Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 9, 2012- Beach Week

Hey Everyone!!
This week was a really cool week! The week of Christmas we found a family of 3 while we were doing street contacts. We talked to them for a while and it turns out that they´ve already lost one son at an early age and their 3 year old son has an oversized head that keeps growing. They were traveling and with family the last few weeks but we finally got to meet with them this last week and they are incredible! Their names are Paulo, Luciani and the son is Nicholas and we taught them part of the Plan of Salvation and they were just firing questions of the soul at us like : ´Is there really life after death?´ , ´Why do good people have to suffer?´ , etc. It was a really neat experience to talk with them and we are excited to go back there tonight. The rest of the town is pretty empty because all of the stores are closed and everybody is at the beach. I can´t even imagine how crowded the beaches are here right now but we will find out tomorrow because we have to go back to the island for the morning. We made a taco salad for lunch today and it was SUPER good so my cooking skills (which I never had) are improving, too!! Love you all and give the little ones some loves for me!!!
Love,
Elder Michael J. Neilson

January 2, 2012- Brasil's New Year

Hey Everyone!!
This week we were a little worried that things would be pretty slow since everyone here is on vacation from school and work and we didn´t know if people would be traveling or not...but then I realized that we LIVE in the place where everyone comes to vacation, so this week went just fine. It was super cold the entire week and while everyone here is upset with the cold weather, all the missionaries are super happy haha. We found out this week that one of our friends we are teaching is in love with the Book of Mormon. Her parents don´t force any of their kids to be part of a certain religion but they encourage them all to pray a lot and find the church that they believe is true. Our friend, Gabriela, said that she has had all types of missionaries come to her front door for years and we were the first ones that she ever let in...super cool! We are talking with her parents now, too and they really like what we believe so we will keep working with them. Besides that we just had a low-key New Year. We had to be inside our apartment at 6pm for safety reasons. At midnight tho the Brasilians went absolutely crazy in the streets and shot off fireworks non-stop for the next 30 minutes, it was pretty cool. We enjoyed it tho and are excited to start the New Year and still have more time out here to serve the Lord! Love you all! Happy Birthday to Dad!!! and give the little ones lots of loves for me!!!!
Love,
Elder Michael J. Neilson

December 26, 2011- Time for the New Year!

Hey Everyone!!
It was sooo great to see and talk with you guys yesterday!! Christmas here went GREAT, we did a lot of things this week to make it memorable and we enjoyed every moment of it. It was hard to get into people´s houses this week (because of the holidays) but we still found some really cool people and are super excited to teach them. Christmas in Brasil is non-existent for the majority of the people. We would say Merry Christmas to everybody and about 1 in every 10 or 15 people would actually respond to us. The European influence out here is super strong so there are just a ton of really closed, and cold people here, but it´s fine because it makes finding the elects a lot easier. This next week should be super crazy as everybody prepares for the New Year, it´s by far Brasil´s biggest holiday and Pres. Fernandes told us that we have to be inside by 6pm on New Year´s Eve. Hope everyone has a great holiday break!!! Love you all!! Give the little ones tons of loves, they are soo big!!!
Love,
Elder Michael J. Neilson

December 19, 2011- Christmas is Here!!

Hey Everyone!
So I´m here in an area named Kobrasol and it´s pretty cool, not a ton of beach but we still have some ocean so we get a nice breeze. The area needs a lot of work, we only have about 5 people who we are teaching and none of them seem to be progressing so we are going to have to do a lot of work with finding new people. My new companion is Elder Banner and he is from Ogden, Utah. I like him a lot, he´s a hardworker and only has 2 months here but speaks really well in Portuguese and has a lot of fire! The members are great too and they all want to help with the missionary work here so that´s great. We just found out today that Pres. Fernandes is going to make 22 transfers on Christmas Eve (he has to due to a lot of visa waiters getting there visas) so he told us all not to get to comfortable in our areas becuase he´s gonna make a lot of changes...I hope nothing changes here tho! As for Christmas, we only have 40 mins to talk and we can use skype, so we are planning on skyping home anywhere between 6pm-8pm our time here in Brasil (I think it´s a 6 hour distance but you can check on the internet to know for sure). Should be great to see everyone´s faces and voices!!! I hope you all have a great Christmas and enjoy the spirit of this wonderful season!!! Give the little ones tons of loves for me!!!!
Love,
Elder Michael J. Neilson

December 12, 2011- Back to Floripa!!

Hey everyone!!
So this week went super well! We went to visit our friend Rosane on Tuesday and she told us that she wanted to get baptized this week!! She bore testimony to us and told how much happiness and peace the gospel has brought to her life and how she feels like she´s part of a big family at church, it was sooo cool!! So she got baptized last night and the service was incredible! A guy, Liniquer, who is 18 years old and just got baptized and received the priesthood baptized Rosane, it was such a neat experience and the Spirit was super strong! She is due to give birth next month so she asked me to stand in the water and help Liniquer put her under the water and then bring her back out so there were 3 of us in the font! On Saturday night I got the call that I´d be transfered...back to a beach city in Florian√≥polis...life is rough haha I´m pretty excited! My new companion is American, too but I don´t know anything about him so I will find out soon! Hope all is well back home and you all are having a great holiday season!!! Give the little ones some loves for me!!!
Love,
Elder Michael J. Neilson

November 28, 2011- The Big Burger

Hey everyone!!
This week went really well out here in Brusque. One of my favorite investigators, Adilson, came to church for the first time yesterday and loved it so that was really cool. Unfortunately he´s not yet married so we have to get his marriage papers started if he decides that he wants to stay with his girlfriend. We also had a really good English class this last week. I took the students (20 and 30 year olds) on a tour of the church and when we got to the baptismal font they just started throwing out tons of questions. We talked for about an hour and it went really well, they all have Book of Mormons to read, too. Also we had a member in the ward go on a split with us this week and after we went to our appointments he took us to this Hamburger place where they sell ´Big Burgers´. It´s a Hamburger that´s about the size of your kitchen table, seriously, it´s HUGE. It´s the most American-like hamburger place out here, too and the burger was super good! HOpe you all had a great Thanksgiving and have a great start to the holiday season!!! Give the little ones some loves for me!!!
Love,
Elder Michael J. Neilson


December 5, 2011- The Gospel is for All


Hey everyone!!
So this week went really well!  We were doing some tracting this week but Elder Emerson and I almost tracted the entire city last transfer so we have to either walk really far away to find new streets or go tracting in the super ritzy neighborhoods.  We elected to go to the rich people.  The first 2 mansions we went to accepted us and we actually taught one of them about the Restoration and gave them a Book of Mormon so that was really cool.  Also we have this lady named Rosane who is super excited about the gospel right now.  She is about 20 years old, has a 2 year old daughter, is pregnant and giving birth in January and just broke up with the father of her 2 kids, so needless to say she was pretty excited when we started teaching her.  The relief society Pres. gave her a ride to church yesterday and Rosane loved it! She was crying because she said tht she felt so good and she asked the RS Pres if she should get baptized…she’s so solid!  She may get baptized this upcoming Sunday so we will see.  We have transfers coming up next week so this could be my last week here in Brusque but who knows.  Things are going well tho and hope everything is great back home!!! Give the little ones some loves for me!!!!!
Love,
Elder Michael J. Neilson