Journal September 26, 1962
September 26 (continued)—There’s a friendly competition among these young folks, individually as well as between the two groups. They earn points as follows:
  • 10 points for a baptism
  • 1 point for bringing a person to a meeting
  • 1 point for asking the “questions” three times a day for a week
  • 1 point for organizing a group meeting
  • 1 point for completing three [190] referral cards
  • 1 point for two weeks of perfect meeting attendance
The first two MJM to get to 30 points, as shown on “thermometer” posters made by Annick Leroy in cloth ribbon, will get to go with the full-time missionaries to a zone conference at Angers. The group that first accumulates 300 points will host the other group at a special party, to which (of course) w’ll invite all the young investigators who can get there.

Elder Bennion is gone, finally, and I won’t pretend that his departure fills me with sadness. No, I’m actually very glad, for he imposed policies on our work that I found unbearable. During the fortnight before the 17th, I’d fallen into a dreadful state of discouragement, but that’s all over now, with Elder Lynn Mitton’s arrival from Bordeaux; he’s my third [191] supervising elder.

They played a cute trick on me, when Elder Mitton arrived. I’d had two junior companions (Elders Aldridge and Guymon) until the latter got his new companion, whose identity was still unknown to us. I was in the “Duplicator House” of the rue du Pré-Botté, busy correcting the stencil for an MJM weekly report form, and I’d sent my two companions into the street to do a bit of surveying. Well, it seems that Elder Mitton, having arrived at the station at 9:00, and being of course forbidden to touch anybody, had started walking toward the middle of town, where he happened upon the two “little ones” sitting in the casserole eating pastries. Elder Guymon ran to me, saying that they’d met a really neat young student, but that their French wasn’t good enough to enable them to explain much to him—which was all marvelously plausible, I had to admit! So I went, quick like a bunny, [192] to the casserole where I delivered almost the entire first contact message to our new Supervising Elder, before Elder Aldridge couldn’t take it any longer and collapsed in laughter. At that point, of course, I joined in, recognizing the joke they’d played on me.

Elder Mitton appears to be a great guy. My gloom is altogether gone, now that he’s here. He seems to be here more to help than to pass judgment; more to inspire than to cast suspicion; more to work than to supervise. He doesn’t seem to think himself the only capable teacher of the Gospel or the only possible source of a respectable idea. Very refreshing, I assure you!

Thanks to Elder Mitton’s magnificent work, Monique Coche is doing all she can to get ready for baptism on Friday. Unfortunately, her mother (Sister Fauchard) has a hard time understanding the importance of baptism; her materialistic reasoning keeps her from giving her permission (the only one we need) because her former husband, Monique’s father, [193] has threatened them with financial difficulties if she’s baptized. Monique’s going to write to her father today to ask him to be more reasonable, and all we can do for the moment is to await the response.

As for André Chaussonnier, he’s now drama director for our SAM, but he isn’t showing any serious interest in the Gospel.

An era is over! We four missionaries of chez Besnard are moving on Friday to 239, rue du Maréchal Leclerc. M and Mme Besnard have finally become unbearable, and the situation looks much more satisfactory at the other place. In any case, the Besnards were ready to throw us out on the street on October 25. So, even though it’s going to cost us some money, we’ve found it advisable to move out right now.

But finally, the most encouraging situation has to do with meeting-space. At last we have indications that President Hinckley is seriously interested in a property at 123, rue [194] de Fougères, within sight of the little building that President Tanner rejected a couple of months ago. This transaction would cost only half as much, lies closer to the center of town, and would suit us generally better than the other. I had written to Paris about it last week, and Monday President Hinckley called to say that Brother Hasoppe would be here in the next few days, and that I’d be responsible to show him what there is to see.

Since then, we’ve found a number of properties which might be of interest, in case something keeps us from following through on the rue de Fougères.

We’re not the only ones moving this weekend. Not only will all eight missionaries change their lodgings, but the Leroys as well. Fortunately, though, they won’t have to go all the way to Chantepie. [195] They’re staying in Cleunay, in a building just across from the one the’re in now, in a similar apartment, but on the 6th floor. We’ll do our best to help them move.

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