Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas in Tsito....

Dear family and friends, 

Last week was great!

We're teaching several families right now. It seems as though they're all progressing, so we're happy about that. 

Sometimes the best friend to have is somebody that can "chastise" you a little bit when they notice you're doing something wrong. That happened multiple times last week with multiple people. They were able to point out things I hadn't been doing right and ways to improve myself as a missionary. 

One of those things was extending baptismal dates to investigators. Preach My Gospel teaches us to be bold in extending dates, even in just the first lesson. Well, with some help, we realized that that strategy isn't working here. People seem to be taking that the wrong way and get scared at us coming again. So now we're going very slowly, focusing on getting them at sacrament many times. 

We had two investigators at sacrament! Yeah! 

Saturday was a highlight. We had our mission Christmas Conference. It was really great, and we all felt the Spirit of Christmas. Our district sang "Far Far Away" and it sounded really nice. I was holding back tears the entire time. It was a great conference.

Elder Effiom got his package. He hasn't opened it yet, but he's pretty excited! Thank you very much for that. I thought all the packages were for him, so I was kind of down that mine didn't come before Christmas until earlier today when Elder Effiom realized he took mine! So thank you very much for that. 

This week looks exciting! Friday we have our Seminary Christmas Party, and we're all stoked for that. Elder Horne and I are planning on making special homemade brownies for all the youth. I think it'll be a great evening. We also plan this week to make little cards with a scripture verse on it to drop off at investigators, recent converts, less-actives, and members homes as a way to bring in the Spirit of Christ. 

Well I wish all of you a very, merry Christmas! Enjoy yourselves but go do something REALLY nice for somebody this week! Can't wait to talk Sunday!

I love you all very much. 

Love, Elder Nissinen

Saw some cool cow with big horns. 
You're The Best,

Hey guys. I didn't write an email today cause I just talked with you yesterday, but I sent Mom like a boatload of pictures, so hopefully those will tell you about my week. I just wanted to say thanks very much for yesterday. You guys are the best support group, and I really appreciate your love to me out here on my mission. Hope you all enjoyed the rest of your Christmas and this time together as a family. 
Watch the video I sent you...Some guy was handing out little gifts to kids. People were just going nuts trying to get anything from him. It was a moment I don't think I'll ever forget. There's probably millions of other kids out there that don't get a single thing for Christmas that would die just to get their hands on a little toy. 
Love always, 
Elder Nissinen
Christmas eve party!

Two cool kids that came to church and surprised us. They don't speak english but we've been teaching their family the Gospel.
Most of the branch

Monday, December 12, 2016

Election Week

Dear family and friends, 

Snow? Freezing rain? Not burning hot? Wow. Yeah that doesn't exist over here. I'm *slightly* jealous of that!

This week was the week of the Ghana Elections. We received news from the Area Presidency that things might get out of hand, so we were ordered to stay in our apartments all day Thursday. We thought things might get bad in our area, but it wasn't at all. Somehow it was a more peaceful election that the United State's. But because of the election, everyone was busy and didn't have much time for us, so that hurt our proselyting time a bit. Luckily it's all over and everyone has calmed down, so that's good.

The best part of our week was Sunday! We had THREE investigators at sacrament meeting - a record for us. Two of them were a member's own siblings that he brought on his own, and one was a lady we invited. With all the contacting we did last week, we have a very full teaching pool. Elder Horne is super organized with the names and phone numbers, so it makes planning easy. We found several families that are willing to listen to our message. Hopefully something good comes out of that. Teaching families is a lot more special than just teaching an individual. 

We had a few opportunities this week as we were out and about to teach investigators how to pray. Most people here know how to pray (and very well), but every now and then we run into some who tell us they cannot. It's pretty cool teaching people how to pray in a vocabulary meant for Primary children. 

Some days ago, I was watching the Church's movie called "Our Heavenly Father's Plan". It inspired me to re-think the way I had always been teaching the Plan of Salvation, as well as all the other lessons. I guess I had been going too deep in doctrine, and it was making the lesson longer than it needed to be and more complicated. Elder Horne and I have changed the way we teach, and it's working really well. We're starting to teach more in-line with the Preach My Gospel discussions. I wish I had realized it earlier, but glad the movie made me change. Our lessons are very simple and yet spiritually uplifting. We'll continue teaching this way. 

Anyways, that's about it! Some of my district members have a big baptismal service coming on Saturday, so I'll be conducting the interviews this week for their candidates. 

Christmas is coming! Enjoy the last week of school! 

Love, Elder Nissinen


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"Hey, Whatever!"

Dear family and friends, 

Like many of you, this has been a "hey, whatever" week for us in Tsito. 

We were determined to find somebody who was interested in the gospel message this week. So that's what we did. We had three good ideas on how to do this, and we tried all three ideas.

Wednesday we tried method 1: seminary. We instructed all the youth at seminary class on being missionaries and how to contact and place a pamphlet, then set them free for about an hour! To our surprise, they came back with 25 names and phone numbers of people they contacted. All the youth were super pumped and competitive about the activity. We'll probably do it again. 

Thursday was market day in Tsito and we thought we might get some publicity with a informative booth. We brought all kinds of pamphlets and a member or two to help us. A few people approached the table and asked us some questions, and we gave them whatever they wanted on the table. We weren't in the busiest part of the market, so it wasn't very effective, but it was an idea! Maybe we'll try it again in the future, maybe not. 

Saturday was our final whammy for finding new people. We got two young men to go on splits with us, and we were out all day teaching and finding. Many things fell through that day, but overall it was a success. We'll definitely try and do that more often. 

For the week, we contacted 52 people and found 9 new investigators from them. 2 of those 9 accepted the invitation to be baptized! So I guess it was all a success. 

With all the rejection we are facing, Elder Horne and I are getting tougher and stronger. I feel almost invulnerable to any negativity in my day. We're excited for what's coming! 
The Ghana Election is happening Wednesday. We received information from church headquarters that Thursday we aren't to leave the apartment. If the current president doesn't get reelected, our area will be very upset. It could get nasty if he doesn't win.

Thanks to everyone for your continued love and support. Elder Horne and I feel your love and prayers, and we are grateful that you're thinking of us and the people here.

Have a fantastic week! Try and catch the Christmas Spirit. It's hard (especially here) but focus on Christ and what a gift He's been for the earth, and that'll help. 

Love Elder Nissinen