Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

  So great to hear from Sister Gummow this week!  It was transfers, so we were excited to hear of the changes!

"Well first I want to say a huge thank you so a wonderful mother and father who created such a perfect family!  I love our family so so much and I am so grateful for all that you have done for me!!!  I love you so much!!!!  

So to answer moms questions (thank you for bolding them ha ha - I am working on remembering to answer you first now)  They do not have any Airborne here... i have looked :( :(  that is one thing I wouldn't mind in a Christmas package especially the chew able ones... they saved me in the mtc.  

Anyways the gravy also turned out ok... not the best, but still ok (below is the picture of me a little nervous trying to figure all the cooking stuff out...).
I was actually super surprised at how everything was.  I also have a request of a member.  She lived in the Utah before and loves cooking.  She made the best meal for us last night and she is looking for a good pumpkin cheesecake recipe.  She said she had one before that didn't have a crust and it was amazing... so if you know of any good ones she would love it!  I also was hoping for a good sugar cookie recipe and frosting because we may be doing an activity with some of our investigators and members to help them get to know each other. When I was sick I was super blessed because it was seriously just one night.  I woke up the next morning and was perfectly fine.  I felt like it was some crazy nightmare. :p but thank goodness it didn't slow me down at all.

So cool to hear of all the things going on at home! I hope Elise has a great experience on her mission!

So this week the number one thing I am grateful for... I am still with Sister D!  She is such a fun companion.  We are not perfect, but she is still so so much fun and I am so happy to be with her.  Here are a few pics from her camera.  We used your cake for one of our trainings on progressing investigators. So much fun!  Everyone loved it. 

Ran into the Elders in Sanxia.  So funny! they were studying/ sleeping after dinner.  

This week will probably be much like Matt's was last week - a huge focus on finding!  Our investigators are dying out a little bit so we are hoping to find some good ones this week.  We have also had quite a bit of success at retaining and reactivating LA's so that has been really cool.  Sorry I am running out of time to share any specific experiences, but things have been good.  Oh and sister Z is now in Jilong so I am her sister training leader.  I am so happy!  I get to go on exchanges with her and talk to her all the time.  ya!  well that is about it!  I love you all and I hope you know how grateful I am for such a wonderful family!!!"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkeys!

Scared Turkey With Blank Sign SVGIt was an interesting week for Sister Gummow!  She gained valuable experiences, and experienced the same exact thing as her father (unbeknownst to each of them at the time) at the same time as her father. Crazy Coincidences!  (I am glad I wasn't the one who shared the experience, however!)  

Family :) :) :)

So this weeeek... ha ha lots of awesome and crazy experiences.  So we started the week off just right.  We went on an exchange with the sisters in Jilong.  They are super awesome!  I stayed in my area and even though I am still not super familiar with things it was really really fun.  Sister B and I saw so many miracles.  We went to find a few LA's and while we were there we decided to know on a few doors.  It is the first time I have knocked on doors and everyone answered and let us talk to them.  In fact we only had time to knock on three doors because they all let us talk to them and one of them became our new investigator and one is a potential.  We will see what happens, but it was definitely really really cool.  

Then Wednesday was when the nightmare night happened.  I started feeling really sick to my stomach on the trip back from Jilong, but we had English class so I just didn't really worry about it.  When we got to the church for English meeting my stomach was hurting so bad that I couldn't even stand up.  One of the elders was super awesome and taught our classes together while I sat in the back trying to survive.  When I got home I just died... I was in so much pain and was throwing up about every two hours.  This lasted almost the whole night.  At about 2 am I took a hot bath and started feeling a bit better and then about 4 am I was able to eat a little and hold down some fluids.  After that I slept good until about 10... then I got ready and it was time to go proselyting.  Ha ha our schedule wasn't very hard that day so it was just fine and it was weird because even though the night before I was like dying, the next day no one would have even known.  I still think it is a little crazy that that happened...

Anyways after that the week just went really really smooth.  We didn't have much finding time :(  but our members LOVE us :)  We got 4 new investigators from member referrals so that was super super awesome and is pretty much unheard of in Taiwan.  We really do have a great area and I have seen so many miracles from working with the members. 

The other super funny experience was this week I cooked my first turkey... yes... I am in Taiwan... and no one knows  how to use an oven so our mm leader asked if I could cook the two turkeys for our Thanksgiving activity.  As I have never done it and only partially helped you prepare a turkey before, I thought it was a little ridiculous, but I did it.  My companion and I found sisters to split the work with us so she could still go out while I spent a Saturday in - cooking a turkey and mashed potatoes.  It was a huge stress, but everything turned out just fine and it seemed like everyone liked the turkey so that was good.  My companion was so proud of me.  It was really funny, but there you go, I did it!  ha ha why in the world is eating turkey a tradition??  unfortunately, I didn't take pictures but my companion took a few so I will send them to you later.  

Well that was pretty much the exciting news of the week.  I think this has been the funnest, stress free transfer ever - so we will see what happens next week, but there is a good chance that I will have a new companion :(  We will see!  It has been awesome serving here though and yep excited to see what challenges next transfer brings.  I hope you can meet Sister D someday -she 
is amazing and I am sure we will be eternal friends.  I am hoping Matt has a chance to serve in her area after she goes home so she can take care of him for me.  ha ha love you all so much and loved the pics of Daniel's birthday!  Daniel you are 16!  Bryanna you better keep an eye on him for me ok?  Love you!  Dad I hope you survive the red eye flight.  I have learned on my mission how precious sleep is and how much I love it... so I hope that you survived and had health.  Kind of special we were both super sick this week and throwing up... ha ha there you go for mission memories ha ha.  Oh I don't know if you heard about the typhoon in the Philippines, but please pray for them.  I have many friends there or family of friends there.  

Love you all!!!

Sister Sara Gummow  

** Here are some links to a news article on the effects of the Typhoon on the LDS Missionaries and a powerful testimony by one of the Sister Missionaries who survived the ordeal:

Awesome News Article

Powerful Testimony

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Birthdays! Birthdays!

It was Sister Gummow's brother's 16th birthday and it is amazing to think of all the growth and changes that have happened to her siblings since she has left!  The time has passed so quickly until you take a look at the teenagers and how fast they change every few months!  Sara has grown and changed a lot too!  It will be fun to get to know her all over again!

"Hello dearest family!

A huge "happy birthday" and I love you to D-man.  I can't believe he is driving?!  I also can't believe Bry went to her first "boy band" concert... so crazy and she is always wearing my clothes...  but it makes me happy to know that I have good style so she likes my clothes ;)  As a sister missionary I must admit I have fallen into that pattern of really not caring much...  I feel like it is a pain if it takes me longer than 30 min to get ready now because there is so much to do.  Mom you would also be proud that I am known for my cleanliness as a missionary... my companions have told me I am the cleanest companion they have ever had.  Haha -I always laugh and just think that their standards of cleanliness and yours are not quite the same...  but there you go :)  

Mom I would also like your help with my college application.  I decided that because of distance and other things that I want to try and stay in Utah for school until next January.  I want to be able to be home for the holiday season before I head back out again to Hawaii.  - though I must admit I can't say goodbye to the island quite yet.  If you want to start asking around about good Chinese speaking jobs I would also love to find a job with a good atmosphere where I can continue to speak my language :) :)  I know that there are a bunch of records that I will have to be transferring so if you could help me with that I would be so so grateful.  I want to apply for spring summer semester at BYU so I don't have to wait so long to go back to school.  

Thank you again for your constant effort of sending pictures and emails.  I realize more and more how wonderful you are the longer I am out.  You have been so diligent in supporting us and I have needed it so much.

So this week we saw lots and lots of miracles.  I realize the power of prayer so much more now.  It is funny how sometimes I feel and speak just like a new missionary and then other times I really realize the power and authority of my calling.  My favorite is that I know it is not only me who feels it.  Many people ask me over and over to say prayers for them and I am always thrilled to be able to do it.  I have seen so many miracles happen from a prayer of Faith.  

So as Sister Training leaders it is interesting because we are frequently out of our area on exchanges with other sisters.  Our sisters are all wonderful though.  It is cool how the lord gives us so much fire on exchanges to really bless the lives of those sisters.  I am so grateful for the spirit He gives us.  Every exchange we see really cool miracles.  This week we knew some of the sisters were struggling with finding, so we decided to go and have a small "tsunami" in their area.  My companion and I went up on Friday night and stayed until Saturday morning.  I was in charge of the finding while the other companionship did normal missionary work.  The Friday night - Sister S..., a cute Taiwanese convert, and I saw soo many miracles.  We ran into a Buddhist lady that they had prayed with a few times before.  She still hasn't give her information or set up a time, but she really believes in the power of prayer.  She really is hoping to help her son and promised to try and bring him to church on Sunday.  after that we prayed about where to go and were led to a lady who was interested in reading the Book of Mormon... then finally we were led to a super cute christian girl who became their new investigator.  She was super awesome and set up for next Sunday.  The next day I was with her trainee, sister chu.  An adorable girl from Hawaii who always has a smile on her face.  We had 2.5 hours of tracting time and while we didn't find a new investigator for us, we met 2 awesome guys for the elders.  The biggest miracle was that sister C... received revelation about where to go to find for the first time.  She realized that this was something that she could do to.  I am confident that she will use this new found skill to add many new investigators to their teaching pool.  The lord really does guide us in knowing what to do and what to say and where to go.  

We saw many of the same miracles in our own area.  Despite having less time we were able to receive a bunch of member referrals.  While we didn't find any new investigators for ourselves we were able to meet a bunch of awesome people that we are hoping to add to our pool soon.  We also have 2 really awesome investigators right now that we found just a few weeks ago that are really progressing.  We are praying to have a white baptismal Christmas so pray that we can help our investigators meet this goal.  We are actually hoping to have one on the 30th. 

This is J.  She loves Jesus and is in love with our church.  She loves floral design so she is donating her flowers to our church every week.  Pray that she can really develop that testimony by the 30th so she can get baptized. :)  

I really love the wards here... it isn't like my family in Taidong, but they are really supportive of missionary work.  Sister D is also an amazing sister missionary so it is really fun to be with her!
One thing I learned this week that I wanted to mention as well is that I realized how grateful I am for a father who thinks so much about our world and how it connects to the gospel.  You and mom have inspired so many awesome gospel conversations and have taught me how to ponder about the gospel and how it connects to my life.  I have pondered so much in the past and now that it has made it so much easier to know what to say to help others.  I know the spirit really works in helping me remember those experiences and my revelation about different things to help my investigators, members, and LA's come unto Christ...not to mention the great sisters I have the chance of working with.  It is so much fun and I absolutely love being a missionary :)  

I send you all my love and tell the Neighbor Lane families "hi" for me.  They really have grown into such an awesome group!

So fun!  I love you all and here we go for one more week.  Still be praying for us to find those prepared families :)  thank you!!!

Love,  Sister Gummow"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November already! :( :)

Time seems to slipping away and Sister Gummow is doing her best to make good use of it!  Exchanges, miracles, finding, following the spirit, learning and gratitude are a big part of her week!  I loved reading about her insights this week!

 "Dearest Family,

I can't believe time is going by so fast!!!!  I feel like I just got here yesterday.  I can still remember clearly that first transfer in Neihu.  Even better I get to see them more now because I am sister training leader over that area.  That means we get to go on exchanges there.  I didn't go this past time, but I did give them some names of my old investigators to try again.  I hope they have some success with that.  

So first before I forget (answering your questions) ... for Christmas... I loved what you did last year and honestly I will only have 3 months left so don't worry about sending stuff... maybe just stuff I can give to people here would be best.  I did keep my Christmas stocking and decorations and will probably pass on the stocking when I leave.  As for when I come home... ha ha I still have 5 months!  ha ha I think when I get home I am going to feel really weird so you might have to be my companion and live the mission schedule with me for like 2 weeks.  Ha ha we can have language study together so I can help your Chinese :)  ha ha other than that... cafe rio?  I will just be happy to be back with you guys again... other than that there isn't really anything that I miss, so my wish is really simple.  Hugs!!!  ha ha - and maybe a bike that I can ride.  I learned that I really love riding bikes now.  I am just so used to it.  
last question is a yes.  There was a pretty big earthquake here last Thurs.  it was pretty exciting! I actually have a picture of one of the girls who was like on the floor because she was so afraid.  sooo funny.

So for this week I don't really know what to say.  I feel like time is just slipping through my fingers.  My companion and I have had such a happy transfer together.  I feel like I just got here though... I still have no idea where anything is and I don't know many of the members.  We are doing our best though and having fun.  We have definitely seen many miracles.  Some of the investigators we found 2 weeks ago are really awesome and progressing really fast.  We haven't had as much time as I would like because we have tons of meeting and exchanges.  I really love finding and unfortunately haven't had that much time, so I am hoping that we can change that really quickly.  They area presidency have some very ambitious goals for the Taiwan.  We are going to do our best to help these areas grow.  

I must admit I really love exchanges.  Every time it is really tiring, but it is so cool to see these amazing sister missionaries.  They have such large testimonies and want to serve the lord so badly.  I have seen how my previous experiences have really helped prepare me to help these sisters.  I'm just grateful for all that I have learned on my mission and all that I continue to learn from all these amazing sisters.  The Lord really loves us!

One of the cool miracles that happened this week was we decided to call up an LA that lived by the church.  When we met with her she told us lately she has really been wanting to come back, but wasn't sure how.  So cool to see how the lord knew her timing and helped my companion know that we needed to call her.  We also had some really awesome lessons with our investigators and LAs.  I think one of my favorite things about a mission is going in to a lesson with the best preparation you could and then just seeing the lord take over and speak through us.  I will always have thoughts come to my head.  I will just start speaking and somehow it goes in the exact direction they needed, even though I had not even thought of that before.  I know it is the lord hearing the plea of their hearts.  It helps me realize how much he knows us individually and loves us.

The other thing I learned this week was how important it is to be grateful for all we have.  I realized that lately I have not been feeling the spirit as strong.  I think in our trials it is really easy to be humble and rely on the lord, but things have really gone well lately and I have not needed Him as much ......  so I made a decision to diligently study humility (which includes being grateful for all the blessings of the lord).  I think I too easily look over those little miracles that He gives me everyday.  I thought it was a great theme for the month of November as well. 

Well, I love you all so much and will keep you in my prayers!  Remember to be grateful for all the many things the Lord gives us everyday.  I invited one of our LA's to start saying one grateful prayer everyday, so I invite you to do the same.  I know that if you do it will be so much easier to keep a smile on your face and to feel the spirit guiding you.  I love you all!!! 

Sister Gummow "