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!