Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 81 - Kickball, Progressing, and Revelation

Dear Mary,

You remember that random call you got from a California number on Saturday?..... yeah, that was us, on accident! My comp was looking through the phone for a Mary in our ward to ask where I certain park was, and he only found your number, so he called it. I had forgotten that I saved your number, just in case I needed to call for something, so when we got to your voice mail, I remembered and then told him to text you. Sorry about that haha

 The pics I'm incuding this week are of how I have part of my desk set up. The quote on the right came from Hermana Young's mom as one of my birthday presents. 

And as I told you last week, I printed off that pic of Mom to put at my desk, and I found a really good frame for it as well! If you can't read it, it says " Memories: Some moments we never forget, because our lives are forever changed." I keep it right there so I can see every day when I'm studying, and whenever I'm home. :)

Today we had a Zone activity at the park! We played kick ball and had some snacks! It was pretty fun!! :D I tried to open a Dr. Pepper bottle, and it fizzed up hard core, and spewed everywhere!! So my hands were sticky with soda syrup for a while haha

Some of our investigators are progressing! The kids of the Mendez family are doing the reading assignments we give them and they're writing the words that they don't know so that we can help them to understand. And Norberto came to church as well! He now has some nice church slacks, and at least a nice white t-shirt until he can get a button up shirt. But he has to find a new place to live now, so we can't meet with him until he gets a place of his own, which should be soon!

I learned about how revelation is super important in our lives! Especially in sharing the gospel! We can't share the gospel unless we are guided by the spirit and revelation, like how ya'll are doing with the sisters help. I've actually done that on my mission as well! and it really does help members to think of people that they know, and what they can do for the next step in sharing the gospel!

Having the spirit is so important! Heavenly Father knows all things, and so if you have the spirit to guide you, you can be prompted to do or say something that will help that person in some way.

Write when you can, I love hearing from you!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

This is Elder Wimmer, he is such an awesome guy!! We had a meeting with a general authority named Elder De Hoyos on Friday, and Elder Wimmer and I discovered that our ties were exactly the same pattern, just different colors!!!! We were so excited and happy beyond belief!!! It totally made our day haha :D

The meeting itself was good, we met with him from 8:30 until like 2:30... It was a long meeting! But so very helpful! This was also his first church assignment in the United States in English! So our Mission President had to translate for him sometimes for the English missionaries, since he's still working on his English. We could understand him perfectly, since, you know, we're so good at Spanish :P haha jk but really, we were able to understand him really well!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 80 - New Investigators, Lessons on Fasting and Prayer, and Comfort in Sacrament

Dear Mary,
It sounds like that party was such a great time! :D I always love doing surprise parties! They are so much fun! [Mary's note: it was a surprise joint birthday party for me and another young lady from church. We share a birthday. And she leaves on her mission in a few short weeks.]

I'm not sure if I told you, but I got released as a District Leader this transfer, and they combined our district with the YSA district, so it's a little bigger now. But it's going well I believe! Norberto has not been baptized yet, sadly. He hadn't been responding to our texts or phone calls until yesterday. So we'll be working with him this week about getting ready for his baptism.

We picked up 3 new investigators this week!! :D the granddaughter of a member in our ward mentioned how she wanted to get baptized, so we went by and started teaching her, her brother, and her mom. They have a lot of potential! I can't wait to see what happens with them!
I finished Mosiah this week! :D I was reading in the chapter where Alma the younger was persecuting the church, and after the visit of the angel didn't move for several days. I thought it was interesting that it doesn't just that say that the priests just fasted and prayed for Alma in a general sense, but they were specific in what they fasted and prayed for: That his mouth would be opened, that his limbs would receive strength, so that the eyes of the people would be opened to see the glory of God at work. That reminded me how our personal prayers and fasts should be specific as well. That there should always be a purpose and that we should state that purpose clearly in prayer as well. If we ask or tell God something in a general sense, He's gonna give us a general answer. That's what I learned this week! :)

Yesterday, I was struggling a bit since it's been a month of Mom's passing. But there was a wonderful talk in church yesterday about the Plan of Salvation and how our loved ones help us! The speaker told of how her mother had passed away while she was in her first year of college, and how it was hard for her as well. I believe she said that her mother had written her a note telling her she was always going to be there now to help her, that she won't leave her alone, and that she still had a responsibility as a mother towards her. I can't remember everything that was said in the talk, but it helped me feel so much better! The spirit was very strong and said that talk was for me. Everything about the talk applied to us, and made me feel good. I even felt Mom sitting next to me, so it was a good sacrament meeting :)

Write when you can, I love hearing from ya!

With mucho love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 78 - Service, a Hike, and Puzzles

Dear Mary,

Honestly not much happened this week. Our investigator Norberto came to church yesterday!! :D So we were super happy about that!

We helped one of our neighbors move in a couple days ago, and then they gave us domino's pizza for dinner!

Today we went on a hike with the Vista District, which was so  much fun!! I haven't seen them in quite a while, so it made super happy to get to hang out with them, and then we went to breakfast at IHOP afterwards. It was wonderful to be surrounded by friends!

Hermana Parris (an hermana in the vista district that I know) made me a planner for next transfer! It's all batman-ified, and it looks so well done and just wonderful! I definitely plan on using that haha
We have this 2000 piece puzzle in our apartment that other elders had left unfinished, so I've been working on it over time, and I'm almost done with it! It made me remember how much I actually love puzzles! And it reminded me of all the time that we spent putting puzzles together as a family. Good times!

President Thomas really is a great mission president! I love him and Sister Thomas so much! They've been so helpful to me, and I feel like I've gotten really close to them already!

Write when you can, I'll be here! I love reading everything you send!

With much love,
Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Week 79 - Good Times

Dear Mary,
The weather has actually not been that horrible here! Which is surprising because of the major deep dish cleaning that you all did haha [Note: It's a family joke that when we do any kind of cleaning (the bane of our existence), terrible weather occurs somewhere.]
It is so wonderful to hear and read all the wonderful progress that is being made, and how we are all learning to stand up on our own. It's just great to see how God helps us when we need it the most!
My birthday was soooooo awesome!! I wasn't able to get the packages ya'll sent then, but I should get them today. We had a birthday lunch at the stake center here, which was awesome!! I got permission to invite the Spanish missionaries in Vista to come for the lunch! (Because I'm friends with all of them.) I made Sloppy Joe's for the main dish, and everyone else brought chips, buns, macaroni salad, soda, and Carlos brought an awesome cake! It was honestly the best birthday ever!! Carlos took a lot of pictures and some videos, I'll see if I can send them to you! [pics at the end of the post]

We also went to the Delaveaux family for dinner, and it was such a great time! They are a fantastic family!

We had dinner with the Crump family this past Thursday, and they are just a wonderful family! I ate with them once before, my first week here, and that was a good time as well! They didn't know that Mom had died until the Thursday that I was coming back, because Elder Sedgwick showed up to dinner with the YSA elders, and they asked where I was. Sedgwick said that I should be on the plane coming back this way pretty soon. Then that started more questions, because they really had no idea that had happened.

So they invited us to come eat with them and hang out this past Thursday, and it was such a good time! They seem to have taken a much greater interest and care for me since they found out that news. I almost feel like a part of their family, because they want to make sure that I'm okay.

I also found out that Sister Crump is an Ambassador for BYU-I, and so she can help me out with all the registering and everything. BLESSINGS!! :D

They also let me borrow their guitar, since they hardly use it. I'm really the only one the ever touches it, so they let me take it to the apartment to borrow :)

Thank you for sharing what you learned! It's so good to hear how it's all going! I've been reading about how the people of Limhi had escaped bondage, and it made think of how God expects us to do something after we ask for help. We can't just sit back and expect God to do everything, but through prayer and doing something, God can inspire us what we can do to overcome trials in our lives.
Thank you writing! I love to hear from you!
With much love,
Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Yeah!!! We had to go to Vista to take care of something, and their Zone had just finished with their ZTM, so we went to the Yellow Deli with them! SO delicious!!

O yeah, we also got together then to eat at this place called ZigZag's Pizza before a baptism [on Saturday]!! That was pretty good food too!

Playing "If, Then". Everybody writes down a silly "If" statement and a silly "then" statement
 and toss them into two piles. Then draw one from each pile, read them off, and have a good laugh!

hugs and sillies

Bunny ears!!!

Right after his face got smashed into the cake.
It's a tradition called Mordida (sp?), where the birthday person takes a bite of the cake
 to see how big their piece will be. But as they do, someone comes up behind them
 and shoves their face into the cake, getting a faceful of frosting!

Silliness. And hey, it fits right in with us.

She gave him a frosting beard. Right after he'd wiped the other frosting off! haha!

What's a birthday without hugs?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Weeks 76-77 - Safe Return to California, and A Baptism Date

[Note: On July 22, our mom passed away. Last Monday, Elder Wockenfuss was on a flight home for her funeral. He returned to California on Thursday to finish his last few months.]

Dear Mary,

 I did get to California okay, although I had a very long day getting there haha I got back to Cali at 11:30 my time... So many plane delays and switching gates and such, and then I was in Houston for 4 1/2 hours, so it was a very interesting day!

I love the pic of the grave!! It is totally mom's style!! [Mom loved Christmas, gardening, and pink flamingos. So we painted a garden gnome, that our uncle and aunt found for us, in Christmas colors, with pink flamingos on the hat and back of the coat. We're going to paint the other gnome in the same colors, just reversed. Another aunt finally found some pink flamingos that we had all been anxiously searching for, so Sunday evening we all went out to the cemetery and placed everything on mom's grave.]

I still miss her a lot... I go from being happy, to being sad, to being at peace, to feeling angry, to feeling happy again, to feeling tired, so I get the whole Emotional Roller Coaster, and it's not fun... It makes the time pass by, but it's not fun! I have felt her close by sometimes, other times I know she's off doing something good :) I also took the poem at the back of her funeral program and put it to music :)

We've been teaching Norberto, who has a baptismal date for 2 weeks from now, he's in the hospital right now, but we still visit him and teach him a lot! He's right on track to getting baptized! :)

How has it been going with what we discussed in our family counsel? Scriptures, prayers, cleaning, and all?

Thanks for writing! Please keep it up! I love hearing from ya'll!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

[From his e-mail to Buddy:]

For Mom's birthday[July 30], we took Elders Talbot and Gantner to Einsteins Bagel Bros, cuz I know that Mom loved that place a lot! We used to go there every morning before class at UCA :)