Mission Week 37

I hope this email finds you well and happy and healthy and safe and all the wonderful things that you need in your life!!!
Let me apologize, we have been super busy the past few weeks and haven’t had time to email, so sorry about that!  I will do my best to summarize what has been going on!!
So the last few weeks have been good!  Our mission president, President Granger, has challenged us to become a real mission of miracles.  In order to do so, every missionary has been praying at 8 each morning to become a real mission of miracles, reading the Book of Mormon, and just being the best they can be: working hard, being obedient, etc. So, I have been trying to do a lot of changing the past few weeks!  I want to be doing everything I can so that the people here can progress!  I know that I cannot help people quit smoking or deal with other huge problems and obstacles in their life if I am not doing my absolute best to keep the small commandments, like getting up and exercising, or being the most diligent I can be!  I know that the Lord will consecrate my efforts.  I have been listening a lot to Elder Holland’s talk from last general conference to help me stay motivated, “Tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you” or something like that!  He shares the scripture in Joshua that says “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will work wonders among you.”  THAT IS MY THEME for the moment, sanctifying myself so that I can have the spirit STRONGLY with me, and see the miracles that will come!!!
We have already started seeing the fruits of our labors!  This past sunday at church we had FOUR investigators at church, plus three inactive families!!  IT WAS AWESOME!!  Two of our investigators have shared the desire to be baptized: Maleko and Mami Josephine, but both have concerns or something blocking them from actually doing it.  With Maleko, it is quitting smoking…he has been smoking for forty years now and doesn’t think he can quit!  But we know with the Lord that ALL things are possible.  We have been reminding him about the miracles Jesus performed when He was here on the earth.  Jesus healed people based on THEIR FAITH in Him.  If Maleko doesn’t believe in himself, then it will never happen.  BUT if he puts faith in the Lord and tries his HARDEST, the results will come!  We have been fasting and praying for his efforts, and he has already diminished his smoking A LOT!  So we are continuing to put trust in the Lord, and moving forward with that!
Mami Josephine would love the be baptized, but she is a little slow to understand things, so she doesn’t completely feel ready yet!  But she has made HUGE progress!  She has stopped drinking coffee, she comes to church every Sunday, and now she is one of the most popular Mamis in the ward!  She knows that all of it is true, but she has opposition from her family, so I think that is what is stopping her!  But we continue to visit with her and strengthen her faith, and we know that the Lord will come and strengthen her in her time!
We started teaching a new investigator, the neighbor of one of our member families!  SHE IS SO PREPARED BY THE LORD!  SHE IS ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS!  We met with her for the first time last Saturday and the next day, she was at church!  We taught her about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the story of Joseph Smith!  She believed everything that we were saying, which was nice becuase normally people like to challenge us here!  She is so humble and is searching for the truth!  We invited her to pray to know, and I know that she will!  We will be meeting with her again this Saturday, and if the spirit is right, invite her to be baptized!  We are hoping!  We are trusting in miracles! 🙂
Other than that, we are continuing to work with our inactive families!  There is one family, the family Tauarau, who I love SO MUCH!!! The mother is so humble and loving, but it has been FOREVER since they have been at the chapel!  But the whole family was sealed in the temple about ten years ago, so the have SO MANY BLESSINGS awaiting them if they can just keep the commandments and come to church! We continue to meet with them, gain their love and their trust, and we are hoping the the Lord will open their eyes and give them the strength to keep going!
The mother of Soeur Tauarau live with them and is pretty hard hearted, so I think that is one big opposition that stops them from coming to church, but we have already seen so much progress with that! When we first started visiting, she wouldn’t even talk to us and even told us to leave!  But one night we passed by to see the family, but they were not there!  We ended up talking with her for about twenty minutes of her life and her back ground.  She didn’t want us to share a message, but she invited us back to meet with her family like usual!  This past week, when we met with Soeur Tauarau, her mother was standing at the kitchen window, and was listening during the whole lesson!!! So who knows what will happen in the future, but what a marvelous miracle already!  This is just a testimony builder to me that this IS the gospel of Jesus Christ!  That Jesus Christ lives, and is still here as our Savior and Redeemer!  Our Father in Heaven softens the hearts of His children, and Christ comes and changes them for the better!  I know that God is working on this wonderful woman, and that He alone can help her see the truthfulness of our message, and the joy that comes from eternal families!
So we have been a bit busy because Soeur Tatahio has a bit of a health problem!  She lost feeling in her arm and couldn’t move it, so that was a bit of a roadblock..last week we were at doctors and doctors, and they still don’t really know what is wrong, but they gave her pain medication so that she can move it, and she will have to go back to the doctor in a month’s time to figure out what is wrong… prayers for her please!
Ayoo, my wonderful family and friends!  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!  Twenty years old, that sounds old!  It was a wonderful day here!  We spent the day during our missionary work as always, and had a wonderful soiree at night with one of our member families who made me lasagna and chocolate mousse 🙂 It was WONDERFUL!  I also had a birthday bbq which was fun, because there are a lot of July birthdays in my ward!  So we all celebrated together!  It was a good day 🙂 I felt your love, even from halfway across the world!  Thank you for all of your examples, prayers, and support!  I remember them on days where it seems a bit tough!  I love you all!  Thank you for being YOU!
I know that this gospel is true!  This birthday, I was once again just SO THANKFUL for my testimony of this gospel, and for the opportunity I know have to share it with others.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a representative of Jesus Christ, to treat others the way He would, to teach others the way He would, and to love and see others the way He would!  I have testified before, and I will testify again that charity is the pure love of Christ, the best love we can feel for those around us, and one of the most marvelous experiences I have felt in my life!  I know that ALL of us, missionary or not, can feel of this love!  If we pray, if we try, and if we truly desire, we can see all those around us through the eyes of God!
Let us all remember that we can a wonderful loving Heavenly Father who is there for us, and is cheering us on!  He is there to help US reach our FULL POTENTIAL, and so he gives us the tools we will need to do so: the gospel, commandments, trials, etc.  HE SEES US NOT AS WE ONCE WERE, but WHO WE CAN BECOME!  My hope for myself, and for all of us is that I and we can see others in that light as well: who they can become, and then help them on their journey to get their.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father who has never given up on me, who is currently helping me reach my FULL POTENTIAL through tests, trials, and experiences that will shape the rest of my life!
Thank you for sharing this experience with me, my family and friends!  I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Have a great week!!!
And eat chocolate ice cream 🙂
Soeur Vogel 🙂
PS I have lots of pics to send!
PICS: Birthday celebrations and mission meetings, we always love when all the missionaries are all together 🙂
week 37.1
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week 37.5
More mission meeting pictures with some awesome sistas, and BDAY BBQ, so yummy! 🙂
week 37.6
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week 37.9
week 37.10

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