Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 15 - Investigators

My Dear Family,

I'm glad that things are going well back home! An investigator family that we've been teaching ever since I arrived finally came to church this past Sunday for the first time! I believe it was, in part, because we actually gave service to them the day before. We stopped by and we saw that they were cleaning the kitchen, so we decided to jump in and help them! They're planning on coming to church again this Sunday, and yesterday, the husband told me that he started reading the Book of Mormon from the very beginning that morning. He read the Testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses and the testimony of Joseph Smith as well. As he told us, he had such a big smile on his face, and he said that he felt so good all throughout the day because he read the Book of Mormon.

Also, we have this family of investigators that we are teaching, and they seem super ready for baptism! the young boy who's 7 says that he loves reading the Book of Mormon with his mom way more than doing his homework! The mom agrees and accepts everything that we're teaching her and the family! Tonight we're going to go see them and make sure that they are willing to be baptized on May 31. Hoping and praying that all goes well! :D

One thing I learned is that, it doesn't matter if I know the language perfectly, all that matters is that I have the spirit with me when I teach, because that's who truly teaches people and tells them of the truth.

I did get the box with the shampoo, ties, mints, and cookies! I loved them so much! I was so excited about the mints haha you know those are my favorite! I've worn all 3 ties now, and we already ate the cookies! haha

This past week was also hard because of the anniversary of Dad's passing. There was one day, I think Tuesday morning, I was struggling missing Dad. I was praying in my heart and telling Heavenly Father the concerns and desires of my heart. I told Heavenly Father about how I really missed Dad, (especially because of the 10 year mark,) and about how I really wanted to see him again. At that moment, a vision came to my mind of me standing in front of a mirror wearing my missionary attire. A voice came to my mind and heart saying, "He's here, Patrick. He's right here. You look at yourself in the mirror and you see him. He's a missionary, just like you. He's doing the exact same thing that you are doing. He's preaching the gospel just like you, bringing souls unto Christ. He's here with you always." and after that, the scripture came to my mind where it says that the son doeth nothing but what he seeth the Father do. I'm really grateful for that experience, because it testifies to me that Dad truly is here with me, that he's proud of me, and that we are working together to help bring souls unto Christ. I consider that the best thing to happen to me this week.

Please continue to write and email when you can!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss 

[Here's an excerpt from his e-mail to Mary, too.]

God has worked in many ways this week! Some of which I shared in the family email. But another experience is when we gave service in helping someone get his stereo system installed in his car. We spent a good amount of time working on it, but at the end, we told him what we do, we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and he said he got chills once he held it. He said that's how he feels the spirit. We told about the promise in the book of Mormon about praying to know it's true and knowing by the power of the holy ghost. He said that that was probably the answer right there! miracle!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 14 in the Carlsbad, California Mission

My Dear Family,

Life in the mission is going well! This week we picked 9 New Investigators, and a family of 3 NI accepted the invitation to be baptized on May 31!! :D We taught them about the Restoration of the gospel (in my broken Spanish), and they felt very comfortable with it all! :) So we're gonna do everything we can to continue helping them to make it to that date! That was probably the best thing to happen this week haha :)

This past Saturday, we had a Noche de Peliqula (Movie Night) at our church building, that we've been spreading word about for about a month now, and we had a pretty good turn out! We watched "Conozca los Mormones" ("Meet The Mormons" in Spanish), and before the movie, Elder Martin and I gave a short lesson about the Plan of Salvation to help people keep in mind the questions of "Where did we come from, why are we here, and where are we going?" while they watched the movie, and after the movie, we had a table set up with various lesson pamphlets, copies of the Book of Mormon, The Family proclamation, and pass-along cards so people could take what they wanted. so they could learn more.

This week I actually got to read the most recent talks that you sent me by Glenn L. Pace about Confidence in the Lord, and Self-Confidence. I'm sure the Spirit told you that I needed these talks, because I really did need them. In reading these talks I learned about trusting and having faith in God that He can use both my weaknesses and strengths for His purposes. I learned that I should not focus on my weaknesses, but rather need to trust that God can and will use my gifts and talents to help people.

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

[From Mary - I had mentioned to Patrick about (among other things) an article by Elder Hales, who knew someone who was confused by some "Mormon jargon". I had asked Elder Wockenfuss if he had ever come across anyone who was similarly confused. Here is his response.]

Dear Mary,

Whenever we teach people, we either try to use words that the investigator would understand, or we would explain what we mean when we say certain terms they wouldn't understand. In our studies, we would think about what we're gonna teach that day, and then we figure out how to teach without confusing people, and it turns out well in the end. But if they ever are still confused or unsure about what we say, we tell them to stop us anywhere and let us know what they don't understand, and we help them to understand before moving on.

This past week, God has given us 9 New Investigators! 3 of which have accepted a baptismal date for May 31! :D This week, God has also told me what a good missionary I really am. We were biking back home one night, and I just felt how proud God is of me for making this choice to serve for 2 years. And then I felt how proud you and the family are of me for doing this. I just took a look at myself and I believe the Spirit told me that not just anyone can say "I devoted 2 years of my life to serving God and bringing souls unto Christ," and not just any family can say, "That's my son" or "that's my brother, wearing that nametag and biking down the road after helping someone come that much closer to coming to Christ." After that, I felt much better inside, and I gave thanks to God for helping me to realize these things.

Thank you for writing to me! Please continue to write and email when you can!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 13 in Escondido, California

Nicknames given to Elder Wockenfuss during his mission so far, and revealed to us during yesterday's Mother's Day Skype:
  • Elder We're Confused
  • Elder Carra Caminar (walk run) because Wockenfuss sounded like Walking Fast

*Note: Elder Wockenfuss' new companion is Elder Martin

Skyping from Bishop Parra's house

My Dear Family,

Yes you are very right, I am crying about Grams right now as I type. She was very much another Grandmother to me, and I loved her like that too! I'm sad to hear that she's gone physically, but I know she is in a better place with those loved ones that passed on before her. I am gonna miss our "sainted" Grams. But that's one thing I love about God's Plan of Salvation, We don't have to consider death as the end of life. It continues onward. We no longer have to see death as if we will never see our loved ones again, but we will see them again in a glorious reunion one day, and we will be with them forever, never to be separated again. I am so grateful that Joseph Smith had a question in his heart that he wanted answered. And I am so grateful, and I know, that through him, God restored His church  and the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ again to the earth. With the Gospel in our lives, we can return to God. With it, we can truly live again with our families forever. This is one of the many reasons why I know that this Gospel is true, and that it's fullness is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I will miss you, Grams! I can't wait to see you again!

And so, I am glad you all still chuckle about my nicknames, I know I always do! haha

Last night, Elder Martin and I picked up a new investigator! Her name is Leslie, and we went to visit her mom who is a less active member, and we ended up teaching Leslie about the Restoration! We're gonna go back tonight to teach her some more! :D I love it when this happens!

Thank you so much for Skyping with me yesterday! It meant so much to me! I've been filled with so much peace ever since. I think I just needed you all to tell me that I was a good missionary. I've been too hard on myself, I think, and telling myself I'm not good enough, and even though others tell me that I am a good missionary, I needed my own family to tell me, because I've felt so good inside ever since yesterday's Skype, and I really believe that I'm a good missionary! so thank you so much!

Please continue to write and email when you can! It means the world to me!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 12 - Transfers, Spanish, Mother's Day

My Dear Family,

It must be so weird that school is out! But I'm glad you all are getting the garden in!

I'm not quite sure what the best thing to happen to me this week is, but the baptism date that we had set fell through, so we have to reset a date with her. :( Elder Garcia is indeed getting transferred tomorrow, and I am slightly nervous, but I'm also excited to see who my new companion is going to be! :) I did get the package with my scriptures! Thank you so much! it reminds me of all the studying and everything I've done with it! And we are still loving on the Girl Scout cookies haha :)

Actually, I think something cool that happened is that Elder Ellsworth has finally taught me pretty much all the Spanish that can be taught, now the thing is really applying it and using it! And now that he's taught me all that Spanish, everything makes sense when I read in the book of Mormon in Spanish! :D I'm still working on understanding people when they talk to me, but when it's written out, I can understand it better.

This Sunday is Mother's Day! :D We are going to go to our Bishop's house about 3:30pm (Pacific Time) to Skype our families. So I think that's 5:30pm your time. Mary said that she has Skype on her laptop, I'm not quite sure how to use it, but hopefully Mary can get it figured out! Be ready anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 (your time) for the Skype. And if anything changes or goes wrong, I'll just have the Bishop's daughters text or call you, to get everything figured out.

Yesterday, Elder Garcia and I ran into someone while we were walking who he had talked to on the street several months ago before I was here, and the lady remembered that experience and wants us to come by this week! :) She seems really open to what we have to say, so I'm excited to teach her!

I don't believe I need anything DoTerra right now, but I will let you know!

Please continue to write and email when you can!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss