Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thanks Mom for teaching me how to dishes!  You taught me well!!!

Thanks to all my cousins who made me 60+ rubber band bracelets to hand out to children.  They will love them!!!

Hi everyone!! Boy, the time is FLYING out here! Elder D. can't believe today is his last P-day as a missionary, from then on he'll have infinite P-days! It's bitter/sweet for him.

Anyways, this week has been GREAT! We've continued to work hard and give it a 110%, and after all has been said and done, (drum roll).....we got 20 lessons this week!!!! It's been the first time in a LOONNNG while since that has happened in the Granite Hills ward! We were so grateful for the many opportunities we've been given to share our testimonies and to teach everyone we meet. 

We couldn't have done it without the help of Armando. On Tuesday we had our District meeting at the church building, and right after we started, a random man walked in and asked if someone could show him around. Immediately Elder D. and I hopped up and gave him a tour and taught him the Restoration right there in the foyer. He wants to change his life around, and something pulled him to check out this church. If he stopped by any other time, the building would've been locked. Turns out Armando lives in a different ward than ours, so we introduced Armando to the missionaries who serve in that area. But it was definitely a miracle that everyone in our zone saw that day.

By the way, thank you SO MUCH for the packages this week!!! Our zone is officially set on Halloween candy! :) We're having a "party" Thursday night since we have to be in by 6pm, so we're getting all the missionaries in the area to come over to our house and hangout. It'll be a blast!! I've also been trying out those ForeverMints, they're great!! Thank you for the packages and everything you all and the rest of the family have been sending me! It's so fun to read the postcards from the cousins and everyone else. Thank you!

The Granite Hills ward is having their Trunk r Treat on Tuesday, and the 4 of us Elders in the ward have the honor of making the chili dogs for that night haha. I may even bring my Brazil apron along - I'll send pictures of all the fun next week. It'll be a blast! We're inviting all our investigators and people we're teaching to it. It'll be a lot of fun! 

I was so glad that the S. family sent you some pictures the night we taught them. They're one of my most favorite families in the ward! We've been teaching them every week, most of the time on FHE, and they're a ton of fun! 

By the way Mom, check the mailbox within the next couple days if you haven't gotten something already :) I can remember all of our families birthdays, but I can't remember the cousin's. If you could send me a list or calendar or something that'd be a big help! Happy Birthday Mom!!! :)

Oh before I forget, in case I do get transferred to a different area this week (which I doubt), don't send any letters or packages to the house address. If I do get transferred, it'll take a while for missionaries to forward it all to me wherever I'm serving. But you can send stuff to the mission office. I'll know for sure where I'll be in a week, and I'll update you all then. 

Thank you everyone for the awesome emails, letters, packages, and prayers!! It's so awesome being a missionary! I love it! Please be safe! 

I love you all!!! You'll hear from me soon! :) The Church is so true!!!

Elder Fuss

PS "Like I said, you made an illegal U-turn. And I Gomer Pyle of the town of Mayberry of the United States of America, arrest you."
"Hooray!!" hahaha

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Getting Flu Shot!

Thanks Aunt Ninnie and Family for the "Greenie" Box full of all "Green" things!

Hi everyone!!! I hope everything is going great at home!! I'm glad to hear you got the SD card and letters! 

This week has been so great!!! Spending a lot of the day with Elder Robbins of the 70 was such a blessing!! You outta see the notes I took during that meeting!! I took sooooo much away from that meeting! Elder Robbins does time management for businesses, so a focus of that zone conference was becoming more time-efficient, better-planning, and hopeful missionaries. From that meeting, our studies have really improved, so that we're really talking about people and what exactly do we need to teach and have them feel in order to know the Church is true. 

But it's been hard. There wasn't a lot of teaching opportunities, and a lot of appointments canceled on us. I wasn't sure what exactly was going on. Elder D. and I have been working harder than ever, more obedient than before, more focused, etc, but not a lot was showing for it. Elder D. called it an "Agency Week" haha. 

Although this last week there was not as many lessons as in the past, we continued to work hard and look for opportunities. I'm growing everyday. Sometimes it's hard to look at numbers and not see the success there. Many of our past investigators have been investigating for a long time, and little if any progress has happened with them. One of our investigators who had a baptismal date (Marcos) is going to court this week, so we may never see him again. But I'm so grateful that my zone leaders asked me and my companion to fast on behalf of the zone. On Sunday I was really asking Heavenly Father for the help that I need as a missionary and for the ability to reach the zone's goals for the number of baptisms and lessons. 

But Heavenly Father answered our fast in another way. During Ward Council that morning, I got a phone call from the sisters in another ward. They said that a family of 8 is on their way to our sacrament meeting this morning, interested in hearing about the gospel and to learn more! This family was originally tracted into by the Spanish elders, then got contacted into the Sister missionaries, and when they realized that this family was in our area, they referred them to us and figured out a ride for them to church! All of this was within a half hour of happening!! Immediately the Ward Council pitched in, welcoming this family, showing the children the Primary and Nursery, and leading us to their classes. A fire lit underneath the ward, the first time that investigators have come to church in months in the Granite Hills ward!! I've been praying for this ever since I've heard the ward's history when it comes to missionary work. 

We set an appointment for that night, we taught them the Restoration, and....drum roll...They're committed to be BAPTIZED!!! November 16 is the day for 4 convert baptisms from that family!!! One lady, her 8-year-old daughter, an older daughter, and the older daughter's boyfriend,  It'll take some work; the boyfriend and girlfriend aren't legally married, and their financial situation is rough, but all things are possible through Him who strengthens. And they're SUPER humble!  :) My fast couldn't have been answered in a more profound way. Again, everyday my testimony grows. 

Elder D.  and I have high hopes for this week!! We have 16 appointments planned, and we'll have even more!! We really can do it! I truly believe that something great is right around the corner :) I have such a testimony about missionary fasts!! 

I've been feeling everyone's prayers and I'm so grateful for it! Tell Ninnie THANK YOU for sending the funny post cards from the family. I've been getting them everyday!! I also got the package with the pictures and chapters from Suit Up - They're so great!! I've added the pictures to my missionary wall next to my bed :) 

I don't want to leave this area!! There's so much work to be done here, and Elder D. and I are more energized than ever to get out and give it everything we've got! The only time I think about Brazil is when I'm speaking and studying Portuguese :) 

By the way, there's a rumor about the mission receiving iPads that the Zone Leaders "leaked" to us. They may be just pulling my leg, but there's a chance we could get them this week! And you know me when it comes to Apple stuff, I couldn't be more excited! haha

The Church is so true!! I'll write a letter with responses to all your emails and send it out tomorrow. I fixed our mailbox so it has a flag on it: basically it's a pencil with an index card box-taped on the side. It's pretty ghetto but it works! :P 

I hope B and Rosie are LOVING Seminary! And Joe, you're not far behind at all! :) Keep working hard, being safe, and doing the very best you can! 

I love you all so much!! The time is going by fast here, and Elder D. is counting down the DAYS before he leaves. I have more months left than he has days! haha He's handling his grandpa's death really well, and missionary work really helps with it.

I Love you!!!

Elder Fuss 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hi everyone!!! It's great to hear from you again!! Mondays are definitely my favorite day too!!

As I've looked over the past week, I've noticed it's been a really good week for Elder D. and I. I got both of the GREAT packages from you and Ninnie - the Greenie box and the Mickey Mouse box. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! They're so awesome!! One of the boxes hung around the Mission office for almost a week, and everyone inside wondered what was inside the package. And guess what?!? My mission president and his wife know who Barney Fife is!! :D Tell Ninnie thank you so much for the really cool surprises she put in there. My companion told me they were some of the largest packages he's seen on his mission!

I also got Mama and Papa's and your letters with the "lunch money" in it. Unfortunately there isn't a restaurant in the area that we bike. On Friday, one of the Elders that we share Granite Hills ward with was having a bad day. So we drove out to McDonalds and I bought everyone ice cream cones :) Sounds like something Papa would do :)

Overall this week, we got a couple new investigators, and we committed one to baptism!! Marco is his name, and we've been stopping by his house everyday to see how he's been doing. We invited three investigators to church, but unfortunately none of them showed up :( But we won't give up!! This week we got 13 lessons in, because a lot of appointments canceled last-minute. The numbers sometimes don't show the effort, but Elder D. and I are really trying to work hard!

You wouldn't believe this, but on Tuesday, I actually had to pull out my winter coat and wear it!! Up to 40mph winds, and we couldn't even ride our bikes in it, it was so rough!! So we walked from appointment to appointment in the crazy wind and rain!! In California!!!

You might wonder why I titled my email, All Dogs go to Outer Darkness. In Apple Valley, EVERYBODY has at least one dog! And so naturally when two guys in white shirts and ties ride their bikes down any street, every dog barks at them!! Thankfully they have fences around every house, but it doesn't make it easy to knock on someone's door when they have their dog barking at you. At one person's house, Elder D. almost got bit by a tiny little rat of a dog. They can drive you crazy!! haha I'll remember not to get a dog when I come home haha.

I don't know exactly why, but Sundays are so awesome as a missionary! The Bishop has us sit in Ward Council, so it's good to have the rest of the ward know that we're focused on the Work. The Sacrament means so much, and everything about Church is great!
After three weeks of not having a haircut, I definitely needed one!! So my companion and I went to a local place. I'll send a short video I made of us on the way to the Family History center.

We're in a different Family History center today, so unfortunately I can't print all of your emails and the chapter today.

I hope you've been getting my letters! I sent one to Mama & Papa and Ninnie last week.

As for addresses, I figured out our correct house address. I wrote it down and sent it in my last letter, but it's also Apple Valley, CA  if you haven't gotten the letter yet. I think it's faster if you send it to our house instead of waiting till Thursdays for the Zone Leaders to get all the mail for us. I check my mailbox everyday :)

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!!! I'll send home the receipts I haven't thrown away. I get $40 every other week, and you can tell I'm not the most frugal missionary hahaha. It's all fun. I'm excited to hear from you all again!!

Please reply as soon as you can!! Right before I log off I'll send you some pictures and hopefully a video that is small enough to send.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!! I'll send a letter or two in the next couple days to you all!! Please be careful, stay awake when you're driving (cough cough B...haha), and be safe!!! I'm so grateful for my awesome family!!

The Church is true!!

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 7th

Dear Family,  How're you doing?!?!

Sorry about what happened last week. I was hoping we could chat, but we had to leave a little after I sent those emails.

I would've emailed earlier this afternoon, but we didn't have the keys to the Family History Center until now. This morning we went on a hike to a greener part of our zone on a more rocky hike. It was really neat!! I'll send some pictures, and a video too if I can. :)

I've been doing great this last week. Elder D. and I have been working really hard, and we can see the success we've been having so far. The area is pretty tough; religion isn't a lot on people's minds, and if they are religious, they're usually not open to Mormon missionaries. But we're seeing the "little victories" we have every day.

 Before I came here, Elder D. and his companion were having less than 10 lessons a week total. And since Elder D. and I have been working all day, this week we had 16 lessons!!! Our goal is to have 20 this week, and we have a lot scheduled already!! We'll do great if we just keep working.

 Conference was SO COOL!!! It means so much more when you're a missionary!! We got to watch it in some members' homes, which was pretty cool. It's so cool to think that you all were watching it together too at the same time!! I hope you all got to see it! One of my favorites was President Uchtdorf's during Priesthood session - really awesome!! There were some really great talks on Saturday if you didn't get a chance to see some of them. Now I just can't wait till we get them in the Ensign!! :)

After Priesthood session a few of us elders went to In-N-Out for dinner. It was my first time!! Not too bad, but I'll have to say 5 Guys and Wendy's are better haha.

 I've done just about everything a missionary does when it comes to dealing with people. Elder D. and I got into a really interesting "discussion" with a lady who straight up called us "brainwashed." But we both testified of the truth and that we know that the Church is restored. And then the lady got up and went back into her house. It was definitely a testimony-builder. The thing about the gospel, is that it MAKES SENSE!!!! Because God is our loving Heavenly Father, everything about it makes sense - everything!! There's just so much confusion in other religions, so it's difficult for people to see that yes, we needed a Restoration, we need the Book of Mormon, we need that priesthood authority, etc. etc.

So one of my Zone Leaders had a bike that he used, but since he broke a bone in his collar, he drives a car now. So I use his bike now. In the last week Elder D.  and I both have had flat tires from biking in the thorny desert. It's pretty funny and frustrating sometimes, but we make it work.

 The city of Apple Valley is nice, especially at night. Since there's hardly any street lamps in my area, the night sky is awesome! A lot of dust, and people ask me if it's different than Oregon. I just tell them it's a different kind of beauty. :)

 Anyways, I've been working hard and doing my best. I can honestly say that although I may be disappointed in our investigators in not showing interest, I'm not disappointed in myself. And I think that's what success really is. Elder D. is a great companion. A little nerdy, LOVES to play Dungeons & Dragons card game  (which is what he does on P-day with some other elders), but he's got TONS of experience out here.

 The days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days :)

 Remember that other address I wrote about in one of my letters? The one on Quivero Rd? You can forget about that address and send stuff to the mission office.

 I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!! I'm looking forward to getting those packages. Our Zone Leaders pick up the mail on Thursday mornings, so if you've sent it already, I'll have it this week.

THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!! I Love hearing from you!! I hope everyone is safe and is having fun at home!

If you can do an email chat with me, I'll be here for about another half hour or so. :D


 Elder Fuss