Monday, December 12, 2016


Last email…..hopefully you weren’t expecting much because 1. There hasn’t been power all day until now. 2. We had to run a ton of errands for the mission. 3. We went to a game camp this morning and held a python so we really don’t have that much time today…..but we went down to Lusaka this past week for a combined zone conference/ Christmas activity and I talked to President Kupu about extending my mission! Hope it is ok with everyone!!!

Just kidding…but as much as I have been trying to deny the fact that I’m coming home, it has been quite the struggle the past couple of days to accept it. It is one of the most surreal feelings I have ever experienced. And now to have to put it into a few short words is a difficult task. I just don’t think I can adequately express how I feel right now. On Friday I was asked to give a farewell testimony in our combined zone conference. At that point it still hadn’t registered that I was going home but it still was an incredible experience to be gathered with 30+ missionaries, many that have become my dearest friends, and bear my testimony. Yesterday our Branch President asked that I speak about my mission in Sacrament meeting. I got a little teary eyed before I spoke and Gift, our 11 year old recent convert, leans over and says “Sister Bingham, why are you crying?” That is when it hit. Standing up in a branch filled with many saints that I love and talking about the BEST 18 months of my life was harder than I thought. I shared with them stories, miracles, and lessons I have learned. I laughed and I cried as I spoke but as I stood there I was overwhelmed with gratitude to be a missionary. To have been called to serve in this specific mission. And to have been blessed to everyday teach and testify of our Savior Jesus Christ. There has been countless times when I have realized that the Lord calls missionaries for a greater purpose than to just share the gospel with others. He calls us to shape, and refine us, to make us more like Christ. We definitely don’t go through anything near what He did, but as I spoke yesterday I felt so close to my Savior. I thought of all the nights I had spent on my knees seeking guidance and blessings for investigators. I thought of walking in the hot sun to teach the gospel. I thought of the joy I saw when brothers and sisters came out of the waters of baptism. I thought of the hours of study I had done. I thought of those who didn’t accept what we had to share. I thought of lives I saw changed and joy brought into families. I thought of the changes in my own life! Many of the branch and you, probably all of the branch and you, won’t know what my past 18 months fully entailed. Just as the Savior, we may know bits and pieces of his life. We may have His words recorded in the scriptures. We may understand a part of His love for us and for Heavenly Father but to fully comprehend it, is impossible. How humbled and grateful I am to have been given a time to grow in my own understanding of the Savior and to experience a bit of His divinity through my short 18 month mission.
As it all comes to a close I have had feelings of doubt and wonder if it was enough. Did I pray enough? Did I work hard enough? Did I love enough? Did I baptize enough? How comforting it is to know that HE knows. And to know that my service continues! It isn’t over. Yes it will never be the same and who knows if I’ll ever get to be here in Zambia and Malawi but the Lord does not call young missionaries only, He calls ALL! His invitation is to everyone. My 18 months were training ground so that I will be  better prepared,  better qualified and build a stronger desire to go and share the light and joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ! I look forward to being reunited soon and to be able to share with you all of it because I can’t do so over email. But one thing I would like to share is for all who read this. SERVE A MISSION. It doesn’t matter who you are or what kind of mission or when it is. Do it and you will never ever experience so much joy! The lord needs more missionaries. And he will strengthen you! He truly calls the weak and simple to proclaim the gospel and it isn’t an easy task but was it easy for Him???

Ok I love you all so much!!!! THANK YOU for the prayers, constant love and support and emails every week. I really couldn’t have done it without you. I know that Heavenly Father has blessed our family so much and if there is one thing that I have learned while being away from you is that we have the best family and I am so grateful we will be together forever. SEE YOU IN 6 DAYS!!!!!!

Nalikutemwa Sana,
Sister Bingham

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Time is Far Spent

Precious' Birthday
We baked a cake for her but Zambian tradition has it that you pour a bucket of water on someone before you give them a present:)

Future Sister Missionaries!!!

Ok I know I only have two weeks left and one email after this….but it really hasn’t hit me yet that I am coming home. Especially since this past week was so great and things in our area are really starting to progress well. Yesterday I talked to President Kapato, the Ndola District President, about us coming over next Monday for my last FHE and he said that he would call President Kupu and ask if I can just stay. So is it ok with all of you if I just extend????? Maybe instead we all could just move here and serve missions together? Cause believe it or not, I do miss you all!

 Zambian Sunset

We had Family Home Evening at Sister Chalwe’s with her two little boys. We sang “I am a Child of God” which I remember singing at their home last year and feeling the exact same special Spirit. There aren’t words to describe being gathered in their humble home with that faithful family singing the words to that song. I was greatly touched to sing the words “to live with Him someday” as I thought of their many challenges but then to think what lay in store for them in the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. We played the game where you put a biscuit on your forehead and try to get it into your mouth without using your hands and they LOVED it!!! I don’t think I have ever heard Sister Chalwe laughing so hard! I love bring the joy of the Savior into homes each week!

One evening we went to teach Bernard and to help him prepare to teach the lesson for this week in Gospel Principles. Oh he wasn’t confirmed last week because of a last minute emergency and then this week his mother passed away so he wasn’t able to be confirmed again but this week he will!!! Anyways it was late and we didn’t have 1. A member to work with us and 2. A female to join us in the lesson. We tried all we could and so I quickly said a silent prayer. I lifted up my head and there was the neighbor just getting home. I asked if she would be willing to join us for the lesson. She was cooking nshima but said that she would be able to join us if we sat outside and taught next to where she was cooking. We sat down and were about to begin the lesson but I felt I should try calling Justin, a member, one last time. His phone hadn’t been working all day….but HE ANSWERED!!! And he literally ran to make it to our lesson. How grateful I am for prayer and for dedicated members! Also Bernard is now in 2 Nephi!!!!

On Wednesday we were running around like crazy trying to fit in all of our lessons. It feels like we never have sufficient time to do anything! In fact, at church on Sunday we had so many members come up to us and give us fire for not coming to teach them this past week. The Simanwes wouldn’t even talk to me. Sister Simanwe came up to me and said, “Sister Bingham…where have you been? I don’t like you now that you didn’t even come! I don’t like ALL of you (as she waved her hands in front of me from my head to my toes).” Uhhh we need more missionaries in our mission because there is SOOO much work!!! And it has been sort of stressful because there are so many things that I wish I had time to do to help the members, the branch, do activities, do more service…..and especially as time is ticking its been hard but all is well because at the end of the day on Wednesday we went to our last appointment. It was a referral from a returned missionary in our branch. We taught his fiance Christobell and she is one of the most prepared people I have ever taught! She sincerely wants to learn about the restored gospel! She grew up in a Pentecostal church but when she came to church last week she said she loved it so much and felt the spirit very strongly. Which is unheard of for a Pentecostal because they are very loud and dance and sing and shout in their churches. Anyways it was late so we had a 15 minute lesson with her but both Sister Reid and I walked out of that lesson so happy and excited for her!! We saw her again and finished teaching the Restoration. She read the entire pamphlet!!! I know that doesn’t sound like much but its pretty amazing! And she already asked her finance a lot of questions and already prayed about Joseph Smith and received an answer that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. The Lord has been blessing us so much with people who are not just prepared to hear the gospel but are of the rich, learned, noble and wise like we have been counseled to find. 

Andrew who is going to be baptized on Christmas is also doing fantastic!! In fact yesterday in Sacrament meeting he got up and bore his testimony! I have had investigators do that before and it always puts me sort of on the edge because you never know what they are going to say but he did so good. HE EVEN QUOTED A SCRIPTURE FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON. He quoted 2 Nephi 2:24 and shared how he now understands the Heavenly Father truly has a plan for all of His children. He testified that it was part of God’s plan for us to have a minor accident with him just so that he could hear the Restoration. His testimony was very dear to my heart and it was especially meaningful because he is pretty shy and quiet so I know it was difficult for him to stand up there and testify but he did great. He is 26 years old and stays with his brother but we are going to teach his parents this week!!!

Mpundu family

Brother Nkhole has also been progressing slowly but surely. We love his family and have such a strong desire to help him enter the waters of baptism so that they can go to the temple together someday. For one of my gifts to the Savior I felt that I should do all I can to help Brother Nkhole accept the gospel. I have been praying for him diligently and this week we saw many miracles! He kept making appointments with us and then last minute would cancel which was frustrating but I count it as a miracle that each time he would text us which showed that he was mindful of us and cared. Then midweek we got a text from him asking that we please come! We weren’t able to actually teach him until Saturday morning but the lesson went really really well. We watched the Restoration DVD with him and then answered a lot of questions he had about Joseph Smith. He has been reading and praying and he still doesn’t have a firm answer but says that he feels the Spirit. We are working to help him recognize his answer but as we testified of the Restoration and the blessings we now receive because of it, we tied it in with the Sacrament. We committed him to come to church and HE ACCEPTED!!!! We both were so happy we couldn’t respond to him for a few seconds! I know that the Lord is helping him and softening his heart. Unfortunately he was called into work Sunday morning but I am so grateful for small tender mercies that we have been able to witness with him. Oh on Saturday afternoon we found him reading the Book of Mormon with his wife outside their home!!!

Last night Sister Martha invited us and the other sisters for dinner. She stays way far away but her cooking is worth it! She let us help though and I cooked the nshima all by myself….yep I’m preparing just for you all!! 
cooking nshima!!!
Anyways while I was helping her cook she was telling me more about her experience with the temple. As she was on her way back from the temple she felt a strong prompting that she needed to act so that she could keep the covenants that she had made. She made a stop in Lusaka before coming home and discovered through her family of two young men who needed somewhere to stay. She returned home to Ndola, found the two boys and they are now staying with her. I was so touched by her story and her desire to truly live her temple covenants. The members continue to inspire me each and everyday! Yesterday I tried to soak in my last few moments with them at Church and learn as much as I can from them.
All is well in Ndola! Lots and lots and lots to be done for which I am grateful for. And I am grateful that the Lord has entrusted me to serve here. I am humbled by my calling and hope that I will continue these next two weeks to serve our Savior and bring many more unto Him. 

Sister Bingham

 Saying goodbye to Selina
She moved to Fatima....about 40 kms from Ndola:(

Singing in the rain
I wish I had a picture 5 mintues before....the road was a river!!!!

Baboons in our area...nbd.
at a members house in the elders area. she cooks for them twice a week because her own son is serving a mission

Farewell Article for our Mission Newsletter:

As my mission comes to a close, I have been experiencing a lot of very mixed emotions and to put the past 18 months into a few words is a difficult task. However, as I reflect on my missionary service, two words come to mind....gratitude and joy. I quickly came to learn within my first few days as a missionary that I have countless inadequacies and weaknesses but I was and continue to be humbled to know that the Lord has called me and all of us to labor in His vineyard. To say that I am extremely grateful for my call to serve would be a great understatement. Each and every day I saw the hand of the Lord provide miracles that built my faith and increased my appreciation for the Savior and His Atonement. For this I will give praises of thanksgiving for many blessings seen not just in my life but in the lives of those I taught, loved, and served. We each were promised that "more happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." And if there is anything that I can testify of it is that missionary work brings JOY- complete, true and lasting JOY. But it only comes as we serve with our all. The greater we give the greater we receive. I remember a particular trying moment during my mission when I was give the counsel to lay aside my worries, fears, and disappointments and to enjoy this one time in my life where I can completely dedicate myself to building up the Lord's Kingdom. The more I left behind who I was and focused fully on my calling, the more I was blessed with an indescribable amount of joy and I can honestly say that it has been the happiest 18 months of my life! It will be difficult to leave Zambia and Malawi, to leave the people that have grown so dear to my heart, but I'm excited to continue what has begun here. The work, lessons, and miracles won't be forgotten when I take off my name tag, but will be a strong foundation as I continue in my call to serve, wherever or whatever that may be.