This post was originally published on the Friends of the Spokane Stake Facebook Page October 18, 2020.
“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” Alma 37:6
Something as simple as acting on an impression or helping someone in a busy grocery store can change the course of lives. That is how Moses Lwakihugo was first introduced to a member of the Church two years ago. On October 17, 2020, Moses followed the invitation of Jesus Christ and entered the waters of baptism and was later confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in the Spokane Stake.
Moses was not the only one in his family to join the Church that day. Over 8000 miles away, 14 others were baptized, including Moses’ sister and brother-in-law. Missionaries serving in the Washington Spokane Mission along with members in the Spokane Stake were directly involved in their preparation for baptism, which was overseen by the Democratic Republic of the Congo Lubumbashi Mission. For those 14 modern pioneers, it meant traveling over 120 miles from the Kavumu Settlement to Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, and the location of the only branches of Church in Burundi. Their baptisms took months of preparation, demonstrating their commitment and growing their faith.
Moses had interested his family in Burundi in the Gospel. Their conversions are intertwined. The story is neither over nor fully told in this brief report. As Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught at this month’s General Conference: “The pandemic is revealing new and more creative ways of reaching out to the honest in heart. The work of gathering Israel is increasing in power and enthusiasm. Hundreds and thousands of stories attest to this.” Such is the story here in Spokane. Missionaries serving in our stake are actively engaged in teaching via technology to others in refugee camps and other locations in Uganda, Kenya, Burundi DR Congo and Norway, not to mention others who speak Swahili throughout Spokane County. Members of the Lincoln Heights Ward and others in our faith community are actively involved in fellowshipping via technology those who are expressing an interest in the Gospel. There are 34 in the Kavumu Settlement in Burundi who are actively preparing for baptism. It can be difficult to fathom how far our influence can go, but never discount an impression to do good. Never let a kind deed go undone.