Monday, February 1, 2016

Baptism and Cambios

Dear family,
This week we had transfers. My new companion is Elder Lockling. He is from Chile!! Its my first companion from chile and he is the best. I also realized I have had companions from all over the place. Australia (in the MTC), California, Utah, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Cochabamba, La Paz, Spain, Argentina, Brasil, and now Chile!! I have been blessed during these two years to learn so much from such great companions. 
President told me last transfer that I would be training. I believed him and was anxiously waiting the transfers to see what time my meeting with the new missionaries would start. I saw Elder Lockling on the list and realized that he has been here in the mission for almost a year now. Im still a zone leader but Elder Lockling has never been a district leader nor zone leader. I realized that what president had told me 1 transfer ago was true!! The Lord just works in mysterious ways sometimes. All things aside, I couldnt have asked for a better companion. He is loving, humble, and teaches with the spirit. I have a lot to learn from him these next 6 weeks. 
He came from Villamontes (another area in the mission about 6 hours in bus). But there was a blockade from a few political protesters and he didnt get here in time so even though I wasnt ''training'' I still got to go to the trainers meeting so  I wasnt alone. President must have known I needed to learn a little more. He asked me to conduct the meeting which was a wonderful opportunity and I got to be companions for 3 hours with Elder Choque (new arrival from La Paz). Its amazing how the Lord thinks of each one of his children individually. I learned so much. 

I am doing well. My faith is growing as I have studied Preach My Gospel more this week than any other time in my mission. I have searched chapter 3 for doctrine over and over and over. And I am realizing the power that it has. Also, as a zone we started to choose activities from the back of each chapter to study during Personal Study, Companionship study, and then District meetings. We feel that as we have a foundation of PMG in each level of study (personal, companionship, and district) that our investigators will progress even more. The 3 serve as connected studies. I have often thought that the first 2 were connected and then once a week I go to District meetings but thats not right. They all 3 have to be connected in some way. And the key is chapter 3. The Doctrine in chapter 3 is the link between good personal, companionship, and district studies. Even in PMG it explains that the purpose of district meeting is D&C 88:77 and D&C 43:8. I love teaching the gospel. I think I might just study the Gospel for the rest of my life and be Seminary Teacher. I cant think of anyother way to be and stay happy. 
As far as the area goes, they took the 2 sisters out of the ward and Elder Lockling and I inherited their area. We are now the only 2 Elderes in the ward. We have some new families that are progressing and are excited to see them be baptized. Keep praying for the Callisaya family and Diego and Jaquelin. Also the Shiriki family. They all are coming to church and looking and searching their answers. Pray that they will find them. 
Quick: Baptism. Its the key to happiness. God knew that so he set the standard high so we could actually earn it and prove ourselves worthy. Read Moroni 6. To me it sounds like there were so many people begging to be baptized but they couldnt because they didnt have a broken heart yet. How wonderful would it be to have so many people begging to be baptized because they understand repentance and baptism but just need a little help breaking their heart and spirit. I wasnt to change the way I teach and focus in the doctrine of baptism and repentance. Then their hearts will break naturally. This week it was a new way I looked at baptism... I dont know if I am explaining myself well. Baptism is such a blessing. Baptism was intituted for us, not us for Baptism. Its not just to have more people in the church. Its salvation!!
Hurrah for Israel!
Love and more love,
Elder Gehring
Elder Lockling and I.
Elder PeƱaranda didnt want to wash a cup...

How to give directions in Bolivia... It works though. I found my way.

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