Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, April 27, 2015

Good moooooooooooooorning Oregon!!!

What. A. Week. Sorry my letter´s gonna be short today. We´ve got 15 missionaries going home and the whole office´s gone nuts with making sure everything´s all good to go. Transfers drops a bomb on everything you´re doing. But we saw a ton of blessings in our area. 

First off, Fabiana and Felipe got baptized this weekend!! The Assistants had a baptism planned for the same day, so we combined both wards for the service. THE PLACE WAS CROWDED!!! And both of them were super happy. The Sisters who do street contacts in front of the Temple have been helping us a lot with who we´re teaching. Plus the ward´s been seeing the fruits of us 4 working closer together. 

We had two birthdays this week of the Office Staff, so we took advantage of the opportunity to throw on a surprise Brazilian Barbeque for the two Saturday night. The South of Brazil is famous for their meat, so Elder L.  is #1 on the grill. The baptism was Saturday night, and right after the service, we ran off to Walmart across the street to get the stuff and start grilling. It was a great way to end a great transfer. 

I´m stoked for this Friday! Elder Chrisofferson´s gonna be visiting our mission!!!!! 

Thanks for the pictures, and glad to hear you´re all doing great. 

B, give me one more week to think about where I´m guessing you´ll go. Maybe Elder Christofferson will slip a hint haha Proud of ya bro!

Love you all!!!!!

Elder Nissinen 

Monday, April 20, 2015

When you´re on assignment with the President, you EAT A TON!!! We went out 2 twice that day. I thought you´d like these pics Mom - it´s a 60´s diner full of Elvis and Marylin Monroe stuff, a jukeboxes and all that Happy Days kind of jazz.  

Good morning everyone! 

It´s great to hear that you all had a great week! It looks like summer is about to start back in Oregon, but here (and I rarely say this) it´s actually starting to get a little colder. This last week I was doing an exchange with the furthest zone in the mission - and there was a little fog in the morning! It´s still pretty bipolar - hot like heck one day and pouring the next.

But like Barney Fife says, "Andy, even high school kids don´t talk about the weather."

This week completely blew by - probably because I spent the least amount of time in my area than any other week on my mission. Seriously. But that was because President came by the office and told us that by the end of that week, all the District Leaders in 5 zones need to be trained. PLUS we had 6 zones that President hadn´t interviewed either. So basically how it went down was like this: Elder L. started traveling doing exchanges that same Monday, and didn´t come back till Thursday. Meanwhile I was with another Elder training 3 of the zones during interviews, and left Thursday morning to go on exchanges. Basically whoever wasn´t  doing interviews was on exchange with some district leader so we could get them all done by Saturday. What´s happening in the mission is that a lot of leaders are leaving within the next couple months, and a majority of the leadership will be gone by that time. BUT MAN AM I EXHAUSTED!!! I went to the areas that are mostly covered with trees and swamp - AMAZING!! 

Tuesday as we were going to our District Meeting, guess who I saw?!? MAX!! (I mean Elder M.) His mission was doing some activity at the temple (my area) and it was perfect timing! He´s doing great - we didn´t even try speaking English to each other, portuguese was just easier. Because of timing with our missions, we´ll be going home around the same time, maybe a week or two difference. 

Drum roll everyone...............ELDER CHRISTOFFERSON IS COMING TO OUR MISSION!!!! Out of all the missions in the area (9) our mission was chosen to have a devotional with an APOSTLE!! We´re praying really really hard that the protests won´t give any problems like they did last year with Elder Nelson. He´ll be spending a few days doing conferences, but mainly he´s here for a Religious Freedom discussion between several religions of the area. The whole mission is pumped! It´s gonna be next Friday, exactly 3 days after the transfer, so there´s quite a few missionaries that are ticked that they can´t stay. Oh well. 

This week should be a little more calmer (unless President drops the bomb again haha). We just have a big group leaving next week and a Training for the New missionaries. Other than that it´ll be all catch-up on last week´s work. 

ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDD, the Fantastic Four´s on a roll! We´ve got two baptisms lined up for this weekend. Fabiana and Felipe. Here´s their story: We found them contacting a referral for someone who doesn´t live anymore in the place. She´s 27 and a single-mother of 3 children - all with different fathers. Her kids are 8 years, 2 years, and 5 months old. She works as a receptionist, and lives close to her mom who helps when she can to take care. It´s a hard situation. She went to General Conference a few weeks ago and LOVED it. The next week a member swung by to pick up the family, they came, and the kids LOVED it (so the mom LOVED it even more - even the kids were talking about Jesus the rest of the way home). But, like always, the week before the baptism happens the worst. Saturday night the 2 year old got a really bad infection on his face, so Fabiana wasn´t able to go to church because she was watching her kid at the hospital. With all the stress going on, Fabiana too got sick with nausea and low blood pressure, so she ended up spending some time Sunday being cared for at the hospital. Yesterday I went on a quick split with Brother Francisco, First Counselor to the Bishop to see what was going on. We felt inspired to give the son a blessing. He was planned to stay in the hospital until Tuesday or Wednesday. That same day, the Relief Society President and two other sisters kept in touch and brought her some dinner. 

This is what we got this morning in a text: "Good morning Elders. Thanks to God and to you Vichenzo has been released. We just arrived home. Thank you so much for your blessing."

THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!!!! The movie Meet the Mormons is arriving in Brazil, and a member gave us a sneak peak of it last night - it looks so good!!! Yes, this is the true Church! 

I love you all! All of you sent awesome emails today - and you´ve grown a lot! Congrats on the Piano and Prom dates. And that video last week with the drone was awesome! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hello folks!

We survived the first week of Interviews!!!! I never imagined how draining it would be to be giving 3-hour trainings twice a day! We´d been working hard on making it turn out well, even staying up a little to practice. How it´s been working is this: each zone is individually trained on the stuff President wants us to pass on. While we´re training, President takes each one and interviews for about 15-20 minutes, and there´s about 14 missionaries per zone. The hard part is timing everything so that when President gets done with a zone, we finish the training. This week I get to go to the farthest area in the mission - a small branch - where´s there´s pretty much nothing but jungle. SUH-WEET!

With balancing between training the mission and taking care of our area, this week was a little stressful. One of the two baptisms we had planned fell through, but we´re hoping she´ll be ready by the end of the month. Most days because of on-the-spot errands or meetings that we have, our study time is shot. It´s incredible how a little time in the scriptures a day can affect a lot. 

But it was all worth it after we had a BAPTISM!!! It was a complete fall-from-the-sky kind of investigator. She made contact with the Sisters in front of the Temple, already knew a little about the church, and easily accepted baptism and the Restoration! I think she even marked her own baptismal date hahaha. We had some good support from the ward, and yesterday she got confirmed. We´re gonna try to take her to the temple this week to get her started on her family history work. 

My first Brazilian Easter Egg
We also have another family that´s got great potential. Fabricia is a single-mom with three children, all of them with different fathers. So she´s been looking for something that is really there to help her family. She lives a little far from the church, especially with having an infant, so the members were great to help give her a ride. She felt a little hesitant in bringing her children, thinking that they´d be really roudy. But the best part was that she told us that on the way home, her ^roudy^ kids were talking about the Savior and all that they learned in Primary. She even asked us if they had this everyday! Her and her oldest (8 years old) are marked for the 25th to be baptized. 

Our burgers we made this week! 

Ever since General Conference, we´ve been feeling the work getting more challenging, even in the office. Remember that part in Andy Griffith when Barney Fife is Sheriff for the day and everything ends up going wrong - car accident, broken water pipes, etc - remember? It seems like everyday has its own set of broken water pipes between the whole mission. It´s a mental game for sure to keep things cool in the area, the office, the mission, and in your own head. 

But I´m so grateful that this church is true! And it is!

Have a great week!

Love Elder Nissinen

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hi there! 

So what´d yáll think of conference?!? I don´t know about you, but you can definitely hear their voices getting louder and louder, kinda like a big worldwide spiritual wakeup call. It´s kinda sad it being my last general conference as a missionary, and it´s kinda clear after about 10 separate talks on eternal marriage and families. I don´t think you´ll see very many people messing around on their phones during church too haha. But there´s no way to deny that they are prophets and apostles of God. All the sessions went by so fast. We were fortunate to have a room set up for just us 4 Americans in the zone to watch conference in English. It´s all live too, so it was between 1 and 3, then 5 to 7. Priesthood was shown at 9, but because of the time, we watched it the next morning from the office computers. I thought it was all super great! Personally Elder Bednar, Elder Holland, Elder Renlund, and Elder Eyering´s two talks hit home. The world is definitely in need of a lot more Christlike kindness. 

Thank you again for the birthday wishes! Saturday night while we were planning, I left our room to go grab a member list. I then saw two pizzas on the counter, and then all the missionaries in the office surprised me with a cake, box of chocolate, and a 3 liter bottle of glorious Coke. They totally surprised me. This morning I went and bought me a hollow chocolate egg as a little present.

This transfer the office staff has been having a contention problem. When new elders came in with the transfer, there were some hard feelings because of stuff done in the past between leaders, especially between the AP´s and the secretaries. President, one of the APs, and I talked and thought about it a lot this week. This AP and I stayed up one night until 1am discussing it. We decided to turn on the stress-release valve and get everyone on a super pday activity. Actually pday in the office is more of a myth because of the 179 missionaries that want their letters, packages, and supplies. So we decided to close the office and go to a public park that´s about a bus, subway, and train away (an hour). And what did we do? WE RODE BIKES!!! Man it was like California all over again! I almost ripped my pants because of the bike chain haha. Just imagine 7 elders in proselyting clothes on rented bikes! We got some great pics. It was a much-needed pday for all of us, and everyone was getting along great. President even gave us all money for lunch. 

We´ve also been seeing the first real fruits of our 4-way blitz. The Sister missionaries spend about 15 hours a week doing contacts in front of the temple and giving tours - kinda like the Sisters in Temple Square. This last week two of these contacts were GOLDEN! Monica and Nil. They´re both two older ladies who´re soaking in the church like a sponge! We met Nil Saturday between sessions of conference, and in 15 minutes she was ready to watch the last session. And she loved it! Both of them even set up their own baptisms, and hopefully this Sunday the 5th ward will have it´s first baptisms of the year. Thank you Heavenly Father!!!!! 

So what can I say? It was a pretty darn good week if you ask me. Tomorrow starts President´s interviews, so we´ll be traveling the mission giving trainings with President. 


Love you!

Elder Nissinen