Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Dear family and friends, 

Our week has been interesting. We've set out on finding new investigators, and we found 5 new investigators that have some good potential! I would say the work is picking up.

For some reason or another, this week has been a little faith-trying for me. Several of these new investigators have deep concerns and have even tried to argue different points of doctrine. One of these is a man named Saviour. 

Saviour is a middle-aged guy that was a referral from other missionaries. We met with him Tuesday and quickly realized he knew the Bible extremely well, better than anyone I've ever met in my life. He also knew a bit about the Church and wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon. As we taught him, he gave several scriptures as a defense against our beliefs. However, he really liked our visit and invited us to come back Wednesday. It turns out we visited him for 4 straight days! Each time we came, he prepared a long list of questions and dozens of Bible quotations for us to go over. It's hard not to turn it into a scholarly debate and maintain the Spirit. I leave feeling like I just took the ACT. He's very interested in our message, but has a hard time believing what we've said. Each time we went back, I felt a little scared for what he might throw at us. It's made me ponder what I personally believe and preach. Hopefully he softens his heart, prays for the truth, and gets an answer. We'll see!
A cool moth I saw this week.

Lessons with Saviour are similar to other lessons we had too. Most of the time, our lessons with people are very simple, because they're humble and usually don't know deep doctrine. So when really smart people come along, it's a challenge! It reminds me of Corihor and Zeezrom trying to trip-up Alma and Aaron. 

Anyways, we didn't have any investigators at sacrament meeting. This Sunday we're inviting all we can to attend the LIVE session of General Conference. Somehow or another we're watching Saturday session and Sunday morning session. It's really exciting. 

Elder Effiom's training is going great. We have great companionship study in the morning. We like doing "role-plays", acting out difference situations. 

We spent the night in the other missionaries' area so I could conduct some interviews for two of their candidates. The interviews were translated, so that was a new experience. 
Things are going good. I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing!  This week marks 6 months in Ho. 

Love all of you, 

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Dear family and friends, 

As you've all heard by now, I'm training again. I have the opportunity to train Elder Effiom, a 26 year-old from Nigeria. He has an interesting background, and its fun getting to know him better. He's very smart, mature, and totally converted to dedicating 2 years to the Lord. He told me last night that he's on a mission just to say "thank you" to Heavenly Father for all that He's done for him. I thought that was really cool of him to say. He comes from a very old family. Both of his parents have passed on, and his oldest sibling is over 50 years old. He has the desire to learn as much as he can, and I'm happy that I get the opportunity to serve with him. 

We've found several new people with some good potential. This week will be full of "following up" with them and begin teaching. 

Yesterday we only had 1 investigator attend sacrament meeting, but my companion extended a baptismal date to her after church, and she accepted! Best part of Sunday was that nearly every recent convert in the past year came, which is so nice to see. We pray and pray that our converts will stay converted and that we can rely on the members to nourish them more than us, so seeing them come to church on their own without a reminder or visit is nice to see. 

This afternoon our zone went to a monkey sanctuary. It was pretty fun having monkeys climb on us and feeding them bananas. Not every day you get to do that!  

I was reflecting a little bit on how fortunate I am to receive great, detailed letters from each of you every single week. I realize sometimes you're busy with work and school and it may be a bit of a burden to email me sometimes, but I really REALLY appreciate it when I read your letters every week. Jacob would know how nice it is for a missionary to hear from his family and friends on Mondays. It would probably be easier to write me if you were to get a response on each letter, and I'm sorry I cannot write back personally to you much, but I do read and reread your letters and really enjoy them. The pictures are super great too. So I just wanted to say thanks for what you're doing and it doesn't go unnoticed or for granted. 

Love ya fam! Thanks for all your love and support. 

Have a great week! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Three Sons

Dear friends and family, 

Transfer news has come in. I'm training.... again! I won't figure out who I'm training until the very last minute, so I'm excited to get the news. I'm happy I get to train again. Most of my mission has been training in some sort, so it's a great opportunity to have a fresh start and get the greenie fired up about the work. Plus, it means I'm staying in Ho for a bit longer, which is perfectly fine by me. I'll never know if I'll get the opportunity to train ever again after this, so I'm looking to make sure I do it this time with no regrets, leaving my "son" well equipped with the skills, knowledge, and habits he'll need to start a successful mission. With the Lord's aid, I feel confident in my abilities this time around to do it right.

With Elder Omokoh leaving and everything, our area's suffered a bit. I'll be looking to hit it hard with the new Elder this week. Our teaching pool has dramatically shrunk and shifted, so it looks like we'll be doing a lot of finding. Elder Omokoh will be missed and loved. He's a great teacher, and I'm emulating some of his teaching strategies already. 
Last sunday with Elder Omokoh. 

I guess the highlight of my week was the Kente Festival. I have no idea what it's all about or what it means, but basically there's just a ton of people and a lot of kente! Kings and village chiefs come in from all around the country to be honored. Lots of Senior couples came. Elder Marcus B. Nash and his wife were there! Photographers and visitors from all around the world came too. It was a cool thing to see. I got myself some sweet kente! 
Annual Kente Festival in a nearby village. Pretty big deal. People come from all over to watch/celebrate it. Lots of kente too! Lots of chiefs and kings come too. This is some king that is a member?
 I don't really know, but he was important.

Lots of cheap and nice kente there. I bought some sweet ones. 

This upcoming week will be very busy and exciting for our mission. Tomorrow and Wednesday the new missionaries from Ghana and Provo MTC come in. Wednesday Elder Gary E. Stevenson and Elder Ulisses S. Soares from the Seventy will be coming to speak to us and the West Mission. Big days ahead! 
Elder Gary E. Stevenson 
Elder Ulisses Soares

Congrats on the new job Joe. Maybe you'll be a better burger-flipper than I was. Enjoy school! Have a great week. 

Love always, 

Daddy (Elder) Nissinen

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ho District Conference

Dear family and friends, 

It's great to hear from you all. I'm doing well!

For one reason or another, we didn't get much proselyting time in. After such a fantastic month, we're at a point where we're building our investigator list up again. Missionary work is a lot of up's and down's when it comes to teaching. Things build up, then they slow down. It's alright though. 

Saturday and Sunday was our District Conference. We were blessed to have an Area Seventy - who is from Ghana - come and speak, as well as President and Sister Heid. The Saturday session was held at our meetinghouse, and the Sunday session was at a nearby hotel. It was anticipated that there would be around 250 people in attendance, and we got over 420! It was amazing because most of the District lives quite far away, and had to travel in buses all morning to make it. Most of our recent converts came, so that made me really happy. Several great talks were given, and it was just nice being around so many Mormons. It's common at home to congregate in large groups like that (Stake activities and such), but in areas like ours it's a much harder and uncommon event, so you can imagine how special it was for all these Mormons to be around Mormons!

Anyways, the highlight of my week came from yesterday actually. We went and visited Sarah's family (the one we just baptized last week). I decided to teach them about temples and families. During the lesson, the mother opened up about her firstborn son who died as a teen some years back. I've only heard her daughter mention him briefly previous to this. As we taught her about proxy baptisms and the blessing we have in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to baptize our relatives who have not had that chance, she wept and repeatedly said "I'll go and do it for him, I'll go and do it for him". 

That was touching for us. I won't say I took baptisms for the dead for granted, but a profound gratitude came in me for the knowledge of the gospel that WE as member's of the Church have, and the blessing that we can unite families beyond the grave. Proxy baptisms mean so much more to me now that I understand how happy Sarah was to hear that message for the first time. The gospel really is the good news, isn't it!

Well, Elder Omokoh has one week left. I'll do all I can to help him finish strong! 

 I did get Ninnie's  and your packages! Can you believe your package only took 11 days to get here? Amazing! The packages are way nice. I almost forgot to mention it. Yeah, there's a ton of good stuff in them. Way nice.

Hope Rosie and Joe have a great first week of school. One, two, three, SCHOOL! 

Love always, 

Elder Nissinen