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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Transferlution

The APs (assistants to the president) and President also use Friday to call up missionaries who are going to be serving as APs, Zone Leaders, Trainers, District Leaders and Office Elders.  And with nineteen new missionaries coming in this transfer, everyone was nervous that they’d be training.
So we used this to our advantage.
Elder Dykstra, one of the other elders here in Brussels, called us up early Friday morning.
“I changed your name on our phone to Paris Assistants!  Call us in five minutes and act like you’re them.  Tell Elder Zysk that he’s training!”
“Elder Marquez, you need to act like you’re Elder Hall!”  Elder Garcia gave me the phone.
“I can’t do an Elder Hall voice!”
“But you can do it better than I can!  I’ll be Elder Duarte!”
So we called them up and… yes, I did an Elder Hall voice, in a really goofy, silly voice that sounded nothing like Elder Hall’s voice.
“Hi, is this Elder Zysk?  Hey this is Elder Hall and Elder Duarte.  How are you doing?  Well, we just thought you’d like to know that the Lord has seen you fit to train!  How do you feel about that?  Good?  Ok?  Great!  We need you to be here in Versailles around ten on Wednesday to pick up your new blue!”
Oh boy.  He bought it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  And then we told him the truth later in the day and we all got a good laugh.
And then I got a call.  And I wasn’t laughin’ no more.
“Hi, Elder Marquez, this is Elder Hall!”
I’ve been called District Leader!  And I’m not going to lie, I’m a tad nervous.  Especially since I’m the youngest in the district and district meetings have to be in French and my French is still barely budding.  So we will see how it goes.  Wish me luck!
Anyway, a lot of other changes are being made this transfer.  The biggest is that my companion, Elder Garcia is leaving!!  He’s basically only served in Brussels because there are so few Spanish speakers in the mission.  So after a year of working here, he is moving to Luxembourg and he couldn’t be happier (especially because his brother served there when he was on his mission back when Luxembourg belonged to Geneva).  And basically everyone in Brussels is getting moved.  In our ward only one of the sisters and I are staying.  So Brussels is going to feel sooo different!  My new companion is an Elder Smith.  I’ve heard that he’s really nice.  Don’t know much else.  But I’m pretty sure he doesn’t speak Spanish so I’m guessing that this marks the end of Spanish speaking missionaries in the France Paris Mission.  That’s too bad.  Not confirmed but that’s what it looks like.
So I guess on Wednesday Elder Zysk (because he is also staying) and I will be helping the new missionaries into Brussels since everyone else is leaving!
So the last couple days and the next few days will be Elder Garcia saying goodbye to all the people he’s known for a year.  It’s pretty sad.  But I guess that’s the way the mission goes.  We get taken away from people we love to find new people to love, I guess.  And unlike friends and family that I left back home, I know that once you leave an area there will be certain people you’ll never see again.
And now that I think about it, when am I ever coming back to Europe?!  Coming here used to be a dream of mine, but I wasn’t ever really sure it would happen!  Hmm…  I had that thought the other day too as I was walking through the European Union.
With all due respect,
Elder Saul Marquez
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Mission

 

Digging Up Dreams

Last Tuesday we had Zone Conference! I’ve decided that I love zone conferences because you get to see a bunch of missionaries, yay!!!!!!!! And I’m starting to get to know a lot of them and it’s always fun to meet new ones (although I can’t imagine I’ll ever meet all of them, considering how huge the mission is and also that there are, like 183 or so of us…?)

Anyway. This zone conference was especially good. Because President and Sister Poznanski had to do it in English. The reason they had to give the training in English is because we had a general authority there. Elder Kopischke of the Seventy and his wife were there to give us missionaries an all-day training. It last from ten in the morning to five at night! It was quite the day. Especially considering that we had to travel all the way down to France (to Lille).

But it was awesome. I think everyone left the conference feeling uplifted and encouraged. After the Poznanskis did their training, Sister Kopischke made me play I Am I Child of God and had everyone sing it in their native language. The Kopischkes, being German, sang it in German. The Poznanskis in French. And amongst the missionaries people were singing it in English, Portugeuse, French, German and Spanish. It was very very cool. It really made me think about the giant culture blend we have amongst the missionaries. We have Elders and Sisters from all over the world. Sister Kopischke gave a great training and shared her enthusiasm of sharing the gospel with others.

And then it was Elder Kopischke’s turn. He told us to think back to the moment we got our mission calls. He asked us to think of what our dreams were like at that moment. And by dreams he didn’t mean speaking French, eating pastries, driving along the French countryside or walking in the shadows of the Eifel Tower, Arc de Triumph, the Grand Arches of Brussels or through the beaches of Normandie. No. He wanted us to think about those other dreams. The ones where we were walking along roads, stopping people, inviting them to come unto Christ. He wanted us to remember the dreams we had of families stepping in the water, dressed in white.

“Why have you buried your dreams?”

I think all of us paused in our thoughts for some time at that question. How easy is it to keep your mouth shut? How hard is it to open that mouth? (Pretty dang hard, especially in another language!)

“Picture a family dressed in white, in the Paris France Temple.”

He gave us a lot of advice that day. And like I said before, we left feeling a lot better about ourselves. He reminded us of our dreams and how dangerous it is to bury them.

“Never bury your dreams. It kills you.”

Elder Garcia and I talked a lot about what we learned and felt during a planning session. We’re looking into the future with a better image in mind. We’re going to dig up those old dreams and turn them into reality. We’ve set goals. Elder Kopischke said, “You set goals because it’s the only way you can ever connect your dreams to reality.”

So I’m happy and I’m excited for the future. This is the last full week of the transfer. Another one gone and done just like that! Elder Garcia and I want to end it with a bang. We’ll be meeting a couple new investigators this week and hopefully something will come out of them. Come Friday and Saturday we’ll find out if we’re staying or not. I honestly don’t know what’ll be going on, I have no predictions. I’m probably staying, but I have no idea if Elder Garcia is or isn’t. There aren’t anymore Spanish speakers to send to Brussels in the mission. Although an elder is coming in from Mexico, so we’ll see, although I think his calling is French speaking.

On va voir.

And just for fun, here are a few more quotes from Elder Kopischke. Just because it was so epic. :)

“What you do is driven by what you desire.”

“You want to experience the power of your calling, not the authority.”

“Do you honestly believe that there is only one man on earth qualified or worthy to be the prophet? We would be a poor church if we believed that… It’s a matter of the pre-existence and foreordination…. I was talking to President Uchtdorf about that the other day.” BOOM!

“I want you to look mean and angry… Look like a French person!” (Elder Kopischke to President Poznanski).

“Finding is a highly spiritual experience.”

“You will see what’s in your mind… You will find what you see.”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” (J.K. Rowling)
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Mission

 

The Week of Slow

This week has honestly been pretty slow. I noticed that we did a lot more member work than anything, which I think is pretty good because President is always telling us that we need to “break the walls” with the members. And I really like working with members anyway.

As for investigators, none seem to really be progressing. They either cancel our rendez-vous or don’t show up to church. It’s a bit frustrating. Elder Garica and I had a good planning session for the week to talk about areas where we could do better. We’re going to clean up a lot of the “little things” that you might not think make a difference but do. :) And we’ve planned more finding…

This week we’ll be having Zone Conference. It’ll be in France in a city called Lille. It’s supposed to last from ten to five–aye!!! We’ll see how it goes. Elder Kopischke, one of the area authorities will be there to give us a training. Hope it goes well!

The most memorable event this week has been coming back home from an open house we had last Saturday. Elder Garcia and I were on the metro when these two drunk guys got on. They saw our plaques and, of course, couldn’t keep their mouths shut. They started singing about Jesus and making fun of us. It got to the point where at least half the people on the metro were laughing at us. Then they started asking us questions but we wouldn’t respond.

Some guy on the other side of the metro yelled out, “Ils parlent pas Français!” They don’t speak French. “They speak English! They’re from America, they’ve been here for a long time!”

So then one of the drunks started trying to talk to me in English but I just acted like I didn’t understand anything he was saying in French or English.

“Where are you from?” he asked. I didn’t want to say America, not because I don’t love my country, but honestly because I didn’t want them getting on our case for being American.

And I also wanted a good laugh.

“Tahiti,” I said. Hahaha.

“TAHITI!!!!” he yelled. And then he started singing about Tahiti. And then he touched Elder Garcia on the shoulder and Elder Garcia got mad and said, “Don’t touch me.”

The drunk got angry, got up and left. The end.

Tahiti. Hehe.
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Mission