Elder Kaleoaloha Niko’s presence in the California Arcadia Mission is an incredible inspiration to anyone who meets him—and now, everyone has the opportunity to feel his light in a new video produced and recorded by his mission.
In the video, Elder Niko shares his story and how the first miracle in his life came at his birth. Before Elder Niko was born, doctors told Elder Niko’s parents that their son would likely have some life-altering health issues. When Elder Niko was born, though, some of the physical challenges the doctors had predicted like Down syndrome, a cleft palate, and a cyst on his brain simply weren’t there.
But his life was not without physical challenges. When he was young, he had multiple surgeries to correct issues with his legs. He says he “felt like a guinea pig” from surgery after surgery, just trying to figure out what to try next to fix his legs. When one doctor suggested amputation, he cried out of fear to a room full of doctors, “You are not going to amputate my legs!”
But as it became clear that amputation might truly be the best option for him, young Elder Niko found himself turning to the Lord in prayer. One night as he was deep in prayer, his mom found him by his bedside and knelt down with him. She asked God to help her son endure the trials he would face.
“I remember my mom hugging me so tight that not only did I feel my mom’s arms, I know I felt the Savior’s arms around me. In that time of not knowing what I should do, not knowing why, I know that Jesus Christ was there. And I know that Jesus Christ comforted me.”
Some time after his amputation surgery, he moved to California to live with a cousin and began attending Church again. He says, “It felt good to be there. … There was no spiritual chastisement. … It was just calm.” Before he knew it, a priesthood lesson taught by his uncle had him committing to serve a mission, where he is faithfully serving and preaching the gospel today.