Monday, July 4, 2016

Krushers for Kupu and Miracles for Missionaries

HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!! you best believe that I am wearing red, white, and blue today!! Sister Zohner and I sang the National Anthem at the top of our lungs to wake up Sister Newey. Yes I love Malawi more than you could imagine but I still got that Patriotic Pride!!! I feel extremely grateful to be here serving the Lord and loving the people here and the culture. At the same time I am filled with gratitude for America. To answer the question you all have been wondering....nope I haven't met President Kupu yet. But we did go get Krushers (milkshakes) at KFC the night he arrived in Zambia We actually haven't heard anything but we know he is coming to Blantyre on July 21st. I can't wait for that though!!!! The week was fantastic as always and here is why.....

We went to go teach Helen about the Holy Ghost since she was going to be confirmed on Sunday. She will not stop talking about how hard she has been working cleaning her house because now that she is clean and holy, her house needs to be clean. We tried to start the lesson so man times and she would just not stop talking about cleaning the "whole, whole, whole, WHOLE house!" (she loves to repeat words 3 or 4 times and its hilarious). Well we start the lesson and we each go around to share an experience we have had with the Holy Ghost. We shared all really different stories but then Helen jumps right in telling us how the Holy Ghost has been helping her to get to church and testifying to her that it is the true church. It was really sweet to hear her already be able to notice such promptings and blessings in her life. I can't wait for her to have the constant companionship of the Spirit. Her confirmation was incredible on Sunday and I was listening really intently to the words. The actual receiving of the gift of the Holy Ghost is amazing but I was extremely touched this Sunday as both Titus and Helen were given beautiful blessings through the Priesthood power of God. I was overwhelmed as I thought of the love that Heavenly Father has for His children and how much He has given each of us. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are greatly blessed and I am so happy that I get to invite so many people to experience so much love and peace!

We taught Joseph this week about the Priesthood and Missionary Work and he can't wait to serve!!! His baptism was a highlight for sure. We held it on Saturday right after Institute and Seminary and it was really sweet to have so many youth there to support Joseph. They really have just welcomed him in with open arms and without their help, I don't know if he would have been baptized. I sat there before the service began just looking around at all the members and feeling so much gratitude for the youth of the Church. Especially here, they are such a strength!! I looked around at how many of them who either are the only members in their family or have family members that are less active or only one or two active members. If you heard each of their stories you would be amazed! For me it has helped me to be more dedicated to my calling and to cherish the testimony that I have and do all I can to help it grow. If they can do it, so can I! Anyways we went out to watch the baptism. My thoughts were turned to the scripture that says, "in the ordinances thereof, the power of God is manifest" (i'm not sure on the exact wording) and I said a prayer in my heart that Joseph, myself, and everyone else there would feel that power. I think I've said this at each baptism, but the Spirit was SO strong. The words of the baptism prayer never have hit me with so much meaning before. I love the words, "having been commissioned by Jesus Christ." Joseph was doing exactly what the Savior has asked. We, as missionaries, are doing exactly what the Savior has asked. How incredible to be a part of a work under the direction of the Savior and Redeemer of the world? How humbling? How amazing? How stressful? How the best thing of my entire life????? Joseph then gave the BEST testimony any of my recent converts have. Honestly it was so good. He bore his testimony after some of the members bore theirs and it brought me to tears. I love to see how the gospel is changing lives as it has greatly changed my own! 

Thursday we do our weekly planning and we set all our goals for the upcoming week. That night I was looking at our numbers and reviewing a few things. We have something called the Standards of Excellence which deals with key indicators (number of lessons taught, people at church, and what not). Anyways Round #1 of being companions with Sister Zohner, we worked SO hard to get a perfect Standard of Excellence week. Well we set another goal to get a perfect week again but its been tricky since we are still balancing 2 areas. As I was going through our numbers and with the plans we had set, I felt certain we were going to get it again! I run into to tell my companions, i was so excited. Well....then things kind of went down hill. So much of what we had planned fell through which was frustrating. Plus we have been trying SO hard to find a family with no success. We all fasted this past Sunday to find a family this week. As I knelt down to end my fast, I was so grateful to have an opportunity to communicate with my Father in Heaven. I know that the week didn't go quite as planned but as I knelt there I knew that He knew of the work we had done. I felt so close to Him and the Savior. I don't know if I will ever get used to how many incredible experiences we have like this as missionaries. 

I have been super, super worried about Grace and Lucy, two recent converts. They have missed a couple of Sundays and we can't get a hold of them during the week and evenings get so busy for us that we struggle to teach them. Last week I spent a lot of time worrying and praying for them.Last Sunday they did come to church and we finally saw them that evening.  They had spent the whole afternoon at a members house who had broke her leg. That really touched my heart. We had an incredible lesson with them last week but then they didn't come to church and I heard a couple things from some other members that got me all worried again. We show up at their house last night and have another great lesson with them. Turns out they didn't come to church because they had to go to a funeral (funerals are a HUGE deal here in Malawi). I was still feeling sort of bummed but then Grace asks if we saw Praise at church because she sent her tithing and fast offerings with him. ok miracle number 1. Then I ask her about the funeral again and tried to tell her the importance of going to church. She says, "But it is a part of our baptismal covenant to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." Miracle number 2. I am so happy for them and I am sooooooooo grateful for prayer! 

Joel Jim continues to progress in the gospel like crazy!!! Last week he asked if he could get buried with his temple recommend. Lol. This week we watched the Restoration DVD with him and for the whole hour he was 100% focused on the tiny screen. I almost loved watching him more than the DVD! I love his love for the gospel! After watching we asked his thoughts and he bore a beautiful testimony of the Restoration and how it has blessed his life already. Joel has come a long ways and I love that I still get to be here to teach him even though he is practically teaching me. Before we started the lesson this week he told us about a talk he had read in one of the Liahonas. Then he says, "Sister Bingham have you read it? If you haven't, will you go home and read it so you can experience the same joy that I have?" isn't he the best???

Well Family, I love you all!!! I am so grateful for your prayers. They truly are blessing me, my companions, our areas, the members, our investigators, the other missionaries. You are my greatest blessing. 

Ndimakukonda kwambili,

Sister Bigman (Sister Zohner convinced Helen this is how you say my name).

future missionary!!!
George in his snow suit

10 out of 10
so we started rating our pit toilet accuracy.....


 teaching the kids how to take selfies
chantell would push the button and then do this face everyt ime!!! so cute

the font
 Joseph's baptism!!!

this is the daughter of a member who was doing all these super cute poses for us so I jumped in!

  since I was missing my nieces and nephews too much this week.....
Deborah stepped up to fill in for them

Selfie of Bornface. He's only 2

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