It hasn't just been glad-I-didn't-have-to-go-to-Girls'-Camp around here. I've been working on my new calling, family history.
As a Temple and Family History Consultant, my job is to teach lessons one on one to people in our ward. I chose Adam as my first victim.
It didn't exactly go well.
He said it was fine and he learned things.
I felt sort of like a failure.
There's a reason I have a "Yale Wife" t-shirt and he is the one with the Yale diploma (that's in Latin, so I can't even read it).
I started showing him the ropes and he started asking hard questions that I didn't know the answers to. (Part of the reason he's so smart is that he asks a lot of questions.)
I felt discouraged but in addition to being smart, he's also wise and he comforted me by telling me that of course I don't have all the answers. I have enthusiasm and I will learn the rest.
I guess that's true. I do have enthusiasm. Time seems to fly when my nose is buried in Family Search. I write slightly incoherent notes in my notebook and dive deep into records of people I don't know and am minimally related to.
I went to a family history center and got Becky to help me. She is something of an expert and could have answered all of Adam's questions and then some. I had felt drawn to the Egbert side of my family and was getting her help. She looked at it and observed all that had already been done over the years and said, "Let's work on a line of your family that doesn't have quite so many...Mormons...in it."
I don't have one.
She might as well have asked me to work on a line of my family that wasn't so white.
Her next suggestion was just to help Adam.
I still felt compelled to the Egbert line.
I started with my fifth great grandparents, John and Susannah. They crossed the plains to the Salt Lake Valley with Brigham Young. I started looking at their children and their children's children and so on. I have found "cousins." I have found the spouses and linked generations for these distant relatives. I haven't found many and I'm still about 75% clueless about it all but I think if I can find Egbert relatives that are unaccounted for, anyone can find relatives.
When I attach sources to prove relations and prepare for spouses to be sealed in the temple, I wonder if these people that I'm so distantly related to will even care. Does this matter? It would be so much more fulfilling and exciting to find family members that I'm directly descended from.
One day I remembered John and Susannah though. I thought about what they sacrificed for a faith they believed deeply in. I have to believe it matters to them that their other fifth great grandchildren are connected to them too.
I appreciate what they endured to contribute to who I am and what I know. I'm doing this for them.