Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Birthday America!

Ola tudo bem!

Happy Birthday America! And Dinis got baptized!

Transfer Week: I am staying in Olhão! Wo! Hoo! Ye Haw! Aiight! Elder Moses is leaving and I am getting a new companion. His name is Elder Rogers. I Feel like maybe doing the thing from the ''Best Two Years'' when Elder Calhoon meets Elder Rogers for the first time. ''Elder Johnson, Elder Vanpelt, Elder Rogers.... Elder Rogers....  Mijn nieuwe collega...''. So ya cool.

Funny: Elder Moses and I had to go to Lisboa this week because Elder Moses had to renew his residency here in Portugal. So we had to leave our area in the Algarve and take a train and go all the way to Lisboa and stay the night there with the office Elders. Well, the office Elders were doing something important (probably), and they didn't get home until 3 o'clock in the morning. So when we got up, I didn't want to wake them up because they hadn't got much sleep, and my razor makes a lot of noise so I didn't shave. But we had to leave really early in the morning to go to do this residency thing, so by the time we got to the mission office it was already time to leave and I didn't have time to shave. We did the residency stuff pretty quickly and when they brought us back to the mission office, President Tavares was standing right there in the door way. When he saw me, he didn't say a word.  He only looked at me then rubbed my cheek with the back of his hand and said ''Elder missionaries are supposed to shave aren't they''. Oops. I had my razor in my backpack so I went to shave immediately. When I finally finished, He came over again and put his hands on the shoulders of Elder Moses and I and looked at me and then at Elder Moses and said 'I love you guys Elders'' and started to laugh.

Spiritual: This week we taught a lesson with a investigator named Cedalia. She is very spiritual. She is having trouble with some of her family members. We had given her a book of Mormon previously and she has felt the power of the book.  We taught lessons with her about the Plan of Salvation and how God has given us our families so that we can be happy and the difficulties we have are just here so we can grow. I then bore my testimony about how important my family was to me. The spirit was there testifying to me that it was true and therefore it was testifying to her too the it was also true. My family is so important to me. I love them.  They have helped me so much. Why then would I leave them for 2 years to go to a place where I won't be able to see them. Because the Book of Mormon is true. The Church is true. Jesus is the Christ, the god of Israel.
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, June 26, 2017

Christ is a sure foundation



Ola familia tudo Bem!

So I decided to cut my own hair this week. 10 out of 10 would recommend. It took 3 days and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Pictures will be coming next week. But ya, we have learned the lesson and Elder Fogg will NOT be cutting his own hair in the near or far future. This week we had a lot of cool stories.

Funny story: Quase demos uma referencia para as Teshemunhas de Jeova. So we contacted a African guy about 4 weeks ago. *Ironically we also contacted his wife on the same day, and the sisters contacted him 2 days later. I think the Lord might want him to hear our message -- I don't know* We have been trying to get in touch with this Carlos for the past few weeks and every time he says he'll be there but he never shows up. We usually call him afterwards to see why he never shows up and he always says that he passed by but no one was there. We usually are there waiting for him so we thought that was strange. We were walking to church this past Sunday and we ran into him. He asked us where our church was, so we pointed it out. Turns out because the way we describe where our church is located, he thought our church was the JW church because both are near the train station and next to tunnels. Oops!

Miracle of the week: Estamos a encontrar os ELEITOS! So the past couple of weeks Elder Moses and I have been walking around Olhao a lot, talking to people in the streets -- trying to see who can wear out their shoes the fastest (I'm winning). But this last week instead of just trying to talk with people in the street, we started to testify and bare our testimony a lot about why we are here on a mission to Portugal. With that difference, people started to see our sincerity and I think they felt the spirit too so we had a lot more appointments this week. We taught 2 people who were super "Eleito" this week - Fernando and Ceilia. Fernando is a Security Guard by day, theater junky by night. He is going through some rough times with his family but he told us his beliefs and he basically outlined the plan of salvation. We only had time to share a scripture with him. Elder Moses shared Helaman 5:12 with him which says

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

With the difficulties he was passing through, this scripture really helped him. We all can learn that Christ is a sure foundation. We will always have things happen that will shake our testimony for a time but if we build on Christ who is our redeemer, always trusting in his grace and mercy, we will overcome anything life throws at us.

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, June 19, 2017

And the thirty and third week of the mission of Elder Fogg passed away in peace and happiness

Olà tudo bem?

Today I will share with you a couple of verses from 5 Fogg 5:1-8, new scripture that was found:

1 And the thirty and third week of the mission of Elder Fogg passed away in peace and happiness. And the start of the thirty and forth week started in happiness. 
 
2 For Elder Moses and Elder Fogg rejoiced that they would be nourished by the good word of God and be instructed in how to improve their technique. And so in the start of the thirty and forth week on the mission of Elder Fogg, I, Elder Fogg and Elder Moses went Faro to be instructed by President Tavares in a Conference of our Zone.
 
3 There we did hear and see many things pertaining to the building up of the kingdom of Zion. For Behold many great and important instructions were layed forth. For behold there were many and so many that they were more numerous than the sands of the sea, and it sufficeth me to say that we were nourished by the good word of god. 
4 And it came to pass that I, Elder Fogg, did realize a split with the Elders in Faro. And we did labor diligently, yea and we did labor diligently that we helped bring many souls to Christ. 
 
5 And it came to pass that in the fourth day of the thirty and fourth week of the mission of Elder Fogg, I Elder Fogg, was moved upon by the spirit and did return to the city of Olhão to cry repentance once again unto that people that they might know the one and true God, and his son Jesus Christ whom he has sent.
 
6 Yea and we did return with hast to the city of Olhão and did work diligently with the fire of the holy ghost working in our heart, yea and we did cry repentance unto that people. And did show unto them the iniquities and did work diligently in the labor of our Lord. 
 
7 But behold it came to pass that as we were laboring diligently in the work of the lord, Satan did throw up his hedges and did grow up his roots that he might trip up and discourage us in the work of our Lord.
 
8 But verily, verily, I say unto you that we did face many afflictions in that land, yeas so numerous that I cannot count, nevertheless, pressing forward with faith in Christ we continued in our laboring and pruned the vineyard of the Lord in preparation of his second coming. 

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, June 12, 2017

Demon dog

Ola Tudo Bem!

Essa semana foi bem caloroso. Estamos a morrer, mas estamos a trabalhar bem duro, entao vamos ver como funciona. Estou a gostar muito de olhao! It's been one year since I recieved my call to serve in Portugal. Happy one year anniversary! Yay!

So if people tell you that the Algarve is cold, they are lying their faces off because holy it's really hot here. Like wow, like right now. But besides walking basically on the surface of the sun, Olhao is really cool. Every once in a while it gets really smelly. Olhao is right next to the water sanitation center for the Concelho de Faro so some times the smells from the water treatment center blow over to our city and we have the blessing of smelling it for a week or so. But its all good in the hood because the people here are really cool. This city makes me question if these people are living real life or if this is just a poorly written and acted TV show. The thing really funny about the Portuguese people is that they are really dramatic. It's great.

This week we had a couple of funny experiences. Yesterday we had decided to pass by this family that is a less-active that we ran into on the street. After we knocked their door, they opened it. And this girl was there and said "oh you guys probably want to talk to my mom". So she went to get her mom, but while she was doing that she left the door ajar. It was all calm and good for a couple seconds then out of no where, this demon dog darted from the shadows and I was all like "Heck no Satan. I out, yeet!" I have always had a fear of dogs since before I can remember. They just get all up in your business and want to jump up on your legs. But let me tell you, this dog was not like those little puppies that you're like "Oh how cute".  But no no, this dog was definitely of the devil. It defied the very nature of biology. It had white eyes, HOW MANY DOGS HAVE WHITE EYES??? NONE I TELL YOU, NONE!! Also this dog had a misconception about it's place in the world. It was one of those pit-bull type dogs that are built like mini tanks, and weigh probably a buck eighty nine. Holy, and he was trying to climb all up on Elder Moses and I was like, "Ummm ya I don't think so". So I booked it man. He was between me and my only escape. He was a smart little dog.  He put himself between me and the door and gave me that look "Uh what you gonna do know boy". But I wasn't stupid, I didn't receive my wilderness survival merit badge for nothing, I knew how to deal with the ravaging beast. So I went the only way I could. I bolted up the stairs. It was at this moment that I realized why I had done track.  It was for this moment, the peak of my natural instincts, so I could escape this fowl beast of the fields. I made it up two flights of stairs before the beast even knew what happened, then he began his pursuit. Wo, wo, wo unto the beast that try to follow me. Finally, when I reached the fourth floor the owner had returned to the door and saw what happened.  She burst out laughing. It took a while for the others to catch up but they finally did and the beast was restrained. Apparently, it was the vilest of creatures, the great and terrible French bulldog.

We also had the opportunity to give a blessing to another women named Gitu. She has two boys and is going through some rough times personally.  We were able to come to her house and give her a blessing of health. We were well received and thanked for the opportunity. The first counselor in our branch ran into Gitu and her family on the street.  She told him that she was really grateful and she could already she how the blessing helped. The older of the two boys Renato is usually more of an introvert and usually doesn't talk with people he doesn't know. But when he saw the first counselor Renato, he was really open. Gitu says that he really was interested in the blessing that we gave. I am so thankful for the Priesthood of God. The Priesthood is the power and authority to act in the name of god. To preach in his name, to teach in his name and to perform all the sacred ordinances that we need in his name so we can one day return to live with him in a fullness of joy. Only those who have "taken this honour as was Aaron"(Hebrews 5:4) can do this. Heavenly Father is a God of order and a God of justice. He wants all to return. This is why he has created one path. He has given all of us agency, or the ability to choose between good and evil.  He will never take away the agency of any but it is amazing to see, especially here on the mission, how many times the Lord will purposefully give us opportunities. "His hands are stretched out still"(2 Ne 19:12).

All is well in Zion.

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, June 5, 2017

Atonement of Jesus Christ

Olä minha grande familia! Tudo Bem
 
Essa marvelhosa semana comenceu um pocco mal. Estava doente por os primeiros dias. Mais na fim meu saude melhorou e eu consegi trabalhar na fim dessa semana. Foi bom!
 
This week was basically another great week in paradise! The sun was shining really hot and the people here are still eleitos so this week was great! Elder Thompson, my trainer is now one of our Zone leaders here in the Algarve. My companion Elder Moses is the district leader of our district.  Basically he's in charge of the missionaries west of Faro, the missionaries in Olhao, Tevira, Beja. But the District leaders and Zone Leaders do divisions sometimes and this week was one of those times that they did a division. Elder Moses went with the other Zone leader in Faro and I stayed with Elder Thompson in Olhao. It was really cool. I did a division with my trainer and basically he got to see how much I have grown since day 1 when I could not speak a lick of Portuguese or anything. It was really fun. 

We also started teaching this girl that is really hipster. She has these clothes that are like "Hello, I'm a hipster". Also her sunglasses are the type that are that brown that are basically hipsterness and she has gages. Also she had dreadlocks, hipsterness overload. She is really hipster. But we taught her a lesson this past Saturday. She has some hipster reincarnation "we're all spirits is this melting pot that is the earth" ideas that are a little bit crazy. Also she says that she is a prophetess, which is pretty cool. We talked about how we are spirit sons and daughters of God and that our time here is a time to meet god. She liked our visit so much that we all lost track of time and she actually missed that her friends had been calling for forty minutes already and they had gotten mad and in full hipster, hippy fashion, they had left without her. Oh I am realizing now that I didn't mean to say hipster I meant to say hippy this whole time.   

This week I have been studying a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have been reading a book called "The Infinite Atonement". It is a book that talks about how the sacrifice that Christ made for us is infinite in nature, and basically what that means. The book is really good, I will encourage all to read it but I really like how it talks about why Christ did the sacrifice that he did. He knew completely that it would be extremely painful but he knew that it was the only way that we could receive a fullness of our potential. Any sin, any sadness, any illness, he has atoned. Every weakness and heartache, he already knows. He loves us and wants us to repent. All we have to do is be humble, say sorry and trust in the son that was sent.

I hope you're all good. I am alive and well. 
 
Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa