Mom,It's great to be back! I really know even more now than before, when I was sent home and released, how much power is given to us as set apart missionaries. I knew when I was leaving the mission that I wanted to come back, and I knew when I was at home that I wanted to come back, but I needed really understand how much I missed it until I got back. Walking through the airport towards the baggage claim and seeing President and Sister Jones, Elder Cottle and Elder Lyons all waiting for me smiling, I felt so glad and excited to be back. The next thing that happened after I said "Hi" to them, one of the people I taught in Manitowoc stopped me and was really excited to see me. She told me she had moved and so I got her information so that the missionaries could start visiting her again. She was she to update me on her progress with quitting smoking.
I was able to go over to the Du Charme's and eat a late lunch and pick up my stuff. It was great to see them, and I'm glad they were able to tell you where I am now and who I'm with! It's awesome to be back with Elder Lester! He's even more of a powerhouse than he was before. But yeah, so after that I went and spent the rest of the evening teaching with the assistants and we stayed at the mission home. Wednesday was conveniently transfer day. (I thought it wasn't for a couple weeks, but I guess the mission wanted the departing missionaries to be home for Christmas).
So I knew ice would be something to be careful with, and I wore my brace, but I still ended up slipping right before leaving Milwaukee and landing right on my knee... nothing a brace can do about that. The whole church parking lot was frozen over with ice, so it dangerous for anyone, and my weak knee made me even more vulnerable. I was really worried throughout my trip because I was in a lot of pain, and I was having similar symptoms that I had when it was torn. The next day was even worse, at one point, my knee even felt like it was locking up. We stopped by a store, and I got some things to put on my shoes to prevent me from slipping again. Anyway, I was starting to feel like I might be turning around and heading back home again, but after a blessing from Elder Lester, I'm doing much better. I am only telling you this so that you will pray for my knee to be healed without me having to go back home.
The work is going well here! Right now we are living with the Hmong elders, so there are 4 of us in a cozy little apartment. They have like 10 people preparing for baptism, so they are working really well. We have a few people we are working with right now: Andra, Mike, and Gloria. Most of the work has been with less-active members recently though. Andra has a baptism date for the first week in January, and we almost set one with Gloria in an amazingly spiritual lesson we had with her this morning. It was funny, she started the lesson by saying that she "knew" she didn't need anything except the Bible and that she would never be a member of our church, but by the end she was considering baptism and saying, "Aw man, I never saw myself as a Mormon." She's had a lot of problems in her life, but she's also been incredibly blessed with so many gifts and so much faith and sincerity.
I would love some oranges! Merry Christmas! I will plan on calling around 2:00 pm our time.
Love, Elder Vogan