Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Week 68 - The New Hermana, a Chicken Coop, Spanish Conference and More!

Dear Mom,

Things are going well here in Vista! Hermana Hawkins is doing very well in her first week on the mission! Her Spanish is also really good for the beginning as well! Hermana Terron and Hermana Hawkins get along very well! They love each other, which is very good to see! :)

Last Tuesday, before transfers happened, our district went to go make a Chicken Coop for a potential investigator, and it was so much fun! (Note: see photos at bottom of post) It reminded me so much of scout projects and things that I'd go help Carl with. So it was a lovely time for me! Hermana Young knows a lot about Chickens, and Chicken Coops, so she had a huge part in constructing it! Since we both have dealt with things like that before, it reminded both of us of home haha Then we got Domino's Pizza from that family, and I was extremely happy! That also reminded me of home! haha

Also, this past week, we had Spanish Conference!!! :D It wasn't quite as extravagant as last time, but it was still fun! It's weird to think that Emerick and I are 2 of the oldest spanish missionaries! *GAG* THAT'S SO WEIRD!!!! I gave a discussion in the spanish conference about how spanish missionaries can baptize more, so I decided to talk about studying the language, living the culture, and being diligent! It went pretty well I thought. I got a lot of participation! We didn't have mission wide exchanges this time, but maybe for the one in October :)

We went to Escondido this past Sunday so that I could confirm Johnathon, and there were such memories there! I saw so many members that I loved being around! Many of them remembered me, and were so happy that I was back! But I told them that I was only there for that day, and they said "O...well hopefully you'll serve here again real soon!" So that made me happy that they still remember me and want me back!

I learned recently that it's not just December 21st that's the "black out" day, but that no missionaries will be going anywhere from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, because of the crazy holiday traffic, and because of the recent attack in Belgium, they're wanting to keep missionaries safe. So I'll either be coming home November 8, or in January, but I don't know how true any of this is, but we'll find out. If that is true, I'm going to try to come home in November to start getting things ready for the next chapter of our lives.

I agree with you that the reason for leaving Arkansas is for personal growth, but not by leaving the family. If God wants all of us to move, that's the way it'll be. In the hispanic culture, it is extremely common that the whole family either lives together, or at least very close to each other, and if one moves, the rest go with them. I feel like there will be changes in our lives when I return. Most especially para mi, because I've learned from Arkansas all that I've needed to. I've been taught by the good men in Morrilton, I got my Eagle Scout, and my high school education in an environment that was conducive to the spirit (Home/Toadsuck), you taught me how to be respectful to everyone, I got my first job from a member, I learned from Dad(Carl) how to work hard and to do a good job at it, and I believe that I've learned everything that I could up to this point. So now it's time to move on to the next part of my life, new experiences, new people that can help me, and that I can help, and learn what's next for me.

It's kinda interesting, when I think of Arkansas and staying there, I think of the Hotel California song (the part that talks about when you go in, you'll never leave), or in the Percy Jackson movie in the Lotus Casino, when they lost so much time in there and didn't even realize it. I don't think that Arkansas is a bad place, God is just telling me that my time is just finished there. Arkansas will always be my home, a place where I know that I can always return and be around those that have been a huge part of my life. But right now, it's time to say "See ya later, alligator."

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Elder W. and Elder E. - the (Mor)Men in Black

Spanish Conference - the nice photo. Elder Wockenfuss is in the back row, fourth from left.

Spanish Conference- the silly photo

Elder Wockenfuss' district helping to build a chicken coop last week before transfers.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 67 - A Special Baptism and Tree Hugging Funsies

Dear Mom,

Yesterday, was not all that bad honestly! The hermanas in my district were praying for me in the days leading up to yesterday, so it really wasn't that bad. I thought it was gonna be worse, but I felt just so much peace that day, it was wonderful! Thank you for asking the sisters to get me Dove chocolates, it meant a lot! I was having some bad flashbacks [of dad's illness and death eleven years ago] in the days leading up to yesterday, but what I found was wonderful, was that my district was so kind, supportive, and caring about the whole thing. They did what they could to keep my spirits up, and to keep me happy. I truly feel like our district is a family!

So, yesterday, I got to go to the baptism of the son (Johnathon) of one of my recent converts in Escondido. He actually wanted me to baptize him, so I did. I had no idea what kind of effect I had on this young man and the ward there, until I went back yesterday. Johnathon was so happy to see me! He even came up and hugged me! When he saw me enter the room after getting dressed in my baptismal suit, he had the biggest smile on his face, and he left his mom's side to come sit by me. It truly was an honor to go back and baptize him. 

Also, many many members there actually remembered my name and could pronounce it! It's not everyday that 10-15 Hispanics in the same room can remember and say "Wockenfuss"! 

If nothing else happens on my mission, I will feel successful because I know that I made an effect on Johnathon and his family, and because I made the decision to come on my mission, they will soon be sealed in the temple for eternity. To me, that is fulfillment of D&C 18:15-16 

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

And right now, my joy is indeed great! That is worth all the rough times!

Emerick and I are staying together for another transfer in Vista! Hermana Terron is training just after being trained by Hermana Young! We are so excited and proud of her! Hermana Young is going to Oceanside. It's not too far. It was expected that she was going to leave, since she finished hermana terron's training.

I LOVED the package with the jones soda!! I was super happy! :D

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

With much love,
Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Here's some pics! Emerick and I hugged a tree just for funsies... and we were bored haha a couple days later, we were like "why did we do that?" haha

Elder Tree-Hugger Wockenfuss
Elder Tree-Hugger Emerick

and here's Johnathon and I. I gave him one of my favorite ties, to remember me by :) I'm also going back on Sunday to confirm him :)

This is a pic that Hermana Kasen drew for me after some rough flashbacks came [of dad's illness and death]. She draws so well!! It's pretty awesome!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 66 - Exchanges, Investigators, Car Issues, and Counting Tiles

Dear Mom,

So we've had some experiences this week! haha So we had 2 exchanges this week! One on Tuesday with the Fallbrook Spanish Elders. Elder Clark came with me in my area. and then on Thursday I went to the Zone Leaders area with Elder Wight. I had a wonderful time with Elder Clark, of course! haha When I went with Elder Wight, we had a good day! First, we taught this agnostic guy who agreed to take the lessons because his friend is a member. He had several questions that I don't normally deal with.  I've never taught a lesson like that before, I only have to deal with Catholic people!

but later that day, we taught a lesson to some not very elect people, but after we walked out, we ran into a member that lived across the street, whose wife 30 seconds earlier, said that she wanted a blessing. So we went over there and gave her a blessing. It was so awesome! :D

We taught our investigator Alan this past Friday, and he told us that was in chapter 10 in the Book of Mormon. We were thinking that he meant 1 Nephi 10, but then he opened to the middle of the book.
"What page are you on?"
We open to that page, and he was in ALMA chapter 10! We gave him that Book of Mormon a week ago, and he's read a lot! At first we didn't believe him, but then the spirit testified to us that he read that much! And he prayed about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith being a prophet, and he told us that God told him that it's all true!
We are so excited for him!

On Saturday, we went down to Escondido to get our car taken care of. We thought it needed new brakes, but it only needed an oil change and a tune up. But we were there for 3 hours!!! There were apparently pretty busy, and we kept thinking that they were gonna work on our car any second, but the seconds turned to minute which turned to hours. There were 14 windows, 12 medium ceiling tiles, 11 long ceiling tiles, 3 half size tiles, 3 sprinklers, 256 floor tiles, 22 tires, and 8 chairs. Needless to say, I was SO BORED! I'm pretty sure that's what Outer Darkness is gonna feel like for Satan and his cronies haha We went to Panda Express for lunch after that, we needed it haha

So we had an investigator come to church yesterday! But he left during the third hour, and we were looking everywhere for him, and one member finally found him walking on the road, and so took him home. He called the hermanas after he got home, and during their conversation, we all realized that he is legitimately crazy. Not like, maybe he's got a screw loose up in the noggin, but like he has one loose screw holding everything together... by a thread. So we're aren't teaching him anymore. plus, he said he doesn't want any missionaries to come unless it's the hermanas, which is not going to happen.

But in other wonderful news, Yolanda, my recent convert from Escondido, is asking me to come back and baptize her son Johnathon this Sunday!! :D I was so happy, excited, and humbled, that she asked me to baptize Johnathon. So next P-day, I'll send you pics!! :D

How's your week been? Anything exciting happen?

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

PS I haven't gotten the packages yet, they're at the Bobier building right now, I'll get them in a few hours when we're over there :)

PPS Tell Buddy and Mary I might not say as much in the emails today, I just got a phone call from a mexican guy who said that english missionaries wrecked into his car 5 days ago, and I was trying to figure out what to say or do, so I was making other calls to our Vehicle Coordinator, and others. So I've been a little stressed and out of energy right now. I don't understand car wreck terms very well. But I'm okay :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 65 - Mother's Day Skype, The Whiplash Incident, a Baptism, and a New Homecoming Date

Skyping with Patrick on Mother's Day

Dear Mom,

Somehow we we've gotten away with 2 1/2 hours of skyping. I don't know how, but we have! haha the way I see it, this is only twice a year, and yesterday was my very last one. What're they gonna do? tell me I can't Skype my family again? :P well, I don't have any more "phone a friend" selections left haha :P

Thank you for sharing with me what you've learned from President Eyring's talk of the Women's Conference! It's always something good to think about! :)

Walmart shirts are just fine to me! They're gonna be brown by the end of the mission anyways! I don't need to spend a lot of money only to make something gross haha

So as to what happened to my neck the other day... It was Friday evening, at the Foothill building. We were waiting for the Mother's Day dinner to start, as Elder Clark and Sedgewick walk in the door. Since I was companions with Elder Clark before, I was excited to see him again! And since we are basically best friends, that also means we are pretty stupid around each other. I gave Elder Clark a big hug as we were walking... and spinning around.... 

As my feet drug limply around the floor, I accidentally tripped him... let's put it this way... Have you ever had a 300 pound black man fall on you before?... You don't want to... it's not fun! But it certainly adds flavor to life haha Now I suffer from a little bit of whiplash, and can't run for a week, I have to use a smaller bag for proselyting for a bit, and I don't go back to riding my bike until tomorrow. But I'm just fine! Don't worry about me! I'll be back to normal -well, as normal as I can be- pretty soon! To quote the Joker: "I believe that whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you.... stranger." haha :P

I'm pretty sure I talked to ya'll about pretty much everything else that's happened in life recently, so I can't think of anything to say really. Sorry about that!

O wait! I remember something exciting! The son of my recent convert in Escondido is getting baptized on the 22nd!! :D And I've been invited to come back to see it!! :D I was so stinkin excited to hear that news! I literally jumped for joy haha

O and btw, I'll actually be coming home either a week before December 21, or a transfer before. It depends on what the new mission president wants to do. The First Presidency has apparently announced that no missionaries will be going to or from their missions on December 21, because of the crazy holiday season traffic, and hustle and bustle. SO we'll see what happens! I'll let you know when I find out!

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 64 - New Investigators, Guidance From the Spirit, and Fasting

Dear Mom,

Man! So much stuff has happened from what it sounds! I'm sorry about the bad things that happened, but we continue to endure and press through life with a smile, not caring what others may think. I'm trying to get to that mind set as well.

For the skype call next sunday, we're thinking about doing it after church, probably like at 1 or 1:30. so probably like 3:30 your time, I think. Does that sound good to ya'll?

 This past week, we went on exchanges with the spanish elders in Fallbrook, and we picked up 2 New Investigators!! They seem to be elect so far! We gave them a Book of Mormon and they accepted the invitation to read it, pray about it, and to be baptized once they find it to be true! We'll be meeting with them again on Thursday, so hopefully we'll see progress with them soon!

We talked to a couple weird, creepy people this week, but we got over it, and are never going to talk to them again! Just too weird for me haha  [Note: Mom sent a quick e-mail asking what made them weird and creepy, and what made him never want to see them again. His reponse:]  Basically, we faced down a demon. And I got the strongest impression from the spirit to leave, and we got out of there as fast as possible.   [Eek!!!]

I'm in the process of writing another poem, about how there are angels around us, so we'll see how that goes!

[Note: Mary had asked him what he's learned this week. His response:]  I've been learning about why and how to fast this week. I realized that I wanted a stronger testimony of fasting, because I've always heard of miracles from fasting, but I haven't personally recognized or seen many miracles from it. So i'm trying to learn more about it, and understand it more. I've only read 2 talks so far, and read some scriptures about it. I'll write down more of what I learned and tell you next week! But I have learned why we do fast offerings! It's to help not just those around us in our community, but because of our donations, it can reach as far as Africa, and help and heal wounded souls. And so by donating fast offerings, we are fulfilling our responsibility to care for others.

I'm sorry that I can't think of anything else to say right now!

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss