Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

God Answers Prayers

Hello Family and Friends!

Our district has been working hard at training the members of the Quixada Branch. When I arrived here, the members were really confused as to their responsibilities in their callings. They really had no clue what they needed to do. Elder Molina (a past Assistant to the President) was the Branch President. But recently, he and others decided that it would be better to call a local member to that leadership position so they could practice more self-reliance. So Emanoel, who was the Elder’s Quorum President, was called as Branch President. Each missionary companionship is in charge of training one or two organizations in the Branch.  For example, my companionship is training the Young Men’s Presidency and the Counselors of the Elder’s Quorum.  This training will end in a few weeks when Elder Molina returns home.

President and Sister Fusca will be ending their 3-year mission in June.  I will really miss them when they leave. I will have spent most of my mission with them.  We have been told that our new mission president in June will be President Ricardo C. Leite. (The translation of leite to English is “milk”. Just thought you might want to know!).  Ironically, President Fusco and President Leite both served in the same mission at the same time and both of them were Assistants to the President in Curitiba, Brazil.  I don’t know much about him, but that he is a lawyer.  I’m excited to meet him and Sister Leite.  I will spend the last few months of my mission getting to know them.

A young man that we have been teaching (Isaias) prayed last week to know if the church is true.  In his prayer, he said to God that if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is really true, then when I return back to my house I want the missionaries to be waiting for me.  Well, when he returned to his home, we were just rounding the corner of his street to speak to him.  God answers prayers!

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. I recently tried Acai, which are fruit berries that grow here in Brazil (they grow in tropical climates). The Brazilians make smoothies out of the berries.  It sells at stores looking like frozen yogurt, with granola and banana on top of it.  It is expensive, but really good and refreshing on hot days.
  2. When it rains, there is always a nice wind, which is good for us in a very hot and humid climate.  But with the rain comes more humidity!
  3. Quixada has a famous rock formation that is called the “Rock of the Brooding Hen”. Yes there is a rock here that looks like a chicken.

I recently attended a mission conference in Fortaleza. There were many things that impressed me about this meeting. This is one of them.  In 2 Nephi 2:27 it says:  “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man.  And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” We are here in mortality because we chose to follow the Son of God.  And now that same choice is before us again. One choice brings us eternal happiness. The other brings us only misery.  Being a follower of Christ isn’t always easy, but it brings peace and happiness.

I love this gospel and I know that it is true.

Elder Nielsen


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