Two missionaries serving in Germany in 1954 wearied after a day of fruitless tracting were about to return to their apartment for dinner when they felt impressed to knock on one more door. They were invited into the home of a landlady of an apartment building.
During the discussion, she noticed one of her tenants, Boris Schiel, crossing through the courtyard. With his knowledge of English, she invited him to visit with the American missionaries.
He was stirred by their message and asked them to return a few days later to meet his wife, Ilse, and their young son. During their next visit, Boris told how he had fled his native Latvia with his parents prior to Soviet occupation after World War II.
The Schiels received their testimonies and were baptized Oct. 23, 1954. Unknown to Brother Schiel at the time was how the Latvian language he had gained from his father, and the Russian language he had gained from his mother would be used to introduce the gospel to countries long deprived of the gospel during communism's hold in eastern Europe.
He and Ilse and their two boys immigrated to the U.S.
Ilse died in early 1985 while they were residing in California. Brother Schiel married Lilo Hrtl in the Los Angeles Temple later that year. After retiring, they moved to Orem, Utah, where they received the first of three eventual mission calls.
As temple missionaries in Frankfurt, Germany, they assisted the missionaries in teaching a Russian family. A month later, Brother Schiel baptized the couple and their 10-year-old daughter..
During their second mission they served in Boris' hometown of Riga, Latvia, where he baptized several who then assisted him in teaching Latvian to the missionaries.
For their third mission, they were called to serve in the Freiberg Germany Temple in September 2000. Here he performed sealings and other temple ordinances for humble, faithful new members from Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and other former eastern bloc countries.
Now home in their Suncrest 10th Ward, Orem Utah Suncrest Stake, Brother Schiel serves in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, assists with language training in the Provo Missionary Training Center, and volunteers with Church translation needs.
Looking back, Brother Schiel notes countless lives that were blessed because two elders knocked on one more door.