Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, November 24, 2014

No no, I haven´t been contaminated. Elder C. is one of the Assistants to the President.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!! It kinda sucks that they don´t do anything in Brazil for it, but I think they save it for an even bigger Christmas. I´ve heard that Brazilians celebrate Christmas for two days (Eve and the actual Christmas). President del Guerso is planning something HUGE for the mission to celebrate. And I´ve heard a rumor that we may be watching the movie Frozen! Keep it on the DL though.

December starts next week (already!), and I´ve started rolling out the Christmas music and the whole ball of wax. And even better news, I GOT NINNIE´S PACKAGE!!!! Don´t worry, I´ve only opened the letters and I´ll wait till December 14th. I was so surprised and grateful that it came already. 

Elder O. and I decided that we´re gonna give Christ really good present this year, and we committed ourselves to baptizing 5 people in December. It´s gonna be a big challenge for sure, but the same day that we talked about it, we met a bunch of really interested people that the members introduced to us. We´ve got at least 3 quality families that we´ve started teaching! Hallelujah!

Getting back to the title of the email, I did my first exchange with an Assistant. They´re the Elders that are over the entire mission and work close with the President. Elder C. is the most craziest missionary I´ve ever met. When we walked out of our apartment onto the street, he yelled HALLELUJAH!! GLORY TO GOD!! and started doing street contacts. I wasn´t sure to laugh my head off or to be embarrased. And throughout the day things just got more hilarious. We knocked on two people´s door at the same time, and ended up telling one of them that we´d be back in 10 minutes after sharing a message with his neighbor. But his attitude is super contagious, and I was mostly laughing the whole exchange.

Stake Conference was this weekend - it was SOOOOOO AWESOME!!!! President Del Guerso spoke at each session, and invited us to the Priesthood Leadership session. The whole thing was on To The Rescue, Conversion, and Teaching. To be honest it was probably the best stake conference I´ve been to about missionary work. A random couple came in during the conference, and afterward came up to us and said they wanted to be taught, married, and baptized. AND they livein our area! BOOM! Elder O. doesn´t believe in Santa (he believes it´s all commercialized), but I think after seeing these miracles, he´s started to believe haha.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving this weekend! I´m so very very grateful for my family and the Gospel which has changed my life in more ways than I can count. I´m seeing so many blessings out here in the mission field that I should´ve been more grateful for back home, and I thank Heavenly Father for every day that I´m out here. I wouldn´t be anywhere else!

P.S. Elder O and I are doing good.  We´ve been working out the kinks in our companionship this last week. To let you in on a secret, I´m thinking of buying him a new pair of shoes for Christmas. His pair isn´t very good, and is already falling apart after 3 months. Can I use the $100 as my present to get him some?

Thank for you all that you all do. 

Love Elder Nissinen

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hey everyone!

Time has gone by super fast. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away (can´t believe it). Unfortunately Brazil doesn't  have that holiday. So they jump right to Christmas! It´s sunny, clear, and already the stores have Christmas decorations. Because the prices for presents gets jacked way high in December, we´ve got people already doing their Christmas shopping! In the middle of November!! Because of the paradise-y weather, the song Melekeliki Maka has been stuck in my head. I´ll have to check around if they´ve got a Portuguese version of that song...

Well, in response to last week´s meltdown, I took the time Wednesday morning to study a bit about stress and what the heck´s been going on in my head. At length I came to the conclusion: DON`T TRY TO CONTROL THE THINGS YOU CAN`T. I can´t force my investigators to be baptized, I can´t control the missionaries in my zone to be more obedient, neither can I be the Ward Mission Leader, Executive Secretary, and Bishop on top of all that at the same time. Phew. So, I took the day and we worked, worked, worked, and I had fun with it.

We´ve been doing some ^Spring Cleaning in our teaching pool too this last week. We started off the week with 15 groups of people (families, single investigators, etc.), and as of yesterday we´re down to 6. A lot dropped us for crazy reasons (Don´t want to pray because they know they´ll get an answer, They don´t want our money, or They´d rather be a model), so we´re gonna be syched and pumped for some good finding. We´ve been slacking on our street contacts, so we´re gonna have to put the Perdizes wagon in overdrive. 

Cool story this week. One of the investigators we have is Pereira, an old investigator that was dropped four years ago, but we started reteaching last week. He´s one of those older guys that you can´t help but love. He repeats everything he says at least 3 times, but it´s profound. Our first lesson with him was 3 hours long the previous week. On Thursday we asked him if he believed the Book of Mormon is true. He said he knew it was true from the beginning, but he asked God for a confirmation, that if two missionaries gave him another Book of Mormon, without asking, that he would have all surety that it is true. We gave him a Book on our first visit without knowing, and he told us that this last week. 

Sorry I don´t have any pictures this week. I´m looking for a good spot to take the Christmas Card picture Mom asked. When does she need it? Thank you for the hilarious Barney Fife snippet. I laughed right out loud, and I think Elder O.  thinks I´m crazy (along with the rest of my past companions haha). We´ll keep going, day by day, and I know the Lord will bless us with success. After some good reflection this last week, I decided to change the nickname of this area from Babylon to the Garden of Gethsemane for me. It´s been a hard but wonderful challenge.

I love you all very much. Congratulations B on the ACT score. Keep your head up. 

Love Elder Nissinen 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hey Guys,

First lesson learned on last Pday (taken from one of Dad´s quotes): If you don´t do it, don´t do it. Learned that lesson pretty well when I had the crazy idea to cut my own hair. It wasn´t too too too bad, buuuuuut, two weeks is the difference between a good haircut and a bad one, right? I think in the space of two years, every Elder goes through at least one bad haircut haha.

Transfers have come in.......we´re both staying!!! I was relieved. We´re both stoked to stay, because we´re really hoping to see the fruits of our hard work after these last 6 weeks. This area has really been the Refiner´s fire for both of us. There´s many reasons God has His missionaries go out in two-by-two, especially that when you have those hard days, weeks, or months, you´re not alone in it. There´s a good amount of stress on the mission, that comes from just about every source you can think of. Saturday was one of those days. I had already started my fast that afternoon, I was tired, nothing was on-time that day, and we felt alone. We both had our own emotional breakdown. When we came home that night, I asked Elder Oliveira to give me a Preisthood Blessing of Comfort and Counsel. There´s a special feeling and power when you feel a Preisthood holder´s hands on your head, and I really felt the Spirit. In the end, I knew that everything that we´ve been going through has been helping and preparing us for the future.  We stay positive, selfless, happy, and obedient, and things will all work out soon. Thank you for your prayers. 

Love you tons,

Elder Nissinen

Monday, November 3, 2014

My package arrived!!!  Thanks Aunt Ninnie!!!

Hey guys! 

Let me just start off by saying that I´m still not used to this whole starting-a-fast-on- deal. After 18 years of having it , Brazil throws me a curveball hahaha. Actually I didn´t realize it was fast s until Preisthood Opening Exercises haha. I´m planning on making it up next Sunday

I love reading your guys´ letters! Winter already?!? We´re on the last week of transfers too, and the next one will run into Christmas. I´m really really hoping to stay with Elder O for at least one more. 

We had Mission Leadership Council this week too, and it was great talking with Elder M, Elder J, and Elder C. Turns out we´ll all be going home the same transfer! I sent a picture of us four. 

As for the English, we´ve been having a sort of competition with the Sisters that we split the ward with. One of them has been out for 11 months, and knows quite a bit of English. Elder O and I love to pull pranks on the Sisters. But this week this Sister came up to Elder O with a new phrase she learned that week: Go to Hell. What´s even funnier is that Elder O understood it perfectly without me having to translate. You would´ve had to have been there. I´ve been thinking of some real good sentences to teach my comp in revenge haha.

Yesterday I bore my testimony about courage in Sacrament Meeting. This last week I had a really good experience with that. one of our District Leaders had a baptismal interview for me to do. The lady was scheduled to be baptized for the next day, . Btw, I love doing interviews. It´s like seeing a person´s spiritual progress in a snapshot. We started it off with prayer, I got to know her briefly, and then starting asking her the questions. Soon I realized that this lady didn´t really have a testimony, but that she was ultimately being baptized for the two young men teaching her. She hadn´t read much of the Book of Mormon, none of it in the past two weeks, neither had she prayed about it. In a kind way I stopped the interview and explained to her that it´d be better for her to have a little more time to prep herself and grow her testimony. She didn´t have a problem with that, and she committed herself to study and pray more. After the interview I explained what had happened to the District Leader, with her not being able to be baptized that weekend. As we walked back to his apartment to trade back, he didn´t say a word to me. I shook it off, knowing that if I had passed her, she would´ve been baptized without a true testimony. I felt Heavenly Father was pleased.

I thought the incident would be over. Later that afternoon I get a phone call from President del Guerso. The District Leader had called him, complaining to him that she hadn´t passed. He asked me why I didn´t pass her. To be honest I was pretty nervous when I explained what happened. In the end he told me congratulations, and today in our weekly emails, President told me thank you that I didn´t pass her and that the Lord was proud of my trust in Him.

There are many times when our courage to stand for what´s right is tested. Heavenly Father has saved us for these times to when we need to show that courage. In this great war, we already know who´s gonna win. The real question is which side will we find ourselves fighting on when it´s over. 

Thank you for your wonderful examples. Stand firm. And even when blessings don´t appear in the way you hope, they come. Just hold on a little longer. There´s a lot of help and happiness ahead. 

I love you all. Have a great week!     Love Elder Nissinen