July 31, 2017


Le Chesnay, France


Times Have Changed

A week ago Monday, we decided to visit the Paris Mission office. It is located in Le Vesinet, which is about 10 miles directly north of the temple in Versailles, but still on the west side of Paris.

Previously, the Church had a beautiful mission home in Paris at 3 rue de Lota located on the west side not far from the Eiffel Tower. The street included several embassies, and the mission home was right next to the Russian Embassy. In addition to including the mission office and Paris branch, which met in a large ballroom with an overlooking balcony, the building included living accommodations for the mission president and his wife, the seven-eight missionaries working there, and 20-30 bunk beds in various rooms for missionaries coming and going. There were also pieces of original Louis XVI furniture.

Sometime around 1975, the Church decided to sell the mission home and used the proceeds to construct three different chapels elsewhere in France. As applicable, they did this same kind of thing in other mission locations.

We had the travel instructions saved to our smart phones, but we couldn’t view them because we didn’t have internet access in such a remote location. We couldn’t remember the exact address and ended up walking by the office twice because there was no sign. We asked for directions from an insurance agency and walked down a street quite a ways to what turned out to be the mission president’s home. However, there was no sign there either, and we were never sure where it was. The mission office had formerly been in the basement of this home. Within the last year, it moved to the location we couldn’t find. The basement in the mission president’s home has been converted to sleeping quarters for missionaries coming and going.

We walked back and were fortunately seen by some missionaries, an absolute answer to prayer. They showed us the location of the office. There were handmade signs inside (they were waiting for new ones). The office was in a commercial building and was not very big. It had three smaller offices within, including the mission president’s office. Two senior couples work there. What a difference! We’re grateful the money could be used to construct new chapels for members.

We are impressed by the faithfulness of the French members. The French people take their vacation time seriously and spend as much as a month in southern France on the beach or elsewhere. Yet we have noticed that members are taking their vacations at the new Paris Temple. Their families stay in Patron Housing while they attend the temple every day. Temple attendance has not declined, but has increased.

We appreciate again this opportunity to serve in the temple and hope everyone is doing well back home.

Love, Elder and Soeur Bradford


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