April 27, 2013

2 years ago today...

¡Buenos días!

I can't believe this is the last email. It doesn't seem like it is real! But I guess it had to roll around sooner or later. It has been exactly 2 years since I entered the MTC. What a strange feeling. Things are clipping along well here in the office as we gear up for a few last crazy days. They're going to fly by all too fast.

There really isn't too much to say that hasn't been said before. Just that I am so grateful for my mission and the incredible experience it has been for me. I honestly can't think of anything better that could have happened to me for the last 2 years. I have learned and grown so much. Everything that has happened has taught me something valuable. I know that I'll be able to look back on this time for the rest of my life with gratitude for what it has taught me and what it will keep teaching me.

The most important thing I have learned on my mission is that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of God. He is the hope of the world. Although in our mortal state we all must die, in Christ we are all made eternally alive, both spiritually and physically through repentance and the resurrection. Through obedience to the commandments we find peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. He is the living head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and directs it through prophets and apostles. This is the only true and living church on the face of the Earth and the only one that holds the keys to seal us together unto Eternal Life through the ordinances of the Gospel. These things I know because of the whispered testimonies of the Holy Spirit that can come to all of us through diligent study and prayer. There is no more important knowledge nor work more important than that of the Gospel.

I love Spain and I will miss being here. I've grown to love everything about this place. I feel the same as the people of Alma did about the Waters of Mormon: "how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer. yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."

I love you so much! See you soon!

Elder Mockler

April 20, 2013

Algeciras (again) & Benny


Well, another week come and gone. I can't believe there is only 1 full week left. It is freaky! Things are starting to ramp up here in the office to get ready for the week after this one...sending 15 home and receiving 32 is no small task. I'm doing my best to get Elder Butler ready for all of it...poor guy!

On Tuesday, the Ayudantes went to do splits in Algeciras, and since my life has calmed down significantly in the last week or so we got permission from President for me to go with them as well. Woo hoo!!!! It was so awesome. We went and saw Claudia, Patricia, and Chiqui as well as Rafy. We walked all around (the missionary we were with has been out for about 3 weeks....it reminded me so much of how lost I was when I had just 3 weeks haha) so I got to see all the familiar sites of Algeciras. It was such a blast from the past! And really neat to see things come full-circle.....and actually be able to understand what people were trying to say to us and respond to them in a coherent manner hahaha. We were just there for 1 evening so there were lots of people we didn't get to see but that was alright. I'm just so grateful I got to go.

The day after, on Wednesday, the whole mission did a "Perfect Planning" day. We all focused on planning and doing our best to do it perfectly to see what we could do on a "perfect" day. We had a great one! We got everything set up so we didn't have to stop in the office the entire day and we could spend it all out teaching. The last appointment of the night was the best. We met with a lady named Jennifer and her son 25-year-old Benny. We had found their registro de enseñanza in our area book and Elder Butler just randomly decided to call them. Little did we know that Benny knows a ton about the church and really wants to be baptized. A few years ago he was going to church and loving it but got mixed up in a bad crowd and tangled up in drugs. He has left that all now and keeps telling us about how ready he is to change and be baptized. His baptismal date is May 11th and we have the goal for him to stop smoking cigarettes before May 8th. We're praying a lot so that he can make it. 

Things are starting to wind down and the end feels really close. It is a really weird feeling. This week is going to be filled with goodbyes to all the people here in Fuengirola. I'm so grateful for every moment I've had as a missionary and that I still have a few more precious days. I know that this is God's church and that the happiness the world gives can never compare with the light and joy that living the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings us.

I love you!!

Elder Mockler

April 13, 2013

Office Training


Well, things are starting to get real weird around here. Elder Butler got here on Tuesday and I've been training him to take my place. He is picking things up pretty well already which is good since it'll be kinda hard for him to get a hold of me once I live on another continent. The goal is for him to not need me too much by the end of next week. We'll see how we do. Luckily we have had a pretty calm week and we have another one coming (more or less) so we've also been getting lots of chances to teach. We got a few new investigators this week so we're petty excited.

In the office this week we did the typical residency run with 2 new missionaries and went to the notary again with 4 others. I realized everyone at those places knows me way too well haha. We introduced them all to Elder Butler and Elder Castillo. Passing the torch is sad...but feels so good at the same time! Haha.

This morning we drove out to Tarifa, which is the farthest southern point of Europe. It was cool! We drove through Algeciras which was a pretty awesome blast from the past. Lots of sweaty memories at the Mercadona we used to walk to and the ghetto part of town down the hill from the piso. It seemed like it was so long ago but everything was still so familiar.

General conference was awesome!! It always is. There were lots of great talks this time around, weren't there? I was the butt of a lot of jokes during all the marriage talks, haha. We missed 2 sessions because of the time zone differences but we're trying to make them up little by little as we have time. I'm so grateful that there are living prophets and apostles today to show us the way and tell us how to find happiness, protect and help our families, and become more like the Savior.

I love you!!

Elder Mockler

April 6, 2013


Good afternoon!

I can't believe another week has come and gone! We're about to start week 4 of the transfer. IT IS GOING SO FAST!!! We're starting to try to figure out how to receive 32 new missionaries on April 30th/May 1st. That'll be a fun final adventure.

Since there are only 3 weeks left of the transfer, it is time for me to start training someone to be the next office secretary (aahhhhhh!!!). Elder Butler will come in on Tuesday to start learning the ropes to take my spot. It is pretty weird to know I'll be "obsolete" in just a week or two. It'll also be nice to have a bit more help around here!

This week we had zone leader concilio on Monday. It was great as always. It was weird because it was the last time I'll see a lot of missionaries before I go home. Let the goodbye's begin, I guess. As usual we had some great workshops from President Deere and the ayudantes.

On Thursday we got a surprise call to go eat dinner with a family that lives in our ward. Well, the invite actually came from the (former) Elder Avellar! I don't know if you guys remember him, but he was in my district way back in Huércal-Overa. He is getting married to a girl here who he met on his last day as a missionary (the day I picked Elder Berrett up....almost exactly a year ago!) and so he came to sign some papers and visit her. It was really fun to see him.

Last Sunday Elder Berrett and I finished the Book of Mormon, just like we had planned. I love the Book of Mormon! It brings the Spirit so strongly into our lives and shows so clearly what we must do to achieve Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful to have it in my life. I'm so excited for General Conference this week. It is so special to hear from living prophets and apostles to counsel and guide us in our day. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I will!!!

Love you!!

Elder Mockler

There were 2  photos of Andy on The Spain Malaga Mission blog this week:

March 30, 2013

Semana Santa

¡Buenas tardes!

Well, another Semana Santa come and gone here in Spain. It wasn't quite as crazy here in Fuengirola as it was in Sevilla last year, but we did still get serenaded to sleep by the sounds of processional drums last night which was a nice touch. The whole country has a long weekend here this weekend so things have been pretty quiet on the streets and there are lots of English speakers out and about.

We've had a pretty busy office week. Elder Berrett has to find 8 new apartments before the May group comes so we have been working hard to find them and start the process of making the contracts and getting things set up. Aside from that, we received 3 new missionaries this week (an Elder and a new senior couple) and got to do the typical residency run-around with them. We had a few new exciting adventures since Hermana Wilson's passport didn't get stamped in the airport. The whole Fuengirola police department & foreigners department is getting to know me pretty well! Haha.

We also had Specialized Training this week. It was great, as always. I got to translate for Hermana Deere's talk about eating & living healthy which was pretty interesting, haha. We also talked a lot about the Book of Mormon since we are all finishing it this week. What a great blessing to have it! I have really loved reading it this time through. It is such a special book. The church is true! Righteousness is the way to happiness.

I love you!!!

Elder Mockler

March 23, 2013

Transfer Week!


Well, it was a really crazy week in the office this week! I cannot believe it is already Saturday again...time has just flown by.

Since it is transfer week we were absolutely swamped from Monday until Wednesday receiving new missionaries and helping with departing missionaries, and it was all topped off by a good ol' 4 am trip to the airport as usual. Elder Peterson went home as well as a few other people that I knew from the very start of my mission. It was weird to see them go. Apart from that we have been buying a new apartment in Málaga and getting ready to get 8 or 9 more in the next few weeks to get ready for the May transfer. Good times, huh?

Our investigators are doing well. This week has been slower than last week but we're hoping everyone will make it to church tomorrow and that they'll be able to keep progressing. We had another great lesson with Alberto yesterday, it has been a while since we could meet with him but he is still doing really well. Hopefully it stops raining so he can get to church!!

Well, sorry for the short letter this week. I love you guys so much! Christ lives and is our Savior. I'm excited for this week to remember Him and His sacrifice for us leading up to the Sunday of His resurrection.

Love you!!

Elder Mockler

Here are a few pictures from the week:

This is Andy with Elder Bastian, a new missionary that arrived in Spain this week.  Elder Bastian's grandma lives around the corner from Andy's mom in Utah!

The next 2 pictures are from the latest installment of the contest between Andy and his mom about who lives in the most beautiful place.  Andy won again. 

 Puerto Banús

And this one is from the Spain Malaga Mission blog:  They are having a pushups contest.  Look at Elder Mockler's number!!!

March 16, 2013

Transfers, Chinese Food, and Miracles


So we've had a pretty exciting week. It has been jam packed (they all are) and really fun. I found out that I will be finishing my mission here in the office for sure, so that was pretty big news. Definitely didn't expect it but I'm really excited. Lots is going on in the next few weeks and I'm excited to help out with it. With transfers here again we're pretty swamped in the office. And I'll be starting my last transfer on Monday. I can't believe it.

On Monday I answered the phone and it was a man calling the office trying to get in touch with the missionaries. He said that a year ago a missionary contacted him in the street and gave him their number, but he was in a big hurry and lost their card before he could call them. He said he had thought a lot about the church in the past year but never enough to actually try to get back in contact with us until this week when he spent all of Monday searching for some way to call the mission office. He finally found it by chatting with someone on mormon.org. By the time we visited him on Wednesday he had already started reading the Book of Mormon online and had basically learned the first lesson from what he had read. He has a baptismal date for April 13th. We're excited for him.

Speaking of baptismal dates, Elie, a Brazilian investigator we have had for a while (I don't know if I have written about her before...) has accepted a baptismal date for March 30th! She has known the missionaries for a long time now but has never been to church or really put forth much on her part. A few weeks ago she had a heart attack and since then, everything has changed. She was at church on Sunday and we had a great lesson with her (and great Brazilian lunch!) this week. She is praying a lot to know if the 30th is when she should be baptized. We hope she recognizes her answer.

Right here by the office there is a Chinese restaurant that we go to sometimes. There is a really nice guy who works there and speaks English so we hit it off really well with him and invited him to English class. He told us his name is Elias...but mostly because his Chinese name is too hard to say, so he picked that one for Spanish, haha. He came for English class and loved it (and taught us some Chinese as well...nice!). Afterward we gave him a Book of Mormon in English and Chinese and he was really excited to read it. He is a really good guy...about 26 and has lived here in Spain for about 10 years, so he speaks perfect Spanish and really good English. Hopefully he will read and be able to come to church soon.

There is so much to write about! Yesterday we took a trip out to Ronda to contact a reference that we got from a mission in Uruguay. It is a lady named Natalia - her parents were baptized not too long ago and want her to meet with us. She is awesome...but it is a bit hard since she lives 2 hours or so away from Fuengirola. Her husband works in Marbella, so we're going to see if they can figure out a way to come to church on Sundays.

Oh, and have I ever mentioned that Spain is the most beautiful place ever? The drive to Ronda is incredible!!!

Anyway, I gotta get back to work on travel plans and other things. I love you all so much! The church is true! The Book of Mormon is full of peace, joy, and knowledge that we can obtain whenever we're willing to read it and do what God instructs us to do. I'm so grateful to be a missionary!!

Elder Mockler