Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Pics


Merry Christmas

Olà, Tudo Bem?

This week we had a Christmas conference with the whole mission. I was able to see the MTC group again. We all got to share experiences from our first couple of weeks. It was good finding out that I wasn't the only one that felt a little lost. Everyone in the Portugal Lisbon Mission was there. We got to hear President and Sister Tavares speak. I could understand a lot of what they were saying. I could feel their love for all of us. We had a gift exchange which was interesting. I got pancake mix and syrup which was really good. Every zone got to present something to the whole mission. It was funny seeing the creativity of others. Our presentation was a play about how Santa got baptized. We created a dance that everybody loved. (I have shared the video, explanation of video, closing act after Santa is baptized, we whip, 2 baptism, 2 confirmations, nae nae, 4 dabs)

This Christmas was a lot different than any other Christmas I have experienced in my life. Usually Christmas is spent with family and there are gifts. This year I received no material gifts but I feel like I have learned the most out of all the Christmas's I have experienced. Christmas Eve it was like a ghost town here. Everyone was having dinner with their families so we decided that we would go caroling to our investigators and members. It was so fun sharing the light of Christ with others through song. Christmas morning we had french toast and syrup which was so good. After we went to church, we had lunch with a member family. In the evening we were able to talk with our families. It was interesting seeing how missionaries are a lot like their families. We are influenced so much by them. I love my family and I am grateful families are central to Heavenly Father's plan. 

Have a New Year. 
Elder Fogg

Monday, December 19, 2016

Elder Thompson

Stuck in an elevator

Ola! Tudo bem?
Feliz Natal a tudo mundo. 
This week was interesting. I am still getting adjusted to the culture and the language. I don't understand exactly what people are saying but it's all cool because I understand the general message, so that's exciting. Also since I don't speak English that much, I am starting to forget how to say some stuff. So I speak really bad Portuguese and really bad English.
This week is the week before Christmas, therefore people have put up Christmas decorations. Not as many lights here as there are back home. The ward here had a Christmas party on Saturday. The missionaries were assigned to do a skit in the middle of it. I am a missionary and therefore I participated in this skit. I did not say anything because people do not understand the «Elder Fogg Portuguese». Our Mission is also having a Christmas conference. Each zone had to perform a presentation for this conference so my companion, who is one of the Zone leaders, thought it would be a good idea to do a Christmas Musical Extravaganza, so they wrote a play about how Santa Claus was baptized. Elder Harker and I are supposed to be dancing fishes (I think I didn't really understand any of the words they used).

On Friday most of our appointments cancelled on us, so we thought it would be a good idea to visit our friend Nathan. He buzzed us into his apartment and we got on the elevator. The elevator stopped and we were stuck. We just sat there for a few minutes because my trainer didn't know what to do (which means that this probably doesn't happen often in Portugal which is a good thing). After fifteen minutes of being in the elevator, I pressed the button again and it started moving. We visited with Nathan and thought it best to use the stairs on the way down. 
My companion showed me this verse and I really liked it: Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.  I have been called by a prophet of God to preach His message of happiness to the world.
I know this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God to restore His church on the earth by his authority. I know that Jesus Christ was born onto this earth so that we can become cleansed from our sins. Christ is the greatest gift. Merry Christmas.
Elder Fogg

Monday, December 12, 2016

Finally in Portugal

Olá! Tudo Bem?
This week was a little interesting. This week was the longest week of my life. I´m not in Utah anymore which is fun (I´m in Portugal). We left the MTC at 3 am on Monday. We flew from Salt Lake City to Portland to Amsterdam to Lisbon. We didn´t get to Lisbon until 3 pm on Tuesday. It was weird to get on the plane in Salt Lake City where it was around freezing and getting of the plane in Portugal where it was 60 and sunny. Looks like we´re not going to have a white Christmas here. 
The language we were taught in the MTC is not the same as the language here. We were in the airport and I was trying to sleep and I woke up for a second. I heard people speaking what I thought was some sort of gibberish until I heard one Portuguese word I knew. When we talk to people here or other missionaries, I have no idea what other people are saying. Also missionaries are not allowed to speak any language besides Portuguese so I am not really saying anything these days.
We were picked up by President and Sister Tavares and a couple other missionaries at the airport. We had a dinner with the mission president and spent the night at the mission home. The next day they took us to the mission office where we met our companions. I am companions with Elder Thompson.  He´s from Indiana and he is tall. We are working in Odivelas. There is another companionship in our apartment. Elder Harker and Elder Welch are working with us in our area. Elder Thomspon and I are White Washing our area. (White Washing is when neither missionary has experience working prior to the transfer). We talk to a lot of people on the street, knock a lot of doors and don´t teach a lot of lessons. We have very little ground work done for us so we have to find people on our own.
Missionaries who have returned from this mission previously have compared the Portuguese people to eggs. They have a hard shell but when you break through the shell they are really good people. They are really hard eggs. 
Last night the two Lisbon soccer teams (Benfica and Sporting) played each other so there was nobody on the street to talk to. It was a ghost town (people like soccer here). But one of our investigators came to church, he´s super fiche. He´s from Brazil. I had to bare my testimony in church this week (keep in mind I know no Portuguese). The only things I could say were the only things that got me through the week. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. I know that Jesus is the savoir and redeemer of the world. The work I´m doing is the work that he would be doing. 
Elder Fogg

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Off to Portugal ...

Olà, tudo bem?

Thanks to all who have sent e-mails or packages.  

So funny story, you know how I said that we were leaving on Tuesday. Turns out the people of Portugal just can't wait for us any longer; we leave for Portugal on Monday. We leave the MTC at 3:50 AM. We are suppose to arrive in Portugal on Tuesday at 2 PM (woot woot). This was kind of unexpected but I am so excited to go to Portugal. Since we are leaving on Monday, our P-day got switched to Saturday. We got to say goodbye to Irma Young and Irmão Regehr on Friday. They were great teachers and I will miss them.
It is now the Christmas season.  For choir we started to sing Christmas songs. The branch presidents had a dinner on Friday night. Some of the missionaries that were in choir went to sing some Christmas Carols. We sang the First Noel and Hark Ye Harold Angels Sing. It was super fun. 
We do not have refrigerators in our rooms. Some other Elder's in my residence hall thought it was a good idea to keep their drinks cool by putting them in the vents. Good idea right? Wrong. The thing is one of their roommates doesn't enjoy having his room so cold so he turned up the heat. Unfortunately one of the drinks in the vent was milk. Milk and heat do not mix well. When they came back to their room they discovered that they had invented a new smell ("the smell of death" according to one missionary). Elder Angulo used the emergency phone to call for help. He said "Mayday mayday smells like milk out of date mayday mayday. Send help." The milk had exploded out of the vent into the room. The milk had gone so bad that  the milk that exploded onto the wall pealed the paint. The clean up crew was not happy. It was so bad that one of them asked "who puked in the vent" as they pulled chunks out of it. I guess it's good we're missionaries not scientist.

I have been studying faith a lot this week. Our investigators were struggling a lot with faith this week. We taught a lot concerning faith and invited them to do a lot to help strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ. By doing so I strengthened my own testimony in him as well. God does not show us miracles until we have faith in him. He shows us miracles through our faith. I was not able to speak Portuguese at all before I came into the MTC but through faith in Jesus Christ I have been able to learn so much and I know that some day I will be able to speak it.
Tchaw tchaw for now peccadors,
Elder Fogg
This is a warning that in Portugal there are some areas without Internet. I may not be able to send emails if I am in those areas.