February 22, 2021
In his October 2020 General Conference message, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “It is my witness that though at times we may feel buried by the trials of life or surrounded by emotional darkness, the love of God and the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will bring something unimaginable to spring forth.”1
For Patrick Kwame Antwi, a BYU-Pathway Worldwide student in Ghana, Elder Uchtdorf’s remarks perfectly reflect his life’s journey to this point. Though Patrick has endured heartbreaking challenges, he’s found that God always has a plan for him, and that BYU-Pathway would be part of the “unimaginable” blessings that awaited him.
A terrible loss
When Patrick was nine years old, his mother passed away. Afterward, he and his brother went to live with their aunt and her husband. His mother’s death was devastating, but Patrick was able to find solace in his new family and their faith. Because of his aunt’s introduction, Patrick was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is grateful that his trials brought him closer to Heavenly Father.
With the encouragement and support of his family, Patrick was able to complete his secondary education and accept a call to serve a full-time mission for the Church. During his mission, he again suffered the loss of his closest family when his aunt and her husband passed away within months of each other.
Reflecting on the experience, Patrick said, “But then one day, I prayed, and I was inspired to read something from the Bible, of which I read when the Savior Jesus Christ was answering one of his disciples who wanted to go and mourn his father. The Savior told him to leave the dead to mourn their dead. I felt the Savior talking to me, and I received strength to complete my mission.”2
A new opportunity
As he began to come to terms with the loss of his family members, Patrick was now faced with a new challenge: “There were many thoughts that were going through my mind: How will I continue my education? Who is going to help me? Because the people that helped me complete school are no longer in my life.”
Soon after Patrick came home from his mission, a friend pursuing his online degree through BYU-Pathway invited Patrick to apply. He accepted the invitation and considers BYU-Pathway an answer to his prayers: “I can say with certainty that, besides making the decision to go and serve the Lord for two years of my life, enrolling in BYU-Pathway is the second-best decision of my life.”
A dream realized
Patrick is now pursuing his passion for business and economics through a bachelor’s degree in applied business management. After completing the first six courses of his degree through PathwayConnect, Patrick is continuing courses to earn an Administrative Assistant certificate. As part of his degree, he also plans to complete two more certificates: Business & Leadership Skills and Business Administration.
“My dream job would be to become a manager, maybe in finance. Doing the Administrative Assistant certificate has taught me to use Excel and spreadsheets to communicate and integrate relevant data,” Patrick said. “Most businesses need administrative assistants to use those things to effectively and diligently interpret the data.”
When Patrick isn’t studying or working, he enjoys playing soccer and spending time with other young adults. Through the painful loss of his family members and the fear of facing an unknown future, Patrick has found peace through the Savior. Now, he wants to use what he’s learning to provide the Savior’s “unimaginable blessings” to others.
“I’m really excited about using the skills I am learning to help the community, to help my family, and then to help the Lord,” Patrick said. “Anywhere the Lord wants me to offer my help, I’m ready to become useful to Him. And I can help my family by practicing the lessons that I’m learning and being Christlike — so they can see my good works and glorify my Father which is in Heaven.”3
How have you seen your trials become blessings through the gospel of Jesus Christ? Comment below!