Livingstone's Journey: A testament to member missionary work

News Release
         


Just north of Lake Victoria in western Kenya, Livingstone Nzea Openda grew up in a small village of Kakamega County. At an early age, Livingstone had a desire to pursue a career as that of his pastor father. He recalls studying the scriptures often with him.

“One day while my father and I were studying in John, chapter 6, I told my father that his church was not Christ’s true church. Christ’s church would have an ordinance of the sacrament. My family was not happy about my outbursts, yet I continued my pursuit of that which I thought to be true,” said Livingstone.

“I remember searching through my phone one day and finding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—first began in the United States, by Joseph Smith. As I investigated further I found this same church was in South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana and then I found it in Kenya!”

He hopped into a matatu and rode to the Upper Hill Chapel, where he found missionaries with answers to his burning questions. After searching for so long, he could not contain his joy that day. He told his wife, Pamela, that the whole family must hear the good news that the missionaries had to share.

 

In February of 2014, the whole family was baptized. They also got to visit the temple with his daughter Shikoli and his two sons, Victor and David. They are all now actively engaged in living the gospel that they have been taught. Since that time, Livingstone is glad that has been able to perform ordinances vicariously for both his father and grandfather. David served a mission and married Axoti in the Johannesburg temple. Victor is preparing to serve a mission. Pamela serves as a counselor in the Relief Society.

As a member of the South B Ward in Nairobi, Livingstone Nzea Openda serves in the Stake High Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also as a Ward Mission Leader. Together with his wife, they love reaching out to friends and family to tell them about the gospel. Over the years, he has jotted down a list of people he introduced to the gospel and have been baptized. He collects their names and takes them to meet the young missionaries who teach them the gospel.

He admits, he has another list who were taught the gospel but have not yet accepted baptism but he does not discount them as friends if they don’t get baptized.

When asked what is his secret, Livingstone replies, “From my past, I know what people are looking for and I just share it. I just want to share the beautiful gospel with them,” he says.

Just recently, Livingston and Pamela were extended to an invitation and interviewed by President Hamilton, SE Africa Area President to serve a couple’s mission. This will make them the second Kenyan senior missionary couple to serve a mission! His journey to invite others to Christ is just beginning.

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