Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, January 26, 2015

La Curcaracha,

Well it´s day 7 in the field of battle against these darn cockroaches. After going on an all-out shopping spree with anything with a anti-cockroach sign on it, they went running! I think with one more week of warfare we´ll be completely free. 

This last week we were tracting in a little town in our area that has a lot of hispanics in it. Elder T. has been liking working there a lot. It´s also a more humble part of the area, so we´ve been having more success in getting in doors. We talked with a lady who didn´t really want much, and as we left, her neighbor yelled out to us and asked if we were Mormons. Her name is Romina, and she´s from Paraguay. Her mom had just arrived here this same week, and she was baptized just 9 months ago. The daughter Romina hasn´t been baptized yet. And get this: her brother is serving a mission in Uruguay. The family is awesome and lives with a bunch of people who want to know more too. The only problem: No one knows how to speak Portguese fluently. Sooooo.....I´ve been scratching my head a lot during these lessons trying to remember thing one from high school spanish classes. It´s like being a Greenie - for the third time! haha But we passed by Sunday morning to take them to church, and they were all ready to go! Our ward has a lot of Hispanics, so they were well-fellowshipped and loved it! During Sacrament Meeting, Romina asked me ^So when I get baptized?^ YES! 

We´re also working really hard with Juliana and Isabelly, the mom and daughter I wrote about last week. Only Isabelly went to church yesterday, and Juliana has been having some struggles getting away permenantly from her past life on the streets. The ward is still working really hard too with us on this family. If we can get the mom especially converted, it´ll make all the difference for the rest of the family. 

Saturday morning we had a service project with one of our investigators Adriano. His wife asked him to mount their TV onto the wall, plus move some other things on their wall around so it´d be all symetrical and perfectly-measured. It took us 3 hours to get it done, most of the time thinking between the three of us how we´d get it done, and I was honestly surprised how it turned out. We only had a tape measure and a cheesy power drill to work with! hahaha No level, no real straight-edge, nothin. And it passed the wife´s inspection, even better. I think Papa will be hiring me real soon haha

This is the last week of transfers. We find out Sunday night about what´s gonna go down in the zone. I have no clue what´s gonna happen, but we´ll just keep workin, workin, workin. I don´t know if this is a sin, maybe it is, but I definitely have pride in being a member of this Church. It´s totally true. We just need some more people to know about it! 

Love you all! I keep praying for you all everyday!

Love Elder Nissinen

Monday, January 19, 2015

I declare WAR!!!

All right. So we got into our apartment last night at 9:30. Turned on the lights and....about 5 or 7 or so COCKROACHES went scrambling for shelter. We´ve been having a little bug problem in our apartment as of late. No idea why. Our apartment is clean and we don´t have any food out. But the adrenaline went pumping and immediately the Hush Puppies shoes went to work smashing sending all those critters to the farest corners of Outer Darkness. Then when the smoke cleared I grabbed our RAID anti-bug spray can and went to work. This means WAR! I´m also making a special trip to the grocery store to load up on all the artillery I can get. This apartment ain´t big enough for more than us two.

 Maybe I´ve been studying too much of Captain Moroni?

 Down to the more nitty-gritty. Elder T. and I set a goal to baptize every week in February. Over the last couple weeks we´ve been doing more street contacts, and because of that we´ve seen a lot of success from it. More of our own investigators have been progressing towards getting baptized or getting dropped, and we had 6 investigators at church - just from our own companionship! A bunch of old investigators we had taught in December but were traveling have come back. So right now the real deal in Perdizes is February.

 It started off Wednesday. There´s a recent-convert family in the ward that has been going through some financial problems. There´s no men in the house, just the grandmother, her daughter, and 7 grandchildren. Not all have been baptized yet, but the ward has really focused on that family. On New Year´s Day, the daughter had another baby. And because of the financial situation, the Bishop and other members have been bringing the whole Johnson&Johnson aisle to help out. Another detail: the mom and one of the daughters aren´t baptized. Juliana and Isabelly are their names. Juliana´s been BEGGING us to come teach her and baptize her. Sooooooo, we went over Wednesday and marked them for baptism on the 7th! Great way to start our solid weekly-baptizing goal. We had two members come by with their cars and loaded up the whole family to come to church. They looked so happy! The whole ward´s been doing great with them.

 Speaking of Church, we had a great 3 hours yesterday. I wasn´t sure how it´d go when the bishop called us at 8:30 asking me to give a 10 minute talk (you know I´m not a big fan of on-the-spot), so I basically let the Spirit take care of this one. All the classes were taught by Returned Missionaries, and man you could see the Spirit goin to work on our investigators. Btw, the Lord needs more RMs!!!! The Bishop had also asked a Sister missionary in our ward to give a talk too. She went up first with a prepared talk and started talking about missionary work, how the members needed to help more, responsibility, etc. I didn´t see a lot of people paying attention. When it was my turn I felt impressed to talk about the sacrament and sacrifices. Basically I was just bearing my testimony. I felt really good about it, and basically thanked the members for being in the right place. I got a lot of compliments afterward. The Sister missionary looked a little ticked haha

 We got some good things comin. Interviews with President were chill. Because of some logistics in the zone, there´s a good chance I´ll be staying for one more transfer here. I´m hoping so, so I can stick around for our February streak.

 Well I hope it´s been a good week for you all. Great emails today from everyone. Too bad the Ducks are out. Last night I passed by a member´s house and he was watching the Seahawks game in portuguese. Turns out some people are really into it. You guys are awesome. Keep up the hard work, and I´ll keep praying for you all. Heavenly Father always hears our prayers and it always willing and wanting to forgive us. We all need it.

> Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy Pday!! Feelin like a new Elder with a shorter haircut. We´ve been baking all week, but thanks to good ol Banana Boat I´m still unburnt and even whiter under the collar. Plus we´ve been chugging water like crazy! I thought I learned to love water after Soccer Condicioning Camp, but here there´s no way to go without it! I´m also on the lookout for the Brazilian-version of Otter Pops. If you think they´re cheap at home, it´s pocket change here - sounds like it´s for a Mormon Elder haha

We had a good week. Elder T. and I got some crazy rage where we just went out and contacted everyone we could on the streets. We even went into a few sketchy invaded apartments to knock doors haha. We didn´t have much luck, but we´re pretty happy with the work we´re doing. 

We´ve also been going into different parts of the area that I´ve rarely stepped in. Our area´s so big haha. We´ve got a part of town that´s 99 percent Bolivians and Peruans, sooooooo we´ve been working Elder T´s Spanish to contact and teach some lessons. I feel so gringo during those lessons haha. Kinda like a mental nightmare of Mrs. Paisley´s Spanish class - but who knew I´d actually use it in Brazil?! We have another part of town that´s mostly Japanese......we´re fresh out of Japanese-speakers......oh well. 

Adriano unfortanately cancelled our lesson we were gonna have, but him and his wife came to church yesterday, and we´ve got a firm appointment with them tomorrow. We´re planning on bringing in the big guns. Yeah you know you always wish things would go a little better, but we can´t be too hard on ourselves. We´re working hard. We´re being obedient. Some of the biggest blessings I´m seeing is what´s happening with you guys. A lot of missionaries I know don´t have a really good family life.

Interviews with President are this week too. I´m getting ready for another Well do you have any problems? Are you obedient? Your family´s good? Good? Onto the people who aren´t hahaha 

And we´ve got one special incident that just might help us baptize this month. Frank. He got baptized just over 3 months ago right before I got in the area. He never got confirmed. The Sunday after his baptism was General Conference, and the only other time he went to church was Stake Conference. And I think the church has a policy that if someone´s not confirmed within 3 months, he´s gotta be rebaptized. Not sure how that all works. I don´t even know what you call him! A recently-baptized-new-investigating-convert? Plus we weren´t able to get ahold of him in the past because of the holidays and he´s only home late at night, and our nights are always packed. We´ll see what the APs have to say about our mysterious box here.

Thanks for the emails, GO DUCKS!!!! There´s another Oregonian in my mission and he got super trunky after I told him the Ducks were going to the BCS Championship haha. I´ll keep rootin for them! Congrats on all the archery, pingpong, piano, and school victories. You guys are awesome! Dad maybe you can have Mom do some of that Voodoo foot-rubbing stuff to help get that bug out haha. I´m glad the letters got to ya. 

Hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Nissinen  

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hey guys! 2014 is in the dust, and 2015 is gonna be great! There´s a lot of things I´ve learned in this past year. A lot of experiences I´ve never had before my mission that Heavenly Father is giving me so I can grow. And I´m seeing that the harder and happier I work, God still has a lot for me to learn. Because things were pretty slow this week in our area (practically a ghosttown), I had more time to think and do some reflecting. 

Fireworks from out appartment
So the go-to spot for people living in Sao Paulo during the holidays is the beach. EVERYONE goes to the beach. So I bet (or better, hope) the missionaries on the coast were doing some major contacting to pass off all the people that crowded the sand. Our numbers were really low (and with our area being not one of the easiest, even lower), and throughout the whole week everywhere we walked it looked like a Sunday morning going to church - dead silent haha. I think even the crazy pigeons did some migrating. But everyone´s back in town. School´s still out but all the adults are dreading having to go back to work. 

President did a crazy thing this last week that he´s letting everyone today watch the movie Malificent (the one with Angelina Jolie). Out of all movies.....haha I think Pres has got something up his sleeve with this one. But who can complain - it´s a movie! We hooked it up with some members, and today at noon we´re gonna have lunch and watch it on their big TV. Suh-Weet! Some rockin benefits when you´re in a richer area haha. From what we heard it´s pretty good. 

Elder T. and I playing some serious UNO!
Our New Year´s Eve was pretty chill too. People were already drinking and lightin off fireworks after lunch, so we tried visiting the few people that were home and contacting the few that weren´t drunk. Then we went to a member´s house who gave us dinner and we played UNO for a few hours with one of their sons. It got intense! Then we had to be home at 10:30 President´s orders, and we stayed up till midnight to check out all the fireworks from our apartment window. People were lighting off mortors from nearly every street corner we could see. I attached some pictures, but just imagine all the little white dots are those big fireworks. And they were CLOSE! Pretty funny to see everyone go nuts for the New Years - people dancing and singing from their apartment windows. And what happens the next day is even worse (for missionaries): everyone sleeps the whole day. I love the holidays  but I´m kinda glad they´re over so we can get back to work. 

Someone you guys should pray for this week: Adriano. He´s a husband of a member who´s been coming to church the last 3 weeks - and they´re legally married! We started teaching last week and he looks like a pretty solid soon-to-be convert. But he needs our prayers! He´s one of the most solid investigators we´ve got, plus Ramiro and Natalya are going to work out their documents this week so they can get married. 

Elder T. is at the back of the bus.
We´ve been fighting the trunky-ness in our zone the last couple weeks with the holidays. And we´ll see what Pres has to say about it on Wednesday with our Leadership council.  Most are missing home, and one or two in our small zone are going home in less than 3 months. I feel like I play the mediator between the mission leaders that push for numbers and the leaders that help the missionaries progress.   Honestly the only time I think about home is when I´m not busy. And you know that I always like to be busy with something. There´s a lot of people who depend and look up to me, and with these last 6 months or so there´s no room to be trunky or lazy. I pretty much just wanna burn out the rest of my mission by working hard and having fun serving other people. For me that´ll be my measure of success

Chocolate filled pizza crust!  Oh Yeah!!
I love you all a lot. GO DUCKS! Good luck on the first day back at school. Don´t worry. The Book of Mormon IS true. I challenged a deacon in my ward (who hasn´t read it all through yet) to see who can finish it first. And he´s already ahead of me haha.

Have a good week

Elder Nissinen