Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, March 31, 2014

I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!! I'm leaving April 22nd right after transfers. President Hobbs emailed me today about it. I was seriously jumping around the Family History Center giving everyone high-5's. 

It's very bitter-sweet. Leaving everything and everyone I've met over the last 7 months and starting over again. I've had so much fun. But don't worry. Both Elder F.  and I are committed to working 110% for the rest of the time I'm here. 

This week we were extremely blessed. We've been helping the B.  kids prepare for their baptism on April 12th. The kids have learning disabilities, which makes it a little difficult. It's been a blessing though because it makes us teach simply, which is exactly how we're supposed to be teaching anyways. Also, through a bunch of referrals from other missionaries, we got 4 new investigators this week! Two of them are a husband and wife named Latu and Della. Latu is Tongan and Della is Hispanic, and they're hilarious. They were referred by two sister missionaries who talked to them on the street the other day. Their background is pretty funny. One time Della's car stalled, so 7 missionaries came and pushed her car up a hill, and she really remembered that. Latu's father was a devout member who didn't force his son to be Mormon, but Latu was really intrigued about it. The Spirit was strong when we taught the Restoration, and before we even started teaching Latu was talking about being baptized. We both committed them to be baptized April 26th. It was like teaching the Hicks all over again; they were so prepared. Elder F. and I were literally jumping and fist-pumping in the car after the lesson. We live for these moments. Unfortunately they had a family emergency happen on Sunday, so they weren't able to come to church. But we're excited to see their progress.

Friday night we had a YW Fundraiser for Girls Camp, and they did a Silent Auction, kinda like the ones back home. They even did a live auction part too, and guess what was one of the things they auctioned off? Service by the Elders. I didn't even know Elder F.
 signed us up for it haha. The auctioneer was slowing down around $30, so Elder Fullmer and I went up in front of the ward and started flexing. We then bumped up all our service to $60!! It was a kick! The YW served pancakes that night, and guess who made them? Yup, us too! I got pretty good with that spatula by the time it was over. 

My brain is so fried that these were the only things I could think of that we did this week. I know my journal has a lot more. I don't think my head has wrapped around it all yet.

Love you and hope we can chat. Love Elder Nissinen

Elder F. and I doing service that was auctioned off. We shoveled rock! It felt so good to sweat! haha

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hi everyone!! 

This last week was awesome!! Elder F.  and I were able to hit the ground running after a lot of meetings our first week. It's been a lot of fun. We even got our bikes out. Elder F.  hadn't been on a bike on his whole mission yet, so it was pretty funny seeing him riding around. Biking is so much fun compared to just sitting in a car. We've had to cut our zone back on miles this month, so we've all been having to bike or walk a lot more. It helps because we get to talk to a lot more people on the street. 

One of the best parts of the week was our dinners. We got taken out to Olive Garden on Wednesday, and on Friday a member took us to Steer n Stein. It's the best steak place in town. Man, it was so good!!! The member was pretty much ordering everything and anything for us on the menu: onion rings, chili bean soup, chicken, garlic bread, fried shrimp, ribs, baked potatoes, and 12 oz steaks!!!! AND dessert!! He ordered for us the biggest plates they had. We were so full - and so grateful!!! And...(Mom you'd be proud) I've got plenty of leftovers too :) 

So about the work, we've been super busy! This last week we nearly doubled our teaching pool. We found a solid new investigator and we set three other baptismal dates. It's from another part-member family, and the kids getting baptized have come to church at least since I've been here. It's the B. family, the kids names are Joseph (13), Timothy (10), Clark (9), and Hank (7). The dad reminds me of Bogey a little bit too haha. 

Here's a fun fact about Elder F.  Remember the movie Paul Blart? Elder Fullmer has the same condition hypoglycemia; if he doesn't eat every couple hours, he gets super tired. Back home he passed out at football and wrestling matches. He just told me a couple days ago. I didn't even know that disease was real! We're doing great. It's been a blast having the other two missionaries there. The hardest part is actually getting to bed on time because we end up just talking and laughing whenever we're all together.

Sorry I hardly have any time to chat today. We spent a lot of time cleaning our apartment, getting haircuts, dry cleaning, and doing another zone activity. I've got pictures to send though. 

Being a Zone Leader is great! Elder F.
 and I get to help out a lot of missionaries, and you get to be friends with a lot of them. 

That's fun you all ran a 5K! Who was it at Glencoe that put it on? 

Oh hey B, crazy thought, have you been checking out the ACT/SAT yet this year? Don't know why I thought of that haha.

Lovin the work. My companion is awesome. Even though the Green Tree ward is small, it's fun. And there's a lot of work to do :)

Love you all. Have an awesome Spring Break! Make it last!!  Love Elder Nissinen

                           I was trying to make muffins last night.....got a little distracted. Let's just say that things got a little crazy when both smoke alarms went off and we had to open all the windows and doors.... :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hey everyone! 

So the first week as a zone leader....Honestly this was the busiest week of my mission! All the zone leaders call this week Shark Week. It's because we have a bunch of meetings that we prepare for and a lot of logistical stuff. And since it was the beginning of the transfer, we were helping everyone move dressers, mattresses, and box springs, plus the brand-new missionaries' stuff all this week. AND, on top of all that, we had an APOSTLE come and speak to us!!!!! It was such an awesome week, but I'm glad all the meetings are over. 

Thursday was the craziest. We had 9 hours of meetings that day, and boy was I drained! We had a Leadership Meeting for all the District Leaders, Zone Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders in the mission. Then we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) for 5 hours. It's where all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders talk about their areas and what President Hobbs wants us to focus on for all the missionaries. We take what President Hobbs trains on and then pass it down to our zone through Zone Meeting. It's once a month, and for us it's tomorrow. So Elder F.  and I have been preparing like crazy for it. And then on top of that, we had Stake Coordination with all the Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders in Hesperia. 

Overall, my respect for zone leaders has skyrocketed. There's so much to do! Haha 

Ok, so about my companion. Elder D.  (yup, pronounced like Donnie) F.  is from Fillmore, Utah. He's been out 9 months and turned 19 not too long ago. He grew up on a farm and did wrestling in high school (he's a state champion!). And he's super funny. We quote Napoleon Dynamite all the time, and we haven't stopped laughing since last Monday. He's been showing me the ropes of the Green Tree ward and being a zone leader, and he's been a huge help. He's also really good at listening, and a lot of missionaries trust him, which is awesome. I'm learning so much from him. 

I forgot to take pictures of the new apartment, but with four elders there is never a dull moment. And both the other missionaries (Elder S. and Elder S.) are hilarious! It's a good-sized apartment: two bathrooms, a living room area, and two bedrooms, but unfortunately we don't have a washer and dryer in our apartment. Thank heavens Ninnie sent me a roll of quarters like 6 months ago. Oh, and I got both Ninnie's and Mom's package over the last couple weeks. It's been awesome!! That Green Eggs & Ham book from Ninnie is the coolest dinner thought to share. Little kids, moms and dads, even teenagers LOVE IT!! We shared it with one family last night, and they couldn't stop laughing. And Elder F.  loves those good gloves from Mom's package. Those cookies were great too :) 

When I got Ninnie's package a couple weeks ago, I decided I needed to just clear out most of the candy I had. I filled one of the packages with candy I wanted to give to other missionaries, and I handed it out at my last District Meeting. Funny story, we had a Tongan sister in our zone, and she was so happy I was giving it away. She ended up taking half the box of candy - it was so funny to see her so happy! haha

One more funny story. I didn't really know this, but missionaries are super resourceful. Our new sister missionaries needed a box spring, so we managed to fit a box spring into the back of our Corolla. Bad news was, we couldn't close the trunk because the box spring stuck out. So what did we do? Elder F.  and I took three of our Mission Belts and hooked them around the lid of the trunk so it wouldn't bounce up and down. We drove over a mile like that. It worked pretty dang good if I do say so myself. We got pictures of it too. 

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!! I've been pinched already because I forgot to wear a green tie. I'm gonna have to go back and change. 

Hope you all have an awesome week!! I love you!! 

Love Elder Nissinen   

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hi family!!!                    (The B. Family.  I will miss them!)

While I was saying good-bye to the B. family, they took a picture of us with our Transfer Doctrine. We got the phone call from President Hobbs himself Saturday morning telling both me and Elder B. our new assignments. Elder B. took my spot as District Leader, and I'm now a Zone Leader!! And I'm serving in the same zone as last transfer, so I already know most of the missionaries in it. I was totally shocked when President told me. I was just figuring that I would go to a "dead ward" (a ward with not a lot of work going on). So what does this mean for my visa? No idea, but chances are it won't be anytime soon if I'll be a zone leader. Oh well!

Sadly, I had to move out of the mansion and into an apartment. But it's worth it because there's another set of zone leaders already living with us, kinda like back in Apple Valley. We're gonna have a blast :)

My companion is Elder F.  from Fillmore, Utah. He was my zone leader last transfer, so we already know each other and we get along great. He's super funny, and he's only been out for 9 months. Our zone is really young, since all but two companionships are training, which means almost half of our missionaries have been out a couple of months or less. We're going to be SUPER busy this transfer: helping new missionaries settle in, figuring out stake meetings, and a bunch of other stuff. AND we have our Mission Conference this Saturday, with Elder Anderson and a 70!!!!!
                                             (My new district)
I'm really really excited for this transfer. It was hard to say good-bye to everyone, especially the H.'s and the B.'s , but I won't be far. D.  calls me his "brother" because I baptized him. It's those moments that make everything else worth it. 
                              (The awesome H. family)
I love hearing all the great stuff going on at home! Laura's a lucky girl B haha. Who else has been asked to Mormon Prom yet? I hope round two of your bridge goes better. 

Great job on your Syllabus Rosie!! You'll be makin even more money from students! :) 

Joe, that's great to hear about your new friend. Just being a friend will help him more than anything, and will really help him be ready to be baptized. You're an awesome missionary. 

Here's the address to my new apartment:        Victorville CA 92395

                                                               (My new companion Elder F.)

Everything is looking great for this transfer!!!! I'm loving it. I've still been reading a page a day, and I've been doing the pushup challenge too everyday.

Love you all! Hope you have a great week!!!  Love Elder Nissinen

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hey everyone!!

On Friday I woke up to a HUGE RAINSTORM!! Winds were up to 40 mph. The rain looked like it was coming down sideways! It was great!! Elder B. woke up sick that morning, so we stayed in for part of the day. That car is really coming in handy. And it didn't stop raining until Saturday afternoon. It sounds weird, but I actually missed the rain. I'm sure you all are sick of it by now though, so if you want to send a few clouds over here, Hesperia will take it.
Every Tuesday we have District Meeting, and the Assistants to the President called me that morning and told me they were coming to my district meeting. I was so nervous!!! But it all went well. I have no idea what they were doing up here...?
Remember what we chatted about last week? I took your advice and shined Elder B's shoes while he was in the shower. They needed it. Later that morning Elder B went to go shine his shoes and came back and said, "You son of a gun! You shined my shoes, didn't you? Thanks man." You can't ever go wrong by serving your companion.
But this week has been a fun one. We did Perler Beading with a new investigator (it's plastic beads that you iron on), hula-hoed an old lady's backyard for service, had dinner at a burger joint that reminded me of Basco's Burgers (that's why it showed up on my credit card), pushed an old lady and her broken electric scooter up a half-mile hill in the rain, and did some killer LAZER TAG as an Elders Quorum activity. We had about 15 guys playing lazer tag inside of this blowup maze that took up a good part of the gym. I got a bunch of pictures this week. D. B. and D. H.  came too. And yesterday D.  blessed and K.  passed the sacrament!! He said every word perfectly.

Do you remember W.O. ? He was an investigator we were teaching a couple months ago, but his wife has been super sick and in the hospital since then. She has hyperemesis, which is really bad morning sickness. She can't keep food down and has a PICC line going into her heart. She's been in and out of the hospital for the last couple months. But last night we were finally able to meet with them just to see how they're doing. What I had been really wanting to do was to give her a priesthood blessing. We gave her one, and the Spirit was super strong. This morning we had to go over and give her some more IV's because her husband was at work. I've got some pictures of that too. Anyways, she told us she felt soooo much better after the blessing, like she wanted to get out of the house for once! Power of the Priesthood baby!
I learned an important lesson this week: I hate TV. It's so hard to focus on a person talking and listen in to the Spirit when you've got Disney Channel or NASCAR screaming in the background. That happened twice in the same day last week. And I had the biggest headache afterwards! Not like a migraine, but I could totally tell the Spirit was not as strong as it could be. TV is ridiculous (except Andy Griffith, that's ok haha).
I have zero clue about what's going to happen with transfers. Chances are that one of us will leave. But I could end up getting my visa. There's just a bunch of question marks with transfers; it's exciting!
Congratulations on the Personal Progress, Rosie! Don't forget what that medallion means and what you stand for.
B, your email last week was hilarious!! Doesn't take much to impress girls these days haha. Way to represent!
Joe, you're doing great! Keep up those good grades, merit badges, and all that.
Before and after clean-up
 I love you all!! Dad, I sent you a letter last week. Maybe you'll get it today. Hope you all have a fun, safe, and hopefully dry week.
Love Elder Fuss