Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Press Forward!

Hello Family and Friends!

This letter is going to be quite short, but I hope that my message will make sense to you. I have been thinking a lot lately about how we can become a “converted people”. There are many people who receive a testimony that the Church is true, but later lose faith and reject the teachings. Conversion is a process. Sometimes a very LONG process. Some will take a step forward in faith, read the Book of Mormon, go to church, and humbly pray to know if the church is true. The Spirit will then bear testimony that it is true. But then they fail to PRESS FORWARD in faith. For whatever reason, they stop doing the work of promoting their faith and the enlightenment they’ve received from God. God can give light and understanding, but if it is not cultivated, it will grow dim and die. Christ asks that we “become perfected”. This means that we need to continually move forward toward that goal. We need to continually chip away at our sins and weaknesses. We need to continually access the power of the Atonement in our lives. I love this scripture from the Book of Mormon: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” Failing to move forward after so much is given, is like the person who arrives at the Tree of Life and instead of tasting the delicious fruit (a metaphor for the love of God), he lays down and takes a nap. I know that this church is true! And I’m grateful that my parents were so patient with me while I was growing up and that they never, even for one minute, stopped applying the principles of the gospel in our home. This had a great impact on me and was so important in the process of deciding to serve a mission. I’m so blessed to have a wonderful family and great friends like all of you, who read this email.  I pray that each of you will have the strength to stay on the path leading to eternal life.

I love you very much,

Elder Nielsen

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