Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015 - week 2

Dear Family and Friends,

I can't believe I have been in the MTC for a week and a half now! Sometimes the days are long but it also seems like I just got here. Time is weird. Anyway, I have lots to write so here it goes.

First off, Hermana Handy left me Monday to go to the Madrid MTC. I was sad to see her leave, but we hoped to see eachother in the MTC... and she is from Gilbert so I'm sure I'll be able to see her again. I am in a trio now and my new companions are Hermana Tuaira and Hermana Dexter, both from Tahiti. They are amazing and great examples to me. I love them soo much! We have already seen improvement in our companionship and have some great goals for this week as well.

This past week Hermanas Tuaira and Dexter and I taught 3 lessons to our investigator Benjamin and two to our new investigator Hely. Hely is from Guatemala and her Spanish is WAY faster. haha. I'm slowly catching on though. She is so easy to talk with and love and share our messages with. Thursday morning, we taught Benjamin and Hely right in a row. Previous to Thursday, I had basically decided what I wanted to teach in English, translated in to Spanish, wrote it down, and had to halfway read it in lessons. I decided this wasn't very effective and I had enough Spanish now to teach without notes. So I did Thursday, and it was so amazing! I had to simplify what I said but I could tell I was more open to the Spirit and both lessons were amazing. The three of us felt really great about our lessons that day. I can't remember if I mentioned this last week but Hermana Tuaira speaks French, Spanish, English, and a little Tahitian while Hermana Dexter speaks French, Tahitian, a little Spanish, and even less English. So basically our common language is Spanish which is forcing me to learn even more. I've recently changed the way I study and already can tell it will be more effective. At times the language is hard since I feel like I am the worse at it in my class, but as I look back I've already come SO far.

I've had countless spiritual learning experiences this week. That is my favorite part about the MTC. One thing I learned was from the Tuesday night devotional this week by Larry S. Kacher of the Seventy. I learned that consecrated missionaries are there solely to do the will of our Heavenly Father. They don't worry about their inadequcies or compare themselves to other missionaries because they know that Jesus Christ will fill in that gap - no matter how big it is. I know this is true and have worked hard on focusing on my improvement and learning with the goal of being able to effectively teach the gospel and help others come unto Christ.

My favorite scripture of the week is 3 Nephi 5:13 go read it! My district memorized it in Spanish this week. It is a powerful statement for me in my life now.

I now have a second teacher in my class, Hermano Holman. He served in Guatemala. We have only had one class so far but I know he will be an effective teacher in helping us spiritually as well as improve our Spanish. We will now have two 3-hour blocks of studying with a teacher each day.

As far as my visa goes, no word. I could be here another week, I could be here the whole 6 weeks. I do know that I am very grateful I came here first, even though I initially was kinda bummed I wasn't going straight to Madrid. There have been things I needed to hear and learn that I have now. And I've met some amazing people. Whenever I do leave here - whether it's a week or 5 - it will be a sad day for me.

I love you all so much!

Hermana Bingham

1. me, Hermana Handy, Hermana Tuaira, and Hermana Dexter
2. me and my new companions in class - where I spend about 90% of my day :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

First week! - or at least first half week‏

Dear Family and Friends,
I am so happy to be here at the MTC! I have had a crazy first three days. I arrived at the MTC Wednesday around 12:30. Another Sister helped me get settled. We first carried my bags up 4 flights of stairs to find out that we were in an Elders building. So we carried them back down. Went from office to office to figure out a new room for me. We then carried my 50 pound bags to the fourth floor again. I went straight to class, where my teacher only speaks Spanish. A little overwhelming at first but I know it will force me to learn quicker. That afternoon I had 4 elders and I in class. Finally that evening my companion came! So it was a unique first day. haha. My companion is Hermana Handy.
She is from Gilbert, Arizona and going to Barcelona Spain. In fact, we just went to UVU yesterday to meet with the consulate to get her visa, she leaves me Monday already to go to the Spain MTC! I think I'll most likely be about 2 weeks behind her.

My district has 4 elders and 4 sisters. At least 4 of them were asked if they'd like to be moved up to an intermediate class but chose to stay to help us. Which is kind. But also kinda stressful because they already know SO MUCH Spanish. It's been good so far though. 4 of the missionaries in my district are international - Brazil/Canada, Russia/Belgium, and 2 from Tahiti. All of them speak at least 3 languages already. I love my district!
Being at the MTC is such a wonderful, spiritual experience. I have learned so much already. I love that everyone is trying to be the best they can and working hard. We are basically in class all day. Yesterday, Hermana Handy and I already taught our first lesson, to Benjamin, in Spanish! It was scary, and hard. We basically understood 30% of what he said and tried really hard in our little Spanish we know to get our message across. It went okay, but I'm hoping for better next time. :) But guess what?! I can pray, say I'm a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and bear my testimony in Spanish! All very basic, but I was proud.

One scripture that has helped me is D&C 84:82-85. It's helped me to realize if I work hard and prepare then "that portion" of the Spirit that the investigator needs to testify of the truth of what I'm saying will be there.

I know The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-Day Saints is the restored gospel. I am so happy to be preparing to share this message with others.

I love you all!

Hermana Bingham

Monday, January 19, 2015

Goodbye Mesa, Hello Spain! (with a pit stop in Utah..)

On August 29th, I received my mission call to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Madrid Spain Mission. I am excited to share the message of Jesus Christ. Starting Wednesday, January 21st, I will be attending the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah until I receive my visa. Each week, my mom will post the emails that I send home to this blog. I would love to hear from family and friends as well. :) My current addresses will be updated on this blog.

I know that I have a Father in Heaven who loves and cares for me. I know that His son, Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life then died, and was resurrected, making it possible for me to repent and return to live with my Heavenly Father. He is aware of the trials in my life and I can turn to Him for peace. I know that Joseph Smith restored the gospel of Jesus Christ to earth. I know he is a prophet of God who translated the Book of Mormon, which is a true book. As we read and study the Book of Mormon, we can apply it to our lives today to help us through trials. I know there is a prophet on earth today to guide and instruct us, President Thomas S. Monson.

I can't wait to be a full-time missionary! Love you all!