Monday, August 31, 2015

Things are starting to heat up in Ndola (Literally!) August 31, 2015

The nonde girls!

This may have been the best week of mission! Can you believe I have been in Zambia for 10 weeks now?? Where is the time going? Two weeks left and I am done training and I am finally a real missionary! But really I wish that I could tell you every single thing that happened this week because it was amazing. I LOVE being a missionary. I LOVE Ndola. I LOVE these people. I LOVE this gospel and most importantly I LOVE my family!!
Monday: Last preparation day I felt so much love from each one of you that emailed me and I want to thank you for your constant love and support. I am convinced that we have the best family ever and this whole week I have been focusing on sharing that families can be together forever. Every time that I bear my testimony about the plan of salvation I am overwhelmed by love for my family! The plan of happiness is truly amazing and I am grateful for the perspective that it gives me in this confusing and dark world. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that I am a daughter of God and that if I follow the gospel of Jesus Christ and apply his Atonement in my life, I can return to live with Him again. I also am grateful for the temple and those covenants that I made there that make it possible for me to receive exaltation. How blessed are we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! How great is the responsibility we have to share this plan with those hear on earth but also to do temple work for those that have passed on!

Sister selfie

Tuesday: Happy late anniversary Mom and Dad!! I am so grateful that you were sealed in the temple. You have set an amazing example for me and all of us kids. I hope someday I can be half the parents you are. We finally got to teach Sister and Brother Mwiinga together in a lesson! The tender mercies of the Lord were never ending this week! Sister Motsi totally fell asleep in a lesson though and it was so funny!!! I have no idea how she did it but we were reading the scriptures and all the sudden she just stopped mid verse…hahah we were laughing so hard after the lesson. I am grateful for the small experiences that make us smile and laugh and keep us positive when discouragement happens.

rollin' in our corolla!

Wednesday: We went with Elder Mukisa and Elder Madilu to a family that they had been teaching. The parents were baptized last week but they have a daughter named Olivia who is 17 who they didn’t teach because she was always busy. The Namanwe family lives in our area but they are friends with someone in Masala which is the Elders area so the Elders were teaching them and the Namanwe’s have been going to the Masala branch. So we went with them to meet Olivia and I LOVE this family!!! You would all love them so much! They are probably the happiest people I have met on mission and I they welcomed us with so much love from the moment they met us. Sister Namanwe was telling us about her baptism and how she thought she was going to drown because she wouldn’t come back up and she was acting it all out and was laughing so hard! I wish I had a video of it because it was hilarious!!! What made me the most happy though was to hear them say how blessed they are to now have the gospel in their lives. I am sure they were an incredible family before but the light of Christ glows from them and I was once again reminded how much the gospel blesses families. They have 7 children total but they are all older and live in different places. Olivia is a really fun and cute girl and has a great desire to learn about the gospel. She has been to church a lot and knows a lot about the gospel and we invited her to be baptized by the end of September. I am excited to get to teach her and help her realize how incredible the gospel is. As we talked with her it made me reflect WAY back to my high school days and I realized how blessed I was to have the scriptures, prayer, church, the temple, my family, the prophet and everything else we have in the gospel to help me overcome the temptations and trials that are present in every teenagers life. I was far from perfect but I don’t even want to think what I would have been like without the gospel. I am filled with so much joy to think that Sister Motsi and I get to be the Lord’s instruments in bring the gospel to Olivia in this specific time in her life. Remember how I said the hand of the Lord was seen soooo many times this week?? Well Sister Motsi and I were trying to find this family that the previous sisters used to teach and we knocked on this random gate. This lady came and we started introducing ourselves only to quickly learn that she was deaf. Without thinking that maybe sign language is different in Zambia, I started signing to this woman and SHE UNDERSTOOD! She invited us into her home and as we walked to the door, I said a silent prayer that I would remember what I learned and that we could communicate with this daughter of God. Now I didn’t all the sudden remember everything and it was actually a struggle to communicate with Hosea but I felt that enabling power of the Atonement strengthening me and helping me understand and talk with her. I wish I could express how incredible this experience was but through broken sign language, we were able to bear our testimonies of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This truly is the Lord’s work, He has prepared children for us to teach and if we are worthy to have the Spirit with us, He will guide us to them and help us teach and love them. Being a missionary is the greatest blessing ever! We stopped by Sister Mwiinga’s house and we didn’t get to teach her but we have been able to build a great relationship with her. No effort is ever wasted as I have seen how as we have loved and served Sister Mwiinga, her heart has been softened. Sister Mwiinga loves to laugh at me! She loves how I mess up pronouncing everything and how I am bad at washing and can’t cook their food but I love it! She is one of my favorites. I know I have said this so many times but the sistets in this mission are such great examples to me and I have learned so much from them. Sister Andriamamonjisoa made dinner for us even though she was fasting. I can’t remember if I told you about Sister Andria so sorry if I already said this but Sister Andria grew up in a large family and her father died from a heart attack about ten years ago. She and her mother and a couple of her sisters are members. She never has had running water or electricity. She has never cooked on a stove or with an oven. She has never had a toilet at home or shower or bath. She amazes me each and every day!!

Thursday: We spent the day in Pamodzi and Chifubu and we ate at the night club again…we tried to find another place but it was the only one that we felt was clean and we were comfortable eating at. It still cracks me up that we eat there but when in Africa….just kidding, the food was great! It is the same thing at every single place. Chicken, sausage, nshima, French fries, meat pies, and that’s about it. But its good and I am grateful for it! We went and saw Mercy from the branch. She owns what they call “tack shops.” I sent pics of it but these shops are EVERYWHERE!!! They sell everything too…milk, soap, vegetables, snacks, candy, toothbrushes, toilet paper, oil, sugar, and random stuff. So I tell Sister Motsi all the time that if I lived here I would open one and I always want to go inside them. Well I finally got to go inside and it was so cool!!! I even got to sell a boy some Jiggies which are pretty much the same thing as stale cheetohs. In Africa they don’t have normal flavored or plain flavored food. The flavors are like bbq chicken or red bbq beef, cheese and onion, chutney, haha they taste good though! We had a lesson with her in the little shack though and it was really great. We gave her the “preparing to enter the Lord’s house” book because she is 23 and the next step for her is either a mission or marriage. As I testified of the temple and the blessings that come from receiving those ordinaces, the Spirit was so strong. I am so grateful that I was able to live so close to a temple to go so many times. I am far from a temple but as I taught and bore my testimony, I felt like I was in the temple. Even if we aren’t close to the temple, if we keep and honor our covenants, we can feel its power and spirit. I can’t wait to go back to His holy house but until then I will enjoy the blessing of knowing I have made covenants with Heavenly Father and He has promised me blessings. I also can’t wait for the day for Mercy to be able to go to the temple and everyone else that we have taught or come to know in the Ndola branch. It is a huge sacrifice for them to go to the temple and so whenever I meet someone who has gone, I have been so humbled. The people here are so inspiring! We taught this girl named Ruth who is 14 and is a member but her cousin Chansa is not. We started teaching them and then this other girl joined us, and another one and then two boys, and then two more. It was funny to just have these kids come in but I was reminded of Christ teaching and blessing the children. I was reminded that I truly am a representative of the Savior and that I am here to invite all to come unto Him. How great is this calling that I get to wear his name on my shirt  and stand as a special witness of Him for 24 hours a day for 18 months!! We taught these children with the plan of salvation pictures that Mom sent me with and Mom…those have been the best!!! I think we used them 5 times this week!! Sister Motsi wanted me to specifically thank you for them. The kids love them too! We play a fun game where we mix all the pictures up and then see how fast the kids can put it in order. They laugh so hard! I wish you could see them! Sister Mosti taught me how to make nshima the fast way and I think I am finally able to make if for you when I come home!

doing service with sister Nyachwo

Friday: We went on exchanges again and I took Sister Motsi to Luanshya to be with Sister Natsala (from Uganda)  and I brought Sister Nyachwo (born in Kenya but lives in Uganda) to Ndola. She Nyachwo used to serve in Ndola so it was fun to see her revisit old families, especially the Mwiinga’s. They were sooooo excited and couldn’t stop hugging her. I think it was good for her to realize how much she is loved and how much of an impact she made in Ndola and the people here. We went and served Brother Nzima (he is about 26 and teaches with us a lot. He is also the first counselor in the branch presidency). We washed his work suit for him and then his sisters car. It felt really good to serve and work. I am grateful for parents who taught us how to serve and work hard! I am grateful for the joy I have been able to feel as I have served the people here spiritually but also physically. The exchanges went a lot better than last time and I learned a lot from Sister Nyachwo! It was a good day!

Saturday: We taught the Mwiinga children and their neighbor Justin who we have been teaching. They have a hard time paying attention in lessons so Sister Motsi and I had to be a little creative to make the lesson a little more entertaining. We brought the gospel art book and then divided the 4 kids into companionships. Peter (12) was with Selina (14) and Natasha (11) was with Justin (14). We told them that today we would be switching places. They would be the missionaries and we would be the investigators. We picked pictures for each part of the gospel of Jesus Christ and then they had to teach us. They LOVED it!! And they did such a good job teaching us! It was good because Sister Motsi and I realized how much they understood. I feel like by them teaching us, they really learned what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. They loved it so much that they said we wanted to do it again so today I promised to make them name tags so they can wear them next time. I used to think teaching children was difficult but now I love it and I love the challenge of coming up with something creative. It also made me excited to be a mother someday! We drove to the Nonde’s (the less active family that lives in Dola Hill…pretty far from town) and we brought a chocolate cake for Patience their oldest daughter. She was sick awhile ago and apparently we had promised her a chocolate cake? I remember telling her we would bring her  a banana but I made a chocolate cake and it was so good…not to brag. They have a bunch of kids…Nathan (he baptized Raphael and works with us a lot and is probably about 25), Bwalaya (23), a couple other boys and then Patience, Precious, Charity, Lydia, Mutale, Peculiar, and Liahona. 

Peculiar, the one of the left, laughs everytime I look at her! she is adorable!

They don’t know English really well so we used the Plan of Salvation pictures and it was great! As we were driving back to town we found Brother Nonde, the father, and HE LOOKS JUST LIKE DAD!!! I will send a picture of him next week but it is crazy how much he looks like dad. And he is goofy just like Dad. He is always saying the funniest things and he was wearing this bucket hat….It made me miss Dad! We chatted with him and asked if we could come to FHE on Monday and asked him to prepare a lesson. As we were pulling away, I stuck my head out the window and said, “Hey maybe you could come to church on Sunday?” He responded by “No problem!” Sister Motsi and I looked at each other and smiled because this is the classic response from Zambians. They love to say no problem and then they don’t do what we asked. Oh well…we taught Sister Mwiinga’s neighbor and they stay close to town in this area called Kanini and we haven’t spent much time in Kanini so we thought we would drive home a different way so we could plan a day to go contacting there. Well we started going down this what looked like a good road but it was awful!! Haha and all these people kept telling me to keep going while others were asking what we were doing and it was dark and man, I love the adventures that we have every day!!!

Mercy's shop!

Sunday: BEST DAY EVER!!! We went to go pick up Selina to walk to church with her and any other Mwiinga’s that we had invited. As we got close to their house we saw Natasha and my heart dropped. She was just in normal clothes so I figured she would tell us once again that she wasn’t coming. BUT she ran up to us and said, “We are all coming to church! Me, Selina, Mom and Dad!!!” I had the biggest smile on my face!! We have been teaching the Mwiinga’s since the first day I came to Ndola and they were finally coming to church!!!!! It was amazing. We were sitting in the church, waiting for it to start, and my heart was already filled with joy and then guess what…in walked Brother Nonde!!!!! I haven’t ever seen such a big smile on sister Motsi as I did at that moment! They asked me to conduct the music for the meeting which is fine except for the fact that in Africa when you lead the music you have to sing the first line of the song to set the key. So yes, I was expected to stand up their and sing a solo pretty much! I know the branch is small but I was so nervous…hahaha and when I went to sing the first couple notes were good but then it went bad! Hahah how embarrassing but all is well. We sang “Joseph Smith’s first  prayer” and I was looking at so many people that we were teaching and that I loved and then we sang the words, “But undaunted, still he trusted in his Heavenly Father’s care”. I know that if we work hard and be obedient and seek the Spirit, that Heavenly Father will bless us. If we trust in Him, he will bring blessings in his own time and in his own way. It was so incredible to have the Mwiinga’s and Brother Nonde at church and Sister Martha! I have been reading in Alma about the Sons of Mosiah and Ammon and Alma and they find so much joy in missionary work. I feel like every other verse it says joy…well I felt that joy on Sunday and I decided that I am not going to come home but I’ll just be a missionary forever J We had some really great other lessons with the Sambe family (the lady we randomly found that was taught by the elders a long time ago) and with the Namanwe family. Brother Sambe was reading the Restoration pamphlet for us and it talks about John Calvin and Martin Luther and while he was reading he accidentally said, “Martin Luther King Jr.” and it was so funny! We also taught the sisters of this man named Shadreck who we met one day after he followed us so he is a little bit on the creepy side but his sisters were really nice! They were asking a million questions though and my favorite one was, “So we can be sealed to our friends??” She also was asking all the questions…one after another without giving us a chance to answer them and then just said, “I guess no one knows any of these answers and we never will.” Sister Motsi and I laughed about this afterwards but I looked at her and said, “Actually we have all the answers.” It was funny but it just hit me how much we know and how Heavenly Father has a plan for everything. I am so grateful that a mission is part of His plan for me.

This week truly was amazing and I love this work! I love you all more!!!!!!!!

Sister Bingham

some super cute kids outside of the Chalwe's house

this is where we buy our fruit every single week...sorry its kinda far away

a classic soccer field...I want to play so bad!!!!

Cooking with Sister Ganesh

A random house in Pamodzi

Gift...yimali's brother. Yimali was baptized in May. Gift made all these bricks from mud by himself!

us with yimali!

Sunday morning tradition of making breakfast! i found the recipe in a book...its called dutch baby!

this super creepy hallway to an investigators apartment!

we left a note on an investigators door to come to church. He tried to avoid can't hide from us

making nshima!

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