Monday, December 30, 2013


Christmas Conference
Hello Everyone,

I have cut and pasted the mom questions so that I will not forget. I am not training for the time being. Elder Pesantes went home to handle some health issues and I am with Elder Andrade from the Nordeste.....and Elder Vighetto from São Paulo,  Elder Vighetto is in my district and is also my zone leader. His companion was made AP so he's going to be with us for the last week of this transfer. It should be a ball in the Parigot de Souza household. We cleaned our house and it smells like an orange febreeze knock-off. We got(received) a bunch of Christmas boxes from our ward which was super nice and a mountain of "panetone". I have no idea if panetone has the same name in the USA. I have never seen it or eaten it before the mission. It's a soft bread with chocolate and fruits baked inside. I think we have 8 so far and we are grabbing more by the minute. It's a good way to do some street contacting. Talking about Jesus while giving some nice bread on the side. I have another week here in Parigot, Maybe I'll stay, maybe I'll go. We'll know next week. I think I'll be staying for another transfer.

OS acontecimentos da semana (the events of the week)

I cut the price of a hammock in half on the street the other day. 100 reais down to 45 reais. My brother Eric suggested pulling out the American charm by giving a neck-tie right there during the sale. I'll give it a whirl. Maybe I will buy some Brasilian sandals. 


It was a blast hearing all of their voices and seeing little people that I had never met yet. Francesca was still Francesca. That was the most important part. I have to throw the truth down. I felt super strange. At first I thought they were strange...then I thought back a little and realized that I am super strange. I can't really speak English very well. I had to ask several times if I was saying things that seemed normal. or, "did I say that back at home? would I have said that back at home?" I came to the conclusion that I am super weird now. I'm an American missionary that doesn't know how to speak his own language correctly. The next year and 2 months will be strange if I continue getting Brasilian companions like the past. The English skills will be erased, I think.


My mom has been asking if I have been singing or playing the guitar at all here in Brasil. I haven't been singing that much...even with my companions. I started to sing a little more and now Elder Andrade won't stop telling the women of the ward that I sing and play the guitar. As lunch starts to wind down and we transition into leaving the table to head over to the living room for a message, Elder Andrade always says "IRMÃ IRMÃ, sabia o segredo de elder forsyth?....ele não contou pra vocês? serio? canta ai elder canta logo....vocês tem uma violão em algum lugar? Passa por elder forsyth ele vai contar hallelujiah agora...vai á elder vai" When he started to do this I got a little embarrassed at first because it had been awhile since I had sung in front of actual people, not just my shower head. To make a long story short, it is our new way of getting some member referrals.

Elder Andrade is a caboeiro, karate, kunfu, judo and everything else that has to do with fighting expert. He started at age 7 and hasn't stopped winning competitions in Brasil. The man seriously knows how to fight. He trained every single day of his life. Our 6:30 exercises are now based in fighting each other a little. I am learning a bunch of judo right now

Christmas churrasco: smokey, salty and splendid.

Much Love from Elder Forsyth

p.s. Stay sweet America (and the blog readers in other places). Jesus loves you and the church is true. Read the Book of Mormon to find out! 
Elder Andrade at Christmas lunch

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas time is here - happiness and cheer!

Screenshot of Christmas Day Google hangout with the family
Christmas plank

Alrighty everyone.

NATAL!  (Elder Forsyth screaming 'Christmas!' in Português)

We have bed bugs for Christmas yaaaayy! No, but really we have bed bugs. This week I will be hunting for a device that sprays a gas throughout the whole house and kills all of the harmful insects and germs. The President's wife recommended a kind of anti bug spray that you leave in your house for 8 hours. You leave while it explodes and sprays. I'm excited to test it out. 

Christmas Conference. Conferência de Natal.

It was super great. super dooper. It was a great opportunity to trade some ideas with some missionaries I haven't seen in a while, get pumped about missionary work again and receive some "harsh encouragement" from president. Man, he burned us....with so much love. 

In the Christmas season we need to remember our Savior Jesus Christ a little bit more than our gift wrapping skills. Alma 7 is a awesome chapter to feast on

Last Sunday, or yesterday, was pretty busy for us. We recieved a new missionary in our trio. Elder Martins was transfered to São Jose Dos Pinhais and Elder Andrade arrived. Transferencia have been all over the place the past couple of weeks. Many instant revelations from President.   Elder Andrade is from Sergibe. Woo-hoo, another Nordestino. I will send some fotos of him in the upcoming week. Same height as me and skinny. It is like another Elder Forsyth from the Nordeste. He is super funny and ready to work super hard. He has 4 months on the mission and he too started it all in the promised land of Osternack.  There will be a lot of pictures from the Christmas Conference. I want to save some stuff for the Christmas call. It will be super funny because I can't speak English and I sound a little Brasilian. Well I hope I sound Brasilian.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  And oh, I received a dear elder. and a letter from Eric. The packages have come. AND I RECEIVED THE LETTER and CANDY FROM DALENE!! THANK YOU DALENE!

Posterity picture:  Elders Souza, Bastos, Forsyth, Pesantes

Elder Lima from ceara forteleza. Funniest man I know. I love him a bunch
Elder Forsyth
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Miracles happen

Miracles happen.
After that super boo-hoo letter I wrote home about throwing up the the middle of the Portão terminal, alone and crying over our lack of success in the area, I started to self assess myself. I read Alma 5 and started to burn myself. Does burn makes sense? In português it does. Eu me quemei...I not sure.... but I'm kidding about reading Alma 5. We use the word "burn" when our leaders start to.....speak words of harsh encouragement. I don't know how to say it in English any more.  
We are finding investigators and marking baptisms. Miracles happen when you self assess, pray, self assess again, pray, make a plan, pray, revise your plan, pray, walk around a little, kick the soccer ball in the back yard, revise the plan, pray and say, "I think I'm good now."  Then you splash some water in your face after you look in the bathroom mirror and say, "Am I the missionary my family thinks I am?" pray some more, commit yourself to be humble and obedient, eat a banana from the produce market in front, see a cockroach in the bathroom and then leave your house towards the street. Then miracles happen but you have to pray a lot and think of the three names your represent on the name tag. My last name, Christ, and His church. Not my first name or the high school I went to. I think I have forgotten a lot about myself and I have remembered more of who I really am. I'm no longer that half way hipster kid that played a lot of guitar in college and had a nasty mustache for a time, or the high school goof ball. But who I really am is a missionary of my Heavenly Father who made me before he sent his son, Christ, to create the world. I was already pre-ordained to carry out His work here in Parigot de Souza. I am a missionary that eats a lot of ice cream and speaks a lot of Portuguese. I want to be like my brothers and work my butt off.  I love my mission.  I love helping people feel good. Feeling good doesn't mean giving them hug. Feeling good means a change of heart so that your heart always feels great. Give something so special that will bring a happiness without end to someone who thinks that life is the end. I have a testimony of second chances. I have a testimony that anyone has the chance to become a rich man. The wisdom that one can obtain in Book of Mormon is more valuable than the belongings of the richest man in the world. Riches does not mean a Ferrari. It means goals. It means purpose. And it for sure means happiness.
Luan, our recent convert, has received the Aaronic Priesthood and passed the sacrament.  Yessssssss.  His super sweet blue suit blows everyone out of the water. He is progressing very well. He is super humble and does many things independently. He is only 14 years old and he does things right.
My face is brown and my legs are white.
Elder Forsyth


Luan.  Looks a little like Will Smith, right?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The tale of how I lost it in the Portao Terminal

Elder Forsyth got reaaaal sick. 

So, Tuesday I received the call from the AP´s to head over to Santa Catarina to interview someone preparing for baptism. At first I thought, why would they need a District Leader in Curitiba to perform a baptismal interview in Santa Catarina (in another state- it's a 4 hour trip with the bus switches in the various terminals)? But I realized that I was training two  missionaries. While I would be heading out for to travel, sleeping in the elders' home and returning back home by bus, the work wouldn't be slowed down at all. I was super excited to cross the border and snap some pictures in SC because several elders that have been serving there have been saying only good things about the nature and the scenery. During Zone Conference I started to feel a little strange but didn't think think too much of it. I coordinated with the mission secretaries and the trip was all paid for. I had to change buses at the Portão Terminal. When got to the terminal I ran for the nearest trash can and started to vomit in front of everyone. Just think.  An American missionary alone, throwing up in front of several a trash can. The sad part was I didn't receive that hand on the forehead technic that my mom always used so that I didn't have to strain my extremely long neck. Everyone just stared at me. Me being me, I felt so good afterwards that I started to laugh. It was like when I was little and I would be so nervous to get a shot at the doctor's office. Even before the needle penetrated my skin, I would start to laugh super hard. It was the same thing. Everyone who was staring at me started to laugh, too. I gave myself a few moments to walk around the terminal to see if I could continue traveling. I could not. To make a long story short... one thing lead to another and I stayed a full day on a mattress in the mission headquarters, vomiting. The next day my companions picked me up and I took it easy for the next three days. As I was stuck at home with a member basically babysitting me, I had a lot of time to think.  I think I went a little nuts. Missionaries that want to hit the pavement and preach the restored gospel but they can't because of uncontrollable causes are really sad missionaries. 

My family has been writing me the best lines today. I was feeling really down in the dumps, getting sick and looking at our results this past week. It is the first time on my Brasilian mission that none of our investigators are progressing. I felt extremely discouraged yesterday. Training two others, being the district leader and being part of a ward that does not have the tradition of helping the missionaries in their blood. I felt like I was in a huge hole that would be too difficult to climb out of. My super hero-like families sent some great spiritual and emotional back up this week. Eric sent me a a great thought process on perfectionism. Eric, I too have been feeling the pressures. I was thinking the other day that I have been doing my job as a district leader terribly and that I have been training two missionaries in an area that can be cultivated just a little bit more to give them a shinier eye of success as they are starting their life changer called "the mission".  I think I was focusing more on the numbers side of things and not on the ministering. The Lord gave me a wake up call yesterday. As a prayed really hard for more strength so that I could endure more challenges, I felt my self-development grow. The Lord is the first one I go to now to seek counsel. And it never fails. As I continue to talk to Him first, before anyone else, I can see a real growth within myself. 

My mom sent me the story of Alma. A prophet of the Lord that fell in the oh so easy hole of discouragement. 
Alma 8:14-15  ...while Alma was this weighed down with sorrow, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying:
Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for  thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him.  Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you.

This helped a ton, momma! This week we have no baptismal dates lined up and that's super scary. No one is progressing. Everything will start from scratch. A lot of knocking doors and fasting has to been done here. I know that we can perform a miracle here. But first we have to create a miracle in ourselves. We cannot be the examples that others look toward and we cannot give inspiration if we are not inspired. Personal conversion has to come first. Am I keeping all the rules I can follow? Am I keeping the commandments of the Lord? Why am I here on the mission? What plant can I grow here in Brasil that I can take with me to the United States fully gardened and beautiful? Without self assessments on the mission, you are lying to yourself. Let's perform a miracle here in Brasil. In rain or sickness (and it is always shiny in Brasil).

Love, Elder Forsyth

p.s. stay sweet and eat your vegetables. I need to buy and eat more. 
p.p.s.  sorry, no pictures this week.  Hopefully next week.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sadness and Joy

So this is my profession for these two years. I am here on the mission to spread the gospel to those who feel a lack of Christ´s love. I hope all of you can get a little of the next paragraph. É o Seguinte. It is the following. I received the news that one of my favorite Sunday School teachers passed away this past week. I don't know what to say other than I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. There isn't anything else that keeps me going so strong every day. At times the reality of the world can get to me, of course. Dedication to our Heavenly Father is key in the process of overcoming the mountains that seem to just appear in our life. The other day I was explaining how I overcame the loss of my father when I was 16 years old. I had the foundation to call upon...the study of scripture and the culture of heart-felt prayer, but I never put all of my most well-tuned instruments to work. I used the analogy of a captain that had studied and studied and studied the art of warfare but had never left the port to go to war. He was the top of his class, always the first to respond the hardest of questions but even he had never set foot on the great man of war. As he encountered his first battle, the strategy of success was not his first instinct. Like us, sometimes we don't turn back to what we know and feel the most -- God. He started to panic as the canon balls slammed into the helm and he started to call upon others. But people fail sometimes. The captain then remembered that he had a foundation of studies and battle tactics that were engraven into his mind since he was a young man in officer training. But those plans had never been placed into practice. As he remembered and called upon God to help him remember all  of his hard study, he managed to overcome the enemy and help others along the way because of his knowledge. The sails started to receive the wind correctly and the captain started to navigate. As a 20-year-old missionary I don't have a lot of experience with life but I have learned a couple of things on the mission. We are not alone. Never ever, and never ever again. When I heard that my dear friend Connie Tippits had passed on, my first reaction was to pray to God to help everyone back at home. The feelings of comfort came over me again. It was like reliving the first time I prayed to my Heavenly Father to know if I could really see my dad again. The feeling of joy came over me and I just came home. I was nearly in his presence. And I cannot deny it. There are some things that are hard to believe in this life. Some people do not believe in God. I know He exists because I have felt him next to me in the times when I needed him most. But I know for a surety that I will see my dear friend once again and that she is in a place where she can grow and be free from the heartaches of this world. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he knows every single one of us. He died in our place so that we wouldn't have to bear these spiritual and physical pains forever. Hey, everyone at home -- remember this:

Doctrine and Covenants 121:1-8

O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
 2 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
 Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?
 O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.
 Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword avenge us of our wrongs.
 Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.
 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
Elder Forsyth
p.s.  You are in my prayers!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The future Elder Suarez

Luan's baptism
Dear Family and Friends.

Woooo! We baptized Luan! Adston Luan Alves Suarez. He is an awesome young man and will serve a great mission here in 4 years. The other day while we were teaching him he asked out of nowhere, " name tag will say Elder Suarez like yours?" Hahaha it was awesome to see the super fast progress. We found him this transfer and he was baptized yesterday! And now he already wants to serve a mission! Powerful stuff right here. 

It was an awesome Baptismal service!

This transfer has flown by and I already have 8 months on the mission. I have learned so much in such a little time and I feel a little guilty for not writing it all down. I need to pick up my journal again and write more about the little miracles I see each day. I think I will feel more content with my mission and the work of the Lord as I see the little things with a bigger lens. Often the small and little acts of faith perform the greatest of miracles that will stay with you till the eternities. The simple things come from our father above.
I will recieve another new missionary fresh from the MTC. So it will be Elder Pesantes, Elder _______, and Elder Forsyth. Wooo-hoo, training once again!! I am still District Leader which I find to be super stressful at times but I have been learning and applying the atonement of Jesus Christ more in my life. As I interview people preparing to be baptized, I have spoken to a couple of people that have had tough backgrounds and weighed down feelings about life. I have seen a transformation in some of them in a matter of 10 minutes. Just speaking with them about the pure love of Christ and making plans with them so that they can overcome their difficulties has been something that has changed my life for the better. I feel like I have grabbed a little more patience. I am definitley not the same Ian that I was before. My capacity to love has increased and I have been extremely humbled through the process of repentance and sanctification. I feel more happy!

Fun story. I was chowing down at a ward churrasco (bbq) and I saw a member with a long board cruising around the parking lot....shredding the gnar. I had to make a long story short, I hopped on the board with my side bag and the weight threw me off the long board. I am sorry but I completely fell on my face. It was a good laugh for the members of the ward. 

Vamos Lá 

Much love Elder Forsyth

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's a Great Ride

Zona Jardim Do Sol

I don't have too many things to say this week, but here are a few phrases to let everyone know that I am alive.

This week as been a great one. The temple was the highlight of it all. The light that is present in the temple is like the warmth of the sun but it is so clear that your mind is in a constantly pure state. Like a running river. I don't think I am capable of explaining the happiness that the temple brings me. It is a happiness that is real. It is instant gratification from God that never leaves you.

Woo-hoo: baptism this week.  Here we go.  His name is Luan. He is 14 years old but he has the mind of a 24 year old. We found him the first week were here. The week that was really tough for two new missionaries in a new area.  Frustration was on overload. Hey, but now I feel super good. As we taught him and taught him we saw his life change. He started to recognize errors quicker and wanted to change as fast as possible. When he recieved a testimony in Sacrament meeting he told us and his eyes were different. More happiness is arriving with almost each visit. He counts on his fingers and then does it again to show how many days he has been keeping the word of wisdom. Watching the personal prayer growth has been super great too. The first time he prayed in front of us he was so scared. Day by day he has been praying alone and asking for strengths. The day he told us that he would say the opening and closing prayer I started to cry because it was the first thing he said before the lesson conversation began. The gospel of Jesus Christ isn't a simple recipe but it is a recipe for real happiness and eternal life.  If you follow the precepts that Christ organized it is impossible to fail. When all other things fail in your life remember the pure love of Christ is the light that cannot be blown out.  Charity.  And grab ahold really tight because the sensation of forgiveness, redemption, and true happiness will throw you for a wild ride. It is a great ride, don't you worry.

Elder Forsyth

p.s. stay sweet.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What a Week

Brazil Curitiba Temple

Everybody Everybody. What a week! Me disculpe (Forgive me). We switched our p-day just for this week because....drum roll...we went to the temple today! I was feeling a lack in my life. It was a lot of love on the part of the President and a lot of luck on my side. The missionaries that are inside the city of Curitiba were the only ones permitted to head up to the temple this week. Parigot de Souza is inside the town/district of Sitio Cercado which is part of Curitiba. It is in the very south of the city and is neighbors with Osternack.

Curitiba Temple
The temple was an excellent opportunity for me to leave all of my worries and troubles on the table. This week Elder Pesantes and I have been almost literally hunting for people to teach. Through our earnest prayers and fasting-fests we were able to find some great people who are open to receiving the message of the restored gospel. These families were found just a couple days ago. And today I was able to ponder about the struggle of finding people, pray to the Lord, and receive the comfort that I have been seeking. For the past 7 months I have been longing to go to the temple and the wait was worth it. I felt an overwhelming peace cast itself around me while i prayed and prayed and prayed...and prayed a little bit more. 

A different kind of lack
Fasting has led to the result of loosing weight. SOS. All of the eyes that are reading this letter and not getting too much out of it because of the poor writing, remember this. ---->family and friends:  send cookies and teddy bears! Perhaps teddy grahams too! por favor! Seriously, though, fasting works. It brings happiness to the soul. You need a spirit stronger than your body so that you are able to overcome the daily trials of life. 

Mind blown
We taught a lesson today that blew my mind. We found a man from Haiti the other day on the street and we brought him down to the good ol' church house for a meeting. Turns out he was already going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a different ward here in the Curitiba Sul Mission. We didn't receive a referral for him and his teaching records were not passed down from missionary to missionary. The other Elders had a baptism and we wanted Stephen to be there. It was extremely difficult to understand him and teach him because he only speaks French and Creole.  He speaks a little Portuguese but not enough to understand what we are staying in return. We invited him and he said, "for sure I have never seen a baptism and was never baptized before. Let's go." He said this in a mixture of French and Portuguese. But I got the idea. A week before I had grabbed The Book of Mormon in French for my own learning from the headquarters of the mission. I had it with me at the time. While the baptism was  getting started, we began to read the introduction of the Book of Mormon in French. As I explained a little bit in Portuguese and indicated the key parts of the Book of Mormon´s promises, he looked at me and said exactly what he felt in his heart. In his broken Portuguese he said, "Ask? and I receive?" "Pedir, e eu recebo?" I felt the spirit so strongly in that moment. The language of the spirit is so much stronger than the language of men. We all have a connection with our Heavenly Father - we just have to turn it on and be worthy so that when it is turned on, others can feel its presence. 

We marked a baptismal date and a time to teach Stephen at home. We arrived at the gate, clapped, and waited for our Haitian friend. As he received us at the door and guided us up the stairs to his apartment, we found a little group of Haitians that have traveled all the way from Haiti to Curitiba. It was a long travel. Boats, cars, hitchhicking, bus. As he told us about what they went through, it seemed nuts. I understood what they were saying because of Stephen's friend, Wilson, who speaks Portuguese fluently. It was a relief because we were planning on teaching the principles of the gospel in the simplest form so that the information would be communicated effectively. Wilson was our translator in the lesson.  As he transmitted the words over to his buddy, I could feel the spirit as he spoke about Joseph Smith for the first time. The best part about it was that the first time he learned about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel was through telling the story to his friend, Stephen. A testimony was born last night. They both will read the Book of Mormon in French and ask God.  Pray from them. Pray, pray, praayy.

Imitating the missionaries in my district

Thought of the past 5 minutes: Challenges and trials are our gates to success. We don't really know our capacity to support a problem until one hits us in the face. The tempest of life was already navigated by our captain Jesus Christ. The waves of temptation and heartbreak already hit the boat of Jesus Christ. He felt the weak parts and He fixed the holes of his own boat. He has already landed on the shore with a perfect boat. Now he is the light house. Our brothers that are sinking - will we rescue them or leave them to the side? We can experience trials and so can our friends. But will we let it consume the boat or will we survive by sailing the course of Christ? 

That was a summary of my talk I gave in sacrament meeting in the Parigot de Souza ward. If you sail the course of Christ, you may experience weakness,  but you will never fail. 

As Lighting McQueen once said, "ca-chow"

Stay sweet. Life moves pretty might miss it.

Love your elder in Brazil,

Elder Forsyth

Monday, November 4, 2013

Accents make everything better


Hey everyone at home!
The pictures have returned. I jogged over to the handy dandy man that works in the lan house (computer cafe) and he (as he said in Portuguese) "Eu liberei todas os fotos do cativeiro, no qual a gente chama o carta de memória. Com certeza você pode ver os fotos de novo,"  "I liberated all of the fotos from captivity, in which "the people" (commonly used in Brasil as "we") call the memoria card. With surety you can see the fotos again."  The way he explained what he did was super slick. Gostei, Gostei. I liked it, I liked it.
I can't see the fotos on my câmera but I can view them on the computer.
super quick sob story
I won't burden you with the trials that have been happening but here is a....
1 to 2 sentence sob story:
This week has been a week of trials and a lack of results that we have been looking for. Wah (one tear drop).
Hey...hey hey...woah woah woahh, but on the bright side I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I was called by a prophet that has confidence in me to carry out the work and bring the light of the gospel into the lives of others, making them laugh, sharing stories of how the gospel has changed my life for the better...etc. I feel great now!

For those who remember that stage I went through when I would frequently speak in a Russian accent, know that the accent skills have payed off. Someone thought I was from Paraná.  It was the first time that someone said, "You only look Américan, the voice is a different story."  Either he was making fun of me or he thought I was a Brasilian. Let's go with the Brasilian. I have been soaking everything in like a sponge like Eric told me to do and I have acquired many different accents that can be found in different regions of Brazil. Paulista, Nordestino, Rio Grande do Sul, and Paranaese. The accent here is super silly to me. The people here think is so funny to hear what they sound like. So I try to humor them.  It is a mix of an irish/spaniard accent.

Forgive me, this computer is spell checking my English and changing it back to the language of origin. So if you find many Portuguese words, sorry.
Life in Parigot de Souza
We live on the principal road which has all of the stores, restaurants, street vendors, and pizzerias. All of this is a plus but sometimes it is difficult to find people at home during the afternoon because it is pretty industrialized here. Everyone works their tail off. We are finding people that are super great and ready to receive the restored gospel but their family says something or we can never find them again. New goal for Elder Forsyth. Ask for their number when I speak with them.
I have decided that this p-day I will self evaluate,  thinking of where I want to be when I have 20 more years under my belt. A testimony during the first Sunday of the month really hit me. It was a young man preparing to serve a mission and he started to speak of his actions. "What would my 40-year-old self think right now, and how can I change my disposition towards the better so that I can better myself more quickly and more effectively?" 
Here we go.
Tchau Tchau todo mundo.
Elder Forsyth
p.s. Always ask that handy dandy Brasilian computer expert to help you with your problems

Monday, October 28, 2013

For my Facebook friends (and everyone else,too)

With great blessings comes great responsibility.
I don't remember if I have already written this phrase that continually pops into my head. On this mission it is super easy to get discouraged with all of the rejection that one faces. But I have been trying so hard to count all of my blessings one by one, like I learned in Primary. I think 80% of the gospel truths that I have in my heart and mind I learned between the ages of 3-11. Hey kids, attend Primary! Anyway, this week was a good one. We are getting to know the area little by little but we are finding the elect. I love the face of the guy who sees the Book of Mormon for the first time, gives me a look of "what are you...crazy?" and when we bear testimony and read him Moroni's promise, he gets all excited and changes his attitude. We had an experience like that this week. We arrived to the gate, because every house in Brazil has a gate, clapped our hands and waited with faith that someone would open the door and gives us just the slightest look. We were passing this house constantly and I was thinking to myself, this is extremely ineffective. We are passing all of these homes just to get to our next appointment that has a high chance of falling through. Why am I not knocking on these doors(clapping my hands super loud when Shakira is playing from the bar right behind us)? So we stopped, turned and clapped. An elderly man left his living room to come out and speak with us. What began as a man saying that he was Catholic and wasn't  interested, turned into a man saying that he would change his mind if the Book of Mormon is true. It was a powerful experience for Elder Pesantes. With a new missionary it a little sad because we are trying our hardest to get to know the area but still we are finding people that are super firm.
It was for the Zone leaders but it was one heck of a baptism! As district leader I have the privilege to hold interviews for the candidates that are preparing for baptism. I had the most spiritual experience as I held the baptismal interview for Vinicius. He is 11 years old but he is one diligent seeker. We became friends and shared our testimonies with each other. At first he didn't really want to baptized but through the fasting of the other elders and through all of the prayers that Vinicus and I had we felt the Savior's love so strongly. Vinicius started to cry tears of joy and wanted to baptized. I have never seen another little boy so happy:)
Faith is key here in our area. We have great hope in the people we are finding and teaching. The people of Curitiba are so friendly and kind. I love it here. I couldn't have asked for a better experience in my life. I know that the work that I do is completely for the Lord. I know that He lives and I know that The Book of Mormon is true. Because I read it, thought about it and prayed about it. I was only 13 years old and God showed me with great vigor. I know that those who are reading these blogs and are not members should take a peek at the Book of Mormon. I know that it will change your life for the better if you read and pray about it with real intention. Not just because a scrawny 20 year old bore testimony on the internet....but because God loves you and he wants you the receive his mysteries.
Stay Sweet
Elder Forsyth 
(and here is the p.s. I got from Elder Forsyth explaining the lack of pictures):
this old computer in Brazil erased all my photos on my camera. :( I had a ton of great ones. with awesome videos that I was planning on sending you. AHHHHH. so sad

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trainer and Trainee

The new duo:  Elder Forsyth and Elder Pesantes

Opá. It is time to write the family and friends. Here it comes..
Vai da leite. A phrase from the land of Forteleza. It means...I don't know what it means directly but something along the lines of doing something over and over again until you get a product. Translation:  It'll give milk. My new catch phrase.
The details of a tired Ian:
The Lord doesn't choose those who are prepared. He prepares those He has chosen. I have been feeling the pressure of trainer, district leader and the white wash. But I am staying happy like always. To start things off, I butchered my new companion's name last week.  It is Elder Pesantes. He´s completely Ecuadorian. He speaks Spanish for sure. It has been a great week helping him with the discussions and learning more about how he gained his testimony. He is a recent convert to the church. A fresh 3 years. The missionaries found him and at first he had doubts and did not want to be baptized. When he realized that he was already keeping all of the commandments of the Lord, he started to feel the spirit more in his life. So he got baptized, but it took a little while. So, all of you missionaries and families out there that are struggling with investigators or neighbors....don't give up. Continue helping them understand how much happiness keeping the commandments of the Lord brings to you. I promise they will see the light in your eyes when you bear even just a small testimony of the joy of the message of the restored gospel. Elder Pesantes is super spiritually strong. the 3 s´s. He told me the other that the only reason he is on the mission is because his family needs the blessings that the mission will pour upon his loved ones. Man that hit me right in the core. I am super pumped to work with him in the work of the Lord. 
I also butchered the name of our area. Parigot de Souza. (pah-de-góo gee só-za)  It is more populated than Rio Iguaçu and Osternack. More stores, more main roads. I am the District Leader of Osternack. The promised land. I am so excited to do some splits there, speak to my investigators that I found with Elder Bastos and give a hello to my loved members.

The story of the mission so far

 It all happened in Rio Iguaçu. I forget to tell it to the world through blogging. So we were running a little late. Missionaries need to be in their homes by  9:30 pm at the latest. It was 9:20 and we were far from home and I was in need of a bathroom. I'll leave the pains I was feeling to be imagined. I had to really had to go. We are prohibited from entering other churches. It is a world wide rule for missionaries... I think.  I saw a funeral home, Elder Lima and I jetted for the doors and searched desperately for the bathroom. A funeral was taking place...and we busted it.  1st woops.  I found the bathroom. When I came out alive, Elder Lima from Forteleza told me that it was a Catholic church and that the family thought we were the main speakers that came late to the funeral. They thought we were the Padres from a catholic church located in the Fazenda Rio Grande. The family started to question Elder Lima about the topics we would present, how long it would take, etc. They were in shock when he showed the little name tag showing the name of our church. "Hey, we can come back and explain the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us and tell you where your father is right now," he explained. I left the bathroom running trying to get home on time. It must have looked really strange to see two Mormon missionaries jetting into a Catholic church during a funeral and then jetting out. Silly elders.
John 13:34. More love from Elder Ian
Life is good. Mom reminded me that I have 7 months on the mission. I wasn't counting and it has flown right by.
The ward mission plan here is super good and we are on the hunt to find prepared people. The area wasn't really nourished very well and so we are on the clean up crew.
Elder Forsyth

Monday, October 14, 2013

Good Changes (which are also a little sad)

Changes and Transfers. I have been transferred back to my original district in Padego de Souza as a district leader and trainer. This will be extremely interesting as I feel I am not prepared for this at all. But here we go. Whether I feel prepared or not, the Lord will provide. I need to think like that...right? I don't know, all I know is that it will be a white wash (for those who are not or were not missionaries, white wash means 2 new missionaries in one new area and they need to fend for themselves to pick up where the other missionaries left off). I am super excited to return to Sitio Cercado where I was "born" and help the people there again. They are such a great people. I'll also get to say hello to all my beloved members in Osternack when the missionaries need investigator interviews or we are on splits! I am sooooo excited. I miss those members. I don't know who my new companion is but I think he is Brasileiro because of the name....Biszatch...something like that. There is a conglomerate of Polish and German people that reside in Rio Grande do Sol where Ross Pagotto served so maybe he'll have European decent.  I don't know why i am trying to figure out his descent, it really doesn't make a difference....but all in all I am pumped to train. 

This has been little bit of a sad process, too. Elder Lima Silva and I have left 6 souls that will be baptized this next month. We were in shock when we heard that both of us were being transferred. The Lord has a plan for these people to be baptized with or without us. We just need to keep looking forward to our new purpose. I am a little nervous for the great responsibility that has been placed upon me but I pray that I can continue being the same Elder "Ian" loving others through the message of the restored gospel. The past week we have been visiting all of our progressing investigators helping them approach closer and closer to the waters of baptism. It was a lot of bus rides, dirty cuffed slacks, happy tears, and a lot of smiles. Dirty cuffed slacks, happy tears, and smiles is what I try to do best. You know me. 

So today I have to head up to center Curitiba to receive a training session on how to become an effective district leader, How to conduct interviews, and how to train the fresh missionaries. It will be a good day. I am hanging loose with Elder Herrera for the time being writing this email and buying snacks for Elder....Biznatch....Bisnootch.  I promise I will have a biography about his life next week with the correct name. I already love the elder. 

Here is a great scripture I love sharing with members who are just cruising along and not sharing the gospel to their fullest capacity. The gospel is simple, lovable and easy. So be wise and share it. Simple things come from God. Remember that. 
11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.

12 O be wise; what can I say more?
(verse 12 always makes me laugh.) 

Enos 1:1-12- The difference between Repentance (v. 1-8) and Sanctification (v. 9-12). For me repentance is abandoning error and sin by way of the merciful atonement of Christ. But what is sanctification? For me it is the removal of human desires by way of the grace of God. Action. Grace for me is the power of God to raise you to higher planes after all that you can do. It is necessary. We cannot overcome the natural man alone. We need some fire to purify and sanctify our impurities. I want your responses, too! 

tempo dos fotos. 
With much love and all the rice and beans that have been ingrained into my system,
Elder Forsyth
p.s. Stay sweet

Diego and Kaoana. They are preparing for marriage and Kaoana will be baptized. Diego is a member that is returning back to the church. The
 topic of eternal marriage always is brought up. When we asked what his the 
greatest moment that he remembers as a member of the church, he responded "my family
 sealing in the temple is what I cherish most." Bam. right to the heart. 
Vanessa (Mom with baby: Johanne) Lais the teenager girl 13 years old, and Tiago, 14 years old. They have a super strong testimony of the gospel and will be baptized. I am so excited for them. They have been progressing so well and we are all great friends now.
Where is the incredible hulk toy in this photo?