Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Akwaaba family! I think that means hi or something.! It feels really nice to email home right now. There have been tons of great stuff that I wanted to tell ya guys, but you have to wait! I'm still changing my mindset. 
One of my favorite guys here. He is so cool and nice and humble. One african didn't know what the spots on my arms were. I explained they were freckles! 

First of all, congrats to Joe and Mom for the new calling and the soccer team. Joe you're gonna love being with your friends again, that'll be sweet! Sounds like your back is getting better mom. Hope you guys had a safe flight and are enjoying Utah. Jacob have fun at college this week!

The MTC is way different here. I don't even think it is comparable to the Provo MTC. Very small, very basic. But it is good too. Lots of great guys around. I think it will help me adapt to the culture easier. This MTC is so unique .There are just shy of 100 missionaries, and 16 countries are represented, making this place have so many languages and cultures associated with it. There is arguably no other place on earth like this one, with so many languages and countries in such a little group. The food is pretty foreign. Mom, you'd be surprised by what I'm eating! I'm stuffing some stuff down here that'd I'd gag on at home I bet. 

This was from Sunday. This is proof of how humid it is here! Brand new shirt when I put it on that morning! And I hardly went outside either. The MTC is air conditioned too. Lemme tell yah, that took some time to handwash that out of the collar.
We hand wash our clothes here too. There is only like one washer and dryer that can be used once a week, so the Africans taught us how to hand wash.  Man is it a workout! Especially at night, cause it is really humid. The heat here is different too. I feel very close to the Sun. It is humid!!!

My companion is pretty good too. He's 22 and is from Kenya. We have our differences, probably due to age and culture, but we are doing good when we teach investigators. He's getting better at understanding american culture, and I'm doing better at understanding African culture.  

Yesterday we went to the Temple! It was also suppose to be my P-day too. The temple was awesome. We drive through trash and poverty,, then turn a corner and BAM! we are on temple grounds. Very cool stuff. The temple is tiny! I was on the 8:30 temple session, so when I was going to leave afterwords, the van was full, so the MTC left like 5 of us there at the temple waiting for the 10:30 session to finish. In other words, I sat outside the temple for a few hours. Only bad part was that it was my P-day to do laundry and write, but I'm learning to go with the flow. 

The view outside my window. Ghana is flat and jungley! 
The african guys have sweet ties, so one night I went around and traded ties with a bunch of them. I only have a few ties I originally came out with. I felt bad trading with the guys who only had 3 or 4 ties, so I gave a bunch away too. 
No joke the whitest guy here. My hair looks like gold in some group pictures! 

Quick stats on the church around West Africa: 

People dream of being a missionary here. West Africa is the fastest growing part of the church right now. On average around the world, missionaries get 1.2 baptisms. In West Africa, missionaries average over 10. Every week, a new unit is established. A unit is a bit smaller than a branch. The people are mega receptive around here, making the Gospel flourish. Can't wait to get out and teach. 

                                       The temple trip. Me and my companion Elder Mwetu

Thanks to everyone for the emails and encouragement. Have a blast in Utah! It's amazing being a missionary. I am learning a lot about the gospel and how to be a better teacher. Good luck in college Jacob! I'm stoked to see some pictures of you and your babes. Have a great week!!  

Love Elder Nissinen.

Our district.  A lot of fun guys! All of us except a few are going to Accra.
Probably the funniest thing I've seen yet. Guy carrying a straight up backpack on his head! Gotta love it. 

Just in case you think Africa is small.... The world maps aren't true to size

This was a letter sent to us by a very kind Elder:

Hey! This is Elder Helm! While your son left to teach a lesson i took his computer! haha I just wanted to tell you that your son is a great missionary! I love the spirit that he brings to our district. He and I have gotten to know each other and he always talks about how much he loves his family and misses his family :) and his mommy :) haha! He is great when we need a laugh! He is so funny and makes being here fun! He is going to do great in the field! I can only hope i am companions with him down the road. 

Well he is coming back soon so..thanks for reading my email! 

p.s. did you know your son is a good dancer? haha

Elder Helm

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ghana MTC

Elder B looks happy at the Ghana MTC

Friday, August 21, 2015


Hello all! I have made it safe and sound to Accra!! Holy smokes I'm in Ghana!! The flight was long, but not too terrible. I was the only missionary leaving from Portland, making me the only elder in the MTC from Oregon. A big Utah group found me and a few other guys from Idaho and Arizona, so there are 18 Americans...?? Other than us Americans on the plane to Accra, there was no whites! Some missionaries sat next to each other, but I sat by a lady from Accra, so she was fun to talk to. Ghanaians are already friendly people. 

Don't even try to ask me what happened after we landed in Accra. We had zero idea what was going on and what they were needing from us. Although my mission call says I'm english speaking, I'm definitely not. It's really hard to understand Africans' english. They have to repeat it several times for me to pick up on something. I'll get adapted. We drove to the MTC in some cool vans, and it was a total culture shock just on the drive there. We were taking pictures of things left and right. There's people literally everywhere selling their stuff (usually on their heads!) Can't really describe how foreign it is already. 

The MTC is very small, but there are lots of great people. I am in a 3-some companionship with Elder Myute (It's not spelled right, for sure) from Kenya I think, and Elder Dbondo from Nigeria. Lots of missionaries from Nigeria. They all look the same, so it is really hard to distinguish any of them! We are going to go outside soon to play sports, so it will be really nice to burn some energy. The humidity is pretty real. I was told I'm lucky it isn't the hot season. First thing Sister Robison told me when I entered the doors was "I hope you brought some sunscreen". 

First picture of Elder B with his name tag!!!!

I feel so misplaced here, but at the same time I feel like this is where I should be. When I walked away from our family, I immediately felt really peaceful, like I have been on 50 missions to Ghana already! I don't know when P-day is, or really anything actually, sorry. I will know more soon. Talk to you later! 

Love Elder Nissinen 
Saying goodbye the second time around isn't any easier!!!  It's a very joyful painful experience.  We will miss B so much but know he is in the Lords hands and that Ghana will love him!!!  

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What a spiritual experience it is to hear and watch your son getting set apart as a full time missionary.  President Richardson is such an inspiring sweet man.  He gave B such an amazing blessing we will never forget!   
President Richardson ask B to give his mom a blessing.  It brought me such comfort and I felt so much love for Elder B.  I feel so blessed and happy!

Goodbyes can be very painful and hard! 

Getting all packed!!!  It was a bit easier this time with B than with Jacob.  B could only had 2 suitcases instead of 3.  

Our last dinner all together!  We went to "Fogo De Chao" a Brazilian restaurant in Portland.  Jacob was in absolute heaven speaking Portuguese and eating Brazilian food!!!   

Elder B had so many family and friends stop by to say goodbye at his farewell party! Our family is so blessed to have so much love and support from everyone! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Getting Ready!

                It was a awesome night at the temple!
He had lots and lots of shots.  Some were pretty painful but better than getting super sick!
"B" is so excited for his mission in Ghana!!! 


The Best Day Ever!!!
Welcome Home Elder Nissinen