Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

12 Investigators Came to Church!

Hello Family and Friends!

Last week was great!  We were able to bring 12 people to church on Sunday.  Let me tell you a little bit about them.

  1. Nilberto and Bianca are a couple we’ve been teaching for 3 weeks.  They will be getting married tomorrow at 11 am and shortly after, Niberto will be getting baptized.  Nilberto is a wonderful man.  Recently he told us that a co-worker began to say some bad things about the church and the missionaries and he started to doubt a little whether he should move forward and be baptized, but that very night, he said that he had a dream that he was a missionary for the church and he invited everyone that he knew to come to church.  The dream then ended.  This experience confirmed his belief that this is the true church of Jesus Christ.
  2. Jones and Sara are a couple that we got to know through Nilberto and Bianca.  We are just beginning to teach them.  They became interested when they began to see all the wonderful changes that have happened in the lives of Niberto and Bianca as a result of their association with the church.  They want to learn more.
  3. Sahara who came to church last fast Sunday is the sister of Niberto.  We met her on Saturday and invited her to church and she came with her brother.
  4. Leo is an investigator who we have been teaching for several weeks.  He goes to church every week with his girlfriend who is a member of the church.  But he is unable to be baptized at this time.  He is an incredible person in many ways and really works hard to do the right things.  I am looking forward to the day when he will be able to be baptized.
  5. Priscilla and Rosa are 2 young women we are teaching.  They went to church last week.  They come from a large family of 10.
  6. Dalva and Sebastian are another great couple that we are teaching.  They are much older, but love to receive us in their home.  Years ago, they received a Book of Mormon from of friend while they were living in Sau Paulo.  The day we met Dalva, she was really sad about her relationship with her husband and her family.  She also expressed that she felt very lonely and alone.  The both of them have changed so much since we have been visiting them.  They live together and don’t want to get married yet, but I hope that their hearts will change and that they will be married soon so that they will be able to keep the commandments and prepare themselves for baptism.
  7. Milena and Gabriel are cousins of Kaven, who is a member of the church.  Milena wasn’t really interested or excited to learn about the gospel at first, but something has changed and now she is really interested in knowing more about the church.  The problem is that her grandmother speaks badly about the church and wants all of her family to be part of her religion.  She has a strong influence on Milena’s mother.  So for now, they can’t be baptized, but I hope that the hearts of her mom and grandmother change and that they will allow their children to be baptized into the church.

Other news:  I am so happy that I was not transferred and that I get to stay in this area.  Yay!  We will be getting 2 more missionaries.  Elder Molina ended his mission and one of the sisters was transferred.  I’m excited to get to know the new missionaries in our district.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. I may have already spoken about this before, but during Carnival (which ended last week), the people here in the northeastern part of Brazil, like to do a thing called Mella-Mella, which is basically making a cake on top of a person.  What this really means is that people are getting pelted with eggs, flour and other ingredients while they are walking in the streets!
  2. Seriously, during Carnival, there was only one very annoying song that played over and over again in the streets, while intoxicated people danced the forra for 7 straight days.  Wow!

One very important lesson that I have learned on my mission is that I have no right to judge others.  Every time I get critical of others, I remember how important that person is in God’s eyes.  I am no more important than he is.  We all need the mercy of the Savior, Jesus Christ, because we all fall short.  Including me.  In fact, it is our obligation to help others who struggle in life, and to share with them the hope that comes through the Plan of Salvation.  When we begin to serve others, judging others goes away.  We begin to love them.  It is impossible to dislike someone if you are sincerely trying to help them.  The Savior’s life was one of service toward others.  And his love for others was beyond comprehension.  Even while on the cross, he asked his Father in Heaven to forgive those who had done this to him.  The most effective way to move past anger and judgement toward another is to serve them.  Then everything changes.

I love you,

Elder Nielsen

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