Elder Matthew Nielsen

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


Hello Family and Friends!

This week was full of wonderful miracles! A majority of these miracles were answers given to my investigators who were praying to know if the church is true. I would like to tell you about four of these experiences:

Bruno, who is about 19 years old, finally decided to pray to know if the church is true, and that very same night that he prayed, he dreamed about being inside of the church dressed in church clothes and sitting with three other people dressed the same way.

Dinarte and Marlu, both 48 years old, Catholic, and extremely nice and welcoming to us in their home, finally accepted our offer to visit the church on Sunday. When they entered the church they both commented to each other that they felt that they had been there before, that everything looked so familiar (they had never been in a Mormon church before).

Elvis has been going to church every Sunday since General Conference, which is absolutely incredible to me because he didn’t believe in God before he started going to church. A few days ago, he expressed his desire to be baptized in the church!

We were having a difficult day in finding people to teach, and as we were returing home at the end of the day, we decided to take a different path to get home. While we were walking, a random couple called us over to talk with them. We walked over to where they were sitting and the man, Francisco, started asking us questions about the Book of Mormon because apparently 15 years ago, when the church was getting started in Russas, the first missionaries gave him a Book of Mormon and he became curious and started reading it. Since that day he has been reading the Book of Mormon and is really interested in knowing more about the church. We taught them that day and invited them to be baptized and they both accepted.

Aren´t these stories really cool? I think so! I know that God answers our prayers and that he is always working hard to guide his precious sons and daughters to the path that leads to him. How wonderful it is to be a witness to such amazing miracles happening in the lives of so many people. If you think miracles have stopped or that they don’t happen in your life, I challenge you to pray to God and ask him to help you recognize the miracles that happen every day in your life. Some are so small that they go unnoticed and some are so big that it becomes easy to see God´s hand working in your life.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. O Dia Dos Finados (11/2/15) is a holiday similar to the Mexican holiday, “The Day of the Dead”, where a day is dedicated to the people who have passed away. Brazilians will go to the graves of their loved ones and clean the headstone and leave flowers. Here in Russas, the Catholic church sets up a tent right in front of the cemetery where the Catholic priest will hold a mass.
  2. Everyone knows when someone dies in the community, because a huge caravan of people, cars, and motorcycles are following the casket of the dead person in the funeral car which blasts various types of music and generally has basically a disco ball shining different colors on the casket. If you get behind one of these caravans of people, good luck because it will take hours for it to pass.

I have been thinking a lot about the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Sunday is the Lord’s day, where we need to put the cares of the world aside in order to show our gratitude to God for the wonderful blessings we receive from him every day. Elder Campos, a general authority of the church, recently taught the missionaries that by our actions on Sunday we show who or what we accept as our God. For example, if I decide to play tennis instead of going to church on Sunday, I would be sending a message to God that I value tennis over his will. When we keep the Sabbath Day holy by reading the scriptures, going to church, taking a break from our weekly labors, spending time with our families, and visiting the needy or sick, we send a message to God that we accept him as our God and creator. God has commanded all of us to remember him on the Sabbath and to do those things that draw us to him. Keeping this day holy will help you to have a better week and it will allow you to feel the Spirit of the Lord and be guided by it. We also honor the Sabbath as the day that the Savior rose from the tomb.  It is a sacred day. I pray that all of us might learn to enjoy the blessings of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.

I love you all very much! Sorria, tudo vai dar certo!

Elder Nielsen


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