Friday, February 28, 2014

Another week... oh wait its only been 4 days!

Its been only 4 days but it has been an eventful 4 days. First off, on Saturday (I think it was. Most days run together here) our teacher took us outside to study at the table which is pretty normal. Then she gave us some pamphlets and told us to go give them to people. We were confused since I've been here 2 weeks and never stepped foot outside the gates. But nevertheless, she opened the gates and set us free. I felt as though I was a caterpillar  bursting out into a brand new world as a butterfly. We had 30 minutos to hand out 3 pamphlets and 1 Liahona. We almost did it. Nobody wanted a magazine with a random man on the front. But it was such a great learning experience. I got a complement on my Spanish which was awesome! A little old lady asked me where I was from and why I was here and then she talked really fast for like 5 minutes. I caught most of it but some was not even close to understandable. I heard something to like `your spanish is really good for a gringo` but maybe my mind was just making it up since I felt so lost listening to her! I did give her a booklet on the Restoration of the Church and it was awesome to feel the spirit so strong and hear such soft promptings on such a loud street corner. 

A few changes since Friday. We now have GYM in the afternoons which is a little weird for us. It takes me forever to get up and wake up with out being able to run around but I'll get used to it! Also everyone left today. It was harder than I thought. Everyone becomes such close friends here. Even if we can't communicate very well with the Latins, it was still hard to say goodbye. One Elder came in last night from Korea who is my new companion. I don't remember how to spell his last name... Oh wait! Its Peden. He just told me! oh and just to clear things up, hes actually from Tenessee! haha I'll learn it soon I'm sure haha The rest of the Norte americanos come in tonight. There are 2 more Elders and I think 8 or 9 Hermanas coming in which will make for a huge district but it will be fun to get to know all of them. I am amazed at how many missionaries there are out in the world! I can't wait to be one of them in the field. 

I can't send pictures anymore because I forgot one important thing. A USB adapter for my camera memory card. I hope I'll be able to get one at somepoint somewhere.... Sorry mom! I'll still take lots and then just send them when I get the chance. 

Sunday was again amazing. There was so much that was amazing but I'll tell one of my favorite parts. President Dyer gave us a lesson on the Plan of Salvation. It was so neat to hear from such a powerful man of our purpose here, our pre earth life with our Heavenly Father and our next life back with Him. We also learned so much about prayer. This weekend I think I learned more and gained a stronger testimony about prayer than I ever had in my life. D&C 8 1-3 and D&C 14-23 are powerful scriptures and I encourage everyone to read them. Also. Pray always and when you pray kneel. There is power in prayer than comes when you are at your most humble state. On your knees. At times out here I dont feel like praying. I am tired, I am angry, sad, homesick, frustrated. These are the times when I know I need to pray the most. I promise you that if you pray when you most do not want to pray, these are the times that you will feel the love of your Savior the most. God will hear and will answer every one of your prayers. We need to trust that it will be on His time not ours.

I love you all. I pray for you always. It is a glorious time to be here in the Mission Field. Hurrah for Israel!!


Èlder Gehring

Friday, February 21, 2014

Week One: El CCM de Columbia

Hola Familia!

Emma! All your art looks awesome. I cant believe how talented you are. Keep it up and keep sending those pictures! Carly is literally the cutest baby I know. Keep sending those pictures too! So to start, p-days are a little weird here. They are every 10 days and then every 4 days... So my next day will be Tuesday. I have so much to tell you all and so little time it seems so Ill do my best to get everything in. First off, my companions. Élder Pipers and Élder Inman are my 2 compañeros. We get along super well and they have already taught me so much. É´Pipers is from Australia and is super fun to be around and É´Inman is from Cali. Also, this whole email will probably be super random because I think of things I want to include as I type! Lets all stop for a minute, think about the gross weather, and then think about Colombia´s weather. 70 degrees high all year round. It rains every day in the afternoon and I love it. Its beautiful to go outside every morning and see such a hectic city seem calm and refreshed after a long night. I'm at about 8500 ft I think, and it takes a while to get used to. Also, the first night I got here all the Élders wanted me to try a fruit called a granadilla. Its like a small pomegranite, but full of slimy seeds that you suck out and swallow. Sounds nasty, but it actually is super good. Since we are talking about the food, it actually is pretty normal so far. Lots and lots of rice, lots of meat and lots of bread. Every meal has some type of roll with it and there is always an excess amount of food everywhere. So mom, don't worry about me going hungry because it wont happen. Now lets talk about Español. The Celestial language as some people call it here. Everyday is full of gramática gramática and more gramática. I have learned so much here. I speak it all the time and its coming poca a poco. El don de lenguas is real and I have seen it work for the short time I have been here. The maestros are all returned missionaries and all have such solid testimonies in the Gospel. I know that it is only by fath in God and total dedicación that I will be successful missionary. OH! Jefferson! So here in the CCM, each district (for me Élder Inman, me, Pipers, Hermana Gibbs, and Hermana Ence) gets an investigador. For us it is Jefferson. We teach him almost every day and we treat him just like we would a real investigador. (he is really just one of the maestros) He is amazing though. He reads and sticks to his commitments, he is being baptized the 5 of March, and he is always wanting to learn more and more about the Gospel. 

As far as the day to day life here goes, we keep pretty busy. We go for 16 hours a day and a bed has never felt so wonderful at 1030 at night. We have lots and lots of classes about how to begin teaching, Spanish, gramática, TALL which is an online language learning thing that BYU made, and devotionals out of control. I am more spiritually drained at the end of each day than I am physically. The things I am learning here are truly of eternal value and I will be forever grateful for these 6 weeks here. Sundays are a little different. Mostly because for the Norte Americanos, the second half of the day is all in English! YAY! What a relief. My favorite part is Sunday nights. From 8 to 930, the English speakers get to sit down with president dyer and ask him anything we want about doctrine of the Gospel. We spent the whole time talking about the power of temple, sealings in the temple and he said one thing that was amazing. Well he said a lot of things but Ill tell you this one. The Atonement of Jesus Christ was a vicarious work for all man kind. Anyone who accepts the Atonement for themselves is accepting the fact that vicarious work can be done and is real. And what do we do in the Temples? Exactly that. Vicarious baptisms, endowments and eternal work for those who have passed on. If anyone thinks we are crazy for doing vicarious work than they think the Atonement of Jesus is crazy!! How cool is that? I had never thought of it that way and it was such a cool aspect. 

OH! The Latins. They are literally the coolest people I have ever met. Do I know what they are saying? 90 percent of the time no, but they are the most spiritual people I have ever met. President Dyer (the CCM Pres.) explains it like this. ´They have so little temporal blessings, and what they lack in material things, they make up with spiritual gifts. Gifts to see visions, have dreams, and hear the voice of el Espíritu Santo more clearly than anyone. I have so much to learn from them. I hope by the end of my mission I will be just a fraction of the spiritual people they are. There is power in these representatives of Jesucristo and it is humbling to be serving with them.

Here's my advice for the week. Read Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage. There is power in the words of such a great man and author. I am 10 or so chapters in and I have learned more about my life here, my decision to serve a mission, about the pre-mortal existence, about Adam and Eve and about the Gospel than with any other book besides the Scriptures. It is uplifting, thought provoking and above all it is a Testament to me that Jesus is the Christ. The Only Begotten of the Father, The Redeemer of the World, The Prince of Peace, and my Saviour and Brother.

My second piece of advice slash question. In Genesis Chapter 3 after Adam partakes of the fruit of the tree, God states that ´He has become even as on of us´ who is the us God is referring to? in 1 Corinthians, we learn that there are lords and gods many, but to us there shall be only one God. Even Heavenly Father. Just think, could the ´us´ maybe be that God conversed with other gods in the pre mortal life? Also James Talmage talks a little about it in the first couple chapters of Jesus the Christ so read it and think about it.

I'm going to send another email with pictures! And I'm sorry about the spelling. The computer and keyboard are all in Spanish and thinks everything I spell is wrong.

I love you all. I know more now more than every that this is where I have been called to serve to Lord. The field is white and ready to harvest. And I'm proud to be one of the farmers. 

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Gehring 
la foto del Grupo 4 2014

Me and an Elder from Bolivia.

Me and Elder Jafek who knew me as the tunnel singing guy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm alive!


We finally made it here to the CCM de Colombia. Last night our flight came in at 7 or so and we met our driver outside. In Miami I met up with 2 Hermanas. Hna Ence from Hawaii and Hna Gibbs from the Woodlands! I met a guy named Mark on the plane who was getting married on Saturday in Colombia which was exciting! I gave him a picture of Christ which he thought was pretty cool.

The CCM is amazing. President and Hna Dyer are amazing. They are so excited for us to be here and I can not wait to get to know them better. Everyone here is a family. There is power in unity and let me tell you, you wouldn't be able to find a better group of Elders y Hermanas anywhere. Can I just say how perfect the weather is here? 65 high every day all year. How great is that? I am rooming with 2 other Elders. One from California and one from Australia. I don´t remember their names because they weren't wearing their name tags this morning! They have been here dos semanas so I won´t be too far behind. Hopefully. The Spanish is already coming more than I thought. I know now more than ever the only way to learn is little by little. But there is truth in by small means, great things come to pass. We watched 17 miracles last night which was a powerful experience even if it was in Spanish and I only understood parts of it. They called yesterday a ´down´ day because it was in between days when Latins report and Latins are sent off. Today we are going through interviews with Pres. Dyer and his wife and getting all our study material. The Latins come in today and I´m so pumped. They are so fascinated by us which is weird to me because I think we are so boring. I mean we are just Americans. But some of them have never seen an American before! I love it here already. The work is going forward. The field is white and this is the place I know I need to harvest. I love and miss you all. Only had about 10 minutos today so I look forward to sending you pictures next time. Until then.


Elder Gehring

PS the first thing one of the Elders said to me was ´Hey youre the tunnel singing guy right? Small world.
At the airport...

Off to the MTC!