Monday, December 2, 2013


     *10 fun and goofy things
1. Green grass- there's not a lot up here.  People usually rake dirt outside their house.  It's rare.
2. A walking bike- faster than walking, and a pain if it isn't working.
3. A thick winter coat- who knew it'd be so helpful in Southern California?
4. The mailbox- it's always a surprise when the mail comes at 4:15 pm.
5. La Bella Hair Gel- just like home :)
6. California sun- I haven't gotten sunburnt yet!  Maybe just a little tan.
7. My iPod & speaker- every morning I listen to it. It's so awesome!
8. Barney Fife- "Not much gets by me."  "Nip it!" -classic!
9. Rain-when it rains, it pours.  Usually it's only a few times a year here.  Oregon rain is awesome!
10. A toaster- I brought one a couple weeks ago.  No more plain cold cereal for breakfast!

     *Okay, now 10 serious things
11. The Book of Mormon- our keystone.  It answers all my questions.  The main tool we use.
12. General Conference- I didn't want it to end! I'm reading the talks over & over.
13. The temple- it's a blessing every time I go, & I wish I could go more often!
14. The sacrament- what would I do without it? I can get re-baptized every week! What a great feeling.
15. Patriarchal Blessings- I read mine every Monday.  It's helped me so much.
16. Preach My Gospel- everything applies so much to what we do. The doctrines are simple.  This work is His.
17. Active church members- they love the gospel and the missionaries (and they feed us!)
18. The Priesthood- what a blessing for everyone, and a responsibility to serve.
19. The Plan of Salvation- knowing where I come from, who I am, why I'm here, & how we can return to our Heavenly Home.
20. Prayer- Heavenly Father ALWAYS answers prayers in His own time and His own way.

     *10 experiences I'm grateful for
21. Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings- the time goes by fast. Christmastime everywhere is a blast.
22. TREK- for teaching me how to work with all my might and helping others do the same.
23. That us brothers got to split wood for hours in the backyard- I miss those days.
24. Getting off work on my birthday and finding my car to be all seran-wrapped. My awesome friends!
25. That I earned my Eagle after years of being a Boy Scout. It's helped me in so many ways!
26. Going snowboarding on Mt Hood- Because it was just so much fun!
27. That you all have been helping the Young Men in our ward & being missionaries.
28. That countless times our family has been kept safe & healthy (B's crash, my shotgun, etc)
29. Our family reunions- It's so great to be in the Long family, it's a ton of fun!
30. Opening my mission call- who knew I'd be here of all places?! The beginning of two years.

     *10 places I'm grateful for
31. DISNEYWORLD!- some of the most happiest times we've had in the happiest place on Earth.
32. Mama & Papa's shop- so many school & scout projects, parties, and laughs in that shop.
33. Glencoe High School- It was hard and long, but for some reason I miss it.
34. Seminary- I met some of my closest friends and my testimony grew the most.
35. Christensen Farm- bailing hay, and hard work- all valuable lessons.
36. Wendy's- I learned how to talk with people better & have a happy attitude, all while serving burgers.
37. The MTC- 6 solid weeks of no music, TV, sleeping in, etc- and all spirit.
38. The Forest Grove Church Building- from primary to an Elder, I've grown a lot in that building.
39. Home- there's no place like it. Literally a heaven on Earth with so much love.
40. Apple Valley CA- I've learned so much about myself and my Savior. The starting point of my change.

     *10 people I'm grateful for
41. The Long Family- all of you have supported me for this mission, the packages are GREAT! 
42. Joseph Smith- the Restoration is awesome, and of course he was a prophet- DUH!
43. The Cannons- for loving missionary work and getting me excited to go.
44. Coach Morgan- for always encouraging us to improve our skills.
45. John our neighbor- for letting us mow his lawn for all these years.
46. Brother Maurer- for inspiring me to love the scriptures and be a light in the world.
47. Ryan Peacock- for being a friends and example since I knew him since 5th grade.
48. Brother Nelson- for being a great YM leader and a friend to me and my family.
49. My companions Elder P&B- we're like brothers, we can laugh and work all day.
50. President H- every week he sends an email with encouragement and advice.

51. You're always willing and ready to help me with anything, anytime, even if it's just a conversation on your porch swing.
52. You're the best church librarian, and you can make anyone smile.
53. You know I can make you say "uncle" haha, and you taught me how to drive a manual.
54. That the most important thing to you is family, and you love them so much.

55. For also being a convert to the church and how much you love the gospel.
56. I love all your Christmas decorations, and it's funny how often you clean your house- it's awesome!
57. That you're really creative and crafty, and your chicken & dumplings are so delicious.
58. You have so much love and hospitality for your family. You always want to help and work.
     *Grandma & Grandpa Nissinen
59. Grandma Nissinen- for her support on my choice to serve God and His children as a missionary.
60. Grandpa Nissinen- for loving his family and always caring for them.

     *My all-star brother Joe
61. For your happy attitude and always willing to have fun (ping pong, computer games, etc)
62. That you can school me in soccer- you'll be great in high school next year if you play.
63. That you want to make your parents and Heavenly Father proud of you.
64. That you and I tease eachother about girls all the time (Kyra) ;)
65. That you're working so hard in everything that you do.
66. That no matter what, you love your family and willing to do your part- I love you Bear!

     *My favorite sister Rosie
67. That you're loving Seminary and the scriptures- they're so important!
68. That you're working hard and enjoying time with good friends and family.
69. That you're a friend to everyone and can make anyone's day with a smile.
70. That even though you hate it, you let me pinch your arm hahaha.
71. Even though it's tough and annoying at times, you're a SUPER piano player & teacher. Our house sounds a lot nicer.
72. That you know that you're a daughter of God, and that you take that seriously- I love you!

     *My smooth-move brother B
73. That you're determined to give it 110% in everything, especially in school & sports.
74. That you can get along with anybody, and you know what to say at the right time.
75. You're representing the Nissinen name well at Wendy's, the Christensens, etc. You're such a hard worker!
76. For knowing when's a good time to work and to laugh- and you know how to do both!
77. That you're patient with me and being an example throughout my life.
78. That you're a great older brother and preparing yourself for a mission- I love you!

     *The best mom ever!
79. For loving me no matter what I do, and that I'm your missionary son.
80. That you love Andy Griffith just as much as I do :)
81. After school you always asked me how my day went- I'm grateful that you pray for your children.
82. That you came up with the Fast Sunday Tie idea! I look forward to wearing that tie every month.
83. For sending packages, ice cream money, and emails every week.
84. That you ALWAYS act out of love. Everything you do is because you love your family and this gospel- I love you!

     *My awesome Dad
85. That I can always look up to you.  I hope to be a father like you someday.
86. For teaching me the value of hard work- there's no better feeling; and you're a great example.
87. Your loyalty to Mom and your family. I can always count on you and look to you for help.
88. For the discipline in our family because you love each of your children. You always want us to improve.
89. For supporting me throughout my life with every decision- sports, scouts, school, my mission.
90. That you made this choice to be a member of this church. I wouldn't be here without you- I love you!

     *Last but not least, my Savior and His Atonement
91. His perfect attributes of charity, patience, and kindness.
92. That He always knows how I'm feeling because He felt it. He understands.
93. That He loves all of God's children, enough to die for us.
94. That He's always there and wanting us to turn to Him when we make mistakes.
95. That He lives! And we'll all live again someday.
97. For the many times He has comforted me when times are tough, and giving me strength.
98. That I have His name on my badge and that I represent Him literally for 2 years.
99. Because of all this, I'm so grateful our family can live together forever in the Celestial Kingdom-It's so true!
100. That even though I'm not perfect, I can wake up everyday and know it's a new day. Through daily repentance I feel like I can work with no regrets. Through the Atonement, I'm becoming someone better. I'm so grateful that I can overcome my many weaknesses. This time of Thanksgiving is a great time for families & friends to be together. And even though we won't all be together physically, I'll be thinking of you all. I'm so grateful for this gospel, for the commandments that keep us safe, and for my eternal family.

     Please be safe. I'm so grateful for this time to be serving with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I love being a missionary and seeing the change in people's hearts as they accept the gospel and have the Savior in their lives. Have a great Thanksgiving.  There's so much to be thankful for.

I love you!
    Elder Nissinen



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