Sister Emily Hansen of McKinney, Texas, points at the screen while Sister Valerie Chritensen looks on.
Two of our sister missionaries recently became more excited about family history work after making a powerful discovery at the new Discovery Center at Family Search in the JSMB. Sisters Hansen and Christensen good friends but not companions, were both invited to the Family Discovery Center during a final testing phase. While Sister Christensen was at one of the stations, a photo of Peder Jensen, her 4th great-grandfather, caught her eye and she began reading. She learned that Jensen, baptized in Denmark in 1861, was one of the earliest Latter-day Saint converts in her family. Jensen’s biography also revealed he was baptized by two new converts from the same country—Hans Christian Hansen and Lars Swensen. She finished up and moved on to another station.
Unaware of what Sister Christensen had learned, Sister Hansen sat down and pulled up the story of her 4th great-grandfather, Hans Christian Hansen. He was baptized in Denmark in 1851 and later served as a missionary in his native land.
The two missionaries connected the dots a short time later as they discussed their experiences. Sister Hansen realized that her grandfather not only baptized Sister Christensen’s grandfather but he had helped Peder Jensen immigrate to America. Sister Hansen was amazed to realize that her 4th great-grandfather converted Sister Christensen’s 4th great-grandfather. Tears followed as they imagined their ancestors smiling down on them from heaven. Sister Christensen served as an indexing instructor before her mission. "Finding this out was not a coincidence", said Sister Christensen.
Before departing for home both of our Sister missionaries agreed their testimonies of family history work had been strengthened by the experience. Both vowed to continue learning about their family roots at home. Sister Christensen felt the concept of the Family Discovery Center was inspired because it is so easy and fun. "It will bless and impact countless lives', she said.