“How We Succeeded in Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, July 2018
My wife, Everjoyce, and I are from the small town of Mutare, on the eastern border of Zimbabwe. Soon after we were baptized and confirmed, we became excited about doing missionary work. We read that “the field is white already to harvest” (D&C 33:7), and even though we didn’t know a lot about how to be missionaries, we decided we needed to “thrust in [our] sickles, and reap with all [our] might, mind, and strength.”
We were members of the newly created Dangamvura Branch located in one of the townships of Mutare. At that time, 1991, the branch had 25 members. Soon we were called as branch missionaries. We learned a lot from a senior missionary couple serving in our area. One suggestion they made was that we set goals.
We wanted to share the gospel with everyone, so we set the goal of sharing it with 100 people during the first year we were branch missionaries. Maybe we were naïve, but it seemed realistic to us. We trusted that the Lord would help us.
By singing hymns at Church meetings, we discovered that we had a hidden talent for music. We decided to use our talents, so we started singing for—and with—people who showed interest in the gospel as we met to teach them. The Spirit accompanied us as we sang sacred music, and He touched the hearts of those we were teaching. So did the message of the restored gospel. We encouraged everyone to join our branch choir, and many did, whether they were Latter-day Saints or not. As more people learned about the gospel, many entered the waters of baptism.
As we continued our missionary efforts, we continued to fast and pray for the families who had joined the Church. We felt that others in the community were witnessing these families’ righteous examples. We received more and more invitations to teach families, and our teaching pool filled with prospective members.
As a result of learning and living the gospel, newly baptized couples became closer and more loving. Parents were able to leave behind traditions that were not compatible with gospel culture. They abstained from alcohol and tobacco. They taught their children correct principles. Many who had been overly absorbed in worldly things in the past were now able to accept callings in the Church. They became a blessing to their branch and their community. The hand of the Lord brought a mighty change to their lives.
Although great persecution arose in Mutare at that time, it did not stop the growth of the Church. It seemed that as opposition grew, so did the number of people who wanted to learn about the Church. For example, when men from the national army came in disguise to investigate the Church for wrongdoing, they were touched by the Spirit. Many were later baptized and ordained to the priesthood.
With the Lord’s help, we ended up sharing the gospel with many more than our original goal. Because we were willing to look for ways we could reach out to others, we were able to witness a mighty change in the lives of many in our whole community.