Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

No Water in Russas!

Hello Family and Friends!

Last week was tough for me in many ways. In addition to fighting a cold (I’m feeling much better now), the city of Russas almost ran out of water. Yes you heard that right!  It’s starting to get better now, but we experienced nearly an entire week of no running water in the house. We were not able to take showers, wash clothes, or make food. So a wonderful family in our ward decided to help us. The mom shared what little water she had and fed us every night and found a way to clean our clothes. We were able to wash ourselves by filling a small plastic bowl with water and pouring it over ourselves! This mother showed so much Christ like love for us during this difficult time, and I know that she will be blessed for what she did. Charity really is the pure love of Christ. I will never forget her kindness.

This week we will be planning a Halloween party for the ward and for our investigators. We will trick-or-treat, eat some hot dogs and cookies (which I will make), and have a costume dance! Of course missionaries will not participate in the dance, but we will eat the food and enjoy the conversation haha!

Tomorrow we will have the opportunity to listen to an area seventy speak and give us some training. It will be a wonderful experience. In preparation for tomorrow, President Fusco emailed us some talks to study. One of these talks was given by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of 12 Apostles in a seminar given to new mission presidents in 2014 entitled “Begin with the End in Mind.” (I would recommend that everyone study this talk.) It is very inspirational and helps us to understand that even though we may think that someone is not quite ready to hear the gospel, that we still have an obligation to invite the person to take the missionary lessons. He suggested that we think of  them dressed in white and entering into the temple of the Lord, participating in the wonderful saving ordinances that unite families for all eternity. These saving ordinances that have been restored through this gospel that allows families to be together for eternity are the reasons why so many are drawn to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. Brazilians will eat their food in whatever is available, like pots, pans, lids, plates, bowls, cups. This was a new dining experience for me when I arrived in this country haha! I personally love eating my food in huge bowls!
  2. In southern Brazil, the people are known for having a ton of BBQ’s.

I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation that teaches us that our relationships continue after death. This life is only but a moment. It will pass quickly and then each of us will take the next step in our progression. We as latter day saints have a great perspective on this. We understand that there is something beyond this mortal life. This conforting thought takes away our fear of death, while others who lack this understanding, will live in fear of death. Through the Atonement of Christ, we are all promised immortality, the reuniting of our bodies and spirits through the resurrection. I know that there is great pain in losing a loved one, but with an eternal perspective, we can receive renewed hope and peace. I testify to you that God lives and his plan is eternal. He loves us beyond anything that we can comprehend. His goal is to be reunited with all of his children. I know that we can see our loved ones again. I know that as we use the Atonement in our lives, that our pain and sorrow can be made bearable and light. I have felt this relief in my own life. Sadness can be turned to understanding and joy. Christ understands you and what you are suffering. Remember that he suffered all things on our behalf, including our sorrows. His hope, light, peace and strength are available for everyone of us who has faith on him.

I love and miss you! Sorria, tudo vai dar certo!

Elder Nielsen

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