Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Good morning everyone! 

This last week has blown by so fast - the time in the office screams by, and with the 4 hours or so in proselyting, it goes even faster. And here we have another pday. Neither do I believe that I´m turning twenty this week...I don´t feel that old...

But thank you all for the birthday wishes and the in-tune audio clip haha. Both of my birthdays I´ve spent with the Apostles and Prophets - who else can say that? Plus it´ll be cool with easter. Cool fun fact in Brazil about Easter: Chocolate eggs are a big deal here - literally. Well it´s actually more like a big rip-off, but the eggs are HUGE! They´re about as big as soccer-balls, hollow, but everyone goes for what´s inside (other chocolate, toys, etc.) Brazil gets big bucks for them - $35 what it comes out to. I may just buy one just to see what the heck it´s worth. Maybe Mother Goose really does lay those golden eggs but migrates south in Spring. 

If you haven´t already, before you keep reading, go to helives.mormon.org and watch the video. Then share it. It´s short, but SUPER SUPER good and easy to share with people. It was released Friday night, and it´s been our main tool with member-missionary work, with general conference coming up. I´m so grateful that the God we worship is LIVING! There are so many religions that direct their worship towards the cross, the burial, and that Jesus Christ died and that´s it. But there´s so so so much more when you know the fact that he overcame all and lives today. And he does!  

So have you watched it yet? Like it, Tweet it, Pin it, whatever!

This four-way blitz is going really well in the 5th ward! The President´s keeping an eye on it kinda like an experiment, and we´ve been working out the kinks in it over this past week. You should see our whiteboard! It takes a lot of good planning and has to be an organized deal, but it helps in saving time in walking and it roots out the people who are attached more to getting to know the missionaries than to getting to know the Savior. 

Sorry for the short letter. I took a quick nap after having two meetings with President this morning. We´ve been planning our Leadership Meeting for this week and Interviews for the week after - we´re busy as heck! But we´re staying cool.

Have a great week! Thank you for the birthday wishes! Hope you have a spiritual-power-packed Easter and General Conference. 

Love Elder Nissinen

Here´s the low-down. We talked to the pizza guy, and we found out we´re the first and only ones that order with chocolate border. Must be a missionary thing! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hey family! 

The Temple was GREAT this morning! With my last areas it was always a race to get to the temple in the morning on time, but it´s a smooth sail from the mission office. I´m also in the same zone as Elder J.  (who started in Provo with me), who´s actually my zone leader now. 

This first week of the transfer went GREAT! We´ve got a great idea we´ve been working on for a while to help out our area. For a while now mission secretaries have been in this ward, and because they spend about 4 hours a day proselyting, the members hardly know them. We want to change that. So what we did is combine everything that the two companionships have (investigators, contacts, referrals, recent-converts, etc) and treat it as if it were one large companionship of four. But we switch ^companions^ for the day so that investigators and members get to know more missionaries. And sometimes people have different reactions to different missionaries. I´ve never heard of an area doing this - a four-way blitz, so it´s all in the trial run. But we´ve got our Ward Mission Leader and our Mission President liking the idea.

3 days into the experiment and guess what - we´ve found 3 new families!!! FAMILIES!! And they´re pumped for the gospel!! One of them even came to church without being invited! Here´s a cool story about one of them:

A couple weeks ago we got a package from the US for someone named Nelson Dine. We don´t have an Elder D.  in our mission, so we sent an email to the other São Paulo missions to see if he exists. There used to be another mission in this office before us, so it happens a lot that we get mail for other people. Everyone replied saying that Elder Nelson D.  isn´t in their missions. Kinda weird. We double-checked the address that was on the box, and it was for another house on our street. Kinda weird, because we´re the only place around here that gets constant mail from the States. But we checked out the house, knocked, and who answered? Nelson D. ! This guy has a son in Connecticut doing some study work. But the guy let us in and wanted to hear our message! He even asked to read some our material and wants us to teach his daughter. So far the test results are lookin good! 

Picture with Elder Costa (one of the area seventies) 
 Wednesday we had an interview with Elder Costa - great meeting! The day before President called us: [Elder I want you all to clean the office from top to bottom. If there´s one piece of paper in a wastebasket, throw the bag out and put a new one in.] So Tuesday we spent the whole day (literally - until 11:30 at night) throwing out a bunch of junk missionaries left behind. It really wasn´t that dirty - it´s a big office haha.
My new companion Elder L.

Elder L. and I are getting along great. He looks pure American, and he already speaks great in English. This past week he asked me to pray a couple times in English - man how embarrassing it was. He´s a hard-worker and it´s a blast. 

Great pictures of Seattle! Good luck on all your finals, projects, sylabusses, and work. I´m always praying for you every day. 

Love you all very much!

Elder Nissinen  

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Hey everyone!!

Do you know something? This church is TRUE!!!!! Our mission had a great experience with a General Authority, Elder Costa. It was a straight 4 hour meeting, and it was pure Spirit going on. Everyone got to shake his hand. He trained on nearly everything - our purpose, member/missionary work, planning. No one wanted him to go when it was over. You know when you can feel the priesthood that an Authority has, like you know God gave him that calling? It´s like when an Apostle comes. But the best part (and kinda freaky part), is that he´ll be meeting with all of the Office Staff on Wednesday and interviewing us. It´s the end of the transfer, and all the missionaries that are leaving pass by and spend some time at the office making sure their suitcases aren´t too heavy. So most of the time they leave a bunch of junk behind that doesn´t get thrown out. Looks like over the next couple days until Wednesday we´ll be doing some down-and-dirty Spring cleaning. 

Speaking of transfers, I´m officially the Executive Secretary (aka Office Boss) of all us here. Elder V.  has a special assignment the President gave him, and he´ll spend his last transfer in an area really far away as a Zone Leader. He trained me and helped me a lot, I just hope I know what I´m doing haha. So my new companion is.........Elder L. ! He looks American, but he´s from the South, Porto Alegre. I don´t know a whole lot about him. He came here this morning with all the craziness of the other missionaries that are leaving, but he´s the new Referral Secretary and a Traveling Assistant like me. 

Let me tell ya, transfers are NUTS!!!! How it works here is that we (or I) call each companionship thats having a change and let them know personally. So imagine with 50 companionships that have missionaries moving around - it gets complicated pretty quick. Not to mention the drama when they hear the news. Most of the elders answer pretty calm with no emotion. But the Sisters (oh boy).....How do you help a Sister stop crying? Some Sisters get pretty attached to their areas and companions, so when you have to break the news.....well.....all you can do is reassure them that´s where the Lord wants them to be. I guess haha. New experiences in the office.

We´re having a rough time with our investigators. The work´s going slowly, but Saturday we taught a lesson with a lady attending institute. She was invited by some friends, and she´s already been reading the Book of Mormon - and she´s in 2 Nephi! Her parents are totally against the Church, so we´re only able to teach her on Saturdays after Institute, and sometimes on Sundays. But there´s some good potential.

It´s gonna be a lot of work, but a great transfer. The Church is TRUE - it´s a LIVING CHURCH, and you can FEEL it.

Love you all,

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hey everyone! Glad to hear everyone had a great week.

I thought that things would slow down a little after having multizone conferences, leadership councils, and training meetings for the new missionaries - BUT NO! Ha! This week we´re having a Mission Tour with Elder Costa, President of the Brazil Area. It´ll be this Thursday. But the freaky part comes after the fireside. We found out this last weekend that the following week, he´ll be passing by the Mission Office to inspect everything and interview all the staff. Yikes!

Lunch with the Greenies!!!

We had a pretty good week. Wednesday we met with all the missionaries who are being trained to see how they´re doing and give them some extra training. Elder V.

 and I took the group who´s finishing up their training, so we spent a lot of the time doing role-plays and answering their questions. It may be weird to say, but I like giving missionary trainings. Nine months ago and I was receiving that same training - It feels totally different being on the other side. Like you feel old haha.

The day after was our Mission Leadership Council with all the ZL´s and the Sister Training Leaders. We were thinking of how we can get the leaders excited, especially for the 5 Baptisms in March that we´re doing. Remember the Free Throw competition a while ago, and our zone won? We decided to do that again, but we divided the leaders into groups. And, we added soccer to help out the Brazilians. I´ll see if I can send you a cut version of it. Great upset. We even got a video of President Del Guerso trying his luck at it. 

About the area, nobody ended up coming to church yesterday. In fact we were dropped, so we´re down to a grand-daddy total of one investigator that we´re teaching (Mauricio). But we´re praying a TON to find a family of five. It´s gonna happen. After sitting in the office until 5, we´re itching to get out and work. The members are really cool. I don´t know if I told you, but about 80 percent live in the same apartment complex. I don´t know why the doormen aren´t baptized yet. 

Yesterday was International Women´s Day (didn´t even know that existed). It´s almost just like Mother´s Day. So us 4 Elders in the ward got together and made little bags with chocolate in them. The sisters LOVED IT!!! 

Congratulations Mr GLENCOE!!! Your hard work really paid off. Plus you guys got a new truck (kinda jealous). You´re awesome

Love you guys so much. Have a great week

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Days Are Numbered...

Half the Mission!

Hey everyone!!

We survived Multizone Conference!!!! I´m sooooooo glad that´s done with. Pretty much everything normal that goes on in the office goes on hold because of all the stuff that´s gotta happen with it. It´s crazy because all the missionaries seem to ask for everything all at once during this week. While all the other missionaries are outside doing contacts, teaching, and sweating, here´s the kind of whales the secretaries wrestle:

A missionary asked for a map of his area, which includes a lake and acres and acres of nothing in the middle. So me and another secretary spent 7 hours printing and taping together pieces of Google Maps in a giant 6ft by 6ft puzzle. Yeah I know it doesn´t appear that exciting haha. But basically we stayed up until midnight for three nights straight making sure the whole meeting would go together.

The Conference was two days, Wednesday and Thursday, and you come to definitely appreciate the tranquility of just coming in to a meeting, sitting down, and enjoying the Spirit. On the logistical side you´re thinking about how much time you have left, if everything is on time, and if the air conditioning in the chapel is working right haha. It was eye-opening and a lot of work, but it was fun to see the whole mission. We´re also getting ready for a mission tour upcoming week with President Costa, the Area President of Brazil. It should be really good too. 

The first day the Special Projects Department of the Church was meeting about building the first Visitors Center in South America, during the conference
About our investigators, we´re still working with them. Unfortunately no one came to church yesterday, but we´re not giving up. The hardest part is simply setting up the appointment. Everyone works and studies, and studies and works. But the members are great and it´s a great area because of that. 

Oh, and Elder M. , Elder J, and I all talked with President, and he changed our arrival home date to July 14th because of BYU. And I´m not even looking at a calendar. It´s freaks me out. The even scarier part is.....today I have to order my flight.....I DONT WANNA GO HOME JUST YET!! haha

I love you all. Keep praying that more of the people in our area will go in the Temple they pass in front of everyday. `Cuz that´s where they need to GO!!! And we can help!!!

Have a great week! I have an awesome family. They´re all the best! 

Love Elder Nissinen