February 16, 2020 - When we met again with Chazia on Friday night, we asked her if she had read the Book of Mormon, she told us that she had read and wrote notes. Unfortunately, she had left her notes at work, because she had written down several questions to ask. We had asked her to also pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true. She read and prayed on Wednesday (the same day she usually fasts) and she told us that she received a witness through her feelings. She said, "I didn’t hear a voice saying, "Chazia, this is the right way, The Book of Mormon is awesome" but she said that she just had a peaceful feeling that the Book of Mormon is true and she recognized that this feeling was God's way of communicating to her. She shared, “I think this is the way and where I want my church and where I will be.”

We read Moroni 10:3-6 and shared the story of the Restoration. She seemed particularly touched about having Prophets and Apostles again.

She loved going to Church last Sunday. The last speaker in Sacrament Meeting stood out to her.  Chazia repeated what the speaker said, “We need to come to church every week in order to fill our spiritual wells.” Chazia said, I wanted to tell the speaker, “I like that and think it is good to go to church, but I think why only one day, don’t we need to fill up every day? Satan is right next to us - You prayed today... but on Monday I'll be on you again. That's why I like praying every morning. It's like I have my coat and my shoes laid out and I’m ready for the day and I can do anything! Any obstacle on my path I can overcome!"

Chazia, Bienfeit and Doriann at Mikey Conklin's baptism.

When we asked her if she would like to call on someone to pray, she asked if it would be okay if she said the prayer. Her prayer was the crowning jewel of the lesson! She started by expressing gratitude for the beautiful day and for us and for learning more. She said that she believed everything we had taught. "This is my second time with this, I didn't have my heart all the way in it last time but as they say, The second time is lucky." She repeated that she believed everything that the "Sister and Brothers have said" and asked for us to have safe travels on this cold night.

On Saturday, Chazia came to the baptism for 9-year Mikey Conklin and brought her two children, Bienfeit and Doriann. And then they stayed for the Ward Valentine’s Day party.

And Chazia came to church on Sunday.

Our granddaughter Kathleen got her acceptance to attend Brigham Young University (BYU)! She's very excited!
Narrow streets, parked cars crowding the narrow streets and in front of us was a bus who was stopped because there was a garbage truck in front of him who was picking up trash. No way around; no way out. Just an exercise in patience!
Mikey and his dad with Elders McOmber & Nielsen. Awesome baptism day for Mikey and his family.
Placide, Amos & Kamisu. On Saturdays the Swahili Community uses our church building for Math Tutoring. Placid and Kamisu teach some of the classes. Amos is our Swahili Group Leader and has the responsibility to open the building and oversee what is happening. Placide and Kamisu are friends of the church and come to church on Sundays. They help translate for us and our Swahili Group. I was doing some training with Amos and they were helping translate for me - Amos only speaks a little English and my Swahili is nonexistent.
Agenda we were working on for the Swahili Group Council.
Kids that came to the Church for Math Tutoring. The 2 boys in the top left photo are Kasimu's boys, Burton and Justin.
Somebody smashed our driver's window this past Sunday while we were attending a Ward Council Meeting. They broke the window, stole some money and our GPS and damaged the door to our car. It's going to take some body work where they pried on the door frame. Rental car, here we come again.
Donna who is one of sisters in the ward that we visited in a nursing home, likes to read. We got her a couple of books and the very helpful clerk in the bookstore said we should get this book for her next - she thought she would really enjoy it.
Marta is a long term member in the Buffalo Ward and was excited to hear that we had visited her daughter. She told us that we were the Greatest Senior Missionary Couple in the church. I decided that maybe we should go home now - since we are at the top, there's nowhere to go but down from here!!!
Elders Sylva (our District Leader), LeBaron, Nielson, McOmber, me, Karen, Sisters Mayer, Graham & Olesen. It's going to be transfer week this coming week - so we always take a District picture. Great, great missionaries - we'll miss those that get transferred. 
Elder Sylva's phone camera is activated by waving at it - so we decide we would ALL wave at it!
I took my sweetheart to the Dino BBQ for Valentines Day - I like to try out the local restaurants.
Located in the heart of Buffalo’s Theater District, the Buffalo Dinosaur Bar-B-Que occupies a former vault that stored movies for Universal International Pictures, 301 Franklin Street. (There must have been a purple accent light - I didn't dye my hair purple!)
Not sure why the restaurant is decorated with flying pigs - maybe it's their way of saying that you'll find a better BBQ when pigs fly!

Our Wednesday Miracle: Maybe This is the Reason We Met Today?
One of our Swahili members, Veronica, age 10, was playing outside at school and was pushed by a school mate and fell and broke a front tooth. Her parents wanted to file an incident report at school and request a meeting with the parents of the girl that pushed Veronica. There are two problems with that: They don’t speak English and they don’t have a car! So, about 6 hours and three trips to the school later, the incident was resolved to Veronica’s parent’s satisfaction.
This resolution was not without pain and suffering – some of which included loading two kids in and out of car seats in the snow, waiting and waiting for translators, failed communication, and two attempts to meet the parents.

Veronica’s 5th grade teacher helped a bunch and one of the times we were waiting for an interpreter to come, she asked me how I knew the family. I told her that we went to the same church. She quickly said, I have asked Veronica about her Church and I have tried to find it. Veronica has tried to explain to me where her church is located. So, as I left, I handed her a note with the church address and my phone number. And she said, “Maybe this is the reason for our meeting today.”

Elders Schultz (District Leader) & Taylor, Sisters Melton, Tolman & Joos and Karen & me. We have been standing in as the Senior Couple for the Amherst District just north of us...their Senior Couple went home to Thailand.
The missionaries teach 5 lessons that cover the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ, Commandments and Laws & Ordinances. They are supposed to "Master the Message" by memorizing these topics so that they can easily be prepared to talk to and teach everyone.

Sisters Melton, Tolman and Joos from the Amherst District made up words to "Follow the Prophet" to help them learn all the points of the Commandments...watch the video, they are delightful.

We had a great Ward Valentines Party on Saturday.
As you can see, they had a fun photo both where we could get our photos taken: It was a "Black Tie" event!
Regina, Elder McOmber photo bombing my picture, and Fatuma
Bishop & Sister Desrosiers
A little dancing for the the young at heart.
Elders Nielsen & McOmber had 8 people that they hav been teaching attend the party, so they were able to come and stay awhile.
The theme was "Lady & Tramp" and so we ate spaghetti - just like in the movie!
The missionaries are teaching a family whose 3 oldest children come to just about everything: church, YMYW and parties! Eunice is the oldest.
Bahati is next oldest.
And then Faraja.
The Conklins son Mikey was baptized just before the party started.
It's always fun have a get together. 
Bro Kay, the Bishop and some how the missionaries were in the right place at the right time again!

Another busy week in our NEW Paradise. Non-pictured activities:
• Missionary visits: Esterina
• Member visits: Kate & Justin
• Missionary Coordination Meeting
• BYU PathwayConnect Gatherings
• YWYM Rides
• Seminary rides all week
• Find a new apartment for the missionaries - more details to come next week!
• Zone Conference Zoom Call - Implement a daily text to Ward Council to help the work of proclaiming the gospel move forward more powerfully as we coordinate our efforts and work in unity together.
• Rides to church
• Dinner with Elder & Sister Hubble who are serving a Temple Mission in Palmyra and are assigned to attend our ward on Sunday – we have several members who are working towards going to the Temple, so it will be great to have them help with the Temple Preparation Class
• Fed the Swahili Elders
• Fed the Spanish Elders
• Orientation over the phone with a new Senior Missionary Couple, Elder & Sister Purcell who were just assigned to take our place in Massena. We're so glad someone has been assigned to help our wonderful members that we love so much up in the North Country. (But I’m not missing the Massena winter – they are getting pounded and we continue to have a mild winter in Buffalo!)