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