Monday, June 11, 2018

The Azores are beautiful.

Well the Azores are beautiful. Holy crap! It's so green! It's amazing! It's like in all those films where people go to those remote islands in the middle of the ocean, that turn out to be magical or something. These islands are magical. I don't know how they work.  I think we are on top of three volcanos or something.  If one of them explodes, we're toast. We better hope that the second coming doesn't come in the next 6 weeks to 5 months because I think I remember hearing «And cities will be swallowed up in the sea» and I think that was talking about these islands. But the people are great here. There aren't that many members here but the people are cool. They talk with an accent. It's like they are talking Portuguese but with a French accent. It's funny. I think I actually understand them better than I do people from the mainland or people from brazil. Those 8 years of French are really paying off now!
 
We have been working with a ton of urgency. We are trying to find someone who can be baptized by the end of the month. We taught a lesson the first day I got here to a man named Carlos. He is a reference from a member. We taught the plan of salvation. He was taking notes and writing down stuff. He was drawing the conclusions before we could say them. I showed him the picture of Christ being baptized and he said he wanted to do that because it looks so pretty. We'll see how that goes.
 
We talked with a family in the road on Friday and said we were going to stop by on Monday. Yesterday, we had a bad day. Nothing much was happening. We turned the corner on a street and I saw a man sitting on the door step. I stopped to talk with him. We talked, we asked if we could enter, and we did. We taught the gospel of Christ to him and testified about the importance of following the example of Christ.  He said they were willing to do that. It wasn't until the end that they told us that we had talked to them the day before and were going to pass by the next day.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.
 
The Azores are elect!
 
Élder Fogg

Monday, June 4, 2018

Pics


Reflections on évora

Reflections on Évora : Évora has been worked in by missionaries for about 30 years straight now. There are really quite a few people who don't know who we are. It's an area where you can learn a lot. Here are a few things I learned:
  • Abrahamic test and trials: God is our loving Heavenly Father. He loves us and knows us perfectly. He has the desire that we grow and learn so he created a plan for us. To learn and grow we have to be tried.  To see if we are growing he puts these trials in our lives. We receive a lot of blessings in our lives, temporally and spiritually. At times it seems like those blessings are poured out on us. We have a good work and we feel the spirit often and receive answers to our prays quickly and distinctly. Then it all stops. We lose our work, Heavenly Father seems distant and the path we should be walking seems a lot mistier. In those times that we have trials, Heavenly Father wants to see where we are at. He wants to see if our heart is where our mouth is. We say a lot of times «I know He lives and loves me» but do we mean it. Do our parents only love us when they tell us what to do and when they aren't at our side they some how stop loving us? We can only live by trial and error sometimes. If we are never allowed to err, how will we know for ourselves which path is right to take? Here, there are many members that were baptized and felt God's love. God loved them enough to give them other chances to show their love to him and not just through word but by action (forgiving others who do wrong, being humble in accepting the trials we have, following the counsel of our leaders, etc). It is extremely important that we see with the eternal perspective that our trials are temporary, they pass and will change. We need to see that we love God unconditionally to live with Him forever. To do that, we need to be able to sacrifice everything because of that love.
We are both being transferred. Elder Spees is going to Beja.  I'm going to the Azores. I'll be on an island where there are more cows than people that actually live there. It'll be great.
 
We found out on Thursday night that we would be white washed. We did a blitz on Friday with the Elders from Santo Andre (the other area in our district). They came here and went wild. We have made a lot of appointments for the next Elders. They should continue the work smoothly.
 
It was hard saying good bye. I have seen many times on the mission how the love for an area and people grow as you serve there. When I got here, I was not very excited to be here. I got here and worked my buns off. I can say that I love these people. The members aren't perfect but they are loved by the lord. He is sending people here to build Zion in this city.

Élder Fogg

Monday, May 28, 2018

Shoes



My shoes are beginning to disintegrate

Generally here, we have visitors from the United States that come to church. It's always good when someone visits. It's fun talking to them about where they are from, why they are here, where they served a mission. It was really cool this week because we ran into a missionary that served here 25 years ago. None of the members remembered him (It's great to know that my work will never be in vain *cough* *cough* lol) but he remembered them and the work that he put in here to help them. He talked with us about how it was then. When he served, there was a district in the Alentejo (the middle of evora) and they had 5 missionary companionships when he was here. The town is really small.  I have no idea how they managed to have 5 but they did. Now there is no Alentejo District but Évora is apart of the Sétubal Stake and there is only one companionship here. Interesting differences.

I have been here so long on that my shoes are beginning to disintegrate. There is a giant old hole in one of them and it rained this week. My foot got soaked. It was a very pleasant experience.

We visited a Less-Active who has a couple of kids. Her name is Sonia. She has 3 kids, Marianna 18, Richardo 9 and Leonardo 10. She wants her kids to go to church. They haven't been going because no one has talked with them in a while to see why they haven't been going. We had tried to visit serval times but they were never home. Now we are going to visit a couple more times and this next week we'll try to get them to church.

Élder Fogg

Monday, May 21, 2018

Lisbon and Setúbal this week

We went to Lisbon and Setúbal this week. I had to renew my residency card here in Portugal because I was illegal. Now I am legal again! Woo but that meant that Spees and I had to go to Lisbon. Because Evora is so far away from everything, we left a day before and got back about the same time we left the day before. We also had Zone conference this week in Setúbal and the same thing happened. We had a very broken week. It was hard to make progress but we did our best. 
 
This week in my studies I focused on the What? the Why? and the How? in the missionary lessons (plan of salvation and the Restoration). I was trying to teach simpler. Looking through these lenses at the lessons really brings out the basic doctrines and shows what people really need to know. The gospel is simple and true. 
Élder Fogg

Monday, May 14, 2018

Q&A - with Elder Fogg

I received a couple of letters from home and seeing that there is a little confusion as to what I was doing here on the mission I have decided to do a Question and Answer session. (please remember that this is a joke, based very loosely on questions that may or may not have been received).

Question: Where are you serving? 
Answer: I know it's hard to remember sometimes, sometimes I don't even remember. I am serving in Sião o novo Jerusalém (Zion the new Jerusalem), some people mistakenly think that that's Jackson County Missouri but no. It's actually Lisbon, Portugal.
 
Question: Where is Portugal?
Answer: As Gob Bluth put it from Arrested Development  ''Portugal ... Going to live it up down ol’ South America way, huh, Mikey?'' Contrary to popular belief, Portugal isn't actually a South American country, neither central nor northern American either. They don't even like Americans. It actually is European. Next to Spain.
 
Question: So it's a province of Spain? 
Answer: No, Spain has it's own  government and language. Portugal has a government that is  completely different and a language that Spaniards don't even understand.
 
Question: So they speak Spanish?
Answer: There is a language in this world that is literally called PORTUGUESE. It's actually one of the most spoken languages in the world spanning many continents, cultures and people.
 
Question: ''Are you excited to come home in October''
Answer: OK, wow, I am trying to focus as a missionary on missionary stuff and missionary things being very missionary-y. Gosh. I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations. Let me answer your question with a question, where is Kolob? (I don't know)
 
It was great responding to your questions. If you guys have any other questions that you like to have responded feel free to send them and I'll do (as DJ Khaled would say) another one.
 
Élder Fogg