Monday, October 6, 2014

The Craziness Never Ends

Dear family,
I can't believe this is my last email I will ever write to you as a missionary!!! The time went too too fast. I'm pretty sure this is all a joke and when next week comes I'll just continue on with life as a missionary in Zambia. That would be nice. Do you remember that book about the mom sending her son on mission? I can't remember what it is called. But I remember one part when the son, who is about to finish his mission, asks ''Do I have to come home?'' That's kind of how I am feeling. I am so excited to come home and see you all again. But I am really really really sad to be leaving this place. I love Zambia.  I love the people here. I keep trying to figure out how to express that but everything I'm thinking of sounds so cliche for a missionary to say! But I guess things become cliche for a reason. Its because they are true! 

But just because I am remaining with only a week, that doesn't mean life as a missionary becomes any less hectic. And last week was a perfect example of that. 

On Tuesday, our entire district (4 elders and 3 sisters, plus the 2 senior sisters) didn't schedule appointments for the whole day. Instead we spent the entire day doing what we called ''mass contacting''. I forwarded a link to pictures. What we did was each of the companionships chose one or two of the busiest parts of their areas. Then all 9 missionaries went into the area and spent about an hour talking to EVERYONE. As many people as we could. Not to teach lessons or anything. Just to introduce the church, inviite them to learn more, etc. then we would move and do the same thing in the next area. The senior sisters stayed at a table and took people's info and the rest of us just talked to people. All day long. By the end of the day we figured out that we contacted over 700 people. It was so so good. A lot of people in Luanshya have either heard a lot of lies about the church or they have just never heard of the church. I think just that one day made a lot of difference. And we are planning on doing it again sometime soon. 
On Tuesday afternoon though, I got a call from the mission president. He called me to train yet another new missionary! So for my final week and a half, I get to be a trainer! Sister Solomone and Sister Hirwa had to go to Lusaka for immigration stuff this week so President told me to just go with them to pick up my new companion! 

So on Wednesday we took the 5 hour bus ride down to Lusaka. It was hot and smelly and squished but we survived. My new companion is awesome. Her name is Sister Phahlana. When I see you I'll tell you how to pronounce it. Its a Xhosa name and the ''hl'' makes a sound that we dont have in english. I dont know how to describe it in an email. But she is just on fire ready to get out there and serve. She was originally called to Zimbabwe but she is just in this mission while she waits for her visa. Im so excited to be finishing mission with her as my companion. But I feel like I don't have enough time with her! A week and a half is just long enough to get used to not being awkward around eachother! But its ok. The Lord know what is best. 

Then on Thursday we took the long ride back up to the copperbelt. Once again, hot, squished, and smelly. But we survived again. 

On Saturday we had a branch activity. It was a family fun day. and it was so much fun! We played a bunch of games like lombo and musical chairs and do you love your neighbor. We had relay races of balancing water on our heads, there was music and food and just lots of fun. I felt so bad though! Both Andrews took off work so they could come but they thought it started at 14hrs. but it actually started at 11hrs. So by the time they got there it was almost over. 

But it worked out. We were able to teach them a lesson instead. Both of them are still doing great. Especially the first Andrew. If all goes well he will be getting baptized on sunday!!! Any and all prayers for him would be great. I know he is ready for baptism but Satan seems to like snatching people at the last minute. I just keep praying he stays strong. I know he will. 

Then last night was wonderful, too. We had a sisters conference. All the sisters from the whole copperbelt all came over to our flat for dinner. Then we watched the general women's meeting. It was great to see everyone. We had a fun time. There were lots of laughs and the general women's meeting was an answer to a lot of people's prayers. 
Well, I guess this is it! The next time I talk to you it will be in person!!!! I just want to say thanks again for everything. As cliche as it sounds, this really has been the best 18 months. Im so sad to be leaving. It fact it breaks my heart and I get a pit in my stomach whenever I think about having to say goodbye to this place. But I am so excited to start my new journey with all the things I have learned. I love you all so much. This church is true. Missionary work is real. It changes lives. The saviour loves each of us. I know it with all of my heart. There is nothing on this earth that would change my mind. We are building the Lord's kingdom. 

With all my love forever,
Sister Gehring