Thursday, May 21, 2015


We had a very full schedule of trainings every day we were in Tonga. We met so many people and went to so many different places that it all sort of runs together in a blur in my mind.  All together we visited 13 Family History Centers and gave presentations to church leaders a from a dozen different Stakes.  But one of the trainings  that we did that really sticks out for me is the time we spent with Malapo FHC on Thursday.  We were only scheduled to go to East Stake and Mu'a Stake that day, but the director at Malapo had called the Area Advisors to ask if there was any way possible we could make time for them too.  Of course we agreed.

Our time there was so special.   Larry worked with a young couple, Seini and Havea Pakalani, who had never signed on to Family Search before.  He showed them how to get a free LDS account and then how to log on and begin building their family tree.  For both of them he was able to help them get all 15 names of their 4 generations within less than 15 minutes.


We both really enjoyed meeting this couple and their children (son Wellington, age 3 and daughter Seilaine, aged 5)

While Larry was giving them a lesson in Family Search basics, I worked with the FHC director to show her how to use the snipping tool to save screen shots of pedigree charts for each member of the Stake Council and also showed her how to do the MyFamily book online with a place to select which language to have the pages appear in.

The director and each of the consultants were proud to show me they had completed all 15 of the names they needed for the four generations.  Even though it was clear to see they were all there when looking at the screen, with each one we made a ceremony of counting off each ancestor with cheers and clapping every time we hit fifteen.   The ladies beamed with pride at knowing they had fulfilled the Area Presidency goal.  Some were a little shy to have their photos taken, but through our conversations I knew they were very happy to show they were done.

 I encouraged them to reach out to the members of their stake council to help them also get the full 15 in 15 accomplished, telling them to praise each one who finishes this in the same way as I had done for them.  We talked about the value of  family stories and I instructed them to encourage each council member to get some of their stories written down.

The whole time we were with the Malapo Stake members we just felt so connected, so certain we were exactly where the Lord wanted us to be.  We were able to share testimony with these good people about the importance of preserving family heritage and all of us felt a bond with one another that is impossible to describe.  It was a wonderful blessing to be there.

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