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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Time’s Up!

I don’t have too long to write so I’ll make it short. My time in Mantes is up! And I’m on to the next chapter of my mission. I’ll be serving in Valenciennes. It’s up North next to Lille and along the border of Belgium. I don’t really know much about it except they just had two baptisms this weekend. This could be my second to last ville in my mission. :O!

Wish me luck! :)

My new address:

Les Missionnaires
Elder Saul Marquez
19, ave. Albert 1er
59300 VALENCIENNES
FRANCE

TTFN,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Mission

 

Consecrated Finding Day

Our zone had a zone finding activity this last week. It started on Tuesday. We had a zone fast where we fasted that we’d all find new investigators the following day. That following day was Wednesday, which we called, Consecrated Finding Day. We planned to devote the entire day to finding people. That meant contacting and porting pretty much all day!

Elder Andrus and I went out and talked to many people. We were able to get the numbers of a few people who were interested. One man in particular setup a rendez-vous with us for the next day.

Thursday morning came and we waited for him at the chapel. As we got to know him, we learned that he’s made many bad choices in his life. He has a few addictions but he wants to change. He’s had enough faith to pray to God most of his life, but he won’t ask the Lord for any help for himself. He feels unworthy to ask the Lord for help when he’s made so many bad choices.

We taught simple principles such as God is our Heavenly Father, the Atonement and Prayer. At the end of our rendez-vous he prayed. The Spirit was strong and we know he felt it too. We saw him again on Saturday and presented him with the Book of Mormon. He was very happy to receive. He was so excited to start reading that he began reading a chapter right there!

So our meetings with him were probably a couple of the best experiences I had last week. Apart from that, we had zone training and President interviews in Paris. And once again, I’m at Week 6 of another transfer. Next week will be my ELEVENTH! There are a total of sixteen. Time goes by fast.

It’s not official or anything, but I’ve been here in Mantes for six months now. There’s a good chance that I’ll be leaving this next transfer. We’ll found out come Saturday.

We’ll see what happens!
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Mission

 

Stupid Bisous

We ended up finding three new investigators last week. Unfortunately we wanted to find seven, but oh well. We’ll just keep aiming high. :)

Some cool things happened this week. Here are just a couple very quickly:

A few weeks ago we contacted an American girl who moved to France to live with her boyfriend. She wasn’t interested in our message but she was very friendly. A couple weeks ago we contacted a man from Senegal. He was interested and so we setup a rendez-vous with him. We got to his apartment and guess who answered the door?

“Hey guys, I think you’re here to see my boyfriend.”

It was the American girl!

So that was cool. :D

This last week we also took some time to really pray to know where we could have gone to port. We decided on porting in a ville called Porcheville. We went there and about halfway through the neighborhood, a super nice family let us in. We taught them the Restoration and it went pretty well. They’re going on vacation, though, so we won’t be seeing them for a while. Although there was a super awkward moment at the end. As we were shaking their hands goodbye, the mom was like, “No, I don’t shake hands, I give bisous.” (A bisou is a cultural thing here in France. When you greet or part from a friend, you always kiss their cheeks. The Soeur missionaries can do it with other women. Us Elders can’t do it with anyone). She leaned in and I was like “Uhhhhh…..” And she stopped and we explained the rule and everyone felt super awkward afterwards. Fail. I dunno what I could have done to better the situation.

Stupid bisous.

So that’s just a bit of what happened here this last week. Unfortunately, we’re still having problems getting our investigators to progress. Hopefully we’ll see that change soon. We have the worst time getting them to Church!

Not much more than that.

Mischief Managed,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Mission

 

How did we even get here?

Happy–late–fourth of July! This Saturday will be France’s independence day. For the fourth we just made hamburgers and went out to work. It was sort of a crumby day to be honest. My companion and I were both super tired and just not feeling very good at all. Some of our rendez-vous that we had set up fell through and so that meant that we’d spend our time finding.

Well, the night before Elder Andrus had taken a look at our map and pointed to a ville not too far from Mantes, Gargenville. He suggested porting there. I knew that one of the families in the ward lived there and I figured we could port in their neighborhood. So we did that.

When we got there we drove around the neighborhood looking for a good place to start. I realized that I had actually already done half of the neighborhood just a couple months before, so we were having difficulty finding a good spot. We finally reached the end of the road and decided that it would be the place.

The third house that we knocked on was newly built. The driveway hadn’t yet been finished. When we knocked on it, we were answered by a woman in a wheelchair. Her hair was slightly tangled and she was dressed all in pink.

“Hello, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ,” we said.

“I know. Me too!”

I immediately took her comment to mean, I’m a missionary too. I’ve gotten this from some people before on the streets. You tell them that you’re a missionary and then they tell you that they’re missionaries too and that everyone who is Christian is a missionary. And sometimes, if they’re in a grumpy mood, they like to be sassy about it.

But then she said something else, “You’re Mormon, right?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Me too! I was baptized in 1994 in Le Havre,” she said.

I was a bit surprised and I think Elder Andrus was too. She let us inside and led us to a table.

“I’m surprised to see you,” she said. “I had no idea that the church was here in Mantes.” She went on to tell us about herself. She’s inactive and has been for a very long time. She left the church after a series of health problems. She couldn’t understand why God would let her suffer so much. Over the years she’s convinced herself that there is no God. “Yet at the same time, deep down, I’ve always known that there is. I’m just angry.”

Since leaving the church, she’s been divorced but a few years ago remarried another man. Her husband and his children are completely atheist. In fact, in the middle of our discussion, her step son ran down the stairs with no shirt, a knife in his hand and the word SATAN written over his chest.

“We’re going to have a ritual, do you want to come?” he asked.

We didn’t really respond. It was pretty dirty of him. The second he left, she broke into tears.

We talked to her for a long time, sharing a couple scriptures and reassuring her. In the end, she decided that she wants to come back to Church. She wants a little bit of time to prepare herself and her family. It looks like there’ll be a lot of opposition from that family. But we know that the Lord will be by her side as she makes the effort.

“You know,” she said, “It doesn’t matter where I’ve gone. The missionaries have always found me wherever I’ve been.”

Clearly the Lord has been given her chance after chance. She says that she’s going to take it this time. We hope she does.

The Lord looks over his children and he sends help when they need it. We only have to be willing to accept it when it comes. And then we should always been alert to the promptings of the Spirit, because sometimes we’re the ones who are being sent to lift up each other’s burdens.

We left her house and Elder Andrus asked, “How did we even get here?”

Love,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Mission

 

Upon Burritos to the Beach

So Monday night we got a call from one of the members of our ward. He wanted to have a burrito fête at the church Wednesday night. And so we said we’d go.

But I didn’t get to eat burritos that night. :(

Instead I went on exchanges to a place called Le Havre, which is on the Northern coast of France. Normandiiieieeeeeieieieiee!!!!! But not so much the famous Normandie beaches that we always hear about. But they were still beaches…In Normandie. There was a neighborhood up on a cliff. We went porting there. I turned the corner and saw the OCEAN. I looked really really really hard and didn’t see England. Probably because Le Havre’s beaches don’t face England….

Le Havre was cool. It was very much different from regular old Mantes, so it was nice to experience a change for a day. We taught one of their recent converts which was a cool experience. She’d been investigating the church for a long time and finally decided to be baptized a few weeks ago. :)

Meanwhile, in Mantes, my companion and the other elder went to this burrito fête and apparently ended up paying for the whole thing. Bwahaha!!

Then Friday night, we went over to our ward mission leader’s house and he made a burrito fête!!! So I got to eat burritos and go to Le Havre. Yessss.

We also did missionary work this week–Hehe. We proposed baptismal dates for a couple of our investigators who we have been teaching for a while now. They’re all kind of hesitant right now. We’ve committed them to pray about the date, so we’ll see what happens. Something that seems to be coming up a lot with our investigators is the importance of praying. For whatever reason they all seem to be having issues when it comes to praying. I’ve always found prayer so simple so it’s hard to see why people have such a problem with it sometimes. But, of course, I’ve been doing it since I was young.

So we’re going to keep working there.

Apart from that, we’re seeing a lot more wizards than usual, particularly in Rouen. I’m suddenly on a quest to locate Beauxbatons.

Merci,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Mission