July in Brazil for Elder Nielson was one he (or I) will never ever forget.
I got a phone call from him to let me know that he was being
emergency transferred to a new area because he and his companion
had been in a little altercation with the local gang.
The local what-now?!
My mouth dropped, and I said to him:
"What, Ollie, what are you talking about."
"Don't worry, Mom.
I am OK. It was a little scary then, but we're fine."
Then I made him tell me the whole story.
Turns out, one evening coming home from teaching a lesson, and were stopped
by some dudes who basically kidnapped them, robbed them,
and then roughed them up a bit.
Ollie got a nice gash on top of his head
from being hit with a gun.
Yes, you heard me. I said A GUN!
The bad guys made them walk down an alley- hands up, at gunpoint.
They made them get on the ground and stay there.
Ollie and his companion lay on the ground, waiting until they
couldn't hear anyone. He said he thought they were going to shoot them.
But they didn't; instead, they ran off.
Ollie and his companion got up, a little disorientated and sore.
They found a gate and went to it to
get out of wherever they were, and without phones (they got robbed, remember).
They saw a busy road and ran toward it when more
rough-looking dudes approached them and started questioning
who they were and what they were doing.
I mean, can you imagine two super white kids (who look like cops)
walking the streets of São Paulo...Yikes.
Ollie and his companion tried to explain they were just missionaries
for Jesus, and heading home.
One of the guys stopped and asked:
"vocês são missionários mórmons?"
Are you Mormon missionaries?
"Yes, we are,"
they told the guys, wondering what would happen next.
Then the guy said,
"Oh, we like you, and we'll protect you!
My sister is baptized in that church.
Tell us what happened, and we'll find the guys who did this."
Ollie said more guys came up, hopping off motorcycles and scooters
to inquire about the guys who assaulted them.
They promised Ollie and his companion they would find who did this
to them and "take care of it."
Whatever that meant!
Ollie and his companion walked to a member's home to call their mission leaders,
President and Sister Rollins.
(who had flown THAT DAY as the new mission leaders over the area).
Then they were told to be prepared to leave their apartment the following day.
Ollie and his companion left early the next day for a new area
in São Paulo without saying goodbye to some of the people and members
they were working with. It broke his heart.
Regardless of this crazy story, I STILL believe he is safe
and protected by the Lord
(and gangs who love Missionaries for Jesus).
He is teaching people about Jesus and serving them as He would.
He is baptizing people and helping them make covenants with God
that will bring peace and happiness.
I couldn't be more proud.