Monday, May 23, 2016

"Be still and know that I am God"

I know its been the hot topic of the Church the past couple of days and since I got a lot of questions about it in the emails this week....yes we now are allowed to wear pants in our mission! Honestly it is sort of weird to me to think about wearing pants and I don't think that I will because #1 its hot. #2 I have no idea where to buy nice dress slacks. But its really cool to see how much the Lord cares for His missionaries and that nothing will stop the working from moving forward. Now that I think about it...maybe it'd be kind of cool to wear pants as a sister missionary....

Well this week was an interesting week for sure but a lot of moments where I felt very near to the Savior and Heavenly Father.  

Our truck needed to get serviced so we got to ride public transportation and it was the best!!! I have missed riding on those lovely minibuses. Any difference between Malawi and Zambia minibuses? Yep...Malawi minibuses literally turn the van off EVERY chance they can to save gas I guess....hahah we were coasting down the hills and it was just cracking me up. One afternoon this week we were trying to get a bus to take us home and they were trying to rip us off. Finally we agreed to 100 kwacha and then they started yelling at everyone that to town it was 100 kwacha instead of 150 kwacha and the people started running! well then as soon as the bus was full, the driver says in chichewa but i caught on.."just kidding it's 150." I thought there were going to be fights!! good thing the driver was just joking but boy have I missed the adventures of minibuses in Africa! This past week I was really hit by the poverty and circumstances of this country. I don't know if I ever have really talked about it much in my emails home but its pretty rough here. I had a few moments this week where I just took time to look around and count my blessings. I wish you all could see the living conditions and lifestyles of the people of Malawi. How they get by and how they do so with smiles on their faces, I don't know. But I know that they are God's children and He loves them and what they need most is His gospel. As I was sort of overwhelmed by the poverty this week, which is weird cause I have been here for quite awhile maybe I've just sort of become used to it all, I felt so humbled to be a missionary. To be one of the few that gets to bring something of SO much worth into the lives of these people. To bring them the gift of eternal life in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father! How great is my calling!!

I don't have much to report on this week. Sister Kgwetiane's anemia was really affecting her this week and then she got a really bad cold so we worked half days and then Thursday to Sunday  we ended up staying home all day. It's been hard to see her struggling so much but today she is doing much better! You know how our family is...go go go! Staying in for 3 days was challenging and I honestly can't think of a day in my life where I haven't done anything (even with food poisoning we went to Sierra Trading Post:) but I had a lot of time to study and to learn so much!! I really felt like I learned and grew in appreciation for the Savior and His atonement. As I had moments of frustration and a lack of understanding the following quote from Elder Bednar brought a lot of peace and comfort. 

"Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual
difficulties, He may increase or resolve and resilience."

Sunday we were able to go to Church and partake of the Sacrament which was a much needed blessing. I know I say this a lot but Sundays are my most favorite days of the week!!! I can't explain how much strength they are to me. So we show up to church and in walks Cynthia. I have talked about this sweet 14 year old before but she is incredible. If there is one person that is keeping me going its this precious daughter of God. Last Sunday she came up to me all shy and whispered into my ear. "I have something for you." She then pulls out this silver, tarnished bracelet and puts it on my wrist.I could hardly hold back the tears as i thought about what she had to sacrifice to get me that and what it meant to her. I wrapped her in a big hug and tried to tell her how grateful i was and how much it meant to me! The whole day I couldn't believe the love that I have felt while serving a mission from so many different people and I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of their lives! Well this sudden Cynthia comes walking in and sits right next to me. I had given her a necklace that Christina Walker gave me before mission and she was wearing it! And when i pointed it out she could not stop smiling. Cynthia has really taught me to find joy in the simple things and to show forth a greater love to those around us! She comes all alone to church every week and just has a burning testimony of the gospel! So she helped me to feel not so alone and that the Lord still is blessing our area even though we weren't in the area much. Ok then get walks ALINAFE!!! Alinafe is the less active whose father is so against the church and absolutely refuses him to even read from the Book of Mormon. And he was at church!!! I was in shock. We have had about 3 incredible lessons with Alinafe. Every lesson the spirit is so strong as we share with him the importance of just having faith and to trust in the Lord. It was absolutely amazing to see the how the Hand of the Lord has softened the heart of his father. Unfortunately we had to leave to go back home right after sacrament meeting so i didn't get to talk to him but I was so happy and so touched. This week I felt like I was a failure and I was so stressed about our area and all our investigators who didn't come to church and we haven't been able to see. But I am so grateful that even in our limitations, the Lord sees our desires and is doing all He can to help us help Him bring the world His truth. This may seem like something so small. And in the eyes of some maybe it is. But it was a miracle and another moment where later that day as I was thinking of all the blessings I have received this week and throughout my mission I just stood still and knew that there is a God. That He loves us. He will answer our prayers. And He will do all He can to help us return to live with Him again.

Sorry this week was short. I love you all so much!!!

Sister Bingham

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