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

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