Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hi everyone!! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

This last week has been a crazy one!! And Fast Sundays are the best! Yes, I did wear our awesome Fast Sunday tie. I'll send a picture I took last night of us 5 in the house. 

So imagine three missionaries in white shirts and ties, on the roof! On Wednesday as we biked by, we saw an older lady with her two young grandsons trying to put up Christmas lights by themselves. We stopped and asked if we could give her a hand, and she told us she's actually a member of our ward. She's an active member, I guess I just didn't meet her yet haha. So while Elder P. was on the ground feeding us lights, Elder B. and I climbed on the roof in our proselyting clothes and helped put them up. Not to brag, they looked pretty darn good haha. Yesterday in Testimony Meeting, the lady bore her testimony of "three little angels" that helped her when she asked Heavenly Father for help. Called to Serve, right? 

We spent Thanksgiving playing football in the morning and eating throughout the day. We organized a Turkey Bowl with a bunch of missionaries, investigators, and members in all our areas. And a couple of our investigators came! We all had a great time! No injuries thankfully. Even though Oregon hasn't been doing so hot, I still sported my Ducks gear for the game :) 

And after the Turkey Bowl we went over to our first feast at the L's home. You know me: mashed potatoes, rolls, turkey, stuffing, and lots and lots of gravy!!! That's where it's at!!! And after finishing our lunch/dinner at the Landers, another member invited us to her place right after to eat with her family. Round 2 was definitely a smaller portion than the first. Elder P.  got a little sick from over-and-overeating haha. The best part of Thanksgiving isn't just on one day. Because of leftovers, who do you think they give it to? The MISSIONARIES! So we've been eating mini-Thanksgiving dinners since Thursday. :) 

I hope you got the 100 Things list. It was Elder P.'s  idea for us to create our own list and send it home to our families. It was hard to just narrow it down to only 100 things, and instead of just listing off random things, I decided to explain a little bit of why I'm grateful for each thing. There's so many things to be grateful for!

Thank you so much for the packages!! The cookies are fantastic, just the way Mom makes them :) And Ninnie has me stocked up with plenty of food, vitamins, and other fun stuff. Tell everyone thank you for me. Today I bought a Gingerbread house kit and Mickey Mouse stocking at Winco - my companions think I'm crazy haha. They threatened to hide my iPod if I started playing Christmas music before or on Thanksgiving. I'm the first to wake up, so I decided to "test" them by blaring MoTab Deck The Halls at 6:30 in the morning. Let me just say they're a bunch of "scrooges" hahaha. One of the elders in the house got a little fake tree in the mail that lights up. My Zone Leader told me that we're allowed to listen to Christmas music as long as it's not crazy or distracting (for example, not "Santa Baby" haha). So I might invest in a classic Christmas CD soon. 

With Thanksgiving and stuff this week, a lot of members and investigators were out of town, so even though the lessons were down, it means that this week will be a super effective week. As a ward we fasted for missionary opportunities to invite friends and family to listen about the gospel, and a lot of the ward joined with us. After breaking our fast, us 5 missionaries in the Granite Hills ward and our Ward Mission Leader watched the Work of Salvation broadcast that they showed last summer, but I learned so much! We're also meeting with the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader again this week to talk about it. Just looking at our history of baptisms and investigators, those investigators that were found through members had such a higher rate of being baptized than by tracting! 

This whole week I haven't stopped thinking about people I knew back home that were being prepared for the gospel. Our neighbor Tiffany came to my mind. Gosh I wish that we invited her to listen to the missionaries - I know that she was prepared! If missionaries randomly knocked on her door, I doubt she'd be as receptive as if we had invited her. That's why member-missionary work is so important and so much more effective. I'd recommend you all rewatching that broadcast again. We ALL are called! How is the work going in the Council Creek ward?

We're hoping to pick up some new investigators this week, one family tonight maybe. It's sad to think that Elder P. only has a couple more weeks left. Him and Elder B. are hilarious! We're all pretty different, and our backgrounds are even more different, but we're all brothers in this gospel and we love it. 
I LOVE being a missionary! This is HIS work. We all can thrust in our sickles and reap a wonderful harvest. Remember that feeling of baptizing Harvey? THAT is the spirit of missionary work: desiring the salvation of every person you meet. And it's one of the happiest feelings I've had in my life as we do our best and proclaim His gospel. I know that as each of you pray for opportunities, both individually and as a family, that they WILL come. Prepare by studying the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. Both are inspired and from God. I love this gospel!! After watching the broadcast, I'm more determined than ever to be the best and happiest missionary I can.

Thank you for your prayers and emails! I love you all! Hope to hear from you soon!!

I love you!

Elder Nissinen

P.S. I've already started my Christmas shopping :)

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