It was a wonderful gathering of the congregation at Ilford of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the first meeting in the New Year.
Today being the first Sunday of this month, it was Fasting, and as usual on Fasting Sunday, members of
the congregation had the opportunity to stand at the podium and address the congregation, and share their testimonies.
Bishop Michael Onoalapo started the meeting with his words, relaying what his son has sent from Ghana, Kumasi Mission "If these missionaries can come from America to serve in Ghana, then I have no excuse to complain. It is my privilege to serve here in Kumasi." Those are warming words of the young Elder, who is at his mission early at age 18. His name is also Michael, and lot of people in the church in Utah and elsewhere recognize Michael's name, having met him in Ilford. We are all proud of you, Michael, serving the church and extending fellowshipping to our brothers and sisters in Ghana.
Sister Wang Foo: "My name is Sister Wang Foo. I look Chinese and probably have a Chinese accent, but I am from a little island called Tahiti. I am not that fresh, as I have been here in England 15 months, starting my mission in Enfield. I am so grateful to work in this wonderful locality of Ilford. We are here to serve you. Let us know if you wish to do any fellowshipping with us. That invitation is also to your friends and family relatives. "
Elder Manchando :" Hello everybody. I am from Las Vegas, Nevada. No matter where you are in the world, the Gospel is true everywhere. I am companion of Elder Sowah, who is very hard-working, and as we do fellowshipping together, I hope I will reach out to as many people as possible."
Sister Lydia Stevenson considers it a privilege to make some intricate bibs and dresses for friends children shares her insight into how the Saviour feels. "He stitches us into the Gospel".
I suggest it must be a great privilege of the faithful to be so considered by our Lord and Saviour.
Sister Bonlale Lawal, wearing a splendid Nigerian dress, says "I am grateful to be here this New Year. There are so many who are no longer amongst us. That shows how mortal we all are." This is a sober reflection from this joyful personality. She continues : "We all know someone with cancer. It is so prevalent these days. But I find the ones in the Gospel can focus more on the positivity and cope better. That may alleviate their suffering somewhat." These are wise words of hope which the world at large will be happy to hear and share.
Andre Mariucci is a brilliant young man, very good at using social media. "Part of my New Year's resolution is preparing for my mission, learning perhaps French and Italian."
A Father who is happy to see his sons back from their missions, that's Brother Canaan Kangetsambo. His family is from Zimbabwe, and his sons were visiting missions in North England. "I am glad to see my sons Delight and Lewis back. They can appreciate that Home is Best".
Brother Ernest Omuroyi quotes from the Bible, John 20. "Jesus is the Christ. It is written in the Gospel."
Brother Hubert O. Borges-D'Silva quotes from Revealations 12:11, and adds "I am so thankful for the leadership of this church. Things will go well for the ones they lead. I guess I am a living example of that." I believe Hubert is about to taste the success that seems to be getting nearer for him, after all his diligent preparation and networking for his business idea. I pray he will find success soon. (Privately he told me one day that had he been a white man, he would probably have been very successful already, as he is one of the six people in the world with the coveted Bulk Money Transfer Licence, and he has contacts at the highest government level in several West African countries. All he needs is some backing, brothers and sisters. If you wish, please do contact him. He is hopeful that backing will soon be forthcoming).
"There is someone out there who listens to our prayers, and often answers them. And how minute we are in relation to all the creation, and yet we are all significant to Him" Brother Atoine Mariucci's testimony is worthy of printing on a cardboard and framing it. (89*- Ricki's remark)
Sister Elizabeth Onoalapo gives her testimony thus before close of the meeting. " I received an e-mail from Brother and Sister Gardner, who you remember were with us not so long ago. They said that they had heard our Michael is serving in Kumasi, Ghana, and how he delights in joining in the choir there. I am grateful for my two daughters, Topi and Christina, as well."
The meeting closed with a hymn and Benedicition, wishing all Latter Day Saints and all friends peace, joy, good health and success in our studies, jobs or businesses, everywhere.
(transcribed by Duru-darshan)