Early in my mission we had a meeting with all the new young missionaries who had just arrived. During this conference we were taught about family history and how the topic of the family was so relevant to the people we meet and that it could help touch the hearts of the children of our father in heaven during our contact.
At the end of the conference, I thought I was perhaps not concerned with family history because I was adopted by my grandparents and records in Africa were very hard to find. I had often heard grandparents telling me family stories but did not really know these people.
The months passed extremely fast and we had a missionary conference with our mission president. During this conference, our president shared with us a lot about the family and stories in his own family, including people who had influenced his life. It touched me to the depths of my soul especially when he talked about family history, past, present, and future.
In order not to forget his family stories, our president handed out to us a booklet to write the stories of our own family and to go in and invite our brothers or sisters to preserve their own family stories and feel the spirit and the love of our Heavenly Father for his children who belonged to a land but also an eternal family.
Once back in our mission area, the opposition came and I felt unable to share my family stories and talk about it with my companion. My companion had more ease than I sharing her stories and so often, I would let her lead out in the invitation of our mission president. But the more I left her do that, the worse I felt because I knew I was not doing my part to be obedient through the words that had pierced my soul.
Then, the following morning, during my personal studies I asked the Lord how I could change and act upon the invitation he had sent me. Once my prayer was finished, I opened my scriptures and the spirit pushed me to read Lehi’s dream and what touched me most was what Nephi did after he listened to the words of his father. Nephi prayed and said to the spirit, “I want to see the things which my father saw.”
I wanted to see and receive personal revelation of this invitation from my mission president. Even though I knew these things were true, I wanted to acquire a deeper testimony of that.
Then the Lord showed me… I started my booklet and all the stories come back to my mind, miracles began to be accomplished, during our teaching, my tongue was untied and I felt the spirit of my ancestors support me.
I testify that family history is not just a hobby but it can unite families for eternity. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Sister Tricia Obel
Lyon France Mission