Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Working Hard In Russas!

Hello Family and Friends!

This last week was a GREAT week! We are working really hard here in Russas to move the work forward. The member missionary work has been so successful here. Members continue to find people through the program “Be A Missionary For A Day”, where members and missionaries team up and contact people on the street or at their homes in order to see who is interested in hearing a message about Jesus Christ. This activity has blessed us with teaching many and baptizing 8 wonderful people! It’s really weird to think that I have already spent 4 months here in Russas. The time passes so quickly while you are on your mission. It really does!

We are also teaching a friend of Lunara (who has been a member of the church for about 1 year and 7 months now) whose name is Vania. Lunara introduced her to us about 3 weeks ago while we were at Family Home Evening. Vania told us that she has attended many different churches, but has not found one that she feels comfortable with. We invited her to church that Sunday and she hasn’t stopped coming since then. She has decided to be baptized! Her baptism will be this Saturday and she has asked me to do the honors!

One more really cool thing we found out a few weeks ago…do you remember one of my areas called Araripina? Well when I was there, the church membership consisted of a small group of people that held there services in a house and was a part of the branch of Juzeiro do Norte (another city close by). Well we were told that they are now forming a Stake because the work is moving by leaps and bounds there! Isn’t that great? (If you are not a member of the LDS church and don’t understand terms like “Stake”, “Branch”, and “Family Home Evening” please feel free to ask a nearby Mormon! Haha!)

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. A person considered rich in Russas earns about 3,000 Reais per month (about $850).
  2. Russas is basically a huge valley. People always joke around that if the local dam breaks, all of Russas would be under water (this is actually a very true statement).
  3. The youth love to take the weekends off and go to the river here in Russas, because the beach is too far away (about 3 hours).

President Fusco, my mission president, sends a weekly email to all of the missionaries that usually includes one talk from our church leadership that he felt impressed to send to us. The talk this week was given by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf entitled “The Love of God.” I felt impressed to share this quote with you, “For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are and who we will become.” If in our hearts we truly love God, he will become a priority for us. Then the things we think, do, and say will reflect that love. I bear my testimony that he is real and that we are his children. I know that we can return to live with him again after this life as we keep his commandments and make him the priority.

I love you all very much!  I hope you have a great week.

Elder Nielsen

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