Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Letter!

Dear Family and Friends,

Sounds like you all are having a ton of fun between all those family
parties and what-not! Wow! I can't believe Christmas is this Friday.
And I can't believe I get to call home! We are up to ourselves on
Christmas Day in terms of plans. We plan on sleeping in the dining
room together, actually sleeping in for once, and giving gifts to
investigators and each other and handing out candy to kids. I will
call anytime between 4 and 5 pm Ghana time, so like 8 or 9 am your
time. Just a quick reminder: the way phone credit works here, it only
costs if you are the one dialing. We are worried about our credit
running out before our hour is finished, so I may "flash you", meaning
to call you and immediately hang up. If you call me back, I don't have
to worry about burning my credit too early. It just eliminates any
problems. Hope that makes sense! I am very excited to hear from all
your voices.

The 4 of us in the apartment have planned for some great fun these
next few days. Today we played football with kids. 

Tomorrow we are going to a children's school dance party, and that night we are
probably going caroling to select investigators or recent converts.
Wednesday is our Zone Program thing. I think our district is singing
some goofy songs or something. For Christmas Eve we planned to build a
bonfire that evening outside our apartment, sing songs, read the
Nativity Story, play games, and eat junk. There is a Christmas Program
at the Stake Center we plan on going to with some investigators that
afternoon as well. Elder Madsen's mom is a nurse and has to work
Christmas Day, so he's calling home Christmas Eve. Friday of course is
Christmas Day. Then on Saturday we have hopefully 2 baptisms! White
Christmas baby!!! Both ladies are friends named Mavis, and are between
22 and 26 years old. One is a recent convert's wife, so it feels good
to bring the whole family into the gospel. The other Mavis may not be
back from traveling in time, so we may have to postpone her date. And
some day throughout the week we are going to, yep, you guessed it,
"CHOP" MORE CAT! We payed money today for our nice big cat, so some
time this week a member will get it for us and we will all contribute
in killing, cooking, and eating it! I actually think there is 2 cats,
so it's going to be quite the fun!

Well, our week was awesome. Because I was sick and a bunch of other
things, we didn't get much work done last week, which made me
disappointed. I felt embarrassed to write our key indicators on the
chalkboard during our District Council Meeting, but my companion and I
realized our numbers were all average! Even during our terrible week.
So it motivated me to work really hard this week to get it back to our
level of excellence.

You're all interested to hear how my birthday went. It was nice!
Different, but nice! I woke up at 6 and opened my birthday cards and
package. You could imagine my shock when I saw $40 for my birthday and Christmas from Mama and Papa. Then I opened the Hawaii shirt and saw $30 more pinned inside! I was
laughing about it for 2 straight minutes! $70!!!!! What a nice
birthday present. I will try my best to make the money thin out for
some months, but knowing me that might be a challenge. 
Thank you so much for the shirt and money!
The shirt smelled good too mom.

Guess who's 19?????

It was a typical Sunday though, for the most part. We taught some lessons
afterwords and then went to Pascalene's house. She said she had a gift
for me. She came out and gave me a 1.5 liter Fanta. I was so
appreciative of her thoughtfulness. Here, a woman with no money and a
terrible life in general, gave me probably all she could give me. My
heart was softened. Then, her and her friend came out and poured TONS
of water on me! I had flashbacks of the ASL Icebucket Challenge.
Soaking the birthday boy is a tradition here. I walked home with
soaked pants and shoes full of water, grateful for the things I had
been given. 

Pascalene dumping water on me. I got a great video of it, but I can't send videos unfortunately. So here's a few pics. I got like 7 gallons dumped on me!

I'm not skinny....just trimmed!

Elder Bergeson and Elder Kambwiri made us a nice fried
chicken dinner, and we played some card games and ate some junk
(including my Fanta). It was a humbling birthday, but I believe it was
good for me to experience.

We bought a few more Christmas gifts for each other and for
Pascalene's family. I bought a nice shirt for Elder Madsen. He thinks
I got it for myself, so it should be a nice surprise! Elder Madsen and
I went to a dress store to buy something for Pascalene. Two white
missionaries in a dress store trying to find something that would fit
a lady, imagine that! It was awkward, but we found a nice jacket-thing
(I don't know what it is actually). Pascalene and her family is our
"special family" for this Christmas. All 4 members of the family are
getting some nice gift. It will be such fun to give it to them
Christmas morning. I can't wait.

Elder Madsen went without a nametag! That's when you know you got a Greenie! He got a lot of teasing for it. It was funny. 

Anyways, this past week has been a week of service. I almost named my
letter "Service is my Purpose". Elder Madsen had the idea last Sunday
to do some type of service every day last week. It was a good idea, so
we did it! We fetched water, helped sweep, and a bunch of other random
things to help bring in the Christmas Spirit in our lives as well as

Best part of the week though had to be when we made our Christmas
Tree! Elder Bergeson took an old fufu pole and we wrapped stems from
our neighbors plants with old bed sheets we found in the apartment. It
was hecka ghetto, but not gonna lie, it looked pretty sweet! We used a
mop bucket with dirt as a base for the "tree". The stems are all dead
now, but hey, it's the thought that counts right? Charlie Brown may
have some real competition this year.

Man that's some great news about the snow. Soak it up! I read all the
info about the Star Wars movie to the other Elders here. We were
invited to watch it by some member in Bergeson's ward, so it's a tough
one to pass up. Everything is illegally downloaded here. I will be
obedient and say no, don't worry Dad.

Well, that's about it for this Christmas Season. Some SUPER fun days
coming ahead of us! I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, funny,
joyful, chilly 2015 Christmas. Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ, the
Saviour of the world, was born in a humble manger in Bethlehem. He
lived a perfect sinless life. He lives and leads His Church today. I
am so grateful to be a missionary here at this time. It's almost
unreal how much I love my mission. Jesus Christ died and lives because
of us. He loves us! May the blessings of His birth be poured upon you
during this Christmas. Enjoy!!!! Of course, remember the REAL reason
we celebrate Christmas: Christ.

Love and miss you all. Can't wait to hear from you soon! P.S. Happy
birthday Rosie! Go do something fun, like detailing the truck out or
playing racquetball.

Love always, Elder Nissinen

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