In 2013, Elders Eastmond and Davis stopped Jan Schlöβin, a father of four children in the town of Eberswalde, as he was taking some of those children to the park. In the words of Brother Schlöβin, one term used by the missionaries caught his attention: eternal families. The missionaries visited this family, discussing the Church and presenting lessons. But no serious commitment was made to be baptized; in fact, if baptism were to be considered, it would be after the youngest son had turned eight years old so that the family could all be baptized together. That youngest son, André, would not turn eight until December 2015.
In October of 2014, the Schlöβins had found a new apartment – much more spacious than the one in which they lived – and needed help to move all their belongings. The Elders, who had maintained some contact with the family, offered their help, and, as it turned out, Elders Dryden and Mills and Elder and Sister Snow provided the major thrust in moving this family into their new apartment. The family was thrilled with their new apartment, and nearly overwhelmed by the work of the four missionaries that accomplished the move. Shortly after the move was completed, the family held an open house for their friends, neighbors and branch members. They wanted to have their apartment dedicated – a practice that is not altogether unheard of in this part of Germany – and invited Elder Snow to perform the dedication, likely because he was the highest ecclesiastical authority they knew, and because he had helped in the move. This he did, borrowing concepts and wording contained in “The Family – A Proclamation to the World.”
But, no further advancement was made toward commitment to baptism of this family. In the meantime, the 84 year-old Relief Society President, Sister Schieleit, had befriended the Schlöβins and had invited the family to take part in branch events. In the Herbsfest and Weihnachtsfeier programs held by the branch, Schlöβin children and Sister Schlöβin took part in musical and reading presentations. Our last meeting with the Schlöβins was a tender occasion in which we told them we would return for their baptisms.
September 11, 2017 we found ourselves in Eberswalde meeting with the branch for lunch and catching up with our loved ones there on life over the past (almost) three years. We had felt inspired to take a cruise of the Baltic which would allow us to drive to Eberswalde (while others were bussing to Berlin for sightseeing) rather than cruising in a warmer clime. During our conversations, I asked what had happened to the Schlöβin family. The Elders and Senior couple knew nothing of this family; seemingly they had fallen through the cracks. I asked them to please read the report I had written concerning our investigators back in January 2015.
October 6, 2017 I received the following in an email from Elder Brown, the branch president: “We visited Brother and Sister Schlöβin in their home, Wednesday morning, and they announced that they wanted to be baptized. I wanted to let you know about this exciting news, in order that you could arrange to be here. I know the Schlöβins would be delighted if you can make it (they wanted you to be invited)."
November 11, 2017 we found ourselves in the Berlin Marzahn ward for the baptism of an awesome German family of six into the Church. I was humbled and honored to perform the baptisms at their request.
Thanks to those missionaries who worked with this family to bring them into the Gospel.
former Elder Gary Snow