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.

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hope for the future


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.

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa

Monday, April 10, 2017

Baptism Pics


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.

Elder Fogg
Missão Portugal Lisboa