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