Monday, August 17, 2015


Every week is an adventure on mission but this week was extra unique. MLC was amazing!!! I wish you could have been there and learned and felt everything that I did. Both days we were taught, we counseled, we testified, etc from 9 to 6. I thought I would get bored or get sick of sitting in the same room all day long but I didn’t want it to end!! Tuesday we got to meet all the leaders from around the mission which was really fun to get to meet the missionaries from Malawi. I know I have said this before but there are some amazing missionaries in this mission! President Erickson opened the council and it was so inspiring. He talked a lot about the culture of our mission and asked what we thought it was. Some of the responses were…obedience, hard work, self-reliance, kindness and love, joy in the work, beginning with the end in mind. While all these are true, President said he wants the culture of our mission to be spiritual development. President Erickson is very concerned with who we are becoming and what we are learning. He wants to establish the gospel in Zambia and Malawi but he knows how important it is for the missionaries to be changing and becoming builders of the kingdom for the rest of their lives. There is this quote, I think its from Elder Ballard that says, “it isn’t about how many baptisms you have at the end of 18 months or 2 years but where you are in 20 years.” President Erickson talked a lot about how mission is preparation for the most important time in your life. I am so so so grateful to be a missionary and what an incredible opportunity I have! He also said, “There are only a few times where you will be tried to your very core…mission is one of those opportunities.” It is true. Mission is hard and has tried me in so many different ways but I am learning so much and I know Heavenly Father is preparing me for the future and the challenges that will come then. Anyways the opening remarks were just awesome and made me even more excited for the rest of the conference. We had a council about the mission schedule and I am sooooooooooooo pumped because we get to stay out later now!!! We get to stay out until 7 unless we had an appointment with a progressing investigator than we can come home at 8. To be honest, I have always felt that I was cheating missionary work because we had to be home so early but now we get more time to work!! And now we will do companionship study in the morning which will be better because we will be more focused and united for the day. We debated about this schedule a lot but President Erickson feels good about it and this country really is safe. When we went back to Ndola and had a conference with all the district leaders in our zone, a couple of the Elders were really worried about this change. It was so sweet when Elder Etiang(from Uganda and he has blue eyes!!) said, “I fully support this decision and I am so excited to work later but I am worried for my sisters.” This schedule change will be difficult for some but it is a great opportunity for our mission to exercise our faith in Heavenly Father. His work is truly hastening here and what an amazing blessing that I get to be a part of this! That night we got to go to this super fancy Chinese restaurant…I guess it is tradition for MLC but it was sooooo good!!! I honestly ate so much because who knows when I will get food like that again. We stayed at the Lusaka STL’s flat and I felt a little out of place because all the sisters were having so much fun because they all have served around each other but have been separated. They are really nice though and included me and it just made me so excited to meet and serve with even more sisters as I grow older on mission.
The next day was just as amazing as a conference! We had some amazing training on exchanges which was good because I have been really nervous about doing exchanges. We are going to go on exchanges in Kitwe this week and I have to go with a sister who was transferred here for her last 6 weeks from Botswana. Exchanges are done with the purpose of the STL training the other missionary but I am most looking forward to learning from this sister who probably knows so much! It should be exciting but I am still really nervous. I’ll tell you how it goes! Sister Erickson taught about keeping all of our covenants and spoke a lot about the temple. I didn’t realize how much I miss the temple! I hope you all have been able to go because I really really wish I could go. She talked about how when we partake of the sacrament we not only renew our baptismal  covenants but we can renew all our covenants. This Sunday, the sacrament was so much better and different because I pondered on this. I am so grateful for the sacrament. The rest of MLC was great and it was sad to leave!!! Hopefully we get to go again in November because I left feeling so inspired and uplifted and excited to be a missionary. BUT….it also made me miss Ndola soooooooo bad and want to get to work!! It made me realize how much I love being a missionary, missionary. Not so much a leader but I am so grateful for our leaders and the office elders…how everything runs so smoothly is such a testimony to me that this is the Lord’s work. Also, President and Sister Erickson do so much for us. They are amazing! Anyways, nonetheless, I couldn’t wait to get back to the Belt!
Sister Erickson came Thursday morning to do a test drive with me and it went great! I didn’t even stall once!!! I kept putting the windshield wipers on though instead of the blinkers and I accidently drove on the right side of the road a couple times but all went well. Then we discovered the insurance and registration were expired so we couldn’t go home Thursday. We stayed at the mission all day which was hard but I got to write letters to our family so be looking for them!!
Friday we woke up and were on the road to Lusaka at 6 am! I drove all 5 hours back to Ndola and we were safe and everything was fine. I am so grateful for Dad and Mom who have taught me to be so safe and careful so that I was able to be comfortable yet cautious while driving. I hope that someday you get to make that drive because its pretty exciting. A lot of police stops and big trucks on a two lane highway with potholes….Africa driving is fun! As soon as we got to Ndola we had to go to Luanshya for a Zone Leadership Council and I pulled into this parking lot to turn around and as we were pulling out this guy came up to the window and told me I had to pay for parking. I argued with him for a couple minutes trying to explain to him that I didn’t park, I just turned around but he would not listen. Haha it ended up being 1 kwacha but it was funny! Then Elder Mukisa said, “So…don’t you have to report that parking fine to the mission office? Are you going to get your driving priveleges taken away?” Hahaha he is hilarious! The Zone leaders were late so we parked the car and Sister Motsi and I left the elders to go and buy an orange. Well the elders call us and say, “you better hurry back here because they are cutting down a huge tree and its going to fall on your car.” Sister Motsi and I ran back but not in time….this HUGE tree came crashing down!!! It was so loud!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily though our car was totally safe and out of the way but it did give me a small heartattack! First day with the car and it gets smashed by a tree…haha.
Saturday we had a lesson with Brother Mwiinga and it went soooo well!! We asked him if he got an answer about the Priesthood being restored and he said yes and that he wants to get baptized and then I asked him how he feels about the answer. His response made my day! He said, “I know I am on the right path.” Heavenly Father doesn’t care about where we were or who we were but He truly cares about where we are going and who we are becoming. Brother Mwiinga has a long ways to go and a lot to learn and do but he has a desire and as he exercises even a particle of his faith, Heavenly Father will help him and his life will begin to change for the better. It’s hard to be a missionary sometimes cause we know how amazing the gospel is and how much is has blessed us and we just want people to realize that! We can’t force them though and they must make their own decisions but as we continue to teach by the Spirit and do our part, then we are promised that we will stand blameless before God at the last day. Highlights from the day: “Joseph Smith went into the bush to pray.” LOL only in Africa. “Joseph Smith built a church in water”….uh what??? These were quotes from Selina Mwiinga who is 14 and comes to church every week. She is super smart and has such a strong testimony so the last comment was weird but made us laugh! This man came up to me and said, “I have seen Elders but I have never met beautiful sisters!” Grace Chisimba is 18 years old and is a member of our branch and says she wants to go on a mission!!! So happy for her!!
Sunday, my favorite day always! Big news…we got a new branch president! His name is Webster Cholonga and he is going to do amazing but when he bore his testimony I could tell he is really scared and nervous about the calling. He said this though and I loved it so much, “I am not the best but I will offer my best.” What great advice is this for all of us. We are not perfect but as long as we do our best and rely on the Savior, we will accomplish what is asked of us. We had a lot of funny things happen with our past branch president, President Jackson, but as he got up to bear his testimony I felt soooo much love and gratitude for him. He is such a sweet man with a pure heart. He will be missed as branch president but now he is a high councilor for the district. We visited some members that afternoon and guess what??? We visited Sister Martha, she is about 30 and has a 4 month old and her husband works somewhere else and she has been a member for 15 years and she lives FOREVER away! We drove a long way down this road that I love because its away from the town and has all these trees but anyways as we were talking to her I found out she know Peter Kunda the man I talked to from Zambia before I came here. How crazy is that?!?! It really is a small world! Sister Motsi and I had an interesting training last night and debated a lot of gospel topics. I found out afterwards that she was asking me all these weird questions to try to get me mad and think hard but we ended up learning a lot and laughing about it. Sometimes I forget that she has only been a member for 4 years because she knows so much! Anyways I am grateful for her and how she pushes me! We got this text from a random man we met on the street that said, “ U HVE DISPPOINTED ME U LISTEN 2 YO FRNDS WHEN ITS TRU LUV” hahahah this mission is hilarious!
I love you all so much!! I hope all is well at home!!!! Keep being the people and examples you are. You are making a much bigger difference than you can even imagine!!!
Sister Bingham

MLC pictures

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