Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dear family and friends, 

Everything in Osu is good! 

This weekend was historical in the creation of a new stake. Two stakes split this weekend, creating a third! There was a big conference this weekend to celebrate the event. The Church actually had to rent an international conference building to manage all the people attending. President Heid announced to us that he would pay for all investigators' travel, so as to get as many there as possible. We invited all of our investigators, and many committed to coming, but only a few came. Both of our baptismal candidates, Juliana and Samuel, were there, and that was great! The conference was fantastic. Two General Authorities attended and spoke, and it was really cool to be part of that historic day. 

There is a Unit Committee for the Church, headed by Elder Bednar. A unit is a stake, ward, branch, or district. A unit change is when a new unit is either made, split, or dropped. Every unit change in the Church must first receive permission from the Unit Committee before changing. Anyway, 30% of all unit changes in the entire Church come from the Africa West Area. In 2018, it's expected that there will be 100 stakes in West Africa. Yesterday the 75th was created.

We kind of got lucky. When we came, the entire main hall was packed full. We were worried that we would be stuck outside in the overflow and have to watch it from a projector. We heard someone mention something about an upper level, so we hurried up. We were the first ones up there, and got a super good viewing of the conference! You can see it from the pictures. 

As my and Elder Allen's time is quickly coming to a close, we feel a desire to reach out to as many as possible. We're trying to work with less-active members and any others that don't get visited by missionaries, hoping to reactivate and also find new people to teach. We feel that this will work. 

This Sunday we'll baptize Juliana and Samuel, two great converts. We'll be preparing them for that day throughout this week. 

We're looking forward to another week of "teaching repentance and baptizing converts"!

Have a great rainy week!  


Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Someone Likes Our Bikes!

Dear family and friends, 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter Sunday as we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

My first week with Elder Allen was great! He does an outstanding job of teaching people in a simple way that we know they know what was taught. He's also really good at asking inspired questions. I like him a lot. We're going to get a lot of work done around here. 

On Monday evening one of our bikes got stolen, but we knew the boy, and were able to get it back the next evening without any problems. Sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning, BOTH of our bikes were stolen! They were even locked together. Elder Allen and I couldn't believe it. We still have no idea where they are or who took them. There are currently three of our bikes out and about the area. We're keeping our eyes out! Since then we've been given more bikes and have taken extra security measures to ensure they stay safe. That is just a common problem from living at the church building: people are always around. I hope whoever has them is enjoying three really nice bikes. 

On Good Friday we had a ward party. It was super fun, and the turnout was fantastic. Originally the Elder's Quorum were in charge of cooking for everyone, but that wasn't going well, so the Relief Society took over. A lot of members brought non-member friends or family. I think in total we had 10 potential investigators come. Ward parties are a great way to bring people to the Church in a friendly atmosphere. Elder Allen and I had a great time.

Easter Sunday was honestly a bit of a let down. I guess I expected it to be more religious and remembered than it was. It's hardly celebrated here in Ghana. Here they really honor Good Friday and the death of Jesus Christ. Hardly any emphasis goes into His Resurrection, which is the central message of hope. 

I love studying from our Bible Dictionary from time to time. Here's a few sentences under "Resurrection" that I loved and would like to share: "One of the most fundamental doctrines taught by the Twelve was that Jesus was risen from the tomb, with His glorified, resurrected body, as in Acts 1:21–22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33. To obtain a resurrection with a celestial, exalted body is the center point of hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind."

I know that Jesus Christ is alive, and looks down upon us with love and concern. I've seen His hand extended to me throughout my mission. He lives. 

Have a great week! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Dear family and friends, 

It's been a bit of a strange week for Elder Scott and I. We've been really busy teaching, but towards the end of the week luck wasn't on our side. 

A few days ago, Elder Scott said we needed to go back to the apartment. He sits me down and tells me he got a call from President Heid, and that he's to go on transfer. From the way he said it I thought he was being sarcastic, so I didn't believe it. But he wasn't joking. So that was really sad. Both of us "planned" on this being our last area and companions, but the Lord has other ideas. 
Me and Elder Scott

My new companion is Elder Allen from a tiny town in Utah. He's only got 9 weeks left, so this should be his last area. I know him pretty well (his area borders ours). I'm sad Elder Scott left, but happy to work with Elder Allen.

On Friday Elder Scott got his bike stolen while we were teaching a lesson. He forgot to lock them up, so it was pretty much our fault. I hope his bike shows up somewhere - maybe I'll see some guy riding it and get it back. 

Saturday morning to Monday morning we didn't have any electricity. Saturday night was blazing hot, but basically all day Sunday it rained, so it was a lot cooler that night. Church on Sunday was great. Three of our four converts showed up to church and were confirmed. Emelia bore a great testimony, and so did her friend that brought her to the Church. One of the girl's mothers bore another great testimony and expressed gratitude that her family has come to the true Church. It was really nice to hear them say those things. 

Another great part of the week was at MLC (Mission Leadership Council). President and Sister Heid gave some fantastic instruction to us about how to lead and earn the love and respect of others. Sister Heid quoted a lot from "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. She highly encourages all her high school students and children to read it. The whole meeting was full of free, fantastic advice from wise leaders. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to sharing those thoughts with my zone this week. 

Have a great week! 

Love, Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Sweet Spot

Dear family and friends, 

Elder Scott and I are really enjoying ourselves right now. With the two of us having only a few months left in our missions, we are pretty experienced in most phases of the work. We get things done and have fun doing it. 

This week was about the same as last week. "Magically" we found lots more people to teach - some even approaching us. We were able to pick up a few more baptismal dates, some even this month. It's really cool how the Lord places people in our paths. If I didn't know better, I would think it's all coincidental. But this is the Lord's work, and we're just servants or tools that He uses to get it all done! Small miracles happen everyday. I've realized it's just a matter of being able to recognize them or not. 

From my experience, the work in the city is much more successful than in the bush. People are more approachable, they can read, and a whole lot of other reasons. Scott and I are going to get a lot done! 

Conference this weekend was sweet! We were only able to watch the Saturday morning and Priesthood. I don't know why they didn't let us do a live broadcast of the Sunday morning though. It was hard for me to focus with all the people around us, so I'll have to download it, but I loved what I did get out of it. Did you notice the theme of charity and humility? I left desiring to be a little kinder and charitable to those around me

I made these pancakes with no milk or eggs.
 They were pretty good!

Sounds like you all enjoyed your Spring Break. I'm stoked for Idaho! That'll be a lot of fun. Have a great week! Do some selfless service for another person.

Love, Elder Nissinen