December 30, 2012

Another Week of Adventures!


So we're doing email pretty late because this morning we went with President and Hermana Deere and their oldest son, Jackson, to Córdoba to see the Mezquita. It was awesome! Since I don't have a ton of time I'll attach a few pictures from our trip and then make a few comments at the end if I get a chance.

Here is the "office staff" in the Mezquita! It is so awesome there. At one time there was room for 40,000 Muslims to pray at the same time. Wow! Now there is a giant cathedral built right in the middle of it. The arches are from the original mosque and go throughout the entire building.


Here is Elder Berrett nicely modeling the audio tour phone things we had:


Here are a few pictures from last week's adventure to Gibraltar:


New friend


And, of course, I had to get one of these pictures sometime while I was there (sorry about the crazy red eye...it is Elder Valenzuela's shirt reflecting in my glasses. Dang!)



So, life is great as a missionary! This week we actually got quite a bit of time to proselyte which was much needed. Valerie, our Slovakian investigator, is still progressing little by little, but she is probably moving to Madrid in a few weeks. Luckily there are great missionaries there that can take care of her! We've also been starting to teach a Brazilian lady name Elly (I don't know how to spell it in English) who is the roommate of a Cuban member who just moved here. She met the Elders years ago and loves the Book of Mormon, so we are super excited to have found her again! Besides that we have just been working a lot in the office, making sure everything keeps running nice and smoothly here in the mission. I am so grateful to be a missionary! The Lord is hastening His work and it is marvelous to be a part of it in this time. I know that Christ lives and that through Him we can find eternal happiness.

Happy New Year! Make some good resolutions! Love you!

Elder Mockler

And here is one final photo taken from the mission blog showing Andy and some of the other Elders with President Deere at the Mezquita.








December 22, 2012

Mission tour!


¡Feliz Navidad!

Well, another good ol' week of office craziness and fun! President invited Elder Berrett and I to go around with them to all of the Christmas Zone Conferences and we just got back last night. More about that later!

So last Monday I went to do some residency for the Stevens, one of the senior couples here, we had our staff meeting, and Elder Berrett and I locked ourselves up in the office trying to get as far ahead as possible on all of our office work for the week until the the trainers came in, ate some pizza, and headed up to the mission home. On Tuesday we were running ALL DAY getting the trainers with their new missionaries, training them on finance and residency stuff, fixing transfer travel problems (my favorite....), and getting everything prepared to leave on Wednesday.

So on Wednesday, we started off the mission tour with Málaga zone conference. In all the conferences we did a white elephant exchange which was a blast. Elder Berrett and I got to translate for all of the conferences, too, which I have really grown to love. After conference, we loaded up with the APs and all the senior couples (there are 3 of them: the Stevens, the Todds, and the Spainhowers) and got on our way to Murcia, which is about 5 hours away. We dropped them off at their hotel and headed to the zone leaders' piso for the night (sleeping 4-6 extra missionaries in a piso is always interesting...and really fun haha). Another conference there on Thursday, and we started the long drive across the country to Sevilla. We got there around 11:30, crashed with the zone leaders again, and got up early to do our last conference in Sevilla. We were all pretty tired by this point, haha, but we had an amazing conference there in Sevilla as well.

After the conference the APs, the Deeres, and the senior couples decided they wanted to go to Itálica (remember that place? The Roman Ruins in Aljarafe), but since Elder Berrett and I had been before, we took advantage of a chance to go an visit Jesús and Angeles. It was so great to see them! They are doing really well. Angeles is pregnant again! That was a big surprise. It was such a blessing for Elder Berrett and I to be able to see them again together. We didn't have too long, though, because we had to climb back in the van and head back here to Fuengirola! We finally got home from washing the cars and unloading around 10:30 last night and just went right to bed.

It is so great to be able to be a missionary during Christmas again. I love Christmas! It is such a great time to think of Christ, our Savior, and His miraculous birth in Bethlehem all those years ago. We watched a really great video in zone conferences of a cello/piano duet of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. It is awesome! I put the link on here.




I love you all so much! Merry Christmas!

Elder Mockler

December 15, 2012

Still running...


Happy Saturday!

Well, another week come and gone in the office. We started off the week thinking it would be our calmest yet, but all of that has managed to turn completely around and I think we're going to have the busiest weekend of all time. We're getting ready for new missionaries on Tuesday, 3 zone conferences this week (they invited us along this time! yay!), and our 3rd transfer in 6 weeks. So Mr. travel and hotels (that's me) is getting pretty busy. And I love it!

Last night we had our ward Christmas party. It was AWESOME! There were 170+ people there. I have never seen so much arroz con pollo in my life and they cut an entire jamón leg. It was a serious feast! Valerie came and got to meet a lot of the members. Sister Deere came to a lesson we had with her this week and she is helping us tons. We had a few other investigators there as well - a new member in the ward brought his friend Elly (from Brazil) who we have been teaching and tons of other members brought friends and family and it was great to meet them. The primary did a great nativity scene and everything. The Fuengirola ward is seriously the best ever!

So, besides that, we have just been running around getting things done here and trying to teach in any free moment we have. Life is good! Sorry this is so short this week but we have to get to a wedding in about 15 minutes for some of the APs investigators and then back to work on zone conference and transfers. Being in the office is great!

The Church is true! Christ is our Savior and redeemer and was born for us 2,000 years ago in a humble manger in Bethlehem.

Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant
Oh, come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold him
Born the King of angels;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him;
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord.

Love you!

Elder Mockler

December 8, 2012

Crazy Week Photo Album


Well, here we are. We survived the week! I have quite a few pictures I want to send, so I'll put them in and write a bit about how the week went.

So, on Monday and Tuesday we had Zone Leader concilio. On my way to the office on Monday, I spied a pink tie in a bush by our piso and snagged it. I'm wearing it in a lot of my pictures this week. After concilio, (we ate Hawaiian Haystacks, by the way, mmmmm) departing missionaries started trickling in to have their exit interviews. And they kept coming all day Wednesday. Amongst all the craziness of missionaries coming, we saved the Cadiz Sisters from getting lost in their new area and quite a few missionaries who missed their buses for transfers. Finally on Wednesday night after taking up 3 van loads of missionaries to the mission home, we start loading up all their luggage.

 
 There was quite a bit. We got the van and the cars all ready and headed off to buy some snacks for Thursday morning to keep us awake. Little did we know that we'd run into a REAL ARCTIC OWL in a small food store down the street...


After our owl-y adventure, we got to bed and set our alarms for...drum roll...2 AM!! Which came all too fast. But, we got dressed and grabbed the van to head up to meet the bus and the missionaries. It was Constitution Day here, which means everyone was still out at 2:00 partying...and the police were out to breathalyze a few choice cars in the roundabouts. And wouldn't you know it...they stopped Elder Manning and I! Luckily the police saw nothing suspicious about a large white van full from top to bottom with luggage and just gave Elder Manning the test and let us go on our merry way. We got to the spot we had picked to meet the bus and started unloading luggage and shuttling missionaries down. This next picture pretty well sums up that experience:



So we got everyone and their bags onto the bus and headed to the airport. Good ol' Finance Secretary Elder Berrett dropped a few Euros to pay for everyone's extra bag (a process that takes about 400 times longer here than in the States) and we sent them off to the good ol' USA! After trying to get the seats back into the van and a few other things, it was already 7:00 and we went up to Benalmádena to watch the sunrise for a little bit.



We came home and crashed and woke up quite a few hours later than I ever expected I would as a missionary...but such is life in the office. We sent Elder Nally and Elder Manning off and things got suddenly very quiet around here...finally!...until the APs got a flat tire yesterday and we had to help them fix it. Never a normal day around here...

Amongst all the craziness, we've been able to do a surprising amount of missionary work. Valerie, our Slovakian investigator, is doing well, and we were able to teach her on Tuesday evening. She is reading the Book of Mormon in English but doesn't understand it well and we're trying to find SOME language that she understands a little better. She is progressing, though, and feeling better and better every day. We were finally able to meet with Emili, our new Spanish investigator, as well. He is awesome and super excited to start reading the Book of Mormon. He is going through really hard times right now but I know if he keeps going he will find great blessings in the Gospel. I'm so grateful to be a missionary here in the office! It is an awesome experience and a great blessing. The Church is true and gives us so much if we will just choose to serve God and keep his commandments.

I love you all! Have a great week!!

Elder Mockler

P.S. It's that time of year again, the holidays, and you know what that means....



And here are a few pictures taken from the Spain Málaga mission blog
http://thespainmalagamission.blogspot.com/

Concilio December 4, 2012 

At the bus waiting to take the 21 returning missionaries to the airport


December 1, 2012

December!


It's December! Christmas month! Hooray!

So this week we have prepared a lot for next week, which will probably be the craziest week of my entire life. Why? Well, on Monday we have Zone Leader Concilio until Tuesday morning when the departing missionaries begin to come in for exit interviews, which go until Wednesday night when we start loading luggage and preparing for 4:00am Thursday morning when we meet the bus to head off to the aiport to send off 20 missionaries. Couple that with transfers all around the mission on Wednesday and you have the readers digest version of the week. It should be interesting! I've been mastering the Spanish public transportation system this week making travel plans and I'll start buying tickets tomorrow. It's been a big puzzle but it has been really fun to figure it all out. As crazy as it all is (and that's without the day-of emergencies), I'm really actually looking forward to it all and know it will be a great time. And that Thursday morning and night I'm going to get the best sleep of my entire life.

This morning we decided to go watch the sunrise over the ocean and climbed up to the Fuengirola castle. It was awesome! I didn't take my camera but you can see the area pretty well on google maps if you search for fuengirola sohail castle. I'm so lucky to be here! It was great to get up there and just relax and talk for a bit. It is starting to get REALLY cold here (we got the heater out this week), but it was still a good little walk.

Well, I can't think of anything else new and exciting so I'm going to wrap this up. We are going to get going to play mini golf round II in a few minutes. I'm so grateful for a Havenly Father that loves us and to be able to feel His Spirit. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon which brings that Spirit into our lives.

Have an awesome week!

Elder Mockler

November 24, 2012

I PUT UP THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS TREE JUST NOW!


Happy 2 days after Thanksgiving! Why is that so awesome? Well, because it means it is CHRISTMAS TIME! In Spain they always put big street lights up for Feria and Christmas and all the Christmas lights are up. We're waiting anxiously for them to turn on.

So, another good week here in the office. Things were a lot calmer for me, but it is just the calm before the storm that'll come in a week and a half since we're doing a little mid-transfer transfer since a huge group goes home on December 6th. Elder Berrett is getting the hang of things little by little...it is really great to have him around again! On Thursday we had a training in Málaga and an amazing Thanksgiving feast. Everyone pitched something in and we ended up having Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and PIE!! Everything you need for a real American Thanksgiving. It was grand.

We took another good ol' office field trip today and drove up to Ronda for P-Day. It was awesome! It is a really traditional Spanish village split down the middle by a big waterfall. The bridge built over the waterfall is INCREDIBLE! It was really beautiful out there and a great trip. We also got to hear an excellent pan flute/harp version of that "some say love" song that is in Napoleon Dynamite. haha. Have I ever said I live in the most beautiful place in the world? On the way home we drove through the mountains and then down across the costa del sol. Amazing!

The other night Elder Berrett and I actually got a chance to go out and proselyte for a few hours (hooray!) and had a really great experience. We were trying to find the house of a less-active member and, since neither of us know our way around Fuengirola yet, I took a wrong turn and led us to the wrong apartment. We went half way up the stairs before we realized it, and decided we would knock just the first door. When that guy shut the door on us, we felt like we should go up and do just one more. That's when Emili, a Spanish guy from Barcelona, opened the door. Elder Berrett bore an awesome testimony to him, and he told us about how he has been really depressed lately and has only been here in Fuengirola a few weeks. He is a great guy and knows a lot about the Bible and is very excited to meet with us. Hopefully things will go well with him! Our other few investigators are doing well. Valerie, the Slovakian is doing better and better as well as Pilar, a Bolivian lady who committed to live the Word of Wisdom this week. Isn't missionary work awesome?! I'm so grateful to be a missionary, especially in Spain. I'm grateful for the Spirit that leads us, comforts us, and tells us all things as they really are and as they really will be. I know that God lives and that Christ is our Savior. Their work is progressing!

Have an awesome week!

Elder Mockler






November 17, 2012

What time is it?


Hello!

They sell pancake batter in a spray can at Mercadona now. Weird, but cool.

Another week come and gone! Time feels even weirder in the office. We're just so busy all the time. This week we have a group of 11 go home, so Monday through Thursday was pretty well filled up with taking care of them. The scary part is that it was almost like a test run for the group of 21 that go home on December 6th. Anyway, they all came in on Tuesday evening and we bought mountains of pizza for them to eat here in the office before they went up to sleep in the mission home. It was weird to see Elder Lignell and Elder Pallas go home as well as lots of other really good friends I've made here. On Tuesday we also took Elder Hunt down to the bus station in Málaga and picked Elder Berrett up. My first transfer day came and went without too much craziness, luckily. Those travel days are always the Secretary's nightmare. The only hick-up was when a missionary couldn't find his new companion when he was supposed to get there....but in the end it turned out that they just couldn't see each other in the train station. duh.

Anyway, on Wednesday we did the last few things to get the departing missionaries ready, packed their luggage into the van, and headed to bed so we could wake up at 3:30 to take them to the airport (yes, that will be a regular occurrence. Fantastic.). Now, we should have known that something would go wrong since everything had gone so smoothly before that, but we didn't see it coming until we all woke up to Elder Manning saying "Hey President..." I almost yelled "What time is it?!" and when Elder Nally answered back "4:12" we all literally started sprinting around getting ready. I had a pretty impressive jump from the top bunk, haha. Anyway, we got ready in record time and met President and all the missionaries in front of our piso and zoomed off to the airport. We made really good time (we followed Elder Manning....he drives a bit fast sometimes) and made it to the airport only 10 minutes after we had planned. So, not too disastrous a mistake, but we'll still never hear the end of it around here in the office.

So, besides that, office work has been pretty normal. Lots of residency (I got my new DNI (Spanish Residency) card this week! Yayyyy...) and travel and whatnot. We haven't had too much time to proselyte, but we have been able to start teaching a Slovakian lady that the APs found a while back and keep up with our other investigators. Elder Berrett and I went and worked quite a bit in Marbella the other day which was really neat. Spain is beautiful!

This video came out this week and I would just like to share it:
For God So Loved the World
I hope that as we enter the Christmas season this week we can remember Him whom we celebrate and honor. I am so grateful for Christ and for His influence in my life.

Love you so much! Have an awesome week!
Elder Mockler

Here is a photo from the mission blog celebrating reaching the 2012 goal of 404 baptisms for the mission.


November 10, 2012

What a crazy week!


Hello!

Wow...what a week. At moments I feel like this has been the longest week ever...and in the next moment I can't believe so much has happened in so little time. I'll see how much I can fit in here before we run out of time.

It all started last weekend because President called us and told us that a missionary from our mission had decided to go home early so we had to pick him up from the train station, get his travel ready, and take him to the airport. He got here Saturday night and Sunday morning we drove to the airport at 3:00 am to get him in for his flight which left at 6:30. The only problem was that we didn't realize the church travel office had accidentally booked his flight from Madrid instead of Málaga until we had already arrived and waited in line. So, at 4:00am I rang the church travel office emergency line in Utah and had a nice 30 minute conversation to try to rebook the flight. Nothing was going out on Sunday so....we repeated it all on Monday morning (well, except the phone call to Utah). It was totally insane. After a good nap for a few hours we came into the office and got some things started before going to Zone Leader Concilio Monday evening and Tuesday morning. It was really good to see all the zone leaders and be back at concilio! I translated the whole time, which ended up being really fun, but we all felt like zombies by the time Tuesday ended.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty normal days without too much office madness, which was a much needed break. Yesterday, though, we started all the fun of transfer time! I spent the day making travel plans and buying lots of train tickets for our training meetings next week and the transfer on Tuesday. We'll keep working on all of that until Wednesday when Elder Hunt leaves and I get to start knocking out all of the post-transfer residency work...woohoo! I don't want to make it sound like my whole life is just drudgery, though, because it is anything but that. I really don't think I've had more fun in my entire life!

Today President told us to find something fun to do for P-Day, and as we helped a member move we saw a Miniature Golf course and decided to go. It was awesome! It was probably the most intense Mini-Golf I've ever played. I almost won, but barely missed the hole-in-one on the bonus hole which really ruined my score. 3rd place works too, I guess.

And missionary work? Things are looking really good here. I've met tons of British people here...and people from about every other part of Europe. We found a new investigator this week named Johnny who is from Norway. He first met missionaries about 20 years ago and knows quite a bit about the church already. We're excited to keep meeting with him. Despite having a lot of our proselyting time taken up by office work we still get lots of chances to teach and find new people. It is a great blessing.

Oh yeah! There is so much to say I keep forgetting important things. So like I said, transfers are this week and Elder Hunt is leaving. We found out that Elder Nally is going to start training his replacement this week, who is none other than....wait for it....Elder Berrett! We couldn't believe it! I'll be back with my hijo here in the office haha. I'm super excited to be back with him again. I will probably be with him until at least March which is pretty wild. I can't wait.

This church is SO true! There is no other organization like it in the world. I see that more and more here in the office. I am so grateful to be part of this great work in the last days. It is humbling to know that Heavenly Father put such circumstances in my life to lead me to be here. I am grateful for all I am learning. I'm also grateful for Jesus Christ, who is our living Savior, brother, and friend. I wish to grow closer to Him everyday and hope I can help others along the way, too.

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

Elder Mockler


Random, unexpected fishy dinner with some investigators 
(fish eyes are actually quite good...have I mentioned that before?)


Mini Golf. I'm still sour about that last hole-in-one. So close....

The following photos are from the Spain Málaga mission blog
and were taken at Zone Leader Conference.

November 4, 2012

Royal Blood


Hello!

So, this week I was exploring our family tree and decided to see how far back I could go when I ran into none other than King Henry III of England! In that same line are Henry II and Henry I, a king of Jerusalem from the Crusade era, a few Scandinavian kings, lots of dukes of Normandy, and one man who was known as "the fart" (one of the other missionaries here in the office is also related to him...but comes from one of his other concubines). Anyway, I'll have to go claim my throne in England in a few years.

It has been awfully rainy here all week. Just my luck...I get transferred to the "costa del sol" and it rains all week. That's just winter in Spain, though. And I can't complain compared to what the East Coast has had this week. And we stay mighty dry here in the office every morning. The office is going good - we mostly just do a lot of residency paperwork and buy people tickets when they need to do a lot of travel. I am also in charge of translating President Deere's weekly bulletin and doing some numbers stuff for our weekly meetings. It isn't too hard and I'm getting the hang of it. Elder Hunt, who is training me, will be leaving in a week and a half and then I'll be all on my own. Ah! Right now we are in a trio together. Elder Hunt is from Virginia (although he has also lived in Japan and Germany) and Elder Nally comes from a big Arizona family. They are great guys and we're having a great time together.

President and Hermana Deere had to go to some meetings in Madrid all week and left Annie and Justin, their kids, at home. They asked us to take them out one day so they wouldn't get too bored and so we went on a hike on Thursday to a place called "La Concha" near Marbella. It was an incredible hike up to the peak of a mountain. It took us a little longer than we expected (8 hours....yikes), but it was totally awesome. I'll send a few pictures. From the top we could see to Málaga on one side and to Gibraltar on the other. Luckily we went on the one sunny day this week and we all managed to get a little sunburned too! haha.

Well, that's about it for this week I think. Being a missionary is AWESOME! I have 6 months left and I know they are going to be the best 6 yet. I know Heavenly Father cares for us and that He has a plan for every one of us. He wants the best and has everything lined up so that we can progress and be happy. The scriptures are true and bring a special spirit of peace and happiness when we read them. The Gospel is true and is amazing!! I love it!

Have an awesome week!

Elder Mockler



This photograph is taken from the Spain Malaga mission blog and shows Andy at 
a baptism before he left his last area in Alcazar.  He looks so happy!

October 27, 2012

Baptism, Transfers, and the Office....


Good day!

Well, here I am in the mission office, having PDay on Saturday. It has been a pretty crazy week (well, 5 day week). But a pretty crazy awesome one at the same time. On Monday we started doing the typical last-week-in-your-area goodbye's and kicked it off well eating a delicious paella with our investigator Daniel. He is from romania but makes some mean Spanish food. I took a picture but forgot my camera in the piso so I'll try to remember to send it next week. He put some really good seafood in it, including some of the biggest shrimp I've ever seen. They almost never pre-peel shrimp here so that has been a valuable new skill that I've developed. Tuesday was pretty similar but in the afternoon we went to visit Leidy, Katerine, and Lizeth and got their baptismal interviews done! Woohoo!! They passed with flying colors and we finished preparing and planning everything for Leidy's baptism that happened on Wednesday. We also visited Regalado on Tuesday evening. He finished reading Doctrine and Covenants this week which was pretty crazy. He's definitely the most studious investigator I've ever had...he is way awesome. Wednesday had all the craziness of a typical baptism day...we ran around all morning trying to get things prepared and fill up the font and got everything prepared just in time to go pick everyone up and start the baptism. The service was really, really awesome and Leidy was super happy. I'll send pictures of the baptism next week, too (sorry!). There was a really sweet spirit there and it was awesome to see how brave Leidy was to set the example for her sisters and follow Jesus Christ the best she could. Wednesday night we had some good Ecuatorian food with a big Ecuatorian family, I finished packing my bags, and slept super well for the last time in La Mancha! I seriously can't believe all my time there has already come and gone. Easily the fastest 5 months (almost) of my life.

So on Thursday we had specialized training and then I caught the AVE one more time in Ciudad Real and came down here to Fuengirola!! It has been raining on and off since I got here but it looks like it is done now and it is really beautiful out. Our area goes almost all the way to Algeciras (we'll probably go to Gibraltar again in a few weeks...how cool is that?!) and includes Estepona, Marbella, Mijas, and lots of other awesome tourist beach towns. It is great to be back in a BIG CITY as well! La Mancha was nice and calm, but I like the pace of the Malaga area a lot more. It reminds me a lot of California around here sometimes and I'm loving it so far. I haven't had too much office work so far since yesterday was the only office day I've had but so far I have been working on a lot of residency and translating a few things for the weekly mission bulletin. As I figure things out I'll let ya know what else I'm doing around here! Haha.

Well, I'm gonna wrap up for this week. I'll probably have lots to talk about next week as well. I'm so glad to be a missionary! It is a great blessing to be here and to be able to grow closer to my Savior. I am thankful for his example and hope we can all follow Him.

Love you!!

Elder Mockler

P.S. The new Bible videos are the bomb! http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/?lang=eng

October 22, 2012

4 more days in La Mancha


¡Hola!

Well, this is the last email I'll write from Alcázar. Pretty hard to believe that these last 3 weeks are already pretty much come and gone. I got my train ticket to go to Fuengirola this morning so that makes it pretty dang official haha. Elder Pallas and I have just been having a blast (Except for when he got stuck waiting in a train station for 6 hours on Wednesday...poor guy. At least I was here with the other Elders! haha) and making the most out of these last few weeks here. I'll attach a few pictures from today and last PDay.

On Wednesday we are going to have a baptism!! Leydi, the youngest of the Columbian girls we have been teaching, is going to get baptized. We are super excited and hoping that the service will help her sisters decide to take the same step. We'll be running around getting everything prepared for that and doing my last visits to everyone this week so time is just going to fly by. We have a lot of awesome investigators right now and Elder Jones, Elder Pardo, and Elder Pallas are going to have lots of success in the next few months. We have an awesome Romanian investigator named Daniel who came to church yesterday. He has a 14 month old girl who walks and talks and is the most adorable thing on the planet. She was awfully popular yesterday at church haha. He is going to make us Paella tonight in the church and tells me and Elder Pallas that we are his best friends. Elder Pallas doesn't talk a lot in the lessons and on the way out the other day he said he is going to pray so that Elder Pallas' spirit can 'travel among us' more hahaha the guy awesome.

As far as I know my P-Day will change to Saturday in the office, so I think I will be emailing again then. I'm so excited to go down there and learn all kinds of new things. The mission is such a great experience and I'm really grateful to be here and to be learning so much. What a great blessing! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he loves us and cares for us personally.

Love you all!!

Elder Mockler


One last trip to the molinos.

The Cathedral in El Toboso

October 15, 2012

Did that really just happen...?


Well, hello!

Well, we had a pretty good week. Still a bit slow because we're 4 missionaries here in this area but we are still making good progress. It has gotten REALLY cold here today, so I guess fall is here. Luckily I'll be down in sunny Fuengirola in a few weeks :)

Well, Friday night was one of the more interesting times of my mission. Why? Well, we were coming home from Tomelloso, a pueblo about a half an hour away, and Elder Pallas was driving. We stopped behind a car that was turning left, waited a second, and then I just hear Elder Pallas say "Oh no.." and BOOM! the car behind us slammed into us. We weren't harmed at all except for a little bit of nerves and our car is pretty much fine - just some scratches on the bumper. The other car was pretty bad but the people were fine. The lady who hit us was an insurance agent (miracle!) and helped us fill out the accident report because here in Europe the police don't usually go to scenes of smaller accidents like that. After a stressful hour of filling out paperwork and trying to make phone calls, we were able to drive away just fine. It was pretty amazing that nothing more happened to us or the people in the other car. I guess we can cross "get in a car accident in Europe" off the list now.

Before the accident we had a really good evening! We visited a less-active lady that we found in a pueblo and met her husband and her daughter. They are really great people and really prepared - they had even gone to mormon.org (which is now in spanish as well) before we came over and watched a bunch of videos. Alejandra was baptized when she was 15 but when she went to college and moved here she lost track of the church and has forgotten a lot of things. We are excited to be teaching them and helping them come back to church. Lizeth, Katerine, and Leidy, the 3 Columbian girls we are teaching are doing really well, too, and we are hoping they will get baptized before I leave here! I sure am going to miss Alcázar a lot...

Well, I hope you all have a great week. I know the Lord protects us and helps us always. All things are part of his plan and under his control. I'm so grateful to be part of his work here in Spain. The church is true! The Book of Mormon is true as well and contains the words of Christ through his prophets.

Love you!
Elder Mockler


October 8, 2012

Lots of changes in Alcázar!


Hey! This week is going to be really short! We have had a crazy week saying goodbye to Elder Rodríguez and welcoming Elder Pallas, Elder Jones, and Elder Pardo, a new missionary from Barcelona. We have had to go to a lot of appointments all together which is SUPER weird, but we're getting everything squared away and dividing up the area. It has been great having 4 people in the piso...tons of fun. And Elder Pallas can drive! So I have been getting some nice time in the passenger seat for once! haha.

Hope all of you enjoyed General Conference. It was a great opportunity to listen to the Apostles and the Prophet. I loved it! I know that this is Christ's restored church and that our leaders speak with authority from God against the evils of this world and give testimony of Christ, our Savior.

Love you!!

Elder Mockler

October 1, 2012

Never a dull moment in the mission...


Hello!!

Well, like I said last week, this week is transfer week. And, like we knew, Elder Rodriguez is leaving to Sevilla. But, the mission can never be so simple, and there were a few other changes as well. 3 more Elders are coming to Alcazar and we are splitting the area for a few weeks. I'll be with Elder Pallas (I don't know if I ever mentioned him, but he was in my district in Sevilla for a while and we did splits and drank root beer together once). And, in 3 weeks, I'm going to the mission office in Fuengirola to be the mission secretary. Ah! Elder Rodriguez has always said I have the hair of a mission secretary...whatever that means. But I guess he is right! Anyway, looks like I'm going to have a busy couple of months ahead of me. The Zone of La Mancha is getting changed so I will have a 3 week break from being zone leader, which will be nice...the calm before the storm! Haha.

On Friday morning we took our final road trip to Cáceres. It was raining almost the whole time which was a bit miserable, but it has hardly rained all summer so it was needed. We had good splits despite the moisture and came back on Saturday. On Sunday we had 5 investigators in church which is a lot here in Alcázar and we were super happy to have them all there. We are hoping that the 3 girls we are teaching will be ready to be baptized before I leave!

We're in Ciudad Real right now doing a district PDay and everyone else is wrapping up so I guess that means I should too. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He loves us! That is the most important thing we can ever know and the most important thing we can ever work for. I'm so grateful for him!

Love you!

Elder Mockler



September 17, 2012

I'm a foreigner.


Happy Monday!

Another week come and gone. I keep telling Élder Rodríguez that I think we skipped a few days last week. I'm a little worried that today is actually Saturday because there is no way 7 days have happened since the last time we were here. Anyway, for once we had week that was more or less normal. We did splits with Valdepeñas on Thursday evening and switched back on Friday, but besides that we were just here in Alcázar doing to good ol' missionary thing. Which is good because this week we have to go to Málaga on Tuesday and Sevilla on Friday because Elder Richards of the Area Presidency is coming to visit us. Yay travel!! We are way excited

On Friday morning I had to go to Ciudad Real to present my passport and give copies of every page for my residency renewal. We figured if we left here really early to get there at 9 when it opened, we wouldn't have to wait too long and we could get on with our lives. Turns out we weren't the only ones who thought that because when we arrived at 8:50 there were already about 50 people standing around and when the lady got there to start handing out numbers (because handing them out as people come in would be way too hard) it was an all out mob to grab a number from her. We were lucky and got 21 and only had to wait about 2 and a half hours to get called. The best part of it all was that when I went in the lady looked at the copies, looked at the passport, and said we were all good. I think the whole thing took about 45 seconds. Doesn't residency sound awesome? Haha.

The Columbian family we are teaching is doing awesome! The three girls have baptismal dates in October and really love church. They are fun to teach and are totally awesome investigators. We have another investigator names Regalado who is doing really, really well right now, too. He has read the entire Book of Mormon and is starting Doctrine and Covenants now. He was an extremely successful lawyer in his 30s and is now retired at the age of 45. He is funny because he hates money but he earns a ton of it without wanting to, haha. He has a few court cases he has to do at the end of the month so he told us that he wouldn't have as much time to read...only about an hour or 2 a day. We're always amazed by him...like when he says "Sorry guys, I haven't read much...only 5 sections in D&C." It is like a missionary dream! haha.

I know the church is true! Christ has prepared the way to true happiness for us. The temple is where we can be sealed together as eternal families. I am so thankful to be a missionary and to share those things with everyone I possibly can!!

Have an awesome week!

Elder Mockler

September 10, 2012

Lots of travelling and a family of...how many?!


Hi!

And another week gone in Alcázar. It seriously does not feel like it could be Monday already...I feel like I was just here writing. We travelled a bunch again on Tuesday and Wednesday to go to zone concilio. We had a great meeting (as always) and plenty of fun as well. President Deere made us hamburgers that were real hamburger size and Elder Rodríguez could not believe that they would have been normal in the US. Having a native companion is so fun, haha. Hna. Deere also made us an incredible key-lime-pie-ice-cream-pie-cake thing and it made me think of Dad. Key Lime is the bomb!

On Monday evening we headed out to a pueblo we had never been to before called Miguel Esteban to contact a future we met here in Alcázar about a month ago. We got a little lost trying to find their house but felt pretty famous because EVERYONE in town stared at us as we walked around. We could see lots of people reading our nametags under their breaths and changing their dinner conversations in the bars, haha. Finally we got to the house, went up the stairs....and realize we didn't have the door number. Oh no! But it was ok because within about 30 seconds we heard a little boy yell, "they're here!" and open the door. We went in and there were 5 or 6 people there with their mom, Miriam, who we had met here. They told us to wait because more people were coming. And they came, alright. Pretty soon there were 8, and then 10, and then 14. 14 people!! We didn't know what to do! We had only brought 2 Book of Mormons! We introduced ourselves and taught one of the most unique lessons I've ever had in my mission. On Thursday we went back with 12 more books (thank goodness we have a car!) and tonight we will see them again. We're excited!

Well, it is time to go. I'm so grateful to be here as a missionary. I love being able to show people the path they must take to make covenants with God and one day obtain eternal life. I know the temple is the House of the Lord on Earth and that the blessings of the temple are far beyond any other thing we can strive to obtain. I'm grateful that we have living prophets and apostles to guide us and I know they are inspired to lead us in this time.

Have an awesome week!

Elder Mockler

The following pictures come from the Spain Málaga mission blog which can be found at http://thespainmalagamission.blogspot.com/






September 3, 2012

Hello September!


Happy September!!

We had a very busy but very awesome week this week. I don't even know if I can remember everything that has happened...I don't know how so many things fit into so little time!

Anyway, last Tuesday we met up early in the morning with Elder Mora and Elder Berrett so that Elder Mora could do Pedro's baptismal interview. Everything went great with the interview and while we were in the park talking to him, a lady called out to us. Whenever someone shouts out "Elder!" we get pretty excited, haha. Turns out she was a member and was baptized years ago in Columbia. We haven't had a chance to see her yet but this week we are going to go talk to her and her family. After coming back from the interview with Pedro (he lives pretty far away), we ate lunch and headed to zone conference in Malaga.

Zone conference was pretty normal. We went down on Tuesday, stayed the night with the zone leaders, had the conference on Wednesday and stayed in Puertollano that night, and then got back here Thursday morning. If you can't tell already, we have traveled A LOT this week! In Malaga we got a box of dunkin donuts which was pretty awesome. Normal Spanish donuts aren't the same at all. Anyway, we got back here to Alcazar, got ready, did the last few things for Pedro's baptism, and ran to 2 lessons we had planned.

On Friday, we woke up early and went down to the chapel (thank goodness it is right underneath our piso!) and started filling the font. While it filled we picked up Pedro (more driving) and a member and got to the church just in time to find our investigators who came (Margarita and her family) and start the service. Since it was a Friday morning, not a lot of people could come, which means yours truly got to play piano! That was pretty different....and by some miracle I didn't ruin the hymns too bad! haha. Everything went great with the baptism and it was a really spiritual service. I attached a picture of us right before it started.

After the baptism we ran around cleaning everything up and dropped Pedro off (more driving). We had just enough time to go see a recent convert family in a pueblo (more driving). It was an amazingly tiring and amazingly amazing day! The weekend was more normal than the rest of the week, thankfully. Tomorrow we head back to Malaga for Zone Leader Concilio (have we travelled enough?) and we'll get back Wednesday night. I am so thankful for all of the experiences I am having as a missionary. It is awesome to be here and do all the things we get to do. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and that those prayers gain even more power when combined with fasting. He knows the best for us and if we'll just ask it will be given to us!

Love you so much!!

Elder Mockler


August 27, 2012

I never know what to put as the subject of these letters.


Hello!

Well another solid week in Alcázar. Pretty relaxed for Elder Rodriguez and I as far as things outside of missionary work. That is probably the best part about not getting transferred...it saves you a week of stress. It is still pretty stinkin hot here but it is getting colder and colder at night which is a good sign. By the time I leave here I'll probably be running around with my winter coat on. Gotta enjoy the heat while it lasts.

We've been searching a lot for new investigators and had a lot of success this week with contacting. Tons of our appointments fell through, but that is pretty normal with new people. We found a great new family of 4 from Columbia that we are especially excited about! Pedro is still doing great and is excited for his baptism on Friday (and so are we!). Overall it was an awesome week with TONS of walking. Elder Rodriguez and I are always exhausted. We always talk about how old we're getting (in the mission, that is). It is scary. Today makes 1 year and 4 months since I entered the MTC. We only have 8 left. It is great motivation to leave the piso everyday and give it everything we have.

We're seeing all kinds of miracles in the mission. On Saturday the Sisters in our zone found a great new investigator and invited him to be baptized on the 8th of September. When he went to church on Sunday he kept asking them if it could be any earlier than that. They told him "Well, tomorrow?" and he accepted! So yesterday we ran a bit with the district leader to get everything ready for them and they are holding the baptismal service right now. Incredible! We are seeing incredible success in the mission and the Lord is blessing us a ton. I'm so happy to be part of this great work! I'm so grateful for the Gospel in my life that brings me such great joy and hope. I know that Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.

Have an awesome week!

Elder Mockler

August 20, 2012

What Mockler REALLY means...


HELLO!

Well, we had quite the exciting week this week! Hopefully this weeks email will make up for a few of the terrible boring ones I've sent before, haha. But don't get your hopes up too high. The weekly weather report is that it is HOT again. Real hot. But that's ok....it just makes missionary work more fun! Also, another 6 weeks have come and gone and this week is the start of a new transfer. And what's the big news this time? Well.....nothing. Elder Rodríguez and I are going to stay here 1 more together! This will be my first time staying 3 transfers with one companion. We're excited! Unless anything really crazy happens we'll be together until the beginning on October and I'll be here until the middle of November. Cool. Elder Berrett is also coming to our district which will be awesome...I'm excited to see him again!

On Friday we ate Kebab (In Amigo Kebab....amigooooo) to celebrate the start of our 3rd transfer and while a man from Pakistan was fixing our food, Elder Rodríguez said, "Hey, Mockler, do you want everything on yours?" The guy working stopped and said, "Wait, your name is Mockler? That is a word in my language. It means...big...hole. Or big gap." Hahaha! Elder Rodriguez always tells me my name is weird and now he has even more ammo, haha. The guy working wrote "Mockler" in his language for me and wrote the name of his language, too, but I left the paper in the piso. Big hole it is, I guess.

I had my first interesting food adventure in quite a while this week! We ate with some recent converts (we hardly ever eat with members here) and they served us fish and rice with peanut sauce. It was awesome! When they served the fish, they served it whole, with the head and all, which is pretty normal here. At the end I asked if I should eat any part of the head and they said I could if I want but that it is kinda hard with the bones. And then they said that the eye is really great. I don't know what has happened to me, but as soon as they said that I went right for it thinking "well, I've never eaten fish eyes..." It ended up being pretty good! The texture is a bit like the yolk of a hardboiled egg. Weird. Anyway, we can cross that one off the list now.

This week we saw an awesome miracle. As a mission, we have the goal to have 70+ baptisms this month of August. Elder Rodríguez and I had a few investigators that we thought would maybe be ready this month, but most of them have gone on vacation or kind of fallen off track. So we have prayed that we could find someone who would be ready to be baptized. On Thursday we contacted a man named Pedro who is from Cuba. He was a reference from the missionaries in Madrid and when we met with him he told us he has already heard all the missionary lessons, he has been to church many times and visited the temple there in Madrid, and that he has read half of the Book of Mormon. We invited him to be baptized on the 31st and he said, "I was hoping I would be able to be baptized this month, so that day is perfect for me!" We are super excited for him!! So it looks like next week we'll be having a baptism..super awesome! God answers prayers, helps us with our goals, and will do whatever it takes to bless all of His children. When we ask according to His will, He will always bless us!

Love you so much!!

Elder Big Hole Mockler

August 13, 2012

HOT HOT HOT!


¡Qué Caló!

Well, we've had some interesting weather. It was hot this week. Really, really hot. On Friday the car told us it was 48ºC outside. I'm just glad I'm so far North and not still in Sevilla or Almeria where it gets much hotter. Since it is so dry there was tons of dust in the air as well and Elder Rodríguez and I even got stuck in a dust storm one day this week. One day we walked out of a building and it was like being in a zombie movie...the streets deserted and the air all creepily dusty. It was fun, haha. Anyway, today it has gone back to almost being chilly and we're really excited about that. Really, really excited.

We have been blessed again this week to be able to find lots of new people to teach. All of our other investigators have stopped progressing so we spent a lot of hot says searching for new people. And we found plenty! We're excited. It is amazing how in a town so small like Alcázar there are always people to find and teach, even after more than 20 years of missionaries passing through here. As Joseph Smith said, The standard of truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand will stop this work. I'm so grateful to be a missionary!

Love you all SO much!!!

Elder Mockler

August 7, 2012

Another Málaga Monday!


Heello!

Well, we had another Monday in Málaga this week for Zone Leader Council, so we're finally back in Alcázar and doing email on Tuesday. It is always awesome to go to Málaga to be with other missionaries, plan how to be better, and get a little 'recharge'! Hermana Deere made us the most amazing burritos ever and that alone made the trip worth it! Haha. As always we took the bullet train there and back so the travel went pretty fast. No matter how great the conferences are, though, it is even better to get back to our areas and back to work!

We've been seeing a lot of miracles in La Mancha lately. The La Mancha zone has always been infamous for being harder than the rest, for teaching and baptizing less than the other zones, but this week we saw that rumor totally turned on its head! Elder Rodríguez and I are especially happy to have found tons of new investigators this week. The just come at us from everywhere! It seems like everywhere we go we find someone who is willing to talk to us. We found a new guy named Paco this week who is really great. He is from Sevilla and reminds me a lot of Jesús. He has a 4 year old son.  He came to church on Sunday and we're hoping to see him keep progressing.

In Zone Leader Council we talked a lot about 'The Rescue', which is a new program we are going to start to help us find less active members, help them find their testimonies again, and help them and their families make it to the goal of being sealed in the temple. We read  John 15 which Hermana Deere described as "a chapter about lost things." I loved reading them but was particularly touched by the most famous of the parables, that of the prodigal son:

11 ¶And he said, A certain man had two sons:

 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

 14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

 15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

 17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more aworthy to be called thybson.

 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

There are lots of things packed into this story, but I just want to point out some of my favorites in the little time I have left. First and foremost, like the citizen in the strange country, the world can only offer us the husks of the swine. Our Father, however, is willing to take us back - to fall upon us and give us again the best robe, the ring on the hand, and the shoes on our feet. He is waiting and watching for us and will run to us and lift us up as we begin the long road back home. Our Father in Heaven longs for us to return to his house and our souls long for the same (Alma 36:22). Although we are lost and spiritually dead, Jesus Christ has broken the bands of death. He will leave the 99 to find the 1 and carry us upon his shoulders back to the fold. He will light the lamp and sweep the house to find us. And when we come, there is much rejoicing in heaven and on Earth. I'm so grateful for the Gospel. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to be able to help Heavenly Father in the great task of bringing eternal life and immortality to all men. God loves us and the path He has shown us may be hard, but it is the only one worth anything.

Have an AWESOME week!! I love you all SO much!!

Elder Mockler

Here is a photo of Andy at zone leader conference at the mission home in Málaga.  This photo comes from the mission blog at http://thespainmalagamission.blogspot.com/


July 30, 2012

To Extremadura!!


Hey!!

Well, we had another great week. The biggest news would be that we had another successful road trip to Cáceres this week! The drive is really pretty and we pass tons of castles on the way which is really neat. We got there on Friday morning and worked all day with the Elder Gomes and Elder Blanch. Elder Gomes is from Brazil and has been on his mission about a month now. It is pretty crazy being with someone so 'young' in the mission! haha. On Saturday we had Specialized training with Cáceres and Badajoz (and president and the APs) and then came back here and got back just in time to go to bed!! It is always fun to do splits and to travel, but even better to get home and get back to work as usual.

On Monday we found an awesome new family that we contacted on Dia de Diamante. Two of them have baptismal dates already and we're really excited to be teaching them. One of them went to church a lot in Ecuador years ago and saw her Grandma's baptism and is really happy to be meeting with us. The only problem is that they work ALL the time so it is really hard to meet with them. Here in Spain either you work way too much and don't get paid hardly anything or you are unemployed and can't find work. It is rare to find someone with a normal job. I heard this week that unemployment has hit 25% this week here...the 'crisis', as they call it, is pretty bad. We know the gospel can help us with any problem, though, and that even though living gospel principles doesn't make money magically fall from the sky, it does help us with our everyday problems. I'm so glad I can be a missionary and help others. The Gospel is real and true! I know Jesus Christ is our Savior, that he loves us, and that our Heavenly Father is actively involved in our lives.

I hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Mockler

July 23, 2012

Another Week from La Mancha


Jopeeé

Hey! Another great week here in Alcázar. Not too much new so this will be a really short email. Last Thursday morning we went and did a few baptismal interviews in Valdepeñas. We had specialized training on Friday in Ciudad Real and as always it was great to see the APs and president and get together as a district for a couple of hours. We had interviews as well which was a good chance to get to know President Deere better. The change is done but it still takes some time for all of us to adjust and get to know President Deere. Aside from specialized training and the interview we had a fairly normal week (hooray!!!) of finding and teaching which was refreshing, haha. This week that is all going to end because we have to go to Cáceres (road trip!!!) on Friday and be in their specialized training on Saturday. Woohoo!

Spain's EFY is this week so we have been talking to all of the youth here and getting them excited for it. It reminded me a lot of my years at EFY...they were so awesome! I'm so glad I went to EFY because it really laid a good foundation for me. I'm grateful for the church and that through an earthly organization God can guide His servants to help others arrive in His presence again one day. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to be able to meet, help, and love SO many great people! The church is true! The Book of Mormon is as well and brings the Spirit more fully into our lives than any other book. And most importantly, I know Christ is our Savior and that He can heal any of our spiritual wounds.

Love you!!

Elder Mockler

Here is a patriotic picture of Andy and some other missionaries taken on the fourth of July.  It is from the mission blog at http://thespainmalagamission.blogspot.com/


July 16, 2012

Diamond Day II

Hello! Well, this week's email will be really short. Sorry! We had a great week here and found a lot of new investigators which is always great. We have been blessed a lot the last few week to be finding new people EVERYWHERE! Speaking of finding, we had our Día de Diamante II on Friday and it went GREAT! We really wore ourselves out and basically crawled into the piso at night. We seriously could hardly walk anymore from being out and about running around talking to people all day. We had a lot of fun and even more success so we are really happy with how everything went.

We are teaching a man named Regalado who is really awesome but going through a lot of hard times right now. He is going through some really difficult family problems and is slightly depressive. The other night we went and visited him and watched 'Finding Faith in Christ' which is a really great movie the church made about Christ that shows parts of his life and many of the miracles in the Bible (see below). It was a really great lesson and we felt the Spirit a lot. I know Christ can take away our burdens and make them light. He will carry us through our hardest times if we let him.

Well, that is about it for today. Spain is awesome!! I hope everything is great in the USA as well! Love you!!

 Elder Mockler

You can watch the video Andy talks about here:

Finding Faith In Christ


July 9, 2012

Helllllloooooooo!!!!


¡Hola!

Well, once again I'm not writing from Alcázar. We're in Ciudad Real right now doing a District P-Day. Luckily, though, we will be back in a few hours this time instead of staying out of our area a few more days! Haha.

So you know, Hermana Deere started a new blog for the mission. The address is http://thespainmalagamission.blogspot.com/  
so go there from now on to see pictures instead of the old one.

Well, last week was definitely AWESOME! Staying in Málaga was a blast and we worked super hard with Elder Thomas and Elder Triana until we had zone conference and headed back home on Friday. Once we got back to our area we ran around trying to do an entire week's work in 2 and a half days...things were a bit crazy but there isn't anything more fun than working your tail off! We had a lot of plans made for Friday and Saturday, but in the end EVERY SINGLE ONE fell through! It was alright though...we kept working and the Lord put a lot of new people in our paths. We were able to find many new investigators this week and in the end we were able to move things around to meet with our current investigators as well. The Lord knows how he wants his work done! We just have to be there and willing to accept his will.

I learned a lot about boldness this week. God isn't someone who does things half way or who is afraid to tell us like it is. That is the kind of missionaries we have to be! No man can enter into the kingdom of God unless he has been baptized my immersion for the remission of sins by the proper authority...and I'm here to help people take that step! I am so thankful for the happiness God gives us when we live his Gospel. The things of the world and our natural desires like laziness may seem appealing in the moment but they are never worth it in the end.

This week on Friday we are having another Dia de Diamante! We will be spending the ENTIRE day contacting and finding new people to teach. I am SO excited!!! Please be praying for us that we can find those who are ready to accept the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. They need all of us to help them find the truth!

I Love you SO much!!!

Elder Mockler

This is a photo taken from the mission blog at http://thespainmalagamission.blogspot.com


July 3, 2012

¡Viva España!.....¡¡¡¡¡God Bless America!!!!!


Holaaaa...buenaaaa

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! I may not be in America but I will not forget to celebrate the independence of our great nation this week! America isn't the only country pulsing with national pride this week, though. Spain won the Eurocopa! Everyone was going insane on Sunday night when Spain beat Italy in the final. It is the first time a team has ever won 3 titles in a row (eurocup, world cup, eurocup), so it was pretty historic. The only time you see Spanish flags out is for Fútbol....and there sure were a lot of Spanish flags out last weekend!

So right now I'm writing from Málaga. Yesterday we had a Zone Leader Council in Fuengirola with President Deere, our new mission President. It was so awesome!! He is great and we are going to have lots of success with him, just like we did with President Clegg. We had a really, really amazing concilio and now we're all excited to go WORK! Unfortunately, serving in La Mancha sometimes has unique challenges. We have Zone Conference on Thursday here in Málaga, and to not go all the way back just to turn around and get back on the train, we are staying here in Málaga for a few days. Sooo we won't be back in Alcázar until Friday. Ah! That is alright, though, we'll have a great time here in Málaga and get back to working extra hard in our area in a few days.

We travel A LOT! Last week we went on Splits with Cáceres, and area in Extremadura. We drove the car there...4 hours!! It was fun to have a little ¨road trip¨ haha. It was cool to get to see part of Spain I had never seen before. And all along the way there were TONS of castles up on the hills above little pueblos. We had great splits there and headed back home the next day. We also got to go through Toledo (which is part of the Madrid mission) to get there because there isn't really any other (reasonable) way to get from our area to Cácares. So that was neat.

I love the Book of Mormon. I have been studying it a lot lately and seeing the blessing it is in my life. The Gospel is real. Saying it isn't is terribly ignorant. Those who follow God's commandments and listen to his voice can come to know Him. There are miracles happening in Spain everyday and I know that those same miracles are happening all over the world as the Gosepl of Jesus Christ continues to touch the lives of God's children. I'm so grateful He has shown me the path to eternal life and that through the mercy, merits, and grace of his Son we can achieve the high standard our Father expects of us. We are worth so much more than we understand.

I love you!!!
Elder Mockler

Here is a great photo from the mission blog (http://spainmalagamission.blogspot.com/) showing all of the zone leaders with President Clegg.  Andy is third from the left.




June 25, 2012

La Mancha's best week OF ALL TIME


Oye qué pasaa!

Well, this week the La Mancha zone had the best week it has ever had. But really! It was quite the incredible week here. One of our areas set 13 baptismal dates this week and overall we found more than 500 future investigators. Here in Alcázar he had an awesome week as well. We did splits with the APs and with the district leader in Puertollano and we were SUPER busy, but those are always the best weeks as a missionary! We saw a lot of miracles and we're super excited right now!! This week we get to drive to Cáceres which is about 5 hours away from here so that will be a fun little ROAD TRIP on Wednesday and Thursday. We are trying to work as hard as we can before we lose a few days next week in Málaga.

I'm attaching photos from various adventures over the last month. One of us (Me, Elder Barahona, Elder Nuñez, and Hna. Moreno) eating at Taco Bell in Málaga, our glorious Maple Syrup victory with our homemade syrup cleverly disguised in an Aunt Jemima bottle, a famous La Mancha windmill (Molino), and me looking out over La Mancha.

While I was on splits with the APs I had an awesome conversation with Elder Hall about the Atonement. We talked about how we don't understand how one man's suffering could pay the price for all our mistakes and shortcomings, but that we know it is true. We talked about what we must have felt as we reverently looked down on our older brother suffering to save us.And about the profound joy and gratitude we had to have felt when He said "It is finished" and completed the Atonement. In that moment, we knew we would be able to make it. I imagine that then we all told ourselves we would never sin, that I could never make Christ suffer like that because of ME. We still make mistakes everyday but His love is infinite and can reach us even in the darkest abyss. I read Mosiah 26 and 27 this week which talk a lot about repentance as well. The Lord is always, ALWAYS, willing to forgive us, no matter how long the road to repentance is.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary, especially in the Spain Málaga mission!! I love you all!!

Elder Mockler








June 18, 2012

Another crazy week traveling Spain...


¡Hola!

Well, we had a really crazy week this week! A crazy but good week. On Wednesday we went down to Málaga for President Clegg's final Zone Conference which was pretty sad but we had a good time and it was great to see them one last time. It'll be weird to switch presidents but that's just the way it is and I'm excited to meet President Deere!

We went to Málagaon Wednesday in the AVE and stayed the night in a piso with 8 Elders! It was crazy..the piso was PACKED! But it was a lot of fun as well. We came back in the train on Thursday night, stayed over in Puertollano, and then I came back here to Alcázar with Elder Nuñez to do splits. While we were out contacting we passed a gas station and a beer truck started pulling out....without closing the back doors!! So a ton of bottles fell out and shattered all over the place. The truck driver got out, looked at the mess, climbed into the truck and drove off. So we ran over and started sweeping it up until the city cleaners got there to help us. In the process we got to share the Gospel with a police officer, a garbage man, and 2 gas station attendants. And got to step in a whole lot of beer, haha. In the end we got it all cleaned up and headed off (and I think the gas station ladies fell in love with us...uh oh). Saturday morning I drove to Valdepeñas to pick up Elder Rodriguez and we finally got back to normal on Saturday afternoon. It all felt like a whirlwind! Whoo!

Well, that is all for this week. I love you all SO much! The Gospel is true and answers all the questions we have...we just have to look for them. It isn't easy to do what God requires but it is worth it and is is necessary. I'm so thankful for the Gospel and for the Spirit that we can feel when we live it!

Elder Mockler

Zone conference (picture from the mission blog http://spainmalagamission.blogspot.com/)

June 11, 2012

Conquering Spain


Hello!

First and foremost, CONGRATS OWEN!! I'm so excited for you!!! Mom sent me a few picture of Emma and I hope you can send some more this week!!! :)

Well, this morning I had great triumph. Missionaries have lived in our apartment for a long, long time so there are many strange treasures to be found. The other day I found artificial maple flavoring and today Elder Rodriguez and I made....get ready for it....drumroll.....maple syrup!! That may not sound so exciting to those who live in a land where syrup flows like the waters of the Great Mississippi, but here in Spain it was quite a triumph. Syrup is incredibly expensive here and we made it for FREE!! (not to mention our bottle of flavoring serves for 24 liters.....woah.)

A little news from Aljarafe...Jesús and Angeles should be getting baptized next week! Wow! I'm super excited for them!! I wish I could be there but such is the mission...hopefully there will be pictures on the blog soon!

We had another crazy week. I don't think I'll really have a normal week as long as I'm up here in La Mancha. We had a new missionary in one of our areas decide to go home so we spent a lot of the week talking with him and with President trying to figure out what to do. It was really, really sad to see him make the decision to go after just a week or so. He is from Chile and just felt too homesick to stay. It made me realize how much the last 13 months or so have changed me and how awesome my mission is. And how excited I am for the time that is left!! It also made me think a lot about how God feels when we make poor decisions and don't follow the counsels he gives us through scripture and prophets. He knows what Eternal Life is like and is sad when we make choices that take us farther away from that goal. He knows how to arrive there because he has acheived it and has done everything he can to give all his children the chance to make it as well. I know He loves us perfectly and that he is always just waiting for us to make the decisions that allow Him to give us amazing blessings.

I think that is all for this week! We're going back to Málaga on Wednesday and don't get back until Friday morning so we have another busy week with lots of travel ahead of us. I love Spain!!

Have a great week!

Elder Mockler

June 5, 2012

La Manchita


¡Oye!

Well, I officially live in Castilla-La Mancha now! Yayy! It's the greatest place ever! We drive here and the drive between our pueblos reminds me a lot of Indiana. Pretty flat and lots of wheat. We live in a pueblo called Alcázar de San Juan that I think has about 40,000 people. My companion is named Elder Rodriguez and he is from Madrid but his mom is Colombian so he is half South American. He speaks English pretty well but doesn't like to so it is 100% Spanish all the time betwen us which has been pretty darn neat! It makes for some pretty hilarious situations sometimes too.

Well, we have a crazy month ahead of us! We just got back today from Zone Leader Concilio in Fuengirola and we get to go back to Malaga next week for zone conference. Then when President Clegg leaves and Pres. Deere gets here at the end of the month we go back twice agin for concilio and zone conference. Lots of trips on the AVE (the high speed train)! We're super excited for everything that is coming up but we'll definitely stay plenty busy!

The branch is pretty small here...between 15 and 20 people in church every week, so it reminds me a lot of Huércal-Overa. I definitely miss having a mature ward like in Aljarafe but small branches are awesome as well. Just last week 5 people were baptized here so we are hoping to find lots of new people and keep seeing great things. I love being a missionary! The church is true! Following Christ's teachings is the way to fulfilment now and in the eternities. We are so blessed to have prophets and apostles and scriptures today to guide us to Him!

I Love you so much!!

Elder Mockler

May 28, 2012

Transfer time...


Hello!

I tried Gazpacho for the first time this week. Definitely not my favorite food but it isn't too bad either. It is huge in the summer here, so I might have to acquire a taste for it fast...

Well, another transfer has come and gone and last Thursday Elder Berrett and I unexpectedly got a call. We both thought I would be staying here 1 more transfer but it turns out I'm going up to La Mancha to be the Zone Leader there. I'm pretty sad to be leaving here but excited to go North and get a new start! I'll be living in Alcázar de San Juan. I'll send my new address next week. I had to teach Elder Berrett to drive a stick this week which was pretty exciting, haha. He definitely caught on a lot faster than I did!!

On Friday we had the most awesome ward activity ever! It was the ward's annual 'fiesta de las patatas' and we went out to our Bishop's farm to fry potatos and eggs and have a grand old time. We played soccer for a while with the ward and then just kinda hung out while we waited for the oil to heat up. We had a lot of investigators there and tons of members invited their friends. In all there were about 75 people there which was a huge success. We had to leave around 9:45 so we were the first to eat...the activity didn't end until 1 or 1:30 in the morning. That's Spain for ya...they like the party.

Well, that is about it for today! Spain is awesome! I'm so grateful to be here and for all tht the Lord is teaching me. I am growing so much and am excited for a whole year more of learning, growing and serving!! I hope you all have a great week!

Love you!!

Elder Mockler

May 21, 2012

Guess what's in my stomach right now!

¡Feliz Lunes!

Today has been quite an exciting day. Yesterday our Bishop asked us if we would go help him pick potatoes in his field this morning. So, we went! It was awesome! We harvested around 500 kilos of potatoes in one morning...not bad. And after he invited us over for lunch and we cut up a few and made french fries with fresh eggs right there on the spot! Spanish fries are a little different - they make them much oily-er and then you fry and egg and break the yolk over top of them. It might sound weird, but it is delicious. AND, to repay us for our work, they had gotten us a surprise....﹛CARACOLES!! Yes, that does mean snails. And the verdict is....I actually REALLY like them. It is a little weird biting their little snaily hard the first time, but after that you get over it and they are delicious. So, along with some fresh squeezed orange juice and dulce de leche ice cream, we had a pretty incredible lunch.

Jesús and Angeles are still doing awesome. Jesús came to church yesterday in a white shirt and tie...just like us! Haha it was awesome. On Tuesday we met with them and he said he felt like his prayers weren't being answered really. So we talked a little bit about keeping the commandments and promised him that if he would read, pray, and stop smoking that God would give him a job. As we were leaving we told him to call us if anything happened. After the lesson Elder Berrett and I started a fast. When we ended it on Wednesday we still hadn't heard anything. I was pretty nervous! But when we got to their house on Thursday he invited us in and the following conversation ensued:

"Hey, come in, I'm just getting home and eating."
"Just getting home? from where?"
"Oh, you know, just been working today..."
"What?? Working?!"
"Yeah, you know, no big deal..."

He was trying to play it off like nothing had even happened haha but we were all so excited! He is SO excited to be reading the scriptures now and they love coming to church. I know that God answers our prayers! We have to do what he asks of us and be humble enough to accept what he gives to us. But no prayer is ever left unanswered!

Have a great week!

Elder Mockler

The following photographs show Andy attending a zone conference and are taken from the Spain Málaga mission blog at




May 14, 2012

¡Jo...qué caló!

¡¡Bueeennooooossss Dias!!

Well it is really hot here now. And it will stay hot. Luckily we have Air Conditioning this year. I love Air Conditioning.

I may have already mentioned it but I'm not sure, so sorry if this is a repeat. Hernan Cortez's house is in our area! We actually contact right in front of it a lot. It is a school or something like that now but they have kept all of the cannons on the roof and there is a sign outside honoring the 'gran hombre' who conquered the Americas. Just the kind of thing you walk past in Spain that's not so common in the US.

Church was awesome yesterday! Jesus and Angeles came and brought their kids and they loved it. It is always so stressful having investigators at church the first time, especially when it is a family, because you want everything to go just right. And even though crazy things always happen, they always enjoy it in the end because they can feel the Spirit there.

Well, there isn't a whole lot to say this week since we had mother's day calls yesterday. The church is true! Read the Book of Mormon...it is the word of God, just like the Bible. Together they teach us the path back to our Heavenly Father.

I love you!!!

Elder Mockler