I found something out recently. I found out that I can’t fail.
But you’re wondering about the “cannot fail” part … Around mid-July, the Church announced a cool initiative. They were going to get 50,000 indexers to index a batch of records in one day. Just one day! “How cool is that?” said family history Liz. And she set about to invite the whole ward to come up to the Church on that Sunday evening and index. Exciting, right? (#whyimsingle. Also, side note: lots of people told me they love my “dating blog”. Dating blog? This isn’t a dating blog? I never mention it in my serious posts! Right….) So we got the Family History Center set up, we pumped up the ward and blasted out invites on social media. And the people came. Nearly 35 cycled through that night. And guess how many batches we got done? NONE! Zero! ZIPPO! None, I say.
Enter recovery phase.
Then enter family history Liz again. We were assigned to do a Family History activity for FHE. By this time I had a little group of consultants together and a co-chair, and if I do say so myself, we planned a killer activity. We decorated…for FHE. You know, we don’t mess around. I should have taken a picture for Pinterest of everyone’s family history books, pictures, and memorabilia. It was cool. We had people bring family recipes for dessert.
We showed this video, which makes me cry because:
1) I truly believe that our ancestors watch out for us at all times, but especially in those hard times.
2) The day I found a copy of one of my ancestors’ entries in a Family Bible, I cried.
So we were all set up for an awesome experience. And we had like 40+ people show up at FHE…for family history!
You cannot fail, he said.
But the Wi-Fi can. I came early to set up and my computer wouldn’t connect. Tried my other laptop. No luck. Another person came. No connection. Connection failed. And it repeated every time another person came in the door. Finally a few came in who were able to connect (what??) and we got a Hotspot going for a few. My 15 minute prepared lesson turned into 30 minutes of frustration trying to at least say something inspirational and not feel upset that I couldn’t demo the awesomeness of FamilySearch, Puzzilla, Ancestry and so on very well. I fumbled through some sort of mix of telling people that we’d have to go back to pen and paper like our ancestors and then I just finished up in a puddle of embarrassment. We had the family history center open. A gal asked for help. I went with her and helped her the rest of the evening. I abandoned those wi-fi broken computers and those interested seekers and basically hid in a corner. When it finally sounded like everyone was leaving, I went and cleaned up my things. My committee said that it was all fine and that it was all ok. The bishop tried to reassure me. First a failed indexing event. Then this. I got in my car and cried (come on, I know you’re not surprised at that).
You cannot fail, he said.
After a lot of thinking and pondering and chatting with the Lord, I started to feel it. I hadn’t failed because I really can’t. The Wi-Fi wasn’t working, yes. But 40+ people came to learn about family history. Several told me they learned something new. One sister found 10 family names. Another learned how to to descendancy research. Another fixed an endless loop on FamilySearch that we’d been trying to fix the entire previous Sunday. What seemed a failure was not a failure at all. Instead, it was just a little blip in time when things didn’t go quite right.
And you know, my ancestors have still got my back. My great-grandma Eva Rosina Klingler Stitt wrote a beautiful poem that I have long loved and that came to mind because of this event.