Monday, May 13, 2013

Greetings from the Library. And the Zoo, too.

Elder Twogood, Elder Forsyth, Elder Culler

Dear the whole fam damily and friends,

Happy Mothers' Day! It was so great to call home and conference call my mom, brothers, and all my little nephews. I love all of guys so much and I can really feel the love out here. I really appreciate everyone who is praying for me and and sending love my way. It really does make a difference. :)
Well here I am at the Delaware County/ District Library writing home. This place looks like it belongs in Boulder, Colorado. It has that cabin-like feel and there are many strange hipsters in addition to the very kind elderly librarians. Gotta love 'em. It's funny to try and account for the bike ride to certain places. It cuts alot of time out of our day since our area is pretty big for biking. It has been super cold today and the bike ride was a struggle but the library is nice and cozy so I can snuggle up to my monitor and focus on writing home.

I really wish I could tell you that we have a regular weather pattern here. Two to three days ago it was HUMID and hot and now it is around 50 with a wind chill that makes it feel like it's freezing. It is so unpredictable. I guess since we are in the middle of the country it picks up all of the wind patterns from everywhere and it doesn't know what to do with them all. The Humidity on the other hand is alot like PA and makes me feel extremely close to home. There are just no Wawa hoagies to be found. Bummer. My companions are from Utah and have been here much longer than I but they still say the humidity is killer. I don't blame them.

The New Door Approach
I talked about this a little bit with my family on the phone but I left out some things so I can describe it again. Last week at Zone Conference we had Brother Flanders come speak to us. He started a door to door sales/ pest control company and he spoke to the whole zone on how to improve what we are "selling".  It all starts off with standing at least 5 feet away from the door so that the residents in the house have to show more than an eyeball from the 2-inch ajar door. So that causes them to a least open the door and say something along the lines of, "what the heck do you want?" I love that one. And in response we say something like, "we just love you and want to help you out." That seriously confuses them and causes them to open the door even more. Once they have fully opened the door, they generally give us an excuse which is our cue to step back to show that we aren't aggressive and ask "what's for dinner?" or "yeah, i'm hungry too" or "hey, we will come back in an hour."  We have started to always have a Book of Mormon in our hand so that they can actually touch it and feel it and witness how great it is. So far I have only had this happen once but when you ask for the Book of Mormon back they are reluctant and basically are begging for it. That's when you say hey, this is my last copy but there are some members of the church just two doors down that would love to give it to you. And then we talk to the members and that initiates a conversation with the neighbor and the member creating a bond. It is cool. Speaking of touching. As in Touching the Book of Mormon. We try to touch them as much as possible. Now I know that sounds so creepy but it breaks down so many barriers. Like the barrier of them thinking the white shirt and tie is glued to my body and I am a robot. One of the most successful ones was when we knocked on the door of a "brotha" who was Baptist. He told us that he had to get his kids ready for soccer but once I started to talk about The Book of Mormon and shake his shoulder a little bit (like bros do) he completely lightened up and listend to what we had to say. I think I should his hand twice and grabbed his shoulder once or twice also. It was so funny he started to laugh and I really feel like it showed him how normal we are.

Before my mission I wasn't exactly scared to share the gospel, but it wasn't top priority on my mind. I wish it had been. I really do. Just because I wasn't wearing a tag with Christ's name bolded on it doesn't mean that I wasn't a representative, constantly. In high school I tried, in everything that I did, to share the gospel. But now that I look back on it.... it wasn't enough. Sometimes it is scary. I am still getting used to it here in the mission field and sometimes I get scared of what people think of me when I start to talk about Joseph Smith being the prophet of the restoration or anything else. But really, I just realized that when all else fails no one can take my testimony that Christ lives, this is His Restored Church, Joseph Smith was a prophet that restrored the authority back to the earth, and the Book of Mormon is another testament or witness of Jesus Christ. Nothing can remove those things from me because I know in my heart they are true. And it all starts with a desire to know. Without a desire and the action of prayer we cannot know whether the things I have just testified of are true. It is impossible. I find myself constantly praying, more often than ever before, to know for myself if the teachings in The Book of Mormon are true. I used to think that it was showing little faith to ask over and over again. But that's not true. It is showing our faith by confiding in the Lord and pouring everything out to Him and relying on Him to provide the knowledge of the truth through the Holy Ghost. Try and read Moroni chapter 10 again specifically verses 3-5 and pray if The Book of Mormon is true, even if you already know. I know for me my testimony grew when I read the whole Book of Mormon while in the MTC and prayed about it. :) Jesus Christ loves us and he wants all of His children to return to him again. Deus enviou Seu Filho amado Jesus Cristo ao mundo para que todos os filhos de deus tivessem um possibilidade a voltar e vivi en Sua Presenca depois de murrerem. I think that's right hahaha. Studying Portuguese with Elder Twogood is hilarious because he doesn't speak a lick of it but he tries his best to put on the most ridiculous accent in order to sound somewhat Brazilian.

Revelation 3:20
I love this scripture. Elder Clement (who is serving in the Scotland/Ireland Mission) showed it to me just because of the word "sup". Thank you Mom for sharing it with me again in your last email. Revalation 3:20 -- "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." This will be one of my Missionary scripture mottos because no matter whom I come in contact with I need to try and see them as Christ sees them with their potential filled all the way to the top. If I bear His name and speak His word I sure need to act pretty Christ-like and sup with everyone. :)

I love you all so so so much and I hope your Mothers' day was fantastic. I am so grateful for my Mother because without her stellar example I wouldn't be on a mission right now. It is because of her and my Dad that I am the man I am today. There aren't any words to describe how grateful I am for you momma. ;) Thank you for everything.
Stay Sweet Everyone.

Elder Forsyth
p.s. I know this may seem selfish but I really need to improve my patience since not many people here are open to the Gospel and it can become frustrating. Hahaha, it is frustrating. This is something I would ask you guys to pray for. It would be great. Thank you so much. :)

Columbus North Zone at the Columbus Zoo

What animal am I?  (hint: short arms)

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