Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Awesome week!

Dear family and friends, 

This week was awesome!

Scott and I really put some work in to prepare our four investigators for their baptisms. This week was a lot better in terms of directions though - we're getting the hang of finding our way around. 

Last Monday I made the mistake and got some nasty banku for dinner. All day Tuesday and Wednesday I was pretty sick. Pepsi and ibuprofen fixed that problem though. 

There are some Sisters in our zone that are struggling in their area. They are very new and haven't had much success. President Heid suggested we gather the zone together and contact in their area for a half-day. The activity went really well, everyone had a good attitude, and I felt it unified us. It was nice helping other missionaries for a change. 

The Lord blessed us Saturday with dozens of people to teach. I wrote so many names and numbers in my planner I had to switch pages. Scott and I were non-stop talking to people for a few straight hours. It'll take some organization to see and plan for them all, but it was a blessing for sure! 

Sunday was the big day for baptisms. We had Emelia, Emmanuel, Udel, and Monica all lined up for their special day. We were getting worried when sacrament was over and two of them still hadn't showed up, but they eventually rolled in. The baptismal service went perfectly, and it was a special day for them and me. All four are great converts and will be a blessing to the ward. The baptisms were awesome!

President Heid interviewed one of our candidates, and I had the lucky opportunity to join the non-confidential part of it. It blew us away at how President Heid taught. It was so simple, yet powerful. I've thought about it multiple times. Even our investigator bore testimony about the interview. It hit us all that President has been called by God, and he leads by the Spirit. It was awesome to be a part of that. 

Hope you all have a great Spring Break! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dear family and friends, 

It was a great week! 

Scott and I are working hard and having a lot of fun. Because we're so new, we decided it would be best to sit down with the Bishop and get information about the active and less-active members in the ward. Our Bishop is a stud, and we're developing a solid relationship with him. We spent a lot of time visiting the auxiliary leaders in their homes. We'll continue to do that often.

As expected, we did get lost way too many times. It was frustrating, but eventually we found wherever we needed to go. Thankfully Elder Scott was patient and is great at remembering places. 
I see that you guys are interested in food. This was our lunch the other day. It was pretty good. I don't know why it was wrapped in a leaf. We borrowed the spoons. The meat is called "wule" (woo-ley). It's cow skin. Some cow fat too.

I think the highlight of the week came Saturday. When Elder Burns was here, we committed a super great guy to baptism. We thought he was golden until we didn't hear from him for two weeks. I called him up, and we met. Apparently he got in a minor motorbike accident and was recovering. We set another baptismal date for next week. Saturday we also met with our three other baptismal candidates. If everything goes right, we'll score four baptisms next week! We're excited. 
Guess what we found out? 
Emelia has the same birthday as me! She's '98 though. That means she's like the exact same age as Rosie. Weird, but cool! 

This week we'll also spend some time helping the other missionaries in our zone. Some are struggling in various ways, so we'll go over and help fill their teaching pool. 

Have a fun week. Do something nice for someone that deserves it.

Love, Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Companion

Dear family and friends, 

This week was great! 

Burns spent some time this week to show me around the zone. We went on two exchanges on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday I went to a cool area near the beach and had a lot of fun with that. We were teaching a lesson to one of their investigators in their chapel in the evening time when the area suffered lights off, so we taught her with just our phone's flashlights haha. After the lesson was finished, we leave to escort her home, when we realize we were locked inside the chapel! Some other members were there, and must have forgotten we were still inside. It was probably really scary for their investigator to be inside a locked inside dark church for a little while. Luckily their Bishop came and rescued us. 

 Sweet primary children!

Then Thursday we went with some of the Sister missionaries in our zone who have been struggling in their newly-formed area. I accidentally left my hat at another ward, so I got burnt really good that day. It didn't help that we spent most of the day walking... It was a lot of fun though working and teaching with Sisters. That is something I never had done before. 

Friday evening Elder Burns and I got a phone call from President Heid. Burns is leaving to finish another Elder's training. Guess who my new companion is? ELDER SCOTT! I almost didn't believe President. It's super exciting, and we're really happy to be companions now. The only problem is is that I've only been in the area for 2 1/2 weeks,so I don't know but few of the members and their houses, and I hardly know the ropes of being a Zone Leader. It'll be a rocky learning curve but Scott and I will figure it out. 

Man this Akple is so good. One of the better meals 
I've had in a long while. Super good stuff.
Those little fish are incredible!
 You guys would seriously like it. 

That's really about it! 

On a spiritual side, we went to a funeral at our chapel for a recent convert that Elder Burns knew well. She passed at a young age, and had two young children, now motherless. Most of the people in attendance were not of our faith. I never knew any of the family, but as the teenage daughter was tearfully talking about her mother, my heart really opened for her loss. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be a teenager without a mom. Our Bishop stood up and gave a comforting talk on the Plan of Salvation, and how death is not an end, but a step in God's Plan. Our job is to be prepared for when it's our time to move on. I'm sure many left with a different outlook on life and death, because I did. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week. Rosie, don't break anymore hearts! 

Love, Elder Nissinen 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Baptism to come

Dear family and friends, 

The city life is a good life! I'm enjoying it here quite a bit, and I'm learning so much. It's amazing how much one can learn about being an effective missionary. I would assume that after a certain number of months a missionary could have it all "mastered", but I am surprised by how often that is not the case. Elder Burns is teaching me the power of working with the members rather than simply tracting or contacting. I've known it all along, but never really implemented it as a daily task. 

Elder Burns is great. We're having a lot of fun while working hard. I'll have to soak in this small time we'll serve together. 
Elder Burns

One of the highlights of the week was the blessing we had to extend a few baptismal dates. We have two 10 year old girls that really cute and fun, who's parents are either less-active or recent converts. On top of that, we were able to extend a baptismal date to a super cool 18 year old girl named Emelia, who's been coming with a YW friend for a few weeks. She's read everything we've given her, wants to be a member, and is even working on Personal Progress, as a non-member! We're really excited for her baptism, cause she'll make a sweet contribution to the Ward.

A cool story about Emelia: 

We had been trying to meet with her all week long, but we didn't know where she stayed, and her phone number wasn't working. We really wanted to meet with her to start the lessons. Anyways, a few lessons had failed on us, and nobody was around, so were kind of aimlessly walking. Elder Burns mentioned how nice it would be to see Emelia, when suddenly we saw her walking from school. We were able to find her house, get a correct number, and finally extend a date. It was a tender mercy for sure. 
This is Emelia

Sorry about all the rain (and snow?). My arms got burnt last week if that makes you feel better. Have a great week, and get some sunshine in your soul from sharing the Gospel with someone! 

Love, Elder Nissinen