Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, September 1, 2014

The package came!!!
Hey everyone! 

First thing, I GOT THE PACKAGE!!! Last Pday we went over to the Mission Office to sign some visa stuff, and it was there! It arrived last Saturday, so all in all it takes about a month solid for a package to get here. And apparently the letters take even longer to get to the States. Good thing we got email.

Ward fish
But thank you guys so much for the package! It made my week for sure. Ninnie really knows how to stuff a package: tons of pictures, letters, and candy haha. Tell her thank you thank you thank you from me. I know it wasn´t easy or cheap, but it meant a lot. The whole family is awesome; I´m so grateful for sure an awesome family. I hope you all had a great week.

This week has been one of gratitude, for a lot of things, and Heavenly Father blessed both Elder B. and I a lot. We´ve been teaching a lot of people, and committing them to come to Church for yesterday. We were planning on having at least 6 investigators come. And guess how many? 11! Two families and a lot of members brought their friends. The chapel and classrooms were really full yesterday! And many said they´d be coming back for sure this Sunday. I honestly have no idea how it happened, or what we did to have this kind of success, but in my nightly prayer yesterday I got down on my knees and thanked Heavenly Father so much for His tender mercies. There´s so much to be grateful for.   
                              
                                      Teaching some math skills
And I love working with the members. Allan the 8 year old got interviewed yesterday by the Bishop, and he´s all set to be baptized. We just gotta choose a date! Tonight we´ll be going over, marking a date, teaching the 10 Commandments (WITH hand signals), and giving his mom Luciana the recipe for Mom´s cookies so we can make them next week or sometime really soon. The best thing that happened with that family was when yesterday the less-active mom came to church!! She looked so happy!! She passed us on the way home as we were walking, sitting in the back of a truck with Allan. They waved at us and looked so happy. The Gospel is so awesome.

8 year old Allen and his CTR shield!!!

That reminds me. Remember when I told you about the nonmember who did not drink but did not want to throw out his wine bottles? He´s not the only guy! We met a less-active with the same thing. And, same thing, no pictures of the family. We proposed the idea of switching out the bottles for pictures, and then I threw the icing on the cake: Mom´s homemade cookies. She took the bait, and is totally willing to throw them out. We´ll be following up with some fresh cookies soon haha. Never thought that American cookies would influence someone´s salvation haha.
You´ve all asked about schools here. Since the seasons are switched, kids are in school almost all year long except for a couple months during Christmastime (and the World Cup every 4 years). They have school at 3 different times a day, and the kids choose which one they go to: early morning until noonish, afternoonish, and evening until nighttime. 

Our supermarket!!! 
About the elections. Things are just nuts when it comes to politics. A lot of people don´t trust the system. How it works is this: everyone above 18 is mandated to vote - no choice. If you don´t then your opportunities go down if you want to go to college, leave the country, or work somewhere in the goverment - it´s declined automatically if you don´t. You register by going to a government building, and then on the day you vote (October 5th), you go to the nearest pre-assigned public school to vote. You punch in the number code of the candidate, or you can choose to vote for no one. What I hear that happens is that if you choose to vote for no one, the government puts your vote over to the person that´s in the lead. Kids 16 and 17 can vote if they want, but it´s not mandatory. Oh, and the open TV channels, for one hour a day, they play advertisements of all the candidates (it´s law), so pretty much you just sit and watch political ads if you wanna watch TV. Pretty different than the States huh? haha
So many great things happened this week. I´m really grateful for the many blessings that my loving Heavenly Father has given me. Thank you guys for everything. I love you all so much. Crazy to think you´re all in high school already. Have a great first week of school!! Go Tide!

Love Elder Nissinen

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