Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Saturday, August 9


When we were in Bordeaux, Elder Childress would watch JoAnn during Sunday School, which was given entirely in French, and notice how she read along with her English scriptures and seemed to enjoy the class even though she understood very little of what was said. He wondered whether she was bored spending three hours in church each Sunday when she didn't understand anything. One day he asked us about this and JoAnn replied that we have a "high tolerance for boredom." That became a standing joke in Bordeaux. It also explains why we can do the same things day after day at the archives and still feel good about what we are doing.

Here is a step-by-step pictorial of what we are doing at the Mons Archives each day. We only hope that those reading this may also have a "high tolerance for boredom" as it is probably only interesting to us as memories for our journal.The documents (marriage documents from 1881 to 1900) come in a heavy paper envelope in a large cardboard box. We take the documents out of the box and then untie a string on the envelope that holds the documents. The envelopes are so old that they are usually destroyed in the process.
We then organize the little envelopes into numerical number, which turns out to also be in chronological order. We check to see if any envelopes are missing, have no numbers, have the same numbers listed twice, etc., and mark this all on the computer index.
We carefully separate the envelope where it had been glued,
remove the contents (usually birth certificates for the bride and the groom, military information, information on the parents, bans, etc.),
smooth the documents out flat (they have been folded in the little envelopes for up to 100 years and the crease has become almost permanent and nearly impossible to flatten out),
lay the documents back into the folded out envelope they came in (there is also useful information on the front of these envelopes),put these in a stack by year,
place them in a numbered chemise (a white acid-free paper folder),
and then place the folders into numbered boxes to be taken to the camera operator to be microfilmed/digitized.
When we are all finished this is what is left over from our destruction/ reconstruction efforts.

We have enjoyed this work because we have such a strong conviction of the importance of our work. By the time we return home we will have had a part in millions of names becoming accessible to those searching for their ancestors. We feel the Lord's blessings daily helping us and know that we are doing exactly what we should be doing, exactly when and where we should be doing it.

We have been reading James E. Talmage's "Jesus the Christ" where he talks of John the Baptist being an Elias, not to be mistaken as the prophet Elias, but having the title Elias, meaning one sent to prepare the way. It occurred to us that in a sense we are preparing the way for others to follow and ultimately become "Saviors on Mount Zion" as they do the work of salvation for their ancestors which they cannot do for themselves.


Blogger Karen said...

I need a higher tolerance for boredom! That was actually interesting to see how the records had been stored.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Squirty Wart said...

That was not boring! I really enjoyed reading about this.

I would love to have the opportunity to sit through church for 3 hours in a different language. I have had the opportunity to sit in foriegn language sessions at the temple and it is amazing to me how much stronger I am able to feel the Spirit - Relying on it MORE to understand (even with the translator). It is a very powerful testimony building experience.

Will and I (Kaylene) hope to serve a mission together one day. Reading your experiences, just strengthens that desire. Thank you for sharing this!

9:37 PM  

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