From the Mission

My mission is winding down; only one month left.

8 times.

I will genuinely miss the missionaries and the visitors.

Like today....I helped Loretta Allam scan in pictures from an old, old family album that her grandmother gave her.  The album is absolutely priceless, as are the old pictures contained therein.  I just kept thinking, what would a person do with these precious pictures if there weren't Family Search.  After Loretta is gone, will her daughters care about the album?  But, now the pictures are FOREVER in a safe place for anyone to see.  Loretta felt so relieved and grateful to have a place to put her pictures.

I can say that I truly love the people I serve with.

They all have stories to tell; sad, funny, inspiring, memorable, tragic, happy, joyful.

I will miss those stories.

For me personally, there will be a loss.

So, I will enjoy this last month and be glad for it.


Stories From the Mission

The last couple of days have been filled with meeting so many marvelous people at the family search center.

I wish that I remembered all their stories; but I met a lady who has 12 children; she and her husband have served three missions, but they are going to help grandchildren now.  She was delightful, as was her PHD husband.

I helped a lady whose daughter died of cancer leaving five small children, and the husband had a nervous breakdown.  She and her husband essentially raised the children and that was 20 years ago.  She now feels like she can devote some time to family history.

This evening, I helped a beautiful, classy lady named "FAITH," who was given that name during WWII because her grandmother had Faith that her four sons serving in WWII would return home.  Faith's mother was in a state of shock because she had just learned after giving birth at 17, that her father died in a mining accident in Price, Utah the day she had her baby daughter.  Faith is eager to start working on her family history, but I showed her how to do the audio memories, which I hope she will do.

On Tuesday, while working with a man in his late sixties, I was quite amazed at his typing speed...most men of his age don't type at all, and never that rapidly.  He told me he types 100 words a minute, and there was a story to his fast typing.  Since I love stories, I was all ears.

He took typing his 8th grade year and did okay; nothing to brag about.  But, he spent the summer working in his father's title company office and improved greatly.  When fall semester started, he had signed up for typing II, but during the typing test, the entire class got up to watch him type because the old manual typewriter carriage was dinging so fast!  The teacher insisted that he take another class instead of Type II.  And, now, he wants to put those skills to work in family history.

On Wednesday night, I helped two boys set up an account; they were 14 and the BEST young men ever.  Young kids these days are so on the ball, sharp, and dedicated to doing family history work; it's just FUN!

PEOPLE - all different, all fun, all unique.  What a joy to meet with them.


On Being COLD

No matter what we tried to do, we couldn't warm up.

More clothing, walking briskly; nothing seemed to help as the air conditioned airport closed in around us.  It was cold on this winter night.

As I was shivering, I thought of the PIONEERS.

It didn't seem like a very likely comparison.

 I was inside a building....they didn't have any buildings when they were coming across the plains.  I would be able to get some heat at some point.  But, for them, there was no relief; no warm building, no additional clothing to pile on, no hope of finding a warm room in a warm building.

And, as I was shivering, thinking of them, I realized that, once again, I owe them so much.  They did what I do not think I could have done.  They suffered so tremendously; they endured.  I felt like such a wimp that cold afternoon when I contemplated what they had gone through.

While I was exercising this morning, I listened to a talk by our new Prophet in which he shared this experience from Eliza R Snow:

Eliza R. Snow, second General President of the Relief Society, offered a riveting answer. Because of Missouri’s infamous extermination order, issued at the onset of the grueling winter of 1838,7 she and other Saints were forced to flee the state that very winter. One evening, Eliza’s family spent the night in a small log cabin used by refugee Saints. Much of the chinking between the logs had been extracted and burned for firewood by those who preceded them, so there were holes between the logs large enough for a cat to crawl through. It was bitter cold, and their food was frozen solid.
That night some 80 people huddled inside that small cabin, only 20 feet square (6.1 meters square). Most sat or stood all night trying to keep warm. Outside, a group of men spent the night gathered around a roaring fire, with some singing hymns and others roasting frozen potatoes. Eliza recorded: “Not a complaint was heard—all were cheerful, and judging from appearances, strangers would have taken us to be pleasure excursionists rather than a band of gubernatorial exiles.”
Eliza’s report of that exhausting, bone-chilling evening was strikingly optimistic. She declared: “That was a very merry night. None but saints can be happy under every circumstance.”8

What a remarkable attitude those Saints had.  

And, what a complaining nature I seem to have.

I have a long way to go to unfreeze my cold heart to become a true SAINT!


From the Mission

I just love serving at the FamilySearch Center; it's a JOY to be a part of that great atmosphere.

On Tuesday, a retired orthopedic surgeon and his lovely wife came to see what it was all about.

The center features giant touch screens with a variety of interactive displays all showing connections to their families.  They are all interesting and many people say, "I could come and spend a lot of time here!"

One of the sections features a giant world map showing where their ancestors came from, as well as a section called my heritage which shows the percentages of all your relationship lines; such as 20% Swedish, 35% percent and so on.

As the doctor and his wife finished up this section called, WHERE I CAME FROM, she looked at him in disgust and said, "I just spent a lot of money on a DNA test, and all I would have had to do is to come her to find out!"  I'm still chuckling over that!

Then, as they finished up the entire tour, she sort of poised her husband's arm and said, "I'm so glad you MADE me come here today!"

What a joyful place to BE!