Dear family and friends,
We continue to be busy at the temple, but not quite as busy as the first week. French members come and stay in patron housing and spend the week at the temple. We have also had many tourists especially from the United States. Whenever we leave our apartment on the temple grounds there are people here and we end up having a good visit with them and taking their pictures by the Christus statue.
We do not have a car and so we walk every where. It is a 20 minute walk to the Versailles Chapel. But sometimes we get a ride with the temple presidency. There are a few markets for groceries around here and also a Boulangerie (bakery and pastry shop) near us where we get fresh bread. At the grocery store the bread is crustless which many of my children would like.
Yesterday we walked to the Marie Antoinette gardens. It is a massive area, but the peasant homes and petite Trianon were closed since the French celebrate the day of Pentecost. Many Christian holidays are celebrated here. Even though many people are not religious.
We just want to mention a few people we have met. When leaving Salt Lake we sat next to a woman and her grandson. She turned out to be the niece of the woman Karen talked about at our farewell. This woman Eveline Kleinhart was the Relief Society president who held the French saints together during World War II. When they could no longer meet for church she wrote them letters. She finally was able to have the one Melchizedek priesthood holder in France, Leon Fargier, come and give the sisters the sacrament after four years of not having it. Her picture is in the visitor's center here.
On the second day the temple was opened, Karen met a blind woman in a wheelchair who had joined the church in 1943. She was 92 years old. Her daughter brought her to the temple and she was overcome with emotion. She was so happy to be here. The matron of the temple asked me to help her. In talking with her she told of the early days of the church in France. She knew a Bradford from Spanish Fork, Utah. He was Howard Bradford, Richard's uncle. He served in World War II and landed on Utah Beach at Normandy. He also came back as a missionary a few years later.
We will tell of others we have met in our next letter.
We are very grateful to be the first temple missionaries at the new Paris France Temple. We have seen the hand of the Lord here softening the hearts of the government officials and citizens here in Le Chesnay.
May each of you feel the healing and comforting Spirit of the temple.