Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Botswana!

Dear Family,
First of all, Happy Birthday to Botswana! Its Botswana independence day today. A.K.A. Everybodyleavetownandgototheirhomevillageandcloseeverystoreinthewholecityandleavethemissionarieswithnothingtodo day!!! Its pretty wonderful. Luckily Sparks, the guy who owns the email shop we go to, makes a pretty huge profit from the missionaries emailing in his shop every Monday so he opened just for us today. It was very nice of him.
Other than the fact that by the end of the week pretty much everyone was gone, this was a great week. To start it off, all the missionaries got to go to Tatebane last p-day. Its a private game reserve about 45 minutes outside of Francistown. It was way fun to be able to just have a break. We got to do some hiking and just hanging out in the outdoors. It was really fun. We didn't see too many animals but we saw enough to make it really cool. we saw a few zebras, a huge lizard. some impala, an ostrich, a gemsbok, and... A GIRAFFE!!! That was my favorite part. It just walked right past our car!
The missionary work this week was good too. We did a lot of teaching again. We are definitely getting better at teaching as a unified companionship. Its amazing how much better things flow and how much better our investigators progress when we teach well together. It is even helping us in other things. Its helping us receive more inspiration on what to teach and how to teach it. An example of that happened yesterday at church. It was our turn to teach gospel principles and the topic was prayer. We prayed to know how we should teach it and what we should talk about. We had the idea to use the suggestion in the gospel principles book and divide the class into small groups and have them teach the different topics. It was a huge success. It was so cool to see the recently baptized members and the investigators work together to teach one of the best lessons about prayer I have ever heard. We didn't even teach! But because we were unified and we prayed together, we were able to help those people so much more than we would have if we just taught the lesson. In fact, Brother Emmanuel, a recent convert, came up to me at the end of the lesson and was so excited. He and Adam (the one we are teaching) were partners and they taught about when we can pray. He said that he had always been confused about what it meant to pray always. But after he did this activity, it finally made sense. It was so cool to see the understanding in him.
We also had a couple great lessons with Adam. He is still progressing really well and every time we see him we can tell his testimony is growing. At first we thought it was a huge bummer that we had to move his baptism but the more we teach him, the more we are understanding that everything happens for a reason. Hidden underneath his main concern about his baptism were a lot of other little concerns that he has been having. As we have talked with him we have gotten to the bottom of a lot of them and helped him see how much God loves him. In particular he was wondering why things have gotten so much harder for him now that he is trying his hardest to keep the commandments. We compared him to a star soccer player (he played soccer when he was younger). We asked him who the opposing team focuses most on. They always focus efforts on trying to stop the star player. But does the star player give up at that point? No. He tries harder. He does everything he can to score a goal. Sometimes they do block him. But that doesn't mean he quits the game. He tries again. He gets back up. And when he scores, he doesn't stop there either. He works to score another one after that... After we shared that analogy with him you could tell things just clicked for him. "Me I think I'll score a goal very soon" is what he said. I am really proud of him for keeping strong when his life is so hard right now.
My favorite scripture for the week is actually something in all 4 gospels. In Matthew 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, and John 19:30. These are the verses that describe the death of Christ. Why would I pick these for my favorite verses of the week? Well here's why. Because in each of them it distinctly says that he either yielded up the ghost or he gave up the ghost. Christ's life wasn't taken. He gave it up of his own free will. He absolutely had the power to stop all of it from happening. But he didn't. He gave up his life. It just makes his death so much more meaningful to me to realize that it wasn't taken. But instead, it was given. Its something that I never realized before but now I really appreciate a lot more.
Well I love you so much. I hope you all have a great week!
Lots of love,
Sister Gehring
Dikeledi, Gasitsiwe (The YW President and cousin of Gosego), Gosego, and me.
The awesome view at Tatebane, the game reserve we went to last P-day.

We didn't see many animals, but we did see a few!
Dikeledi and Me at her baptism on 14 September 2013.

Gosego and Me at her baptism on 14 September 2013.

Sister Graves and me climbing this huge tree inTatebane.

As we were driving out we saw a giraffe. This is the best picture I could gt of it. I could see it really well, but it was too dark to get a good picture. It was probably the coolest thing ever though. I saw a giraffe in the wild!!!!!

We made prayer rocks with Dikeledi and her sister Chezda (who is investigating the church). It was lots of fun.
The whole gang.

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