I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! Here is why….
-You get to have family home evenings with members and you completely forget that they actually aren’t your real family because you love them so much and they love you as well! We asked Chikondi last week if there was anything we could do to help her and she asked us to come do family night. Her sister Regina and she are the only members in their home (hopefully Peace can get baptized soon) so we wanted to include her mother and grandmother. They ended up being really late but we did a lesson on Gratitude and made everyone sit in a circle and we went around a bunch of times saying what we were grateful for but you couldn’t repeat what had already been said. Despite all the laughs, I felt the Spirit very strong as I realized how much we truly have been blessed with. I also was touched as very few material things were mentioned. I am grateful that we were able to include their mom and for her to also participate! It doesn’t matter what we believe, Heavenly Father loves us and blesses us the same. It was sad though as we shared such principles as baptism, and eternal families, and the Holy Ghost that she doesn’t have quite yet. I know that as we take time to count our many blessings, we will be instantly filled with much joy but we will also be able to reflect on areas in our life that we can improve on.
-You get asked to give a presentation in District Meeting on a talk by Elder Oaks but instead you accidentally present on a talk by Elder Andersen but it all works out because then your district leader gives a short summary on the correct talk. My bad….but both talks were about our purpose as missionaries and teaching the doctrine of Christ. As I studied for this, I was greatly touched by the call that I have, that is so closely linked to the duty of the Apostles, to teach such simple yet eternal truths. My favorite quote though was, “Pray that with the help of our Savior, you will act so that you can look back, on your missionary service with the sweet recollections that come from being faithful and true.” As much as I need to work on helping others to live the gospel, I myself need to apply the same principles in my life. I still make so many mistakes each day but I am humbled as I look back and have seen how much the Atonement has made up for many of my weaknesses.
-You go to say your prayers before bed and ask, “What do you I need to work on?” You receive the answer, “Trust in me and all will be well.” You finish your prayer, wondering what is in store, and immediately get 2 texts of investigators cancelling their appointments. You stress all next morning and but try to have faith in the answer from the Lord the night before. You don’t know what to do but are prompted to go check on Brother John Phiri who has been missing all week. You show up at his house and guess who is there?? BROTHER JOHN PHIRI! As we started that lesson, I was already so content and happy with the miracle we had just been a part of. We had a great lesson with him as we are focusing on helping him overcome his Word of Wisdom problem. He still had a hard week but he came to church! I am grateful for this experience for a lot of reasons but mainly how it taught me to constantly seek to improve and the Lord will bless our plans in ways we may not expect.
-You get to see families learn and grow in the gospel together!!! Brother Fellium is sincerely striving to prepare for baptism and Sister Fellium is right there by his side. When we teach them, she doesn’t say anything profound and doesn’t necessarily jump in to share her testimony but her quiet support is incredible. Their families has had quite the challenges. Now that they both are on board and understand how much the gospel can help them, their progress is so much better!!! Families truly are ordained of God and are the best way for us to gain the testimonies that we need., Brother and Sister Fellium were not only answer questions in gospel principles but were giving such great comments and helping others to learn! It was awesome and I am so excited for this family. The biggest concern right now is the Brother Fellium wants to wait until August because its too cold. We told him we’d bring him lots of towels so hopefully July 17th will be the big day!
-You lose 3 families the week before so you set goals to find new families. Despite doing all that you can think of to find and teach families, it seems like nothing is working. So then you set a companionship goal to pray for families and you strive to increase your faith. You still feel like nothing is happening but then all the sudden during Zone Meeting, during a presentation on Setting Goals, you realize that although you haven’t received the families you wanted, you found new investigators, you got referrals from members, and you taught less actives and members you haven’t seen in awhile. The Lord works in mysterious ways and I am grateful for how we were blessed this week even though it wasn’t quite the way I had thought or wanted really. I am also grateful for the revelation that I was able to receive during Zone Meeting and what one of the elders said that made me to realize what the Lord had done for our area! P.S. we actually just now had the family we were supposed to seesay we shouldn’t come and that they will call us when they want us to come….Missionary work
is funny sometimesJ
-You and your companions have to give a presentation in Zone Meeting so to break the ice Sister Zohner comes up with the idea to ask everyone what their favorite ice cream is and why. Then we would say, “Good. Now we know all your voices are working so you have no excuses for not participating.” Well on the way to our meeting, we thought it would be funny to guess what each elder would say. For one of the elders, Sister Zohner guesses he will say, “Vanilla because its plain.” We get to the meeting, all is well, we start asking the elders and then all the sudden we hear, “I like vanilla ice cream because its plain.” I lost it….I could not stop laughing. It was really embarrassing actually and I felt really bad for the elder but anywho….we presented on diligence and my favorite thing from what I learned was that diligence for me is continuous repentance. Its doing your best, making mistakes, but waking up the next day ready to do a little bit better.
-You go to a lesson with an investigator that is set for baptism. He has passed his interview and is so ready! But then after you pray he gets all quiet and says, “Sisters I am so sorry.” You could have heard a pin drop as each of us went dead silent. Then he says, “I forgot to read the chapter you left with me.” We all were SO relieved because we all thought he was going to say he didn’t want to be baptized or something bad happened. Titus is great though! He will be baptized next week!!
-You try to teach an investigator about the importance of prayer and so you start telling her how happy it makes you. You tell her that as missionaries you pray 20+ times a day (its 12 if you don’t count any prayers in lessons) and then testify that you have never been so happy in your life! Well instead of her going along with it, she thinks that you are trying to have a competition with her so she starts telling you how many prayers she will have each day. She tells you she will pray when she wakes up, when she goes outside, when she goes to the bathroom, when she cooks, when she eats, when she takes Panado (Tylenol), when she sleeps, and she went on and on and on. FINALLY she concludes with, “We’ll see Sister Bingham who says the most prayers! I’ll tell you next time, but I’m going to beat you!” Hahahah we were dying! Helen is probably the funniest person in all of Malawi. She is 50 years old but I totally thought she was 70. She had her baptismal interview yesterday and right before our district leader walks in she frantically looks at Sister Zohner and I and goes, “ I forgot everything!!! Tell me the answers! Quick quick!” She did great though and boy was she excited that she is getting baptized. She comes out from the interview all sad and saying, “I failed, I failed everything!” But then she started telling us how well she did and was saying, “Today, I am number 1!” You have to meet her someday. She is great and I love how she has made a lot of changes in her life. I know that it is really hard, especially as she has been doing certain things for so long but she knows what is right and has faith to do it!
-You are sitting in Sacrament meeting and a little girl, probably a year old, walks around the corner, and sees Sister Zohner. Her eyes get a little bit bigger. Then she sees Sister Newey and her eyes get bigger. Then she sees you and doesn’t know what to do! She stares at the three of us for about 3 minutes and then starts bawling! No one comes to get her and we have no idea what to do! We were trying to help and not laugh at the same time. We have had quite the adventures this past week going around as 3 azungus. Two nights in a row we had 30 kids escort us back to our car. The first night they were chanting “A-ZUN-GU!” over and over and the second night they were chanting “HOW ARE YOU?” hahah the kids still continue to melt my heart though and I love all the funny moments that happen each day.
-You have a lesson with a member and at the end she bears her testimony and expresses her gratitude for the missionaries that taught her the gospel and goes on to say how much she loves every single missionary. You are so overwhelmed by her love and have a HUGE realization of how blessed you are the be a part of such an incredible work that you start to cry. You think of those missionaries that first taught her and now hear her powerful testimony as District Relief Society President. Then you think of the people you have taught while serving and wonder what they will become, who they will teach. Then you think of how many people are praying for the missionaries and you can hardly believe how many miracles and blessings you have witnessed. Then your eyes start to sting cause your sunscreen mixes with your tears and then all the sudden the power comes on so instead of being able to hide your tears in the dark, everyone can see. But nonetheless, I love being a missionary and love the members so much and appreciate their powerful testimonies!
I could just go on and on about all that I learned and experienced this week but words and time don’t suffice. Just know that I love it here. I love sharing the gospel. I love bearing my witness of the Savior. I love wearing His name every day, all day. I love my companions. I love the beauty of Malawi. I love the Book of Mormon. I love the words of prophets. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
p.s. today we went to Majeti Wildlife Reserve and did a guided jeep tour…..it wasn’t even real life. Seriously I felt like I was dreaming! We got to see hippos, elephants, warthogs, kudu, waterbucks, impalas, crocodiles, hartebeasts, and nyalas. Its about an hour drive from Blantyre and the drive it self was incredible!! It felt like I was home again driving through beautiful mountain valleys. But I wish I could have done it with my family!!!!
soccer with kids!!!
Uncle B gave us free pancakes!! Lol.
Water pumps donated by the church!
BYU in AFRICA!!
We saw this guy walking down the side of the road so I pulled over and asked to take a picture. my comps thought I was crazy!