“A Prayer in the Family History Center,” Liahona, August 2015, 39
After I was called as the family history consultant for our branch in Ushuaia, Argentina, I came to feel a deep need to search for my ancestors. The task was difficult, and scarcely a day went by that I did not try a new strategy to discover who they were and where they had come from in Italy.
In 2006 I was called to oversee the family history center. I continued to feel frustrated, however, by my failure to find information about my family. My frustration grew after my husband’s search for his ancestors paid off. That year, Ruben identified the names of more than 5,000 of his ancestors who had lived in San Ginesio, Macerata, Italy.
One afternoon in the family history center as Ruben found ancestor after ancestor on microfilm, he joyfully and repeatedly cried out, “Another one!” Feeling discouraged, and with tears in my eyes, I expressed my sadness, adding that I didn’t know what to do to find my family members. Seeing my pain, he suggested that we pray. We did so, pleading for the Holy Ghost to enlighten us so that we could accelerate the work on behalf of my family.
During our prayer, Ruben suddenly remembered a certain website that featured Italian surnames. Immediately after our prayer, we checked it out. Within minutes we had found four people with my maiden name, Gos, in the telephone directory of the small Italian town of Iutizzo, in northern Italy.
Immediately I sent letters to each of them. One wrote back, saying that her husband had the same surname, but he didn’t belong to the family. However, she had known one of my grandfather’s deceased sisters, and she offered to put me in touch with another relative, still living.
A few months later, in December 2006, we received a long-distance telephone call.
“Is this Susana Gos?” a distant male voice asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“This is your cousin from Italy,” he said.
The caller, Giovanni Battista Tubaro, was the son of my grandfather’s sister Maria!
In March 2008, Giovanni and his wife, Miriam, came to visit us in Argentina. We introduced them to the gospel and family history work, and for several days we talked of those who had preceded us. Now each of their names going back to six generations had a face and a history.
Family history has allowed me to contribute to an important part of the Lord’s work. It has also brought me closer to my ancestors—children of our Heavenly Father whom I never would have known of had it not been for a prayer of faith in the family history center.