Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Roberio and Ebe are Getting Married then Baptized!

Hello Family and Friends!

This week was an interesting week, that’s for sure! At the beginning of the week I received my last Christmas package and that really brightened my day! And it gave me a lot of strength to move through a busy week. At the beginning of the week, I did splits with the zone leaders. It was a great experience! I stayed in my area with one zone leader who has been out for almost 1 1/2 years. He is from Virginia and was a gymnast in high school! And the day after we did splits, President Fusco decided to do leadership training, he along with his wife and the assistants. We learned a lot about what to improve and how to help our districts become better and the missionaries develop more faith, which ultimately leads to success.

Also this week, we found out that the mission secretaries forgot to pay our electricity bill and we “paid the price” this last week. Our electricity was cut off for 4 days (it’s summer people!) and on Saturday of  last week we got another notice that our water will be cut off too because in October no one paid the bill.  This was sad and funny all at the same time.  Imagine our two companionships huddled around a phone light trying to close our numbers for the day.  Or how about taking showers in the pitch dark.  The best was trying to fall asleep with no fan on you.  Heatstroke! The electricity will come back on today and we will go to the city to pay for the water bill today.

This week Elder Coiti and I helped to raise funds for the marriage of Roberio and Ebe, so they will be married on February 19th after Carnival! It will be such an amazing day, ending in the baptisms of these two great people! Roberio asked if I could baptize him and Ebe wants Elder Coiti to do the honors for her. They are so excited about what’s ahead and about their path toward learning more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The other couple, Daniel and Elaine, are having some problems right now with their relationship, but I pray that they will come to realize the wonderful blessings that can come with marriage. We are still working with Elaine’s sister. She wants to be baptized, but her mom is really discouraging her from joining the church. All we can do is continue to work with her and her mom this week and see what happens.

Impressions of Brazil   

  1. Typical jobs for men here in this area include riding a bike or motorcycle in order to deliver water to homes or being a bus driver. For women, they usually work in small stores selling items, or they sell Salgados on the streets,  or sew/knit clothes.
  2. When we knock on doors and people answer, they usually think that I am from Germany because there is a large German population in southern Brazil.  And most people think that Elder Coiti is from Africa because he is black (he is from Sao Paulo).

This week when things got tough, I realized how truly blessed I am. I have been given so much, and even though things may not be exactly the way I’d like them to be, it is how God wants it and I trust in him that everything will turn out well, the way he needs it to be. I want to focus on becoming more grateful and more trusting in God, because this is the only way to find peace and happiness in this life.

Love you all very much,

Elder Nielsen

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