Ngonidzashe Leon Joseph Marange lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. He is the fourth son of Margaret Marange, a single mom and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who encouraged her sons to learn about and love the Lord. His brother, Simba served a mission in Nairobi, Kenya. Ngonidzashe also has a great desire to serve a mission and this has been his experience.
'Whom the Lord calls, He qualifies.” This statement is so true. God never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we do. One of the greatest life lessons I've learnt is that when you do your part the Lord adds His power to your effort. He knows us better than we know ourselves.
During the first days when I started preparing for my mission, things were hard. I didn't know if I would be able to go on a mission; my hope was being shattered. But I made the decision to believe and exercise faith in my Saviour, Jesus Christ, and this opened my spiritual eyes to splendors I could scarcely imagine.
I started off by working at a T-shirt printing shop, which did not really work out. I left that shop very disappointed and stressed about how I was going to earn the mission commitment fund amount and the other necessities to get me going.
l prayed, trusted in the Lord, and waited for an answer. Then one afternoon as I was relaxing at the stake offices, a lady whom I've never met before, walked into the office. When I explained that I was trying to earn money for my mission, she immediately offered to employ me to work for her NGO as a photographer and labourer, and everything started going well.
From that day on, I obtained a testimony that the Lord has a great plan for each and every one of us here on the earth. He waits for us to use our initiative, and not bet ‘acted upon’ as if we are objects. He treats us as agents.
One of the things that helped me to hold on was the eternal perspective I gained. What usually limits our vision is that we focus on the here and now problems. If we would take time to be alone and think of our eternal potential and perspective, we would endure every trial, challenge and tribulation knowing that these things are there for a season, but will one day come to an end. They are for our own good and help us to learn and grow away from the adversary.
I bear testimony that if we develop an eternal perspective-- not the current ones that limit our visions-- we will be able to go forward with faith and hope.
Alma 35:35-37 is one of my favourite scriptures, especially verse 37 which talks about counselling with the Lord in all our doings. I've learned to put God first regardless of the trials I face - to love Him with all my heart, might, mind and strength, to have faith in Christ and entrust myself to Him in all things.
For a long time, I thought my life would be changed only on my mission, not knowing i was misinterpreting it. l learned a life lesson which changed the motive I had for going on mission.
Going on mission for two or one and a half years doesn't mean it starts and ends when you are released. Personally, I’ve taken it as two years of training by the Lord on how to become a life-time missionary. I’m grateful for this opportunity to go and serve in the South Africa Cape Town Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I can hardly wait!
I’ll be starting on 7 September 2017. I’m willing to do what the Lord would have me do, go where He wants me to go, say what He wants me to say and become the person He wants me to become.
And now my goal is to see others gaining the same kind of vision… to be enlightened and go forward with faith and hope. 'The future is as bright as your faith,” taught President Thomas S. Monson, our prophet.
I know that missionary work is real and true, and if you are on the Lord’s errand, you are entitled to His blessings. I testify Heavenly Father lives, He loves me, and I am His child. Jesus Christ is His son and my Saviour and Redeemer. He died for my sins. I know this is His Church and that as long as we keep the commandments, our lives will be more fulfilling and less complicated.
I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and if we study it every day, we can reach our divine potential. I also know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of the restoration. I bear witness that the temple is the greatest school on the earth and as we visit it often, we can feel our Father’s love for us.