Saturday, January 22, 2011

Conferences & Concerts

I love it when Sister Howell updates the MMM Blog (Minnesota Minneapolis Mission Blog). I'm always sure to find pictures of Elder Forsyth... Here is Elder Forsyth singing "O Holy Night" during a Christmas Fireside at the mission home on December 12th. Elder Payne, his companion, is his accompaniest.

(below) This was taken 2 days later at a Christmas Conference. Elder Forsyth & Elder Payne are in the second row from the top on the right hand side. Elder Forsyth is fourth from the end, Elder Payne is 3rd.
(if you click on the picture, you can enlarge it) :D
Elder Richard Hinckley and his wife visited with the missionaries
of the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission last fall.
Here they are (center) with President & Sister Howell (left)
Elder Payne, Adam's companion, is on the far right.
(this is the first time I've seen a picture of him)

(we'll have a little fun and see if you can pick out
Elder Forsyth's handsome face from all the other handsome faces)

Okay - I have to be honest and say that I don't like Zone Leader
Conferences. I'm really glad that Elder Forsyth gets to go and get such
great training from President Howell and others,
... it means that Missionary Email MONDAY
turns into Missionary Email THURSDAY.
I'm always SO excited on Mondays to hear from Adam, but as the day wears on, and there's still no email after I've checked my inbox, oh about 25 times... I realize its because Elder Forsyth is at another ZL Conference, and I won't hear from him for a few days. So if you see Tina moping around on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, you'll know WHY!

(So, did you spot Elder Forsyth in the 3 pictures?)

A great big THANKS to Sister Howell for doing such a
great job on the Mission blog!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Transitions & Transfers

Zone Leader Conference - October 2010
Elder Forsyth is standing, 4th from right

Hmong New Year 2009/2010
St. Paul, Minnesota
Elder Hill & Elder Forsyth with Pa Ngia, Yer & Ia Her
The Hmong Elders and some pretty Hmong girls
at the LDS Missionary Booth
The Hmong New Year's Celebration attracts about 100,000 Hmong every year, and the missionaries always set up a booth. The Hmong are always interested in these missionaries who can speak their language. Every year, a number of new contacts and baptisms happen because of the introductions that are made at Hmong New Year. Elder Forsyth was very pleased to be asked by President Howell to organize and oversee the missionary booth this past New Year. It gave him a chance to be back among the Hmong and practice his language skills.
This is Mee and her girls.
Elder Forsyth had the privilege of teaching them the gospel before he left St. Paul. Mee's husband also began taking the discussions and was changing his life, but had to go to jail for some time. Mee and her oldest daughter decided to be baptized, and was baptized by her cousin, Toua Her, who you see in the picture below. One of the greatest blessings that has come from Elder Forsyth's mission is to see those that HE taught and baptized, go on to receive the Priesthood and be able to use that priesthood to bless others. Elder Forsyth is hoping and praying that Toua will choose to serve a mission.
The wonderful Her family
of St. Paul, Minnesota
Taken the night before Elder Forsyth was transferred.

A lot has happened in the four months since Elder Forsyth's mom has neglected his blog. The biggest news is that President Howell transferred Elder Forsyth (temporarily) from the Hmong to English speaking missionary work. Elder Forsyth was transferred to Maple Grove, which is a medium size city of about 65,000 people, with 94% of them being white, and only 3% Asian... This has been a HUGE adjustment for Elder Forsyth, and his first few letters home expressed that he felt "way more homesick for the Hmong people than he ever did for home" (St. George, UT).

His transfer came as a surprise to us at first, too, but we soon realized/remembered its probably a good thing to know how to preach the gospel in English as well as in Hmong, and his calling as a missionary had more to do with serving the Lord than serving the Hmong... though he's definitely been doing both. Despite his transfer to Maple Grove, which has a very strong ward of about 300 active members, Elder Forsyth has been able to go back into St. Paul for several important events there. The best of of which was the baptism of Tong Her, the 6th member of the Her family to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which tips the scales in their family to 6 members, 5 non-members.
In his new area, since his transfer, Elder Forsyth has seen one young sister (age 16) come into the waters of baptism. He is finding the work in Maple Grove to be very different and more difficult. He writes that the Hmong are so easy and friendly, and so willing to invite the missionaries in. They are amazed that someone would leave their homes, come to their city, and learn to speak their language. However, in Maple Grove, even though the ward is very member missionary oriented, there just isn't much interest among the people in the city to listen. They end up with many doors slammed in their faces. Its definitely a growing experience for Elder Forsyth. He awaiting the miracle in Maple Grove, and has faith that there are individuals and families there that he is supposed to find. He has loved serving with his new companion as joint Zone Leader, especially as Elder Payne is a concert pianist and the two have been able to give a few mini-concerts of sacred music with Elder Forsyth singing and Elder Payne on the piano.