Monday, June 23, 2014

Faith + miracles + hard work = 6

Dear Family,
First of all, thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! I had a really great birthday. It wasn't too different from any other day but it was still really nice. My companion took me to go get milkshakes for lunch, everyone sang to me, Sister Mbonyana made me dinner, and most of our appointments actually went through! So it was a great day. I don't really feel any different. I still just feel like a missionary. But its cool to be a year older I guess! Its going to be weird telling people I'm 21. And its super weird to think that when I came on mission I was 19. And that last year I was in Africa too. Its definitely been a year to remember. I'm still very grateful to be here.
Well I guess the big news of the week is the meeting we had with our mission president. We talked a lot about goal setting and having the faith to carry out the plans to accomplish our goals. The mission president had been feeling that we as missionaries need more direction to our work. I've been feeling the same way. I mean I have been in this area for almost 5 months and we have not seen very much progress. So with this meeting each companionship sat down and discussed their area and came up with a goal for baptisms by the end of July. As Sister Fokoto and I prayed about it and talked about it, we decided to make a goal to baptize 6 people between now and the end of July. It is a really high goal. Really high. But we felt like it was right. So we proposed it to the Lord and He, through the most amazing feelings of comfort and peace and assurance, was able to tell us that He approves of our goal and He will provide a way for it to happen. But we also had to promise Him that we would work as hard as it takes to make it happen. It is going to take huge miracles and faith but I know with all my heart that it will happen. So any and all prayers on the behalf of Sister Fokoto and I, and those people we talk to and teach would be very much appreciated. I'm really excited for the next 6 weeks!
That was the highlight of the week for sure but other good things happened. One cool thing is that we got a car! Its a stick shift so I'm still perfecting my driving but I'm so grateful that I learned before I came out. I would not want to be learning for the first time on Zambian streets. Zambians are crazy drivers. Sister Erickson, the mission president's wife, had me drive with her for a couple hours just to help me feel more comfortable and to have me practice going on hills. About 5 minutes into hill practice, a huge monkey ran across the street right in front of the car. I almost killed a monkey!!! It was so scary! Luckily I didn't though- Dont worry. Its things like that that remind me that I really am in Africa!
My favorite scripture this week is all of 2 Nephi 9. I don't really know why to be honest. It just sort of spoke to me I guess... Just read it. I promise its good.
I love you!!
Love, Sister Gehring
This is the Copperbelt, Lusaka west and Lusaka east zones. (I'm in the Lusaka west zone) This was taken when Kevin S. Hamilton came to the mission a few weeks back.
Sister Teki... a.k.a. Grandma.

Cleaning the carpets!

Last night with the old companions.

My new Zone Leaders- Elder Hill and Elder Allred.

One of the many reasons why I will never wear a skirt again once I get home.
African sunsets are the best in the world. That is a fact.

The sisters trying to figure out what the elders were doing outside.
Me and Sister Fokoto.

Us again.

She likes to make faces too. This will be a great companionship!
This is the street we go down every single day to get to our flat

And this is our flat! We stay in the far right one and the Humpherys live in the one to the left. Then there is one more on the far left that you can't see in the picture. Another missionary couple stays there.

These are the sisters I live with. Sister Ruth (from Kenya), Sister Lyon (from Utah), Sister Mbonyana (from Cape Town, South Africa), me, and Sister Fokoto (fron Johannesburg SA). me and Sister Fokoto are comps and the other 3 are in a companionship together.
Birthday milkshake!

The zone leaders gave this to me for my birthday. It was made in the USA!!! I still don't know where they found it. These do not exist in Zambia.

It sure tasted nice.
We had a district planning meeting right after church. The other branch was still meeting so the only free room was a tiny primary classroom. It was awesome.

We got a car! I'd like to formally thank my dad, Chad Gehring, for teaching me how to drive a manual transmission car. It has officially saved my life. I'm the only sister in Lusaka who can drive this car because nobody else knows how to drive stick.

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