Jim Foster was one of eight youths in the Boca Raton Ward who participated in some of the first temple ordinances for ancestors of Church members in Zaire.
But it wasn't until he returned home from a recent trip to the Atlanta Temple that Jim realized the experience was different from previous excursions. A video presentation by Arie and Antje Noot, who returned to the Boca Raton Ward last December from a mission to the central African country, helped underscore the importance of the temple trip."In the video, I could actually see their descendants," said Jim, 15.
The work of gathering the names for temple work was initiated by the Noots, who returned with more than memories from the country, perhaps best known as the site of the 1974 Muhammad Ali-George Foreman heavyweight boxing championship fight. The Noots brought home nearly 150 names that members in Lubumbashi, where the missionary couple spent their entire mission, prepared for temple work.
Rebecca Winston, 13, also gained more appreciation for the work after seeing the video. "It showed the people we did the work for and you can relate to it better," she said. For example, "the Noots would say, `You did the baptisms for her grandmother.' "
Much of the gathering of the information was done from memory, according to Brother Noot, a native of Holland. "We had to interrogate them the members in ZaireT because there is no paperwork," he said. "They were so eager and were working on it for days and days."
The names that the Noots brought home to have their temple work done were the first large group of names from Zaire, according to Susan Wigginston, supervisor of the correspondence and information unit of names processing in the Family History Department. "There have been at least 15 other names processed, but there haven't been that many in bulk," she said.
Members in the Boca Raton Ward and West Palm Beach Stake completed the temple work for ancestors of the Zaire members during a stake temple trip to Atlanta in late July.
Next up for the Noots is trying to let the members in Lubumbashi know the work for their ancestors is complete. "They have no mail system any more," Brother Noot said.