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Mesquite Nevada Stakes

lder David Vogel

Elder Vogel the Younger– Piqua, Ohio

Up and Up

If we look at my time in this area as your stereotypical storybook, the last few weeks would be when everything goes wrong. Now we’re in the part where everyone is trying to adjust to their new normal that will hopefully end in a happy ending for everyone.

Working backwards we can start with today. We have finally been able to meet with Carla & Glenn again after almost a month. We explained our normal lessons with them to Elder Harrison. Also how Glenn likes to bring up things like zodiac signs, the civil war, politics, wickenology, and general very interesting personal things. We had a short lesson with them tonight because Carla wasn’t feeling well (not covid) but he still managed to bring up every single one of those subjects. It was a very good introduction to Glenn for Elder Harrison.

We really aren’t going there for Glenn. Carla is the one who can really benefit from the Gospel, but we can’t teach one without the other. Every time we try another outlet to teach Glenn he just shoots it down, Read the Book of Mormon, doesn’t read well, listen to a talk, loses interest, watch a video, “not a video guy”. It’s at the point that he only wants to learn by word of mouth. I would love to think our words are enough for conversion but that just won’t cut it.

Yesterday we met with Brother Wheeler again. I say Brother Wheeler because he is a member but I’m still at a loss of how. Going over there is always very civil. It’s when we start messaging him that things get tense. I don’t care much for conflict, but Elder Harrison has spent his entire mission listening to recordings of a member lawyer bashing with random missionaries and hadn’t gotten the chance to interact on this level yet. The texts started flying. I don’t think either of them are actually reading what the other sends.

As it stands we’ve made some progress with him. He still has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and still studies it. He even bought us pizza and some other snacks. We’ve been trying to get him to come to church for the past two weeks. He gives the same response every time. “It’s repetitive.” He attends the German Baptist Church because of the sermons. Maybe we’ll be able to bring things back around?

After missing a month's worth of lessons with April we got into contact with her again as well. She wasn’t answering our calls or texts so instead we just knocked on her door. She was happy to see us but very tired. She is currently working a 72 hour work week and caring for her very pregnant daughter. So she doesn’t have any time to really meet but she does want us to keep texting her Scriptures to read and videos for her to watch on her breaks.

The last thing for Sunday was we stopped at the other Elders apartment for a farewell zoom call to President and Sister Ensign. They have officially been released as our Presidency and we now have President and Sister Maguire. I know very little about them. While we were on the call the other Elders started having some technical difficulties with their phone so we were laughing too hard at them to really hear what was going on. We have an in-person meet and greet with them on Wednesday so I’ll get filled in there.

After the call it was pitch black outside but we thought it would be a good idea to go disc golfing with the other Elders anyway. It was interesting, I couldn't really worry about how you threw because you couldn’t see where you were throwing. So we went out with flashlights. We didn’t lose any discs, and only one person got hit with a frisbee. That person was me. But in my defense it’s hard to defend against a frisbee trying to take out your knees when you don’t know it’s there until after it’s tried to cripple you.

We did get to have an awesome lesson with Brenda Wooten. The past two lessons we’ve had to teach her through a window because she’s on lockdown for chemo treatments. For some reason when we went that day they let us in. Which was cool but it did mean the lesson we had planned got thrown out the window. Mostly because the moment we sat down she said she wanted to read with us. So we did. We read the introduction, the three witnesses, the eight witnesses, and the other introduction. She loved it. Halfway through reading she stopped and said that it never made sense to her why it would end at the bible. Brenda, you are doing our jobs for us. Spiritually she’s doing really well. Physically we’ll leave it to her doctors to decide.

On Saturday we went and helped Brother Osborne split firewood for the winter. Missionaries are not supposed to operate any form of power tool or heavy machinery. So we didn’t. We just kept putting the logs underneath the big metal spike and the members pushed the lever to operate the heavy machinery.

That took us a good three hours and after hauling wet logs around for that long I was in dire need of a shower. Instead Brother Osborne took us all out for pizza. So apologies to the 3joes pizzeria staff but I wasn’t going to eat with mud all over my arms so I very carefully washed up to my elbows in the bathroom before eating. Really good pizza though. The next morning was the first time in a long time that I woke up with truly sore biceps. Service is truly the secret to success in many things, including gains.

Saturday Evening, we had exchanges with the Zone leaders, 90% uneventful. Until we were walking down a street in the dark and saw a house with a six foot cross lit up on the side. Not made of lights, a well made, wooden cross with spotlights on it. You know we knocked on their door. We met Johnny. Long story short, after sharing the restoration of the Gospel he told us that not only were prophets necessary, he was one. So he invited US to “go into our private prayer closet and ask God if there is more for us to know." It was a strange moment if there is more for us to know, you are definitely not the person who will tell us. But you are not wrong about there being more to know. Ohio is fun.

Probably the only noteworthy event for the week was on Wednesday we attended a luncheon for all the Fish volunteers. During which they had a raffle and all three of us won something. I donated mine to the next ticket drawn but the Elder Harrison got $20 to Frickers, and Elder Flamm got a week of free meals. Also at that luncheon, which was being held in another church, we met the pastor of the church. Very friendly guy asked us over to talk theology and play board games. We can’t say no to that so we’ll see where that goes.

I'm realizing that these letters are not very smooth but I'm okay with that. The week wasn't smooth. But, things are looking up. We will put it to the people who have been sufficiently humbled to receive the word.


Elder Vogel

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