The last week has, indeed, been very tiring and exhausting. SO much
has happened. I guess it starts with us preparing our investigators
We taught them the last few thing Monday night and then made an effort
to see them every night leading up to the baptism. The mother was
feeling good about the Church and everything we’ve taught her, however
she was still on the fence abut the baptism. She hadn’t said no, but
she hadn’t said yes either. She’s been baptized twice already, so
she’s been hesitant to do it again. We’ve explained it all to her and
she understood it and didn’t really object it. She just wanted a
So Thursday came and we all decided to fast for her confirmation.
That night we went over and talked. She was still unsure. Before
leaving, Elder Smith suggested praying there to get a confirmation.
We knelt down in a circle and then each said a prayer. Elder Smith
started, then I did one, then the daughter did one and finally the
mother. It felt like a heavy blanket was draped over our hearts. We
knew it was the Spirit.
There was peace and then quiet.
“What do you think?” asked Elder Smith.
She thought for a moment.
“I’m going to do it,” she said. “I just don’t know when.”
She got the confirmation, but then she wanted to wait for her sister
who is being taught by a different set of missionaries in Nivelles
(just outside of Brussels). But she decided that she still wanted a
baptismal interview, just in case she changed her mind and decided to
go through with it on Saturday.
As for the daughter, she told us that she was two-hundred percent sure
that she would be baptized. So we planned for one baptism on
Friday night came and we did an exchange with the zone leaders so they
could do the interviews. I went with Elder Hoopes to their house and
there he did both their interviews. The daughter was super excited
for the baptism the next day and both she and her mom did just fine on
the interviews. We left the house telling them when they should be at
the church and what to bring, etc, etc.
And then on the way home I got a call from the daughter. She said
that she wanted to change the day. She wants to be baptized with her
mom–she wants to do it as a family. Elder Smith talked to her and
they said they would pray that night and tell us Saturday morning.
Saturday came and they had their answer. They would wait, for how
long they weren’t so sure, but they would wait.
We were a bit sad to see that happen, but we, at least, know they WILL
be baptized. They said it themselves. It’s just a matter of when.
However, we feel strongly that it’ll be soon. They honestly are an
amazing family, and Elder Smith and I have been beyond blessed to have
seen them grow and change. Especially the daughter. She’s
thirteen-years-old and her faith is incredible.
And amongst the whirlwind of things, Saturday I found out that I’ll be
leaving Brussels. I’m going to a place called Mantes la Jolie (or
something like that). It’s North of Paris. And from what I hear…
It’s a bit… ghetto… But so it is! And I’ll be in a trio–I’ll
have two companions. One I already know, Elder Sorenson. He’s a
group below me, he’s a really good kid. The other is Elder Nielson
who is still pretty new in the field from what I understand.
As for Elder Smith, this is where he finishes his mission. So neither
of us will be here for when our investigators get baptized. It’s
weird to think that in two days two completely new missionaries will
be teaching all the people we’ve spent time with.
For me, I’m especially sad. My time in Brussels has been very
precious to me. I’ve now spent six months here. That’s an entire
quarter of my mission! I remember leaving Meaux and how sad I was to
say goodbye. Well, to be perfectly honest, I’m crushed to be leaving.
Brussels has been something else for me. Here I’ve experienced some
of the most challenging moments of my life. I’ve made friends that I
will hold onto eternally. I watched my French progress (slightly!
Still getting there, haha!), and I defied my own faith and somehow
taught in Spanish after forgetting it. Here I witnessed miracles and
truly gained a testimony that miracles do exist. Within the Lord,
nothing is impossible.
When I think of Brussels, I think of trials, growth and happiness.
This place will hold a very special place in my heart.
It all hit me yesterday as I went up to the pulpit to give my parting
testimony. I’m very sad to say goodbye to the ward and the wonderful
people I met here. This ward really is amazing! And the Belge are
awesome!!!!! Haha. :)
But I’m happy to be moving on. It’s time to go. I’ve been here for a
while and I’m ready to see the rest. With the Lord by my side, I know
that I’ll make it through the months ahead.
So here begins Chapter Five of my mission!
All is well.
Elder Saul Marquez