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!"
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 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.”
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.
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!)