Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Mon, 18 Jul 2011


You sure are right about having all sorts of emotions. No tears, but it feels like something is swimming around in my stomach. I know what to expect, but I anticipate it will be a much happier experience than last time I came home.. haha. And to let you know, the past 6 weeks of journaling have been my best by far. So I'll always remember the miracles and struggles of a missionary in his final transfer. I think it has helped my focus knowing I'd be accounting for each day, and I committed to be completely honest in writing exactly what's going on. It will be so nice to be able to keep in touch with anyone I want to out here. Missionaries are a little tougher to keep in touch with though. But yeah, I feel bad for Dad and the missionaries of his generation. I can't imagine how it would be to leave the mission without being able to say, "Cool, I'll talk to you later. You can add me on Facebook." haha. It's awesome to hear that Girls Camp went great! And I can't wait to see my cute little one year-old Charli when I get home!

This past week went well! We had dinner with that new investigator Dean and his roommate Josh on Wednesday, and that was awesome! They made us a nice steak dinner. As we spoke of the Gospel, the Spirit was very strong. When Elder Wonnacott shared the story of Joseph Smith from the sincerity of his own testimony, they both acknowledged the intensity of the Spirit at that point and they knew it was true. Josh said, "Wow, good job at that part!" Elder Wonnacott said, "It's not me making you feel that way." And Josh said, "I know, I'm talking to the Spirit." Haha, so funny and cool. Even though Dean has acknowledged the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of the testimony of Joseph Smith, his anti-organized religion and born again Christian ideas that he holds onto so strongly prevented him from keeping any more commitments than to read and pray. That night though, he gained a stronger witness initially than many of the people whom I taught and helped prepare to be baptized. Josh on the other hand loved everything, and almost seemed like he was dragging us to the font. But then he didn't show up at church or answer our calls yesterday.. hmm, we'll be stopping by tonight to see what's up.

We also met a new investigator on Saturday who actually does have a baptism date now! His name is Allen. He was living in California where one of his friends was a strong member of the church. He continually invited Allen to attend church and church activities, but he always declined. He finally said, "You know what, I'm heading out to Wisconsin for work where I won't know anyone. When I'm out there, if I see any of your missionaries around, I'll holler." Well, shortly after he arrived, he hopped on a bus, and there, out of probably 200,000 people who live in the Green Bay area (that may be a high estimate), were the Hmong elders right by the door of the bus. He didn't want to be a liar, so he talked to them. They gave him a card with our phone number on it. After spending a little while on the website, he gave us a call and we met with him that night. The lesson wasn't standard by any means, but was exactly what he needed. We set a goal with him to be baptized on Aug 13th, and he is very excited for that. He came to church yesterday and loved it. He was very open and excited to participate. So yeah, never underestimate the power in inviting your friends to church and activities! And don't give up after one try either!

So yeah, it's been good. The next couple days are packed with all the little things that come with leaving your area and transfer week, but I'll continue to be a full-time servant to the end.

My mission has been the time of my life! It has been the "adventure" that I expected, but also in many ways I hadn't expected. I know that the adventure won't end on Thursday when I am home, but it will just change locations. I have become such a better person as I've had this time to get outside myself and feel the Spirit's influence in such a huge degree helping me make corrections and become better, all so that I can be better as a servant of Jesus Christ in helping others to receive what will make them most happy in this life. I have an unshakable testimony of this Gospel. It's true. I have grown so close to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and that relationship is the greatest blessing I have experienced from serving a mission. I love Wisconsin! I love the people here. These people will be dear to me throughout the rest of my life.

I will see you soon!

Elder Vogan

Monday, July 11, 2011


Mon, 11 Jul 2011


Yeah, I heard about that crazy dust storm in AZ! That must have been intense. I heard that a lot of people had problems with the sand coming into their houses. Did that happen at home?

It feels somewhat like I just barely emailed you, but on the other hand a lot has happened since Tuesday. Our work has improved this past week, even with the schedule shift from the holiday and with zone conferences. Zone conference was awesome! We did our "visualization" vision training, and now with Elder Oaks' talk from conference, we had more doctrine to pull from and it went well. We spent a couple days up in Door County (if you look at the map of WI, it's the penninsula that extends to the northeast). It is so beautiful up there. There is a branch that we cover, but until now, we haven't had much opportunity to get up there. I will attach a picture though of the sunset - it doesn't even look real. We were asked to speak in church on Sunday there, and it went really well. Elder Wonnacott and I took the whole meeting, and we completely followed the Spirit. We had hardly a vague idea of what we would speak on beforehand, but surprisingly, as we relied on the Spirit to give us what to say, I was more confident and comfortable than I would have been even completely prepared. Really cool experience. Elder Wonnacott's talk blew my mind, and everyone came up to us after the meeting thanking us for the words that they needed to hear (even some with tears in their eyes) Last night, we found a couple new people that want us to teach them and they invited us over for dinner and a lesson on Wednesday, so we are really excited about that! Well, I am glad Dad had a safe and enjoyable trip! And I hope everything goes well and is fun with girls camp this week!

I love you!

Elder Vogan


Tue, 5 Jul 2011


I'm glad to hear the family is doing well, and I am very excited for the late-summer plans! Hopefully Whitney has a wonderful birthday today!

This week was way intense, and it was probably the longest week of my whole mission! I'm not sure what made it that way, but Elder Wonnacott agrees. I was absolutely spoiled on my birthday. Spoiled rotten. I was taken out to breakfast by the Snyder brothers who are out installing security systems here. Three families got together and threw me a birthday lunch barbeque and decorated and got me a present. It was awesome! Then we went to one of the funnest service activities I've ever taken part in: Green Bay has a huge farmer's market downtown where they block off the main street for a few blocks and a lot of booths are set up vending different things. There were some elderly folks from a care home that wanted to get out and walk around at the market, so we volunteered to help. Two of the people in wheelchairs who were set to come decided not to, so instead, Elder Wonnacott and I got to walk with a cute little 92 year-old lady named Claire, each holding one of her hands. We had alot of people smile and say nice things to us and about us as we walked past, and some people who we didn't know were even taking pictures. It was funny! My little birthday date. After that we had a really spiritual lesson with a guy who ordered a bible online from us. I won't go into detail here because it was a very sacred experience. After that.. we went to the church where Sister Finnegan "needed to talk with us about something" at the church, and she brought in a platter of cupcakes all decorated. Right afterwards, the sisters gave me their awesome present: four of my favorite protein bars with some coupons for free smoothies (not cheap). Then lastly, we headed to the Huntley's - an amazing non-member family who love the missionaries. I share a birthday with their son, Noah, so they invited us to share it with them! It was great. They also got me a present and a nice card. So, yes, I was definitely taken care of! Such a good day!

The rest of the week went really well. We have been working hard and finding new people to teach. 3 of the less-active members we have been working with came to church on Sunday, and the testimony meeting was a good one! No crazy stories or anything, just simple, humble truth. Our fourth of July was a blast! We had a really good day, and we had another door of opportunity open with the family that had the party we went to. They told us we can come by anytime and we will always be welcome. Very nice people! This week is zone conference, so we are looking forward to that! There is always that let down after a holiday or crazy week, but we are working to keep full focus and determination! (Your prayers are appreciated!)

I love you! Have a great week!

Elder Vogan

Friday, July 1, 2011


Mon, 27 Jun 2011


It's great to hear from you! That is so cool that Jordan got the Priesthood and that he is taking it seriously! I think like a lot of the responsibilities and ordinances we take part in in the Gospel, it's given to us before we understand it's significance and duty completely. What a cool letter about the trek too! I did get your letter; thank you so much! I loved the pictures, and the Subway card will be very helpful this week.. (the end of the month we are always low on money and food). That will be fun for you and Dad to go to girls camp with Hannah's group. I will for sure pray for Megan.

This week was full of activities. Tuesday to Wednesday morning I got to go down on exchanges to Manitowoc and work down there. We did alot of good stuff! I helped the missionary I was with find a couple new people to teach, who I used to teach when I was there, and now they have three new baptism dates! April and Angela were two that Elder Lester and I worked with who were not ready to commit to change, but I guess over the last year and a half their hearts have been made softer. It's amazing to see that happen! Thursday, we had a cool experience: we went to visit a referral we received (the next door neighbor, recently moved in, to one of our members). As she answered the door, during our intitial greeting, she was analyzing our tags intently and suspiciously. It is a very common way that people who are not interested answer the door. Just as she was saying that it really wasn't a good time for us to be there, I said "okay, we just heard from your neighbor that you were recently moved in and just wanted to make sure that you had a church to go to and that you felt welcome here in the neighborhood." I don't remember ever welcoming someone to their own neighborhood before, but she was touched by our kind gesture, and she then openned up to us and started asking questions about where we were from and what we did. We ended up talking to her for more than an hour about the Gospel. The members that referred us will be having us over for dinner on Thursday, and they will be inviting her to come too!

Friday was leadership training in Oshkosh, and that was very good and spirit-filled. I have a greater desire now to look every person I meet in the eyes, non-members and even members too, and tell them sincerely what I know to be true. Because I do know it, and that testimony can have such an effect on people. Saturday, we got to help with the Family Fun Run, which is a sponsered 5k that funds scholarships and is an awesome activity that is done annually. Our church here in Green Bay always hosts it, and the announcer for it always talks up the Church like crazy throughout the event for our kindness and generosity. Elder Wonnacott and I were in charge of helping the kids stretch out and run their 1/2 mile race. We had to lead the way. I was worried about it with my bad knee and in our proselyting clothes, but I made it! It actually felt good to run. It was a really good event, a lot of people participated. Yesterday, we had two of the less-active families that we have been working with come to church (but without their non-member spouses :/) We were really excited about that. It is taking us awhile to find new people to teach that will progress! I don't remember ever having this problem my whole mission, but I guess every missionary needs to have these kind of lows. I won't be able to expect to see any baptisms here before I leave, but I can prepare them for after that. And those getting baptized in Manitowoc still bring me that great joy, and they are scheduled for the 16th of July! We are looking forward to a fun-filled P-day today!

Talk to you soon! Love,

Elder Vogan


June 20, 2011


Hope you had a wonderful day yesterday, Dad! Hopefully the family spoiled you and told you how much we all appreciate everything you do! Thank you for raising me right, and helping me to be where I am now doing the greatest thing I've ever done! I love you!

So, this week ended with one of the missions greatest meetings ever! We had five general authorities come visit the mission, and this was the first time since before I've been in the field that the whole mission gathered together for a mission conference. Presiding was Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve (with his wife), and also visiting were Elder Hallstrom (Pres. of 70), Elder Arden (newly called 70 from last conference), Bishop Edgely (Pres. Bishopric), and Elder Ward (of the 70). As all the missionaries were gathered in the chapel in Neenah, and as we become reverent before they all arrived, the Spirit was very strong. Elder and Sister Cook's plane flight was running late, so we began the meeting without them and Elder Ward, who was there to pick them up. We they walked in, we all stood, and that Spirit in the room seemed to double. It was such a testimony that he is truly who we claim him to be, a chosen Apostle of the Lord, having the same authority that Christ gave to the Apostles when He was in Jerusalem.

The meeting was amazing, and everyone got so much out of it. It was funny afterward when we got everyone together for a mission picture with all the general authorities. We had 5 or 6 levels in front of the stage. Missionaries on the ground, chairs, standing behind the chairs, sitting on the stage, standing behind them on the stage, and then standing on chairs on the stage. It was intense, and I'm excited to see how the picture turned out.

Otherwise, the work is going good! We have 2 new part-member families we've started teaching. One is from Peru, so she said our next appointment can be a dinner and she will let us help her make some authentic peruvian comida - ceviche and green spaghetti. We are excited. The non-member dad is American or else we'd have to pass them on to the Spanish elders. All the investigators we have been working with here are either progressing very slowly, or we passed them off to the Sisters, or they dropped us. The mission has its ups and downs. If we get sad or even devastated, it means we love and care about these people (like we should), but if we get discouraged, it means we are losing faith and effectiveness. It is a hard balance, but you learn it after two years!

Well I do love you! I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Vogan

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Mon. June 13, 2011


Hope you had a great week in Mexico, and hopefully nothing crazy happened at home when you were away! I still have not got the pictures from graduation, but I assume that might be because you were gone this last week and haven't sent them yet. I had a couple questions this week: What is the recipe for making chicken pot pie? There is a family here who has a tradition for each missionary leaving the area to make them dinner. They provide the ingredients. When they found out I'd be leaving in July they are already anticipating what I'll make for them. Also, the bike Dad sent out to me to use is still at the Du Charmes home in Milwaukee.. I have used it only once or twice very early on in my mission. I am planning on calling them and figuring out something. Would you like me to box it up and send it back home? Would you like me to try and sell it? If so, what's the minimum offer? I know it was an expensive bike. Maybe I can leave it a little longer and take a road trip out here with Jordan and pick it up? (If that's okay with the Du Charmes) It costs quite a bit to ship, especially if we will just be turning around and sending it to Jordan's mission. Besides, Britney Sigman, a girl I taught and was baptized shortly after I left Rapids will be going through the temple in late July and she asked if I'd be able to come for that. So yeah, just something I've thought about.

But anyway, getting away from the "trunky" thoughts, we had a really good week this week. Elder Wonnacott and I have been working hard and are starting to see good things. There is a fresh feeling here now, with Elder Wonnacott brand new and me only here six weeks, we have new vision and fire. We have been stopping by and getting to know the members better, and between Saturday and Sunday, we received eight referrals - it was awesome! Many of which came without our solicitation. I rekindled my testimony of tracting yesterday as well. I have been much more of one to have a place to go and then just talking to everyone we pass by or see outside. I have everyone added in my gps from our area book, every member and anyone who has ever been recorded to have shown interest in the gospel. So, usually with time when we don't have appointments we would go to one of those people and then contact around where they live, giving us a reason to be in the neighborhood. Of course when we were walking somewhere we'd follow promptings to knock random doors, but I haven't been one to pick a neighborhood and straight up tract it. But, one of our referrals we received was from members who didn't want us to say they sent them. They told us they were really nice and lived the Word of Wisdom already, but the members didn't want them to feel like they "sicked" us on them. So we ended up tracting for a little while where that referral lived, and it went well! We ended up teaching the father of that family, he took a pamphlet and said he'd be interested in us coming back! The family who referred us was way happy to hear that. I came to the conclusion that even though it is shown to be one of the least effective ways for us to work, it should still be included often in the plans. It keeps the spirits up and makes you feel like a missionary. (And almost all the cool mission stories come from tracting). In the 45 minutes we were in the area, 4 people openned the door and 3 out of the 4 allowed us to teach them. 2 said we could come back. I lost interest in tracting before because although we can teach alot of lessons doing it, the people we found didn't usually progress too far. When a member refers the missionary or it's a part-member family, it's crazy how much more and faster the people progress. So, do missionary work! Hopefully this member family will jump in and invite them over for some lessons with us as they continue to learn.

Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Hope you all have a wonderful week! And hopefully I at least receive one email from someone before I get off the computer today..


Elder Vogan


Mon. June 6, 2011

Hello family,
Mazatlan huh? I bet that will be a fun week for you! And hopefully things are well at home with Megan during that time! Jordan will definitely be working for his money this week. So, yeah, this week is transfers - my companion is shipping back home and going right back to heavy labor working asphalt with his dad until Fall, then he'll be at Snow College. He'll leave to Milwaukee Wednesday and flight out Thursday morning. It's been alot of fun serving with Elder Peckham; he and I will keep in touch for sure! My new companion will be Elder Wannacott. He's awesome! It's interesting, I've been his zone leader for at least a little while in every area he's served in, and now I get to train him up! He is from bountiful, UT, but he has also lived in Germany for many years because his dad is a military doctor on the base in Ramstein. He actually knew Elder Turney who was also from that base in Germany. Pretty crazy!

That's awesome to hear about your missionary efforts at home; keep it up! This week went well for us. It seemed to fly by pretty quick. We had a nice family, the Le Clouxs, come to church yesterday, and hopefully they felt the Spirit and will continue progressing. I think the mom came more to be respectful to Elder Peckham, it being his last Sunday. But the kids loved church. I'm loving the ward here more and more. We always have those families in each of the areas that really support and love us missionaries, and I have enjoyed the relationships I have out here. One family, the Robertsons, jumped right on that family missionary plan, and they will been spending alot of time with us today. They will be hanging out with us during our P-Day activities and then tonight they are puting together a bon fire activity and inviting all of their non-member friends to come and ask questions about the church. The two oldest daughters have said they'd like to serve missions, so hopefully these experiences keep encouraging that! Today will be fun though. The four or five sets of missionaries here in Green Bay will all be eating at this awesome restaurant called the Pancake Place for lunch and then playing a game called speedball or crazyball at the church(I will have to teach the youth down there when I get home, it's alot of fun).

I am not excited for Elder Peckham to leave, but I am excited for freshness and change. It's always a good time to re-evaluate and recommit our efforts and set good goals. I will let you know how it's going next week! Have fun!


Elder Vogan

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Tue, 31 May 2011

You are such a good match maker! Haha, I can't say I remember who that girl is.. [maybe you could send a picture with the graduation pics ;)] That is awesome to hear I might not need any surgery when I get home. If not though, I am hoping my knee will heal someday. It's been almost a year and I still can't run for very long or squat too well. I am capable with all the things I need to do, but you know how much I love sports. Well congrats to Jordan for graduating high school! I look forward to seeing the pictures - I'm not sure about my address, but you can send it through the office 5651 Broad St. Ste. 1 Greendale, WI 53129. The kids out here still have another week, and they are all as excited as you sound. We had such a fun Memorial Day yesterday, probably among the most fun days of my whole mission! There is a family in the ward who has a get-together where hundreds of people go to their home every year, and they always have the missionaries. Tons of food and games and nice people. They had water balloons too, so we left a little bit wet. That is nuts that Jordan will be putting his papers in before I'm home! Hopefully things work out for Jared to have a good environment in California and keep up on his growth and missionary preparation. Hopefully things start working for Hannah to get stronger. She needs to eat some more protein and take her vitamins so she's not so fragile!

So, the week we had been anticipating since I got here happened at church on Sunday. We had our missionary program, in which we distributed the outlines for the family mission plans. They are the coolest things ever. They are less than half a page size and lamenated with magnets on the back to hang on the fridge. There is velchro on the side for a dry-erase marker to stick onto it, which came with it. It gives a place for the family to set a goal each month for what they want to do to improve their missionary efforts. The ward council is excited about it and has plans for follow up and to keep it going through home teaching and in the opening exercises of priesthood and relief society. The sacrament meeting included talks by the bishop, a recent convert couple who were just sealed in the temple last week, another recent convert, the ward mission leader, and the stake president. It went really well!

We taught so many people last week, it even surpised us as week added up our numbers on Sunday. We have been just going out and teaching everyone we meet. We have three people who have said they would be baptized, but so far only one of the three seems serious about it. We are just doing our best to be diligent and searching for those people whom God has prepared. Really though, God has been preparing everyone we talk to in different ways, but some are just more ready and willing to accept it at this time. I swear, some of the craziest people I have ever met live here in Green Bay. These Packer fans are nuts!

It's crazy that Elder Peckham is heading out to go home next week! He is doing good though not getting "trunky". I tease him a little bit though, so that probably doesn't help. We have some good plans for this last week together.

Well I hope everyone has a great week! I will have the Miller family in my prayers and fast this week. You will hear from me again next Monday!

Elder Vogan


Mon. May 23, 2011

Miracles happen! So according to my MRI, my ACL is fine, which is completely against what I or the doctor out here thought. What is torn though is my posterior meniscus (I didn't know that existed), and my patellar tendon is partially torn. I will need surgery when I return home, but it will only be a scope with a couple weeks recovery, rather than that 3+ month recovery. The doctor out here says that my patellar tendon will heal on its own. So I am really happy about that. Hopefully I can have the surgery after our trip instead of before. (Try to book it closer to the 21st.) I looked at BYU and can't see anything about tuition payments, so you don't need to worry about that.

Well enough of these "home" conversations and to the work. Things are going fairly well here. We are patiently working with our investigators, although none have a set date to be baptized at this point. We are just unleashing a new ward mission plan, which we are excited about. Some of the members in the ward council seem a bit reluctant to set goals or make plans for the missionary effort, but others are excited about it. I know that as those members start working towards their own family goals and following up with the members in their auxiliary stewardships, we will see a huge boost to the work in this area. I hope the family at home has some goals to do missionary work this summer!

I can't think of anything else specifically to tell you about this week. I love you and am grateful for your prayers!

Elder Vogan

Monday, May 16, 2011


Mon, 16 May 2011
What a great email to read from you this week! Thanks for being my "wingman" Mom, that will be fun to take her on a date. It is always cool and crazy to hear the news of all the weddings happening. I didn't even know Krystina was engaged, but that's awesome to hear! I also love to hear about the people leaving for their missions and hearing about their mission calls! It's great to hear about Jordan and Taylor. They'll both be able to speak Spanish together afterward, so that will be fun. I'll have my MRI on Wednesday at noon, but I'm going to just be praying for a miracle and maybe it will reattach itself and I won't need another surgery. So you can go ahead and schedule a fun vacation, I will much rather do that, and I am completely capable. Also, I have already been registered for my classes at BYU for a month or so, so I'm good to go! That's not fun that you were sick, but I'm glad you are feeling better now! So cool about Hannah's repelling story too!

This week had it's ups and downs. We found a family to teach and two of them committed to be baptized. They were preparing, along with two other girls we were teaching, to be baptized on the 4th of June. That would have been a big day! And it would have been great for Elder Peckham to be here for that - that's his last Saturday in the mission. None of them came to church though. We will need to help them prepare for a later baptism date now to help them understand the importance of church attendance as part of that baptismal covenant. So that was disappointing. We do have a lot of good work happening. We are teaching people like crazy, and we are working on being patient in finding the prepared people we know are here. Right now, it seems the people like us and will listen to us, but they do not keep commitments or take the gospel as serious as they need to.

There is a man named Rick who we are teaching, and he is awesome. He was a very well-to-do dentist, but after many years of work and after his four children were all grown and out of the house, his license was taken from him because he refused to do mercury fillings. He ended up broke and bankrupt. Trying to make a little money for he and his wife to live on, he traveled out West to a business opportunity event in Utah. He and a group of people visited temple square, and he thought it was beautiful. As they were leaving and walking out of the gates, he felt an empty feeling. He stopped, while his friends walked ahead, and he stepped back in through the gate and felt the Spirit very strong. He stepped out again and it left. After doing that a couple times and being amazed, he went to the nice sister missionaries and asked, "Why do I feel different in here than I do out there?" Rick is very logical and analytical, but he knows what he felt. He got in touch with the missionaries out here, and they have been teaching him for quite awhile now. His hold-ups are that he has never been one to make quick decisions - likes to think things through, his wife is against him joining the church, he is a faithful usher and a big part of the church he goes to, and he feels like he will lose a lot of the close friends that he has (he has some who are anti-Mormon). He told us on Thursday, after we asked what he was waiting for, that he doesn't know why he is waiting. He says he has just been expecting things to fall into place, almost waiting for it to be an easy and comfortable choice to be baptized. We explained that nothing that is truly worth it in life comes easy and that as this is the true Church of Jesus Christ, the devil will tempt and distract him from what he should do. He sincerely rededicated himself to focusing on what the Lord wants for him to do. It's so obvious to us how much God wants Rick in His church, but we need to help him see that. He will be such an asset to the ward here, and we believe that will open up the door for his wife and family to be taught the Gospel as well.

Thank you for all your love, prayers and support! Have a great week!

Elder Vogan


Mon. 5/9/11

I hope you had a wonderful Mothers' Day! It was great to talk to you! Since I talked to you yesterday, there isn't much to tell you.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you!

Elder Vogan

Ps. I emailed Dr. Sharpe the information for the doctor I'm visiting here, so he should be able to get the MRI results.

Friday, May 6, 2011



Wow, that's terrible that you got some of your things stolen! Hopefully they do something about your complaint. And that's really cool to hear about Hannah's volleyball game - MVP!! That's exciting that I get to call on Sunday. I will call around that time that you suggested. Yeah, that was fun and unnexpected seeing Brady at the airport while we were waiting for the new missionaries! I though he was going to be in Milwaukee on Monday, so that was really cool! It was really funny just saying "hey, what's up! How's it going!.. alright see ya later!" President Jones didn't know who he was, and so after he walked away, I just said, "yeah, he's my cousin."

Things are going great here in Green Bay! The weather is warming up a bit, and everything is so green again! I new a couple people here already just from being around in the mission, and from being in Manitowoc, which is in the same stake. I got really close to the bishop and his family while I was in Manitowoc, and now he is in the stake presidency, so I'll be seeing him fairly often. My new companion, Elder Peckham, is awesome! He is from a small town near Ephraim and Nephi in Utah. Really cool guy and easy to get along with. He is in his last transfer, but he isn't trunky at all. It's awesome to go out and work and teach, both being experienced. We are working on our teaching pool right now, and we are starting to get members involved. We've talked with our bishop and ward mission leader and we are scheduled to have a sacrament meeting all centered around presenting the ward mission plan. We will have the stake president there and well, and he will be supporting and sharing the stake mission plan and how our plan will fit into that. A lot of thought and effort is going into this, so we are really excited.

Today will be fun! My first real P-day in more than 3 months! I hope you enjoy your trip, and I hope everything is well at home!

Elder Vogan


Happy Easter! I hope it was wonderful! I'm glad to hear things are going well at home, and it was good to hear about your talk in church, Mom. I love Elder Wirthlin's talk as well. That's something that every missionary should remember, that after being diligent in our work, we should have the attitude of "Come what may, and love it." Great to hear about Jordan's mission papers as well! Thank you so much for the Easter package! I love it!

I am getting transferred to Green Bay, so that's exciting! It will be a good area to finish my mission. I knew I was to be transferred since the beginning of April, so it's not a new idea for me. Green Bay is a good area, and I already know people up there, so things will be good! I finished up my time here on a wonderful note and the best Easter weekend I hoped for - Colleen was baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday in church! She had been meeting with missionaries for about 9 months, and during that time has gained a strong testimony of the Gospel. She is a naturally skeptical person, and somewhat stubborn, but when the Spirit influences and converts a person like that, "stubbornness" turns to "steadfastness". She is already a great asset to the single's ward. Many of the members didn't even know she hadn't been baptized yet. She is just beaming now and so happy!

The time here has been good, and I have grown just as I anticipated. I am definitely more humble, patient, loving, and much more sensitive to and trusting in the Spirit. It is definitely a real power and influence that we should always to seeking for and feeling in our lives. I know it's so easy to lose our "hope" and our eternal perspective when we are caught up with life and the day to day activities - I remember that from being home before. I can't believe how fast you can forget and slacken, just by not remembering to do the simple things everyday. I'm grateful for that experience, so now I know what to prepare for when I go home for real.

Well, I love each of you. I am grateful for your love, prayers, and support. And I hope you all have a wonderful week, especially Mom and Dad in Cancun!

Elder Vogan

Tuesday, April 19, 2011



Okay, I'll be looking for the package and the pants! Thank you! I'm glad to hear things went pretty well this week for the family; Happy Birthday tomorrow for Kyle! That's really cool to hear about Jared's talk in church yesterday - Wow, I will try my best to live up to what he said about me. I'm so excited for Jared and Jordan to go on missions; it is the best experience! The reason sometimes it seems like I ignore questions or comments about home is because I don't want to think too much about coming home, I love it so much here. How awesome to hear that Charli is starting to crawl and pull herself up on things! I bet she's growing up a really cute little toddler. Speaking of which, I haven't seen any pictures of her since I left - maybe that's something to put in my box..? I hope there isn't anything too serious with Dad's knee. That's no fun.

This was a great week! Work-wise, we hardly did anything in our own area because it was zone conference week. We had zone conferences throughout the mission Tuesday through Friday, and they were the best zone conferences I remember going to. The training we did for each included an Easter egg hunt, and that got everyone involved. It was about finding new people to teach: "He that diligently seeketh shall find..." (1 Ne. 10:19) In order to get to each conference, we woke up really early each day to travel, so I am still a bit exhausted. After each, we spent time with elders from the zones where the conferences were held. Wednesday we were in Wisconsin Rapids and Friday and Saturday we got to spend time in Manitowoc. It was great to be back to those areas and see the people I love from those areas. Colleen was interviewed for baptism Friday night, and she is good to good for this Saturday! It is looking like I will be transferred a week from this Thursday. I'd be good to stay or leave - wherever the Lord wants me. President Jones doesn't want to have assistants "die" (go home) in that responsibility, and usually a one transfer area at the end of the mission isn't a good thing either.

I really can't think of anything else to tell you besides that things are going great here, and I love you! Have a great week!

Elder Vogan

Friday, April 15, 2011


Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 Dad, I didn't get a letter from Mom yet, so I'll just reply to yours this week. Yes, he said the actual "F" bomb, haha. Definitely a classic teaching appointment. Thank you for your nice comments as well! And thank you for the money in my account - I only have one and a half suits that I have to wear (I forgot one of my suit's pants at home when I came back), so I might spend a lot of that money today on a new suit. Mens Wearhouse is having a "buy one, get one free" deal on suits and Elder Lester really needs one too. So, I hope that's alright! And congrats to Jason on the quick engagement! No, I won't be competing with anyone to see how fast I can get married when I get home. I do look forward to it though. My went was awesome! Gloria from Wausau got baptized! I feel like if that was the only thing I got to be a part of in coming back on my mission, I would be worth it. Elder Lester and I were scheduled to be on exchanges with the Wausau zone leaders anyway that day, so I worked out perfectly for us to be up there for it. She asked Elder Lester to baptize her, and the Spirit was very strong during it. We all had tears in our eyes when he stated her name as part of the ordinance. She has good friends in the ward from the Relief Society now, so that has really helped in her conversion. So after all those ups and downs, from discontinuing teaching her to having her call wanting to be taught - she finally had an experience that impressed her so much that she'll never be able to deny the divinity of the Book of Mormon, no matter what other concerns might come up. On one of her "down" days, the elders were teaching her from the Book of Mormon, and because she was not open, she help up her Bible and said, "I have a Bible! I have a Bible! I don't need any other bible!" After testifying, the elders saw her hardened heart, and they told her that she should call them again if she wanted to learn from them. The next day started out terrible, and she was feeling horrible. Even after being "dropped", the Lord guided her to read in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi chapter 29."And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible." And not only the words from the page that were almost her exact words the night previous, but the feelings in her heart chastened her intensely, and she knew she had made a mistake. She still doesn't know or understand everything, but through these experiences, she opened her heart to what her Heavenly Father wanted, and she knew she was supposed to be baptized. So, a former devout anti-Mormon is now a member of the Church! She told me, "Elder Vogan, the only reason I'm doing this is because the Lord told me that's what He wanted me to do. The same voice that has guided and directed me throughout my life, told me that I needed to do this." And it definitely wasn't easy for her! But I'm glad I got to be here for it. Since her confirmation, she has felt the peace we promised her and a greater abundance of the Spirit. I can't wait to her about her experience going to the temple! We had a great week otherwise. We were able to teach many lessons, and seek to find more people to teach. We have zone conferences this week, so that will be really busy. Tomorrow through Friday, we will be driving to different parts of Wisconsin for them. One of them will actually be in Wisconsin Rapids, and after our conference in Green Bay, we will get to spend the rest of the day in Manitowoc! It will be great going back to areas I've served. Well, that's all I have for this week. I hope all of you have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Vogan

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Mon, 4 Apr 2011 09:51:38 My family, I am really glad to hear that things are going well at home! I had a weird nagging feeling on Thursday night that something bad happened at home, so I was hoping that was just to help me remember how much I love my family and to express that: Dad, I am grateful for how much you love and support me as a missionary and family. For all of your effort to teach us righteously and provide for our needs. Mom, thank you for loving and serving us so much, even while I seemed so ungrateful. You are an angel. Whitney, I am so happy for you to be the cute mom you are. Thank you for being such a great big sister. I am excited to see Charli on her first birthday! And I am grateful for the wonderful father Kyle is and for the humor he has brought to the family. Jordan, you are my best friend. I am excited for all that you are doing to improve, and I'm excited to hang out with you again this summer. Hannah, I love you. It's so fun to see how much you are growing up through your emails and to hear about the fun you are having. And I'm grateful for Megan and the blessing she is in our family, to help us enjoy to small things and to grow in patience. And Jared, you are basically part of the family too now. You are awesome. Thanks for helping Jordan stay out of trouble. Overall, I had a very good week! Conference was amazing! There are too many good talks to say which were my favorites, but Elder Oaks, Elder Robbins, and President Uchtdorf from priesthood stick out in my mind and I took many notes through those talks. It sounds like I need to get married pretty quick when I get home, huh? We had an excellent zone leader council training on Friday about "finding", and the missionaries are getting excited. The weather warming up a little bit helps that too. Speaking of weather, 100 degrees is intense! We are just excited to be able to take off our coats. Our investigators are doing well. We had an awesome exchange with the Green Bay elders after zone leader council in which we were able to invite 2 people to be baptized, and they accepted. We also found 3 new investigators with them for them to teach. 2 of them were a nice couple who actually fed us dinner! They even had caffeine-free mountain dew. Who knew there was such a thing? One of the guys we invited to be baptized responded just the way the people responded in Mosiah 18:10-11. He literally clapped his hands for joy at the idea of having the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Except, instead of saying, "This is the desire of my heart!" he said, "@#$% Yeah!" So that was pretty classic. Haha. He was so excited, he didn't know he had sworn. Before that, he kept telling us that there was a presence or a spirit in the room, and it reminded him of an experience he had had several years earlier, which originally brought him to know God. Well the office sisters are anxious to get on the computer now, so I'll close this week's letter by once again saying that I love you so much! I love the Gospel and am so humbled to have it in my life and to have the amazing opportunity of sharing it with my brothers and sisters here in Wisconsin. I'll talk to you next week! Love, Elder Vogan

Monday, March 28, 2011


Mon. 3/28/11 Family, It's always great to hear from you each week, although the weeks are going by way too fast. I don't even want to think about you already having my flight plans, I just got back out here! But yeah, I can just fly again, it would be a really long drive. I'll need to have some money in my account in July to pay to ship my bike home and souvenirs I want to keep. That's great to hear that you are going back to school, Mom! (By the way, I never mentioned what I decided I'd major in: Physiology and Developmental Biology. When I read that as an option for a major, I got excited, so I'm going with it. I can go almost every direction I've considered with that degree.) And good to hear Dad has a lot of work lined up for the week! I'll be praying that Megan feels better soon and that no one else gets sick. 106 degrees is scary high.. What a great week this week! We had a specialized training for all the sister missionaries in the mission and that was a lot of fun to be a part of. We got to sing "As Sisters in Zion" - one of my favorites. We also even got a Cuddly Cousins stuffed animal from one of the sisters who did a training! All my expectations of a sisters conference were met. Haha. It was really one of the most spiritual trainings I've been apart of though, which is probably because of their greater maturity and love. Also, we had a great day on Wednesday: We taught two sisters, Tia and Takira. We had a member bring them down to the church and we had a chapel tour lesson with them. We had originally planned to teach them about the Plan of Salvation, but we couldn't seem to start into that. The Spirit was there and lead us to teach about Jesus Christ. At one point, we walked into the chapel, and talked about the Sacrament meeting being the most important meeting in the Church. Our member, Richard, started to bear his testimony of the hymns, and as he did so, I picked up one of the hymnals and flipped it open to show them. I flipped right to "I know that My Redeemer Lives". I felt impressed to ask Tia how she felt about the Savior, and she confessed she wasn't sure she believed in Him. I then read the first verse, and the feeling when I read "..My hungry soul to feed" was intense. I knew for sure at that time that she was hungry, and that she felt like something was missing in her life. And I told her of that, and each of us testified of how her void would be filled by the Gospel and through developing her relationship with Christ through prayer and repentance. When we got to the baptism font, we discussed what it means to be baptized, and we invited both of them to prepare for that day (April 16th), and they accepted that date and commitment. Both of them were at church yesterday and loved it! We also taught a young Hmong single adult girl who had been less active, and she came to church yesterday as well! Also yesterday, the two other people we are teaching who are preparing for baptism (Akilah and Colleen) both made it to church as well! Akilah had driven 18 hours straight coming home from a vacation in Florida, and she still made the decision to come to church despite how incredibly tired she was, and that she was an hour drive from church. She loved it and felt very comfortable. We have a lesson to see her today with our friend Jared from the ward. So there's some highlights from the week! I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Vogan

Monday, March 21, 2011


Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011
This past week was intense, but everything is going great for us! Having Elder Cottle transfer so soon, I was a little bit anxious for how transfers would go and all the other "beginning of the transfer duties". He was very in control and on top of everything, so I wasn't sure I knew how to do all the tasks, but all went well! Elder Lester is a fast learner too, and he's starting to get the hang of the different things we do.

Wisconsin is starting to thaw! We can hardly see any snow down where we are, and we had our first non-freezing rain of the year yesterday. It looks like Spring is almost here! Not quite 80's yet though. That's nice you were able to go to Las Sendas ward and be there for Austin Maxwell's homecoming. And it's great to hear things are going well at home!

This transfer we got in some amazing new missionaries. We take out the new missionaries to teach people on the streets nearby the University of Wisconsin campus here in Milwaukee, and we have two new missionaries assigned to speak Hmong who are incredible. They cleared "the bar" by a long shot. Contacting with them, they didn't seem at all like new missionaries in the way they taught, but they had the excitement and fire of a new, "green" missionary, and they were actually jogging to catch up to talk to people. It's easy to tell when a missionary understands and has a testimony of the Gospel, and how much love he has, by how urgent he is to share it with those around him. It was really motivating to see them work, and I'm excited to see the miracles they perform out here.

Well I love you! I hope you have a wonderful week, and I hope you fill your days with not the "good" or "better" things, but the "best" things.

Elder Vogan

Monday, March 14, 2011


Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2011 09:20:50 -
HAPPY BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY, MOM! I'm glad that you had a good birthday!

I did have a good week! It's good to hear that things are going well there! 80's now huh? We are happy with the high 30's and 40's that we've been getting.. haha. That's great to hear about the missionary success that you are able to see with the Tibbetts' friend and Dad's former assistant. The Gospel is true, and the blessing affixed to helping others to find it is a joy and satisfaction that comes from nothing else. I am so happy and humbled to be serving a mission, and words can't describe how grateful I am that I am able to be here right now.

I did get the apartment contract sent in on Saturday. The fax machine here in the office said that it was failing to send, so I scanned it to the computer and emailed it to MaryAnn. It would be great if you, Mom, can verify that it was received. Thank you! You don't need to worry about my knee; I'm doing great. I can even jog and do leg workouts. I still may get another MRI before I come home just to be sure though. Tucker's gone.. can't say I'm surprised in the least bit.. haha. (If you look at my past email when you were first considering it.) It's great to hear about Hannah and Jordan and there volleyball success! I do hope that I get to see some footage of them playing. That's funny to hear about Jordan's fan club; I bet that was awesome for him.

Things were good this week. Elder Lester is down in the office with us today. He's my new companion! Again! Three times the charm, I guess. But I'm really excited! Out of 130 missionaries, it's amazing that I could serve with someone more than once or twice. But he would be my choice of my companions to be with multiple times. It was awesome serving with Elder Cottle. I learned a lot from him, and I will miss him. He'll be heading to Wausau to replace Elder Lester on Wednesday. When we went to pick up Elder Lester, they had an appointment with Gloria set up. The same day that Elder Lester found out that he'd be transferring down, before he ever tried to contact her to say "good bye", she called and asked for the missionaries to come teach her again. She said that since she dismissed the missionaries, they had been weighing heavily on her heart, and she had felt very depressed and sad about every aspect of her life. So, we had five missionaries and a member with us in her home on Saturday. It was a wonderful experience with the Spirit with discernment and inspiration. I knew, through the Spirit, that behind all her little hold-ups and road blocks that keep her from progressing and being baptized, the only real thing keeping her from it, is her fear of what her family and other people will think of her if she joined the Church. It's amazing how debilitating this type of pride is, and how much it can keep people from progressing. I think most of us need to battle and get past that fear in our lives.

Other than that experience, we had a pretty busy week. We had a leadership training on Friday, and we participated in the singles ward talent show doing a skit. It was really funny. We have really been promoting the new site to members, so I'll encourage all of you at home to check it out and create a profile as well. I'll be working on my own hopefully today. This week will be busy too, with transfers and all the new and departing missionary meetings. I like busy weeks though. It will be crazy with Elder Cottle leaving so soon, so now I'll be responsible for everything going on and to help Elder Lester learn the ropes.

Thank you for your love and support! Have a good week!

Elder Vogan

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011

I did get the oranges, and they do taste delicious! That was the right amount that you sent too; none will go bad. You can go ahead and sign me up for the room with Brady. Even if I do need surgery again, recovery for meniscus surgery is only a few weeks, so I'll still be good to go in September. I'll be released July 21st.

It's good to hear things are going well! (Aside from the usual trouble-makers) I hope things get figured out with Megan and Tucker. It's good to hear about Jordan's volleyballin'; please keep updating me on how that is going! And I love to hear about Hannah too!

This past week was good. We have two people preparing for baptism, but neither will be before April. Akilah is a new investigator, and we had a great lesson with her last Monday. We brought Matt with us, who was confirmed in church the day before. He was able to look her in the eyes and testify of the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. He told her, "I know this is true because I know how I felt yesterday before my confirmation, and I know how I've felt since." Matt is an example of how to "receive the Holy Ghost". During and after the lesson, he talked about how he felt like he was teaching himself - Akilah was responding and feeling the same way he did as he was just starting to be taught. We taught her about the Restoration of the Priesthood, and we ended up giving her a priesthood blessing, which we don't usually do during a first lesson. No two lessons are ever the same because everyone's needs are so different. So, at the end of the lesson, despite her fears and anxieties of praying aloud, we knelt and she offered a sweet, sincere prayer. It was answered as the Spirit filled the room, and she felt a peace that she had never felt before and wished she could always feel. She knew it was right and she needed to be baptized.

We also had two trainings this week, one for the Hmong elders and one for the zone leaders. They went well. During our zone leader council, we put our personal training skills to use and did a fun role play for them. We also had two exchanges with both Milwaukee zone leaders.

Thank you for your love and prayers of support. I love you!

Elder Vogan


Mon. 28 Feb, 2011

I hope everyone had a good week! So to answer you questions about where I live; no one lives in the office. The mission office is just a nice unit located above a bank. We live a 6 or 7 minute drive away in a shared apartment with two other missionaries. Elder Carter and Elder Jones are awesome! I took Elder Jones out contacting on his first day four weeks ago or so. President and Sister Jones live in the mission home, which is also a few blocks away. We don't always have to be in the office. We come when we have things to do, but the only time we are required to come is Sunday night. We do stop in probably 4 or 5 times a week and work on things, just when we decide we need to. That's great to hear that Megan is kinda potty trained. I hope that can be completely true soon!

Matt Wilke was baptized on Saturday and confirmed Sunday in church. I was an amazing experience with a huge turn out. He was more blown away by anyone at how many people had come to support him. It was such a spiritual meeting, definitely up there with the most spiritual baptisms of my mission. I know that is because of his complete trust in the Lord (humility) and his sincerity. He wasn't doing it for anyone but his Heavenly Father. From the first time we taught him, we could tell he was taking the seriously - as it should be. Sometimes, I don't think people realize the magnitude that a baptism has, but Matt did. He had questions, but no road blocks. As we taught him and invited him to keep commitments and commandments, he thoughtfully and sincerely committed himself and stuck to it. He experienced the power of the Atonement through true repentance, and he was excited to show the fruit of that that on Saturday by being baptized.

Gloria felt like she was starting to get too attached to the missionaries, so she decided that she wanted to take a break. She didn't want her relationship with them to influence her decisions. She will be praying a lot about everything during her time without them and seek God's will for what she should do. I was initially sad to hear about it, but I feel good about that now, as the missionaries there feel. She's been so high and so low, back and forth, she needs to be able to make a firm decision.

It was good to work with Elder Cottle without any trainings or exchanges this week. We were supposed to have a zone leader council on Friday, but President Jones had to go to the hospital for intense kidney stone pain. He has six in each kidney, so he is still dealing with that now. But even with that, he rescheduled the meeting for this Thursday. This week, we do have meetings and exchanges, but our major goal will be to get back into contact with former investigators and find new people to teach. We want to keep helping all these people that we know are willing to accept the Gospel, and we've already seen many of those people this year.

Thank you for your love and support! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Elder Vogan

Monday, February 21, 2011


Mon, 21 Feb 2011 09:46:31
I didn't get a message from Mom yet, so I'll reply my "weekly email" to you instead of her this week. It's really exciting to hear all the cool things going on at home: you going to girls camp, haha, your spring vacation, Jordan's dominating volleyball skills, Hannah's playing time and improvements in volleyball as well (it will be awesome after I'm home and my knee's well enough to play with them), and your busy week with appointments. Randy will be in my prayers. That's pretty scary, but I'm glad he's in good spirits. I hope everything else went well for the family!

My week was awesome! It ended on a great note with our investigator Erik getting baptized and confirmed this weekend! He was one that was slowly progressing for several months. He'd come to church pretty much every week; you'd see him sitting in the back with his girlfriend with his baseball hat on. (That's something that is being addressed.) But he was finally ready to make the commitment, and he knew it was true, so he was baptized. His mom came down from where she lived in Fon Du Lac, a couple hours away, and she enjoyed being there for the ordinance.

Matt Wilke is still going as strong as ever! His baptism is set for this weekend, and he has everything set up for it - his program, baptism record, people coming. It was announced in Sacrament meeting yesterday as well, so even more people will be there. On the second day of our 3-day mission leadership training this week, he was helping the ward with preparing lunch for us, and we were surprised to see him there. Even he wasn't planning on being there beforehand. Elder Cottle and I were assigned to do a training about the Book of Mormon's role in conversion, and so we asked Matt if he'd be comfortable sharing his testimony with the group about how the Book of Mormon had helped him in preparing for his baptism. That was inspired. He bore a wonderful, sincere testimony to the group, and the Spirit filled the room. He was a little nervous at first, being in front of so many missionaries, but he told us later that everything he said just came to him as he was speaking. What a cool experience! All the missionaries were blown away by how prepared he is after only investigating for 3 weeks. Fortunately, our trainings had little more than a vague direction of where we wanted to go with each topic, so we were able to adapt to that opportunity. All the trainings were awesome though. We just "treasured up" in our minds the doctrines and principles of the topics, and then we let the Spirit guide as we asked questions that opened up discussion and participation from the leaders. We directed two trainings on each of the 3 days and were responsible for conducting the meetings.

So yeah, those trainings took up a lot of time, energy, and attention this week. We were still able to see several people in the evenings. Colleen will most likely be the next person baptized here after Matt. She just needs to change her living situation. She has a strong testimony, and she loves church, so after she gets that taken care of she can finally make that sacred covenant with her Heavenly Father and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which she is really looking forward to.

I was able to talk with Elder Lester last night as he was reporting numbers, and he told me about Gloria's progress. She is still one of the people most dear to my heart, so I am always anxious to hear about her. So Saturday and Sunday, her progress stopped as she was taught about the true nature of God. Her walls went back up, and she didn't want to remember the answers she had received. Elder Lester's reaction to her response to the lesson would usually be a quick and wise combat, but he had the feeling he just needed to love her. So he didn't rebuttal her response at all, just expressed love. While they were here in Milwaukee for the 3-day training, she started having a really bad day. Her son was being really mean to her, and she was feeling really overwhelmed. The Spirit directly told her, "If you read from the Book of Mormon, you will have comfort." She struggled with that prompting for a bit, but finally submitted. She was guided to read Ether 12, which was amazing in bringing her comfort. After that, she was impressed that she needed to read chapter 3 as well, which speaks of Christ appearing. It helped her understand Christ had a spirit body before coming to Earth, and that our Heavenly Father has a body of flesh and bone. Before, she completely rejected that concept, but with the Spirit's guiding comfort, she knows that it is true now, and it is no longer a concern. She told the missionaries at the next appointment, "before I was just too prideful and rebellious to listen to Elder Lester, so God had to tell me through His scriptures." She is still preparing for her baptism! After all these experiences, she, and all those who are there to teach her, will have powerful and unshakable testimonies. I know mine has been strengthened through her experiences.

I hope everyone has another great week! I love you!

Elder Vogan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Mon, 14 Feb 2011
I feel bad that you didn't get your email from me last week! Hopefully it sends today right away. I'm really exciting about Jared receiving his Patriarchal blessing; I'm sure that was an awesome experience for him! I hope the Tucker situation gets figured out and Megan settles down. I'll be looking for the oranges! Thank you so much for the nice Valentine with the Subway card! That will help greatly with my intention to be healthy.

I'm still getting adjusted to the new area and responsibilities, and this past week didn't really help that effort. I was on exchanges with zone leaders from the Appleton and Wausau zones, and I was in their areas. So, I was away from Milwaukee from Tuesday through Saturday. It was nice to be back in Wausau so soon and be able to teach Gloria especially. While I was there, she received a direct answer to her prayer about whether the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. It was an awesome experience. She had "walls" preventing her from being open enough to receive an answer that direct before. The office work comes really naturally to me though - dealing with calls, numbers, emails, and spreadsheets. Reminds me a bit of my job before the mission. My companion will be leaving after this transfer, so I need to be on top of everything else before then. Our greatest focus will be for me to really know the area here in Milwaukee and all those we teach, since our first priority is to maintain a "model area" for the rest of the mission. Today, our focus will be on the 3-day leadership training this week, Tuesday through Thursday.

Our area here is doing well. We have baptisms scheduled during the next two weekends: Erik and Matt. I still haven't been able to teach Erik at all, but he is doing well and will be baptized this Saturday! He gave his girlfriend the boot this past week to move out, and we will be helping her move some things today. Matt is awesome! I have never met anyone so humble, teachable and prepared. After teaching about prophets and the commandments on Saturday, Elder Cottle said, "Well Matt, we've now taught you everything you need to learn in preparing for your baptism" And he replied, "Yeah, everything except for tithing." Haha, Elder Cottle completely forgot that we hadn't taught that yet, but Matt was on top of it. He even had a tithing slip and envelope that he pulled out as he reminded us. He really could be baptized this Saturday, but he's already told everyone from all over the state that it will be the 26th. He's such a great example.

Speaking of Elder Cottle, I never really told you about him. He is from Brigham City, UT. He is the oldest of 3 siblings, very organized - almost OCD, very diligent and obedient, excellent teaching, high expectations of himself and the work, loves to give trainings (very administrative). He was a bodybuilder back home - took second place in a competition for his weight class in all the northwestern states. He is very spiritual and sensitive to the Spirit. He'll be going home in June, and he's planning on attending UVU and getting married really quick. He'll be very successful and have very high callings in the Church. It's definitely a privilege to serve with him.

And speaking of school, I don't know when or how I'll find out if I am accepted to BYU. I would love to room with Brady and those guys, but I'm not sure when I'll know.

Well Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Vogan


Sun 2/13/11 9:24 PM
It's good to get your emails this week! I am glad everyone is doing well.. except for Tucker.. I'll answer your questions first: I do pretty well at writing in my journal I think, but I can improve. A lot of missionaries out here love their separated scriptures, so I think Jordan would do fine with those. The smaller size ones are nice if you are considering exchanging them. If Jordan and Jared want to study, have them study from Preach My Gospel and do the activities that they are able to do. Also, it's strongly encouraged that missionaries have read The Book of Mormon at least once before coming out, and it would be great for them to read D&C, Pearl of Great Price, and the New Testament through as well, if they can. It would be great for you to send more oranges! Maybe half the amount as last time would be awesome. Just send them right to the mission office: 5651 Broad St. Ste 1 Greendale, WI 53129. I don't know when I'll know of my acceptance to BYU, but I'm looking forward to finding out. I'm way excited for Jared to get his Patriarchal Blessing! That will be an awesome experience for him. That's very sad to hear about Pam. Wow.

This week has gone really fast. Go Pack Go! The Packers winning the Super Bowl should be a positive thing for our proselyting efforts. Everyone will be so happy, they'll all invite us in! We weren't really exposed to the Super Bowl hype at all. We actually weren't even permitted as missionaries to be out at all from 4:00 PM on yesterday. We had to come to the office, so that was our exception. But anyway, this past week was very eventful. Monday, we had about a half hour of P-day, and that will probably be how it will be today. We had to prepare for the new missionaries that came in on Tuesday. We had two great lessons that day with Matt Wilke (the one we set the baptism date with at church last week) and Colleen. Matt is doing awesome! I haven't seen someone so prepared in humility and faith. He is willing to do whatever we ask him, and even more. He committed himself to read 2-3 chapters a day from the Book of Mormon (the first time we met with him), and he has actually been reading even more than that. He heard about institute on Thursday, and he attended even though we weren't able to make it. He feels the Spirit's confirming comfort when he prays to know if the things we are teaching him are true. He was there in the chapel a half hour before church even started yesterday. We can't really expect anything more. Every answer he gives to our questions just blows us away because of his understanding. Colleen on the other hand has been taught by the missionaries here for a few months now, and her pride is causing her to stumble. She is proud of her stubbornness. It's a big road block that she is working to overcome. She must be able to rely on another person, or she will never truly be able to accept the grace provided by Jesus Christ through His Gospel.

So, those are two of the major investigators we are working with right now. Tuesday went well with the new missionaries. We got to take a couple of them out contacting on the university campus in Milwaukee, and everyone was very open and nice, so it was a great experience for them. One of them, Elder Jones, is a BYU offensive lineman, and he lives with us and his trainer in our apartment. It was cool to be able to interview each of them and be a part of the process of pairing them with their trainers. Tuesday night, the biggest blizzard of the year hit. It was intense! Most of the mission didn't get hit like we did, so we went ahead with transfers. It was a very stressful day worrying about training the new missionaries and trainers and sending them off, and then figuring out how everything else would work in the storm. It took a tole on me, so I was really excited to get to sleep that night, but I couldn't! I had chills/fever, headache, and sore throat all night. I tried to start out the day like a hero, but could hardly stand for very long. I found out that night, after deciding to go in, that I had a pretty bad case of strep throat. They gave me prescriptions, and my symptoms settled down pretty quick, but I wasn't able to go to the leadership meeting on Friday because I was contagious. My companion had to do all the trainings on his own. But now I'm better! I've never went from so bad to so good so fast.

So there is my week! I hope everything goes well for the family this week!

Elder Vogan

Monday, January 31, 2011


Mon 1/31/11 9:14 AM
So, I told you I was going to be transferred. President Jones called me on Wednesday and asked if I would serve as one of his assistants! What an opportunity to serve, and what a growing experience that will be for me. I was sure Elder Lester would have been the one called. So Elder Lyons and Elder Cottle drove out to Wausau and spent the night with us there Saturday night, and we drove back to Milwaukee yesterday morning for their meetings. The first people I saw were all the people from the Muskego Lakes ward! The DuCharmes seemed pretty surprised to see me, and we were invited to eat breakfast with them today. We have tons of trainings lined up for this month; the schedule looks pretty intense. We will have another 4 day long training in a couple weeks, which Elder Cottle and I will have a huge part in - we'll pretty much run it. Tomorrow, the new missionaries come in, and we'll be picking them up from the airport and taking them out contacting. We will also be interviewing them, assigning trainers, training the trainers, and sending them off. It's cool to be a part of everything, and it's very humbling to now be one of the "model missionaries". The singles ward we are over is incredible! I couldn't believe how great the meetings were. Everyone who had assignments to speak or teach was very prepared and inspired, and everyone is so nice and so great at fellowshipping. We had a guy who is the son of a member from another ward just show up for church. He loved it and says he wants to prepare to be baptized, so we set a date for that to happen (2/26) right there in the chapel after the combined priesthood and relief society meeting got out. We have a set appointment with him today at 2:00. During the Sunday services, a new member was confirmed, and one from two weeks before received the priesthood. It was awesome to be there, and I'm excited to help keep it going! It really is a model ward and a model area; if only every ward was like that. If family wards worked like that, there wouldn't just be individuals coming to the church, but families.

Well, we have a lot on the agenda, so I need to get going. But just so you know, while I'm in the office, I will be able to receive emails on Sunday nights. I won't be replying till about this time on Mondays though. Well I hope everything keeps going well at home! It was awesome to hear from Hannah and Jordan this week!

Elder Vogan


Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 12:33:38 :

Thank you Mom for the letter! This on't be a long letter at all because I used all my online time with my BYU application. But it was a good week. I'm glad to hear things are going well, and that Dad's business is going good too. We had another exchange this week, this time I went to Marshfield for two days with Elder Trusty. That went well, but they don't have the teaching pool we do in Wausau, so we worked alot on building that up. Only so much you can do in two days though. The highlight of the week for me was Gloria again. She didn't come to church because of her anxieties and some obstacles she hit. But she did call us right at the end of our meetings, and she asked us to visit her. We scrambled to find someone who was willing to miss some of the Packers game to come with us, but Brother Yang was willing. Right when we got there, after opening with a prayer, I got the strongest feeling to be really bold with her reminding her of the spiritual experiences she had experienced answering her prayers and helping her know that what we have taught and invited her to do was of the Lord. As my love for her and the Spirit filled me, I said things that were not prepared but that she needed. She was actually planning to drop us right when we got there; to tell us she no longer wanted us to come over. She chose to pray to ask what she should do, and she was told she could not dismiss us. It was intense. The whole lesson was very guided and spiritual.

Well, that's all I have time for. Hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Vogan

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Mon. 1/19/11
Hi family,

Hope everyone had a great week! Ours went pretty well. We had a really intense district meeting on Wednesday. I'm not sure if I told you about our "vision" training last week, but we did it again for the other district, and it was a whole different experience. It started off a little bit rocky, maybe because people were coming in and leaving for interviews with President Jones, but it was still pretty good. We taught about the importance of having a vision/goal to work toward, and how to make it effective, inspired, and inspiring. But unlike the rocky beginning, when we started the visualization (all the missionaries close their eyes and visualize what I say), missionaries were really having inspired visions come to there minds and the Spirit in the room was really strong. Because a couple people missed it, we decided to do it twice, and it was even more intense the second time. The assistants were there, and during it, they were both grabbing their notebooks and writing like crazy the things they learned. One missionary was very emotional even as he shared the sacred experience he had. It was a really cool experience.

The rest of the week was good too. We had exchanges from Wednesday to Thursday with the assistants and one of the district leaders, and we had leadership training on Friday. I'm constantly learning, and I love it. Missions are awesome! I'm excited for whatever the Lord has in store for me this week, all those I'll get to teach and serve. I hope all of you enjoy your week as well!


Elder Vogan

Monday, January 3, 2011


Mon. 1/3/11
Happy New Years! Happy Birthday Dad! and Happy Birthday to Hannah in a couple of days! From Dad's email, it sounds like things are going really well at home. I'm glad you found your key's, Mom. I got the box of oranges, thank you!

This week has gone really well for us here in Wausau. The ward here is very missionary-minded, and we were able to teach quite a few lessons, bringing members with us. We've also started doing "family mission plans" with a few different families, and they all seem to be excited. Andra Andrews continues to progress in here knowledge and faith, and she continues to prepare for her baptism this Friday. We've been keeping daily contact with her and having simple lessons with her several times a week, and it's really been helping her. Since she committed firmly to keep the Word of Wisdom two Saturdays ago, she hasn't picked up a cigarette or drank any coffee. She almost missed church this week. As she, her daughter, and her daughters family were getting in the car ready to go, on one of the coldest days since I've been back out here, the car door wouldn't close. It must have been frozen or something..? But as we looked around for them during the beginning of sacrament meeting and not seeing them, we checked the phone and they had called several times. The message they left, Andra's daughter was in tears, they asked if there was any way someone could help. So we asked one of our recent convert members we were sitting by, and he was willing to go with us to pick them up. We couldn't drive them in our car. But yeah, so it worked out! I'm just glad we decided to check the phone. And now we are excited for Friday!

This week, Elder Lester and I will be giving 2 trainings - 1 at Elder Lokboj's district meeting on "vision", and 1 for zone conference, which is this Thursday. It will be my first time conducting for a zone conference as well, so that should be good.

I love the work! I'm so happy to be out here!

Love you!
Elder Vogan