Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A late Hello

Hey Mom. 

Sorry I didn't cafe today. We are actually at the mission home renewing our non-citizen cards (they last a year). I'm here for the night and will renew the card tomorrow then go home that evening. We might be able to get into a temple session, if we are lucky. The mission home is super nice! I just ate a PBJ, and had my first hot shower in 8 months! They even have washing machines and a dryer here.

Yesterday was pretty fantastic. We baptized Felicia, and Sarah and her two kids. It was super great. It took a bit of work to make it happen, but man it was a great day. I baptized the kids and Omokoh baptized the women (cause they are big ladies!). 

I was pondering a bit about the month of August, and how much has really happened for all of us: 

Jacob got married, Joe had a birthday and got his license, I hit my year-mark, and celebrated 8 convert baptisms! Not bad huh?

Anyways, just wanted to say hi and let ya know I'm not dead or anything. 

I don't have my camera now, so I'll send over pictures tomorrow morning probably. 

Love, Elder Nissinen

Monday, August 22, 2016

6 Baptisms

Dear family and friends, 

Things are still going well up here in Ho! 

It was a busy week for us for a few reasons. We've got a lot of people who are recent converts, so the teaching load is just the same as before. Actually, the recent converts need more time and teaching from not only the missionaries, but the members as well. For those who aren't familiar with it, missionaries are suppose to teach all the lessons taught before baptism, as well as a new lesson. One thing we stress on out here is retention. It's hardly a benefit to just baptize someone and leave them to do the rest on their own. Because we're getting more and more recent converts, we're having to really step up our game to make sure they are loved, needed, and are growing spiritually in the gospel. President Hinckley taught that a convert needs 3 things: a friend, a responsibility, and to be nurtured by the good word of God. I'm happy to hear our ward at home is having baptisms! Go out now and help be a friend to them. They need it.

Speaking of baptisms, we have (hopefully) 4 more next Sunday! That great family we've been teaching for a while is ready to go. I'm so excited for them, they'll be my first family baptized. The other is a sweet old lady who's like a child. She is absolutely hilarious. We tease her like I would a friend! 

The "Mormon Helping Hands" service project was fun. We joined with the other branch and helped clean up a nurse's training center. Basically just sweeping, weeding, etc. 

I also burned my shirt last night. It's crazy to think I'm halfway! 
One year!

Well, that's about it for our week. Busy as always, but having a lot of fun in between it all. 

Hope you all have a great week. Enjoy your last few weeks of summer! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Dear family and friends, 

Well, I really have no clue how to start this letter. I'll just a big CONGRATS to everyone for everything they did. Congrats on the marriage, congrats on the reception, congrats on the license.... congrats! 

If I was to say missing the wedding was easy for me, I'd be lying. Thursday especially wasn't very easy. I cried a few tears ha ha. 

Actually, the week overall was pretty great! We got a lot of proselyting time in. Elder Omokoh and I are doing some great things together. On Thursday, Elder Bednar came to Accra to give a devotional to the young single adults. It was broadcasted all throughout West Africa. The cool thing about it is that instead of giving talks, he just answered questions from the audience. Not only the audience, but people could text questions directly to him and it could be answered! It was super cool, and he and some of the other general authorities said some great stuff. He did the same thing Sunday evening for the youth. One of the youth sitting near me texted Elder Bednar a question, and he answered the question! I thought that was sweet. 

I guess the highlight of our week was the four convert baptisms! Man, it took a bit of work (not as much as a wedding) but getting so many people ready to go isn't the easiest thing, especially when you're working on MGST (Mormon Ghanaian Standard Time). Our converts all bore their testimonies at the end, and we feel confident they'll remain active in the church. Our big challenge now is making sure they stay active, included, and needed in the church. That takes a bit of work too. At the end of this month we're shooting for 2 or 3 baptisms as well. "I guess you can say things are getting pretty serious right now".

As you know, I hit one year on my mission Saturday. I don't know what to say about that. I love my mission. It's certainly exactly what I needed. Time goes by so fast. I absolutely love what I get to do each day. As I help other people change their lives, my own life is being changed. I feel like such a different person than when I first came, and I am so thankful to Heavenly Father for placing me here. I am a white Ghanaian. 
All of us a year ago!

Have a fantastic week. The summer is winding down, so soak it up! I love and miss you all. 

Love Elder Nissinen

Monday, August 8, 2016

He's 6 ft. 3...

Dear family and friends, 

Things are looking pretty bright up in the bush. As you know, transfers were last week, and I'm thrilled I'm still here. Elder Effiong has been replaced by Elder Omokoh, also from Nigeria, who only has 5 weeks left now. He's a super great guy and an amazingly experienced teacher. I've already learned so much from the way he goes about during a lesson. I see this as a great opportunity to learn from him while I can. 
I get to walk around with a 6 ft 3 guy all day! We're both going to BYU-I at the same time... we've talked about rooming together.

Well, unfortunately it's a repeat of last week when it comes to baptisms: we had to postpone them AGAIN. Raphael had to leave for some work and won't be back until Wednesday, so this coming Sunday we should be guaranteed 4 baptisms. It forces me to be patient and long-suffering, but the baptisms will happen sooner or later. 

For one reason or another, we were short on investigators at sacrament meeting. It didn't quite go as planned, but everything is alright. 

One Elder in my district has been a bit sick lately, so that's been a little roadblock in the work. We'll find out soon what is wrong with him.
Hey Mom, you would have liked my survival skills the other day. We had lights off and I needed to iron my shirt. So I took the iron and put it on top of a frying pan over the gas stove! It worked! It's crazy that I'm almost a year. Too fast! I love it so much. It's the bomb.

Played some pong this morning. Man, my coordination is way rusty!

I don't have much else to report on this week. I'm looking forward to these next 5 weeks with Elder Omokoh!

A member owns a restaurant and gives us free dinner every Monday evening. She just made this new menu! I get the "Nissinen Special". It's just plain rice with some stew on top with sometimes spaghetti and a boiled egg. Can't beat that! 

Joe, good luck on your driver's test. Enjoy being 16. Jacob, can't believe you're almost married. It's not easy missing my brother's wedding. I suppose this will be a couple hard days for me, but I guess I expected it to happen before I got back. I can't wait to hear more from you guys next week. Hope everything goes as planned and you always remember that special day. 

Have a super special great week! 


Elder Nissinen

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Happy August!

Dear friends and family,

Transfers are this week. I'm really happy that I'll be staying in Ho. Elder Effiong is being transferred though. I will miss that guy. We've grown to really understand and love each other. I've learned so much from serving with him that I'd never learn otherwise. He's changed me. 

More news to come about my new companion next week!

The week was pretty great, other than a little sad ending during the weekend. We were suppose to have 3 baptisms Saturday morning, but our font was having problems filling the water. The water pump was broken and it looked like it would take all Saturday to fix, so we postponed the baptism until Sunday after church. Well the problem still persisted, so we told our candidates it'll have to be postponed until next Sunday. It'll all be alright in the end, other than that Elder Effiong wasn't able to have a few nice baptisms before he left. 

This month, if the stars align, will be a fantastic month of baptisms! 

The one family we are teaching is super converted to the gospel. We had a specially planned lesson with them last Saturday and even watched the Restoration movie. Afterwords we discussed it and a member we brought was able to bear her testimony and answer questions in Twi. The mother, Sarah, is already sharing the gospel with her friends and neighbors, who also want to be baptized. The work is great!
Last night we played King's Cup at the other apartment.
 It's a goofy game but a lot of fun. 

As you might know, many missionaries have completed their missions, but there are no replacements for them. President Heid has had to consolidate many areas. We all have to step up to the plate right now since lots of elders are covering two areas. 

That's about it for our week. More info to come next time. 

Happy August! Enjoy your week, and happy birthday Joe!

Love always, 

Elder Nissinen