BETA

Missionary Moments: From that moment

On a bright and sunny spring morning in April 1972, I went to my bank in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. In front of the building, I saw a group of young people, nicely dressed and in good spirits, singing songs. There was a sign saying they came from BYU in Utah. Since I liked the songs, I stayed for awhile. Two young men in dark suits came up to me and asked if I were interested in a program on how to lead a happy family life. I was not married, but I had not yet given up hope of finding a woman to share my life with, so I said yes and gave them my name and address.

Some time later two young men rang my doorbell. I invited them in, and they asked about my beliefs. I answered rather vaguely that I was not a religious-minded man. They did not press the issue and we had a general discussion about the country they came from, their families and what I was doing. I offered them drinks and cigarettes, which they politely refused.We set a second meeting. On that day, I was late in coming home. When I stepped out of the elevator, there they were, still waiting for me. I was so glad when I saw them, mostly because they had so much trust in me to keep my word and patiently wait for my arrival.

Only at the third meeting I asked them questions about their church. One of them asked, "Do you really want to know?" I took the lessons through the summer and other missionaries visited. They told me about the Word of Wisdom and asked me to pray for strength to give up drinking and smoking cigarettes. I was not alcoholic, but I enjoyed a glass of wine with my meals and some during the evenings. However, I was a pretty heavy smoker.

When the missionaries left, I knelt down in prayer and was prompted that from that very moment I would not have any longing for cigarettes and drinks. In fact, I would loathe them. I also asked the Lord whether this was His Church. I got the answer I had already known - that I should join this Church and get baptized. It was not long before I was baptized by the same missionary, Elder Joel Bryan, who was the first to knock on my door.

On March 4, 1977, I married my wife, Heidemarie, in the Swiss Temple.