Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Here in Novo Oriente!

Hello Family and Friends!

This week has been crazy, to say the least! I arrived in Fortaleza after a 3 hour plane flight from Sao Paulo. It’s almost summer now, but not that hot here. Of course I’m still sweating like no tomorrow! (I guess I could be in Manaus the Amazon mission in Brazil with 100% humidity and 110 degrees.) When I arrived at the mission home, President Fusco gave the new Elders 3 days of training. I am now in an area called Novo Oriente. My companion’s name is Elder Coiti. He is from Sao Paulo and only speaks Portuguese. So it gets kinda hard sometimes explaining things to him in Portuguese, but he has been a big help to me and has been very patient with me. I am learning Portuguese a lot more quickly now because NO ONE SPEAKS ENGLISH so….haha I need to step up my game. I think it is kinda funny because 70% of the time I don’t know where we are going or who the people are that we are talking to. My apartment is off of a main shopping street. It has two rooms, a bathroom, and a study area. But don’t let the number of rooms fool you. The place is very very small. But I am grateful for a roof over my head! People are so loving here and would give anything to you. Brazilians are some of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life.

Impressions of Brazil:

1) The roads here are crazy. There’s about 20 motorcycles to every one car. I always need to remind myself that I NEVER have the right of way. I don’t think traffic laws apply here because everyone just drives how they want to haha.

2) If you decide to take the bus, be prepared to hold on for dear life because it is like a roller-coaster ride.

3) Brazilians are always outside. They are rarely inside even during the night.

4) Typical food so far is rice, beans, and chicken.

5) People here love their Coca-Cola. Good luck to my teeth.

I have been thinking a lot about the principle of pressing forward with faith. When you pray sincerely to God and receive an answer, what do you do with that answer? God could tell you to make a hard change, to stop doing something that has become very important to you. When God counsels you to change, you need to humbly accept his will because he knows what is best for you and his guidance is motivated by love. Satan, on the other hand, will stop at nothing in trying to convince you this change does not matter or that you should procrastinate doing it until a few years down the road. Satan may say, “You are young. You have plenty of time to stop, so this time it’s okay.” Which voice will you listen to, someone who hates you or someone who loves you? I can testify that if you listen to the adversary, the one who hates you, you will never experience lasting joy. It may be fun for a while but it will always be wrong and will never bring you peace. Change is a good thing. It helps us to become more loving and more understanding of others and their trials. Press forward and I promise you that God will give you the strength you need to change. Pray for strength with all your heart and God will listen and give you the help you need.

I love you all,

Elder Nielsen

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