Friday, July 1, 2011

WELCOMING PEOPLE TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Mon, 27 Jun 2011

Mom!

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

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