Monthly Archives: September 2012

Movin’ Along

Funny story.

When our zone arrived in Brussels for the zone conference this last week, we realized that there were no direct trains back to Lille–the city we’d all have to pass through to get back to our villes. The fastest way would be to take a train through Gent to Kortijk (both of these villes are outside of our mission) and then get another train to Lille. So after calling the assistants to see if we could do that, we did it.

Basically our entire zone came with us. Yet somehow the train that we were supposed to take from Kortijk to Lille didn’t exist! And we didn’t find out until we got there. There was only one train that was going to Lille and that wouldn’t be arriving for over an hour. So basically our entire zone was outside of the mission for a long while. It was kind of funny being there too because we didn’t get service on our phones and we couldn’t understand anything anyone was saying because it was all Flemish. It’s weird being somewhere where you don’t understand the language at all.

So that was a funny experience for us haha.

Besides that, we had some great things happen last week. Wednesday we got to spend the day with a couple of the recent convert members. They drove us around a ville called Maubeuge which is one of the farther points in our area. We stopped by and got to teach some of the recent converts there and the less actives. It was a very busy and tiring day but we had a great time getting to know some of the members better.

Of course, the big news is the baptism of the mother of that recent convert family! That’s happening this weekend! They announced it yesterday at church and the ward members were extremely excited and happy to hear the news. It sounds like most of the ward will be there for the baptism which is great. She has so much support behind her! The ward here and really been a blessing for the missionary work.

We also found a new investigator this week which was great, especially for Elder Kendall. I’m glad that we were able to find one within his first week. I wanted him to have that experience early in his mission (no repeats of Mantes, please!) Our new investigator is from Cameroun. He’s a really cool guy. We’ll be seeing him again tonight. We invited him to the ward family home evening that they’ll be doing so we’re praying that that will go well!!

And it’s gotten cold in the last week. We’ve got our suits back on and it’s nearly the time to cover up well in a big old coat that one would never wear in Arizona.

I found out last winter that I don’t like the cold.

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.
Elder Saul Marquez

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Mission


It’s an Elder!

It’s an Elder!! Yaaay!!!

My new companion’s name is Elder Kendall from Texas. That’s my third companion from Texas. I don’t know why they always come to me.

Of course, when I stood up so President could present me in front of everyone and announce who I was training, he had to say something along the lines of, “Elder Marquez is a MAGICIAN!!! Yes!” And then someone told him that in English we say wizard and so he said, “I mean, a wizard!! He has a magic wand!”

Last week was one of the longer weeks of my mission. I think that’s in cause due to the changes what with Elder Richer-Brulé leaving and Elder Kendall coming in. We also didn’t get to see many people that week. Either our schedules didn’t work out with us having to go into Paris for the transfer or the stinkin trains ran at the most inconvenient times. Thankfully, in coordinating with some members, it looks like this week will be a lot better and we’ll get to see many other people.

Speaking of this week, tomorrow should be pretty legit. Guess who’s going back to Brussels? MEE!!! Our zone conference is up in Brussels tomorrow and so I’m totally excited to go back and see a bit of that city that I love so much.

Our baptism for the 29th is still looking good. And we’re still waiting on the date for the two girls of that one family, but it sounds like it’s all going to go through. Baptisms are always fun. :D

So I’m always getting questions whether through letters or emails or through my mom or from my mom. Hehe. So I’m thinking in a week or two I’ll just send an email that answers some questions. So if you have any questions or any more questions or just wanna know something like my favorite color, go ahead and send it to my mom or leave it in a comment or post it or send it by owl. However you want (although if you send it by owl, please remember to feed the owl before hand. That’s a long trip and I’m tired of having to feed everyone’s malnourished owls). I already have several I know I can answer.

There you go.

Short email. :)

Who’s excited for general conference?
Elder Saul Marquez

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Mission


Pregnant Again

Here we go again.

Friday afternoon. The phone rings.

“MARIA DOLORES, COMO ESTAS?!” Maria Dolores. This is what they call me here. It’s the assistants.

And then these words, “The time has come for you to bear a child! You will have a healthy boy!! How do you feel?”

“I feel like I just gained a lot of weight,” I said.

I’m training. And thus I’m pregnant. Again. But this time I’m not training a visa waiter. It’ll be a missionary who actually stays in the mission. I’ll get to teach him how to fly, push him out of his nest and watch him fall and laugh and stuff. Or however it works. So I have no idea who it is. I’ll learn on Wednesday. It’s always a surprise.

And so this means that Elder Richer-Brulé is leaving Valenciennes. It was his first ville on the mission so he’s kinda sad, but we’re all excited for him. He’s going to MEAUX!!! That’s where I started. :) We’re trading places. So that should be fun for him.

Today has been fun. Valenciennes is nuts. The ville has shut down and the FLEAMARKET IS IN!!! I have so far bought a legit TinTin pin and a couple of pocket watches. Might buy a flag. Dunno yet. We were looking for ties but couldn’t find much. It’s a crazy world outside!!

Apart from all of that, the last thing I wanted to write about today was that first family I talked about last week.

I mentioned that most of the family has been baptized. The one we were really waiting on was the mother. This last week she finally agreed to being baptized!! We set the date for the 29th of September. We might have to change it, though. Apparently there’s a relief society thing that day. We’ll find out tonight. As for the other family, we still don’t have a date for the daughters but it sounds like it will be early October. It’s so wonderful to see how these two families continue to open up more and more. The ward loves them and is so excited to have them. It’s funny how one or two families can really make a huge difference on a ward. I’ve never really thought of that until now.


Elder Saul Marquez

1 Comment

Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Mission


Bringing in Families

The ward here in Valenciennes is filled with many great members. The more and more I’m here, the more and more I grow to love them. There are two in particular that I want to talk about.

The first is a family that entered the church last April. It started with their daughter. Some years ago, she met the missionaries and took the lessons. She was baptized and for a few years attended church alone. Her family looked at the church the same way the rest of the French do: a cult where all the men have twenty wives. A year ago she decided to serve a mission. She was assigned to Canada. She left and her family wasn’t incredibly enthusiastic. After a while she had the impression to have the missionaries here in Valenciennes contact her family. So she sent in the referral. The missionaries went to visit them and the family began taking the lessons. The father was baptized first, then one of the sons. The mother started going to church and receiving the lessons as well. This family is, today, one of the strongest families in the ward. We work with the father all the time. His testimony is strong and firm. When I first got here, I was totally blown away at the fact that the family was only baptized last April. They are seriously awesome. The entire family isn’t yet baptized, but most of them attend church every week. This last week, talking to them in their home and teaching with the father, we heard a lot about how the Gospel has since touched their lives and changed their home.

The story of the second family starts with the father. Twelve years ago he met the missionaries. It was at a pivotal moment in his life as he was searching for the truth. In studying the gospel he felt that there was some sort of substance to the Church. It wasn’t like the others. But for one reason or another, he let the missionaries go and didn’t continue further. Earlier this year, he decided that he wanted to give it another shot. He went online and ordered a Book of Mormon. Not too long after, the missionaries arrived. He let them in and he and his family began taking the lessons. The weekend before I got here, he and his wife were baptized. They have since had a large impact on this ward. Everyone loves them and their testimonies are strong and firm. Their knowledge of the gospel is incredible. They understand it so well, it’s insane. Like the other family, I’d never guess that they were only just baptized.

Last night we were at the home of the second family. They have two daughters of baptismal age. They didn’t feel ready to be baptized when their parents were. We talked about faith and baptism last night. The daughters feel that they’re ready for baptism! We’ll be fixing a date soon! We’re super excited for the day it happens. It’s already been determined that the father will baptize them.

I love these two families. They blow me away! We continue to see good things here in Valenciennes–even if last week was spent in bed.

You gotta love it!
Elder Saul Marquez

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Mission