It all started with a farewell talk given by a brother in my ward in April 2007. He bore a powerful testimony of how important indexing was. His testimony touched my heart with such great power. I knew I needed to talk to him and learn how to get started indexing. The next day I called him, and we talked for half an hour. I was given the name of our stake indexing director. The next day I called him, and he signed me up.
I had no clue how to begin. My husband showed me how to get started. It took me an hour of great frustration trying to figure out how to read the names on the census record. I felt like giving up, but the Spirit prompted me on. With each record, it became easier to read. My husband bought me a large computer screen so I could see the names better. After several indexing classes, many questions answered, and indexing tips on the home page, I eventually could finish a large batch. I spent a few hours each day indexing. This service brought a powerful feeling into my home. By the end of the year, I reached 100,000 names.
When I wake up at 3:00 a.m. and can’t sleep, I index. I’m usually up around 5:00 a.m., and I index until I need to fix breakfast at 6:30 a.m. for the children to go to the bus stop. Whenever I have an extra five or ten minutes, I index. A really good time to index is during general conference.
In October 2011, I developed a retinal hole in my left eye. My husband gave me a priesthood blessing that I would still be able to do indexing. Something went wrong with the corrective operation. During the operation, my retina slipped (which causes double vision), and I lost 98 percent of vision in my eye. When I knew my eye condition was permanent, I could not stop crying. After the prognosis from my eye doctor, one of my daughters and I went out to lunch, but I could not stop crying. A large group of full-time missionaries were at the restaurant, and my daughter asked two of them to give me a blessing. We went to a laundromat next door and found a quiet room. As soon as the one elder put his hands on my head, I stopped crying.
For a few weeks, the only thing I could do without getting sick was indexing. The bright light from the screen blocked the distorted vision of my left eye. I truly feel that indexing saved my sanity. By May 19, 2013, I reached 987,000 names I had indexed. I needed only 13,000 more names, and I would reach a million. FamilySearch set a goal of a billion names being indexed. I hoped to reach my millionth record close to the same time. I missed it by a few weeks. My husband and I decided to spend his 57th birthday in Fiji, and I knew I had to reach my millionth record before we left, or I would not be able to fully enjoy our trip.
Between laundry, meals, and enjoying my grandchildren and children, I reached my goal of one million records on June 27, 2013, at 11:54 a.m. I cannot express how excited I was. I sent a text message to all my children. One of my sons sent back a cute comment, stating, “That’s crazy: I didn’t even know that was possible.” With the Lord’s help, all things are possible! I must admit my vegetable garden didn’t do too well this year.
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