June 9, 2014
This Sunday was the climax of a wonderful three day visit from our Area Family History Advisors, Elder and Sister Broadhead. They spoke in Sacrament Meeting and delivered powerful talks on preserving our family stories. Sister Broadhead shared stories from her family history, including stories of Newell K. Whitney and his wife Lydia who are her G G G Grandparents. In constrast, Elder Broadhead spoke of his own conversion story as the first member of the Church in his family, and how important the pioneer members of a family are to both the living and the dead. It was a good message for our Branch with many first generation members. They also taught a combined Priesthood/Relief Society Lesson on preserving family memories. Their focus was on keeping personal journals, writing our own histories, and collecting stories and memories about our ancestors.
The Broadheads are a full time missionary couple from Yuma, Arizona who serve in the Hungary, Budapest Mission. In their calling as Area Advisors they serve all the missions of Eastern Europe.
Soon after we arrived in Cyprus we came to recognise the importance of Family History Work to our efforts in the Branch and in the Mission, and Karen began exploring how to get the Nicosia Branch Family History Centre up and running, she having been appointed Family History Centre Director by the Branch President. Just as Karen was in the throes of trying to figure this out on her own, Keith received an email from the Broadheads addressed to him as Branch President. In their email they offered their support in guiding Karen as she got the Family History Centre up and running. Karen has now been able to order a new computer, printer and scanner as well as a microfilm reader. All the research tools are now available in our centre and we are officially registered, report monthly, and have regular centre hours published on the Church website.
We arranged with Elder and Sister Broadhead to visit Cyprus to help train Karen as Centre Director as well as a newly called Branch Family History Consultant. We were a bit nervous before their arrival that perhaps none of our members would show up for the training. There were only four scheduled to participate, and what if they failed to come? We were thrilled that all four came at the appointed hour and stayed the entire day. There was a spirit of happiness as we worked and learned together, and much bonding took place between us all. We had our eyes further opened to the possibilities on Family Tree—what the Church leaders have provided us in the way of tools for preserving memories, doing research and preparing names for the Temple. It is very exciting.