Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Getting to Know my New Area

Hello Family and Friends!

We had interviews with the Mission President this week.  It was wonderful but also sad because this was my last formal interview with him before he is released in June.  The interview was a very spiritual experience for me.  I will miss him so much.  He has truly helped me to become a better missionary and a better man.  And I will always be grateful to him for that.  Because of his leadership and inspiration, our mission has had so much success.  He has been such a great example to me.

We were very busy this week with splits with the other companionships in our zone.  I was able to get to know our areas and the missionaries better.  The missionaries in our zone are truly incredible and are extremely hard working.  I look forward to working more with them over time.

We continue to work hard with the members to find people to teach.  Our area is so small, that we really need to use the members to find the pure in heart.  Many of the people we taught last week lost interest in learning more, which is really sad.  But we are hopeful that as we work with the members that we will find those that the Lord wants us to teach.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. I am told by the other Brazilian missionaries that the people in Ceará (my mission area) are the most loving, receptive, and open of any in Brazil!  (We are a little partial here!  Haha!)
  2. I don’t know if I’ve told you this before, but the people here in Ceará use Coke and Coconut water as cures for stomach pains.  Someone check that out!

I have been thinking a lot lately about the importance of understanding our motives for why we attend church, why we keep the commandments, and so on.  Do we go to church primarily for the social aspect of it?  Do we partake of the sacrament because everyone else is doing it?  Do we read the scriptures and pray purely out of habit?  My point is, do we take the time to really understand our feelings as to WHY we are followers of Christ?  Are we doing these things out of love for the Savior and because we truly want to become more like him?  As we grow in appreciation and love for the Savior, we will want to do the things he asks us to do.  The quality of our worship will improve.  We will follow him for the right reasons and not because it is expected of us.  If you are weak in your testimonies or in your love of the Savior, study his life and his mission.  The tears of gratitude will come.  Remember who you are.  You are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.

Until next week!

Elder Nielsen

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