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! 

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