Friday, July 16, 2010

Beaten with a spirit stick

Elder Forsyth (front and center) with his
greenie companion from Samoa
during May transfers
"So anyway, This last week has been crazy. Our mission is very busy. We are doing two things. One, they are changing the way missionaries teach and they are changing the way they teach missionaries in the MTC. It's all the same stuff from Preach My Gospel, but they are taking a much different approach to everything. They are teaching us how to receive revelation in the moment we need it, in the very middle of the lesson. It's absolutely incredible. We just got done with a 4 day leadership-training meeting in Bloomington. It was intense and amazing. It was like being beaten with the 'spirit-stick' 4 days straight lol. Then going out and applying it that very night. In addition I started a workout which is very intense called P-90X, it's very difficult and makes you very sore lol. Anyway, We were waking up at 5:30am to work out and then drive to Bloomington, and then from 9:05-3:45ish Mon-Thurs. Then President Howell taught us these lessons and roleplayed them with us. Then we drove back and spent the rest of the evening applying what we learned. It was absolutely incredible because it all works. They are literally teaching us how to be like Ammon and Alma and Nephi. It was a very in-depth discussion on the spirit and how it works and how to teach."

"These principles are going to guide me for the rest of my life. Anyway, all the Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Assistants (APs) were at this meeting, as well as trainers. All told we had 70+ missionaries, which is about a third of the missionaries in our mission. Our job is to go out and teach the rest of the missionaries what to do. I know that this is going to change the face of missionary work in Minnesota. In addition, our mission is chosen as a pilot mission for a new advertisement campaign that the church wants to run. Its going to focus a lot more on They are going to implement this is the Twin Cities area. It will involve new television commercials, billboards, newspaper ads, etc. I think this will impact a lot of the mission. Anyway, hopefully they are going to launch this shortly. We had to fill out a survey (took 3 - 4 hours) about all of our investigators and referrals for their information."

Elder Forsyth's reaction to hearing about Elder Brandon's mission call to Singapore:
"Oh my gosh!!!!! I have been seriously jumping up and down out of my mind ever since I found out about Brandon's mission call!" (I think he's excited...)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

An Obedient Army of the Lord

Elder Forsyth recently wrote home about success in the Minnesota-Minneapolis Mission.

"There's no point denying the power of the Lord's promises, because He always tells the truth. I've really been coming to understand the principle behind the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants, 'I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say." As a missionary its our privilege to do the Lord's work and literally bind the Lord. When we have our Mission President or an Apostle promise us a blessing for keeping a commandment I make sure to write it down. the greatest thing is that you are SURE to get that desired blessing, because the Lord has promised that 'The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save He shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which He commandeth them.' (Nephi 3:7) So, He gives a commandment and promises a blessing. He also promises that if we work our hardest and seek the spirit to guide us in that endeavor then He will prepare a way for us to accomplish that commandment, thereby securing the blessing for ourselves which He has promised. As I have come to understand this I have come to see how true it is."

Last June -- before Adam left the MTC for Minnesota, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to the missionaries of the Minnesota-Minneapolis Mission and issued them a challenge with a promise. They were commanded that if they would teach 20 lessons a week, they would see their baptism numbers double and that it would also change "the face of the church" or the way that people viewed the church. On average, at that time, their companionships were averaging 9.5 lessons per week, so they needed to more than double their efforts to reach their goal. Every companionship in the mission agreed to this commitment.

In March of this year, Sister Howell, the Mission President's wife, wrote in the mission blog: "We wanted to be the first mission in the millenium to teach 20 lessons per week, to be obedient to President Hinckley, President Monson and Elder Perry. At our Mission President's Conference (where Elder Perry was again present and presiding), President Howell asked the missionaries who had achieved this lofty goal to stand. The whole congregation of missionaries stood up at once! The meeting was web-cammed to the outskirts. The missionaries in the other meetings all stood as well --- ONE congregation. The spirit poured into the building. It was an obedient army of the Lord - standing in accounting to his apostle. Every companionship - with the exception of one missionary who had just arrived - had accomplished this goal!"

A few weeks ago, Elder Forsyth sent a letter home and shared that his companionship had taught 30 lessons that week and that Sacrament Meeting attendance in the St. Paul Hmong Branch has doubled since he first arrived there 6 months ago. He was also privileged to baptize and confirm the mother of 3 Hmong young women he had baptized several weeks before and also baptized one of her sons as well. He bore testimony that he truly does know that the Lord keeps his promises... even and especially those given through his prophets and apostles.