Santiago Chile

Santiago Chile

Sunday, May 29, 2016

18 Months!!!! What happened??‏ (February 16, 2016)

Hey all!

So this last week, I completed 18 months of my mission.  This is so weird for me, seeing as I still have so much to learn and so many more people to help, however I am now within 6 months of returning.  My companion is enjoying making fun of me that I go home so soon.  It`s really odd to think about it honestly.

However, on top of the extremely trunky-looking time that I have, we`ve managed to keep focused and keep ourselves on the ball.  Working a ton with investigators this week, doing a lot of service, and even finding a fair amount of new people to teach.  We are excited to see the progress that has been made in this sector (and we should have enough time to see it given that there are still 5 weeks to changes).  We`ve been working a lot with one youth who is very excited to work with us.  He is a member of 18 years who, for the last month, has been working to reactivate himself.  He`s now blessing the sacrament every week, and going on visits with us about 3-4 times a week.  Also when the missionaries play soccer, he comes a long and plays too.  He really enjoys this new aspect of his life.

I now would like to take some time to ask for the prayers of all of you for my beloved sister, Sarah, who, as I`ve heard today, is in the hospital with a concussion.  I ask that all of you can pray for her well being and her recovery, even though I`m sure that my mother has already spread the word, but sadly, I`m not exactly a commonly updated person, so I`m asking a few days late.  Thank you all so much for your support!  I love you guys.

May you all have a wonderful week and a great winter.  
Todo mi amor,
Elder Forsgren

New week of changes, 1 year in Independence‏ (February 9, 2016)

Dear Everyone,

Well I`ve just begun my 8th change (4 at the beginning of my mission and now my 4th the second time) in Independencia Ward, and that`s 8th of 16 so I will be here literally a year of my mission.  Same sector and everything...  But we`ve worked a lot.  

This last week we worked a lot looking for new people to be teaching and we found a few really interested new investigators.  It was a great new chance to start teaching again.  It`s been a pretty good week for that reason.  Elder Paredes and I will both be staying at least one more change, and so we will be able to see how these new people progress and what happens with them. 

Also Chile is in full vacation phase, so nobody is in Santiago, making life a lot more fun for a missionary in Santiago...  It`s a bit difficult when your job is to talk with people and people aren`t near you.  But other than that we`re taking things slowly and patiently.  

That`s all I can think of that happened this week, but I`d love to hear how all yàlls weeks went!  I hope they went well.  I love you all,
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

I speak French!!‏ (February 1, 2016)

Bon Jour!

So this week was a very good week where we worked a lot with the Haitians of the sector.  I really enjoyed it, because they taught us a lot of French!!  I have no idea how to spell anything, but I do know how to have a basic conversation that includes hi, how are you, what is your name, and I`m a missionary, so I feel multilingual now!  Not really, but the Haitians really enjoy it when we greet them in French.  It`s fun.  We also know one Haitian who speaks many languages, including English, so we practice English with him a lot.  He really helps us because he is a member of the ward, so we invite him a lot to the lessons we have with Haitians that don`t speak Spanish.  The Haitians really have an amazing culture, and I really enjoy working with them.  It makes life a lot of fun.  

Also this week we had the privilege of being accompanied by a less active youth who has been attending church with us, and Yesterday we could participate in his ordination to the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood.  This next Sunday, he will have the opportunity to bless the Sacrament, and I`ve been so happy to see the progress of this young man.  I see a big future for him.  

So this has been my week, I have really enjoyed it and am looking forward to this next week.  It is very possible that it will be my last in this ward (but with the way my mission goes, who knows, 8 changes or 1 year in one ward is possible) by the way, the next week (and until further notice) my P-Days will be Tuesday, so don`t be surprised when I write late.
I love you all so much, and wish you the best.
Au revoir!
Elder Alexander Forsgren

Long long week‏ (January 25, 2016)

Hola a todos y`all ;) 

This last week has been a long week, full of a lot of time in the house and a lot of conferences.  At the beginning of the week we had a Zone Conference full of classes to help us as missionaries.  I really enjoyed it.  I love to learn from the leaders of the mission because it helps me work a lot.  Then the next day we had a video training session with the rest of the world from Salt Lake.  They sent a transmission to all the missions in the world.  We enjoyed it, but could only see half of it for miscommunication with the Stakes and where the transmission would take place.  But what we did learn was priceless and useful.  Then the next day (and most of the rest of the week) we had to stay in the house due to health problems.  Don`t worry, this time they aren`t mine (that`s new) and they`re all over now, but it was a long few days.

The best part of this week was (as it is many weeks) the Sabbath itself.  But not just for the wonderful church meeting, save also our lesson with a Haitian investigator.  He is a great man who has a lot of faith in the Saviour and as he goes learning more, he goes applying more to his life.  This week we taught him about different commandments (ex. Word of Wisdom) and he said, in effect, I didn`t know that, but I need to go do that now!  I love his humility and his faith, and they set an example of how I should be.

I love you all and hope that you are enjoying your winter wonderland, here we`ve gotten as close as we can to a winter wonderland in Summer, and had a thunderstorm. (almost...)  It was very refreshing, and I love to look for rainbows whenever their is rain ;)  

Con mucho amor,
Elder Alexander Forsgren

Long week and Los Andes‏ (January 18, 2016)

Hello to everyone. 

So this week just killed us.  We worked and we worked without much success and with a lot of summer.  We are currently in the middle of vacations here in Santiago so NOBODY is home.  For some reason the Santiaguinos have some law of culture that says that when vacation time comes they must leave Santiago (I don`t blame them) but it makes life really hard when it comes time to visit people.   I`m not very excited, because this week marks the beginning of the holidays, and holidays are in full at the end of February...  These next months are going to kill us.

However on the bright side, we got to teach our Haitian friends a lot this week.  They are all really enthusiastic and excited to learn.  We are teaching one who studies everything we have to say very intently in French and in Spanish.  It`s difficult to teach them because we have to be very prepared, but almost all our studies are for them.

Going back to vacations, my comp and I took a "vacation" today actually.  We went to Los Andes (a place I will probably never go in my mission) about 1.5 hours from Santiago and we went to a little lake and enjoyed some time there.  It was absolutely beautiful and I loved it.  It is a different environment, a lot more tranquil and a lot fresher.  I have hope to return in my mission, but since it`s not close to a hospital, I will more than likely never serve there in my 2 years here. 

Well I wish you all the best, and send you my love from busy Santiago
with love,
Elder Forsgren


Hello everyone,
So I`d like to start off this letter with a shout out to the greatest woman I have ever known in my life who this last week turned 41 (I know right? hard to believe, she looks younger) and the poor little girl was sick on her birthday!!  ¡Pobrecita! but anyways, this "little girl" is my wonderful mother, Susan M. Forsgren and I want everyone to know how much I love her and how young she`s turning!  Hope everyone could wish her a happy birthday, and if not, don`t worry it`s not too late, I`m her son and I`m wishing her a happy birthday a few days late!  I love you mostest mom, and hope you`re enjoying your fourth decade!

On the other hand I received news today that I will be coming home a few days later than planned.  Not a problem, it makes it a little closer to 2 years completely.  It gives me a few more days to work in the work of the Lord and the work I love.  

This last week was the best week I`ve had in this ward since I returned to this ward.  We had a boatload of lessens and we had 1 youth just get baptized and 2 adults reactivate in the church.  We saw a lot of less active people come to church again and we enjoyed a lot of service work.  We are really working hard and enjoying our time together.  It`s been great the little time we`ve had together and we`re excited.  We have accomplished a lot together and we are hoping to accomplish even more in the upcoming weeks together.

I hope you all enjoy your week and can achieve much success in all your different stations.
Con amor,
Elder Alex Forsgren

New Years, Part Two‏ (January 4, 2016)

Hey all,

So this week marked the end of 2015 and the brand new beginning of 2016.  The holiday celebrating the new year is always a time of reflection and change I`ve noticed.  It`s an opportunity to take in stock the experiences we`ve had in the past, but more importantly look with anticipation to the future and the things that are in store.  My companion and I were talking a lot about the potential that this year has and they potential we see in our ward and we were pleased with the progress we`ve seen up until now and we both want to see where things go in the course of the year.

So we`ve enjoyed the week and we are excited to enjoy the year.  I hope you all are too, and hope you all are keeping everything good and cheerful!
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!‏ (December 28, 2015)

Well a big hello and a MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!!

This week was a big week for me as I celebrated my second and last Christmas in Chile.  I celebrated it in the same place as last year with the same people, so it was all with good friends.  I also got to Skype my family for the 3/4 times in my mission.  My companion keeps talking about how old I am in the mission.  It´s really weird.  But above everything else I had some time to reflect on the importance of the Savior in my life.  I´m so glad I can take 2 years of my life and give every second of them to Him and it saddens me to see that they are flying by so quickly.  

During this week I thought a little about the act of gift giving and why we do it.  It´s been on my mind a lot recently.  For a few reasons I have now come to have a better love of the Christmas tradition of giving gifts.  (note I´m not talking about getting them)  These reasons are:
1. We give gifts to remember and honor the gifts that our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have given us.  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son..."  That´s a huge gift to give, your only begotten.  Then Christ gave His life for us.  He gave everything he had, capping it all off with the Atonement, giving us the chance to obtain eternal life.
2. When we give gifts we find a new love for those people.  We take time to think about their needs, their desires, there feelings as a whole and then we try and appease those.  
3. "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."  I like to think of service as a gift too.  Christ served all of us, so in return we can give service to those around us.  We put their interests above ours.  It´s another great way to spend Christmas.

I love you all and hope you all enjoyed your Christmas.  Enjoy your New Years too!
Feliz navidad, prospero año, y felicidad a todos,
Elder Forsgren

It´s beginning to look a lot like summer...?‏ (December 21, 2015)

Hello to all, from burning Chile!

The weather here is scorching keeping itself about 90 degrees or above.  I´m not sure how I feel about it, but I doubt that "dreaming of a white Christmas" is a bad idea, but who know, "When you wish upon a star... your dreams come true" So we´re going to see just how white my Christmas is.  

For us, this last week actually went pretty well.  We worked hard trying to find new people, find those that we have found in the past again, and things of the sort.  We´ve been teaching some Haitians recently and we got to visit them twice this week.  It was a privileged for us, and we both enjoy teaching them a lot.  They are very humble and they have so many questions.  At first with a lot they don´t understand, or they aren´t sure about what we are teaching, but their attitude is the best you could imagine.  They always say that they will have to pray and ask God if the things that we are saying are true or not and based off of the answer they will act, which is exactly what they should do.  We told them that that is perfect and there is no one better to ask.  They will find their answer through that attitude and I love that they have such confidence in their Father in Heaven.

This next week is Christmas, and I´ve thought a lot about it this week.  We talked about the real meaning of Christmas with a lot of people this week and the importance of remembrance to the Lord in this holiday.  One thing I´ve been thinking about is what I can give to God.  One of my favorite lines to hymns is "Because I have been given much, I too must give" and that´s how I can give to God.  When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are in the service of God (see Mosiah 2:17), so if we wish to serve God this Christmas, we must give.

I love you all and wish you a Feliz Navidad, that you may enjoy it and remember why we are celebrating it.  
Con mucho amor,
Elder A.J. Forsgren


Month 16 and NATHANS BIRTHDAY!!!!!‏ (December 14, 2015)

Hello everyone,

So this week I´ve been thinking about my little brother Nathan a lot because yesterday HE TURNED 10!!   I find this to be a really weird thought because just one short decade ago, I remember holding him in my arms and he was tiny.  Not but a few years ago he was a tiny kid with a southern and a British accent, now I´m in Chile and he´s 10.  I love him a ton, and if any of you see him soon, give him a hug from me because you´re closer!!  I love you Nathan, and happy birthday!!

Now onto this week.  It was another long week, but we got a lot done and we felt the spirit a lot.  I feel like we were working just to get to Saturday and the Lord blessed us that Saturday with 4 new people to teach (a Venezuelan, and 3 Haitians) and  all 4 of them accepted a baptismal goal for this January.  We will now be working hard with them so that they can find their testimony of this message and can make the great covenant with the Lord.  I have a slight feeling that by the time January comes around, I´ll already be gone, and my companion will have the opportunity to see their baptism, but I´m happy that they have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

We here are now facing a terrifying heat mixed with very little water, so things here are just hot all around.  Working out in the sun takes a lot of energy, but we´re taking that as an incentive to work harder to get into the houses of more people to help them.  The more houses we are in, the less time we have to be our in the sun.  I personally like that idea.

I hope that this week has treated you all well and that you have enjoyed it.  I love you all and have you all in my prayers.  Remember the true meaning of Christmas, and if you´ve forgotten it, I recommend you read Luke chapter 2.  
Con mucho amor,
Elder Forsgren

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Semana largo‏ (December 7, 2015)

Hello everyone.
I´m going to keep this one short this week because I don´t have much
time. This week was a week of patience. Going door to door of people
we know and without anyone answer. But the highlight was certainly
Sunday to see 2 investigators come to church and the daughter of a
less active family come without her family. (it isn´t good that her
family dídn´t come, but it is good that she took the initiative to
come on her own! We were very happy to see her there.

I love you all and am sorry that I´ve not been able to write very much!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Forsgren

Thanksgiving gone, December is here!‏ (December 2, 2015)

Thanksgiving gone, December is he


I hope you all enjoyed your holiday of gratefulness, I really did.  My companion made me some eggs and hot dogs so we did have a feast in the end.  Actually, the ward in our stake that has the Senior missionaries had a huge party!!  I wish we had too...  However I´m very grateful for the opportunity I have to spend Thanksgiving working for the Lord.  There isn´t a better way to spend it.  

So the last week went by really slowly because of how few lessons we had.  We almost doubled our number of contacts from the week beforehand because we didn´t have anyone to teach.  However we have begun to see fruits.  We have 6 new people who we are teaching and we all of these new people have a baptismal goal if they receive their answer from the Lord that this message is true.  I´m also seeing a change for the better in my way of teaching now that I can work all the hours of the day (my knee is better).  Because of this problem I have had for such a long time I haven´t taught as many new people as much as just focused on those that we had, however with all the new people we found this week, I "relearned" how to do it.  It actually surprised me (and saddened me a fair amount) how much I had forgotten, so right now I´m working very hard to keep up.  

However it looks like we are going to continue finding more and more people, so I´m excited to be working again. 

I love you all and hope you are enjoying the new Christmas season that has come.  
Con mucho amor,
Elder Forsgren

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Almost Thanksgiving!‏ (November 23, 2016)

Hello to everyone! 
So I´m currently in a very bad internet place with very bad
internet... So I´m currently practicing patience in my work. I have
to use internet explorer, which makes me stressed... And I just had a
very stressful week. There is not a whole lot to report, save the I´m
learning a lot from Elder Paredes. He has a way of working which is
new to me, but I really like. It makes things a lot easier and more
efficient. It really is, in my fathers words "working smart and
hard". I´ll admit, we had a rough beginning, however we are hoping to
reap some of the fruits of the week to make them worth more than they
appear. Today he and the rest of the zone played soccer, and I
watched. My knee and I are still not getting along. Tomorrow I will
go to the hospital again, and that should help. 

This next week I will be missing my second Thanksgiving I have ever
missed in my life actually. It makes me a little sad to be missing
it, however the zone is thinking about doing something. I hope they
do, because last year I didn´t do much, but I do remember having an
awesome cake with my Father, Elder Garner, and I really enjoyed it.
That´s something I´ve noticed lately. The smallest of things can lead
to the greatest of memories. 

This week, one thing that was really amazing was my companion and I
visited a few recent converts that hadn´t gone to church in a long
time and we visited them about 2-3 times and they came! Not only that
but they taught people in the Gospel principles class. It made me
extremely happy and grateful for the help of my new companion. I
believe that we are going to have a lot of success together. 
I love you all mostest! 
Con mucho amor,
Elder Forsgren

Nuevo compañero y cambio!‏ (November 16, 2016)

Hello to all!

So I just received a new companion!  I am with Elder Paredes from Araquipa Peru!  I remain in the same sector and ward and basically the biggest change would be my companion.  I`m excited because he seems really excited to work and has a good mentality about everything.  We`re hoping to have a lot of success this next transfer!  He has about 10 months in the mission I think, but he seems like he`s already got a very firm grasp on everything.  He also had a knee problem, which I find funnily ironic.

This last week was another long one, but it was good as a whole.  There wasn`t a whole lot new that happened, however Sunday was the Primary Program and it was so amazing, I really enjoyed it!  I love to hear the little kids and their testimonies and the songs they sing.  It was really fun!

Well I love you all, and hope you have a great week.  I feel like I say that every week, but It`s true!
Con mucho amor,
Elder 4sgren

I`ve run out of subjects‏ (November 10, 2016)

Hello to everyone!  

So yet another rough week for us, it was long and full of just looking for new people without much success.  I was honestly very stressed throughout the week, but we had a huge highlight of an interchange with the Zone Leaders.  The zone leader that was with me (Elder Wilcox) helped me a lot to feel less stressed while at the same time keep my mind on the sector and how to help it progress.  He showed me a few new ways to look for new investigators and to work with the members better and we are now trying to put them into practice.  
My companion had a rough week though, rougher than I did.  He then had an interview with president, which helped him a lot.  I`ve learned that I need to work on patience a lot.  I`m expecting too much out of him and I`m expecting it now, so I`m now trying to slow things down a little bit to help him ease himself into the mission, not just hit the ground running.  President gave me a lot of good ideas too, so I`m very grateful for that.
At the end of the week I realized how big my testimony is on the leadership called of God.  God calls people to their positions not because they are necessarily the best qualified for that position, save he makes them be the most qualified.  I`ve seen attributes in a few people that did not have those attributes before they were called as leaders.  I`m grateful that I can gain this testimony, because it is a very important one in our humility.
I hope you all have a lovely week, and enjoy that November air, while I enjoy that November smog!
Love ya,
Elder Forsgren

Week of testing‏ (November 2, 2016)

Dear everyone,

So I was reading the letter of my cousin (Elder Dana Forsgren) and he said one thing that was very true for me as well  "it has been a week of testing this week."  It really was.  A long week full of work with little results down her in Santiago Norte.  We tried and tried and we had very little results.  That isn`t just for me and my companion, however for the mission.  It`s really been tough for us.  We had one test really big that occupied a lot of our thoughts and the thoughts of our leaders this week, and we were very nervous as to how this would all work out, however it was amazing, literally the last thing I heard last night (last minute of the night) was that it was all resolved and we don`t have to worry more.  I can`t specify much about it, but we are very pleased now and not so stressed.  

The thing I love about these "weeks of testing" is that they end with a personal growth and a companionship growth.  It really is a blessing to find that you are stronger than you thought before, and more capable then you ever were.  I love the progress that each of us has personally.  How we can see that we are getting better.

As a passing comment, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!  I don`t know what the most often found costume was there, but here we saw a lot of Malificents that were all really cute.  I enjoy Halloween because its just fun!  We visited and helped one sister that night and then when we entered the house, we had about 7 kids knock our door.  We had to scourge our house for all the candy we had and we are now out of candy.  It was really funny!

I hope that you all have an amazing week!
Con amor,
Elder Forsgren

Week something or other‏ (October 26, 2016)

Dear peoples,

So this week we worked a lot!  For the amount of work we did, I feel more tired than I should actually.  Knocking doors shouldn`t take much energy you`d think, but for some reason it kills your legs...  (particularly a knee that already has problems...)  However we`re seeing results.  it was funny, the whole week we have been praying to find new people to teach and that we would be able to work to find them.  We managed to find 5 new people to teach, but none of them came from our own work...  It made me laugh a lot actually.  We have received many references from other missionaries contacting and the people live here, and we`ve had multiple people contact us!  It surprised us that in the end, none of the doors we knocked worked out, yet we still taught a lot of new people!  It was pretty cool.

One thing that I loved this past week was that I strengthened my testimony of the Sabbath Day and the peace it brings to the tired soul.  This Sunday I woke up feeling so energized and so refreshed it was incredible.  Later on in the day I began to feel bad again and so I looked for a way to better my day and I took the advice that the father of President Hinkley gave him: "forget yourself, and get to work"  I finished the day feeling even better than I had started it.  

I love you all and hope that you all have had a peaceful week, and that you will keep going forward with faith.
Mis cariños,
Elder Forsgren

14 months!!‏ (October 19, 2015)

Buenos tardes todos,

So I`ve gotten to that point where people ask me "how much time have you been on the mission" and when I say that I`ve been here 14 months the comment on how little time left I have...  I`m VERY uncomfortable with that statement now.  I`ve gotten to a point that I feel like I`m very young in the mission while at the same time I feel way too old.  The only thing left to do is to forget myself and keep on working. 

I`ve been working on that a lot recently.  Making sure to humble myself enough to not focus on myself and to focus on those around me.  I feel a lot better when I do it, but humility is a very difficult attribute to acquire, however it is an important on.  And it leads to charity, the pure love of Christ.  That is an absolute need on a mission, so that is my goal.  To have the charity that Christ has.  

This past weekend we had a Stake conference and it was amazing.  I heard some really spiritual messages that were extremely inspired.  We had one new investigator come to the conference yesterday and he seemed to look at everything from a very business point of view.  It kind of caught me off guard... however even if it caught me off guard he really enjoyed it.  At the end of the meeting I asked him how it went and he said to me "perfect.  I think I`ll come back next week." and a few other short sentences to members and then he left.  It was interesting to hear, however we are very glad to have him.  

Also, because yesterday was mothers day in Argentina, my companion got to skype home yesterday.  It was probably the happiest I`ve seen him since I`ve come here.  It was great to see him so happy.  

Well I hope you all have had a wonderful week and hope that you continue with good spirits at all times.
Con mucho amor,
Elder A. Forsgren

Week 1 in my home ward!‏ (October 12, 2015)

Hey everyone, 

So this was my first week in my old ward and sector and it was a pretty good week.  We worked really hard to learn how to contact people better.  My companion is really young in the mission so he still is learning a lot, but he`s learning and he does it  quickly.  He reminds me a lot of my brothers at home, so it`s really fun to be with him!  

So I`ve found some very good and very bad points about regressing to my old sector.  I can see all the people I knew before and this time I understand what they say.  I can also see the progress that they are making in life too!  however every now and again I meet a few of my old friends that haven`t progressed much, or the opposite, and that saddens me a lot.  I`ve witnessed a lot of change and not all of it is for the better.  However I`ve also seen a lot of change for the better as well.  We visit a different variety of people, so I`m meeting and getting to know other people now!  It`s stressful, but yet satisfying much of the time.

One area I need to get better at is taking control of some situations in stead of letting my companion do it just because he was here more recently.  However we are learning to get better together.  It`s all good for that.

All in all I`ve loved my time here again and I`m very pleased to be here.  I love you all and hope that your week goes well.
con mucho amor,
Elder Forsgren