Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Life is getting crazier and crazier in the office. We´ve got one big thing going on this upcoming week that we´ve gotta plan out: Multi-Zone Conference. Here it´s almost a whole-day event, and since the mission is so spread-out, we´ve gotta do it twice to split everyone. It´s gonna be a Shark-week on steroids! But to keep us alive we´ve got Pizza and Brazilian Coca-Cola, so I think we´ll make it haha.

I´m loving this area more and more, even though we´re not able to spend as much time out in proselyting. It´s seriously the Salt Lake of Brazil here. We´ve got the Temple, Chapel, and the Church Headquarters all next to each other, and everyone in the ward works for one of the three. And a lot of the original members (and their descendents) of the Church in Brazil live in our area.

A funny <adventure> in the office. Wednesday one of the email accounts of the mission shut down, so I called Salt Lake to have them figure it out. I had to explain the problem - in english!! And I was stuttering. You know it´s embarrassing when the lady on the other end starts laughing.....

Yesterday we had lunch with a family, and it was my first time meeting them. So you know we go through all the get-to-know-you stuff. I said I was from Oregon, he asked me if I was from Hillsboro. Turns out the dad´s last companion on his mission was Mark S. The member was blown away having a retrospective moment during the whole lunch. So if you see him around, tell him that an Elder M. says hey. Small world!

It looks like this area is gonna be a testing ground of all the stuff I´ve learned in all my areas. Since there´re no doors to knock, we throw tracting out. And the people on the streets are in a dead-powerwalk, and Perdizes taught me how to street contact in 3 seconds. And the members here are GOLDEN, so I´ve gotta summon my Cucamonga skills in member-missionar work to the max. 

We´ve also got a thing starting next month called The March 5. It´s a challenge in the mission which companionship can baptize 5 people in one month. Elder V. and I are already planning on reaching it. It just fits our ward name: SP Ward 5, March 5. It´s got a nice ring to it. 

We only had one investigator at church today. The other ones flaked out last minute, but the one´s got some good potential. Saturday night we had a lesson with one of our recent-converts, and during the lesson a friend that lives with him came in and listened. When we invited him to church for the next day, he told us that he didn´t have any good clothes to wear. Our Ward Mission Leader was with us during the lesson. He then proposed, If he brought him a white shirt, slacks, and shoes, he would go. He agreed, and when church started, he was beaming in his new clothes. He liked church, made some friends, and we have a lesson with him tonight. Keep your fingers crossed! 

The Lord is acelerating His work, because the Office sure is haha. Love you all. Have a great week. Let me know any news on BYU stuff about B. I´ve got my fingers crossed!

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The German´s Restaurant.  We went there on an all-day Leadership meeting on the other side of the mission

Hey everyone!

We had an awesome week this last week. We´ve been working NONSTOP to keep this place up and running. Sometimes we get a hard time from the other missionaries that we got it easy with our air conditioning (a true luxury in Brazil), and the lady that comes to clean once a week, so we get a hard time for that. But the last few days we´ve hardly spent any time in the office because of the million errands we´ve got. I´m absolutely loving the work here. 

This week my testimony about Priesthood keys skyrocketed! Wednesday night I get a phone call from President, asking me to set up an interview with another elder in the mission for the next morning. After the interview, President pulled me and Elder V.  aside and explained that the elder needed to be emergency-transfered to another area, and he asked us which area we thought he should go. It was like one of those experiences where an Apostle and a Seventy are making mission call assignments. We gave our ideas, and then President del Guerso switched a few people on his Transfer Board. We all felt right about the swap. It´s awesome working closer to the Mission President. It´s super cool seeing all the behind-the-scenes stuff that I took for granted when I started the mission.

We´ve been busting out butts a ton with the less time we have to work in our area. Since I got here we´ve been passing by a house of a referral a member gave us. Until Saturday we haven´t had any luck. But we passed by, and both the mom and son were home and super-receptive. We started talking about our purpose as missionaries, the gospel, and then we invited them to come to church with us the next day. Yeah, why not? I´ve always wanted to go inside that church.^ was how she responded. Totally took me off by surprise. We went by their house a little earlier, and they were happy, ready, and excited. They could only stay for sacrament meeting, but we set up an appointment for later this week. A great miracle!!!

Sorry for the short letter. We got a bunch of pictures I´m sending to you. Loving it here. My companion is awesome, the ward is amazing, and the church is true!
Our little barbeque on Saturday

Hope you all have a great week!            Love Elder Nissinen

                                                    Our little barbecue on Saturday!
We got money from a member, so we had the other elders go buy the stuff on their p-day and we had a sick barbecue  - Brazilian style! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

My new companion Elder V. 

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!!!,

Hey everyone! This week has been one of the most CRAZIEST I´ve had on my mission - so many things happening at the same time. But I LOVE my new assignment. So my ~title~ is the Executive Secretary in-training Traveling Assistant. So me and my companion have the load of taking care of Referrals, Batismal Records, Visas, Mission Numbers, Transfers, Organizing Meetings, Supplies, and all the other little things that go with being a secretary PLUS being an AP and working with the other two Assistants, PLUS having our own area to work in. So many things to fill you all in on this week.

The Office!

My companion is Elder V,  from Chile. He´s 26 and goes home in April (one more transfer after this one). He already has 6 months working in the office, so he knows all the ropes and is teaching me a ton. I´ve already known him from him being my zone leader back in Macedonia, so we´re already great friends and we work great together. We live in the Office and there´s 6 of us in total. Me, Elder V. , the Financial and House Secretaries, and the two other APs. The whole group is hilarious! Most of the time we´re telling stories of the dorkiest things missionaries have done haha. Or we´re eating pizza every other night. There´s a legendary pizzaria that everyone´s talked about. The big deal is that they fill the crust with chocolate (like Nutella) so it´s like the size of your fist!! It´s AMAZING (and slightly addicting haha). But don´t worry. Even though I´m passing more time in an office chair in front of a screen, we´ve been doing some insane workouts in the morning. Have you heard of Insanity Workouts? It´s like P90X but....well...insane. Like 5 out of the 6 of us do it almost everyday. After the first day, my calves were so painfully sore. It felt great!! The great thing about living in the office is that you have everything you could need. And missionaries leave behind a bunch of junk too, since all the elders spend their last night at the Office. 

This week we were running nonstop! Transfers first off throw everything off. Everyone has to get switched around in the system, and on top of that we had 8 new missionaries arrive Tuesday morning. They looked so fresh! haha And on Thursday and Friday we had Mission Leadership Councils with all the zones, which took up both days completely. But I like being busy, and we always have something to do. I even have my own cell phone as a secretary! 

The bedroom!
And I LOVE my new area too. It´s Ala 5 (Ward 5), and it´s the ward that covers the Temple!! So everywhere we go, we´re always in sight of the temple. It´s awesome! And because our area also has the Church Headquarters for Brazil, we have a bunch of the church leadership (like the Temple President, Ex-Mission Presidents). The members here are GOLDEN!!! It´s been a while since I last heard a member asking us what they can do to help! [Fist Pump]. We work in the office from 10 to 5 everyday (except for Saturdays, Sundays, and Pdays), so we don´t have as much time to work in the area, but we´re milking every second. It´s pretty cool to do a street contact and not have to explain where the church is located. Yeah it´s that big white building there. Yeah, the really nice one with the golden angel on top.^ 

There´s so many things to tell you all about the area, the office, all the cool changes. Isabelly got baptized on Saturday (HALLELUJAH!). 

Oh and just to clarify, my Pday is still Mondays. I got it mixed up with the other secretaries; their pday is Saturday, ours is Monday.

Have a great week!! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Zone!!!

On Sunday morning right as we started picking up our investigators for church, we get a phone call from President del Guerso. After a little talk, he gave me my new assignment. I´m now the new Traveling Assistant to the President (slash) Referral Secretary. Which means I´m now gonna be working in the mission office!!! Totally threw me off about what was gonna happen with transfers.
I know I´ll be an AP, but also a Secretary, so i don´t know how it´ll all work. I have 4 transfers left, so there´s a good chance I´ll die in the office. Or, I´m hoping I can open an area and train for my last transfer. And Elder T.  is staying as Zone Leader and getting a Brazilian companion. Because Transfer Meeting is tomorrow, and all the new greenies show up that day, President asked me to report this afternoon to start working. So I hardly had any time to say anyone goodbye in the ward. I took advantage of it being Fast Sunday and announced it to the ward. It´s really hard saying goodbye. I´m still not used to it, even though I´ve gone through 6 areas and 14 companions already. It was probably the toughest ward I´ve served in so far. Even the members were flaking out in callings and going to church. But even though I didn´t have one baptism in Perdizes, we worked our tails off, fortifying the members and not giving up hope. 

Our zone had a lot of changes too. We only have 5 companionships in it, and now 3 of them will be training brand-new missionaries. It´ll be good to get some fresh blood in it. 

I think that means my P-day will be changing to Saturdays now that I´m a Secretary. I guess I´ll get the full ^Orientation Course^ this afternoon. But I´m pretty stoked. My companion will be Elder V, Chilean, and I know him pretty well already after him being my zone leader once. He´s an awesome missionary and has a heart of gold, and he´ll teach me a ton. And it´ll be good working closer to President.

I think I have some weird curse in Brazil. Every time I leave an area, almost immediately all the investigators I was teaching decide to get baptized. It happened in Ipe, Macedonia, and now in Perdizes it´s gonna happen again. I remember that after I left Macedonia, the Elders baptized for 3 weeks straight - ALL that I started teaching! haha We´ve got a baptism marked for this weekend! Isabelly has 9 years old and she´s ready to take the plunge. We´ve been working hard with her mom Juliana, but she´s got some major problems with drugs and chastity, so we´ve gotta push it back a bit. 

A family I grew to love!

A hamburger another member made for us last night
And we´re still teaching the Paraguayan family - in Spanish. Well, more like Elder T.  tea  ches and I bear testimony haha. And they understood me! We had so many people to pick up to bring to Church that we had so go on splits with our members to cover it all. We brought 5 people to church - 3 families! They all loved it. Romina is set for the 21st, Isabelly is this weekend, and we´ve been getting some great potentials from knocking doors (in Spanish). It´s good hard work, and it´s totally worth it. Looks like I´m the unofficial John the Baptist of the mission - crying repentance and preparing the way for someone to baptize with water and fire kind of a thing. 

Hope everyone has a great week. New transfers, new semesters, all good new starts. Give it all you got and love it. 

Church is true. Heavenly Father answers prayers.   Love Elder Nissinen

We´ve been getting some crazy cool lightning storms at night. I tried getting some quick-snap shots - turned out pretty legit.