Monday, October 9, 2017

Pedir vs Pedar

Background about Portuguese: Pedir vs Pedar. So they have two words in Portuguese that are very similar. The first we use quite often. It means to ask. We definitely ask people a lot of questions so we use this verb a lot of times. Pedir means to ask and also Perguntar. Perguntar is more for information and Pedir is more for a service or favor. So when we tell people to ask God if this is right, this would be a time when we use the verb Pedir. So this lady was telling us this story about how she has a lot of faith and how she asked God, or Pediu a Deus. Then she asked me, «Élder, how do you think I got this help from god.» In my brain I knew the right answer, but just like my glory days in high school, my brain got the best of me and I switched the two verbs. Instead of saying the correct «Tu pediste a Deus» (which is that she asked God). I said «Tu pedaste Deus». The verb pedar signifies to fart. I told her «She farted to god». Definitely not want she wanted to hear or what I intended to say. I thought those stories only happened in films like «The Best Two Years», but oh no, they happen in real life.

Fatima: So way back when in Portugal, 1914, there were these three kids. They were praying and then appeared to them Mary the mother of Jesus. This happened here in Portugal. These three kids were canonized by the Catholic Church this year in May. But that is the reason why everyone hear is named Fatima. Because of Nossa Senhora de Fatima (Our lady of Fatima). In the Portuguese town called Fatima, where this occurrence took place, they have a church that people go to. A lot of people do a pilgrimage to Fatima every year because a lot of people are Catholic here. Also if you run into to anyone name Fatima, you can probably guess that they are from Portugal. Apparently every country has an our lady of something. Here it's Fatima. Interesting.

Spiritual: As I was reading the Book of Mormon during sacrament meeting I was reading in Alma 32, the great lecture on faith where Alma compares the faith to a seed and how the seed will grow. Here I learned from the spirit that this is true. Lasting conversion comes line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little. When we take the time to grow our own testimony everyday, it will become precious to us. We will value the Testimony we have because we «paid the price», we worked hard to obtain it. We will be more stable than if we were just handed knowledge. Knowledge is important. Knowledge is how we grow. But knowledge is not a testimony. Testimony is understanding, applying and faith. Knowledge turns to understanding only through time. We will be lead to the edge of what we can see. We can grow our testimony by using our faith by experimenting on what we know to learn and understand what we don't know. When should not give up because we have doubts, we always will. We live in a fallen world. We are not God and not supposed to have his knowledge right now. His thoughts are not our thoughts.  Only acting but faith trusting in the only being who can give us the knowledge is the only way we can grow our testimony to a greater understanding.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Holy moly that general conference was incredible.

Ola Familia e amigos! Espero que todo esteja bem convosco. Foi increival aqui, mais uma semana em paraíso.

Milagre de conferencia geral: Uma experiência espiritual inspiradora.  Holy moly that general conference was incredible. Every talk I listened to was really good. We only had the time to listen to the Saturday and Sunday Morning sessions and priesthood. The talks from President Uchtdorf and from President Eyring were both incredible.  I also really liked the talk from Holland that was about how the commandments are here as a vision of what we can achieve and that we shouldn't get overwhelmed by them. 
  1. General Theme: Keep the commandments and fulfill your covenants. It was interesting to see that a lot of the speakers at General Conference talked about how it is important to strive to keep the commandments. It is easy to get discouraged when we hear that because we can never keep the commandments perfectly but it is possible to try really hard and that is all that heavenly father wants. Elder Holland's talk was really good guys. 
  2. Exemplifying Christ-like attribute: This comes hand in hand with keeping the commandments but it is always good to reiterate. We need to try and exemplify the attributes of Christ. When we do that, we will be a lot happier, be better prepared to meet god and to have more love and charity for others because we will try to mimic what the Savior does. If we pray earnestly to have these attributes and work even harder to achieve them, we will be blessed by developing them.
  3. Questions: I went to conference really different then I have in the past. I wrote down seven questions that I had. As I focused on those seven questions during general conference I was able to receive revelation about how they could be answered. It was incredible.
  4. Interesting: Dallin H Oaks. He talked about the family proclamation and how it came to be. As a missionary of the Lord it is easy to see why we have the family: a proclamation to the world. Families are weakened when they don't have a mother and a father working in loving harmony to fulfill their family responsibilities. Families are to be forever, they need to be protected. It was an interesting reminder that we need to protect that.
Leonel: Ele está a progredir bem. I know that you were all wondering about the next seventy of Portugal so I thought I talk about him right now. Leonel is progressing like any elect would. He has questions that just lead to the next step in the process of conversion. He is really a great guy and wants to do what is right. He wants to know more about the Book of Mormon and the restoration.

Elder Harper: Meu filho tá progredir bem também. My new companion Elder Harper is from Oklahoma.  He played baseball and likes the Red Sox. He is about 6' 5'' and has blond hair and blue eyes. He is one of the funniest people I have ever met. We need to work on his Portuguese. I am glad I have this opportunity to serve with him. 

Everything is good in the hood, until next week.

Monday, September 25, 2017

ESTOU GRAVIDO! (I'M PREGNANT!)

Transferências: Vou treinar. So this week is the end of yet another transfer. It's crazy how fast these things go by. I feel like I just barely started this one this last week but it indeed has been 6 weeks and things will be switching up. My companion Elder Nascimento is going to serve in the Algarve! WOOOO! But not just any place in the Algarve. He is going to be serving in Loulé, my second area where I served. And I got the news yesterday and I still don't believe it to this minute. I have no idea what president is thinking with this move.  He probably wants to destroy the mission of another Elder, that's the only reason why President would want me to train another missionary. So this next transfer I will be training an American, Elder Harper. I know nothing about him except that on Wednesday I need to be in the mission office to pick him up. It's going to be great. (That's why I said I am pregnant, because I am going to train. He is going to be my ''kid''. It's going to be great.)

Noticias: Vou conduzir, talvez. Also I need to be in the mission office on Friday because they want me to take out my driver's license here. That means two things: 1.These People have way too much trust in me. 2. I could drive a car. Both of which are really bad, especially the first. And kind of the second. But this is going to be interesting. People are crazy here on the roads especially in Lisboa. It's crazy. I don't know how anybody functions. 

Alma 17:2-3: Escritura bem fixe! I have been reading the Book of Mormon in English trying to finish it before the end of the year. I am in Alma right now (so I don't think that goal will be achieved) and I have really good thoughts about this goal. I read Alma 17:2-3 this week and thought about it a little bit. 
 
"2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God."
 
I have been thinking about how I can be a successful missionary. A missionary that grows and does his best. I have a lot of qualities that I want to have before I end my mission but I was stuck and a little overwhelmed on how I could achieve those goals. This scripture brought light on how I could do that. Reading the scriptures, prayer, fasting, studying and understanding the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  It's simple, but the Lord has promised that if this pattern is followed, when we teach we «will teach with the power and authority of God». This scripture brings a lot of desire to do my best.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

Pic


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

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Day of Miracles

Ola Tudo Bem?

Esta semana foi bem fixe! Ajudamos toda gente, foi muito bom.Espero que todo mundo esteja bem. A verão está a acabar então faça muitas coisas fixes. Tá certo? Então esta semana....

Nosso Milagre do Batismo em Seixal: Não tivemos muito termpo na sexta-feira mas ainda tivemos milagres. This Friday Elder Rogers had the opportunity to return to his old area of Sexial to help his amigo Lucas get baptized. It was a really special experience. He had a lot of fun seeing his old companion and the ward members there. Unluckily, that meant that we had to leave our area for a long time. A miracle happened that Elder Lopes from Tavira had a car and was willing to drive Elder Rogers all the way to Sexial and back. So I had a division with Elder Heiner. We had to leave our area at about 6 on Friday so we did our best to work hard in the morning to do our best. We had a couple lessons, our recent convert Cidalia was able to be helped and took a big step toward salvation and our friend Ana called us randomly to tell us she had made food for us, so we had free food too! (It was awesome, a day of miracles, especially the free food part that was key). But the biggest part of this whole miracle was that I was able to sleep in one of the only houses in our mission that has air conditioning that completely saved my fast! It was just blessing from the Lord this Weekend. 

Coisas Ingresadas: Nossa irmã Ana trabalho muito mas ainda nos deixa entrar sua casa ainda quando ela tem muito sono. While I was on a division with Elder Heiner, we passed by our amigo Ana. She works a lot so she doesn't get that much sleep. The only time we can drop by her house is really late at night. So we decided to watch the restoration video with her because she has a couple questions about Joseph Smith. We turned off the lights and watched it. She must have had a really hard day. As we were watching the last part of the restoration something was kind of off. I thought to myself «hmm, I don't remember snoring to be a part of the joseph smiths first prayer». That's right she slept through the last half of the film. It was so funny.  When she woke up she was like «Aiight, not gonna lie, I mised the last half of that thing». Lol, we'll probably show it again this weekv--a d this time with the lights on.  

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, July 31, 2017

Scripture of the week: Mosiah 5:12

Ola, Tudo Bem!
This we worked a lot.

Scripture of the week: Mosiah 5:12 
"I say unto you, would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voicby which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which hshall call you."
This scripture is really important. We need to rewrite our desires especially after baptism. When we make that covenant with God, we promise to obey his commandments and basically try to exemplify Christ's attributes in every way possible. Also this scripture helps us see that we need to work at learning how to hear the voice of the Lord. We are not perfect, Heavenly Father knows that. He knows that we won't obey perfectly.  He knows our weaknesses and he is perfectly patient with us. As we practice obeying the commandments of the Lord, we will grow hearing and following the voice of the lord. If we try perfectly here to learn how to obey the commandments of the Lord, we will know the voice of the Lord on the last day. We will know the voice that calls us.  We will recognize it because we have tried our hardest to learn it during this time. 
I know the church is true - that God is patient with us. He has given us leaders with spiritual revelation and keys to help us in our lives. He loves us. 
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, July 24, 2017

Be blunt and be bold

Miracle: Nossa amiga Cidalia chegou nas aguas de Batismo esta semana! Cidalia is a Portuguese women that we found while searching for some one else in our Area Book. She already knows the missionaries -- some of her family members are members of the church. She is a very spiritual person. She has a mission that she has received from God. She has to help people in need, that is her mission. Fine by me. Cidalia is one of the Elect. She was willing to change and she did change. With Cidalia I learned what it means to be blunt and be bold. Sometimes I would have doubts if we taught her the word of wisdom that she wouldn't let us come back but that was the adversary talking. When I heard the voice of the spirit tell me what we needed to teach or to clarify, we taught it or clarified it. There are people who are just ready to hear the gospel, and she was one of them.  We had her baptism on Friday. Elder Rogers baptized her ( was reminiscent of how I baptized Salva a couple of weeks ago). And this Sunday she received the Holy Ghost. It was amazing seeing the change in her life. I was glad to be a part of it.
 
Jejum: Neste tranferencia estamos a fazer um jejum como uma missão. So this transfer we are doing a fast as a mission where everyday one or two missionary companionships fast for the entire mission. This week it was our turn to do the fast. I was on a division with the Elders of Tavera and there we felt the pain of the fast. It was really hard. It was like we could feel the weight of the mission on our shoulders. I don't want to sound self-righteous but I felt a little bit like the Savior during that time. I was able to feel just for a couple hours what it was like for him with all of us depending on His sacrifice. It helped me learn more about the nature of the atonement. I wanted to stop a couple of times, not going to lie. We did a complete fast, no food and no water, even though we were still proselyting during that time. But I knew that the entire mission was depending on us and I didn't give up because I knew the blessings the others would receive and the miracles that we would see from it. 
 
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

Monday, July 17, 2017

''This is was what we received as revelation that we need to share with your family specifically"

Hey,
 
So this week we worked really hard.
 
Cool: Os  Sholfman's e o Aniversario de Elder Rogers. Elder and Sister Schlofman came to inspect our apartment this week. It was really fun seeing them again. They were impressed with our cleaning job that they only gave us ''kind of clean needs work'', which both Elder Rogers and I are both really proud of. (Probably because we procrastinated cleaning until the very last moment, so that was one of the bigger wins of the week this week. The other cool part was that that day was also the birthday of Elder Rogers. Happy Birthday! yoot. But the best part was that the Scholfman's took us to this Brazilian barbeque place. It was a buffet with the meet on stakes that they take around to each table and it was all you can eat! IT was the bomb. Also that night we talked with one of our amigas and she had said she would try to get us a tub of ice cream because she has a friend that works at this ice cream place. Well when she heard that it was Elder Rogers birthday, she made sure we got that tub. And it was really good ice cream! I would say that Elder Rogers had a good birthday.

Spiritual: Trabalhando com os membros. This week we shifted our focus a little bit. We are trying to stop by all the houses of the members that are active in our branch every week. We have a list of active families and we divided the list into areas and gave one half to the sisters and we took the other half. We tried to pass by all these families during the week, trying to strengthen them spiritually. So Elder Rogers and I planned really hard for the families we were going to pass by and we prayed and we practiced, revised prayed and practiced so more. Yesterday we visited two of those families and I still remember how unprepared I felt. I said a prayer in my heart that even though I am slow of speech and can't speak the language correctly that the spirit could be there and strengthen them. The first family that we visited we didn't share the scripture that we planned, we didn't talk about the stuff we had planned, we followed the spirit and what it wanted us to say. In the end we left them with an invitation to pray and read the Book of Mormon together as a family. It was amazing what happened next. The less active son who was sitting on the couch playing video games (who I thought was completely not paying attention but apparently was half listening) piped up and said ''Ya I would do that if we did it as a family''. The parents then asked us if this was the message that we were giving to all the families. ''No'' I confessed ''This is was what we received as revelation that we need to share with your family specifically''. The parents said ''This is what we need as a family, how did you guys know?'' Prayer and revelation are real. D&C 84:85, we need to plan, but in the moment we will be given the revelation that we need.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

I hope all had a Merry Christmas... I mean Fourth of July.🎉🎊[?][?][?]

This was an interesting week. Elder Moses left for Setubal on Tuesday so while I was waiting for Elder Rogers to arrive I got to spend some time with Elder Lopes and Elder Heiner in Tavira. It was fun being with them but their house has this aconditioner, oh my, it was really close to being the miracle of the week but fell a little short. Later that day after we left the comfy confines of the air conditioned casa  I got my new companion Elder Rogers.

New Companion: Elder Rogers. He will be 24 this upcoming Saturday. He has already graduated from college in business managing. He graduated from Utah State recently. He joined the Church 4 years ago. Right before his friend was leaving for a mission, he told his friend to practice teaching the lessons with him. And he was baptized the day his friend left for his mission. He likes to lift things, usually weights but other heavy object too (I am assuming). He likes to drink a lot of Whey. #Lifting #Workout #DoYouEvenLiftBro? #ComeAtMe #NotReally,IWasJoking,PleaseDon't
Miracle: This week president Tavares challenged us to be ''Usado'' or basically to be bold. So that's what I tried to do. We were teaching an Investigator Carlos. He has a problem with drinking. As we were teaching the lesson, I was trying to think of which commandment we would teach him so that he could progress the most. Immediately the Word of Wisdom came to mind, but then I thought ''if you teach the Word of Wisdom, you'll scare him away/lose him''. But I knew where that thought came from, not from the Lord. So I decided to be bold and teach about the Word of Wisdom. After we had taught him the Word of Wisdom and explained that god wants us to take care of our bodies so we can't drink, he told us, ''I don't actually like drinking.  It's a bad habit.  I do it because I am mad.''  We made plans to help him stop. I could feel the spirit testifying to me that the Word of Wisdom is really of God and also that those thoughts that I had were from God and that if I follow the spirit in my mission and later in my life, I will do the right and will be blessed. 
Merry Christmas,
Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa
2016-2018

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.