From left, European Ladies Tour professionals Cecilie Lundgreen, Laurette Maritz and Reeve Nield, all of Zimbabwe, Africa, and wonderful LDS members helping preparing future missionaries from Zimbabwe.
Dear Brother Albright,
I am ever grateful for Sister Lundgreen, Maritz and Nield, for what they have done for me, for nurturing my desire to serve a mission and helping me become what I am today. I have felt the power of prayer and I know that our prayers are answered when we desire to do what is right for the Lord. Recently my bishop in Zimbabwe told me that if I wanted to serve a mission , I should go to the Highlands LDS chapel to meet with Reeve, Cecile and Laurette.
They are famous professional golfers from Zimbabwe who are helping the youth in my country prepare to serve missions. The bishop said they were holding a meeting to help us prepare everything that I would need to submit my mission papers. I was worried because I do not even have a birth certificate and no type of I.D., much less a passport. Besides this, I didn’t even have money for the small bus fare to go to the Highlands Chapel. I had almost given up on my desire to go on a mission due to these many challenges. I knew I could not solve my problems on my own.
On the day of our missionary prep meeting, I woke up very early in the morning determined that I should go and hear what the leaders would say about my difficult situation. Before I went out to look for some bus fare I prayed to the Lord that he would guide me and help me. I didn’t have anyone to turn to. As I pondered for a moment, I thought that I should go to the mission apartment and see Elder Owour and Elder Mayall. I got to their apartment at 6:30 a.m., knowing that missionaries will be getting out of bed by that time. I knocked on their outside gate but no one responded. I was there still knocking up to 7:00 a.m. and no one heard me. I decided I should return home and stop thinking of the Highlands meeting and give up on my dream to serve a mission.
I started walking home and in my mind I was murmuring to the Lord saying, “Lord if you really want me to serve Thee, why would Thou not help me? I am struggling and I don’t have anything that I can use to go the chapel or even on a mission. Will Thou help me?” Just then a thought came to me that I should not murmur. The Lord knows the reason why he was doing this and He has a purpose for me. I offered a silent prayer in that street as I was walking home.
After that prayer, my phone started ringing and it was the local missionaries. I answered with the anxiety of wanting to hear if these missionaries could help me. I still remember the words that Elder Mayall said to me, “What’s wrong? If you can’t speak about it over the phone can you come back to the apartment as soon as possible.” When I ran back to their apartment they said, “Elvis if there is something that is troubling you tell us and we can help you.” That’s when I told them that I wanted to go to Highlands chapel and they gave me $2 and I was so thankful.
When I got to chapel, I was disheartened when I looked at all the documents the others had brought with them. They had the necessary paper work but I had nothing with me. Some of the youth were orphans, others had lost fathers. Some fortunate enough to find jobs had worked hard for years just to save money for their documents, medical and dental checks, x-rays, etc.
One young man, an orphan, had been able to earn $10 a week as a street vendor. I was getting nervous and shy. I didn’t know how I was going to explain my challenges that I am without basic documents and without any identification and absolutely no money. Sister Reeve Nield was going around the room asking everyone if they had a birth certificate and an I.D. with them. When she got to me all I could do was shake my head to indicate that I didn’t have those things. As soon as I told her my problem, she gave me her phone to call my mom so she could meet me at the government registry office the next day.
Surprisingly she competed all the forms for me the first time. I was shocked and I realised that it was the Lord who was helping me now. Reeve gave me $65 dollars to use for my documents and for my passport application as well. I had tried for months to obtain these documents on my own. I faced many trials that required me to be patient and understand that the Lord works in his ways and our prayers answers are not always yes, or you have to wait for the right time for him. I now finally have all these special documents that will enable me to go and serve the Lord on a mission.
I then went to the government passport office to apply for my passport but they denied me. They said I had to go to Marondera since it is the area and district where I was born. So I called Reeve and told her my new challenge. She called back and said that I needed to go and wait for her at the Beatrice Hospital. She explained that she was helping the youth from Marondera that day. I testify that it wasn’t a coincidence but a miracle the hand of the Lord was helping me every step of the way. When I got to Marondera I had to sleep at Elder and Sister Biberston’s apartment. The next day, I went and applied for my passport and the Lord helped me and I did it without any challenges.
I have learned that when the Lord wants you to serve him and when He has a purpose for you in life, then no human being who can stop His will. When the Lord commands He also provides a way for us to accomplish that commandment, as Nephi learned. I have been through many difficulties but I have also read and felt the trials of the Kirtland Saints and early pioneers. Our suffering is not in vain. So I am going to serve my mission and the Lord will never let me down as long as I stay on his path!
<hr class=’system-pagebreak’ /><hr class=’system-pagebreak’ /><hr class=’system-pagebreak’ />be/2nTLH_8SswE”>Here is a video of our mission prep group singing Called to Serve