Monday, July 27, 2015

I get to study chemistry again :)‏

Hola Familia y Amigos! 
It has been another great week for me. A challenging one, but those
tend to be some of the best from the things I learn. Hermana Olsen and
I have been working hard on figuring out a way to help the people we
teach in the streets become investigators. 'Coincidentally' this is
what our zone conference this past week was on. We talked a lot about
teaching the message of the restoration to others in a way that they
will be spiritually hungry and thirsty to want to hear more. I'm
really realizing the importance of the Spirit - it is when others feel
the spirit during lessons that they will be spiritually hungry and
thirsty and want more. We are continually focusing on this. 
One day last week, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I was not in a very
good mood. It was hot. I was tired. We had been in the streets for at
least 2 hours, and not received a single number. We sat on a bench to
make a few calls, and I started to complain a bit. 30 seconds later we
stood up to start contacting again as a mom with her kids walked by.
Immediately after stopping her she said she had to get home but we
could stop by there at any time and gave us her address and number. I
bet you can imagine I felt dumb for complaining, and had to say a
little prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father. I know He is aware of
me and Hermana Olsen in all aspects. 
We also got two cool new investigators. One, Antonio, we contacted
about a week and a half ago then taught him this past week. He is
really interested in learning the difference between our church and
others and our first lesson went really well. The other, Homer, we
just contacted on Friday and taught him a short lesson then he came to
church yesterday. Sacrament meeting was about the importance of family
and raising kids in the gospel, etc. one member gave a great talk and
testimony. After, Homer told us it really affected him because of his
current family situation. I often find myself worrying Sundays about
if our investigators are going to come, and then if they will
understand and enjoy the meetings, have a good experience, etc. I need
to remember to have faith that as they feel the Spirit in the meetings
they will hear and learn what they need to, just as Homer did. 
This week has also been an awesome week for Karen. First of all... She
went to the temple Saturday with the ward!!! And LOVED it! It was so
wonderful hearing her speak about her experience. And when she came
out of the interview with the bishop she just held the recommend up
high and had a huge grin on her face. :) Also, she has been more
curious about the life of Joseph Smith recently so we decided to watch
the full length video with her and talk for awhile. Her and David and
Alison loved it. It was a great lesson. In preparation, I read a few
talks about Joseph Smith. Two, The Path to Palmyra
(https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/06/the-path-to-palmyra?lang=eng) and
The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon
are amazing. If you haven't read them yet, I recommend them. I know
that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God called to restore the fullness
of the gospel to the earth. And I know that the Book of Mormon is
truly the word of God and that by living by the principles it teaches
we can reach our full potential and gain eternal life. 
I have also had a little more time to interact with the Pack family,
the family of my mission president. We had interviews this week with
President Pack and he gave me some great advice. They also come to our
ward Sundays so I get to see them there. Also, their daughter Caroline
is going to be going to a British school here and the curriculum is
different so she is currently a year behind in chemistry. They'd been
praying to have someone here be able to help catch her up, so I bet
you can imagine who they asked when they found out I've graduated in
chemical engineering. It's a huge blessing to be able to recognize
when you're an answer to other people's prayers. I know that our
prayers are often answered through others. Anyway, I get to start
helping her during Medio Dias. We only have met once to basically make
a game plan and I was loving reading from a chemistry book again! I
love my mission, but really miss school too. 
Love you tons! I hope you've all had a great week! 
Les Quiero! 
Hermana Bingham 

1. Hermana Olsen and I celebrated our 6 months eating out with some
other missionaries
2. We ate with the Larsens yesterday. Always delicious. This week they found root beer in an American store so we had root beer floats. So American. So good.
3. We went to pizza with Andy for pday today

Monday, July 20, 2015

6 months! ...1/3 of the mission‏

Querido familia y amigos! 
Well first of all, as of today I have been a missionary for 6 months.
I have been thinking a lot about this for the past week. It's
interesting to compare what kind of a missionary I thought I would be
compared to what I am. Just in general missionary life is so different
than I pictured it, in a good way. I've only completed a third of it
and can't imagine my life without it. One of the biggest things I have
been grateful for recently is the opportunity to really learn HOW to
study the gospel. I hardly ever studied for a whole hour straight
before the mission, now that hour flies by. Another part of the
mission that is hard to explain, but I've had a few experiences this
past week, is being able to see just a tiny glimpse of how much our
Heavenly Father loves every single person. One experience with this
was with Karen. I know I always tell stories about her and her kids,
it's because they are sooo great and I love them tons and have tons of
great memories with them. We met and talked about some things and
getting her prepared to go to the temple Saturday! She is so excited!
Then I felt like we should share a Mormon message I really like - I
think it's called 'Mountains to Climb' in English. Mountains to Climb We were all crying.
As we were talking after, I don't know how to explain it, but I just
felt the love of Heavenly Father for her. Another experience I had,
that was very different was yesterday while contacting. We stopped
this spaniard man who said "I don't believe in God", in English even.
Anyway, we didn't know exactly which direction we should take the
conversation but somehow ended up saying 'faith is happiness' and that
got his attention. I realized that a lot of things we said were not
our ideas but must have been what he needed to hear. And relating it
to the love of our Heavenly Father, that He even loves the random
atheist man on the streets in Spain. 
For about a week we had not heard from our investigator Edward. Every
time we called it went straight to his message machine. We called
Saturday, and it actually rang! Turns out he lost his phone. We were
really happy to hear from him and I'm excited to start teaching him
again. We also haven't met with Mostafa much lately due to his work
and family life. But he has the weekends off so he came to church
yesterday. He is the most friendly guy, is literally friends with
about half the ward already. We could hardly get his attention for one
minute to set up a time to meet this week. Haha. He actually wanted to
meet right after church so we did. He is awesome and loves everything
but with such spaced out lessons it is really hard because he doesn't
always remember things. But we will be patient and his work schedule
will slow down after the summer. He ended up coming to the FHE last
night we had at Andy's as well. He loved it so much he wants us to
come do one in his house with his family! :) I'm so excited for that.
Speaking of the FHE, I have to include this for my family, whose
family reunion game is always mafia. We played that at the FHE last
night. It definitely didn't function quite the same as it does at our
family reunions, but it was super fun and hilarious! 
We also had the meet the new mission president/zone conference this
week. I learned tons and it was really great. One thing President Pack
talked a lot about was obedience. I know that he is called of God to
be the mission president here during this time. I am excited to
continue to learn from him. One of my favorite things Hermana Pack
shared was a story and basically how we should be asking in prayer
every morning "what is it today?" And "who is it today?" I know this
will help me really do what the Lord needs me to do each day. I've
been trying to focus on following the promptings of the Spirit in
everything and am excited to see what miracles happen as I pray for
His help specifically each day in prayer in the way Hermana Pack
I love you all lots! Hope you have an awesome week! 
Les Quiero! 
Hermana Bingham
Me and Hermana Olsen! We also got to go the temple again this week!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A little bit about some new investigators‏

Hola family and friends! 
It's been a good week. Changing companions is a new experience, but it
has been good. Hermana Olsen is a hard worker and great teacher. And
super nice and fun. The people here already love her! It's been a
great learning experience for me as well. I'm grateful for all I'm
learning and all the people we have the opportunity to teach. 
This week we taught a few new investigators that are all really cool.
One was Jehovanissa. She is evangelist but open to learning more and
really liked our first lesson. She's funny and says amen about every
10 seconds, she is cute. The other was with Mami and her daughter
Pilar. They are going through some personal trials and I know the hope
and blessings of the gospel are what they need. We are also teaching
this 22 year old Antony. He comes to our English classes Tuesday and
Thursday nights then we teach him after. Thursday he brought his
friend Diana so we changed lesson plans and taught the restoration. It
was a good review for Antony and Diana was very accepting of it. I
think the fact Antony is sharing this message with others already
shows a lot of how interested he is. The member, whose name is also
Diana, helping in that lesson gave really great powerful testimonies
that I know helped. Members are so amazing in lessons, they make a
huge difference! 
Two of our 'regulars' that we teach, Mostafa and Lilian, have had
really busy work schedules and we hadn't met with them all week. But
they both showed up to church!! It made my day. Hopefully we can meet
with them soon. 
Hope you all have a great week. Love you all lots! 
Hermana Bingham 
I didn't take exciting pictures, but I had to get rid of my old
sandals sadly, they become irreparable. So naturally I had to get a
tan line picture before a new one starts. 
And I tried a selfie...
Couldn't quite get myself in it but shows Hermana Olsen and how we do
emails these days.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Welcome to President Pack and goodbye Hermana Clements‏

Family and Friends!

What a wonderful week it has been! I love the missionary work here. We are teaching many awesome, prepared people. I love the San Sebastián area. We have had investigators really open up and continue to feel the love of Heavenly Father in their lives.

It has also been a big week of change. This week, the mission president changed. The Jacksons are now back in Utah and the Packs have arrived! I obviously miss the Jacksons, but the Packs are awesome too! They landed Wednesday morning, and Wednesday night President Pack was with the Elders teaching lessons and Hermana Pack and their daughter Caroline(15) came with us to a lesson with Nancy (their 13-year-old son Jonathan was home sleeping, don't blame him!) We had an awesome lesson, with a lot of translating- they are still learning Spanish but trying! I love that they came out working the first day even though they hadn't slept in 2 days. They're a great fun family and I can't wait to know them more- another plus of being in San Sebastián. We also had transfers today. I'm staying in Sanse, but Hermana Clements left me! We were definitely crying when we had to say bye, 4+ months together constantly is a long time! But I'll see her again. And she gets to 'pink wash' - taking over an elders companionship (because we lost 30 something today)- in the Canary Islands! She'll be great. My new companion is Hermana Olsen. She is great. We are from the same group, so both fairly young in the mission which means we will learn a lot from each other, I'm excited!

We also got to go to the temple this week, which I always love. There's a special spirit there. I am so happy to be serving a mission and hope that I can be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to help others learn of the beautiful message of the restored gospel.

I love you all! Hope you have a great week.

Hermana Bingham

1. Maria Isabel, a member in the ward, made us Nicaraguan enchiladas.  They were delicious!
2. Goodbye President and Hermana Jackson 
3. I love the temple and Hermana Clements!
4. Hermanas of Sanse
5. A 'creative' shot
6. Sanse ward missionaries - our dramatic shot
7. Sanse ward missionaries - Happy 4th!
8. American cookies from The Larsens!