Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Macedonia zone
Hi family!! 

I bet you´re all expecting the news of what happened with transfers. Well, the Assistants called us last night with some bittersweet news. First the bitter: Elder C.  is being transferred to downtown São Paulo, but he´s gonna be a zone leader! And I get to stay here in Macedônia and be District Leader! I´m pretty excited, but it´ll be different being a DL in Portuguese. My next companion is Elder B.  All I know is that he´s American and has one more transfer in Brasil than I do. The swaps happen tomorrow morning. These last 4 weeks with Elder C.  have been awesome. Even though we didn´t baptize anyone, I learned a lot from him and we had a great time. And it´s good to know that we´ll see each other again since we go home about the same time.

I saw all the awesome pictures of the 4th of July party. It looks like it was such a blast!! On Thursday I went on exchanges with my zone leaders, and Elder R. , an American, came into my area for the day. When our last appointment of the day fell through, we decided to pre-celebrate the 4th in the only way we could and going all-out American. So we went to the supermarket and bought everything we needed for an American BBQ: hamburger patties, buns, catchup, chips, Coke, ice cream, as creative as our budget would allow us haha. I used the liberty of the credit card, just so you know Dad haha thanks. Elder Ross and I had a ton of fun. The next morning we woke up and sung all the patriotic hymns in our English hymn book. It´s funny how your patriotism goes up when you´re away from your country haha.

The days leading up to, the day of, and the days after the Colombia/Brasil game were pretty intense, especially for my Colombian companion. I didn´t understand everything, but I could just tell that there was some good trash talking going on haha. People here take their futebol just as serious as the Bible. We watched the game in a member´s home, and after the game I stood on his balcony to see all the after-game fireworks. It was a good way to hit off the 4th. 

But now, people here have the crazy idea that me and all the other American missionaries are German! We just walk down the street and the first thing strangers tell me is ^Hey German^. Who knows what´s gonna happen without Neymar and T. Silva, but it´s not gonna be easy. Elder C. is just happen that even though his country lost, they took out Neymar hahaha. 

Besides all the on-the-side stuff that´s been happening because of the World Cup, this last week was one of our most fruitful proselyting weeks. We met this lady on the street who turned out to be a less-active who hadn´t been to Church in 7 years! And she was preparing to go to the Temple right before she went less-active. Turns out she has a son who wasn´t baptized. So we taught him Wednesday about the Restauration, and left him a pamphlet to read and pray about. We followed-up with him a couple days later, and he told us he read, prayed, and felt like every word we said and he read was true!! We introduced the Book of Mormon, talked about what we should do when we get a confirmation, and then BOOM: committed him to be baptized for the last Saturday of this month. And even better; one of the best questions that a missionary loves to hear is, ^what do I need to do to be baptized?^ It´s sweet music haha. So we´re gonna work a lot with Felipe (that´s his name) in these next coming weeks. 

The members have been helping us out a lot too. Yesterday we had lunch with Bishop and his family, and after eating a TON (Fast Sunday meals are the best), we offered to do the dishes for her like we always do with the sisters. Normally they decline the offer, but the Bishop´s wife said that past missionaries never offered to do them for her. So we spent the next half-hour scrubbing, washing, and drying all the lunch dishes haha. Lesson learned: being called to serve doesn´t always mean knocking (or clapping in front of) doors haha.

Hope you all have a blast at Black Butte!!! Sounds like a lot of fun! Thank you for telling me about how Grandpa´s doing. I´ll keep him in my prayers. What an amazing story Dad!! 

I love you all so much!!! Have an awesome week!!

Love Elder Nissinen

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