Missionary moments: Joy, happiness

I joined the Church as a young adult, served a mission, married my eternal companion and with her began raising a family.

Shortly after I returned from my mission, my father passed away. He was not a member of the Church, and we knew very little regarding his parents, siblings, aunts and uncles.

About three years ago, I started doing genealogy. Progress was slow, but one-by-one, I discovered my father’s family.

Through my research I found documentation about my grandfather’s siblings, except one.

I finally had a break. I found that my father had a sibling who lived in a small town in Missouri. After months of research, I found a record that indicated she had passed away only a few months before. I had just missed her!

I found an obituary that contained a treasure of valuable genealogy information. It indicated she was survived by a younger sister.

I looked up this surviving aunt and promptly called her. After some exciting exchanges, this aunt told me about a grandaunt who was still living. Born in 1910, she was 100 years old.

My brother, sister and I arranged a trip to Missouri to meet our newly discovered family members. While there, we invited Grandaunt Carrie to go to LDS services with us on Sunday. She said she never felt so good in a church in all her life.

We introduced our grandaunt to the missionaries and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. The missionaries visited her every Saturday. Ward missionaries joined in the discussions. They went shopping for her and took her to the bank. Through these visits and acts of service, Grandaunt Carrie gradually grew in the gospel and gained a testimony of the things the missionaries taught her.

On Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, at age 100, eight months after we found her through genealogy work, Carrie Ellen Clubb Shank was baptized.

Through genealogy, hundreds of our ancestors have been able to receive saving ordinances performed in the temple. We were able to see the Spirit touch our grandaunt’s heart and witness to her the truthfulness of the gospel and the reality of the living Savior. We saw the Spirit help make her happy, and we know the joy and happiness many of our ancestors may be experiencing because this great and important work is being performed for them. — Steve Clubb, Pleasant Grove, Utah