Before I go into the day-by-day stuff, I want to say something about Elder Page, the missionary who died after a car struck him while he was on his bicycle last week.
I did not personally know Elder Page, he was a Spanish speaking elder and was trained at the Mexico MTC. We arrived in Arcadia on the same day though, and all of us here were affected by the news of his accident and subsequently his passing into the next life. My companions and I were with the English AP's when they received the news of the accidentafternoon. Last night we had a memorial service for Elder Page where his companion and the Becerras spoke to all the missionaries in the California, Arcadia Mission. It was healing for all of us, and the spirit resided in the room in a way I had never felt before.
However, the passing of a missionary so young and so new to the field only speaks to a higher calling. There are many scriptures that indicate Elder Page is still wearing the name tag. With his deceased father as his companion, he is now proclaiming the Gospel and Plan of Salvation to our brothers and sisters in the spirit world (1 Ne.). His mission is not over. Because he died while living a life fully consecrated to the Lord, we can rest assured that he will receive eternal life in the celestial kingdom.
I humbly ask that everyone keep his mother and sisters in their prayers while the Page family is in this time of trial. In addition, pray for his companion, Elder Ostler, who taught me yesterday what it means to have a companion and to love him/them with everything you can. His mission service also goes on.
Now back to what I saying about Paris France:
Tuesday 10/8: Last Tuesday we got to go to the temple! Wahoo! we woke up atso we could go to the session. After the session we stayed in the celestial room (which is huge at the LA temple) for a very long time, which was happy. That night we were able to talk to Stuart about his thoughts on conference and what he learned. Which was awesome, and now we have a great place to start preparing for our next lesson with him. My companions, being zone leaders, also went on exchanges, so we had Elder Compton with us instead of Elder DeBry. Our only real lesson of the day came with William that night. We talked a lot about how the atonement can heal us, and how baptism cleans us from our sins. William promised to read the first 100 pages of the Book of Mormon.
We spent the rest oftrying to find less-active members and former investigators but didn't have much luck. We did go to the penthouse of a young multi-millionaire member in the YSA ward to give him a blessing. His doorbell was the Olympic Fanfare and his carpet was the presidential seal. Pretty sweet place. Most importantly, the blessing worked and he was at church the next day feeling fine.
Anyways, this was a week of cancellations, frustration, and sadness. But I'm still happy to be out here, and I'm confident that as we strive to work with the members of our wards that miracles will happen and we will be able to baptize monthly as the mission president has asked us to do. I love this gospel. The Plan is a perfect one, and by knowing it we can find peace in this life, solace in death, and everlasting joy in the life to come.
Elder Brett Whitney
Going to the temple at! Elder Winfield on the right and Elder DeBry in the center (yes, he was at the time without his nametag, we found it though)