Monday, May 5, 2014

Two phone calls and a prophet!

Dear Family,

Well I have to say this has been one of the weirdest weeks of mission so far. I'll start off by telling you about the two less-than-awesome phone calls I received.

The first one was from the police station. The phone rang and it wasn't a number we had saved but that happens all the time. So I picked up and it was the police department asking if we knew a Joefrey Makasa(who was one of our investigators) . At first I thought he was calling us for bail money or something. But then he said that regretfully, Joefrey was found deceased. He was found in a ''decomposed state'' in a ditch about 30 minutes from his house. He had been stabbed. They got our number from the inside of the Book of Mormon that was found with his body and they were calling us to see if we knew any of his family members. Unfortunately we didn't. It was the last thing I expected to hear. It was probably the worst phone call I have ever received. But Joefrey was a really great guy. He had a lot of potential. I'm sure he is being taught the discussions on the other side. Its just sad that he had to get there that way.

The second phone call was not quite so bad as that one. It was more just incredibly awkward. It was a phone call from one of our other investigators. Actually he isn't even ours anymore. He didn't live in our area so we referred him to the elders. Anyways, he called a couple nights ago. I picked up the phone and he started asking me weird questions like how old I was and why we referred him to the other elders and how long I'd be in Zambia. So I asked him why he was asking all these things. There was a long pause and he said ''... The truth is... I'm in love with you.'' He told me he wants me to stay in Zambia and marry him. He told me he had already arranged to pay for my schooling and he even promised to build me a house. It was so so so awkward. He told me like 5 times how much he loves me and he even told me that since the day he first saw me, he hasn't gone a day without thinking of me. It was seriously just so awkward. Drunk men propose to me and tell me they love me but this was different. He was serious! I tried to explain that I am a missionary and what that means and that I am going back to America when I finish and that I'm not interested in him at all but he just wouldn't have it. He eventually just told me to think about it and hung up. IT WAS SO AWKWARD! So now I'm just paranoid I'll run into him randomly. But its ok. I'll be just fine.

Then there was another weird encounter of the week. Another one of our investigators invited us to go to a ''Bible study'' with him and his girlfriend. One of our appointments had just fallen through so we told him we could go. We thought it would just be a one hour seminary type thing so we thought it would be cool to go and support him. So we met him at his house and he drove us waaaay over to the other side of town to this little house where we met ''Prophet Mandala.'' Turns out the ''Bible study'' wasn't really a ''Bible study'' Our investigator wanted us to meet the prophet of his church so we would realize that our church is wrong... Luckily everyone was very friendly so it wasn't like we were over there arguing or anything. But it was just so weird! And it definitely didn't sway me at all. In fact my testimony of our church grew! Its amazing that in the times when your faith is put to the test, your faith grows the most.

The last weird experience was something John invited us to. It was ''spiritual emphasis week'' at his university. So he invited us to one of the services. It was just one hour in the afternoon so we went to support him. It started with some pretty cool gospel music. I enjoyed that part. But then the preaching started. The message itself was really good. It was about how because Christ suffered, He understands our suffering. But the way it was delivered was kind of terrifying! The preacher yelled the entire thing! It also made me appreciate the church. We are pretty darn lucky to have the truth.

John is still doing awesome though. This week we went to the distribution center to get a Liahona magazine for one of our other investigators and we found John there! He came on his own! He bought a Bible, a triple combination, the Testaments movie, the church history DVDs and 2 copies of the movie Together Forever (one for him and one for his wife)! This man is so prepared. We went to teach him later that day and after the lesson he requested that the next time we see him, we prepare a special lesson about baptism for him. We definitely didn't say no to that!

Sunday was great too. The other sisters had a baptism. A woman named Catherine and her daughter Esther. I gave a talk about the gift of the Holy Ghost. It went well. I just love baptisms. They just bring so much joy. Even if its someone I didn't teach I still love them. And in the Welcome to the church talk, a member of the Branch presidency said something I really liked. He told Catherine and Esther that '' When you keep the commandments, you aren't doing God any favors. You are doing yourself a favor. The commandments are there to help us get to God''  I liked that a lot.

This week I also got one of the brand new Book of Mormon home study seminary manuals from our Branch President. I'm super excited about it. I figured out a schedule to finish the Book of Mormon once more before I go home. It will be cool to do a more in depth study of it.

Well love you and I am so excited to talk to you on Sunday! Have a happy week!

Lots of love, Sister Gehring
Did I ever tell you about the fancy washing machine we have at our flat? Here's how it works: You put 2 buckets in a bath tub. You fill one with clean water and one with soapy water. Then you put your dirty clothes in the soapy bucket. Then there are these magical things called hands. You use them to wash the clothes. Then you put the clothes in the clean water to rinse them and boom! You have clean clothes! Its pretty cutting edge technology. I'm hoping the rest of the world catches up pretty soon.

I'm being brave and trying new food. I've never eaten fish like that before but it was really good!

We went to visit a member when I was on exchanges and in the corner of the living room was this doll. Please tell me that's not the creepiest thing you have ever seen...

We walked into the chapel to have a meeting with the branch president and this is what we found.

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