Journal January 10-14, 1962

Elder Howard W. Hunter
then of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles
later President of the Church
January 10— Telegram came Monday morning from the supervising elder at Angers, instructing us to stop and pick up his district on our way to the conference in Paris. We were just wondering what conference, when that telegram came. Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles had come to Paris and called an all-Mission conference. So, we left Rennes around noon on Monday and got to Paris, via Angers, at about 9 p.m.

Up at 6 a.m. for a testimony meeting from 7:30 to 4:00. Then we all went proselytizing in the Paris Métro to get people to come to a big meeting at 8 p.m., including members, missionaries, and everybody else we could gather to hear an Apostle speak. Bedtime around midnight.
January 11— Reveille at 6 a.m. again, as always, then from 7:30 to 9 a.m. the testimonies that didn’t get borne yesterday. Then President Tanner of the Western European Mission announced that 213 persons had borne testimony. After his remarks, Elder Hunter gave the most inspirational talk I’ve ever heard, by anybody. He taught us how callings come to those who are required to serve in high Church offices.

We‘d heard that Sister Donna Packer learned of her husband’s call as a General Authority from the television. Lest we think this odd or exceptional, Elder Hunter said that his own calling had been somewhat similar. The prophet had spoken with him a few minutes before the General Conference session where he would be sustained as an apostle. President McKay never did ask whether he would accept the office; he just said “The Lord has spoken; we’ll sustain you today. You’re going to enjoy this work and the brotherhood of your fellow-servants.”

Oscar A. Kirkham, moreover, wasn’t even in Utah when he was sustained. His wife was there, though, and sent a telegram to the Boy Scouts gathering where he was, to tell him what had happened. He immediately called President Grant, asking what his wife’s message meant. The President replied, “Don’t worry about it, but come see me when you get back to Salt Lake.” Sheesh!

January 12— We met a nice lady while tracting, and she gave us two referrals during the first contact! Terrific, huh? Especially given the difficulty we have dragging referrals out of our members.

January 13Sister Calloc’h seems to be feeling better about her spiritual condition. She’s still having trouble abstaining from coffee, but she says she’ll come to meetings on Sunday.

January 14— This journal is becoming less a diary and more a place to write down really remarkable events and thoughts, as they come up. Like Jacob in the Book of Mormon, I want to put here things that I consider precious, touching only briefly the mundane surroundings and events.
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