When I was in high school, I ultimately wanted to work in the health profession to save lives. After I completed school, I was able to gain admission to the university to study nursing. My parents struggled to pay my tuition, housing and books, since they were also paying my younger sister's fees. By my second year, it was getting hard to pay for my education.
My family was very happy when we heard the prophetic message from President Gordon B. Hinckley about the Perpetual Education Fund. With the help of the PEF, I was able to complete the remaining two years of my education and become a nurse.
While in school, I joined a group of Latter-day Saint singles. We had family home evening every Monday and institute classes on Thursdays. I knew that by putting the Lord first in everything I did, He would help me achieve my dreams. Sometimes studies became difficult, but I was determined to succeed, and Heavenly Father blessed me with knowledge and wisdom. My bishop and parents also helped me a great deal by giving me words of encouragement and by offering prayers in my behalf.
Now, as a graduate nurse, I am working at a hospital as part of a national service program, through which I earn something to pay my tithing and fast offerings and also make my loan payments. After my service I will be able to earn about three times my current salary, which will enable me to help my parents, my future family and people who are in need.
I know that Jesus Christ lives and loves us. I love serving in His kingdom. I love the gospel and the sweet message it brings. I am grateful for all the blessings the Lord has given to me. I know that through the PEF, many lives will be blessed, more members will become self-reliant and the kingdom of God will grow.
As participants keep the commitment to pay off their loans, others will have the opportunity to attend school, get employment, pay tithing and support their families so that, eventually, through our obedience to the commandments, we may become like the people described in Moses 7:18: "And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them." — Susan Atswei Okang, La Ward, Accra Ghana Christiansborg Stake