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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Elder Visconti

Well, I got my new companion and his name is Elder Visconti. He’s a visa waiter! Just like Elder Fourtina was. In fact, he knows Elder Fourtina because they come from the same stake. He comes from a city in the South of France called Pau (“Po”) and he’s been called to serve in the Provo mission.

And everyone seems to love him!

The members went nuts when they saw that the new missionary is French. Even more so the fact that he’s a bleu (“greenie”) missionary and he speaks great French—hahaha. The members love to go up and tell him, “You have perfect French, no accent or anything!” And then they laugh their heads off.

All the members love him.

Of course he has perfect French. He’s French! Haha. He doesn’t speak English yet. It’s really funny to hear him try and say things in English. I laugh pretty hard. But I know I was like that when I was trying to learn French. But he helps me out with my French as well. All I do is talk in French now. First day was a bit tough but now I don’t think about it much. I’ve even been thinking in French the last few days… I caught myself doing my personal prayers in French. I was like, “Non!!!!!”

But not a big deal. It’s actually a lot of fun and we’re getting along well. I’m super impressed by his excitement. When it’s time to leave the apartment, he’s jumping up and down shouting, “Let’s go!” in a thick French accent. It’s hilarious. And he has no problem talking to the people. He hasn’t been to the MTC yet but he seems to be getting it really really well. I just tell him what to do and he goes and does it and he does a pretty good job.

And all the members love him.

But I’m seriously impressed by how excited he is to go out and work and do everything he has to do. He’s super young too. 18. Although here in France, the members could already leave at 18, even before the age change.

All the members love him!

It was also cool because when I went to pick him up, I got to see all of the other new missionaries. I think there are about fifteen new ones (guessing off the top of my head). They’re the first batch of the new group of missionaries who have begun missions since the age change. So exciting! And they are all SO LEGIT. I am SO JEALOUS. I went to stay here longer and see it all happen. But….

Did I mention that all the members love Elder Visconti?

I believe there will be about 90 new missionaries coming in next transfer. Our mission is about to go BOOM. Déjà in Nantes, which is in my district, there are now six missionaries. And here in St. Nazaire, we’ll be getting a new couple equipe next week. We’re all super excited! The members are excited too. St. Nazaire is part of the last district that exists in France. They’re really working hard to turn these branches into wards and the district into a stake. It’s all so exciting.

Good news here? Remember the story of the lady who called us one day, saying, “I don’t know why I’m calling you?” And we fixed a rendez-vous with her? Well, she’s been coming to church since then. She loves it. The members love her (just a little bit more than they love Elder Visconti). And she agreed to be baptized!! The date is April 6th. I think she can be ready before then. We’re hoping because the 6th will be a bit tough for several reasons…. But we’ll see. But it’s all so exciting!

Great things going on here! I just love it all SO MUCH! I’m LOVING MY MISSION. I don’t know how else to say it. Life is just great. Tough and tiring, but so so so so good.

And all the members really like Elder Visconti.

Love,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Mission

 

Sick Week

This last week has been very busy and tiring and loaded with all sorts of surprises.

Here’s just one surprise: The Flu! I woke up Thursday morning all good and fine with no problems. And then I suddenly got super super tired and sleepy during personal study–and I’m pretty good at avoiding that. And then I got really cold. So I put on a jacket and a scarf and my companion laughed at me. And then my temperature rose to 102.6 degrees or something like that. And I didn’t feel too good so I rested in the morning. But we had a rendez-vous at three in the afternoon so I got up to go to that.

It was with a new woman who we had contacted some weeks before. We taught her the first lesson and she was very interested in it. She said that she’s been searching for the truth and so she was more than happy to take the Book of Mormon. I thought it was a really good lesson except for the fact that it hurt for me to speak and my entire body ached and I was shivering and whatnot. I’m pretty sure she could tell I was sick. But I survived and we’ll be seeing her again on Thursday.

I was sick some more.

Friday came and I was still sick. Friday was also the last Friday of the transfer. That’s normally when the assistants call everyone to tell them that they’re the district leaders or that they’re training. I was certain Elder Fuller was going to get a call.

Well, the call came.

It wasn’t for Elder Fuller. I’m training. AGAIN. This is, like, my third time if you count Elder Fourtina a year ago. But I’m excited. I’ll only be doing half the training, though, because the training program is twelve weeks long and, well…

Anyway. Saturday came. I was still sick. We taught some people. I’m sure they could tell I was sick. And then Sunday came. Still sick.

Today’s Monday. Still sick.

Despite the sickness, I still had a good week. Wednesday was especially cool. We didn’t schedule rendez-vous that day because our entire mission, as well as the Lyon mission, all spent the day finding new people to teach! All the missionaries in France, French-speaking Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland united together in an effort to find new people to teach and baptize! We prayed for our two missions every thirty minutes. It was really cool. We didn’t actually find anyone on that day but plenty of other companionships did. Either way, the Spirit was strong. There’s something about being unified by prayer that you just can’t explain. It was a very neat experience.

And so today is day one of another transfer. This transfer is six weeks long. Back to normal. And I really really want to make the most of this one.

Love,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Mission

 

Two is Better Than One

This week was really good, particularly the weekend.

Our 34-year-old investigator was baptized this last Saturday. I baptized him. He wanted it done in English over French (long story). And the baptismal program was in Bretton (but we left some French in). Haha. And very very few members could attend. So it was different from any other baptism I’ve been to thus far on my mission. But it was still really good.

He’s pretty tall and I’m pretty not tall. So it was somewhat difficult getting him fully under the water! We had to do it twice! On Sunday a member went up to him saying, “I heard you had to go under twice!” And he said, “Yeah, I don’t like uneven numbers.” Hahaha.

And then the member who did the confirmation messed up. So we had to do the confirmation twice. Haha. He was a good sport about the whole thing.

And thank goodness, I kept myself calm this time. I didn’t stress out like I did the last baptism. The last baptism I felt like a rabbit trapped in a little box. I don’t know why. I just stress over things too easily.

Yesterday was very good as well. We had several investigators come to church–more than we’ve had before. The investigator class was filled!! And they took up a nice little chunk of the congregation during sacrament meeting. The members seemed super happy to see so many new faces there. They all did a good job at befriending them too.

And the girl we baptized a couple weeks ago is introducing us to a friend who wants to meet with us tonight! :D

Things here are just great.

This Wednesday our mission along with the Lyon mission will all be doing a day of “Spiritual Finding.” We plan to spend our time finding new people to teach–people who will accept the invitation to be baptized. It’s all to prepare ourselves for the new missionaries. President Poznanski is guiding us in making our work more spiritual and fruitful. Things are better than they have ever been before, in my opinion. We want to be at a new level by the time the new missionaries arrive.

It’s the last week of the transfer. We’ll see what happens next transfer. I’ll probably stay here in St. Nazaire. We’ll see. Good things are happening.

Love,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Mission

 

Mission Fever

Howdy,

So this last week was pretty busy. We had interviews with President and Soeur Poznanski in Rennes. (That was my first time going to Rennes–yay!) And then we had a training from President and then the zone leaders and then district meeting right after. Long day! I was on exchange the night before too. But it all worked out really well. I’m surprised by how quickly this transfer is going by.

There is the fact that it is shorter.

Yesterday we had several new investigators show up at church. It was great! The branch just seems to get more and more excited over missionary work. We’re teaching with the members a lot and they seem to be loving it. A few of them bore their testimonies about doing missionary work and shared their experiences of teaching with us. They’re getting Missionary Fever. Haha.

In the mission we’re preparing for all of the new missionaries. With the age change, we’re expecting so many new missionaries in the mission. And so President is focusing a lot on our methods of teaching. We practice teach like no other now! It’s not our favorite thing to do but we do it. And it helps. We’re getting a lot more used to it. We’ve already seen how it helps us work out the wrinkles in our lessons. I really feel President is inspired in the direction he is taking this mission. It’s changed so much from when I started.

I’m just sad I won’t be here to see all that happens next.

One of our investigators will be getting baptized this weekend. He didn’t believe in God before we started teaching him. His faith is still small, but it’s growing a lot and we’ve really seen a change in him since the beginning.

Things are great here! :)

Love,
Elder Saul Marquez

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Mission