Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hey guys! I can´t believe summer is just about over. Things are flying over here in Brazil. This last week has been a really good one for both Elder B. and me. We´ve been figuring out how we can work better together, and Heavenly Father really blessed us this week. It´s a start of a new transfer, and I think things will go real well for us both.

We got two new Greenies in my district, Elder G. and Sister G. The Elder is from Capo Verde in Africa, and he speaks both Portuguese and Creole - crazy!! Sister G. is from Columbia. Both are superstars already. I love working with new missionaries. They have that new fire that it´s impossible not to see. We had a great District Meeting on Tuesday getting to know everyone and talking about how we want this transfer to go. Now that everyone that was progressing is baptized, we´re going back to ground zero to pick up some new and quality investigators. 

Wednesday we taught Alan and Luciana. Luciana´s the less-active mom and Alan is the 8 year old that goes to church with his grandparents every week. This week we taught about the Word of Wisdom. When you walk into their house, there´s a little stand with wine and whiskey bottles. We brought it up about why her and her husband have them there. You know what she said? She doesn´t drink, and her husband´s stopped for at least 7 months. We´ll let´s throw them out! I said. The only reason they have them there is for decoration. I didn´t say this to them, but I will tonight during our lesson: in all the things I see in their house, there isn´t one picture of their family together. I made them the promise that if they throw their bottles out, I´ll buy them a 3.3L bottle of Coke (they have that here believe it or not) and make them a big batch of Mom´s homemade cookies. I think it was the cookies that sealed the deal haha. And we´re gonna follow-up tonight to see if they did it or not.

Another cool little miracle happened on Saturday. There´s a Sister in our ward that´s been a widow for about 4 years. Ever since her husband´s passing, she´s given money to the missionaries for lunch instead of having them over at their house. She gave us money this week, and we got the idea to set up a lesson to share a message with her. We came over on Saturday to get to know her and help her out anyway we can. Turns out that in all the time she´s given money to missionaries, not one missionary has shared a message with her - 4 years!!! Her two neighbors were over as well, two little girls that have always come to Church with her too. Turns out neither of them have been baptized yet. We taught them all the Restoration, and got permission from one of the girl´s parents to baptize her! We´re also gonna start teaching the other girl´s aunt that lives with her. It´s been a goldmine that missionaries have passed by for years!! Again, it´s working with the members that´s one of the greatest things. The Sister and one of the girls asked for a priesthood blessing too. The nonmember aunt was there during the blessings, and the Spirit was definitely there. The only thing that wasn´t perfect was that they all weren´t able to get to Church yesterday. If we have time tonight we´re gonna stop by to follow-up.

Something that´s been going on here in Brazil is that it´s Election Time! It´s pretty different here; there´s posters of tons of different people for different positions (like State and Federal Deputy), with cars going around all day with speakers talking about the candidates and their pledges. I don´t know when the actual election is, but I´ve heard that it´s all done electronic, that people punch in the number of the candidate for the position. With that I´ve also heard there´s a lot of fraud because it´s all electronic. It happens every four years. I´ll have to ask some more members about how it all works.

Thanks for the emails today! Your new school schedules look great. I can´t believe they´ve got another Seminary teacher at Glencoe! That´s awesome!! Congratulations Joe on making JV2, you´ll love it! Rip it up this last week of summer. Love you all. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Elder B and I in our cool Brazil hats!!

Holy cow our week was FILLED with some awesome adventures. But before I get too deep into the stories,

I´m staying!! Both Elder B.  and I are stickin around another transfer here in Macedonia. I was super glad when the Zone Leaders told us the good news. I´ll still be a District Leader here, but the rest of my district has really changed - both the Elder and Sister companionships will be training, and they´re getting their greenies tomorrow morning!  It´s so cool to see the new missionaries within their first few days in the field. I remember it being a ^deer in the headlights^ kind of a reaction for me haha. 

Wednesday I went on exchanges with my Zone Leaders in their area. We traded Tuesday night, and then Wednesday morning we got a phone call from Elder B.  and the other Zone Leader in Macedonia: they ran out of water. The couple of days before were really hot, so to ration the water, the government shut everyone´s water off. Imagine!!! It wasn´t long before the water where I was at for the day was off too. NO WATER!! And I had clothes in the washer too! And, like Heavenly Father always does, our prayers were answered with a crazy ton of rain that day on Exchanges. Elder R.  and I got SOAKED! But the next morning on Thursday when we woke up, we were super grateful to have water again - it´s no picnic haha

NO WATER! (except to flush)
Friday and Saturday were our crazy days. Why? WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!! My first one in Brazil!! Everything went smoothly for her baptism Saturday night, the interview went great, no problems. And, the rest of the zone had baptisms planned too - 10 in total! So I was running around doing Interviews in the other missionaries´ areas both of those days. Baptismal interviews are pretty special, when someone who´s really new to the Church, and doesn´t know a whole lot, but can look you in the eye and tell you they know that the Church is true. That´s spiritual power right there. 

Isabel chose me to baptize her, because her returning less-active boyfriend has to have a few more talks with the Bishop. Lesson learned: I don´t know why, but Brazilian water heaters work wonders. After filling the font, it seriously felt like bath water, it was so warm. I got a little nervous after Isabel chose to wear the dress baptismal suit (you know I´ve had bad experiences with dresses and baptisms), but I´m super super grateful that it only took one time! It was an awesome baptism and quite a few members came to support. 
The zone!

Elder B. did the confirmation yesterday and did a great job too. The night before while I was writing in my journal, I could hear him practicing outloud in Portuguese the words he needed to say. 

Things are going pretty well here, and I´m loving it a lot. Still no package yet, I called the Office this morning, but I´m sure it´ll be here soon. Thanks for the great emails today. I love you guys so much, and your´re always in my prayers.
                                     Love Elder Nissinen

My chocolate pastel!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hey guys!! 

Great to hear you all had an awesome and fun time last week. 

I don´t know how it happened, but somehow the missionary work over the last few days has EXPLODED!!! We haven´t been busier! It started on Friday, and we´ve seriously had every hour blocked ever since - we´ve even been forced to do splits with the members just to cover enough ground! We´ve been teaching a lot of less-actives, and Heavenly Father has blessed us so much.

Where do I start? Elder B. and I did a contact a while back on the street, and an appointment fell through, so we decided to go contact it. Turns out the lady was home and ready for the gospel. I really felt the Spirit during that lesson - she accepted a baptismal date too! Her name is Flor, and she wasn´t able to make it to Church yesterday, but we´re sure gonna follow-up with her soon so Satan does´t even have a chance. 

Our biggest miracle was a less-active family that´s been starting to come back to Church a couple weeks ago. We made a visit, and we spent over 2 hours just talking, bearing testimony, and getting them excited about the gospel. We read Alma´s conversion story in Alma 36 - man it was powerful! We´ve been teaching one of the son´s girlfriends (Isabel), and she accepted baptism for this Saturday!! My first one!! Keep your fingers crossed that all will go well!! 

We´re really picking up the work in this area, and I´ve never been so tired! Haha but it´s one of the best feelings in the world; being exhausted in the Lord´s service. I´m kinda nervous about transfers this week. I really really really hope I stay in this ward - there´s just too many things to do here! 

Thanks for all your great emails and support. Thanks for the pictures too! I checked the Mission Office today - the package hasn´t shown up yet. Oh, by the way, you´re all still doing the reading right? Page 180 today!

I know Heavenly Father is watching out for us and hearing our prayers. I love you very much. Have an awesome week

Love, Elder Nissinen
Eating Subway at the mall today.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Elder B. and I at the LAN House. Be honest, do my cheeks look chubbier? haha If so, you don´t have to post this one on the website
Hey family!! 

Another wintry week here in São Paulo, meaning about a high of 25 degrees Celsius (about 78 Farenheit). And Heavenly Father has answered my prayers by keeping me safe from sunburns! Winters here in general are all over the place; it can be ^freezing^ (about 45 more or less) when you wake up, and then by noon it´s scorchin up in the high 80´s. Can´t wait to see what Summer brings in a couple months! 

After hitting a low spot a couple weeks ago, we´ve slowly been picking things up with some more prepared investigators, found none other than by members themselves!! A week ago we had a Family Home Evening with an active family who invited some nonmember friends. The activity went well, and when we casually mentioned prophets during the spiritual thought, the nonmember got super interested. We marked the appointment for the next day, and BOOM! We had a 2 hour discussion on the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Lots of great questions. The only problem is that she and her husband aren´t married yet. We haven´t talked to Morgana (the investigator) in a couple days (she didn´t come to church unfortunately), but we´ve got another lesson with her tonight. From what we´ve heard from the active family, she talked it over with her ^boyfriend^ (they´ve been together for 6 years now with 2 kids), and they want to get married! Cross your fingers! 

Lunch on Exchanges with all-Brazilians. They´ve gotta teach me how to cook this stuff!! It´s like a big stew over rice.  It's awesome and I love it!

Something super awesome happened this week too. A recent-convert family that was baptized just over a year ago went to the Temple to get sealed. They bore their testimonies yesterday, and it was super powerful. The whole ward supported them. Baptisms are great, but the Temple is the real prize of the whole Restored Gospel package. THAT´s what we´re really workin for. 

Again I was converted to member-missionary work. I think that´s one of the biggest lessons I´ve been learning throughout my whole mission. Yesterday we went on Splits twice with members, both were Returned Missionaries. They helped us out so much!!! Not only with the language, but with finding out investigator´s needs and then using the Spirit. I think the only thing that´ll help me adjust to home life will be helping out the missionaries back home haha. 

Happy Birthday Joe!! You´re such an awesome brother. Hope you got my letter I sent a few weeks ago. If it hasn´t shown up yet it should soon. 

We´re sure to see a bunch of miracles this week. A lot of our planners is already full with appointments. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement. I know this work, His work, will keep moving forward. Love you very much, and have an awesome fun week with High Adventure and a Girls Week Out! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Our weekly pday activity. So far Elder B.'s got me beat 4-2 games, but we´ll see how it goes down today