Saturday, October 12, 2019

Check out the Early Missionary Database!

This is a great resource I have previously consulted and offered up a couple of corrections or sources. At present, I may or may not be more involved (I'm still not sure what I am allowed to talk about in sharing my wonderful mission experiences on social media as Elder Uchtdorf has encouraged). See link HERE!
This is just a screen-shot of the publicly available site. Check out the link above! (or here)
So, let me say this. The project is now up to 1939, those missionaries having been born from 1914-1919 are up to their hundred-year mark so privacy concerns have diminished and the pictures we use to link up to the other missionaries in photos are already at least in the Church public domain as we get them from FamilySearch Memories pages.

1939 makes it extremely interesting and another odd round-about "coincidence." My wife (and I) have been helping to clean out her parents's house getting it ready to sell. She thought we ought to do the same with ours, not to sell, but to de-clutter and simplify to prepare for our future missions. (I tried to tell her that I was already ON a mission, but that doesn't seem to count). And it is always good to do a deep, Fall cleaning. In de-cluttering the shed, I realized that I would either have to hang up my boxed-up, old 1/72 scale, WWII airplane models in my library or they would be thrown out. So, hang them up I did. I still have a couple that I have survived from my teen years and a few more from when we did some when my oldest boys were teens back in Albuquerque.

Hanging up the airplanes promoted me to read my books on the WWII air war. They are solid, British History reference particularly with regard to the Battle of Britain with its cities tragically bombed. And after reading about that battle, as well as the Battle of Midway, I had to watch those two movies from my youth. They still hold up pretty well especially considering they are films of real aircraft and not CGI. (I still think the 1969 film, "The Battle of Britain" was a direct influence on the fighter scenes in "Star Wars." Even the dialogue is stolen, "Red leader," etc.) War movies can be very disturbing which is why I try to choose those where at least our side wins.

Then as I settle down in my mission assignment, I catch on pretty quickly to the photo linking and identification of . . . Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and less stressful Switzerland, right up to 1939! The missionaries were evacuated in late August of that year through some miraculous circumstances. My heart aches for the members I see in photos wondering how the war affected them and in many cased, ended their lives. The FamilySearch data links bring some of this home.

Once the German Mission photos are caught up, there are indications that we will be helping to shore up the database especially with early missionaries in Wales back to 1840. I know some of the sources we can use even if there aren't many photos.

And a further thought came to me as maturity puts old things into new perspectives. Most former missionaries of the Church will recall that one Elder who seemed to be goofing off taking photos more than concentrating on missionary work. Now on a history mission, I am so grateful for those guys (they were usually Elders, not the Sister Missionaries). Without them, we would not have this historical record that we are now preserving and promoting! This is further evidence of how we tend to judge each other too harshly. We should all just chill a bit.

Check out that resource!
Link again here.

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