Monday, September 14, 2015

A Special Witness of Christ

Dear Family,

This week was wonderful. I learned so much. 

Ill start with an overall schedule of what we did.


P-day normal con trabajo normal en el área.


All morning in the Offices preparing Mission Stats (baptisms, progressing investigators, lessons taught, growth and fall of baptismal dates, etc.) We did it for the past 2 years, past 1 year, past 6 months, past month, last 5 weeks, and last 1. I'll explain what we did with all this info.


11:00 am - Meeting with President Willard, Elder Uceda and their wives. We talked about the whole mission tour, what was expected, we snacked on fruit and nuts, and had a great time

2:00 pm - Multi-Zone Conference in Santa Cruz. Missionaries from all the small towns and the ones inside of SC came and had a zone conference with Elder Uceda. His wife, President and Sister Willard and us had about 1 hour. He took the rest of the 4 hours to himself. What a wonderful 4 hours of learning.

7:30 pm - Ward Council and Leadership training meeting. The missionaries were invited to stay and learn from the ward councils. I am excited to learn so much about how wards function, what are important parts, how a ward council should work, who goes, what do you talk about, principles of a good council etc. 


9:00 am - Mission Leadership Council. We were in charge of presenting to Elder Uceda, President, and the mission leaders the stats of the mission. (what we prepared on tuesday) How we doing, are we progressing, going backward, numbers, graphs, percentage of increase/decrease etc. Elder Uceda loved our presentation and asked us to get him a copy so he could use it for the Area and for other mission tours. We were humbled by the experience to receive council from him.

The rest of the day, we worked in our area.

2:00 pm - Zone Meeting until 5 pm

5:00 pm - A fast and powerful lesson with Freddy Cuellar (a new investigator)

5:30 pm - Go to airport to fly to Tarija. Our flight was suposed to leave at 7. We got their at 6 to check in etc. We got through security and learned the flight was delayed. First until 8, then they announced its delay until 9, and then we finally left at about 9:30. Unfortunaltly it was just the beginning. The flight was through Cochabamba (not direct). We got to Coch. at 10:15 or so and then flew to Tarija leaving at 10:45 or so. We got to Tarija at 11:45 and then took a taxi to the Zone Leaders house. We didnt sleep very much that night. 


8:30 am - Prepare the Chapel for the conference. After about 30 minutes of personal study, we went to the chapel to get the projector set up, the mics working, etc. 

Oh, also just a funny story. In the 2 Zone conferences (one in Santa Cruz and one in Tarija) with Elder Uceda and his wife this week, we were in charge of teaching a principle of Preach my Gospel with President and practicing with the mission. When we were in Tarija, we used the entire morning to practice, practice, practice, practice, and re-practice presenting and going through the 40 min of the presentation to the mission. In Santa Cruz we realized how unprepared we were. We were humbled by the experience and used the time in the morning in Tarija to repent and be better. In the end, we didnt even present it!! Elder Uceda arrived a few minutes late and chose to take all the time. My companion and I thought the other one would be mad but at the end of the meeting we just laughed together. We realized that the Lord works in mysterious ways. WE needed the practice more than anything. What WE learned changed us. It didnt matter if we had to share it with the mission. That wasnt the important part. We learned that the we are only in certain assignments to learn.

6:30 pm - Go to the Airport to fly back to Santa Cruz. No flights were delayed but going from Tarija to Santa Cruz, the flights are all later. We left at 7:30 pm and went through Cocha. again. Then we waited 2 hours and left at 10:40 from Cocha. to Santa Cruz. We got home very late again. 2 Nights with no sleep. Thats alright, we are blessed.

8:30 am - Church. We went to our area to pick up a few investigators. After being gone on Friday and Saturday it was hard because we weren't the only ones that traveled. A huge group of members went to the Temple and got back Sunday at 6:00 am. Church starts at 8:30. You can imagine how many came. There were 80 in Sacrament Meeting. The whole afternoon almost the whole ward was just sleeping. But still we saw miracles. Freddy Cuellar (that we taught quickly on Friday before flying) who is a neighborhood friend to many members came to church with us. He immediately felt at home. After church, one of the ward secretaries went by his house and introduced himself. We then passed by to visit him. Freddy was so happy. He felt the love of the members and committed to come next week with his wife and 2 kids. A family of members that live close to him explained to us that they had many time before felt impressed to invite Freddy to church but never did. When they say him in church, they were filled with joy and invited us to have a FHE with them today. What a blessing to have the trust and support of the members. I am humbled by the power the Lord has to change hearts. 

The rest of the in between moments went great. We had a few moments when my comp and I butted heads but I feel like he is teaching me more and more every day. Even last night at 9:05 pm he taught me how to be a blessing and not a burden for the bishop. What a wonderful example.

The time I was able to spend with Elder Uceda this week was incredible. I came to realized how insignificant I am and how little I can do by myself. I was touched by the pure love he has toward his wife. What a happy couple!!! Thats what I want! An eternal marriage! They are so happy and they both let the other one progress according to what the Lord has sent them here to do. I was moved by his true and only desire to serve God. And I learned from him the importance of sustaining the presiding leadership. Even though he presided the meetings I was impressed that several times he told the mission openly that he sustains President and Sister Willard as our Mission President and wife. I have a new vision of the work of salvation. My testimony grew of Jesus Christ and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been with one of His special witnesses. 
Hurrah for Israel!!

Elder Gehring
The Leon Family who were baptized 2 weeks ago and went to the temple this past weekend. They got us ties. I love them so much. 
This is us in Cochabamba eating dinner.

A weird bug I found.

A dangerous tree.

A field.

A man working.

A park.


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