“Missionaries Support Family History,” Ensign, Apr. 2010, 76–77
Since the Church released the new FamilySearch program last year, many Church members have tried the new system for the first time.
To support those new to the program or with questions about family history work in general, the Church has provided various resources, including Worldwide FamilySearch Support.
The FamilySearch Support program began in 2005 with a few volunteers offering help with family history work. The program has grown to include nearly 1,200 volunteer support missionaries positioned thoughout the world.
Support missionaries are located in 34 different countries, offering assistance on a wide variety of family history questions in dozens of languages and multiple time zones.
Sister Cecilia Dimalaluan has served as a support missionary in the Philippines since August 2008 and says she loves the opportunity to share her knowledge of family history with others. One of the first Filipinos trained as a support missionary in the Philippines, she speaks Cebuano, English, and Tagalog. She helps members and nonmembers from surrounding areas, including India, Malaysia, Micronesia, Mongolia, and Singapore, learn basic family history principles.
Support missionaries are traditionally called to serve for 30 months. All support missionaries serve from their homes or family history centers in their areas, where they receive program training and day-to-day support. They respond to questions by phone or e-mail, and because they are spread out around the world, someone is available 24 hours a day, every day, with the exception of Sunday mornings.
“I love being able to serve English-speaking patrons from all around the world, helping them to do their family history,” said Sister Connie Cheney of Pleasant Grove, Utah, USA, who is currently serving her second mission with Worldwide Support.
The FamilySearch Web site provides toll-free telephone numbers for contacting support missionaries in different regions of the world.
In areas where the Internet is not accessible, it is best to contact family history missionaries in the area, talk to a ward or branch family history consultant, or visit a local family history center.