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

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