Thursday, April 2, 2015

Livingstone & Victoria Falls 2015

Jill stops to pose in front of the stature honoring the famous explorer, Stanley Livingstone, whom the town is named after.
 Jill, Eric, and Elder Bingham stop to take in the view at the Falls.  It is a gorgeous site.
 This part of the walkway was just like a rainforest and it was beautiful, humid but beautiful.
 The entire Victoria Falls is over a mile wide, half on the Zimbabwe side and the other on the Zambia side.  Each side gives a different view, but both are spectacular especially during the rainy season when so much water is going over the Falls.
 Looking at the bridge in the background.  There is even bungee jumping from that area.  I chose not to partake of that sport! 

 Elder & Sister Bingham
 During certain times of the day, a full rainbow can be seen at the Falls. 
We didn't realize that we would need raincoats but thankfully Jill brought us each a rain poncho and we did need them.  The spray from the Falls is so powerful it just poured on us as we walked along the walkways.

 Crossing the canyon

 We hiked around to the top of the Falls and just beyond Sharon and Jill is the very edge of the Falls.  When there isn't as much water going over, people can walk across the top of the Falls and swim on an island there.  This time there was too much water to make it across.
 Top of Victoria Falls

The Zambezi is a mighty river and covers a lot of area.  In many places it is very rugged.  We love seeing it and having Jill and Eric there with us.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Binghams & Reed's in Lusaka

 Sister Skidmore and I went to the Kamwalla Market to get some missionary apartment supplies and we saw these delicious delicacies at the street market.  Fried Caterpillars!!
We did manage to pass them up.  When we saw them, we both took out our phones to take a picture but the lady selling them didn't like that at all.  While I was fumbling with my phone and the lady was berating me, Sister Skidmore got these great shots.  Many people do like these caterpillars.  They will even catch the large termites that fly out of the termite mounds when disturbed and cook them.  If I had to eat these I would become a vegetarian!

We took Jill and Eric out to home of The Mshippi's who live and work at the orphanage,Mother's Without Borders.  They are in our branch and are a delightful family and very strong in the gospel. 

The day we visited it was raining and the children were all indoors.  The loved the distraction that we brought and they loved Jill and Eric and when they took pictures, they all hovered around to see their pictures.  They loved that part.
As we were getting ready to leave, the children just started singing, "I love to See the Temple!"  That is pretty profound becaue none of them have seen a temple except in pictures because the nearest temple is in Johannesburg, South Africa, which is a three day drive by bus.  They were so delightful to visit and we love them.  Everything there is so neat and clean and the kids are so polite and they love visitors.

We made a delightful visit to the Phiri home.  Jackson and his wife, Catherine, both served in the Kenya Naroibi Mission and that is whre they met.  They never spoke of marriage but when she left the missionfield, he gave her a letter.  She didn't even read it until she got home to the Copperbelt.  When she read it, he was asking her to wait for him that he wanted to marry her when he came home.  She let him know that she agreed and when he came home, they were married and were sealed in the temple.  They are going to be a strength in the church here in Zambia.  Jackson was serving in his branch presidency but he was released from that to serve as the Self Reliance Specialist for the District. 
We took Jill and Eric to visit one of our favorite families.  Musa Sakala (front) and his mother Rebecca are strong members in our branch.  Here his brother is also pictured.  Musa is submitting his papers for a mission.
While at Musa's, these children just gathered around Jill and Eric and thought is was great to have their pictures taken.
After church in Lilanda we stopped to take some pictures.  L-R:  Eric, Jill, Elder Collins, Elder Shai, Elder and Sister Bingham.
Eric, Jill, Branch President Mambwe, Musa Sakala, Elder & Sister Bingham, Brother Muzinga (counselor in branch) Elder Shai.
Jill, Sister Chola, our music chorister and a good one, & Sister Bingham.  Sister Chola always has a smile and encourages singing.

Sister Bingham, Sister Liyali, Rebecca, Sister Muzinga, Jill.  Some of our favorite Relief Society Sisters.
When visiting with the Chibbamulilo family, we saw these pretty birds feeding in their yard.
Patrick Chibbamulilo has worked with us as the Self Reliance Chairman for the Lusaka District and has done such a good job.  He is a very fine man and is a good friend to us.  Pictured with Jill and Eric are Sister Chibbamulilo who is also a health care Nurse, President, Chimuka, and Lazarus.  They also have a daughter who is attending boarding school in Livingstone.  Chimuka and Eric hit it off because Eric is an accountant and that is one of Chimuka's dreams.

Sister Liyali is always a joy to visit.  Jill asked her how to wrap the scarf on her head and Sister Liyali went into her bedroom and brought a chitenge and a scarf and proceeded to teach Jill how to put on the chitenge and to wrap the scarf. 

 On the grounds at the mission office in Lusaka.

Jill & Eric check out this plant that is different than anything else we have seen.

Elder & Sister Bingham at the Mission office

 The Lusaka Chapel which is now a Stake Center as of 15 March 2015.  Pretty exciting for all of us.
 Davies Mukondia is a returned missionary from Uganda and helps man the SR center in Lusaka.  He also sells crafts and jewelry and Jill wanted to see what he had.

Coming back from the orphanage, we got caught in a major traffic jam.  The traffic was tied up so tight and there were hundreds of people standing on roofs, cars, and balconies to see what was happening.  Sirens were wailing and ambulances were trying to get through the melee.  We later found that it was a riot between the two political parties and people were hurt.  Eric didn't like the traffic.  Actually, I don't either but finally someone got out of his vehicle and started directing traffic to try to get something opened up.  We had no idea where we were but a way to get onto a side road opened up and we took it.  Wasn't too difficult to find out way but the traffic is quite a challenge in Lusaka!

One morning we took Jill and Eric on one of the routes where we like to walk.  We love the trees here and they climbed up the tree for a picture.  This is one of our favorite trees.
We drove out to the Besa farm where Brother and Sister Besa raise maize and chickens.  While we were looking at the maize crop, Patricia took Jill by the hand to show her the maize she had planted as her Young Woman project.  A tender moment!

 All too soon the adventure was over and time to return to four lonesome kids and to work.  We had a wonderful time and loved having them here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Copperbelt & Blantyre Memories

 Sitting on the floor (dirt) in the Banda's humble home.  Brother Banda makes wooden crafts and Sister Banda does the finishing and making paper jewelry.  Together they make some beautiful crafts.  I have bought many Nativity sets from them and each one is just a little different.  He also paints and a favorite with missionaries is his depiction of Lehi's dream of the "Tree of Life."  It is meaningful to have crafts made by someone special to us.  Their family is such a joy to visit and worth the trek to get to their home and they have such a good spirit in their home and lives.
 Brother Banda is sharpening his knife that he uses in his work.
 Elder & Sister Bingham with the Banda family.
 Most of the cooking here in Zambia and Malawi is done outside.  Here the Banda's have constructed a small brick shelter to protect their cooking from rain and wind.
 Sister Bingham hiking up the mountain to get to the Banda's home.  They have had so much rain that people visiting those who live on the mountain have to park their vehicles down the mountain and walk up.  Streams from above are fed by the rain and fresh springs and make the walking a little treacherous.  The day we went was cloudy but when the rain stopped for awhile, we decided it was time to get up there before more storm rolled in.

Sister Banda came down the mountain with her brother for an impromtu "Tailgate" introduction to the New Self Reliance Curriculum.  She is interested in getting into a college for further training now that she has returned from her mission.
Sister Banda is pickup guavas from the tree by their house.

We hurried home from the Copperbelt early to bid farewell to these fine missionaries who were returning home from faithful service.  L-R:  Elder Blanchard,(Pocatello), Elder Barnard (Oakley), Elder Moya (Tanzania).
 Goodson Jackson Kapata and His family

Recently two districts were created from the Kitwe District.  It wasn't that there are so many members there, but the distances are so far for the leaders and the members to travel that the brethren deemed it advisable to make two districts to make transport more manageable.  President Goodson Jackson Kapata was made the Kitwe District President.  He has been serving as a counselor in the Kitwe District Presidency until now.  He began investigating the church in 1980-81 but prior to that he had attended many churches.  He found a pamphlet Joseph Smith.  He wrote to then president, Ezra Taft Benson, requesting missionaries to come to Zambia.  He was sent a Book of Mormon from the South London mission and was advised to wait for the Lord's time.  A missionary couple finally came to the Copperbelt and taught him and his family.  One week after their baptism, he attended the organization of the Luanshya Branch.  Three weeks after baptism, he was interviewed and called as a branch president for Kitwe.  He relates that he didn't even know what a branch president did.  Since that time he has served as branch president, District President, and counselor twice in the District Presidency.  Now he is serving as District President again.  He is a stalwart in the gospel in this area and we are happy to have his leadership skills.
Cretus Kapato Family

President Kapato is a man with a big heart and a big spirit.  When he was three years old he contracted polio and since that time has been confined to a wheelchair but there is no way he can be deemed "handicapped!"  He lives life to the fullest and teaches and counsels at a University.  With the creation of the Ndola District, President Kapato was called to be the new District President.  He has served as branch president and in the District presidencies with President Kapata.  President was raised in another church but just didn't feel it was right for him.  He jokes that they had to sit and stand; sit and stand and he just couldn't do it anymore!  He was working with a Japanese woman who just seemed different.  He found that she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he was interested because of the example she was setting to their co-workers.  The friend gave him a Book of Mormon and he began reading.  Soon his wife, Jessy, began reading.  She was attending another church and when her minister found that she had the Book of Mormon in her home, he told her to get it and burn it.  She told him that it was her husband's book and his house and she couldn't burn the book.  The minister then told her that her husband would grow horns if he read it.  When she told President Kapato, he just told her, "Every night you check my head and if you see horns we will burn it right away!"  Well, the horns never appeared and they were baptized and have never looked back.  They both have had many leadership opportunities in the district and they are a source of strength and faith to all who know them.

L-R: Elder & Sister Humphreys (Public Affairs); Elder & Sister Bingham (Self Reliance); Elder & Sister Skidmore (Office & Financial); President & Sister Cook (Area President); President & Sister Erickson (Mission President).

We had a real treat when Carl Cook came to visit us for a mission tour.  He is the Africa Southeast Area President and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  He is a spiritual giant and both he and his lovely wife gave us much encouragement and support.  We had a District Open House with our Self Reliance Center and President Cook was very supportive and happy to see what this district has accomplished in the way of helping members become more self-reliant.
Sisters in the Gospel:
Humphreys, Bingham, Skidmore, Cook, Erickson