Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hey there!

Well, my "sleeptalking" self struck again last night. Only this time I did some lethal damage - to my companion! I actually remember getting up at 1:01 this morning, thinking that it was 6:30, and while I was stumbling in the dark (or sleepwalking, I can't remember) I poked Elder B. in the EYE! I thought it was all a weird dream, but it explained why he was a little mad at me this morning haha. Beats me!

This week we didn't have any luck finding new people to teach. We've decided to go through the names of everyone in our area book who haven't been contacted yet. It'll keep us busy and hopefully we'll find a couple people interested in learning more. We've even resorted to tracting. Yes, this week was my first week of tracting. And I now know why the Prophet and Apostles are saying to not make it a priority - it's so not effective haha. We do have some appointments set up with potentials this week. 

Some exciting news for ya....we have a CAR!!! Because of some medical stuff and a missionary had to go down to the mission office, there was an extra car in the Hesperia Zone - and we got it!!!! President gave it to us after Zone Conference on Thursday. Originally Elder B.  couldn't drive; we didn't know why. So I got to drive home from Zone Conference!!! It felt so freaky driving after 7 months. The next morning President called us and said Elder B.  could drive, and because I'm a visa-waiter, my companion is the designated driver. Which makes me the designated "back-out." The car is cool; it's a 2014 Chevy Cruze with only 10000 miles on it. We used it a couple days, but we decided we like biking better. So we bike in the day and drive at night. Since it's pretty sketchy to bike at night here, the car helps a lot. 

But the best part of the week was yesterday at church. D. and K. were given the Aaronic Priesthood. We first ordained D.  to the office of priest, and then right afterwards, D. ordained his son to a deacon. It was SO COOL!!! They were so worthy and prepared to do it too. All the priesthood brethren afterwards were congratulating them. 

We have a bunch of service this week. We might even be reading to a bunch of little kids at a library for Dr. Seuss day. A lot of the Relief Society ladies have been asking us to help with their gardens too. I'm really looking forward to an Elders Quorum activity we've got this week: Indoor Lazer Tag!!!! They have a blowup thing that barely fits inside the gym - it's gonna be a ton of fun! I'll get some pictures too.

That's what's been going on. We hope to be finding and teaching a lot more. I wonder if the visa is on its way?

Hope everyone has a great week!! I love you!!

Elder Fuss

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hi everyone!! It feels weird doing emailing on Tuesday instead of Monday. But we did have some extra time yesterday to do a zone activity.

We played a game called Savageball. It's like ultimate free-for-all dodgeball. You have one ball, and you can't move once you have it. But if the person who hits you gets out, you're back in. So in order to win, you have to be the one who gets everyone out. Rarely does anyone win, but it's been a blast to play with 16 missionaries. And today we're all sore from it :) 

So I called the FBI (again) about getting the Clearance, and they told me I have it!!! I was so excited/nervous when I heard! I'm not sure what it all means, but it's a step closer to Brazil. They told me you should be getting paperwork by this Wednesday the 19th. If all goes well, I could be leaving by the end of this transfer. 

The highlight of this week was definitely the H's wedding and baptism. Man was it awesome!!! They had family come from all over California, some of whom they hadn't seen in decades! And the family all loved the baptism too. They were clapping after each of them were baptized, which made it kinda awkward on a spiritual ordinance. Elder B.  baptized Jamie, and I baptized D.  and K. their son. I think the "multiple baptism" curse is gone. It only took me one try for D. , but twice for their son. I wonder if there's a special technique to baptizing...? The ward was super supportive too. The whole Relief Society room was PACKED for the baptism. There was a wedding reception the day before, and the lady was kind enough to leave up all the decorations for the H.'s reception afterwards. I'll send the pictures I have, but I didn't get any of us in white. Everything happened so fast between the wedding, quickly dressing for the baptism, and the reception. Elder B.  and the 1st Counselor in the Bishopric confirmed the H's on Sunday. And right after Sacrament meeting, the bishop interviewed D. and K. for the Priesthood, and D. paid his tithing! Talk about conversion!!!! 

And, on top of that, D. B. (the returning less-active father who baptized his daughters), is getting his patriarchal blessing soon! He got interviewed right after the H.'s

Other than the H.'s, this week was kinda blech. Elder B. had some weird knee problems, and he could hardly walk for a couple days. In his sleep, his knee would instinctively bend up, so he wasn't getting any circulation to it, like it was super "asleep." So when he woke up in the middle of the night and moved his knee down, it felt like a pulled muscle and a bruise. But he's feeling a lot better after not biking for a few days, and we're ready to work :) I'm sick of sitting at home - there's nothing to do!! haha

Oh, and I got your Valentine's Day package on Friday - LOVED IT!!!! Sister H. liked the Andy Griffith calendar too. Elder B. just rolled his eyes when he saw it. :) And the shirt fits great!! I'm grateful that the white blends in with my other shirts too. 

Hope everyone has a fun and safe week!!   Love Elder Nissinen

Monday, February 10, 2014

The first thing I read in your emails was about snow. Seriously?!?! That's so cool!!! I bet you all had a blast these last couple days. As for Hesperia, we got a little rain for an hour or two, but the rest of California has gotten a lot more.
Before I say more, I found out that one of the sister missionaries in my ward, Sister H. , LOVES the Andy Griffith show. Her favorite episodes are High Noon in Mayberry (Season 3), and Opie the Birdkeeper (Season 4 episode 1). But that was just one of the highlights. I think I've either convinced my companion to watch it, or I've driven him crazy. Oh well :)
This weekend we'll have a baptism!!! The H's are all squared to go to get married and then baptized an hour later. Dante and his son Keyshawn have asked me to baptize them, while Elder B. is gonna baptize his fiancé J.
One thing though. When I baptized A. last weekend, I accidentally left my long sleeve white shirt and white tie at the building, and when I went to get it back, it was missing. Elder B.  will let me borrow another one of his white ties, but could you send me another shirt and tie for the future? That'd be great.
The B's daughters went to mutual for the first time this week - LOVED IT! They're even talking about going to Girls Camp this summer. The whole ward is fellowshipping everyone we're bringing to church. The Lord has really blessed us this week.
On Wednesday we did a service project over at a member's house. We dug a 20 by 10 foot trench, 6 inches deep. And the ground in Hesperia is SOLID DUST. So all four of us missionaries took 4 hours to do it all. I'll attach a picture of when we were done. But the next day, Elder B. back was out. He must've pulled a muscle or something. He was hunched over all day, so we had to stay inside on Thursday. I was SO BORED!!! While he was napping, I even tried playing chess with myself - that's how desperate I got haha. But he was fine the next day.
I called the FBI about the status on the FBI Clearance, and after being on hold, they told me that I have to wait another week for them to disclose that information. After 4 weeks, and I have to wait another. Heavenly Father is sure teaching me patience :)
I found one of the coolest scriptures last week. Check out D&C 128:22. Imagine Joseph Smith like a modern-day Captain Moroni doing a war-cry  --  the Prophet's such a boss!!! I think it's my new favorite scriptures now.
But one of the neatest experiences this week was with one of our recent converts, C. She's been trying to give up smoking for a long time, and she hasn't been real successful. So we talked with her to help her be motivated to stop once and for all. After getting past the scientific reasons why it's bot a good idea to smoke, ultimately it came down to this: Addictions prevent us from receiving the most revelation we can. The same can apply to us, and I asked myself this question after the lesson: Is there anything that's blocking us from receiving the most revelation and guidance from the Spirit that we can and should be? Is there any static that's interfering with the still small voice of the Holy Ghost? If so, cut it out! Choose to live on higher ground, and choose to live up to the grand potential we have as children of God. That's what the Gospel helps us do.
Missionary work is awesome. I love every second of it.
I love you all. I hope the snow lasts. That sled is a beast!!! If it snowed here, I'd probably ask you to send it here, because these hills are intense!
Have a great and safe week.      Love Elder Fuss

It got so cold and windy that I was bundled up with everything I had: beanie, scarf, gloves, and both layers of my coat. The wind makes it twice as hard to bike. But this week is should be getting a lot better. The last two days I've been sweating in just a short sleeve shirt

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hey family!
Hope everyone survived Finals week and skiing. This week went really well. It was mostly a "housekeeping" week because the new set of sisters came in on Wednesday. We have Sister H. and Sister K.  who just came from the MTC. Sister H. is from Mobil, Alabama, and Sister K.  is from Oahu Hawaii. We're excited to have them both, and they've been hitting the ground running since they've gotten here. 
I really like making those dinner thank you notes because I make the tie pattern from the
same tie I'm wearing that day.  This is the one I'm leaving behind tonight! 

I found out this week that Satan has an inside connection with McDonalds. Last week we committed the Hicks family to live the Word of Wisdom, but we found out that D. the father had a little testing experience. He walked into McDonalds, and this guy offered him a free cup of McCafe. The "free" part of it got to him, and as soon as he drank it, he felt bad. But he recommitted himself to live the Word of Wisdom. Out of all things, a free cup of coffee from McDonalds....But that's been the only hiccup from the H family. They're doing great! Last night we taught about tithing and fast offerings, and they committed to live that too - no problem. D. even bore his testimony yesterday at church. He told of an 
experience where he felt a prompting to move his car a little forward as he was driving on the highway. And after he sped up, a van slammed into the fender of his car. It hardly did any damage, but him or his 7 year old could've been really hurt. He bore a super strong testimony of the church and the blessings he's already received from it. It's so awesome!!!
There's something weird that happens in California chapels: you never know if the sound system is going to work. Yesterday everyone had to bear their testimonies without microphones, so it felt like one of those sermons that Joseph Smith or Brigham would give before the time of mikes. But it was cool.
Friday night I got this phone call from a recent convert. She asked me if I could baptize her 8 year old daughter who was getting baptized with the other children in the stake. Of course I said yes, but it was an all-of-a-sudden thing. I hardly know the girl's mom, but I felt honored to be a part of it. It was a really good baptism - I only had to baptize her twice! (she had a dress on...) haha
Everything's been going great. The B.  family is good - they invited a family to hear the gospel, and we taught them the Restoration last night. It's a huge family, at least 5 are old enough to be baptized. We'll have to pass them off soon, because the family doesn't live inside even our stake boundaries. The B's are really good missionaries - they read the scriptures everyday, and are sharing the gospel with all their friends.
Hope everyone has an awesome week! Love you!
Elder Nissinen