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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Back to Speed

The last few weeks have been crazy and busy. We were in Paris for a couple of the last P-Days and we had to change our schedule around a few times too. Hence why I haven’t written in ages.

What did I miss writing about? Basically Elder Sorensen’s and my time with Elder Fourtina, the visa waiter that we trained. We went to the mission home last night and dropped him off. We were sad to say goodbye but we know that he’ll do many great things in his mission (the Ogden Utah Mission). He should be on a plane right now and by the time you read this, I imagine he’ll be checking in or already be settled into the MTC. He’ll be there for the next few weeks.

Now Elder Sorensen and I feel really weird. We’ve spent the last eleven weeks being in a trio and now we’re suddenly a regular equipe. The apartment feels empty. But oh well. We’ll get used to it soon.

Last week we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders. They both came down to Mantes to work with us. We split into two groups. Before doing so, we prayed specifically that each group would find a family to teach. Our group ported for a few hours but nobody let us in. At the end of the few hours, we called the other group for them to pick us up in the car. They didn’t answer. A few minutes later they called back. They had taught a lesson to a family. It was pretty cool but we still hadn’t. They said they’d be there in fifteen minutes. We decided to keep going down the street during that time. We got to the end of the street and knocked on the door.

We got in and taught a family. It was legit. It was nice to teach some lessons after going so many weeks without teaching anyone. We hope that we can keep it up. Tomorrow is a big holiday… From what I understand it was only invented to get out of work… (There are like ten holidays like that here). So people are home tomorrow. We got a few rendez-vous setup so we hope they’ll all go through.

Not much else. Apparently it’s already transfer week. I didn’t realize it, but we’ll get transfer news this Saturday. Time goes by toooooooo fast. I honestly didn’t realize that it was the last week of the transfer until yesterday. It still doesn’t quite feel like the last week. I guess we’ll see what happens!

Time plays tricks on my mind.
Elder Saul Marquez

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Mission

 

New Beginnings

We got to see conference in Versailles this last weekend. It was sooo good. I just love listening to the words of the prophet and the apostles. The Spirit is always so strong and there’s always a feeling of unity when we, as a world, come together to learn together. President Monson said:

“How blessed we are to have come to earth at such a time as this—a marvelous time in the long history of the world. We can’t all be together under one roof, but we now have the ability to partake of the proceedings of this conference through the wonders of television, radio, cable, satellite transmission, and the Internet—even on mobile devices. We come together as one, speaking many languages, living in many lands, but all of one faith and one doctrine and one purpose.”

That, of course, got me thinking of how far away I am from my family and friends back home! Just a year ago tomorrow, I sat in the living room surrounded by my entire family. We shared words and testimonies of the Church, missionary work and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By the end of the next night, I was set apart as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Two days later I said goodbye and entered the MTC.

Naturally, I’ve been thinking about those days leading up to my beginning as a missionary a lot! Not just because at the end of the week I’ll be hitting my year mark, but also because Elder Sorenson and I are training a new missionary who just started his mission! He’s visa waiting (he’s from Bordeaux and was called to the Utah Ogden Mission) and hasn’t yet gone into the MTC (Mission Training Center). He came to us nearly directly from his family. It’s interesting to see his beginning and contrast that with what was my own.

And so I’m left thinking about beginnings. Beginnings are tough and they always have been. But they’re composed of those initial steps that bring us closer to fulfilling our full potential.

And for me, these couple of weeks have been filled with new beginnings. In fact, to me the date, April 6, is symbolic of just that. Wasn’t this the day that the Church was restored on Earth? This was my new beginning as a missionary. And I even think back to President Hinckley’s wife who passed away on April 6, 2004–to which President Hinckley wrote, concerning death, “‘Tis not the end, but genesis / Of better worlds and greater light.”

Didn’t April 6 usher the Savior, Jesus Christ, into this world, beginning his mortal life and ministry? Even more so, April 6 falls on Easter weekend this year, the moment in which we remember Christ’s triumph over death and the new beginning and gift that is the Resurrection.

Yesterday, on our way to the mission home for some legality business, we passed by a huge church not far from Versailles. We recognized the church and we hopped out. We walked a little ways until we found ourselves at the edge of a huge hill. Running at the edge of the hill was an intricate iron fence. Beyond the fence was the Sein and beyond that, Paris. Yards from us was the Pavilion Henri IV. Here, Louis XIV, the Sun King, was born.

President Staheli had taken us here our first day in France. We, as missionaries, call it Consecration Hill. I recall beginning my mission in France on this hill and writing my thoughts and feelings down on a piece of paper. This was where I had truly started my mission last June. It was a funny chance to come back to the same spot when I was so close to my year mark. It was like renewing the promises I made to myself and the Lord when I first started my mission.

I can’t help but think of all these things, these new beginnings, as I approach April 6. The week has been tough. We lost nearly all of our investigators in one week. But we’re still excited to keep going. We’re starting over. We’ll find new people. And we’ll help them toward Christ. It’s our new beginning here in Mantes.

It’s true. Time is fast. I still have yet another year ahead of me. It’ll get faster. But this isn’t easy. It’s like every week proves to be harder. But I know this work is true and so that’s why I’m here.

Our message is one of hope through faith and repentance through Jesus Christ. It’s the message of Spring and Easter, of New Beginnings to “better worlds and greater light.”

“In this fast-paced life do we ever pause for moments of meditation—even thoughts of timeless truths?” President Thomas S. Monson.
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Uncategorized