How to Feel the Same Way You Did on Your Mission

October 8, 2015  - by 

I was called to serve as an English-speaking missionary in the San Francisco, California mission. About nine months into my mission, my mission president assigned me to work with the Tongan-speaking Church members. Though I only ended up spending a few months with them, I was amazed at the deep love I developed for those people in such a short period of time.

Whether I was speaking Tongan or English, I remember the feelings of joy as I saw people changing their lives through Christ and making covenants with God. I also remember pleading to Heavenly Father as I left behind converts and members in each area. I would pray (and still do) that they continue to strengthen and deepen the roots of their testimony.

I have heard many returned missionaries express similar feelings. What about you? Are you looking for ways to feel the same joy and spirit you felt on your mission? If you had the opportunity again to serve the people you grew to love, would you take it?

Good news—the same feeling that accompanies missionary service is available in family history work. How? Both are part of the same work of salvation! You can start today by indexing in your mission language. Indexing will help hasten the work by making more records available in that language to people who are searching for their ancestors. Your efforts will make it possible for them to find their ancestors and experience the joy and testimony-strengthening power of taking family names to the temple.  

Indexing is the simple process of transcribing information from records to make the records searchable online. At any given time, there are projects in many languages ready to be indexed and published on so people can more easily find their ancestors and perform temple ordinances on their behalf. Especially needed are more searchable records in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French.

Watch the experience returned missionary Ben Bernards had while indexing French records.

What difference will your indexing efforts make to people around the world? Elder L. Whitney Clayton said, “We have found that getting involved in family history has a real impact in helping new members feel the Spirit and build a stronger foundation in the Church” (“Blessings to the Living through Family History,” RootsTech2015,

Can you imagine recent converts going to to begin entering their family’s information only to find that there were no searchable records available for their ancestors beyond just a few generations? Unfortunately, this happens frequently to Church members whose ancestors came from countries where languages other than English is spoken. By indexing in your mission language, you can be the difference in helping the people you love connect with their ancestors and deepen their testimony of temple work.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Go to
  2. Download the indexing program to your computer.
  3. While you are on the “Get Started with Indexing” page, take some time to look through the tutorials, videos, guidelines, and other resources.
  4. Try indexing in English first to get comfortable with the process. If you can, find a friend who already knows how to index and have your friend help you get started.
  5. View training instructions and resources for other languages here, and then try indexing a batch in your mission language.

As you serve in this way, you will feel a special spirit enter into your life. Most importantly, you will help recent converts and other Church members from your mission to have heart-turning experiences as they find their ancestors and take their names to the temple.


You may also be interested in:

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  1. I would very much like to serve as a missionary in the indexing program of the church. I have a slight problem I do not have a computer as the present time. May I use a computer at a local library to complete my assignments. Please let me know. Thank you

  2. While I like doing family history work, I have to say it is a much different feeling than that which I had serving a mission. There is something about the face to face meeting with people who are seeking the truth (or not) that is much different than what I experience in attempting to open doors for the deceased. Both are of value but I think the title here is a bit of a stretch for many of us. I would push for something a little less Madison Avenue and a little more from the heart.

  3. i havent served a mission but i knoe too one day i will serve a mission and enjoy the blessings of serving for the lord and also learn the lessons

  4. This blog has inspired me to start indexing and to try it out in French as well. I served in the Marseilles France mission 18 years ago. I am excited to get started.

  5. I do love doing Indexing, but I feel what is missing in the dialogue is that serving a mission is but the beginning of our life-long mission to share the gospel. When a missionary release comes, so many use it as a check off from their list of things to do. If we simple will pray to be instruments in the Lords hands to His Name’s Honor and Glory at the beginning of each day, by nightfall we will have had numerous opportunities to share our love, kindness, thoughtfulness and sometimes special opportunities to share the gospel.

    1. Fantastic suggestion, Gloria. I think this article supports that idea, but you are right, it’s a great idea to include that message more directly.

  6. Why do I “want to feel like I did when I was on my mission”? I was so young! I loved my mission and I felt close to God but those 18 months, while they were the best, are now in the past. Life just got better. My relationship with God got better. My appreciation and gratitude increased as I went through the real trials of temple marriage, children and now, empty-nester with grandchildren. These challenges have made me more dependent on my Heavenly Father and as I serve in the church, I find deeper meaning. At times I shudder at how prideful I was being 22. At times, I shudder that I thought being a return missionary with all those great experiences made me a better person but insensitive to the fact that there are a great many women who did not serve a mission but are just as valiant, learn just as much or more as I have. In my old age, I no longer distinguish between those years. I see my life as just getting better as I endure and hold on to the proverbial rod. Just my initial thought.

    1. Well put, Christie. Thanks for your comment! Obviously missionary service (or any other gospel experience) should only be part of the larger spiritual journey. Though we were all a little ignorant as missionaries, the Spirit that guided us then was just as real. This article serves as a suggestion of just one way we can have that sweet spirit of service continue throughout our lives, especially those of us who haven’t been home for very long.

  7. Hi LDS staff member on line or Internet website. My name is Sanrithy Daniel , UN. I am a member LDS church since 2005 untile now. I have some questions to asking you and everyone in your staff member. Can you giving me website to be come a missionary in city of Salt Lake city in State Utha and in city of Mesa State Arizona? Can you sending me a email the information all single adult activit and missionary work all the city a round city of Mesa State Arizona?

    1. Sanrithy, try contacting FamilySearch Research Support at 18664061830 or I’m not sure that htey can give you all that information, but they should be able to help you with at least some of it. As far as becoming a missionary goes, you actually just put in your papers stating that you want to serve a mission, along with other information, and you are assigned an area to serve in through divine inspiration.