Monday, September 14, 2015

HELLO!!!!! September 14, 2015

How is my favorite family doing?? I hope all is well back home because things are going more than great in Ndola!!!
Sister Moyo and I!

Tuesday: We had Mission Leadership Council again but it was over skype so we drove to Luanshaya to be with the zone leaders. It was great but not as good as MLC in person. It was a lot harder to pay attention and we couldn’t quite hear everything that was said but I learned a lot! While President Erickson and other missionaries were sharing I had this overwhelming feeling come that all the responsibilities of being a missionary are just too much and I am sooo inadequate.  The other elders and sisters are so amazing and I was sitting there just thinking of all these things I need to improve on. But then Sister Erickson gave some closing remarks and a testimony…she got really emotional which doesn’t happen a lot and said how she understands how hard this work is but how incredible of an opportunity that we have to be a part of it.  She testified of Heavenly Father and the Savior's love and how they are right here with us in every step of the work.  I was once again amazed at how what she said was exactly what I needed to hear!  I left that meeting with a greater determination to focus on those we are teaching and serving rather than myself.  I am grateful I get to be a part of such meetings that encourage and uplift me as well as push me to be a better missionary!  We drove back to Ndola and we didn’t have enough time to run home so we ran inside Shoprite to buy lunch.  We bought this smoked beef and rice and Sister Motsi said it was the best lunch in her life!!  I was sooooooo excited to hear this cause Sister Motsi can be hard to please with food and I was really happy to hear her so happy. Tuesday we had fall through after fall through but so many amazing unplanned opportunities!  We taught this grandma named Chalesa who kept falling asleep during the lesson! Hahah it was so hilarious! If Sister Motsi or I started talking for more than even just one minute, her head would fall and then she’s wake up. She looked soooooo old and during the lesson she had a phone call and when she got off the phone she said, “Sorry that was my cousin and she is soooooooo old! She is 85!!! Can you believe it?”  haha I didn’t know what to say cause here I was thinking Chalesa was at least 90!  Turns out she is 71….she is very sweet though and even gave us juice and told us about 10 times, “Don’t worry, I boil my water so you don’t get sick!”
Wednesday: We had lunch with Sister Andria and Sister Mbele since it was Sister Mbele’s last day and Sister Mbele shared with us many of the struggles of mission and she is so inspiring! It made me excited for everything that I still have yet to experience on mission.  We had a very interesting lesson after lunch.  We went to see a man named Rabbi and he wasn’t home so we ended up teaching his two friends, one a pastor and the other a missionary for a different church.  As we started teaching this pastor I was terrified and knew that he was going to confuse us and say all these things to argue with us but I said a silent prayer and immediately I was reminded of the power and authority I have been given when I was set apart as a missionary.  All fear left me as taught, or tried to teach, this pastor.  We were trying to teach but he kept talking and talking and bringing up all these different doctrines so it was kinda crazy and I really don’t think they learned or listened to anything we said.  But it was a great opportunity for me to understand that I truly have been called by a prophet of God and so why should I fear what man can do? We saw our friend Florence (I am not sure if I have told you about her but she is this crazy lady who said she doesn’t want us to come to her house because she is not allowed to come visit us at our flat) walking down the road and so we tried to stop and talk to her and she just looked at us and said, “See? I look nice when I go out and I could be looking nice and coming to visit you but nope!” and then as she walked away she turned back around and pointing first to Sister Motsi and then to me, “I hate you and you.” Hahahah she is hilarious but it made me think of mom and how she taught us how strong that word is and that we shouldn’t use it. The words we say have so much influence on others and although Florence didn’t offended either of us and we just thought it was funny, I am grateful for a mother who taught me the importance of using good and uplifting language.
Thursday:  Sister Mbele left at 5 am which was really sad, especially for Sister Andria who has sooooooooo much love for her! We have been in a threesome since then which has been fun but being with 3 can be difficult! Especially teaching and having to balance everyone have a part and equal time to share. But it has been a great couple of days of learning. Sister Andria is such a powerful missionary who is so in tune with the Spirit. She has a great love for the people and truly sees their potential.  We had to drop an investigator, Duane, and that was really sad.  He has been taught for a really long time and just isn’t progressing. As we went to talk to him, I didn’t think it would be so hard to tell him that we wouldn’t be coming to teach him anymore. It was so hard because I realized how much he is missing out on! How many blessing and how much joy he could have if he would do the things that we have asked and follow the Savior. This experience made me realize how often I take my membership in the church and my testimony for granted. I pray that Duane will realize how the gospel can bless his life and that his heart will be softened. Agency is one of Heavenly Father’s greatest gifts to His children and it is funny how grateful I am for it but sometimes it drives me crazy when people don’t want to choose to accept the gospel. I have faith in Duane though and grateful that we could plant seeds of faith in him that may someday grow. We headed to the usual area of Pamodzi and went to see Lily who was a less active but has been coming to church every week! Lily ended up not being at home so we taught her grandmother Febe Mwambe. The lesson started out really really well and we introduced her to a My Family Book which is a book for people to fill out about their family history so they can prepare names for the temple. It all was going well until we started talking about the temple and she started to stress out about her ancestors getting baptized and she said, “Oh I remember what this is. You are going to send Priesthood here and he is going to take this book to Lusaka! I don’t want to fill it out anymore.” Hahah we really didn’t know exactly what she was saying but we tried to reassure her and eventually convinced her to just fill it out so that her grandchildren and great grandchildren would know about her and her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. She was really funny though and said she would come to church in a couple weeks so we will wait and see…
Friday: My 3 month anniversary!! Where is the time going? It feels like years ago that I was home but at the same time it feels like just yesterday. We drove to Luanshaya again for Zone Leadership Council which was good! Transfers are starting to happen so a couple of the district leaders weren’t there because they had already been moved to their new areas. Transfer news is so exciting! You return missionaries will know exactly what I am talking about! When I first got here I thought everyone was so dramatic and way to caught up in who was going where and with what companion but now it is so much fun! Sister Motsi and I like trying to guess where everyone is going and its crazy how fast news travels across Zambia and Malawi. But as I said a couple weeks ago, sister Motsi and I are staying together in Ndola East which I am so happy about!! Since we are in a threesome we have been trying to divide our time between our two areas so we taught this lady named Rose Bwalaya in sister Andria’s area and she reminded me so much of Grandma Bingham. Man I miss Grandma and Grandpa but I really do feel them strengthening me everyday and I know that they are being missionaries just like me! Friday was one of those days where we come home to close the day and I just think to myself “What did we do all day?” We had one lesson and one member visit the whole day yet we worked so diligently. Once again I was reminded that Heavenly Father doesn’t care about numbers. He cares about his children and that we do our very best. We had some amazing experiences none the less though! We stopped by one of Sister Motsi and I’s investigators named Sue and she had her hands full with a sick baby and a little girl. She said the water hadn’t been working for two days so we offered to go fetch water for her from a well near by. As we were walking with her she told me the power problem has never been this bad in Zambia before. They say if we don’t get rain before the end of October or November there will be a 2 week black out….can’t wait!!! Getting water from the well was sooooo cool! I loved it! I ended up getting really dirty and sweaty but it was so fun. We carried the buckets of water back and had to take a couple trips but it felt really good to work. I miss working like that so what a blessing plus I know how much it helped Sue and I am grateful that she would allow us to serve her. We actually have never been able to teach her but after serving her, I could tell her heart had been softened as she was much more willing to set an appointment with her. There were a bunch of kids on the street she lives on riding bikes so I asked a kid if I could try riding it and it was so fun!! The kids were all lined up on the side of the street and one kid would ride as fast as he possible could. When he would ride past the other kids they would all yell as loud as he could and then right after passing them he would hit the brakes and see how far he could skid on the side of his bike. I wish sooooo badly I had my camera with me so I could have taken a video for you. The kids were having so much fun and I loved seeing their smiles. Made me miss my siblings and nieces and nephews. We ended the day by going to the Kapatos, the district presidents house and had a lesson with his family. We read a talk about patience from the august liahona (you all should read it cause its really good) but my favorite part was “When it comes to serving the Lord, He cares just as much about the instrument as He does the task at hand.” “When you experience delayed answers to prayers, commit to patience by trusting in the Lord and His timing. It will bless your life.” “Patience is a willingness in a sense to watch the unfolding purpose of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance.” I loved this lesson and I felt so inspired as I looked at President Kapato in his wheelchair yet works so hard in helping the district and our branch. I am sure he has had to have much patience with his limitations yet he never lets it slow him down. I am so grateful for the people that I get to meet and build relationships with. They truly are amazing and have humbled me. The Kapatos wanted us to stay for dinner but we had to be home so we took it with us. They made us pasta with the vegetable called Rape and it was such a blessing. By the time we got home and finished planning and everything it was really late so the dinner tasted amazing! I am sure it was a sacrifice for them to feed us and I am so grateful they would share with us. It is incredible to see how little these people have yet how much they give to others. I hope that I may leave this mission with a greater desire to help those in need and give and serve with all that I have. I hope that this part of Zambia will always stay with me!
Saturday: We had an extremely powerful lesson with Benson. We had planned to reteach the Restoration but when we asked him why he wasn’t at church he told us that his boss needed him to work. It was incredible to watch the other sisters and myself be guided by the Spirit as we taught according to what he needed. We shared with him that as he puts his trust in Heavenly Father and relies on the enabling power of the Atonement, he would be able to talk to his boss. Benson kept saying it wouldn’t work and I could feel his doubt. We however ended by each bearing testimony of what we taught and with faith we left hoping that we would see him at church. And guess what?!?! He came to church!! I had faith that he would come but to be honest when we left, he was still very doubtful. I am so grateful that Benson acted and put his faith in Jesus Christ and was able to come to church. My testimony of the Savior was strengthened by his decision and also the direction of the Holy Ghost that helped us as we taught him. A senior couple came to the copperbelt YAY!!! And so we had to escort them from Ndola to Luanshaya where we met the Zone Leaders who took them to Kitwe where they will stay. They are from around Ventura, California and they remind me a little bit of Mom and Dad.  When I met them I got soooo excited for Mom and Dad to be missionaries some day! They seemed so excited to be here but a little nervous and I could tell it was hard for them to leave their family behind but we are grateful to have them! They are Member Leadership Support missionaries and we really need that here.  We finished the day by teaching the Sambe family. Unfortunately the parents were gone so we taught Shelia 18 and Ben 24. We invited them to be baptized on Oct 11th and Shelia said yes but says she is still unsure because it is difficult to get to church and Ben said yes but wants to think about it more. Shelia walked us to the car and shared some really personal information with us and wanted help from us. Although we couldn’t help her, it was amazing to see how much she trusts us. She told us that she really loves when we come over and we brighten her day. She is a single mother and I can’t even begin to imagine how much the gospel would bless her life! I know that has blessed mine and it continues to bring more and more blessings each day. Being a missionary has really opened my eyes to the goodness of God and how much he loves all of his children! We made nshima and beef and this vegetable called 5 year for dinner and it was delicious! I think it is pretty much kale but I’ll have to make it when we get home! I love having African companions!!!
Sunday: We had some new investigators come to church which was awesome and Brother Nonde came again! And Peter Mwiinga came which was awesome because we have been trying and trying to get him to come to church. Unfortunately Brother Mwiinga and Sister Mwiinga didn’t come but we are going to their house for family home evening tonight. Hopefully we can see them a lot this week and help them get on date. We saw Olivia Namanwe and her parents who I love sooooo much! Olivia is hopefully getting baptized next week and she is so excited! She really has such a great faith and understanding of the gospel. Everything flows so smoothly when we teach. I know that Heavenly Father prepares people just for us and is softening their hearts to receive our message. I am so grateful Sister Motsi and I get to teach these people and I am also grateful for the children that don’t receive our message quite as easily. Everyday is a challenge and it never is easy but we have a incredible source of strength and that is the Atonement. This week I have felt so humbled as I have had to rely on the Atonement more than ever. Sunday night I was really really struggling and it was one of the more difficult nights I have had on mission. I was overwhelmed by so many different things and now I am laughing at this but I ended up going to the bathroom just to get away. I couldn’t help the tears from falling down my face and then I was reminded of my family and how much they love me and all the prayers that are said in my behalf. I truly am so grateful for each of you and you really do help me more than you can imagine. Thank you for being so supportive!! I love you all! I know that this gospel is true. I know that the Savior lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and has an answer for every single one of our concerns and worries. I am so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ each day and I am so grateful for the things I am learning and the attributes I am developing. I have a firm testimony that Heavenly Father cares so much more about who we are and who we are becoming then who we ever were. This life is such a blessing and I am so grateful to share it with you!!!!!
 So much love,

Sister Bingham!!!!
I tried getting a picture of a crazy street in Kitwe but its not very good. It was literally insane though and I don't know how we made it out alive!

Brother Nonde.  Looks like dad! hahah he is really really funny and I want dad to meet him someday! 

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