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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Dizzy Sickly Week

Tuesday we went to district meeting and Elder Richer-Brulé had the phone in his pocket. When we got back to the apartment, the phone was nowhere to be found. We tried calling it but it would go straight to voice mail (and yet it was still fully charged). So clearly someone had it. We figure they took out the SIM card. Thankfully our neighbor let us use his phone to call the office. They told us that we wouldn’t have a phone for a few days.

Okay. Setback–but we weren’t going to let it get in the way of our week.

That night, Elder Richer-Brulé goes to sleep. Four in the morning, Elder Richer-Brulé runs to the bathroom. He throws up. He’s too sickly to come back to bed and stays by the toilet the rest of the night. Me? I’m having the best sleep I’ve had in ages.

So Elder Richer-Brulé was sick all Wednesday. He got back in bed in the morning and then after that wouldn’t get out. Just getting out of bed made him dizzy and want to throw up. So we stayed in the apartment all day. I studied Preach My Gospel all morning, ate lunch, reorganized my study binder, prepared a lesson, blah blah blah. I kept myself busy. Later that night we hiked to the church (it’s like a half hour walk) to call members and amis and also let Soeur Poznanski know that Elder Richer-Brulé was sick. We got some medicine and he slept the rest of the night.

Thursday was better. We went out with some members and visited some recent converts and less actives. It went really well and we had a good time. Later that night we returned to our apartment and had dinner. Then our district leader showed up with our new phone (he had been in Paris that day so he was able to get it for us).

And then I threw up.

Yes, I got sick. With the same thing. And a fever. So Friday I was in bed all day. We called Soeur Poznanski and let her know. President told me that I should use my magic wand and cast a spell to make me better.

And then we lost all the investigators we found so far this transfer. :(

Soooooo. Not the greatest weeks ever. We were basically sick all week but oh well. We still have high hopes for this next one. Amidst it all, we did receive a referral of a woman who’s been going to church for a while but was never taught by the missionaries. I talked to her last night and she seems really cool. On the referral page it said that she wants to be baptized so hopefully good things’ll come soon! We’ll meet her this week.

So there’s our crazy week.

Happy birthday (to whomever might be having a birthday this week),
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Mission

 

Long Week, Greater Opportunities

This week was better. We taught a fair amount of lessons. It’s still kind of low compared to what Elder Andrus and I had been teaching in Mantes, but at least we’re progressing! And–hey–we found some new amis. :)

It actually all started last week, back to “Long Week, the Small Opportunities.”

So we went to Mantes and we pretty much felt like that had been a waste of a day. We spent the entire day in trains only to not be able to start my legality. And so when we got to Valenciennes we started walking toward our apartment, the day over and behind us. We were talking about what a waste of a trip our time in Mantes had been when a woman heard us speaking in English.

“You’re American?” she asked. We said yes and she asked, “Are you from the Church of Jesus…. the… end of the world….”

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!” we said. (Not the saints of Jesus of the end of the world, by the way. There are some people who actually interpret it that way!)

Well, we talked to her briefly and learned that she had talked to missionaries some fifteen years before. She asked us for the address of the Church and she said she’d be there. She seemed a bit interesting so we weren’t too sure she’d keep her word.

Come Sunday she was there with a friend! She wanted a Book of Mormon and so I set up a rendez-vous with her so we could give her one. As for the friend… she was crazy.

Tuesday we ended up teaching the woman in a park and taught about the Restoration and offered her a Book of Mormon. We then set up a return rendez-vous for Friday.

Friday comes and this is where it gets cool! She came to the rendez-vous and she once again brought a friend along. But it wasn’t the friend she brought to church. No, this friend was super cool!! She told us up front that she wasn’t interested but we got to know her a bit and we learned that she’s actually got several things in her life that she wants to straighten out.

We talked about prayer and God talking to his children. We talked about receiving a spiritual confirmation that God exists and that Christ is the Savior of the world. And we talked of Christ and His atonement.

By the end of the rendez-vous she was very happy to have come. In fact, we’ll be seeing her again tomorrow!

As always, it was a great opportunity to share the truths we love so much. And it’s always a greater joy to see the change that takes place in others.

We’ve still got a lot more people to find here, but we know they’re out there. Our experiences this last week are just proof of that.

I can’t say I have much more to say than that. It’s been hot here! Last couple days have been around a hundred degrees. And I realize back home it’s like 117, but you’d be surprised what humidity does… And then, of course, there is no air conditioning. So you’re sleeping in sweat.

Yuck,
Elder Saul Marquez

P.S. We found a pet Pikachu!!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Mission

 

Long Week, the Small Opportunities

This has been a very charged week.

We spent all day on trains last Tuesday. I had to go back to Mantes to do my legality. There were some issues. So it didn’t get done. It reminded me of when I went to Angers last year for Elder Garcia’s legality and nothing got done. But don’t worry, we figured out the problems and as of this morning my paperwork has been submitted. Yay!

Well, then Elder Richer-Brulé was driving but turned too fast on a corner and the tire hit the corner of a sidewalk and got a huge hole in it. So we had to change the tire on the side of the road. Then the next day we went around looking for a Chevy dealer. Found one but they had no tires for us and told us to try somewhere else. So we went there and they said they couldn’t see us for weeks. And we had to return it the next day to the missionaries in Nivelles (that’s in Belgium–we only have the car one week in the transfer here). So we made some calls and it was determined that Nivelles would look into it after the switch.

So Friday morning we drove up to Belgium to return the car. My companion had to parallel park and one of the rules for us missionaries is that the other missionary has to be behind the car and help them back out. So I got outside and helped him between two cars. But he wasn’t watching very well. So when I said stop he didn’t see it. And he kept going. And I was between our car and a car behind me. And I had no chance. And everyone saw. And I screamed like a banshee. And there was an ambulance.

Ok, I didn’t scream. And there was no ambulance. And only a few people saw across the street. He kept backing up and he crushed my knee.

Now, you can imagine how this might hurt someone.

Well, it did hurt but not that bad. I was fine but my knee hurt a lot. Yesterday it stopped hurting and today I don’t feel anything there at all. So no worries. :)

Then we got on a train and went to Lille where we had district meeting. And after that, most of the week has been pretty normal.

Unfortunately we didn’t find too many new people and the people we had rendez-vous with canceled last minute or were no longer interested. Sad day. But all the time for finding has given us the chance to really practice on our technique. We’ve talked a lot about how we can get better in contacting and porting. We’ve seen some good results from doing such.

We even walked past one lady. Elder Richer-Brulé gave her a huge smile and she stopped in her tracks. Her eyes grew wide. They were filled with excitement. She had a the largest grin on her face. “You smiled at me!” she said. “People don’t smile anymore! Thank you so much. I’m so glad that there are still happy people in the world.”

We seemed to have made her day! And what a great and simple way to make others happy. Don’t forget that there’s an emoticon on your face too. :)

Last night we talked to a guy on his doorstep for a while. He doesn’t believe in God. He said it was too hard for him to believe because he was too scientific. We had a long and interesting discussion that touched on faith and prayers, the after life and trials. The spirit was really strong as we talked to him. There were moments where he even seemed to be trying to convince himself that God was there. In the end, he decided he couldn’t believe. But we left him with the Plan of Salvation pamphlet to which he responded, holding the pamphlet in the air, “I will read it!” And he had a large smile on his face and we left his house feeling good as we’re sure he entered his home feeling good too.

You see, when you share the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, you can’t help but feel good. Because what you’re sharing is good and true. You’re not alone in sharing it: the Spirit is there to touch the hearts of others. “If you feel the Spirit, then they feel the Spirit,” said Elder Teixeira at our conference a couple months ago. And the greatest joy is in watching the change that takes place in others; even if it lasts for only a moment on a door step at the end of a rainy night.

Look to bear your testimony. Ask God for the opportunities to do so. The occasion will come to the sincere seeker. You’ll feel a peace at heart because He will be with you.

Love,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Mission

 

Eh

Well, I’ve survived another journey to a new ville. I had to buy a new suitcase because my old one was all torn up and basically dead. So that helped.

Wednesday was a weird day. I was in Paris for a while waiting for my new companion to come in. While there, I saw all of the dying missionaries. That was weird!! A huge group just went home and a good deal of them were good friends of mine in the mission. My old companions Elder Nelson and Elder Garcia, for instance, are GONE and HOME. And the Soeurs that were in the MTC with me went home too.

And then the new missionaries came in and a whole bunch of other missionaries came in and I realized that I hardly know anyone in the mission now. I’ve heard about this but I guess I still wasn’t ready for it. It’s just kind of weird to think that all those people who were in the mission when I came in are gone. And then it doesn’t help that I get to Valenciennes and I have members ask me how long I’ve been out and I say sixteen months and they say something to the effect of, “You’re almost done!!”

No, I’m not. I still have ’till April and that’s still a decent ways away.

Still, it’s kind of weird to think that today makes sixteen months. I went back and double counted yesterday. I’m as stupid as a peanut when it comes to math so I’m still not sure I added up right. But I’ve done the calculations and it seems to be that. Weird.

As for Valenciennes, it’s SOOO much different from Mantes. Practically everyone here is French. They have this nice new and clean tram that goes through the city. There are stores. And it’s clean. There isn’t pee on the chapel. It’s weird! Yesterday the bishop asked if I thought Valenciennes was pretty and I said yes. He laughed because he evidentally thinks it’s not. I replied, “I’ve spent the last six months in Mantes la Jolie, so it’s pretty.” And he was like, “Oh. Yeah, Valenciennes is pretty then.” Haha.

My companion’s name is Elder Richer-Brulé. He’s Francophone Canadian but he grew up speaking English too so he’s fluent in both. He’s in his third transfer and I’m his second companion. He’s a nice good little Canadian. He whistles as any good Canadian should whistle and has a wooden moose on his desk that I like to play with when he’s in the shower. He also has Canadian flags all over the place. I let him keep them up. But pretty soon I’ll be replacing them all with the Belge flag. I just need some thumb tacks.

We don’t have very many investigators here. Ok, we have like two. So we’re finding a lot. If you know anyone who lives here, feel free to send us the referral. ;) We already found one new investigator last week and we expect to keep finding more!

That’s about all I have to say. I hope your day is filled with magic and whimsy, eh.

Sincerely,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Mission