The Mesquite Nevada Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints hosted it’s annual “Family Discovery Day” on Saturday March 17th, and made it a St. Patrick’s Day to remember.  This year’s event was themed “Family History: Family Fun” and focused on ways that families can research and enjoy stories from, and links to, their ancestral past together. In keeping with this new spin on “once upon a time”, age specific and level appropriate classes and activities were a big part of the day’s organization.

Parents took special classes on fun ways to incorporate new technology to increase family history affiliation with their children. Youth had their own break-out sessions dealing with topics in genealogy and in telling stories they had researched from their familial past. Younger children learned about “life in the good old days” in the Virgin Valley, played pioneer games, and took rides on a mini train. They even had a chance, courtesy of Jim Andrus and Sam Reber, to take a horse and buggy ride (complete with real “live “stock in the form of two miniature ponies!)

Youth and younger children alike had a laugh together when learning hands-on how to make pioneer (shake-up-your-own) ice cream. (Ingredient #1 – plenty of “elbow grease”)

Five different ability level classes were also offered for adults—each one incorporating two different areas of interest in genealogical study and research. (ranging widely from DNA to family tree—indexing, Descendants, Memories, and applications of new technology in family history). Screenings of video sessions from RootsTech 2018 were also presented.

The day’s activities culminated in a luncheon in the stake center cultural hall. Pioneer artifact displays, grandma’s recipe taster tables, and a special “green screen” family photo booth (to magically transport participants into the past), highlighted the event.