Monday, November 14, 2016

Kukamba Sana Sana Sana

Baptizing souls and killing chickens....what more could I ask for?

Hot season is up and roaring! I forgot how hot the Copperbelt is....nonetheless missionary work is bwino bwino!! I know I wrote a lot about how great it is to be back in Ndola once again but even after all the reunions the work is progressing and we were able to witness SO many tender mercies! 

We went and visited Sister Lunia who has recently become less active. We shared with her "Joy and Spiritual Survival" by President Nelson and to be was a struggle to get through the lesson. She shared with us that she has been less active before but that time, she actually missed church. Now she doesn't have any desire to be there and it is just too much work to get her kids ready and go to church. Everything that we would share with her, and each time we would testify of the importance of the Sacrament and obedience to the Lord's commandments, she would just sort of shrug her shoulders at it. There were many times that I just didn't know how to help her or what to say. But we bore our testimonies and at the end of the lesson I felt a strong prompting to not invite her to church. WHY??? I had no idea. Why should I not invite her to church? how could we teach that whole lesson and not invite her? It was so weird as I ended up just committing her to finish the talk. We prayed and left her house and as we were walking out the gate...she runs over and gets sort of quiet and says, "Sister Bingham, i think I am going to come to church on Sunday" It was then that i realized the reason behind my prompting. She needed to make that decision herself. The choice for her to come and the desire to do so needed to come through her own spiritual impressions so that it would be more powerful and lasting. It was amazing to see her speak out and say that to me after spending the previous 30 minutes refusing to come to church. AND GUESS WHAT?!?!? SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!! AND TAUGHT THE LESSON IN RELIEF SOCIETY!!!!!! This helped me to learn so much about my role as a missionary. SO many times I just want them to realize the importance of our message and almost force them to act upon our invitations because I know how much it will bless them! But it all goes back to the fundamental principle of the plan of It truly is one of God's greatest gifts that He has given us and we have been sent here on earth to learn to make correct choices and follow the Savior, Jesus Christ. It made me so grateful to know that I have been called and set apart to help people learn to make small but eternally significant choices in their lives. I have to be worthy, I have to be faithful, I have to be happy, I have to be bold, and I have to testify and then trust that through the Holy Ghost they will make that right choice. I am so grateful for Sister Lunia and her courage to do what is right!
Our area is really big and we struggle to find people to teach near the actual town part of Ndola. It is important for us to teach here as it is close to the church and often has more self-reliant people. Wednesday morning, Sister Reid and I prayed right before going outside. Sister Reid prayed that we would be able to find new investigators to teach within our center of strength to help establish the church. During her prayer, I had a calm, peaceful feeling rush over me and in that moment I knew that we would be guided to find someone. We went through the day, busy as always, it feels like we never have enough time!!!! We had a few fall throughs but felt like we should go visit a less active. it was hot....i had drank all my water and I started to doubt. We walked into the less actives home and found her daughter at home who initially told us she wasn't a member. She actually is but just didn't want to tell us....anyways she showed us to her neighbor's home and within 20 minutes we had found 7 new investigators! I am grateful for the faith of my companion who petitioned the Lord to help us overcome one of our stumbling blocks. And it truly is amazing how it all works out....often through ways we wouldn't initially think of.
Thursday one of the sisters this side was told she was being transferred to Malawi last minute so we rushed to drive her around her area to say her last goodbyes. She got emotional while saying goodbye to some recent converts and investigators and of course it made me cry. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on my months of service (since it was my 17 month mark) and think of what I have done. I thought of all of the people that I have developed relationships with in each area I have served. It was a really hard hit for me to think my time is far spent and that I won't be doing this everyday for the rest of my life. Honestly it feels like this is all I have done my whole life and really all I want to do for the rest of it. I have learned SO much but this week I was most especially grateful for the opportunity I have been given to love. I think they should change the lyrics to "Called to Love." Unless you have served as a missionary you may not know exactly what I am talking about but it is so hard to walk away from the home of someone you have prayed for, studied for, taught, cooked with, served, laughed with, worried over, learned from and wonder if you will see them again. It was hard to watch Sister Brown say goodbye but it was a big wake up call for me to cherish this time that i have left and to express greater gratitude that the Lord allowed me to come back to see those I love so much. We taught Yimali that afternoon and Sister Asemniynah, who was in a threesome with us for a few days, testified to her of her own experience of walking to church in Ghana and committed her to sacrifice to make it to church on Sunday. AND GUESS WHAT??? She came. It was soooooooo great to see her but the best moment of all was Sunday evening hearing Sister Asemnyinah talk about how happy that moment made her! I love watching the other sisters find success and joy in the work!!! Its been humbling and really inspiring to discover there is so much more happiness that we can experience if we rejoice with those around us. Too often we find ourselves comparing ourselves and wishing we could do better that we miss out on great spiritual experiences that are family and friends are having! I have come to find the same amount of joy and have learned so much from the other sisters and elders and their successes! 
We had a FHE with the Nkholes who were baptized last week and their father joined us for the lesson!!! The sisters haven't been able to teach him and he is pretty hesitant to learn but we taught from the family proclamation to the world and it was incredible how it softened his heart. There is so much power in families and always connecting the message we teach back to the family. Brother and Sister Simanwe came with and shared how the gospel has blessed their family. I have heard them do it plenty of times before but the spirit was so much stronger because they have been to the temple! We also visited another member who went to the temple and she had the most amazing glow about her and couldn't stop smiling. I wish you could hear their testimonies.....
 Water Problems
 Saturday morning the elders called us and asked us to come help them fill up the baptismal font at their meetinghouse because they didn't have water. We made about 5 trips with 12, 20 liters bottles full of water. It was hectic but we are so grateful everything worked out and the baptism was wonderful!

Saturday we spent the morning filling up a baptismal font for the elders and then we stayed to watch the baptism. Even though I had never met the baptismal candidate I was so touched by the service. I tried to soak it all in and as always there was the sweetest spirit there. I love love love being able to witness sacred ordinances performed so often! On Sunday the Nkhole's were confirmed and it was the best. The words in the confirmation of "We your brethren" really touched my heart. It made me remember that we are all part of Heavenly Father's family and he loves us all so much! It made me grateful to be able to work hand in hand with the members in Ndola to bring about the purposes of God. It made me want to go out and shout from the housetops about the restored gospel!!! I have found so much joy lately in literally talking to every person I can about the gospel. Despite their response or progression, it makes my own testimony and love for the Savior grow each time.
So the week was great! Mission is great. My companion is great. I love being a missionary and the promise that we read in Helaman 3:27 "The Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon His holy name."
Nalikutemwa Sana,
Sister Bingham

Ndola Branch!
My hair dressers
Look how big the Nonde girls are!!!!

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