I have the exact same schedule every week.  Well, we got a new investigator.  We are now teaching 3.  2 of them are our teachers/ investigators that they taught on their missions and one is another missionary.  I have truly been able to see the benefits of role-playing from an investigator and missionary standpoint.  They are very important in formulating thoughts and understanding what an investigator may feel when you teach them.  Being in the MTC has been a great chance for me to experience things for the first time that I have taken for granted my whole life.  For example, I never realized how special that spirit is that you feel when you walk into a chapel, or the revelation that is so easily gained at church.  I never read 1st Nephi from the perspective of having no idea who the Nephites were or what the Book of Mormon is about. I was able to see how amazing the gift of the Holy Ghost is and how only a little faith is required to make that first step.  I mean - I had no idea what everything meant when I was baptized.  Our investigators don't have to know everything right now either.  The sooner they can experience that cleansing power of baptism and the special spirit they receive, the better they will be able to understand everything else we learn over many years at church.  It has been an amazing and eye opening experience for me to be here!

Two generations of Mandarin -Speaking Missionaries
Chinese is coming well.  My companion and I speak it often and Elder Gummow says his generation was a bit intimidated at how fast we were learning.  Thank goodness because sometimes I can't see it.  I am definitely studying the gospel and Chinese hard and we are really trying to solve the concerns of our investigators.  My companion and I together can usually piece together our investigator's concerns.  My biggest challenge with Chinese... it's a tonal language and sometimes I get a bit excited and add my own tones like I do to English words... this is definitely not good.  In my lessons it's not a problem, but when I'm just speaking to everyone it has become a bit of a joke because sometimes I really can't help it.  I will lose a bit of my personality in Chinese until I can find a way to communicate a bit better.  I really do love it though and have so much fun learning it every day.

Fall at the MTC
So just so everyone doesn't think I am crazy or lying about the MTC being great, I will tell you it is hard.  You hit it right on the head mom when you said I needed extra prayers.  I don't think that I have ever doubted the church more or had more questions than I have had here at the MTC.  I truly believe it is because- if I can start asking these things now and looking for the weird strange things about the church, then I can better feel/understand what my investigators will feel.  I want to testify as well that if any of you are having any doubts, through praying sincerely and reading the scriptures you will find all the answers.  The gospel isn't just for some people.  It is for everyone!  One thing that helped me understand this better this week was - I was thinking about how different the earth is.  There are warm places, cold places, green places, dry places, beaches, mountains, streams and lakes.  The earth has so much variety.  If God can create a world that has so many things that each of us enjoy, then of course he is able to create a plan that fits every person.  He knows each of us so well.  He knew he needed to make some warm, green places with beaches for Sara Gummow.  He knew he needed to make a place like Utah for Jared Winkel and Mason Bell :).  ha ha - he knows us each personally and his plan is for EVERY person.

My difficult story of the week actually involves one of my investigators/ teacher.  They do a good job at being separate people, but sometimes things cross over.  I am not positive how much my teacher loves me, but I am working on understanding this better.  Unfortunately, some of these personal problems have translated over into our lessons and caused a bit of a scheduling mix up.  We scheduled an appointment on the board and they thought it was the other elders because we didn't sign our names.  Therefore, when we went to teach, our investigator was tired and didn't really want us to come in.  Luckily, we were prepared.  I had to pray with all my might to let the hurt feelings go.  I knew my teacher thought that we were not doing what we were supposed to and therefore our investigator wasn't open to us.  I also realize that miscommunication happens all the time in real life.  My amazing companion helped me pray and we talked about how we could overcome this wall.  We ended up singing "I am a Child of God" in Chinese and it was really a special moment.  We let our investigator know of our concern for her and how we wanted to help her.  I know the lord helped me overcome my own feelings of hurt and he can help anyone let those feelings go if we just ask.  This is the miracle of the atonement!

Siblings serving in both Taiwan missions
You are all amazing and I am so glad to be serving the Lord.  Press forward with Faith!!!  The Lord will help each of us overcome any trial.  I mean if I can teach my investigators lessons in Chinese and understand their concerns after 5 weeks of learning this language... He can help you do anything! :)

Elder Gummow sends his love and I hope you were able to have a good conversation with him. (The Elders in this picture all left for Taiwan today and I (mom) was able to talk to Elder Gummow on the phone for 15 min this morning!)

I also wanted to say Happy Birthday to all the October birthdays!!! Kaitlin, David, Jared... I got to see Megan, but anyways Happy Happy Birthday!!! I wish I could have been there :)  You are all super great! David and Brandon... welcome home!!! I hope you are adjusting well :)


Sister Sara Gummow
PS.  In her written letter this week she said to say a special "thank-you" to Sis Jensen who has been sending treats every other week.  Thank you!!
The Banana that keeps life entertaining at the MTC

A treat from someone who loves them!

The had a fire alarm go off early one Sunday morning
 and ended up outside at 6am

Roommates for 3 weeks!

Mandarin-speaking Sisters!

Enjoying Pumpkin Bread sent by Aimee

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