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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Four Quick Things

I can’t say that too much has happened this week. I can think of four things worth mentioning.

First, and the least important, was that it was Fête de la Musique this last week!! I remember when they had that last year too. Time goes by FAST! Fête de la Musique is a holiday here in France where everyone starts playing music on the streets come night time. It’s a holiday where everyone celebrates music. We were in a ville called Evreux when it happened. We stopped by a restaurant to get dinner that night and outside there was a band playing. They weren’t any good at all but it was still fun to watch for a little while.

Second: We were in a rendez-vous teaching one of our investigators the Plan of Salvation. At the end of the lesson he said, “It’s kind of like that TV show, Avatar the Last Airbender!” We started laughing and he began explaining how Avatar is a very spiritual and deep show. Although I agree with him: Avatar is LEGIT. I love that show. But it was just kind of funny because it was so random and he’s gotta be about fifty.

Third: We found a new investigator again! Yay! :D We went over and he thought that we had come to help him translate English songs intro French for him. I guess he used to know the missionaries and they used to do that for him. But we were like, “No…. We’re here to talk about God.” And he was surprised, but he listened to us and we taught the Restoration. At the end of it, he said he’d read the Book of Mormon and even said, “maybe this is a calling from God.”

And lastly, this last week while in Evreux, we passed by an address of an old investigator that the missionaries used to teach. She let us in and told us about how her husband had passed away and since then, she’s been hesitant to let the missionaries come back over and talk to her. She said that her faith is small right now and she wants to do better at strengthening it and being a good example to her children. We read from the Book of Mormon and talked about these things with her. By the end of it, she was super happy. We came at the right time and gave her just what she needed to hear. We’re planning on going back sometime soon.

So sorry–I know it’s not much. But there you go.

Yours truly,
Elder Saul Marquez

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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Mission

 

Tennnn

Time goes by super super super super fast. It nearly didn’t even hit me this last week that the transfer was coming to an end. But it has come to an end and now I begin my TENTH transfer.

TEN TRANSFERS?! I remember coming into the mission and thinking that all of the missionaries who were in their tenth transfers were pretty old and experienced. Well, here I am and I don’t feel much different from when I was a blue (“greenie”). I have this feeling that I won’t feel much different when I reach sixteen either.

So what’s happening this transfer? I’m staying in Mantes. Again! This is now my fourth transfer here in Mantes, which will make SIX MONTHS here. I’ll have soon spent an entire quarter of my mission here. I spent that much in Brussels too, although I have to say, these last three transfers here seem to have been a lot faster than my first three in Brussels. I’m not sure why. Time is weird. I’m staying with Elder Andrus, so there really isn’t much change for us.

This last week we had a lot of rendez-vous scheduled but a good deal of them fell through. Sad week. But we still taught a nice bit–and to be honest, anything’s good after going through that period of not teaching at all! We did have, however, a rougher time finding new people to teach this last week. We’ll just keep pressing forward.

So let’s talk about breaking down walls.

When Elder Teixeira came to give us a training, I believe I wrote about how we were encouraged to break down our walls and do the what-we-thought-was-the-impossible. Well, last year President Poznanski set a goal for the mission. As a mission, he wanted us to find one-hundred new investigators every week. Some months ago, we hit that goal and we felt pretty good.

Then Elder Teixeira came. President re-evaluated the goal: 258 investigators a week. It’s quite the jump from one-hundred. But since our zone conference, we’ve seen many miracles as a mission and we’ve watched as we’ve become closer and closer. Two weeks ago, we found 127 new investigators. That was quite the surprise. We haven’t seen that much in a very long while.

Now are you ready for this last week’s?

150.

It’s exciting to see the mission progress. What’s more, it’s rewarding to see how you’ve contributed to this effort. Of course, it’s not the number that matters. But it’s always exciting to see that there truly is and always will be work here in France. Often I think we as missionaries and others think that the European missions don’t find many people and don’t even baptise. But this isn’t true, and we’re seeing the proof of this more and more.

Thanks for your prayers. :)
Elder Saul Marquez

P.S. Thanks Sis Leroy for your kind letter! I got it this last week. :)

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Mission

 

Running Through Platform 9¾

I think that the best way to describe this last week is to simply say, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. Things at the beginning of the week were pretty good. We ended up finding three new investigators (that’s the second week in a row!!) and we went on exchanges and also got to spend time with a family that we really like here in Mantes. So things were feeling pretty good until Thursday night when some stuff happened and we weren’t too happy. It kind of ruined our entire day and just made us feel angry and sad.

Well, the next day we got up early and went off to Paris for zone conference. This zone conference was particularly special because Elder Teixeira of the seventy was going to be there. Feeling down over what had happened Thursday night, I prayed for the counsel that I needed to feel better and not let those things get in our way.

Zone conference was great! Seeing people that you know and love always helps solve a bad situation. And since a general authority was there, President and Soeur Poznanski had to do their trainings in English!!! It’s always fun to hear their French accents (Actually, they did a really good job. Their English just keeps getting better). It was funny too because the Poznanski’s kept calling me “Harry Potter” before the training. Little did we know that Soeur Poznanski had a Harry Potter reference in her message for us; and, of course, everyone singled me out when she made it.

“Yes, Elder Marquez,” she said, “I know your real name now.”

I don’t even remember telling them that I love Harry Potter, but I must have. A few weeks ago President came up to me with a red and yellow tie telling me, “Elder Marquez, do you like my tie?”

“Buhhh…. yes… What is it?”

“It’s HARRY POTTER!!”

After the Poznanskis we heard from Elder and Sister Teixeira. Sister Teixeira told us that we need to eat better and then made the following comments, “Just look at President Poznanski! I’ve seen him with less kilos!!!” We were all shocked and laughing. And then she said, after laughing herself, “Yes. I am proud of myself. I’m thankful that Elder Teixeira isn’t here right now” (he had stepped outside for a moment to take a call).

So we laughed a lot and that helped a ton in making me feel better.

Of course, the conference wasn’t just laughs. It was really really good. Elder Teixeira shared a story of a missionary who had been in his mission when he was a mission president. He had challenged the missionaries to shoot for twenty-one lessons a week. After giving out the challenge, he felt worried that perhaps he had asked too much. Well, not too long after that, he received one of his weekly president’s letters from a particular missionary. The missionary reported having taught twenty-one lessons. His letter was comprised of the following words: President, it is possible.

It was an inspiring story of how we can defy what we may have deemed impossible. It’s easy to get down on ourselves and it’s easy to set limits upon ourselves. But as President Poznanski said in his training, “Where are the limits? The Lord has no limits.” We have to run through our walls, just as Harry Potter ran through his wall to get to Platform 9¾. :)

So Elder Andrus and I talked about what we thought of the training afterwards. We want to shoot high, just as the missionary had in Elder Teixeira’s story. Not for the sake of reaching twenty-one or putting a golden badge on a week’s worth of work to prove that we can get high numbers. Rather, we’re going to reach high and then work hard to break down any limits we may have placed upon ourselves.

At the end of the conference, having reflected over the challenges that had been brought up the night before, I had this impression:

Forget everything. Just work.
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Mission