Monday, July 18, 2016

What is worse than a hole in the ground? No hole in the ground.

Well its back to just the two of us was a lot harder to have Sister Newey leave than I thought but it's been great to be back full time in Ndirande! And Sister Chibase, Sister Newey's companion is so great!! She has a great enthusiasm for the work and I just love new missionaries! Makes me kind of wish I could go back and start this whole journey over again but at the same time I am so happy with what I have experienced and who I am today! 

The week was filled another adventure that's for sure! We started the week out by organizing the library at the Blantyre Chapel.

They had a termite infestation and never cleaned it out afterwards so we decided to help out!! Also there is no such thing as dumpsters here so we ended up having to take all the gross books, boxes, and papers home with us to burn. We bought some marshmallows and had a fire and this may have been the highlight of my week.....Sister Newey and I called our two night guards over and gave them a roasted marshmallow. Each of them took forever to grab it and then they both stared at it for a long time before they VERY hesitantly put it into their mouth. I wish I could have videoed their faces!!! Then they just kept repeating over and over and over, "Very sugar!! Very sugar!" Tuesday was our last day in Chilomoni which was sad but I tried to not think about it. We went and visited Titus who was helping to fix a car that caught on fire and his face got burned. It was awful and I feel soooo bad for him. He was all bandaged up but I couldn't help but feel grateful that he has the gospel to help him during this difficult time in his life. I am also grateful for the power of the priesthood and the comfort that we had in knowing that all would be well as we called the branch president. Even in my studies this week I saw a reoccurring theme of trials and how they happen to all of us. It's been interesting lately to not necessarily be going through a lot of hard things myself at the moment but to have to struggle as I watch those I love (companions, investigators, members)  face difficulties. It has actually strengthened my testimony even more of the Savior as I have to totally turn to Him and ask that they may be helped. I am grateful for prayer and the peace it brings. 

We went to go teach Evans Namanja who comes to church a lot and has been taught for about a year and a half. He is an older man and is more well off than most Malawians. He has so many concerns and questions and is a difficult one that sometimes just wants to contend. We have been trying to see him for a couple of weeks but this week we were finally able to teach him. We felt like rather than trying to resolve all his questions, we should focus on teaching him about the Holy Ghost since that is the only way he will know the truth and be converted. The lesson went amazing!! The spirit was SO strong and he really opened up to us and we were able to discern what his real need is. I am excited for him and have really come to love the more difficult lessons that we have missionaries. I love how aware of the Spirit you have to be and how much you have to work to know what to say or ask. He has a long ways to go but I was really grateful for the growth we saw in him this week. After seeing him, we sort of had a bummer of a day. It seemed like everything went wrong....a member referral that we were so pumped about didn't speak any English. Beston, an investigator who was on date is moving to the village for 3 months. Regina is also moving to Lilongwe for 3 or 4 months. The Felliums are having some family issues AGAIN and he no longer wants to meet with us. It was a long day but I was just grateful for a companion who keeps me smiling and positive. And make the next day soooooo much sweeter....

I mentioned in the past couple of emails about how we are trying to find families. We haven't had much success so this past week in our zone meeting we set a goal as a zone to all pray that each companionship would be directed to families. That day we went out and we found 3 new families!!!! I could hardly believe it. And one of them has a sister who is a member in Lilongwe. There is so much power in prayer. But there is so much more power when we don't just get on our knees and ask, but when we stand up on our feet and go to work. Sister Zohner and I have been coming up with a new idea to find a family each day and finally it has produced some fruits! I can't wait to see the growth in the next couple of weeks. I also learned this week how important families are to Heavenly Father. 

Grace's daughter, Vidah, came home from boarding school this week and told us that the girls at school burned her Book of Mormon. I was pretty shocked to hear this as she continued to tell us how they kept calling her a devil worshiper. We then decided to read the story of Abinadi with her. The Book of Mormon is amazing. It truly helps us to find the faith and courage to live the gospel! I am so grateful for the examples we read about. The best part was at the end of the lesson Vidah says the closing prayer and expresses her gratitude for the example of Abinadi and asks that she may be like him. Touched my heart. She is such a great girl. 

John Phiri....he is going to give me anxiety. We have really great lessons with him and he does so well but then we come again and he is back to drinking. He comes to church 3 weeks in a row and then doesn't come. Uhh its so hard to see him struggle with this addiction but this week when we saw him at the end of the lesson we asked if he had anything to share. He then expresses his gratitude for us and says he knows its hard, but he is thankful for the gospel and the small improvements in his life. Man being a missionary is the best! 

Sunday we got to church only to find out that Vanderson's baptism has been cancelled. A member of the branch passed away and so we all needed to be there for the funeral. It was a bummer but there is always next week! The funeral was really spiritual for me. Malawi has a unique culture when it comes to funerals and someday i will be able to explain it all but we sat in the home of the member and all sang for 2 1/2 hours. Our legs were cramping, not quite as bad as Dad's, and our throats were sore. But while we were sitting there, I was overwhelmed by a lot of emotions. I just felt so grateful to be there. To be here, in Malawi. I have been so loved and welcomed by everyone that we meet, its amazing. I was really touched by how much the members just allow us to be a part of their culture and to love and teach them. It really is something else to serve as a missionary in a place that is so far from home. It is sort of hard to explain and unfortunately unless you have served its hard to really know what it is like. But I am once again, humbled to be learning from so many of God's choice children. That afternoon we went and met with a family. Clifford, a 13 year old boy, joined us in the lesson to fellowship the children. We go to start the lesson and ask the father to choose someone to say the opening prayer. He has a hard time deciding so Clifford just offers to give it. He gave one of the sweetest prayers. Then he bore a powerful testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration. While walking him back to his house Clifford stops us and says, "Sisters...a suggestion?" We totally thought he was going to give us fire about not teaching something correctly or something but then he goes, "Can I join you for the lesson on Tuesday?" He is the best!!! This week I had a couple of times where we were teaching with members and I felt like more than really helping the investigator, we were just preparing and teaching the member. We really don't know who we will help but as we serve, there will always be one person who is blessed. 

I have been looking at Ndirande Mountain since my first day in Blantyre just dreaming about the day that I could climb to the top. Well today we did it!!! We thought it was going to take a lot longer but we ended up doing it pretty fast....we did pretty much hike just straight up but I loved every second of it. I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's creations and how they allow us to draw near unto Him.The work is sweet and I am happier than ever! The gospel is true and I love it. Thank you all for the much needed prayers and support.

 Ndirande Peak

 Selfies with our area in the background


Ndimakukonda kwambili,
Sister Bingham

Funny moments of the week....
1. During zone leadership council, the closing hymn is one that none of us have ever sang before so Sister Newey and I immediately lose it...I couldn't get out a single word. I actually felt really bad but it was funny.
2. While teaching Yakison about the Word of Wisdom I ask if he has smoked that day. He says yes. Then I ask if he has any cigarettes on him, with the intention to ask him to throw them away. He immediately starts turning all his pockets inside out and turning around in circles patting himself down to prove to me that he didn't have any. I think he was upset that I thought he had some on him.....
3. During the middle of the lesson with Chris, he stops us, all panicky, and asks "WHERE IS SISTER NEWEY?!" hahah we forgot to tell him she is now in Chilomoni full time
4. We go to see the Fellium's but Brother Fellium wasn't home. I had to go to the bathroom super bad so we ask Sister Fellium to use her toilet. She asks, "Do you need to pass urine?" First of all....what missionary ever gets asked that questions? Anyways she takes us to the toilet but it is "engaged" so she takes me to another one. I go inside and there is no hole.....I start laughing really hard and peek my head up through the cracks of the shack. Sister Fellium thinks the problem is that I am too tall and i am embarrassed that they can see me so she starts telling me "Just kneel down!!!" Hahahaha oh the joys of Malawi.....

First hair cut in 13 months
Thank you Sister Newey!!!
Joel Jim

 Adventures with Chantell
This week Sister Zohner kept getting her to slap my face and she would laugh sooooooo hard. I love this little girl!!!!

she didn't get the memo....
also we don't know why our faces are red????

Sister Dalton even found her way to Ndirande Mountain:)

No comments:

Post a Comment