Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 72 - Rise to the Challenges (And Take Lots of Pictures)

Morning missionary hike
Dear Mom,

That's one trait I love about our family. We don't give up or back down, even if things get tough. I actually wrote one of my BYUI application essays on that haha I'm glad that all of you were able to speak! It is true that we can do really good talks on short notice! The holy ghost is awesome at doing that!

I got the opportunity to talk to President Kendrick this past week, because there were several things weighing on my mind that I needed to talk to him about. He sat and talked with me with the most love a person could give! He helped me feel so much better about everything! And now those issues aren't on my mind anymore :) I also found out from him that my official return date is now December 14, the original date I was supposed to go home anyway haha :D

Would you mind praying for our district and our ward? we need some help working together.

In our mission, we have something called the Vision & Culture Document. In one of the points, it talks about how we can't blame other people or circumstances for what is happening to us, or for the lack of work that is happening. All we need to do is have a positive attitude, and any day can turn around to become a better one. But, there's also a part of this document that says that we're all in the same boat, and we need to not speak unkindly of others. So when someone has been evil to you for years and has made it so that you fear what's gonna happen next, I personally see that as time to hit the road. I've been wanting to move from there for quite a while. God wants us to pass through trials, yes. But he also wants us to be happy! Many times God has commanded his people to move when they were in danger or when it obstructed living freely and happily. Maybe there is something that still needs to be learned, perhaps relationships need to be set at peace, I don't know, but I personally believe that our family doesn't have much longer in Arkansas. Maybe that's just me. I know that we've been saying that for years, but when you talked to me about ya'll moving with me to BYUI, it just felt right. That's something that I love about the hispanic culture, if one moves, the whole family moves too haha so maybe that's what's supposed to happen with us, maybe we were meant to be hispanic :P  What do you feel? Is this right? or am I just crazy? Okay, I know I'm crazy, but I want to know if this is from God or not haha well, the Book of Mormon does say that whatever is good comes from God, and Elder Bednar says concerning the difference between personal thoughts and promptings from the spirit "Does it matter? If it invites to do good, it comes from God."

I did get the package with the camera and fun goodies! I LOVE THE HOGAN'S HEROES SHIRT!!! Thank you Katie!!!!

I'll send pics I took this week in just  a moment :D

Please continue to write when you can! I love you very much!

With much love,
Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

[Some long-awaited pictures]

"Very first picture on my camera. Why that one happened, I don't know."
"My Batman wall... Yep!"

DOUBLE ICE CREAM CONE!!!!!!! It was soooo gooooood!
fancy little quote that Hermana Hawkins gave out as part of her discussion in DM last week! She extended an invitation to write about little positive things, or "tender mercies" that God gives us
This is a picture that Hermana Terron drew of our district as Power Rangers! It is super goofy! 

Yes...I am the Red Ranger....Squeezing a toad haha

Last night I ate the most food ever! 2 chicken legs, lots of rice, 4 Elotes (corn on the cob with mayo, Parmesan cheese, and Tajin seasoning), 5 pieces of watermelon, and then that night, I ate 3 slices of pizza haha All the missionaries were wondering "where on earth does it go?"  I answered that it's probably one of those great mysteries that God talks about in the scriptures haha

Mine and emerick's tshirts that Carlos gave us!!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 71 - Grace, Changing Focus, and the Christlike Captain Moroni

Dear Mom,

I never realized (and still don't realize) what effect I honestly have on people. I just am myself and I do what I believe Christ would've done. I had no idea that Carlos thought THAT greatly of me! But of course, he did buy us awesome tshirts, and gives us food, and gives us rides anywhere we need to go, and keeps us updated on things we would like to know, and gives us a tie he has just because we say we really like it, and is just awesome all around so I guess that's a good indicator of great friendship haha Carlos really is the best! We love him to death! He's the best member ever! He is a truly good friend here, and I love that he really wants to help us and wants the best for us! Carlos is one of my absolute best friends ever! :D

Thanks for the email about GRACE. When I first came to Vista, I was very trusting, like I always was back home, but since then, I have slowly stopped trusting so many people. I feel like I've been backstabbed one too many times. I only really trust a select few. But that doesn't mean I'm not still nice to people. Of course I'm nice to everyone! I sometimes struggle with forgiveness as well. But a while ago, I found myself in a situation similar to what I've faced on my mission, but in which I was the offender this time. When I realized I was on that end, I did everything I could to make up and apologize for it. Thankfully, I was forgiven by this missionary. Later, I realized that I really needed to forgive my offenders. Not just say I did and continue to stew and be grumpy about it. This missionary that I had hurt was so gracious to have forgiven me, and we still have the same closeness and trust that we had before the incident. I realized that if I want so badly to be forgiven, I need to forgive those that offended me. I used to think, why was I in that situation? Can't I just rewind and remove it? But it needed to happen. I needed to be put on the other side of the coin, so that I could know what it's like, so I could learn this lesson.

I agree that perhaps I need to be focusing on other things instead of finding non-elect people. We as a district are struggling in this factor, so we all talked and have come to the conclusion that we need to help the youth of this ward. Because we have discovered that many of them don't have testimonies, and don't plan on serving missions. We've been almost ignoring them this whole time, and I don't even really think they have relationships with any missionary. So this is where we're gonna start. Save the youth, save the ward. One of our responsibilities as missionaries is to strengthen the ward in which we serve, so we're gonna focus more of our attention on that now.

I absolutely LOVED the wockenflockite pics!!! Like L O V E D them! With a capital L O V E D x100!!
I was sitting in my chair laughing hysterically! We have the best humor ever! I can't wait to make Wockenflockite pics with ya'll!

In April, the Wockenflockites buried our swords. Look what has come up in their place!
Plastic forks, knives and spoons!

Captain Jack Sparrow, guardian of the garden, challenged Wockenflockite Buddy, Inflictor of Boo-Boos,
to a duel.

Even the bird feeder expresses its astonishment!
I totally forgot to take pics with our new shirts, I'll put a reminder in the phone to do it tonight with the new camera!

Did I pick up the [Amazon Prime] pantry boxes? Yeah, and they're heavy! haha there was even a sticker on them that said HEAVY   < -- just like that :P Thank you so much for all the much food! I won't need to buy cereal for quite a while, unless others need a cereal box in a pinch, in which case, I'll help them out.

As for the garments and the temple trip, I can exchange unopened garments at the distribution center at the temple [mom ordered the wrong ones], which we'll be going on the 28th I believe. The last week of the month.

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

Hogs & Quiches

Elder Patricio Pie De Nubes

[Mary had mentioned in her e-mail to Elder Wockenfuss that she was planning to organize her room this week and warned him to watch out for the nasty weather that's sure to come from such a rare event. heehee Here's his response.]

THE BAD WEATHER ALREADY STARTED! Just thinking about it activated the weather-ness haha IT"S 100 DEGREES OVER HERE! We normally think of bad weather as a storm that wreaks havoc on everything with a downpour of cats and dogs that speak klingon. But no.... not Vista.... I would love that right now... Our bad weather is the Death Ray Gun of the Sun. haha But I'm in a full time car this week, so I'm okay haha

I am starting to learn about Captain Moroni, my number one role model! In Alma 48:12 - "Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people."

"upon his people"...Interesting. Not "upon him," but "upon his people." So Moroni was a selfless man (obviously), so to the extent that he didn't thank God for "me me me", he thanked God for what He had done for his people. He was truly a Christlike man, who turned out ward, and not inward to self. That's something I never quite realized before. I can't wait to continue to find out more about him this week!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 70 - Agua de Sandia, a Metal Death Contraption, and Sleeping Through an Earthquake

Dear Mom,

To be honest, this week was kinda boring... except for a few things!

We had dinner with the Montiel family for the first time, and it was SO GOOD!!! That was probably the best dinner ever! AND they served the best agua ever! Agua de Sandia (Watermelon)!! Should you desire to try this Agua de Sandia (yes you do want to try it, just saying), cut up a watermelon, put it in a blender with water, and enough sugar for your liking, zizz it up, and voila! you're welcome for the new addiction!

We helped a member move this past week, which wasn't too bad, and then I dropped a metal death contraption on my big toe... I would not recommend doing that, even if it's "all the hype" these days :P My toe is fine, it's not broken, I just got a small bruise. Then we helped them put their table together, and then they gave us pizza! It was super great! :)

We had dinner with the Bernal family again this past week, and Hermana Bernal told me that I was her favorite! That made me feel really good! That was the first time that a member told me I was their favorite since Escondido :) She says that she really loves it when I get excited about her food, and when I eat and eat her wonderful food haha :) Good to know I make people happy in some way!

There was a few days this past week that were rough. I just had a hard time because the area in Vista that we work in is very small, (it's the smallest area I've been in) and I've been here for 5 months, doing the same things over and over again. I got to the point where I felt like I was beating a dead horse here, and that there was nothing to do that I haven't done in this past half year. So I was pretty down for a couple days. I'm doing my best to keep myself occupied and not be down. I've decided that when you send that camera to me, I'm gonna bring it everywhere and look for the little joys and funny things to keep my spirits up, and so that I can send random stuff home haha

O! O! And Carlos (The best member in the world) gave us awesome T-SHirts!! :D I'll send pics next week, but mine was an awesome Superman vs Batman shirt, and a cool comic book-y Captain america/Iron Man shirt! :D

You guessed it! I slept right through the earthquake! I had no idea that it happened until everyone was texting about it the next morning! That brings to mind what Elder Clark said, that I could sleep through my own death and not even know what happened haha

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

O yeah, and we cast out a demon from a members house yesterday, so that was interesting haha

the Wockenflockite pics are super funny!!! They always so much joy to my life haha I love how a couple of the cats are even joining in the fight!

We may have buried our swords, but nobody said we couldn't fight with sea creatures. *wink wink*

Now being sweet and friendly with our flower whirly wing-dings. Will it last?


Week 69 in the Carlsbad California Mission

Dear Mom,

I have sunblock in the apartment, I will be fine! haha

Tell Katie Happy Birthday for me!! :D

Yeah, in our district Elder Emerick and I are the oldest missionaries, such a weird feeling! And then it's weird that we have about 6 months left!

I'm so excited for Henry!! When I first opened the email, I so was surprised! Like I exclaimed my surprise out loud haha When did he first start investigating the church?? Tell him HI for me!

I AM GETTING A HAIRCUT TODAY!!! :D You don't know how excited I am for this!! I really really really need a haircut!! I've been needing to get one for like 3 weeks, but I haven't had time or money to do it! But now I do! :D

I loved the package from last week! I had been wanting to ask you to send some tan slacks out to me, because I cannot find anything out here! So thank you so much for that! As for a straw fedora, I probably won't get one, sorry. I feel like I would look ridiculous with it, and then people would confuse us with Jehovah's Witness's even more haha plus, right now in our mission we still can't wear sunglasses outside the car or the straw hats, but once the new mission president comes in, he'll address it, and we'll go from there! :) But thank you so much for preparing me for it!

O BTW, could you tell AJ Gregory that the Bernal family in Vista say Hi? They talked about him the other day at dinner. They mentioned Elder Gregory from Arkansas, and my ears immediately pricked up. We were all tickled that we had a common connection! :D

Also, My Recent Convert in Escondido is trying to prepare for the temple, but she's having problems with a certain member of the ward who she says is hypocritical. Do you have any wise words to help her let go of this issue, or anything related to it? 

Please write and email when you can, I love seeing and reading the emails!

Hogs & Quiches!

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss