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
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


¡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


¡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."