The Lord Prepares his Children for the Gospel

As a member of the Langata Branch in Nairobi, Andrew Kiserema, accepted a calling as First Counselor to the Branch President, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized when he was 16 years old and tells the following story about his conversion.

News Release

As a member of the Langata Branch in Nairobi, Andrew Kiserema, accepted a calling as First Counselor to the Branch President, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptized when he was 16 years old and tells the following story about his conversion.

 “Growing up in rural Kenya, my main responsibilities as a young boy from the Maasai community was tending to cows, sheep and goats. Early in the morning, I would be tasked with making sure that they were well nourished and then by mid-morning mother dearest would remind me to go to school.

       

“I still remember those fond memories of yesteryears, where she would walk with me to the top of the hill and then like a loving mother urge on my journey to school. I thought that was what life would always be like for me; forgetting that God works in mysterious ways.  

“While a young boy, I would occasionally attend church on Sunday’s.  I listened in school class to Christian Religious Education (CRE), which was a compulsory subject for children in the primary syllabus. I loved this subject as it opened my mind on who deity was and my relationship to Him.

“When I was 12 years old, I was taken from our mud hut and my job of managing goats, sheep, and cattle, to board an airplane and fly an ocean away. The plane landed in Ottaway City, Ontario, the capitol of Canada. My father was a diplomat for the Kenyan government in foreign affairs.

“It was winter—a long and cold winter, with snow on the ground for months and months. Though my father could understand English, I had to learn the words that everyone was speaking around me. My mum did the best she could taking care of us kids.

       

“With no understanding of the Canadian culture, strange food and a foreign language, and ice skating on the Rideau Canal as the local favorite sport. I was not a popular kid because I liked football. For many years I struggled in that country. At school, I was often bullied by my peers. I felt inadequate, forgotten, isolated and oh, so alone. I often plead for greater peace of mind and happiness than life presented for me.

“Like Saul on the road to Damascus, I was seeking my own path to Him. During summer break on a hot August—I found myself walking to our house and in front of me were two young men dressed in white shirts, ties, and dark trousers. They asked me where I lived, and I lied to them that I lived down the street. Why had I lied? Because at that moment these young men were about to knock on our front door and I was not ready to give heed to them. Though, I had begun a deep study of the gospel and had attended several churches but did not feel quite at ease with any of these religions and decided to just stay still until the good Lord should knock on my door. 

 “I walked past our house and around the neighborhood, making sure to waste plenty of time before embarking on my homebound journey. I entered the back door and found they had met my parents and siblings. ---'Yikes I thought to myself, they caught me in a lie.’ Lucky for me, they scheduled a return appointment.

 “Within a short time, I began meeting with these young missionaries; and what they taught me resonated in my soul! I felt like singing the song of redeeming love, of peace and contentment. Joy filled our home as we met with the missionaries. When they left, they carried these feelings away with them and I longed for the day to have those permanent feelings in my life. ­­­­­

“Heck, life as a teenager had been hard enough with all the peer pressure and temptations that naturally come along the way. I attended my first Sunday meeting, wearing jeans and a t-shirt—totally feeling out of place with the ‘Mormons’. Everyone else dressed up. However, the people were extremely friendly. The location was known as Chapel Hill Ward. I kept meeting with the missionaries and worshiping with the saints of Chapel Hill.

“In due time, I made the decision to be baptized and just then all evil plotted its way against me in the subtlest of ways. My best friend since my youth, advised not to get baptized because apparently his mom had come across the Church in Kenya and she described it as a devil worship church. The pastor of the Pentecostal church personally met me for a cup of Tim Hortons’s coffee and in strongly worded quotes told me about another false gospel from the book of Revelation, in the New Testament. He was very unapologetic in his stern words of warning!

“What was to be done? Who was right? Were they all wrong? Was baptism the right choice for me? I had an inner battle and unsure of my next steps. The person that again saved the day for me, was my angel mother. Some people call her Eunice, maybe because she is extremely nice and good hearted. She told me to ignore what other people were saying and to follow what God wanted me to do.

“In confusion, I turned to reading, studying and pondering from the words of the Book of Mormon. As I read it one day, the piercing thought came to me, and the still, small voice said to me, ‘if the Bible is true, then the Book of Mormon is also true. Would you deny the truth?’ With those words, I made my decision and on a beautiful day in August of 2003 I was baptized and have never looked back.

 

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