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 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, 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!


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 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


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!

Elder Mockler

August 8, 2011

¡La Playa!


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



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

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!!