Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Success With “Missionary For A Day”

Hello Family and Friends!

Missionary work was difficult this week.  We had to travel to Fortaleza because Elder Satana was feeling a lot of stomach pain.  The doctors did a number of tests, but everything was fine.  This just didn’t seem right, given the amount of pain that Elder Satana was experiencing. They prescribed a medicine to stop the pain and we went back to our area in Russas the next day. So we were unable to work on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the good news is my companion is feeling much better now! While we were still in Fortaleza, we received a call from Sister Fusco (she handles all of the medical issues for the missionaries), who was checking up on Elder Satana to see how he was doing. She also wanted to see if we could stop by to say hi to another Elder who was in the hospital because of an infection in his foot that went untreated for 6 months. (He had to have surgery on it.) After all of the tests that the doctors did on Elder Satana, it was really late and we decided to sleep there in the hospital with the other Elder (check out the photo) and return to our area the following morning.

We really had to work hard to make up the time and achieve our goals for the week. The sad part is that nearly all of our investigators from last week had stopped progressing for one reason or another. We literally made every attempt to get our investigators to church. We even offered car rides to over 15 people. But many of them gave excuses and chose to sleep in on Sunday rather than dedicate a little time to God. It’s just ironic to me how people will pray to God, begging for his help and yet do nothing to show their love and respect for him. It’s also interesting how parents would rather have their children sleep and do nothing on Sunday than attend church. They would honestly be mad at their children for attending church, even though they do not believe one way or another. If these parents could only understand the safety for their children that is found in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. These children would avoid so many of the problems that come from making bad choices. One day, these kids will be free to choose their own path.  I just hope that they will remember what they have felt as they spoke to the missionaries.

One really cool thing that we did this week was to have our first planned activity with the members of the ward (“a missionary for a day”) and it turned out great! The members who came divided into companionships and went from house to house tracting and leaving cards with messages such as the meeting times for Sunday services and asking whether they would like to hear more from the missionaries. In the end, we received over 55 addresses. We are excited to visit these people in the next few weeks.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. The famous Holiday of the Festa Junina (a holiday that honors marriage), which all of Brazil celebrates, happened here in Russas June 21. The city put on a show which included traveling groups of dancers competing to earn a prize of 7 million reais. Each group presented a story about a marriage and then they danced. It reminded me a lot of the Spanish culture because of the colorful clothing and the way they danced. There was a live band as well, which was awesome.

I hope that all of you are doing well!  I love and miss you.

Elder Nielsen

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