Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I made it!!

Hello!!  I just wanted to let you know that I made it safely to Zambia! Sister Vea and I left Botswana early this morning and flew to Johannesburg. We had a 3 hour layover at the airport there and then we flew to Lusaka. The mission president and his wife picked us up and we just got to the mission office! So we get to email you and tell you that we are here. It is soo green here I can't even believe it. After coming from Botswana which is just brown as far as you can see its way different here. I love it already. Sister Vea and I will be companions whitewashing an area right here in Lusaka so I am excited about that. Funny story: We live next door to the Humphreys! I haven't met them yet but I thought that was pretty cool. The mission president and his wife, President and Sister Erickson, are so incredible. They have already welcomed us like we were one of their own. I feel very at home and at peace here. This is definitely an adventure! I can't believe I'm here! I'm so excited!


Well I love you! I'll talk to you on Monday!


Love Sister Gehring

 p.s. the mailing address is :

 Sister Chelsea Gehring

Zambia Lusaka Mission

14038 Katima Mulilo Road

Lusaka 10101


Monday, January 27, 2014

Farewell South Africa...Farewell Botswana


It might be the last time I can say that so I have to use it as much as I can! I already talked to you mom and dad but for anyone else- Tomorrow I am leaving for the Zambia Lusaka mission! On Friday I got a call from my mission president telling me that residency has gotten really bad so another group has to leave the mission. (In the past few weeks we have already lost like 20 other missionaries) So I am one of them for this round. I am not officially reassigned to the Zambia mission but I am just being transferred there for what they call "visa waiting". Its kind of like what happens to people right at the beginning of their missions if they can't get a visa in time. But for me, they didn't promise that I'll be coming back to this mission. They told us that they would try but also that we need to make sure we work our hardest in the new mission and not just wait around to come back.

I am actually feeling completely ok about it. I know its right. Carl B. Cook of the 70 came and had a meeting with us last night. He is the area president I think. Him and his wife talked to us for a little bit and what they said was really cool. And It brought a lot of comfort. Sister Cook basically told us that whatever happens is the Lord's will so we need to just trust. She said that the Lord trusts us enough to send us somewhere else so we need to trust that He is in control. Then Elder Cook shared a scripture with us from D&C. I can't remember exactly where it is. But It was the Lord talking to two missionaries. He tells them that it doesn't matter where they go as long as they preach the gospel to His children. Then he told us that Heavenly Father doesn't have mission boundaries. To Him, its just the world and everyone is His child. He then reminded us of what our call letter said. I was called to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was assigned to the South Africa Johannesburg mission. I was called to be a missionary. So it doesn't matter where I go. I can receive different assignments. But I was called to be a missionary so that is what I'll be! It just so happens that the Lord needs me in Zambia right now. And I'm excited about that!

The rest of this past week was really good too. It seems like forever ago but I'll tell you about it anyway. There were a few pretty funny moments. Hopefully they are funny to you too. First of all, as you know, the sisters in Mafikeng have to be escorted a lot. This week we were going to a members house following the elders. I was in the car with Sister Gillis and we were talking and laughing and having a grand old time. All of a sudden we got a call from the elders who were escorting us. "Where are you guys?? We are so sorry we lost you! Pull over and we will come find you! We are so sorry we lost you!" ... Sister Gillis and I were so confused. We thought we were still right behind them! We weren't. Turns out we had been following the wrong car for like 3 minutes. It was the exact kind of car as the elders have! But they probably thought we were pretty creepy. Luckily the elders found us really quickly and it all worked out fine. But it was so funny.

Another funny moment was at u-nite. U-nite is kind of like FHE but more for the community. So all the sisters got there early and we were waiting for people to arrive. The first person to show up (other than the member who's house we were meeting at) was Brother Max. He is a member in Mafikeng. He is also a semi-professional rapper. While we were waiting for others to show up we decided to sing some hymns. We asked Brother Max what his favorite is. He chose Hymn 340. (no he is not American). He then proceeded to tell us that he had already sang that hymn like a hundred times that day and he had perfected his rap of it. We asked him if he would perform it for us and he oh so graciously agreed. I now have a video of a South African man rapping the Star Spangled Banner. Yea. Its awesome.

Ok one more funny for you. So I can't remember if I already told you this but in Mafikeng we have an alarm system in our house. When we turn it on there are motion sensors inside the house that will set the alarm off if anything moves in the house. So we set it to leave but before we even made it to the car the alarm went off. So we ran back and turned it off. We accidentally left a window open and the wind blew the curtains and it set it off. We turned the alarm off but the alarm company had already been informed so they sent their guard. Its an armed response company so a couple minutes later a tall guy with a huge gun showed up at our house. "I'm looking for the church of God. Is everything ok here?". It probably shouldn't have been but it was just so funny to hear those words come out of his mouth with his big gun! We got a pretty big kick out of it.

We also had some really amazing moments this week. On Saturday Sister Anderson, Sister Clifford and I were running some errands. I just needed to buy a few things before I left for Zambia. We were walking out of the grocery store and we noticed that a man had been following us for a little while. I started to get a bit nervous. We started to walk a little faster and headed to the car. I guess he realized that he had worried us because he called after us "Wait! Can I have a Book of Mormon?" That's definitely not what we expected to hear. At all. We all turned around and just stared at him. We must have looked really really confused cause he repeated himself a little slower. Sister Clifford was the first to snap out of it. "Of course!!" she said. As we talked to him we found out that he was baptized in Johannesburg when he was a teenager but he moved to Mafikeng about 6 years ago and he didn't know there was a church here. He is married to a non member but he wants to bring her to church. He apologized for scaring us and told us that he had never seen Sisters before so he had followed us to make sure we were really from the right church. He promised to come to church! I'm sad I am leaving. It would have been cool to see if he came!

My favorite scripture of the week is Alma 26:37. I wrote it on my planner at the beginning of this transfer when I was in South Africa. At the time it was special just because I was serving in a different country of the mission. But it gained an entirely new meaning to me this week. When President called me on Friday I had my planner on my lap. As soon as I got off the phone with him I looked down and saw that scripture. I realized that it really is true. God truly is mindful of every people. No matter what land they may be in.

Well I'm really excited for the adventure ahead of me! I am really sad to leave this mission though. I love the missionaries here. I am back in Botswana right now just for the day so I can catch my flight tomorrow morning and I already miss everyone in Mafikeng! I loved it there. It was by far my hardest area but I learned a LOT and I became really close with all the missionaries. Hopefully I get to come back to this mission but if not, I am so so grateful for the time I had here. Botswana and South Africa will forever hold a very huge and very special place in my heart.

I love you lots and lots! The next time I talk to you I'll be in Zambia! CRAZY!!

Till next time,
Love, Sister Gehring

p.s. sorry I haven't sent pictures in a while. The internet seems to be
opposed to it recently. But I promise- I still have all my hair, I
still have all my teeth, I still have all my limbs, and the last time
I checked, I still had all my toes too. So you don't have to be
worried! But I will try again next week.

p.p.s. Mom, remember that Inside Out CD you sent me? The Sharing time
one? Well It is amazing! The entire Mafikeng district fell in love
with it. There is a song on there that is about peanut butter and
jelly sandwiches and it is genius. At the dinner we had to say goodbye
to me and Elder Johnson (who is being transferred to the Jo-berg
mission for residency issues) we sang that song together. So I just
want to say thanks for that CD. It brought great joy to a lot of

Monday, January 20, 2014

Miracles, borders, and lots of people...

Dumela to ya!

This week sure was eventful! I hope I can fit everything in! 

So the beginning of the week was actually pretty slow. Just lot of tracting. Not much success. But hopefully some of the people will start progressing soon. It was mostly later this week that was eventful. It mostly started on friday. After district meeting one of the elders told me and Sister Twongeirwe that we had to leave right then to go to the border of SA and Bots. We were going to try and get us back in to Bots and hopefully start our residency papers again!  I was so excited. Apparently it worked with one of the other Elders. The granted him 65 extra days in Bots. So we drove all the way to the border, got through the SA side just fine and we were at the Bots side. We tried to request for 80 days in the country but we were willing to get fewer. Much to our dissmay, though, they only gave us 4. Four days and thats it. So we decided to just go back to SA. We crossed the border and went up to a town just north of the border and met up with some missionaries there for a few minutes but then we just went back to SA. It was awesome to be back in Bots for a few minutes but sad that it couldnt be for longer. So now Im back in Mafikeng with not a high likelihood of going back to Botswana in the near future. 

On the way back though, I was almost in a really really bad car accident.  I was driving and we were going down a dirt road. The elders were in front of us in a baakie (truck). They hit a bump but they were fine. I hit the bump and our dinky little car didnt handle it well. Once our back tires got off the bump we started skidding like we were on ice sort of. I lost control of the car for about the length of 1/2 a football field. Our car was spinning and going crazy. I legitimately thought I was going to die. At one point the car started to tip over. But right as we were about to start rolling, both Sister Two and I (we were the only ones in the car) both literally felt someone catch the car and lift it back into place. Immediately I had control of the car again. It was the biggest miracle. Even the Elders said that they were watching out of their rear mirrors and it made no sense how we got out of that. We pulled over and made sure everyone was ok and we were. We were both completely fine and the car was fine. But that night I couldnt sleep. The whole thing kept playing over and over in my mind. So I got up and started reading the scriptures. I just opened up to a random place and started reading. It was in the war chapters of Alma. Chapter 58 verses 33-37.  It basically told me that sometimes we dont always understand why things happen to us. We just have to trust that it Heavenly Father is in charge. After that I was able to sleep and I was able to know that I really was protected for a reason. Im not telling you this so you will worry. Im just telling you so you know how much Heavenly Father is watching out for me.

The next day was Saturday. There was a Relief Society enrichment meeting that was amazing! We had a lunch and learned about eating healthy. There were 2 investigators there and 2 less active members who we have been working with! I guess I dont really know what else to say about it but it was just really exciting to have so many people there. 

Then on Sunday church was great as usual. But it was the fireside after church that made the day incredible. It was a fireside that we put on as missionaries about how the members can share the gospel. We were expecting maybe 30- 40 people to show up. guess how many came... 70!!! 70 people came! It was great. Thats almost as many as we have at church on Sunday! It was great! I guess I don't have much to say about that either. Again, just that it was amazing.

After church we got to teach a family in the branch about the story of Nephi going to get the brass plates. They had a lot of questions about it so we decided that it would be easier to just act it out. So we did! SIster Clifford was Nephi, Sister Anderson was Laban, and I was Zoram. It was a ton of fun. And It really really helped the family to all understand it! 

Well I'm out of time. I love you all so much! Take care! Talk to you next week!

Love, Sister Gehring

Monday, January 13, 2014


Dear Family!

Dumela! Well this week was a lot better than last week. I feel a million times better than I did. I still get tired really easily and I had to take a nap after church on Sunday but other than that, I'm just dandy! 

Most of this week was spent doing 2 things: Service and tracting. We have done so many people's lawns in the past week we are thinking about making it a business. Its been great to help the members and they have really really appreciated the help. Plus its been nice to take a bit of a break from the proscelyting missionary work. 

But mostly we have been tracting and tracting and tracting some more. With minimal success. Its a bit discouraging at times but its ok. We have met a lot of really really friendly people but nobody is interested! It definitely makes me appreciate Bots a lot more. There, everyone and their dog would let us in. Here, nobody, especially the dogs, will let us teach them. Now I know how most of the rest of the missionaries in the world feel! I was spoiled my first 7 months. This next week looks about the same- lots of knocking. But hopefully we will do more finding.

Something pretty incredible happened yesterday though. We actually had 3 appointments that we were really excited about so we decided to bring a member teaching with us. Sadly, all 3 of the lessons canceled. So Nuku (the member) was a great sport and she came tracting with us! We did a whole street and only 1 person was interested so were trying to figure out where to go next. Nuku told us she had a few friends who stayed nearby so for the rest of the afternoon she showed us where every single one of her friends who live in our area stay and she introduced us to them! It was incredible! She was fearless! I wish I had the courage to do that in high school! At one point we drove past a big group of guys playing soccer. She recognized a few of them from her class so we pulled over went and talked to them. They were willing to stop their game to listen to us! It was amazing! She is 16 years old and she is already more of a missionary than I ever was back home. I learned a lot from her in the few hours we were together. 

Well thats about it this week. Sorry I haven't had much to report these past weeks. The work is just moving slowly right now. BUT! There were 101 people at church this sunday!!!!!! Thats a significant amount more than Mafikeng has ever had! Ever! So the work is moving along but its just moving slowly. 

Well I love you all so much. Thanks so much for the support and prayers! I say that all the time but I really do mean it.

Love, Sister Gehring

Monday, January 6, 2014

Not much to report...

Hello everyone!


Just to start off, I only have a couple minutes to email today because the internet café is closing soon so this might be pretty short. Sorry! But it was a pretty uneventful week anyway so its ok.


Most of this week I spent down. I was sick again. I think I mentioned it in last week's email. It got pretty bad near the middle of the week but I am doing a lot better now. Tons actually. I actually feel like myself again! Which is nice after a long time of not feeling like myself. I don't know why I get sick so much here. Its really frustrating. But we went to the doctor and he gave me some tips that I am going to try that I hope will help me stay healthy.


There were 2 main highlights of the week: New year's and a lesson we taught on Sunday.


For new years we didn't do anything super exciting or anything but it was still good. We weren't allowed to tract and I was too sick to really do much else but we had a really good zone meeting in the morning. Then in the evening all the missionaries had dinner together. It was nice to just be with them. Then from then till midnight all the sisters laid outside in our front yard with blankets and we watched the stars and the fireworks from the neighbors. It was a good way to welcome the new year! Its crazy to think that its 2014! AAhh!


The other highlight was a lesson we taught to a family in the branch on Sunday. The father is the 1st counselor in the branch presidency but the wife hasn't been to church in a while so we have been working with them over the past few weeks. In the past they haven't necessarily been reluctant to the lessons but they just haven't been very open with us. But that was all different yesterday. The whole family just really opened up to us and shared a lot of their concerns. Its great because now we can start helping them grow and progress. Plus they had a LOT of really really great questions. Missionaries LOVE questions. It helps us know that people are actually thinking about what we teach them. And they had a lot. And amazingly enough, the questions they had led perfectly into the lesson we had already planned to teach them. We were then able to help them make goals that related exactly to what they need. It was just perfect!


Well that's about all there is to report this week. It was a hard week but I learned a lot I am excited to move forward. Happy new year to you all! I love you so much!!!


Love, Sister Gehring