Monday, April 22, 2013


Dumela losika lame!
Hello my family!

Big news of the week... I'm in Botswana!!!!!! I'm in an area of
Gaborone called Broadhurst which coveres Broadhurst and Tlokweng. Its
very rural. Most of the people live in one room cement houses with tin
roofs. Many of them have electricity but almost nobody has A/C. The
main roads are paved but a lot of the little side roads where our
investigators live are dirt. We have a car always which is soooo nice.
Its cause everything is so spread out plus we live a little ways away
from our area for safety. Our flat is in a a gated complex with
electric fences and barred windows and doors. I feel very safe there.
We have no A/C but we do have running hot water, electricity and a
washing machine, fridge, stove, oven, toaster, and microwave. It is
really nice. The surrounding area is safe too. Sister Anderson and I
go running every morning around a couple blocks and its really safe.
We are greeted every morning by tons of roosters. They're a nice wake
up call. As safe as it is though, we do have to be careful. Because we
are 2 young white females, we get some unwanted attention. Never to
the point where we feel uncomfortable but mostly just annoying. We do
have a strict cerfew to be in by dark because after that it would be
unsafe. And we follow it. Even if we are in the middle of a leson,
once the sun starts to go down, we wrap up and go home. I'm not
telling this to you to make you worry but I feel like its just better
that you know everything.

 One of the adventures I've had so far is that they drive on the left
here( Driver on the right side of the car and cars on the left side of
the road). I drive on the left. Yup. I drive every other day and I
drive on the left! Its different but not as scary as I expected. Ive
only been honked at 3 times! There are always people EVERYWHERE. The
hardest part of driving is not hitting the people or the animals.
There are cows, goats, chickens, peacocks, cats, dogs, and donkeys
wandering around the streets all over the place. Its a challenge to
not hit them.

Another adventure I had was getting locked out. Our power was
out(which is a very frequent occurence) so we went out to check our
meter and accidentally locked ourselves out. So we had to break into
our own apartment. We had to hop three different 8 foot fences in
skirts, then reach into a tiny window that was left open, unhook a
hanger, reach through the window, grab the keys from the inside of the
door, bring them out to us and then unlock the door. Yea. it happened.
We ligitimately broke in. Not just climb in a window. This was
borderline criminally certified. I can't tell if is should be proud or
worried. But hey, we got in. Miraculously. As crazy as it was, it was
definitely a blessing. Don't worry. I got a video. You can see it in
18 months.

Also the people just let their kids run around wherever they want .
Its not unusual to just find a bunch of kids playing soccer in the
middle of the road. The other day while we were waiting for Gao to be
interviewed we went out back and played with a bunch of kids for a few
minutes. They had found some old tape strips (like film tape) and so
we made headbands with them and ran around like we were warriors. It
was so fun. African kids are SO cute! Another common thing in our area
is termite mounds. HUGE termite mounds. I'm talking 10+ feet. Want to
know something nasty? When the women are pregnant here, they crave
termite dirt. Yup. You read that right. They crave termite dirt.
Apparently it nice and crispy. Gross.

Well the work here sure is booming. Right now we have 9 people on date
to be baptized in the next couple months. And other than them, we have
17 other progressing investigators. And even more than that who are
new. The only times we have to go tracting are when appointments fall
through. And when we do, about 70% of them ask for return
appointments. And of those, probably 50% continue with lessons. They
have such strong belief if God already and when they find out that
they can be with their families forever they get so excited. Plus
there are a lot of opportunities for service while tracting. I have
hand washed clothes and dishes for people and helped sweep a few
yards. (Everyone here has dirt yards. And they sweep them. They sweep
their dirt. It doesn't make much sense but it looks nice once its
finished and its just what they do. I think its great actually. Its
just one of those things that makes me love the people) We teach about
90% of our lessons outside. Nobody has a big enough house for us all
to fit.

We had 2 baptisms yesterday. Gao and Patricia. I didn't know them too
well once I first got here but we met with them a lot in the week
before their baptism so I got to know them really well. And I love
them. Both of them are a hoot. Gao is 46. She LOVES hugs (as do most
people here. No matter who you are, they hug you. I've hugged more
people in the last week than I have in my whole life) and hi- fives.
And her testimony is so strong. When we went over the baptismal
interview questions with her she answered each of them with "I
believe. I know." Patricia is 24 and she is crazy. She's loud and
outgoing and very into fashion. When we were taking pictures of her in
her baptism dress she kept posing like she was modeling a new outfit.
It was hilarious. But her testimony is strong. We get sms's from her
all the time asking us if things are ok to do. She has a very strong
desire to follow God.

Ok backtrack a little... Last thursday the sisters who were going to
Botswana flew here! Its not safe for the sisters to drive up here so
they flew us. Our new trainers met us at the airport. My companion is
Sister Anderson. She's from Utah and shes only been out 6 weeks! We've
decided that we'll just be training each other. She is incredible
though. I love her already. We are SO much alike. In so many ways. We
can be goofy and silly with each other already but she is definitely
here for the right reasons and we work hard. Really hard. There hasnt
been a single minute wasted since I've been here. Its exausting but I
know its the work of the Lord. And seeing the faces of our
investigators light up when they feel the spirit makes every
frustration completely worth it.

Well I have so much more I want to tell you but I don't have time! I
loved you all and I hope you know that I know this church is true.

Love, Sister Gehring

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