Gunar Grossman of Dresden, Germany

Gunar Grossman of Dresden, Germany

One of the first things Gunar Grossman (11) wants to do when he grows up is go on a mission and share his testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He will gladly serve anywhere he’s called but thinks it would be nice to go to America. He’s already preparing for a mission by obeying the commandments, studying the scriptures, attending church, keeping physically fit, and saving his money.

The Grossman family has a great love for missionary work. In September 1993, Gunar’s mother was walking home from shopping when a pair of missionaries said hello to her. After she stopped and talked with them, they asked if they could come to her home to share their message when her husband and children were there. She said yes!

After a few visits, the family knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true. They also knew that the Church would help them to be a stronger, better, and happier family. On November 7, 1993, Mother, Father, Gunar, his older sister, Gerit, and his older brother, Gert, were baptized members of the Church. When three-year-old Germar turns eight, he will be baptized too.

Gunar is trying to be a missionary now by being a good example at school. Even though some of his friends say bad words, he doesn’t. He hopes his friends will learn from his example. Besides being with his friends at school, he also enjoys his classes in physics, drawing, and physical education. Both of his parents are schoolteachers, so he knows that doing well in school is very important.

After school he and his friends like to play computer games, watch television, or listen to music. On Friday afternoons, Gunar and Gert meet their friends from church at a park to play futbol (soccer).

Gunar is a talented artist. Cars are his favorite thing to draw and paint. He uses pens, markers, and colored pencils. Creating art on the computer is fun too. Someday he would like to have a job designing and repairing engines. Besides drawing, this young man enjoys reading animal books and the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon.

Making beds, cleaning, vacuuming, and loading the dishwasher are a few of the chores he takes turns doing with his older brother. Both boys also help tend Germar and feed the fish in the aquarium.

If you were to visit the Grossman family, you’d discover two reasons why they are physically fit. Their home is on the fifth floor of an apartment building, and you would have to climb ten flights of stairs to knock on their door! There’s also a wonderful park across the street from their home.

Gunar loves to spend time with his family, playing board games and vacationing. His favorite vacation spot is the village of Grillenburg, where they all have fun enjoying the lake and walking in the woods. Reading the scriptures at night, talking about the gospel in family home evening, and attending church are important family activities too.

“Ich möchte einmal auf Mission gehn” (“I Hope They Call Me on a Mission”) is his favorite Primary song. He likes to learn about Jesus Christ and prayer in Primary, and he is grateful for a loving Heavenly Father Who answers his prayers. Once when he became confused and couldn’t recall the answers to a geography test that he’d prepared for, he humbly prayed for help. Shortly after the prayer, he remembered the answers.

Being baptized and confirmed a member of the Church was an important occasion in Gunar’s life. He knows that being ordained a deacon after his twelfth birthday will be important too. He also knows that his duties in the priesthood will help prepare him for his mission. “I am happy that I can have the priesthood in my life. I’m willing to do what I’m supposed to do, and I hope I can do it well.”

[photos] Photos by Corliss Clayton

[illustration] 1. Gunar’s favorite scripture story is the Last Supper. The scene of Jesus Christ washing His disciples’ feet so impressed Gunar that he illustrated it.

[illustration] 2. More of his artwork

[photo] 3. The Grossman family, except for Gerit, who is married. Seated are Germar (3), Sister Grossman, Gert (15), and Gunar; Brother Grossman is standing.

[photo] 4. Looking out at the park from his apartment balcony

[photo] 5. With Germar

[photo] 6. The brothers playing in the park

[photo] 7. Waiting for the tram to go to school

[photo] 8. The city of Dresden was called “Florence on the Elbe” before it was destroyed during World War II. Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), an important landmark in Dresden, is one of the city’s major restoration projects.

[photo] 9. Shelved and categorized, original building materials from the Frauenkirche were gathered after the church was bombed in World War II and have been organized for the church’s restoration.

[photo] 10. German deutsche marks