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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