Monday, April 27, 2015

Cristian´s Baptism!!‏

Hola Family and Friends!

I have a lot of exciting news from this week! The biggest.. is that Cristian was baptized! Hermana Clements and I taught him for awhile, then for different reasons we passed him to Elders Nielsen and Hendricks of this area, who were perfect for him! He has such a strong testimony, and at the beginning he claimed not to even believe in God. He is great. And is now sharing the gospel with others too! His mom is set to be baptized the end of May. I am very happy for him!

After the baptism (which we do in the stake center right next to the temple), we took Karen and her kids on a ´´temple tour´´. There is a really cool way with statues, etc to talk about the temple here. After, Karen told us how she loved coming to the baptism and knows ´´she is next´´. I think I say this every week, but I love their family. We also started teaching David, the 8 year old, and Alison, who is 6. David always talks about how he wants to be baptized too. So cute.

Other big news... Madrid Spain Mission is officially an iPad mission! It has been a rumor for quite some time, but it is official now. ALL of the missionaries of the mission, even those on the islands, are coming to the Madrid temple square May 7th for training. I am not positive if we actually get them that day or details, but it is happening. It will be a huge blessing. It is amazing how much technology helps with missionary work and the church in general.

On Thursday, my bday, we had an apointment with our 93 (almost 94) year old investigator. The ward member who gave us her reference was there too and made me a cake and sweet rice. It was a fun little celebration. And all the missionaries tried to surprise me and sang to me that night when we were all there. Also, Cristian (the one who just was baptized), gave me a present. And was so excited about it. haha. It was a great day.

We had a really great district meeting this week. Our district leader asked our mission leader, Andy, to share a quick thought with us. Andy showed a YouTube video of this women motivational speaker - I think it was called the invisible woman. She basically talked about how she did all this work and was also super busy, but never appreciated. Then her friend went on a trip and brought her a present of book about lots of old, awesome Cathedrals and a note thanking her for all the things she does, even if they are unnoticed. This motivational speaker talked about how the artists and builders of these Cathedrals most often were unkown. They had sacrificed years and years of their lives to build the great Cathedrals, yet were never recognized. Andy related it to missionary work and how a lot of things we do go unnoticed, but that is okay. Even the little things we do are super important. We ourselves may not see the result of our work, but it is making a difference. He said it way better than I just summarized, but that is the idea.

For pday today we went to Segovia. No time for the pics this week, but next.

I love you all so much! Hope you have a fantastic week!


Hermana Bingham

1. Hermana Clements and I at this restaurant with 100 different mini sandwiches, it is fun to chose randomly and be surprised :)
2. Me with Alisva and Maria Antonia on my birthday
3. me, Hermana Clements, Andy (mission leader), Cristian
4. me, Hermana Clements, Andy (mission leader), Cristian, Elder Nielsen, Elder Hendricks

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 13 - Miracles!‏

Hola Family and Friends!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, I am sure I will have a great birthday this week!

This week was one of the best so far. Hermana Clements and I saw miracles daily. We had tons of street lessons, all of which do not always turn into investigators, but we did find some awesome new people that I am excited to continue teaching. My favorite moment of my mission so far happened this week. We finally were able to meet with Karen, who was going to be baptized a few weeks back. We met her and her two kids (6 and 8) at the park. The kids played while we talked to her. We had an amazing discussion and talked about some of her fears. We reset her baptismal date and talked about teaching her kids the lessons at the same time as we teach her so her 8 year old son can be baptized with her. He even said that he wants to be baptized - they love church and the ward FHE. After the lesson we decided to sing a hymn together. Her kids ran and sang with us, it was precious, all crammed on the same bench in the middle of a park singing. Then her 6 year old daughter said the prayer. I definitely had tears in my eyes. They are an amazing family. Karen knows the gospel is what they need.

Last Sunday in church a lady also asked Hermana Clements if she was the missionary that sings, which she is. So we went and visited this old (93) year old lady, Hermana Clements sang, we shared a message, and this lady sang for us. She was an opera singer, and had quite the voice, especially for a 93-year -old. She was on this Spain singing show a few years ago too. She is pretty awesome and super sweet. We are going to start visiting her weekly.

We also met with Maria in the pueblo. She is doing amazing. She is super busy so struggled reading the BOM before, but we send her one scripture a day to read and it works perfect for her. She loves it and is super cute and marks the scriptures. She expressed how this is something she really wants. She came to church yesterday. The ward is great and definitely made her feel loved and welcomed.

I think that is all the updates for this week. It has been fantastic. I have loved being able to really recognize the help of the Lord as we help others come unto Christ.

My district leader, Elder Bohne, also gave us all a talk to read by Tad R. Callister about becoming a consecrated missionary. It was just what I needed. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the restored church of Jesus Christ. I know the He is always there to help us when we are doing the things in our life that we should be. I know that I cannot be perfect now, but that I can progress each day and become a little better because of the Atonement.

I hope you all have a fantastic week! Love you!

Hermana Bingham

Also, sorry I failed this week and took no photos. Next week I will have some, promise.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 12 - End of my first transfer in the field!‏

Dear Family and Friends!

Well I have officially ended my first transfer in the mission field! Crazy! I keep getting the question of how I feel.. and it is kinda like another birthday or something, I feel pretty much the same. ha. But I have reflected on where I am now compared to when I entered the MTC and it is miraculous how much I have been able to learn, adjust, love the people, etc in such a short time. Day to day it is sometimes hard to see the progress, but looking back I have no doubt that the Lord has helped me. I am extremely grateful.  

So today was transfer day. Everyone in my area stayed except for Hermana Ross. I am super sad she left! We actually all ¨knew¨ Elder Bohne was leaving because he was traing a new Elder to take his place in the office. But it turnes out he is staying and opening a new companionship in this area and training. So we now have 10 missionaries just in the Alcobendas ward. Crazy. And awesome. There is a lot of work to be done here.

Unfortunately, I had a cold this week and then passed it to Hermana Clements, but I think we are both on the getting well end. It is just tiring to be sick and go all day long. I definitely had no issues sleeping well this week. :) This week Hermana Clements and I had a lot of time to find new people to teach. We have already seen answers to our fasts and prayers. We taught a new man, Venancio. We aslo had a lesson set up with Claudia, we could not get ahold of her to confirm but had her address as well so just went. We were not expecting much, if she was even home (I know I need to work on having a little more faith), but Claudia and her awesome 18 year old daughter Vanesa were home and we had a great lesson with them. They are hard to get ahold of, but great when we can meet so hopefully just stopping by continues to work.

Karen, the lady who was going to get baptized 2 weeks ago, randomly showed up to our ward FHE activity that she used to always come to. After almost two weeks of trying to get ahold of her, it was so great to see her and her kids. We have a lesson with her this week. We are praying for inspiration as to what she needs.

Our old investigator, Cristian, that the elders are teaching now, invited us to his mom´s house to talk with her. It was a cool experience and awesome that Cristian is ready to be sharing the gospel with others.

Nancy and Roger are doing well. They are still progressing. The issue is still church attendance because of their work schedules. We had a pretty straight forward lesson with them about it and they committed to talk to their bosses. Tonight we will find out how that went. As soon as they are able to figure out a way to make it to church they will be ready for baptism.

One neat thing I studied this week started with me studying confidence and humility.  I realized that the word confianza in Spanish means both confidence and trust. So then I started studying trust and faith too and found this awesome connection between confidence, humility, trust, and faith. I know that as I come to have more faith in the Lord and trust in Him and His plan, I can be more confident and learn to really rely on Him.

I hope you are all doing well! Love you all!

Hermana Bingham

1. someone informed me I really did not include the picture of all the sisters from last pday, so here it is!
2. Me and Eusebio - the cutest old man we visit. He is less active because he is in a nursing home and cannot attend church, but is so sweet.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 11

Hello Family and Friends!

First off, thanks to my family for the birthday package! I may have opened it already.. I did not want to wait. Sorry. Loved it though, love you all! 

Well another week in the mission field has passed. Hermana Clements and I have had a rough time keeping our investigators and finding new ones, so that has been our focus this week. We did a lot of contacting. It wasn´t easy, but we saw little miracles. For instance, one day we had 15 minutes before medio dia so decided to go hard and set a goal of receiving 2 new contacts. We said a prayer, stopped EVERYONE in our path, and received 3! Wahoo! God loves us. We still have not been able to meet with Karen, but hopefully this week. One of our investigators, Cristian, we had to pass to the Elders to teach. It was super sad, but he is doing great and really increasing his faith. We are even meeting with his mom this week, which is a good sign since he is ready to share what he is learning. He is doing great. Nancy and Roger are still doing well, but struggling a little with comittment so we are moving their baptismal date back a bit. Maria is still awesome, her faith is really increasing. She lives far out in the pueblo so we only have time once a week to take the bus to see her, but she is learning and loving it. We met two new awesome people on the street this week that we have lessons set up for this week, so hopefully that goes well too! We are teaching a man from Palestine. It is super hard because he has basically no Christian background and speaks little english so we basically explain every single word very simply. But it is cool to think about the gospel terms on such a basic level. He is super interested in learning more about our religion, it is pretty cool. And I can now saw hello, thank you, and goodbye in Arabic. haha

Now for a few fun things I have done in the past week. Last Monday for pday all the missionaries of the ward went to lunch with Toni, a YSA member of the ward. He is super cool and it was really fun. We went to this pretty famous restaurant and ate all Spaniard food - ´tortillas´ (really like this thick potatoe cheesy things), ribs, pigs ears, squid, octopus, etc. I am not even a seafood person, but it was all good. I ate it all.

This weekend was great with general conference! Before I talk about it, funny comment. General is spanish is general - just pronounced differently - and great is genial. For a few days I kept saying, in Spanish, great conference instead of general conference. I mean, conference is great too so it kinda worked. haha. Anyway, I watched the womens, saturday morning, and saturday afternoon in English. They had another room in the church playing it in English for the missionaries. wahoo. Then I watched Sunday morning in Spanish and will have to read Sunday evening because of the time difference. Conference in the mission field is so different, but great. I learned alot to apply to my life now and had some insight on to help our investigators as well.

I got to eat at President and Hermana Jacksons house for Easter - being in the mission home area is the best! I am sure going to miss it when I have to leave. It was great to see them and eat amazing American food.

Another perk of living in the mission home area - sometimes the mission president comes with you on pday activities, like today. We went to this little pueblo way up in the mountains. We were going to do a little hiking as well, but did not have time. But President and Sister Jackson, the Chappels (senior office couple), and the 9 missionaries from Alcobendas all went. Super fun pday.

This week has been a great week of improvement for me. Following some zone and personal goals, leading lessons, being on the phone a  lot more, and being more confident with myself have all really helped. This past week I have really noticed how much I have learned (both Spanish and spiritually) in a short time. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission.

Also, on a random note, I keep forgetting to tell you this, but my companion is an awesome singer and has a song on iTunes. You should go look it up. It´s called Arise, by Rylee Haviland Clement.

Love you all so much!

Hermana Bingham

1. our bishop gave us kindle eggs with princesses inside
2. lunch with Toni
3. some of the weird, but good, food I ate
4. the beautiful Easter table at the Jacksons (sorry I did not take one with people in it..)
5. delicious food with Nancy and Roger
7. pretty view from today
8. the cool pueblo
9. the sisters! (This photo did not make it with Hilary's email.  Hopefully she will send it next week.)