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President Pace and Brother Corbitt visit 5 countries in southern Africa

While visiting Madagascar, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa, Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace and Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt teach, train and testify of Jesus Christ 

A visit to five countries in southern Africa focused on strengthening young people for the blessings of the temple and for missionary service. They held devotionals with members and missionaries, leadership instruction sessions, meetings with local opinion leaders and visited with members in their homes.

Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace and Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, visited Madagascar, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa from Oct. 27 through Nov. 9.

Some of their central messages were about faith, prayer, scripture study and the redemptive power of the Savior Jesus Christ, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

One of President Pace’s central focuses was on helping members to improve their scripture reading at home with “Come, Follow Me” as a resource. He taught the youth to choose a time of day for scripture reading when they are alert, to pray about what they are feeling and pray about the scriptures.

Karayame Lekoko of the Gaborone West YSA Ward in the Gaborone Botswana Stake, said he was encouraged to make his personal study more meaningful.  

“When you start studying the scriptures at first, it’s a drag, and it’s something that you’re not used to,” he said. “But as when you open a room, it slowly fills with light until the whole room is lit up; that’s how it is with scripture study I’ve learnt. The more you do it, the more you are going to start liking it; the more you’re going to start understanding it; the more you are going to start enjoying it.”

Teachers and leaders at a training session with Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Oct. 30, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, and his wife, Sister Jayne Corbitt, meet with missionaries at the Missionary Training Center in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, South Africa, on Oct. 31, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

At a devotional for youth, their leaders and their parents in Gaborone, Botswana, Brother Corbitt shared a story about a time when he made regular visits to an elderly lady with dementia. She didn’t remember him, and he wondered if he was wasting his time. 

“But then, I remembered the occasions in which I forget the Savior,” Brother Corbitt said. “I remembered the occasions in which I forget who I am. I remember the moments in which I forget my true identity and do something in which I shouldn’t be doing, or say something that I shouldn’t be saying, or think something that I shouldn’t be thinking. But the Savior and the Holy Ghost still visit me — over and over and over.”

President Pace’s wife, Sister Anne Marie Pace, taught the youth to feed their faith through simple things like reading the scriptures, making prayers meaningful, and keeping the commandments. 

“If we don’t feed our faith every day, what are we doing to our faith? We’re starving it,” Sister Pace said. “Every time we stay on the covenant path and keep the commandments, we grow in faith.”

Sister Anne Marie Pace with a primary girl in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Oct. 30, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Sister Jayne Corbitt poses with missionaries in Gaborone, Botswana, Nov. 2, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Atsile Molefe, 16, said she felt the Spirit testify to her during the devotional. “Today I learned that faith is something that we have to exercise daily, in order for it to have a strong foundation,” she said.

Following a leadership instruction session with Brother Corbitt in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, President Chrispen U. Matsetlo, first counselor in the Bulawayo Zimbabwe Stake presidency, said, “What I learned was that we need to get out of the way and let the youth lead. They are not the future leaders; they are the current leaders.”

One of those youth, Celeste Chesa, 17, of the Bulawayo Zimbabwe Stake, said she was blessed by the special opportunity to hear from the Church leaders.

“I am happy that I came. I never would’ve gotten this experience anywhere else,” she said.

Sunday School General President Mark L. Pace and Sister Anne Marie Pace sing during an instructional session in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Oct. 30, 2022. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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