In the busy rural town of Nsawam, Ghana—known as the bread town because of the many vendors selling bread at the roadside or from pans balanced precariously on their heads—lives Princella Djanku, a young woman in the Djankrom Branch, Asamankese Ghana District. Baptized when she was nine years old, Princella, her twin brother, Prince, and the rest of her family are all active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When Princella was looking for a Personal Progress project, she didn’t have to look far. In her own branch was a humanitarian aid missionary, Sister Thompson, struggling to teach English to the town’s adults. Since most people in Nsawam don’t speak any English and Sister Thompson doesn’t speak the local Twi dialect, she was having a difficult time communicating with her students.
Enter Princella, who learned English in school and speaks the four regional dialects, including Twi. She was perfect for the job. She could communicate with everyone.
“The project of helping in the literacy class came to my mind when I got to the knowledge value,” said Princella. “At first I felt it was too much to go stand in front of my mothers and fathers [the adults of her town] and teach them English. For the first and second week, it was not easy because they felt I was there to make a mockery of them, but then I had the opportunity to explain myself.” After that, things went smoothly, and communication between the teenage teacher and adult students was much more effective.
After completing her project, Princella considered leaving the class but decided against it. She says, “The literacy class is very interesting, and I never want to leave.” Princella continues to serve with love, remembering that those who serve others also serve God.
Princella has since earned her Young Womanhood Recognition Award. She says, “The Young Women program has helped increase my testimony of the Church. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God and that the Church is true. I know President Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet and that he receives revelation for the whole Church. I know the doctrines and principles of the Church are all true.”
Though Princella is no longer in Young Women as a young woman, she is still in Young Women. She has been called to serve as the secretary in the branch Young Women presidency.
As one of her goals, Princella hopes to go on a mission for the Church when she turns 21 so she can share her testimony and continue her tradition of service.
Illustration by Gregg Thorkelson