First full week in our mission assignments

25 September 2016

So, we are finally getting settled into the mission and to our assignments. What Bob and I are primarily doing is called auditing. The section we’re assigned to is auditing periodicals (mostly genealogical publications that each focus on a different surname). These records have already been digitized and catalogued by others and we are one of the final steps before they become available on-line for research. We look at each entry to verify information and, if needed, made corrections or add descriptions that may help researchers. (Again, I’m reminded of the scripture that admonishes us to have records “worthy of all acceptation.”)
We work at terminals with two monitors so we can have the original doc up on one screen and review the information about it on the other screen. While there is, naturally, an element of the mundane in what we’re doing, I find that the spirit of it is a lot like doing family history research. There is joy in doing it.
I am also being trained in scanning. There is a push to complete the digitization of all paper records, so I’m helping with that.  The records I scanned and recorded this week were from the Philippines. 
They have plans for Bob to start doing some programming (in addition to auditing) next week. They seem delighted to have someone on board with his skills.
Another couple who came in with us is also assigned to audit records, but, they are doing visual audits of images being sent in from around the world. There are 56 different places in the world where records are being filmed and those films are sent in to Salt Lake for processing. Once they arrive, they’re reviewed for readability. Auditors don’t have to be able to read Chinese, or Latvian, etc., they just have to see that the image is clear, in focus, and legible. If any of the images need to be re-shot, they’re sent back for correction.
Until we got here, I had no idea of the scope of the work being done behind the scenes to provide us with the many records we have available to search. (And, of course, everyone who is indexing is helping with this work, too.)
On Friday, a couple in our area who are leaving the mission next month, gave us their tickets to the Saturday morning session of General Conference next week! They said they were able to go this past April, so they offered them to us. I'm so happy we get to be there, live, for at least one session! Also, Bob has a ticket for the Priesthood Session Saturday night.
Thursday evening and Friday morning we saw a big shift in the weather. (It was in the 80s on Wednesday but was 48 degrees by Friday. Friday morning we could see the snow on top of the mountains near us. (We were told there was 6”-8” on the mountain, though, in the valley we just got a cold rain.)
View from our little balcony.
We attended a free concert at the Assembly Hall Friday night. It was a husband and wife team who play piano duets. They were truly exceptional! Lovely evening,
I experienced my own special little miracle Saturday evening. I really wanted to be in the conference center for the Women’s Session of Conference, but, I didn’t have a ticket. Our Stake Relief Society had a pre-conference meal and social at the stake center across the street, so I went to that, prepared to watch the broadcast in the chapel. However, after we ate, I felt prompted that I should walk over to the conference center and I’d be able to get in. (I had heard that people without tickets can often get in, but, usually its to fill seats after the session has begun, so I was thinking I’d probably have to wait a while to get in.) When I got to the conference center, I walked up to a man with an official-looking badge near the ticket office. Just as I reached him, another sister approached him and asked, “If I have an extra ticket, would I give it to you?” He said, “Oh, no. It wouldn’t work to give it to me.” So, I said, “Actually, I came here in the hopes of getting a ticket. Would you be willing to give it to me?” She said, “Sure!” and handed me the ticket. I was able to go right in, and I even had a pretty good seat. (Not in the nosebleed sections) I was thrilled! It felt like the Lord had provided that ticket just for me. A real blessing!
When we came out on our mission, I think most people assumed we’d be serving in the Family History Library. However, of the 13 who were in our group, only one is at the library. Four of us are auditing digital images, three have been assigned to the temple records zone, and, one is in the World-Wide Security zone. (She answers queries from around the world that have been translated for her.) One couple, I’ve mentioned before, are working with International Translation Services. And, two sisters are assigned to help in the Mission Office. (Still, others keep leaving, and there are needs in every zone for more senior missionaries!)
Another little tidbit before I end: When we were at the concert Friday night, the couple who were sitting next to me, struck up a conversation, and it turns out that we know the same people in a couple of different states. It’s a small world in the church! This couple served a mission in Salem, Missouri (near Rolla) a few years ago, and a friend of ours was the branch president while they were there. And, then we learned that the wife’s sister is someone we know from Texas! As they were leaving, the man handed me a card. Turns out, his name is Clark Gable!  LOL!

1 comment:

Patti said...

I am so grateful for each and every person who is helping get accurate records digitalized and available for use. I have already been helped so much in my family history efforts. And how happy to follow inspiration and get to be in the conference center for the General Women's meeting! Wonderful story!