Negumbo again

I went to Negumbo again today. I was hoping to have a family history consultant to train, but no such luck. I did, however, have Sister Coombs, the female part of the missionary couple who are up there. But they aren’t standard missionary – they’re a part of the LDS Charities, so they don’t proselyte or teach the gospel. They’re there solely to spend money.

Anyway, over the course of several days and several emails, and the last one arriving on Saturday after Fahim had already retrieved my email and returned home, meaning that I didn’t really get it until after church on Sunday, after I’d already spoken to the Coombs, after I’d come home.

And that email was asking me to teach family history in the temple prep class.

See, they have a group of about 25 people who are all working on attending the temple in November – for more information on our church or why we go to the temple, go to There are a few requirements, though. One of those requirements is that they take names of some of their ancestors with them when they go.

But it’s a little more complicated than that – sort of.

See, with no computer here yet, we have to mail in the family group sheets to the temple, just like used to do in the days before computers existed. And it has to be done at least two months before the temple trip.

So now the family history end of things has to be done by September 1st.

And it’s already the end of May. Only three months to go. That means they have to get cracking now.

Well, I hadn’t prepared anything for the class – I didn’t actually know I’d be taking over – but when it comes to family history, it doesn’t matter much. Meaning, I don’t actually need to prepare anything in order to teach it – it’s all off the cuff. So, okay, fine. No problem.

I stand up in front of them – this time, a smaller class of about 25 people rather than every adult in the branch – and the first thing I do is ask how many of them were in Sunday School when I taught the basics? Only half raised their hands. Okay. How many have started? Half of those who had attended that class.


So it’s time to start from scratch again. Let’s start with the basics.

And that’s exactly what we did.

Afterwards, a few of us went to the Coombs’ for lunch – sloppy joes, coleslaw, and ice cream for dessert. I haven’t had sloppy joes in a long time, and I enjoyed it. The seasoning was perfect, by the way. (Of course it was, Sister Coombs. Did you doubt?) And we talked about all sorts of things. As people are wont to do when eating together.

After lunch, Brother and Sister Coombs and I discussed family history consulting. Basically, Negumbo doesn’t have a family history consultant yet, but Sister Coombs is willing to fill in, and so is Brother Coombs, for that matter.

Okay. That sounds good.

So, because the guy who’s driving us back has a family to get home to, we can’t stay long to do actual training, we have to cut it as short as we can. But in the process of finalizing a few things, they reminded me that they’re in Colombo every Thursday evening for English classes which Sister Coombs teaches. Okay, but Brother Coombs could, while she’s teaching, get trained by me.

Huh. Yeah. That would work.

It also means that, when Negumbo finally calls someone to be the family history consultant, they can get a ride down to Colombo for training with the Coombs – providing, of course, that that person’s schedule allows for it. But this gives me some possibilities.

Rather than me having to go to Negumbo to do training . . . And since I need to train the person from both Colombo 2 and 1, when 1 has someone called, I can do all of it at the same time. Much more efficient. They’ll also learn a lot from each other – the questions they ask, the experiences they have, all that sort of thing.

Now all I have to figure out is how I get the person in Kandy trained. For that, I suspect that I’m going to have no choice but to go there.

Author: LMAshton

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