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