Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

A New Companion From Uruguay!

Hello Family and Friends!

My companion was transferred with only 6 weeks left on his mission! It was really sad to see him go. He taught me how to be happy even when things are not going according to plan. But the good news is he will be returning to Russas at the end of September with his family to visit everyone! I’m sure you are all wondering, who is my new companion? He is from Uruguay and has been on his mission for 1 year and 2 months, which marks the first companion that I have had that is not about ready to go home and the first non-Brazilian companion. I wasn’t able to write yesterday because I had to go to Fortaleza to get him and bring him back to my area (it took the whole day basically). But I look forward to getting to know him.

This last week was a little difficult for Elder Santana and I because we didn’t have many people to teach and the people we were able to teach weren’t really interested in hearing more. But the highlight of the week was having a second and even more successful “Missionary for a day” which took place on Saturday. The member turnout was a lot better and in the end we have another huge list of people to visit during these next few weeks who have requested to hear the missionary lessons. These activities are definitely moving the missionary work forward here in Russas and motivating the members to participate and help in the process of finding people for the missionaries to teach. Also, as a result of the activity last Saturday, we had a visitor in church on Sunday who we will be starting to teach today!

Also, we will be doing a service project (The church program “Helping Hands” is sponsoring it) where we will offer service to one of the local churches in our area. We chose a local Catholic church (Santa Clara). As people of faith, we need to be supportive and respectful of the other churches, and together, we need to support the principal of religious freedom that has been heavily promoted by the church. We will be doing this service project this Saturday.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. The majority of Brazilians love soccer and watch the games constantly on TV (it is like football for the Americans). This is a list of the most famous soccer teams here in Brazil (I put the “Corinthians” first because I love that team and I learned to love that team because of my first companion, Elder Coiti, who was a soccer FANATIC: 1) Corinthians 2) Palmeiras 3) Flamango 4) Vasco 5) São Paulo.
  2. Stick deordorant is rarely used by Brazilians. They prefer the spray version…just thought you’d want to know!
  3. There is a store here in Russas that is like the 99 Cents Store in the U.S., where everything is 2 reais and 25 centavos (the missionary’s paradise haha).

As special witnesses of Jesus Christ, ordained Apostles must have a knowledge of the existence of God and his Son, Jesus Christ. In order to teach with power and authority, they would have to KNOW them. My goal is to strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ and in Heavenly Father so that I can teach with more power and authority. I want to know them on a personal level. I know I can’t see them or talk to them face to face, but I can develop my faith in them. I know that this is a process, like all relationships, but I believe that one day I will be able to reach the understanding that I desire.

I know that God loves each of you.  Have a great week!

Elder Nielsen

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