Connie in front of the new one with the statute of Martin Luther.
In 1975 Pres. Thomas S. Monson came to this hill above the Elbe River outside Dresden East Germany and dedicated the land. In that blessing he promised the saints that they would have all the blessings of membership which includes the ability to go to the temple. He promised missionaries, recognition and other great blessings. This land was behind the iron curtin. Before that curtin came down in 1989, the Saints had a temple, 2 stakes and missionaries were allowed to leave the country to serve. Elder Schutte, who was a teacher, stake president and many other things during that time is in his second stint as a 70 and showed us around the sites. The family of Elder Kopischke, our Area President, had just escaped East Germany to the West 3 weeks before he was born in a miracle escape. It is to this place that all of us went to be instructed for 4 days. What an incredible experience. I realized once again that we can do better. I love the way the prophesies come about. It reminded me of an occasion when I was a missionary in Lima and Elder Spencer Kimball visited us. About 16 of us were in a meeting with Elder Kimball when he allowed us to ask questions. Of course I raised my hand, and because I felt like I knew him a little (he had been in our house two times during my senior year), I said: "Elder Kimball, we only have rented buildings, we have very few members (about 2,000) in Peru, we seem to be kind of wasting our time here." He told me that Peru was a gold mine. 40 years later we have 45 stakes in that city alone with 150 chapels. Well, Europe produced 70% of the early members of the Church and we are baptizing people over here.