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Faith

Group celebrates 25 years of Mormon missionaries crossing divided Germany

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  • ferdchet Auburn, WA
    June 19, 2014 6:35 a.m.

    There's a bit of rose-colored glasses with the article and the comments. The people who called us up off the street weren't interested in the gospel. They were interested in Americans (or other Westerners). They were interested in the tiny VW Polos that the mission had some of us drive. In one city people surrounded our Polo like it was the hottest new Bugatti supercar. They were interested in the color TV with VCR that we dragged around. We were mobbed in Rostock at a street display because we were offering Western books, English, and a chance to see a video.

    The article does not give percentages of how many people are still active, out of those who were hurriedly baptized. My experience is that most did not stay.

    I don't doubt that the Pauls were the right people for that time. They really did have a lot of love for the missionaries who served in the Dresden Mission. Sometimes it was tough love (at least with President) but you knew their love for you was genuine.

  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    June 16, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    I served in the Air Force for a total of 9 years in Germany (not all at once) and the stories were (are) amazing. During one tour, West Germany had accepted refugees from Ghana and we were able to teach them before they were reunited with their homeland. I look at what has happened to that wonderful country since that time and see another miracle. Germany as a country may not have grown so much as far as the Church is concerned, but the miracles that have happened there are wonderful.

  • AreaReader Suburbs, AZ
    June 15, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    Thank you for this article.

    In the telling of this story, don't forget the many faithful East German members, both men and women, who were called as missionaries and served faithfully in their own country through the mid-1960s.

  • IA Cougar West Des Moines, IA
    June 15, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    Very inspiring article. I served in the Germany Hamburg Mission from 1980-1982 and was in West Berlin twice for a total of 8 months. So, perhaps to clarify, some of these missionaries were the first to serve in Berlin, that would be the East Berlin side. Missionaries served faithfully in West Berlin for years before the wall came down in 1989. It was a very emotional time to see the wall come down. I never thought that would happen.

  • RDLV Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 00
    June 14, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    morpunkt
    I believe the official church membership for Germany in 1975 was 13,829. You may wish to recheck your data or possibly the church publication that I just read was wrong.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    June 14, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    I served my mission in West Germany from 1976 to 1978. The total membership of that nation's LDS was 36,000. It is now 39,000. That's now including the former DDR. It's no wonder that some of the German missions got consolidated. Most of Germany's potential for converts waned, decades earlier.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    June 14, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    President Paul was one of the strongest, most spiritual leaders I have ever met. He and Sister Paul have a genuine love for the missionaries that I didn't know people were capable of until I met them. Sis Paul was also a fantastic cook. I have been trying for years to duplicate a certain salad that she made, and haven't even come close.

    I have to echo the words of President Paul and Elder Thueson from the article. People were overwhelmingly curious about the gospel. In one city, as we would walk down the street, people opened their windows and shouted for us to come up to their apartments, just so they could talk to us about the gospel. It made going "door-to-door" very easy.

    There really is no other way to describe it, other than "miraculous"!

  • IMAPatriot2 PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    June 13, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    Wolfgang and Helga Paul played a prominent role in these activities. They are shown in several of the attached photos. This article brought back fond memories of my service with these two good and faithful saints.