Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Cursed Ram

Dear family and friends,

The connection is awful today, so sorry about that.

To update you, Elder Horne and I are healthy and well! It took us a
few days to fully recover our appetites and strength, but we’re back
in full action again. It was hard for me to eat anything until Friday,
so for Thanksgiving this year, I had nothing!

I told you about Cate and Agnes, right? These are some of the nicest
investigators I have ever met. When I’m having a hard day and things
aren’t going well, we just stop by and see Cate and her mom and
suddenly I’m a lot better. They are so generous! They’ve fed us like 4
times, and even rejected my money when I tried to pay them for a
duffle bag I wanted to buy from them! Cate’s been coming to Seminary
and seems to enjoy it. Best part of it all is that she came to
sacrament meeting Sunday! It’s our first investigator at sacrament
meeting in 4 weeks, so we were thrilled to see her come. We’ll be
working on getting her mom to come next Sunday. She’s very devoted to
her Pentecost church, and it might be a challenge to get her to come
visit us. Keep them in your prayers!

Cate and Agnes

Interesting story for ya:
On Friday, we were walking down the road and saw a bunch of people
gathered around this ram. The ram had red and black clothes tied
around its neck, body, and legs. Nobody knew what was going on though.
Well, the village men gathered the crowd and told them that some
people found the ram a few days prior and were scared because
apparently the ram was cursed. Some man had used the ram to curse the
village from progressing. They needed everyone to say prayers over the
ram so the curse would be removed and the town could again move
forward. They then removed the cloths and poured alcohol on them and
burned them all. Then they said some wild prayers with drums to
“cancel” the curse. Then a man killed the ram. Elder Horne got a little sick from watching that,
so we had to leave haha. It was a pretty wild scene, and unfortunately
I forgot to bring my camera!

The other exciting news is that my previous area (Ho 2) will be
expanding to 4 missionaries, and not just 2. That means the district I
am over will be going from 4 to 6, so that’ll be a bit more
responsibility for me. I’m excited though; that means Ho 2 is growing
bigger and bigger.

Sounds like everyone had a really great vacation week. Only 27 days
until Christmas!
Have a great week.

Love, Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

When Upon Life's Billows

Dear family and friends,

This was a pretty memorable week in Elder Nissinen's mission, to start off.

For one reason or another, we've been having a really hard time
finding people who are willing to keep any commitments. It seems as
though everything we are teaching these people isn't clicking. Elder
Horne and I are scratching our heads wondering what we're lacking.
Hopefully this week we'll be able to get some inspired answers.

We were blessed to find some super great investigators during the
week. Let me tell you about Cate and her mother Agnes: I felt like we
should talk with them, so we did. We quickly realized how kind these
ladies were. We've visited with them 3 or 4 times since then. They
have bought us drinks and bananas, and even call us! Cate has even
came to Seminary twice. They are easily some of the nicest people I've
met on my mission. Hopefully good things will happen with them this

Now for the interesting part:

Friday night Elder Horne got pretty sick and was throwing up all
night. We decided to go to the only nearby clinic Saturday afternoon.
When we got there, the signboard said they were closed on weekends. We
still went to the entrance and were lucky to find a nurse inside named
Comfort. Even though the clinic was closed, she treated Horne and
helped him out. He was diagnosed with malaria.

Anyways, Sunday evening rolled around, and I wasn't feeling too good
either. I woke up early this morning and also threw up several times.
This morning we went to the same clinic again and I got treated by
Comfort as well. I was told I had malaria too, but I don't think so.
We left the clinic a few hours ago. We're both recovering well, so no

We didn't get any investigators at sacrament..... again. We're going
to do everything we possibly can to get some next Sunday.

Even though this has been such a trying week, I've been able to look
at the little blessings that come in our path clearer than I have
before. It's really special to be able to see the hand of the Lord
throughout the day, and it makes me feel better.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it!

Have a good week, and stay away from coral reefs or whatever.

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Dear family and friends,

Elder Horne and I are really loving it out here. We're working harder and smarter than either of us have ever worked before. This area seems to be turning around again. Yeah!

The highlight of the week was Thursday's Multi-Zone Training Conference. President and Sister Heid gave some super great counsel, and I really soaked it all in. One thing he mentioned was how to get more baptismal dates, and that it's achievable if we're more bold. Elder Horne and I must have really loved that, cause right after we invited all of our investigators to baptism! Some even said yes! Throughout the conference, President make references to angels assisting us in this work. He firmly believes heavenly angels are all around us and our investigators as we teach, find, plan, and work. Tsito can get a bit lonely if you're in a certain mood. I'm trying to develop faith so I can visualize angels being sent to Tsito, and it sure helps boost the ol' self-esteem. The conference was great. 

Our focus is to know the branch members. So many of our members are less-active. Most of the names have no address or phone number, so it was a big obstacle. After walking and talking to all sorts of people (member and non-member), we've got a pretty good idea of where nearly every member of our branch lives. Many of these less-actives are young kids and are the only member of their whole family. It's pretty frustrating that missionaries would baptize young kids with no parental help in the church, but it's going to give us opportunities to teach their families. We'll see how that all goes. 
Seminary class! It's getting to be pretty fun now. We do it 6 to 7pm Tuesday through Friday. If you come,
Elder Nissinen gives you a little treat. 

Elder Horne is just awesome. I really like him, and we have a lot of fun together. I think some miracles are coming! 
Helped an investigator at his farm build some structure thing. It was a hot day! This picture was taken at 9 am.

Glad to hear you had a great trip and enjoyed the Ghana-like weather. Have a good week. 
In front of our apartment. We had a bit of a water problem. we aren't connected to city water, so it has to get trucked out here. Big problem! We didn't have water for a few days, but we're good now.

Love Elder Nissinen

Hello from Tsito (Cheeto)

Dear family and friends, 

As you know, the first week in Tsito was a bit rough. Good news for ya - this week was much better! I feel great about working here. 

Our priorities are less-active families and recent converts. They are typically the ones who have lots of family and friends that are non-members. We started this search by going through the Branch Directory and calling all names we didn't recognize. So far, we've received a lot of referrals. One of those referrals already has a baptismal date for the end of the month! It's going to take some time to build the area again, but we're like ten times busier than we were last week. Elder Horne is a great guy and we're having a lot of fun working together. 

We also found a few investigators through our "bible class" we're holding. Some of them have attended and enjoyed it. Hopefully that will continue to be an avenue to receive more interested souls. I really love teaching Seminary and the youth, so I want to do the best job I can to give them the best learning experience. Many of them will never get the chance to study the gospel as deep as we study it for the rest of their lives. One young woman spoke up one day asking for more scripture mastery. We made a cool chart and hung it up for the youth to "check-off" their scriptures when they memorize it. We are planning for a Seminary Christmas party, where the youth can bring their non-member friends. I just love the youth!

One experience occurred the other day that I'd like to share: 

We were contacting a referral from a old lady member one afternoon. This man was her cousin and we had been told he had a copy of the Book of Mormon. As we sat down with him and tried to get to know him better, he questioned us why we were visiting him (and older man), and not young adults who commit more sins, inferring that he is less of a sinner. We answered that our message can bless all people of all ages. Throughout the visit, he still didn't seem to understand why we were taking time to visit him. Ironically, he then started to preach to us about humility and repentance, and how needed those characteristics are to become like our Father in Heaven. It was almost humorous how blind this old man was to his own pride. At the same time, it was sad because we understood what he chose not to, and offered him what he didn't want to accept. 

I wondered how often that happens to me in my own life. My own blindness keeps me from seeing the truth. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week (which won't be too hard). 

Love Elder Nissinen