Monday, February 8, 2016

Reunions and Repentance


This week was so inspiring and AMAZING!!! Mission Leadership Council was the best. I have no idea what other mission's MLCs are like but I am convinced that none of them are anywhere near what the Zambia Lusaka Mission is like. I wish each of you could experience the Spirit that was there for the 3 days that we met together. And I got to see so many people again that I love so much!!!
Kalambo District

Tuesday was district meeting...surprise! Elder Scatena presented this week and when I first met him, I thought he was a total punk but he gave such an amazing lesson about receiving revelation through Church Attendance. First of all i learned that I shouldn't judge others...hahah Elder Scatena is really hilarious and is one of the more powerful missionaries that I have met. Second I learned how grateful I am for the Church and especially for the Sacrament. All during the lesson I reflected back on how many times I have received needed answers or just  peace that I couldn't find anywhere else besides at church. There have been times on mission where I have been nervous to have investigators at church...I know that sounds crazy but since our branches are still small and new, things don't always run so smooth. Like this past sunday I was playing the piano for the sacrament hymn and after the intro no one sang anything....I got halfway through the first verse and still nothing. so we had to quickly pick a new hymn but the branch presidency couldn't decide which was so awkward. Or when someone gives a talk and brings up false doctrine or when we start half an hour late or go an hour over time...haha but in district meeting I was reminded that no matter our imperfections, this is the Church of Jesus Christ, and it has the priesthood authority. I realized that I need to not worry about what could go wrong and trust that if our investigators find the courage and sacrifice to come to church, then they will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and it will confirm to them that what they have been learning is true. We must cast away any doubt and put full confidence in the convincing power of the Spirit that is present in all of our churches whether that be in good ol' Eagle, Idaho or Kalambo, Malawi. I noticed throughout the week that because of this new found trust and confidence, when I invited others to come to church, I felt a greater power behind my testimony. is something that I struggled with in a lot of areas of my life but I have been astonished to find that as we not put more trust in ourselves but as we turn to the Savior, then we are able to perform and witness miracles. We are able to strength those around us in addition to receiving blessings and revelations for ourselves personal. Bottom line is...Church is great and we need to go every single week. Drew...I'm so proud of you for choosing church over the Super Bowl and Beyonce. We saw Steve that afternoon...the one who is super attached to his church and wants to be an apostle and it was a really sad lesson. His heart is locked on what he believes and no matter what we said...he wouldn't listen. We talked a lot about prayer and asked him to take time to communicate with our Father in Heaven to discover what it is that is really true. As I started to get discouraged and upset and depressed during the lesson, something really interesting happened. I remember just praying to receive help on what to say, what to testify of so that his heart may be softened. In that moment I was prompted that I needed to bear testimony of what we shared to be true and testify of the Savior but that was it. I was then impressed with the following thoughts..."Sister Bingham you have done your best and I am proud of you. I know that you want to help Steve but remember that I have given him the freedom to choose. Please don't be disappointed in yourself but rather cherish this experience that I am blessing you with. I am allowing you to experience something similar to what I feel all the time with so many of my children that I love more than you could imagine." It was such a spiritual experience as I came to understand more about Heavenly Father. I think that is what mission is all about. We are called as representatives of the Savior Jesus Christ and although we experience nothing even close to what He went through, we are giving challenges and face rejection to more fully appreciate Him and our Heavenly Father. It was hard to walk away from his house but I felt spiritually enlightened and closer to my Father in Heaven. That night we picked up Sister Frimpong and Sister Kweitianye (i have no idea how to spell her name) from the bus strip. They came up from Blantyre and while we were waiting we got ice cream cones and it was the BEST ICE CREAM I've had in almost 8 months. The simple joys in life....but in case you were worried...i still love ice cream. (And I am so bummed they don't have Baskin Robbins in Malawi! How will I survive Valentines Day?)
selfie on the plane

Wednesday we flew to Lusaka! We got there and headed straight to the mission home. Being reunited with Sister Zohner and Sister Thueson was the best!!!!!!!! Seriously it was so great but also made me think when I will see all of you. I really don't know what I will do but I had this fear the other day that it is going to be super awkward. hahah anyways.....mission has blessed me with so many great friends!! We started out the council and President Erickson...he is something else. I bet one day he will be a general authority. What I love about him is his perspective. He doesn't just see us as young sisters and elders but sees us as kingdom builders and disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ. He sees our potential and holds us to it. He appreciates who we are and the work we do but also knows how much greater we can be and how much more effective we can become. He also understands missionary work on such a deeper level than anyone else. In our mission it is so much more than just sharing the gospel to the people of Zambia and Malawi. It is about helping them become truly converted to Christ. Anyways we started out by watching the world wide missionary broadcast that was shown in January. The theme was all about teaching repentance and baptizing converts. It was so good!! Elder Anderson, Bednar, And Oaks and Sister Oscarson all spoke so obviously it was good. I learned a lot of different things that I need to change and improve which is perfect since that was the point of it. The greatest takeaway that I learned was to more fully apply the Atonement EVERY single day. We as missionaries today are so blessed!! We are able to receive so much training from the leaders of our church. I felt so grateful to be apart of such an incredible work!! I felt so united with all the missionaries around the world and encouraged by them. I felt also so close to the Apostles and Prophets. Elder Bednar talked about how that next to the Apostles and the Prophet, missionaries are the next in line who know more about the Savior and have the duty to testify of Him. I definitely am not anywhere close to what the Apostles know but my testimony and relationship with Christ has never been so strong and so vital in my life before. What an incredible opportunity to serve as a missionary at this time and in this part of the world???

Thursday we talked a lot about how we will apply what we learned and felt into our mission. We also discussed the "culture" of our mission and how we as leaders can help each individual missionary to adapt the principles we discussed. I had a few overwhelming moments where I felt inadequate to be a leader and felt a great pressure to be perfect and a huge influence on others but those moments are good i guess. hahaha funny how a lot of my stress I have felt on mission are because I constantly feel like i need to improve. but that is what helps us to progress in life. If we never felt like that then we would be stagnant. These feelings though also helped me to want to put into practice what we had been taught. Repent and strive to be better. We had our testimony meeting that night and it was so good. I loved every single one. Especially when my companion stood up. We are soooooooooo different from each other that it makes me laugh but we get along really well. Anyways as she stood there and bore her testimony, i felt so much love for her and gratitude that we were placed together to serve the Lord. she is great. As each missionary stood up, i couldn't help but think about what they sacrificed to be here. I thought of a lot of their situations at home and how new to the church a lot of them are and to hear them testify and shed tears about the Savior and His gospel and how much they love being a missionary. I feel so honored to serve around so many consecrated and diligent missionaries. And to also serve under President and Sister Erickson. Pretty much I know everyone says this but my mission is the best. that night we had an ice cream sundae bar with HOT FUDGE!!! So good!! also i got to talk to Sister Zohner and sister Thueson all about Ndola and things are going great there! It brought me so much joy to hear about so many people that i love so much!!!! I miss those people. 

Friday we wrapped up the council and made our way back to Malawi. I loved the council and learned and grew so much but it felt good to be back in our area. Plus Malawi is so green and beautiful!The corn fields that are everywhere kind of make me miss Idaho...i guess another tender mercy. 

Saturday was back to work! we had a meeting with the district leaders here in Lilongwe which was great to council together and apply all that we had learned at MLC into our zone. Our zone has so much potential and I really feel like it is going to progress so much with the changes we will be making. We saw Liana who hopefully will be baptized next week. she is so sweet. We had another lesson with ABK who is progressing well. He still has a lot to learn but accepted the invitation to be baptized!!! Precious...we felt like we needed to push back his baptism date until march. It was so hard to tell him this because he was so excited to be baptized but as soon as we did...miracles happened!! For the first time in any lesson that I have taught him, he remembered things!!!! He was participating in the lesson more and was helping his uncle to learn as well. After the lesson he walked us to the car and then he stopped us because he wanted to tell us something. he told us how his brother and sister in law don't want him to join the church but he knows that it is true and that every time we come or he goes to church he feels peace and happy. He told us that he is so grateful that we would teach him and we should do all we can to continue to teach him and help him build his faith. Precious is so sweet and as he told us this, i couldn't hold back the tears. I got into the car and just took a few moments to soak it all in....being a missionary gets better and better every day. Precious has taught me to be more humble and grateful. Pushing back his baptismal date taught me to put my trust in the Lord's timing. It was so interesting that the very same lesson that we moved his date....he was able to actually remember and understanding what we were teaching. I know that as we act upon the impressions we have, no matter how hard it may be or how it may effect others, miracles happen. 

Sunday so so great!!! Church was good. I didn't realize until halfway through one of the hymns that there was a D flat but all was well. The testimonies were so powerful! the members here continue to inspire me. Rangel an investigator who has been taught for FOREVER finally came to church!!! He has a problem with his legs but he came and he loved it!!! We taught two different families that afternoon who are new but have a lot of potential. All in all it was a good day and I love this area.
Family...mission is so great. We have our good days and our rough days but it is such a wonderful experience and I couldn't do it without you. I am so grateful for the scriptures as I have focused a lot of my study on the New Testament and the Book of Mormon lately I have found a greater love and appreciation for their words. This church is so true. Heavenly Father loves us and has a plan for us. Malawi is the warm heart of Africa and it steals my heart more and more each day. Keep on kickin' it!!! 

Much love,
Sister Bingham

Malwain treats
I pulled over because i thought this guy was selling fried Irish potatoes that they call "inzagege" but instead it was chicken feet and heads. Why not try it right??? hahah it was so nasty

funny story...

So at MLC we were all getting into our cars to go home but i had to get something from the other sisters car...anyways i totally fell into this hole and dropped straight to the ground cause i rolled my ankle but i could not stop laughing. I was laughing so hard though that i wasn't make any noise and so ALL the elders and sisters didn't know what to do but Sister Zohner was dying laughing too. Anyways i finally am able to make a sound but i start doing the Bingham laugh and then everyone just stares at me and thinks i am the weirdest. anyways my ankle was actually swollen in the usual place...hahah i was too embarrassed to tell anyone but it was hilarious. made me miss my sisters!!!!

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