Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas week

Happy Cristmas.

This week was full of magical Christmas spirit as we spread the news of Christ´s birth to every living creature. 

On Tuesday we had a Conferencia Navideña and as a mission we felt and shared the love God has for us through the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. We studied the scriptures and the stories of those who came to see the baby Jesus. We studied the sacrifices made to see him, the time dedicated to him, and the love shown to him as all types of people recognized the Savior of the world. 

We ate a delicious lunch all together and then we had a Christmas concert of sorts. All the zones prepared their own special musical number and then performed it for the other missionaries and the members who came to see. For our zone, I combined the songs Jesus es mi Luz, O Come all Ye Faithful, and Far Far away on Judeas Plain, and made an arrangement for piano and choir. We sang and actually it turned out really well. The congregation sang with us for part of the time and we finished strong. The whole conference brought the spirit and the mission was elevated from the love of President Willard and the love we felt from God. 

Christmas day we visited a few members and a few investigadors. Not many people were home. Well, they were home but they all answered the door saying they weren't. Christmas here really is just a day with the family. They light off a lot of fireworks and they love staying up late. Christmas music doesn't exsist here. That made me a little sad. I love christmas music. Also there weren't as many lights as I was hoping.

Also they eat so much fruit cake. Its not good nor healthy but they love it here. I can't even tell you how many times we were offered a glass of Coca Cola with a slice of ´Paneton´ which is what they call the fruit cake here. I don't ever want to eat it again. I probably will next Christmas though.

I was studying the role of the prophet and I found a scripture in DyC 107:91.

I then studied the life of Moses. Who he was, how he acted, his Christ like atributes, and why this scripture says what it does. I learned a lot. I want to be more like Moses. 

I invite you to be like him. Study his life, his way of acting, his love for others. As you do, you will become more like Christ and find a new level of happiness in  your life.

I love you all. I love Jesus Christ. I love Bolivia. I don't love fruit cake, but I love the people here.

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Gehring
P.S. No les he enviado fotos hace mucho tiempo. 
Aquí están algunas de las semanas pasadas.
Les amo,
Elder Gehring

Christmas Eve

Christmas with lights


Kitten hiding in the grass

Me and a 1 year old on his birthday

Me and a 1 year old

Me and the tree

More Christmas

More treeeeee

My closet

My presents!!

My stocking

Our kitchen

Our Pensionista and his Christmas tree

Rainbow in Bolivia

The view in our area


Monday, December 22, 2014


No les voy a escribir tanto porque en algunos días les hablaré por skype! Bueno, ojalá por skype. Les aviso
 I am not going to write you very much because in a few days I will talk to you by Skype.  Anyway, I hope by Skype.  I will let you know.

Navidad es un poco diferente aquí. Personas no hacen tantas compraras como los Estados. A nadie le gustan mucho chocolates y bastones de caramelos y medias llenas con dulces. Todo lo que es 'tradicional' allí, no se hace aquí. Pero, somos misioneros así que aún si la gente lo hiciera nosotros trabajaríamos como normal! Nuestro Obispo nos invitó a pasar noche buena con él y su familia. Creo que vamos a invitar algunos investigadores que nos acompañen.  Christmas is a little different here.  People don't buy as much as in the States.  No one here likes chocolates very much or carmel canes or socks filled with candy.  All that is traditional there, isn't done here.  But, we are missionaries so even if the people did do that, we would work like normally.  Our Bishop invited us to spend Christmas Eve with him and his family.  We are going to invite some investigators to accompany us.

Esta semana fue dura. Tuvimos lecciones muy buenas pero en el fin no sentí que hubo éxito. Visitábamos, enseñábamos, invitábamos, pero nadie vino a la Iglesia. Pensamos que muchos iban a venir pero cuando pasamos domingo por la mañana nadie estaba en su casa. No sé a donde va toda la gente a las ocho de la mañana. Nuestro bautismo no se llevó a cabo porque él no vino a su entrevista y bueno, todo salió mal. This last week was difficult.  We had very good lessons but at the end I didn't feel that we had had success.  We made visits, we taught, we invited, but no one came to Church.  We thought that many were going to come but when we went by Sunday morning no one was at home. I don't know where people go at 8:00 in the morning.  Our baptism didn't take place because the person didn't come for his interview and well, everthing turned out bad.

Ya me les quejé pero si vimos milagros tambien. Anoche encontramos 2 personas nuevas. Y una acaba de salir de la carcel hace 20 días. Él ha cambiado tanto en su vida y ahora desea una vida diferente. Está dispueto a buscar, orar, leer, y hacer todo. Lo invitamos a bautizarse y dijo que sí solo no aceptó la fecha que queríamos dejarlo. Vamos a trabajar con él para que pueda hacer convenios con Dios.  I was complaining but we did see miracles also.  Last night we found two new persons.  One had just left prison 20 days ago.  He has changed a lot in his life and now wants a different life.  He is willing to seek, pray, read and do all.  We invited him to be baptized y he said that he would but he just didn't accept the date that we wanted him to.  We are going to work with him so he can make his covenants with God. 

Aparte de la lección espiritual que tuvimos con él, tambien aprendí mucho de la carel en Bolivia. No es lo que pensarías. Básicamente es un condomino grande. Hay tiendas, casas, parques, iglesias, y todo es normal. La única cosa es que no se puede salir del àrea. Es 10 cuadras por 10 cuadras más o menos. Las personas que viven tienen celulares, computadores, casas normales, y puede comunicarse con personas de afuera solo no se puede salir. Creo que si fuera así en los Estados había muchas problemas. Esta carcel está en nuestra misión. Un día voy a ir para verla. Besides the spiritual lesson that we had with him, I also learned a lot about prisons here in Bolivia.  They are not what you would think.  Basically they are like a big condiminium.  There are stores, houses, parks, churches and all is normal.  The only thing is that they cannot leave the area.  It is about 10 blocks by 10 blocks.  the persons that live there have cell phones, computers, normal house and they can communicate with outside people but they can't leave.  I'm afraid if it were like that in the States, there would be many problems.  This prison is within our mission.

Les amo mucho. Jesus es el Cristo. Él es la navidad. Él es de quien testifico. Él es la dádiva.  I love you all very much.  Jesus is the Christ.  He is Chrismas.  He is the one of which I testify.  He is the gift. 

Hurrah for Israel! 

Elder Gehring

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sickness in Bolivia

Hello there my family.

I have found that the easiest way to tell about the week is with stories. There are a few from this week that made me laugh, cry, and feel the spirit.

1. There is a place in Santa Cruz called SEGIP. It is the place where all extranjeros (I'm not sure what that is in english) go to apply for their carnet de extranjero. I had to go this week at 06:00 and waited in a long line for about 4 hours just to have my picture taken and leave. The funny part was that while waiting in line a group of teachers showed up. They are elementary school teachers that teach at an english school here in the center. They teach english/american ciriculum in english to english speakers while their parnets also speak english. Basically they only speak english all day and don't learn spanish. It was super funny to listen to them talk in english. Also they reminded me a lot of you mom. I firmly belive all elementary school teachers are required to have the same type of personality. It made me laugh.

2. I got sick. I woke up at like 4 in the morning shaking from cold like I've never shaken before. I was so cold but sweating like crazy. I took tylenol and then went to sleep with sweats and a sweatshirt. The next morning I woke up with one of the worst migraines ever and the most painful body. Nevertheless I worked all day. I went home early and felt very strange. I don't remember much. I drank some hot mate and then went to sleep. I felt great the next morning. Not sure what it was but not to worry. Im 100 now! It made me cry.

3. Music makes people happy. We found a less active member whose brother just got home from his mission and whos dad is in the bishopric. We went to his home and just got to know him well. We asked him a lot of questions, gained a little trust and he opened up a ton. He told us he is studying to teach music to children in colegio and that he loves the primary. I asked him what he likes about the church and what he used to like most when hes went in the past and he said the hymns. He is studying to play the piano and is learning. We challenged him to read the hymn book under the theme 'Prayer'. He is going to find his favorite hymn, read the scriptures that go along with it, share the scriptures with his family and for our next lesson, or sometime in the future, I am going to help him learn to play it so he can participate in Sacrament Meeting. I felt the Spirit.

I love you all. I love Bolivia. I love the Lord.

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Gehring

Monday, December 8, 2014

Out of the offices

Good morning star-shine. The earth says hellos. 

Well I moved areas. My new comp is called Elder Oliart. He is from Cochabamba and speaks spanish much better than my old companion from the US. I am now in the ward Antofagasta. Its a little smaller than Cañoto but the members so far seem great. Our zone is Piraí and we are 20 missionaries. There are 3 districts and in total there are 4 wards.

Its been really hard these first few days out of the offices. Its such a huge change but I am learning a lot. My spanish, Ive realized, has gone downhill having a english speaking comp for so long. Im picking it up again little by little. My companion and I dont get a long super well yet. He is 4 months away from going home and hes is a robot. Says the same thing every contact, teaches everything the same way, and it doesnt matter what I say, he just teaches what he wants. Its so frustrating at times. I have a lot to learn from him. Hes been a Zone Leader for just under a year now and I have no idea what Im doing so hes teaching me a lot. 

I also taught my first zone conference. That was scary. With under a year in the mission, I didnt feel able to teach some who had been in the mission for way longer. To make things worst, the assistants were there evaluating everything. It all went as planned and we ended up learning a lot. The asistants came up to me after and told to me that I did well. It was a relief to know Im doing some things right. 

Now the area. Its small, dusty, and it is hotter and more humid than Ive ever been in my life. It is the smallest area ever. I know my whole area and its only been a few days. The pensionista cooks well and our house is nice. I have a huge closet but a smaller desk to study. Its also nice not having a cell phone that is ringing 24 7. We are teaching a few people and they have fechas to be baptized but our biggest challenge is that we dont have new people to teach. We talk with so many people every day but they dont every accept anything but a first visit. With my companion we are working on making sure the first lesson becomes something they remember so they want to hear more. We did teach a family yesterday which went really well. They are so young. She is 17 and he is 20. They have one son with 2 years and one on the way. By Jan they will have 2 kids under 3 years. Its hard to know how to help them. She has to wait until she is 18 to get married and the after they are married they can be baptized. We are sure the church will bless their lives. 

Other than that the work is the same. Walking a ton in the blazing sun. Its so hot, did I mention that? Also dusty. But we have AC in our bedroom so we are blessed. Also I love to eat plums. I bought some in the fair saturday. Also I have no idea how to be a Leader of Zone so pray lots for me!! Also pray for my companion so he doesnt think too much about home these last few months!! 

I love you all and pray for you always. 

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Gehring
On the bus to go get the new guys ( my last day before moving to Piari)

This is a picture of me wearing a stripped sweater holding a cake. I look like JAS (Jóvenes adultos solteros)

4 Generations of Sec. to Pres. (L to R: Elder Shumway, Elder Gygi, Elder Gehring, Elder Bender)

All of us with  Hna Laida y Hno Pedro (Pensionista de las oficinas) 

Elder Garcia (my old comp), elder Miranda (financiero), and Hno Pedro in the middle

Monday, December 1, 2014


Dear Family,

Well the huge news. I'm leaving the offices. Tuesday President called me to talk about a few things in the coming weeks and then told me the news. He thanked me for my service in the offices but then said he received revelation that I had to leave. My replacement is Elder Bender. He is a great missionary. I am trying to teach him everything but it is hard. We'll see. I still don't know where I am going. I will find out later today when we do flights and transporte for the cambios. 

The rest of the week was good. Really all of it was preping my new replacement for his job and then getting everything else ready here in the offices. 

I don't have a ton of time to write today because we have a ton to do but here are a few things from this week. 

1. We got to meet the area doctor. He came to take an elder home who was sick from Peru and he passed by our offices. We had a breakfast meeting with him and then took him on the tour of the Foianini which is the main clinic that we use here. He is from Arizona and studied in BYU and University of Utah. It was cool to meet him.

2. Thanksgiving. We bought burritos and ate them in our house. Turkey is really really expensive here so we didn't buy that. But it was still a good time. 

3. We taught english classes. In our chapel every thursday at 19:00 we teach english class! Its the hardest thing I've ever done but it helps when your companion speaks english too.

I'm sad to leave the ward I am in and I'm sad to leave the offices but I know the Lord has something else in store for me. I love you all lots.

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Gehring
2 mi barrio (los elderes, hermanas, y Líder Misional del barrio)

Mi barrio (los elderes)

3 Día de acción de gracias