Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy Families

This week was full of work, miracles and happy families.
The new missionaries got here on Tuesday! They are great. I love being with them. They are always so excited, willing, and ready to work. Elder Santos and I were able to eat lunch with them, help them with a few practices, training situations, and we were there with them in their first family home evening. On Wednesday President put us in charge of the transfers in the Trompillo Chapel and then we went with the trainers to help them a little. The trainers are always the best missionaries. They all were so excited to meet their new companions. We helped them and trained the trainers a little in the Training Model of 
                      1. Explain 2. Demonstrate 3. Practice 4. Evaluate 5. Re-practice 
The new missionaries then joined us. We ate lunch together and then with the new missionaries and their trainers we practiced, practiced, and practiced some more. The first thing we focus on is the baptismal invitation as outlined in Preach My Gospel. We always always always invite EVERYONE to be baptized in the first lesson. Sí o Sí. We practiced inviting as it says in Preach My Gospel. We practiced facing our fears, overcoming the language barriers, etc. It was a wonderful experience. We then practiced asking for referrals which we do with every person we meet too. The newbies are wonderful missionaries. I wish I could start all over again like them. Its the best.
Then President got there and he kind of took over. We were there to help explain a few things too. I am amazed by the ability President has to teach a group of people but at the same time personally teach gospel principles to each missionary individually. Well at least he did with me. He asked each trainer to share their testimony in the native language of their companion. Some of the Latin trainers had to speak in English which was hard for some. Then he got to Elder Santos and I and asked us to share our testimonies too. Elder Santos (from Brazil) shared his testimony in Portuguese because there was one Brazilian missionary who is new. Then President asked me to share my testimony. I stood up and then he said ''In Portuguese'' I thought he was joking! So I stood up and looked at him. He looked at me and I realized he was very serious. I started to share what I could in Portuguese. I was so nervous and scared. I tripped again and again over my words but as I came to what I made to be the end of my testimony an overwhelming feeling of love and comfort rushed through my body. I couldn't hold back my tears as President thanked me for my testimony. I don't know what I said and I don't even know if anyone understood me. But I do know that I needed the simple lesson taught by a Mission President called of God. I felt like a new missionary. I was scared, I didn't speak the language and I couldn't say but just a few words. President stood and said to us all ''Great missionaries can do great things but God can do miracles''. I realized how prideful I had been. No one else saw that but I felt it. I think I have relied on my own words more than one during my mission and I learned that as I trust in God, He works the miracles in my life.
The rest of the week was full of trials and laughing. Miracles and sadness. And lots and lots of prayers. The mission is baptizing more which is great but we still have a ways to go before meeting the year goal of having 2037 baptisms and rescues. As I study DyC 20:37 I have opened my eyes about the simplicity but importance of the ordinances of salvation. Our goal is baptize families. Families that can in one year go to the temple and be sealed together forever. Families + Ordinances = Eternal Happiness. That's all I want in my life!! A family united with ordinances! 
We found this week in our area several families who are ready to receive ordinances. As we searched member referrals, talked to people in the street, visited less active members, and prayed a lot we were able to find 2 families who have previously had some kind of contact with members of the church. One sister who now has her husband and kids was filled with joy as we contacted her as we looked for a referral from a member. She had gone to the church many times before she was married and now we have the opportunity to teach her and her family. We also met Wilbur. He lives with his wife and kids. He too attended the church several times and is now excited to receive the missionaries in his home. I love being a missionary!!! And I love that I have a family with ordinances! 

Hurrah for Israel!

Lots of Love,
Elder Gehring


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