Amram Musungu is a quiet and unassuming man with great vision and endless ambition. Accompanied by his wife and two children he returned to Kenya from the United States at Christmas time to visit his family. He came to the Regional Public Affairs Office in Nairobi and described his adventure and story of the miraculous events that lead to the example he provides for his fellow countrymen.
Bro. Musungu was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1992 in Nairobi where he was baptized. Shortly thereafter he served as a full-time missionary, first in Nairobi, and then in Tanzania. Amram came from very humble circumstances but realized that he had to pursue his educational goals even though he had no financial resources that would permit him to go to college in Nairobi. He went door-to-door trying to find a scholarship to study in Nairobi, but was unable to find support. He did not succeed. He refused to stop trying because he felt that if he could be successful his village would be successful. Amram applied for scholarships in America to BYU-Idaho, LDS Business College, and Brigham Young University. The LDS Business College offered him a scholarship and he was able to travel to the United States. When he arrived in Salt Lake City he had $50, did not know anyone, and had no place to stay. He fasted and prayed and knew that he would be blessed. And he was. He was given a cleaning job at the business college that provided funds to pay for his tuition. He found a former missionary couple who served in his country that let him live in their home for a few months until he found an apartment.
Amram worked hard and finished his education at LDS Business College and then enrolled at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, to obtain a diploma in accounting. At the graduation party in 2002, he met a lovely woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo and they dated for a year. She asked for the missionaries to teach her the gospel and Amram baptized her. Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, performed their marriage in the Salt Lake Temple.
Following his college graduation in 2002, he was offered a job working for the Church finance department located in the Church Office Building. After nearly two years, Craig Jessop, the conductor of the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, approached Amram and asked him to audition for the choir. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is one of the oldest and largest choirs in the world; has performed before world leaders; sold millions of records; won scores of awards and enthralled audiences in dozens of countries. Amram always loved to sing. He grew up in a family that loved to sing. Brother Jessop and Amram had never engaged in any previous conversation. Brother Amram was auditioned and selected as a new member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Amram became one of the first Africans to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
In 2007, a Swahili congregation (the first in the Salt Lake Valley) was organized. Many former missionaries from the Salt Lake area, who had served in Africa became involved in helping this branch. In 2009, Amram was called as the Branch President (leader) of the Swahili Branch. At present, Amram is serving in a leadership position in the Sugar House Stake (a stake is a group of congregations similar to a diocese) and is still singing with the choir.
The advice that Amram gives to his fellow Africans is: “Think big. Rely on Heavenly Father. Strive to increase your talents. Never go a day without praying. Live the Gospel. Seek solutions from your Heavenly Father."