From Orphan to Missionary in Ghana—Elder Tatenda Ndunduma

From Orphan to Missionary in Ghana—Elder Tatenda Ndunduma

What joy Elder Tatenda Ndunduma of Zimbabwe, Africa, experienced as he was sealed to his deceased parents in the Accra Ghana Temple. Missionary Training Center missionaries, Elder and Sister Malmrose, stood in as proxy for his parents.  The day before, two missionaries had performed the baptisms for his parents in the temple.  He knew that it was his responsibility to make certain that his parents were both baptized by proxy in the temple and sealed together as a forever family. Now that dream has become a reality. This happy day stood in stark contrast to many sad experiences in his young life.

Tatenda’s arduous journey to the temple and the mission field began January 26, 1994 when he was born in Harare, Zimbabwe.  When he was three years old and his brother was seven, his father became very ill.  At the peak of his sickness, he could not stand or eat, and could hardly breathe.  His mother entered his hospital room and upon viewing her husband in his weakened condition she collapsed to the floor and died.  His father, because of his comatose condition, was not even aware that his wife had died, and he died just two days later. 

Tatenda, as a new orphan, was then sent to live with his aunt (sister of his father) and his grandmother.  Two years later his grandmother also passed away.  His aunt took on part-time work to provide food and often her two children and Tantenda were left alone, even though they were young.  When Tatenda was 10, his aunt took him to a small town called Bindura, where he finished primary and secondary school.  

At the age of sixteen his sweet aunt died and so he was left to live with her husband and a son who was his age. Life was hard and Tatenda would often cry wishing that his parents were still alive.  He had already buried 4 caregivers.   He was eventually sent back to Harare, Zimbabwe, to live with another aunt, and there he was finally able to be reunited with his brother who was 20 at the time. 

Tatenda now knows that this move to the capital city of Harare was also for a divine purpose. Simbarashe, the son of his aunt, was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and invited him to attend some LDS Church meetings.  Tatenda was soon introduced to the Mormon missionaries and listened intently to the missionary lessons.  However, it was not until he heard the lesson about the plan of salvation that he was completely converted to the restored gospel.  

It was the sweetest message he had ever heard in his young life and changed his tears of sorrow to tears of joy.  He had previously thought that he would never see his parents again, having never heard of life after death.  Feeling the Spirit of the Lord, he asked to be baptized on November 17, 2012.  From that point on, he was a changed man. To serve a full-time mission became one of his goals. However, that seemed like an impossible goal for him because of the expense involved in getting the required medical and dental exams, passports and clothing.

The way was opened for him because Reeve Nield, a professional golfer from Zimbabwe felt inspired to help the young adults in her country prepare for missions. She and two of her friends met with more than 100 young adults every week for several months. They helped them with many things such as getting birth certificates, filling out their applications, studying Preach My Gospel and getting passports. With hard work and helpful mentors, Tatenda was able to realize his dream of serving a mission.

He entered the Ghana MTC in September 2014 and is now serving in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission.  His desire is now to bring many souls unto Christ so that they will be able to enjoy the same blessings that he is enjoying.  Tatenda is fond of saying: 'I know the Lord will always watch my back throughout my mission.”