I Found Them!
October 2001

“I Found Them!” Ensign, Oct. 2001, 63–64

“I Found Them!”

While serving a full-time mission in the Philippines, my husband, Robert, and I traveled to Cagayan de Oro to set up a Family History Center in the Cagayan de Oro East Stake Center and to do some training. We also invited members from the Malaybalay district to join us. Non-Filipinos are not allowed to go into some parts of the region, and Malaybalay was an area where we could not go. For almost a year, the Malaybalay district had had the equipment for a Family History Center; all they needed was some training to be able to set it up.

We made contact with the Malaybalay district president, Leandro Miole, and asked him if he and the Saints in Malaybalay could come to the Cagayan de Oro East Stake Center for our seminar. President Miole responded that they would be happy to come, even though it meant a drive of more than two hours on mountain roads. My husband wrote a letter to President Miole confirming the date, place, and time of our training session.

On the day of the seminar as I was doing my portion of the training, a man walked in and started talking with my husband. The man drew a letter from his pocket and opened it for my husband to read. I could see the conversation was quite serious.

At the end of our training session, my husband informed me that the man was President Miole from the Malaybalay district and that he and 10 members of his district had been waiting at the Cagayan de Oro Stake Center since 8:00 A.M. President Miole had shown my husband the letter stating the details of the training. To my husband’s chagrin, he realized he had forgotten to identify the place as the east stake center. We felt bad that these faithful Saints had waited hours for training that had never come, and we happily agreed to go to the Cagayan de Oro Stake Center to conduct the training session.

The Saints were happy to see us when we arrived. We opened with a prayer and a hymn, then launched into the training.

As I began demonstrating how to use the microfilm reader, I noticed that a film had been left in the reader. So instead of using the film I had brought for the demonstration, I used the film already in the reader. As my husband turned the crank and I showed where to look on the film for names, I heard someone crying softly. Looking up, I realized President Miole was in tears. I quickly asked if I had said something to distress him.

Through his tears he quietly said, “I found them!” Pointing to the names on the screen of the microfilm reader, he told us he had searched and prayed to find these names—the names of his ancestors—for more than three years. And now, there they were—on a microfilm reader he hadn’t planned to look at, in a building he hadn’t planned to be in.

That day we were reminded that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).

  • Madeleine Kurtz is a member of the Fort Macleod Second Ward, Fort Macleod Alberta Stake.