PEF Success Story: Shirley, South Africa
October 3, 2012
"The PEF program is a blessing from our Heavenly Father. My bishop introduced the program to me at a time when I desperately needed extra funding to finish my Java programming course. I had attended college previously and had spent a lot of money being trained, but I couldn't find decent employment. The PEF program was able to give me hope and an opportunity to drastically improve my life through education. I appreciate that the program encouraged me to stay active in the Church, to participate in institute programs, and to improve myself spiritually.
"Shortly after completing the course I was blessed with a computer programming job at one of South Africa’s leading insurance companies. I made sure to pay off the PEF loan as quickly as I could. This helped me understand the importance of being responsible for my actions in order to bless other students that will need the help from PEF. My confidence levels increased as I paid off the loan and I proved to be reliable and trustworthy. I felt good about that achievement. I think it’s better to not procrastinate paying off a loan, because interest on the loan can quickly build up. To avoid any temptations at the end of the month I opted to have a debit order going off my account to pay for the loan. Some months, when I could spare some money, I paid extra towards the loan. That made a huge difference, and I would advise others to do the same, but only after they have taken care of all their necessary living costs.
"A better paying job meant a better quality of life. It meant I could help out my parents and family, and I was able to make myself more available to serve in the Church. The skills and refinement I have since acquired from working have helped me greatly to be of better service in all my Church callings. I’ve been working for almost six years as a programmer and I still love my job. I was able to save up a really good deposit for my first car. I recently got married in the temple to a wonderful man. With both of us working, my husband and I were able to save up for our wedding and for a deposit for our new home. I feel that if it were not for my studies and my constant participation at church I would not have had a job, nor would I have been able to achieve any of these good things.
"I feel so indebted to our Heavenly Father. I owe Him my life and more. I would not have come this far in my life without His help. I’m thankful for the continued revelation we receive from modern-day prophets. Each and every revelation helps to improve our lives. The Lord truly loves us and wants the very best for us. I’m grateful to know that."
At first, Mariela Quispe was fearful. How could people who didn’t know her offer a loan without a guarantee that she would repay? Looking back, she is amazed at the blessings that have come because of faith and hard work.
Carlos Salinas tells how he listened to fellow missionaries talk of their future plans for education and careers. He knew he was a good worker and a quick learner, but limited opportunities at home meant he would wallow in poverty when he returned. Then the Perpetual Education Fund was announced, and everything changed.