Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Gessica is Baptized!

Hello Family and Friends!

This week was amazing. We decided to visit the home of Daniel and Elaine who were so definite about not getting married. Living together without the commitment of marriage is not an lifestyle that is ordained by God. And without a civil marriage, they are unable to receive baptism. They didn’t want to marry because it would cost too much money and they felt unprepared to change their lives with baptism. They are absolutely incredible people and I love them. To begin our visit with them, Elder Coiti said that he was really sad that they didn’t want to partake of the blessings of marriage that would lead them to baptism and eternal marriage in the temple. Then I bore my testimony to them on why we knocked on their door originally. We knocked on their door because we felt inspired to do it. We were not even in their area when I received an image of their house in my head and knew that people in that house were prepared to hear the gospel. This inspiration was given to us after a long week of praying. We found the house and knocked and then we met them. I then bore my testimony about the importance of temple marriage, that it can seal a family together for all eternity, but that the first step toward these blessings was civil marriage. The spirit was so strong.  They agreed to move forward with marriage. They will be married and baptized this month!

More good news, the sister of Elaine was baptized this Sunday. This was an incredible blessing, and I was so grateful to be apart of that as well!

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. The common types of transportation here are either the bus or motorcycle (cars are rarely seen).  But there is also a train at the end of the shopping street. We have used this many times to get to Fortaleza.
  2. In Mexico and many other Latin American countries, the people use a lot of hot peppers and hot sauces to season their foods. Well I thought it would be the same here in Brazil, but I found out it’s not the same. In fact I haven’t met anyone yet who loves spicy or hot foods. My companion couldn’t even handle Hot Cheetos from my Christmas package.  Haha!
  3. People here use internet cafes a lot. In fact, I am in one right now writing to you. It is the only one with air conditioning in our area. So you can guess why we picked this one and why we are willing to walk a long distance for it!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of being happy, even when times are tough. We have a choice. We can choose to blame others for our unhappiness and feel sorry for ourselves.  Or we can pray for understanding and peace, even in the face of adversity.  If we choose to remain in the storm, we run the risk of finding unhealthy ways to sooth our suffering, like addictions.  Being happy is a choice.  We can choose to live this life with faith and courage. It can become a habit.  The greatest happiness comes from following the example of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have an incredible week!

Elder Nielsen

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