Friday, January 15, 2016
Celebrating Success of the My Family 15 in 15 Initiative
Now that we have started a brand new year, we have had an opportunity to look back over all our efforts for the "My Family 15 in 15" initiative. Our goal for the year was to get 10,500 people throughout the Pacific Area to submit a family name to take to the temple. That felt HUGE when we first started. There had never been that much engagement with family history in the area before. But we were willing to work hard and trust that with the Lord's help, it could happen.
There were ups and downs, wonderful blessings and times of frustration as we did everything we knew how to do to get people actively engaged in documenting their family lineage. We met some amazing people and traveled to places we never dreamed we would see.
At the close of 2015, it appeared we had just missed the goal, which was terribly discouraging. We had been so sure that if we put our faith in God, with fasting and prayers - which we did - that this righteous desire would be reached. We honestly could not think of anything more we might have done. We were trying to humbly accept that the important thing wasn't the numbers, it was the individual lives that had been blessed along the way. Still, having missed the mark that had been set for us by the department was a big disappointment.
In one of our meetings with Mike we got into a discussion of exactly what these statistics measure and what they do not. We reminded ourselves that not everything that counts can be counted, and that increasing faith is an intangible thing that doesn't show up on a report, but is really the only thing that matters in the end.
Just as we were almost at the point of being ok with how things had ended up, we finally realized we were missing a key point. The way FamilySearch counts "submitters" only adds people after they have printed out the ordinance request for the names they have reserved. However, some people don't print the ordinance request forms until right before they go to the temple. For those that live at a greater distance away from a temple it might be weeks or even months before they are able to complete the ordinances for their ancestors, but their engagement in the process and having found and reserved those names should still count for our goal. So then Mike asked for a DIFFERENT report from Salt Lake that would show us both the "submitters" meaning they had printed out the ordinance request form AND the "reservers" who had identified the family member needing work and clicked "submit", but simply had not printed yet.
When that came back we discovered we had not only reached our goal, but had surpassed it by more than 18%. All together there were 12,460 people throughout the Pacific Area who found family names to take take to the temple in 2015.
We were overjoyed. There were so many miracles all along the way as we worked on this.We definitely do not take the credit - there were MANY people who worked together and at times we know we were accompanied by angels who were guiding us from the other side.
Mike decided we should celebrate the accomplishment, so he brought in a yummy chocolate cake and fresh fruit and some sparkling cider which we shared with all the others on our floor.
I kept the cork from the cider, writing the number 12,460 on it as a keepsake to remind me again that with God, all things are possible. It really was a miraculous year.