Often gathering in meetinghouses converted from local houses or buildings, Church members and investigators in Zambia fill the sacrament rooms with enthusiastic hymns and heartfelt testimonies each Sunday, unlike any other place on earth.
Since most Zambians consider themselves religious, anyone walking the streets of Lusaka or other major cities will probably notice a church dotting almost every corner. Even rural areas often house at least one church house, and television channels devoted to prophets and preaching broadcast through many Zambian homes.
The scriptures are one of the most important tools for the members in Zambia. Since they are no strangers to the Bible, many Zambians own tattered books of scripture, which are well-worn from frequent use and daily study.
Prior to becoming a member of the Church, Akatekelelwa Nyundo considered herself a very religious person. So when her husband arrived home one day with a Book of Mormon in his hands, Nyundo knew what it was. “He told me it was given to him by some good boys who invited him for a lesson he had agreed to attend,” Nyundo says. After carefully looking at the book, she told her husband that they wouldn’t have anything to do with the boys or that book. However, a few days later she had an idea. She would read the book so she could confront these people and convert them to the truth “because they are simply lost,” she thought.
“Then on a certain day I had prepared, I went early to work and did my job fast and sat down to read the book,” Nyundo says. “To my amazement, the things I was reading in the book were not what I had expected. I wondered greatly, ‘How could things be so that at my age and knowledge of God I did not know the things I was reading in the book?’ and that brought a kind of sorrow to my heart. I found myself crying, tears running down my face uncontrollably.”
When her husband came to check on her, he was surprised to find her with the same Book of Mormon she had warned him not to read. “I told him what I learned by reading has changed my mind and touched my heart, and I encouraged him to read it for himself,” Nyundo recalled. “I got baptized four months later and have never looked back.”
Lead Image courtesy of Julius Ngambi
Read more incredible stories about the Saints in Zambia in the September/October 2017 edition of LDS Living. Also find other great stories, like the journey of Elder Christofferson's brother Tom away from the Church and back again and an excerpt from Elder Bendar's new book, One by One.