March 15, 2020 - Sister Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president wrote in the Church News on March 27, 2013:
There is a beautiful footnote found in the Pearl of Great Price. It is in Joseph Smith—History 1:71. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had just received the Aaronic Priesthood and been instructed to baptize each other. Oliver Cowdery was the first person to be baptized by the proper authority in the dispensation of the fulness of times. The footnote of that verse reads: “Oliver Cowdery describes these events thus: ‘These were days never to be forgotten . . . and I shall ever look upon [the] expression of the Savior’s goodness with wonder and thanksgiving.’” Since that day in 1829, the work of the Church has rolled forward with majesty and grace. Theirs was a day of establishing, learning, and discovering. Ours is a day of hastening and gathering.

Consider the groundwork and preparation that has been laid and put into place by way of revelation and inspired actions of our Prophet and Apostles over the last couple of years. Couple that with the rapidly escalating pandemic and rapidly changing world conditions. These will truly be days never to be forgotten.

Home Centered - Church Supported Gospel Learning

Come Follow Me with Mark & Karen and our children and grandchildren. With church meetings canceled for the foreseeable future, we enjoyed our first Sabbath day at home by discussing our Come Follow Me Sunday School Lesson as an extended family using our virtual Zoom Room.

Picture of our Zoom Room Come Follow Me discussion.
Picture taken by Cam during our Zoom Room Come Follow Me discussion.

What a blessing that we have been so well prepared by our Leaders to seamlessly change to having church at home.

The world as we have known it changed drastically this week with 4 letters from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve. We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet to lead and guide us in these latter days...

No public to be admitted to the Conference Center for General Conference in April 2020
Missionaries scheduled to enter the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in the United States and England will be trained remotely by video conference.
Church is canceled worldwide.
Temples are closed except for living ordinances. Apparently they are only allowing 8 total guests at the sealings. Divide that by two (bride and groom) and that gives each family a total of 4 people to invite. If two of those are mom and dad - who gets the two remaining spots? Some tough choices.
Guidelines for missionaries after church meetings were suspended.
An idea for a home Sacrament Program from the Bishop of the Buffalo Ward

While we waited for everyone to arrive for our Amherst District Meeting, we had a discussion about the wording of the Primary Song, Give Said the Little Stream: Fill in the blank from the song: I'm small, I know, but wherever I go the _______ grows greener still. Now look it up in the Primary Hymn Book - the answer won't be what you thought it was! So that discussion led to traditions on how we sang some of the Primary songs, so we sang Book of Mormon Stories for our opening song to see how everyone learned the actions. We always speak important, meaningful things in our meetings!!!

More cool Buffalo street art.
Elder McOmber's great artwork that he and Elder Nielsen used to teach Chazia this week about God's Plan of Happiness.
Chazia, Elders McOmber & Nielsen - another awesome discussion with Chazia.
Canal Side in Buffalo
They certainly can get creative with their Buffalos!!!
Lots of old factories in the Buffalo area.
General Mills is still making cereal in Buffalo. On a good day you can smell Lucky Charms when you are at our Church Building.

Mary Scott: My great grandma told me when I was young, that two people are going to knock on your door, and you need to let them in. I’d never seen or heard of the missionaries. Then when I was growing up, I would see these commercials by the church – way after my great grandma passed – but I never saw any missionaries. When we moved to Virginia, I started seeing the commercials again. So, I called the missionaries. And they came.

I tell you, nobody in my family could meet me in the Spirit World and ask me, why didn’t you tell me about the Book of Mormon?

Me and my oldest son got baptized first. My daughter was waiting for her dad. We were raised in the Baptist Church, so our first Sunday in the church – it was way too quiet. When we came to the Baptist church, we CLAP, CLAP, CLAP – it was wild and yeah… So, we were like oh no…but my children said this is the church we need to go to. We went to church for about a year – it was just like we were members and so then we got baptized – first me and my son and then my husband and my daughter. My youngest was too young to be baptized. Then we eventually moved to Buffalo. It’s been an amazing journey.

Faithful Buffalo Ward Member, Mary. Her granddaughter calls her Bugga.

The stake called Mary to be a Seminary Teacher but she didn’t know how she could possibly get to Seminary and then to work. She told the Lord that He would have to make the way because there was no way she could do it. So, she left it in His hands.

She was supposed to be at work at 7:00 am. So she told her boss that she had been called to teach a youth group this religion class at her church in the early morning but she wouldn’t be able to get to work until 7:30 am. To her surprise he told her that would be fine. Then her bosses boss came in and she thought, oh no, now I’m in trouble. And he said, I hear that you want to come in later to work so you can teach this religious class? And she said she would like to. He told her that was great and that wouldn’t be a problem.
She told him that she was still trying to work out how to do it because she didn’t have a car and she couldn't afford to pay for transportation. He told her that they would help her and gave her a $50 a week raise so she could pay for her transportation.
Is there any doubt in your mind that the Lord is mindful of each of us and wants to bless us according to our faith?

Our Grandson, Brandon pitching on his High School Baseball Team
Sonwil hires a lot of Swahili speaking people. The Masis Staffing Solutions was very helpful with a couple of the people the Elders are teaching. Masis goes regularly to the Grace Community Church to meet with people that need jobs. The Pastor translates for them. It is amazing how the Buffalo community comes together to help the refugees that are assigned to this area.
Lindsay and Jamie - members of the Buffalo Ward. They are expecting their first child. Jamie works for the police department and his twin brother is his partner!
Fatuma, Elisha & Amos at JC Penney - we went suit shopping for Amos, Elisha and his brother Rama.

Sadly, Karen's brother Clyde passed away.

Clyde's Obituary - continued below.
Everyone loved Clyde, he was such a kind and caring person.
We flew from Buffalo to Atlanta to Albuquerque for the funeral.
The airlines are serious about cleaning the airplanes each time they land.
Two more airplane cleaners.
Landing in Albuquerque.
Karen at the airport.
Family Photo
Karen, Marsha, Kevin and Peggy at breakfast.
Quinton (married to Clydes daughter Cami) and 3 of their children, Zach, Andrew & Grace at breakfast.
Kaylee, Miles and their 3 children Marvin, Merica and Wayne. (Clyde is Kaylee's uncle)
Nikki (Clydes oldest daughter), Kevin in the background, Shane Reese, BYU Academic VP (and good friend of Clydes), and Marsha.
Barbara's niece and her husband. Mitch and his wife - very close friends of Clydes.
Shelly (Clydes Daughter), Karen and Janie (Shelly's daughter) cleaning up after the luncheon.
Family pictures in the foyer
Another table with family pictures.
Collage of family pictures
Zach, Jeter, Andrew, Jay and Owen in front.
Zach, Jeter, Andrew, Jay and Owen in their arms.
Owen, Jeter, Janie and Marsha
Mitch and his family - close friends of Clyde and Barbara's family.
Jed who works in the funeral industry helped get a special coffin for Clyde - BYU blue. They loaded it into his SUV and drove it down to Albuquerque.
BYU blue casket - Clyde loved his cougars.
Bringing Clyde into the church in his special BYU coffin.
Marsha & Karen saying goodbye to their brother.
Erin, Cami, Barbara, Shelly, Chad & Nikki
Nikki, Dave, Kate, Ashley & Rachel
Liz (who worked for Clyde for 39 years), Shelly and Barbara
Chad, Barbara, Erin, Cami, Nikki & Shelly 
Grandkids saying goodbye.
Goodbye Clyde, we love you.
After the funeral.
After the funeral
After the funeral
After the funeral
Kevin talking to Liz
We were laughing that we should have said "in lieu of flower send toilet paper" and somebody did! With all the shortages and hoarding that is going on, this was a very thoughtful gift.
Swahili Elders in Albuquerque: Elders Kiser, Chavez and Hansen. Clyde and Barbara's Ward also has a Swahili Group like we have in our Buffalo Ward. These Elders have helped our Elders teach and translate. They also interacted with Clyde and totally love him and Barbara.
Swahili sisters in Albuquerque: Sisters Pollock, Brunson and Tuttle

Another busy week in our NEW Paradise. Non-pictured activities:

• Member visits: Apolina – took her to kids school, went back in the afternoon to her house, David G – had a great visit and committed him and his non-member roommate to come to church on Sunday, picked up Amos from his work and took him to the hospital to see his son Matthew and then took him home, took Amos to the hospital again and then took him Fatuma and Matthew home, took pizza to Amos family, helped Amos and Amuri with food orders.
• Teaching with the Elders: Took Blaise & Tumaini to an employment agency to apply for a job.
• Missionary Coordination Virtual Meeting – no in person meetings
• BYU PathwayConnect Gatherings
• Fed the Swahili Elders
• Fed the Spanish Elders
• Fed the English Elders
• Seminary rides
• Ward Council – Conference Call – With church being canceled and challenges with the Coronavirus, we made plans to reach out to ALL Ward members. We were assigned about 150 members that are not assigned Ministering Brothers or Sisters.
• District Council Meeting for both the Buffalo & Amherst Districts
• Zone Zoom Conference call – guidelines for missionaries with no church and no public meetings.