We met Jackson Ndayambaje in the summer of 2010 soon after arriving in Rwanda as the country's first LDS missionaries. Elder Jackson was born in Kampala, Uganda, and became an orphan at a young age because all his family members died. In spite of losing his family, he maintained a bright outlook towards life.
A young American who was doing humanitarian service in Rwanda rented a room where Jackson lived. He saw in Jackson a special young man with a good heart and great faith. He invited Jackson to our Sunday LDS Church meeting. Soon after he attended, he was taught the gospel and was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October 2010. Jackson was bright and insightful. He regularly attended Sunday meetings, the institute program, and other church activities.
Soon after his baptism, Jackson joined nine other young members in the branch's first missionary preparation course and submitted his missionary application. Jackson used his savings for his mission expenses. He received his call to serve in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission in September 2011 and departed for the South Africa Mission Training Centre (SAMTC) in January 2012. He represented the LDS Church as the first missionary from Rwanda. While in the SAMTC he attended the temple for the first time to receive his endowment. He experienced the joy of being sealed to his deceased parents and performing temple ordinances for his family.
Elder Jackson Ndayambaje served as a zone leader and enjoyed tremendous success. He had a burning desire to share the joy that he experienced as a new member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He set an impressive example for members in his branch back home, with three more Rwandan elders serving missions.