A message to our friends in America.
This Christmas season, as you consider which charitable organization to donate to, please consider donating to the missionary fund of the church. Pictured below are nine members of our branch who one day "hope" to fill an LDS mission. The missionary fund that is administered by the church changes lives and is their only "hope" to go. The group of nine that you see here have NO hope of serving without contributions from members. Unemployment rate in Africa is 50%. Average monthly wages for a family is $80.00 per month. There are families of seven who live on that income in our branch. We know there are needs everywhere and there are great places to contribute.
This first generation of LDS members in Africa are pioneers. These youth that you see will affect the lives of generations. They are the Parley P. Pratts and Eliza R. Snow's of today.
Right now in the Africa Southeast Area we have 177,000 members in 33 stakes, 11 missions, and 25 districts. Given the trajectory of the past five years, within 20 years, the Africa Southeast Area will likely have over 300,00 members and over 100 stakes.
Putting your contribution in an envelope may not be tangible to you. We did not see it until we began our service here. It is real. It is needed. But most importantly it would help fulfill the Lord's mandate of "Preaching the Gospel" to all nations.
Pictured left to right is Sinalo, Sonwabile, and Josiah. Today in our branch, Sinalo and Sonwabile team taught gospel doctrine. President Wheeler said they were awesome. Last week President Wheeler challenged them to learn the 13 Articles of Faith. Sonwabile came this week with all of them memorized word-perfect. Saturday, Dec. 7th, Sonwabile will baptize his two younger sisters. His mother was baptized four months ago. Army of Helaman...oh yes!