Monday, December 2, 2013

The Holidays are Here!

Hello family!!!

Wow this week was full of celebration! It was a way fun week but it was also full of even more great missionary work! I guess I'll start off by talking about Thanksgiving. 

So all during the day Sister Gillis and Sister Clifford went out and did the teaching and tracting for the day. I stayed back and helped Sister Abraham get everything ready. I never realized how much work a Thanksgiving dinner really is! It took all day! And we even tried to simplify! Once everything was ready we all came together to eat. None of us got to celebrate Halloween so we all dressed up for Thanksgiving instead. It was a lot of fun. Very silly but it made it memorable for sure. Sister Abraham challenged us all to think of something each hour of the day that we were thankful for. Then at dinner we all went around and shared. It was a really cool assignment. It really made you stop and think all throughout the day about the little things to be thankful for. I almost always remember to be thankful for the big blessings but a lot of the times I forget to be thankful for the little things. I really enjoyed doing it.The dinner was great too and afterward we all just hung out and played games. The Elders played elbow and knee Twister. Have you ever heard of it? Well its hilarious just in case you were wondering. all around it was just a really great day.

The other celebration was the Branch Christmas party. That was a lot of fun too. And one of our investigators that we just started teaching came and LOVED it! It was so exciting! Then she came to church on Sunday!!! Anyways, yea it was really great. The Elders braaied (grilled) a lot of meat and everyone from the branch brought side dishes. I love South African food. I've been fed more in the two weeks I've been here than in all my time in Bots. Elder Brown Dressed up as Santa and mostly everyone just had fun spending time with each other, singing hymns, and eating. The members here are amazing. I already love it here.

I guess that was the only celebration we did this week. The rest of the week was great too. We volunteered at a retirement home on Friday which was awesome. I love old people. They make me so happy. They just have so many great stories! We got to help serve their tea and then we just sat and talked with them for a while. Its amazing to see how much they light up when they have visitors. 

This week we also finally started teaching more. Not as much as I am used to but still more than we did last week. I didn't realize how much I missed teaching! We are teaching a girl named Joyce. She's the one who came to the party. She is from Malawi but right now she is working for a family in the branch. She is so prepared. When we got to her house on Sunday to teach her she couldn't even wait for us to get out of the car. She ran to us and led us inside and then she ate up everything we taught her. She doesn't speak English too well which is a challenge but the language of the Spirit is universal so it was ok.  She was beaming the whole time. Then at the end of the lesson we asked her if she had any questions about what we taught and she said " No but I want you to come back all the time and teach me everything about the gospel!" Heavenly Father sure is good to us. 

I am so happy here. I miss Botswana but honestly I don't want to go back. Its been the same each time I left an area. I miss it like crazy but wherever I am at the moment becomes home. I still think Monarch is my favorite area and I would LOVE to go back and visit but Mafikeng is my home now. I'm making the most of it. We are working hard, we are being obedient, and we are seeing the blessings from that. It doesn't hurt that its been raining almost every day and we go running every morning. The little things like that help keep life happy! 

My favorite scripture of the week is Acts 5:41. For it to make sense you should read the whole story leading up to it. I've loved reading the Bible. Its so different than the Book of Mormon. I now have a testimony and an understand of why we need both books to have the fullness of the gospel.

Well I love you all so much! Keep the prayers coming! You are definitely in mine. 

Lots of love, 
Sister Gehring
Mafikeng District! Elder Allred, Elder Butcher, Elder Brown, Elder Johnson, Me, Sister Gillis, Sister Clifford
Eating a traditional South African dish... Kota. 

Close up of the Kota. It consists of a quarter of a loaf of bread cut in half and made into a sandwich. In the sandwich is chips (a.k.a. french fries), an egg, a hamburger patty, 2 hot dogs, a sausage, archar (pickled mango), lettuce, cheese, polony (like bologna but even more processed), and special kota sauce. Basically a heart attack on bread. It was surprisingly yummy. Please be impressed. I ate the whole thing

Our district leader, Elder Brown, and his companion, Elder Butcher, in the true missionary spirit.
The district at thanksgiving. Since none of us really got to celebrate Halloween, we dressed up for Thanksgiving! I was "dressing" Like turkey and dressing... Get it??
Everyone at the table!
This is probably the only time in my life that a British man will carve my thanksgiving turkey (Elder Butcher is from northern England)
Me and my companions!
Me and Sister Gillis after dancing in a rainstorm. It was hailing and everything. It made me miss Texas thunderstorms. But it was so fun... p.s. that's our purple house
Look at all that hail!

The elders Post-kota.

Branch Christmas Party! Elder Brown dressed up as Santa. It was a HUGE hit.

Elder Allred goofing around.

The Sisters with Santa!
Members helping with dishes.

Me and Resego with Elder Johnson photo bombing in the back.

Me and Lesedi. She is preparing to go on a mission!
I know its blurry but I still love this picture.

This one is better.

This is how much was left over after the party. I think we over planned...

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