Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 37 - Training a Greenie: Week One, and Families Are Forever

Dear Mom,

It's been a really good experience training so far! We've become good friends, and we get along really well! When I arrived at the Transfer Meeting, I was really nervous to train, and I could feel that the Adversary wanted me to not train and tried to fill me with doubt and fear, especially concerning Spanish and just leading him in general. But once President Kendrick called out my name and I walked up to the front to greet Elder Bucko, all my fear and nervousness vanished. I feel confident that the Lord will bless us in this companionship, and will help me as I train. and to be honest, I would be perfectly happy if I was asked to train for the rest of my mission! It's a really great experience so far! We have had really hard days, but we're working hard and supporting each other through everything!

The members here are also really great in helping us learn Spanish! If you don't exactly know a word, they help us find a word. If we can't understand what they are saying, they slow down and emphasize what they are trying to say. So it's really good to have these members! Also, Sister Morgan and her family do attend the Spanish branch here. Brother Morgan is our Branch Mission Leader, and he speaks Spanish really really well. He served his mission in Columbia, I believe, and he's just kept the Spanish going! :)

"I love the weird swirly tie!!"
We met with our Branch President (President Perez) and his family this past week, because they love to feed the missionaries after Transfer Meetings so they can get to know the new missionary in the area. At one point, we were talking about we were going to eat with another member that day, but she was willing to switch with the Perez family, because she had to take care of her daughter who had a surgery for a brain cancer she has, which upon describing it to me (I asked questions about it as well), it sounded far too familiar. I asked if it was called Oligodendroglioma. they confirmed that it sounded about right. They also told me about how she's had to go through many procedures and the family was really worried for her. By this time, President Perez and the children were hustling about the house, trying to get ready for Wednesday activities and all sorts of things, but Sister Perez was still talking with us at the table. I then told her the story about how Dad had died from that same cancer after a 2 year battle with it, but I shared my testimony about the Plan of Salvation and eternal families, and then I told her something that our family had found out around the time of his death. Just because my Dad is not physically here, that doesn't mean that his family responsibilities have ended. We are still a family even with this separation. He may be in the Spirit World now, but he still has a responsibility to us, and he is taking care of us, and keeping up his end. What I thought was amazing was that I could feel that the spirit created a little bubble around us at the table. Even though everyone else in the house was going every which way and trying to get themselves ready, I could feel the spirit strongly around us there at the table, and I could feel that she was feeling the Spirit, and it testified to her of what I had said. She looked me in the eyes with awe and told me that she had never considered that before, and that she was going to tell that to the dear sister who had gone to take care of her daughter. She told me that if I served in that Branch where that family lived, that I should tell that same experience to her.

"Tell Elder Thomas I love the tie!!"
Elder Thomas is a missionary currently serving in Morrilton Ward in Arkansas.
He wanted to trade ties with Elder Wockenfuss.
An across-the-missions exchange.

Please continue to write and email when you can, I love hearing from you!!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

[A picture from Sister MacNeil with the Christmas tree we sent her. The Wockenflock tradition continues on in Nevada.]

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 36 - Awesome Surprise!!!

Dear Mom,

I'm excited to see what's in my packages today! :D Thanks for sending them!

So, Elder Thomas loves flower ties? I have the PERFECT tie to send him! I came into possession of so many flower ties! But I got a real good one to send him!

HERE IS AN AWESOME SURPRISE!! So as you know, Transfers are coming up tomorrow, and I am staying in Temecula (not the surprise)! But on Friday, I got a call from President Kendrick during personal studies, and now I'm going to be a trainer!! :D I'm getting one of the new greenies coming in! I'm excited but super nervous at the same time! That means I'm gonna stay in Temecula for the next 12 weeks :) I'm gonna be with him for 4 different holidays! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's! (and my 1 YEAR mark.) I'll be sure to email you a pic of us next week!

We don't really have much of a teaching pool right now, but I talked with my Ward Mission Leader at our correlation meeting, and we're going to start visiting members in their homes and teach them different principles of the discussion that they feel like they need, and use that as an opportunity to find people to teach. It'll at least give the new missionary a chance to do some teaching while we don't have much of a teaching pool.

There's not that much to say other than that exciting news! Please pray for me as I begin training tomorrow!

Please continue to write and email when you get a chance, I love hearing from you!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

P.S. I've found out recently that people that I don't even know are reading the blog of my emails! :) An Elder in our district who's just finished getting trained told me that before he left, his girlfriend told him about a story she had read on a blog, about a missionary who pranked the Zone Leaders by putting their beds on the kitchen roof. (Sound familiar? :P) she told him, "you'll never guess where he's from" :P And his mom told about a Janky Bike Story from the same blog. (Too familiar haha) So the blog's definitely getting out there haha

[Elder Wockenfuss' response to Mary's e-mail, asking what scripture he's ponderizing on this week.]

The scripture that I want to start ponderizing is in D&C 123:16-17  You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.
        Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
      It's to remind me to not get frustrated with things that I can't control, and that small actions can guide the "ship" (our journey through this life, mission life, anything) and then after we've done everything, we will see God's hand in our lives.

At the latest district meeting. Elder Wockenfuss is in the back middle.
Elder Ellsworth is the kneeling at the front with the jacket open.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 35 - Grateful for Missionaries

Dear Mom,

Thank you so much for all the pictures, and telling me how everyone is doing! It means a lot! When I saw the pic of the whole family together with dad, I had to stop and just stare at that picture for a few minutes. I'll probably put that one on my next planner cover :)

Our last Christmas with Dad. Taken between September and December 2004.
Elder Wockenfuss is next to Dad, holding the big yellow star.

Again, not very much happened this week. It's still hot.... and it's the middle of October.... whaaat?? haha :P

Yesterday, right when I was starting my personal study, I suddenly felt a very deep gratitude to the missionaries who found and baptized you and Dad. They helped make it possible for our family to be together eternally, and they didn't know the troubles and difficulties that our family would go through, but we're still all tied to each other, and always will be, thanks to the decision that those young men made to serve a mission. And because of that decision, I am now here on this mission, finding other souls that accept the gospel, just as you and Dad accepted it.

I did get my October Ties and the music! Thank you so much!! I love it all! I didn't take pics this week, sorry! But I'll send pics of me with the ties next week! :)

I did not feel any earthquake whatsoever up here, so I'm safe :)

I'm glad that you're doing well in school, and that all is well!

So sorry that I don't have more to say, but again, not much is up besides the heat :P

Please continue to write and email when you can! I love hearing from you!

With much love,

Elder Patricio  Pie De Nubes

Elder Wockenfuss and Elder Ellsworth (seated across from him) with Elder Talbot (next to Elder Wockenfuss) and Elder Martinez (next to Ellsworth), enjoying dessert.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 34 - Ponderizing on an Amazing Conference

Elder Wockenfuss with the other missionaries in Temecula, at General Conference
Dear Mom and Family,

Conference was truly amazing! I really liked the talk about "ponderizing", and I also enjoyed the one about making our discipleship too complicated. I really liked that one because it relates to something that our mission president tells us about "holding the club too tight." He tells us that it's a golf term, if you hold the golf club too tight, you won't hit the ball as far as you could've. but if you hold the club loosey-goosey and your arms like noodles, you'll send that ball flying right where you want it. He tells us that meaning that if we are too strict, uptight, and overly corrective of ourselves, we're overshooting the mark, and not performing to the best of our ability.

This week has been packed! We had something for each day of the week! P-day, Exchanges, another Exchange, Zone Conference, General Conference, General Conference, Today is P-day, and then tomorrow is Zone Training Meeting! So packed!! haha

It actually rained here this weekend! I was surprised! It was awesome!! :D The temperature went waaaay down, for which we were so grateful!!

Elder Richards loved the postcards!! He talked about it yesterday, and he told me that he was very touched, and that it totally made his day! :)

Yesterday I did an anointing for the first time in spanish, without being helped and it was awesome! I felt accomplished! :D

Also, next week, libraries will be closed on p-day, so I'll be emailing you on Tuesday. But the week after will be back to normal. :)

Other than that, not very much has happened this week. But I really loved conference though! It's always so spiritually uplifting and amazing! :)

Please continue to write and email whenever you can! I love hearing from you!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss