Monday, September 26, 2016

"I like to look for rainbows" least we tried.

Sister Arok and I tried singing again at the baptism but right when we started singing John Phiri was fast asleep and we just lost it....she's been making me laugh a lot this week but we really have been filled with so much Joy serving together in the Lord's vineyard! Here it goes....

Fetching Water
 We carried water a couple times this week and no joke....its way easier to carry it on our heads!

Monday: Family Home Evening was another success!!! We ended up having 5 investigators, 1 recent convert, 1 less active and a bunch of members! Joseph gave the lesson and it was incredible!! He really has grown so much in his knowledge and faith in the gospel. It is such a blessing to have been able to see him become who he is today!  He talked about 3 reasons why he knows the Book of Mormon is true. He focused a lot of his lesson about Charity. I loved this so much!!! Of all the principles we learn from the Book of Mormon, I was touched that he has learned about Christlike love. Joseph is such a great example of reaching out in love to serve those around him. He visits a less active every Sundayy and this week when we asked him to come teach with us he was just about to go do his home teaching! We played some games and then brought our famous cake and Addsum, our investigator, could not stop talking about it!!! He made sure that we knew his birthday was coming up in a few weeks. It was really special though to be gathered together as families and friends and to feel the strong spirit that always accompanies our family home evenings. I am SO grateful for the Prophets who have taught us the importance of this weekly gathering. And who knew that it would become one of the most meaningful times when I am thousands of miles away from my own family???

 Family Home Evening at the Chirwas

Tuesday:  Susan called us and asked if we could help her at the Maize Mill. We showed up and she put a 20 kg bag of maize on top of our heads and we made our way to the mill. We got to the mill where we put the kernals into the mill which removed the outside of the kernels. Then we took woven baskets and shook them to get all the outside stuff removed. haha this is really hard to explain but nonetheless it was HARD WORK. As you can see in the pictures...we were sweating! And our backs and arms were sore the next day!!! It was so much fun though and I was once again greatly humbled by the lives that the people of Malawi live. They work so hard to just produce the food that they eat! And we were only part of a very small small part of the process. I will be forever grateful for the strong examples that I have been blessed to learn from while serving here in Ndirande. While walking I thought of when Christ said that he was the bread of life. Nsima is their staple food and our work at the mill was preparing for the flour to make nsima. I thought of how much physical labor was put into making the nsima which would only sustain them for a few months before time would come again that they would have to go to the mill and make more flour. I thought of how they would eat the nsima, be full for a couple hours but then have to eat again. I thought of the sacred calling that Sister Arok and I have and how only we, and the other missionaries around the world, carry a message that will fill their souls so that they shall never hunger. I am so grateful for the Savior who chose to come to this earth. To teach, to set the perfect example, to love, to serve and most especially to suffer so that we could eat and never hunger, to have eternal life in the kingdom of God. How great is our calling!
MAIZE MILL with Susan

That evening we met with Janet who is Susan's neighbor. She is 19 years old and is such a solid investigator. The only problem is that her father won't let her come to church and is very active in the CCAP church.We read with her 1 Nephi 3:7 and then committed her to pray that her father's heart would be softened. Sister Arok and I went home and prayed for her as well and the very next day we saw Janet and she came running up to us to tell us that her father said she could come to church!!!!! 

Wednesday: One of my most favorite lessons from the week!!! We went to go see Aggie and teach her about Missionary Work. We sat down and asked her, "Why do you love the gospel?" She responded by saying that she is most grateful for the opportunity it has given her to repent. The Prophet and Apostles did a broadcast at the beginning of this year that was entirely focused on teaching repentance and baptizing converts. It has been a huge part of our studying and teaching and something that I have been striving to apply the past couple of months in each and every single lesson. To hear from our investigator that out of all the things the Restored Gosepl has to offer, she has been blessed the most by the atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ was incredible! I was so moved by her testimony and understanding of our need to repent. And not just to change from bad to good but to make changes to help us change from good to better! 

In the afternoon we got a call from President Kupu....we both just stopped dead in our tracks. The mission president never calls but he ended up inviting us to dinner with him and Sister Kupu. WE GOT T-BONE STEAK. We still haven't stopped talking about that dinner. Anyways it was a really special experience for Sister Arok and I to be with President and Sister Kupu. They are the most humble and inspiring people I know. I am SO grateful for the love that they extend to us missionaries and how concerned they are that we are striving to truly know our leader, Jesus Christ. 
Dinner with Sister Kupu!

Thursday: We had a mini zone conference with President and Sister Kupu. Its difficult to express what was said and learned. We talked a lot about the importance of exact obedience and praying mightily. Sister Arok and I have seen a lot of success together and the conference made me realize that not only are we more successful, but we are so much happier as we follow the mission rules and as we have great faith in the Lord. The entire day I was overwhelmed by the JOY that I experience while serving and also the love that I have for this area and the people that we are teaching. Life really is so wonderful right now and I have so much to be grateful for!

Friday: it was HOT. 

Saturday: We ran to the church at 6:30 to make sure the font was ready for the baptisms. Watipaso Chirwa was already there cleaning it and getting it ready. The members in this branch truly are so dedicated! But we got there and he told us that the hose was locked away. We quickly turned around and ran back to our house. Only to find that our hose was also locked and our guard forgot the key. He said he would try to get it out though. I quickly said a prayer that either our guard would get the hose out or Watipaso would get the keys to the shed at church.  within 5 mintues our guard somehow managed to get the hose! We rushed to the church and what do you know, there was Watipaso with the other hose. Prayer truly brings miracles. The baptism was so great! We had a really good turn out which was good because I was nervous people wouldn't come all the way to church since it was Saturday. Joseph gave a great talk on the Holy Ghost. And of course the highlights were Aggie and Addsum's testimonies. They both were so prepared to receive the gospel and have become so converted. Once again what stood out to me the most was their smiles. It was another humbling experience to stand their and watch two people that I have come to love participate in the saving ordinance of baptism. Mission is the best.

Aggie and Addsum's Baptism
 Osman (The Elder's Quorum President and our guard), Addsum, Aggie, Valentine, and Watipasto 
(the Branch Clerk)
 Aggie and Valentine
Addsum Chisiza
 The gang
The one and only John Phiri

Sunday: We had 3 confirmations which brought such a sweet spirit to our sacrament meeting. I loved listening intently to the unique and indicidual blessings that each of our investigators received. I know that we really do have a Father in Heaven who knows us personally and is eager to bless us as we faithfully obey His commandments and counsels. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost in my life that has helped me in the smallest situations. I am so grateful for Thoko, Tionge, Addsum, and Aggie who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and embark on their journey back to live with God again.

Sooo many incredible experience happened this past week. We arent' sure what is going to happen with transfers this week but I am not really looking forward to them....I really really really love this area and my companion. We had a lot of funny moments this week as well as spiritual experiences. But with that said, I know that whatever happens will be great and will bring about needed growth in myself. Have a great week!!! Share the gospel with someone.

Ndimakukonda Kwambili,

Sister Bingham

Monday, September 19, 2016

I LOVE Ndirande

 Church Cheesin'
Valentine and Luigi!!!

Future Sisters!!!

It was another whirlwind of a week here in Blantyre and I am still just loving every single second. There were so many times this week where I had to ask my companion if I was doing something wrong because I am so happy all the time! I have always loved my mission but it has never been so good. Here is why...

At family home evening Chikondi told everyone to be quiet and then said, " Aren't we so blessed to have these sisters here?" Sister Arok and I just looked at each other and didn't know what to say. The members here are so enthusiastic about missionary work and their trust in us and our calling is so humbling. There are so many things that have made me realize I was sent here for a reason but one of the tender mercies of serving here is to be so close and involved in the lives of the saints. They are inspiring and encouraging and fill my life with joy! 
Sisters of Blantyre
 Sister Newey, Sister Chibase, Sister Brown, Sister Porter, Sister Bingham, Sister Arok

I went on exchanges with my favorite, Sister Newey!!! She is amazing. She has the biggest heart and such a strong desire to be in line with the Savior's will. The whole day, I couldn't stop smiling. I loved being with her and being in our area and teaching the gospel. We finally met with Connie, an investigator, who has been out of town for the past couple of weeks. Sister Arok and I have been stumped on how to help her because she reads the Book of Mormon but just can't seem to get the answer she is looking for. We had a really powerful lesson where we reviewed the Restoration and it hit her hard. She has taught me the importance of patience and consistency while we seek guidance from the Lord. Then we had a lesson with Sister Katunga about family history. She was sitting outside on her reed mat, waiting for us which never happens!!! Then she even offered to say the opening prayer without us asking. Her granddaughter Thoko was baptized yesterday and it truly is blessing their family and helping them all to be active. Anyways lately we have been witnessing the power of Elijah as we have helped many members and investigators do family history. Records and dates are really difficult to find here in Malawi but every time we teach someone they are able to remember so much. I felt a lot of help from the other side of the veil this past week. We also saw the Makunganya family who is doing incredible!!!! They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying as a family and they received confirmation that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And they ask the most inspired questions in the lessons! Felix, the husband, had  to work but Sarah, his wife, still came with their 2 kids and her sister in law. Finding and progressing families has been a big focus for me lately and as I have been reading the Book of Mormon, I have realized how much power and strength our families bring. I know that the Lord will continue to prepare families for us to teach. 

We taught Vaida this week about patriarchal blessings and the whole lesson I was thinking about how much I want Blantyre to be a stake so that they can have a patriarch. And then guess what??? The Zone Leaders said that Blantyre is making super good progress on advancing towards a stake!!!! Miracles are happening. Brother Phiri drank again this week:( BUT he went over two weeks without giving into temptation!!!!! It was disappointing but when we went and saw him we told him we had to move his baptismal date back to mid October and then asked if he knew why. He responded with "Because I need to fully repent." He is doing so well and really really really wants to change. He will do it. and the day he is oh man I can't wait!!! We met with a less active family this week, the Tembos. I have only taught their mom
 but we Finally got both boys to join us. And they came to church this week and Davey passed the sacrament! It brought tears to my eyes.

Aggie and Adisum passed their baptismal interviews and will be baptized this Saturday!!!! For some reason, I was really nervous for their interviews which is weird because they are some of the most prepared people. Anyways we went through the questions with them and their testimonies and faith amazed me. They really are converted to the Savior and His gospel. I loved hearing them share how happy the gospel has made them and how the changes they have been making have blessed their lives. I once again was in utter awe of how the Lord truly is preparing hearts for us and how small our role is. I had a lot of moments this last week where I was reminded that the Lord expects us to be obedient, faithful, and diligent and then He will shape us into the instruments He needs us to be. 

The baptisms were so great!!!! Thoko and TIonge were beaming. Clifford and Vaida gave their very first talks!!! They were stressed about it all week but they did soooooo well!!! I love how simple the gospel is that even youth can teach and testify of its truth. Sister Arok, Beauty Paseli and I sang "When I am Baptized"...yes I actually sang and I wasn't nervous at all. The actual baptism was the highlight for sure. No matter how many times I witness a baptism, the same special spirit is there. I am so grateful for the priesthood and ordinances that help us to be happy now and to return to live in complete joy with our Father in Heaven. Thoko and Tionge's testimonies were short but so inspiring. They each testified of the Book of Mormon and our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. How blessed we truly are to have both! 

 We didn't get a good one of them but at least we are smiling:)
 Stella, Tionge, and Vaida...future general relief society presidency
 Watipaso, Thoko, Tionge, and Osman
 Model poses with the girls
 The girls
 Katunga family!!!

So many amazing things happened this week but words and time are just not enough. I want to thank each of you for your prayers on my behalf and the people of Zambia and Malawi. I really have felt so much help this week and our area is continuing to improve each day! We have never had so many people to teach and so many people keep their commitments. I love you all!! I love being a missionary.

 Soche Mountain Round 2

Jamika...our own personal guide:)

Monday, September 12, 2016

This week was '"Just okay"

Free Pig
I'm not sure what I was more excited about....the free pig or Joel (our recent convert) sharing the gospel with a man in the background

 Comfort and His friend
We told them to smile and then the second picture is their reaction...too cute

So every time we teach the Plan of Salvation, Sister Arok explains the terrestrial kingdom as being "just okay" and the people that go there are "just okay" and it makes me laugh every time. This week while on exchanges, I was teaching with Sister Porter and we got to the 3 kingdoms. I start explaining them and all the sudden I say, "Yeah the terrestrial kingdom...its just okay." Companionship unity on point!!! Actually this week Sister Arok studied about comp unity and so we decided to test it out. She told me to say a number between 1 and 10 on the count of 3. Yeah we did it ten times and never once got it....Anyways We've been together for 5 weeks now and I love her more and more each week. Going on exchanges always makes me appreciate my companion and cherish the time that I have to spend with them.

So the really was amazing but there is always so much more to improve upon!
Family Home Evening was another hit! I love love love that we have been able to hold FHE with so many different families. It has helped to not just bring families together  but even our branch. Clifford Katunga (13 years old), his grandmother and cousin are members and his other cousin is THoko who will be baptized next week, conducted and did such a great job! He couldn't stop smiling and was so professional. The youth continue to amaze me. Vaida Paseli pulled out clutch with a last minute lesson about making good decisions. We ended up tying it in with President Monson's last conference talk. I am so grateful for such simple yet important advice that the Prophet gave. I forgot to write about it but we have been reading this talk with a lot of members and investigators and its been incredible because every single person knows the story of Alice in Wonderland! It seems like if we ever mention a story or movie or person, no one in Malawi knows what we are talking about but they actually knew this story!!! this strengthened my testimony of our true and living prophet so much! How blessed are we to be lead and guided by him today. 

Exchanges with Sister Porter went so great!!! I learned a lot. I could hardly believe that it was 15 months ago that I was at the same point she seems like just yesterday. This exchange helped me to once again realize how much I love my area. Ndirande has so many prepared hearts and so much work to be done. And our area that we teach in is all compacted into probably a mile!!! We need more missionaries out here so that we can go out to our farther areas. but the time will come....We taught Susan, a member, about going about doing good. We are trying to help the other sisters build up their relationships with members so to focus on it, Sister Arok and I have been teaching the Restoration and Missionary Work with all members, less actives, and recent converts. Well in the lesson we were discussing service and all the sudden she realized that the past couple of days she had done a lot of service and helped many people. She had helped a lady carry maize flour from the mill home. And she gave a boy 50 kwacha when he told her that his mom gave him 100 kwacha and he dropped the other 50 kwacha. Susan got this huge smile on her face as she realized that all of that was bringing the light of our Savior Jesus Christ into their lives. As a missionary we are constantly serving but I loved helping Susan realize that even she can serve and feel great joy by doing so each and every day! And in those serving moments we will be helping to shared the restored gospel with our brothers and sisters. 

Sister Porter
Exchanges!!! I wore blue and orange in honor of Boise State:)

We have 5 baptisms scheduled for the next two weeks which has been such a tender mercy and testimony builder for me. A couple weeks ago President Kupu told us that if we haven't had a Cornelious (Acts 10) experience yet then we needed to go seek one. I have felt that many people that I have taught were prepared by the Lord yet Sister Arok and I were so touched by this counsel that we prayed to have such experiences together. And we haven't just had one but so many! Thoko, is a granddaughter of a member. She has always ran away when we would come visit. Then about a month ago she asked us to come and teach her and has come to church ever since! She is the most shy person ever but has a strong desire to follow the Savior. Malawians are always late to everything so we told her to be at her baptismal interview at 730 so she would be there by 8. guess what time she got there?? 715!!! 
 Thoko and Majorie
 She passed her baptismal interview!!!!!!! And her baby is the cutest

Tionge was also interviewed and passed!! She is 19 years old and we met her through a former investigator. She keeps her commitments and is so aware of the Spirit in her life. She is a great example to me of finding joy! She has the most beautiful smile. Every time we go to teach Adisum he already knows the principle that we have prepared to teach him. Last night we asked him if he has heard of tithing and he went on for about ten minutes describing it and quoting scriptures! He joined us in a lesson with his friends, the Makuganya family and was teaching them! He went over there before we went to teach him about the Word of Wisdom. Then Adisum told us, "I already started living it! I ate apples today!" she is my favorite. This week after teaching her she told us that her son Valentine, five years old, learned about tithing at primary last week. She gives him 100 kwacha each day for lunch at school and every day he gives her 10 kwacha and tells her "Mom, I don't want to steal from Heavenly Father." How sweet is that? Aggie was really concerned that her baptismal date was shifted from September 18th to September 24th...but she is excited to make this important covenant and enter the waters of baptism.

Last night we taught the Makuganya family with Joseph. While walking to the lesson we asked him what part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ he would like to teach. He said repentance. It was so neat to hear him say this because we have had a lot of missionary broadcasts and training about teaching repentance and baptizing converts. Joseph is truly converted to the gospel and while walking home he said "I love the restored gospel!!!" I love love love seeing people make changes in their lives that brings them so much joy! Life is far from easy. We each face different challenges and those that live in Ndirande definitely have their fair share but it is incredible how each week I find that the gospel of Jesus Christ solves everything. There is nothing more important or worth our time then to live the teachings of our Savior. And there is nothing that will bring us great satisfaction and happiness. 

This week I was touched by the Atonement of the Savior. Especially as I make a lot of mistakes each day and fall short of my goals. My favorite verses for the week were Mosiah 4: 2-3. Go read them. They are so great. I am so happy that I am able to continue to be a representative of Him who makes it possible to be forgiven of all our sins and to be filled with joy. 


Sister Bingham
Lunch with Vaida
We told her we'd pay her the same amount that we usually pay at our restaurant and it was delicious!!!!!

 Limbe Market

 Branch Talent Show

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


This week was one of my most favorite weeks I have had on my mission! Don't I say that ever week? But for reals this week was AMAZING!!! We hiked to a waterfall on Mt. Mulanje today (go look it up!!! it is SO BEAUTIFUL!) and so we don't have much time today but here are some highlights...

  Mount Mulanje!!!
Selfie with the Sisters
 Old Man Falls
   I love Sister Arok!
 The Girls!

I want to move here.

George turned 6 years old and his mom invited us to lunch. We thought it would just be Sister Arok and I....nope!! Turned out all the kids from Maplot were invited!!! It was huge and us sister missionaries were the center of everything! We helped cut the cake and all!!! It was fun but when it was time for us to leave Grace came over and thanked us missionaries for helping and blessing their family. All we did was teach them the restored gospel and love them. I think so often I don't even realize how important the work that we do is. It touches lives more than we know and truly brings joy into many lives! I am so grateful for that family and for the months that I have spent loving and serving them. They will always be dear to my heart!

  Peace with the Birthday boy
  The biggest party in Maplot

  Birthday Boy George....lady killer
  Cutting the cake
Helping out for George's Birthday Party

Mission Tour with Elder and Sister Ellis. I don't even know what to was so incredible! It was uplifting and encouraging! They spoke a lot about having faith and not just doing our best, but doing our VERY best. It was interesting to hear them speak about how we need to put our trust in the Lord as we go through challenging times because lately I have felt nothing but JOY as a missionary. There are definitely times in the past months where I was discouraged and felt so stressed but as I thought about the past couple of weeks, I realized how blessed I have been! And how much I have grown!! I am more grateful that I ever have been for the struggles we may face and how when we look back, we can look at them with joy knowing that we became so much stronger because of them. I was greatly humbled to be taught by such strong leaders this past week! I am grateful for the faith they have. I am grateful for their testimonies and examples. We really are so blessed to be members of Christ's church which is filled with amazing saints who are humbling serving the Lord in whatever calling they are given. I also learned a LOT of things that I can improve on....sometimes chastisement from the Spirit can be hard to swallow but I am grateful for opportunities to change, repent, and do better! 

Sister Ellis

Our investigators are doing so great!!! I wish I had time to report on each of them but here are a few of some small miracles from the week.....
1. Aggie came to church!!! She is now in the Isaiah chapters of 1 Nephi. We told her to just do her best to get through them cause we all know how hard those can be. But while reading a chapter with her she was able to understand it SO well and shared with us what she learned. She is quiet but in gospel principles she was participating so well!!! She will be baptized at the end of this month!
2. Adisum....we show up at his house and before we even ask about what he learned from 2 Nephi 31, he started sharing all about it and how true it is! And how he knows without a doubt that he needs to be baptized. 
3. Felix's wife came home from the village!!! And they came to church as a family!!!!!!! We have been really focusing on progressing a family.....we had to drop 3 families this week:( I was feeling really discouraged in Sacrament meeting. Sister Arok and I decided to fast for families and I was thinking about what we were going to do differently to help accomplish this goal. All the sudden it just hit me, hello Sister Bingham!!! You have a family sitting right in front of you at church!!! Neither Sister Arok or I have had an entire family come to church together on our mission. It really was a tender mercy from the Lord.

Families are Forever!!!
Felix and Sarah Makuganya with their sons Daniel and Frank. Their matching outfits are the cutest!

Sister Arok and I had a crazy busy week and we both continue to love this area more and more each day!!! Yesterday the branch threw together a last minute devotional and we all bore our testimonies. I wish you could have heard them all....Sister Arok shared how this is her most favorite branch she has served in. I don't know if i can say that because I love everywhere I have served but my heart continues to grow in love for the Ndirande Branch! Thank you so much for your prayers. I have had more physical success in our numbers recently that I ever have experienced. We could hardly believe it.....

Our branch devotional! Love them all so much!!!!

I love being a missionary. I love Malawi! I love the Savior and am grateful for the daily strength we receive from His Atonement. Continue to have faith and press forward and all will be well.

Sister Bingham

Family Home Evening Charades
 Regina acting out the first vision:)

  Stella from our branch

 Only the cutest boy in Goliyo....Joseph's Nephew. He laughed the entire lesson
 Aggie and Valentine!
 Another cute baby boy


Gilbert is a neighbor to the Paseli's and he is sort of crazy. Whenever he sees us he just starts spitting out random words that he knows in English. We finally got a picture with him!!!