Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Temple trip this morning!!!

                          HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM,

You know that phrase that behind every Eagle Scout is a Mom? I know the same thing goes for a missionary
Oh YES! YES YES YES!! Ninnie really knows how to stuff a package. Tell her THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Everything was just perfect. And I´ll shred the old card today

Well, the sun is shining in the dead-center of Sao Paulo, and Elder O. and I haven´t given up yet. I´m seeing some great progress in the area, slow but sure. We´re building better friendships with our members, they´re more willing to go on splits with us, and we´re gonna be having our first Ward Council t(in a long time - before Elder O. got here). If by an odd chance, if I turn into a member that´s too lazy or too ^busy^ to do missionary work, I want someone to hit me right upside the head with Preach My Gospel. Because there´s no way in heck that this work can hasten with just 88,000, at least not at the pace Heavenly Father wants it We had some really good things happen this week. We had interviews with President Del Guerso. He´s a pretty funny guy, especially when him and his wife are cracking jokes. My interview was pretty short. No questions? No problems? Good! Haha
On Thursday
 We got a random referral on the cell phone, saying that a couple had already been to church and wanted to get baptized. Pretty much in our ears that means that we get over there as fast as we can. Little did we know that the street was in the furthest corner of our area. We walked, and then walked. Elder O´s back had been hurting a lot that day, so I carried his bag and we walked and walked for about an hour straight (and missionaries walk fast). Finally we got there. The couple (Carol and Vagner) had just moved from Bolivia that same week, was taught by the missionaries there, and want to get baptized. BOOM! We´re working with them to get married and used to the ward. Turns out in the Center there´s a lot of Hispanic members in our ward.
It was awesome to see Elder M!!!

Can´t complain a whole lot haha. We´re working really hard, and God has been really good to us. What more can I ask for? I know for sure that in the times where I´m not baptizing as much, that I´m growing ten times faster.
Love you all. Hope we can chat a bit if the Internet doesn´t act weird. Happy Halloween (Brazilians know it exists but don´t do anything for it haha).

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Peridizes Zone!!!

Elder O made me this awesome meal!!! Noodles, Rice and Chicken.  It was amazing!!!

Before I forget our next P-day won't be on Monday because  we´re going to the TEMPLE!!!! The last time I went was with Elder C. months ago. I hope I never take the Temple for granted.

It´s great that Pday is today too! Elder O.  and I are always pumped to get off to the LAN House as fast as we can. And we´re now another hour ahead thanks to Daylight Savings. Elder O. was telling me, where he lives they hardly ever switch the time, because he lives so close to the Equator. You´re not gonna believe this (I didn´t either), but yesterday President sent us all a text giving us PERIMISSION to SLEEP IN today until 7:30. What the heck!!! Even I took advantage of that, or tried, even though I couldn´t go back to sleep when I woke up at 6:30. Oh well haha

Things went a lot better this week. We´ve been really narrowing down our teaching pool with those who want to know the truth, and SHOW it (going to church, praying, reading). The rest have either dropped us or we dropped them after teaching them for so long without much progress. But with that said, we´ve got some quality people we´re teaching. One of them is Fernando. He´s the guy we brought to the church building to tour it around and play some pingpong. He grew up as a Jehova Witness but wasn´t baptized. We´re super tight with him. And....he came to church too!! I got a cool story with that:

A lesson learned on Sunday (of many). During the week, someone robbed the church building; jumped the high fence, broke the two thick masterlocks on the doors, and broke the window to get in. They took the speakers and microphones, and tried breaking the Bishopric´s security door. Thankfully no one was inside or hurt, but it made things kinda annoying on Sunday without being able to hear the speakers right. We were sitting towards the back near the side doors, and with little kids running around, opening and shutting the doors every 10 seconds, and not being able to hear the speakers, I was (to say the least) annoyed. I was mostly afraid of what Fernando would think, it being his first time. After the meeting, we asked him what he thought. His answer stunned me: Ît was perfect. I realized and learned that to those who no hardly anything of our faith, that there is still a distinct and perfect Spirit to be felt in His house, no matter how roughty the kids, or if we´re lacking the lastest sound system. None of that matters if there are those gathered in His name, attentively looking for that ^water of everlasting life.^  And they will feel it. The members afterward asked Fernando if he´s got a baptismal date soon. He said Not yet, but I will definitely soon. It was one of those spiritual fist-pumping moments.

This is a hard area, probably one of the hardest in the mission. Some have called this place Babylon if you believe it or not. But I´ve been growing and stretching so much with Elder O. We´re working our butts off, and we know Heavenly Father has and will continue to bless us, even with the small coincidences. Thank you too for your advice Dad that you sent me today.

I love you all very much. Have a great week! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ping Pong Proselyting...

Boy things have been burning up here in Brazil. We left the apartment at 10, and it was already 91 degrees!! The whole week has been like that. Thank heavens we have a box fan for each of us to use at night to cool off. When we get home at night, after planning, it´s always a competition of who´s gonna be the one to take a shower first. In the summer it´s pretty common to take two even three showers a day to get all the sweat off. I definitely used some sunscreen to keep me alive haha.

A long week it was in Perdizes. We had a lot of good successes, and then almost all of it came burning down at the last moment on Saturday. But I´m grateful for the story Mom sent me about Gratitude. Elder O  is a great help. He´s super positive and hilarious, and we´ve been helping each other out a lot with all the crazy stresses in mission life. We had some really good spiritual experiences too.

Starting off on the less-spiritual side, I learned that our church building has a ping-pong table! We took one of our investigators to show him around the chapel, and then we all decided to hook up the table and go at it. After a bunch of smack-talk (it´s really fun to smack-talk in Portuguese btw), I learned an important lesson: don´t mess with Brazilians in ping-pong. Fun fact, they all hold the paddle the Japanese way. I held my own, but Elder O shoved my foot in my mouth. If we have time today after shopping and cleaning, we´re gonna go back to the chapel for a rematch. 

Me and Elder W with our MacD 
I also went on Exchanges with Elder W, a brand-new missionary with only 2 weeks here. A lot of the Americans now are going straight to the Brazil MTC without having to wait. And me with only a week or so in the huge downtown area, needless to say, we got a little ways off the beaten path, if you know what I mean. But we decided to celebrate (and get rid of our headaches from being lost), by getting some Big Macs for 15 dollars a piece. But it was worth it haha.

Saturday was probably one of the hardest proselyting days of my mission. We´ve been working with some really good people, and they were marked and ready for baptism soon. But throughout the day, we passed by a few of them on the street. Many lied about appointments, broke commandments behind our backs, and to be honest we were pretty mad, if not disappointed. Right when close to nothing else could-ve gone worse, we decided to take 5, get some cold water, and pop a squat on a nearby parkbench to just talk. We both felt right to fast about all this. So right then and there we started our fast in prayer. We got up, chose someone to go visit, and started walking. A minute or two later we got a phonecall from the Relief Society president. She´d seen us praying and asked us why. We told her we were having a rough day, and she told us of how proud she was that we´re obedient and working hard, and that the Lord is proud of us too. I don´t know exactly how Heavenly Father answers our prayers, but a scripture that Elder O uses often comes to mind - of how by small and simple things, great things come to pass. That phone call was the best thing that happened that day. 

Thank you for your emails and prayers. Even though some weeks and days are harder or better than others, I´m grateful that Heavenly Father gives me these opportunities to grow. I rely on Him for so much.

Keep fighting and keep moving forward. Know where you face.

Love you all very much,             Elder Nissinen

            Pictures of my apartment 

Monday, October 6, 2014

My first Brazilian Companion
Happy Pday! It came really fast this week, and I´ve got a lot of changes to tell you guys.

Of course Monday was spent most of the day packing and saying good-bye to all the awesome members I met. I´m sending you some pictures of them all today. Tuesday I got to see all my last companions because they were getting transferred too. Elder B and Elder C are still doing awesome. A member pulled up in one of the fanciest cars in the church parking lot, and Elder Oliveira came out with the member. My first thought: ^Man this place is gonna be legit. So many things to tell you about the changes.

I think the best way to describe the difference between Perdizes and every other area I´ve served in is like this: Imagine serving in the poorest part of Cornelius for 4 months, and then get transferred right to the richest and heart of Portland, right in the smack center. And that´s where I´m at! It´s a HUGE area. We have to take two buses to get to church every week, and even with our area split with Sisters, it takes about 30 minutes by bus to go from side to side. The houses are few. In fact most buildings are apartments, so imagine in just one block how many people live. We have SO MUCH work to do here we are never resting, plus being a zone leader at the same time. 

My first Brazilian companion Elder O is amazing. He´s a convert of about 5 years now, and is the first member of his family as a member of the Church. He got kicked out of the house for joining, but then he came back and baptized most of his family. He´s an awesome teacher, super funny, and gets along great with everyone. Heavenly Father has really blessed me with some awesome companions.

This week we did a Contact challenge between our zone, between which companionship could do the most contacts in a week fromThursday to Sunday night. Our zone is really competitive, but it was hilarious throughout the week to see everyone smack-talking each other about talking to people on the street. Even between conference sessions our zone was out contacting to get the edge. I´ve never contacted so many people on my mission! Our area´s not the best for contacting because since so many people work in our area, few actually live in it, or even close to it! 

To put that to the test, Elder O challenged me to do a contact with the first person I saw, and then to see where he lived. Turns out the guy lived at least 3 hours by bus away from our area - and that´s common!! The center is way different than anything else. And if you think Portland is weird, wait till you check out São Paulo. Just so you believe me, there´s men that dress up like women, and they actually look like women (until they open their mouths and talk in their actual voices). Pretty weird. 

We live in an apartment with just me and Elder O. Sorry mom, but no oven in this one. And no gym either! But it´s okay. We got a great view of the city from our 12 story window. 

Conference was the BEST! And I was super grateful they hooked up a little TV in some room in the stake center to the English channel of conference. It was me, the rest of the American missionaries in the stake, and a couple members who were fluent in English. I wasn´t able to listen to Priesthood Session because of the time, but I downloaded all the conference already to listen again throughout the week. I thought it was really neat that they had a few 70 speak in their native languages. The members got a kick of it here that they got to hear a talk in their own language without someone doing a translation. I learned to be grateful for English after listening to the foreign talks. It´s so much different when you´re listening and watching the General Authority actually speaking. 
Crazy changes, but I know I´m learning and growing a lot because of it. It looks like you all had a great week. Keep truckin Glencoe! Love you all a ton!! Thank you for your emails today. I keep praying for you every day.

Love Elder Nissinen