Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Family!!! How is everyone doing?! Happy Late Birthday Lissy!!! This week was so amazing as always but it was extra special since we got to watch General Conference. Everyone has told me that watching General Conference as a missionary is the best and now I definitely know what they were talking about. And even if Jacob had been here…he wouldn’t have even had a chance to tie me to the couch because I was holding onto every word that was said! And transfer news came…..I am staying in Ndola with Sister Motsi!!!!! I am really happy because I love it here and the thought of leaving here and the people I have met brings tears to my eyes. I never would have guessed that I would be in the same area for 6 months or with the same companion but I know this is Heavenly Father’s plan for me and that He needs me here and He knows there are still things I need to learn from Sister Motsi. This morning we hiked Ndola hill and it was the best Monday ever!!! I didn’t realize how much I miss hiking and especially those Idaho mountains!!! But it was so peaceful up there…despite all the people praying, chanting, and clapping, but I loved looking over Ndola and feel soooooo blessed to be a missionary in Zambia. Life is good.

WE FINALLY HIKED NDOLA HILL!!!! I was in paradise

Monday: After emailing we went to buy some things for the other sisters from the salulula (second hand clothes) and I saw these HUGE spoons that they cook nshima with. I’ll send a pic but they were so big that I asked the lady if I could take a picture with them.

 I put my camera case in my bag and I guess I didn’t close the zipper all the way and in the short time of taking a picture it was stolen out of my bag!!! I thought I just dropped it but nope...but that’s not the end of it. I was trying to be careful about my bag and I had it right on my hip and then I felt someone tugging on it and then all the people selling on the streets starting yelling and I turned and the guy trying to steal from me was running away. Luckily he didn’t grab anything because that pocket was empty but it was crazy! I have never been worried about this before so I guess I just need to be a little more careful. It was really cool though how upset the people on the streets got though. They all ran up to me to make sure everything was ok and even started going after the guy. I love the people of Zambia!!! We visited Sister Lunia (a less active) who we visited a week after her baby was born about 3 months ago and I cannot believe how big the baby is now! It made me realize that I really have been here quite awhile but wow that was weird. I can’t wait until I get home and see how big all the nieces and nephews are getting. Don’t grow up too fast!!!

Tuesday: Zone Meeting was once again so great!! I just love being with all the missionaries in our zone. And the best part….I GOT A LETTER FROM HOME! I wanted to open it up right then but somehow I made it the whole day. Thank you soooooo much Mom for the note and all the quotes. I can’t wait to start giving them away. It made me laugh though how some of the quotes you had sent me, I sent to Brooklyn and Jacob! Like mother like daughter J Zone meetings are always filled with such a special spirit and I always look forward to them because I learn a lot of things that I can improve on. Sister Motsi and I presented on Faith+Exact Obedience= Miracles. As much as sometimes I would rather just enjoy the zone meeting and not have to present, I am so grateful for how presenting really allows me to examine how I am applying the principle in my own life and I think every time I am more influenced and changed than the missionaries of our zone. Every topic we present on is exactly what I need to work on for that month. As I stood in front of the Elders and Sisters this past week, I realized how much we need faith. It really is the first principle of the gospel and missionary work. When we remember who we are, sons and daughters of God, that we have been called by a prophet of God, and that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, nothing becomes impossible. No challenge is too hard. No calling is too overbearing. No responsibility is too heavy. Miracles truly occur all around us as we have faith and apply that faith through our obedience. One thing that makes me so grateful to be a missionary is that every day, without fail, I witness some kind of miracle. They often are very small but they have changed my life and have given me a new perspective. I know that even non-missionaries can experience miracles as they are faithful and obedient to the Lord’s commandments. Thank you for all your examples of faith and obedience!!! We headed to the Simanwe’s after zone meeting for lunch. They have been wanting to feed us for such a long time. We were going to help them prepare it but zone meeting went long and so when we got there they had everything ready and there was SO MUCH FOOD!!! We had nshima (of course), rice, chicken, fish, potato salad, egg plants, lumanda ( some kind of ground leaves with ground nuts and other vegetables) and cooked cabbage. The lumanda is some special dish that they have on special occasions. I was so humbled by how much preparation they did for us and how much of their food they sacrificed for us because they have little. I just loved, loved, loved being with that family! Since the first day I met them, they have always made me so happy. During lunch we were laughing and having such a good time. For a quick second I thought I was back home eating together but seriously I wish soooooooooo badly that you all could come here and be with this family!!
lunch with the simanwes
 When I took this picture I thought of mom taking a picture of her thanksgiving plate!

 After we ate we were kinda in a hurry to leave but we decided to share a quick scripture with the fam. I was impressed to share Mosiah 2:41…our family scripture and they really loved it! They all marked it and wrote it down but I hope you all will take just a minute to read this scripture this week (ponderize it maybe J). Oh how true this scripture is. I know with all my heart that we find happiness in this life when we keep the commandments. We will have everything we need if we are faithful to the end and are promised NEVER-ENDING HAPPINESS. I can’t think of anything better but honestly, I feel that way as a missionary! Thank you mom and dad for choosing that scripture for our family so I could share that with another family. Your influence is felt every day here in Ndola! We went to go pick up a member to teach with us and she sent us on quite the adventure to find where she works but finally found her we did! We went and taught Brother Barton Zulu and he played us a couple songs on his guitar…one just randomly mid lesson…but he has a great talent and can sing very well. Like I said last week about him “testing us” he kinda likes to play games. This time he sang a song about slowing down and then at the lesson he told us how we need to teach very simply and little information at a time. “I don’t know if you caught on but that was the theme of my opening song and I hope you noticed my hidden message” haha he makes me happy but its funny because I have never taught the first lesson so slowly but I guess we need to go even slower. He is doing great though! We taught him about the priesthood and he understood well but then when Sister Motsi invited him to prepare to receive the priesthood he freaked out and said he doesn’t want it. He has already done enough for God and is a good person. His comments made me realize that we do have great responsibilities in this church, so many things to do that seem hard but as I strived to reassure him I was reminded once again of the enabling power of the Atonement. We are not alone. There is nothing too hard when we have the Savior by our side and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had that have taught me this. I hope that you get to meet Brother Barton someday, if not in the next life. He is quite the character and always full of surprises! He loves to call me Sister B. I love all the different people here in Ndola!

Wednesday: I went on exchanges with Sister Andriaamamonjisoa (one of the sisters in my flat) and it went really well. She is an incredible missionary like I have said before but each and everyday she just gets better and better. She is a great example to me of consecrating herself to the work of the Lord. She loves her investigators and really does care about the eternal salvation. I got to go with her into her area so that was fun to serve somewhere new since Sister Motsi always goes into the other area because I drive. We had a wonderful day! Almost every single lesson fell through…this always seems to happen on exchanges but it didn’t phase either of us! I was worried that it would stress out Sister Andria but she was great. We went to teach a young family in the morning but the husband had to go to work. He said we could come back for a lesson so we helped the wife was some dishes and then we sat in their tiny one room house and taught her how to sing “Because I have been Given Much” I can’t even describe what I felt as we sang that hymn with her. I really have been given so much. I love how quickly the spirit came as we started singing. I really love the hymns of this church and how they can teach us just as well as a lesson. We didn’t get to share a lesson with her but I hope that she could feel the same way that I did. After that was when everything that we had planned went wrong. Usually this makes me flustered but today I felt so at peace and calm. I think it was because of what mom sent me about continuing to being positive when things go wrong. I really do appreciate all that you send! Your words and prayers lift me everyday! But at the end of the day we had a miracle! We had stopped by this family’s house twice before and then we were walking back to the car and just happened to run into the mom! She said we could come so we were able to have a lesson with the family. The other sisters have been trying to meet with the dad for weeks but haven’t been able to but we found him home! We had a short but sweet lesson about eternal families and the temple. Sister Andria was SOOOOOO HAPPY after that lesson. She just hugged me as we walked back to the car and couldn’t stop smiling the whole night! I love so much that I get to spend a couple days with the other sisters in the zone and to be with them through disappointments and moments of joy! They are all great examples to me and I always learn so much from each exchange.

Thursday: We spent the entire day in Kitwe getting our car serviced and it was insane trying to find the Toyota shop but after about an hour of driving around Kitwe we found it! The Hulls ended up picking us up so we got to spend the day getting to know them as we ran errands. They are really awesome!! They took us to lunch and bought me a steak!!! It was so amazing….when I first got here I remember saying…you know if I ever eat a steak on my mission I will be so happy!! Well they made my dream come true!  So that was kind of a bummer day as far as missionary work but I am grateful that we have a working car!

Friday: Happy Birthday Melissa!! This day was incredible! We had a packed full day of lessons! We saw Claytis and he is moving quite along and we committed him to baptism for November 15th. I am a little worried that he isn’t totally sure about everything and is just going with the flow but this next week should be good. We saw Sister Mwiinga and I mentioned to her how we have been teaching her for 4 months and the other sisters have taught her since January and then she said, “One day I will get there. Don’t lose hope on me.” This brought tears to my eyes as I realized she has many struggles in her life but she knows its true and our efforts are not wasted. Last week I thought that we should drop her since she isn’t progressing but that day I was reminded that she is a daughter of God and he has a plan for her. He knows better so we will keep doing our best and trust in His timing. We taught Barton Zulu with Sister Enear again and I have a stronger testimony now that the gospel is for EVERYONE. Sister Enear (a convert of a year and a half) gave such a sweet and powerful testimony. Yes it was simple and she has a lot to learn herself but she knows its true and is doing what she can. She really is amazing and such a hard worker! I admire the joy she finds in the gospel. I just loved this day and will save you all the boring details but why I loved it so much is because we worked hard! We taught a lot which was a blessing but I have come to really know that as we lose our self in the service of heavenly father we find ourselves. I love being a missionary and the joy I feel!

Saturday: Conference was incredible!!!!! We got to watch both sessions at our meeting house and it was the best! We had two investigators come for the morning session and I just loved sitting there with the 15 of us, listening to the apostles and other leaders of our church! It was really encouraging to see the conference center and all the people. Sometimes I forget how big this church is and I get discouraged by the slow progress here and the small branch but that day I was so happy to remember how true our church is and how huge it is! I got a little homesick watching though and then seeing President Eyring…hahah it was like I was with Dad! I wish I had more time to tell you all I learned from conference and how I had so many answers to prayers but i just loved it! In between sessions we found out that Sister Motsi and I were staying together for this next transfer in Ndola! I am not sure really what I was expecting but it kinda took me by surprise. Sister Motsi is a champ though for staying in this area for what will be 10 months and especially for putting up with me. I am grateful that I get to be here because there are so many people that we still need to help here! I will write more about this in a letter to mom that maybe she can share with all of you but nonetheless conference was the best!!!

Sunday: Conference again and it was incredible! We had a lot more members there so that was awesome. Selina came again carrying her brother! I could hardly hold back the tears as I watched her walk in with a big smile on her face and sweat dripping down her face. She has so much faith and I will never forget the example she is to me. She hasn’t missed a Sunday since I have been here and we got permission from our district leader to extend a baptism date to her this week. I can’t wait!!! 

Selina hero! She carried Lushomo, her little brother all the way to conference both Saturday and Sunday. She is amazing!!!!

Boas, Barton Zulu’s neighbor came as well. When he came I had no idea who he was and once he told me I remembered. We saw him the other day and invited him to come and I can’t believe he did! All our other investigators didn’t come yet he did. I hope that he could feel the special spirit that was there! This was a testimony to me that we should never miss an opportunity to invite others unto Christ. It may seem useless or they won’t accept what we have to offer but we never know what will happen. I am sad we have to wait another 6 months until we get to hear from the prophet and apostles but until then I am excited to apply what I learned and felt! 2 more conferences and then I’ll be back home with y’all!!!
You are the best and I love you so so so much!!!!!!

 these trees are absoluetly beautiful!!!!!! they are called flamboyant trees
 eating blackberries from a tree! can you tell I was enjoying them?!

happy independence day!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

the kids of Zambia!!!!

My dearest family that I love so so so much!! How is everyone doing? I hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather in all the places that you live because it is H-O-T in the Copperbelt!! I am literally sweating 24 hours of the day! Hahah it actually feels hotter in Eagle in the summer but what gets me is the no air conditioning. We go in someone's house and that’s when the sweat starts coming. We started putting a fan in our room when we sleep but I don’t sleep with any sheets and the least amount of clothes possible. This morning I woke up, feeling cool, knelt down to say my prayers, but my companion turned the fan off so by the end of my prayer the sweat was starting to come. But I love it and am getting really ex cited for raining season. It barely sprinkled the other day and I LOVED IT!!!! Last week I didn’t get to write but I did send a letter home about that week so don’t worry…you won’t be missing a thing!!

Monday: We had FHE with the Sambe family, well actually just Sister Sambe and her son Ben, but it was so good!! The Kapato’s came and we watched the Restoration DVD. We were kinda running late on time so Sister Kapato shared a powerful testimony about the Restoration and then we played a couple fun games. Everyone was laughing and really having a good time. The Kapato’s LOVE to talk and you just say one thing and they just go on and on. It was fun but the best part was when we were about to say a prayer Sister Sambe got emotional and said, “We are so humbled and grateful for your friendship. Our family is growing and being added upon physically and spiritually each day. Thank you so much Sister Bingham and Sister Motsi.” It was such a tender moment and exactly what the talk was about that I had read that morning. As we sincerely “love those we want to help in righteousness so they can begin to develop confidence in God’s love. Giving them confidence in your love can help them develop faith in God’s love.” The Sambe’s are progressing slowly but surely and I know that as we continue to persist and love them and teach them, that someday then will be able to finally make those needed covenants with Heavenly Father. I really, really, really want our family to meet this family someday and I really don’t want to leave this area until she is baptized but until then I will just rely on the Lord and his timing.

Tuesday: We had a lesson with this man named Barton Zulu who came to church on Sunday on a invitation for a friend who is the other sister’s investigator. He told us that he lived by this dental clinic and so we spent about an hour trying to find him because he wouldn’t pick up his phone. It was a blessing though because we contacted many people that seem interested in us teaching them…funny how things like that work and how blessings are often hidden. Turns out he lived by the other dentist in town but Barton is quite the character! I don’t really know how to describe this man but he is interesting. Hahah we tried to get to know him a little bit at the beginning but he kept saying “Darling, let's just get down to business.” So we start teaching and it's my turn to talk about families and how the gospel blesses families. I asked him “How has your family blessed you in your life?” BAD IDEA.,…he just goes off on how his family has not helped him and then he looks me right in the eyes and says “MY FAMILY IS MY ENEMY.” Uhhhhhhhhh……I had no idea what to do but we just moved on and boy that was so strange. He ended up telling us he met the missionaries while he was in Botswana and he said he knows that Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon are true. We will continue to visit him and despite the crazy lesson, I really think he would be a great addition to the branch! He loves to play instruments so maybe he could help us organize a branch choir or something. I love how this gospel is for everyone and we need all of our talents and personalities. That night Sister Motsi and I put on our dukes (I’ll send pics) and took those stupid but fun photos that missionaries like to take. It was a good relationship building moment and I am so grateful for the friendship we have formed. I am so grateful for this blessing that mission has brought into my life!
 pics in our dukes

Wednesday: We had to help the other sisters get on a bus to go to Lusaka for immigration and it was really late so it took a lot of time. I started to get frustrated and even wished that I didn’t have to be an STL and help these sisters. I just wanted to be a normal missionary doing missionary work! Sister Motsi reminded me though that us helping them is missionary work. I was humbled by her words and realized what a great blessing this calling is! We got to go to lunch with Elder Madilu and Elder Maele at a member in their branch and she cooked us so much food!!! She just kept bringing out more and more and more! It was really good…chicken, Tanzanian rice, potatoes and carrots, chipati (kinda like pita bread and is the staple food of Uganda). I felt bad how much food she gave us and was once again grateful for the sacrifices that these people make here. It was fun to get to know the Elders better too! 
 lunch with the elders!

Sister Simanwe had a referral for us so we went to go teach with her. This lady has a million friends and wants to share the gospel with ALL of them!! She is incredible and truly is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. She is such a great example to me! When I grow up  I want to be like her. She is one of the happiest people I know and her life is far from easy (reminds me of the talk from Sister Reeves. I got to watch a small part of it at a members house). That night Sister Motsi cleaned out her closest because she is convinced she is getting transferred to Malawi this week. We have transfers this weekend and I have no idea what will happen! In this mission change is rare so I don’t know what to expect. As much as a little change would be nice, I don’t want to leave Ndola and the people here! I love our investigators and the members and there is still so much that is needed to be done here. I guess next week I’ll be either in Ndola or traveling somewhere else! Sister Motsi and I wrote out our guess for transfers…hahah it is better than march madness!

Thursday: Lately I have been praying for inspiration on how I can improve and what I need to do differently. I was sorta struggling because I felt like our investigators are progressing and I received my answer. I need to just keep doing the things I am doing. Pressing forward but still do a little bit more. When we feel discouraged, we need to remember how much Heavenly Father loves us and is there to help us. But there is always room for improvement. The thing that I learned this day as well was that I need to keep looking for the miracles. Thursday, Sister Motsi had to get her hair finished so I was able to help Sister Mutale wash her dishes. Sister Mutale is the investigator who is extremely opposed to the Book of Mormon and the church but as we have continued to befriend her and serve her, I have seen her heart really soften. She and I had a great conversation and I know it doesn’t seem like much but it was a miracle! We taught Benson, the boy who works at the meetinghouse and we retaught him the  Plan of Salvation. I asked him to explain or tell us what he knows about Adam and Eve. Hahah well he kept saying “The Adams and the Evils” hahah sister Motsi and I were trying so hard not to laugh! Then the member we brought to teach with us told him that he only needed to keep about 4 of the commandments and not worry about the other ones. Hahah but I love the simple testimonies of the people here and really how hard they strive to do their best! We visited the Olivia Simanwe and her mom and we read a talk from the past conference. Sister Simanwe made me cry as she talked about how hard her and Brother Simanwe are working to help their entire family be members. I realized once again how incredible my parents are! I also had such a great desire to find more people like the Simanwes. I know the Lord is preparing them, I just need to find them!! We stopped by Brother Nkoma and he told us that he stopped by the church that week. What a miracle as Brother Nkoma hasn’t been to church in about 4 years! This news was so sweet to my soul and may seem small but by small and simple means are GREAT things brought to pass. We tried to teach some students here in Ndola but the lesson fell through. Brother Nonde, the young one, came to teach with us though and he is really hilarious and makes me laugh really hard. Have I told you how grateful I am for the members here and it's weird to think that I won’t be with them my whole mission. It feels like my home ward! Highlight from the day: eating a fresh mango from the streets!

Friday: This day was hilarious! We had the craziest lesson I have ever had with this 21 year old named Chad and his friend Chester and their gardener. They would not listen to one word we had to say but were just asking questions left and right and questioning and ridiculing every single thing we were saying. The gardener doesn’t speak much English but would say the funniest things and the most random things and kept butting in. He asked us to read Exodus 26:18 and then asked what a tabernacle should be made of…hahah the two friends kept getting mad at each other and then mad at us when we said we couldn’t come to Catholic church with them. And our member was arguing with them…hahah I actually started laughing out loud in the lesson. As the tension started to build I tried to tell them that we weren’t there to argue and we didn’t want to offend them but they just cut me off and said, “no this is fun!” I felt like they were just making fun of us and I remembered why I was there and who I was representing and I realized how they were making light of something so important and sacred to me. We kept trying to bring the Spirit and teach but it just wasn’t working out. It will for sure be a lesson I will never forget and it made me grateful for all the other lessons that we have had. We visited Pauline who we haven’t seen in about 2 months and she told us about the fast that the country was holding this Sunday. President Lungu asked the country to fast and pray for the nation. I really love how much faith the people of this country have and I am grateful to be here!

Saturday: We had a great lesson with Claytis!! Every time I met with him the lesson goes so smoothly and the Spirit is so strong. He reminds me of the lessons we had with Olivia where I always felt so guided and knew exactly what I was supposed to say. I really feel a deep connection with Claytis and see so much potential in him! This was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father really does prepare people specifically for us. I am not saying that no other missionaries could teach him but I really feel that Sister Motsi and I are here in Ndola for him. We then went and had interviews with President Erickson. They went well and I really am grateful for him and all that he does for us missionaries!! We went and taught Barton Zulu with Sister Erickson and turns out he said that last time he was just testing us with all that stuff he said about his family but I passed the test…hahah I still don't know what he meant but it was a good lesson and fun to teach with Sister Erickson! Made me think of mom and dad being missionaries! Zambia’s soccer team played here in Ndola so EVERYONE was wearing their jerseys and all the buses and cars had flags and it was so fun! I really wanted to go but I did buy a Zambian flag chitenge so now I feel Zambian! You all know how patriotic I am but Zambia has my heart……

Sunday: We had branch conference and it was really great! Brother Nkoma was at church!!!! Claytis also came which brought me so much joy! We haven’t really taught him that much but he is progressing and he seems so happy. The whole meeting was on self-reliance and all of a sudden it just hit me how real life will start after mission and now I want the time to slow down even more! Haha I just love being a missionary! I was also reminded that being a member of this church requires a lot of work but that is where happiness comes from. Keep enduring to the end and fulfilling your callings!
missionaries or primary teachers????

The rest of the day I thought a lot about the future and really how exciting the next step will be. We found the mom of a teenager that we talked to the other day and she asked to take a picture of us before we talked and then we started introducing us and the gospel and she was videoing us! It was so strange!!! We started asking her why and she said it's because she wants to remember everything and then go back to hear what we said but I just had a weird feeling about it. We asked if she worked for the news or a church but she said no….anyways it was strange. We went to visit Brother Kajoba and his less active wife and it was good. They gave us tea and cookies which was good but Sister Kajoba was busy getting it all ready and was in and out of the room. We were trying to have a lesson while Brother Kajoba was playing the women's session of conference. My companion was just watching that while I was trying to have a lesson and it just was not working out. Finally we asked if we could watch a talk from the conference together. Well Brother Kajoba really just wanted to talk and although I wanted to watch the talk it was really good to talk to him. He has so much faith and is so obedient to the gospel. He is our branch clerk and spends hours at the church! He is really amazing and has had a hard life. I admire his pure heart and patience with his wife. He is awesome! We saw Sister Sambe and Ben again and had a lesson on enduring to the end and I don’t know what it is but I always feel so guided by the Spirit when I visit them. During the lesson I was prompted to share what mom had wrote to me last week to tell the people that the gospel works. I also shared a very personal experience of how I was going through a struggle on mission and really didn’t even feel like praying. I testified to them that if we keep praying and turn to the Lord even when we feel like we can’t move forward, He will listen, comfort us, and help us. As I was sharing this Sister Sambe and Ben looked at each other and smiled. Turns out Ben had an experience just like that and told his mom that he doesn’t think Heavenly Father loves him. This was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father gives us trials not only so we grow but so we can help others learn and grow. It was a really powerful lesson and I know that they are coming to know the truth. This work is amazing! I love being a missionary and all the miracles I get to be a part of. I know that as we are faithful and obedient that we will be blessed. I know that this is the Lord’s work, this is His Church, and that He loves us!!!
Narikutemwa and until next week,

Sister Bingham

Zone Conference Pictures 

African adventures!!! just a random hut on the side of the road
 hard at work washing!
We helped Freda wash clother for 1 1/2 hours! You can see it hanging in the background!
Benson...he really really wanted a picture with us!

you'lll learn about this in the letter i sent home but it was a dance competiotion for free milk in this outside small town named Kawama. It was so funny and crazy!!! You should see these girls dance!

 Our district!!
 exchange with Sister Ratema!
the new sister bingham!
the niece of Violet, a member in our branch! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015


How is everybody doing?! I loved hearing all about conference even though it just made me want to watch it so bad! Hopefully we get to watch it the 24th and 25th of this month but we still haven’t had a for sure. This week was another great week full of adventures but if I were to give a theme for this week it would be the power of prayer.

Monday: After emailing Sister Motsi and I went to the market in town and bought “dukes.” They are scarves that the women wear here on their head and Sister Motsi wears one every night so we finally had time to go buy one. I forgot to take a picture but we will this week and send a picture! I don’t look as good as the African women but its fun to wear them. All the old women wear them here! That night we went to see Mercy, an investigator but she was studying for exams so we went to a couple of our investigators around her house. We got shut down by this women but I felt the spirit so strong as both Sister Motsi and I testified of the truths of the gospel. Its funny how rejection doesn’t really discourage me but strengthens my testimony every time. We then went to recontact this girl we met about a month or two ago named Mulenga but we only found her aunt at home. Her aunt was friendly but said that we couldn’t come see her until the first week of November since she was moving or something anyways we wrote down her number and information and started walking away when all the sudden we heard, “Ladies get back here!” we walk back feeling excited that she wanted to hear about the gospel  but then she starts asking us if we know of a certain parable that was told by Christ. I start thinking she is going to want us to explain the parable so I started to get nervous that I won’t know which parable or how to explain it. Then I realize the parable she is talking about is the good Samaritan so then I start getting nervous that she is going to ask us to buy her food or something but then she starts saying how as missionaries we can’t just preach the gospel but we need to live it and we need to follow the example of Christ. Then she starts telling us about this man who ran away from the hospital and is staying behind her house and so we as missionaries need to go report him to the police. Uh…..we didn’t know what to do but we started explaining that we couldn’t do that and then she got so mad and saying we aren’t true followers of Christ and just stormed away. Hahah I love all these crazy experiences!

So I am the last one to get on to email and my companion finally got a hold of the women who is going to braid her hair so I don’t have time to email. So this is it but I love you alllllllllll soooooooooooooooooooo much!!!! I know this church is true. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and that the Savior, Jesus Christ lives.

Sister Bingham

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Teaching in the blessed place of Chipulukusu with Sister Thole


Another week has come and gone in paradise! This week was fantastic and filled with many adventures. I am feeling so grateful this morning for modern technology and that I get to share a part of my mission with you each and every week.  We went to our usual internet shop this morning and the internet was down so now we are at Brother Thole’s (a member from the branch) internet cafe. It's more expensive but at least we get to pay a branch member!

Monday: We had FHE with the Simanwe family. Hahahah so turns out I thought their last name was Namanwe this whole time and it is actually Simanwe...I even wrote it wrong on the baptismal record but the first time I met Olivia she told me how to spell her last name and either she told me wrong or I really need to get my ears cleaned! Josh maybe you could send me some ear candles J The Simanwe’s were so great! I know I have said this a million times but they were so prepared to hear the gospel and are so strong! I can’t believe they were baptized about 2 months ago by the knowledge that they have. The week before we taught them about FHE and this week we had them do everything. Brother Simanwe is going to be a leader in Ndola, I know it. He gives me so much encouragement to find more people like Him who the Lord is preparing. He gave a great lesson about the Sacrament and then we played this fun game. Brother Nzima went with us and had us play “Picnic” where he said he was going on a picnic and we were invited and we had to bring something but we could only bring certain things. He then proceeded to list things he was bringing and then ask what we were bringing. It turns out that the trick is you have to bring something that starts with the first letter of your first name. As soon as I realized this I knew he didn’t know my first name and I didn’t know if I should use my first name so I tried using Sister and then Bingham but he thought I didn’t know the trick. Hahah but the Simanwe’s were so confused and Brother Simanwe kept saying “You know what? I am not going to this picnic!” and Sister Simanwe kept saying the most random things...we were laughing so hard!! Sister Simanwe gave us biscuits (pretty much cookies or graham crackers) and juice. I am sure they don’t have a lot of extra money to be buying us snacks and so I was so grateful that she would share with us. I also felt so impressed by their commitment to being obedient. We had mentioned that at FHE some families provide refreshments and therefore the Simanwe’s wanted to obey with exactness. They are such a great example to me and I love how much. I am learning from every person we teach and serve.

Tuesday:Happy Birthday to Courtney! I hope it was a great day!! I thought about you a lot that day and I hope you know how much I love you! President Webster Chisilongo (our branch president) came and sprayed our flat for cockroaches which was such a blessing because they were EVERYWHERE in our kitchen and there were some pretty big ones! When we came home that night...hahah there were sooooooooo many dead cockroaches! I couldn’t believe how many were in our flat. The joys of living in Africa! District Meeting was really great especially with all the new missionaries. We now are a total of 8 in our district...we are huge!! We visited Sister Mutale that day, the lady who absolutely refused the Book of Mormon, and this lesson wasn’t much better. She really wouldn’t listen to anything we said and wouldn’t even accept what we would share from the Bible about baptisms for the dead. I had the strongest impression that I should just share my testimony of the Book of Mormon but she would NOT hear anything about it. I actually had to fight back tears...not because I was offended or really upset at being rejected but because I had come to see her potential and that she really is a daughter of God yet she isn’t willing to listen to something that brings so much peace and happiness into my life. I also have developed such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and know how it can change lives. But despite all of this I have faith in Sister Mutale and I know that what we read in the Book of Mormon is small and simple things are great things brought to pass. As we continue to strive to help Sister Mutale overcome her doubts and worries, she will eventually have to choose for herself whether what we share is true or not. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have that as we do our part, teach by the spirit, and bear testimony, I can feel that the Lord is pleased with my efforts, despite the results. That night we drove to Luanshya for exchanges. I was really nervous for this exchange with Sister Proctor which is funny when I think back to it but I was nervous because ever since coming on mission I have looked up to her and she has been a missionary for a long time.  As soon as I picked up Sister Proctor all my worries were gone and I truly felt comforted the entire exchange. I am grateful for her but also for prayer.  Heavenly Father is there to help us even for silly reasons.

Wednesday: I loved this day!!! First of all I learned SO much from Sister Proctor and as much as an inconvenience exchanges can be, I felt so grateful for the opportunity I have to be with and learn from all these different sister missionaries every week! From her I learned that I need to seek the inspiration of the Spirit more in every aspect of the work. I also learned to lose myself in the work. Life will continue when I return but this is here and now. She has 1 ½ transfers left yet she has still the same excitement and determination of a brand new missionary!  We had 6 lessons that day so that was amazing. It's the joke that whenever you go one exchanges, everything goes wrong because you want everything to go perfectly so we got lucky! Ok luck is not actually found in this work and it truly was the hand of the lord. We still had appointments fall through yet everything all worked out. I know that as we diligently plan and then go out to work, we are blessed. One of my most favorite moments of the day was when an appointment fell through so we got to the car and prayed to know what we should do. Since we weren’t in sister Proctor’s area it was sorta up to me to know what to do. After the prayer I took a few moments to really listen and I felt like we should stop by Wendy’s house who we had contacted last week and ended up not being able to see her. Well we found Wendy and her aunt at home and had a really powerful lesson about the Restoration. I was so humbled by the fact that as we sought inspiration from the Lord, He directed us to exactly where we needed to be. Funny moment from the day....we were asked if we were twins! Hahah. I love exchanges but I also love being reunited with my companion. Sister Motsi had quite the adventure in Luanshya that you most definitely will have to ask me about when I come home but we laughed and laughed that night. I am grateful for her and her friendship!!

Thursday: Already October?? Where is the time going?! And its the hottest month of the year...yeah!!! It really is hot here but rain season is just around the corner! I have two experiences from today. #1- we went to visit Sister Chalwe to see how she is doing and she is feeling better and has a little food which made me so so so so happy! As we were leaving her house, we always drive past this weird house that has the word Squirrel painted on the front and then you can sorta see into the house and it looks like they have a reptile tank which is weird and I have always been so curious what it is. Well Sister Motsi finally just said we should stop. So we knocked but no one came so we walked in....I REALLY wanted to see it....and there were all these weird paintings of people and Jesus Christ on the walls and turns out the tank was actually just empty. All the sudden this man pops out from nowhere and scares me half to death! Hahah i didn’t really have anything to say because we just walked into this random house but he ended up being really nice and told us it used to be a school and that the tank was an old fish tank. Anyways I loved that adventure! #2- We went to see Annie (Akim, a member of our branch and 21 years old, aunt) and since it was a back up for an appointment we really didn’t even talk about what we were going to share. As we sat down with her and opened with a prayer, I realized this and didn’t know what to do. I could not remember what we had planned to teach during our weekly planning but then I had the strongest prompting to share about My Family. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is a book that the church made about family history. In it you write about yourself, your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. It's a very simple book but helps them prepare names for the temple. Anyways we had such a sweet lesson! The Spirit was so strong as I was able to talk about something so dear to my heart. I love my family soooooo much!!! Those living and those on the other side of the veil. In my father’s blessing before I left, Dad blessed me that those who have passed on would be there to sustain and support me, that they would be angels on my side. It was such an incredible experience to really feel these angels as I testified that families are eternal. I also could tell the lesson touched the heart of Annie and Choba (her neighbor who joined mid lesson) as they shared memories of their family and how their family has blessed their lives. They were soooo excited about the books and it made me realize how Heavenly Father makes it possible by small and simple things to bring about his eternal purposes.

Friday: We woke up at 5:30 and made our way to Lusaka so that I could sign my immigration book. As much as I didn’t love sitting in the car for 10 hours that day, I loved all the time I had to think, ponder, and build a relationship with my companion. I was so humbled as I drove past so many small huts and people selling melons, brooms, honey, and even cooked rats on the side of the road. I watched as little kid, walk for miles, s in very ragged school uniforms walk to their school in the bush. I felt Heavenly Father’s love for them as I realized they all are children of God. Everyone in this world lives such different lives but we are  sent to our families and situations for a reason. He truly has a plan for all of His children through the Plan of Salvation but He also has a specific plan for us to individually grow and develop. I loved talking to Sister Motsi all about life and our mission, what she has learned, what she has experienced, what has been hard, what has been fun, etc. Immigration took about 5 minutes but I feel really, really grateful that I get to be here in this country. I know there is a lot of behind the scene work that makes it possible for us to serve missions and I feel very blessed! I also felt grateful for my parents and everyone else who makes it possible for me to be her. We got right back into the car and started the long drive home but it was good! There was one point where neither of us said anything for awhile and I thought of Dad who told us a story once where he had a long drive so he said a prayer, thanking Heavenly Father for all that he was grateful for. I decided to take the opportunity to do the same and it was an incredible  experience. I AM SO BLESSED! Life is so good and I have so much to be grateful for. I can’t really describe what I felt but I just love being a missionary.

Saturday: It was great to be back in the area and back to doing missionary work! We had a little bit of a crazy day because we really wanted Brother Simanwe to go teach Brother Mwiinga with us. We had to get another female to go with us though so it was kinda hard but somehow...I understood why later...we got Mercy to come with us. We finally made it to the Mwiinga’s and Brother Mwiinga wasn’t there. We had reminded him many times and called him just 15 minutes before but then he wasn’t there. Turns out he had to go into work. I was really disappointed especially after picking up members to teach with us but we went and visited Sister Elizabeth just down the street. We have taught Elizabeth about 2 times and she is an older woman. Well we got there and discovered that her and Brother Simanwe are old friend! This connection was exactly what we needed in the lesson. Because of that relationship, Sister Elizabeth really opened up and I could tell that the message really touched her heart. We began the lesson and before we could really start, Brother Simanwe just jumped right in and taught the lesson PERFECTLY! Probably better than I could do. She had a question about the Book of Mormon and once again he answered it perfectly! I saw the Hand of the Lord that day in this lesson. I love being apart of these miracles daily!  We saw Sister Mwiinga that evening and she told us her mom has been missing for 5 days...this woman has been through so much! She must be a strong soul and I hope that someday she will be able to join the Church and that she can partake of the ordinances of salvation after suffering so much here on earth. These people and their experiences have helped me to humble myself and realize how many blessings i have, therefore I need to work hard to give of myself to lighten their burdens as I invite them to come unto Christ.  She had to leave so we ended up  having a lesson with Selina and Peter. Our lesson was on obedience so we had them walk around their house 3 times with a book on their head. When they came back we asked them why they did that and they didn’t know. We then shared how sometimes we don’t really understand all the commandments or the things our parents tell us to do, but we are blessed when we obey. It was really fun to be creative and have a lesson with these kids as well as feel the spirit.  

Sunday: We had 6 investigators at church so that was awesome! Peggy, Agnes, Elizabeth, Lupopa, Selina, and Justin. My favorite part of church was watching our investigators partake of the sacrament. I know they don’t fully understand but to see them taking part of the Atonement and coming unto Christ will always be such a special moment for me. I also loved being in gospel principles class with our investigators. Its funny how this class is designed for them but has taught me a lot! I realized how we really need to know the basics of the gospel. Sometimes I get so caught up in learning so much and wanting to know more but what is important is the simple doctrine of the gospel. After church we went with Brother Nonde to teach a referral from the other sisters and we totally got rejected but Brother Nonde made me laugh when he pulled out a cloth and started to dust off his shoes. The day was good and I always love the special spirit I feel on the Sabbath! But a highlight from the day was when we went to these flats to teach someone. There were a bunch of kids playing with a tire. I told one of the boys to get inside and then I started rolling him around. The kids went CRAZY!!! Before I knew it there were tons of kids  all wanting a turn! It was soooooo fun to play with these kids and hear their laughter. I miss kids but I am so grateful for moments like these. It made me really miss my nieces and nephews so ya’ll enjoy them for me!!!
Family, I love you so much! I am so grateful for all the emails and prayers in my behalf. You are so amazing and I really wish I could express how much I look up to each and everyone of you. Keeping being the missionaries that you are. I hope you enjoyed conference and I can’t wait to be able to watch it in a couple weeks!

Sister Bingham (or auntie as all the little kids call me)

 All the tags in our zone!
 Zone conference. Sister Nkosi with Sister Motsi and me.

the Mwiinga kids and grandkids!

 PINK Palony that my companion loves. seriously it is so pink!
 p-day last week

the market

David our night guard. he washes our car on Mondays for 10 kwacha! I really love him even though he doesn't understand me.

 Playing with kids