Heeding the Call
Today is the first miracle for our March theme, which is "big decisions." We're sharing an experience submitted by Brother Paul Pezzenti about how he knew it was time to move his family from one branch of the church to another.
In August 1987 at an Ohio District Conference in Warren, I listened to Evangelist Fred Olexa open the meeting. After a powerful, spirit-filled message, he began to stress the need for missionary work within The Church.
He then talked about his domestic visits to the Columbus and Cincinnati Missions. Columbus did not have a resident elder, and Cincinnati’s elder was moving to Detroit, leaving a void in both missions. Brother Fred spoke of recent baptisms in Columbus and the need to feed the flock on a more consistent basis than the sporadic visits from the District Missionary Operating Committee. My heart began to pound, and I felt a rush of heat come over me.
At the time, I was a newly ordained elder. My wife, Sister Karen, and I had been baptized for five years and had developed a very close bond with the saints in the Youngstown Branch, where I was raised and ordained. It was the place where the prayers of the saints were eventually answered on behalf of our inability to conceive a child and where we rejoiced over our daughter Natalie's birth.
Because of this, I had turned down two job offers a year earlier in Cincinnati and Columbus, which actually held better employment opportunities for me — I worked as an auditor for a health insurance company. When Brother Fred spoke that conference day, I knew the message was for me. That's because, again, I had just been offered a third job opportunity — better than either of the first two — this time at corporate headquarters and, again, requiring me to move to either Cincinnati or Columbus.
I began to weep, telling Karen that we must follow the Lord’s call and move to one of these cities. I notified Brother Fred that we would go and that the Lord had spoken to us three times. Karen agreed, and we moved to Cincinnati in June 1988.
Aside from servicing the Cincinnati Mission, the new routine — which would continue for the next 20 years — for the Pezzenti family included a monthly visit to the Columbus Mission, many times coordinating visits with families of the Ohio District. Our love grew for each mission, and our cups were filled with the love of the saints in these cities. God surely blessed us.
Announcing the April Miracle Monday Theme
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.