“Australia Area Authority,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 69
Elder P. Bruce Mitchell, Second Counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency, was introduced to the Church at age 12, when he first heard the Joseph Smith story. “I immediately knew it was true,” he says. At age 19, when he approached his father for his consent to be baptized, his father said, “Son, I don’t mind your being a Mormon, but I don’t want you to think about becoming one of those missionaries!” Elder Mitchell replied, “Dad, I have absolutely no intention of becoming a missionary.” He later served four missions. During his first mission his father and his brother Bryon were baptized.
Elder Mitchell’s father, Charles “Red” Mitchell, was a well-known boxer and instructor, having been boxing champion of the British and Australian armies during World War I. For a time Elder Mitchell followed in his father’s footsteps.
“I can’t remember when I first put on boxing gloves, but it was certainly preschool age,” he recalls. “By the time Bryon and I were ages seven and five respectively, we were boxing each other in exhibitions at the main stadium.” Dubbed “Red Mitchell’s Paperweight Champions,” the boys were part of a boxing troupe that traveled around the countryside entertaining armed forces and raising funds for the World War II effort.
While Elder Mitchell’s father coached the children in athletics, his mother, Ada Gage Mitchell, ensured that they developed an appreciation for music. With her encouragement Elder Mitchell learned to play the piano, a skill he still enjoys.
At age 24 Elder Mitchell met and married Elva Merle Trost, and the couple now have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. The Mitchell family has developed a successful franchise business, and currently Elder Mitchell’s sons, Loren, Cameron, and Lachlan, handle the major management responsibilities.
“One of the main keys of success in business or anything else is the payment of an honest tithe and generous offerings to the Lord so that he can ‘open the windows of heaven’ and bless our lives,” Elder Mitchell says.