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