Elder Nissinen

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 

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