Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year!!!

cute kids in kawama

I LOVED TALKING TO AND SEEING EACH OF YOU SO MUCH!!!! Really...that was the greatest Christmas present! It was sooo good to see the nieces and nephews, they are the cutest and have changed sooooooooo much!! Of course I wish we could have talked longer and it made me miss you all but Skyping also made me realize how much I LOVE being a missionary and how many incredible things I have been able to experience. So many times this past week I would look at Sister Zohner and say, “how did we ever get so lucky to serve not only missions, but be missionaries in Zambia Africa??” I have felt so grateful this holiday season as I have pondered over all the blessings I have. You are definitely in the top 10! Also fun fact...Sister Zohner, Sister Thueson, and I are the only white sister missionaries in Africa (not including Madagascar). Isn’t that crazy?!?! When we found this out I was determined to never take any of my time here for granted but to truly live every moment to the fullest and work my hardest. Anyways, I love it here and I miss you all a lot but I am so happy being a missionary in Ndola.
This past week was really busy and we had so much to do!! Tuesday we had to run errands with trying to finish up the car getting fixed and then we went to visit some investigators that we haven’t seen in a long time because the husband has been sick. Well we walk to their house and there is a big canopy outside so that means there is a funeral. I am so shocked as I realized that the husband had passed away. We hadn’t taught them much but we have spent a lot of hours in their home doing service, washing dishes and clothes. I had grown a love for the wife and mother and discovering this news was a lot harder than I thought. We went to pay our regards and let them know that we were available to help in anyway. We then shared a short testimony of the Plan of Salvation and upon leaving the house, I was so grateful for the knowledge that we have that we will all live again and we can be reunited as a family! Death is not the end but only part of Heavenly Father’s plan that takes us one step closer to finally obtaining everlasting joy! Later that night we saw Barton Zulu and taught him about the temple and family history. The experience from earlier that day made the lesson so much more powerful as we taught Barton one of the greatest blessings of the restored gospel. He understood well but then his concern and issue that we have been dealing with from the beginning came up again about the struggle he is having leaving the Anglican Church. He has such strong ties there and it is difficult to leave. As he shared with us his concern, I had one of the strongest impressions I have ever received while teaching to “Be Bold.” I didn’t know what to say to Barton and I didn’t want to offend him so I didn’t say anything at first. Once again the words, “Be Bold” came to my mind again. Without knowing exactly what I was going to say, I was amazed to find the words perfectly flowing and filled with the Spirit as I testified of the truthfulness of the restored gospel  and how Barton could be a great example to his friends and family by deciding to follow the Savior, be baptized, and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When I finished speaking Barton, all dramatic, turns his shoulder and squints his eyes and says, “ Bingham! Why are you speaking to me in this manner?” I had the weirdest mix of emotions as I felt the spirit so strong yet wanted to laugh at the same time.....anyways Barton is slowly progressing but he is growing! His problems with the Word of Wisdom are getting better as we continue to call and check in on him everyday. Sometimes I feel it is a waste to put so much energy and time into Barton but that night I was able to look past his imperfections, past his hilarious mannerisms, and I saw the son of God that he is. I saw how much Heavenly Father loves and cares for him and even his ancestors that we talked about in the lesson. We must never give up on anyone. Hope and faith are so critical in missionary work and I am continuing each day to learn how to increase my hope and faith in His children as well as the redeeming love and healing of the Savior. It still amazes me how we go to people’s homes to teach them yet I also learn something!
                Wednesday we went on exchanges with the sisters in Kitwe. They are struggling with finding investigators so Sister Zohner and I split their area and tried to help build up their investigator pool. Sister Moyo and I ended up contacting a lot of former investigators which was really awesome to meet with people who had been taught or met the missionaries a long time ago but through different reasons lost contact. I know that not all of those that we saw will become progressing investigators but it will be a great start for the sisters. They have a really hard area but being on exchanges with them made me learn a lot of things. Sometimes we don’t know what to do or where to go in life, but we must act. We must have faith and with the small amount of faith that we have, take a step forward and trust that the Lord will direct us. I know that if we are diligent and work hard, no matter the circumstances, blessings and miracles will come. Maybe Heavenly Father needs us to learn something else such as patience or charity. Anyways it was another blessing for me to have the opportunity to serve alongside another amazing sister and learn from her. Before the exchange, I had a lot of feelings of inadequacy and doubt. Sister Zohner kept reminding me how I have been a STL much longer than her yet I felt like I didn’t even know what I was doing. She encouraged me though and reminded me of my potential. I am really grateful for her support and advice as well. She really is such a blessing in my life!
Thursday we had a kind of crazy day in Pamodzi/Chifubu because for the first time, a lot of people weren’t home. We saw Aaron Mupundu and his daughter Mercy and they are the greatest! Both of them accepted the invitation to be baptized and I have been so influenced by their humility to learn the gospel. He had some questions about eating pork since we were teaching the Word of Wisdom and we encouraged him to pray and to gain a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith because this was revelation from God through him. We testified of Joseph Smith and President Monson and shared that they are called of God and are given to us so that we may receive blessings. It’s interesting how every little concern or question someone all leads back to the basics of the gospel. It reminded me once again how we need to have a strong foundation of the principles and if we build our testimony on these things, we need never worry, all will be well. We visited a less active and her husband that afternoon and shared a Christmas message. The husband told us he refuses to celebrate Christmas because too many other people make poor decisions on this day and focus on presents and drinking and going out instead of the Savior. Sister Zohner and I discussed this after the lesson and were so sad that he choose to allow other people’s decisions affect his own happiness and celebrations. Christmas is such a special time of year and yes there are aspects of it that are fun and maybe not very spiritual but as individuals we can make it meaningful and it is our own personal decisions that allow us to be happy and grateful.  That evening we went to visit Brother Nzima is the hospital because he has malaria. We got there and Violet, Sister Ganesh, and the Kapato family were all there. We were all talking and laughing  and then we asked if we could sing a couple Christmas hymns. We sang Joy to the World and then asked if Sister Z and I could share a message. We shared from Luke 2 and then concluded with D&C 76:22 and each bore our testimonies the Jesus Christ lives and is the Savior of the world.  We finished by singing Silent Night and I couldn’t stop the tears as I looked around the hospital room full of beds and sick people, and then looked at so many people that I have grown so close to and love so much. It was Christmas eve, I was far from my family and home, yet I felt like I was home and with my family. I love each one of the people that were there and have learned something from each one of them. I love that I get to be a missionary and that I get to share a message of hope and love to a world that lacks such. I love that I get to be a representative of the little babe born in Bethlehem who was the Son of God and is God’s greatest gift to us. I was so touched that evening to be there and to realize how many blessings I have had just these past 6 months and my thoughts turned to how much more I will experience in the next year! Anyways it was one of my most favorite Christmas moments. As we were leaving the hospital we ran into a contact we had met on the street a couple days earlier. He is a super funny guy and ran to give Sister Zohner a hug! She tried to avoid it but he was just too quick. I was laughing so hard but then he turns to me and I just kept backing up with my hand out hoping he would just shake my hand but nope! He just kept on coming! It made me laugh so hard and then this just have to meet him, but I lost it and couldn’t stop laughing. The way he talks and the things he says...I tried so hard to pull myself together but I couldn’t and I felt bad because everyone in the hospital was staring at me and Cornelious (the man) kept saying, “ Bingham! Stop making me laugh! What is so funny? Bingham you are making me laugh! Bingham you are making my day!” hahahah he is quite the character and it was sooooo funny!

CHRISTMAS!!!!! We woke up early and headed to the children's hospital...probably the saddest thing in the whole world as the halls were filled with sick little kids and their mothers. We went to see Aaron Mupundu’s daughter and wife. She is 2 years old and something is wrong with her tonsils...we aren’t totally sure because the wife doesn’t speak very much English. It was kinda awkward as we tried to speak to her and cheer her up but Gloria, the daughter, did not like us and kept on crying. We gave them some oranges and pictures of the Savior’s birth but although it was really sad, I loved being able to start out Christmas that way, bringing what joy and light that we could to this family and others in the hospital. We saw Selina Mwiinga first and helped her decorate her house with pink toilet paper! She wanted us to stay the whole day and celebrate but we had a great Christmas lesson and then had to be on our way. We went to the Nonde family next, expecting just to share a message and then leave. But they wanted to have lunch with us so we helped them prepare. The meal was so simple, rice, potatoes, chicken, and cabbage, but I know that it was FAR more than this family could afford. It was so humbling to see the sacrifices of this family and we were so grateful that they would share with us. It was incredible though to see how excited and happy the children were and we had a lot of fun playing with the girls. The parents kept saying that we are their daughters and I really did feel a part of their family. At one point we sang Christmas hymns and I could feel that special Christmas Spirit as we were gathered together in honor of the Saviour. We rushed to visit Sister Chalwe and her kids and left them some muffins before we hurried over to the Simanwe’s. They wanted to feed both sets of sisters and the elders but with skyping it wasn’t going to work out. We shared a Christmas message and I wish you all could have been there to hear their testimonies!! They are an incredible family and as I sat there in their home, I realized that I have been here 6 months and I had a feeling that in the next transfer or so I will be leaving. I was overwhelmed by emotion that I would be leaving this family that I have come to love so much and also by how much they have grown in the gospel and that I wouldn’t be there to continue to see them and teach them and learn from them. All the sudden I never wanted to leave Ndola, and I realized how hard it is going to be to say goodbye. I also realized how much I love being a missionary and that someday it will be over.  I know i still have  a year but still ONE YEAR!! But we were able to eat with them and it was as good as always and they were sooooooooo excited when I had them call mom! You should have seen them. After that we went to the church and I saw each of you! BEST THING EVER!! I honestly think this was the greatest Christmas I have ever experienced. We were so busy and were able to visit so many different families and I have never before felt so close to the Savior on this day as we were blessed to testify of Him and His life. At each home we committed each person to decide on one gift that they could give to the Savior this next year. We wanted to help them “give back” but then I realized that we never can truly “give back” or “repay” for what Jesus Christ has done for us. No matter what, He continues to bless and help us. But with that said, I want to change and do my best to show my gratitude for Him by sharing his gospel with everyone. I know that as I do this, I will only learn and grow more so I guess that means I am going to have to keep on serving missions when I get older!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACOB!!! Saturday was super busy as always and we ended up going to Pamodzi again to visit some people we really needed to. It started to rain super hard though and so we were worried about driving down the roads that we need to because it was practically a river so we parked the car and ran into this tiny shop. We waited for about 15 minutes for the rains to stop and we started talking to the women in the shop. They were asking about our families so I pulled out the picture of our family. She couldn’t believe that a Mozungu would have such a big family and couldn’t stop saying how great mom looked for having 7 children...yep, Mom you are pretty amazing! We taught Cletus and he is set for baptism this next Saturday! We talked about his baptism and he shared with us some experiences that he has had that he has realized are blessings because he has chosen the be baptized. We are really excited for him and humbled by his decision.
Church was awesome! Dad I actually counted everyone there and there were 41 in sacrament meeting. Peter, a father we have taught once came to church and he loved it! The members welcomed him and befriended him so when he was leaving he looked so happy and told us that it was a very powerful service and he can’t wait to get a copy of the Book of Mormon when we were coming to see him that night. Relief Society was super great and remember how I used to not want to go because I thought it was for old women? Well know i finally realize how wonderful it is! that afternoon we went to see an investigator. We visited her once and she kept saying how she knew the Book of Mormon was true. Well....when we went there yesterday she started out the lesson sooooooo good and then out of know where dropped us. She rejected everything and gave us back the Book of Mormon. It was so interesting though at how this experience made my testimony of the gospel and especially the Book of Mormon so much stronger! I also felt a great connection to the Savior as I thought of the many times that I have sinned or not followed his will and how he must have felt. My heart was filled with so much sorrow as this woman turned us away and I just wanted to tell her how much she was missing out on! Anyways she gave us back the Book of Mormon and as my comp and I walked back to the car in silence all the sudden I realized the miracle! She had given us back the Book of Mormon and we had an appointment that night with a man who we had promised a Book of Mormon but we were out of them!! We ended up having an amazing lesson with that man, Peter, and he already loves the Book of Mormon. On mission I have come to find that there are tender mercies of the Lord all around us but if we don't look for them, we may miss them. It is so easy to focus on the negative and become discouraged but if we choose to be happy and look for the Hand of the Lord, we will begin to see that Heavenly Father is raining blessings down upon us all the time!
I love being a missionary so much! Can't wait for the new year and the chance we have to set goals to become better and serve more. I love you all!!!!
Sister Bingham

 cooking nashima at Mercy's!

 sandal club

The Chalwe Family!

Monday, December 21, 2015


Alli emailing!

FAmily!!! I CANNONT WAIT TO TALK TO YOU THIS WEEK!!!! It has been crazy trying to figure out how to get all the missionaries able to call/skype home so I really hope everything all works out. I feel so blessed that we get to call home though!! Some exciting news came this week though...our new mission president is coming in July and his name is President Kupu and he is from TONGA! We are super excited!! 

This week was crazy and this upcoming week is so busy as well. There is just too much work to do and thank goodness for Sister Zohner who is keeping me sane. She really is so so great and I can't wait for you all to meet her. I told her that for sure when she gets home she will have to come do a special fireside for you. 
Tuesday: We had our zone meeting and we met the new elder in our district. His name is Elder Chatier from Twin Falls and his bishop there is bishop bingham so thats cool! but 3 of us are from Idaho in the same district which is crazy! That afternoon we met with Justin, the 14 year old that is neighbors with Selina and has been coming to church for the past 6 months, and had a really really good lesson with him about baptism. He has been coming to church yet i have never seen him so serious about the church then I did that day. He really has a strong testimony and a desire to enter into a covenant with our Heavenly Father. We encouraged him to talk to his parents to get permission and we ended up calling him every single night this past week to see how it went and he only talked to his grandma but she was supportive! Tomorrow we are going to see his parents and I really hope it goes well. we saw the sambe family and ended up having a 2 hour lesson!! hahah sometimes that happens when we bring members to lessons but this family...i love them with all my heart but they are just really struggling with finding the courage to accept the gospel. I have really learned through them though that we need to trust in the Lord and His timing. I have such a strong testimony that our work as missionaries extends for years and we may just be planting seeds but someday those seeds will grow into magnificent trees. 

Wednesday: We had our first lesson fall through and both of our backups and with the no tracting in our mission we decided to go and contact someone we had met once. We were walking to her house when I saw a lady going into her house that we  had asked one day if we could help her plant maize. I waved at her and said, "Mulishani" and then before we knew it, she was inviting us into her home! We had a good first lesson with her and her husband and their two grandchildren. As sister Zohner and I left her house we were so grateful for that blessing we experienced. If our first lesson had of worked out or one of our back ups been home, we wouldn't have found this new father led family! We both were so humbled by the Hand of the Lord and both felt a deep appreciation for Heavenly Father's plans. We had a great lesson with Barton Zulu about the word of wisdom and have been calling him every night to check up on him. During that lesson with him, I was really touched by the weaknesses that we all have that allow us to turn to the Savior. I was also touched by the responsibility that I have been given, and all the missionaries in the world, of helping God's children to overcome their struggles and find peace and healing through the Atonement of Christ. This calling is the greatest ever and I love being a missionary, especially this time of year. We taught two young brothers, Gift and Greig and commited them both to baptism. Gift is going to the Congo for a couple months but Greig is really excited about the gospel and knows that it is true. After a really great lesson with them we were walking out of the church and Gift says, "So after we are baptized, can we be missionaries like you?" I honestly didn't even have words because I was sooooooooo happy to hear this! Wouldn't that be incredible to have them both serve missions? For our last appointment we asked Sister Thole from the branch to come teach with us. The man we were supposed to see was busy so we had to come up with a new plan. We went through every person we could possibly think of and EVERYONE was busy! I started to get stressed because i felt bad just standing there with Sister Thole who probably had lots to do. Sister Zohner then suggested we go see Sister Sinkiwae, a less active that we wrote down in our planners, yet haven't seen in months! Well we decided to go visit with her and you should have seen how excited and happy she was to see Sister Thole!!! She kept saying over and over, "I have been missing you so much and in fact have felt impressed to go visit you this entire week!" This reunion between these two really was so special and I felt soooo grateful that we once again had been led without us really knowing to this daughter of God who needed us to visit her. She then opened up to us as we talked with her and told us that lately she has felt so far from Heavenly Father and the Savior and hasn't even felt like praying or reading the scriptures. She has felt so alone and lost but as we shared a spiritual thought from the Book of Mormon, we left her with a smile on her face and her home filled with the Spirit. I love this work with all my heart and the chance that we have been given not only to share the gospel but to warm hearts and cheer up the sad. 

Thursday: The busiest day of the week but always my favorite! Pamodzi and Chifubu has sooooo much work and its almost stressful trying to fit in all the appointments. Even with the car back we don't have enough time to visit all the investigators, less actives, and members. How about you all come be missionaries here to help us out?? We had a lesson with Aaron Mupundu finally!! You probably don't remember but they are the super humble family that we haven't been able to see in awhile but had a lesson with his wife last week. and guess what...HE CAME TO CHURCH!!! I was sitting in front since I was playing the piano and I could not figure out who this one man was and so when he came up to me and said hi I was so excited that he probably thought I was crazy but I couldn't stop saying, "I am so happy you are here!" Hahah I really did say it 3 times in a row to him. Anyways I know how hard it was for him to come to church and I am so grateful for his example that he has shown me and the way he has put his trust in the Lord. During our lesson with him, we found out that he had been illegally put in prison for 5 days but he had the most positive attitude about it and told us that the entire time he was telling everyone in prison about this amazing new church he has found. What an incredible man! We finished the night up with a lesson with the Chalwe family. We had quite the adventure getting to their house with all the rain lately but we made it! It was really special being all gathered in their small one room home and teaching the kids about the plan of salvation. At the end Sister Zohner bore her testimony about how through the plan of salvation we learn that we are daughters and sons of Heavenly Father and it doesn't matter how many clothes or things that we have, nothing will ever change that. My love for this little family continues to grow each and ever time I meet with them. The little boys don't speak much english but they have cute smiles and are really good at singing primary songs. Sister Chalwe is the branch primary president and I wish you could here them sing or more especially feel the Spirit as these precious children sing the simple truths of the doctrine. We sandg, "I belong to the church of jesus Christ" and these words really touched my heart. Go read them and then picture being with this family. Its the best!

Friday: I woke up at 3:47 am and we started the drive to Lusaka around 4:30! Don't worry...we bought lots of snacks and mountain dew to keep me awake and Sister Zohner was really good at keeping me awake. we made it safe and sound to Lusaka...went to immigration for Sister Zohner and then we had a training meeting that afternoon. Then the combined zone conference started!!! It was amazing and I wish i could tell you everything that I learned and felt but really I just realized there are so many things that I need to improve on not only as a missionary but just as a person. I was overwhelmed by the opportunity mission is for me to learn and grow and to build a strong foundation for the future.It really was just an amazing conference!!! I got to see Sister Thueson which was THE BEST! I miss that girl. We did a fun gift exchange with everyone and had Christmas and fried chicken! Then we watched A Christmas Carol but Sister Zohner and I were practically falling asleep the entire time. We were so dead....but funny enough that night we had a really long, but super spiritual conversation about things that we wanted to work on and how we were going to get through some of the challenges that we have with our area and the sisters in our zone. I love how sister zohner and I can talk and laugh like best friends and then get serious and really feel the spirit. 

Saturday: We finished the conference and had a testimony meeting which was really really really incredible to hear so many testimonies of missionaries!! THis Christmas activity will be one that i will never forget. The Hulls and the other senior couple bore their testimony and the entire time all i could think about was Mom and Dad being missionaries and the great suppport and strenghth and example they will be to the elders and sisters. I am so excited for you!! We then started our drive back to Ndola and instead of the usual 5 hour car ride, we got caught in a huge rainstorm and terrible traffic so it took us over 7 hours!! And it was the most adventurous car ride of my life (ok besides Leslie Gulch of course). The cars in Lusaka drive crazy so that was fun and also our tail light only works half the time and our trunk isn't finished getting worked on so it sticks up halfway and then it kept opening up! And then remember that one time where I almost got a wreckless driving ticket???? Hahah well they have police stops all the time on this road and when we stopped the police officer told me to go and pull over because i was getting a ticket. So we drive forward to pull over and then wait to pay but in Africa I guess you have to walk to the police men. So we go talk to them and they want to cite me for wreckless driving and they tell us we have to pay 900 kwacha. Sister Zohner and I literally had a combined total of 195 kwacha so we had to explain this to the policemen and they were like ok go get it. hahaha so we totally dropped them down from a 90 dollar ticket to a 20 dollar ticket and then we gave all the policemen pamphlets and talked to them about the church. By far the most expensive contacts ever but i guess it was worth it. I think the policemen see that we are white so try to get us to pay more and honestly I tried to argue out of the ticket because their reasoning was super lame but oh makes for a good story right??? AFter getting the ticket our trunk would not stay closed so we ended up tying the trunk closed with some ties we received from the gift exchange....guess the good ol idaho red neck came out of us!! We got home at 8 that night and we were exhausted! but soooo grateful we arrived home safely.

Sunday: It was a glorious day as Sundays always are on mission. During the sacrament I was so touched as I looked around the congregation and realized how many lives I have been blessed to see changed in the branch. That sacrament meeting Justin was confirmend which is always soooooooooo special. Brother Simanwe not only participated in the blessing but also blessed the sacrament. Sister Simanwe was called as second counselor in the Relief Society. Selina was early to church! Barton came to church instead of going to the anglican church. Benson who is a less active was there with a white shirt!!! All of these things may seem small but they mean soooooo much to me. The other sisters had a baptism and then cletus was interviewed for baptism and will be baptized on Saturday!! 

This time of year is truly wonderful as we get to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior Jesus Christ. I can't even begin to express my love and gratitude for the Savior and how much I have been strengthend by Him as a missionary. Today I read from D&C 76:22 and I want to add my testimony to that of the prophet Joseph Smith that He Lives. I am so grateful for the past 6 months that I have been able to be a representative of Him and to invite others to come partake of His grace, mercy, peace and joy! As i was waiting to email I read the account of Samuel the Lamanite and was especailly impressed by Helaman 14: 11-13. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and feel of the Savior's love. I am beyond excited to talk to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 Cotton Candy & an escalator ride!

Nakulaya ukwate Christmas esuma (I wish you a merry christmas!)
Sister Bingham

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

This week was the best! Of course I am missing Sister Motsi lots but Sister Zohner and I are already best friends! You probably already heard this…but Sister Zohner’s dad is Dad’s patient on Tuesday. Hahahah we couldn’t stop laughing when we found that out. Honestly, this entire week I have laughed more with Sister Zohner than my entire 6 months. She reminds me a lot of Chelsea Borup so now you know how awesome she is! She is in the Boise Central Stake in the Bitterroot Ward which makes me so excited that we get to see each other after mission. If you want to visit her mom, go to Deseret Book anyday but Thursday and Sunday. She works the evening shift. Anyways….I have so many things to tell you about so hopefully I can get it all in but HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY TO DAVID,MATTHEW, and JOSH AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO REBEKAH!!!!!

Tuesday: It was our last day working together in the area and we had a lot of fall throughs and there was kinda a weird feeling the whole day because of all the upcoming changes but it was still a great day! We taught Selina and as always, she walked us about ten minutes down the road to our next appointment. That day she was soooooooo excited to tell us how she shared the gospel with someone. I thought I felt joy when I was sharing the gospel but the joy I felt while listening to Selina tell us about sharing the gospel was so much greater! This girl is such a huge example to me as she continues to put her faith and trust in Heavenly Father and do all that He has asked of her. She is an example of living true to her baptismal covenants. She then proceeded to tell us with a huge smile on her face about how the Holy Ghost helped her. Selina’s family all left for the farm and she was left home alone with her aunt for 2 days. Those two days the aunt was bossing her around and treating her like a slave. Selina told us that she just wanted to yell at her but something prompted her to not. She recognized it was the Spirit and she said it then helped her to stay positive and not say anything mean to her aunt the entire time she was there. What an incredible experience that this 14 year old shared with us and my heart was overfilled with joy as she was able to experience the blesses of having the gift of the Holy Ghost. She helped me this week to cherish that wonderful gift I have been given and to listen more carefully to its promptings. Oh how grateful I am for each and every person that I meet here. They each have strengthened my testimony and made me a better person….isn’t that what the missionaries are supposed to do to them?? That evening we tried to teach Barton but he was kinda busy. Every lesson is always crazy with Barton and the funny moment from that day was that his pants were unzipped and he was trying to secretly zip them up while he was talking but was having a little bit of a difficult time and this probably doesn’t sound funny and it’s a “you had to be there moment” but it was hilarious! It was really sweet though to hear Barton express his gratitude for Sister Motsi and he shared how he has felt that she really has a strong testimony. He made me once again grateful for all that I have learned from her and the wonderful example she has been to me!
Barton Zulu...probably the craziest, funniest, investigator ever.

Wednesday: We said goodbye and Sister Motsi and Sister Ratema got on a bus headed to Lusaka where they would then get a plane to Malawi. The goodbye wasn’t as bad as I thought but I REALLY hope that Sister Motsi and I get to see each other again. I am pretty sure we will but with this mission you never really know….Well Sister Zohner and I had a great first day together! We taught Sister Sambe which I haven’t been able to see her in a long so that was really really awesome. I know that she knows the church is true and we are struggling to help her to just trust in the feelings that she is having but we had a good lesson with her about the temple and family history. I am so grateful for my family! Thanks for all that you do and the amazing examples that you set. Sister Zohner and I set goals this week and hopefully we can help the Sambe family to progress…they really are so dear to my heart. We kinda went ALL over Ndola on Wednesday but good thing they build ‘em tough in Idaho. It was incredible how fast Sister Zohner and I were unified in our lessons and I am so grateful that from the very first day, all our lessons have been so in sync. It has been fun to talk about things from back home and Sister Zohner has one wish that I said Dad could help her out. She wants to shoot a bear….She gets home August 2016.

Thursday: My most favorite day of the week! We made our way to Kawama and were supposed to have a lesson with Aaron Mupundu and his wife but he wasn’t there. His wife speaks a little English but not much. We decided to have a lesson with her and the spirit was so strong. We had to REALLY simplify the gospel and it made me realize that too often we make the gospel way to hard. We over-complicate things and think that we will never become all that Heavenly Father sees in us or we will never be able to fulfill our calling or that we never will learn the scriptures well enough. Sitting in the small home with Sister Mupundu and Sister Zohner was such a neat experience for me as simple, yet heartfelt testimonies were born. I felt the hand of the Lord guiding and directing every single word that we shared with her and I know that she didn’t understand everything that was said but could feel something different. From the beginning of the lesson to the end I saw a change in her that is hard to describe but she changed from being shy to smiling and trying her best to communicate with us. She gave the closing prayer in Bemba and I picked up a couple words but the Spirit touched my heart as I realized that Sister Mupundu probably didn’t learn very much and we didn’t teach much but we were able to share the light and love of the Savior. Through Him, we were able to bring happiness to one of God’s daughters. As Sister Zohner and I walked away from her home, I felt so at peace and so grateful once again to be a missionary! We were walking down the dirt road on our way to the Simanwe’s and these two boys came up to us. I asked if they wanted to race and I really wish I had a video of Sister Zohner and I running down this road in our skirts and with our bags.  I love moments like these! We then picked up Olivia and went to teach Justin Banda, her uncle. He was soooooo excited about his upcoming baptism and Justin is one of the most humble, shy men I have ever met but his smile is the sweetest and he could not stop smiling! It melted my heart. We had THE BEST lesson about the temple and family history with him and during that lesson I had two really cool experiences. 1. We were teaching and I was sweating sooooo bad.  I happened to look over at Sister Zohner and not only was she sunburned but the sweat was always running down her face and neck just as bad as mine. My love for her and all the missionaries in the world that work so hard for the Lord grew in that moment. 2. We were bearing testimony of this sacred work when all the sudden I had a feeling that both Justin and my own ancestors were in the tiny one room home with us. I actually don’t have words to describe what I felt then but I have a testimony that our work as missionaries does not end at the investigator…it extends to their family and friends here on earth but even on the other side. I was so humbled by the influence and  responsibility that we have as missionaries and really “how great is our calling.”  That day we also walked a ton as we had lots of appointments in Chifubu and Pamodzi and I realized how blessed we are on Thursdays. Since there isn’t anywhere to get clean water or food we usually just buy small snacks at tuck shops but it is amazing how I never feel that hungry or tired. Other days when we are in town I find myself way more tired and hungry….I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us and blesses us to do His work in so many different ways.

Friday: We taught Benson the less active garden boy for the meetinghouse and when we usually ask how he is doing he isn’t really doing that good but this week he was so happy and excited. He said he feels like this new year is going to bring a lot of good in his life. He also shared with us how he finally bought a white shirt and he was sooo happy! I love the joy that the people here have for the simple things in life. The best part of the day was when we got home and the 11 year old girl who stays above us was outside with this weird little animal that looks like a lemur or small monkey thing. Its called a bushbaby and her dad saved it in Congo and brought it home to her. It is sooo cool and she let us hold it and everything but I don’t really do well with animals and when it climbs up your arm it tickles soooooooooo bad. When I was holding it I started to get nervous and I was laughing so hard and Sister Zohner was taking a video and laughing really hard too so none of us could do anything and I just wanted it to get off my neck. I couldn’t handle it anymore and my body was sort of freaking out and I started to get closer and closer to the ground….I don’t know what I was doing but it was the funniest and weirdest thing ever! Its probably the coolest animal I’ll ever hold though and it was quite the adventure!
 The busy baby

Saturday: THE BRANCH CHRISTMAS PARTY WAS A SUCCESS!!! Actually nothing really went as planned and we probably had a total of 10 people at the beginning but by the end when the food came out we had about 25 people. We wanted to show some videos from but there was a miscommunication with the branch and they didn’t have a computer for us to use. After a lot of trying different things we ended up watching “A Savior is Born” and “O Holy Night” and they were so good! Oh the whole thing started 1 hour late…..we planned on having everyone share a Christmas memory or what they love about Christmas but only about 4 of us shared, Sister Zohner and I being two of those. But here comes the best part….the Sunday before I had written out a script for us to act out the nativity, just like we do at home from Luke 2, and handed out parts. A lot of the people didn’t show up but we had Mercy as Mary. Akim as Joseph. Sister Zohner and I as shepherds with umbrella staffs. Sister Nkosi and Sister Mulomba and Justin (a 14 year old investigator) as the 3 wise men. Sister Kapato as the angel. And Grace as the narrator. We brought and Sister Zohner’s & my chitenga (the wraps that the women wear here) and we dressed everyone up. We drew a hut and star on a chalk board for the props and then acted it out. It was by far the funniest thing I have experienced in the past 6 months. First of all….Mary and Joseph were major acting it out and were walking soooooo slow and like a very dramatic pregnant woman. Then we had her go behind the podium to switch out her stomach for a fake baby and the Joseph started making crying sounds which made me start laughing. Then right before I was supposed to walk out my umbrella just popped open and wouldn’t shut so I started laughing harder. Then the Joseph kept playing peek-a-boo and doing funny things with the baby so I was laughing even harder and you know that when I start laughing, its hard to stop. Then we were all supposed to sing Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains but every time I tried to sing, I’d start laughing so I pretty much just hid behind Sister Zohner but Sister Kapato was laughing as well. It was a disaster! But everyone loved it and there was actually a really sweet spirit as all the characters were gathered around the baby Jesus and the congregation sang Silent Night. I had made snicker doodles and the branch had bought stuff to make sandwiches and it actually felt like a ward party. It took a lot of our time on Saturday and was a lot of work and some stressful moments but it was hilarious and I really felt the Christmas spirit while watching the videos. Our branch is small and  far from perfect but I love that I have been able to serve here for 6 months and I am so grateful that I get more time here to love and serve the people.
 African Shephards from Idaho
Branch Activity

SundaySunday was such a special day as Ntusha was confirmed and Justin was baptized. I was playing the piano on Sunday and so I was right next to them as they confirmed Ntusha and for some reason it was really different being right there. We talk about the power of the priesthood and I really could feel that power as they not just confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and gave her to Gift of the Holy Ghost, but as they gave her a blessing. I love confirmations just as much as baptisms and every time they make me grateful for the restoration of the priesthood. Justin's baptism was so special as his brother in law was able to baptize him. I have felt so blessed to see Brother Simanwe exercise his priesthood and share the gospel with so many of his family! Justin's testimony was the best convert testimony I have ever heard and I am so humbled by the changes he has made and the covenant he made that day with our Father in Heaven. My joy was full as we left the meeting house that day. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I am grateful for those that have entered the waters of baptism and feel blessed to have witnessed and been a part of this but I know our work extends far greater than just baptizing. I love thinking of all my friends who are out there serving and what good they are doing. This work is something else! The new sisters also gave their testimonies and I just am grateful for each of the them and that I get to serve with them. They bring me so much joy as we are so far away from family! 


This week we have zone meeting and then we are heading to Lusaka on Friday for our combined zone conference with the lusaka zone/ Christmas party! And next week I GET TO TALK TO YOU!!!!!!!!!! I love you all so much and am so grateful for you!!!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Changes in the Copperbelt

Well the time has finally come....Sister Motsi and I will be separated on Wednesday:( It has been a lot of mixed emotions as this week really made us grow even closer and Sunday...hahah I was a wreck at church. She bore her testimony and the tears just started flowing. The saddest part was when Selina just ran out of the church. After her testimony, Sister Motsi and I went to go and check on her and she was sitting outside crying because she didn't want Sister Motsi to leave. Sister Motsi has changed so many lives over the past 10 months that she has served here and really left an impact on the branch. So many people got up and in their testimonies expressed their love and gratitude for Sister Motsi and Sister Andria. It was such a blessing to realize that we really are making a difference as missionaries...sometimes the work is slow and can be really frustrating but I know that no effort is wasted. There are so many ways that we can fulfill our responsibilities as missionaries besides just teaching investigators. We can build and strength the branches and wards that we serve in. I feel so incredibly blessed to have served in the Ndola branch for the past 6 months and I am excited to continue serving here. As many of the members were giving their testimonies and as Sister Motsi shared her love for the members and the area, I was overwhelmed by my feelings that I have for the Ndola branch. I really don't think I will ever be able to leave but I know that someday that day will come....good thing I get at least 6 more weeks here! So my new companion is Sister Zohner from Boise!!! We come all the way to Africa and they put us together..hahah but I am so excited! I don't know her super well but she has a great love for the work and a strong testimony. It won't be the same without Sister Motsi but I know that I will learn so much from Sister Zohner and that the work will continue to move forward. Sister Motsi is going to Blantyre and will be training a new sister! It will be fun to communicate with her each week and I am really looking forward to continuing our relationship for our entire lives! she has made such an impact on me and taught me many things but especially how to put others before myself.
This week was amazing but really hard! We had FHE with the Simanwes and we were late and we walked into them singing hymns together as a family. It has been absolutely incredible to watch this family grow in the gospel and the best to witness another one of their daughters be baptized. Ntusha is 21 years old and was baptized on Sunday by her father. She has a simple but strong testimony of the gospel and something that I was most inspired by her is how she has found direction for her life through the gospel. She also shared with us how much joy she has found as well. What a miracle to be a part of this work and to see families brought together by the gospel. Their uncle Justin will be baptized this next Sunday as well. He is sooo shy but the sweetest man of all. 

 the simanwe family!!!!!
 Simanwe sisters!
so special to see Brother Simanwe baptize his daughter

Brother justin...he is getting baptized next week!!!!

 the feast at the simanwes

We had MLC over webcam this week and I once again left feeling so grateful to work with so many incredible missionaries, to seek inspiration, and to council together on how we can be the best instruments in the work of the Lord. The Zone Leaders gave us a ride home from Kitwe and we spent the hour discussing together how we can help the work move forward in the Copperbelt Zone. It was amazing how strong the spirit was in their car as we talked about what we felt and learned during Mission Leadership Council. I am grateful for my priesthood leaders and how much they have supported us sisters in the work and how they have turned to us for direction and inspiration as well. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were fall through after fall through. Hahah i thought i had experienced fall throughs before but never like this week. honestly it was pretty hilarious how EVERY SINGLE thing we tried didn't work out. But what a blessed opportunity for Sister Motsi and I to not only build our relationship (I grew to love her more and more and it stinks that now we have to be seperated) but to strengthen our patience and endurance and rely more on the Savior and His atonement. 

Thursday we headed to Pamodzi and had some really great lessons, especially with a mother who about a year ago her son was baptized but hasn't seen the missionaries since. I love these small miracles that happen and the realization the Heavenly Father's ways and time are not our ways or time. I know He has a plan for all of His children and that everyone will have an opportunity to hear the gospel! Friday we had a bunch of fall throughs again as well as Saturday and at this point I was laughing anymore but started to get really disappointed and frustrated. I shared last week how I was overwhelmed by the responsibilities we have as missionaries to help our investigators resolves their concerns. This week I studied even more diligently and sought the Spirit so much more, only to teach very very few lessons. I even had a couple moments where I asked myself, "What am I doing here?" I felt like I wasn't doing my best and was feeling very low. This week taught me an incredible lesson though. Sometimes Heavenly Father brings us low so that He may raise us up. 

Sunday, as I shared, was an answer to my prayers as I came to realize how truly grateful I am to be a missionary. There are hard moments but there are SOOOO many blessings and miracles all around us. I am grateful for trials and especially this week that has made me want to be better, work harder, study more, pray more earnestly, seek the Spirit with a greater desire, be more obedient, love more, look to serve, and be more grateful! Mission is the greatest and this week I will be turning 6 months old...I have one year left to serve. This breaks my heart but has started a new fire within me to accomplish all that I have been called to do. I love this work! I love Ndola. I love Sister Motsi. I already love Sister Zohner. I love my Savior.....I truly love him and know that He lives. and I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Bingham
P.S. I am glad that the video all worked out for the ward party! I got to watch part of it today and it was sooooooo awesome to see all those missionaries. this Saturday we are having a branch activity and I wish you could be there with us!

p.p.s. Funny moments of the week.....digging through the trash can just to get my receipt so I could buy my ice cream. Akim, a member of the branch, giving his testimony and then finishing by saying this" I love Sister Bingham and I am going to take her to the temple." hahahahahahah sooooooo awkward. Calling a member to try and tell them to NOT meet us at the church for a lesson because our investigator could no longer come but the member not understanding me. I was literally yelling into our phone, "DO NOT COME TO CHURCH!!!" and then him saying, don't come on Sunday??? hahahah Sister Motsi and I ended up hanging up because we couldn't stop laughing!!! 

p.p.p.s Good news...our water heater finally got fixed but i ended up still showering with cold water because I have been so used to it. our stove is working again!

Our district president, President Kapato and his wife.

Annie made us these bags! she is one of the happiest people i have ever met!

 There were 4 in a mini bus......
A lot of the members of our branch!! Robert has his head down since Sister Andria and Motsi are leaving