President Monson spent FOREVER talking and talking about temples and then he finally got around to the temple announcements. It was agony. And then, of course, he reaches the end and he doesn’t announce the Paris temple! Instead, he throws in a quick “And we’re working on the temple in Paris.”
Oh well. That’s old news to us. A month or two ago the Church bought property near Versailles for the temple. One of the French newspapers caught wind of it and announced that the Church was working on building a temple there. This got a lot of the members super excited. This happened once before some decades ago but nothing came from it. This time seemed promising, though. So for the last while we’ve all been looking forward to this conference, hoping for the official announcement. Still not there. Of course, I understand that after the press got everyone’s attention President Monson couldn’t just go without saying something. But oh well. I hear the members in France are pretty sad but maybe this is all just a good lesson in patience. Considering the Church’s history with trying to build a temple in France, this could be one of the most anticipated temples ever.
Either way, conference happened and it was GREAT! I was SOOO excited all week long and when it ended I was super sad. I don’t know why it means so much more now that I’m on my mission but it did and it was SO MUCH FUN! However Saturday was pretty hectic. We got ready in the morning, went to the church and printed off programs for the baptism that we were planning on having later that day. After that we went to pick up our ami (investigator) who was getting baptized and took her to the OTHER church in Brussels. We got there to find members waiting outside for the broadcast of the Relief Society session. For some reason nobody had come to set it up. We got inside and found the projector ready but we had no idea how to turn it on or tune into the satellite broadcast. Someone figured it out eventually but the picture was terrible. Either way, they sat through it.
As Relief Society Session was going on, we were rehearsing a musical number, preparing the fount, setting up chairs, etc etc. And then I remembered that Relief Society Session was an hour and a half. This was a problem because the Relief Society Session started at 4 and then they would do a live broadcast of Saturday Morning session at 6. So we had a half hour for the baptism. And then I had a feeling that the bishop wouldn’t show up. So I called him up.
“Oh, yeah, I’m out of town.”
Thank goodness one of the members of the bishopric showed up just in time. But then we started late because everyone wanted to take pictures! So then we had twenty minutes. Then right after the baptism, I ran into the chapel because conference was about to start. An ami was there and I told her that there was something wrong with the video.
“Well then I’m not watching!” What?! (She ended up staying in the end).
And since nobody was there to fix anything, we were trying to get it to work. And then I was like, “Wait, there’s still a baptism going on!” So I went back and caught the talk of the Holy Ghost and the closing prayer.
In the end, we were a bit late for Saturday Morning’s Session but I got there in time to catch the second half of Elder Scott’s talk. And by then someone in the ward had fixed the video so it was all good.
It was pretty hectic and crazy but it was all fun. After Saturday Morning’s session we went home. Got up Sunday morning and went back at 11 and watched Priesthood Session. Then at 2 we watched Saturday Afternoon and then a live broadcast of Sunday Morning at 6. I have yet to see Sunday Afternoon.
I took loads of notes during conference and learned a lot. There were some great talks of encouragement, instruction and warning. A common theme I noticed was standing up for our church, even, at times, defending it. Between Broadway musicals to Presidential Elections, the press, media and public continue to become more and more aware of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Considering what has happened in the last six months, it only makes sense that the general authorities would encourage us to stand up for our church.
It’s something that we, as missionaries, have talked about a lot. As missionaries in France and Belgium (althoughI imagine that this must be the same for many other European missions), we are often confused with members of a different and very prominent faith. I’m not going to say what the church is, but you’ve heard of it. People don’t even know that we’re members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Even with our plaques. They mistake us as something else. Some people have never even heard of a Mormon! And those who have already have crazy ideas about who we are–ideas that are almost always wrong.
It’s important that people know who we are. And it’s important that they know what we believe; especially that we believe and follow Jesus Christ.
So speak up. Every member a missionary. Like President Monson, even if you feel alone, know that you’re not. Besides, there are at the very least 52,000 of us out on the streets doing the same thing. The sister, who was baptized, was found through members.
We are all enlisted!
Elder Saul Marquez
Tell Andie I said hi and Happy Birthday.