Journal January 24, 1963

Had to have this shot to send to my adorable and long-suffering fiancée.
January 24 (concluded)—This evening, after another meal to which I arrived late, President Petersen held a conference for the missionaries of Paris and the surrounding area. He gave a marvelous discourse about the pre-mortal existence and its consequences for our circumstances in this life.

I asked his permission to publish the whole [233] text of his remarks, or at least extracts, but he said he’d have to see what we wanted to publish before we did it: he did it for the missionaries, and he was hesitant to broadcast it more widely. Whatever happens, we do still have the tape and haven’t lost the material for our own edification.

I had the rather unusual privilege this afternoon of guiding Presidents Petersen and Hinckley around the mission supply room; I wanted to know what to do with some obsolete items, including, as I recall, some old tracts in Armenian…
My year on the mission staff was vastly more eventful than these journal entries indicate. My daily routine of writing, editing, and layout work was functionally similar to journalizing. I hope to find at least some of its published output. Storekeeping and baptismal font maintenance didn’t motivate many entries, either. I was in charge of the Mission’s rather splendid Rolleiflex camera, but the pictures I took with it didn’t come home with me. I was (ask Valerie) a fairly faithful correspondent, though, and as I come across letters surviving from the period, I’ll interpolate selected material here.

Speaking of letters, mine took on a new appearance, once Ella had gone home and Elder Lynn Bybee, the mission printer, became my assigned companion. Red sealing-wax and light-weight violet paper, created by Elder Bybee, replaced the more conventional stationery and envelopes. As a stamp collector, moreover, I took full advantage of the beautiful large-format postage stamps that the PTT (Postes-Téléphone-Télégraphe) was issuing in those days. I’ll insert a partial scan of one of those letters, by Valerie’s leave.
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