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Helping Families Be Together Forever

How BYU-Pathway led Anna to family history

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Family history means a lot to Anna Buis — especially after studying family history research through BYU-Idaho, supported by BYU-Pathway Worldwide . But genealogy wasn’t always her passion.

When Anna was newly married, she had an associate degree. However, continuing her education never seemed to be in the cards as her family grew and moved around the country. While living in Texas, USA, service missionaries came to her ward to spread the news of BYU-Pathway.

Anna’s husband encouraged her to take the opportunity. She doubted that she would have enough time for classes, but she signed up for BYU-Pathway Worldwide’s PathwayConnect anyway. In the back of her mind, Anna told herself, “I don’t have to keep going if I don’t like it.”

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Anna at a PathwayConnect gathering

But then she attended her first gathering. “I was hooked,” she said. “I absolutely loved the atmosphere and the people in my group. It was really spiritual and fun. It's just one of those things that affects your life forever.” In PathwayConnect, Anna learned organization and time-management skills, and she had to practice patience (a lot!). Now that she’s completed PathwayConnect, Anna tells everyone about it.

Choosing family history

While finishing PathwayConnect, Anna decided what direction to take her education. After much prayer, she received her answer while working on math.

The Spirit whispered that she needed to learn about family history. Anna tried to shake it off. “I know what family history is, but I don’t know how to do it,” she told herself. Again the Spirit prompted her; and with faith, she followed.

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Anna’s classes taught her how to bring generations of family together.

Anna was glad to see that she could study family history online at BYU-Idaho. Her courses challenged her, in a good way. “I learned that I could do something really hard — that I could do research on my own,” she said. Not only did she develop essential genealogy skills, but her courses brought her family, both living and deceased, closer together.

For Anna’s final project, she researched a family line connected to her mother-in-law. She gave her final report to her in-laws for Christmas. “They were so excited to read about their ancestors and see those connections,” she said. “This experience helped us grow closer in our own relationship.”

Anna had many spiritual experiences while earning her degree. In particular, she felt the excitement and love of the people for whom she was doing family history.

“I felt heavenly help like I’ve never felt before,” she said. “I knew that what I was doing was important to not only myself, but to people on the other side of the veil.”

Jump in!

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Following the Spirit’s promptings led Anna to a degree she loves.

Anna loved her education experience wholeheartedly. For anyone considering BYU-Pathway, she says, “Just do it. Be brave. Jump in. Don’t give it a second thought, especially if you feel prompted to do it. There’s a reason why you’re being prompted.”

How did you choose your certificate/degree? Comment below!