“I Know That God Lives,” Ensign, August 2017
I’m from Nigeria, an English-speaking country, so when I was called to serve in the Benin Cotonou Mission and realized that I would be speaking French, I became nervous. How was I going to teach the gospel? As I expected, I struggled to learn French while in the missionary training center in Ghana. Many times I felt almost hopeless.
Then, in my first area, I was asked to bear my testimony to the branch in French! Everyone sat in silence as I slowly walked to the pulpit. I reached into my pocket for the short testimony I had written down. But I could not find it! Fear gripped me instantly!
When I looked out at the beautiful faces before me, my eyes filled with tears. I had so much I wanted to share, but I didn’t know how to say it. I said the only thing I could in French: “I know that God lives.”
I sat back down and during the rest of the meeting, I prayed in my heart. I told Heavenly Father that I really wanted to speak French, and that if He would help me, I would serve Him with all my heart.
Three months later a new missionary couple from the United States visited the branch. They were also asked to bear their testimonies. The sister walked to the pulpit, said a few words in French, and then stopped. Tears fell down her face. The chapel was silent. I walked up to her and asked if I could interpret for her.
“Oh, that would be wonderful, Elder,” she said. I felt the Spirit as she spoke English, and I interpreted her testimony, word for word, in French.
After the meeting the branch president’s wife said to me, “I remember how long it took you to say, ‘I know that God lives’ when you first arrived. Yes, God really lives and He has touched your tongue.”
I know that God understands every language and every problem we face. He is there to help us if we put our trust in Him, and He blesses our efforts when we try. Because He answered my prayer, I have been able to teach the gospel in French and my life has been blessed.