Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

When We Do Our Part, God Does His!

Hello Family and Friends!

I hope all is well with you! I’ve had another incredible week. Elder Santana and I have been really focusing on teaching more with members this last week. We have been asking each member to create a list of their friends, then from that list, pray to know which person we should visit along with the member. We want to provide their friends with a message of hope that comes from understanding God’s Plan of Salvation.

Alice (one of our progressing investigators), has been having a lot of doubts lately about making the changes necessary to follow the Savior’s example of baptism. She has also had a hard time recognizing if the church is true or just another one of the many. One day we decided to switch the lesson up and try something different. We invited her to find out, then and there, if what we have been teaching her up to that point is true. We asked her to do a private kneeling prayer in her bedroom and that we would wait until she finished. Without hesitation, she stood up, grabbed the Book of Mormon, and spent about 25 minutes praying. During her prayer, she opened up the Book of Mormon and started reading from Alma 37: 45-47; 38: 1-8, and then came into the room where we were and said, “I think it is true.” We again read those scriptures that she had read and it literally answered everything that she was thinking and praying about. I have never before witnessed something so clear and direct from God like that until that day that she prayed. One big lesson that I learned from this experience is that when we do our part God will ALWAYS do his. But the majority of the time we are slacking on our part and yet we still want God to do his part. But that isn’t the way it works. We need to make the first move toward him and exercise our faith in him. The story of Alice is a great example of that. And I wanted to share this inspirational story with you all because I think it’s important that we increase our understanding of how God communicates with his children and what we need to do to be in tune to understand and hear his answers to our prayers.

I want to share one other experience with you involving member missionary work. We asked one of the ward members to create her list, which she did. And at the top of the list was a name that she felt very inspired to write. So later on that week, we visited that person and her family with the member. The friend of that member had been involved in a horrible motorcycle accident, which had left her without the use of her body and she lays on her bed all day while her family takes care of her. During the lesson she said, “I prayed yesterday to God asking him if he has abondoned me, and if not, to send his angels to help me.” She then started crying and said to us that “God will take care of me and I know that because he has sent you.” This was such a sweet experience for me and everyone that was present. And once again it affirms that God does his part after we do ours.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. Light switches for the bathroom are almost always on the outside of the bathroom. This does make sense to me but one person said it is because there is a hazard of electrical shock.
  2. You will rarely see ketchup in those big red bottles in restaurants because it is a law that you can’t have them because it is unsanitary. I can only use those hard to open ketchup packets at restaurants when I get my food.
  3. Every house always has hooks in the walls to hang up hammocks. It is very common to sleep on hammocks here.

President Fusco came to Russas last Saturday to speak at our Stake Conference. He felt inspired to speak about the importance of the Sacrament. He said we need to give more emphasis on the Sacrament because our salvation literally depends on it. He also shared what he does during Sacrament. He said that we are dishonoring the sacrifice of Jesus Christ when we do not make at least one change every week in order to make our lives more in line with the Savior’s when we partake of Sacrament. His thoughts were very inspired. I learned so much. Partaking of the Sacrament should be something that we look forward to each week, because by partaking of it we are slowly giving ourselves over to God by sacrificing our sins and receiving forgiveness.

Love you,

Elder Nielsen

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