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

1 comment:

  1. Sister Gehring,
    We look forward to meeting you in Zambia! Sister Humpherys and I will be in Malawi for a few days, but will be back late Saturday. You may even be in the Sister's apartment next to ours. We look forward to meeting you. I will have to tell Jana Humpherys in Houston that we will get to meet you.
    Elder Humpherys