|George Washington's Home with the District|
|Once again I'm "the other Madi"|
This wonderful African woman in our Ward told the Sisters a story
about her dad. Her dad lived in Ghana at a time when missionaries were
unable to reach the people there to perform baptisms. However he had
knowledge of the gospel, and even though there were not missionaries or
priesthood holders there, he went about teaching and spreading the
gospel. So much so that by the time missionaries were sent to Ghana
there were thousands of people ready and prepared to be baptized.
How cool is that?
That's the kind of story that should be passed down through the
generations and never forgotten. Am I right? It was funny because as we
were sitting there She taught us so much about the African culture. I
got to eat foo foo. It's this big blob of plantane and other stuff
mixed up to look like silly putty or something and then you pour soup
over it. I learned that apparently in African culture it tastes
better if you eat it with your hands. Soup with hands man. ...and I
learned that my name in Ghana would be "Aquiea" because I was born on
a Wednesday. Al kinds of interesting things.
But now the kids of this family are growing up in America. So how on
earth do they preserve their culture to pass down to THEIR children?
As a mission we have been talking much about teaching family history. As
missionaries we have been being trained as consultants to get people
started online and set up their accounts. During online proselyting
I have had the opportunity to investigate the whole family search
website and there are so many great improvements being made. Not only
can you search and read names and dates but there are pictures and
stories and histories of our ancestors online or we can add our own.
I thought this was especially neat as I was going through my history
and reading about people I've never met before. Like my moms mom.
There are pictures and memories and histories of her online. It's a
blessing that I'm able to read and learn about her even though I have
not yet met her and never will in this life. Likewise on my Dads side
of the family I have been able to read about where my family name comes
from. The Stucki's are from Switzerland. Online there are stories and
diaries of my great great great grandparents and their trials
and joys and life stories and experiences. And I'm able to learn from
them as well.
So this is my mom...
and her mom Janice Ann Stephens Tippetts...
and her mom Connie Mae Earl Stephens...
and her mom Ada Lovisa Leavitt...
and her mom Adah Ann Waite...
and her mom Rebecca Gibbons...
I think the purpose of this is directly correlated with Elijah's
promise in the very last chapter of the Old Testament. About the
hearts of the children turning to their fathers. What better way to do
so then to truly get to know them and learn of them. I don't think I
realized growing up that my ancestors actually were nineteen years old
I was not the biggest family history advocate until the past five years
or so. But I've seen the blessings. I've seen the benefit. If you
really think about it, the bible, the Book of Mormon, the doctrine and
covenants, all scripture really is a type of 'family history' it's a
record that REAL PEOPLE kept. That they remembered and wrote down so
that we could read them and learn from them. To learn about their
dealings and revelations with God and Jesus Christ. We can read the
bible and learn from experience of others as well as listen to the
word of God. Similarly our family history can help and bless our
posterity. Our experiences, our trial and error can help our future
generations grow, our ancestors trial and error can help us learn and
(My 5th Great Grandfather was a personal friend to the Prophet Joseph Smith)
So why not start now with our own history?
There is so much we can do to provide a history that will mean so much
years down the road. I guess I didn't even know that I was doing
family history and documenting by doing some of my favorite things
1. TAKING PICTURES AND VIDEOS:
This is my favorite thing on the planet. Nothing interests me more
than photography and videography. And by doing so you're documenting
and digitizing your history. We have so much easy access technology
when it comes to this stuff, and it's fun!
Over the course of my mission I've gotten much more into blogging. I
totally love and enjoy sharing my life stories via blogger. And I
didn't even think about the fact that this thing can be easily printed
off and kept in a book to share with generations and generations below
me. There are so many sites both public and private we can easily access
for free to begin documenting stories experiences and histories for
both ourselves and our families.
3. Journal writing:
It's such a simple thing to document your life by writing once a day
or once a week and is so interesting down the road. Whether for
yourself or for your family in the future. Keeping a record of your
triumphs and failures, whatever it may be. So others can learn from
you and truly get to know YOU.
4. Finding Ancestors:
Talking with your family members that are still living. Find out their
stories. Your mom, dad, grandma, great grandma, aunts uncles, everyone.
Everyone has a story and a history. As well as finding your ancestors
online and tracking out documents of them and preserving them for down
5. Temple work:
Once you find this knowledge and documentations you can do the temple
work for them. And what better place to feel the spirit of Elijah and
come to know your ancestors and serve them than in the temple.
It's the simple things we do that can make a big difference. Family
history no longer is this dreadful idea of sorting through chicken
scratch hand writing and far past dates. Rather it's truly learning of
and about my ancestors to provide stories and experiences and new
ideas for my future and future generations.
Treasures of knowledge lie within your family history.
And it all begins with you.
I have lots of good ideas and plans for how I'm going to implement
family history into my life using my talents and interests when I get
home. Stay tuned. Come summer time it's gonna rock.
Right now we are teaching a few people and spending a
lot of time finding new investigators. Please pray that we find those
who are searching for the gospel and will know how to help them best
Last night we ...uh caught some stuff on fire to celebrate because the
Elders always burn ties and stuff for their one year mark and we are
both celebrating being out for "a little over a year" It was great fun
until a piece of my shirt fell on my finger while it was on fire and
now I have this massive blister bubbling up. It's super gross. Yay for
third degree burns. I'll probably pop it in like a week so it isn't so
swollen and tight. My companion thinks I'm disgusting it's fine.
Last night we visited "Grandma" she's this cute Ghanaian lady. She's
really old and loves the missionaries. She calls us her children and
yells at us when we don't come visit her. She tells us she's going to
beat us all the time. She's funny. She also will start crying because
she doesn't have any children and doesn't want us to leave. She has
this shrine of pictures with all the missionaries. She's a funny lady.
I've never met anybody so excited to see missionaries. Usually we go
and sing to her on weekends.
We went to the pinewood derby with this family we are teaching. They
came to Church on Sunday and saw our dinner calenders being passed
around the Ward and asked to feed us too. So we have a lesson and a
dinner appointment with them this week which will be fun. They are
awesome. After the pinewood derby a member family invited them over
for a pancake COOK OFF and we had an awesome time. The father bore his
testimony and taught almost every principle in PMG hahaha. But it
turned out really good.
This week we are finally starting our exchanges with the sisters in our
stewardship. We've been so crazy busy. I have a feeling that won't
change but we're supposed to go on an exchange with each set of sisters
at least once a transfer. Sometimes we go on blitz with them too,
where we go to their area, switch companions for a couple hours and go
find people to teach. We also have conference calls and extra meetings
with President and the mission leadership. So we never have extra
Today we're going to Mt Vernon (George Washington's home and property)
with the missionaries in our Ward, the Rothermels a senior couple, and
both sets of elders. It should be fun. We're eating at some Peruvian
chicken place then going for a bit. Last week we went to Old Town.
It's super cool. It's all these old shops right along the Potomac
river. And old shops converted into new shops like H&M and Ross so we
went shopping and took pictures at the Harbor. It's so pretty we have
to come back and check it out. There are a lot of people in our area
who live right along the Potomac river and have boat docks in their
backyard. That is like my dream. I so wish we could go boating on P-days
can you imagine? Just wake boarding up and down the Potomac? Ugh.
I could totally move to this area. It'd be SO sick.
Our church buildings is right alongside the Potomac too so I just day
dream out the window all day long. It's beautiful. I miss the river.
Well that's pretty much the biggest update I've got for you of what I
can actually remember.
Sent from my iPad