Monday, February 10, 2014

Miracles and more miracles!

Dear family,

Once upon a time my companion and I were starting over from scratch in our area. We thought it would be challenging. We were right. But we also had faith that the Lord would help us if we were obedient and we worked hard. We were right about that too. If you do what Heavenly Father asks, he helps you! We have seen that come true in more ways than I can even describe this week. So I'll do my best to tell you. Here are just a few of the miracles we have seen this week:

1. Brian. On Friday Sister Vea and I were walking to a members house. We had been there once before but for some reason neither of us could remember which street we were supposed to turn down. We got to a street that looked like it might be right and both of us felt like it was where we were supposed to go. So we turned and started walking. There was bad traffic so all the cars on the road were stopped. All of a sudden we could faintly hear the hymn "Come Come Ye Saints" playing. We couldn't figure out where is was coming from though! So we just kept walking. As we did it got louder and louder. Finally we figured out where it was coming from. A guy sitting in the traffic was blasting it from his car. Full volume. It was awesome! So we stopped at the car and talked to the guy. His name was Brian. He told us that he loved the Mormon Tabernacle choir. "Well... We are the Mormons!" we said! The traffic started moving so we didn't get to talk to him more after that but we gave him a pass along card with our number on it and a restoration pamphlet. Who knows what will come of it but it was pretty darn cool!

2. Michael. A different day we were walking down the road just contacting people along the way and inviting them to church. Right before we got to a guy who was on the side of the road digging a hole, a pass along card fell out of Sister Vea's bag. Which was unusual because they were in there tightly. Logically it couldn't have fallen out by itself. So I picked it up. As soon as I did something inside me said "Talk to this guy right now" So I went up to the guy digging a hole and handed him the pass along card that fell out of the bag. His name was Michael and he was also very nice. Again, I don't know what will come of it but it is amazing to see how the Lord makes sure his work is done.

3. Timing. So on Saturday in the morning the day was going kind of slow. It wasn't bad it was just slow. But around lunch time a few people called us and wanted us to come see them. But we also had a couple other things that we had to get done. So we rearranged our schedule and went to work. While we were walking a security guard at a gate stopped us. He'd seen the church before and had always wanted to know more. He asked if we could teach him right then. We really didn't have time to but we both got the impression that we needed to. So we taught him right then. He had a lot of great questions and was interested to keep learning. We ended up talking with him for over an hour. It was great! But it also meant we were definitely not going to be able to fit in everything we needed to do. But we just went on. So the afternoon went on and miraculously we had time for everything and we made it to every single appointment on time. To this day I have no idea how we managed to do it. There literally were not enough minutes of the day to do what we did but somehow, we did anyway. It was amazing. And we didn't even have to rush! We still had time to talk to people on the streets! 

4. Michelo and George. This is the biggest miracle of all this week. So as we have been starting out we have been praying specifically that we will be able to find prepared families. The Lord surely did answer that prayer. On Friday Sister Vea and I were walking back to our flat to have some lunch. We passed a house and we could hear little kids playing and laughing inside. So we decided to knock. A woman answered the door and she was really friendly. She let us right in and introduced herself as Michelo. We started talking and found out that she was married with 3 kids. The kids we heard playing were 2 of their 3 daughters. She told us that she has been looking for a church that will help her to actually understand the gospel, not just one that will preach. And she told us that her husband has been looking for a church that will give him direction in his life because he felt like he was just standing still. So we taught her right then and she loved everything. She asked us to come back the next day so her husband could be taught. So we went back on Saturday and her husband wasnt there yet so we just talked with her while we waited. While we were talking she started asking questions about the Church. One of her questions was about baptism. She was baptized when she was a baby but she told us that recently she had been feeling like that baptism wasn't enough. She wanted to be baptized again now that she was older and she could actually understand what she was doing. She said she wants to be baptized in a church that baptizes by immersion and she wants to make sure it counts this time. So we told her that that is exactly what baptism in our church is. She told us that that is exactly what she wants for her life right now and she told us that she would love to be baptized. After her husband came we had a really great lesson with them. They understood everything and asked really really good questions. We invited them to come to church and they said they would come. So Sunday morning church started. They opened and made all the announcements and everything but Michelo and George still weren't there. I started to be really sad. I was so sure they were going to come! But right as the sacrament hymn started THEY CAME!!!!!!!!!!! Words don't really describe the special kind of joy you feel as a missionary when a golden investigator comes to church for the first time. They stayed for all of church and loved it. Then there was a baptism for a 15 year old boy after church and they even stayed for that!!!! We stopped by their house later that day to give them a Book of Mormon. Michelo answered the door again. When we asked her how she liked the baptism she told us that it was exactly the thing she had been picturing for herself and her family. I just have such a great feeling about their whole family. Their 2 daughters already love us and I love them. Whenever we are at their house I just feel like Heavenly Father led us straight to them because they are ready to accept the gospel. I am so beyond excited to see how it goes with them.

So that was the big miracles from the week. It was one of the best weeks I have ever had on mission so far. Its amazing what Heavenly Father can do!! Im just so grateful to be a missionary. 

My favorite scripture from the week was 1 Timothy 1:5. Who knew our family was in the scriptures!?

Well I have talked enough for this week. Thanks for everything! I love you so much!

Have a great week!
Love, Sister Gehring
Me post-splash. I was standing next to a puddle of mud. One of the Elders drove through the puddle. I got covered in mud. Lovely.

But mostly just for fun.
Photo shoot on our 9 months mark. Just to show physically how we sometimes feel mentally. 
Star Gazing on New Years eve.
Football (soccer) on P-day!
Taking Sister Clifford to go and get x-rays.
Final district picture in Mafikeng.

My companions and I by the sign for the church.

Goodbye Botswana!
Sister Jacker! I was in the MTC with her and now she is in my Zone in Lusaka!

Sister Rakotonindriana. She is from Madagascar. She is one of the sisters I live with.

Elder Pauni! I was also in the MTC with him. Now he is my Zone Leader and we are serving in the same branch and district!
Me in my beloved mosquito net.

The side effects of the medicine I took. I particularly liked the furry tongue one. 

So I didn't tell you this last week because I promised the mission president's wife that I wouldn't tell you till I was completely better. But last week, just a couple days after I got here I got really really sick. I had a super high fever that wouldn't go down and I was in extreme pain all over. So the mission president's wife took me to the hospital. They took blood and urine and hooked me up to an IV. At first they thought it was malaria but then they realized I haven't been in the country for long enough for that. So they did more testing and found out it was a urinary tract infection that my body had just over-responded to. So they gave me anti-biotics and now I am all better!
Matilda, Esther, Nancy, and their friend with the play phones they made out of mud.

Sister Rakotonindriana made us some traditional food from Madagascar. I liked the pap and the green stuff. The little fish things were not my favorite...

The same 3 girls with their Book of Mormon Stories book.
We had a braai at a game drive in Mafikeng. We didnt see many animals but it was fun.

The Elders remembered the meat but we all forgot to bring plates and utensils... oops!

We saw lots of dead animals though!
My favorite 7 year old boy, Clive. I gave him a CTR ring because he memorized an article of faith. This is us modeling ours together. 
Once upon a time we tried to make a train cake for Elder Brown's birthday because he LOVES trains. As you can see it did not work out. So we decided to just intentionally make it into a train wreck. It worked much better that way.

Sister Clifford and I modeling our semi-matching pants.
Saying bye to the Mahole Family. 

Bring-a-friend-to-sports-with-the-missionaries day!

Kgothatso modeling my backpack.
aying bye to Kgothatso and Kutlo on my last Sunday in Mafikeng.

Sister Mmamoketi and Sister Podiso on my last Sunday.
Brother Osborne. One of the funniest old men I have ever met. He is a member in Mafkeng.
Rebecca. A member who went teaching with us a lot.
Ketumetsi and I. She is also a member in Mafikeng.

Brother De Carlos. He is from Angola so he speaks French. Its pretty awesome.

Sister Vea and I resting on a log while we waited for a member to show up.

Walking all day sure makes me hungry!

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