Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First Pictures from Adam at the MTC

Adam's District in the MTC

(l-r) Elders Ramirez, Hill, Forsyth, Diaz, Hunter & Tuttle
(I did that all from memory. Am I amazing?)

Elder Ramirez and Adam had the Swine Flu together
Elder Ramirez was born in Chile, lived in Japan for 6 years, then went to college in Florida where he studied aerospace engineering and helped built a rocket ship for his internship this past semester. Elder Ramirez just converted to the church a year and a half ago, and is 23 years old. Adam has asked me to correspond with Elder Ramirez because he doesn't get much mail and his own mother died several years ago. In fact, Elder Ramirez came into Adam's room and remarked that he should "write to Adam's mom, because she always writes back." He seems like a remarkable young man, and I'm looking forward to writing him letters.

Adam with a few funnies from his care package from Mom

Elders Hunt, Hill & Forsyth (companionship)

They actually LOOK like missionaries in this picture!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Adam & the Apostle

Adam gets to meet one of his idols... Apostle David Bednar

Here is the really good part of Adam's recent email... He's obviously out of quarantine, over the swine flu, and back to work! That all makes him one happy Elder. Here's part of his email letter dated June 16, 2009.

"So I had a VERY interesting week. You won't believe it haha. So I sent Elder Bednar a letter in regards to his CES broadcast that he gave back in May. Well last Tuesday night our guest speaker happened to be Elder Bednar. Anyway, I told him in my letter about mine and Brandon's experience and then I told him about my family and mission, etc. Anyway, so his wife spoke first and gave a great talk and then he stood up to speak to us 2,400+ missionaries and started it by saying, "Before I begin I have two matters of business to get to. First, is there an Elder Adam Forsyth here?" lol...yeah...I am being serious. I kinda waved my arm and stood up and he said, "So Elder Forsyth you're going to the Minneapolis Minnesota Mission, Hmong speaking correct?" I said yes and then he said, "Well I got your letter and I just wanted to tell you that you and your brother have got it down. I hope the rest of your siblings will follow your wonderful example."...then he went on to other stuff...but yeah, lol it was awesome. I was sitting in the choir and the kid next to me gave me a look like I was michael jordan lol. So in addition to getting swine flu and being one of 5 hmong speakers, I'm now "best buds" with Elder Bednar lol. I seriously have had so many random Elders/Sisters come up to me and start asking questions and stuff lol. It's pretty funny actually.
Anyway, so I was minding my own business and checked the mail on Thursday morning. The first letter was from Aunt Chris and then I checked the next one and in the top left hand corner is stamped
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
47 East South Temple Street
Needless to say I looked like a 7 year-old on Christmas morning lol. Anyway, I opened it up and it's addressed to me and it says:
"Dear Elder Forsyth:
Thank you for your recent letter. I was grateful to hear of your experience being "liberated" and the changes that have come into your life as you have been obedient to the commandments of the Lord. You are to be commended for having "ears to hear". I am glad that you were strengthened by the talk given in the recent CES Fireside for Young Adults. May the Lord bless you as you put into practice the things you learned from the message that was presented. As you are aware, there are souls waiting to receive the message of the restoration. You will be blessed as you serve with faith and diligence as a full-time missionary and in preparation for your "lifelong mission". I extend to you my warm regards and best wishes. May you serve the Lord with all you might and strength and build up the kingdom in the Minneapolis Minnesota Mission. The Lord will bless and strengthen you and expand your capacities as you reach out to others in faithful service.
David A Bednar"
Yeah and it totally had his signature...pretty awesome stuff haha. So that was awesome to get that letter. Haha definitely a keeper. So In the RC (referral center) I had an awesome experience!!! I was on the phones doing outbound calls (ok working for dad has helped me so much in doing RC) and it was pretty sweet. The first lady I talked to had requested a movie, "Finding Faith in Christ" and I was supposed to confirm it and offer her a BoM. So I asked her how she felt about the movie and she said she had only seen about half of it, but she really enjoyed it. I then just started bearing my testimony to her about Christ and His mortal ministry. I then went further and went into the restoration. I talked about Joseph Smith and I quoted James 1:5 (she actually looked it up!) and then I quoted the first vision to her. She then asked "Wait, I thought no one has seen God's face and lived." I was kinda flustered, but I remembered Moses so I told her about how he saw God face to face. (exodus 33:11). I couldn't remember that scripture at the time so I just bore testimony that she could find out if this was true for herself. I told her that this is done through the BoM and I related the BoM story and asked if she wanted one brought by the missionaries. she said she was very interested and that was that! It was so awesome! anyway I have 1 minute and 30 seconds left, but I want you to know I love this gospel and I know it is true! I love everything about this work!
Keep in touch (by letters) and keep it real! haha love you all!
Elder Adam Forsyth

Mom's 2 cents' worth...
Isn't his enthusiasm contagious?!! BTW, what Adam had written Elder Bednar about was that he and his brother, Brandon, had been so inspired by his words at the CES Fireside, they went home and deleted their computer game accounts and got rid of them completely. I almost couldn't believe it when they told me. I went downstairs when they got home to find out about the fireside, and they were both just giddy... seriously. They were so excited about making this choice. For a long time I had counselled with them about their game playing... real life vs. a false one, but I felt so strongly that as long as they weren't doing anything immoral... they needed that opportunity to make that choice.
Its so hard as a parent to stand by and watch children make choices that you would rather they not make (and yes, I understand I have VERY little experience in this as my kids are so good), but I have an even stronger testimony that if we have faith in our children and encourage them to be standing in holy places (like CES Firesides) they will hear the words of the Lord through His servants, the prophets and apostles, and that Spirit will work in their lives and move them to do a good that no begging, pleading, or forcing on our parts could ever accomplish. When we force, children may act as we wish, but only when they are within our reach. When we teach with love and let children make their own decisions, we allow the Spirit to work on their hearts and the child is changed forever. Being a parent takes tremendous faith... just ask Heavenly Father. I don't know how He does it. I don't mean that glibly. He truly lets us make our own decisions, and as parents we need to allow our children more opportunities to do this while they're young so they get that experience.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Elder Forsyth has the swine flu

Poor little piggy!

We received a second letter from Elder Forsyth this week, and as soon as we received it I knew we shouldn't be getting a second letter, and that "something was up". (My guess was that Adam had indeed contrated the swine flu. Opening his letter confirmed my suspicions. A mother always knows!) Adam had written in his previous letter that "On Saturday I prayed that my companions and myself would have the opportunity to exercise the priesthood. On Saturday I began to feel like I had a sore throat. It was very minor, but it persisted from Sunday to Monday. Monday morning I had a distinct feeling to ask for a blessing from my companions. I shrugged it off because I really feel like it wasn't that big an issue, but I still felt prompted to ask for a blessing. Sunday night at the fireside the speaker told a story which pretty much led to the principle to never ignore a feeling or impression from the Spirit. So, I said to myself that I would follow this counsel. So I asked for a blessing adn again it said "obey with exactness and the Lord will do the rest." This built my faith in following the Spirit and it also allowed my companions to exercise their priesthood. It was a faith building experience for me."

Adam has been quite ill with fevers, chills, congestions and discomfort that makes it hard to sleep, but he is grateful that he won't have to worry about getting the swine flu now! I, too, am grateful that he is being well cared for, and doesn't have to face this while in Minnesota with just a companion to help care for him. I wouldn't want him to be sent home for the world, as he is exactly where he wants to be and just loves it so much. Temporarily, he in isolation with 35 other missionaries, housed in a completely separate building. He says its giving him a chance to really study on his own, which he loves. He's reading his Hmong scriptures and studying Preach My Gospel. In his letter from Tuesday, there were 17 missionaries in quarantine, but as of writing the letter the next day, the numbers had doubled to 35. We'll definitely keep all those missionaries in our prayers and will fast for them.

Adam feels there is a purpose in this... in the missionaries getting sick now. Time will tell what that purpose is. The Lord DOES protect His missionaries. I just LOVE his letters. They are so full of the spirit of His work and Adam's love for his Savior and Heavenly Father. What a blessing his letters are to me, and what a joy to have such a son.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again

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Can YOU learn a language in ONE DAY?

Its amazing, but on the two different days I was feeling really melancholy and missing Adam, I received a letter and an email. Didn't get anything the other days... just when I needed it most. I'm just going to share an excerpt here...

"Believe it or not, but yesterday we learned how to read and write in Hmong. In one day we learned how to read and write. Not even kidding I can now look at almost every one of the 56,000 Hmong words and pronounce it correctly. I only know the definition of about 100-200, but I could still say it! It's amazing what the Spirit can do! Haha it was funny because I was having a hard time in class yesterday pronouncing the letter C and R and I was getting kinda mad at myself and my teacher just laughed. He said, "Elder Forsyth you learned how to read and write an entire written alphabet system in one day and you are getting frustrated from your lack of knowledge in Hmong?!" We all had a pretty good laugh. Yeah, it was awesome though."

"We've had such marvelous experiences already here at the MTC. I love this place. My testimony of the gospel has grown so much. Even more so has my knowledge grown. I feel on fire right now, literally. I'll tell you about that in my letter though :) I love you family! I hope you enjoyed my "brief" lesson on Hmong. Love you all dearly! TTYL"

-Love Elder Adam Forsyth