Santiago Chile

Santiago Chile

Monday, August 31, 2015

Change number 9/16!‏ (August 24, 2015)

Hey all!

So this week is the start of the 9th change of my mission and I will be staying in Corona Sueca with Elder Tulipano until October it looks like!  It should be a good time, however we are both working on keeping up the good spirits due to our knees and our other fun problems.  We did a lot of paper work recently so that Elder Tulipano can be in Chile legally and that took all of one day, we also had physical therapy for him and X rays for him and we`re just sick of things other than the mission.

However this last week we have had a big focus on Courage.  It was the theme of our most recent Ward Conference (yesterday) and it has gotten me thinking a lot.  I`ve asked myself what is courage in my own words? I haven`t found an exact answer, however it has a lot to do with faith.  We act based on our faith that we know that the Lord will do His part if we go out of our way to do something that we wouldn`t be able to do without His divine help.  We need to work to have courage in all our life.  I would like to invite all people to take courage and act upon the promise that the Book of Mormon gives us.  Read it, ponder it`s message and what it tells you, and ask if it is the truth.  For if you do the Lord will answer you.  This I know by experience.  You will find an answer to your question.  And if it isn`t right, nothing will happen, you will just have a stronger testimony in the fact that the Lord answers prayers, if it is right, it is the most important message in the world.  

I want you all to know that it is true, and that it contains the fullness of the Gospel.  I know this, and I want you all to reap the benefits of that.  I love you all.
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Monday, August 17, 2015

1 year!! and 3 baptisms!!‏ (August 17, 2015)

Hey all!

So I just completed ONE YEAR in the mission!!  It`s been a very short year actually!!  It shocks me just how fast everything has gone by!  In such a little amount of time I have seen a lot of personal spiritual progress and a lot of spiritual progress of the wards I have been in.  I have had 6 companions, 2 wards, 3 sectors, and 6 baptisms and 4 people reactivated.  
This week we also had the baptism of the Reyes family!  It was such an amazing baptism I loved that I could be their for it.  But not only that, Scarlett (the daughter of 8 years) asked if I could perform the ordinance and she was my first ever!!  Sadly I dropped her, because I wasn`t sure how it worked, but in the end what is important is that she got baptized.  

The bishop later talked a lot about how God calls unprepared people to callings of importance (such as Bishop) and trains them in that calling and through that calling.  He focused on one example that made me think a little bit.  He said to Brother Reyes "It is possible that in 1 year I`m sitting on the opposite side of your desk in the bishop`s office" which is really impressive and true.  The Lord calls the weak to strengthen and humble them.  Look and me and my companion.  Together we only have 2 good knees (of 4), we know we can`t do anything without the strength and help of the Lord.  However we are finding it, and seeing our own strength grow every day.

This week has opened my eyes a little bit more as to how I need to work and how I can receive the blessings of the Lord.  I`m so glad to be here in the mission and I know that this Gospel is true.  I hope every one of you can come to that understanding as well.

Les amo muchísimo,
Elder Forsgren

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Preaching in the rain‏ (August 10, 2015)

Hello to all people!

This week we had a lot of rain.  An incredible amount actually!  It wasn`t near to more than VA gets in the Summers a lot, however for Chile it was enough to cause nationwide disaster and panda-mania.  We enjoyed it thoroughly!  It has cleared up the smoggy air so much and brightened our spirits a lot.  One day we weren`t allowed to leave the house though, it was so bad.  This week was a little slow on lessons, but the many we had were important, especially for one family.

We are currently working with one family to be baptized this next week.  We`ve been working with them for about 2 months and they`re very excited to be baptized, but we`ve had to push the baptism back 2 weeks already, so we are nervous about them getting discouraged, but they assure us that they aren`t even close to it.  They say that they have made their decision and when the baptism is doesn`t matter, they just want to make the covenant with the Lord.  Everything we explain to them the understand.  At first we had a lot of trouble with the Brother (Brother Reyes) and the Book of Mormon, however he followed the promise and prayed about it and received his answer.  He knows it to be true now.  We`re very excited for that.

One theme that we are talking about a lot in our ward is the theme of Eternal Families.  We are talking about God`s plan and how we cannot achieve everything without an Eternal Spouse and how through this commandment we have the blessing of being with them and our children for all time and eternity.  It`s a wonderful experience to know that I was born into such a covenant and that the people who i`ve known since my birth (or theirs) will never leave my side.  I love them all very much and know that they are my family for the eternities.  I cannot wait to see them again, but until then, they are with me in my heart.

I hope you all have a good week and can see the blessings of your Heavenly Father in your lives.
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Week of success without half our hours‏ (August 3, 2015)

Dear everyone,

This past week as a whole was a miracle for me and my companion.  We both have to work half hours still, however even with half hours we managed to have one of our best weeks we had had in a long time.  We worked more in our first sector together than we had in a long time and we managed to pull out a lot of success.  A great part of these were teaching family members of a Recent Convert and helping them understand a little better the Gospel. The number of lessons we had in the end was just shy of the goal that president has set for every companionship for every week, and doing that with half hours testified to us that we can accomplish it when the health restrictions are released.  We are a lot more confident now.  

I`ve also been learning how to cook this week and I`ve been working a lot with eggs more than anything.  However I also tried pancakes again and they actually worked out!  Today my comp wants to try something strange.  I don`t have a clue what it is, but I`m excited.  

I love you all, and I want you to remember that.

Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

P.S. so president has asked us that we use the hour we have to use email specifically to write to family, and I`ve prayed about it a lot trying to have the strength to do that, and it`s exactly what I`m going to do.  This doesn`t mean you can`t write me, it just means that I will not be responding over email.  However if you can send me your home address with you email, I`ll do my best to get back to you as fast as possible.  It may just take some time with postage.

Crazy week!!‏ (July 27, 2015)

Dear everyone,

So this week has been so long, however it has been so satisfying at the same time.  We had a lot of work to do with a crazy number of doctor appointments at the same time.  And all this with working half time!!  So one piece of crazy news is that starting next week the president has informed us that we will only have 1 hour to write home on Mondays, which is actually normal for missionaries, so I`m not surprised nor disappointed.  It just means I`m going to have to write faster and I`m going to have to write more letters in my free time.  

This week for us has been very spiritual.  Full of finding peoples doubts, helping them understand doctrine, and then bearing a testimony that has the Spirit testifying of every word we say just after we say it.  I`m so glad that I have the opportunity to be a servant of the Lord in this short amount of time and that i can be an instrument in His hands, showing to others the blessings His Gospel brings.  

One thing that we need to get better at is that we need to talk with more people.  Right now we aren`t contacting as much as we should be.  We`re making goals to get better at that, because that really is why we`re here.  We need to humble ourselves enough to realize that even though we are doing well right now, we aren`t doing well enough still.  We need to learn that we can never stop looking for more people to teach.  

All in all it has been a fun week.  And everyone is telling us of how much of a special companionship we`re going to have because we are both going through so much together we will never forget it.
I love you all so much and I hope that you all have a good week.
Mucho cariño,
Elder Forsgren
Though not mentioned in this email Alex tore his PCL.

And it came to pass in the 2nd year of the reign of Renè Videla, began the 8th transfer of Elder Forsgren‏

Hola todos!

So their have been a fair amount of changes today alone!  This week has been a little slow but full of action for us!  Today Elder Ramos and Elder Tibbitts (both of the Elders from the other half of the ward) had transfers, but that isn`t the hectic part; they aren`t sending Elders to their sector, they just doubled the size of ours...  We now have the entire ward to work in, and we have to keep up with the high speed pace that Elder Ramos and Elder Tibbitts set.  So this next change we will be working really hard.  We also now have a house of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a fair sized living room all to ourselves!  So we`ve learned the lesson "Where much is given, much is required" and we will be enjoying working hard this next transfer. 

This past week we got rain and we got a lot!!  It made me so happy, I`ve missed the rain so much!  It ended a very long drought in Santiago, so the people hare really happy, however, no one knows how to live in rain here, so they`re all a little ticked at the same time.  It was really funny, there was an ocean outside our apartments yesterday, and we had to go out in boots, umbrellas, and plastic bags to protect us and our scriptures from getting soaked.  Then it stopped raining hard...  after we left in all our gear.  But it still gave us a nice sprinkle for a good while, and so I was thoroughly pleased.  

Our ward this past week decided to do a typical food from Chile activity and it was really fun!  I enjoyed eating all the different types of Chilean food.  It actually inspired me to try something typical from my house, so I tried to make pancakes.  It went less than splendidly, and they turned out to be little weird looking things.  However, with a little bit of syrup they tasted really good!  

I would now like to testify to you all the importance of the Gospel of Christ.  He has revealed this Gospel to us throughout all history through His prophets.  He has given it to us so that we can receive the blessings that we need to come unto Him and our Heavenly Father after this life.  He knows we can`t do this without His divine help, and so he has sent us prophets throughout all times (especially now) so that we actually have it.  I know that He has called prophets for us in these days so that we can benefit from the same blessings that the people in the age of Adam, Moses, Isiah, and even Jesus Himself received.  I know that in this day Thomas Spencer Monson is a living prophet of His and I know that we have the Gospel because He revealed these things unto Latter-Day prophets.  
I love you all and share these things with you all in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Con amor,
Elder Forsgren
"Welcome to IHOP this wonderful evening, My name is Elder Forsgren, I`ll be your server, and may I recommend the "eating in home"?  It`s cheaper and our chef didn`t make it!"

Hand update

4th of July and Chile won the cup!!‏ (July 6, 2015)

Hey all!

So I`d like to start with a grand HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!!!  I really wish I could be in the States to celebrate this holiday!!  However there was plenty of celebration here because in the Copa América here, Chile beat Argentina, winning the cup for the first time in History!! So all of the 4th we were inside because of the danger of the celebrations of the Chileans.  It was a long day and night...  

This week not much really happened, but we worked a lot for the time we had to work, and in that time we helped a lot of people.  We`re even finding ways of being useful from the house!  While we were in the house one day we decided to take the Area Book and call the numbers of people we didn`t know!  It turned out to be really useful and help a lot of people in the end, so we`re all very happy here!  

As a mission, we are reading the Book of Mormon together.  2 chapters everyday for 5 months and then when we finish we wait a month and start again.  Well July 1st we started for the second time and I can`t tell you all how much waiting we felt in June.  I was so anxious to start it again, and now I`m just absorbed!  I love this book so much and I testify of it`s truthfulness.  I`ve put it to the test for myself and it has changed my life and my perspective of life as a whole.  I know I`m a child of God and I know that He loves me enough to talk to me and tell me what is true.  I know these things through reading the Holy scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, and praying about the truth of the things I read.  I`ve seen my testimony just increase so much in the measly 6 days that I`ve read about 10 chapters, and I`m so glad I can see this change.  I want to help everyone to have this testimony and blessing that I`ve found.

I love you all, please take care this week.  Remember that each and everyone of you is a child of the Most High.

En el sagrado nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Elder Alexander Jay Forsgren

The Americans
Updated Hand Pic

Birthday # 1 in the mission‏ (June 29, 2015)

So this week was also very slow full of happenings that don`t normally happen, and a few trips to the doctor too many.  However it contained my birthday and that was so much fun!!!  I`m now 19 (que raro...) and I don`t actually feel any different...  But I`m really enjoying life here.  This week yet again we couldn`t teach much due to medical complexities that we can`t control, so we`re just chuggin` along, teaching in the little time we`re allowed, or not in the doctors office.  But lucky me, a few friends in the ward planned a surprise birthday party for me and it was a lot of fun.  They covered it up by saying that the bishop was mad at us and wanted to teach us the correct way of doing something.  I believed it, and was really nervous the entire day.  But when the time came, there was a change of plans...  And that clued me in a little.  But the part that I absolutely loved was for my birthday they gave me a framed photo of me and my parents not long after my birth, and me on my 10th birthday.  I am so happy to have that!!

So this week we`ve managed to help out a lot of people even despite our previous problems with health and a few surprise ones.  And we`re both really in good spirits!!  We`ve seen a few results of our work, and we`ve really felt the Spirit guiding us, and God has helped us in ways I can`t explain at times.  I know that this work that we`re doing is the work of the Lord, and I know He is watching over us in this time we have here and all of our lives.  I`m so grateful to be sharing these blessings with other people here in Chile, and I love to do it.
Que les vayan bien,
Elder Forsgren

General a todos‏ (June, 22, 2015)

Hey guys, 
I can`t write much today, there is a lot to do and I`m still working with the whole hand thing.  I thank all of you who have wished me a happy birthday, I really love it when you all write me!!  I love you all and will be praying for you all.  This week was a little slow, full of doctors visits, but the little time we had to work, we did really well!!  
I love you guys,
Elder Forsgren
Week 1

Week 2

My 11th month starts with a bang‏ (June 15, 2015) WARNING DISTURBING PHOTO

Dear everyone,

So this week I turned 10 months old in the mission and the same day that i did I had a nasty fight with a dog.  it just bit my hand open and that was all, but it was enough that i went to the hospital and got a few stitches and will be returning for the next month for vaccinations.  it`s really annoying.  but if I don`t write much in responce to people or in this letter that`s why.  i currently have to type with one hand.  But, other than that, it`s been a really good week.  we`ve had a lot of lessons, we`ve found a few good new people to teach, and we feel really good about what we`re doing.  we have actually both had to go to the hospital.  My comp for his knee, and me for my freaking hand.  when we went for my comp i had literraly never been to a place so rich in my life!!  It was so cool!!  and the hospitals that the mission sends us to are some of the best in the world.  

Well I love you all!
con amor,
Elder Forsgren

First Week of my 7th Change (June 8, 2015)

Hey all,

So this week we`ve been working hard with few results.  Not much happened, other than contacting and contacting and walking, etc.  We`re searching for new people to teach, but we are having a fairly hard time finding them.  We`re working on it.  Our work in the part of the sector where the funeral happened isn`t paying off very well, but we still continue trying.  

One good thing this week was yesterday.  We had a very spiritual church meeting and we all really enjoyed it.  All 3 hours had something very spiritual packed into them.  I was very pleased with the testimonies I got to hear, we even had a recent convert youth get up to give his about how the Lord helped him out in a hard situation the other day. It was a very good day.

One thing I`ve found in the mission is the blessing of the fast.  I love the opportunity I have to participate in such a wonderful opportunity of service and enlightenment.  Really there is no better feeling than that feeling you get after fasting and knowing that God is working His part to help you as you helped someone else.  It`s that same feeling you get when partaking of the sacrament, and going through the temple.  

Well that`s all from this week, I`ve really enjoyed it, and I hope you have too.
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Transfer number 7 begins! (June 1, 2015)

Dear all,

So this past week was really interesting, we had a few experiences very out of the ordinary.  The first being the other American in our ward (Elder Tibbits) and I had the opportunity to go to a funeral for a kid who was shot 4 times in a fight in a discotec.  We started to help the family as best as we could, and they invited us to the funeral.  The thing is, this kid comes from the part of the sector that is the poorest with some really interesting youth.  The funeral had people yelling chants of the soccer team of which he liked, shooting guns in the air, using fireworks, waving giant flags from the same soccer team, smoking drugs, and drinking.  I couldn`t imagine how the family must feel.  During the official funeral the mother asked us not to do anything because it was hosted by the cemeteries which are all Catholic in this country, so it`d be a little weird if 2 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints came, but she asked if we could hold our own funeral afterwards with her and the people closest to the boy.  While we had about 200 people at first before our little funeral, we had about 50 people afterwards.  It was very nice and peaceful, I had my opportunity to bear testimony of the Plan of Salvation of which God has given unto us so that we may have peace of mind and even happiness even in these instances.  We sang hymns and said prayers and even dedicated the grave for the family.  All in all it was an amazing experience.  Since then we have been trying to work closer to that part of the sector, because we know that many people knew this boy and are going to want to feel the peace that brings the gospel.

The other big news of the week is we found a little old couple who are really interested in the gospel.  We`ve been visiting them everyday for the past week, and they`re really nice.  The have a lot of problems with memory, so it`s really slow going, but it`s worth it.  We can already see the blessings it`s bringing to them through their slow, but growing, capacities to remember things.  I`m very excited to be helping them.

Well I love you guys, and really hope that you have a good week!
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Week I really don`t know‏ (May 25, 2015)

Hey all,

So this week was a really good one spiritually.  We had a lot of success in the lessons we had and I feel really good with it.  The biggest thing that happened was we had 3 baptisms in our ward!!  One of a little kid of 8 years, one from my sector and one from the other sector.  The baptism in my sector was especially really good because it was someone who we`ve worked with for over a year and had a few difficulties with baptizing because her husband was dying.  But she now has gotten baptized!  She is the 3rd in her family to be baptized (after her mother and her son) and she`s really excited because she wants to do the work in the temple for her husband in a year!  I look forward to see how the family progresses through everything.  Her son (17 years old) will be going on a mission in the next year!  But first hand he will probably baptize his little sister when she turns 8!

That is our big news for the week everything else is small little things that made me happy.  One thing we are going to start to work on now is finding more people so that we have more people come unto Christ soon.  
I love you all and hope you have a good week!
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Week large and daunting number‏ (Week 40)

Hey all,

So this past week for me has been a really good week.  We had the opportunity to place two new people with a baptismal date goal and we are now helping them achieve that goal.  We`ve had very spiritual lessons with both of them.  We also had the opportunity to learn from a Zone Conference early on in the week.  It took all day, but we learned a lot.

With the Zone Conference there were two talks given that were really spiritual and really useful to me.  The first was about being completely consecrated to the Lord.  We were told to focus in on the parts of us that aren`t completely dedicated to doing the work of Him.  We then had another about the importance of contacts.  The mission stopped counting contacts recently and missionaries stopped doing them.  So they told us to reinforce contacting in the streets.  They didn`t just tell us to pick it up, they told us to change how we do it.  Many missionaries (including myself as of recent) contact separately.  One missionary talks to one person while the other talks with someone different.  They told us to start to contact together.  We are companions and we need to work together to have the Spirit with us.  

As I said, This week was really good for me, it was rather normal in terms of lessons, but it was full of opportunities for me to better myself spiritually, and I`ve gained testimonies even stronger in areas I didn`t think of originally.  I hope you all are doing well as well, and hope you all continue progressing in the Plan the our Heavenly Father has presented before us.
I love you all,
Elder Forsgren

First Mothers Day gone‏ (May 11, 2015)

Dear Everyone,

So this past week was intense!  So I had the opportunity to Skype home yesterday because of Mothers Day, Our numberes just randomly shot up, and some other things I`m sure happened at one point, but I don`t remember.  The week was really good because of that!

So we started off the week with something that just changed our whole perspective and attitude.  We had an interchange and in that interchange we had 13 lessons in one day, of that 13, 3 were new people to teach for us.  After that day we had a completely different aattitude and we began to have a lot more.  now one thing I`m always wary of is even when there are a lot of lessons, it doesn`t mean that you`re helping anyone, you could have a lot of lessons where you just share a short scripture of about 5 minutes and leave, but we tried not to have many of those this week.  Of our many lessons, we had very few that weren`t very useful for the people we taught.  And of those few they were still needed because we helped strengthen the relationship with people who needed it.  So we`re very pleased with out week.

So this week I found out that Chile does cold.  The people here don`t do cold, but the country does every now and again.  People here hate the cold, and it`s so funny.  At about 45 they wear all their winter clothes.  But like all of them...  We just leave with a sweater and we`re good.  My comp. has some problems with cold, but that`s because he lives in Panama, where cold doesn`t exist.

Yesterday I called home, which was really amazing!  I love that we have 2 times a year to call home, it gives us a new respect for our already beloved families.  I really do love them and I`ve missed them enough!  But after that I was thinking "yeah, I`ll be good until December comes."  Don`t get me wrong, I still miss them, but I filled the memory of what they look like (I had forgotten).

Well I hope that all of you are doing really well, and that you really wished your mothers a Happy Day dedicated to them!  They deserve it, they are angels from heaven.
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Week 38ish‏ (May 4, 2015)

Hey all,

So even though the numbers of this week weren`t much better than the last week, they gave us more confidence in how we are working.  We didn`t have better numbers, but the way we got the was better and each one counted.  We worked with people who we hadn`t worked with in a long time, we talked with people we needed to even if it didn`t make a number, we know that what we are doing is helping people, and that`s why we`re here.  We had one lesson with a member last night and we read the scripture and she was very glad we shared it because it was a scripture that she needed to hear.  She wrote it down and we gave her another to read before the next time we visit.

So one good thing that happened this week was we have been helping a less active returned missionary come back to church recently and the problem is he`s just a bit lazy.  He sleeps in every week.  That isn`t why he went less active, but it`s why he`s stayed that way.  So we shared a scripture with him this week and we "told him off" a little bit.  But we did it with love.  We explained that he needed to go to church.  Not the other way around.  It`s not common for me to "tell people off" like that because I`m afraid to offend them, but this week I learned a little more in how to do it so that it helps people.  He needed to realize this and if we didn`t say it to him he wouldn`t have come to church this week.  But he came and it was really good for him.

I don`t have more to say really, but I love you guys and remember you`re in my prayers.
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Week 37 according to my mom‏ (April 27, 2015)

Dear everyone,

So a lot has happened this week and a lot hasn`t happened this week!  To start off this past Tuesday a volcano in the south of Chile has erupted and the entire country is worried.  They had to evacuate all the people from there (which is like 12 hours away so I`m not in danger, don`t worry) and we have smoke in the skies here in Santiago.  The past few days have been a bit overcast for that... It`s helped cool things down finally!  But everyone here is worried.  That`s one thing I love about chile, it has sooooo many natural disasters, but when it has them, everyone is always very worried!  They all want to help the people from the north with the flooding there, and they all want to help the people in the south with the volcano.  I feel if we just moved the flooding to the south we`d fix both problems at once.  

Now for the things that haven`t happened. Lessons.  I`ve been in charge of planning this week and we haven`t gotten many lessons because of it...   I did learn a lot about how to work this past week.  I need to use the directory of the ward so that we can find more people easier.  the ward directory has about 700 people and we have about 70 assisting every week, so we`re going to find out whose moved, who needs more help, etc.  We are also going to go through the old investigator lists to figure that out.  We were just doing straight up contacts this week which is the less efficient way of doing things here.  I`m trying to do as my father has always told me, "work smart and work hard" because as I do that, I will find more success.  

My new comp and I are already good friends.  he`s the first latin I`ve meet who played Football before the mission, so that`s awesome!  He played for a team and everything.  his English is a little weird still, he knows very little of it, but he`s eager to learn.  He technically started the mission about 4 months before me, but had to go home for health so I have more time than him... It`s a little weird.  But it`s fun!

i hope you all have a great week!  i love you all!
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Change number 6 I think with a new compañero and I`m now senor comp. SAVE ME!!!‏ (April 20, 2015)

Dear all,

So we just had a lot happen all at once!!  It`s so weird!!!We started with a conference from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve as well as the first counselor in the Area Presidency Elder Jorge Zeballos who gave a talk in the General Conference this past April!  It was so spiritual I loved it!!  I got to sing in the choir which was very nerve-wracking but it was such a beautiful experience!  He spoke to us about a lot of things that I now hope to work harder on.  

Later that day we found our we had Transfers today.  That was a bit of a shock because we had just become companions 1 change ago, but my comp. had 9 months here so it`s not too big a deal.  I`m now with an Elder from Panama who got to the mission in May but had to go home not long afterwards for health purposes so technically I have more time than him.  So I`m now Senor companion and it makes me nervous, but hopefully I can do it.  I know I can because the Lord called me to it, I just will need His help in a lot of it.  The good thing is he was in the ward when he first came to the mission before he went home, so he knows a fair few people.

This past week my companion said his goodbyes after 9 months of being in the same ward and it was really sad.  I really don`t care for saying goodbye to the people here because it`s always so hard.  These are people that we`ve seen the spiritual progression of and they have such a huge part of our hearts that it makes goodbyes really hard.  In my opinion they are harder than saying goodbye to family as I`m sure I`ve said before.  That`s a weird concept for me because we`re only in these areas for a few months and we become so attached to the people here but it`s amazing to see their spiritual progress we can`t help but form amazing relationships.  Sister Oaks told us this past Saturday that these are people and friendships that we are going to carry into the eternities.

Well I hope that you all have an amazing week, I love you all.
Les amo con todo mi corazon,
Elder Forsgren

Month 8 or 1/3 or my mission! What?¡?¡?¡‏ (April 13, 2015)

Dear all,
So woh, I`m already a third of the way through my mission.  Wow I feel scared now.  I hear it only gets faster and I don`t want that.  That`s the opposite of what I want...  I`m enjoying it so much.  

So this week I`m not really sure what to talk about.  This morning we had a zone activity of human foosball (because we can`t play soccer) and a grill.  It was a lot of fun.  I really enjoyed the food!  I enjoy chilean food!  

This past week we visited a grandmother and her 3 granddaughters who are currently investigating the gospel.  They are amazing and just precious.  The girls are 13, 10, and 8 and the younger 2 just lost their mom.  I don`t know how, but she died recently, and the 10 year old has gotten to be really solemn (with good reason) and so it`s always been our goal to help her cheer up both in the short term and forever.  We have had a lot of success in the short term and we know that the gospel brings long term happiness, so we`re just sharing how she can live with her family forever.  But it`s really cute, the past week we went to visit and knocked the door and her little voice called out "¿quien es?" so we said "los misioneros" and she opened the door with a giant grin.  The entire family is amazing, we love them.  They all currently have a baptismal date for the 24th of May but it`ll be slightly hard because they live with their parents on the weekends meaning they can`t come to church.  But we`re confident they can do it. 

Well that`s what`s up in CHile and I`m loving it!
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren 

2nd Conference in the mission!!‏ (April 6, 2015)

Dear all,

So I`ve made it to my second conference in the mission and the president recommended we watch it in our native language so I watched 4 sessions in English and 1 in Spanish.  I was very glad I did it that way because I didn`t understand much from the one in Spanish (the translations don`t help understanding all that much).  I absolutely loved the conference, as I always do.  It is one of my favorite time of the year.  As is Easter which made it all the more special for me because I could celebrate the resurrection of our Savior by listening to the voices of His servants.  I had many answers to many questions, but many of those questions I won`t have to worry about until after my mission...  But the testimonies of the Savior were so spiritual and beautiful.  I love to hear these people who have such a strong testimony bear it for us, because theres so much spirit in what they say.  I was also so happy to hear about the 3 temples that have been announced, specifically Haiti.  I`ve met a lot of Haitians recently and the fact that they are going to have the opportunity to go to the temple soon is fantastic!!  They won`t have to travel nearly as much now.  There are a few Haitians who are here and are enjoying the same privilege as they soon will in their own country.

One theme that was extremely prominent in this conference was that of Families and specifically the ordination of marriage.  All the missionaries found that really funny especially because they told the Young Adults to go get married without delay and we still have to wait a little while to do that...  But they were still beautiful talks.

Now as we know, yesterday was Easter, or "the most sacred day of the year" in the words of Elder Holland.  It is a day to remember what our savior has done for us.  So I ask all of you: Do you all remember?  What has the Savior done for you?  I`m preaching about it here in Chile, especially how rose on the third day so that in whatever situation, in whatever position you`re in, in whatever mood you are in, He can and will be with you if you so wish.  He knows exactly what you need, and exactly what you desire.  He helps give you strength to overcome your challenges and helps you grow from the work you need to overcome them.  For that is why we have challenges.  They are blessings from God, and Christ gives us the strength to overcome them.  We cannot make it to heaven without Him.  We can`t even come close.  But we can show Him our desire to do it through our works and by doing such he will help us with what we fault.  I love that He has done this for us and I testify that He has.  I`ve worked 18 years for this testimony and it is still small, but it`s undeniably.  I hope your week goes well and that you all enjoy it.
En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Elder Forsgren

Week +1 (AND SPENCERS BIRTHDAY!!!) {Week 33}

Dear peoples,

So I`m going to start off by wishing my little brother a grand birthday:
Entonces, This week we had a baptism!!!!!  The baptism was of a little 10 year old girl who my comp has been teaching for a good while.  Her family are members, and her mom is less active, so she wasn`t baptized.  But when the missionaries started to teach her she wanted to be baptized.  A friend of the family (also Recent Convert) Baptized her.  He is the president of the YM and he`s preparing to go on a mission this summer too!!  

So we also had cold come for the first half of the week.  And it came FAST.  One day we woke up and there was rain and snow on the mountains.  Naturally that same day the water heater broke.  The water was Frozen.  We thought it was just something to do with that day, but when it continued we couldn`t hold it back anymore and we just called the office for them to fix it.  When it happened for the first time my comp. left the bathroom immediately, turned away and slammed the door.  But really for me it wasn`t too big a deal, the cold never bothered me anyways.  

So this week a major news item of Chile is the north (many hours away from me) had a huge flood and the country called a state of emergency.  The reason this is so weird is because this flood happened in the desert...  So there were absolutely no precautions for it.  No one was expecting it.  It litterally just destroyed homes on impact and swept many people away.  The whole country is scared for the people missing.  We actually met one man whose sister lives in that city and he still hadn`t heard from her.  It put things in perspective for me.  I need to be prepared for things like that to happen so I can be ready to help anyone in a second.  I also need to help other people realize the importance of this message we share so that they know whatever happens their family can live forever in the eternities.

That was my week, I hope everyone else had a great one,
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Week To Many (March 23, 2015)

Hello all,
So this week was interesting.  I`ve been congested most of it, but that`s fine because it`s happining due to the cooling of the weather here!  We`re under 30C degrees finally!!  I`ve just had to work harder to make up for the annoying health problems.  One really nice thing was one day we decided to knock one of the 30ish apartment blocks in our sector and it was really really good!!  We had 4 people invite us back at other times and they were so nice!! 
So this week I was asked to give a talk in church (my first in this ward) and I decided to talk about the talk President Uctdorf gave in April of the past year "Are you sleeping through the Restauration" and it really opened my eyes.  I decided to talk a fair amount about how the restauration still is happening today.  I looked at the stats of the church and my mind was blown!  I read about how there are more than 29 thousand wards or branches in the world and all I could think about is how there were 7 when Alma organized the church in Mosiah 18:24.  there are also more than 100,000 missionaries both full time and service missionaries.  It used to be that the only ones were the 4 sons of Mosiah.  In the Bible, Christ had very few members of the church he established, now we number more than 15 million.  It`s such a privilage to be in this epoca and we will want to say that we took part in it in the end.  This should be our first priority.  Nothing can get in the way.
This week I was also teaching the english class that we do every week and we only had one woman come to the class (a less active that i`ve become good friends with now) and it was amazing to watch her progress.  she`s made time for both the english classes and church two weeks in a row and it`s just amazing to watch her attitude change for the better!!  I`m loving this ward and the help I can give to it.  One of the recent converts in this ward (who is the most active recent convert I`ve ever seen) is the YMs president!  he`s completely changed the young men of the ward! 
So I hope all of your weeks are really good and I hope you`re all enjoying the changing tempreature as well!
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Month 7 (March 16, 2015)

Hey all,

So this month I hit my 7 month mark, and so we bought pizza!!  IT was really weird because the pizza that we bought had a few slices missing, so we think someone ate it...  That was fun...  But it was still a fun night!  I`m currently in a house of 4 elders and it`s a lot of fun.  There are 2 Latinos and 2 Gringos and so we are teaching them English.  In this ward I also have to give English lessons...  It`s really weird, I don`t know how to explain English!  It just works in my head...  

So my companion is really cool, he`s from Ecuador.  He was baptised 2.5 years ago, and he`s friends with everyone in this ward because he`s been in the ward for 8 months already.  The sector is a lot different then my last one, it`s bigger and has more people.  The church is smaller here, but the people are so nice!  I`m really enjoying it!

One thing I`ve learned this week is how unity really makes the work easier.  With Elder Gòmez I have been able to teach really well in a few instances, and not so well in others.  The ones where we have taught really well were the ones where we both paid attention, both knew what we were doing and both felt the spirit.  But those we didn`t teach as well in I found were ones where I would think about how his teaching style is weird, or that he needs to fix something and wasn`t paying attention to how I could improve, or how I could help the investigator.  But I`ve learned how necessary it is to always work for the unity between you and your companion.  We`re getting along great and I love being his companion.  I look forward to seeing the success we have in this sector.

I hope all of you have a good week,
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

CAMBIOS!!! (March 9, 2015)

Hola todos,
Today is my first day of changes in the mission.  I have finally left Independencia and all my friends there and I`m now in the San Pablo Stake in Corona Sueca ward with Elder Gòmez (Latino!) We got the news today and I`m so excited to be somewhere new!  however I can`t go to the baptism of one of the people I`ve been teaching for 4 months.  That`s a little sad, but She`ll be baptized regardless, so that`s good!  She`s really excited, and she will be the first baptized in the church in Independencia since it has been renovated!  

We changed to the other church building this past week (naturally my last week) and it is gigantisimo!!  And absolutly beautiful!  It`s probably the only LDS church building that has a basketball court in Chile!  But now I won`t be going their.

So this past week we visited one family who are all very active and we were talking to them and they are both sealed to different people and divorced and then married to each other and come to find out they just were told by the Prophet that they can now seal to each other.  It`s amazing news for them, and they are so happy!  They said that in Chile the permission to do that only 1 in 1000 people get it.  It`s great to see them with this privelege.  They`ve worked really hard for it and I know that they are an amazing family!  And their children really have a strong testimony of the temple.

I hope you all have an amazing week and that you can enjoy your snow!
Con amor, 
Elder Forsgren