Hey there everyone!
Thank you so much for the emails. I wish I could answer every question but I just don't have time so I hope I answer most of them just by telling you about my time so far. As the subject says, 7 down 5 to go! That’s talking about days left. I only have 5 days left in the MTC! How crazy is that?? The next time you hear from me I'll be in Botswana!
Well guess what!! The S.A. MTC is the best one in the world. Seriously. Only having 11 people here makes it so that we have become so close already. We are all here for the same reason so no matter where we come from we are united in the gospel. And I am learning SO much here. Pretty much all day every day is lessons and practicing teaching. I thought I was pretty well prepared to come out here but I had no idea how much more I had to learn. I feel closer to my Heavenly Father than I ever have in my life after being here for only a week. And my testimony has never been stronger. The missionary program is truly inspired. There is no other way a bunch of kids barely in their 20s could be so successful in spreading the gospel if this wasn’t true. No other church could help us become what we are becoming or prepare us to help God's children in the way we are going to be helping.
Other than the amazing learning, life here is amazing! We have an hour of sport time every day. It’s so nice to be able to go outside and just take a break. We do everything from volleyball to yoga and hula hooping and everything in between. Also the food is awesome. I love South African food! The best thing so far has been vatkeok (pronounced fat-cook) It’s basically a S.A. sloppy joe. Also I had brown S.A. porridge. Also delicious.
Ok Grandma Lois, this next part is for you. Look up these birds: haw-dee-da bird and the boobie bird. Nope I'm not kidding with those names. Also make sure you look up the sounds they make. I go running with the MTC president's wife Sis. Reber every morning and the first time I heard the boobie bird I got really worried. You'll understand why when you look it up. Both of them are all over the place.
I really love the President and his wife. Sis. Reber gives each missionary a hug before bed each night. They really make it a home away from home. My companions are great too. Both are really quiet and they are both 27 yrs old. So we had a hard time connecting at first. But we teach well together and we get along well. Its funny, I thought I'd be quiet here but I find I can really just be myself. Its so nice actually.
Ok so hi-lights from the week! Best experience so far was going to the temple. My comp Sis. Nyambita was going through for the first time and she asked me to be her escort. It was such a special experience. She is a really amazing woman... We are learning I Am a Child of God in SWAHILI!!! Definitely find a way to look it up. Its so beautiful. We are performing it for one of the wards here in the Jo-berg area... We broke a worldwide church record!!! In the history of the church, this is the first time anywhere in the world that there have been more Sisters than Elders in the MTC. WOOO!!! Its so cool that I can be a part of this incredible work at such a great time... Conference was awesome too. They talked about Africa a few times!!! And maybe its just cause I'm on a mission but it seemed like the whole thing pointed toward missionary work.
Ok a few more things before I go. There is an Elder here named Elder Adams who is the nephew of my Afrikaans teacher. Small world right!! And he is basically the South African version of you, Zach. Seriously. The other day he explained to me why a sweater and solid colored tie is such a classy look. Yea. And that’s definitely not all. Every day he says more stuff that makes me think of you.
Ok that’s all the time I have. I wish I could write more! I love it here and I'm so happy i can be out here!! I love you all. Thanks for all the support. YOu're in my prayers and Ill talk to you next week! (From BOTSWANA!!!!!)
Love Sister Gehring