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

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