Saturday, August 9, 2014

Light Reading

The "plan of salvation" gates in front of Parque da Fonte. It's a huge forest right by our home -- we pass by it every day.
This week was exceptional. Presidente has been stressing how the mission needs to teach "people" and not just "lessons." The mission fell into a teaching routine that wasn't really helping investigators progress because we weren't teaching them the doctrinal portion that was needed in the moment when the spirit can testify.  We have been receiving a lot of training and have been practicing a bunch to make our discussions dynamic and more like a conversation than a lecture. This has been put into practice slowly but surely and we are seeing a great difference. More people have the desire to read The Book of Mormon and attend church with us. This week we had a miraculous 15 investigators at church. Five went at our invitation and the other 10 showed up because of a relative's baby blessing. We showed up to sacrament meeting and saw a bunch a non-members filling up the first two rows. Elder House and I gave each other a look of, "who are these people?" The best part is that the majority of them live in our area and have several other contacts than just the relative. It seems that they used to be co-workers with a recent convert who got baptized just 3 months ago. I am feeling a Doylestown baptism chain that happened many years ago when I was much younger. Our friends that we are teaching are progressing because of our new teaching style.  It makes it easier to focus on the doctrine and sometimes it gets exciting.
Elders Forsyth and House

I've been working on changing my normal teaching style to a more interesting conversation full of simple yet deep questions that help others understand and explain better the principles that we teach. Wooo, so much fire. Ou seja, temos muito fogo (in other words, we have a lot of fire.)  You will enjoy this true story:

I was studying about patience a couple days ago and I found that the opposite of patience is frustration or the act of giving up. These two emotional antagonists come from pride and confusion. The fulfilling protagonists on the other side are humility and clarity. Clarity comes from divine planning. Darkness doesn't have power because it only means that there is a lack of light. Light will always exist. But the darkness thrives when we don't search for the light. Light will show itself in a pitch black room when you open the door. Light isn't something that you can make from nothing. It will always come from a greater source that controls the universe and isn't man-made. For example, if we didn't have the the large gas ball called the sun, we would die. The sun controls our days. Here is what I have discovered:  if we can just understand a portion of the humility and willingness of our Savior, our weaknesses will be shown clearly and we will know what must be done to overcome them. Frustration doesn't need to be the result of a difficulty. Frustration comes when you do not rely on the great power that generates clarity and light. Pride and frustration come when you haven't planned. Patience with those who have let you down is called charity and charity is the pure love of Christ which lights our world and gives us life. It never fails. Our life will never "fail" if we rely on His redeeming and enabling atoning powers. Sometimes people want instant solutions when they forget that patience is a celestial virtue that is constantly needed.

We are teaching a lot of "espiritas" (spiritualists) that come from the "espiritismo" (spiritism) religion. This religion was founded by Alan Kardec -- they believe in reincarnation. It has been a great opportunity to study about the Atonement of Christ.

love, Elder Forsyth

p.s. muitas saudades de casa

1 comment:

  1. Those pictures! How cool are those gates?! Glad he had an "exceptional" week. Love the learning and growing our missionaries are experiencing.