A day away from the deadline of the indexing campaign for the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, the young single adults from the Barbados Bridgetown Mission joined the indexing effort as part of their historic trip to the Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple.
On the eight-day trip that began July 20th and ended on the 28th, they participated not just in daily visits to the temple but also in different learning experiences such as this.
Helping the area achieve the goal of indexing 800,000 names from civil records for the Church’s family history archives was an added bonus to the experience of coming to the temple for the first time.
Under the direction of the Caribbean Area Presidency and with inspiration from Elder Quentin L. Cook’s visit, Elder Claude Gamiette brought together the joint forces of the young single adults from the Barbados Bridgetown Mission to “strengthen the membership of the Church among them as future leaders.”
With the help of Brother Gerald Kahne, a newly called indexing director for the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Stake, these young single adults also began their indexing experience for the first time.
Brother Kahne shares, “This is a tool that helps people connect not only to their ancestors but also to the history of the lives of people they would not get to know if it had not been for this experience.”
The YSA came in one by one, sat on their designated seats, and began to explore their assignments. Many had never indexed, and some hadn’t even opened a FamilySearch.org account.
Many expressed their struggle to understand the process at first, but their satisfaction at being included in this project was evident as the first 100 names from the U.S Indiana World War II draft registration cards from 1940–1945 were completed.
Brother Kahne, who assisted the young single adults in the process, understood their concerns and worries.
‘When I did indexing for the first time, I was a member of the ward that had done the most indexing. I remember about 100,000 names had been indexed in Belgium, but I thought it was an experience that older people did in dark rooms with microfilms, so I thought that it was boring—until I started. I understand now that if someone had invited me, I would have done it before. Today I know that everyone should have this experience. I have seen so many people return to the Church and many who have become friends of the Church and have received so many blessings because of indexing,” he said.
The satisfaction expressed by Zariah Inniss, a 21-year-old youth Sunday School teacher from Barbados, as she finished her experience was infectious. A consistent smile never left her face throughout the process as she looked at the screen with an expression of joy from the work done.
“We feel grateful for this activity, for the enthusiasm that we felt at the end of the day after helping bring families together on both sides of the veil that will later become cards for ordinances in the temple,” said Brother Rufino Díaz, family history manager for the Caribbean Area.