Journal September 22, 1963
September 22 (concluded)—nothing disagreeable was going to happen. The tram was packed; it was hot; and I found myself suddenly stuffed between the door and a good-looking brunette who seemed to be pleased by my proximity. And suddenly (“d’un coup sec,” in French: literally “with a dry blow”) I felt myself clearly tempted. With the help of a little prayer and a bit of effort, I pushed the temptation away and managed to find another place to stand (next to an ugly Boy Scout officer who chattered like four magpies).

This incident, a small matter in itself, gave me a chance to reflect, the next day, when I heard President Hanks talk about two missionaries whom he’d had to excommunicate from the Church recently, because of sexual stupidities that they had committed while separated from their companions, contrary to the rules. I had the strength, of course, to resist easily the temptation I encountered. But suppose that I had been in the same position while voluntarily away from my companion. If I’d had that transgression on my conscience, would I have thought to offer the prayer that surely rescued me? I’m grateful to have learned this lesson so clearly, without having to suffer the consequences that others have suffered.

Disobedience is like love, in that it multiplies like an actual organism. A lie engenders a little army of related lies, each more fecund than its ancestors…)

[249] Finally, when the authorities came where I was on Monday afternoon, it turns out that they’d agreed that the Nancy meeting couldn’t take place without President Petersen. So my little fact-finding mission turns out to have been unnecessary, for the time being. But I had a chance to learn a whole lot about the printing operation and its economy, to attend meetings in Liège, and to hear President Hanks’ discourse and President Hinckley’s farewell to the Belgian part of our mission; to interpret for Sister Hanks and Sister Edmunds; to sleep three more times in a missionary apartment; to drive the President’s snazzy Mercedes; to learn the lesson I’ve reported above; and finally to have a lot of fun and to work hard during those days. We returned home to Paris Tuesday afternoon without incident, and I dived right into the work backlog that had piled up during my absence.

Mammy, 1963, becoming acquainted with the Place du Tertre on Montmartre

Tuesday evening, Elder Anstead and I went to ask Sister Kiesling-Debussy to help us integrate Sister Panazol into the Paris branch. She accepted very graciously, and she and [250] her husband kept us there until 9:30, entertaining us with their albums of professional photographs, her paintings, her songs, her castanets (yes, she can still make them speak!)—everything lovely. What marvelous folks!
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