It was cold. Snow covered everything, but I was happy and excited. I was going to the stake family history center in Fallon, Nev., with my ward family history specialist, Shirley Christensen.
Fallon is 60 miles away, but the snow wasn't going to stop us. I knew that this was the day I would find my great-grandfather.I had searched for him for three years without success. I had just ended a fast with fervent prayer when a feeling that I would find him came over me.
When the telephone rang, I feared it was Shirley, canceling our trip, but no, a friend who was overdue to deliver her baby needed a ride to Reno, 90 miles away, to see her doctor.
This, of course, took precedence. Great-grandfather would have to wait a little longer.
When the baby was born, we were all very excited. I returned home to report the news to our ward. When I called Shirley with the exciting news, she had exciting news for me, too.
"You may not have done anything on your family history yesterday, but I think I may have something for you," she said.
She had read the obituaries from our local paper. She said she almost never reads them, and why she did that day, she didn't know, but I'm surely glad she did.
She knew that I was researching the name Ranvier. Usually our local paper doesn't include deaths in Reno, but there it was, a Ranvier who died in Reno.
I was excited. I checked the Reno phone book and found a V. Ranvier. I called. It turned out to be my great-aunt, who was married to my great-uncle, Charles, my grandmother's brother, of whom I had no knowledge.
During that first 30-minute conversation, I found out that she had taken care of my step-great-grandmother and my great-grandfather, for whom I had been searching, until they died. I had found him!
I have a testimony of family history research and temple work. I know that our Heavenly Father helps us as we work to redeem the dead. When we have done all we can, He gives us the help that is needed to get the work done.