Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Monday, October 31, 2016


Dear family and friends, 

Hope you're having a happy Halloween. 

Well it was my first full week in Tsito. It's a challenging area with a lot of obstacles, but I'm very determined to get things done and get this place moving again. 

Elder Horne is a super cool guy. I have a lot of respect for him already. He's only been in Tsito for 6 weeks, so it feels like we're whitewashed. We're pretty unified on what we want to accomplish and how to do it. Elder Horne is very humble. I think we're meant to be together. 

We were blessed to have an investigator come to sacrament meeting Sunday. His name is Redeemer. Elder Horne and I plan on extending a baptismal date to him this week. Hopefully that all goes well! 

Here in small little Tsito the missionaries do quite a bit. There's a nice member who lets us use part of his house for Seminary. Missionaries teach seminary here, which I'm happy about. I love teaching the youth! Well I was thinking about ways to expand our teaching pool and noticed in our planners that it mentions offering scripture classes. Long story short, Elder Horne and I made posters with the little supplies we could find to advertise this class. This week we'll be putting them up. Hopefully this will be a way for the public to be introduced to the gospel. We'll see how it goes! 

That's about it for us. I'm very optimistic about finding success out here in Tsito. It'll take time to adjust and learn the area, but with our skills ( and the Lord's help) we can do some great things.

Enjoy your trip!

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Goodbye Ho Zone, Hello Ho Zone!

Dear family and friends, 

Hey! You all seem anxious to know the transfer news. 

President Heid called me Friday morning and gave me the news: I am getting transferred to Tsito! All I could say was "WOW". Let me explain: Tsito is where Elder Scott is serving, a very small branch close to Ho. This transfer is equivalent to transferring from Forest Grove to Hillsboro. After seven months in Ho, I have been able to get pretty acquainted with the members in Tsito branch. I know the area decently and have spent the night in their apartment several times. Most of their members know me as well. Hardly anybody can believe that I'm replacing Elder Scott and going to Tsito. It's quite the talk, as you might imagine. I'm still the District Leader here too. I'll be companions with Elder Horne, who I already know well. There's a lot of work to be done in Tsito, but I'm happy I'm still in Ho. In his email to me he said "Good luck in Tsito. This assignment comes from the Lord because I sure did not think of it". We'll see what happens.
Going to a lesson
Most of this week was spent saying goodbye to families and investigators. It's amazing how attached missionaries get to their people. It's hard to say goodbye, but I'm just a HOP, SKIP and a JUMP away, so it's not too bad. I bore my testimony Sunday in Ewe and that got a good laugh out of everyone. 
Florence, our eternal investigator. Very sweet and nice. I've grown close to her over the past 7 months. She's a seamstress.

2 of my favorite guys! Brother Jasper and Justice.
Super great guys!

Francisca, my recent convert!

Great less-active family. I pay the girls to wash my clothes every Saturday morning. I'll miss them!
Another big part of our week was contacting new people. I wanted to build the area up before I was transferred, so we did several hours of pure finding. I think that'll bring about some good results, hopefully. Elder Effiom isn't too happy about getting another companion so soon into his mission, but he's a natural leader and will do just fine.
We buy from irene all the time.
Her daughters are fun too. Great friends!

I will miss Elder Scott and Elder Helm though. They're really good guys, and some of my best friends. 

Sounds like you guys are all busy and happy. Enjoy your week and Halloween parties! Thanks as always for the pictures. 

Love always, 

Elder Ho

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Leaving Ho after 7 months :(

Dear family and friends, 

Well, this week was a bit better than last, but basically the same. It's been a lot of contacting and finding. It seems as though every person we contacted is either a pastor or prophet in their church, or their spouse is! So that kind of ends it there....

Francisca was baptized yesterday! It was a hectic day trying to throw a baptism together, but we pulled it off, all the members stuck around, and Francisca was happy and bore a very very short (but great) testimony at the end. I think she'll be a great convert in the Church. Visiting with her is always a lot of fun - she has a bubbly personality and can get really chatty haha.

We don't have any upcoming baptismal dates yet, so we're going to work extra hard and find ways to bring more people into the gospel. In our weekly planning last night, we discussed some "new" ways to contact people that we haven't tried before. Good things ahead. 

The most interesting news of the week is that now all missionaries not from North America can now send one text message to any person every Sunday evening. Elder Effiom was really excited about that! It's a test-trial for now, so it's not a permanent thing. Hopefully it works out: some of these Elders don't get much communication from home via email.

I just received news from our zone leaders that I'm leaving.... I don't know when but probably by next week. Not too happy about that one.....I'm a little anxious to go somewhere else (7 months in Ho) but I love the people here and the perks of Ho. Wherever I go I'm going to have to start all over again. Transfers are hard for me!  Sunday marks 15 convert baptisms in Ho for the year, I've been blessed that 13 have been with me and my awesome companions!

Well, that's it! Have a great week everyone. As you are freezing your faces off, you can dream of me getting fried. 

Love, Elder Nissinen

Monday, October 10, 2016

Carry it!

Dear family and friends, 

Elder Effiom and I had a tough week. I think it was also one of the hardest weeks I've worked on a mission. We had great plans to see a lot of people, but nobody answered their phones, and just a lot of appointments fell through. Also, the weather was absolutely scorching, so that didn't help much! Wednesday was especially memorable. Everything quickly fell apart, so I was determined to find some new people to start teaching. We walked all around in the heat and contacted for hours. It seemed as though we had walked 20 miles or so! Elder Effiom got wore out. It was the closest I've seen to a missionary collapsing on the roadside haha. I was very proud he endured and didn't give up on such a hard day. 

The rest of the week was similar. Fortunately though, the Lord answered our pleas and blessed us with 6 new investigators. We'll just continue to move on quickly from person to person until someone clicks. The hardest part of all the week was not seeing any investigators at sacrament, after all the commitments and work. Something I think I learned the other day is that maybe the Lord is showing us unprepared people so that we can quickly distinguish them and move on to those He's prepared for us. 

The whole week I decided to carry a copy of the Book of Mormon in my hand, so that if we're talking to someone, it's visible. Well, that turned out to be a really good teaching strategy. So many people came up to us and asked about "our Bible" and thousands of gospel-related questions opened up because of it. I love doing it, and it works beautifully. After all, it's the keystone of our religion! I think I will try my best to do that everyday if possible. 

Elder Effiom's training is going good. He led in a lot of lessons, and I'll have him do that more often until he's confident. 

The good news is is that we have a baptism on Sunday! Sister Francisca is ready to rock. She's a really nice lady and is totally prepared for membership in the Church and her baptismal covenant. 
Service Project for an investigator. We helped her make "chips" for like 5 hours haha. It was fun and a lot of work.
We rarely get opportunities to serve,
so I was really happy to do it for a change.

This is the investigator, Gispa. Really nice.

They just tastes like bland chips. It's mostly made of flour. 

We're still getting a lot of rainfall. It looks like we'll be close to the Harmattan season, where sands from the Sahara blow over. Today was a super hot day. 
Snake at the chapel.
Well, that's about it for our week. Thanks for all your unending love and support. 

Elder Nissinen

Monday, October 3, 2016


Dear family and friends, 

We're doing great out here. We picked up four new investigators and contacted 16 others. Hopefully that'll open the doors to baptismal dates. We are working with a lady named Francisca. She will be baptized on the 16th October. Francisca is progressing really well. She attended about half the conference Sunday. 

Speaking of conference.... it was great! We did have the ability to view it live at our chapel. We watched the morning sessions live and the afternoon sessions were recorded. Saturday night we watched one session, and Sunday morning we watched 3 sessions. I think next Saturday we'll watch the Sunday afternoon session. We're really lucky to have the tools to watch it. Only the two branches in Ho were given the privilege to come and watch it. I loved it! I think Saturday morning was my favorite so far. I love the emphasis on the Book of Mormon and prayer. I can't wait to re-listen and download them on my pen-drive. You know that 5 of the people that spoke at conference I've shaken their hand? 
7 year old girl came to conference by herself! She'll turn 8 in December, and we'll baptize her on her birthday! I had her sit by me. She's pretty cool huh?

I especially loved Elder Curtis' talk - not just cause he talked about the Book of Mormon, but about Ghana! He was recently released as the Africa West Area President, so that was somehow expected. He's very nice.
Half the zone. My district and another district at my apartment for District Council Meeting. They joined us. 
Our zone leaders are the ones in glasses. Very good leaders. We wanted to look like the apostles haha
Things continue to roll on around here. We've got a tremendous amount of rainfall this past week. Some places have flooded.  The rain makes things cooler a bit, but the humidity goes way up. 

My companion was eating rice with bananas... 
I had to take a picture of that! 
Something I was taught this past week was that everyone has problems. As missionaries, we basically teach the gospel to help them with their problems. I've just been noticing that a lot lately. Everyone you meet - friend, neighbor, co-worker - has some trial they're going through. Be mindful of that, because their issues may not be as noticeable as others. Lift someone up this week!

Love you all. 

Elder Nissinen