December 19, 2011

Almost Christmas!

¡Hola!

It is almost Christmas! Can you believe it?! I sure can't. We're super excited. We get some free time on Christmas Eve and all of Christmas day free, so that'll be a nice break. Everything is on track for our baptism on Sunday except that they installed a kitchen where we would usually fill the font....and routed the pipes to the sink. So we'll see what happens with all of that. We'll sit in the room for 10 hours filling the font if we have to, though...no sink is getting in the way of the Lord's work!

More food adventures! On Tuesday we had a cooking party to send Elder Taylor off to Sevilla. We made home-made pancakes in the morning and then Vegetable soup, chicken tacos and salsa for lunch. It left the nicely-cleaned kitchen a wreck, but it was worth it!! On Saturday morning we went to visit one of our investigators, Carlos, and he had been up since 7am cooking us home-made chicken empanadas. They were delicious. Both times we have seen him he has made us incredible columbian food. He is an awesome investigator and the food is like the icing on the cake. We really like seeing him :)

We watched the Christmas Devotional last night and it was awesome! We had 4 investigators there which made it even better. We couldn't get the video to work very well and it was skipping the whole time, but such is the life in Spain. The work is going really well here in Huércal. We now have 7 investigators with baptismal dates and we are really excited to keep setting more. Getting the day set is the easy part, though, so hopefully we can keep helping them progress towards that goal. 

The new church Christmas videos are AWESOME! We watched them in a family home evening on Wednesday and they blew us away. Then again we're missionaries and anything the church does gets us all worked up. I really loved them though and think they are very well done. As far as giving a little missionary thought in my letter, I would just tell you to go and watch the videos that are available. 

Merry Christmas! Love you so much!!

Elder Mockler

P.S. A few pictures! Santa Clause with some Spanish children, making cookies, and Elder Marchello with the oven!








December 12, 2011

Another transfer come and gone...

¡Hola!

I'm writing this week from Lorca, a town a little North of Huércal. It is in the Murcia province, which is cool because we leave Andalucia to come here. Most of the mission is within Andalucia. We have been here a few times this week to do splits, have a zone conference, and now to spend P-Day with the Elders here. There was a huge earthquake here in May or June and there is still a lot of damage to a lot of the buildings. The entry way to their piso is still just absolutely destroyed, as well as their capilla. Spanish buildings are definitely not built for earthquakes.

We finished another transfer this week. I can hardly believe that Elder Marchello got here 6 weeks ago. Thankfully there are no changes for us this time around, so I'll be here until at least the end of January! I'll be serving as our new district leader, so that will be an interesting new responsibility. And the weather report from Huércal-Overa? REALLY cold! At night we get our room pretty toasty with our space heater, but it is definitely getting harder and harder to get out of bed and open that door in the morning. Definitely makes me grateful for things like carpet and central heating and insulation!

We had quite the Christmas-ey week this week. On Friday we had a ward activity and all had dinner together and listened to a few short Christmas messages. Santa Claus made an appearance too....and guess who had the privilege of being Papa Noel? Yep, that's right, I did! Haha it was great fun. I'm not really sure how the missionaries became the first candidates for it, but we did. We also embarked on the great Spanish cookie baking quest again this week and made real Christmas cookies. They turned out quite well, actually, and blew everyone in the branch away. We had a lot of our investigators come as well and they enjoyed it a lot. Overall it was a great success and tons of fun!

Well, sorry this has been kind of short this week.I know that God knows all things and has a perfect plan for every one of us. I hope we can all have faith in him and follow those things that he asks us to do. I know the church is true and that Christ is at its head.

Have a great week! I love you!!!

Elder Mockler

December 5, 2011

300!!!!

¡Buenos Días!

Our mission hit our goal of 300 baptisms this week! That means the rest of the year we just get to see how far past it we can get! Of course the numbers aren't what is important in missionary work - it is the people - but it is still nice to have exceeded our goal and to be able to see how much the church has grown in Spain in just 1 year. The stone has been cut out of the mountain and continues growing to fill the whole Earth. 

Well, I had a weird realization today that describes pretty well how time flies. As of now I have been in Huércal-Overa as long as I was in Algeciras. The time just keeps getting faster and faster - Elder Marchello and I have been together 6 weeks now. I cannot believe it! I'm hoping to stay here a lot longer still, so no worries about me moving!

Apparently writing that paragraph about food a few weeks ago was all I needed to start having some interesting food experiences again. On Friday we had the choice privilege of eating pig foot. There isn't much preparation involved in making it...just imagine having a pig's foot sticking out of a bowl of soup and you've got what we had. I can't say it was very enjoyable, but at least I can say I've tried it. On Saturday we ate peanut soup which was extremely delicious. I was a little skeptical at first, but it was honestly the best thing I've eaten for a while around here.

Good news about the work here in Huércal...we set 4 baptismal fechas this week!! We met a Romanian family and they are getting baptized on the 7th of January. Melissa is going to get baptized on Christmas Day!! We are really excited for that. Since we only have Sacrament meeting on Christmas we are going to do the baptismal service just after. It will be very special and we are excited that we have finally been able to work out a good date. Looks like we'll have a White Christmas!

I would just like to share a quick thought. We have been sharing this passage with a lot of people this week:

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid...Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

The Savior said this to his Nephite disciples during his ministry to them as well as to his disciples in Jerusalem during the Sermon on the Mount. That light that he speaks of is a real, literal, visible light. The Spirit fills us with light and knowledge that shines forth out of us when we are faithful. This is one of the greatest blessings we can have in this life. I'm thankful to have it in my life and even more thankful to help others find it. We cannot hide what we know nor deny it. There is nothing more desirable or fulfilling than this light although other things sometimes seem enticing. I hope we can all strive to be filled with the Light of Christ and the Spirit.

I love you all so much!!! Have a great week!

Elder Mockler

November 28, 2011

Another Month Gone...

¡Hopalapa fapamipilipiapa!
I learned a new language this week! Well, sort of. It is like Spanish pig latin. What I wrote there is how you would say 'Hola familia.' You can replace and of the p's with  just about anything - f, ch, etc - but it is easiest to do with p. We've heard that it is what prisoners used to speak in prison so that the guards wouldn't understand them. But I don't know if I really believe that...
Well, the most exciting news from this week is that we finally got a pila (baptismal font)! It is bigger than the one in Algeciras, but still just a little above ground pool. The Lorca elders had a baptism on Saturday and their chapel is still under construction since it got damaged in the earthquake there a few months ago, so they came here to use the font. Everything went great and it was a really good chance to bring some of our investigators to a baptismal service.
So Thanksgiving came and went without much notice. Elder Marchello and I did manage to find Ben and Jerry's here, though, and we celebrated with that. It is a little pricey here (ok, a lot pricey), but we figured it was the only worthy way to celebrate the great American tradition of eating too much food. I don't think I have ever enjoyed ice cream more than I enjoyed that Ben and Jerry's. Dad, you should find out how long it takes to get to their headquarters in Vermont and we should make a delicious visit sometime :)
The work is moving forward here! It is a great time to be a missionary in Spain. I'm so thankful to be here and to be able to learn and grow along side those we teach. The Lord always provides for us - and even more when we exercise faith in Him. The church is true! There is no better nor more direct way to profound happiness - now and forever - thank living in agreeance with the commandments of God.
Have a great week! I love you!
Elder Mockler
Pictures:
1) We took a little break on our drive to Águilas that I talked about last week. Far the the back you can see the Mediterranean through the mountains.
2) Elder Marchello and the font. It took about 5 hours to fill and we have to be with it the whole time, so we had a pretty...exciting?...morning in the capilla.


November 21, 2011

Almost Sort of Kind of Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Unfortunately Thanksgiving doesn't exist here. People always make fun of the whole turkey thing, too. They think eating turkey is weird. If only they knew what they were missing....

Well, after I talked about food last week I had a few interesting food experiences. First, last Tuesday, Elder Marchello and I went to a Wok - or a Chinese all you can eat grill. We were half-way stuck out in a pueblo and decided it would be a good way to celebrate both our birthdays. It was actually really, really good. Imagine that! On Wednesday we had a slightly less pleasant food experience...pig intestine and rice. It doesn't taste that bad, but it is like chewing on rubber. We've also had snails and cow tongue promised to us this week, so we'll have a couple interesting food experiences here soon.

I had a pretty fun drive this week as well. On Tuesday the Lorca Elders were here for our district meeting and ended up missing their bus to get to Aguilas, one of their pueblos. Since our morning cita had failed us, we decided to drive them out there and then head to our pueblo for the afternoon. We didn't know how to get there, but found our way on the map and started going. Little did we know the road we were on would turn into a 1 lane mountain road and take us winding through the Spanish countryside for 40 minutes! It was a pretty cool little road built right onto the hills and mountains....but when you run into another car coming the other way (not literally, obviously) things get pretty interesting. After dropping them off in Aguilas, we got on the highway to go back to Vera....only to find we had gotten on a toll road....and neither of us had any money! Luckily Spanish toll booths are one of the 5 places in Spain that will accept a credit card, so we were ok. After all that stress and getting to Vera a little early, it wasn't hard to convince ourselves to go to Wok!

Well, I think that is about it. We are working a lot here - we have been really blessed to find a lot of new invesigators. We had 3 people come about 40 minutes to get to the capilla. It is exciting to see people put forth that kind of effort to come to church. But when you kow something is good and true, you should always do everything in your power to find it. This week at Zone Conference, President Clegg challeneged us all to read the Book of Mormon before Christmas and highlight every verse that references Christ. He left us with this verse:

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with asurety bhope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, whichchope cometh of dfaith, maketh an eanchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding infgood works, being led to gglorify God.

There are a lot of things we can use as an anchor in our lives. I can testify that faith in God is the best anchor we can have. It is the surest of all foundations and the way to the truest and most profound happiness.

I love you!! Have a great week!

Elder Mockler
 
 Andy, Elder Marchello, and Elder Taylor at Zone Conference

 Murcia and Alicante Zones

November 14, 2011

20!

¡Buenos días!
 
I can't believe it is November already, let alone the 14th! Crazy to think I'll be 20 in a few days. Then again, birthdays hardly count on the mission anyway. Last week was Elder Marchello's birthday and we just cooked a pizza for dinner to celebrate. It is just a day like any other, so we don't do much celebrating :)
 
On Friday morning I got pretty sick with the flu or something which put a damper on the end of our week. I had Elder Marchello give me a blessing and it passed really fast and we were back working on Saturday and back to 100% by yesterday morning. I've been lucky to make it almost 7 months of my mission without being sick.
 
I have had a lot of people ask me about our eating situation. Here we are lucky and eat with members almost every day, which can be either a really good thing or a really bad thing. Bad missionary food is a very, very real thing! But it is worth it for the really good meals we get, too. We hardly ever eat out - mostly only when we travel. It is too expensive. To get a meal at McDonalds it is 6€ or 7€, which is like $9. It is pretty ridiculous. There is also a thing here called "Kebab" which is pretty good. Some missionaries LOVE it, and it is quite tasty, but it is also the definition of junk food. Something about "reformed lamb" makes me suspicious. We did get some churros at the street market today, though. Besides that we just eat in our piso and we buy our groceries on Mondays.
 
Besides that we are just working hard and finding more and more investigators to teach. We have pushed back Melissa's baptism because her husband is not quite ready and she wants to wait for him, which is really a very good decision. We have a lot of teaching to do this week, and that is the best part of missionary work, so it should be a really good week coming up! I'm so grateful that I can be here as a missionary and see how the gospel blesses so many lives - and how it can CHANGE people to be the best they can possibly be.
 
Love you!
 
Elder Mockler

November 7, 2011

Driving!

¡Hola Familia!

Well, Elder Ferguson left on Wednesday and, after spending the day in Almeria, I picked up Elder Marchello and we came back to good ol' Huércal-Overa. I realized that last week I wrote that I knew Elder Marchello because he was my "companion"...what I meant to say is that he was my zone leader. Hopefully that didn't confuse anyone too much!

A few weeks ago we took a P-Day with the Lorca Elders (The other area in our district...the elders there are Elder Gibson and Elder Taylor) to see a Christus statue in Vera. It is on top of a huge hill to the side of the city and they put the statue there after Old Vera was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1500s. Unfortunately the original statue isn't there anymore - it was redone sometime in the 20th century - but some ruins of the old city remain on the hill. Before the earthquake the whole city was built up onto the hill, but afterward they decided to start the new city in the valley nearby. I saw the picture of us on the blog (and mom asked about it) so I figured I would give the explanation!

On Thursday we started really using the car. That has been an adventure! Driving in Spain isn't too much different than in the States - mostly just a lot more roundabouts. It has been...interesting...trying to learn all the highways and how to get to all of our pueblos. I can confidently state we have never been lost....but I think we have taken the scenic route more than once already. It has been incredible to start going to so many new places. We have seen a lot of miracles this week. I will share one:

We decided to go out to a little town called Turre on Thursday evening. I'm not really sure why we decided to go all the way there because it is farther away than most of our other pueblos, but we had some futures and thought it might be a fun place to explore. We exhausted our futures pretty fast because most of them weren't home, so we decided to start knocking doors. At first, we didn't have any success, but we kept trying. Eventually, we came to the end of a street and knocked the last door. A girl walked to the door, we started presenting ourselves, and she invited us in! We were pretty caught off guard because that really doesn't happen very often in Spain. But, we went in and taught them a lesson. Last night, when we taught them for the second time, they told us that in that moment they had been passing through some hard things and that they had asked for someone or something to be sent to help them. It was amazing to hear them tell the story. I'm so grateful I got to be a part of that.

The work is great here in Huércal. We will have a baptism on the 19th and we will be getting a baptismal font a few days before that. I wish I had hours to write so I could recount all of the things I have seen and experienced. All I can say is that God is a God of miracles and that miracles have not ceased among the children of men. The only thing that has ceased is man's faith in Christ. If we have faith - and work WITH him - we can work and be part of miracles. I know that is true. The Gospel was sent to guide us through this life and to help us to grow. I hope we can all use it for that purpose.

I love you all!!!

Elder Mockler

 From the mission blog:  "Elders Gibson, Taylor, Ferguson and Mockler did a little sight-seeing for their preparation day. Lots of Christus Statues in Spain."


October 31, 2011

Transfers Again?!

¡¡Hola!!

Well, another transfer come and gone. Pretty wild how fast it went. No worries - I'm staying! Elder Ferguson is going to Málaga to be a Zone Leader and Elder Marchello is coming here to be my new companion. I knew him while I was in Algeciras because he was my companion. We are super excited!

On Thursday our investigators invited us to come to a small Halloween party at their English school to introduce us to some people. It was easily one of the worst, most awkward experiences of my entire life. Never have I seen so many people shocked to see me nor so infuriated at my presence. When people see us they just assume we are there to ruin any glimmer of fun and happiness they have. If only they knew that's the opposite of what we want! Anyway, we ended up just talking to a few members who were there and having a few awkward conversations with people who did not want to talk to us. We did get to do a Halloween crossword puzzle and finished in half the time of everyone else, though, so I would say it was pretty much worth it. 

Besides that, the biggest news is our investigators. Melissa is doing really awesome - she is already inviting all of her friends to start coming to church. Her testimony is super strong. If we had anywhere to do baptisms right now (we're working on it....), she would probably be baptized this week. She is helping her husband, Juan Miguel, along as well. He is very busy with school and is having difficulty finding time to read and ponder the Book of Mormon. They both love the church, though, and are already a strong part of our little branch. This week we will be getting a car (Woohoo!!), so we will be able to work more with our investigators in the pueblos around here. 

Yesterday we had 40 people in church. It was awesome - our little capilla (a renovated government "bajo") was packed. When we hit 45 we can request a new building, so that is our goal right now. We will be packed in there for a while more, but soon enough they will get a better place to meet. We had 4 visitors from Utah yesterday. One of them, Bryan, baptized 2 of the members here 27 years ago. They have done a ton for the church here in Spain and are the reason there is a branch here. It was an amazing meeting - all of them bore their testimonies. It was an awesome experience to see the happiness they all had knowing that they were all still striving in the faith. It was just a piece of the "incomprehensible joy" that is spoken of with the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger when they returned from their missionary journeys. As the scriptures say, surely there are no other men in the history of the world with greater cause to rejoice than faithful members and those doing missionary work.

I love you all so much!

Elder Mockler

October 24, 2011

6 months?!

¡Hola Familia!

Well, this week I'll hit my 6 month mark. I can't believe it. Sometimes I feel like I've been here for a long time, but when I think back to my first day in the MTC or when I first got to Spain I realize time has just flown by. And, next Sunday, Elder Ferguson and I will be able to celebrate "missionary togetherness day." By that we mean that together we will be one whole missionary. Or, in terms that make sense, I will be 3 days over 6 months and he will be 3 days under 18...which equals 24 months....which equals 2 years. Yes, it is as lame as it sounds and we fully acknowledge it, but we take any excuse to have a celebration!

Well, not too much "mentionable" happened this week; we're still just working hard. We have 5 investigators who are progressing really well right now. One of them, Beatrice, has a baptismal fecha for November 19th! Melissa and Juan Miguel, two other Bolivians, love the church and we are hoping to set fechas with them this week. Woohoo! We have also been searching for new investigators a lot. Contacting has been really ineffective in Huércal recently, so we decided to start exploring the pueblos around here to check them out. It has been really cool because a lot of the people have never heard of the church and we are the first contact they have with the church. It is a great opportunity to be an example to them of what the church is and what we value. 

I think I should start making a journal of what adventures we have with our newfound British store. This week I learned that "interesting" sounding British soda never tastes good. Ever. We also bought an oven so we can start exploring the incredible selection of strange frozen food there. Exciting times, kids.

Well, I think that's all. I hope you're all doing great! I love you so much! The church is true - there is no other church so upheld by the Bible. No other church organized in the way Christ organized his church. No other church that can truly trace priesthood power through righteous men all the way to God. And, most importantly, no other church that has the entire gospel of Jesus Christ and all of the proper ordinances restored through the Book of Mormon and living prophets.

I love you!!

Elder Mockler

October 17, 2011

Feria, Iceland, Vera, and More!

¡Hola familia!

It sure was a crazy week! In Spain, every city has a Feria that they will do once or twice a year. This week is Huércal-Overa's Feria. It is like Christmas for the Spaniards - they take the whole week off and everyone goes completely insane. One man even yelled at us from his car "what are you doing here?! Its the Feria!!!!" Apparently we're not even allowed to live here during Feria. On Thursday we had the pleasure of listening to dance remixes of every pitbull song ever blasting from the giant feria dance party from 10:00pm to 7:30am. Luckily it ends tonight or tomorrow, so we will finally be able to get back to normal missionary work soon.

On Saturday, in order to avoid the insanity that is all of this town right now, we went to "open" a new town called Vera. It was pretty dead there (once again, Feria - yes, it really does affect every surrounding town as well), but at least the people weren't (too) drunk. We did find a hidden treasure, though: a GIANT British super market called Iceland. They import tons of food from the UK for all of the British people that live in this area. It was a little pricey, but we had a blast exploring a real supermarket for the first time in far too long. Unfortunately British supermarket food still doesn't measure up to American supermarket food, but it is still far above the Spanish pickings!

The little work we have been able to do around here recently has been going very well. Right now we have 3 awesome investigators and are hoping to get them baptismal dates this week! We have another investigator in one of our "pueblos" (cuevas de almanzora) who is very excited about the church but might be going to Valencia. For awfully selfish reasons, we hope he stays :). But, either way, there will be missionaries where he is going!

Well, I'm just about out of time this week. I heard an interesting example this week or the week before - I don't remember if it was in conference or somewhere else, but I have thought about it a lot. When we feel something - for example, stub our toe, burn ourselves on a hot pan, or anything else - we know that feeling is real. If someone tries to tell you that you DIDN'T feel your hand get burnt, you'll tell them they're crazy. So, why do we doubt the Spiritual feelings we have? We try to explain them away through mitigating circumstances or keep them as uncertain. When we feel the Spirit testify truth to us, we must believe it, just like we would believe any other feeling. I'm so grateful for the Gospel. This church is true. There is no way it could not be true. The Book of Mormon is a true record and cannot and WILL NOT be proven false. It is impossible - people have tried for nearly 200 years now, and it still stands as a true record and testimony of Jesus Christ. The most important evidence, however, is the witness of the Spirit. I hope we can always remember that!

I love you all so much! Have a great week!!!

Elder Mockler

P.S. The first photo is by some REALLY weird statues we found in Vera. The second is us rejoicing over our Iceland haul :)



This one is from the mission blog:  Elder Taylor, President Clegg, Elder Ferguson, Elder Gibson, and Andy

October 10, 2011

Seasons Changing...

¡Buenos Días!

It is starting to get colder around here. Usually we are chilly in the morning and we have had to shut all the windows in the piso for the first time. It is definitely a welcome change from the unbearable heat. It is supposed to get hot again this week, we have heard, but hopefully that will be the last of it until next summer!!

So this week we had to travel again...hopefully the last time this transfer. While Elder Ferguson went to Fuengirola for a District Leader meeting, I went to Murcia and did splits with Elder Corradi. It was definitely an interesting few days - he is from France and their area has a car (that we DROVE everywhere in!!!) to name a few things. Like always, it is good to be back in our area finally and be working!


Last week I think I mentioned we found a few new families. Yesterday one of them came to church and they are accepting the lessons really well. We are hoping to see them get baptized in early November! We have been blessed to be able to find a lot of new investigators recently and are meeting with them a lot. We have a lessons on Wednesday with a Spanish family and are meeting with another Bolivian lady who lives with some older people she cares for. They have alzheimers and sometimes come out to talk to us during the lessons...needless to say it gets pretty interesting, haha. This week we'll finally have a full week of work here, so they should all be progressing a lot very quickly.


I attached 2 pictures, finally. Both are from Algeciras. The first is me with our Nigerian investigators, and the second pretty well sums up what the city looks like. Huércal-Overa is quite a bit prettier :)


Elder Ferguson and I have been listening to a series of lectures given by Truman G. Madsen about Joseph Smith this week. They are incredible and have really strengthened my testimony of the Prophet of our dispensation. There is no way Joseph Smith was not called of God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ. Saying that he did not do what he did is completely against reason if any real study of his life, character, and work is pursued. I am so thankful for the Restored Gospel we have and for the blessing it is in my life. The Book of Mormon is true and living proof of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord's arm of mercy is outstretched to every one of us - there are NO exceptions to that. I hope that we all have the courage and faith to partake of his love.

I love you all!


Elder Mockler


October 3, 2011

All Over Spain

¡Buenos Días!

Well, it has been quite the crazy week! I started out last Tuesday traveling to Cádiz to get my DNI (residency) card. Unfortunately I had to take one of the longest trips possible in our mission to get there because my bus left from Murcia. It was a lot of travel. The only thing worse than sitting in a car for 1,000,000 hours is sitting in a train or a bus. But, it was a good adventure, and I sure have seen a lot of Spain now! I finally got back on Thursday evening and we had a little bit of time to be missionaries before conference started. Once again, it was a really crazy week. Unfortunately Elder Ferguson has to go to Fuengirola until Thursday this week, so it will be another bum couple of days while he is out. I will be in Murcia doing splits, but working outside of your area is just never the same.

The highlight of the week was definitely General Conference. How could it not be? Seeing as there is a little bit of a time zone difference, we watch it a little differently here in Spain. We still managed to see every session except the Sunday afternoon. How about Provo temple #2?? I was so excited when they announced that! It is definitely needed...I can't wait to see what it is like! For the Sunday morning sessions (which we watched at 6:00 in the afternoon), we had a lot of investigators come. One of our recent converts brought her friend...who just happened to be related to the family we brought! Neither of them knew the other was coming. It was funny seeing them walk in and realize they were there together. They all felt the spirit very strongly and we are meeting with them on Thursday and Friday. Woohoo!

We're definitely seeing miracles in the whole mission. I got to talk to a lot of missionaries while I was traveling and there is a ton of success all over the mission right now. We have really focused on buckling down, working hard, and meeting/exceeding the mission goals. It really shows. And when we are working, the Lord blesses us. The other night, after all our appointments had fallen through, we were walking around doing contacts. We had about 15 minutes left and hadn't had a single good contact. All we wanted to do was go in, but we decided to talk to one more person. That's when we found the family we brought to church. It was an awesome contact. As we walked home, but realized we still had a little bit of time, and decided to contact one last family - right outside of our piso. Once again, they stopped to talk to us and were super open and eager to invite us over! Just goes to show that when we are willing to work and do what the Lord says - and endure to the end - we will bless us with miracles. That is when they happen - after we have shown him that we deserve them. 

I love you all so much! In conference they talked a lot about the Atonement. I know the Atonement is something real. Feelings of guilt and impurity can be washed away if we will come unto Christ. He is the center of everything and the door to eternal life. The more we study Him and understand Him, the more real the Atonement can become in our lives. I know the Book of Mormon is true and brings us closer to Him. I'm so grateful for living prophets today to lead and guide us. All we need to do to know they are called of God is listen to their words. 

Again, I love you!!!

Elder Mockler

September 27, 2011

¡Huércal-Overa!

¡Hola familia!

Well, here I am in Huércal-Overa! It is a little desert town in basically the middle of nowhere. It took me 12 hours to get here from Algeciras...sitting on a bus for that long is not very fun. It was good to get to see a lot of Spanish cities on the way, though. We drove through Almuñecar which is absolutely beautiful. I get to do it again tomorrow to go to Cádiz and pick up my ID card that inconveniently enough wasn't ready until about 5 days after I got here. And then I come home on Wednesday. So I'll have a lot of time sitting on the bus this week. Should be interesting. 

So my new address is:

Elder Andy Mockler
C\ Silvestre Martinez de Haro 21, 2ºB
Huércal-Overa 04600 (Almeria)
España

The mail here works great so feel free to send me anything :). I think I'll probably be here until at least January.

Huércal is a really small pueblo. It is definitely a lot easier to get from investigator to investigator here - the longest walk from one side of the town to the other is probably 20 minutes max. And there are no hills, which is a nice break after Algeciras. We are teaching a lot and my companion - Elder Ferguson - is a great teacher. He has been out for almost a year and a half, so together we are just about "one whole missionary." We are pretty different but we make a really good combo. The branch here was opened the week I went into the MTC, so it is very young, but it is growing super fast. We have already outgrown the capilla they have here and after our next baptism we'll probably be petitioning a building. It is a great area to be in!

I hope all of you are doing well! The Lord knows us and his plan for us - he is always thinking and caring for us. It is up to us to pick his path and enjoy what he has prepared for us. The cliché is "everything in the Lord's time," but it is true - He knows the best for us, not just with an immediate perspective but rather with an eternal perspective. I'm grateful for that knowledge and the peace and comfort I have in my life knowing my purpose and the blessings I am and will receive.

¡Os quiero! ¡Que tengais una buena semana!

Elder Mockler

September 19, 2011

Transfers....¡Me Voy!

 ¡Hola familia!

Well, the big news for this week is that the transfer is over...and I'm leaving Algeciras! I'm headed to a little pueblo called Huércal-Overa right on the Western edge of Andalucía. It'll be a long bus ride and a big change!! I'm sad to leave Algeciras, but excited to get to work somewhere completely different! 

This week has been really crazy, as we haven't had a normal day the entire week! On Monday and Tuesday we had the Zone Leaders here to do splits with us, and on Thursday we left here to stay with them, do splits with them and the Elders in Chiclana, and then go to Specialized training and Stake Conference in Cádiz. The weirdest part was being out of Algeciras for 3 whole days. It was a ton of fun and great to be able to work super hard together with all the missionaries in our district.

We are still teaching a lot of Africans here. They speak English pretty well, but they speak "Pidgeon English" even better. It is a dialect based on English...and completely impossible to understand. For example, to say "what time is it?" you would say "what time you talk?", but in the heaviest African accent you can imagine. It is fun learning phrases from our investigators! As for teaching them, we challenged them to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it right before we left on Thursday evening and they said they would study it a lot for the days we were gone so they could know when we got back. We are super excited to go see how they are today!

While I was in San Fernando we focused a lot on talking to people about Christ and baptism. On Saturday night, I felt testified to me countless times that this church is truly the Church of Jesus Christ: He leads us and guides us through his living prophet. The blessings of baptism are incredible and are real. We just have to have faith in him and take the steps - slowly and surely - that he asks us to. If we do that, one day we will have eternal life - either in this life or the next. I can't think of a better promise than that, and it only seems better the more I understand. The Gospel is true! We just have to live it to know.

I love you all! Thank you so much for your support!

Elder Mockler

Below are photos from a training conference for the San Fernando Zone.  The captions are from the Spain Málaga mission blog that is updated weekly by the mission president and his wife.

Presidente told everyone where they were going for transfers. Hmm, I wonder what will happen to Elder Lignell and his companion Elder Mockler. Elder Banbury is there to comfort all. 
Come on Presidente, tell us please!
 We are singing the mission song all over the mission. San Fernando Zone is ready to go.
Can you find all 14 missionaries in this picture? You'll have to look closely to find Elder Marchello and a few others. 
 Here's a better picture of all of us. We are on fire in San Fernando. They had 36 investigators in the Stake Conference general session. Great work!

September 12, 2011

Lots of English in Spain...

¡Hola familia!

Well, believe it or not, we probably spoke more English than Spanish this week. We have found a lot of investigators that speak English and we also have a family from Canada that just got back from vacation. Talking to the Canadians is especially fun because they speak real English! We can get together and talk about all the American comforts we miss here, haha. We had a dinner cita with them this week and had tacos. It was awesome. It is hard to teach them, though...I'm already forgetting some words in English that we use a lot when we teach. It is weird!!!

As for our other English speaking investigators, they are from Africa, so their English is pretty distinct. Pretty hard to understand sometimes. We have to change the way we speak, too, so they understand. Basically you just can't use past tense because that always throws them off. Same with African Spanish...and conjugating for different subjects is always optional. Believe it or not, we have started teaching Spanish classes to a few who don't speak Spanish yet. I would say we're pretty uncanny candidates for that, but it has been a lot of fun and has helped them out a lot. 

One of the Africans is from Ghana and got here about 2 months ago and is only 17 years old. He told us his story the other day and it is pretty wild. He paid about 1,000€ to get here. First he travelled from Ghana to Morocco, where he had to wait for 5 months for everything to be just right. During those 5 months, him and about 50 other people lived in the forest, having to find their own food and everything. Finally, the leader of their little group said everything was just right and they all packed into a little boat and set off from Morocco in the middle of the night. I think he said they had to pay off the police, as well, to get over here. And if the Spanish navy had found them on the way, they all would have been sent back. It is crazy! But he is here now and working on getting legal. Hopefully he can do that soon. I can't imagine having to go through all of that.

Well, that is about it. The mission is still working hard to meet our goal and things are going really great. I think that our mission fast last week really helped because all over the mission things have really taken off. I'm so glad to be here in Spain! I have thought a lot about the temple this week and how peaceful of a place it is. The Spirit of the Lord really does dwell there. Every time we teach a lesson about the temple I can feel the Spirit testify of how special of a place it is. The temple is the crowning jewel of the Restored Gospel and I know it is a place inspired of God. I just want to share with all of you that I know this church is the true church of God on the earth! As we study the scriptures and work to gain and maintain our testimony, we can receive unbelievable blessings that God has prepared specifically for every one of us. 

I love you all so much! Have an awesome week!

Elder Mockler 

September 5, 2011

We'll get 300!!!

Hola familia!

Well, another great week here in Algeciras! As always :)

First, a funny story from the streets of Spain. On Friday we were walking towards home and we saw a drunk guy that is always sitting on the street below our piso. On Friday I guess he decided to have a good night, though, and was practicing his Matador skills....with his t'shirt and all the cars driving by! It was insane. Luckily we saw him this morning (and not splattered on the road). As funny as it was, it is sad seeing people like that....they are all over here. Just completely out of their minds, really, and always drunk.

So this week the whole mission has been focusing on recommitting to reach our baptism goal for the year. We have all been working hard and exercising faith to be sure we reach it...and surpass it! Yesterday we all fasted for the goal and that we could find people to teach. After mediodia, Elder Lignell and I were just absolutely dead. I honestly don't think I've ever been so tired in my entire life. We started heading for an investigator's house to try to find him. His name is Artemio - he is from Paraguay and lives with his wife, his son and daughter-in-law, and his 2 grandsons. After finally making it to his house, we were able to teach not just him, but the entire family! It was a great lesson. It was just an example to me of how we have adversity in our lives, but if we can push through it there is always a reward at the end. We talk to a lot of people with a lot of trials, but like it says in Doctrine and Covenants, all these trials will be but a short moment and then we will receive all that the Father has and we will see that they are all for our good. 

I love you all! The church is true! Read the Book of Mormon!!!!

Elder Mockler

August 29, 2011

There are no cookies in Spain!

¡Hola familia!

It is finally starting to rain here in Algeciras! I'm excited for the cool weather that will come with it. We've started having some pretty cold nights recently, thankfully! Also, I hit my 4 month mark just a few days ago. I can't believe I've already been out so long...it is crazy!

On Saturday we went and had a ward activity at the Rio de Miel. We hiked up a ways to where there is a big waterfalls and some little pools of water. It was a good time and really beautiful. I think it is also known by La Garganta del Capitan if you want to look it up on google. The walk was quite a ways, though, so Elder Lignell and I were super tired all Saturday night. It was definitely worth it, though! Everyone was supposed to bring some kind of food to share, so I decided I would try to make "American cookies." They don't have real cookies here. Unfortunately we were pretty rushed to get the ingredients so we couldn't find chocolate chips or powdered brown sugar. Or measuring cups! I ended up using the cap to our laundry soap to measure everything out. We could only fit 6 at a time in our little toaster oven. The whole situation was just a mess. But a pretty hilarious mess. They didn't turn out as bad as you would imagine, just a little hard. I am committed to make a good batch of chocolate chip cookies before I leave Spain, though...you just wait!

Last Monday we went to help a member paint his apartment. Spaniards are notorious for being terrible handymen...and this was no exception. We started out trying to do a good job, but he just kept making fun of us for going so slow. He told us just to heap paint onto the rollers and get it on the walls. We also filled in a huge hole in the wall with paint. It looked really bad, but he was happy with it and I guess that's all that counts. It made me excited to be able to do things like paint my own house someday...but actually do it the right way!!

This week we had a lot of lessons with less-active members. We have talked a lot with them about how they can always read the scriptures, pray, and go to church. Satan tries so hard to make us think we are not worthy to pray or to go to church. He makes us feel guilty or reminds us of the mistakes we've made. But I know that coming back is always worth it. Life as an active church member is so much better than life outside the church - or inactivity in the church, for that matter. I am so grateful I have these two years that make that so clear. The Atonement covers all men. Christ suffered so that the imperfect could return to live with the Father (that is all of us, by the way). It's an awful thing to turn that down.

Thank you for all of your love and support. I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Elder Mockler
 
La Garganta del Capitan (image from Google)
 

August 22, 2011

To Cadiz!

Hola!

Well, it has been a pretty busy week! On Tuesday Elder Lignell chipped his tooth, so we got to go to the dentist the next day. Unfortunately we don't have any cool stories about the dentist...it is about the same here. The only difference is that the office is upstairs in a regular apartment building and that turning on the AC for a customer is really good customer service. I sure did love that AC! On Thursday we went to Cadiz to do my residency. Unfortunately we spent 4 hours on the bus to do 1 finger print and drop off some papers. The city of Cadiz is REALLY beautiful, though, so that made it a little more worth it. I'm glad I got to go visit. The beach there is huge...I can't wait to come back someday and be able to enjoy it! 

On Friday we had a really cool experience with a less active member named Silvio. He met us a few weeks ago in front of the chapel and was pretty drunk. When he saw us he stopped to talk to us, said he had never been able to find the church here in Algeciras, and that he knew he needed to change. He is a really great guy. When we stopped by his house the other day he brought out the Book of Mormon the missionaries gave to him for his baptism. He had their phone numbers but couldn't figure out how to call them, so we helped him and got a hold of the family and got their new information. It was awesome to be able to reunite him with the missionaries that meant so much to him. We're excited for the opportunity to help him come back to the church and enjoy the blessings he once had in his life.

This week I finished reading Jesus the Christ. It was great to be able to focus on the life of Christ so much and try to better understand what his sacrifice means for us. I am so grateful for my knowledge of the Atonement, no matter how limited it may be. I know it is real. I know that it allows us to change, no matter how far "off the path" we have fallen. And although sometimes it is difficult for whatever reason - be it embarrassment, habit, laziness, or whatever else - it is always worth it to turn ourselves over to Him and let Him show us what our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. His yoke is easy and His burden is light - I know that is true. 

Thanks to everyone for all your support! I love you all!!!
Elder Mockler

August 15, 2011

Another Week In Algeciras

¡Hola!

Well, first things first...we finally made it to Gibraltar last week! It was EXTREMELY hot, so we all get some pretty good tans. And seeing as we're all about saving money, we climbed the stairs to the top of the mountain instead of taking a bus or the cable car. It was a lot of steps. Hundreds and hundreds. My legs have never felt so much like jello. Unfortunately the monkeys weren't very happy campers because it was so hot, but it was still worth going. The view from the top is great and we could see Africa really well. 

Time is really starting to fly here. We said goodbye to Elder White last Wednesday...I can hardly believe it has almost been a week already. When we get to our weekly planning every Thursday I'm just blown away by how fast the week has gone. It is a good for us to feel that way as missionaries, though - it always keeps us motivated to be working. 

This week at our branch activity on Friday it was our turn to do the activity. We played the game where you have to put a cookie on your forehead and get it into your mouth without your hands. All of you should be proud to know I was the only one who could do it! Chalk me up as the most talented cookie eater in Algeciras!!

Yesterday in church a man from the Stake came from Cadiz to speak in Sunday School. He talked about tithing. Spain is having some really hard economic times right now, especially in Andalucía and here in Algeciras. It was a good reminder to everyone that we need to pay tithing even though it is hard. Everything we have in this life is given to us by God - whether it be through the talents we have been given or the circumstances we're put into, it is all because of him. We're asked to give a tiny bit of it back. Just like every other commandment we're given, it comes down to being an opportunity to receive the blessings God has prepared for us. I am so grateful that I have been shown the way to be happy and successful in this life.

Sorry the email is a bit short this week. Thanks to everyone for all of your support!

Love,
Elder Mockler

August 8, 2011

¡La Playa!

¡Hola!

It has been an eventful - and ridiculously hot - week here in Algeciras. I've never heard so many people say the same thing over and over again: "Uh, que calor hace hoy" and all it's variations. It honestly is just unbearably hot here right now. I can't wait for winter. But like Boyd K. Packer says, for a missionary all weather is good weather; It won't stop us!

We had a baptism on Saturday morning!! Jimmy, who has been investigating the church for years, finally decided to be baptized. He had his interview on Thursday and decided he wanted to be baptized Saturday and wanted to do it in the morning. So, we decided to do it in the Sea! It was honestly the most beautiful morning of my life - we got there as the sun was rising over Gibraltar and there was no one there at the beach (thankfully). It was a really great experience - I'll definitely never forget it.

On Tuesday night we went to Alcala, which is a little pueblo outside of Sevilla. Since we live so far away from everyone we went there to spend the night. They have a huge house there for just 2 missionaries, so we took advantage of it and had a barbeque, just the 5 of us. They also had AC in a few rooms, so we got to sleep in the cold! It was awesome. Sevilla is a really pretty city - and they had grass! Well watered grass was a great sight to see. It just doesn't really exist in Algeciras.

I don't have any crazy food stories this week, except that we bought a blender and I don't think I've eaten anything solid in our piso all week. I love that thing. We just blend up all kinds of fruit - it is really great.

Transfers are this week, so Elder Lignell and I will be sending Elder White off to La Mancha on Wednesday to be Zone Leader there. Elder Lignell is the new District Leader, so we'll be traveling a lot to do splits and baptismal interviews. That should be a fun change - we'll have a ton of work to do! We're sad to see Elder White leave - the branch here loves him and he loves them too - but it is good to get a change now and then.

Well, that's about it. I just want to share my testimony with everyone who is reading that I know this church is the true church of Jesus Christ restored on the Earth in our time. I know that we have the authority to perform the necessary ordinances in the church. I know because I have experienced the power and change that comes through obedience to the commandments of God. All that he gives us in the church is for our benefit; we just have to trust in him and follow even though the world has turned away from the right path. I'm so thankful I have that knowledge. It has blessed me so much. Thank you for all your love and support.

I love you!!
Elder Mockler


The missionaries are well fed at zone conference.
President and Sister Clegg with the Elders and Sisters of the Sevilla and San Fernando Zones.



August 1, 2011

Gibraltar!...almost.

¡Hola!

So this morning we almost went to Gibraltar! We rode the bus all the way there and then realized we had forgotten our passports. So next week hopefully we'll go for real! Haha.
 
I finally remembered to bring my address with me. Feel free to send letters to this address or the mission office. Packages should be sent to this address, but I would rather not receive a package unless I'm expecting it. The fees can be really huge here to pick things up from America.

Elder Andy Mockler
C/ Almeria 6B, 7º D
11203 Algeciras, Cadiz
SPAIN

It has been a pretty interesting week. It flew by. It is hard to believe we are already having another P-Day. Yesterday in church I had to teach primary because the primary president didn't show up. There was also a family from Denmark here for the week, so they asked me to teach the lesson in Spanish and English. It was interesting for sure. Spanish is coming along really really well. I feel like I'm understanding most of what people say now. Some people are still hard to understand when they have really thick accents, but I feel a lot better about speaking and listening now.

I got my first taste of really interesting food this week. First of all, I finally ate Jamón, which is super popular here. It is basically uncooked bacon - it is raw ham that is cured for months. It is super good. The really interesting food was on Saturday, though, when we ate some Bolivian soup in a member´s house. They put a bunch of weird meat in it and said they would tell us what it was after we ate it. Let's just say Cow hoof and bull testicles really aren't that bad.

On Thursday Elder Lignell got really sick so we had to stay in the piso all day. It was weird just sitting for a whole day because I'm so used to working all the time. The good news, though, is that we bought 4 melónes from a truck on the street and Elder White made a mask out of one of them. We also made the best melón milk of all time. 

Well, that's about it. We have 3 people that are progressing towards baptism right now and things are going really well. We have zone conference on Wednesday so I hope we can keep up our momentum even though we'll be gone for a while this week. It is so exciting to see people change their lives for the better. Every day we walk through the streets and see people who are caught up in the world. Drunks come talk to us all the time. It is so obvious to me, being on my side, how the things of the world never bring us happiness. These people who have destroyed their lives with alcohol abuse or who are caught up in drugs and other sins are just not happy. On the other hand, I also see the lives of the faithful members here, and although they have hard times and sad things happen to all of them, they have genuine happiness and are content with their lives. I feel the same way. I am so blessed to have a knowledge of the Gospel. I know that through living it we feel happiness in our lives - a happiness that endures the hardships of life. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and that with him we can do all things - big or small. 

Thanks for all of your support! Love you!!
Elder Mockler

 Andy, Elder White, Rafe, and Elder Lignell at Rafe's baptism

Fútbol in Algeciras!!

July 25, 2011

¡Hola! Another Week In Algeciras

¡Hola!
 
This week really flew by. I am starting to realize how fast the mission goes. This week I'll hit my 3 month mark. It is weird to think I've been out that long!
 
On Saturday the ward threw a surprise birthday party for Elder Lignell because he is turning 20 tomorrow. It was lots of fun - they had tons of food and we got to relax a little bit with the members. They kept wanting to listen to all kinds of music - Ke$ha, Beyonce, etc. - because they don't understand the lyrics at all. We always have to tell them the songs aren't really appropriate, but they don't really get it. When they brought out the cake they all made Elder Lignell shove his face into it. I don't know if it is a tradition here or if we just have crazy members, but it was funny either way.
 
The work here is going really well! Yesterday we set a baptismal date with an investigator named Manuel for August 21st. He is a great guy and doesn't smoke or drink even though all his friends do. Francisco is another investigator who is super close to baptism - he just has to go to the city hall here and get an official marriage. We are hoping he does it soon. We are also working with a guy from Senegal who's name is Fall. He is awesome. The other day when we were there they fed us an African dish of fish and rice. It was really delicious. He can't read, so we take him church videos for him to watch. He loves them.
 
One of our investigators has a strong testimony but is having a hard time commiting to baptism. He is concerned because there is a guy here who got baptized but stopped going to church a few weeks later. It is sad to see examples like that, but it is just a reminder that the people in the church are not perfect. Fortunately, when we base our testimonies in the things that are true and unchanging - the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, prayer, and Jesus Christ - we can know that the church is still perfect, even when the members are not. I love being here and being able to share the joy of the Gospel with the people of Spain. By obedience in the Church of Jesus Christ we can truly reach our full potential and have more joy in this life - I know that is true.
 
Thank you for all your love and support. I love you!!!
 
Elder Mockler
 


 

July 21, 2011

Another Week!

Hola!
Sorry I didn't get to email on Monday! We had a zone pday in San Fernando and I never had to time to write an email. We have an eating cita with a member in just a few minutes so this is going to be really short.
 
This week was awesome. On Saturday we had a baptism with a lady named Rafi. She quit smoking when she found the church after about 40 years. She started when she was 14. It must have been super hard for her, but it is proof that with faith we can accomplish anything. I read a really good talk this week called The Fourth Missionary. I don't know if it is online or anything, but I would highly reccomend it. It is a guide to our lives, basically - how we should live, our attitudes, and how we can live the gospel the right way so that it blesses us and changes us.
Sorry I can't answer most of the questions from this week! I will be better on Monday. We are going to go to Gibraltar and see everything there. I'm excited! To answer a few, we eat with the members here a lot because we have a really awesome branch. They feed us a lot of things, we have actually had quite a lot of Bolivian food already. It isn't radically different from American food, really. The Spanish members feed us a lot of empanadas. And tons of  tuna. When we eat in the piso it is about what you would expect...sandwiches, fruit, and cereal. They have chocolate cereal here that is filled with liquid chocolate. It is awesome. And the bread here is really good too.
 
Thanks for all the pictures mom and dad. Sounds like everyone is doing great at home. That is great news for me!!
 
I love you all!
Elder Mockler

Andy with his companions, Elder White and Elder Lignell, and his mission president, President Clegg

July 11, 2011

Algeciras!

¡Hola!

Well, here I am in a tiny internet café right on the Southern Coast of Spain. How crazy is that? The Mediterranean is literally less than 100 feet from the door. It is just a shipping bay here, so it smells super gross. Which kind of goes for the rest of Algeciras, too. It may not be the most beautiful city on Earth, but it sure is great to be here! One awesome thing is that from our balcón we can see Gibraltar, and on clear days we can see Africa really well. There are big cliffs on the African Coast, so it isn't too hard to see it. So cool!

So my companions are Elder White and Elder Lignell. They've both been out for about 6 months (Elder White's 6mo. is tomorrow, actually). Our mission is super young; they're some of the older missionaries here right now. That's really wild. It is great to have them here, because they have a super good relationship with the ward and know their way around really well.

The language has been coming along pretty well. Everyone is surprised at how well I speak, but I still have a lot of trouble understanding a lot of people. Yesterday I had to speak in church and it went really well. In all seriousness, they speak some truly awful Spanish here. They cut a lot of their S´s which makes it hard to tell what words they're saying. But I don't think it'll take me any more than a week to be "fully functioning" around here, especially with the blessings of a missionary!

It has been super hot this week. They don't really believe in air conditioning here, so the only thing worse than being outside in the sun is being inside a shop or someone's piso (apartment). One of our fans broke the other day so we have had to get creative with cooling our piso down. Luckily we're on the 7th floor so it stays pretty nice when the wind is blowing. Today we went to the Corte Ingles (which is what all the malls here are called...it is like one gigantic store) and to Mercadona for some groceries. It was great to be in some real AC for a little while. I think that is what I miss most about the States!

Our schedule here is a little different because the people here have a weird schedule. They have mediodía everyday, which is like what most people know as "siesta." And they take it seriously. No one is out from like 2-8 and almost all shops are closed from 2-5 or 5:30. So, we spend mediodía in the piso from 2-5. Even when we go out most people are still eating or napping. It is really weird. We also come home around 10:45 and don't have to wake up until 7:30. That is pretty great.

Well, now for the really good stuff. Being in Algeciras is great because there is a lot of success here. There was a baptism here last weekend and we have another baptism this weekend. Her name is Rafi and she is an awesome lady. She quit smoking a few weeks ago and hasn't had trouble with it since! She said when she is tempted to smoke she will write down a prayer in her notebook because it helps her be engaged and stop thinking about the cravings. What an awesome idea! We are all very excited for Saturday. We were challenged to set 3 new baptismal dates this week, so hopefully I'll have a lot of good stories for next week!

Well, that is about it for now. I love you all! I know the church is true! I wouldn't be living in a tiny piso in the middle of Algeciras if I didn't know that. There is no where I would rather be and nothing I would rather be doing than being here in Algeciras as a missionary!

Love you!
Elder Mockler

P.S. A few interesting facts about Spain: 1) Ice cream bars here are ingenius - half of it will be a cookie or something that doesnt melt so your fingers dont get sticky. So awesome. 2) They love soda here. Everyone always offers us coke and Fanta. Usually we just want water, but the Fanta here is way good. It tastes kinda like carbonated Sunny D. Interesting. 3) Everyone here goes to the playa during the summer. It is honestly kind of out of control. I don't exaggerate much when I say everyone.
 
Andy receives his assignment to Algeciras
 

July 7, 2011

Where in the World is Elder Mockler?

President and Sister Clegg from the Málaga Spain Mission sent an email to let us know that Andy arrived safely in Málaga and was assigned to Algeciras which is a port city on the Strait of Gibraltar.  His preparation day is Monday.  Here is a picture of Andy with the Cleggs.  Doesn't he look excited and ready to go?

July 6, 2011

1 Week in Spain!

¡Hola!
So this week I realized I am almost done with my 3rd month! That is crazy! Time flies here, and it is about to get a whole lot faster! I leave for Málaga tomorrow via the high speed train and I'll be assigned to my first area and my trainer and everything. I don't know when I'll be emailing again because I don't know when pday is in the mission or anything, but I guess we'll see soon enough!
It has been a great week here in Madrid. We have gotten to go into the city a couple times. On Saturday we went to the park and did some contacting. Since I am in the "advanced" class here, I was companions for the day with Elder Forrest, who hardly speaks Spanish at all. He is an awesome guy, but we had trouble understanding people...some people here have REALLY heavy accents. We were able to talk to quite a few people, though, and gave one lady a book of mormon and she said she would come to church. That was really awesome. After a few hours we all gathered together and sang a couple of hymns. There are lots of street performers here and people always just walk past them, but quite a few people stopped to listen to us and we had the opportunity to talk to them a little bit about why we are here in Spain and tell them about the Gospel. It was really fun. Besides that we have just gone out to do paperwork (we have to do tons of stuff to maintain residency in Spain...it is a real pain) and today we had a bit of time to go see some sites in the city before we leave tomorow.
Last week I talked about the place where we play Soccer and how it is all covered in grafitti...I said we couldn't understand any of it, but I was wrong. On one of the walls someone has tagged a big L.D.S! I don't know if they meant something else, but we all had a good laugh about it. It is only about a block from the temple...so you never know...
So the 4th of July was this week. Apparently they don't celebrate it here (ha....ha....ha.....). President Earl made sure we all got a little celebration, though, and had the cooks here make us hamburgers. He had to supervise them to make sure they did it right. We also had orange jello. I sure will miss jello for the next 2 years. It was really weird because all day we kept realizing that it was 4th of july but nothing was different. I guess they celebrate Independence on the 2nd or 3rd of May, but it is not as big as 4th of July in the states.
Well, that's about it I think. I'll attach a few pictures. Can't wait until I get to Málaga tomorrow....I'll finally be there! I'm so excited to be able to start teaching and meeting people. Here we aren't always allowed to contact people since we aren't included in the Madrid mission. I am always so excited when we are on the metro because I just want to talk to everyone! I am so thankful for this opportunity to be a missionary. The restored Gospel is an incredible blessing for everyone because there is something in it that can bless us no matter where we are in our lives. I can't wait to share that!
Love you all!
Elder Mockler
Downtown Madrid
We visited the stadium where Real Madrid plays. It was 16€ to take a tour and
we didn't have a ton of time so we didn't get to go in, unfortunately.
Some cool buildings and a monument in Madrid. To be honest none of us really knew what it meant, but it looked neat. The big gold thing is HUGE and in the middle of a roundabout in the middle of the city.
Good to see America has left a lasting legacy on the world.
This ad is everywhere here.