Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

God Will Not Leave Us Alone

Hello Family and Friends!

I had an awesome week! I love working here in Quixadá where the Church is new because you get the chance to help make the church grow strong. I love the people here and the members. The missionaries are teaching and training the members here because all of them are still new in the church. They are so open to us teaching them and they work hard to put into practice what they learn. I know that God is at the helm of this work in Quixadá. I hope that I can make a difference here.

Quixadá is considered a big tourist destination. The city is very Catholic. All of the colleges are Catholic. There is a famous hike you can do, where you hike up a mountain and at the top is a huge and very old Catholic cathedral. Brazil was founded by a Catholic priest so there is a long tradition of Catholicism in this country. Also, the famous Brazilian writer Rachel Queiroz wrote a lot of her work here in her house that was built on top of a rock. We currently hold our meetings on Sunday in the Rachel Queiroz Center close to her house. We will be holding our meetings there for now while a new house that we will rent is being renovated, which will become our church building.

It is really unusual that there is only one Brazilian missionary out of all 8 of us in this district. I love my distict and the missionaries here. They are incredible! They are dedicated to the goal of making this small branch turn into a ward.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. When a family member dies, it is common to see relatives wearing t-shirts with a picture of the deceased family member.
  2. If you are needing water because you are dying of thirst, you can literally knock on the door of any house and they are always willing to give water.
  3. The dream of every Brazilian is to become a professional soccer player!

I had a very humbling experience a few days ago while I was studying. I read a talk about the importance of self-improvement and in this talk it had the story of the rich young man in the Bible who asked the Savior what he needed to do to have eternal life. The Savior told him to keep the commandments. Then the young man said that he had been keeping the commandments and asked what more he needed to do. The Savior then said this: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” We then learn that the young man went away sorrowing because he had “great possessions”. This young man was a good man. Very faithful. But Christ asked him to give up on the thing that he loved the most. He could not make that change. Not then. Well I decided to pray that same night to ask what I needed to improve on and the spirit whispered the answer to me. I believe that God will not tell us to do something that we don’t have the capability of doing. And he will not leave us alone in it. He will guide us. We can improve if we are willing to diligently work on it every day. I had a great experience of working with God through this process and I learned so much.

I love and miss all of you!

Elder Nielsen

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