Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hi everyone!
This last week was CRAZY!!!

Starting off on Monday, we picked up a new investigator! He's Adrian, 13 years old. We found him through street-contacting, and he's pretty interested in learning. We first taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and even though his mom was doing the dishes in another room while we taught, once we started teaching repentance and baptism, the noise stopped in the kitchen. Elder P. noticed through some reflections that she stopped to listen from the other room. The Gospel is SO AWESOME!!!
This is what it looked like going to get our mail!
I don't know what happened, but the rain suddenly hit Apple Valley like no other!! The intersections in our area turned to huge puddles, and biking through them became impossible. So we walked :) That big thick jacket from CTR was a life-saver! And we stopped one night at a member's home, and she gave us homemade hot chocolate!!
One of the missionaries that we room with got sick for a couple days, so for those days we went on exchanges while one of us stayed home. On Tuesday night we got to play volleyball with the YSA ward! I met a guy from Hillsboro who lived right next to the Burgerville and Airport - small world!

On Thursday Elder P. and all the other leaders went down the hill to the mission office for a training with some executives from the Mission Department. My takeaway from it all is to use our time more effectively to find more people to teach - and that's also our responsibility.
For Thanksgiving we're planning on having a Turkey Bowl between all of us missionaries and then eat and visit members for the day. Strangers usually don't want to talk to missionaries over their families. But it'll be a fun day!! 

I'm learning so much everyday. The scriptures have become my best friend, and every question I've had has been answered in them. I care so much for the people in this area, and I don't want to stop working!! It's a great feeling at 10:30 when you know you've done your best - you're exhausted! I don't think I've ever slept this good either :) My companions have told me that I've even taught in my sleep haha.   

And my testimony of fasting has grown so much!! After we fasted last Sunday for a specific part-member family in our ward, we stopped by their house this week and had a great conversation with the mom and children who aren't members. We can tell her heart had been softened by the Lord, and she invited us back! We taught her and her son the Restoration, and she was glued to us when we bore our testimonies :) Last night we watched the Restoration movie with her son, 15, and after bearing our testimonies of the Book of Mormon, he said that he believed he knew what we were saying was true, and wants to find out for himself.
The Church is SO TRUE!!! I love it and everything about it!! We're continuing to work hard, and we see miracles every day. Thank you for all your prayers. Keep reading your scriptures daily - there's power in them!! I love you all so much!! Have a great Thanksgiving!!! I'm so grateful for my awesome family. Have a safe time :)    
                                 Love Elder Nissinen
A member let us use his dirt bikes for a picture. I guess this is why they don't give missionaries motorcycles

Elder B. rockin out Santa's new ride
Elder P. hugging a Joshua Tree!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Best Tripanionship ever!!!!
Hi everyone!! Looking back a few days ago, I've been out 3 months already! Time goes by super fast. Though the days are long, the work is great!

This week was pretty hard for me and my companions. All of our investigators were either sick, working, not home, cancelled, or dropped us. One day we had all of our appointments cancel. So this week all of us are focusing on finding a new solid investigator who is sincerely seeking the truth. 

Yesterday we fasted because of all this, and we specifically fasted with a recent convert in our ward. His wife and children aren't members, so we fasted that the Spirit would soften the family's heart to the message of the gospel. So we hope we can stop by sometime at their house and begin a friendship with the family. 

The major spiritual experience we had this week was also at Church yesterday. Our most solid investigator Eric (12) came to church, so now we officially have a PROGRESSING INVESTIGATOR!! He's getting baptized December 7 into our ward! He was feeling a little sick yesterday, but he told us that he knew he had to come because Satan didn't want him to - so awesome!! He's definitely been prepared. And our Deacons quorum is amazing! He went to their Bishop's Youth Discussion (like our Bishop's Chat) last night, and he already has some great friends in the small Granite Hills ward. 

Elder P. and Elder B. have been doing awesome! We get along great together, and it's totally fun to tease and mess around with each other. We each have different strengths that make our tripanionship awesome! Elder P.  has the experience and wisdom, Elder B. is bold, sincere, and knows how to lighten the mood, and I'm most familiar with the area and willing to work 110% :) 

Elder P. told me of a tradition that he and his family are doing every day. There're 531 pages in the Book of Mormon, and every day he and his family read one page until he gets home. They have it planned out so that the day he gets home, they all read the last page together and pray about the Book of Mormon. That's a super cool tradition! Maybe we can do it.

Can you send me a calendar or list of people's birthdays? I think someone in our extended family has a birthday in November...haha

I hope everyone is having a great week!! I'm so grateful for an awesome family that loves and lives the gospel! 

Be safe, have fun, and do your best :) The Church is true!

Elder Nissinen

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hi everyone!! 

This week has been AWESOME!! If you haven't heard, I'm in a trio now!! I found out Tuesday night that my trainer Elder P. is training two missionaries now - the other one straight from the MTC! And...he's waiting for his visa to Brazil too! His name is Elder B.  from Dallas Texas, and he's a lot of fun. So with 5 elders in one house, there's definitely never a dull moment. 

So what to talk about...On Tuesday at the S. family home, I gave all the kids those bracelets that Ninnie and the cousins made for me to hand out. And they LOVED them! It was to help remind them about putting on the Armor of God everyday, and they really liked that lesson. 

As for investigators, we picked up a couple new ones this week. Eric, a 12 year old who's the brother of a member, is getting baptized within the next month! The only issue is that he technically lives in another ward, but he takes the lesson at his sister's house, so we'll have to figure out logistics for him to be baptized.  Debbie dropped us because she wants to read in the Book of Mormon by herself until she feels ready to talk with us again. It's kinda a bummer, but we've picked up a few more investigators who are making strides towards committing to baptism real soon. Elders P. and B. are really hard workers, so together we'll definitely be seeing some great miracles happen in the Granite Hills ward during this transfer - we're excited! And our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader are more excited than ever!

On Friday, all of our lessons fell through, so we spent the whole day street contacting people and talking to as many as we could about the gospel. We ran into a couple of Jehovah Witness missionaries, and we had an...interesting discussion with them haha. Another person was looking to fight us when we approached him in his garage. Who knew it'd be so crazy in California? haha

But one of the highlights this week has got to be Chris. He's been meeting with the missionaries for a few months now, and most of the time he cracks jokes with them. But ever since we talked about temple marriages and sealings, Chris has been showing signs of interest. His wife passed away 5 years ago, and they actually were never legally married, so when we talked about temples, he couldn't stop thinking about it until our next discussion. We talked about baptism, and why he hasn't felt like being baptized since missionaries started talking to him, he looked at me straight in the eye and said, "Am I really worth it?" I almost cried at his sincerity. After talking with him a little about the Atonement, and talking about coming to church, he said "Ok lets be serious about this. When can we do a tour of it?" We'll be setting it up this week with Chris. He's an awesome guy. Truly there's something different about this area now that we have 3 of us in one area. 

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend!! I heard the Ducks lost, but we don't have to talk about that. Thanks for the package!!! The pillowcase and the Ducks shirt are AWESOME! And I totally laughed when I read the Andy Griffith quotes. The Nissinen family is so cool :)

Thanks Mom and Dad for the Duck shirt!!!
Thanks for emailing me and telling me how things are going. I hope you all are having fun today (is there no school?). Tell Papa thank you for his service in protecting the freedoms we have here. I hope you all can reply soon! 

I love you!

Elder Nissinen

Monday, November 4, 2013

My last picture with Elder D.  

Hi everyone!!!

This whole week has been fun and work. With the Trunk r Treat, Halloween, and Elder D.'s going home, every day has been a blast!!

So to start off, Elder D.  and I decided to have a little fun with our Zone Leaders this week. To kick off the fun, we put a rubber band on our kitchen sick's hose, so whenever one of them turned on the sink, they'd get blasted with water!! We soaked them three times!!! For revenge, they took our bikes seats off and hid them. So we took their showerhead and hid that. Then they took cold water and dumped it on Elder D.  while he was showering. We were like that the whole week - it was pretty hilarious!!! 

The Trunk r Treat was on Tuesday night. The 4 of us missionaries were in charge of cooking and serving the chili dogs. There was a HUGE turnout, so I was basically running around the whole time stocking up on buns, hot dogs, etc. Two of the deacons dressed up as missionaries, and the Bishop dressed up as a Polynesian missionary, skirt and all! haha I wished I got some pictures of it all, but I was too busy running around. 

Thank you all SO MUCH for the pizzas on Thursday!!!! We had no idea it was gonna happen!! :) There were 8 of us that night, and we had PLENTY of pizza for everyone. Thank you!!!! It was a fun and relaxing night. We only had a few trick-or-treaters that night, so we gave them all the candy that members and investigators gave us. We had SO MUCH candy!!! And it was just a lot of fun to hang out and enjoy the night. 

Over the last couple days, Elder D. has gotten pretty trunky, naturally. I can't blame him a bit, since I know I'd be pretty trunky if I was within hours of going home. He's pretty excited, and it feels just like yesterday that we met 6 weeks ago. The last couple days he's been sending packages home full of stuff he's accumulated over the last 2 years. On Wednesday we had to get a box for his bike at UPS, and once we got the big box, we realized we had a problem: you can't fit a bike box inside a Corolla. So what do you do? Well, picture a box as big as a car roof that is being held down by 4 missionaries as it flaps on top of the car!! The wind got so bad, we decided to take our belts off and loop them around the box to hold it on!! We laughed at everyone's reaction of seeing a hug box being held down by belts on top of a Corolla. Pretty funny!!! 

 But now I'm starting over with a new companion!!! I guessed right: I'm staying here in the Granite Hills ward, same house and address. So you can continue to send me stuff to the Quivero address. But my new companion is Elder P. This is his last transfer too! He's from West Jordan Utah, 21 years old, and......he's a redhead!!! He was a Zone Leader last transfer, so I'll be learning a ton from him over the next 6 weeks. 

My new companion Elder P.
So here's some "missionary slang" that we use to talk about our "posterity," or missionaries that we train. Elder D.  was my "father" (the person who trains you), and Elder P. is my "stepfather" (the person who does the follow-up training if you don't have the same trainer for 12 weeks). When you're an elder's last companion, you "kill" him. So the story goes: I'm killing my father and my stepfather. It's kinda crazy, but the missionary life is like a "mini-life:" you're born and you die, you have companions and trainees, and before you know it, it's over.

Quick story about Debbie. Remember her? We first committed her to a baptismal date, and after coming back from out of town, she cancelled it. Anyways, last week, we taught her the Plan of Salvation, she felt the Spirit, and now BOOM! She's getting baptized December 14th! She's the most solid investigator we have, and we have plenty more along the way to the waters of baptism!! We're working with that HUGE family - they're in a pretty rough financial condition, so us and the ward council are doing all we can to help them. But we do what we do - TEACH! :) 

I'm so grateful for this work!! I've really been learning what it means to "focus on what you can control," and because of people's agency, it can be hard to see past that. But I'm so grateful for everyone's prayers. I love Sundays, especially Fast Sunday. The Fast Sunday Tie is an awesome tradition!! 

I'm so glad to hear everyone is doing great!! Winning soccer games, being busy working, and working hard in school! Keep it up everyone!!! I love you all! 

You'll hear from me soon! Love you!

Elder Fuss