Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another fantastic week in Ndirande filled with miracles left and right, small miracles yes but miracles nonetheless. I am really excited to celebrate Easter this upcoming Sunday as I have had a lot of really spiritual and personal experiences the past week with the Atonement and my Savior Jesus Christ. What an incredible time of year that we get to take an extra special day to reflect on an express our gratitude for the life, sacrifice, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I really am looking forward to testifying and teaching about Him this week and hope that more than usually, Sister Kgwetiane and I can bring the light of Christ into every life that we are privileged to meet this week!
the kids that we are teaching! I have the cutest video of them saying "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"....i'll try and send it soon!

Lolemba(Monday): We met with one of our investigators that is on date for April 17th, John Ngalazuka, and had a short but really good lesson with him. We had a couple things so we were kinda late to the lesson which was bad because we had asked a member to meet us there. The member had been waiting for over an hour for us and I was so touched to walk up to John's home to find him and the member talking like best friends. I am just continually so grateful for the members in each of the areas that I serve and no matter where I go, they are there and faithful and dedicated as ever! Yes we are few here in Ndirande but the members inspire me and give me so much hope in this work! So John has a problem with coming to church on time. He is always coming at 11 when church starts at 9! We finally were able to talk to him about it and he told us that he it is impossible for him to come at 9. He doesn't really have a family and literally works everyday just to have enough money to survive so sacrificing to come to church instead of working at the market, selling whatever he sells, means that he wouldn't have food for Sunday. How in the world do you respond to that??? I was strong though and held back the tears that I could feel were coming. Sister Kgwetiane and I bore our testimony that if he worked hard during the week, saved a few kwacha each day, prayed and had faith, that Heavenly Father would help him to be able to come to church on time so he could partake of the sacrament. The spirit was so strong and as we left both my companion and I wondered why some people's trials are so difficult but I felt this overwhelming assurance that Heavenly Father and the Savior are mindful and love John. I knew that the greatest thing that John needs in his life is the gospel and at that moment I felt soooo humbled to be one of the instruments in the hands of the Lord to bring John the only thing that will bless him with peace and joy despite all that he faces. 

Lachiwili (Tuesday): District Meeting was so great! Elder Banda is a missionary from Lilongwe who is serving here in Blantyre while he waits for his visa to go to Nigeria. Its crazy cause I taught with him back in Lilongwe and now we are serving together both as missionaries! They had all the new missionaries in the district bear their testimonies and Elder Banda's was so awesome! He is actually the recent convert of Sister Zohner so is super super new in the church but wow he is awesome. He really inspired me to be a better missionary and I really wonder if I ever will get over how great each of the sisters and elders are here. We had a lot of fall throughs...this week was kinda  of rough with our appointments...but while we were knocking on one of our investigator's doors this little girl started talking to me and was speaking SUPER good English. We ended going to see her and her mom and had a lesson with them which was awesome! Her neighbor came over and she kept saying the funniest things! "so are you Indian or Chinese?? I really can't tell but i know that you are one of them because of your hair. Why are you sooooooo white?? You have to be Indian!!!" hahah it was funny. 

Teaching in the Alleyways of Maplot!

Lachitatu(Wednesday): So we have a new investigator and guess what his name is??? ALLI! hahah its so weird to say his name. Anyways the sisters tried teaching him awhile ago but his dad is really against the church and wouldn't allow it. He is about 21 years old but he came to church last week and so we set an appointment with him. We decided we needed to figure out why his father wouldn't let him join the church and we had an incredible lesson with him. We had planned to go over the Restoration with him but we spent the whole lesson specifically addressing his needs. From the very beginning of the lesson, I could feel the Spirit directing my every word and I knew that there really was nothing that I could do to help him in this situation but by teaching him about faith and prayer, that Alli would be able to receive the permission or at least the peace that he was seeking. I could tell that he genuinely and earnestly wants to learn the truths of the restored gospel and hearing him say, "I just want to learn about how i can repent" really touched my heart and another "I love being a missionary" moment was felt! We discussed with him prayer and read a few examples from the scriptures of prayers being answered according to the faith that was applied. We promised Alli that if he had that same faith, prayed, and talked to his father, that the Lord would soften his father's heart. We left his house, once again humbled by the trials of others, yet full of gratitude for the power of the Holy Ghost and the blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This week as we have had many investigators face a lot of different issues both physically and spiritually, I have been really grateful for the power of prayer and the knowledge that I have of a loving Father in Heaven that can help bless and comfort these people that I love so dearly as I pray for them and their families. I am so grateful that I have an understanding of how individually He knows us and wants to be a part of our lives, all we must do is allow Him to enter. This week I realized like President Uchtdorf  that I need to close my umbrella that I have been holding up, and allow the blessings from Heavenly Father to rain down. It can be difficult sometimes to feel successful when the progress of our investigators and less actives seems so small and slow and  it sometimes seems that no amount of extra studying or whatever I do will make a difference but numerous times this week especially I felt immediate peace and love and satisfaction for my Heavenly Father the minute I kneeled down. I also felt really close to each of you, all the way on the other side of the world through prayer....the blessings are endless!!!

Lachini (Thursday): HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!!! I totally forgot until we were almost ready to leave the house so i had to run and put on my green skirt. I meant to take a picture but i hope you all drank some green milk for me and enjoyed corned beef and potatoes!!! We helped a member move a ton of branches that they store for firewood and it felt just like yard work at home. Dad you wouldn't believe how much i miss yard work!! hahahaha the member kept on saying how bad he felt that he was putting us to hard work but honestly it was one of the highlights of my day! My companion wasn't feeling well a lot of the day but continued to press forward. She is an absolute incredible example to me and I am amazed at her love for the work that drives her forward despite the pain she feels. We have been struggling with how to effectively teach "The Kids" as we call them but that day the lesson went really well. I think it went so well because we thought a lot about it, planned it out as best as we could, and then prayed to know how we could teach them simply, creatively, and yet still allow them to feel the spirit. It is really special teaching children and often makes me reflect on the Savior and how He blessed them one by one in the Book of Mormon. The kids have taught me the importance of faith and obedience as they demonstrate this in every lesson we have with them.  Also...the gospel is for everyone! The young, the old, the tall, the short, the rich, the poor, the black, the white, the male, the female, the smokers, the is for everyone! I really tried hard this week to have faith in everyone that we taught. To try and see past their hesitations or questions concerning the Church and to just view each of them as Children of God who are is desperate need of the message in which we carry. It changed my attitude about a lot of our lessons this week and I was able to find more joy in the work! Even in seeing the good in myself and my companion was something I want to improve on....there is just so many things to do but I am grateful for the small improvements that I make each day. I received some revelation this week that I needed to accept that I would make mistakes and even accept that those around me would do the same. Its been amazing to see how this has helped me to greater apply the enabling and redeeming power of the Atonement. Mission has changed a lot about me and thank goodness I still have 9 months to keep working at smoothing out my rough edges while helping others do the same. We really are all in one big boat, and it is through serving and loving one another that we will make it where we want to be.

Lachisanu (Friday): We saw Alli and ahhhhh I can barely even type right now because I am sooooo happy and excited just thinking about that lesson!!!!!!! So we started the lesson and asked him how his prayers had been going and if he has felt like his father's heart has been softened. He got quiet and then he said that he had been praying and he felt really good. Then he said that had a dream that his mom told his father to let Alli to have his freedom and make his own choices. The next morning Alli found the courage to talk to his father and told him that the sisters would like to meet with him. His father said that it was ok for us to meet with him as long as we aren't satanists. LOL. Ok but wow hearing all of this was so amazing!!!! Time and time again, we have taught people that if they pray with faith, answers will come. Heavenly Father had answered Alli's prayers along with mine and Sister Kgwetianes! He had did just as he had done so many times in the Book of Mormon and softened the heart of Alli's father. Yes the problem is not completely solved but the door has been opened and I hope that as we go to meet Alli's father in the upcoming week or so (as soon as he lets us know) that he will allow Alli to be taught and baptized on May 1st. Its kinda scary but I know that as we put our trust in the power and authority of our calling and the power of the Holy Ghost that we will find success. I love moments like this on mission!!!!! Funny though that we had this amazing experience and then later that afternoon we had a ton of fall throughs and i started to get really discouraged. But then we saw this old man (an agogo) pushing a wheelbarrow with jugs of water in it. I decided to run over and help him and it felt so good to push a wheelbarrow again but I actually was so sore the next day...pathetic i know! Dad it really made me think of you though..every time i see a wheelbarrow i think of you! Anyways after we got all the way to his house he invited us in and we were able to have a really good lesson with him and his sister. We can do missionary work through a lot of ways but I really just love serving...even if we don't necessarily help someone get baptized or even accept what we are teaching, it is wonderful to help. 

Loweluka (Saturday): The Relief Society had an activity to celebrate the 174th anniversary of Relief Society. We cleaned the church and then cooked chicken. We sang songs, had a spiritual thought...i wish i could go into more detail but I'm running out of time! Anyways then we ate. they brought out plates piled high with bread and pieces of chicken. The brought them to my comps and i and we both thought we were supposed to just take a few pieces then pass the plate. NO THE ENTIRE PLATE WAS FOR US!!!! 14 pieces of bread and 5 pieces of chicken and told us to finish it all!!!! Hahahah i didn't come close but the women were being so funny and were fighting over the chicken so i had the sisters do a dance off to see how gets to eat mine.
 in case you are wondering if I'm starving over here in Africa.......
yes I ate the foot and yes there were 14 pieces of bread on my plate......

 I'll try to figure out how to send a video but its hilarious. Bottom line...I love relief society and the sisters here in this branch. I love all the organizations of the church and as I have striven to be an active member in these various organizations I have felt time and time again that this is the true church. It can bless our lives in so many ways and I love how it continues to bless mine the same whether i am in idaho or Malawi. That night I watched a video about the pioneers since my companion goes to bed early I get a little lonely and it was so inspiring. I love the pioneers and it made me think a lot about how we are kinda like the pioneers of Africa and our challenges are so different from the early church saints but I drew a lot of strength from them!!!

Lamulungu (Sunday):  Church was so great!!! we had 3 really strong investigators there which was such a miracle. It rained like crazy which was another miracle because it got so hot during sacrament meeting that i didn't think i would be able to make it the entire 3 hours. That evening we met with a member who is starting preparations for his mission and it was soooooooo cool to spend a lesson with him talking about how amazing serving a mission is!! He has a lot to do though and doesn't know if he will be able to find the money to get all the paperwork and what not but he has a lot of faith. I just want to thank mom and dad and everyone else who has made it physically possible for me to be here! But even more importantly all of you, especially my siblings that have spiritually prepared me by being such great examples to me. My family is the greatest. Blantyre is the greatest. Mission is the greatest. The Savior is the greatest.

Happy Easter to you all!!!!!!! I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and that He lives. I am so humbled and grateful that I get to be a representative of Him for the next 9 months. I hope each of you feel His special Spirit in your lives this week. Keep on being the wonderful people you are. REACH THE PEAK!!!

Ndimakukondani kwambili,
Sister Bingham

our new pet!!!!

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