Monday, October 31, 2016

Back to the Belt

You will not believe what happened this week.....I still am trying to get over it. President Kupu called and said that I will be going back to Ndola!!!! It came as quite the shock and has been a lot of mixed emotions, especially saying goodbye to everyone in Ndirande, but nonetheless I am so excited to be going back to somewhere that is so dear to my heart. The Lord works in mysterious ways and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what He has planned for me in the Copperbelt but if there is anything that I have learned while serving as a missionary is to trust in Him. His ways our higher than our ways. It is going to be quite the happy reunions this weekend!! So my new companion is Sister Reid from Oregon. We just flew into Lusaka this morning because we have our Mission Leadership Council which will be a great way to be inspired, motivated, and uplifted as I make my way to my new area. 

My last week in Ndirande was one that I will never forget. I don't have much time so here were some highlights.

Monday we had Family Home Evening and the Hulls joined us. We had it with the Katunga's and the Paselis. It was one of the most spiritual family home evenings we have had. We ended up just all sharing our testimonies and the blessings we have received from the Restored gospel. I wish you could hear these faithful saints.....

We put on an etiquette/spaghetti dinner for the youth in our branch and they LOVED it!!! The Hulls helped us out and we played games, taught table manners, and then let them eat. The best part of it all was at the beginning when we were all gathered together. We opened with "I am a Child of God" and as I looked at so many of the youth, especially those I had taught and baptized, I was so grateful to have served here. I started to tear up as I looked at each of them and saw them through God's eyes. I felt so much love for them and gratitude that they have a knowledge of the most important thing. 

 Dinner for YM/YW

Then on Sunday when I had to give my final testimony in that branch........that was SO hard. While singing the Sacrament hymn I read these words, I've done the work thou gavest me,
I've done the work thou gavest me;
Receive my spirit unto thee."
Serving in one area for a long time is hard because you constantly question if you have done enough. But as I read these words, I was overwhelmed by peace as I felt the Lord's approval. I know I am not perfect. I know there was probably a lot more than I could have done but I was reminded of the Savior and that because He was perfect, we don't need to be. All He asks of us is to do our best. 



Lyson was baptized!!! And Joseph baptized him!!!! So sweet. He gave such a great testimony about how the gospel has changed his life. Deborah passed her interview so I am bummed I will miss that:(

 Lyson's Baptism

The week was amazing!! Filled with so many miracles. This week, President Kupu, asked us to reflect on the love we have for our family and those we left at home. I really am SO grateful for each of you. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned from you that have helped me to be a better servant of the Lord. 

Much Love,
Sister Bingham


boiled mangoes in the rain

Future Elders!!!!!

Vaida and Grace

happy birthday Stella!!!

Monday, October 24, 2016


We had another sister in Blantyre go home for some emotional health issues so now I am companions with Sister Porter!!!!!! I am finishing her training which I am so excited about. I have always wanted to train and the Lord truly grants the desires of our hearts. Its been quite a hectic week with a lot of changes that have been happening but it was SO wonderful.

FHE: We headed to our other area and had it with the Frank Family and Hanna Witness ( a recent convert). We asked Evelance to give the lesson and she ended up reading the entire Word of Wisdom pamphlet but nonetheless I was really touched by her desire to share her testimony and teach us. We played a super simple clapping game with them and they were all laughing SO hard and were getting so into it. Then we pulled out our cake and Sister Arok was telling them how I worked so hard to make it (it was a from a box) and so they all started chanting my name. On our way home Peter Frank (17 years old) escorted us home because it is sort of a sketchy area at night and it was good for me to just walk and talk with him. He struggles to speak English but was trying so hard and we actually were doing really well. He was so excited to tell me about how he went with the other young men to visit some less actives. You should have seen how excited he was to tell me. Missionary work brings so much light to our lives!!
FHE at the Franks!

Our mission has been counseled again and again to seek out the rich and the learned to help establish the Church. It can be difficult at times but we have been so blessed this past week. We taught someone with a microwave in their house! I have never had that happen before. I have mentioned this before but we have been very diligent in praying for families but recently I have been praying specifically to be lead to find priesthood holders. This week, at the end of one of the days, I all the sudden realized that the entire day we had taught potential priesthood leaders! I was so grateful for the many prayers that we have given that have been answered! We have Tom who is doing so great! He has had a lot of things come up and has to go out of town but he really loves the Book of Mormon. It was during his lesson, when he understood so well and was so in tune with the Spirit that we all just realized how short our time is here and that we need to seek out the prepared. We need to have greater faith that the Lord will prepare more people for us. Tom even has been sharing with his family and has given us a couple of referrals! We also have Willis. The man who covered his Book of Mormon with plastic. He is quitting his job so that he can come to church on Sundays. We met a father named Julio Gama....for some reason I thought he said his name was Yo Yo so I accidentally call him that all the time. Anyways he is self-reliant and so smart. We are teaching the Nkhululu family who also is of the rich and learned. This week we were able to reap the rewards from our finding efforts and also were able to witness the hand of the Lord in our work.

WE WENT ON SPLITS!!!! Never would I have thought we'd be able to do that.....but last week during our weekly planning we called President Kupu and asked if it would be ok since we have so many people we need to see. Soon Wednesday morning, Sister Porter and I went and taught together while Sister Arok went with a member. We saw Addsum, our recent convert, and he is incredible. We read his family history and under the section about himself he wrote that he wants people to know that he loves sharing the gospel and that he keeps the Sabbath Day Holy. How sweet is he. That afternoon, I went with two different members on splits while Sister Arok and Sister Porter went together. I went with Regina who has a difficult time speaking. It was a lot harder than I expected it to be as I had to do most of the teaching. It made me SO grateful for the blessing of companions, especially the companions I have. But at the same time, Regina would add in a few times, or would read from the pamphlet and the entire time she had the biggest smile on her face. It was one of the highlights of my week. At the end of the night, we went to meet up with the other member to go on splits and she was late. We could not a hold of her either! I started to get really stressed because we had 2 families we really needed to see. I said a silent prayer and dialed one more time. Instantly she picked up and we were able to go teaching!

 Splits with Regina!

Deborah, Joseph's niece, is doing really well!!! This week we followed up on the scripture that we left her...she read half a verse. Half a verse! hahahahah I could not stop laughing. We don't know why she didn't finish it but at lease she read half. She is on date for November 6th and this week she shared with us that she thinks her dad may not want her to be baptized but no matter what "I will be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". I continue to be amazed by the faith of youth here in Malawi. Mutual was so much fun!!! We taught them about the importance of education and then played Capture the Flag. At one point I just stopped and laughed at myself for getting so into it. Here I am, a missionary playing capture the flag. Anyways we are planning a big etiquette dinner this Friday for the youth and they are so pumped!! 

We were walking to our appointment one night and it was dark and guess what I did....rolled my ankle. It was pretty bad but we made it through the rest of the night. I was really worried about it so I asked the elders for a priesthood blessing. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood and that it has been restored. It eased my mind and calmed my fears and my ankle feels great! I woke up Sunday morning with it pretty swollen and I still have got quite the kankle but it doesn't hurt! I know that Heavenly Father does watch over and bless His missionaries. As I kneeled in prayer that night I was touched as I thought of my family who pray for me to be safe and healthy and to find success. 
Classic Sister Bingham
yeah i rolled my ankle once again.......

Sunday was wonderful as always! Lyson passed his interview and will be baptized next week! Joseph blessed the sacrament for the first time!!!! This was by the far the best part of the whole week. I was sitting in Church, stressing over our area and who wasn't at church when I felt a quiet whisper to look up. I had been so caught up in my own worries that I had failed to see Joseph sitting in front at the Sacrament table. He was wearing his new white shirt the Hulls had given him and looked so happy! The prayers were extra special for me yesterday. It is difficult to explain how much joy it brings to see your recent convert, serving in his priesthood duties. He has been REALLY nervous to say the prayers because he is afraid he will mess up. He did so well though! Another moment where I just thought to myself, "Can I just be a missionary forever?" The time is short that we serve but I was given advice this week to keep focusing and make the most of each day here. There really is so much work to be done! Can't wait to get to it!!!

Ndimakukonda Kwambili,

Sister Bingham


 Malawian Sunsets

Monday, October 17, 2016

October is My Favorite

Mutual Activity

 the area

Here it goes....

FHE: We invited Aggie , Addsum, and Joseph (all recent converts) and Mwie and Deborah (investigators) and had it at the Chirwas house (members). Aggie shared the spiritual thought from John 15, only our favorite missionary chapter, so that really touched my heart. She also said to me during a lesson this week "I really wish that you would take me to teach with you." Nothing is better than to hear those words. Two nights before we met with Addsum and asked him to teach the lesson. Well it was also his birthday so turns out he was confused and didn't get the whole FAmily Home Evening thing and just thought it was a party for him. hahahah when it was his turn to give the lesson he just stood up and thanked everyone for coming to his "ceremony" and then sat back down. Opps...all is well, Sister Arok came in clutch and shared a scripture. We tried playing a game with everyone but we sort of messed it up and then everyone was yelling at us because they said we were cheating...hahah but everyone was laughing so it was worth it!! 

Tuesday I celebrated my 16 month mark and it was sort of a surreal feeling. Time has literally flown by and I was actually really sad when all the sudden it hit me that I have 2 months left. 2 months....its hard to explain the feeling but hey I still have 2 months to get to work and I can't wait!! Since we are finishing Sister Porter's training I have been able to focus a lot on the basics of missionary work. I think that training is helping me more than Sister Porter! This past week we trained on receiving revelation through prayer and made a goal to ask to kneel in the closing prayer at the end of each lesson. I wish I could describe the special spirit that fills the small, humble homes that we visit as we have knelt together. Each time I don't want to stand up because I am filled with so much peace and joy. And it has even blessed those we teach to say more sincere prayers. Anyways training has made me more fired up about all aspects of the work. This week I focused more on my invitations to be baptized. This week as I invited many people to make the sacred covenant with our Father in Heaven, it made me so grateful for my calling as a missionary. I am so grateful to be an instrument in His hands in leading others to live with Him again. This week I read in Alma and was so inspired by the lives and examples of Alma and Amulek. My missionary scripture in Alma 29:9 but verse 10 is what stood out to me this past week "And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember awhat the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."  It really is amazing how many more blessings I am able to see as I serve as a missionary. 
 We visited a less active family and taught Brother Wisiki and his daughter Carol. We only had about 10 minutes so we asked her to teach us about the Restoration. Carol gave the most powerful testimony of the First Vision. She is 14 years old and to hear her recite what Joseph Smith saw in 1820 was incredible. We then asked her father how Carol has blessed his life. He went on and on about how much of a strength she is to there family. He said, "I love all my children, but carol is something special." She is the one who gathers the family together for prayer. Both her and Joseph Smith have made such great impacts in the lives of others and I thought a lot about the influence that I am leaving here and throughout my life. There is still so much to be done and so much I need to become! It is almost overwhelming but I am so grateful for the examples of others, Carol Wisiki and Joseph Smith, you do what is right and act in great faith.

The theme of the week was FINDING. We went on exchanges to help Sister Newey and Sister Chibase build their investigator pool. We spent 2 and half hours within a five minute walking distance!! I continue to feel so blessed to serve in an area where there are many people to teach! We met a really great father. While introducing our purpose, I shared with him how the gospel helps us face any challenge we face, including disability, financial, and physical trials. Later in the lesson he asked if we could pray for his daughter who has had a disability since birth. I then proceeded to testify of our Savior and that because of Him, all would be resurrected. The Spirit hit me so strong as I was reminded of the power of the atonement and how it literally makes all things right. I thought of this sweet little girl and her family who has faced so much stress in their life. I wanted to just go on and on and on but I simply was able to testify that it is only through Jesus Christ that we will live again and if we follow Him, we will not only be able to have perfect bodies in the next life, but we will get to live with God and Jesus Christ. I even got a little choked up as I thought of this miracle that I so often overlook in my own life. 

We ended up having to do a lot of finding in our areas since we now have 3 areas and had to drop a lot of investigators. This one day was not going well....hahah it felt like we were walking around in circles all day. But we had a prompting to go down to the Chirwa's and meet all their neighbors. First house we go to, we see a man sitting outside. We ask if we could share with him our message and he quickly invites us inside. We teach the Restoration and then Sister Arok invites him to be baptized. He says, "Yes of course. I actually haven't been going to church for a year now because I felt like it wasn't right. I think this might be an answer to my prayer." Sister Porter's jaw dropped to the ground. Sister Arok started laughing cause she couldn't even believe it. We hardly knew what to say especially after a long day of working but once again the Hand of the Lord was manifest in our work as we put our faith that He would lead us to someone who was prepared. 

Saturday was Malawi's Mothers Day so we gave some money to Vaida to cook a big dinner for her mom for us. Of course the Paseli's went above and beyond!!! I wish I would have taken a pciture of the amount of rice they had cooked!!! It was insane. Before we ate we all went around and said why we loved our mothers. Shout out to my mom for helping me to be the person I am today. I shared that I am greatful for my mom for helping me to see the joy no matter what the circumstances. Mom has always made me laugh and I am so thankful for how it has helped me to be a better representative of the Savior here in Malawi and Zambia. I know that sounds weird but it is amazing how a simple smile or laugh will soften someones heart and help them feel loved. It was super great to be gathered with two woman, Sister Grace Paseli and Sister Katunga who have taught me so much in my 7+ months in Ndirande. I was once again impressed my the blessing of families and that families truly can be together forever! I can't wait for my family to meet the families that have welcomed me and blessed my life throughout my mission. Which by the way...the Simanwe's back in Ndola are going to the temple next week!!!!!!
Happy Mother's Day!!
Our mother's day dinner with the Paseli's and Katungas!

Sunday we had 20 people at church!!! Half of them don't speak English....and only 5 of them we are seriously teaching but nonetheless, the Lord is pouring out His Spirit upon Ndirande. All the fam has been talking about Isaac's primary program and how cool is that this week we got to go to primary to help the kids prepare for their's next month. The kids have already memorized all their parts and yesterday I was so touched by their simple, simple and powerful testimonies! Just hearing little George say, "I am a temple of God." or Louisa Nyenyezi stand and say, "Jesus Christ lives" is amazing. They hardly understand any english yet they know that the gospel is true and they are always so happy!! I can't wait to see them all in Sacrament meeting. That afternoon we ended up teaching with Joseph and his niece Deborah came with us. She was hilarious to teach with....when an investigator told us he not only read the introduction to the Book of Mormon but also all the testimonies she turned to me and said, "What??? I haven't even read that yet!!" btw....that investigator Willis covered his Book of Mormon we gave him with plastic to "keep it nice". He LOVED church and is another tender mercy that we found this week. Deborah was so pumped about missionary work but after 2 hours of walking around with us she was exhausted! Poor girl...we work hard and it has become so a part of who I am that i forget. I truly do love missionary work with all my heart! 

The threesome is going great! We are still working on balancing all three areas. We have a baptism for the end of this month and then a bunch for November. I can hardly believe how much work there is to be done here and although the church is small, it is true. 

Thank you all for the mutual and family home evening ideas. 

Ndirande Mutual

This week I am grateful for mighty prayer. I am grateful for companions. 
 One night we were walking to our last appointment and Sister Arok was struggling to get up a hill so I told her to hop on my back until we made it back to the car. For once in my life, I wasn't the one dragging behind her.  I am so grateful for her and the way she pushes me to be better.

I am grateful for rice and beans. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for water. I am grateful for electricity. I am grateful for my hands that can wash clothes. I am grateful for little kids and dirty faces. I am grateful for the moon and sunsets. I am grateful for Susan who went finding with us when it was hot. I am grateful for Joseph who wears his Sunday clothes all day to keep it holy. I am grateful for Connie who finally took the leap of faith and came to church. I am grateful for John Phiri who continues to struggle with addiction to alcohol but never fails to attend church. I am grateful for Lyson who when asked to obey a commandment always responds with "Why not?" I am grateful for Tionge who asks inspired questions. I am grateful for so much but most of all for you and for the gospel of Jesus Christ. have a great week.

Ndimakukonda Kwambili,

Sister Bingham

No power probs

Twinning is winning
Joseph and his niece Deborah!