Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 90 - Missionary Work For Those On the Other Side

Dear Mary,

My, o my! What has happened this week? Let me start with the temple trip! Well... Let me start before that! I went on the computer to see if you had sent any girl names, but I couldn't find any. It was the day before the temple trip, and I did not want to turn up empty handed to the sisters that I asked to help me. So the persistent me came out and I told myself that I would stay there for half an hour looking for enough girl names for the sisters. When I pulled up the family tree fan, I got the impression that there were people in there ready to be printed out. So I started clicking around where I felt prompted, and after I found the first female name that was ready, I got so excited and continued looking! I looked until I felt that I had found all the ladies that were ready at this time. At one point, I felt bad for not being outside doing missionary work, but I heard this voice telling me to calm down and that I was doing missionary work right then too! That I was bringing my family closer to Christ, and that's a very important thing to do! So I felt better after that!

We had enough names for every single missionary in our zone, plus a few drivers! 23 of our ancestors got to receive their endowments that day! I could just feel how happy they all were! I could feel that Granddad was very pleased :) One of the sisters came up to me in the celestial room and told me that she felt very close to that ancestor that she had taken through for us, and that she felt happy :) I believe she took Alice Jones through... I can't remember the last name, but I know the first name was Alice! :)

This is super funny! I was praying about which of the male names were the most ready, and I felt that George Henry Wockenfuss was requesting one of the Zone Leaders to do his temple work, because he had listened to several of the lessons he taught, and it really affected him. I thought that was interesting, and I wondered why he didn't sit in on my lessons. Then I'm pretty sure I felt him say: "Son, I've seen you teach, and you're wonderful! You're outstanding! I just can't understand you because your lessons are in Spanish!" I just laughed at that!

At the Deseret Book store near the temple, I bought the new Christmas album from GENTRI and the Alex Boye African gospel inspirations album, and they sound awesome!! I can't wait to show you guys! :D I also got my name engraved on my mini Spanish scriptures! It looks pretty cool!

I did the second segment of the "My Plan" program this week, where I had to set goals for the future, well, for the next year to be specific haha I'm still refining my plans and goals, but I'm writing a bunch of things that I want to have accomplished by next October! Maybe next week I'll have a more firm plan of what I want to do! I'm super excited though! It's teaching me to make plans, and then to set specific goals to accomplish those things! I'm excited to get to work on them!

I really hope that Pathway can get started in Arkansas! That's part of what I'm planning on doing! If not, I'll figure out something!

Yesterday, our investigator Richard came to church for the first time!! :D We were super happy about that! He loved it! He said that the people were so welcoming and friendly! All the members seemed very happy to meet him and they offered their help in teaching him and with anything else that we need! He's trying to find evidence or a sign that God is real, and he's slowing getting there! We hope and pray that before I leave, that he'll find his answer! We tell him that as he continues to read the Book of Mormon, Pray, and come to Church, that he will receive his answer. :)

I went on exchanges this week with Elder Hadfield! He's a really good missionary! We weren't able to teach anyone, but we did our best and had a blast as we went! A lot of times, the YSA elders and sisters go the college nearby and have a little booth set up that they sit at few a for hours and talk to people. This time, Elder Hadfield had finished a poster board for the booth, and it went so much better than all the other times that I've been there on exchanges! More people took notice, more people stopped and asked questions, and we passed out more materials! So it was a great deal more successful thanks to Elder Hadfield's genius! :) We also made cookies that night to bring to district meeting! It was Elder Hadfield's first time making cookies, so I helped him out as best I could, and it was a fun time!

I think that's pretty much it that I can remember for this week! Personally, I'm doing really well! I'm not down in the dumps, I'm working hard and happy for the future! :) Is there anything else I can pray for ya'll about?

Write when you can, I love hearing from you!

6 more weeks!.... isn't that weird to think about??

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Our Elder at the San Diego temple

Elder Wockenfuss and Elder Sedgwick

Wockenfuss and Sedgwick with Hermanas Adams and Parris

Week 89 - More LegoLand, Being in Tune With the Spirit

Dear Mary,

LegoLand was of course super fun!! I didn't take quite so many pics this time, Hermana Mendez was the one who took the majority of our pics, and I still have to get those from her. So hopefully next week I can send them to you! :)

Katie's artwork is lovely as always!! I think I saw the Cat drawing before, but not the others! They all look really well done!

For those Elders, I performed When I am baptized, Three Wooden Crosses, Classical Gas, and I Love To See The Temple :)

Searching for gifts of the spirit in the Book of Mormon is a really good idea! As I've gone through my mission, I've been able to identify more spiritual gifts that I have, which is always cool to be able to notice those things :)

This past week I started this program that the church has for missionaries that are getting ready to return home, which is called "My Plan." Realizing that I only have 7 more weeks in the mission is a weird feeling! But I'm glad to be able to go through this program! It's designed to help you think of your goals for after your mission, to have something to stand on and to give you direction. This week it's having me read through my patriarchal blessing and find the courses of action it tells me to take, to look for what things in there describe me, and what kind of person God wants me to become. It's weird thinking of the future like that, but also being a missionary. I actually had a meltdown last night from all stuff going through my mind, but Elder Sedgwick helped me to calm down and to be more at peace. Once I had let everything out, he told me that I was now the most calm and relaxed that he had seen me in several days. He's a good guy! I'm glad that he was there to help out! :)

Yesterday as the Sacrament was being passed, I was doing my personal reading of the Book of Mormon, and I came to Alma 20: 4-5 starting in the end of verse 4.

A few verses earlier, the Lord had told Ammon that his brethren were in prison in the land of Middoni and that he should go to free them.

 "Now Lamoni said unto him: Who told thee that thy brethren were in prison?
 And Ammon said unto him: No one hath told me, save it be God; and he said unto me—Go and deliver thy brethren, forthey are in prison in the land of Middoni."

It made me think of how much he needed to be in tune with the spirit for that! And how much faith he needed to have to act on that prompting! We all can be and do the same! We may not necessarily have to free our family from prison, but we should always strive to be worthy enough and know how the spirit talks to us to be able to recognize prompting to about doing good. It could be "go visit this person, they need a hand" or "Call this person, it's been a while" and they possibly be going through something rough. Whatever the situation may be, we should have the faith to obey the promptings that we receive, and we will see miracles from it, and be more filled with joy that we did God asked, and we were an instrument in His hands for good.

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Week 85 - Safety and Answered Prayers

Dear Mary,

This week wasn't too bad! There were a couple of moments that I needed some down time, so we drove down the beach and looked at the waves... THAT was relaxing!!

We were at the Crump's on one of the days that I was having a hard time, and Brother Crump said that a lot of the members there now really look up to me and are amazed by me! He said that they see me as the walking embodiment of the hope and certainty that we have in this gospel and in the plan of salvation, and that I'm still here sharing and testifying even more strongly of that truth. That really made me feel good! :) I just love that family!

Transfers are this week, and Elder Sedgwick and I are staying together again haha this will be the longest that I've ever been with a companion at once!! We were both really surprised about that! We're doing good though, I guess God needs us to do a little bit more together!

A way that God really guided us was last night. Later at night,  we were in part of our area that was known for it's gang activity. Normally, we're just fine being there, but that night, we both got a very strong impression to get out of there, so we did. We have no idea why, but we both knew that we had to. As we drove farther and farther, we felt safer and at peace. So I am very glad to have the spirit with me to guide, and that I can easily recognize those promptings. :)

Zombie NERF last week was SO MUCH FUN!! Everyone had a blast!! And this morning, we went on a hike, and then to breakfast after ward. Which was also super super fun!! :D

Hermana Mendez (Hermana young's trainee) is gonna train this transfer!! That seems to happen with her greenies haha and I'm always around for it! So I'm excited to see her grow as a missionary here! And I'll make sure to let her know that if she needs any help with anything in training or whatever, that we can help out. I am the old wise man after all :P

We're working with Lidia's family more and more lately! Her brothers stayed for our last lesson with her, and one of them got the answer to prayer that he needs to get baptized too! Now we're hoping the other brother gets an answer as well! We need to work with the parents more, to get them more excited about it all as well! They're not opposed to any of them getting baptized, they just haven't wanted it for themselves. So we're gonna work with them some more to help them to get baptized as a family :)

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

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 88 - Loving Service, Less-Actives, and Music

Dear Mary,

For now, I have to be somewhat brief. We're going to LegoLand at 10:15, which is an hour from now haha I might be able to get back on the computer later on, but I'm not sure... We'll see just how long we're at LegoLand today haha

On Thursday, we got to go give service for a few hours at a food donation place. It was lots of fun!! Especially with all the missionaries there! I got sunburnt on one side of my neck though, which I thought was strange, but also funny! I just love giving service!! It's the greatest thing to do, at least to me! I can definitely apply Mosiah 2:17 to that time and every time I serve!

A couple days ago, Elder Sedgwick got sick, so we had to stay inside pretty much all day! Luckily I was able to entertain myself! The family that we were gonna eat with that night sent some food over to us with the Hermanas (Both sets of missionaries eat there together every month), which we were so grateful for!

We had our district leader come over to give him a blessing, and then the Zone Leaders came over after to exchange with us briefly, so that I could go to Ward Correlation. I was with Elder Horton during that time, and he's a great guy! I've never actually exchanged with him before, so I got to find out more about him. We had a good time together!

I also got to perform some songs on the guitar for those elders that came over... I was pretty happy about that haha

I got the boxes and the Halloween card this morning, thank you so much! :) and thank you for transferring funds over! It's super helpful!

I got to exchange with Elder Kapp (Our District Leader) on Wednesday after Zone Training Meeting, and it was a good time! We found some Raccoons near the water drainage, and we decided to pull over and take pics of them haha and Elder Kapp took a selfie with them as well!

We had a fun time over all! We found a Less-Active family that Sedgwick and I couldn't find before, we found another Less-active that we hadn't seen in a while and talked with her about joy in the scriptures, and how it could help her, and also a less-active Marine paid for our dinner at taco bell! So it was a good night of reactivation efforts! :)

Write when you can, I love hearing from you! :)

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week 87 - Searching for Joy

Dear Mary,

We did get the car with the bike rack that we wanted!! We are happy that we have it! Now we can go biking around more!! :D

I'm glad that things are going well at home! I would highly recommend reading and deeply pondering President Nelson's talk...It's helping me a lot!! Look for ways to be happy and joyful every day! Look past the grief and focus on the joy you can and will have :)

[some personal stuff deleted]

Yesterday we had dinner with the Orduna family in the ward, which is always a blast! For our dinner message, I felt prompted to share something I found in my personal studies Sunday morning. I've made a personal study goal to search for Joy in the scriptures, and on Sunday, I found something that hit home. It's found in John 16:20-24. It talks about Joy and asking God to help have it in our lives. After reading it, I asked the family how they can search for joy in their lives. They talked about reading the scriptures and going to church and looking past your obstacles and focusing on Christ. The father of the house talked about someone in Vista that we know who's mother died when he was on his mission, and how he was able to look past that tragedy and find hope in Christ. I can't remember everything that he said about it, but I know that it helped me to feel better, and we felt the spirit really there. I don't think that family knows our situation, otherwise, they might not have brought it up, I'm not sure. But either way, it helped me!

Write when you can, I love hearing from ya'll!! If ya'll are struggling with anything, I'll do my best to help out!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 86 - General Conference Awesomeness

Dear Mary,

Conference was amazing!!! It was probably my most favorite weekend ever!! A few weeks ago, our mission president invited us to come up with 3-5 questions that we would like to have answered during conference, so I did! And I think that's why I had such a wonderful time at conference, because I was searching for specific answers and revelation! the questions that I got answers to that specifically wanted to share with you were "How can the hole in my heart be better filled?" and "how can I be happier after the death of a loved one?" These two questions are essentially one in the same, but you understand the difference, right? anyway, the answer to these questions came most powerfully in President Nelson's talk on Joy! I became so filled with happiness and joy as I listened to this talk! I did make notes on it, but I circled it on my notepad to let me know to print it off when I get the chance! Everything in that talk just helped me sooo much! He talked about how we can be happy under any circumstance, and that we can find joy as we look to Christ in all things! When he said that we can be FILLED with Joy, that sparked something in me that made me happier! And in the song "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" that the choir had sung, that gave me another perspective to look at as I push through these hard times, that I can stop for a moment and appreciate the world. I know I smile all the time, and everyone knows it, even in sad times, but this time smiling came from everything in me! I rediscovered how I can be really filled! Look to Christ in all you do, focus on the joy that you can gain, look for ways to make others happy, pause and look at the world around you and take the beauty of it all, and look for how to serve others! That's how you'll be filled! That's how I WILL be filled! I'm excited for this week as I apply what I learned during that wonderful talk! :)

A couple days ago I got sick, but I recovered by Conference! Our District Leader had come by that evening to give me some medicines that he had in his apartment, which was super kind of him! Him and his companion are super nice guys, and I'm excited to serve with them this transfer! :)

I have not gotten Keegan's artwork yet, but hopefully today!! I can't wait to see it! :D

We're hopefully gonna get a different car this week that has a bike rack, so that we can start using our bikes more effectively in our area!

Thank you for praying for me, I always feel the power of prayer working in my everyday life here :)

How is everything else at home? Are ya'll keeping up with family study and prayer, cleaning, and any other things? How's handling the bills and the grown up people stuff? haha

Write and email when you can, I love hearing from you guys!!

With much love,

Elder Patrick Wockenfuss

PS We loved LEGOLAND so much, that we're gonna go again pretty soon haha maybe next week, or the one after!
PPS Next week, P-day will be on Tuesday, because of Columbus Day

PPPS Halloween is a full day P-DAY!!!! :D On Halloween, we have to go in at 6, because of the trick of treating and all, and this year it falls on a p-day, which typically ENDS at 6.... SO...P-DAY ALL DAY!!!! :D