Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

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

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