Monday, September 18, 2017

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Christiano Raldo is like a god here

Espero que vocês estejam bem. Estamos animados aqui. Estamos a lutar.

Meta da missão: 75 Batismos. In our mission, we have been trying to achieve a goal that our mission president set for us in May. This goal was to help 75 people be baptized in a month. That's a pretty lofty goal. We have been trying the best we can and the closest we have come is 49 in July. We have made a lot of sacrifices. We had a Mission wide fast this last transfer where everyday one area of the mission would fast each day. So everyday of the transfer at least one area of the mission was fasting at a time. It was really cool to think about it, even if our day was really hard and nothing was happening we knew that Heavenly Father was pouring out blessings on our mission because two Elders or two Sisters were fasting for us at that exact moment. Yesterday, we also realized a fast that the entire mission participated in. It was really good. Everyone is really focused on achieving that goal.

Contexto de Portugal: Benfica e Sporting. Like any European country, Portugal likes to play soccer. They have their own soccer league that is called Liga Nos. In this league, they have a couple soccer teams that are pretty good, three to be exact. Porto (that isn't in our mission), and two teams in Lisbon called Benfica and Sporting. They have the biggest rivalry here in Portugal. People are either Benfiquistas or Sportinguistas. They have fights sometimes, and the members and investigators take these teams very seriously, so I take these teams very seriously. Famous players have played for each of these teams. Notingly for Sporting one Cristiano Raldo grew up in their academy, and now is winning a lot of golden boots? I don't know, I have never really gotten the point of chasing after balls. But now Benfica is playing in the Champions league. We will see how this goes if they make it out of group play. I still haven't chosen a team I like better here in Portugal because people literally don't talk to us if we say that we like the team that they don't like. So for now my favorite team here is the same team that the person that I am talking to likes. 

Lição em Principios de Evangelho: Como desenvolver nossos talentos: So this week, the lesson in gospel principles was how to develop talents. In this class we basically used the only example of talent that they have here in Portugal, Cristano Raldo. He is like a god here. (Talk about having no other gods before me) But there is a store in the Algarve called força Portugal that sells the brand of Benfica or of Sporting and then the only other thing they sell is the Cristiano Ronaldo Brand... lol. But back to the point we basically had a lesson about how to develop talents using the example of Cristiano Ronaldo. I just thought it was funny.  You really can't escape him.  He's every where in Portugal. But it was still a good lesson.

The book is blue - the church is true. We are teaching a young women named Yolene. She is from Angola. She has come to church two times. She is really cool. She likes to sleep. But that's alright. We are trying to help her understand the importance of the Priesthood. We talked with her about temples yesterday. The only way you can know these things are true is through reading the book of Mormon and praying to know. He will respond in his time and in his way. 
 Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, September 11, 2017

This work is the work of the Lord

Bom dia Irmãos e Irmãs, Estou tão grato para falar convosco hoje! Esta semana foi uma benção do Senhor. Trabalhamos até o pó e vimos os milagres que foram demoradas sobre nos!

Primeiro milagre: Encontramos com Leonel. The Future Seventy that we found a couple weeks ago was a little hard to get in touch with. He had a lot of meetings and it takes a while for him to drive home. We were able to meet with him once this week. It was really interesting. He had cancer in the past and to distract him from cancer, his doctor asked him to raise chickens in his house. He thought the message was interesting and he read basically half the pamphlet of the restoration the night after and finished it completely two days after. He only has one problem becoming the next Seventy of Portugal which is that he doesn't have a wife but besides that I think that he doesn't drink or smoke, just maybe coffee. He is an eleito.

Segundo milagre: Encontramos com Celia. Celia is a women that was married to a brother of a member that lives in Porto (in the north). We met her about two weeks ago while that family was here for vacation. We had been having trouble getting in touch with her but finally ran into her after the Zone Conference on Thursday. We taught her the Restoration. She thought it was interesting. She doesn't not believe in god but she doesn't explicitly believe in god if that makes sense. As we were reciting the first vision account, I felt something that I knew that those words were true. I can't count how many times I have already recited those words in Portuguese or how many hours I spent struggling to memorize those words for scripture mastery in seminary, but all those times were different than this one. This time, something clicked, information became reality and I understood the magnitude of that event for one instant. It was good. 
 
Terceiro milagre: Ensinamos Lurdes. Lurdes is an «Eleita». She was contacted on the street about a week ago. She said we could meet with her and talk about the restoration. We had trouble finding her in her house. Finally when we knocked she opened the door in the bottom. When we got up to the top, Lurdes wasn't standing there. There was this man who didn't seem to happy to discover that missionaries wanted to talk to him. Rejecting us as quickly as he could, trying to escape into the protection of his own home, we asked if he knew a Lurdes that lived in that apartment building. Reluctantly, as if it killed him to help missionaries like us, he said that she lived in the door across from him as he slammed the door. With the echo of the door still ringing loudly in our ears, we knocked on her door. Immediately, the door swooshed opened. The Light filled the stairwell which seemed too dark and dreary before. A woman was standing there. «Lurdes?» I asked. She nodded with her head and motioned that we could enter. We had been knocking on the wrong door for about a week but the Lord in his own timing in his own way made sure that Lurdes would have an opportunity to hear the message. 

This Work is the work of the Lord. I am glad to be an instrument in the Lord's hands for these two years. I wouldn't have left my family for two years if I didn't know these things were absolutely and completely true. I know that this church is the true and only church of God on the earth with the whole and complete gospel that Jesus Christ himself taught while he was here. I know this through personal revelation and through his prophets. They and I hold the priesthood authority of God. They and I are chosen representatives of Jesus Christ himself here on the earth. The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith and is the fruit that is needed to know that Joseph was a true prophet of God. I know this through the Holy Ghost. God is my heavenly father and yours. He loves all of his children. These miracles are a manifestation of his love.  

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Lord puts people in your way

Bom Dia Irmãos e Irmã! Agradeço muito por este tempo para falar convosco esta semana! Foi uma semana incrível! Tivemos muitos milagres e algumas historias ingresadas. Mas em geral foi uma outra semana em paraíso.

Primeira historia ingressada: Um pastore tentou a nos converter. So two weeks ago at the end of the week, we had been talking with a lot of people in the streets. We ended up talking with this guy who was really cool and really receptive to talk to us (that was the first weird thing). He had moved into the area recently with his family. The second weird thing is that he wanted to tell us a little bit about himself in the street. So he started talking, and he was a religious person in the past.  He told us about how he found Jesus Christ and became saved and stuff like that. He really liked the Bible. Then at the end he told us why he had moved here recently. He was actually going to open up his own church here in Vale da Amoreira. Lol. Haha so we set up an appointment with him for early this past week. When we got there we explained why we were there and explained about the restoration, the great apostasy and the Book of Mormon. When we finished, he told us that he was thankful that we came and explained all these thing but that he had a different purpose in mind. He told us that he wanted to «mudar nossa mentes» or «change our minds». He then tried to bible bash with us for the next 45 minutes. He didn't do a very good job because I am still here on the mission and have more desire than ever to help other understand better their relationship with Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon.
Também tivemos Milagres: Uma mulher parou nos porque ela quer ser batizada. As we were rushing from one appointment to another yesterday, this lady that was sitting on a bench stopped us because she wanted to talk with us. When we got to her, she told us that she wanted to be baptized. She had already talked with the missionaries before and they had tried to help her to be baptized but she was sick so she couldn't. Now she is better and now she wants to be baptized. She has already gone to church for three months and she already lives the Word of Wisdom. Aguinha. It's funny how we work really hard sometimes and it seems like our work doesn't do anything and then the Lord just puts people in your way. It's incredible how he works. 

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, August 28, 2017

Miracles Happened

Ahoy! Como está família! Espero que vossas semana fossem boas. Nossas semana foi incrível! Uma outra semana aqui em paraíso.

This week was a little bit different than most weeks. We didn't have a lot of time to work in our area this week because of interviews that we had with President and other baptismal interviews in our area. It was a little sad but we only had about three hours everyday to work in our area. So we didn't have the greatest success this week but we tried hard. 

Milagre #1: Apesar de não trabalhando tanto em nossa area estamos a encontrar muitos eleitos que vão progredir. We didn't have much time but with the time, we did have we didn't waste! We talked with everyone  in the street and miracles happened. We found a couple people have a lot of potential to progress. 
a. Leonel: He is a man about 45 years old. He works for the phone company MEO here in Portugal and he is really cool. It was about 20h45 at night and we were getting ready to return home because we work really far away from our house, but this guy was entering his house, and we just shouted out «Ola amigo!» and he stopped and talked with us for a while. He was interested not only in our work but also in the message we have. We think that he is going to be the next Seventy of Portugal.
b. Gina: She is a women we stopped in the road while she was walking her dog. She thought I didn't know how to speak Portuguese but was impressed when I started talking with her fluently. She is really sensitive to the spirit. She started crying during our contact with her. It was interesting. She talked about the spirit that she felt when she went to fatima (a catholic worshipping site here in Portugal, I'll explain it in another email). She said that she doesn't really believe in fatima but she was touched by the faith of the other people that were there.  She could feel their dedication. I really think she will like temples. That space is holy beyond holy and she will feel the spirit really strongly.

Estudos do Scrituras: Correlação entre 3 Ne 18: 9-10, e D+C 18:10-16. There is a connection between those two passages of holy writ. The first is when Christ was talking with his apostles in the Americas. He ordained the three Nephites and explained why they would be blessed. The second is describing the joy that comes from helping souls find Christ, and his true doctrine. I am still trying to understand this completely but as a generality the eternal joy that is sweet beyond all else that is described in Lehi's dream is found when we declare repentance and baptism unto our fellow men. The worth of the soul that is saved is so great that when we are involved in the saving process and help, we will rest forever in happiness in our father's kingdom with them. 

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, August 21, 2017

BOM is the keystone of our religion

Ola tudo bem, Como estão esta semana?Estou bem obrigado. Chegou aqui em mini africa (barreiro) e é bem fixe!

I don't have much time this week. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting in the new branch in Barreiro. I talked about the quote of Joseph Smith in the intro of the Book of Mormon. How the BoM is the most correct book on all of the earth, how it is the keystone of our religion, and how a man would draw closer to God by abiding by it's principles than by any other book. This book is true. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. God has restored his church on the earth today. Jesus is the Christ. I am his servant.


Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, August 14, 2017

Trasnfer to Berreiro

Ola Meus Queridos! Como Estão? Tudo tá muito fixe aqui! Só Estamos a destrutar, quemando e batizando, no sol do Algarve por mais uma semana, depois vou voltar para Lisboa.

Transferencias: Esta semana mudarei para Barreiro. So this week was transfer week. Elder Rogers is going to stay in Olhão. He is really excited! We received a call from Elder Schlofman (the couple missionaries that are responsible for the Algarve) that said we were going to move out of our house because the sisters are going to be kicked out of their house, and that we are going to live in Tavira. We thought that meant that we were going to work there too but now it seems like we will just live there until they find a new house in Olhão for Elders. Yea, the sisters aren't going to move into our house until the 26th of August. Should be fun, we have been cleaning for the past two days, woot! Also I am going to be leaving the Algarve and the scorching sun, that kills.  After 6 months here, I will be serving in Berreiro. That is an area on the southern part of the Tejo River, just across from Lisbon. 

Uma Coisa Engrasada: Carlos será batizado ali em Loulé.  So we had been teaching this guy named Carlos for about a month but then his boss stopped paying him. (This happened around the time that Cidalia got baptized). He didn't like that very much that he wasn't receiving money for his service. So he moved to Albufeira (where I served previously). For about a week we lost contact with him, waiting for him to return. Finally we gave his info to Elder Martel (My old companion who is still working there). They got in contact with him. They taught him, and marked him for baptism. Then he went dark again.  That is until Sunday when he showed up to church with a pair of clothes to change into, ready for baptism. Lol, they really wished they could have baptized him, but he was still missing some small things before he was ready.  But yeah he'll probably be baptized this next week, na boa!

Mais como o Salvador: O amor por o povo é sempre dificil durante tranderencias. It's great developing the love of the People when you are on the mission. The members are always the greatest.  They are your family away from home for the period of time you are in that area. When you come to an area, it is usually hard feeling the love right away becuase you don't know anyone.  It's kind of crazy. But by the last day, you have spent an extended period of time trying to help these people. You have exerted a lot of energy and sweated a lot, cried a lot, and sweated more. You sweat a lot on the mission. But the point is that during this time you sacrifice your whole life for them and through that sacrifice you are able to feel a small fraction of what the Savior felt for us.

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018