Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

Working Hard!

Baptisms of Itíne, Isaac and Roberta

Matt211-1.jpgHello Family and Friends!

Our new mission president arrived last Wednesday.  I was able to speak to him for a little while.  He seems like a very calm and loving man.  I look forward to getting to know him over the coming weeks.  The first thing he did when he saw my companion and I was to get up quickly from where he was sitting and hug each of us.  This was a great first impression of this man!

Both he and my old mission president have known each other for years.  They served missions together.  President Leite was an assistant to his mission president and trained President Fusco to be an assistant when he was ending his mission.  They are good friends and have worked together professionally over the years.  Both men have had careers as lawyers.  We will be having our first mission conference with President and Sister Leite on Tuesday.

My week turned out great, but I am so exhausted!  We are working very hard, because I want to return home knowing that I gave it my all.  This week, we had the blessing of baptizing 3 wonderful people.  One is named Roberta.  She was taught some time ago by the sister missionaries, but for some reason, the sisters stopped teaching her.  During her time with the sisters, Roberta received an answer to her prayers and knew that the church was true.  Some time went by, then the Elders began teaching her, but nothing moved forward.  When we found her, she was ready to be baptized.  She is also 9 months pregnant!  Baptisms are miracles from God.

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. Most of the streets here are made with stones and this makes it hard to walk on them sometimes.  Seriously, every single day I am tripping on some big rock that I didn’t see!
  2. And speaking of roads here, just the other day, we were walking home on a sandy trail.  Well, all of a sudden a horse that was lying down on the sand and covered in it, stood up as we were passing by.  We both jumped!  Camouflaged horses.

God will always provide a way to help us keep the commandments, if we are willing to try.  I love the scripture from 1 Nephi 3:7:  “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I knew 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.”  I know it’s tough to be obedient when others are not.  But there are blessings in store for those who strive to follow the commandments and listen to the words of God and his prophets.

I miss and love all of you!

Elder Nielsen

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