Monday, January 25, 2016

The Holy Ghost

Dear family,

This is the last Monday of the transfer. On Wednesday I'll be with my new companion. I'm excited but nervous. I'm starting my last transfer as a missionary of complete time.
I am shocked by the amount of time I have to think each week. I didn’t realize how much time I really have until I started to use it a little bit better. Sometimes I talk with my companion, sometimes we are quiet. We talk to everyone we see. Sometimes we don’t see anyone. And I realized all the time I am silent is time given to me by God to think, ponder, pray, meditate, search for answers, solutions, divine help, etc. We have 30 min of exercise, 1 hour until personal study, and then 1 hour of pure personal studying. Before 9am each day I have 2.5 hours of time to search for revelation for my Investigators- personally. Then there are the hours of lunch, language, and companionship study- 2.5 to 3 hours more to see how to help my investigators- as a companionship. Then a ton of time in the street, in lessons, in contacts, waiting for meetings to start, etc. All of these thoughts came from how President Willard acted this past Wednesday while we walked from the lobby of the chapel to the office of the stake President where we had a meeting. He only talks about the work. Nothing else even crosses his mind. If I used every waking moment like Presidente does, looking for divine revelation for my investigators, more would repent, and more would be baptized. Its hard but its my new goal. Also Im going to carry around a little notebook and write down any tiny thought I have. Sometimes I dont appreciate fully the things the Spirit tells me.

This week I also read in 2 Nephi 32:5-6 and I learned something new about the relation between the My Purpose and the Doctrine of Christ. The Doctrine of Christ in centered in the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We have faith in Jesus Christ that He really did leave the Holy Ghost as our comforter. We repent to be worthy to feel the Holy Ghost. We are baptized to fulfill the commandment, so we then can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then we endure to the end as we listen attentively to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost is so precious to God that he asked us to be baptized first to show that we really are going to take care of such a perfect gift. I want everyone in the whole world to have this gift!!! They just have to repent and be baptized first. The Holy Ghost is the only way for us to be guided back to the Father.

The other good news is that the Calero family was baptized!! Also Fortunata. The best part was that 6 investigators came on Saturday night to the baptism and then came back Sunday morning for church. They all had a spiritual weekend which will help them so much with their progress toward baptism. The Callisaya family made up 4 of these 6. They are progressing so well! The ward council is super excited after seeing baptisms and realizing there are more here in the near future. We set the ward goal for Feb. for baptisms. The ward chose 8. I know we are going to make it.

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Gehring

More white.
The whole Calero's family.

Avalos Family


Deacons picking up less active Deacons on Sunday morning.

Eggs anyone?


It was a long day.

Mandy, Daniela, Trevor

New chapel in the Jardin del Sur ward. 

New chapel

Pineapple bananas

Monday, January 18, 2016

Best Week Ever

Dear family,
This week has been wonderful. And the next will be even better. I can't even put into words the love I feel for Bolivia. I have learned so much and our ward here is progressing quickly thanks to wonderful leaders. We have a new Ward Mission Leader who is on top of everything. He gets the members excited, he knows Preach My Gospel, and he teaches the Gospel well.
This Sunday the 24 of Jan, 5 new members will be confirmed in our ward after their baptism on Saturday. We are so excited!! Fortunata, Trevor, Daniela, Mandy, and then an 8 year old whos dad will baptize him. Pray for them all!!
Other than that, we moved houses this week which is great because we didnt live in our area and it took forever to walk to where all our investigators are. Living in the middle of the area will help us a ton with the contact we have with investigators. We are still pushing forward with our personal goal of taking a new investigator family every week to church and yesterday new ones came! They felt the spirit as the Sacrament was passed and will return next week. 
We are teaching like crazy, everyone says yes and it really is a miracle. God has prepared so many people in our small area. We were struggling to find new investigators this week and little by little we were finding some here and there but it was our focus the whole time we talked to people in the street, looked for less actives and part member familis, or just knocked doors. During a planning session on last thrusday, we practiced, watched THe District, planned a few lessons and talked about what to do about the low new families we wer finding. My companion remembered a family he had contacted several months ago who told him to come back in January. We looked up their info in the Area Book and called them. We made an appointment to visit them on Sunday. Sunday came around and we still hadent found any new families that had a high potential to progress but our faith was in this family! We went and they are wonderful! 4 kids, 2 parents, married for 11 years. The dad expressed his deep desires to nurture, care, and raise his children. He explained how his whole life, he had tried to do good even though God and religion were never a large part of his life. We read the first verse of the Book of Mormon, talked about how he too was a goodly parent and how this Restored Gospel could change his life. He and his wife and kids accepted a baptismal date for the 14 of feb.They asked how they were to prepare for baptism and committed to repent and be baptized! THe dad the knelt with his family and offered a beautiful pray expressing his love of his family to God. As I shook his hand, he looked at me with the Book of Mormon open and said '' Ahora sí. Esto es lo que necesitaba. Este libro nos va a guiar''. With no knowledge of the Book of Mormon, he could feel its power. I once again received a powerful testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

Miracles happen and are real!

I love you all.
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Gehring

Monday, January 11, 2016

Teach Repentance

This week we adapted a new slogan for the mission. It comes from Elder Dallin H. Oaks and the mission department. ''In our mission we teach repentance and baptize converts'' In Mosiah 18:20 we learn that they were sent to teach nothing save repentance to the people. They were all baptized. Thats our goal! 
Just a quick story. 

Yesterday we taught a family home evening lesson with the Calero family. The parents are less active members and their 3 kids are not members yet. We went with almost all the members of the ward council and there was a special spirit. We starting teaching the plan of salvation to the family and each person had a small piece of paper where they could draw a picture of their favorite part of the plan of salvation. The members of ward council drew the kingdoms of glory, the pre earth life, the judgement, etc. The parts that are the most thought of when we say 'plan of salvation'. Toward the end, we realized that the mom and dad of this family hadnt shared what they drew. We started with the mom and she timidly expressed that she had drawn 'baptism'. She then expressed such a pure and heartfelt testimony about her desire for her kids to be baptized. Then we went to the dad who had drawn a temple. He testified to his kids that the temple was the goal, and that baptism was the only was to get there. It was such a sweet and tender moment that we couldnt have brought without the pure testimonies of their parents. The kids all accepted a baptismal date for the 23 of January. Ill send fotos of their baptism. 

The parents taught repentance through their testimonies and desires to change their lives and make it to the temple. We were touched by the whole night. The ward council is excited now and we are going to baptize everyone!! 

The Vasquez family is progressing and we are praying that they will feel the need to be baptized for the 30 of January. Pray for Ronald. His wife is ready and wants to be baptized but the dad is having a hard time. 

Love you all lots and lots.
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Gehring


Monday, January 4, 2016

Christ's Example

Dear Family,
Just quick, we are excited for the Vasquez Family (Ronald and Maria) that are progressing a ton and who will be baptized in January. PRay for them. They both are scared to leave their family traditions and join the Church. Pray that they can have peace that its okay what they are choosing and that it will eternally bless them.

We had an amazing lesson with this family when we talked about the importance of following Jesus Christ. We taught part of lesson 3 with lesson 1 and read in 3 Nefi 27:20 -21 when Christ invites us to do what He did. We simply have to follow Christ in all things. I went to the scriptures looking for examples, commandments, and invitations from Christ and I realized He has never asked us to do something that He hasnt already done. 

Baptism- Matt. 3

Overcome temptation- Matt. 4

Fast- Matt. 4

Pray always- 3 Nefi 13

Be peace makers- Matt. 5 (Isaias called Him the Prince of Peace)

Take the Sacrament- Matt. 26 

And one that applies more to me now that Im on a mission is the commandment to preach the Gospel in Matt. 27. I thought about it and I realized that Christ is a resurrected being at this point. THat means He had already gone to the Spirit Prison and taught the Gospel. He came back to his Apostoles and told them to go to all nations to preach the Gospel. He always shows us what to do and how to do it. He is our perfect example. 

I feel comforted and strengthened knowing that Christ has completed all things and that if He is with me, I too can complete all things that the Father asks of me. I wont be perfect but thats why Christ then suffered and made up the difference when I fall short. 

Love you all,
Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Gehring
Before and after of New years eve dinner and lunch. We ate so much. Also this is my Pensionistas house.