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 FamilySearch.org 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.
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, lds.org/topics/family-history/fdd/blessings-to-the-living-full).
Can you imagine recent converts going to FamilySearch.org 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:
- Go to FamilySearch.org/indexing/get-started-indexer.
- Download the indexing program to your computer.
- While you are on the “Get Started with Indexing” page, take some time to look through the tutorials, videos, guidelines, and other resources.
- 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.
- 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.
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