Thursday, January 29, 2015

Week 4 at the Mexico MTC

My dearest Family,

I´m sorry that I have to be short in writing, but I promise that when I get to California, I´ll be able to write more, since I won´t be on limited time.

I´m glad to hear about home! I love to read your emails and see the pictures you send, it makes me happy to see how the Lord is blessing you all. I´m sorry that Elder Knoerr had to go back again, but I´m very glad that he´s still serving the Lord, and that he´s very happy about it.

Life here at the MTC is going good, I´m still struggling pretty bad with the language, and sometimes it gets me pretty down. But I have faith that the Lord will bless me and does bless me now with knowledge and learning. If you could fast for me, that would be awesome!

I´m glad that you all have faith in me as a district leader and as a missionary, cause sometimes I fear that I´m not doing as good as I could be doing, but then the Lord reassures me in my callings, and guides me by His spirit to do what He needs me to do. I saw Mary´s email and she asked me this week what my duties as District Leader are. My duties are to watch over the missionaries that are in my district, and make sure that they´re all obeying the rules. I check the mail for everyone, I go to leadership meetings for church on Sunday and report how my district is doing, I conduct class time during the week, I assign who will teach the district lesson on Sundays, I try my best to help strengthen my district, and to make sure we´re unified. I follow the spirit in helping my district in any way the Lord tells me to. Sometimes, the Lord tells me to talk to a specific missionary about something, and do my best to obey those promptings immediately, and it turns that that missionary needs help in some form or another. And the Lord tells me exactly what I need to say to help that missionary. It is simply amazing how the Lord works in all things!

Today, in my personal studies, I read 2 Nephi chapter 2 and 3. I absolutely love those chapters! To all who read this email, I invite you to read these chapters of the Book of Mormon, they testify of God, giving proof that He truly does exist, they tell of the reasoning for having opposition in all things, why bad things happen, and why good things happen, so that we may learn and grow. It tells of a prophecy of Joseph in Egypt prophesying of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and of God restoring His church and Gospel through Joseph Smith, the prophet. Reading those chapters strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon as the word of God, and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. In my mind, there is no denying this whatsoever. These chapters are now 2 of my favorites in the Book of Mormon.

Since you were asking about my Essential Oils situation, I believe I will need some more Serenity when I get to California, I´m at about half the bottle now. I will need some more OnGuard Toothpaste for sure, but for now, I think I´m fine with my other oils.

Buddy, I love your combination of Metalbeard and the micromanager. It looks super cool! And I really like your sketch of the Blonde queen so far. please send it when you´re done.

Hey Katie,  Can I see some of your latest drawings? I miss seeing them.

I´m sorry, I have to close now.

I love you all! Please continue to write and sending pictures, I love to see them!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Week 3 at the Mexico MTC

Mi amoroso Familia,

(To start as a side note, I found out that here at the MTC, I only have an hour to email on thursday, and you know how we as a family can only say good morning in no less than 100 words. And since I'm the District Leader, I need to be an example to the others. So it´s it gonna be pretty hard to email you and Sister Megan MacNeil in one hour and explain everything. So I apologize for short emails until I leave the MTC)

I´m very sorry to hear Sister Weeks, but I´m happy to know that she´s in a much better place now, and that she has no pain anymore.

We had a temple trip today, and unfortunately, the temple itself is closed for renovations, but we got to go inside the visitors center and store there. It was very amazing! My district and I got to move from room to room watching a series of videos concerning families and God´s eternal plan. (the videos were all connected to each other, as we moved from room to room. Where one video leaves off, the next one picks up.) The video was about this certain family that were members of the church, and they were hiking a rocky terrain, and one son fell off a rock, and the family was freaking out, the dad ran to get him, but found him safe. It wasn´t a far fall,he just slide a bit. When the family was back home that evening, the dad was really thinking about what happened that day, and how thankful he was that his son was okay. throughout the videos, it continues to show the family´s faithfulness in the gospel, and their immense faith and testimony in the knowledge that families are for eternity, and that THEIR family is forever and will be together for eternity even after death. No matter the trials, the losses, or changes, they know that they will be together forever. That itself is a very comforting thought! I thought about dad and when he died all those years ago, and I am extremely grateful for a heavenly Father who loves us and cares enough for us to give us the knowledge and plan for families, that we will be together even after death! I´m so glad that we had that knowledge when Dad died, otherwise, it would´ve much harder on all of us. But we know, and I know, that I will see Dad again one day. After the day of judgement, and as I enter the Celestial Kingdom, I know I will see and by with Dad, and you, my family, there in the Celestial Kingdom of God, where there is true joy and happiness. I know that in Heaven, that families are forever because heaven is described as perfect, full of peace and happiness, and where joy resides. And there cannot be true happiness and completeness without family. I know that getting into the Celestial Kingdom will be a most joyous day for me, because I know that we will all be together to stay in that day. I know this is true for all who try their very best to attain that Glorious Kingdom of Heavenly Father.

To answer your question about the suit, workers at the MTC took my measurements, and made me a suit, the coat and the pants. And the only expense was that I had to ask for it spanish (Which I did.) The people are very humble, and certainly have a love for the gospel!

I believe you have said that you have sent me letters, but it takes about 3 weeks for mail to get here, so I haven´t gotten anything yet, but I´m anxiously waiting haha I´ve been told that if you go to, you can type up a letter and send it, and they will deliver it to our mailbox that day. I apologize for the slowness of the mail here, but at least that´s a super quick way of getting it to me, if you want to write haha.

I will definitely pray for you, as I always do! Please continue telling more about things that happen, how everyone is doing, and anything you would like to add!

I´ll try to email Elder Flippo soon, but it may have to wait until California, since I do have a limited time to email.

I love you all so much! Please continue to write! Send pictures when you can! Apologize again to Buddy and Mary for me, I hardly have time to write you and Sister MacNeil. I love to read their emails though!

With all my love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Week 2 in the Mexico MTC

My Dear Family,

Thank you so much for telling me about life back home! I love to hear how everyone is doing! Tell everyone I said HI! I´m glad that everyone is doing well! Sister (Megan) MacNeil told me that she´s actually been called as a Sister Trainer Leader in her District! I´m super excited for her! It´s really cool that both of us have been called as leaders in our Districts. I guess the Lord needs us in some way to help people grow, and from these callings, He´ll help us to grow as well .

Things are going pretty well here at the MTC! I´m still attemping to learn spanish haha I still know the least amount of spanish of the people in my district, but I´m learning though! The District is doing fantastic! We´re growing together more and more every day, it´s like we´re family now! I love them deeply as if they were my own siblings! I am going to miss them when we part ways in four weeks. I´m gonna try to send a picture of my district in this email as well. they´re really good people!

We made progress with Fernando. We taught him about prayer, and the book of mormon, and we invited him to be baptized, and he said yes! But it turns out that Fernando, our investigator, is actually our new teacher! He´s actual name is Ricardo Chan, and he´s been working here at the MTC since last year, but he was acting as an investigator to give us practice. He´s a really cool guy, and a great teacher!

Last night we had something called TRC. TRC is when they bring people that are recent converts to the church, or people that are training to be a teacher here at the MTC, and they act like investigators for us to teach. Elder Emerick and I taught one of them a lesson about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the restoration of Christ´s church in these days, and on the feedback card that we got afterwards, one of the things the lady said was that we taught with power and with the Spirit! That made me feel really happy because I was starting to get a bit down because I didn´t think I was making good progress with the language, but when we taught that lesson, I spoke spanish! The Holy Spirit worked within me and helped me to speak the words I needed to say. I've noticed that in all the lessons I´ve taught so far, the lessons where we taught and testified about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and the First Vision, and the Restoration of Christ´s church, are the lessons where my spanish speaking goes from bad to good! That, in and of itself, continues to testify to me of the truthfulness of this gospel, of the Book of Mormon, and the power of God. 

* Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios. Yo se que la Santa Biblia tambien la palabra de Dios. Yo se que Jóse Smith es un profeta de Dios, y el vio Padre Celestial y Jesucristo. Yo se que Dios y Jesucristo amoroso todas personas. Yo se que El Espiritu Santo testificar a corazones de personas nosotros enseñemos de verdadero de El Libro de Mormon. Es mi testimonio, en el nombre de Jesucristo, Ámen

I love you all so much! Please continue to write and email when you can! I love to hear from you!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

P.S. This is the picture of me and my district on our first Sunday night here. From left to right: (Back) Elder Froelick, Elder Thompson, Elder Emerick, Me, Hermana Greenfield, Hermana Simonson, Hermana Ivey, and Hermana McGill. (Front) Elder Griffin, and Elder Ackley.

* I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know the Holy Bible is also the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know God and Jesus Christ love all people. I know that the Holy Spirit testifies to the hearts of the people we teach of the truth of the Book of Mormon, is my witness, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Week 1 in the Mexico MTC

Ollo, my wonderful family!

Yes I did arrive in Mexico safely, and I met lots of missionaries at the Atlanta airport going to the MTC here, I´ve become good friends with all of them of course, and I will miss them as we part ways to go on our missions when it is time. The flight was wonderful! I did very much like the take off and seeing the ground from 35,000 feet. It was marvelous! I´m pretty sure I spent the entire flight just looking down at the ground. I actually did have a window seat on my first flight, but on my second flight, I had an aisle seat, which wasn´t bad, but I of course preferred the window seat. The MTC is wonderful! I love it here in Mexico! the first couple of days it was warm, but for the past couple of days, it has been quite cold! But it is still very amazing here! I love the people, I love the missionaries, and I LOVE the spirit here! Every time we as missionaries sing a hymn, whether it be for a devotional, beginning of class, or whenever, I am always filled with the spirit. Even though we always sing in Spanish, I know what song we´re singing, and it´s very powerful! I love hearing the hymns in spanish now!

On my second day here, I got to meet all the missionaries that are in the same District as me, they´re all newbies like I am of course, and I think they are wonderful people! they´re lots of fun to be with, and they´re filled with the spirit! That same night, our District got to meet our Branch Presidency. The President´s name is Presidente Torres, but I can´t remember the names of his counselors. But they are wonderful people! I always feel so happy when I´m around Presidente Torres. You look at him and you see happiness in his face, and kindness in his soul. To me, I think of him as a big teddy bear, I don´t know why, I just do haha. 

But anyway, the District got to meet them, and we got interviewed by them to find out a little more about us, but also to call someone to be the District Leader over this District. After all the interviews were finished, and the whole presidency came back into the room, the second counselor announced, after the bit of praying that he was able to do, he called me to be the District Leader for my district, District 6B!! Everyone was happy for me, and I was happy to be given this opportunity as well. I was a bit surprised, but kinda not. After my interview, I had a feeling come inside me that they were gonna call me to be the District Leader. But I was very humbled to be given this opportunity to be District Leader. I must say, when I was flying to Mexico, I didn´t have a thought in my mind to expect that I was gonna be called to this position haha. The Lord has been working with me very much in this calling. He´s calmed my fears and anxieties, and questions I´ve had concerning my calling.

My companion´s name is Elder Emerick, and He´s a pretty cool guy! He´s from Pennsyvania, and he´s turning 19 in a couple of weeks, so of course we´re gonna sing happy birthday to him as a district when it´s time! We get along really well, and we don´t have any issues with each other at all! I think we´re a good companionship, and we´re becoming better friends day by day.

I pray for my District every morning and night to become more unified in purpose, and as friends, as a family, as missionaries, and in God. I see my DIstrict in class every day, and see the Lord answering my prayers. It is truly an amazing sight! I am very grateful to the Lord for answering my prayers and strengthening this district every day.

The language learning could be going better, but it´s going somewhere haha. Of all the people in my district, I´m the one the knows the least amount of Spanish. I am struggling with it, but I think I´m getting a bit better at it! On our third day, we got the opportunity to teach our first investigator! His name is Fernando, and he´s a really good guy. He wants to learn more about our church, and about God, and the Book of Mormon. Elder Emerick and I have been teaching him about the restoration, and about God´s love for us. The first two lessons we had with him, Elder Emerick did most of the talking, since he knows a lot more Spanish then I do. I did a tiny bit of talking, but not a lot at all. I do believe Fernando feels the spirit when we teach him, and wants to learn more. But in our third lesson with Fernando, he told us that his family doesn´t want him to listen to us anymore. That was very heartbreaking for us. and we told him that if he prays, God would help him through anything. I only read one short scripture that night, and neither one of us felt good at all. We felt disappointed in ourselves and were just very sad about it. When we went back to the classroom afterwards, our district could see it on our faces. At one point, as Elder Emerick and I were walking back to our house that night, I began feeling something inside, something good. When we got back to the house, and I was writing in my journal, the spirit revealed to me that the good feeling that was growing inside, was the love and prayers of the members of our district. It was the first time that I really felt prayers in my behalf. It was in incredible feeling! As it continued to grow, I realized it wasn´t just my district´s prayers and love, it was yours and the family, it was the members of Morrilton, it was Megan, it was my Savior. I felt your love and the love of our savior so profoundly that I was crying as I wrote in my journal that night. It was the most amazing feeling I had since I´ve been here. I find myself even closer to my savior now than I was before, and I am grateful for that.

 When we went back for a  fourth lesson with Fernando the first thing he asked us was why we´re out here doing this, being so far away from our families. At that point, the Spirit just took me away, and I was forming whole sentences in Spanish. I was so amazed! there were still a few words I couldn´t think of, but my companion helped me out with that, and there were some words Elder Emerick couldn´t remember, and I helped him with that. It was the first time in our lessons that the talking was equal between us. I felt the Spirit so strongly in that lesson, and I know that Fernando did as well. I came out of that lesson so happy that night! I am so grateful for the help of the spirit, and for the help it gives. It is truly amazing!

Katie, thank you for thinking and praying for me! I am touched that you use my blanket now to stay warm at night. It makes me warm inside just thinking about it. I´m glad that you are continuing to draw, please send pictures when you can! I love you very much and I do miss you! please continue to write! I would love to hear from you!

Mom, I do use the oils I have. I especially use serenity when I go to bed, and it´s very helpful, I take Digest Zen, and I use the OnGuard beadlets, still waiting to use more haha.

I have to go now, but I love you all! Please continue writing and emailing when you can! It makes everything better!

All my love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss