I have been getting into my family history lately. It is fascinating learning who my ancestors are and their life experiences. One of my favorite things to learn about is my grandpa Machen's mission to Tahiti in the late 1930's. I haven't gotten my hands on his mission journal yet, but the stories I have read so far are wonderful.
This is one of my favorite stories:
"Then there was the time that Neal suddenly became very ill with an attack of kidney stones while he and his companion were laboring on one of the small islands. All of the members of the Church fasted and prayed with him and his companion until he was relieved of his pain and suffering. Those people had a child-like faith in the teachings of the gospel and their humility and sincerity were of lasting influence to the young men who had been sent to work with and teach them."
I can't wait until Jonathan and I have the opportunity to go and visit his mission. I think that there are many people there that still remember him because my grandparents served another mission in Tahiti in the 1980's and there were people that remembered my grandpa from his first mission.
It is such a blessing to me to have these wonderful memories to draw strength from as I face my own challenges. Our ancestors were real people that faced real challenges and we can still learn from them.