Monthly Archives: June 2011

Goodbye, President. Hello, Soldes!!

Last week was my first zone conference!! It was lots of fun. I got to see Elders Hunter and Cheel and meet lots of new missionaries. I was introduced in front of everyone by Elder Lee. It was also President and Sister Staheli’s final conference and the last time we got to see them. They shared lots with us. The best were their testimonies. I’ve only had them for one month but I love them SO MUCH. Those two are just amazing. Everyone in the mission loves them. They are easily two of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And President Staheli is pretty funny. He likes to drop Space Dog references often, even when I’m not around hahaha.(Space Dog and the Solar Stone Code is the book that Saul wrote when he was in 8th or 9th grade) They’ll be leaving tomorrow and our new President, President Polznanski will be coming in tomorrow. And just like that we’ll have a new president. Smooth transition. I’ll be meeting with President Polznanski this Friday. I have an interview with him. As for President Staheli, he’s returning to Utah. Apparently he’ll be the secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency. He used to be President Hinckley’s secretary.(President Gordon B. Hinckley was the 15th prophet/president of our church and he passed away in 2008.  The First Presidency consists of the current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and 2 counselors who are also apostles.)

So that’s what’s happening in the mission. Here’s what’s happening in France.

Last Tuesday was Fet de la Musique (Hope I spelled that right). It’s a national holiday in honor of music. Bands, performers and musicians get in the street and play music all day and all night. I got to see a little bit in Paris but we were in the apartment at night so we didn’t get to see too much.

And for the next month there is a thing called SOLDES!!! Where EVERYTHING is on sale EVERYWHERE!!! Whoohooo!!!! Missionaries like getting new clothes during this time but I don’t think I need any right now. Maybe next year. But I think we’re going Soldes shopping for P Day today. Yeah everything is on sale but books…. I think. Which stinks because I wanted to buy Harry Potter but hardcover is like fifty euros which is near a hundred dollars. Messed up. I’m going to have to buy the cheap paperbacks now. Don’t worry. I won’t read them. I just like collecting books. :)

And I got loads of mail this week so I will write everyone back as soon as possible!! I’ll write anyone who writes me back. It just might take some time. But in the letters I got loads of questions so I’ll try and use my last few minutes answering some!

What is your apartment like?
Four people live in our apartment. We’re like one of two apartments in the mission like that. It’s nice and apparently way nicer and larger than all the others. One big room a small kitchen and bedroom. And a toilet and bathroom (toilets have their separate rooms here. They’re not in the same room as the bath).

Have you eaten snails yet?
Nope. I hear they’re good with butter. Haha.

How often do you eat with members?
There are two member families who feed us twice a week. They’re both from Peru so I don’t always get the traditional French food.

What is sleep like?
It doesn’t get dark at night until around eleven so that’s weird but otherwise I sleep here well. In the MTC it took me forever to fall asleep but here I’m out pretty fast. :)

Do you understand anything?
I can get the general point of the conversation but not details. And when people turn to talk to me my lind totally goes blank. Haha it’ll come!

What about Spanish?
The Peruvian members talk to me in French and if I don’t understand it then they speak Spanish but then they start mixing the two languages and I’m totally lost!!

Do you play piano?
When we’re doing emails at the church I have time to play! Haven’t played for anyone yet except one sacrament meeting in the MTC.

Does the ward feel like a normal ward?
No. Because the building is so different. It’s like an old office building turned into a church. And our ward is super small. I counted around forty people yesterday and that included little kids.

What’s France like?
Cities are super old. It’s crazy. But it’s like an antique old. The country side is beautiful. The forests look like something out of a fairytale. Meaux is a bit run down. Some of the apartment buildings there are filthy. I feel like I could be in a third world country when I’m in some of those.

HOT. French don’t believe in qir conditioning or drinking fountains. So even once you get inside your apartment, you can’t cool down.

Anyway, got to go!! I found out yesterday that I’m giving a talk in sacrament in a month. Oh boy. Wish me luck.

– Elder Saul Marquez

PPS – Harry Potter posters are popping up. Yay!!! :D Once they take down these transformers posters, I’m sure all of France will be plastered in Harry Potter!!! :D

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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Mission


Cursed French Keyboards

I don’t have a lot of time to write today. :(

And French keyboards are different from American ones and I still haven’t figured it out yet so if there are a bunch of typos then I’m sorry haha. These keyboards are the bane of my existence. BLEGH!

So just a thought I had this last week. We spend a lot of our time working with inactive members. For some of them it’s hard to get to church because the nearest church building to those in Meaux is in Torcy which is a good forty minute drive. Same for the seminaries. One of the members wants her daughter to be able to go to seminary but she can’t because it’s just so far.

Anyway, that just got me thinking how blessed I am to have a church building right down the road. Or how I can go to school and there’s an institute (LDS religion) class that I can sign up for. It’s a huge blessing to be able to have access to all of that. There are many people in the world who don’t have that. There isn’t even a temple here in France.

So I guess the moral of the story is to Count your Many Blessings. That’s just a thought I had. :)

OH I forgot to tell everyone.

I get to drive. Yay. Not. Round abouts everywhere. Crazy drivers. Messed up rules that make no sense. I’m supposed to learn how to drive stick shift in the next week. We drive everywhere since our proselyting area is forty minutes away and I was just told by the office that I am now the designated driver.

Driving in France. My worst fear ever.

Wish me luck. Pray for me. If there’s no email next week, you’ll know why.

— Elder Saul Marquez

Below are pictures from Saul.  Some are from Utah when he was in the Mission Training Center and a few are from France:

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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Mission




I am living in France now! You know that.

So a week ago we all said our goodbyes at the MTC. It was bittersweet because on one hand we were finally leaving and on the other we all had to say goodbye. But anyway, we got on the plane and flew for a good eleven hours or so. I got NO SLEEP and was dirty and exhausted.

When we got to the airport President Staheli greeted us with the APs(missionaries who are assistants to the president of the mission, usually missionaries who have been in the mission field for awhile) and they had food for us. Then they sent us on a train to downtown Paris to do contacting for a couple hours. BLEH. But I contacted a group of girls on the train: IN SPANISH. So my first contact was in Spanish, not French haha.

Then we went to the mission home (in Versailles), took a shower, interview with President (President Staheli and his wife are great), dinner and then SLEEP. I was SO out. Woke up next morning, was over jet lag (mostly) and then we met our new trainers.

My companion is Elder Lee. This is his last transfer. That first day we stopped by the Eifel Tower. I got to see it but I have yet to go up it. Hopefully sometime soon. My first proselyting area is a city east of Paris (right outside Paris) near Disneylnd Paris (apparently) called Meaux (pronounced “Mo”). However we live closer to Paris in a city called Bussy-Saint-George which is a much nicer place then Meaux.

Since we’re so close to Paris, we go to Paris twice a week: Saturday and Monday. Saturday is to work in the visitor’s center in downtown Paris (not far from Notre Dame, btw) and Monday for P-Day (Preparation Day). Once I get my legality I can apparently visit museums for free. Today we’re going to play football near where Napoleon is buried. Haha.

Anyway, people here are nice. Members are nice. People speak Spanish. I don’t understand anything. And it’s all good! :)

Till next week,
Elder Saul Marquez

PS –

Elder Saul Marquez
6 Avenue André Malraux
– Met Landon Magnuson’s wife walking down the street a couple days ago in downtown Paris. Coincidence haha. (Landon is a young man from Mesa, AZ from our old ward or congregation.)
Also Pres said I could be going to Brussels later in my mission to the Spanish mission to work there. Just in passing though, nothing really in stone. It’d be cool to say I did two languages on my mission though!

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Mission