Monday, July 28, 2014

Frogs are evil and scary

Dear Family,
Once upon a time I am companions with an awesome sister missionary from South Africa. Her name is Sister Fokoto. She hates frogs. A lot. Yesterday morning as we were walking into church, Sister Fokoto screamed at the top of her lungs and teleported across the church's lawn (ok maybe not but she ran fast enough to call it that). I ran over to her to see what was wrong. Guess what was wrong... yup. She'd seen a frog. I about died laughing. I've never seen anyone run so fast! I love my companion.

Well this week was pretty much the same as all the other weeks. We did missionary work, we did some service, we met some crazy people, we laughed, we sang, we did it again the next day. Life is good.

Sadly nobody came to church again yesterday so we are going to have to move some people's baptism dates back again. Its frustrating but not discouraging. We are just going to keep on going! This is only guessing but I think they might close our area at the end of next month. There are a few sisters going home and they don't have enough new ones coming in to replace them all so one area has to close. I'm pretty sure it will be this one. It just hasn't made much progress so I bet they will put it on hold till they have enough missionaries to fill in the spaces. But I suppose only time will tell for sure.

One great thing that happened this week was the fireside we put on yesterday for the members. It was awesome. We had one of the Elders talk about member missionary work, a couple members bore testimonies, and then we role played! We had members come to the front, we gave them a scenario, and then they had to figure out how to use that scenario to share the gospel. It was a lot of fun but I think they learned a lot too. Hopefully it will help the members get excited about missionary work!

Another great thing about the week was Hellen. She is 19 yr old girl that just got baptized about a month ago. She's been coming around teaching with us and she is powerful! She seems like she's been a member her whole life! Its been awesome having her with us. She wants to go on mission as soon as she can.

Well thats really about it for this week. Sorry I haven't had much to say these past few weeks! I've been here for so long the time and the days seem like they are all running together. But its all good. I'm actually going to be really sad if they move me out of this area. I like Lusaka a lot. But I'll go where the lord wants me to go!

I love you so much! Have a good week!

Love, Sister Gehring

Monday, July 21, 2014

Muli Bwanji!

Muli Bwanji!

This week was pretty busy but it went by super slow for some reason. I feel like it was 3 weeks long. Last Monday seems like ages ago. But it was a good week.

This whole having a car things is super convenient but sometimes it causes problems. We got a crack in the wind shield one day so we had to go get it fixed. The day before that we had to get our tires changed. The man at the tire place recommended a specific window repair place so we figured that was a good place to try. Well we tried to find it and it was super far away in a super sketchy part of town. So we asked Elder Allred and Elder Hill (our zone leaders) to go with us so we didn't die. Its a good thing too. That place was crazy. But the window was fixed and everything turned out fine. The guy that fixed the window even knew about the church! When we asked him if he had ever heard about the church before he said ''Of course! I'm even friends with Gordon B. Hinckley on facebook!'' It was hilarous.

We met another hilarious guy a different day. He told us that he had just gotten out of confinement for schizophrenia. We had a wonderful conversation with him. I love all the interesting people you meet on mission.

Some other awesome news is that I got to go to a chiropractor! One of the volunteers from the orphanage is a chiropractor and he gave all the missionaries free adjustments! It was awesome. I felt so great after.

We also had a really cool activity at the church this weekend. It was a missionary activity for the youth. A lot of people came and everyone had a really good time. We played games, had a scripture quiz thing, watched some mormon messages, and just basically tried to get everyone excited about the gospel. I think it really worked. It made me feel like a normal person again! We played the games with the youth and we participated the the scripture quiz. I felt like I was at a mutual activity. It was great!

Yesterday was wonderful too. One of the people I have been teaching ever since I was with SIster Vea finally came to church!! Her name is Violet and she is powerful. She loves the Book of Mormon, has prayed and knows everything we have taught is true. The only thing keeping her back from being baptized is that the person she stays with wouldn't let her come to church. But this week, she was finally able to come!!!!! We were so excited. If she is able to keep coming she is getting baptized on 10 August. 

Then yesterday night we (all 6 missionaries in the Lusaka branch) got to go to dinner at the relief society president's house. While we were waiting for her to finish cooking we were singing hymns. Right in the middle of the song ''The Lord is My Light'' the power went off. It was pretty ironic. They didn't come back on for a while so we just kept singing. It was actually pretty cool. There are some really great missionaries in my district. I'm going to be really sad if I get transferred anytime soon.

Well thats about all for this week. I'm still happy and healthy and my companion is still great. As of next week Monday, I will have been in Lusaka for 6 months. Time is going so fast!~I feel like I just got here! 

I love you lotsa!

Love, Sister Gehring

Monday, July 14, 2014

Officially Zambian!

Dear Family,
Well this week was incredibly uneventful. I have been racking my brain trying to think of something interesting to write home this week and I'm just not coming up with much. It wasn't a bad week but it was just kind of boring!
I did get my birthday package and a bunch of letters from friends though so that was exciting.
One exciting piece of news from the week is that I found out that I have been officially reassigned to the Zambia Lusaka mission. woohoo! Up untill now I have still been a visa waiter. It's not so much that I didn't want to go back to Botswana, but its just nice to know for sure now what is going on. Plus I really like Zambia. I was hoping Id' get to stay here. And now I will!
Things at our house have been super hectic lately too. There are 7 of us now staying in the same flat. Its a big flat but still... thats a lot of sisters. Luckily we all get along great. Its pretty cool- 3 of the sisters (Sister Fokoto, Sister Mbonyana, and Sister Makunye) all speak xhosa. Its a South African language with clicks in it. Sometimes they speak it to each other in the house. Its awesome! Sister Fokoto is teaching me how to click. There are 3 different types of clicks in xhosa. The letter x makes one, the letter c makes another, and the letter q makes another. I'm ok at the c and the x but the q is kind of hard. But I've been practicing. By the time we aren't companions anymore I'll be a pro.
We also had a pretty fun FHE last week. I think I told you about it. It went really well. We all had a lot of fun. We played that pictionary telephone game- the one where you write a sentence, then the next person draws a picture, then the next writes a sentence. It was hilarious! No matter how many times I play that game it never gets old. We have another FHE tonight with all the missionaries again at a different member's house. I'm really excited for that one too.
Well thats about it for this week. Hopefully next week will be a little more eventful. Have a good week!

Lots of love,
Sister Gehring

Mission  Leadership Council-July

The best district ever! Elder Barnard, Elder Packer, Sister Fokoto, me, Elder Hill, Elder Allred.

The mission president's wife doing some homeopathic something to fix Sister Ntuli's ear. Mostly it just looked hilarious.

Sister Lyon and Sister Ruth all ready for bed.

Thank you for the package!!!!!

Did I tell you that my companion is Lady Gaga?

Sister Skidmore (the office sister) took these at MLC. Before she took the first one she said ''You eat like an Elder! That's so cute!''

I love this picture!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Alma 32:21 & Ether 12:6

Dear Family,

I think for the first time in my life, even after hearing it hundreds of times, I actually understand what Alma 32:21 means. I thought I understood what it meant before but I realized this week that I didn't. I think it was the hope part that I wasn't clear about. I knew what it meant that faith is not a perfect knowledge. But the part about hope is the part I learned this week. I learned it like this: We had another kind of hard week. It was an amazing week (I'll tell you why in a bit) but it was hard. It feels like the harder we work, the harder Satan works against us. From the time we made the goal to have 6 baptisms by the end of July until this week we consistently had 6 people in mind who we thought could be converted by then. It wasn't always the same 6 people but there was constantly 6 people. But that all pretty much dropped this week. We now are down to maybe 3. And that is just maybe. But Sister Fokoto and I are completely sure that Heavenly Father confirmed to us that He had prepared 6 people for us. At this point we absolutely cannot see how it is going to happen. But we are hoping for it! We can't see it but we have that hope and we know, because it was confirmed to us by Heavenly Father, that it is true. That's what it means. It means that even when you have no idea how things will work out, you know they will. It means that you have to trust the we as humans see only a very tiny portion of what Heavenly Father sees. But that its ok. Because we don't need to see to keep going.

And that's where Ether 12:6 comes in. We won't be allowed to see until after our faith has been tested. That is definitely the point we are in at this point- the testing period. And we just need to have the faith to know that if we stay faithful, the lord will give us that ''witness." Its a pretty simple lesson. I'm not sure why its taken me 21 years to "figure" it out. But its profound for me at this point in my life so I am thankful that I did learn it.

So yea, like I said it was a bit of a hard week just because we are facing a lot of opposition but it was amazing because of what I learned. We had MLC (mission leadership council) again this week. It was probably 2 of the most spiritually uplifting days of my life. It was amazing. Everything we talked about seemed to speak directly to me. We talked about how the opposition we face is to be expected because Satan knows how important the work we are doing is. My favorite part was the testimony meeting we had. There is no doubt in my mind that my mission president is inspired of God. I also have no doubt that I am supposed to be in this mission at this time.

Some exciting news of the week is that Sister Scott is being transferred here!!!!!! She's been in Malawi since January and now she is being moved to Lusaka!!! She will be in a different branch but she'll be staying in our flat till they find one closer to her area. I'm so excited to see her again!

Well thats about all I have for this week. Happy belated 4th of July! We didn't do anything exciting but I trust you all had enough fun for me too. I love you all so much! Have a good week!

Love, Sister Gehring
My zone leader took this photo at the Mothers Without Borders orphanage. Its the one our branch president is in charge of.  The girls in front were posing for the picture, but in the background, a little girl named Precious was "doing the hair" of another little girl. I laughed pretty hard when he showed this to me

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


My dear Family,
In the Preach My Gospel training DVDs one of the sister missionaries who is frustrated by her investigators not coming to church says ''Just come to church!!!!!'' in a pretty funny voice. Lets just say that at one point this week I found myself laying on the floor in my flat yelling the exact same thing. I've decided that one of the most frustrating things about missionary work, if not the number one most frustrating thing, is people promising up and down that they will come to church and then not coming. It would even be better if they would just say they weren't coming! But instead, they promise and promise and promise that they will be there, but then they don't show. Its incredibly frustrating. I'm just glad Heavenly Father is in charge and not me because I don't think I could handle all these people's agency.

But other than that frustrating part, this week has been really pretty good. Sister Fokoto and I have been working our hardest and we have been seeing the blessings. We have found some really promising people to teach. Now again, the trick will be getting them to come to church.

Its been really nice having the car. Its made things move quite a bit faster. On Friday we were able to bring a member teaching with us who we have wanted to take with us for a long time but we had no way to get her and she is too old to walk all the way to where we were going to teach. Our appointment actually fell through but we were able to go to her house and spend some time getting to know her. It was awesome. She has been a member for almost 20 years! She joined the church with her whole family but since then her husband has passed away and her children have gotten married and moved to different countries so she is alone a lot. The missionaries used to live at her house and even when they got their own flats they would still go there all the time. But for some reason in the past few years the missionaries haven't been going there very often. Its been making her very sad but she hasnt said anything . Well last week the new elders that got transferred into the branch went over and visited her. It meant so much to her that they came. Then this week we went over and spent some time with her. It meant a lot to her again, especially because she can't even remember the last time the sisters came. We sang hymns with her and each shared a favorite scripture. She was so happy. Because of those 2 visits (one from the elders and one from us) she has just gotten this excitement about her! She wants to start a branch choir now and she keeps giving us all referrals of pretty much every person she knows! Its great! She even invited us over for a huge FHE next Monday with another member family in the branch and all the missionaries. I'm super excited for it. You never know the impact just a visit can have on a person.

My favorite scripture this week is 2 Nephi chapter 29. You cant get a more powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon than the one that comes straight from the Lord!

I love you! Have a good week!

Lots of love, Sister Gehring
Our bathroom drain was clogged so I was using a wire hanger to try and clean it out. This is what I found. You know you're a missionary when...

This was carved into a brick at a house we tracted into. It was hard to see so I tried to mess with the colors to make it easier... But either way, this is for you Em!

This is Daniel. The other sisters were teaching him. He is the security guard at our flat. He has been taught since 2012 and he finally got baptized!

The shorter man with the red tie is Brian. He is the other security guard at our flat. He was baptized about a month ago in a different branch. He came to support Daniel!