Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

A Month of Miracles!

Hello Family and Friends!

This was a busy and very rewarding week!  One of the greatest miracles is that our mission baptized 308 people during the month of May.  Also every companionship in our zone baptized for the first time since our zone was organized in January.

And this week, we baptized 2 incredible people that we have been teaching, Evandro and Sabrina!  Both of them had to work very hard to prepare for baptism.  These 2 baptisms were truly among the most miraculous baptisms of my mission.  In the beginning, to be honest, I didn’t think it would be possible to baptize them because they would have to overcome so much.  I judged them, which I know I shouldn’t have done.  God truly transformed them.  I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to help in their transformation.

We met them and others because of a wonderful and helpful young woman in our ward.  She went to her school one day and decided to ask all the people in her class if they would like to take the missionary lessons.  I’m not joking, all of the people that gave her their addresses (except one) were baptized!  She will be blessed for the amazing courage that she had in doing this.

This week, we will have a leadership meeting and next week, we will have our last mission conference with President Fusco.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. These are the American restaurants that I have seen so far in Brazil:  Outback Steakhouse, Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC.
  2. Popular Brazilian fast food restaurants are Bebelu (sandwiches) and Bob’s Burgers.

From my experience with Evandro and Sabrina, I was reminded that I need to be careful not to judge people based on my experience alone.  We just need to help and love them.  We really have no clue what others have been through in their lives.  But God knows.  God asks us to love others.  We need to have sympathy toward others and the problems that they have.  I love to read about the conversion of the people after the appearance of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon.  There was no judgment of others, only love:  “And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people…surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.”  (4 Nephi 1:15-16)  Every person has value.  Every person has unlimited potential.  Every person is a child of God.

I miss and love you!

Elder Nielsen

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