Monday, June 2, 2014

People are very confused...

Dear Family,
Recently the phrase ''People are very confused.'' has been a theme in the lives of me and Sister Vea. It just seems to perfectly describe many of the situations we end up in. Be it funny situations, frustrating situations, you name it. It just seems to fit.
Well to start off I need to vent about a couple of things. Sorry in advance.
1. Alcohol. I legitimately and honestly just do not understand why people drink. I've tried to think of even one positive thing that comes from drinking and I can't do it! There is nothing good that comes of it! It makes you act like an idiot, it makes you smell bad, it kills brain cells, it destroys families and relationships. Its just so dumb! It is one of the most frustrating thing I have had to deal with my entire mission. I understand that it can and is a legitimate addiction that is hard to overcome. So for that reason I admire people who try to give it up. But it just makes me so sad to see people with so much potential completely throw their lives away because they drink! Just don't take that first drink!!! I'm so grateful I grew up in a place and in a home where I wasn't exposed to it so now that Im old enough to make my own decisions, I have a very solid stand on the issue and there is nothing in heaven or earth that would change that.
2. The second thing I want to get off my chest is a common misconception that people have about missionaries. I just would like anyone reading this to know that missionaries are real people too! We aren't perfect. We don't know know all the answers. We can't do everything.  We sure as heck will try! But we are humans too. We have been called by God and set apart by priesthood authority and have been given power unique to missionaries. So in that way we aren't just normal people. But just know that just because we have a black nametag, doesn't mean we are immune to emotions. I'm not saying this because im being mistreated or something like that. I am very happy and  love this work! But just for the information of anyone reading this who has never spent time around missionaries, or who is preparing to go on a mission, or just anyone else, missionaries are people too.
Thanks for ''listening''.

This week for us was pretty great! There were quite a few funny moments again. Here are a few:

1. We were walking along one day and we saw a group of men trying to get a bed frame onto the second floor of a house by hoisting it up over the balcony. Upon further inspection we saw that the man on the balcony was wearing a Utah Utes shirt. We asked him where he got it and in a very thick Zambian accent he said ''I'm from Utah!'' so we asked him ''Oh really? which part of Utah are you from?'' to which he thought for a minute and replied ''Mississippi!!'' It was great.

2. Last monday all the senior couples (including the mission president and his wife) had FHE at my neighbor's house. (my neighbor is a senior couple). So all their cars were parked outside. I had just taken a drink of water and I walked into the kitchen (water still in my mouth) Standing right in the doorway was Sister Lyon. She had a very mischievous smile on he face and she said '' Lets egg president's car...'' It was so unexpected and funny I literally did one of those spitting water things like you always see in the movies. I thought that really did only happen in movies! Nope. Its real. That just made us laugh so hard we both ended up in tears on the floor laughing till out abs hurt .... I hope this is as funny to you as it was to me. If not, I promise it really was funny! (and please know that we would NEVER actually do that to the president's car!!)

3. One day we were teaching a lesson on the side of the road. We had a member teaching with us. Before the lesson started we were just sitting on a little bench waiting for the investigator to finish something so we could start. Mary (the member) pulled out her For Strength of Youth pamphlet and was just flipping through it while we waited. A car drove up and stopped when he got to us. The man driving yelled ''That book!! I need that book!! Please! Give me that book!!'' We were trying to figure out which book he was talking about when he started pointing very enthusiastically at the For Strength of Youth book. Mary, being the great missionary that she is, jumped up, ran over and gave it to him. Then the man sped off cheering. It was quite odd. I hope he reads it!

4. Another day we were tracting. We knocked on a door and a nice lady opened. We introduced ourselves and asked her if she had ever heard of the Church before. She said yes so we asked her if she knew where the church was She replied ''...31'' At that point we realized she didn't speak English. oops.

5. Our stove exploded! So I guess this isn't really that funny but the situation was just humorous. Last night while we were cooking dinner  a huge electrical spark came out of one of the burners, there was a loud pop and then the entire stove stopped working. Initially it was scary, but nothing caught on fire and everyone was fine. But then we realized that we were in the middle of making dinner, our food was half cooked, and we had been fasting all day. It was so sad. Luckily the Humpherys saved the day. they let us come over (just next door) and finish cooking. Then Elder Humpherys came over this morning and fixed the stove. Its just funny that we seem to always have complications cooking on fast sunday!
Yup. Those are the funnies of the week! We had some pretty powerful lessons too. Remember Salome? The girl I told you about last week? Well we have continued teaching her and she is great! She prayed about the things we have been teaching her and she knows now that it is all true. She is even telling all her family and friends about it! We started teaching her Sister-in-law, Tiza, and they are now both on date to be baptized at the end of June! Its pretty exciting!

Another person we are teaching also finally got an answer to her prayers this week. Her name is Violet. She is a pretty quiet girl so we haven't been sure how much she is understanding and retaining from what we have been teaching. But this week she told us that as she was praying, the spirit came over her and told her that it is all true! She hasn't come to church yet but she promised to come next week.

The highlight of the week was Atkins! I told you about him a few weeks ago I think. He is the super top secret security guard that was very touched by the lesson about the Atonement. Well we can't see him very often because he works a lot but we have been seeing him as often as we can. And he is powerful. He has changed SO much already just in the few weeks we have been teaching him. We gave him one of those mini copies of the book of Mormon and he carries it with him wherever he goes. He is just so prepared to accept the gospel. This week while we were teaching him the plan of Salvation, ho got quiet for a second and then told us '' Sisters, I need to get baptized'' Let me just tell you that is music to a missionary's ears! We told him how excited we are and told him that in order for him to do that he needs to come to church. So he promised he would come. And yesterday he did!! And the branch fell in love with him. It was testimony meeting. We explained what that was and he got nervous that he would be forced to go up there. We reassured him that he didn't need to worry. You only bear your testimony if you want to. Well I guess the he really felt the spirit because he went up there and bore his testimony!!! It was his very first time ever at this church and his first time at any church in years and he bore his testimony! He told his conversion story and how he knew that God led us to him. It was powerful. I have no doubt that he is going to be a leader in the church someday.

My favorite scripture of the week is 18:16. I just admire Nephi. He went through more than most of us will ever have to but through it all, he praised God.

I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week! Keep on keepin' on!

Sister Gehring
The older kid is named Joseph and the little one on his shoulders is named Helaman. They are the cutest brothers you'll ever meet.

We went to a wedding. The guy on the middle left is the groom and the rest are his groomsmen. They all served missions together in Uganda.

Companions reunited at mission tour! (we accidentally were matching)

Me and Sister Lyon. We get along quite well. I think it has something to do with the fact that we both like making stupid faces.

There was a lovely surprise on one of my eggs!
These little chickens are spray-painted all over Lusaka. It drives me nuts cause I dont know what it means!

Its amazing how much new born puppies resemble rats....

One of our investigators has a new addition to the family! (4 actually but the momma dog would only let me hold one at a time)

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