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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Hablas Espanol? Nope. French? Nope. Hello Belgium

So much has happened in the last few days, it really feels like a long dream.  I guess that’s part in due to the fact that I woke up Saturday morning with a cold which escalated into a small fever.  It was very miserable.  The fever was gone by yesterday morning but I still have a bit of a cold.  It’s very very annoying but I’ll get over it soon enough.

I guess the craziness started last Friday.  We met with our investigator who’s agreed to be baptized.  When she opened the door, it was obvious that something wasn’t right.  There was something off in her eyes.  I initially thought that we might have just woken her up from a nap.  But then it didn’t go away and so I thought it might be that she was sick.  Soon enough it was obvious that there was just something huge troubling her.  We asked her what was wrong and she suddenly started crying.  She didn’t tell us what was wrong, rather she went to another room and came back acting like nothing had happened.
Elder Nelsn and I were originally planning on teaching the Word of Wisdom.  We changed the lesson plan to pain and the atonement.  Elder Nelsn led most of the discussion.  So many details were flying over my head.  The cold was already starting to kick in and I felt super light headed.  Elder Nelsn would look at me to see if I had comments but I really couldn’t think of anything.  Between the French, being sick and the sudden change in plans, I was completely lost.  Finally, at the end, I had the thought to share D&C 10:5  which says, “Pray always, that you may come off conqueror;…” which is my favorite scripture about prayer.  I don’t know if it even fit in with everything that they had been talking about earlier.  I was honestly lost in the entire situation.  But I shared it and told her how every time we’ve visited her, we’ve asked her to pray to know if the church is true.  This time we wanted her to pray for comfort.
I don’t know if that did it.  It was probably everything that had been said.  But she suddenly burst into tears and told us what was bothering her.  It’s been something that has been plaguing her for a while, it seems, something in her personal life.  It was very very sad to see, especially when she asked us if it was her fault.  Imagine that thought running through your head for a year or two.  We know it isn’t her fault, though.  We had a member there with us.  He suggested a blessing.  We quickly explained what a blessing was and how it worked.  She was a lot happier by the end of the lesson.  She shook our hands as we left her home with a lot of force.  I think it was just her way of saying thanks.  We saw her last night again.  We went to Paris with her to attend a missionary concert.  She seems to be doing very well, maybe even excited for the baptism that’s taking place in a couple weeks.
Unfortunately, I won’t be there.  I found out Saturday that I’m leaving Meaux.  I’m going to Louise, which is part of Brussels.  Yup, I’m going to Belgium!  My new companion will be Elder Garcia, the only other Mexican in the mission.  And I’m now a Spanish speaking missionary, at least for the time being.  President Staheli had told me that I might end up doing that; but I had expected it to be later in the mission after I got a better handle on French.  Right now my Spanish is terrible because of French and my French is still pretty weak.  Now I’ll be teaching in both languages.
I’m not sure how I’m going to do this but I just keep the attitude that Nephi has in 1 Nephi 3:7 “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”  It must be possible.  It’s going to be hard.  Elder Garcia and I will be white washing the area (both of us will be new there).  Wish me luck?
Yesterday was pretty sad.  I’m sad to say goodbye to Meaux.  Our investigator seems pretty sad too.  She says she doesn’t want to think about it!  I’ll see her one last time on Tuesday.  I’ll be heading up to Belgium on Wednesday.
In other news, these are the people who are included in my large stack of letters that I need to send (which probably won’t be out for even longer now that I’m moving in a couple days): Reena, Wesslee (did you ever end up getting your call?), Lara, Jacqueline, Mundo, Russell…. Others who I can’t remember.  Sorry it’s been taking so long!!  But I hope you’ll all hear from me soon and I hope to hear from you soon too. :)
Wish me luck!  Here goes Chapter Three in the mission: Brussels.
And thus it is.
Elder Saul Marquez
ADDRESS CHANGE
Bonjour mes amis.  J’ai une nouvelle adresse!!
Les Missionnaires
Elder Saul Marquez
106, Ave. Marechal Joffre
1190 FOREST
BELGIUM/BELGIQUE
Merci! :)
Elder Marquez

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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Mission

 

Hate the Humidity, Love Baptismal Dates! :)

Real quick, I have a pile of letters on my desk that I’ve written to people who have written me. I was going to send them last week but now the transfer is ending and it’s possible that I could leave in a week so I’m holding off until I find out for sure. Sorry! :)

That’s cool James got his mission call.  Wish him luck for me!

So it’s gotten super hot here this last week. It’s not Quite Arizona hot, but the thing that makes it so bad is the humidity. It was a pain walking to church the other day in a suit. I was drenched because it was so humid. And, of course, air conditioning doesn’t exist in this country. So stinkin hot and humid.

Anyway, we went back out to Château Thierry and found even more American memorials and even cemeteries than we had before. We found out that they’re memorials from World War I. I guess there was some crazy attack from the Germans in that area.

While we were out there, we met with an investigator who was passed onto us from the elder who used to work there. She’s a 13 year old girl who’s been investigating the church for a year or so now. She’s ready to be baptized so we’ll be setting a baptismal date with her soon. We met with her and her parents. Her interest in the church seems to have sparked interest in her parents. the mom took a Book of Mormon and said that she wanted to read it. We’ll be meeting with them sometime this week again!

And the best news this week: we have a baptismal date!! One of our investigators told us this week that she wants to be baptized! She was found right before I got here (from what I understand) so I’ve been around from the beginning of her teaching. She’s progressed so much in these two months. She’s gone to church the last three weeks and she’s suddenly just sky rocketed through the Book of Mormon. She wouldn’t read anything at first and now she’s just reading entire books between our visits. She was midway through Mosiah the last time we talked to her.

We showed her the baptismal font yesterday and she loves the ward. She loves how friendly everyone is and how welcomed and genuinely caring the members are. Right now the baptism is set for September 10th. The only thing that might get in the way is that she might be going in for surgery soon. We’re hoping that doesn’t happen!! But it’s so so so exciting!! We’re finally getting a baptism! :)

– Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Mission

 

Château-Thierry and Other Things

So our area has gotten HUGE. Much larger than is was before, which is both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing because since our area got larger, we now have a few new investigators. One is from Morocco (I probably spelled that wrong). He and his wife used to be Muslim but I guess have since changed to Christianity. But either way, he’s interested in the church because his boss is Mormon and so he wants the lessons. We met him and his wife and they’re super super nice. They met with missionaries a month or so ago, but since we took over the area for those old missionaries, they haven’t been taught since. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said, “Yes, the last missionaries told me about this but they didn’t have one with them! I’ve been waiting for this!” We haven’t met with him since then but we hope to soon.

The curse is that it is so super super far away. Way too far in a place called Château-Thierry. And we have a limitation on the car and so it’s near impossible to keep under our usage and still make it out there to teach them. Not to mention that we live forty minutes away from our normal area. And that the ward members of Meaux don’t even live in Meaux but in other surrounding cities! I guess we’ll work it out somehow but it’s all very frustrating.

One cool thing about Château-Thierry, though, is that there are World War II monuments out there. We saw a HUGE American one. It is sweeeeeet! Something happened in that area, we think, but we don’t know for sure. Anyone else know?  It’s kind of cool to be serving in a place where a battle might have taken place.

Our member visits have picked up. Nearly everyone in the ward is suddenly inviting us over for dinner. It’s been great so far! And we’ve been providing them with lots of service. The other day, we built a drive way! :D And suddenly all the little French kids in the ward want to talk to us. Some kid showed me his Dragn Ball Z collection yesterday at church haha.

A couple last things:
Thank you to my Cortina-guests for seeing me and delivering my package.  I saw Sister Economou yesterday!!  That was super cool to see someone from home.  She also had the package for me so dont worry I got it.  Thank you so much for all of those letters and the candy!!!  I need more of those rootbeer ones haha.  There is no root beer in France.  Also thank Uncle Donnie’s family for me.  I’ll write them back soon hopefully. Very cool to see people I know!!!

And Paige, I wish you the best this week. I cant believe your getting married!!  Congrats!  That’s just crazy to me.  But please remember that I was right and that I told you that you would be engaged within two months of me leaving.  I knew because of President Monson and Elder Scott.  They did this. This is the part where I say, “I told you so.” :)

Anyway, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed seeing everyone.  It sounds like it was a nice funeral.  I hope Aunt Porfiria is doing ok and same with Patsy and the rest of the family.  I’m really glad that Aunt JoLeen took us to see Uncle Mike before I left.  It’s sad to hear that he died–I’ve thought about it a lot.  But I know everything will be okay and fine in the end.

Cordialement,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Mission

 

Finally!

Well I only have like ten minutes left so sorry if this turns out to be a bad email! We’re at an internet cafe….

But yesterday was pretty great. We finally got an investigator to church! We’ve been trying to get her to church since I got here and it’s always been a challenge but she finally got there yesterday. Although it was a huge hassle!

We were supposed to meet her at the bus stop and walk with her to church from there. Well she got off her train and told us she was there but we couldn’t find her. It just so happened that one of the ward members was at our station. He talked to her on the phone and found out that she was actually at a train station in a different city next to ours. So he went to the church to go start the meeting and another member came back, picked us up, drove us there to get her; picked her up, drove forever to get back to the church (there was a marathon going on so half the streets were blocked!) and then we finally got to church a half hour late.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to ask her what she though because when we got out of Priesthood meeting we saw her getting in a member’s car and he gave her a ride home. We’ll talk to her soon though. But THAT was a huge blessing.

Last night we also got to teach one of our investigators who’s been seeing missionaries for a long time. The cool thing was that we not only taught him but his entire family!! And they all seem to be interested. They’ve invited us back to see them twice this week.

Annnnd that one less active member that I wrote about before (the one who is now going back to church) we’ve begun teaching his entire family too!

So exciting! This last week was great with lessons and investigators. :D

Adios!
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Mission

 

Boop

I couldn’t think of a good title for this blog post so I named it after the first thing that came into my mind!!

Quick update: I’m still in Meaux and my new companion is Elder Nelson. He’s a super nice guy and a very hard worker and he likes bacon and Disney. Speaking of which, with our old president, we weren’t allowed to go to Disneyland (we live right next to it). So Elder Nelson really wanted to go and so he asked our new president, President Polznanski, and the answer waaassss…… no. Oh well.

Also, Elder Nelson drives which is good for me because I don’t like to drive and I’m terrible at stick shift.

So the French is still slowly coming. I’m always understanding more and more but I still have a hard time speaking it, especially if it’s not a gospel related subject. As for my Spanish, a lot of it is gone. Not happy about that.

So we had a cool experience the other day. We were contacting in Meaux and we passed a guy on the sidewalk.

After a couple seconds Elder Nelson said, “I feel kind of guilty for not talking to him.” So I said, “Well then turn around and go talk to him!”

We turned around and saw him walking to a car. We noticed that the car had a flat tire and realized that the car belonged to him. So we went over to help him. He was a little hesitant to let us help at first but we helped him anyway. We starting talking to him and he told us a bit about him and his family. After we finished, he started asking us some questions about what we believed in.

Then he said, “You should come over to my house and tell me more!”

SSCCOOORREE!!!

Haha we’re hoping to see him this week. Let’s hope it all goes well. :)

Not much else. Dad and Aunt JoLeen, stay safe. I am praying for yooouuu. :D

– Elder Saul Marquez

Just in case you are wondering about his dad this is the email I wrote Saul:

Hi,
Hope you week was good…. How’s the French coming along?  Are you still driving?  Any luck learning how to drive stick?
Your father, of course, returned from Mexico…though it is amazing he is still in one piece.  What he failed to tell me Sunday night and the reason he was so late returning home and decided to just stay in Douglas….was that he had an accident.  I think the Lord really watched over him this last trip (as I’m sure he always is watched over) but it was so evident this time.  It was a very rainy night (heavy rain)  Dad was going about 75miles an hour.  When water was crossing the road like a small creek.  He hit that water and the truck went sailing through the air, spinned, then sailing again and finally landed on its side (passengers side) then bounced back with all wheels on the ground.  One of the wheels was busted another was low on air.  He had some police help him to change his tire and escort him to the next town where he fixed the other tire.  The police wanted to fine him like $300 dollars (I actually don’t remember how much, but way too much)  He said respectfully, “You all did help me and I will accept your ticket, but I only have $50 dollars.  I will take the ticket to court and see the judge.  I will give you $50 for your help, which I really appreciate it.  You can all go to dinner on me.”  Can you just hear Dad saying that?  They took the $50 dollars and didn’t give him the ticket.  Ha Ha  Dad said that the seat belt saved his life.  If he hadn’t been wearing it he would’ve been thrown from the truck.  Count your many blessings!!!  So young man please wear your seat belt in France.  Can’t remember if I wrote that down in my letter in the package.
Hey I love you!  Can’t wait to hear about your week.  I pray for you, your companion and investigators often.  Don’t want to take more time.  I plan on writing you a letter this week.
Love,
Mom :

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Mission