Journal January 15-24, 1963
January 15, 1963 (concluded)—saw “La Conquête de l’Ouest.” Exciting, but it almost made us miss the evening’s main attraction: Ingrid Bergman (live) playing the title rôle in Hedda Gabler at the Théâtre Montparnasse (in French, which doesn’t quite go without saying). She and Claude Dauphin were both terrific, [230] and the evening was as successful as the rest of an unmatched day. We were real tourists, jumping from one attraction to another at the speed of sound!
January 18—This day marks the midpoint of my 30-month mission, as I remarked to Elder Lynn Bennion, when he came in for supplies. We congratulated each other. The day brought three major revelations:
  1. President (Mark E) Petersen is coming next week for a 24-hour inspection;
  2. President Moyle will be here the week after; and
  3. I’ll also be in charge of the baptismal font, after my “champignonne” leaves.
The first two mean that our department has to undergo a major cleaning campaign. The third makes me congratulate myself that I’ll be 22 before having all the responsibilities that Sister Bell now has. I’ll need to be a very big boy to be able to undertake [231] all the activities of that impressive lady.
January 21—Yesterday didn’t bring much to write about until the evening, when Brother and Sister Gille came from Le Mans with their little Michèle and Gaylène. It appears that my “champignonne” has been teaching Sister Gille’s sister named Bigarré. Being ready for baptism, she wanted her brother-in-law to come and perform the ordinance. A happy occasion, which brings old friends to visit.

First, we had the farewell meeting for brother Jacques Sordès, who is going to serve as a building missionary. The meeting took almost two and a half hours, and the spirit was magnificent.

The baptismal service took a bit less than an hour, and it, too, was very impressive, as usual. This was Brother Gille’s first time to baptize. He was as thrilled as the candidate. After the service, we drove them the 35 miles to Sister Bigarrés house. The road was slippery on account of snow, and we didn’t get back until midnight.

January 24—[232] For several days, all we’ve done is to get ready for President Mark E Petersen, who has replaced President Tanner at the head of the Western European Mission. Everything’s cleaned, swept, scrubbed, and made presentable, and everybody’s half sick with fatigue.

But finally they got here, President and Sister Petersen, accompanied by President Henry D Moyle, Jr., of the French East Mission. I was in the basement and didn’t hear the dinner bell, which rang when they arrived, and I had the misfortune to come in late. President Hinckley kindly introduced me to our distinguished visitors anyway, and we enjoyed an excellent dinner. …More, next page…

President Mark E Petersen, Sister Emma Marr Petersen,
Sister Lucilla Hinckley, and President Rulon T Hinckley
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