Monday, October 28, 2013

Long Week

October 28, 2013
Dear Family,
Well nothing that happened this week is as exciting as what's been going on at home but it was still a good week. It felt super long for some reason but it wasn't bad. Just pretty uneventful.

 We did a lot of finding at the beginning of the week and found some pretty promising people to teach. 2 of them even came to church! Which is pretty awesome. We have a hard time getting the people we have been teaching for months to come to church and these two women came after just meeting us! So we are excited to keep teaching them. Their names are Sephiwe and Nyaladzi. Both of them are really eager and willing to learn and both have already started to love the gospel. Their progress will be exciting to watch.

 We also had a zone meeting this week that was really good. We talked about a lot of different ways we can improve and become better missionaries and help the work specifically here in Francistown move along. One of the things I really liked was that we talked about the difference between bearing testimony from our head and our heart. We had kind of a testimony meeting where both ways were demonstrated and it was incredible how much stronger the spirit is manifested when the testimony comes from the heart. From the head testimonies usually go something like this... " I know that if you read the Book of Mormon you and your family will be blessed..." But when you bear testimony from your heart you take it a step farther. It would be something more like this... " I know that as I have read the Book of Mormon with my family we have been blessed with...... I know that if you and your family read together also these and even many other blessings will come..." I don't know if the difference makes sense. But it was so clear as we demonstrated it. I really thought it was cool.

 Something kind of crazy happened this week, too. There was a thunder storm! I think its rained like 3 times in the almost 7 months I have been here. And on Saturday it stormed! It was nuts! I didn't realize how much I missed rain! This whole being in a desert thing is quite different from good ol' Houston. Too bad it only lasted like an hour. But it was still nice.

 There was a quote from a recent convert that I really liked this week. Gaseitsitwe, who was baptized in June and is now the YW president in Monarch, came teaching with us this week. I can't remember now what the context was but she said

 "Other churches teach you how to make good choices. But this church teaches you how to make right choices."

I really liked that. A lot actually. Its so true too. I had never thought about it in that way before.

 An 11 year old boy named Tshenolo that we are teaching asked a pretty interesting question this week too that I had never really thought of. He asked if Heavenly Father has a mother. I had never thought of that. I'm sure he does! I mean he has to! He had to get his body the same way any of us do. It just makes sense that he does. Its pretty deep though. If I think about it too much I get a headache...

 Well my favorite scripture this week was actually a whole story. its 1 Kings 18. For some reason it just made me giggle. Plus there its just a good message about God only having 1 true prophet at a time.

 Well I love you all so much. Thanks for keeping me updated on everything. Congrats again to mom and Zach! I'm so excited!!

 Lots of love, Sister Chelsea Gehring

Monday, October 21, 2013

I can't think of a good subject

The Zone Leaders thought it would be funny to feed us chicken feet and intestine. I wasn't so amused...

In case you were wondering, this is where Botswana is!

From Texas to Botswana. I'm pretty far from home. Good thing it feels like home here now!

October 21, 2013
Dear Family!


Well it sure has been a week. It felt super long and some weird things happened but looking back it wasn't bad at all. To start off the week though, a major water line in Francistown burst. I was right under a main road and it was so bad the road just crumbled and fell into the gaping hole left by the burst pipe. As a result traffic has been horrible but most significantly, we were out of water for the first 2 days this week. So that was fun. It all worked out but it was definitely an adventure I don't really have a desire to repeat...


Also I got suuuuper sick this week. The worst one yet on mission. I think it was some sort of food poisoning but we aren't really sure. I woke up at 1:30 am Thursday night (between Thursday and Friday) and threw up every about every 30 minutes till 7:30 the next morning. Then I got a super high fever till the next day. It was all delightful. I got a blessing that helped a ton and Elder and Sister Davis let me and Sister Scott stay at their house till I felt better. Everyone was really caring and I feel 110% better now. It made it so we missed a few meetings and a lot of teaching lessons but it will all be ok. That's just life!


Something really awesome that happened this week was that we finally got to watch General Conference! I honestly felt like every single talk was just for me. I really enjoyed it. It made me a little homesick to see Utah. I don't even live there! But its a lot closer to home than here. Luckily it was not too bad and mostly I just really really loved it.


Pretty much all of our appointments canceled this week which was to be expected because pretty much all of our appointments were with new people. New people tend to cancel a lot. But the few lessons we did have were excellent. With Adam especially. As you know (or maybe you don't. I can't remember how much I have told you) he has been having a really hard time. He has jut been burdened down with a divorce, trouble with his business, he relapsed on smoking, just a lot of hard stuff in his life. It has all been keeping him from being baptized. Well this week he was finally able to turn it all over to the Savior and let it go. I don't know what happened but whatever it was, it changed him. He has been changing little by little ever since I met him back in July but something this week kind of made him take that last final leap of faith he needed to be freed from his burdens. He even said that over and over this week. "I feel free! I am free! I can start my new life now. There are so many changes! I'm free forever because of this gospel!" You know how if you have been carrying  really heavy backpack for a long time, when you take it off you have to kind of stretch and shake things out? Well he was literally doing that. He was just... lighter... I can't even really describe it. The relief he felt because of the Atonement lifting his burden was so significant, he felt physically lighter as well. I can't even describe how incredible it is to see someone come that far and be that freed.


My favorite scripture this week is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. When I was sick, the word somehow got around to a ton of people. A lot of people were checking on me to see how I was doing. I got this text from Gosego that almost made me cry. It was so sweet. I'll type it out word for word exactly as she sent it.

"Hie sisters! I wonderd where u wer 2dai but after i had that sister G is not feelin wel i find it better for you to read this verse 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and bear in mind what Elder Jeffrey R Holland said 'that God's love is alwys there no matter what' "


Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!


Love, Sister Gehring


Monday, October 14, 2013

Heat, Heat, and more Heat!

Dear family,


Mom you asked me last week how hot it is. Well, here's how hot it is: It was about 105- 110 every single day this week. It was so hot that the fluids in our car literally boiled. It is so hot that people have been wearing progressively fewer clothes... Its hot. And its the beginning of summer...


Well this week was pretty uneventful in terms of the actual work. We dropped even more people and we did a ton of finding. We did find some really promising people though! A few families and a few single women and some young adults. Its too early to tell if they will progress but I have high hopes. Especially for one girl names Isabella. She is 19 and she is just hungry for the gospel. She even came to church a day after we met her which is a definite sign of great potential.


The hardest thing we are dealing with recently is people who are strong in their own church. We have a few people we are teaching that love the gospel and love the Book of Mormon, but won't do anything about it because they have been going to their church their whole lives. I completely understand! I think it would be so hard to change from something that's been such a huge part of your life for so long. But I just wish I knew how to help them realize how much better their lives would be in this church. But we will keep working on it. The spirit can do incredible things.


A few funny/ not so funny things happened this week too.

1. When they were about to start church yesterday the 1st counselor in the group presidency came up to me and sister Scott and said " You are both speaking in sacrament meeting today. Sorry we forgot to tell you" Yea. It was nice. Luckily we were both able to whip out some decent talks. I spoke about receiving answers to prayers Not the best one I've ever given but I honestly don't know if anyone knew any different.


2. Our power has been out so its been an oven in our flat. We opened the windows to let in a breeze on Saturday night. But too bad it also let in like a million bugs. I woke up with over 70 bites all over my arms and legs. We slept at the other sister's flat last night so as to save my life... I love missionary work!


Well my favorite scripture of the week was Alma 37: 11. It shows me that even if I don't know everything, its ok. I just need to forebear and things will work out.


I love you all so much. Take care and keep me updated on exciting events for the week!!



Sister Gehring 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Matatas, ruts, and happy dances...

This week I'd like to start off by sharing a poem.


a poem by Sister Scott and Sister Gehring

written for our Zone Leaders- Elder Fleming and Elder Mabuza

Once upon a time

In a land far away

There lived two young Sisters

Who sure loved to pray


One Saturday night

After a long day of teaching

Their nice little flat

They soon would be reaching


But they noticed their gas tank

Was getting quite low

So they thought to themselves

"To Engen we'll go!"


It was not their intentions

To make a big scene

They just wanted to keep

The Lord's Sabbath day clean


So they filled up their car

But to their dismay

Their card wouldn't work

When they tried to pay


Despite many attempts

To talk their way out of it

Their honest, sweet natures

Just wouldn't allow it


They knew they were stuck

With nothing to do

So their Zone Leaders they called

The Dynamic Two!


The valiant young Elders

They came to their aid

And though it was raining

The ransom was paid


So in order to thank you

For all that you've done

Here's some cookies to eat

While you're out in the sun



(Based on a true story)



Well I hope you enjoyed that fine piece of literature.


This week was pretty good. I cant say its the best week we've ever had but it wasn't bad. The main news for the week is that we dropped like 75% of our investigators. We just feel like we are in a bit of a rut. The great thing about Botswana is that pretty much anyone will let us teach them. The bad thing about Botswana is that pretty much anyone will let us teach them. I'll explain. Our purpose is to do more than just teach people. Our purpose it to help people understand and live the restored gospel. It requires them to act on the message we share. Not just listen. That was the problem with most of the people we have been teaching. They all just like the company and the word of God. Which in and of itself isn't bad! But we need to be teaching and focusing our time on people who will act. So we prayed about it and realized we need to find some new people. Unfortunately we are out of ideas of how exactly to go about doing that. Other than tracting, not much really works. So this next week will be full of knocking doors.


The investigators we do have are doing well though. We started teaching 2 new people this week who seem very prepared to accept the gospel. Mma Musi and her boyfriend Mr. Parks. They are both in their upper 50's/ lower 60's. I'm not sure how they ended up dating at their age but its pretty cute. They sit and read the scriptures together every day and they are just so accepting of everything we say. "It just makes sense!" That's what they said when we were talking about the restoration. I wish everyone would just get it like that! They have a lot of potential so I'm excited to see where it goes. Their conversion to the gospel will come pretty easily I think. It will be pulling them away from their current church that might be a bit more difficult. But we will do our best!


One of the other matatas this week was getting a purple ear. I got a purple ear like this: Once upon a time it was very windy. Very Very windy. In case you didn't know, skirts and wind do not make a nice combination. So I was getting out of my car when all of a sudden the wind blew my skirt all the way up over my head.  I wish I was exaggerating... So in a desperate attempt to get it to go back down (the wind wasn't making it easy) I wasn't paying attention to anything else. Therefore I didn't see the wind also blowing the car door towards my head. It bruised my entire left ear, thus turning it purple. It was definitely the most graceful 30 seconds of my life. The end.


Then the other matata this week was that out front door is broken! Whatever mechanism makes the handle work, is broken. So when you turn the handle, nothing happens. Luckily we have a back door so we aren't stuck inside but its still pretty annoying. And we aren't sure when it will be fixed.


We had a couple of great times with Gosego this week. She is one of the girls who was baptized last month. We gave her the new member kit this week which includes a bible and a triple combination. When she saw it she literally squealed for joy and did a happy dance. It was probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. She just loves the gospel so much! Also she came teaching with us this week. She said something and Sister Scott and I reacted in the exact same way(that's what being within sight and sound of each other 24/7 will do to you). She just started laughing and said "Its like someone pressed play!" maybe you would have had to be there but it was just really funny.


Well my favorite scripture of the week is Alma 36:3. The scripture itself is good but its the story that happened with it that made it my favorite. So we were teaching Adam about how he needed to trust in God to overcome the challenges he is going through. Sister Scott had her scriptures open to a scripture to share but right as she was about to share it, the wind blew her scriptures open to this one. We took that to mean we needed to share this one instead. And we definitely did. After reading this scripture you could tell he just got it. It was pretty incredible. The Lord works in mysterious ways.


Well I love you all lots and lots! Give yourselves a nice firm handshake from me!


Love, Sister Gehring