I just talked to you on Wednesday and not much has happened since then so I don't really have much to say today. But once again It was so so so good to talk to you! It doesn't feel real that Christmas has already come and gone. I hit my half way point this week! And its already almost 2014. Can you believe it?? I got my call in 2012. Time is going too fast! I don't want to think about it anymore...
Well for the sake of anyone reading this who I wasn't able to talk to on Christmas, I'll tell you about Christmas! It really was one of the best Christmases ever even though I was away from home. On Christmas eve we spent the day going around and caroling at a private hospital in town. We went to almost every single patient and sang and gave out little chocolates. It was really cool to see them light up as we came by. I think we might have set a record for making people cry. It was really great. Then for the rest of the day we mostly just helped out Sister Abraham. For dinner we joined in Elder and Sister Abraham's family tradition and had hamburgers and chocolate milkshakes. Then all the sisters had a sleepover in the living room at our flat and watched 17 Miracles and sang Christmas songs together. It was a lot of fun and it felt like family.
Then on Christmas morning all the missionaries went over to the Abraham's house and did a gift exchange. Each person got 1 gift that was collectively from all the other missionaries. They got me some paints and a canvas which I am super excited to use. Then we spent the rest of the day going around to less actives and other members who were alone for Christmas. Surprisingly enough, I think we broke our Christmas eve record for making people cry! People were so grateful to have us come. And that's what we did literally all day. Just went caroling to members of the branch. I loved it so much. It was completely focused on others and it really helped us all to remember the real reason for the holiday. Something pretty cool happened for lunch though. So a few days before, someone who works at a pizza place met the other sisters and requested that on Christmas we come and carol at the place where she works. So we did! All the sisters went and sang at this pizza place in town. By the end of it there was a crowd of probably 25+ people all gathered around watching and listening. It was pretty cool. The manager of the restaurant loved it so much he decided that he wants to be a member of our church! " From this day on I don't want to go to any other church except this one!" Then he gave us 2 free pizzas. We found a ton of people who are now interested in learning about the gospel just because of that! Incredible huh?!
Then for dinner we all went to the Abraham's house. We invited the Lapuken family (the branch president's family) over, too. It was really nice to be able to spend Christmas dinner with them all. I sat next to their 7 year old son, Clive, for dinner and it was one of the most hilarious experiences of my life! We clicked right away and the whole dinner I mostly spent talking to him. I kind of felt like it was just him and me at the little-kid- table and everyone else was at the grown-up-table having their own conversations. We just cracked jokes the whole time. It was the best. It reminded me of how much I miss little kids but it was the best!
And then I got to talk to you! Its crazy how normal it felt. I thought it would be weird hearing your voices but it wasn't. I just felt like I was calling you from BYU or something. Melanie and Ethan are the only ones that sounded different. Ethan wasn't even talking in sentences when I left and now he can say Articles of Faith and Melanie just sounds so grown up!
Since then literally nothing has happened though. Sister Clifford and I have actually been really sick so we have been on pretty strict bed rest. I don't know what it is but Africa seems to bring out the worst in my health. I get sick way too often here. This time its just been really really bad headaches and fatigue. We are going in to see a doctor tomorrow so hopefully it'll all be fine soon!
Well for not having much to say I sure said a lot! But I'm about out of time so I'll talk to you next week! Thanks again for all you do for me. And once again, it was so good to talk to you! I love you so so much. Give yourself a great big hug from me! and have a great New Year celebration!!!
Lots of love,
Sister Chelsea Gehring
p.s. the zone leaders are coming down tomorrow for a meeting so they will be bringing mail. Hopefully i'll get the Christmas stuff that didn't quite make it on time!
|The elders bought themselves sunglasses for Christmas. Apparently that automatically makes them into a boy band.|
SANTA!!!!! I KNOW HIM!!!!!
You sit on a throne of lies... You smell like beef and cheese. You don't smell like Santa!
|All the Sisters on Christmas Eve.|
Christmas Eve sleepover in the living room.
Christmas morning at the Abraham's house!
|On the way to go caroling.|
The whole Mafikeng family on Christmas.
As requested: a picture of my bed and the decorations.