Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 42 - Thanksgiving, Elder Bucko Gets Transferred (Already), and a New Name

Dear Mom,

I definitely reread your emails a lot, because they always offer me comfort and wise words :)

So here's something that totally surprised us that were not expecting whatsoever: Elder Bucko is getting transfered on Tuesday....At first, I was pretty upset that Elder Bucko was getting transfered, I was wondering if it was something that maybe I did wrong, maybe I wasn't good enough, but then after letting some time and prayer, I realized that it wasn't anything I did wrong, but that the Lord needs him somewhere right now, and that I taught him everything that he needed to learn from me. So I'm okay with it now haha but I will miss him though.

So we weren't able to meet with our investigator this past week, but hopefully we will this week!

We had an awesome Thanksgiving day! We got together with the Zone and played volleyball and a couple of other games. Then at about 1, we went to a members house in an english ward with a couple other missionaries, and we watched The Singles Ward, ate a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch, and watched The Cokeville Miracle. Have you seen that movie? It's the newest T.C. Christiansen movie, and it is sooo good! Then we went to a members house in our branch for dinner, and they had several other families over as well. It was a wonderful time! we ate soo much food, laughed, had a great time, and then towards the end, the head of house (Brother Herrera) had us all take turns telling what we were grateful for. As everyone talked about all the different things that they were grateful for, I'm pretty sure we all had a wonderful feeling of peace and, well, gratitude haha what a great way to end the evening!

It's certainly a very different feeling not being home for Christmas, but I know I'm supposed to be here, and the members make it feel like I have a home here too :) I'm looking forward to skyping you all on Christmas!

Also, we helped a part member family move this past week, and the father (who is the member) agreed to let us teach his children who have been coming to church for 3 years, but hasn't let them get baptized in the past. So now his heart has been softened, and hopefully very soon his kids will be baptized.

All in all, It was a good week! :) I hope it stays that way haha

Please continue to write and email when you can!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

P.S. We found a program for sacrament meeting fro a couple weeks ago, and they spelled my last name as "Wonkenfuss"! I had to laugh pretty hard, cuz that was honestly a new spelling that I had never seen before haha

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 41 - The Talent Show, A New Investigator, and Helping an Eagle Scout

Dear Mom,

Thank you for always saying something to cheer me up! there have been several days this past week when I've been kinda down, but after talking with our district leader, and reading what you send me, I'm definitely cheered up :)

For the Talent Show, I actually performed first, and I played the Mormon Guitar rendition of When I am Baptized. Many people came up to me and told me that they loved it and that I played really well! Elder Bucko did a Jon Schmidt rendition of a hymn, but I can't remember the title. People also came up to him and said that he did really well!

The Talent Show was a blast! I loved it! There were so many wonderful talents that people showed off! And there was lots of food, so that made me happy as well haha There were also many non-members there as well, and we're hoping that they want to start taking the lessons soon!

The best thing that happened this week was that we actually picked up a new investigator!! :D It was Elder Bucko's very first time teaching, and I think he did fantastic! And we're going to be teaching him again this week! :) And we have several possibilities of non-member families wanting to take the lessons! So hoping and praying that things turn around very soon! :)

We also helped a young man in our branch with his Eagle Scout project this past weekend! we scraped and repainted a giant container thing for the baseball team at his school. By the end of it, I had a bunch of blue dust on one arm, and red paint on the other arm haha

Not much else happened this week, hopefully more will happen this next week! :)

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

I love you!

Excerpt from his e-mail to Mary: 

This past week I've been reading out of "Our Heritage", just learning a little more about Church History. This week I want to study about Jesus Christ and his role as our savior, because our investigator is coming from a Muslim background, so we want to help him better understand who Jesus Christ is to us. So it should be a fun study! :)

Here's the video of Mormon Guitar's version of "When I Am Baptized":

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 40 - It's the Famous Guitar-Playing Missionary from Toad Suck, Charlie Brown!

Dear Mom,

Honestly, not much is happening this week, but we did go to a priesthood activity with the men in our branch, and that was a great time! We had lots of food, and we played soccer. It was lots of fun!

So this past week, members in our branch are now starting to discover mine and Elder Bucko's musical talents haha and they really want us to perform at the branch talent show this Friday! So I'm borrowing the guitar that belongs to the Morgan family, and just the other day our high councilman is letting me borrow one of his acoustic-electric guitars, so I can use that one for the show. He is also going to let me have one of his guitar amps that meant for acoustic-electric guitars. He's going to go find out how much it would be for me ship it home, then he'll let me know. Isn't that nice of him?? When we were at his house, I was staring in awe at the guitars that he had! Almost all of them were high-end priced guitars, all of them were just amazing to look at and play. I was a very happy camper to just be there haha

This week Elder Bucko and I have been just trying to contact a bunch of referrals that we've received. So far, not many are answering, but hopefully soon they will! :)

I really love the members here in this branch! They're so nice, and loving to us! I almost feel like I'm one of their sons haha and they tell us that that's exactly how they want us to feel :) so it's nice to have members like them here!

The members tell us ALL the time, that if we don't have any dinners, just call them, and they will feed us :)

Also, apparently I'm famous in one of the wards here now haha I was on exchanges with Elder Talbot in his ward, and we ate dinner with one of the members, and I told him my name and where I was from, and he just died laughing! Then just a couple days ago, at one of their ward activities, he told EVERYONE  about Elder WOCKENFUSS from TOADSUCK, Arkansas. so I am now famous, I guess haha aren't you proud of me? :P

I love the christmas-y tie you sent me! I am very curious as to what is inside the present from amazon, and Elder Bucko, 2 other elders we give rides to, and I, all gasped in happiness and awe when I opened up the Charlie Brown Christmas CD! Needless to day, we popped it in right away haha

Other than that, not much has happened this week! hopefully more will happen soon!

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

It's the famous guitar-playing missionary from Toad Suck, Charlie Brown!

Missionaries in the Temecula Zone.
Elder C. Scott Grow came to visit the Carlsbad California Mission during training last week.
Elder Wockenfuss and Elder Bucko are in the back row. Elder Wockenfuss is fourth from the right.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week 39 - Spanish Conference, Branch Talent Night, and Missionary Referrals

Dear Mom,

Thank goodness Temecula is FINALLY cooling down! I can actually wear my sweaters now! :D (Can ya'll send me my sweater coat you got me for my mini mission?)

The Spanish missionaries at Spanish Conference this past week.
Elder Wockenfuss is on the far right. His companion, Elder Bucko, is on Elder Garcia's shoulder.

As you can see, we had Spanish Conference this past week! And it was awesome!! :D We got several different training specialized for Spanish work, we had little mini classes helping us in different areas of spanish grammer, we also had an awesome mexican lunch! and then after the conference, we had mission wide spanish exchanges, so Elder Garcia came up here to Temecula for the day, and I went to Vista. It was lots of fun!!

We went over to our Ward Mission Leader's house the other day for dinner, and they brought their guitar downstairs for me to play, and once they saw my skills, they are actually now letting me borrow it and they want me to perform in the Branch Talent Night next Friday. haha :) Needless to say, I am a happy camper haha

I just now showed Elder Talbot the Toadsuck water tower picture, and he just died laughing! and he asked me to send it to him, so I did. :)

This week Elder Bucko and I have gotten a lot of missionary referrals, so we're gonna be doing our best to contact them throughout this week. Elder Bucko is doing well with learning the language, he just needs to be a little more confident in himself. But he is doing great though!

Also, this past week I've really gotten the mindset to talk with everyone! Ever since the beginning of my mission, I've been kind of scared to talk to random people on the street, and I would many times pass by people and not say anything because I was scared. But for the last 3 exchanges I've been on, I've made that my goal to work on. And thanks to the help of Elder Smith, Elder Leal, Elder Parr, and the power of prayer and faith, Contacting (that's our name for talking to people on the street) has now clicked in my mind, and I talk with everyone now! It's awesome!

Elder Bucko loved his postcards! They made him smile and laugh! Thanks for doing that :)

I've also found that Elder Bucko is a pyromaniac! Many times when we're studying together, I look up from what I'm reading or looking at, and I find him just playing with the candles we have haha I just laugh and make sure that nothing burns down haha :P

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

First night. Elder Wockenfuss and Elder Bucko at dinner.

Family of friends of the Bucko family back home in New York.

Doin' some good.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 38 - More Training, New Investigators

Dear Mom,

Not terribly much has happened this week, we're just getting Elder Bucko acquainted with the members here, and just helping him to learn Spanish! He got a bike this past week, so now we can really get some work done! :)

Elder Smith (One of the assistants to the President) was with us one day this week, just seeing how we work in our area and if he can help us in any way, so it was nice to have him! 

Elder Wockenfuss and Elder Bucko at the San Diego temple
"And it was awesome as always!"

This Thursday, we have an event for all the Spanish missionaries here called Spanish Conference!! I've been told a lot about last year's Spanish Conference, so I'm pretty excited for this one! We get to learn about different things with Spanish grammar, have a great time, and we get to go on mission wide exchanges for that next day! :D So it's going to be awesome!

I did get my package with all my Paintball gear, thank you so much!! :D I loved the snickers bars! I haven't eaten all of them yet, but I'm slowly working on it haha

Elder Bucko is doing really well! He's learning Spanish very well, I believe, and the members tell him that as well! He just needs to be more confident in himself :)

Sometimes I look back, and I realize exactly how long I've been in the mission, it's crazy!! I've almost been out a year!

The best thing happened yesterday when Elder Bucko and I were walking around trying to talk to people, we talked with someone who speaks Spanish, AND actually wants us to come back and teach him!! :D We were sooo happy with that! It definitely made the night a lot better haha

Also, Could you send me any other amazing Christmas music? I forgot exactly how much I missed Christmas music haha I listen to it all the time now!! haha specifically, I would like the Pentatonix Christmas albums, if you could :)

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

[Some pictures from Sister MacNeil. "Halloween after planning meeting."]