Category Archives: Anecdotes

Stories and anecdotes

Album of Missionaries

Dear Brother Gebauer,

I am honored to write to you my memory of your dear wife. She is an amazing woman, a great member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a faithful missionary.

The first time I talked with Sister Gebauer was when she approached me very early after we had arrived to serve our Mission. She just wanted me to know that she was available to organize and carry out a musical fireside for the members of the Munich Stake but most importantly for the investigators of our missionaries. She was so excited and persistent. I was beginning to understand what an amazing person she is. Her excitement was very contagious; she never stopped smiling and serving.

The many stories of her missionary work that I continued to hear for the next two and one half years always brought a smile on my face. She was truly an amazing missionary. Sister Gebauer personified the declaration given in a talk by Elder M. Russel Ballard in the fall, 2013 General Conference when he said:

“If you have an abiding love and hope within you, the Lord has promised if you ‘lift up your voices unto this people [and] speak the thoughts that [He] shall put into your hearts, … you shall not be confounded before men’.”

We all know Sister Gebauer was not confounded before men in this life and I am certain she is not being confounded on the other side of the veil. She is a disciple of Christ, through and through, true to the Gospel she loved with all her heart. May we all give of ourselves as she did. We love her very much.

President Richard L. Miles

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Teresa in China on Sabbath

Teresa has been to China a couple of times in order to work on her family history. Her family stems from Wuhan in the province of Hubei. Although Wuhan is a quite big city with several millions of inhabitants, at the time of her stay there were no local Latter-day Saint worship services. On a Saturday she called me and said she would not want to accept sitting in the hotel inactively on Sunday. Instead she was planning to buy a flight ticket and to travel by air to Beijing on early Sunday morning in order to visit the meetings of the local ward over there. Then in the afternoon she wanted to return to Wuhan. She was very determined to put that plan into action and indeed managed to attend the sacrament meeting on Sunday in Beijing. She almost arrived too late though, since the taxi driver did not find the proper place right away. She entered the chapel while the congregation was singing the opening hymn, filled with deep gratitude that she was able to renew her covenant with the Lord again. She felt this was so important to her that she gladly accepted an air passage of more than 600 miles.

Teresa as glider passenger

At the time I met Teresa I was still an active glider pilot. One day, probably shortly after we got married, I invited her to come with me to the airfield and accompany me on a trip in a glider. It has been her first experience of this kind. We took off using winch launch and Teresa sat behind me. Since I knew that passengers in gliders frequently get sick, I gave her a chewing gum against travel sickness prior to takeoff and hoped she would cope her first flight with me without problems. However, a few minutes after takeoff, while I was busy with gaining altitude, I asked her how she felt but did not get any answer. Quite astonished, I turned around and realized that she seemed to have fainted and did not show any sign of life. Seized with panic, I pulled the brake flaps, and hurried back to the airfield as quickly as possible in order to land. Prior to my landing, I had notified the others by radio that there is an emergency. As fast as we could, we pulled Teresa out of the plane and placed her under the wing in order for her to rest in the shadow. A young medical student came and provided first aid, so Teresa fortunately regained consciousness and eventually recovered soon.

She said that shortly after takeoff she felt paralysed and was neither able to move nor to talk, although she was able to hear. The active substance in the chewing gum seemed to have triggered an allergic reaction leading to these extremely disturbing symptoms. Later in her life it became obvious she also was allergic to aspirin. Henceforth I gladly refrained from taking her along in a glider after having made this dramatic experience.

At that time I was not a member of the Church yet. The young medical student who helped Teresa so willingly and quickly was killed in a tragic glider accident a couple of weeks later. This filled me with deep grief, and while I was attending the funeral service many thoughts came to my mind. Today I am convinced that this experience was crucial to me for further investigating the gospel when I got the chance and eventually to get baptized in July 1988.

Teresa’s health was frail and vulnerable. Sad to say, this was still to become obvious on other occasions.