Monday, January 25, 2016

The Warm Heart of Africa

Too many cute kids!!!!

MALAWI IS BEAUTIFUL!!! I haven't even been here for a week yet but I already love this area so much! The first couple of days was a lot of change and trying to figure everything out and missing Ndola but life is so so good. Malawi is way more different from Zambia than I was expecting but this week has made me so grateful that I was called to this mission and for everything that I get to experience. I have also had soooooooooo many moments where I just stop and thank Heavenly Father for sending me here. He truly knows us each individually and sends missionaries where they are not only needed, but where He knows we will be happy. Let me just give you a couple examples of why this mission is perfect for me. #1-I GET TO DRIVE A TRUCK!! #2-I can wear chacos everyday #3-Its so hot that no one even notices when I have killer sweat stains...

Ok but for reals I have seen so many blessings this week that have once again confirmed to me that I was sent here for a purpose. That not only are my strengths needed but also my weaknesses. There are so many lessons that I learned this week and I have really grown a lot closer to the Savior as I have faced new challenges. Mom sent me a Christmas advent thing and I just got it but it was the most perfect timing!! With the change and all that occurs with transfers, I have found comfort in the Atonement and feel that my testimony and reliance on it needs to be strengthened. The pictures and scriptures you sent are exactly what I need! I also read this talk called, "Becoming a consecrated missionary" by Tad R. Callister. If you have time go read it....even though it is for missionaries it is amazing! I feel that I was transferred to this new area because I need to step up my work. I need to learn more and develop myself into the person Heavenly Father sees in me. I am sooo grateful for the challenging times that I have faced in the past that have been a source of peace and hope during the harder things I am facing now. I guess I really understand now that trials are blessings in disguise.

So like I said Malawi is WAY different from Zambia. Its so green! and cleaner! Our flat is insanely nice! 

our flat

WE HAVE A WASHER AND DRYER!!!! Hallelujah! We drive a diesel truck but we need it cause all the roads in our area are dirt roads and of course I love driving them! The don't have mini buses quite like they do in Zambia and instead they have Kabazas which are bikes with seats on the back.
I WANT TO RIDE ONE SO BAD!!! Sister Ratema is absolutely terrified but agreed to try them at least once. They are everywhere though and there is no shoulders on the roads so it is kinda scary but i love seeing them and realizing how hard the drivers work! they are my heroes! My companion is Sister Ratema from Johannesburg, South Africa. We are probably the too most opposite people in the world but I absolutely love her! She is a powerful missionary and works really hard. She loves the people and the Lord and missionary work. She is SUPER good at picking up the language so hopefully someday I can be as good as her. Her first name is Molebegang (the gang part you pretty much just hock a loogie...sorta like Vanderploeg). 
I feel like a giant everyday!

We live with Sister Mukaye and Sister Brown who are also super awesome! Sister Mukaye moved into Sister Motsi's ward after Sister Motsi left on mission but they are friends. Oh and a boy from their ward is serving in Taylor's mission so small world!! What else...oh 90% of the people we teach don't speak any English! We have to always bring a member with us to translate and that was a little bit strange to get used to teaching like that. I am still trying to figure it out because I feel like I can't totally connect with the people due to the language barrier and since I am new here. But it has taught me a lot! We have been blessed to have some young single adults come teach with us to translate and it has made me grow in my testimony of the Savior. No matter how great our knowledge and faith in the gospel is, we cannot teach people without an interpreter. There are things in our life that no matter how hard we try, we will come up short. We need not just the redeeming power of the Atonement but the enabling power. I am so grateful for how the Savior has made up for my weaknesses as I have strived to do my best yet still come up short. I am so grateful for the members here that sacrifice so much to help us in our work. Since the people don't speak English, we can't really just go and teach so we have to be really good at planning. The language is sort of like Bemba but not really. I have picked it up a lot faster though because I learned Bemba. I pretty much just know how to greet people, figure out if someone is home, ask how much money, and thats about it. You greet children and young adults by giving them a thumbs up and saying "Bho bho!" its pretty much like whats up.

Too many cute kids!!!!
I am learning bit by bit though and it's really fun to communicate with the people and try to learn more about the culture.oh The flight over was good! We went on the smallest plane and there were 8 of us missionaries and then 6 other people. I tried taking a picture but they got mad at me. My first night in the apartment was kinda overwhelming and I didn't realize how much I was used to Ndola but the very next day, in our first lesson, as soon as we started teaching, I felt right at home again. It felt so good to be teaching again and I know I have said this a million times before but I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY and sharing with others what brings me so much happiness. We met lots of great people and I am excited to build relationships with them. I feel like a newbie again but i am trying to just love with all my heart as much as I loved my old area. It's hard for me to not get frustrated and compare myself and this area to what I left behind but at the same time it is really driving me to improve and work hard.
 First Day in Malawi with our interperters!

Friday was a lot of lessons and this area is helping me to perfect my teaching as we really have to choose our words carefully. For the first couple of days I felt like I was focusing too hard on being simple and worrying about the translation but I learned by the end of the week that what is most important is listening to and following the Spirit. As much as I need to value my words and be careful, I cannot forget to be guided by the Spirit. Because the people can't understand me, the power of my words and my testimony are the most important so that they can truly FEEL what we are teaching is true. We had a lesson with a member father and his 10 year old son who needs to be baptized. We talked to the dad about setting a date for him to prepare for but the father told us how disobedient and troublesome his son is. The father understands how important the covenant of baptism is so wants his son to be ready. After we closed the prayer, I looked over and the son had tears running down his face. I held back the tears as I looked around and saw this single father, raising two sons, playing double roles as father and mother, living out of a tiny shop where he sells things such as bubblegum and soap, his children are dirty and have ripped clothes, they cook over an open fire and wash clothes in a bucket, they have chickens running around everywhere and the kids were playing with charcoal. They are just trying to do the best they can with what they have. I had a lot of different thoughts and emotions running through my head but I really was so grateful that they have the gospel. Amidst all their struggles, they have one thing to hold onto and that is the peace and joy that comes from the Savior and his teachings and example. I felt so grateful for the blessings that I have and although I don't think I will ever comprehend why I grew up how I did and other people live in different circumstances....I have a new found desire to serve more. "Where much is given, much is required." All my problems and things that I felt were hard this week, all melted away as I spent the rest of the day looking around and counting my many, many blessings. The humble people of Malawi have already changed my life and I cannot wait to see what miracles lie ahead.

Saturday we met with the Elders that serve in the branch with us. Our branch is the Kalambo Branch and the elders are Elder Etiang and Elder Scatena. Elder Etiang served in the Copperbelt so its fun to be reunited! Elder Scatena is from Arizona and has been out about 5 months. The branch is great here! Its bigger than Ndola and has a lot more priesthood holders. It still faces many of the similar challenges but the church is true no matter where you go in the world! That afternoon we went to go see a less active who is 15 years old named Paul. We park the truck and walk a little ways into his house but as soon as we are in sight of his house there are about 20 kids who start screaming and jumping up and down. Turns out that they always join the lessons the sisters have with Paul so we taught Paul with 20 little kids all surrounding us. They are so cute!!! Paul went to fetch water and was hit by a truck....but still came to church!! he is amazing. Mary is the wife to a member here and is going to be baptized next week! I just met her but I still felt this special spirit as we talked about this wonderful decision she has made to be baptized.

Sunday was so great and the spiritual renewal that I needed. They have interpreters for all the talks which was good so I could understand as well as our investigators. After Church we had to run a couple errands but we met the senior couple here, the Birrells and they are awesome! As i was talking to her I thought a lot about Grandma Anderson because she reminds me of her! I just really love our family so much and I am grateful that I still have these moments of homesickness because my family is just that great. We had a member bring his My Family book to church and we entered the information into the computer. It was my first time actually entering the information into the computer and it was the coolest feeling ever! I felt closer to the temple as I entered in the names of his family than I have the entire past 7 months! It was incredible to sit there and be a part of bringing the gospel to his family on the other side of the veil. He is trying to go to the temple this year with the branch so we reserved the names for him to take but I told him that if he can't do them all or if something comes up and he can't go that we could send them to my family. Wouldn't that be so cool?? I really have found a greater love for family history work and even though we focus a lot of missionary work here and now, on this earth, doing temple work is just as important and helps us feeling the Spirit more than anything else. I am so grateful for technology and for the dispensation that we live in where we can do the work of the Lord so much easier! We are so blessed to live here and now at this time. We left the church but we were in quite the pickle...we really needed to go see some investigators that are going to be baptized on February 14, but we didn't have a female or an interpreter to go with us. I feel bad because I don't know the area super well but was trying to think of possibilities. Finally we felt like we should go visit a member who was working with us for the past 3 days but just ask one last time. I have been scared that we are going to wear her out but Sister Ratema taught me that this is the Lord's work. We cannot be ashamed to ask people to work with us because even more than them helping our work go forward, the members themselves will receive blessings as they sacrifice to be with us. Scholar, the 19 year old, agreed to come with us and it was such an answer to prayer! we were able to see both the investigators we needed to and soon they will be baptized! This area is great. The church is still growing but getting stronger and stronger each day. I am humbled to be serving with and around so many faithful saints and missionaries. Challenges come each and every day but I am constantly learning and growing. I love the culture here and the people. I love my companion and I still love ice cream. Most of all I love my family!!! Wishing you the best this week and praying that someday we all will get to come to Zambia and Malawi!!!!

Kondwani (Be Happy!),

Sister Bingham (No one can say my name but they have this gum here called 'Chingum' so I use that to help them pronounce it but then I end up just getting called Sister Chingum! hahaha oh and these kids this week kept calling me China because they think I am

 Bus ride to Lusaka
Of course we'd get a flat tire and wait 2 hours in the middle of nowhere #africanadventures

 Sister Ratema was scared out of her mind. It took me about 10 minutes to convince her to cross the bridge. she had to hold my hand the entire way but she did it!!! #everydayanadventure

brought back so many memories of crossing that bridge over the Payette!

WE made it!

This is what I call the grand canyon...the picture doesn't do it justice.


It is still raining season but this year its super dry which is really really bad for the country. I think it will be hard for the people here.

the internet here isn't as good so my emails might not be as good....I'll try!! 

almost everyday I think...wait am I seriously in Africa right now??? it helps me to get through the hard times when I just think about how sweet this is.

The flight was such an adventure! I love these adventures I am experiencing! its crazy how simple it is to get into this country and how the mission just sends us off by ourselves! 

one more fun fact....1 us dollar equals 712 Malwain kwacha!!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016


Well I guess you all heard but I've been transferred!!! I am heading to Lilongwe, Malawi on Wednesday!!!!! My feelings about this are all over the place and I can't really describe them but its been an interesting past couple of days. A lot of tears and a lot of excitement but most of all, I have been filled with so much gratitude. Gratitude for EVERYTHING I have experience in Ndola and EVERYONE that I have met, taught, served, and LOVED. I am even starting to cry now as I think about it but I am also grateful for what lies ahead and what is in store for me. But really, I had no idea that it would be this hard to leave....I knew my time here was limited but this change was still really unexpected and it feels like home here. 

My heart will forever be in Ndola!!!!!!!

Tuesday: Zone Meeting in Luanshya! It went great! The APs were there and they did a presentation on obedience and using our time wisely. It was really inspiring and built a desire within me to look for ways that I can improve in each of these areas. Mosiah 2:41 has been running through my head a lot this week and although I have read it so many times (it being our family scripture) I am finally beginning to understand how very true it is as I have seen blessings in my own life and those around me. We had a lot of good lessons but I remember coming home that night and just talking with Sister Zohner about how grateful I was for the gospel. That day we taught people from a lot of different backgrounds, family situations, and life styles. I realized that the gospel brings purpose into our lives. It gives us direction and hope. It gives us the opportunity to grow and improve. No matter who we are, no matter where we live or how we live, we need the gospel and it perfectly fits into each of our unique lives. 

Wednesday: I can't remember this day for the life of me.....but I am sure it was great!

Thursday: Aaron Mupundu is progressing very rapidly although his wife runs away when we come to teach. We tried bringing Sister Enear, a member from the branch, but she still didn’t want to be taught. It is hard to see someone fear the gospel when we know how wonderful it is but through her husband and his strong testimony, I know that one day her heart will be softened. It made me learn a lot though, especially how we can always love more. Sister Zohner and I visited her in the hospital on Christmas but it was difficult to build a relationship with the language barrier. We tried and I am sure we could have done more but sometimes the timing is not right....I wish I knew exactly why Sister Mupundu doesn’t want to see us but until then, I will have faith and trust that as I did my best, other missionaries will come to fill in the rest. We went and saw Cletus, our recent convert, and had a lesson on prayer. He comes from a Pentecostal church so his prayers are full of faith and conviction but have a little different pattern and wording. We planned a lesson to help teach the correct manner of prayer and it was really great but then we had him pray and it was the exact same as before. Maybe we could have been more blunt or taught the lesson better but it made me ponder over my own life and look for things that I can change or improve that I may at first not recognize. I found A LOT and it is overwhelming but in this moment of examination that night, I was comforted by a picture of the Savior that Mom sent me with. As i looked at him I was reassured that although I have tons of imperfections, He has called me to do this work and He will make up for my weaknesses as I strive to make them into strengths. Then we went and visited Sister Sinkiwae( a less active) and we felt that we needed to build up a relationship with her. For the lesson, the three of us each shared our favorite scriptures . It was amazing to see how much the scriptures have blessed all of us. The primary song, “Scripture Power” was running through my head after that lesson and since then, each time I have pulled out my own scriptures in a lesson I have felt a special power about them and they have helped me to find the inspiration and courage i need to share the gospel. Hastings, the Simanwe’s nephew, is progressing and is on date for February 27th! I am really sad I won’t be able to be there for it but excited for what lies ahead for him. After we went with Sister Simanwe to visit her friend. By the way one of my most favourite things to experience on mission is seeing recent converts share the gospel with their friends. It is kind of a surreal feeling to be sitting there, hearing them share testimony and truths that only months or weeks before, us missionaries were sharing with them! This is one of the blessings of being able to serve here in the same area for a long time. We were heading back home and that's when we got a call from the APs. They started asking Sister Zohner if she knew how to drive stick and told us that we should take some time to practice. We automatically knew that that meant we were getting split up. Sister Simanwe was still in the car so we couldn’t talk about it but it was really really sad. There was a weird feeling in the car as I started thinking back on all that we have experienced and accomplished together. Sister Zohner is one of a kind and I really learned a lot from her! Thank goodness she is from Boise but it still is going to be hard to leave.

Friday: Teaching Sister Zohner how to drive stick was hilarious and stressful! I think i finally understand what Dad went through when he taught me. Hahahaha I am glad that sister Zohner didn’t get annoyed with me but she did awesome!!! The best part was when we switched back and i sat in her seat and it was super sweaty....hahaha i guess it was good prep for someday when I teach my own children.
Teaching Sister Zohner to drive stick.......

That night we got called at around 10 pm and the news finally came that I was transferred to Lilongwe and I would be companions with Sister Ratema. She was in the Copperbelt before and I have been on a couple exchanges with her so we are already really good friends!! Sister Zohner is staying in Ndola but will be companions with Sister Thueson. That night I had a harder time falling asleep as i was trying to digest all the new changes that would be occurring soon but honestly it really didn’t hit that night.

Saturday: Sister Zohner woke up early and made me breakfast! She’s the best. 
Birthday Breakfast!!!
Sister Zohner woke up early and made me breakfast!!! she is the best. also she said she got the idea from dad.....thanks dad!!!

Then we drove to Kaniki to help Sister Martha slash her grass. Hahaha you should have seen the 4 of us with slashers trying to cut her lawn. We have some pretty good videos that sister zohner has promised to come show you. We all had blisters even though we only did it for probably 30 minutes. Sister Martha’s mom said that we were doing work that only men do so she made us stop and instead she had us fertilize her maize. We took handfuls of fertilizer and put it next to each stalk of maize. We the 5 of us it went pretty quick and it felt good to be working again outside. It made me grateful though for that fertilizer thing we have at home and all the people here who work so hard!! 
 Saturday Service!
Fertilizing the maize!

Bambuya (grandma in Bemba) showed us how to fertilize the maize...we love her!!!

We came home and showered and then went driving again. Sister Zohner is a pro and ready to drive! We went and saw the Nondes for my last was awful!!! First of all they wanted us to sing “Come come ye saints” for the opening hymn so that of course made me emotional. Then sister Nonde asked me to say the opening prayer. It was a miracle I got through it. This family is so dear to my heart and has blessed me so much! We had a great lesson on the plan of salvation but at the end when i bore my testimony, i got really emotional and encouraged them to continue to be faithful. It was such a blessing that we had decided to teach the plan of salvation because it gave me a great hope for a reunion and also amidst the sorrow, i was able to feel the hope and joy of this great plan of our Heavenly Father. It was at the end that one of their daughters, Chariet, started crying really, really hard and that just killed me! But we made it through the goodbyes and when we got back in the car i felt so grateful for how hard it was to leave them because I felt that i had done my best in being a representative of Jesus Christ. Obviously I could have done a lot more and taught better, but I had loved them with a love that I am not sure I have experienced before. This love, this Christlike love, is vital in missionary work and even though I cried while driving away, I can’t wait to give more of that love to those in Lilongwe! Next we went to teach Justin and his cousin Moreen who came to church for Justin’s baptism last week. We showed them a video of the temple and all Justin could say at the end was “wow”. It made us laugh but his response was perfect. It was exactly how i was feeling and how i feel every time I am in the house of the Lord. My love for the temple continues to grow the longer and longer I am away from it. Justin’s dad came in at the very end and we were just making small talk with him. He is a police officer and told us that President Lungu (Zambia’s president) was in Ndola so he had to go to work. Sister Zohner and I asked if he could tell us where President Lungu was so we could see him. It actually has been a dream of mine to see him but Justin’s dad just laughed. 
If you zoom way in on the picture you can see him in the tan SUV. #coolestbirthdayever
Anyways we had to go over to Selina’s house because she had a birthday present for me. She told me to sit on the couch and close my eyes. Before i knew it, she was dumping water on top of me!!! They have a tradition in Africa where they dump a bucket of water on you when its your birthday. Sister Zohner convinced Selina to just do a cup instead of a bucket but it was quite the surprise
 Birthday Surprise!
After they poured water on me!

She gave me a present though...this girl is the sweetest. She even gave me ice cream!!!! She also wrote down her testimony for me and wrote a really sweet note. I was overwhelmed by her love!!! After that We left and as we were about to pull onto the main road the police stopped us. They told us that the President was about to drive by so we had to should have seen mine and Sister Zohner’s faces!!!! Well, I pretty much had the best birthday ever cause I WAS 20 YARDS FROM PRESIDENT LUNGU AND HE WAVED RIGHT AT ME!!!! It was pretty sweet. The policemen were cracking up at the two of us. That night Brother Nonde brought me over a card that he had made and then Sister Zohner gave me all the emails from each of you. It made me cry and laugh all at the same time. Thank you thank you thank you thank you for all your kind words and love and support. I felt so loved and appreciated and blessed that day!!! It was a birthday I never will forget.

one of the hardest goodbyes! I love this family!!!!!

The Ndola branch.... well at least some of them

Sunday: hardest day of the week. I was a wreck during the entire sacrament meeting. They had me bear my testimony and right before going up, I just prayed that I would be able to make it through. I ended up doing fine but it was hard to stand up there and look at so many people that I love! That branch has changed my life! It was so touching to see Sister Nonde there for the second week in a row after not coming for 6 and a half months! Or to see Joshua with only one shoe. As i looked around the small chapel i felt so humbled by each of these special saints here in Ndola. They sacrifice so much to be there each week yet never complain, they truly press forward with steadfast faith in Christ. It was a lot of hard goodbyes and some funny ones too that i will explain someday. 
(the Branch President)

I asked what pose he wanted to do and he said lets just point at each other! I'm gonna miss this one!!
The handshake of a lifetime
Akim.....the one who expressed his love for me over the pulpit. hahahah Sister Zohner is a pro at taking pictures

Probably the most upset about my leaving......

Chalwe family plus Mercy
 My girls of the Ndola branch

We had some hard lessons that day especially the Simanwes but all is well.
 The Simanwes

Well my time is up but I love this work. I love being a missionary! I love Ndola and am not really looking forward to leaving tomorrow but also really excited for all the adventures and miracles that lie ahead in Lilongwe!!!

Mushali Bwino mi familia!!!!
Sister Bingham

Kirtland temple in Zambia????

Green nshima?
I made nshima all by myself and Sister Zohner thought it would be funny to put green food coloring in it....Happy earlier St. Patrick's day???

Monday, January 11, 2016

Extra photo from Bro. Nonde

A couple of pictures from Bro. Nonde!  Alli is riding his bike! I'm sure she loved it.

Sometimes you get lost and end up at the Congo border......

Today marks my 7 month mark as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it truly has been the most happiest, most challenging, most exhausting, most rewarding, most best 7 months of my life!!! This past week I closed a lesson like every other lesson we teach by saying, "I know that all we have taught is true and we share everything in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen". By now I have said that sooooo many times but as I said it this time, I truly felt the power of our calling as missionaries and that we truly are His representatives. I am sooooooooooo happy that I still have 11 more months to keep sharing His gospel and trying my best to bless the lives here in Zambia!

 7 months plus 11 months!
= 18 months!

Tuesday: We saw the Sambe’s again and read from Alma 34 together. During the lesson I felt the strongest impression to promise them that if they prayed that night, they would receive the answer that they are searching for. I have never felt so strongly that I should give such a specific and direct promise. I even hesitated for one second but it that quick moment, I felt the prompting again so I continued forward. I hope that they will act upon the invitation but I am so grateful for how many opportunities I have had lately that have taught me how to recognize and act upon the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Every week, if we partake of the sacrament worthily, then we are able to have the Spirit with us at all times. This blessing has become so important in my work recently and one that I have really cherished. We had a lesson not go so well but then later that day, an investigator asked us if we ever made mistakes. Hahah of course I could have given him a million examples of how I have messed up but it was really interesting how we were able to share how earlier that day we didn’t follow the Spirit during a lesson and acted more upon our own knowledge that from the Lord. I know that everything happens for a reason and today I learned that I need to accept my mistakes and weaknesses and see them as positive catalysts to my spiritual development.

Wednesday: I was privileged to go on exchanges with Sister Nkosi which was really really great because even though we stay in the same flat, it was an opportunity for me to get to build a stronger relationship with her. We usually get home between 7 or 8 and then by the time we close the day, plan for the next day, write in our area book, cook dinner, and do anything else we need….we hardly get to be with the other sisters!! I wish I had more time with each of them but that is the blessing of exchanges!!! It was also one of the least stressful and comfortable exchanges I have been on and Sister Nkosi is an incredible missionary! We saw Greg, who we haven’t been able to see in about 3 weeks and it was the best lesson that I have had in forever!!! I can’t really describe it and I wish that you all could feel what we felt during that lesson but I guess I can try. He started telling us things that he is struggling with right now and he is in a pretty awful family situation. He doesn’t really know where to go or what to do. We had planned to reteach lesson 1 and I didn’t know if that is what he needed. But after the opening prayer, I felt good about moving forward with that plan. It was incredible how we were able to relate the Restoration to him and especially what Josphe smith went through. We focused a lot of prayer and faith. We testified of how the challenges we face allow us to come unto Christ and that through His gospel, we can be more than just helped but find lasting peace, purpose and joy! I even cried as I thought of Greg and what he is facing now. I thought of my own trials and then multiplied them by 10 to try to feel that true charity towards Greg. The Spirit was ever strong during that entire lesson and Greg shared a lot of his thoughts and desires. As he shared, he said how he feels us teaching him is part of God’s plan and is exactly what he is searching for. At one point he started crying and man….its lesson’s like these that make everything worth it. Its moments like these that I am beyond grateful to be a missionary. It’s moments like these that build my testimony and want me to have greater faith in the Savior and His Atonement. I realized how much he needs the enabling power of the Atonemnt and the reassurance and hope that the plan of salvation brings. My heart aches for this 18 year old boy but my faith in the gospel has grown as I reflected on how I personally have been strengthend during difficult times. Also it was a miracle we found Mercy in town so that we could have a female to teach with us. Heavenly Father has great plans and knows how much Greg needs the gospel. We saw Selina and Sister Nkosi asked her to share with her why she joined the church. It was the sweetest! I think I need to have her write it down and then send it to you! I want to read it to my own children someday. She is a rockstar. At the end of every exchange we talk about what occurred that day and what we both learned from each other. Sister Nkosi shared with me my strengths and I felt so uplifted and encouraged. I know that a lot of the things she said are probably not true and but the words she shared with me really helped me that day. This calling continues to bless me WAY more than I will ever be able to bless the other sisters in the zone.

Thursday: We drove to Kitwe early in the morning (on the drive over I told Sister Zohner that it felt like the drive to mountain home…I love how she actually knew what I was talking about #idahocompanionsarethebest). We had mission leadership council over the web and we had to present about the doctrine of the restoration and I was so nervous!!! It was kinda weird having to talk and bear testimony into a computer but it was a great learning experience for the two of us and especially for me as I realized how much more I need to study the Restoration. Sometimes I forget to focus on the simple doctrines of the missionary lessons because I feel like I have studied them over and over and over but the more we study, the more we learn, the stronger our testimony becomes, and the greater spiritual power we will be able to have while teaching. After MLC we headed back to Ndola and stopped to by chips (fries) from our favorite chip lady Dorothy!! We love her chips and we can get a lot for 5 kwacha so ended up going there a lot this past week. We are so busy that we hardly have time for lunch so its an easy and quick stop…I’ll try and take a picture of it this week but its so fun to build relationships with people like Dorothy and the other guy that we always buy cokes from. Oh also, Sister Zohner has made me like cokes and I also think its in my blood from Grandma Anderson. But anyways when you come visit, we will for sure go to Dorothy and buy chips…they are delicious!!! Gibson, a 16 year old boy who was baptized in May, gave a super powerful testimony as we taught him and his friends. We asked him to explain to his friends why he joined the church and he told us how the missionaries asked him to read the book of mormon but he couldn’t understand it. Then he prayed and tried again and could understand! Hearing him say this touched my heart and gave me such a a great hope for so many of our investigators now and in the future  who struggle with reading the Book of Mormon. Gibson has gone up to grade 8 but doesn’t have money to keep gaining an education yet reads the Book of Mormon almost perfectly. His story is so similar to that of Joseph Smith and once again reminded me of the truth of the Restoration.

Friday: We got a phone call in the morning asking us to check up on the Kitwe sisters. Sister Owusu-Afriyie (my companion from the MTC) has been sick so we ended up driving there that night to make sure she was doing ok. That day we had a really unproductive day and ending up what felt like driving around in circles. Plus our trunk wouldn’t stay shut so we worked on it for awhile and then tried taking it to a branch member to fix it. Anyways as we drove to Kitwe I felt discouraged about the day but then was reminded by Sister Zohner that what Heavenly Father needed us to focus on was our sister. We may not have had a “successful day” with what we often associate missionary work with but we were still able to bless and support and love one of God’s children. We bought the sisters dinner and we stopped at this candy store and that is when we found the Dr. Peppers!! You should have seen how excited we were!!! I love moments like that! Anyways I was worried and nervous with how to help Sister owusu and felt really inadequate and even asked Sister Zohner to say a prayer before we walked in. I have a testimony that prayer works because conversation flowed so smoothly and I never once worried about what to say to her. I think our visit lifted her spirits and let her know how much we really do love and care for her. She is so dear to me and its hard to see her struggling but she is strong and has such a zeal for missionary work like I have never seen. I know before long she will be right back at it again! We got home right before 10:30 and I was exhausted but at peace to be in the service of this sister and ultimately my Savior. Mission is challenging in so many different ways and I can’t imagine what Sister Owusu is going through but I am grateful for what I have experienced and what I will continue to experience in life, the ups and the downs.

Saturday: We had a lot of lessons with investigators opening up about their concerns and needs and it was sort of overwhelming. I actually have felt a big burden on my shoulders again as those we are teaching are struggling to see the blessings of the gospel or because of their agency, are choosing not to accept and keep the commitments that we extend. I know that every missionary goes through this but this week it really pressed down on my mind. But what a wonderful thing to be worried over! And I know that every worry, every question, can be answered and solved and made better through the gospel. Its challenging though to fulfill this responsibility as missionaries but I grew in love for all those young men and women serving around the world. Brother Mupundu shared about how his wife is really hesitant with the gospel and so I shared with him about Grandma and Grandpa Bingham and how through the influence of Grandma, Grandpa being reactive and their family was sealed in the temple. There was a special spirit in that home and I know that we receive help in times of need from those on the other side of the veil. We all can feel their strength as well. We saw the Nonde family and brought the Book of Mormon stories for the little girls to read. We had Brother Nonde read from one chapter to his daughters because they only know Bemba and it was really precious. I couldn’t help but think of all my memories of Dad and all the time he spent reading with us, playing with us, taking us hunting, fishing, camping, backpacking, cross country skiing, canoeing, boating, wrestling us, making us Spam and chocolate pudding, and everything else! We have the best Dad and I love him so much! I don’t think I would be here today without you!!! Love you so much!!! The next adventure of the day happened when we tried to go visit a member of the branch who stays in our farthest area, Kaniki. I have been there twice but somehow I missed the turn and all the sudden there were police on the road and a big sign that said, “Customs border” or something. We called Martha and turned around and made it to her house. Apparently we had made it to the Congo border…hahaha.

Sunday: I say this all the time but we have seen so many miracles and blessings here in Ndola!!! Sister Nonde finally came to church with her husband!!! I am so grateful that I have been able to stay here for so long because I have seen a lot of the fruits of our labor. It made me think of many missionaries who get discouraged but really just aren’t around to see the blessings.  Justin’s baptism was so great! Sister Zohner and I gave some last minute talks and then the best part of the day…while we were taking pictures, in comes Justin’s parents!! They weren’t going to come but then felt like they should. It made the service so much more special! After they got in the font, Brother Nzima was talking to Justin, probably explaining how he would baptize him but it was silent for about 30 seconds. I was overwhelmed in this short period of time by a strong sense of peace as I reflected on this wonderful covenant and ordinance Justin was about to participate in. Baptisms are something that brings me so much joy and the more I have witnessed, the stronger my testimony of the priesthood and ordinance has become.

 Justin's family

 the gang!
 My two favorite!

Monday: We woke up at 5 and watched the sunrise from the top of Dola hill. It was really beautiful and really great to ponder on the past 7 months I have had here in Ndola. I love this city and I love all the creations of Heavenly Father but especially the sky. I thought lots about Mom and wished she could have been there with me and made some spiritual analogies with the light and the Savior, Jesus Christ. 
Sunrise from Dola Hill

 top of ndola this crazy companion of mine!
 planking in honor of Josh
 can't leave the top of a mountain without a jumping picture
 the hike down

We headed home and then we went to the National Futbol stadium that they have here and got a tour of it for 10 kwacha (pretty much 1 dollar) and it was sooooooooooo cool!!! They let us go on the “pitch” and everything!!! I am worried though because we are slowly running out of fun things to do on p-day….we are going to have to get creative. We have tried going to the river to ask the locals to let us fish but they haven’t been there the past 3 weeks…one day.
Ndola stadium
 View from the presidents seat!! 

 Put us in coach!
  Don't mind the garments but check out Sister Zohner's photography skills!!!

 View from the presidents seat!!

Well family I love you all so much! Thank you soooooooooo much for all the birthday wishes! I have felt so much love today and I am so grateful for how you have helped me here on mission!! You are the best and I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sister Bingham