Monday, January 27, 2014

Only Miracles


Sent away to the forest
Só milagres. Wooo -  just miracles here in Prudentopolis. I've been transferred to the other side of the word. All the way over to the interior of Paraná. It is the furthest area from the mission office. Só festa....just kidding, But it's a blast here. I've been waiting to be sent away to the forest. I was in the city for 8 the same zone. Here I am now, in Prudentopolis. I'M FREE!
wait. what? Welcome to Prudentopolis
I am finishing up Elder Cesar´s training. We are already best friends. He is from Capital São Paulo and likes Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Eagles, and John Mayer ....brothers: send him emails. 

We have an awesome companionship vibe. The work here is speeding up really fast in our teenie weenie branch. We have 4 baptisms scheduled. Some that were being prepared in the past and some that we have found already. I am so excited! We helped with a youth activity at the chapel (The branch doesn't have a huge budget) and we bought some popcorn and tang for the kids as they played futebol and ping pong. Elder Cesar and I taught some of the young men guitar riffs. It was so great to see the kids have so much fun inviting their friends to the activity. They were little missionaries out there. Elder Cesar is 24 years old and we have the same humor and like the same things. It's like Elder Bastos but a little more goofy. Elder Bastos is the Cole Porter side and Elder Cesar is the rock and roll side. 
Cesar and Forsyth

Miracles in Parigot de Souza
Deivid was baptized in a style of surprise. Thursday I got the call from the Assistants..."Elder Forsyth you´re being transferred." Actually, I wasn't a call. It was in person. Elder Vighetto and Elder Oaks, (Zone Leader) sent me to the mission office to grab some teaching materials and a fan because of my sweat accumulation. I walked in and Elder Alves (Assistant to the President) gave me a super strange look. That look that says, "what are you doing here? I just bought your bus tickets for Prudentopolis,"  Yeah, that look. He told me right then and there that I was being transferred to the interior. I got super sad because Deivid´s baptism was scheduled for Saturday. They told me that I was to to depart at 8 o´clock in the morning on Friday. I hurried home to pack my bags and around 6 o'clock we started to hit the streets again. Our baptismal interview with Deivid was marked for 8 pm. As the minutes were drawing closer to 8, I hatched a plan. Let's just perform the baptism after the interview. Super de boa. 

We showed up in the chapel and Deivid was there. I told him about my transfer and before I could say prudento...he said, "let´s just have the baptismal service now." I was in shock. We called the bishop. He came. All of the young women and young men and leaders of the church were at the church already (that was weird). And when I ran to the baptismal font to fill it.... it was already full, (Fonts take two hours to fill.) I asked everyone, "Who filled the font?" "No one" all of them replied. I literally asked everyone. The last baptism was last week for Bairro Novo but they drained it. And even if it were full, the water wouldn't be hot. A miracle from God saying, just baptize. The meeting was extremely spiritual and to add some more flavor, we found two people on the street on our way to grab our white ties and pants. We invited them to the late-night baptism. They accepted and stayed until the end. The baptism end around 9:50 pm. 

I am super excited to work with Elder Cesar. Ele é uma goiaba. (Ed note: This translates to "he is a guava."  Portuguese help, anyone?)

Elder Forsyth.

p.s. be happy:)
adeus elder costa. só tristeza

We have a hammock at home.  So happy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Things are heating up

At the internet cafe

Prayer and Fasting
I know that the Lord´s promises will be fulfilled through our faith, patience, and diligence. Why are these topics so important? I'll tell you why. We have our friend David that we've been teaching and it has been going super well. We found him in Sacrament meeting. His friend invited him to the meeting to hear her talk (discourse, speech) and he happily accepted the invitation. As missionaries do, we ran (speed- walked) toward him to get to know him a little bit better, strike up a conversation and then jot down his address. 

After the meeting we headed over to Irmã Vera's house to eat lunch. It was Churrasco. Mmmmmmmm so tasty. And to our surprise, we found David there, chowing down on some meat and chatting it up with the family. I thought to myself, "we meet again...lets make an impression." This all happened back when I was training Elder Martins from Port Alegre RS and Elder Pesantes from Ecuador. Our message after lunch was centered on "everything happens for a reason / our purpose in life." I think the message and the spirit of truth caught his attention, because the next week we started to teach him in Vera´s house, with help from her son Jossip, who served a mission in Boston. The first lesson that we gave him was about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He liked it alot and in the end accepted our invitation to be baptized as we read 2 Nephi 31 (from the first verse until the one that says "follow thou me"- I am not completely sure if it says that in English because I'm translating from the Portuguese).  We held several Family Home Evenings with him and other families of the ward and it seemed to be going really well. And then he traveled to São Paulo for 2 weeks. Ahhh, my hopes and dreams were crushed for a little while. We called him many times but he never picked up. Lots of waiting and struggling with my faith. This past week I really cultivated my faith in Christ and his atonement. David came back a week and a half ago and called us up. We started to teach him again and it wasn't the same, ya know. I wasn't feeling as confident and I think the spirit wasn't completely with me. I was worrying too much and wasn't trusting in the Lord. Just in my own skills to teach and speak Portuguese well. 

The spirit was there enough to touch his heart, however.  He accepted another date for baptism and it was like the first time. Super firm and all. Elder Costa and I have never prayed harder for anyone than we have for David a week ago. We started with a fast and a pact with the Lord. I've never prayed so much on the street and throughout the day. The mission has helped me improve my prayers and intimacy with the Lord. I feel like I have a friend that is always open to hear my words and lift me up. This week has left my knees red and a little bit purple. :) I have never thought of so many routes that I could take to help someone love, understand and live the gospel. 

As we met with him more, it seemed like the answer promised in Moroni's invitation to read, reflect and pray about the Book of Mormon wasn't coming. This past week David told us that the Book has helped him repent and make drastic changes in his life but the confirmation that the invitation contains was not coming. It was difficult to find an answer for him. As we prayed and made lesson plans, answers were revealed through our thoughts and scriptures came to our minds. Events that happened to me back at home helped me make a lesson plan. Mormon messages that my brothers have shared with me and testimonies from my family started to flood my mind as if they had happened just last week. David A Bednar -- "Patterns of Life, part 3" and "Come Join With Us" --Elder Uchtdorf -were some of the talks that came to my mind. Notes from my mission prep class that my mom sent me helped me prepare for our lessons with David. I found some sweet annotations of patterns of revelation and how to receive personal revelation.  Mosiah 5:1-2 helped him understand that his desire for repentance and change were signs from the Holy Ghost.  Alma 32 helped him understand that his faith grows like a seed and even when it transforms into a tree he still will not have a perfect knowledge. All in all he is super excited to be baptized this Saturday and the baptism meeting should be a good one. Jossip and I will create a special musical number and there should be enough food to fill up the entire ward. I am feeling great, everyone at home! The work of the Lord is heating up along with temperature in Brasil. (Don't worry, I am using sun block.) David felt the spirit of the Lord this week and he knows that the church is true. Without faith, diligence and patience.... and enduring the end, I wouldn't be so happy right now. Go happiness!

Love, Elder Forsyth

p.s. An announcement for all the children -- eat your vegetables. You may find a lack of them on your mission. Pray everyday. And drink lots of milk.

A little sleepy

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Rejuvenate your elf.... yourself

Woo! My health is on the upward bend. I am feeling a whole bunch better. In my last email I was feeling the nausea from lunch and a growing headache from a lack of water. I feel so much better now. The word on the street and from Sister Fernandes is that the plumbing system in Curitiba is the best in Brasil. (sidenote: my space bar is putting up a really good fight with my thumb. me desculpe agora.) (editor's note:  I think this is what's going on in the post title) I am feeling super healthy now and I have been watching my diet this past week and my system is feeling much cleaner.
A couple days ago I was feeling super beat. I put my hand on the sidewalk to get a feeling for the heat and it seemed to be radiating. I walked over to a park bench to pull out my scriptures and take a look at what the Lord wanted me to. I felt like I couldn't go much further and opened up to D&C 10, which gives some statements about the health law that the Lord has declared:

4  Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end.
5 Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.

I was basically being stretched out to my limits and wasn't doing the work very well. I took this as a sign to take a nap. We were super close to home so the walk back wasn't very difficult. I returned back to my childhood memories by taking a great nap and when I woke up I felt rejuvinated. The word rejuvinated has some interesting sub-words. re- to start again. juvin- looks like the word jovem in português, which means young. So I returned back to my childhood memories of feeling young again. :)
I am getting a bunch of e-mails from various people. I feel so lame that I can't respond to every single one because of the lack of time. I apologize. The mountain of e-mails makes me feel pretty special, though. They are great support for the difficult times on the mission. Thank you to all who wrote them! 
The work here in Parigot picked up with Elder Costa's arrival. Our investigators that were a little spiritually weak... this past week they have been fortified with a great deal of spiritual strength. It has been a blessing. It feels good when you work hard and the results come.
I gave a talk last week in sacrament meeting. The scary part was that the assignment was given just an hour before. Improvise a talk in a diferente linguagem. My prayers pleading for the guidance of the spirit were answered. The words that I needed were given to me when I sought earnestly. The talk was morphing constantly with several topics and stupid jokes for the first 5 minutes, but when I started to pray in my heart, the talk morphed into a lecture about our potential. Ether 12:27 was used for sure. The first phrase of Ether 12:27 really catches my eye. As we grow closer to the Savior, we will be able to notice our progress as we recognize our weaknesses. The Lord will manifest them (our weaknesses) so that we can have a constant improvement. If you are quick to abandon your sins it means you are virtuous. If you are slow...well then you a have a little bit more to learn, keep at it. Do not feel embarrassed if you recognize your sins super quick. It means the filter in your spirit is working very well. It detects the dirt with ease.   
Elder Costa is hilarious and is full of missionary spirit which has helped me out a bunch. He has four months on the mission and knows how work well on the street. I have learned so much from him.
Elder Forsyth
p.s. I GOT MY PACKAGES! ALL 3! The one sent in Oct, and the 2 from Nov. AND, I got letters from: Meyers Family, Jex Family, Pierce Family, dear elderx2, Eric and family (Christmas card), Nielson Family (Gentry got married it, I remember when I was 9 and he was 10. I look up to Gentry a bunch. What a studmuffin), Olson Family, Stevensen Family, Botts (it was super cool to get many letters from other missionaries!), and Nancy Harris.   

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year from Sitio

Elder Costa and Elder Forsyth

Transfers have passed this morning and Elder Andrade was transferred to the interior of Paraná. A place called Villa Bella (Beautiful Town) in the city of Guadapuava. They´re baptizing a bunch there. I hope the best for him there in the land of the Brasilian forest. I am still in Parigot de Souza with Elder Costa from the Amazons. I am liking the just Brasilian companion thing. I am able to work on my language skills more and also help Brasilians feel more comfortable around me. Elder Costa is from the north of Brasil, so that automatically makes him hilarious.  I grabbed a bus to the Pinherinho Terminal and without fail, there he was laughing up a storm cracking some jokes with some other elders. Elder Bastos is in the Luz Stake ("Light" stake). He is the only Zone Leader there and he will train an Americano greenie. He is super excited.
As for me I am doing well...sort of.  I feel a little sick.  I think it is because of the sun I am soaking in everyday. I need to grab some more sun block for this transfer. But it'll turn out all right. I´m still the District Leader here in Sitio Cercado and we got a bunch of powerful missionaries in our district and zone. I am really excited to go on some divisions. Osternack got two power missionaries - Elder Larson from Sacramento and Elder Tavares from Santos São Paulo.
What I would love from everyone back at home is prayers of heath. So that I can work with all of my might, mind, heart, and strength. I just want to hit the pavement running, talking to everyone.
New Year's was a blast and a half. It was super hard to sleep here in Sitio. Professional fireworks are completely legal for anyone to buy. You can imagine the loudness that went on from 11:00 night time to 3:00 in the morning. It was basically impossible to sleep peacefully. We all woke up after not being able to take it anymore and, like brothers, played some chess while drinking guaraná. It was a huge remembrance of playing Risk at home during new year and drinking apple cider.
Sitio Cercado
Everyone -  Let's work really hard to bring others to Christ. That means sacrificing. Christ sacrificed himself to bring redemption over sin and death. I think we can all work before play and sacrifice 2 minutes of our day to bear our testimony. I just wanna work really hard. But I need some prayers of heath and strength. 
Love, Elder Forsyth