Elder Nissinen

Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thousands Down, Thousands Left

Dear family and friends, 

This week was a bit interesting... we had some unexpected duties that changed our schedules, but it was all fun. We were able to go to the temple for Elder Allen's last time, and that was a neatl experience. 
Guess what?! I SUCCESSFULLY DEFEATED A HUSHPUPPY SHOE! You'd think I'd be bummed out about that, but that represents a lot of work! I've also been wearing that pair of shoes every single day for the past 10 months, so that could be why too. Feels good! 

We've been getting some unusual rainfall the past several days. The weather might be changing. 

Our kitchen has a bad cockroach infestation, and we finally had enough of it. Allen actually spat one of of his chocolate drink haha. We bought moth balls and peppered that all over the cupboards, to no avail. We then bought two cans of cockroach killer spray, and that stuff worked like a charm. The only issue is that it kind of exterminated them out of their hiding spots, so cockroaches were literally everywhere. One night I woke up super early in the morning and flipped on the kitchen lights and sprayed probably a hundred. I think Allen and I have killed about 1000 now. My only motivation is the thought of killing them at a faster rate than they can reproduce. It's a game.

As you know, we've been working with a lot of people, a lot of good people. We even committed a family to baptism. Friday and Saturday were spent committing everyone to church Sunday, and it seemed as if many would. For one reason or another, NONE came Sunday. After sacrament meeting, Elder Allen and I had no class to teach or no class to really join, so we decided to leave and go visit less-actives and investigators that didn't come. I'll admit it's not the best thing to do during church, but you can imagine their surprise as two missionaries dropped a "hello" during church, expressing their concern for them and their families. I think that visit will stick in their minds. 

We're excited for what June will bring! 

Elder Allen and I work as if we're still young on mission.
 We get along great.

Have a wonderful week of school and work! Hope those of you who are sick (Mom and Jacob) feel better today. 


Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sowing and Harvesting - a Missionary's Life

Dear family and friends, 

This week was a nice payoff! 
The kids are so lovable. 
They climb all over us and rub out hair and pet our arms. 
I will miss the kids!

As you can tell, for several weeks now our proselyting strategy is less-actives. We've been hitting the LA's (less actives) in the ward HARD, and we've gotten to know a majority of our ward's members. within just 5 weeks. 

In doing this, we know it is successful and a better use of our time, yet up to last week our seeds hadn't been blossoming yet. (As experienced missionaries, we know most of our work in the Garden of the Gospel is planting seeds with a little bit of harvesting.) This week was a great payoff in our LA efforts! We found two families that aren't the most active. One hadn't been to church in years, and was formerly in the Bishopric. We had a lovely visit with them, and learned that their daughter is well old enough to be baptized, but is not! We plan to baptize her next month. The other family is the same situation. Both families have been to church two weeks in a row. We feel that their child's baptism might be the thing that will bring them both back to the gospel. Exciting! 

For future missionaries: 

See why merely street or door-to-door contacting is such a waste of time? Working around members is so much more effective. Visit the members (less-active and active) and soon you'll gather in more referrals than you can manage - as you discover their friends, neighbors, and even non-member family members of the same house. The best part about this type of contacting is that you'll have a member to attach to the non-member, someone to encourage them to pray, read, and attend church meetings. Simply knocking on doors gets you no member friend or family member to support that person. Get it? Remember it! It took me too long to realize that truth. This week alone we found 10 new investigators, and not one single instance were we "street contacting". 

Well, that's about it for our week. We had a decent rain storm Saturday evening, so that was all it took for our investigators to excuse themselves out of church Sunday. But we'll get 'em this week! 

In a lesson with Rhoda, she shared that she felt she would be more prepared for her baptism if she had a little more time, so together we bumped her date up to next month (which will be with some others, I hope). 

We also had the opportunity last week to do two service projects, and that was really fun. We cut tree branches into firewood for a member, and taught English at a library. It's really nice to catch a break from normal missionary work and help others in the community. 

That's some exciting news for our Stake! Congrats to Bishop Brown. He'll do great things. Keep me looped in on who becomes our new Bishop. 

Have a wonderful week! 

Love Elder Nissinen

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dear family and friends, 

Calling home is always an interesting experience. At least in Ghana, a missionary can expect just about everything to go sideways on him. Credit disappears, internet goes spotty, and reliable phones/tablets/laptops aren't the most common, to just name a few obstacles. Our original plans for Skyping fell through, so Elder Allen and I quickly searched alternative options. We went to a member's place and after a while were able to get secured internet connection for Elder Allen to Skype. I was able to Skype on a phone for a few minutes, but had to switch to a phone call for the rest. 

It's funny: before I call, I'm not really anxious to talk. But after we start talking and joking, I want to talk! It was really nice to hear from all of you yesterday. Thank you for your love and support. The good news is that next time we talk it'll be in person! No internet or credit problems to stop us then, ha ha. 
These are the twin teenage girls I was telling you about.
The sell packets of water (in the blazing heat) all day to earn money for school.  

Our week was great. Rhoda, our baptismal candidate, had her birthday last Saturday. We tricked her Friday that we would be too busy to come over and visit her on her birthday, and that we would just wish her a Happy Birthday at church. She was super upset about that. We bought her a birthday cake and surprised her Saturday evening. That definitely made her day. Most people don't do or get anything on their birthday here. Rhoda hadn't even been sung to all day. It felt really good doing that for her, even if it was small.

Anyways, that's about it for us! We're working really hard with finding and fellowshipping less-actives in the Ward, rather than go 'tracting'. Slowly but surely they'll come around. We just need to gain their trust and love first. 
That picture is fufu with crab, cow meat and intestines,
and some type of fish.

Again, it was so nice to hear from all of you! Have a super fantastic week! 

Love, Elder Nissinen

That picture of the room I'm in close to the ocean... we teach there! It's within a rock throws distance to the ocean. 
Super cool teaching spot. 

I loved the chance I had to mow some lawn.  I miss it!