Being a top student isn't something I owe to myself; I owe it to the Church. I knew joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was going to take me to greater spiritual realms, but I never imagined it would open doors for me academically.
The turning point of my life was when a Perpetual Education Fund missionary approached me one Sabbath morning to talk about the program.
Ever since I could remember, I had always wanted to be a chartered accountant, but due to financial limitations, I couldn't further my education. My dream was shattered. Upon receiving the opportunity to apply for a PEF loan, I was not sure of myself, but the PEF missionaries supported me every step of the way. Now I am pursuing my dream career. I have had quite an amazing journey and now have the tremendous opportunity to explore a variety of companies, one of which I hope to join in the near future.
I am grateful I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Church that has been grooming me not only spiritually but physically as well. I have come to realize that the worst affliction in life is neither pain nor poverty but a lack of purpose and direction. I have no doubt in my mind that for me to win and succeed in life, I have to know and appreciate my own ability and potential. The more we look within ourselves, the more we will realize that, while we can do a lot, we are limited. The only road to achievement is being connected to God, who is unlimited.
Learning of the gospel was truly a wake-up call for me. It made me realize that we are not placed in this life to moan and complain. We are here to fulfill a divine calling. The gospel opened my eyes and made me realize that I was in charge of my own destiny. Other people may and will participate in shaping my life, but I am ultimately accountable for my actions. I may not get what I want in this life, but that cannot stop me from becoming the person I want to be.
The gospel gave purpose, courage and meaning to my life. It gave me an opportunity to serve sisters in Relief Society and to gain knowledge while teaching Sunday School. Regardless of our current circumstances and what we may feel, I have no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father has good plans for us. Other people may disappoint me and I may disappoint myself at times, but I know that my Heavenly Father will never disappoint me, and for that I am eternally grateful.
— Emelda Chani, Benoni YSA Ward, Benoni South Africa Stake