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

Monday, May 29, 2017

Still in the Algarve

Olà tudo bem?
 
This week is going to be a little bit shorter. Nothing much happened this week. I traded companions this week. Elder Moses is my new companion. he is from Washington. He has been on his mission for a year and a half. We are here in Olhão which is still in the Algarve. We have been trying find new people to teach. We are working hard.

Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ended this transfer with fire


Olà tudo bem?

Essa semana foi bem fixe! Espero que vocês estejam pronto a por uma historia bem fixe meu!

This week was super cool. Elder Martel and Elder Fogg definitely ended this transfer with fire.  It was, as one may put it, "lit". Even though this was the end of the transfer, we went to our areas and worked really hard! We didn't teach any lessons that would blow your socks off on a spiritual level but we could just see the hand of the Lord in our work this last transfer. Elder Martel and I are "bem novinhos ou seja".  We have no idea of what we are trying to do or how to do it so we go out there and just do it. Even though we are the new kids on the block, we trusted in the Lord that if we did all we could, we trusted that He would do His part too. Let me tell you He did. Just the people we found this transfer were "prontissimo por Batismo ou seja".  They were the ready for baptism. We tried our hardest and at the end of the day the Lord blessed us for doing our part. "Pronto isso não significa que nós batisamos cada Pessoa na rua ou seja".  We weren't in the hospital because we had hypothermia because we were in the water for so long but we were just protected by the Lord. I don't know how to describe it. 

At the end of this week, Elder Souza went to Lisbon to go home to Brazil so we got to work with his companion Elder Vigne for a couple days. It was so much fun. We all have less that 7 months on our missions so we just went out there and talked with everybody! It was so funny because Elder Vigne is Brazilian so whenever we ran into another Brazilian on the street, a contact where usually Elder Martel and I would be rejected, Elder Vigne got it with ease. The people in Quarteira definitely think the missionaries are crazy now. The Vigneartelogg show these past 2 days definitely showed the people there how cray cray missionaries can be. But they also think the missionaries are weird because of Elder Martel and I. I like to run, but when I told that to Elder Martel, I think he misunderstood. We run sometimes in the morning but we often run at night too. (I know what you all are thinking "Elder Fogg that's against the rules" but just wait to hear me out). We have a rule as missionaries that we have to be in our houses by 22h00 and this transfer president has been a lot more concerned about our safety so he has been stressing this rule a lot more. Well sometimes, we happen to be teaching an amigo really late at night and we are really far away from the where the car is, so we run. But I can just imagine the families visiting from England sitting in their restaurants having a peaceful quiet dinner in Quarteira or Albulfeira to begin their night and then all of a sudden, out of no where, come two Americans in white shirts and ties, running for what looks what it seems to be for their lives, and I can just imagine what they're thinking, "I know that guy is just a tad over weight but mate running in a suit and tie isn't really going to work off the donuts mate". 

I am being transferred to Olhão. Still in the Algarve but I'll be serving with elder Moses. 

This church is true. Jesus is the Christ. I am his servant.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Read the Book of Mormon

Not that much time this week. This week was good. Our friend Nina was baptized. She was found by Elder Jan and Ward, 6 months ago but she finally entered the water of baptism this week. Elder Jan came down from Povoa to do the baptism. It was so special.

We are working hard and walking a lot. I hope that everyone is well at home. This work is true. The Book of Mormon is real.  It was translated by the power of God through Joseph Smith. I know this and I can not deny it. I invite all to read it and pray and I know that by the power of the Holy Spirit, Heavenly Father will give you an answer. If you are doubting, read it. If you are wondering why I am here, read it. If you are perfectly fine, read it. It will help you. I know this, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Until Next week.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Night of deserts

Olà Tudo bem!

Well another week is in the books. It was really sunny.  We had a lot of fun and talked with a lot of people about the gospel so basically it was another week in paradise. 

This week, we have been talking with a family from Cabo Verde. They are really cool.  I don't know if I have talked about them before, but the first time we had contact with them, it was one guy on a porch and the contact was iffy at best but when we past by their house, they had a lot of their friends over and they invited everyone to hear our message. That was a couple of weeks ago and we have been working with them constantly. We have passed by their house with the Schlofman's to help us teach them too.  They are really cool (both the Schlofman's and this family... everyone is cool... there is not one un-«cool» person here, or on this planet, everyone is cool in there own way.. ok now that this is sufficiently awkward). We had a Noite de Sobremesas or a Night of Deserts when we invited everyone from the branch and all of our amigos that we are teaching just to make more friendships and eat a lot of deserts. Well, we invited this Cabo Verdian family and they came. This Noite de Sobremesas was on Friday. It was basically a big party. Not everyone from the ward knew about it, so some people missed out on this cool event. But it went really well. We had 6 of our amigos there. This Cabo Verdian family and another one of our amigas Nina who is going to get baptized on May 13th. It was really fun seeing members of the branch just talking with our amigos and helping them. It went really well and I ate a lot of deserts which was the Best part. 

On Sunday this past week, we were working in Quarteira again and we had plans to pass by some of our amigos but Elder Martel had a feeling that we had to pass by another amigo that we hadn't passed by in a while. When we were knocking on his door on the other side of the street were our friends the Cabo Verdians.  We taught a powerful lesson about the restoration. It was really cool because some of the people we had already taught were there and they could bear their testimonies about the Book of Mormon. It was really cool. There are so many miracles I could write about this week. It was really easy to see how the Lord puts people who are ready in our path and it is really interesting to see how people choose to use their agency. I know this work is true. The Lord is helping us. Anything that has happened, is happening or will happen on my mission is the will of the Lord and I know is to help me grow but to also bless his children here. 

I hope all is well. 
 
Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, May 1, 2017

Fun, sweat and tears

Ola! Tudo bem?

I hope everything is well back home. I am still alive. The shark attack really hurt this week but I think I will be good for the rest of the mission. Basically it was another week in paradise.
 
This week was really a roller coaster of fun, sweat and tears. It was really hot, so that's where the sweat comes in but besides being really hot and sunny we had a couple of cool experiences. The first is that we started teaching a Brazilian family in Albufeira this week. We had found them knocking doors last transfer but never passed by their house when they were home but this week they were home! They are a really humble family. We taught them about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We didn't have a Book of Mormon we could give them in the end but they still wanted to go to church. The problem is that there aren't any buses that leave for Loule in time for them to make it to church so we had to arrange a ride for them. We called a couple of the families that live there in Albufeira but the problem is that no car had four open seats so they couldn't all go together. We split up the family and had two go with a family that lives in Albufeira and had the other two go with another family. So we arranged two families to help give them a ride and we gave them each others contacts and prayed really hard. When we called to see if the family was going to be able to make it to church, it turns out that the two families we had called went together to the house of the Brasilians to get to know them a little bit and to show them who was going to give them a ride the next day. Our members are too cool. And the Brazilian family came to church yesterday and had a great time. One funny thing is that they talked with one of the Brazilian Elders that is serving in our same Branch and they told him that they actually don't understand our Portuguese, like at all. But they still came to church which is really cool.

The other end of the spectrum is another Brazilian family we were teaching in Quarteira. We had taught the plan of Salvation to them and that first lesson was really spiritual.  The spirit was strong and they asked what do I have to do to make it to the celestial kingdom. It was really cool but the second time we passed by things just got really weird and they started telling a lot of stories that got us off track and it was really hard to pull them back in to the lesson. The spirit was not there as strong. We had tried to pass by a couple times just to see how things were going but they were never home. Finally this past Saturday we were going to teach there with the Schlofman's but they called us 15 minutes beforehand and basically told us to pass by so we could take the Book of Mormon back and not pass by again. That was kind of sad but I know that as we work our hardest, doing our best, trying to be as obedient as can be, the Lord will bless us and everything  will turn out all right.
 
I know that this church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It was translated by the power of God through Joseph Smith. Through Joseph Smith, the Lord restored his church, his gospel and his priesthood. Jesus is the Christ. Through modern day revelation we can and will know what we must do to fulfill the plan our Father in Heaven has for us. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God on the Earth today.  He holds all the priesthood keys pertaining to salvation. Through his direction we can have the fullness of happiness God has planned for us. I know these things are true. 

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, April 24, 2017

Talking to every single person we see

Olà! Minha Vacinhas, espero que tudo esteja bem! Essa semana foi muito boa. Nos estamos a trabalhar muito duro e agora minhas sapatas esta a quebrar! É um pouco triste mais é por que nos estamos a andar muito e a falar com todos as pessoas. É muito fixe.

We are starting to run into tons of people that are super cool. We are basically contacting every single person we see on the streets - some are cool and some are a little different. We were talking with a women on her door step and she did not want anything to do with us. She was evangelical and she kept interrupting us when we were trying to describe our message to her. She kept on pointing out my face. She said to Elder Martel talking about my face «Olha sua cara, olha sua cara, tem Jesus em sua cara. Não preciso sua mensagem por que já posso ver jesus em sua cara».  Basically in English «look at his face, look at his face, I don't need your message because I can see Jesus in his face». It's weird here because all the old women have no filters here. They say the first thing that comes to mind. I have been hit on many times here in Portugal because of my eyes. (Everyone in Portugal has eyes that are brown or black so when they see my eyes are blue, they go crazy.) But this is also a double edge sword because they speak their minds about everything. I have also been told many times that I need to watch what I eat because I am a little on the «strong side» of the scale.
We ran into a Brazilian couple, Antonio and Rosana in front of their house this past Sunday and they said that we could pass by later that week. We dropped by their house later that week and taught about the plan of salvation. As we were teaching about the celestial Kingdom, we explained that families can be together forever in the celestial kingdom. Antonio stopped us and asked «What do I have to do to live in the Celestial Kingdom someday». Good question Antonio, good question. So we explained a little about baptism. They both wanted to receive an answer for themselves that baptism was right so we taught a little about the Book of Mormon and how we can receive an answer through prayer. It was really cool how they had already come to those conclusions with out us having to explain it. 

I have been practicing my Spanish. Yo soi Elder Fogg, Yo soi um missionaro por la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. Yo estoi bem. Yo hablo mucho. Elder Schlofman thinks I was assigned to the wrong mission.

We also did a contact with a man that was actually on the porch of his friend's house that was really not that firm of an appointment. The night we planned to stop by, it took us 30 minutes to find his house. We probably walked a 5K because the directions he gave were horrible.  They were like « do you know where this cafe is, if you take this road and then take a right and go up some stairs and then turn in a circle, jump three times, yell I love banana pudding and then close your eyes and tap your ruby slippers together 3 times and say there's no place like home, follow the yellow brick road and then you'll find my house». Right buddy, ok we'll stop by real soon. But we did actually stop by and it turns out he has a lot of friends that like to hang out in his house so we taught a lessons with him and his four other friends at the same time.  It was pretty cool.

This whole not having a car thing really is hard. But the Lord is coming through big time. We aren't really eating real food. We are using the think method from the Music Man. If we imagine eating food then well be fuller but that usually doesn't work I just get hungrier. But as we wrap up our day some how we usually are given some type of food. It is the greatest blessing I have ever received in my life. The Lord is the realest.

Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hope for the future

Olà!

Tudo Bem! Estou a pensar como eu posso contar o que aconteceu essa semana. Foi um semana muito comprido. Mais ainda esta muito quentinho e estamos a receber muito sol. Basicamente mais uma semana em paraiso.

Well this week was really long so I guess I will start from the beginning. We drove up to Lisbon on Tuesday to trade companions and get everything settled. The plan was that I was going to trade Elder Jan for Elder Martel and that we were going to head right back to Loulé and get to work that night. They called us 15 minutes after we left Loulé and told us that I was actually going to be staying there in Lisbon until Friday because Elder Martel still hadn't received his driver's license in Portugal yet. The only clothes I had were the clothes on my body... oh joy. That drive I was cramped in the back seat between luggage and the car wall. We finally arrived in Lisbon. I traded Elder Jan for Elder Martel and we were taken to the mission office. We dropped off the stuff that we didn't need and we went to Mem Martins (the old area of Elder Martel) to work for the day. We didn't have a plan for the day.  We just went to work and talked to everyone we could in the street. That was a hot day and my clothes just smelled great afterwards. The next day, we went to the mission office and elder Martel did a lot of stuff there to prepare to get his Carta de Conduizão. I stayed there all day and waited for them to come back from CEF. Turns out that you can't take out a carta de conduizão in Portugal with an expired visa. So at 7:15, we received permission to finally return to our area (the bus to our area left at 7:30). We barely made it in time. After a four hour and a half bus ride, we finally arrived in our area. 

Now that we don't have a car it's a little bit harder for us to work because our area isn't Loulé.  We work in Quarteira and Albufeira. And the Bus tickets are really expensive and take a lot more time. The last buses that return to Loulé are really early in the night so we have to work really closely with members to arrange rides and everything so we can stay in our area until 9:30. We have basically been planning how we are going to be able to do this without a car and with the limited money that we have. We did the math and we might not have enough for food next week. It's alright I was gaining weight anyways.

We have been talking with everyone and we have a lot of hope for the future. The Lord does not give challenges that we can not over come. He knows our capacity and potential. Our capacity might not be our potential right now but he knows what we need so that our capacity can grow and we can live to our fullest potential possible.
 

Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, April 10, 2017

Baptism Pics





Baptism!!

Olà Tudo otimo?!?!

Estou muito feliz aqui! Essa semana ajudamos duas mulheres a aproximarem-se a Cristo através de batismo! Foi uma experiencia tão bom. Espero que tudo esteja bom em casa também!

This week we had a baptism of our amigas Esmeralda and Salva. They were really excited. I was a little excited too apparently. Salva is a little bit scared of water and to be baptized you need to be immersed completely in the water. So when I was doing the ordinance, I did it really fast to make sure that she made it completely under the water. When I did it really fast, apparently I did it really forcefully too and it was pretty much like the front three rows at Sea World #SplashZone. Elder Tester and Elder Souza joked that they hope that she remembers the baptism even though it was so forceful. They said they hope the trauma wasn't too much for her head. But she made it under in the first try. 

This Sunday we had a lunch after church. People were pretty excited and brought a lot of food. Elder Souza brought brownies and everyone know wants his brownie recipe (they were soo goooooood). This lunch was combined with a training for the members on missionary work and family history. We are developing a program here in our ward called MMTC (Member Missionary Training Center). We are basically helping members reach out to there friends to share the gospel or to help them make new friends in sharing the gospel. It went well. People were pretty tired by the end of it being fast Sunday and all.

This week is transfers. Everyone at church was pretty sad the Elder Jan was leaving (and that I was staying). Everyone here likes Elder Jan a lot.  He has been here for 6 months (since I entered the MTC -- that's a long time). He is leaving for Pova.  He is going to be serving with Elder Davis from my MTC District. Elder Tester is leaving too. Elder Souza (this is his last transfer) is staying and another Brazilian is going to be his companion. I am going to be companions with Elder Martel! The same Elder Martel from the MTC, he is super cool. I am staying her in Loulé for at least one more transfer. Until Next week.​

Monday, April 3, 2017

Pics - General Conference





No, I don't work at IKEA

Olà tudo bem!?!?!

Essa foi uma boa semana. Espero que vocês estejam bem em casa. Tivemos muito sol então nos estamos muito felizes aqui.

Not much happened this week. We had Zone conference, so we got to see all the missionaries that are serving here in the Algarve. President Tavares and the assistants gave a training on goals. We apparently are really, really bad with our goal setting.  They keep giving trainings about it. I hope that we are getting better. Our goals need to be within reach but also need to stretch us so that we can grow. They gave a funny demonstration of this. They had one Elder run from one side of the chapel to the other side and at first they gave him a minute to do it.  He accomplished it easily. Next they gave him 3 seconds.  It was a little bit harder but he still got it. Lastly, they gave him 1 second. He wasn't even close. President talked to us about how we are disciples of Christ and we need to show it in our studies and in our prayers.  These are definitely 2 things I need to work on.

An Ikea opened in our area this week and on opening day a lot of people went to see what was up there. We went there to eat hot dogs. A lot of people were there.  It was really busy. As the others were buying their hot dogs, I was standing a little ways away from the group and I was wearing a yellow tie. Because the colors of Ikea are blue and yellow and because I am so attractive, an elderly Portuguese man walked up to me and started speaking to me. He asked me «What is up stairs?». I thought this was strange that someone wanted to talk to a missionary in Ikea and ask what they had upstairs. So I replied «I don't know I think it's Ikea upstairs too». This happened three more times and I thought each time, wow people at Ikea really want to hear our message. After the third time someone stopped me and asked me something about the store, I realized that the people weren't interested in the gospel, they thought I worked there. Awkward.

General Conference was this week. I hoped you all got to watch it. I just want to point out a couple trends that I noticed. The Apostles really want us to study «The Living Christ». I have never read this article by the apostles and prophets given to celebrate the 2000 year since the Savior's birth. I am going to read it and I challenge all of you too to read it as well.

Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, March 27, 2017

Work continues in Portugal

Olà rudo Bem!

Espero que tudo esteja bem consigo, é muito bom aqui. Essa semana foi muito frio e nos tivemos muito chuva também. Mas foi uma mais semana no paraíso.

We had a little bit of an awkward moment this week. We met up with Alice this week.  (She is a person we have marked for baptism.)  We had a really good lesson with her where we basically cleared up all her doubts and concerns and helped her feel more firm for her baptism. Later that night right before we were going to leave to work, we got a call from our branch president. He told us to call the mission office because he had a membership number but didn't have a name and he wanted to see if they could find out who it was. So we called the mission office but they didn't have access to those types of things. We called the branch president back and told him that they didn't have access. He then told us that he had found a baptism sheet from 1990s and he asked us to guess who it was. Well it turns out that the person we had marked for baptism was baptized in 1990 with all her kids, lol. We went to tell her that we found her baptismal sheet and asked if she remembered her baptism. She was as surprised as we were when we told her that she had already been baptized. 

I think we can all draw two lessons from this story. First don't baptize people that have already been baptized. If they have already been baptized by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God that was restored to Joseph Smith on May 15, 1829 that first time was good enough. Second, make sure the people you are baptizing know what they are doing. If they don't understand the covenant they are making with the Lord, you probably didn't do a good job of explaining it's importance and they probably shouldn't be baptized. 

Besides teaching and marking people that have already been baptized for baptism, we actually helped people that have not been baptized previously for baptism. We have been teaching a family from Africa. The father Barbosa is from Angola, the mother Esmaralda is from Mosambique, the grandma Salva is from Angola too and they have a kid Rafael who is adorable. Barbosa was already baptized but he wants his wife to be baptized too. They are not married and Esmaralda wants a big wedding. The problem with big weddings is that they require big money. We told them that all they have to do is be married by law and then she can be baptized, but she really wants to have a big wedding. We took this time to teach about temples and eternal families. We taught that this civil marriage pales in comparison to the eternal one. That the one that she should feel like a queen is when she will be sealed to her husband for time and all eternity. They really like that and she is working to be civilly married as soon as possible.

Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg

Monday, March 20, 2017

Setting Goals

Olà Tudo Bem!

I hope everything is great at home. Like always it was another hot and sunny week in paradise. 

As a mission we have been working really hard at setting goals. This whole transfer all the training has been about setting better goals. President talks a lot in his letters he writes to us about the power of setting goals. We have been working recently about how we can set inspired goals for the key indicators and also how we use smaller goals to reach those bigger ones. I don't know if I already told this story but when I first got here I was really scared of talking to people in the street. The idea of walking up to a stranger and trying to ''talk'' to them in a foreign language that I didn't even know that well wasn't that appealing but as missionaries our purpose is to help people come closer to Christ and we do that by opening our mouths. So I set a small goal with my companion Elder Thompson that I was going to try to talk to 15 people everyday. That was really hard at first but after the first week I had done 75 contacts. I felt really good; I could actually see my progress. So the next week I set a goal to do 25 contacts a day. I tried really hard to meet that goal. It was really awkward sometimes because I didn't know what to say or what others were saying but I knew that if I tried I was doing my part. By the end of the week I had done 150 contacts. I still need to improve how I do the contacts in the street but now talking to people is less scary and now I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary and opening my mouth.

This week we had a hard time finding new people to teach. The people we had been teaching had started to run into more and more problems and were showing less real intent. We were out on a division with the Branch President Rui. We were going to visit an amiga whose baptism is next week but she wasn't home and she wasn't answering her phone. So we started taking him back to his house. He asked us what he could do to help us and we told him that we need more references from the members. He whipped out his phone and started calling his friends. He made three appointments for us and then he told us to park the car, so we got out and walked into a barber shop and he asked the barber if she could meet with us (he is friends with her), and she said yes. Then we ran into another one of his friends on the street and he set up another appointment with her. That was more efficient than doing missionary work on our own for 3 days. Later that week he went out with us when he wasn't planning on it previously.  We visited a couple members and amigos for 3 hours with him. Rui is basically the third missionary we have in Quarteira. When we work with members we use the Lord's time more efficiently. 

The Book is blue the church is true. Until next week.
  
Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg

Monday, March 13, 2017

New Apartment

Olà Tudo bem?

I hope that everything is well at home. Everything is great here; it was another week in paradise. This week was a little crazy because we moved apartments. We had less time to work because it took 2 whole days to move from one apartment to the other. Our first apartment was really close to the church and everything but was really old. We received a new companionship of sisters and a married couple this transfer so we had to get a new apartment and the sisters moved into our old one. Our new apartment is so nice. It has that toilet seat that slows down as you close it, ugh living the dream. 

The new married couple missionaries arrived this week, the Shlofman's. They are from Utah but Sister Shlofman was born in Brazil and moved to the United States for school. She met Elder Shlofman there at BYU and the rest is history. It was funny to she them the first day they were here because they appeared the same way I felt my first day. They looked totally lost and overwhelmed. But the best part was that they were a little rusty in Portuguese so they spoke English with us. It was weird speaking English.  My English is really bad. I can't speak English or Portuguese really well right now.  It's kind of hard but my Portuguese is improving. I like to think if I could see myself right now the first day I entered the MTC I would be really impressed with myself. 

We taught a couple of cool people this week. Elder Jan and Elder Ward (Elder Jan's old companion) did work here and they found a lot of cool people. I get the honor of teaching some of them. One of the people we have started teaching is Emanuela. She is originally from Brazil but now lives in Portugal (obviously) and she was baptized when she was 14. She lost contact with the church and moved to Portugal years later. She was in a really bad car accident which temporarily paralyzed half of her body and permanently paralyzed her face, blind in her left eye and lost a bit of her memory. One day a couple of weeks ago she prayed that she could come back in contact with the church again. At that same moment Elder Ward knocked on her door. We taught her this week and were able to give her a blessing. Her daughter who is 14 years old right now happened to be there. She asked a lot of questions about the church. Her mom helped explain the difference between the baptism she had when she was 14 and the baptism her daughter had. Her daughter now wants to be baptized.

Never forget spiritual experiences. Doubt is a powerful weapon the adversary has and is very destructive.  We are strengthened by the promptings we receive from the holy ghost that testify that these things our true. Those peaceful feelings require faith and allow us to grow. When we begin to question those feelings our faith diminishes. Doubt and faith can not exist in the same mind. Don't forget those experiences. Think about where those thoughts of doubt are coming from. When we do that our faith will grow and we will be better disciples.

Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg

Monday, March 6, 2017

Transfer to Loulé

Week 19 - This week was good. Transfers happened. We missed our bus on Tuesday so we didn't get to our new area until almost 11 at night. I am here with Elder Jan.  He is from Switzerland. He speaks 5 languages. He is also 23 years old. He served in the Swiss army and I found out that they do use Swiss army knives in the Swiss army. We are in Loulé but we have a car (I want to call it the baptismobile) but we work in Albufeira and Quarteira. Don't have much time this week but all is well and I am alive.

Beijinhos,
Elder Fogg