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 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

Concilio December 4, 2012 

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

December 1, 2012


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