A Perfect Christmas Idea for Your Missionary –My Family Booklet!

My Family Booklets
Here is a Perfect Idea for a Christmas gift for your missionary! When Elder and Sister Packer visited our mission last week, we learned more about using Family History as a way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because we are such a family-oriented church, this is an easy and natural way to engage people in learning more about the gospel.

Elder Packer at one point in his training asked us to turn to another missionary and tell them something about one of our family members or ancestors. The room was buzzing with stories and good feelings! I thought immediately of Frances Amelia Kimberley Turley, my 3rd Great Grandma, who died 168 years ago this week in Winter Quarters. She had 10 children, 6 still living. She died of scurvy in horrible conditions, having sacrificed everything she had for her family and for her faith. I’ve been thinking about her this week.

After we’d shared stories with each other, Elder Packer asked us to describe what we were feeling as we did this exercise. I jotted down some of the feelings that our missionaries voiced: grateful, indebted, connected, happy and proud. They also described feeling guidance, charity, honor, sacrifice, devotion, perseverance, and a resemblance to those who had gone before them.

We all felt love and connection to our family members and ancestors. We talked about using this booklet as a missionary tool, because everyone has family and every family has stories. When you share those stories, the Spirit of Elijah is felt. President Nelson taught, “The Spirit of Elijah is the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family.” This spirit softens hearts and helps us feel things we might not otherwise feel.

My Family Booklet peopleSister Mrozek described an experience she had that very evening after our Zone Conference. She and her companion were teaching a lesson to a family. The father was not interested. He was in and out of the room, saying he had to leave to go to a meeting somewhere in a few minutes. Sister Mrozek thought to ask him about his family and where he was from. He immediately sat down, and started telling them all about his home town in Mexico, and his family there. The spirit in the room changed to one of love and interest. He seemed to forget about his meeting, and he invited the Sisters back for another visit. This is the power of Family History in missionary work.

We have ordered 750 copies of this booklet for our missionaries to share with others. The most effective way to do that is to show them your own booklet, filled out, and talk about how they might do the same. I’ve been working on my booklet this week, and have filled it with photos of my family and ancestors. You can do the same. You can copy photos into a document or into a program like Publisher, then size them to fit the spaces in the booklet. Then print them out and paste them in the booklet. Glue sticks work fine. Below is a page from my booklet.My Family Booklet Ann pageSister Packer let me take photos of some of the pages in her booklet. She typed the histories or stories and taped those into her book. You can do the same. If you start now, you could have a booklet ready to send to your missionary for Christmas (or before!). You’ll probably want to work on this as a family, and prepare a booklet for each of your family members.2015-8-25 Zone Conf South 70 (31) 2015-8-25 Zone Conf South 70 (30) 2015-8-25 Zone Conf South 70 (32)Below is some more information about this fun project. Please help your missionaries use this tool for finding and teaching. It will be a huge blessing to them and to others!

Here is a link to Family Search where you can fill in and print a PDF version of the booklet, or where you can order booklets for your family members.  They are only 50 cents.

https://familysearch.org/campaign/myfamily

And below is an article with more information:

Announcing the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together Booklet

My BookletWe’re excited to announce that the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has launched a new family history product that allows patrons to engage in family history without the need for technology. This new product is an easy-to-use, highly visual booklet titled My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together. It is offered in 24 languages to anyone who can benefit from a paper-based family history experience.

This booklet is an easy and effective way to introduce family history to youth, Church members who may have limited or no access to the Internet, those who are new to technology, and others who are more comfortable with a traditional pen and paper approach. This booklet guides everyone through the process of gathering stories, photos, and other information about their families and helps them get started right away with big success.

According to Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch, this booklet fills a huge gap in recording family history and then documenting it. “Currently, 95% of all grandparents of members of the Church have not been added to Family Tree at FamilySearch.org,” Brimhall stated. He added, “This booklet is a way for everyone to immediately reach out and start talking to parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends; to gather family photos and stories; and then have ward family history consultants help them enter this precious and priceless information in a place where it will be archived free and for generations to come.”

FamilySearch is doing several things to support the release of the booklet:

Picture 2

  • My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together landing page. The landing pageprovides guided instructions on how to enter information from the booklet into FamilySearch Family Tree.  The landing page is accessible right from the FamilySearch home page. Once you have this page open, click Get started to begin.
  • A printable guide for Consultants. Consultants can help ward members enter information from the booklet into the tree by clicking Help others on the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together landing page. Print the 2-page handoutfor instructions on how to help ward members enter information from the booklet.
  • The ability to print or save a Fan Chart. Fan charts, like the one shown, are useful because they can easily show where gaps exist in his or her family records. Consultants can now help ward members print and save a fan chart and help them identify those gaps.
  • Consultants can now print a Family Ordinance Request (FOR) on behalf of ward members. Ward members can then take the FOR to the temple to print the blue, pink, and yellow temple cards.
  • Combined Sunday Lesson Materials. There are materials for a combined Sunday Lesson: Family History Stories for stake, ward, and youth leaders to teach this simple and effective new way to get started and to testify about the truth of this great work. Many wards in the U.S. Southwest have been pilot testing this with great success.

Picture 3 Fan ChartThe booklet is easy to use, and, as the title implies, the process starts with gathering family stories. To view and print a 2-page handout on how to use the booklet, click here.

As youth and other Church members talk to their relatives about family stories, histories will be recorded, families will be strengthened, and members will be better able to fulfill their divinely appointed responsibilities in behalf of their ancestors. To see an inspiring video of how the booklet works, click here.

In summary, family history consultants and other ward and stake leaders will see how they can help members get their family information from their booklet on to the Family Tree website by visiting the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together home page on the FamilySearch website. This is important to know since it is a necessary step for entering names for temple ordinances. So, meet with members, enter their user name, their helper number, enter booklet information, print a fan chart, and print an FOR.

My Family Booklet

Additional copies of the booklet (item number 10974) may be ordered for your ward or branch from a Church distribution center or online at store.lds.org.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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1 Response to A Perfect Christmas Idea for Your Missionary –My Family Booklet!

  1. Pingback: Using Family History in Missionary Work | Our Washington Yakima Mission

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