Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 59 - More Missionary Work, A New (Old) Companion, and Another Baptism

Dear Mom,

Elder Brown did get transferred, and Elder Emerick came in!! WE ARE COMPANIONS ONCE AGAIN!!! :D It's crazy that it's been a year since Elder Emerick and I were comps in the MTC, and here we are again! Except we both know a lot more Spanish now! haha 

Also, you haven't seen any more pics from Sis. Summers because we haven't seen her at all since then. We used to have a class for members on Wednesday nights, and Sis. Summers would always be there as well, so she would find us and take our picture haha

The guitar that I was using this time belongs to one of the members here in Vista! :) The one I used before belonged to members in Temecula, and I did return it before I left there haha

I did get my white easter tie!! I love it! I actually wore it yesterday to church with my 3 piece gray suit! :)

Yesterday we had a super good dinner at a member's house! And I ate a fish! Like it wasn't taken apart or anything, just a whole fish haha I only ate half of it, because it was super stressful to try to eat, and then later on, I didn't feel good from it. But I got some Mexican style feel good stuff from a member, and I felt loads better after that!

I'm sorry that my emails are short, I just can't think of anything else exciting that happened this week. We did missionary work, and more missionary work. Felt the spirit, .....O there was another baptism in the ward! The sister-in-law of the lady who got baptized a couple weeks ago got baptized on Friday, which is where I played "When I am baptized" on the guitar. :)

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

With much love,

Hogs & Quiches

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Also, thank you for sharing your revelation and notes from the woman's conference! I loved reading about it! :D

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 58 - Personal Poetry

Dear Mom,

Thank you so much for your council and wise motherly words! I always need them :) This past week, Elder Brown and I have come to certain realizations and decisions. This week, things are going to change. Elder Brown will be calling President and be getting transferred out tomorrow, so you won't seeing any more pics with him sidling up with that sister. As for me, missionary work is more important. Whatever God wants to happen after the mission will happen AFTER the mission, not DURING. 

Communication is something that I've learned more about on my mission. Especially here in Vista. Our mission president wants companions to over-communicate with each other, so that way there's nothing keeping us from each other. That's something I've obviously struggled with in the past. But with Elder Brown, we've done SOOO much communication with each other! I honestly feel like he's my best friend, because we tell everything to each other. The good things, the bad things, things that are on our minds, things that the other said that maybe hurt our feelings, all that good jazz! We tell each other everything! And I'm learning that that's honestly the way that it needs to be. When I come out and talk to Elder Brown about something, I feel so much lighter! I don't feel like it bothers me anymore, since I'm not keeping it bottled inside, and it's gone in the past and I don't think on it anymore. So thank you so much for helping me realize in greater detail how important communication is. I love you mom :)

This past week, I wrote a poem for the first time in my life! Elder Brown told me that he really liked it! he told me, "come on! You can play guitar AND write like that? It's so not fair!" haha He meant it in good way :)

I was kind of nervous sharing it with him, well, with anyone really, because I'm not confident in my creative writing skills. But you're my family, so I know you will love it either way haha

(I don't have a title for it)
Many years it has been now,
Since my father has laid down
in a grave and can't be seen
under the grass, warm and green
and will be for many more years
so long as the clocks turn their gears.

My thoughts turn to the Savior,
as I ponder His behavior.
If His love is so infinite,
why is this pain so intimate?
Sometimes it's hard to recall,
but He has a plan overall.

He too laid in a grave like this,
and three days hence, broke the abyss.
Of death and pain, we can be free
and with our families, full of glee.

I know what He did for me,
bleeding in Gethsemane.
For me and all, I know He bled,
from every pore, so scripture said.
We can feel relief from sin,
and from all bad things therein.

And now this year, I connect
on how Christ could resurrect;
to my family, what that means
and to all what it can be.

Let me tell you what I see
when Christ's reign comes to be.
I can now picture that day
when I come forth from the grave
and flesh and soul shall reunite
upon the man who taught me right.
In his face, I clearly see
of pain and guilt, he is now freed.
Running with love in his stride,
he comes to my family's side.
We embrace our father tightly,
for now eternal is our family.

I hope you really like it! :) I got your easter package today, and I just LOOOOVEEE the Batman tie!!!!! It totally made my day!! I'm actually eating the candy from a Batman egg as I type haha

I also greatly enjoyed the pics you sent of everyone from church, that also made my day! :D

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

[A portion of e-mail from Mary to Elder WockenfussOne of the scriptures I came across this week was Psalm 119:103-104 - "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way." There are some days where frustrations, anger, and other negative feelings threaten to overwhelm me and draw tears. During those times, I get a reminder to read my scriptures. As I obey that thought, the Holy Spirit fills my soul with the peace and calm I so desperately need. The problems or situations that brought on those feelings might not be gone, but I'm better able to handle them thanks to that peace. I know that in a world full of contradicting, confusing views that lead mankind every which way, I can find the truth in the Scriptures, and that it can guide me along the path I need to go.]

[his response:]

Reading what you just told me, it makes me think about the hymns of the church as well. There have been days in these past few weeks that I was stressed or upset about something, but then I get the impression to grab the guitar (yes, I'm borrowing one yet again :P) and start plucking out some hymns. Whether it's one of the lovely renditions that I know, or if it's just plucking the notes out of the hymnbook, it always brings me peace, and to Elder Brown as well. It calms the both of us, because they have the spirit of God wrapped up in them, just like the scriptures. So I have a testimony of Godly music! In the front of the hymnbook, it basically says that the hymns are scripture, and that we should use them often and place them among the sacred books of scripture that we hold dear. They bring peace to my heart when I struggle most, and reminds me of what I can do better, and it helps me to think of the savior. That's something that I learned this week. I am so grateful that God blessed me with a gift of music, and I hope and pray that I can use that gift to help others :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 57 - Dinner, a Spanish Hymn, and a Baptism

Dear Mom,

Fried chicken, fried okra, mashed potatoes and salad

Dinner yesterday was super good! I've always loved okra and white gravy! :D 

After dinner, we sang a hymn that is a Spanish hymnbook original, "Placentero nos es trabajar." [click the song title to go to the words] It's one of our favorites!

As for sitting arrangements and what the pics look like, we are just family and friends. We're all working in the same ward and we're united in that aspect. We treat each other as a family, and we respect our calls to serve as missionaries. There is nothing else to it. We're closer than what you may have seen in my past districts, but it is because with me as the district leader, I want us to be a family. And I truly believe that is what we are. We are allowed to eat with elders and sisters at the same dinner. Don't worry about us, we are being obedient and keeping everything in check haha

Also, there was a baptism last night!! :D He's been a dry mormon [UrbanDictionary definition here] for YEARS!! And this past thursday, he came to me for a baptismal interview, everything turned out great, and he was baptized yesterday! :D

I loved the ties you sent me! Most especially with the goofy names you give them! XD

This past week I watched the new Easter video, and after watching it, I gained a deeper appreciation and gratitude for celebrating Easter and Christ's resurrection. In the end of the video when it talks about how because of Christ, our loved ones will be resurrected one day, it hit me pretty deep, because I thought about how Dad died about 11 years ago. I always knew of the resurrection, but I never fully appreciated it like I do now. Because of Christ, Dad will be resurrected and I will see him again with a perfected body and we will live as a family forever.

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

PS Did you get my letter this past week?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 56 - Fried Chicken and the Remission of Sins

Dear Mom,

Thank you for all the pics!! I love seeing them! :D We actually got the phone number for Sis. Summers that night, and we (all us missionaries in the most recent pics) are going to eat dinner with her this upcoming Sunday, and we're gonna have fried chicken, and fried okra, and mashed potatoes! It's gonna be great!! I think Hermana Young and I are the most excited, since we're both from the south haha

I love the package you sent!! I love March's tie! and all the goodies in it! I'm probably going to get fat haha

Before I forget, Hermana Young and Hermana Parris would like matching Toadsuck shirts, if you could please? they would like a medium, if you could, and not in yellow. Just take the money from my account. Also, have you sent the Toadsuck shirt to Elder Dowda? He says he doesn't have it yet, but maybe it's hung up in the office for some reason.

Elder Wockenfuss, Elder Brown,
and the sister missionaries at the San Diego temple

This week was pretty good! Especially since we got to go to the temple! It's always good to go and leave behind all the worries and troubles of the world and just ponder the revelations that God gives you.

Yesterday, I got the opportunity to confirm an investigator of the sisters as a member of the church and to give the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I was a bit caught off guard when she asked if I could confirm her, I was of course willing to do it, I was just a little surprised. But I was also very honored to do it. Thinking back on it, I had given her and her family the blessings that started them on the journey towards baptism. I had since given her a health blessing as well, during a time when she was sick. So I suppose that I had a bit of a connection with her, which may have been why she picked me to do it. But something I realized yesterday was that sometimes the confirmation is a bit overlooked and people focus more on just the baptism by water. I studied the scriptures and found that receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost brings a REMISSION and purification of sins. I didn't know what Remission meant, so I looked it up in my dictionary. It means to give or receive a relief from pain and sorrow. That really hit me hard! That's one reason why now I hold the Gift of the Holy Ghost so dear, that's why we need this precious part of the ordinance. It brings relief from the pain and sorrow of your past life, and you can truly start anew, leaving it all behind. This gospel is so true, Mom!

The unity in the district is a little better, still needs improving, but it's better than the first week! Thank you for the prayers! :)

On another note, we've been playing soccer every Friday with members and investigators, and at first, Elder Brown and I weren't very good at playing. But just this past Friday, we kicked butt!! That was the most I've exerted myself playing a sport for quite a while! It was so much fun! You should've seen us! :D Maybe once I get back, I'll get a group together to play, and you can see me play!

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss