Monday, June 23, 2014

What the streets look like during the World Cup!!!
Hey everyone!! 

This was a great one! Elder C. and I worked our tails off, and despite a few hiccups, the Lord blessed us immensely. Jardim Macedonia is a great place to be in.

A lot of you have asked how everything´s going with the World Cup. I´ve tried comparing to a lot of things, but the closest thing I can imagine is this: take the Super Bowl of Super Bowls versus every major country in the world, multiply the excitement by 10, and then put that excitement in the same country that´s hosting all these countries. Seriously from a non-missionary perspective, it´s what everyone is talking about. President del Guerso has given us permission to watch the Brazil games in active members´ homes, but the atmosphere doesn´t help out missionary work a whole lot haha. From about noon to 9pm, the games are on TV, which means if anyone has a TV in their house, the games are on. It´s funny because whenever we enter someone´s house, member or not, and we ask if we can share a spiritual message, they always say, >Oh sure, just wait till the end of the game!< So, what else can we do for the leftover 15 minutes? haha With the game today President said we have to go back to our houses right after, so today will be a full pday!

Jardim Macedonia has fewer active members, but it´s our plan to help them stay firm and reactivate the less-actives. A problem in Brazil is that many are willing to listen and commit to being baptized, but staying firm and living the commitments are hard. We had a meeting Sunday morning with some of the leaders in the ward, and a lot of what was talked about was finding and bringing back members who will stay active, go to the Temple, serve callings, etc. And the members are the best source for finding these people! 

For example, a couple weeks ago we had lunch with an active family. After our spiritual thought they decided to invite their less-active neighbors and their non-member friends to an FHE with us. We had it last Monday, and Elder C. and I were in charge of the game after the lesson. The dad shared a brief message from General Conference, and then we played Batata Quente. A little introduction, missionaries have to be pretty resourceful, so we found a little hackysack from a box of Frosted Flakes we bought before, and played Brazilian Hot Potato. Simple, but it worked! We had a ton of fun, and then the active family committed them to take the lessons and come to Church. I love working with the members!! 

Our study desk

The infamous electric shower head

Our Laundry room

Some pictures a member took of us last night with a family. Cake and Coke! haha

 Elder C. is by far one of the best companions I´ve had on my mission. He loves music, and he taught himself piano and a bunch of other instruments. He even writes music! And he´s got a great heart too. On Saturday I woke up with a terrible sick feeling in my stomach. I tried to shake it off and work, but after about an hour of walking, I felt really achy. I still don´t know if it was something I ate or drank. But we were close to the chapel, so we went in and I instantly fell asleep on one of the wooden benches of the chapel haha. Three hours later I woke up 100% better. We couldn´t get ahold of our lunch appointment, but Elder Castilla stayed there the whole time and helped me out a ton. I´m teaching him English, and we read the Book of Mormon together in the languages we´re trying to learn. I may have convinced him to go to BYU too haha. 

Oh, and I got your letter last week! LOVED the pictures and the letter!! People here really like seeing pictures of your family; it helps to show that you´re a normal person, and talking about families is an easy way to connect with people here.

Love you all!!! Thank you for your emails and encouragement! Being a missionary is one of the happiest and best things I´ve ever done! The Gospel and the Savior are real. Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. Miracles do happen. The scriptures are power-packed with the Spirit. 

Have an awesome week!!! I´m still hoping it´s Brazil and the US in the final haha. Be safe

Love Elder Nissinen 

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