Monday, April 28, 2014


Dear Family,

I want to start off by saying that outside of the email shop right now there is some sort of celebration going on. I have no idea what it is for. But there are about 10 traditional dancers, a couple guys with awesome drums, and dancing all around them, is a man in a gorilla suit. It is quite a sight to behold.

Well I have so much to talk about this week that I barely even know where to begin! So I guess I'll start by sharing a few things that I have gained  very strong testimony of the past little while. The first is the power of specific prayer. Since we got here Sister Vea and I have been praying to find prepared people. And pretty much from day 1 we were doing that! But none of them seemed to stay in our area! We kept having to refer them to other missionaries. It was getting pretty frustrating. A few weeks ago we started praying that we would find prepared people to teach that actually live in our area. As soon as we started doing that, we started finding people to teach that live in our area!
Another thing I have come to gain a testimony of is the power and the reality of following spiritual promptings. I have had so many experiences of that over the past few weeks. To name a few, I was cleaning out my backpack the other day. It hadn't rained in over a week so I was going to take my umbrella out. As I did, inside of me a quiet voice said ''leave it in.'' So I did. On our way home that day, it poured. A couple days later I was getting ready for bed and it was kind of hot. so I opened the window right next to my bed. I heard another quiet voice say ''leave it shut.'' In my head I thought ''But its hot! I'll just open it a little.'' I heard the voice again ''no. leave it shut.'' So I did. That night it stormed harder than it ever has since I've been in Zambia. Those things might seem small but they have been enormous testimony builders to me that Heavenly Father is aware of me and cares even about my  temporal well being.
The main thing I wanted to tell you about this week though is John Mumba. I have mentioned him quite a few times before I think. But I want to just start from the beginning of the story and explain it all so you can see how much of a miracle it has been.
Just a few days after I got here to Zambia, sister Vea and I were walking down a road to go check on a member. We passed a shop where John was standing. He told us that when we passed, something inside him made him turn around. So he saw us. But we didn't see him. The member wasn't there so we walked back down the street. When we passed John again he stopped us. He told us that he noticed something special about us and he felt like we had a book that he needed to read. So we gave him a pamphlet and got his number. We set an appointment but he went out of town to go see his kids. We ran into him a few times after that when he was randomly back in town. God kept placing him in our path!. But for one reason or another we were never able to see him. Until this week. We finally taught him on Tuesday! During the lesson we found out that he is a member of the Bemba royal family (Bembas are the 2nd largest tribe in Zambia) He is actually the rightful heir to the throne to be the chief be he turned it down so he could live a normal life. He has a medical degree and is one of the only people in Zambia licensed to work those machines that scan people's brains. And he is currently working on getting a theology degree and a psychology degree. He is a member of a church that knows about the Book of Mormon. One of their founders loved and studied from the Book of Mormon but they only had one copy. The entire church thinks that the Book of Mormon is something that can't be found anywhere. His theology professor told the whole class that anyone who finds a copy of the Book of Mormon is a very lucky person. Needless to say, he is very prepared to hear the gospel. We taught him about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. He loved every minute. He had tons of deep thoughtful questions. He understood everything so well and he just absorbed everything we taught him. At one point he said '' I like how you teach. You explain things like you are experienced theologians.'' Its hard to really put into words just how incredible this man is and how much the spirit was able to prepare his heart. He invited us to come back and teach him again the very next day. The lesson was incredible again. Then on Sunday we finally got to watch General Conference. Guess who came... John! He had an exam at 11 so he was only able to stay for part of it. But we saw him later that day. He told us that he was late for his exam because he came, but that it was completely worth it. I don't know how soon it will be but there is no doubt in my mind that John will get baptized one day. I really hope I'm around for it.
Well I am about out of time but I just want to thank you again for helping me be here. The things I am learning and experiencing are more incredible and life changing than I could ever imagine. My favorite scripture of the week is actually a talk from conference. Jeffrey R. Holland's talk from the Saturday morning session really spoke to me and helped me feel like I really am never alone in this work.
I love you so much and I hope you all have a marvelous week!
Lots of love,
Sister Gehring
Sister Vea got an entire suitcase full of stuff from her family! Her family knows the mission president's daughter, so when she came to visit her parents, Sister Vea's family sent a suitcase!

And again, Happy Birthday Sister Lyon!
More Birthday celebrations! Sister Lyon and Sister Vea.
Me and Sister Rakotonindriana at Wimpy's.

Rainy and cold in Zambia.
Happy Birthday Sister Lyon!

Quite possibly the only sunflower in all of Lusaka

Thanks for the pedometer grandma!

This one is for you Emma!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!
Ok so Easter was yesterday but I didn't say it last week. Easter for me was good. It wasn't too different from a normal day though. We had a really good relief society lesson about the Atonement and we sang the Easter Hymns but that was about it. We just spent the rest of the day doing what we do! Spreading the word! But I think that's probably the best way to celebrate anyway. But the Lord sure did wish us a happy Easter. A family we are teaching came to church and a less active we have been working with came to church for the first time since we got here! So that was pretty exciting. 

The whole week was pretty fantastic actually. On Tuesday we had a zone meeting where we learned about using this precious time wisely. It was a nice reminder and it made me realize how little time I do have left. It definitely gave me another boost to work hard. Then on Wednesday we went on exchanges again. This time I was with Sister Fuamatu. She is another sister that was transferred from the Botswana mission. She's been out about 5 months. It was nice to be with her and I learned a lot from her. That day we saw John again! He is the one who stopped us a while back because he knew there was something different about us that he needed to learn. He's been out of town for a long time so we haven't been able to teach him yet but he is finally back. We didn't teach him but we set an appointment to see him tomorrow. 

Thursday was Sister Lyon's birthday. We made brownies and had ice cream. It was fun! And today we are going out to eat at a place that is kind of like Denny's. On Friday we taught the Zulu family again. They are the ones I told you about last week and the ones who came to church! I like them a lot. They are a really sweet family. 

Then Easter was great just like I said. In fact, it was one of the best days of mission so far. Largely because of Atkins. A few weeks ago we tracted in to the place where he works. He is a body guard for a government official or something like that. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet but he didn't seem too interested so we told him to just call us if he wanted to know more. Well he called us! So we met him right after church yesterday. He was a completely different person than when we first met him. His heart was completely softened. He expressed a true and sincere desire to change his life. I won't go into details about what he told us but basically he used to be very religious but has lost his way. He said he feels like a lost sheep but he wants to come back. He is a big tough guy but he just cried. Not a sinner who got caught cry. It was a godly sorry kind of cry. The spirit completely took over and Sister Vea and I were able to testify, teach, and share scriptures that helped him so much. It was incredible. At the end of the lesson we asked him if he had any more questions or concerns he wanted us to address right then. He said "Sisters, you answered questions and addressed concerns I didn't even say out loud. I feel better than I have in a long time. I feel like God actually might love me" He hadn't stepped foot in a church for over a year and we happened to be the first ones to invite him. There is absolutely no way that is a coincidence. He had a desire to be baptized now and he is taking the first steps to turning his life around. There is absolutely no denying that this is the work of the Lord. And I know for sure that the spirit was able to give us exactly the words we needed to say to him to touch his heart. Missionary work is just the best!!!

Another reason Sunday was great was Mr. Thembo. He is the enthusiastic Book of Mormon reader. We went to teach him on Sunday and he had finished 1 Nephi! We asked him what his favorite part was and he told us (in great detail) the story of Nephi being tied up on the ship. It was incredible! We asked him to start on 2 Nephi now and he said " No problem. I should be finished with it by next weekend when you come." He is just awesome! Sadly he still works on Sunday but we are still praying that there will be a way for him to come to church. 

A funny moment from the week/month/entire time that I've been in Zambia. I told you about the people here switching their R's and L's right? Well its rubbed off on me. I don't even mean to do it! But I keep accidentally closing my prayers in the name of Jesus Clist and and testifying that the knowredge of the gospel will bress people's lives. Its not all the time! But enough that its bad. I'm going to sound so weird by the time I go home...

My favorite scripture from the week was John 16:33. In Relief society a bunch of people went around and shared their favorite scriptures about the Atonement. Someone shared this one and it really touched me. It has become one of my favorites too.

Well I hope everyone has a good week! Remember to SMILE!

Love, Sister Gehring

p.s. there is a TV in the email shop playing sports news. First there was a report about the Houston Rockets and then they went on to a special about the Chelsea soccer team. Its been quite distracting.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Dear Family,

This week has been really great! My mission president has been putting a huge emphasis on being optimistic lately so I have been trying to put that to heart and it is making all the difference. Its not like I was being pessimistic before but its just that now I am making it a priority. And the difference is amazing! We have been talking about how optimism is more than just having a good attitude or being happy. Its keeping an eternal perspective even when things get rough. 

The week started off with us teaching a nice little family. They don't speak too much English but they are looking for the truth so I am excited to see how they progress.  Then on Wednesday we taught two sisters who are just adorable. They are YSA age and they are so great. Their names are Sherrifah and Prudence. Once they learned about a modern day prophet they were really excited. We told them about General Conference and they were super eager to come. Funny story with them, though. So we were seeing them at noon and we had appointments for the rest of the day so we weren't going to be able to get lunch after we saw them. So we decided to eat before we went over. We went to this place called Hungry Lion for lunch. Its kind of like KFC. So by the time we went to their house we were really full. So we taught them and it was good and everything. then right after we prayed, Sherrifah brought us each a HUGE plate of food. It was rice and stew. It was so yummy but I was soooooo full. I was able to eat most of it but towards the end, I took a bite and I felt it start to come back up. At that point I decided to stop. The whole thing was pretty funny.

Because Im an STL now we go on exchanges with all the sisters in our Zone. So I went to Sister Jaker's area with her one day this week. It was fun because she was in my MTC group. I have seen her a few times since I got here to Zambia but this was the first time I'd seen her teach. Its amazing how much people grow on mission. 

This week President Erickson came and met with our district and talked to us about the vision of the mission. He told us that 20 years ago there was only 2 branches in all of Zambia and Malawi. Now there are over 20 branches, 3 districts and one of those districts is about to be a stake! Then we talked about how if that same rate of growth continues, in 20 yrs there will be over 200 branches/wards, 20 stakes, and a temple. Amazing huh? It gives a really cool sense of purpose to our work! It makes me excited to be here!

My favorite scripture of the week is D&C section 18. Its one we read a lot in the church but as I read it again this week I just loved it again. 

Well I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Gehring
Me and all the Ugandan elders that were in MLC.

Mission Leadership Council, April 2014
This is me and Sister Vea this morning. She came out of the bathroom and I came out of the bedroom and we realized we were matching...sort of... Black skirts, blue shirts, bun on the top of the head, and our headbands and cardigans are the inverse of each other! Companionship unity at its finest.

Mission Leadership Council, April 2014

Mission Leadership Council, April 2014

This is everyone at mission leadership council.

Me and Sister Ntuli! We were in the same MTC group and I got to see her again!


The elders doing the Napoleon Dynamite pose.

Me and Sister Vea! Aren't we so cute?

KRAFT MAC AND CHEESE!!!! God bless America. And thank you so much for sending this to me. It made me very happy.

We found this at Matilda's house. It says "God's son goes to the children's family to love his children" 

One of the elders asked me to draw a picture of his friend for her birthday. So I did. Here it is! I miss art...

Emma, this is for you... popcorn in Africa!

Its been super cold and rainy lately!

This was in the toilet at the chapel. Lovely isn't it?

Monday, April 7, 2014


Dumeli Bwanji!!

Because Sister Vea and I have been having a hard time switching from Setswana to Nyanja, We decided to combine Dumela and Muli Bwanji to make Dumeli Bwanji! Its been working out quite nicely. 

Well this week has been pretty awesome. To start off, the big news of the week is that on Monday night, President Erickson called me and sister Vea to be a Sister Training Leaders (STL)! Its kind of like the equivalent of a Zone Leader for the sisters in the Lusaka zone. So Sister Vea and I are now kind of responsible for helping and training all the sisters in Lusaka. Basically our job is just to provide support, council, training, and just overall leadership for the sisters. Its a really cool opportunity. I am nervous but excited. Because of that, all day Tuesday and all day Wednesday, we were in Mission Leadership Council (MLC). We got to learn directly from President Erickson and some of the other leaders about the vision of the mission, about how we can help uplift the other missionaries, about how we ourselves can become better missionaries, about the how the work in Zambia is going, about other aspects of the mission like public affairs and humanitarian work, and lots of other stuff. We even helped come up with some new policies for the mission that will affect some different aspects of the work. It was incredible to be able to be in there with all the other leaders of the mission. There are 80 young missionaries in the mission and 16 of us were there at the meeting. I learned so so much and it gave me this renewed desire and motivation and drive to be the best missionary I can be. I feel a sense of urgency now to do as much as I can to further the work of The Lord here in Zambia with the time I have left.

One of the coolest parts of the 2 days was at the end of the day on Wednesday. After we had finished the meeting and training parts, we had a sacrament meeting! I didn't even know you could do that! When I was reading in 3 Nephi it talked about how Christ administered the sacrament often. Even a few times a day. And I remember at the time thinking that was interesting. It made sense that it didn't just have to be on the sabbath but I just didn't think it was ever done. And then just a few days later, we had a sacrament meeting on a Wednesday! The elders blessed and passed the bread and water just like normal and we were able to then have a testimony meeting. Just the 16 of us and President and Sister Erickson. It was one of the coolest experiences of mission so far. It got me thinking about the Atonement a lot. And it made me think about the second coming, too. We read in the scriptures a few different times how we are not to take the sacrament unworthily or it is a mockery of the Atonement. As we took the sacrament in the middle of the week I though about how sad it would be if I wasn't able to take it because I hadn't prepared. I didn't know we would be doing that but as it was passed to me, I felt complete peace as I took it because I was prepared. It made me realize that the way we prepare for the sacrament is not by trying to repent on Saturday night for all the mistakes we made during the week. It is by doing our best to live each day so that we are worthy at all times. Repentance really is an every day thing! We have no idea when the second coming of Christ will be. Maybe it will be on a Sunday after we have prepared Saturday night. But maybe it will be on Wednesday, catching us completely off guard. In fact, I think its more likely to be a middle of the week thing. It made me want to do better and to constantly prepare myself so that when the day comes, I will be able to feel clean in front of my Saviour. 

After those two days of spiritual highs, it was a little weird to be going back out teaching. It was kind of hard too. We missed a few appointments because of the meetings, but we hadn't really planned out the rest of the week. But it was amazing to see how Heavanly Father was able to help us. Even though we didn't have much planned, somehow we were still able to find good and productive ways to fill our days. We taught some great people and we were able to contact a lot of potential investigators. 

One of the people we were able to teach was Jonathan. He is the one who found out pass along card at the library and stopped us while we were walking. He is still doing really well.
He has great questions and he is eager to learn. He even came to church on sunday and loved it! We found out though that he doesn't actually live in our area so we have to hand him over to other missionaries in a different branch. Sometimes its hard to remember that its all the Lord's work so in the end it doesn't matter who teaches. 

Another person we taught was Boney. He works for the office of the president of Zambia which is pretty awesome. He also found us in a miraculous way. A couple weeks ago a man stopped us on the side of the road and asked us for money for transportation to the hospital. As missionaries we aren't allowed to give people money but we gave him a pamphlet and wished him luck. Well the man then went looking around for other people to give him money. Boney was getting into his car as the man came up to him. Boney offered him a ride to the bus station and on the way the man gave boney the pamphlet we had given him. Boney went home and read it and thought it was great. He called us and asked us if he could come to the church! So on Saturday we met him at the chapel, gave him a tour and taught him about the Restoration of the gospel. He loved it and he could recognize the Spirit that was there. Right now he is a very active member of his church, but I think there is definite potential for him to be a very strong member of the church. 

The week apart from the people and teaching was pretty great, too. 3 other sisters came from the Botswana mission (Sister Clifford was one of them!) so it was cool to see them again. And the other STLs from the other zones got to stay at our flat, too. Our flat is the biggest in the mission and it is right in Lusaka so whenever sisters are just passing through for whatever reason, they stay with us. I don't think there has been a single week since I have been in Zambia where we didn't have at least one person stay at our house. Its fun but its always nice to be back to normal when they leave again.

A funny thing from the week happened yesterday. Last night it was my turn to cook dinner so I was making rice and morogo and stew. Right as I put the meat in the stew, the power went off. It was fast Sunday so we were all hungry anyways so it was very sad. We decided to play Uno while we waited and prayed that the power came back on. Luckily it did so I continued dinner. Then right as it was about to finish cooking, the power went off again! It was off for another 15 minutes and came back on so we finally ate. The whole thing was pretty  funny. It might be one of those things where you would have had to be there but trust me, it was humorous. 

My favorite scripture of the week is in Moroni 7: 26 and 31. So in verse 26 there is a line that says As surely as Christ liveth... then if you continue straight across the coloumn to verse 31 it says bear testimony of him. So all together it is pretty cool. I hope I described that well enough. 

Well I love you and I hope you all have a great week! 

Lots of love, Sister Gehring