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!

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