It seems life as missionary in France wasn’t as rough on Romney as he’s suggested. From The Telegraph:
US election 2012: Mitt Romney’s life as a poor Mormon missionary in France questioned
Much of Mitt Romney’s life as a Mormon missionary in France was not as poor or arduous as he has claimed, say those who knew him at the time.
It was a rare reflection by Mitt Romney on his life as a young Mormon, offered as proof to struggling Americans that despite being born into privilege and amassing a $250 million fortune, he too had known hard times.
A day after being labelled “out of touch” for casually offering a $10,000 bet to a rival candidate, Mr Romney told supporters he had experienced austerity as a missionary in France, using a bucket for a lavatory and a hose for a shower. “You’re not living high on the hog at that kind of level,” he said.
But the Republican presidential hopeful spent a significant portion of his 30-month mission in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as “palace”. It featured stained glass windows, chandeliers, and an extensive art collection. It was staffed by two servants – a Spanish chef and a houseboy.
Although he spent time in other French cities, for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement. “It was a house built by and for rich people,” said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr Romney’s stay. “I would describe it as a palace”.
Tearful as he described the house, Mr Anderson, 70, of Kaysville, Utah, said Romney aides had asked him not to speak publicly about their time together there.