October 28, 2014
There is perhaps no body of saints, as a whole, in the world who have benefited more from PathwayConnect than those in Mexico. From its humble beginning as a small gathering of dedicated saints in Puebla three years ago to its current breadth of 47 locations dotting the landscape from Tijuana to Cancun, the PathwayConnect program in Mexico has allowed latter-day saints from all walks of life to lift themselves through education, improved English skills, leadership opportunities, and increased spirituality.
*Fall Semester 2014
Perhaps more than any other nation, the priesthood leaders in Mexico have embraced PathwayConnect, not only by encouraging their ward and stake members to participate, but also by being an example and becoming students themselves.
I got the feeling that it was something inspired, and I knew it was coming from God.
“I enrolled in the program and invited my wife and all the members of my stake I could,” said Faustino Ziga, president of the Cuautla Mexico Stake. “One of my goals is to learn English, so when I found this program, I got the feeling that it was something inspired, and I knew it was coming from God. We are trying to bring this feeling into the hearts and minds of every member of our stakes in Cuautla.” Quite literally, PathwayConnect is providing opportunities for all Mexican saints no matter their positions or circumstances. The leadership and language skills taught through PathwayConnect are benefiting everyone, from the newest convert to those in the highest leadership positions.
Elder Geoffrey Miller, previously a missionary at PathwayConnect’s Tlatelolco site and a former PathwayConnect student, recalled that one older man in Mexico City had worked for an important organization in the government for 30 years without promotion. This was the case until he began PathwayConnect, and within two weeks his boss had noticed his increased productivity and ability, leading to his first promotion, greater pay, and fewer hours at work.
While not every PathwayConnect participant will receive blessings in the same way, this is not an uncommon story. Nathanael Adams, who manages PathwayConnect’s efforts in Mexico, said that “just the experience of improving English skills has benefitted so many students across the country to the point that a 50-100 percent increase in pay is not an unrealistic expectation for students who complete PathwayConnect.”
But despite the wonderful temporal blessings that can come to those who participate in PathwayConnect, perhaps the greatest benefit to those who take part in the program is an increased opportunity to feel and hear the Spirit of the Lord.
Elder Miller shared the story of a young woman whom he had the opportunity to work with when he was a service missionary. Originally she had been afraid of the prospect of marriage, but through attending Book of Mormon classes through PathwayConnect, she learned to feel and listen to the Spirit more than before. This sister was able to invite the Spirit into her life because of the things she was learning through her PathwayConnect courses. She ended up accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal three weeks into her last semester and was married in May 2013, a month after she finished PathwayConnect.
Gene Hayes, director of PathwayConnect’s effort internationally, reflected on the program’s success in Mexico. “As someone who was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, my heart is full in knowing that Mexico has embraced PathwayConnect with open arms,” he said. “The support we get from the local priesthood and other Church leaders, including our own service missionaries, is stupendous.”
PathwayConnect is blessing thousands with opportunities all over Mexico and the world – the opportunity to learn and to grow temporally as well as spiritually and to achieve the goals that we all set for ourselves. Mexico is embracing this opportunity, as are Church members in more than 200 locations throughout the world.
There are places in the world where PathwayConnect is flourishing. Explore another site that’s been booming.