Elder Matthew Nielsen

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

With God, Nothing is Impossible!

Hello Family and Friends!

We had a mission conference with the new mission president, President Leite and his family.  He brought 2 children to the mission, a son and a daughter.  The daughter is 14 years old and the son is 11 years old.

President Leite gave us some words to live by in the mission field:  “ECOST”:  E is for ensino or TEACHING; C is for COMPANIONSHIP; O is for OBEDIENCE; S is for seguir o espirito Santo or FOLLOW THE HOLY GHOST; T is for trabalho or WORK!  He wants us to focus on these things.  President Fusco always motivated us to follow the suggestions in Preach My Gospel, follow the Spirit, and learn each day about the doctrine of Christ.  So the approaches are a little different, but both are very good.  I look forward to learning more from President Leite.

We got to know a young woman named Bianca (17 years old) two weeks ago.  We were walking in the street and we passed a state park and all of a sudden Bianca and her friend Camila called us over to talk with them.  They asked us a bunch of questions and we ended up discovering that Camila has an uncle who is a bishop of the church.  Well we got their addresses and said that we would speak with them on another day.  We have been teaching Bianca and sometimes Camila since then.  Bianca loves the church a lot.  She went to church last Sunday and had a great experience.  It seems like she’s always been a member of the church.  She fits right in with the other young women.  I have no doubt that Bianca will be baptized soon.  She is also a very talented person.  She sings, plays the guitar, dances, speaks English, and she loves to skate!

Impressions of Brazil:

  1. Here in Fortaleza, Sundays are beach days.
  2. Knives are used at every meal, whether the food needs cutting or not.  I believe it is used to keep everything on the fork!
  3. Missionaries LOVE to eat pizza here.  There are a lot of pizza restaurants around, so we decided to get to know one of the owners.  And yes, we have been getting discounts on our pizza lunches!  Yay!

You have all heard this scripture before:  “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  (Isaiah 1:18)  If you truly repent of your sins, then God says that he will no longer remember them.  The slate is wiped clean.  Then why is it that so many of us continue to dwell on our past sins, even after we have repented?  If God can let it go, then why can’t we?  Sometimes we allow others to open old wounds.  But this is not God’s way.  It’s how the adversary works.  The adversary loves to discourage us and take away our hope.  He loves to make us feel unworthy by dwelling on our past mistakes.  Repentance gives us a wonderful opportunity to start over, to begin again…like clicking the “refresh” button on your computer.  Just repent and keep moving forward.  Be willing to grow and change.  This process can be hard at times, but remember that you are never alone.  If God is by your side, then nothing is impossible.

Have a great week!

Elder Nielsen

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