Elder Matthew Nielsen

"You are assigned to labor in the Brazil Fortaleza East mission"

First Week In The MTC!

Hello Family and Friends,

This is the first installment of my weekly missionary emails! I hope everyone is doing well!

I arrived at the MTC in Provo incredibly nervous, but I am ready to do my best and I hope and pray that God will be there to give me strength because I cannot do this on my own without him. So I was “dropped off at the curb” by my parents and was then quickly snatched up by another missionary, who took me into the MTC and helped me get to my room to drop off my luggage. Then I was directed to my classroom where I met my teacher, Brother Crestani who served a mission in Brazil a few years ago. For the past 6 days, I have been doing some hardcore studying in Portuguese! This has been an eye opening experience for me! I have felt stretched beyond my capacity in many, many ways. But without that stretching, I would not be able to grow. I can testify that I have felt strength given to me so that I might be able to accomplish things that I would not otherwise be able to do.

Soon after I met my teacher I met my companion who will be with me ( 24/7)  until I leave the MTC on  November 18th. My companion’s name is Elder Vale. He is from Blackfoot, Idaho and comes from a family of 7 kids! He is incredibly smart and is learning the language quickly, and he is going to the same mission as me!  I will tell you that the Portuguese language is similar to Spanish but is very different in many ways. To say “diligent” in Portuguese you must say (“Gee-ili-gee-n-chee-men-chee). So far, I have been just trying to get a handle on things over here and that has kept me very busy. Today a General Authority comes to speak with us. I’m very excited! And oh! if you didn’t catch this already, my p-days are on Tuesdays and I get the wonderful opportunity to catch my breath for a few hours and write email to you and go to the temple! It is a much welcomed break, I can tell you that! Also, there are eight people in my district (all going to Brazil) and also one other companionship going to Fortaleza East. Another fun fact, we taught our first lesson in Portuguese on our second day!! It was a rough lesson but since then we have done 3 more lessons, each better than the first! Haha!

Fun Facts about the MTC:

1) The Cafeteria food destroys stomachs. I’m sure that was too much information, but I thought you needed to know! Haha! If you talk to any missionary, they can definitely attest to this fact.

2)  There is a zero tolerance policy for music at the MTC except for when you are on the elliptical machines in the gym.

3) The MTC is currently under construction, so all the Spanish speakers are housed on the West campus. Slowly, they have been bringing the Spanish districts back, one by one, to main campus.

*Stay tuned for more fun facts about my MTC experience!

I just wanted to tell all of you that I love you and that God loves you and wants what’s best for you. This experience at the MTC has been a powerful witness to me of God’s love for each and every one of us. He cares and I know that although times may be dark in some of your lives and although the world is becoming more and more chaotic and immoral, I KNOW that we can be given strength, peace and direction and I KNOW that we can pray and call down the powers of heaven to help us and guide us through those trials and burdens placed upon us. I hope that each and everyone one of you knows that you are loved beyond anything you can comprehend. I testify that light will be found in your darkest moments if you turn towards God. I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God’s church here on earth. This week has been tough for me, I’m not going to lie, but I find strength and power through prayer and by trying my best to reach out and help others. Again, I wish everyone of you the best and hope to hear from you soon!

Until next time,

Elder Nielsen

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