Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Romário is Baptized!

Hello Family and Friends!

Last week was amazing! I am so happy with the results of our work. I want to tell you about a young man that we baptized. His name is Romário and he is 22 years old.  Last Tuesday, we didn’t have anyone progressing toward baptism, but while we were doing “novos” or tracting in the streets, I felt the impression to speak with one member in particular because I felt impressed that she could recommend someone who would be ready to hear the gospel.  So we went to this member’s home and she was able to refer us to someone who had attended church in Fortaleza a few times as a younger kid.  We went to the home of this young man and taught him and invited him to be baptized on Sunday and he accepted our challenge!  This truly was a miracle.

Also last week, I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. It had been quite a while since my last talk!  It actually turned out to be a great experience for me.  One of the assigned speakers couldn’t give a talk at the last minute, so I was asked to step in. I think this is actually pretty common for missionaries to give talks without much preparation.  I spoke for 20 minutes on the gospel with no problem!  (Also the other talks were so short, I had to keep speaking!)  I’m sure I looked pretty shocked when I was called to the stand.  I laugh about it every time I think of the experience!

As you know, our church meetings are held in a cultural hall in the Rachael de Queiroz town square on Sundays.  Well recently, the workers of this building asked us to give some courses for the community.  We are paying nothing to use the space, so we gladly accepted the invitation.  Now on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we are offering the following classes:  English (basic and advanced), violin, and piano. (I knew those music lessons would come in handy!)

Also this Wednesday, the missionaries will be interviewed on the local radio station.  All of Quixada will tune in to hear us speak!

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. Carnival is almost here.  This is the big party of the year for all Brazilians.  It can last for several days.  The legend goes that during these party days, that God turns his head and stops watching from Heaven. So basically, you can do anything that you want to do during these festival days, because God isn’t looking!
  2. Did you know that the Acerola fruit has much more vitamin C than an orange? Acerola is grown in Brazil.
  3. Here’s the latest medical advice from Brazil:  If you want to stop stomach pains, chew on the skin of an orange.  The bitter taste of the skin will stop your stomach pains.

I have been studying the words of Nephi from the Book of Mormon. I have always been so impressed with Nephi’s faith and willingness to follow the Lord and keep his commandments:  “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”  It’s pretty simple.  If the Lord commands us, then he will ALWAYS provide a way to accomplish the thing he has asked us to do. We just need the faith to believe in him. Nephi’s brothers were not so faithful:  “It is a hard thing which the Lord requires of us.” They were unwilling to follow the Lord.  What the Lord requires of us isn’t always easy. But it always leads to more peace and understanding. The Lord wants us to make a choice. I love the words from Joshua 24:15: “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

I love and miss everyone!

Elder Nielsen

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