Lin was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. He lived in the camp until he was eight years old when he and his family were able to come to Buffalo, New York. His family spoke Karen and Karenni. Lin also speaks English like a native.
Lin became acquainted with the church through three friends who encouraged him to become involved with Boy Scouts and other Youth activities in the Buffalo Ward. Lin says he participated for about 3 years before he went to church for the first time in Idaho. He and his friends went on a road trip to BYU Education Week with their Young Men’s President, Taylor. They stopped in Idaho to go to church on their way to Provo, Utah.
Lin continued to become more involved with the church and was baptized just over 2 years ago when he was 17 years old. Lin was able to attend BYU for a couple of semesters and will be leaving in a few days for the Kentucky, Louisville Spanish speaking Mission. Lin’s friends, Kombi (Zimbabwe Harare), Jack (Utah Provo) and Mark (France Lyon) are currently serving missions.
Who would have thought a young boy born in a refugee camp in Thailand would come to America and end up joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord truly works His miracles even now in our time.
Chazia: My Mom Gave Me a Great Gift
Last Friday, we went to a discussion with the Elders McOmber and Nielsen to teach Chazia who is from the Congo (she speaks French and English). Chazia had previously met with missionaries about 6 months ago. She got busy and stopped meeting with them. She told us that she had two friends that had babies and she was busy helping them and interpreting for them in the hospital, while she also attended school. And she is a mom of two children, so she just couldn’t fit anything else in.
When Elder Nielsen asked her if she was religious, she responded:
My mom gave me a great gift – my love of God. And then she explained that if she didn’t go to church, she didn’t get breakfast or lunch. But because she did go, she came to love God.
We asked her why she decided to reach out to the missionaries again, she shared with us that she recently saw an invitation from the Church on the internet and she responded because she believed the scripture in Matthew 18:30 – “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” She wanted to meet with the missionaries so she could experience this promised blessing.
She had her Bible and it was clear that it didn’t sit on the shelf neglected and forgotten. It was well worn, highlighted and full of post-a-notes with comments on them.
When we asked her if she had gone to church when she previously met with the missionaries, she responded that she had not. We told her that our church met at 10:00am on Sunday and asked her if she would like to come. She said, Yes! I’ve been looking for a church.
Elder McOmber asked her if she would be willing to give the closing prayer and she immediately said yes and gave a beautiful prayer. She thanked God that we could meet together, so we can feel the love of God more, more, more!
Chazia came to church Sunday and later in the evening texted the Elders:
"Thank you so much for inviting me to church today I enjoyed everything! Thanks again, have a great night see you on Thursday. "
What a beautiful, sweet experience.
President Russell M Nelson - My 2020 Invitation to You:
Share the Message of the Restoration of the Savior’s Gospel
When I spoke during last October’s general conference, I designated 2020 as a bicentennial period commemorating 200 years since God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in a vision. That singular event in human history initiated the Restoration of the Lord’s gospel—an unfolding Restoration that continues today. How blessed we are to live in the light of that vision. With that vision came new understanding about the nature of God our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
God loves all of His children and has a vision for each of us. Just as He listened to Joseph’s prayer in 1820, He listens to you and yearns to speak with you through the Spirit. Heavenly Father wants you. We want you. This is going to be an important year. We invite you to be a major part in sharing the message of the ongoing Restoration of the Savior’s gospel. We will share more about this soon, but you can start today by acting on the invitations I extended to you at last general conference to immerse yourself in the glorious light of the Restoration.
What does that look like? You may wish to begin your preparation by reading afresh Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price. Or ponder important questions such as “How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?” or “How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?”
Select your own questions. Design your own plan. Act on any of these invitations to prepare yourself for sharing the important messages of the ongoing Restoration. As you seek Jesus Christ in these efforts, God will prepare you to receive further light. It is your personal preparation that will help April’s general conference become for you not only memorable but unforgettable. The time to act is now. This is a hinge point in the history of the Church, and your part is vital.
I testify that Jesus Christ lives. He leads this Church today. God is trusting us, all of us, to play an important role in the Restoration of His gospel.
Our first District Activity that are now approved (one activity per 6 week transfer). We had a great time bowling.
Sisters Mayer, Graham and Olesen showed off a little dance they created.
Another busy week in our NEW Paradise. Non-pictured activities:
• Member visits: Renee & Michael, Suzette
• Clothes Exchange with Fatuma, Apolina, Regina & Niha – Sister Sonnefeld was given some surplus clothing from members of their Amherst Ward for the Swahili families.
• Missionary Coordination Meeting
• Buffalo District Council
• Amherst District Council – their Senior Couple went home and we were invited to come to their meeting.
• BYU PathwayConnect Gathering
• Lessons with Elders: Alice, Esterina
• Fed Swahili Elders twice
• Fed Spanish Elders
• YMYW Rides
• Meeting discussing needs for Saturday Math Classes with Amos, Kiza, Placide.
• Trained Elder & Sister Lovell via Zoom Room – new Senior Couple in Utica. (Elder Lovell was a councilor to Bishop Lovett in Amarillo, Texas. President Vest and Elder Lovett recruited them to come serve in the New York Syracuse Mission.)
• Zoom call with Bishop Desrosiers reporting progress with Swahili Group