I am the first LDS member in my family (of which I am aware) and it hasn't been easy to get what information I've found about anybody. My parents are divorced, but the commonalities between the two branches is that none of my relatives are willing to discuss family matters. Or to cooperate. Especially on my dad's side. My grandmother is a Protestant, and when she heard I was Mormon, she said it was "unusual," and was noticeably less willing to talk to me... and one thing I'll defend about Social Security is the Death Index, which is the only online resource that has offered me anything as far as useful information. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't really have anything about my mother's side of the family.
I must admit, I was disappointed when I found out that I'll only be able to perform baptisms for females. I wanted to be the one to baptise my grandfather. However, that's not the way things are done. Now I must re-focus my energies on discovering what I can about my female relatives, which is proving difficult. I'll be going to the family history center soon to see what I can find out, plus to prepare the names I have for baptism. Then I'll be all set!
I cannot WAIT to go inside the DC temple! The closest I got to the temple was the visitor's center a couple of months ago. I remember looking at the temple in the reflecting pool and deciding, with every fiber of my being, that I wanted to be worthy of going inside! My life, ever since then, has been dedicated to making the necessary improvements. It hasn't been easy. I have a chronic swearing problem, and I still find myself, every day, repenting for all the slip ups that I have. It's so frustrating. If I let my guard down for a second, I slip up. And I have no one to blame for it but myself. At least I'm willing to admit that now. Before, I would blame everyone else. But I'm getting better about that.
But the changes are worth it, that much I KNOW is true. I'm taking the steps not only to improve myself, but to reunite my family. My ancestors will finally be able to receive the gospel! And what's really amazing is that, being a convert, I remember what that FEELS like! When you receive the gospel, and you know you have returned home...
I can't deny my ancestors that... I have to get these names ready.