It all began in 1999. I was going through a difficult time and desperately needed God’s help, so I began to pray. I said the Lord’s Prayer over and over, for that was the only way I knew how to pray. I promised God that if He helped me, I would repent and follow Christ and that I would go to church always. I asked God to curse me if I didn’t go to church. God kept His part of the bargain. He helped me. I attended church twice and then stopped going. I went back to doing worldly things. From that time, everything went wrong; nothing good came out of anything I did. I was miserable.
In August 2006, I started to think seriously about my life and where I would be if I were to die. I hadn’t attended a church in years. I watched religious programs on TV, but they did not help. My worldly load was getting heavier. I knew there was a God, so I decided to pray. My prayer went like this, “Dear God, I am tired. Show me the way. Make a change in my life. Give me direction. I want to serve you. Please, God, show me the way, Amen.”
Tears fell down my cheeks as I said these words. After praying, I had a feeling inside telling me to go outside, which I did. Before I reached the door, I heard a knock at the gate. I went to see who it was. I found two white men and a young Zambian man, and I heard the most comforting words: “Hello, we are missionaries and we would like to share the word of God with you.”
I wondered, Could this be the answer to my prayer? I invited them in and they told me about God’s love for mankind and they asked me to pray about the things that they taught me, which I did. I had a great hunger to hear more. A week later, I attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When I entered the church, I had a feeling that I was home. I felt a great sense of belonging, and I was at peace.
Something inside me urged me to repent and be baptized. I felt deep in my heart that the time had come for me to start a new life. I had no doubts; all I knew was that I needed to be baptized to get closer to God.
On 21 October 2006, I was baptized. I was apprehensive before my baptism. I have always been afraid of water. I had never set foot in a pool before. So when I was told that I was to be baptized by immersion, I was worried. I prayed to Heavenly Father every day before my baptism to give me strength to overcome the fear that I had for water.
When the day finally arrived, I prayed all the time as I walked towards the indoor public swimming pool. The moment I first set foot in the water, all my fear disappeared. When I was immersed in the water, I had my eyes closed, but I saw a white light that was bright all around me. Only later did I realise that not everyone had seen this light.
I later fasted and prayed to understand the meaning of it. The Lord told me that when I got baptised, I saw that light because when I had said that prayer years before and didn’t keep my word, I was enveloped by a black cloud. That cloud was lifted the day that I was baptized.
One day my niece told me that we had run out of sugar, salt, and cooking oil, and that our mealie meal was almost finished. I went into my bedroom, went down on my knees and asked Heavenly Father to help me. I then told my niece not to worry, that God would provide. She looked at me strangely and I knew that she didn’t believe what I had told her. But before the day had ended, someone brought me sugar, cooking oil and salt. I thanked God for this. My niece came to me and said, “You said that God will give us everything, but He has only given us sugar, salt and cooking oil. What about mealie meal?” I told her, “Our Heavenly Father knows that we have enough mealie meal for today, but He will give us some tomorrow.” And He did!
The crowning blessing of the gospel came in 2008, when I was sealed to Joseph Chataba Thole in the Johannesburg Temple. Today, I feel very different from that woman who said the Lord’s Prayer those many years ago. I am at peace and feel God’s presence in my life.