Saturday, August 13, 2016

Auckland Family History Expo

 Today was the Auckland Family History expo held at the Fickling Convention Center in Three Kings.  It was a great success.  There were LOTS of people in attendance and everyone seemed to enjoy the event.  There was a great selection of vendors, speakers, clubs, etc all coming together to discuss various aspects of family history.   I gave a presentation on an overview of FamilySearch with Larry manning the computer to run the slides.  We had some good questions and many people said they enjoyed it and learned a lot.

Afterward we went upstairs to the computer area in the library to run a hands-on workshop to show people different skills for using the program.  We gave one-on-one help to several folks, some completely new to the program and a few with more experience who had questions.

Next we staffed a table in the main exhibition hall. It was loud and a bit chaotic with all the many people coming and going and seemingly everyone talking at once.  Still, we made some good connections with folks who came to our table with questions.  We showed several people how to build and edit trees and how to attach photos.  We answered lots of questions and generally did our best to represent FamilySearch.

We were on the go from 8AM till 4:30 PM. Doing this sort of conference is a big contrast from when we teach church members how to identify names for temple ordinances. It requires a completely different level of energy. By the time we left at the end of the day my voice was hoarse from talking and we were both simply worn out.  Nevertheless, we felt grateful for the opportunity to be part of this key community event.

Then tonight when we got home we went over to the Henderson's apartment for a celebration of Jim's 70th birthday.  It was so much fun!  The Streeters and the Lovelesses were also there, so we were surrounded by good friends.  We shared a yummy pizza and salad dinner with ice cream and homemade cookies after.  Then we played a rousing game of Rummy-O.   There was much laughter as we shared funny stories of our various experiences.  It was a wonderful way to end the day.

As we walked down the hall back to our apartment at the end of the evening I could not help but recognize that it would be times like this I would very much miss when our mission ends.  We work with such terrific people in the Pacific Area Office.  We have been richly blessed by the friendships we have gathered here.

Just 51 days left till we are on a plane back to America.  We are beginning to get excited about returning home and seeing our family again after our long absence.  Still, I want to hold on to every bit of this mission experience for as long as I can.

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