Sunday, August 31, 2014


Well here we are beginning September tomorrow.  We are loving the great weather.  There are now 5 full-time missionary couples, 6 Church-Service local missionaries who work 2 days a week and a number of volunteers.  So the library is, at last, fully-staffed.  Max and Mary are the Senior missionaries, meaning we have been here the longest of anyone.  So we are often asked to give our advice and opinion, and are the ones to take over if the director can't be there.  Max teaches classes on the Family Tree; he is working on his presentation as a keynote speaker on September 20th at a genealogy conference in Cerritos, California.  Mary does the scheduling and calendars groups that come in to the library.
The Christus at the Visitors' Center
Just to give you an idea of the people we help with their family history.  There were 2 groups recently of young men and women from various wards (One was in the Pacific Palisades Ward where the Garff's son is the Young Men's President).  They needed an overview of what can be done on the Family Tree.  Their leaders were well-prepared by getting all the young people log-in names and passwords.  Then the library staff members sat with them one-on-one at the computers to help them find a name to take to the temple for baptismal work.  Both times we were able to find some work for those we helped, even though much of the work had already been done, since some of the youth come from families who have been in the church for generations.

A brother and sister, about 45 years of age, came in wanting to find out about their ancestors.  They were not members, so Mary decided not to take them to the Family Tree.  They had brought some information and were able to find their family members on the Census, border crossings from Mexico and other documents.  They made copies.  We give first-time visitors a pedigree chart to fill out.  She was thrilled and said,  " I guess you see a lot of people find their families.  It's exciting for us."  (Incidentally, we do help non-members get on the Tree if they would like to; the temple work available does not show)

Many people come in to get temple cards.  Often the same ones over and over.  Some of the temple workers, who serve one week each month, come in to do research on their families on their down time.  Then when we go to the temple, we see many of those same people as workers.  This place is like a small town; we know and recognize many people as we walk the grounds, go to the Visitor's Center and attend the neighboring ward.  We have heard all the Temple Presidency speak at Family Home Evenings, Why I Believe firesides and at church.  President Huff, President Larkin and President Martz will be serving only until October; then their 3-year term will be up.  Our mission president, President Weidman came here a month before we did, so he and his wife will be here awhile.  Their son just came home from a mission to Chile and he and his parents gave a missionary report in our Ward.  They are from Texas.

We serve in the Westwood First Ward. Max is a home teacher and leads the Teachings for our Times lesson in the High Priests's group. Mary teaches primary to the Valiant 9-year-olds about twice each month.  

There was a Zone Conference one Saturday in Torrance for the missionaries from four zones. We attended and participated in the break-out sessions with the young missionaries. We played the parts of investigators as they practiced teaching simply. The local ward provided the lunch; then we returned to the Library for the rest of the day.

A Wind Skater at Santa Monica Beach
One P-Day this last month we went walking on the beach at Santa Monica and watched the sunset.  Another day we went to Newport Beach and then to Laguna Beach to meet up with Mary's childhood friend, Ann (Anneke)
Sister Evans with Sister Elder Moore
Moore and her husband, Bill who are serving a Military Relations mission at Camp Pendleton.  This is their 3rd mission--the first one to the temple in Hong Kong and another to the French-speaking Belgian Congo in Africa.  They also taught English to Chinese speakers in Beijing.  Anyway, since Ann was born in Holland and knows Dutch, there was a woman who came in the British Society who needs a document translated from Dutch to English.  Ann very graciously said she would do her best and would not accept any money for it.  It was fun to visit them and see how their newest mission is working out. We had lunch with them at Ruby's Diner, a hamburger joint that Mary's sister, Susan introduced us to when we previously visited them in Newport Beach.

As far as research on our own families.  Max is discovering at lot of information on Jane Stevenson/Clark line.  Mary has learned that two of her ancestors didn't originate in England. Daniel Williams (1759-1841) who was the Baptist minister in Fairford, Gloucester and married Sarah Peeters from Southwark, Surrey. From an obituary in the Baptist magazine, she discovered that he actually was born in Carmarthen, Wales and when he went to school in Bristol to study for the ministry, he couldn't speak a word of English.  Carmarthenshire is where Max's ancestor, Abel Evans was born.  So, Max and Mary have that in common.  And another surprise was that James Rigby's wife, Issabella, who Mary thought was also born in Lancashire like all the rest of the familly, came from Scotland. No wonder she couldn't find their marriage in the English records.  James Rigby (1791-1858) is Ann Rigby's father.

Last Friday we spent part of our P-day at the Petersen Automotive Museum. It's located at mid-Wilshire, near the LA County Museum of Art and the La Brea Tar Pits. We learned that the museum will be closing for a year or more for renovation beginning in October. It is a great museum that tells the history of the automobiles in Los Angeles. It has a great collection of exotic and unusual cars.
Mary with the 1914 Princess
Max on a Police Motorcycle