Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"I Don't Think We're in Tsito Anymore"

Dear family and friends, 

Man, I had no idea I'd have culture shock twice on my mission. Christiansborg is so different from Tsito. It kind of hit me Thursday and Friday. Actually, I'm still adjusting to the city. I've never heard so many people speak English, especially kids. For the first time in a long while, I had my first conversation with a child. I was really surprised when I heard kids (and adults) pray in English. The city life is so drastically different from where I was coming from, it's quite amazing. There are tall buildings, lots and lots of cars, people everywhere (including foreigners) and lots of restaurants. It's a little hotter hear too.

My companion is Elder Burns. He's a stud. We get along really great and he's showing me the ropes. He's been in the area for quite a while, so I've gotta learn quick before he leaves. We have a lot in common actually. I'm excited! 

I haven't done much as a ZL yet, but that'll change soon as Burns lets me do more. 

Sunday we had a surprise guest at our sacrament meeting: Carol F. McConkie - the 1st Counselor in the General Young Women's Presidency. We were also joined by Elder Stanfill of the Area Presidency. Sister McConkie and her husband spoke, as well as Elder and Sister Stanfill. It was a great sacrament meeting, and a rare opportunity to be in their presence. Elder Burns and I actually got to talk to them for a few minutes before sacrament meeting started, so that was cool I guess. Not every day do you get to shake hands and talk to a Counselor in the General YW Presidency. 

We extended a date to a super golden investigator last week. I think we might be able to get a few baptisms next month if things align. He and a few other investigators attended sacrament.

As you can tell, this is a bit more comfortable of an area, so I'm happy about that. The work is different and overall trickier here, so the strategies are also different. I'm really excited to work and grow here! 

Sorry about the flooding. Hope you have a great week. 

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Dear family and friends, 

I got news for ya! 

Our week was normal for the most part. Actually, we had a ton of failed appointments, so we were just walking around a lot of the time looking for people to visit. 

Well, I got a phone call late Saturday evening from President Heid. Looks like I'm heading out of Ho Zone and going to be a Zone Leader near my first area. I was really upset that I have to leave before the baptisms next Sunday but there is a lot of people who are leaving baptisms behind. This next area will for SURE be a lot more comfortable, it's in the heart of Accra. So I am excited for that one. My next companion is from my MTC, he's a cool guy from Utah. 

Horne can do some trick to make it look like he removes his thumb. Kids have been going nuts about it and come up to him all the time to see it. I think they tell each other his name at school, cause we meet random kids all the time who want to see it. 

So guess what?

I GOT MY CAMERA BACK. Long story, but I'll try to make it brief: 

Sunday evening some men called us over to talk with them, saying that they knew about a camera that had pictures of me on them. We got really excited. They told us some lady from the next village has it, and that we could get it in the morning. So, of course, we walked to the next village to find the lady. We found the lady and she said the camera was back with the first two guys (where we had just came from). She said I could get the camera back if I paid her money. I wasn't too happy about it, but I decided it would be worth whatever cost to get it back. 
Back at the apartment that night, we got a call from the two guys. They were yelling and very angry with us. I'm still not sure why, but apparently they were accused by us of stealing the camera or something. They thought we were being bad Christians for asking the lady about the camera. Again, it doesn't make any sense. I was worried I wouldn't get back, so I calmed him down and apologized for nothing. 

This morning we went to the local police station to meet the lady and the guys. The guys were still upset, and I was prepared to give out my money and calm them down. But luckily our 2nd Counselor, who is a police officer, was around and helped us so we didn't have to pay to get the camera back. The camera is fully functional, no pictures have been deleted, and it's back in my possession! Apparently it was found a month ago. People took pictures and videos with it, it's a bit funny actually.
Gloria's farm. We found a cool tree!

Gloria. She'll be baptized Sunday. She is super cool with a hard life. She is Jacob's age.

It's quite a miracle to have that camera back. It'll be a great story to tell one day. That camera has an incredible a story attached to it! 

After nearly 11 months in the bush, I'll be saying goodbye and moving on the bigger (and better) things in Accra. Although the past 11 months -especially the last 4 - have been the hardest of my life, it's really stretched and strengthened me in so many numerous ways. I guess I have to be grateful for the hard times. God loves me! 

Investigator family in Avenui. Cool people!

My Sunday school class. The young men aren't too excited about church yet, but we get some sometimes. Sometimes I teach 10 youth.

Joycelin's last time washing my clothes...

Have a wonderful happy week. 

Love, Elder Nissinen

Monday, February 13, 2017


Dear family and friends, 

Elder Horne and I had a pretty great week. 

The weather seems to be heating up quite a bit. We're having to sleep with the fans directly on our faces to get any rest now! 

Not only is the weather heating up, but so is our area! It's the same old story of dropping less-serious investigators and searching for more. We did that Thursday I believe. We prayed that we'd be led to some who were looking for the truth, and after a while of contacting, some older guy named Godwin called us over. Apparently he knew everything about the Church, was taught everything by the missionaries, read all the pamphlets, has a Triple Combination, and even had previous baptismal dates. We asked why he wasn't a member, and he told us he travels often between two places and hadn't had the opportunity to be baptized again. Long story short, he has a baptismal date now for the end of the month. If all goes well, we'll baptize 4 converts on the 26th! I totally feel like Godwin was an answer to our prayers. So that was cool. 

Went to go teach an investigator and this is what we saw haha

Along the way, we found a bunch of other people to teach, and will be working on them this week. 

Friday we had the opportunity to do some service for a charitable organization in Ho. We joined with 8 other missionaries and cleaned their compound.

The highlight of the week was definitely Sunday. Yesterday was our Branch Conference. Our small chapel can seat about 45. We had 67! People were outside and in the hallway it was so overfilled. I don't even think the chapel has 67 chairs total. We were positive we would get 6 or 7 investigators, but a bunch of random things came up, and none with baptismal dates showed up. However, a super nice family in a small village walked in about 40 minutes late! I could tell they walked the whole way because they were really sweaty. It was a touching moment. Elder Horne taught investigator's class, I taught Sunday School, and we both taught Young Women's. 
Horne got a giant box of fruity pebbles haha. I got those drink mixes you sent. Thanks so much for doing that. Those really help. 

Elder Horne eating fufu

That's about it for our week! We're firing on all cylinders out in Tsito. We're going to do all we can to prepare those people for their baptisms. 

Have a lovely Valentine's Day, and talk to you next week. 

Love, Elder Nissinen

Good Week

Dear family and friends, 

The letter will be a bit short today, just cause there isn't much to talk about. It was kind of a normal missionary week. Nothing too noteworthy...

Horne and I are doing great in Tsito. It was about Wednesday or Thursday and we realized some of our "serious investigators" were no longer "serious". Friday and especially Saturday we spent the majority of our time contacting and searching for new people. It's not always fun to have to start, but once you get going it's not too shabby. We found a few people who might have some potential, and we'll get working on them this week hopefully. 

I'm really happy about the changes made regarding counting lessons. Twice this past week we were able to apply the "teach people, not lessons" principle. One was Michael, our baptismal candidate, who had a small problem with alcohol. The second it was Wisdom, a young man who is struggling to overcome pornography. In both situations, we were able to teach to their problems because we slowed down and sincerely asked, "what questions do you have for us"? Had we simply been focusing on teaching our planned lessons, they might not have been prompted to share, and us not able to address their needs. It's great! 

I did get the camera, but the ZL's forgot to bring it today, so I'll pick it up tomorrow. Thanks for doing that and for your love and continued support. 
Me and Elder Pace

Hope you all have a great week. Congrats on completing your first semester. 

Love, Elder Nissinen