Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Olivia is Baptized!

Hello Family and Friends!

Another wonderful miracle happened last week.  Olivia, who is the cousin of Priscilla and Rosa, was baptized!  Thanks to the inspiration of a young LDS woman, an entire family of 9 and others are making covenants to live the gospel and are being baptized.  Last Sunday, the mother of this wonderful family, Geya, prepared a huge feast for us.  She was so kind to do that.  It was the best meal I’ve had in a long time!  The work is going well in Quixadá.  I can honestly say that a lot of our success as missionaries is due to member referrals.  So please help the missionaries by allowing them to meet your friends and family members.  This has to be a combined effort.

Impressions of Brazil!

  1. Almost everyone rubs powder on their feet before putting on their socks.  It keeps their feet dry and smelling good during the day.  Haha!
  2. Brazilians are HUGE soccer fans.  So when a popular soccer game starts, everyone stops what they’re doing and watches it on TV.  And when a team scores a goal, you can hear the roar of the people at any point in the city.
  3. It gets so much hotter and humid when it rains.

I’ve been thinking a lot about these scriptures in D & C 130:20-21:  “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated.  And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”  God gives us his law, which is a set of rules that govern us.  I have a great respect for his law, because I know that if I am obedient to his law, I can receive his blessings.  I also love the peace that living his law can bring me.  Many of you know that as missionaries, we live by rules and guidelines that have been set by God’s prophets.  The rules protect us and help us to be successful as missionaries.  For instance, to keep focused as missionaries, we avoid watching TV or movies, we don’t listen to any music that is not uplifting,  we get up early in the morning so that we can study our scriptures and prepare for the day, we stay with our companions, we return home at night no later than 9:30 pm, and so on.  We try very hard to never break these rules because keeping them helps us to be successful.  The same is true for all of us.  A loving Father in Heaven has created guidelines for us.  Rules.  That if we keep them, we are blessed.  If we don’t keep them, we have no promise of his blessings.  There is a wonderful blessing attached to each law that God gives us.  For instance, if we keep the Word of Wisdom, which is God’s law of health and we abstain from tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea, etc., and strive to live the gospel, then we are told this, “All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.”  (D & C 89:18-20)  God knows that if we are obedient, that we will live more meaningful lives.  How can we ask for blessings from God if we are not willing to do our part in keeping the commandments he so lovingly gives us for our well-being?  We need to trust in his wisdom.

I miss and love all of you.  Have a great week!

Elder Nielsen


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