Monday, October 26, 2015

I love being a missionary‏

Family and Friends, 

Another great week. This week was special because Hermana Maza and I
had many meetings on top of the normal, such as interviews with
President Pack and a meeting for all the new missionaries and their
trainers. I LOVE meetings in the mission, I always feel the spirit
help me learn something or remind me of something and after I'm so
excited to go work hard and share the gospel with everyone and become
better. I love my mission president, President Pack. He has been
called of God to help with the missionary work here and is inspired.
One of my favorite quotes from him in our new missionaries training
meeting is, "don't live the gospel like a buffet." We can't pick and
choose what and when we want to live the gospel- I'll read and pray
when I feel like it, be at church when there's not a big Super Bowl
game, serve others when I'm not too tired, etc. 

We had a great lesson with Dayana. We felt like we should 'go back' to
the first lesson with her and watch the Joseph Smith movie. It was the
Spirit that prompted us to do that because she loved it and felt the
Spirit. I love lessons with her because they are so sincere. We also
had a good lesson with Jonathon. Due to other circumstances we ended
up only having a few minutes with him so decided to teach the
importance of the little things such as read,pray, come to church
through the MM 'flecks of gold'. He really related to it (where he's
from in Africa they mine some other mineral) and asked why the movie
wasn't longer. Haha 

We started teaching a new less active family this week. Mom, dad, and
13-year-old daughter from Cuba. They're precious. I love when it's the
young kids who have the super strong testimony and love participating,
like their daughter.

I'm so grateful for all my blessings and to be a missionary here in
Madrid. I can't imagine not making the decision to serve a mission. Love you all! 

Hermana Bingham 

Learned how to make empanadas this week.
I love Hermana Maza!

Monday, October 19, 2015

9 months. Half way.‏

Family and Friends! 
This week flew by. We visited a lot of members is week and I enjoyed it a lot. The members here are great. I think I mentioned this last week, but President Pack challenged us to teach the atonement to at least 3 members each week. I've been studying the Atonement a lot in preparation for this, to be able to share scriptures, videos, talks, etc that seem to fit each persons individual needs. I've loved my studies this week focusing on the atonement. It helps me remember why I'm here. 
I loved noting little miracles through out this week. We had a lot of rain, yet every time it was raining hard we had just knocked on a members door who let us in or something and not once got soaked. We also found a map of a pueblo we work in- that literally haven't existed for 5 years but a security guard decided to take his copy out of his desk for us, which in turn led to finding people that would have been much more difficult. 
As far as investigators go, our most progressing right now is Dayana. She's accepted a baptism date this week! Nov 21. She came to the YSA activity we had Saturday night, which was super fun, and has amazing, real questions that show she really cares and is here to learn. She's awesome. 
Tomorrow also marks 9 months of me being a missionary. That's halfway. I've had A LOT of mixed feelings about it. Mostly it's been a week of reflecting and thinking if I'm the type of missionary I'd like to be, because the things I want to improve, now is the time to do it. I'm so grateful to share with others and help them find hope through the message of our Savior, Jesus Christ and that His gospel has been restored, that we have the priesthood to perform the necessary ordinances to return to our Heavenly Fathers presence. I love my mission. 
And I love you all! And miss you so much. Thanks for your support! I appreciate all of you and your examples. Hope you have a wonderful week! 
Hermana Bingham 
We had a Brazilian birthday party for someone in the ward.  Lots of delicious food.
This is old but I just got it.  Hermana's of barrio 8.
Finally got a picture by the toro statue in one of the pueblos.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Loving Barrio 8‏

Hey family and friends! 
Can I just tell you all how much I love Hermana Maza. She's amazing.
We've had an awesome week. One example of how great she was happened
yesterday. First to backtrack, the past little while President Pack
has been focusing on working with the ward a lot more, especially with
the leaders. Hermana Maza and I had goals to do so, and a few people
specifically. Well by the end of church she had talked with a ton of
people, written down names and numbers, offered service, showed her
love to all of them, and was amazing. The ward loves her. 
We also found a new area to contact. There's one street, Avenida de
Albufera, that we've almost always gone to to contact because there
are always people. I don't know how to describe it, but I really have
a dislike for this street. It's just really worldly and we struggled
there. We finally found a new place. Seems like a small thing, but
it's made a huge difference. 
We had three lessons with new people this week. One is a man from
Peru, Gerbert. Other is another man from Peru, Juan Carlos. And the
other was a mom, Marisol, and her son. The boy is 10-years-old and
really receptive. He was reading in the Book of Mormon by himself
before we came, offered one of the prayers, and really had interest in
the message. It's amazing what little kids can understand and feel. 
I had intercambios with Hermana Staker this week for a day. She was in
the other companionship of Hermanas in Alcobendas when I was there. It
was so fun being with her again. And I learned great ideas of ways to
help the missionary work here from her. She's a great missionary. 
There's a quote in Preach My Gospel that says, "As your understanding
of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the
gospel will increase." As a mission, we are focusing on this. I have
been studying a lot about the Atonement and still have a lot to learn
but know that His atonement covered so much, not just our sins. I love
the talk by Elder Oaks from this general conference. He said, "And so
we see that because of His Atonement, the Savior has the power to
succor--to help--every mortal pain and affliction. Sometimes His power
heals an infirmity, but the scriptures and our experiences teach that
sometimes He succors or helps by giving us the strength or patience to
endure our infirmities." Sometimes trials and struggles are what we
need, but He will never leave us alone, He will help us through them. 
I hope you have all had a great week. Love you all! 
Hermana Bingham
Viviana- the cutest little girl.
We love the temple.
Tried a new fruit this week.  Can't remember the name
Pretty park in a pueblo in our area

Monday, October 5, 2015

I'm an aunt!‏

Hey Family and Friends!
First, this week I became an aunt. Yup, as most of you know, Kelsey
had her baby! So congrats to Kelsey and Isaac! If you'd like to see a
picture of my adorable niece, Brooklyn, look below. It was hard to
choose my favorite. 
Second, the question that many of asked- who is my new companion and
how is she? My companion is Hermana Maza and she is amazing! Training
is going to be easy. She is from Ecuador, so yes, already speaks
Spanish. My second native companion, and many missionaries don't get
one. I'm very blessed. From day one she's been ready to work. And is a
great example of expressing love for others and communicating. She's
literally the companion I needed and know I'll continue learning lots
from her.
This week has sadly been a little more of 'prep week' for the
transfer, although I don't like that. Tuesday we had the meeting for
the new trainers and missionaries, Wednesday iPad training for Hermana
Maza, Friday we got her abono (for public transportation), and
Saturday and Sunday we were at the church a lot of the day for general
conference. Just seems like there wasn't a ton of actually proselyting
time. The toilet also broke on Saturday, it's been running constantly
so I finally decided to try and fix it. Sometimes I like to think I
can do everything. I took the back part of the toilet off and touched
one thing that exploded, I got soaked, and now we have just turned off
the water to the toilet in hopes to get someone here who can really
fix it. Haha. But don't worry, we have two toilets so will survive.
Anyway, the lessons we have had were good. Hermana Maza is a natural
teacher. She is a convert of one year and almost 3 months and has a
powerful testimony. I'm so excited to work with her! General
Conference was amazing. I prepared myself just as we invited others to
do with questions and received specific personal revelation to those
questions. I'm so grateful for the Spirit. One thing I really loved
was when Elder Renlund told a story of the young man Chad and how we
must view others through the eyes of parents - the eyes of their
Heavenly Father. I'm working on that. I also am so grateful for the
opportunity to sustain 3 new apostles, hear their testimonies, and
know that they have been called of God. 
I hope you have all had a great week as well! Love you lots! 
Hermana Bingham 
Brooklyn Green
Hermana Maza and I
First day with Hermana Maza! (Don't look at the name tag...they messed it up)