Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Happy New Year!

Well Hello Family and Friends!

I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas because I know I did!  And I hope that you took the time to really think on the life of Christ.

I started my Christmas day by opening a package I received from my brother and sister.  I kept my package next to an extremely small Christmas tree that I bought! It is a miracle to receive packages by mail here, and almost nothing comes on time. So receiving a package from Sam and Jake before Christmas was awesome! (I guess I can look forward to getting my mom and dad’s package sometime in the next few months!)  Anyways, the best Christmas present was to Skype with my family. And after 4 attempts to make Skype work in different member’s homes, I was finally able to Skype in the home of the bishop in the second ward. (Here there are two wards or Novo Oriente 1, my ward, and Novo Oriente 2.) It was so amazing to see the faces of my family who I love so much. They mean so much to me and they have truly helped me in so many ways. I would not be the person I am today without their amazing examples to follow. We ate all three meals in member’s homes. This is pretty uncommon because we normally have only one meal with members, which is lunch. Missionary work basically slows to almost nothing on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. It’s basically like a ghost town during the day and at night everyone is partying, not really good for missionaries to be at that scene, right? haha. And when Christmas day was winding down, we returned home and listened to Christmas music and had some Panetone bread with fruit or chocolate in it. In a way, every day is Christmas to missionaries.  We have the privilege of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ every day!

Impressions of Brazil

  1. Coca-Cola is the main beverage in Brazil. It is at every meal. But another drink that is also very popular is Guarana. There’s actually a version of Guarana called Jesus. I really want to try it before it leave. I heard it was really good!
  2. Chicken is the most common food in this area. Almost every meal I have eaten here is made with chicken. My companion said that he has had it about 90% of the time on his mission.

I have some great news!  We had our second baptism yesterday. I spoke about her in my last letter. Her name is Bia. I had the privilege of baptizing her. It was a very special experience for me. And I know it was for her too. She had the amazing opportunity to become spiritually clean through baptism.  And if she remains faithful in her life, she has the assurance of returning back into the presence of our Heavenly Father.

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and if anyone out there doubts that, please put my words to the test. I promise that if you will humble yourself enough to pray to God, that you will receive an answer from him. He loves you.  You are his child.  As missionaries, we invite you to pray to know that God lives.

I hope everyone has an incredible week and thank you for all the support and love you have shown me during this Christmas season!

Happy New Year!

Elder Nielsen

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