Monday, June 10, 2013

Packed full...

Dear Family,

Wow this week was crazy. Seriously every hour of every day was packed. We taught a bunch of lessons but there was also just a ton of other stuff going on. But it was a really really good week too.

To start off, on Tuesday and Wednesday we were doing exchanges. They do them a little bit differently for sisters. Usually exchanges mean you switch companions for a day. But for the sisters, we just have an experienced sister come around with us for the day. So we had Sister Wiscombe come with us on Tuesday and Sister Vuki come with us on Wednesday. I realize you don't know who these people are but It'll help for you to know their names for when I talk about things that happened. This also meant that they stayed with us over night too. So that was different. But pretty fun. In the mornings instead of going running, we did Zumba. Do you know what that is? I hadn't heard of it till I was at BYU but I had never done it before. Sister Wiscombe loves it though. It is basically like Jazzercise but even more dancy. As you can imagine, it was not pretty... I don't dance. At all. It was so much fun and it was a good workout, but I'm sure I looked like a complete idiot doing it. But hey, it was just us sisters doing it so there was no need to be embarrassed. Side note: I feel so close to these sisters. I have only known the sisters I serve with for 2 months but I am closer to them than I am to people I have known for years. There is something about serving the Lord together that forms a bond unlike anything you can get in any other way. It’s pretty wonderful.

But anyway, yea we had other people with us for 2 days. And we taught some of the best lessons I've ever taught in those two days. I learned so much too. It was really great to be able to see how other people teach so I can get ideas on how to handle certain situations and how to explain things in a way that more people can understand. One of the great lessons was with a girl named Lillian. When we were tracting one day last week she called us over to her and told us she wanted us to come visit her. She didn’t seem really serious though. Honestly we just thought she wanted to talk to us because we are white. We were kind of reluctant to go back cause we thought it would go badly. But oh man were we wrong. I definitely had to repent for those thoughts. When we got there she was so prepared to hear the message of the gospel. She told us that she had been "swimming in a sea of confusion" and that when she saw us, she knew we could help her. We talked to her about why we know this church is true and about having faith in Christ. Then we gave her a Book of Mormon and explained about it. Then we gave her a few chapters to read. We basically just bore testimony the whole time about how much this gospel could bless her. The spirit was so strong. We actually had another lesson with her on Saturday and she had actually read the Book of Mormon and had some of the best, most inspired questions about it I've ever heard. Nobody reads the first time we ask them too! Basically she is incredible. She has a long way to go before she'll be baptized but I know we were led to her for a reason. 

Then on Wednesday Sister Vuki was with us. Once again, it was really great to have someone there to help us in hard situations. In particular, it was nice to have her when we were seeing a 16 year old girl we are teaching. I won’t say her name but she told us that this week her parents told her that they were forcing her to get married to a guy that is way older than she is. I had no idea what to do. But Sister Vuki was able to comfort her and help her know that if she trusted in the lord, things would work out. She shared Alma 38:5 with her and it really helped her. The other lessons we taught that day were really cool too. One that I liked a lot too was with a woman named Lindiwe. She is older and has been taught pretty much everything there is to know about the church. She even has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. But she decided that she still wants to stay in her old church and that she doesn't want the missionaries to teach her any more about the gospel. But we have really felt like we need to keep visiting her. So she agreed to let us come and share Bible stories with her. Well we have been doing that for the last few months but on Wednesday we decided to try and share a message from the Book of Mormon with her. When we got there she got her Bible out and sat down with her little highlighter all ready to listen.Then I said " Actually Lindiwe, today we want to share something out of the Book of Mormon. Could you get yours out?" I acted like it was the most normal thing in the world. Her face was priceless. It was complete shock. But Sister Anderson, Sister Vuki and I just sat there smiling till she finally got up and went and got hers out. Then I proceed to tell her about one of my favorite parts from King Benjamin's speech. I just acted like nothing was wrong and this was just what we do every time. At first I could tell she was kind of annoyed but I just kept going till the spirit started to work in her. By the end she was listening intently and she agreed to read over the section again on her own. It was so great. It'll take time but I can tell she'll come around eventually. Also on Wednesday I got to eat something that I never thought I’d eat in my life... a chicken heart!! I was terrified. One of our investigators was eating a whole bowl of them when we got there. I asked what they were and she got all excited. "Chicken hearts! They are so tasty. You must try!" I tried to politely decline but she insisted. Sister Anderson agreed to try it with me. It actually wasn't bad! It just tasted like a tough piece of chicken. The mental picture of eating a chicken heart was significantly worse than actually doing it! 

Then on Thursday it was the final mission tour before Botswana becomes its own mission. So every single missionary serving in Botswana all came to Gabs for the event. Because we stay so close to the chapel, we got to play host to a bunch of the sisters who serve in Francistown. Only 2 of them actually stayed with us but because it’s rare for all the sisters to be together, we all had a huge sister dinner and we made tacos. It was so fun. I got to see all the people I was in the MTC with and I got to meet the other sisters I hadn't met before. After we ate we had to wait for some people to get their luggage back so we all just sat around outside and talked. It felt like girl's camp or something. It was so fun. Then Sister Pierce and Sister Nyambita got to come stay with us. It was so great to be able to see Sister Nyambita again! I love her and I was so excited when I found out she was going to stay with us. 

But then the next morning was the mission tour. IT WAS SO GOOD! President Omer and his wife came, the Botswana APs and the South Africa APs came and a member of the 70 and his wife came! (I can’t for the life of me remember what their name was though) They all spoke and it was incredible. I don't even know what else to say about it other than that it was so good! I learned so much. Each of them spoke about different ways to improve missionary work and how to be a better missionary. I realized that I have a LOT of work to do but also that I am definitely on the right track. It was a really good boost. It gave me that push to try harder, do better and serve more faithfully. I have this new motivation now and I just want to go and teach everyone! The church is true!! 

Then on Friday we got a new car!!! The elders got our old one (well our "old" one. It was only like a 2010 model.) And we got a brand spankin' new 2013 Hundai something or other. Its soo nice. It only had 40 kilometers on it total. I have no idea why we get such a nice car but hey, I'm not complaining. It’s nicer than anything I'll ever drive at home most likely! But sad thing from Friday is that we went to a funeral. It was for a man named Brother Sima. He was one of the pioneers of the Church in Botswana. Everyone looked up to him and respected him. He was one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. The rest of the day was packed full of lessons though so that was good to take our minds off of it. Friday night though we got to go over to the YSA ward in a different area and have a game night! The other sisters had organized it and our appointments for the night had all canceled so we got to go! It was so fun and we met some really great people. Plus it gave us some great ideas on what we could do with our ward. 

Then Saturday was just another day full of lessons and Sunday was the same! So yea, it was a really great week. Oh! Funny thing from Sunday, I prayed in Sacrament meeting and the man conducting completely butchered my name when he announced it. He called me Sister Greenranch. It was pretty funny. The people have a really hard time with my name. 

Well the favorite scripture from the week is Mosiah 4:11-12. It’s the one I shared with Lindiwe. I love it because it brought such a great spirit but also because it gives such specific and simple instructions on how to retain the love of God and a remission of our sins. It’s a good one!

Well my time is up. I feel like I only got to talk about a tiny bit of what happened this week but its ok. It’s all in my journal. You'll see it someday. I love you so much!! Thanks for everything.

Love, Sister Gehring

p.s. My residency was rejected so I'm not sure what happens now. I’m not getting kicked out yet but prayers would be appreciated. Thank you so much

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