Thursday, January 28, 2016

One year. And Gerbert was baptized!‏

Family and Friends, 

I've had an amazing week. I'm so blessed to serve here. As a
missionary, I've found so much joy in seeing little progress or little
things that the people we visit do. I had many of these happy moments
this week. In a lesson with Gerbert he explained that he found out
that two of his friends are members, both inactive, and that he's been
trying to get them to come to church with him for awhile. He invited
them to his baptism as well. He's been 'secretly' doing his missionary
work. He's a great example for them. We also taught a less active
member and she had read in the Book of Mormon for the first time in a
long time and learned a lot. At church we saw a tithing envelope in
Victor's hands, ready to give to the bishop. When we called Gerbert,
he was studying the Book of Mormon. A new investigator asked us if he
came to church this Sunday if he could be baptized the following
Saturday. A recent convert asked us a few questions about something
specific she was studying to be able to explain it better to her
friend. We were reading the Book of Mormon for kids with a kid we are
teaching and he didn't want to stop and put it down. Another recent
convert is going to teach Sunday school and is really excited. A lot
of little, beautiful moments this week. 
We had a worldwide missionary training on Wednesday. It was called 'We
teach repentance to baptize converts' and was amazing. I love the
guide from leaders of the church. 
Gerbert was also baptized Saturday and received the gift of the Holy
Ghost yesterday. He was so happy the whole weekend. Smiling and
telling everyone how good he felt. His two sons were able to come.
It's great to literally see a difference from the first time we talked
to now. The gospel is amazing and truly changes lives. 
This week I also hit my one year mark. I can't believe it. This year
has been amazing. Everyday I learn something new or have some
experience that helps me understand how loving our Heavenly Father
really is and that helps me learn more about the gospel and how
blessed I am. This year I've had some of the best and hardest
experiences in my life. I have learned and grown a lot, and still have
so much more to learn and improve. More than anything, I'm really
grateful to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints and testify of Him and His restored gospel and the
happiness that comes and importance of living it so we can qualify to
live with our Heavenly Father again. 
I love you all lots! Hope you have a great week! 
Hermana Bingham

Gerbert was Baptized!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Victor's baptism!‏

Family and Friends, 
Another week, can't believe it. It was a great one. The beginning of
the week was pretty normal missionary work, still great. 
On Thursday to Friday we had intercambios, but we are doing them
different in the mission now. Hermana Maza and I both went to the area
of the sister training leaders for the day. It felt weird leaving our
area 'naked' for the day, but was a good experience. I do always learn
from intercambios. I was with Hermana Staker, who I absolutely love. 
Victor was baptized on Saturday! He's a great kid. It was a beautiful
baptism. His great-grandma, who is member, had the cutest, biggest
smile the whole day. The Spirit was really strong during his
confirmation Sunday. I'm really excited to see the great things he
does in his life! 
Sunday we had interviews with President Pack. He's a great President.
I always feel so inspired to become a better missionary after meetings
with him. 
This week I also learned where chocolate comes from, a fruit! No, I
didn't know. I'll attach the photo. The chocolate is inside the seeds,
that have to be dried out. The white part is the fruit you can eat.

I hope you've all enjoyed your week! 
Love you!
Hermana Bingham 
Dilenny- one of my favorite little girls
Jairo, Victor, Hermana Maza, and I
Victor with his mom and great-grandma 
Some of the great Young Men of Barrio 8

Dora and Samuel
Manuel, Otilia, Gema
Cacao – where chocolate comes from

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Feliz Día de Reyes!‏

Family and Friends,

As I'm trying to think of what happened this week, the truth is I can
only think of how weird of a week it was. It started off returning to
our piso last Monday night to the smell of gas. Almost a full day
later of having to stay in the piso while different people came and
went to resolve it, we were alive and well and without gas leaks. It
was Dia de Reyes on Wednesday and the tradition is to eat this cake
called Roscón which is more like a game. There are two things inside -
one means you win and are King, other that you have to buy the cake
the next year. We've now done it three times this week with different
people. We also went to a lesson Saturday and as we walked into the
piso, Hermana Maza turned around running. She literally couldn't
breath. We think the family was cooking with a type of nut she's
allergic to, the smoke and smell was strong. She was fine in the end,
just a bit of shock for awhile, and we obviously had to turn around
and leave. 
Between the 'near-death' experiences and eating a lot of Roscón, I
promise we got some missionary work in as well. Half of our lessons
this week were with children. I know I say this a lot, but I've come
to absolutely love teaching them. They're so sincere and we always
have so much fun too. Victor is prepared for his baptism this week. A
few others are progressing well also. Every week I love this area and
the people more and more. I'm really blessed to serve here with
Hermana Maza. We are so blessed with many miracles. 
Hope you all have a great week! 
Hermana Bingham 
Hermana Maza made me Ecuadorian food, fried plátano, delicious!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Happy New Year!‏

Dear family and friends,

I've had a good week. Hermana Maza and I visited many members this
week. We also have Gerbert and Yonathan that are progressing and doing
well. And an old (from a few months ago) investigator Dayana was able
to meet again. She's awesome! Very prepared. With awesome questions.
We had another miracle with Victor. He's a 12 year old kid that has
come to church for a long time with his great-grandma. He now has
permission to be baptized! January 16th. He's a great kid. I really
loving teaching kids. 

Also, this week started a new year! The tradition here in Spain is eat
12 grapes for each 12 seconds before the new year, and if you
accomplish it, you'll have a lucky year. Well, sadly, I was way too
tired to wake up again at midnight to eat my grapes... Hopefully it's
still a great year. :) I've loved reflecting on this past year and the
things I want to change this year. Things I need to improve, talents I
want to develop, etc. I've learned how important setting goals are
during my mission. 

This week I also was looking through my journal. I like to put a
'title' each day so I can quickly look through and find things. I was
enjoying it way to much reading titles and a few entries. I was
reminded of so many things I've experienced, miracles I've seen, good
days, hard days, and in general how blessed I am to be here on a
mission. I love it. I'm so grateful for all who have impacted my
decision to come on a mission. 

I love you all tons! 
Hermana Bingham

Helping out with the RS gifts
Hermana Maza's mom sent her Christmas present with her stake that was visiting the temple this week, so we had our second Christmas. And couldn't wait to open in piso.
New Years Eve dinner