Monday, September 30, 2013

So long, youth

Boa Tarde.

Aaaaannnndd I´m 20.....tomorrow. What happened? I don't know. Tell me.  Yesterday I was a teenager and now I am in the 20's. Nossa! (My goodness here in the b-r-a-s-i-l). In commemoration of my birthday we shaved my head last week so that I could feel a little like my 5th grade self all over again. 10 years ago. Nossa de novo (My goodness again). Elder Lima from Forteleza performed the hair cut. It has been a bit of a change for me. When Elder Lima Silva (my companion) and I are walking down the street and I see myself in a car window I jump back a little. I have gotten used to it in the past 7 days, but is still a shock. Today, for a little bit of time our lan house (that we usually use to email home and president) was out of order so we went for a stroll in the central part of The Fazenda. We came across some kites (pipas) and we had to buy some. I think my birthday has been centered around the theme of "childhood". It's all good because today we are are going to have a churrasco (BBQ) and fly kites. 

No quarter life crisis, but I did decide to buzz my head for my 20th
I have felt all of the love from the email birthday wishes.Thank you!  I even received one from my orthodontist. Thank you Anne O´Day and team! 

Os aconticementos da semana.
The ELDER LIMA SILVA contact baptismal invite. Extra, extra read all about it now! Just look, just look we have a prophet! Olha só Olha só, nós temos um profeta! It is extremely funny but immensely powerful when we do it just right. We have been carrying a General Conference Liahona  with President Thomas S. Monson on the cover. One of the greatest moments that I have experienced on my mission is when someone realizes the necessity for a prophet. When you read the words of the prophet for people on the street their ears perk up a little. Placing his picture in their hand is a great time for people to think. They always say that they have never seen this man before. "Where can we find him and talk to him?" Well, guess what? You can see him on the big screen. This next week we are allowing the prophet to do all the converting for our investigators. I am so excited to hear the words of God through the mouth of a living prophet. Oh yeah, if you want to know if there really is a prophet called of God, just grab your nearest Book of Mormon, Read, reflect and pray about it. 

Feeling sad? "Lift up your heads" - Mosiah 7:19 and Moroni 7:45-48.

Elder Lima with "Stomps," the stuffed animal dinosaur that mom sent me. 

Extra, extra!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Life in the House and on the Street

Hello everyone!

The first thing I want to say is,  I'm sorry for the strange missionary work/ fly fishing analogy last week... .I was super tired. 

Dallin Seguine will be going to the Marshall Islands where he will be speaking Kiribati. Give the man a pat on the back. I was guessing somewhere Spanish speaking because of his knowledge of and practice in the language but this really goes to show that you are called where you are needed. The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. We may study Spanish for years but we will end up speaking an extremely foreign language helping people that we have never seen or heard of before.

I'm tired.... But happy::)  
Last week the constant walking and rain really got to me and was a little down, but now...tudo bom. (It's all good.)   I'm still tired but its a happy tired. For those who have seen Elder Forsyth tired and really happy they know what it is like.....goofy. Sometimes the little goofyness brings a smile to the people we teach. I have a bag underneath my right eye that looks like I was hit by Elder Lima Silva in the middle of the night.  Many people have asked if I got in a fight on the street because that sort of thing is normal, to say the least. But no, it is just plain ol' tired. The best thing about being a set-apart full time missionary is that even when you are strung out and exhausted you will always have the the power of the Lord to lift you up and comfort you. That happened a lot this week. Leaving everything for the Lord to fix and hanging on to his endless power that he sent. Whew, you can receive a lot of comfort when you use all of your faculties just for the sole purpose of trusting in the Lord.

President Fernandes - The man of the hour
Our new mission president is all business and I love it. He has grabbed some fire and thrown it under us to get us moving and thinking more about the work we are carrying out. He was born in Angola Africa and served his mission in Manaus. He is a man of great faith. It was extremely humbling in our last Zone Conference because I came to the realization that I am a man of very little faith. Almost dust. My focus this week has been to place all of my trust in the Lord and just be an instrument in his hands.  It is working.  Especially when I pray.  I have changed the format of my prayers; praying more for the well being of others and giving thanks more than asking for blessings. ALMA 31:26-38 has been a a key focus in my studies lately. The way he prays is a prayer of confidence but at the same time a prayer of utter humility. I want mine to be more like this prayer. Confident yet humble enough to know that I am nothing.

Missionaries in the House
Elder Rico from Chile was transferred to open another area (Pinherino) in the middle of this transfer, so that shook a couple things up. New Elder Lima, who was a part of my original district in SITIO CERCADO, is now living with us. We now have Elder Lima Silva from Rio Grande do Norte and Elder Lima from Forteleza. We add on the cities to their names to make it more clear in the House. But, Holy Mother he is excited to do missionary work.  I had the privilege to do some splits with him in the other area inside of The Fazenda. It was a learning experience the whole way. It is super funny to say the least. We have a blast on the street.

Sounds and Tastes of The Fazenda
Sounds - Strange music and a lot of buses screeching their brakes. We have a little carnival in the center of the city too! It looks a lot like the carnival from the Sandlot if you remember. Lights and all.  Angry Brazilian women yelling. I love talking with them on the street because when you start to speak in a calm voice their disposition changes completely and they want to know more why you are helping them in their current state of yelling.
Tastes- Lots and lots of beans, rice, potatoes, and meat. When we are walking on the street you can always count on the constant flow of fresh bread because of all of the Bakeries (Panficadores). Freshly baked bread with banana in the middle is always a good break from the constant rain and lighting. Oh yeah, I forgot. Two days ago we took a shower because of the tempest that rolled through. I asked a Geology teacher why the weather in the Curitiba area is so strange. He explained that Curitiba lies on the top of a mountain and it doesn't have any natural barriers to stop the weather from the ocean, Paraguay or Argentina. It takes it all at once. We had a gnarley lightning storm two days ago. My shoes are still recovering.

Mom, I got my package that you sent in July! The fast breaks were still good and all of the goodies were still usable. Que Bençâo.
The package arrived and I was able to hang with the man, Elder Bastos, at zone conference.

Feel the love sent from Brazil and stay sweet, everyone.

Sinceremente, sua missionario
èlder Forsyth

p.s. The Book of Mormon is a recipe for a perfect life yesterday, today, and forever. Read it. You won't want to put it down.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Peace Like a River

Adriano. 16 years old. He taught 13 lessons with us. Man of the Year right now. Champion (inside the ônibus).

Mission Accomplished everyone...
The letters have entered the hands of Elder Forsyth. I received letters from Mom, Eric x2, a couple from Ed, and Sienna! It was an awesome feeling leaving Zone meeting and heading towards the Ônibus with letters in hand. Whew, It had been awhile since my last one and I am so grateful for all of the love that has been sent towards me. 

1 Nephi 20:17-18
These past couple of days have been really weighed down. It was one of those feelings where you don't know why you are upset but you just are. I have come to understand that when this happens to me it means only one thing. I need to change something that I am doing. On the mission I am trying my hardest to improve all of my attributes from faith to writing to washing the dishes. Sometimes when I feel like I am doing it all, I am still lacking something. Humility and Charity. At times we think we are doing everything we can to be in line with the precepts of Christ, but did we get on our knees to thank the Lord for all of our blessings? Sometimes we follow the letter of the law to the T but what about the spirit.  Sure, I can bear my testimony all day about The Atonement of Christ, but what have I done to accept it in my life. This has been my mind set for the past couple of days. 

Nephi is teaching his people from the words of Isaiah and in verse 18 the phrase "peace like a river" strikes me. I love that word... peace. It is a simple word that carries a lot of meaning. We can be keeping the commandments of God, but what are we learning from them? I don't know why but it makes me think of fly fishing and the film "A River Runs Through It" The cinematography describes fly fishing better than words. The running river, the sound of the line whipping through the air, even the sound of the trees make it seem like you can smell them. I recommend that everyone watch it.  It was one of my father's favorite movies. And if you knew my dad sometimes he was the busiest man you have ever met, but he always took time during all that busyness to teach me something or to spend time with me.  Always finishing a task with new knowledge gained.  He loved fly fishing and always desired to go out to the river, but he didn't just fly fish for the desired rainbow trout.. He went out to learn more about the beauties that our Heavenly Father created and to learn something about himself. If I could create an analogy right now it would be fly fishing and life. Let's keep the commandments with self-development in mind.  Or self improvement I think describes it better. The blessings are numerous but how can we use them to strengthen our lives and the lives of our family, friends, and other friends. :)


I need to write something down that just happened. It has nothing to do with life, commandments or fly fishing but....a man just drove by the Lan House with the Back to the Future soundtrack playing. It sounded so good. If you want to know what I hear every day, just google "Brasilian funk."  I think that will bring up some example of the music that everyone here listens to. We were also passing by a really shanty town and someone was playing Fly Me to The Moon by Frank Sinatra. I had to stop Elder Lima Silva for just 2 minutes. 

Os Acontecimentos da Semana (The Happenings of the Week)

We are now the new Gospel Principles teachers every Sunday. It is great practice for me to speak Portuguese in a teaching setting.  I have to prepare a lesson and teach it with clarity in front of 6-10 people. It makes me work really hard on my grammar.

We ate Pistacios from Fortaleza. It sounds much cooler than it actually is. They taste exactly the same. But If you say it with a Brasilian accent it sounds super great.
Accepting many hugs from many drunk guys. People love hugging here. And sometimes they love to hug when they are drunk. And sometimes they love stopping us on the street to let us know about their  lives. We stop and turn the situation into a teaching opportunity if they are lucid enough to understand. We give 'em a nice pat on the back and keep on walking. 

Fazenda Rio Grande

Street contacting

Monday, September 9, 2013

Life in the Rio Grande

Greetings from Fazenda Rio Grande!
And a big shoutout to everyone in the Doylestown Ward - I love you ALL! You'll be getting a letter soon. 

This area is huuuge. Fazenda Rio Grande is a city underneath Curitiba and is still young. It was founded 25 years ago and the center of the city is developed on a grand scale like Curitiba. The area of Rio Iguaçu is completely different than Osternack. Osternack was a tiny town with one principal street and little neighborhoods that branched off. It was super easy to help people get to church because everyone lived near the chapel. Elder Lima Silva told me a couple days ago that we walk about 20 kilometres per day. We hitch rides with  members and take a lot of buses. The buses here are organized with the exact system as those in the City of Curitiba. R$2.70 for a ride and the buses are big, orange, and full of people. I'll take a picture next time. The sad part about it is sometimes buses take forever to arrive at the Fazenda Rio Grande Terminal and we wait and wait and wait. But not to worry because there are so many people waiting just like us, so we pass the time making contacts and collecting addresses. 

Eu fiz azneira. I did something stupid. It was more embarrassing and funny than stupid but I'll give the account here:
We hitched a ride with a recent convert who has "fogo nos ossos" -- fire in the bones. He's a firm convert and brings the spirit with his simple yet powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. We arrived at the home that we intended to and entered to teach a man who lives alone. For me I thought he was an investigator. I usually have to rely on the help of Elder Lima to tell me a little biography about the people we teach when we are outside the gate, but I forgot to ask this time. We started to teach about The Book of Mormon and how we gain our testimonies of the book. One passed off to the other, our recent convert bore his testimony like a champ and it came to me to finish the lesson and leave a commitment for him to read the Book of Mormon, or go to church, or join us for a family home evening. But I was thinking he was a investigator. So I went for the baptismal invitation because the spirit was there and it seemed like the perfect thing to do because our "investigator" bore testimony also. "Você seguirá o exemplo de Jesus Crist sendo batizado pelo pessoa que possua autoridade restaurado de Deus". He looked at me with a face of utter confusion and said he already was baptized. Everyone burst into laughter. He was kind enough to to joke with me afterwards saying, "Without problems I will be baptized again!"

So, two Chileanos, a Brasileiro and an American live together. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but this is my life right now. It is a great help with the language because each one of them knows how to speak better than I. Whew. My Portuguese has improved drastically and when I speak English I sound like a foreigner. que benção. 

Scripture for Obedience Alma 57:20-27
And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted.
 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.
 And now behold, it was these my sons, and those men who had been selected to convey the prisoners, to whom we owe this great victory; for it was they who did beat the Lamanites; therefore they were driven back to the city of Manti. And we retained our city Cumeni, and were not all destroyed by the sword; nevertheless, we had suffered great loss.
 And it came to pass that after the Lamanites had fled, I immediately gave orders that my men who had been wounded should be taken from among the dead, and caused that their wounds should be dressed. And it came to pass that there were two hundred, out of my two thousand and sixty, who had fainted because of the loss of blood; nevertheless, according to the goodness of God, and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army, there was not one soul of them who did perish; yea, and neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds.
 And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe—that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power.
 Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm and they do put their trust in God continually.
Until next week, stay sweet everyone!
love, Elder Forsyth
Elder Forsyth with some great posture. Elder Rico (Concepcion Chile), Elder Lima Silva (Rio Grande do Norte), Elder Herrera (Santiago Chile). Our apartment is above our neighbor like Osternack, so I can read outside again. This picture was taken today. When I looked at the picture again I noticed how short my tie is.... looked down from the computer screen to see I look like a deacon.   

Forsyth and Bastos

Monday, September 2, 2013


Vanessa Dos Santos baptism


I am in a different city now. FAZENDA RIO GRANDE. It is the next closest city to Curitiba. It has a lot of industry and open land. 

New Companion:  Elder Lima Silva

To start things off, I am really jealous of my mother at this moment. Because now I am the only member of my family who has not attended a John Mayer Concert. I've watched the same dvd over and over again but I don't think it gives the John Mayer "live" experience justice. Jealous. But I have great news! BATISMO! Elder Bastos on our last Saturday and Sunday in Osternack performed the baptism and confirmation of Vanessa Dos Santos! It was a great experience to be a part of. Perfect way to end a transfer. She is a dear friend of ours and it was tough to leave Osternack. Their family is now progressing to be sealed in the Temple. I really hope that I am still on the mission so that I can attend the sealing. Should be at least one year in the future.
Osternack was an awesome area to serve in. A bunch of great people to teach and I think Elder Bastos and I left it in good shape. We were both wondering how the two new missionaries will orient themselves. My concern is, once they leave the ônibus, how will they find the missionary house?   It'll be interesting for sure. We left them some good notes, numbers to call if they need some navigation tips, and some Nutella to snack on when they feel lost.

"Cara, sendo cortado por nossos pesquisadores è mais dificil do que terminando com uma namorada"
"Dude,  being cut by out investigators is more difficult than breaking up with a girlfriend." 
-- Elder Bastos.  I had a moment to laugh in the middle of street, but it is true. This love in the mission field is the love of Christ. Charity = Pure Religion.
It's the truth. We go to serve for two years to help people come closer to Christ and we love them unconditionally. When they don't accept it after a lot of teaching... it breaks your heart. We had an investigator who was really excited to learn more about the gospel, overcome her addiction to cigarettes, and be baptized, but last week she cut us off.  It is a shock, but you've got to keep on finding new people to teach! A phrase that I will never forget from my mission is what one investigator told me right before Elder Bastos and I left Osternack. She is going through a really difficult time with overcoming an addiction along with family issues. She told us, "When you told me that you boys were leaving I felt more pain than when my mother died!" Truly the work that we carry out is the work of the Lord. We are only here to help people and when we do our job with the Spirit, the Lord does the rest. When you pray really hard to let the love of Christ shine through you towards your works. I know that it wasn't really us she would be missing, but it was the spirit that accompanied every lesson we had with her. But not to worry -- there will be two fresh new missionaries to continue helping with her progression. She will be baptized this month. Woo!!! 

I'm stoked to see what Rio Iguaçu (pronunciation in English -- Hio E-gua-soo) will bring. The Elders before me already had a baptism lined up, so we are starting off well! Elder Lima Silva is from the nordeste. Rio Grande do Norte. Here are some pictures of the members of Osternack. 
The one in the soccer jersey is our ward mission leader, Henrique.

Good bye to Osternack