|Germany Hamburg Mission|
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From President Barber
Dear Incoming Missionaries,Sister Barber and I welcome you to the Germany Hamburg Mission.
Learning the German language is a great experience, but the ability to engage people in friendly conversation is also an important asset.
Naturally, a very enjoyable part of our calling is working with the missionaries.
Baptisms do not come as readily in the Germany Hamburg Mission as in some parts of the world, but we have reason to believe that member-missionary work is a key that shows great promise.
We anxiously await your arrival!
With kindest regards,
Lowell C. Barber
Sunday, January 6, 2002
When I became Mission President on 1 July 2001, the Dortmund Stake of the (disbanded) Düsseldorf Mission was added to the Hamburg Mission bringing the number of missionaries to 166 spread among 154 wards and branches. Over the past six months this number has been reduced to 124 missionaries. That means that, as a rule, only one set of missionaries is assigned to a local unit. Exceptions are large cities such as Dortmund, Essen, Hannover, and Hamburg. If you were ever familiar with the third verse of "Auserwählt zu dienen" the words have now been altered to read "Siegen bis nach Flensburg, Halberstadt ganz bis Mühlheim" Mühlheim being reasonably close to the Dutch border east of Dortmund and Essen, and Siegen further south than Kassel to the northeast of Cologne. I figure it is a seven hour drive from Flensburg to Siegen... that gives you some idea of how large the mission has become geographically.
We are still largely a bike mission... and Elders' suits wear out quickly. I would appreciate it if you would make the following information available to those who seek it. I do not wish to endorse Mr. Mac, per se, but it is clear that they cater to missionaries in ways that others do not. I now quote from a note sent me from my predecessor: "[We were in]Mr Mac's clothing store. We were particularly looking at the dresses they sell to the Sister Missionaries. My first thought was, 'I wish some of our sisters would have gone to Mr. Mac's and bought some of those missionary-style dresses rather than some of the stuff they brought that make them look so old and dowdy.' . . . You can still get 2-pant suits and -- for bicycle-riding missions, they still put the special seats in the suit pants that help the pants to wear like iron. We had far too many Elders with nice suit jackets and horrible pants from bike-riding cities. With a special seat in the pants and a second pair of pants they would have looked much better on Sundays in Church. I wish the MTC and the Missionary Department would better prepare missionaries for the missions they are going to before they buy so much stuff that is ill-suited to their missions."
To this I add that practically none of our missionaries wear the overcoat they purchased for use on their missions. It is simply too hard to ride a bike with them. Practically every missionary purchases a shorter German coat, which seems quite adequate.
I realize I have not listed all the places where missionaries are serving. I am not unwilling to do that, it would just take more time than I have at the moment.
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