Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/2012

Guess what? It finally looks a little like Christmas!
 
 
 
The Snow finally hit New York last Friday! We had some pretty good snow and it was actually pretty fun! It hasn't gotten too cold yet, so that's good!
 
 
 Looks like we might have a white Christmas after all!
 

Or maybe not!
 
All of the snow has already melted! Crazy stuff, huh? Oh well... That just means driving will be a little bit safer for a while. And also that we won't be as cold. Haha!  (As you can see, I finally managed to get an actual winter coat! It's quite a bit warmer than my previous coat.. Although the weather has warmed up significantly since I received the better coat. That's how it works, huh?)

Things here are really going pretty well lately! I did an exchange with Elder Kip Atwood from Paradise, UT in Corning and it was a blast! He's a way fun missionary and it was cool to see what the work is like outside of Owego.

We had President and Sister Wirthlin come to church in Owego yesterday, which was a nice surprise. We also have the baptism set up and ready for next Saturday. (The reason we're waiting until Saturday is because one of her main fellowshippers in the ward had left until the night of the 28th, and she really wanted her to be there.) I'm really excited! She asked me to do the baptism for her, so I'll finally get to use the white trousers and tie! :)  I'm really just so excited for her. She looked like she was glowing yesterday at Church, and really seems like a new person compared to when I first met her. It's SO cool seeing how much the Gospel can help people.

Next Saturday, after the Baptism, we'll be having "Transfer Calls..." Crazy! I've pretty much accepted that I'm headed somewhere new, but you never know! My Zone Leaders said I was headed up to Potsdam, so we'll see if they're right! Could be a cold winter in a week or so... :) 
Whatever happens, I'm excited. It's a great time to be out serving a mission and seeing what kind of difference we can make on people.

We're almost ready for Christmas tomorrow! We finally got a tiny Christmas tree (I should have taken a picture!) and got a few packages in the past week. I got a package from Heather and Nick on Wednesday and a package from Tyler and one from Mom and Dad on Thursday. I hope that was all of them! In Mom's email, it said "Did both of your packages arrive?", so hopefully none of them got lost in the mail. Elder Gasetoto also got a package from "The girls of SLC" (Huh?) and one from home as well, so that was good! Funny thing was, he opened his presents as soon as he got them! Hahaha!

So here's the schedule for tomorrow.... We're running a bunch of presents to investigators around 8:30 or so, then eating breakfast/opening presents with the Richardson family at 9:30. After breakfast, we're headed to Elmira for District Meeting at 12 (where I'm giving my first training... Exciting!) After District Meeting gets over at 1:30, we're headed back to Newark Valley to eat dinner with the Cox family at 3:30. After dinner is over, I'm guessing around 5 (3 in Utah), that seems to be the ideal time for me to call/skype you guys! I'm excited to get to talk to you all. I hope that works for all of you... If that doesn't work out, email Sister Cox and relay the message to me so I know what other time would work out.

It should be a very exciting, very merry Christmas. It's weird not being home for the holidays (and kinda doesn't make it seem like Christmas Eve...), but it'll still be good.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, wherever people are spending the holidays. Where we spend the holidays and what we get during the holidays aren't what's really important, but the reason for the season is most important.


I believe Mormon.org/Christmas got it right when they said-

"Christmas is about Family. Christmas is about Friends. Christmas is about Service. Christmas is all about Christ."


Merry Christmas! I love you all.
 
Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, December 17, 2012

12-17-2012

Hello!
 
I cannot believe it's almost Christmas! It is crazy to think that it will be Christmas Eve one week from now! I don't quite understand how/why, but time is flying by! I've almost been out for 6 months already! Weird, huh?

Our investigator has not been baptized yet... But she's now got a solid baptismal date and has even had her baptismal interview already! She's going to be getting baptized on December 29th... The Saturday after Christmas and the day of Transfer Calls! Crazy! I'm so glad it's working out that I will still get to be here when she gets baptized. And she is definitely ready for this. We have several other people who are getting really close to baptism, but I don't think I'll be here when any of them make that step. Our other solid investigator is actually a bit older than you're imagining.. He's 56! At this time, the youngest person we're teaching is in his mid thirties. In fact, this entire area is kinda lacking in youth... There are 3 young men, and 3 or 4 young women in the entire ward! A few are back from college for Christmas though, so that's good to get to see a few of them again.

The Christmas Decorations out here are definitely different... But they're still good. Not many people put Christmas Lights up on their homes, but a ton of people do yard decorations. There's a few yards around here that look like there was an explosion of Christmas lights, reindeer, and inflatable Santa Clauses. I'll have to take a few pictures this week.

This past week was pretty exciting for a few different reasons..

1. Had my first mission encounter with a dog! We were out tracting a neighborhood in West Corners, and we didn't hardly have any luck. Although it was perfect tracting time (5 PM), nobody was home. At the end of the street, we saw a house that was all lit up inside. We were convinced that was the reason that we were in that neighborhood, so we started walking up toward the door. We notice their mid-sized dog was on a long leash in the yard, and he noticed us too. He walked up to us, sniffed our hands, and then let us pet him for a minute. However, he wasn't too keen on the idea of us knocking on the front door, because as soon as we took a step towards it, he attacked! Now, I'll be honest here- I just ran away. Once I was out of danger, I looked back to see it going after Elder Gasetoto. Right when it was about to get him, he just slapped it in the face a few times and ran back to where I was. It was both horrifying and hilarious. Haha!

2. Elder Gasetoto started feeling sick on Wednesday, then on Friday Morning it was pretty apparent that he had the Flu.. Luckily, the Zone Leaders were coming from Elmira, so I was still able to get out and work. Unfortunately, we had to spend Saturday and Sunday in the apartment.. I hadn't gotten my flu shot yet, so apparently I have a pretty good immune system?

3. Speaking of good immune systems.... Last week, we had someone give us some snacks! They were basically a muffin and a cookie mixed, and they were a little bit past expiration, but found to be okay upon quick examination, I tried one. It tasted kinda weird.......... Elder Gasetoto was about to eat his, when he realized the bottoms were covered in mold. Looking at the rest in the package, almost all of them looked okay on top, but the bottoms were all gross. I thought I was going to throw up! However, I didn't get sick, and maybe that was the thing that kept me from getting the flu!... Right? Right? I'll just say that's what happened and it was a blessing in disguise... Yeah, we'll go with that.

Lesson learned- Always examine expired food thoroughly before consumption.

That was the exciting parts of my week! With Christmas and a baptism next week, things are going pretty good! It's definitely a different Christmas Season, but I'm enjoying it!

Hope you all are having a great Christmas Season back home!

Love you guys!

-Elder Mitch Hussey

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-10-2012

It's kinda starting to feel like Christmas here in Owego! There are Christmas celebrations left and right, but it's about 45 degrees and raining outside today! It's definitely not what I expected winter to be like out here, but hey, I'm not complaining! This past week, Owego had their annual "Lights on the River" holiday celebration and we attended. There was a bunch of free food, turning on of the Christmas lights, and fireworks! It was pretty fun.


It definitely is a fun time of the year! We're trying to do our best to help people remember the reason for Christmas, but it seems like most people are too busy! It's okay though.. We'll keep on trying and have faith we can actually find people out here.

We went to the United Methodist Church's Christmas celebration with our Bishop and his wife yesterday. It was really good and we got to meet a few people in the area that way. The choir was great and did some interesting versions of the normal Christmas songs that were really good!

The work out here is going pretty well too! Unfortunately, one of our solid investigators started smoking again, so he probably won't be baptized while I'm still in Owego... BUMMER! But we'll continue to work with him and he'll get there eventually. It's not all bad news though.. Yesterday, one of our investigators and her grandson came to Church. Church was great, and afterward, we saw her give her Tithing to the Bishop. Then during the Linger Longer after church, she casually told us that she was ready to be baptized and we should set a date this Tuesday. Woohoo! I'm so glad she is finally going to make this wonderful step and progress in the Gospel. It was really exciting. She could be getting baptized this next week! I guess we'll just have to wait and see! Otherwise, the work is going pretty good. It seems like some days we have WAY too much to do, while other days, we can't find anything to do! But we have several investigators who are doing really well and coming along well on their progression in this Gospel.
 
We're trying to get Christmas Decorations up around our apartment, find gifts for members/investigators/family, etc! It definitely is a busy time of the year. But, it's really a good time too.

One more thing! We had Zone Training Meeting this past Tuesday, and while we were there, President Wirthlin told us that they received a few boxes and in them were enough I Love New York Utica Mission shirts for all of the missionaries in our mission! It was pretty awesome and they look great!
 
It's been a good week and we're still out here, trying to do our best to share this Gospel, one of the greatest gifts we could ever give! I hope you all stay safe, stay warm, and stay strong!

Love you all,

Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, December 3, 2012

12-3-2012

Good Morning!
 
The Christmas decorations are starting to come up here in Owego! This Friday is a big holiday celebration called "Lights on the River" which apparently draws in a pretty good sized crowd of people. Should be able to try some missionary work in that sense, and there's free hot cocoa, doughnuts, and fireworks at 8 PM. Win-win-win situation. :)
 
We are getting a training on the Church's Christmas campaign tomorrow morning.. Should be cool to see a little bit more of what it's all about! If you want, check out Mormon.org/christmas and you can see a part of what it's all about. I do wonder if this will make any differences in the missionary work for us in this area.. I hope so! We're struggling to find new people to teach! (I'm not very good at finding.... Something to work on!)
 
Thanks for updating me on Elder Baird. I've written him a few times, but I haven't heard back yet. Oh well! I can understand how that is. I got a letter from Elder Duncan last week! He's doing good, but it sure does seem like a foreign mission is a completely different experience! It's weird to think about.

Things here are going pretty good! Our investigators are doing well. I think we'll see at least 2 baptisms this transfer.. Maybe 3. I'm praying for 4, but we'll see how that works out.
The church does has a "Stop Smoking Program", but it's old (probably the same as when Dad was on his mission) and could probably use updating here pretty soon. Our investigator tried the program and it didn't work for him before. This time, he's just going on willpower and cinnamon candy.. Lots and lots of cinnamon candy. He's made it a week already though! That much is really good.
 
I'm doing pretty good! This past week was pretty interesting.. We had another slow week. But we did have a interesting challenge!  We had previously met a youth pastor for the Baptist Church that seemed pretty nice, so we went back to have a gospel discussion with him. He was pretty nice until we started talking about the Book of Mormon, then he started throwing out all sorts of different anti-Book of Mormon info at us. The interesting thing was that he was telling us we needed to stop following our emotions and feelings and look at the "proof" he was showing us.. Yet he quoted Proverbs 3:5-6 a ton! "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Pretty weird experience, but I feel like it's just motivation to work harder and strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Partially because of that, I decided to challenge myself and read (and mark) through the entire Book of Mormon during the month of December (hopefully before Christmas)... It's kinda intimidating.. But I'm already on page 47 and I'm learning all sorts of new things this time! There's no way that the Book of Mormon is a story that was made up by man. I remember Dad mentioning on his mission getting a bunch of anti-literature thrown at him. I guess your testimony can't grow as much unless it's challenged every once in a while, huh?

This week should be really good though. Elder Gasetoto and I set some good goals and are going to work really hard to improve ourselves, which should improve our area and our investigators. I'm constantly finding a lot that I can improve on.... Nothing wrong with that though!
 
I'm very grateful for all that all of you do for me. To people who haven't heard from me in the past little while... I'm so sorry! Our P-Days got crazy and I have a big pile of letters to respond to.. But I'll get there. I really appreciate hearing about how all of you are doing and hope that you all stay safe as we are coming into the winter months.

Each day my testimony, love for the people, and understanding of how great this Gospel is grows stronger.

I love you all!
 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, November 26, 2012

11/26/2012


I did have a good Thanksgiving. It definitely was different than most, but we still had a good time and ate a TON!

I did miss spending the holidays with you guys, but it's teaching me I need to appreciate the time I get to spend with the family more back home. As we get older and older, it's important to spend as much time together as we can when we have the chance, huh?

This previous week was a little slow. Because of the Holidays, it was a little difficult to set appointments up with people, so we ended up doing a lot of tracting. Unfortunately, not many people were home this week, and the ones that were all had other things they wanted to do, so there wasn't really much success in that regard. However, we did find a family that had just barely moved in that day, so hopefully when we try back in a few days we will have some success. I want to teach a family SO bad! As of now, almost everyone we teach are individuals. I hope that we can have some success with them!

Besides tracting and the few lessons we had this week, we also ate WAY too much. On Thanksgiving, we ate with a member of the Owego ward named Sister LaCava and her family/friends. In total, there were around 14 people there, and it was pretty fun! Bishop Knudsen and his wife were there, so we got to get to know them a little better than we have previously. We were able to visit with a few Recent Converts and a Less Active family through the day, so luckily we didn't have to tract on Thanksgiving itself. Sister LaCava sent us home with a lot of leftovers, so we had Thanksgiving- Round 2 the next day for lunch! Then, we were eating at the Bush family's home on Friday, and we had Thanksgiving Round 3! Then, the next day (Sat), we still had leftovers, so we had Round 4.. And wouldn't you know, the family feeding us on Saturday also did a Thanksgiving meal! So Elder Gasetoto and I have had Turkey, Potatoes, Rolls, Green Beans, etc for 5 meals in a row! Crazy! We're pretty much turkey'd out, but it was all super good food.

Our Investigators are doing pretty good. We got one investigator a bunch of Cinnamon supplies (mouthwash, gum, suckers, etc) as he stopped smoking yesterday in the hopes that he can be baptized on December 29th.. I really hope that works out! He's been meeting with Missionaries since March of last year, and he's good to go once he stops smoking. We also have 2 other investigators that are getting pretty close, but I'm still not sure if I'll be here to see it. I hope I will! But the work is progressing. The hardest part is just finding new people to teach.  The people looking for more in their lives (or will admit they are) are few and far between. But seeing them once they have been found makes it all worth it!

I'm really excited to be in Owego for the Christmas season! We realized that this is a pretty cool transfer!

Elder Gasetoto and I get to celebrate-

1. Thanksgiving

2. Elder Gasetoto's one year mark (Nov 29th)

3. Christmas

4. My six month mark

5. New Years!


That's a lot of holidays! We're pretty excited. Should be fun! I'm already wondering if I'll be leaving Owego next transfer or not, and the upcoming transfer is just started! Sheesh.. I just need to stop worrying about stuff, huh? ;)

I'm also going to do the 4 Standard Works in a Year Challenge this upcoming year! I found a paper in my stuff you must have put in with a schedule and I'm going for it! Should be a good challenge!

I hope things at home are going good! That's exciting to hear about so many new missionaries! I got a letter this week and learned that about 4 of the girls I was friends with at college have mission calls.Crazy! I hope things go well for all of them.
 
Thanks for all you do for me! I realize more and more how great of parents I have and how good of examples you are to me. I really do appreciate all you have done for me (although in the past I probably haven't seemed like I have) and hope that I can follow your examples in my life later on.

One scripture I found that had a good message for the Thanksgiving season- Doctrine and Covenants 78:19-

"19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."

We're promised great blessings if we have an "Attitude of Gratitude!" (Not sure where I heard that from.. But I'm pretty sure it was a conference talk.. :D )

I hope you all are doing good! I'm glad to hear from you and excited to talk to you on Christmas! I'll have to see if "Skyping" is allowed in our mission.. If so, that could be a cool way to talk.

Love you all!

-Elder Hussey

Monday, November 19, 2012

11/19/2012

Hello everybody!

It has been a very interesting week... First things first-We got Transfer Calls on Saturday! Normally, we get a call from our Zone Leaders around 8:00, but we were teaching a lesson at 5:00 when we got a phone call. As soon as we finished the lesson, we listened to the message from them telling us they had transfer calls, but they'd call us back later that night. The anticipation was killing us! Luckily, we only had to wait about 5 minutes until they tried again.

So, for the next transfer, I will be serving in............... Owego! Elder Gasetoto will be serving in.......... Owego as well! It looks like we will get to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years together! Should be an exciting! So yes, I will be here in Owego for a while longer.
 
It is amazing how fast the time is going by. I've been out for almost 5 months already, and I will actually get to celebrate my 6 month mark right at Christmas time! Cool to think about!

Sounds like an exciting time for Missionary Work! I'm excited for my friends who are all coming out and serving or receiving mission calls! I hope Keith does well, and I'm excited for Jessica getting a mission call as well! That's pretty crazy! In regards to the China mission call rumor that is going around... We had a guy from the Missionary Department at the meeting this week, and he told us that was a rumor that was going all over BYU right now. I guess we'll see if it's true sooner or later, huh?

Speaking of the meeting in Utica last week, it wasn't anything too crazy. It was just a training for about 50 of the missionaries in our mission about some important teaching principles, the Christmas campaign the Church is doing this Christmas Season, and some new ideas for finding/teaching people around New York. It was a lot of fun though! We stayed the night in the Mission Home, got to see a lot of the missionaries I came out with, and had a lot of fun in the training. Nothing too crazy though. The work is definitely being "hastened" and changed slightly so that we can be more effective and help more people find the Gospel.
 
Things in Owego are pretty good! We had a good week this last week. The weather has gotten a lot warmer all of the sudden and it's beautiful! There have been a few days we've actually tracted without jackets. So, there was one funny story this past week-During our weekly planning, we decided to set goal to get one of our investigators, to commit on a Baptism date for December 29th. He's been investigating for about 18 months now, and LOVES the church, but has had some things that he has needed to work through before baptism. During our lesson with him on Saturday, we asked him to say that opening prayer. While he was praying, he asked God to help him stop smoking so that he could be baptized on December 29th. We were shocked! We hadn't even mentioned it to him yet! He told us that he had been praying about it, and decided that was the right time for him. So we're very excited for that.
 
I'm glad that I get to be here in Owego a little while longer. We should be having 2 or 3 baptisms this Christmas season, and it'll be really great to get to see these people that I've grown to love make this wonderful step in their lives. It should be a great transfer coming up soon.
 
Besides all that, things are going pretty well! I'm staying warm so far, teaching is going pretty good, and I'm learning a lot new each day. We really do have a lot to be grateful for. It's great to have a holiday like Thanksgiving where we can look at all of the blessings in our life and realize how blessed we really are. It'll be weird spending the holidays away from home this year, but the Owego Ward takes good care of their missionaries. We're eating at Sister LaCava's house this Thanksgiving. She makes SUPER good food, and she told us they're cooking 2 turkeys. Sounds like a good day to me!
 
I am very grateful for all of the blessings in my life at this time- 
I have an awesome family, that did a great job raising me and is continuing to be a great example to me.
I have amazing friends who support me in my decisions, and are also great examples to me.
I have an awesome companion, who I'm slowly learning random Samoan words from and who I enjoy working with.
I am extremely blessed to have a knowledge of this Gospel, and I'm very grateful for this chance I have to spend 2 years of my life sharing this great gift with the people of Upstate New York.

The list could go on forever, but we all have a lot to be grateful for. I hope you are all doing well wherever you are, and know that you're in my prayers!
 
Love you all!

-Elder Mitch Hussey
 




 

Monday, November 12, 2012

11/12/2012

Hello Family!
 
Happy Veterans day yesterday! We actually are working with 3 or 4 different veterans, and the sacrifices that they have made in their lives in order to protect our country is amazing. I really appreciate what they have done for all of us, and the lasting effects that it has had on their lives. It definitely isn't something that is easy to go and do.
The weather here in Owego is kinda Bi-Polar! Man, come to think of it, Owego really is just like home! It got really bitter cold last week and even was snowing one day (I'm not looking forward to winter), then it got nice and warm for the past 3 days. We've actually been able to see the sun a few times the past few days! Pretty cool. :) Before we know it though, we'll just wake up and it'll be a freezing winter wonderland. It'll be exciting to see what the snow is like out here in New York. It's crazy to think that people back in Utah are already Snowboarding and Skiing! Tis the season, I guess.. There are already Christmas decorations all over Front Street in Owego, and it's not even the middle of November yet! Pretty funny.

So, I'll answer some questions-

1.Where do go to get on the internet to do your email on Monday?

We are very blessed here in Owego.. Because our building is a Stake Center, we have a Family History center that has 2 computers. We can use it for our emailing on Mondays, then we also have 2 hours each week of "Mormon.org Time". The purpose behind this is to learn how Mormon.org and LDS.org work, so we can help ward members share things from it with their friends, tell investigators or potentials where they can find answers to their questions, or find answers to our questions/concerns when teaching people. Sometimes, we find good conference addresses as well and use them as lessons with recent converts, less actives, and long time Investigators.


2.How often do you teach lessons?

Once again, I've been very blessed in Owego. This past week, Elder Gasetoto and I had a pretty good week. We taught 15 lessons. Normally, we end up getting 2 or 3 lessons a day. We always have 5 or 6 planned out for each day, but it never quite works out that way. I'd say our average lessons per week here in Owego is ~14 lessons. We don't have enough hours in the day! This past Sunday was pretty exciting though- we got 4 Investigators to attend Church! That's the highest it's been since I've been out here. I keep tellling Elder Gasetoto that we'll get 6 at church one of these weeks... :)


3.Do you think you will be transferred next week?

I'm not quite sure. I have now been in Owego for 4 months, so there is a good possibility that I could get transferred. I'm hoping not, considering transfers is the day before Thanksgiving.. But I'll go/do whatever the Lord wants. However, there is a wildcard on the table.. There is a meeting that I am going to attend in Utica this Wednesday. A few missionaries are being called out for this meeting (about 6 or so) and none of us have ANY idea what it's about.  So there's a slight chance that I could be staying in Owego, and actually training a new missionary! I don't know.. I guess we'll see next week! If I don't email next Monday, that means either Elder Gasetoto or I am being transferred, and P-Day will be on Tuesday.

It's kinda scary! I've grown to love Owego, the ward here, and all of the people we meet with. Many of them are close to baptism, and I worry that I won't get to see them make this amazing step if I'm transferred. But, I shouldn't worry about it. I know I was sent to Owego for a reason, and if my time here is done, I must have accomplished whatever purpose that was.

This should be an exciting week! Keep safe, keep warm, and keep doing all of the good you're doing!

Love you all,

-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, November 5, 2012

11/5/2012

Hello everybody! Can you believe it's already November? The time out here in the mission field is just flying by!

This past week was pretty crazy. Everyone here in the Owego area was hit pretty hard by a flood a year ago, so everyone was really worried about Hurricane Sandy. In fact, almost every store was cleaned out of bread and water, and the gas stations had a constant line of cars at them last weekend. Monday night, it was pretty windy here in Owego and it was raining quite a bit. The Susquehanna river is way more full that it is normally because of it. We had an adventure running out in the cold/dark rain and shinning a flashlight on the river to make sure it wasn't going to flood. Then on Tuesday, it was just drizzling rain all day and was overcast. A few people were telling us that the storm was headed straight toward us, but broke apart about 50 miles south of us. We all consider ourselves very lucky here, because many nearby areas got hit really bad by the storm. It's sad hearing about all the devastation in New York City and New Jersey. Hopefully people will all contribute and help out and get things back to normal before too long.

It is starting to get a little chilly on the East Coast! In fact, last night it was snowing in Newark Valley! We came out of one of our investigators houses and it was just blowing around everywhere. Fortunately, it didn't stick and it's a little warmer today.. I'm not quite ready for snow yet. But it will be here pretty soon... Bummer.

This next week should be pretty exciting as well. It's finally elections! A lot of people think that we're out here trying to make people vote for Romney, so I wonder what they'll think when they still see us around in a month or so. But it should be exciting to hear about it. We're hoping some ward members here will let us know who wins... It's tough never being able to hear the news!

Also, I believe Elder Baird may have gotten surgery last week. If so, that's fantastic! I hope he recovers quickly and is able to get back out on his mission soon.

Besides the Storm and upcoming elections. There hasn't been too much new going on here. While storm threw us off on the first part of our week, it was back to normal missionary work after that. One thing that is constantly amazing me is just seeing how much people here sacrifice to help the Gospel grow. So many people are super willing to help us out and love having us over for dinner.. It kinda makes me feel like a bum! I can remember when we'd talk in Priest's Quorum about going on splits with the missionaries and thinking that I didn't have any time to go out and do that... Oops. Live and learn I guess, huh? I've also learned about how important home and visiting teaching can be. Often times, that is the best thing for a family that is struggling in their lives. Just knowing that somebody really cares about their family can often improve their situation much more than two 19 year old boys knocking on their door.

Another thing I've learned is how important it is to really study the scriptures in depth, keeping notes and marking passages. I've learned SO much more from my studying by doing that. I found a paper from Mom that has a calendar, with a plan to read the entire standard works in a year.  I think I am setting a firm goal to do that this upcoming year (2013). Should be really cool! I've also had a few friends who are getting close to serving missions ask me about a good scripture setup, so I took a few pictures and will email them as well showing how I have mine tabbed/marked. Hopefully it gives a few of you ideas and you can improve upon mine and come up with an even better system! :)




 

That was my previous week. Luckily, nothing too exciting happened. I've found that exciting things in my mission so far include sick companions, natural disasters, or crazy people, so maybe it'll just be best that I have a boring mission from here on. ;)

I hope everyone at home is doing well! When people write me, feel free to send a picture or two on occasion! We missionaries LOVE pictures. And letters. :) Also, I'm very sorry to those who I have not written back yet. It's been a crazy past few P-Days, but I should be getting quite a few letters done today.. I hope.

1 Nephi 17:13

Once again, you're all in my prayers! I love you all and I'm very grateful for all of the love and support you send my way.

Love you!
 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, October 29, 2012

10/29/2012

Happy Halloween!

I'm sure you all have heard of the "FrankenStorm" that is going to be hitting New York later today/tomorrow, right? That should be very interesting.  People in Owego are kinda skittish because of the "Flood of 2011" that nearly wiped the town out last year, so most of the stores are cleared out (everyone bought everything) and the gas stations have had a pretty constant flow of customers for the past 3 days. We went and got a bunch of water, bread, and peanut butter last week, so we'll make it through the storm. It may cause me to no longer love peanut butter sandwiches, which would be a bummer, but it'll all work out. 

I used to think that the 30 minute drive to Vernal was SOOO long.  But I'm getting a lot more used to being on the road pretty often. Here in our area we travel about 1,200 miles a month. That's a lot for a missionary. My companion does not drive, so I am already the lead driver! It's been kinda nice though, because I was afraid I'd forget how to drive if I went too long without getting to drive anywhere. However, the mission has said that the first day that we get snow here in New York, no missionaries can drive anywhere. Apparently the 1st day of snow is normally has a pretty high crash percentage rate? That is something we'll be sure to do in order to stay safe.
 
 It seems like almost all of the people who will actually talk to us throw in an "oh, by the way, I'm voting for Mitt Romney" at the end of our conversations.. Haha! In Delhi (my companion's first area) everybody thought that the missionaries were actually just campaign workers for Mitt Romney. Pretty funny! It will be really interesting to see what happens here in the next month. Should be exciting!
 
Let me tell you all a little bit more about my companion! He is from American Samoa, and has been a convert to the church since 2008. He didn't like Mormons very much when he was growing up, but his dad started meeting with the missionaries. After overhearing a lot of what they were talking about and noticing the change happening to his dad, he decided to start listening as well. One thing leads to another, and he ended up getting baptized about 7 months later! It's funny... The MTC made it seem like everyone would be ready to get baptized within 6 weeks of teaching them.. But it often takes quite a bit longer than that. We all just need to have some patience!  He is super fun to be a companion with. He didn't speak much English before his mission, but it's getting pretty good now. However, there have been a few lessons that we've left and his response has been- "Holy Moly.. I didn't understand anything that they were saying in there!" He LOVES rice and chicken.. He eats that once or twice a day.   And he snores like a freight train! But luckily, I have earplugs. Haha! He's a good teacher and is doing a great job.  He's been out on his mission for about 10 months now. His first area was downtown Albany.. He got there on December 21st and was FREEZING! (He's already getting super cold) His second area was Delhi (something like that) and he served there until about a month ago, when he went to Elmira for a week, then the beautiful Owego! We're getting along really well and having some good times serving together.
 
The missionary work is going good here! We had a very busy week and were running all over the place trying to see everyone that we haven't been able to for the last month or so.. Elder Gasetoto still hasn't met about half of our investigators. Depending on the storm this week, we could have another crazy busy week!
 
One thing that I have really come to appreciate already is having members go out and work with the missionaries. We have a lot of investigators who are women, and we can't go in their house without another male! Plus, it's sometimes just really nice to have a 3rd person to help with teaching. We went teaching with a ward member yesterday and he was able to add some very good insights and help us with a few of our investigators. Missionaries really appreciate help teaching, eating dinner with families, and rides to appointments. Just something to keep in mind. ;)

If you were wondering about the picture of me on a slide in someone's apartment, that is a slide that is in our Landlord's apartment that used to go from an upper loft to his bed, but then when he moved his bed is still just sitting there, and it's kinda a mission legend. The last day Elder Baird and I were here, Elder Baird really wanted to get a picture on it.. So we ran into one of our Landlord's friends, asked him about it, and he took us up and let us get a picture. It was super funny!

 

Missionary life is great! I love the feeling of the Spirit that is always present in missionary work and am having a great time serving the Lord. I'm very excited for my friends who are in the MTC or will be soon. The mission is sweet!  My advice?  Work hard, pray always, and keep a good journal. :)
 
Love you all! Have a great week!
 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22/2012



What a crazy week! It's been pretty great though.

First things first- Elder Baird ended up going back to Arizona for a short medical absence. He met with the doctors in Arizona and is going to get his Gall Bladder taken out soon! Crazy! That should be really good though. That means he should be back out here in the mission field within a month or two. It was really weird seeing him have to leave. We got a call on Monday night informing us of that, we packed everything up, then he headed out on Tuesday morning. While it was a wild past few weeks and I was sad to see him go, I'm comforted that the doctors know what the problem is and will be able to fix it pretty soon. I really enjoyed my time with him as my companion and learned a lot from him. He's one tough Elder for pulling through as long as he did! Get better quick Elder Baird! We need you out here! ;)

Now, I am here in Owego with Elder Gasetoto (Elder Nah-Say-Toe-Toe). He is from American Samoa and he is awesome! We're already having a lot of fun and getting back into the work. This past week flew by because we were so busy, but it was super good. We were able to meet with a lot of our investigators, do some tracting, and attend our Stake Conference with Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy.

A lot of our investigators are doing really well. We had some very spiritual lessons with people last week and I'm really able to see a huge difference in their lives from the time that I originally met them compared to their lives now. While the past transfer delayed some of their progress, they picked up right where they were this last week and are back on the path towards Baptism. There are about 3 or 4 that are getting very close towards baptism, and I just hope and pray that I'll still be here to see one or two of them make this wonderful commitment to live their lives like Christ. Seeing how much the Light of Christ can influence their lives for better makes all of the hard times out here worth it.

Elder Gasetoto is a ton of fun! Like I said before, he's from American Samoa and is a great companion. He's been on his mission for almost one year. He started his mission off in Albany on December 21st, 2011. Back home, he always spoke Samoan, but his English has gotten to be pretty good in the past year. We've had a lot of fun meeting (and eating) with the members here. When we ate with the Bruns family (they are SO awesome!) this week, they pulled out some pumpkins and we carved Jack-O-Lanterns after dinner! It was Elder Gasetoto's first time carving a Jack-O-Lantern and we had fun!

The rest of the week was pretty crazy. We were able to get Elder Gasetoto moved in, then got to work! We have had a lot of people to stop and introduce Elder Gasetoto to while setting up appointments, we did quite a bit of service this week, and we taught some great lessons. I'm already learning a lot from Elder Gasetoto.

Yesterday was Stake Conference here in Owego. Elder Bowen, Stake President Beck, and President and Sister Wirthlin were able to meet and talk to a few of our investigators before the meeting started, which was really great.

Elder Bowen (He spoke in this last General Conference-Sunday morning session) did a great job. He talked about a lot of different topics, but mainly our gospel, the reasons why we should share it, and the importance of the Temple. It was very powerful and I learned a lot. I was also surprised and loved the dynamic feel of his talk. He was very funny and could also bring the Spirit into the room for everyone. I'll send my notes I took in a picture so you can all read what I got from it. Warning, the "Quotes" may not be exactly correct, but the general idea is contained.


 
Besides that, we are just getting back into the swing of work as normal. The last month or so has been very different than I ever would have imagined, but to be completely honest, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I learned a lot by going through this trial and I feel like Elder Baird and I both got to be great friends going through it together. While we will all have trials in our life that sometimes straight up stink, we can always learn something from it. I've found the scriptures to be very true that tell us that God will not give us anything in our lives that we can't handle. Sometimes we don't realize how strong we really are until that strength is tested.

I hope all is going well at home! All 50 Billion trees out here in New York are red, orange, and yellow, and it's beautiful! I'm doing well and loving my time as a missionary.

You're all in my prayers!

-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15/2012

Good Morning!

It's a beautiful day here in Owego! The temperature is almost perfect, the leaves are all different hues of yellow, orange, red, gold, and brown, and it's a great day to be a missionary! :)


Things are about the same as last week..The Doctors still don't quite know what is going on with Elder Baird. However, we have one more visit with a doctor this Wednesday. We'll just continue to have faith that everything will work out and we should know what's happening for sure by next week. I'm hopeful to finally find out what is going on as well. But, Proverbs 3:5-6 was a good answer to my prayers considering this matter.


The past week has been pretty good. Elder Baird and I have gotten out to teach a little bit, and we've had some really good lessons with people. One of our investigators has now been off of coffee for over a month, so she could be baptized sometime soon. We just need to get out and teach more often and we should see the work begin to progress at a really great rate. I'm really excited though. When an area has missionaries leave or they get sick for a while, the work kinda slows down, but once it starts up again, the areas EXPLODE! Hopefully we'll be seeing this sometime soon. We know a lot of great people who are wanting to accept the Gospel, they just need a little bit of help getting there. Stay tuned for all of that coming soon! ;)

 
Besides that, I've been practicing the piano a lot (thanks to a borrowed keyboard from our wonderful Ward Mission Leader, Brother Demming) and I'm getting quite a bit better! In fact, I'll be playing the hymns for Zone Conference in about 3 weeks. Scary! I've also been working on a sweet missionary scripture setup, and I've been making some serious progress lately in reading through it, marking it all according to a color code setup I came up with, and tabbing scriptures to help out in the missionary work. Tabbing scriptures is helping me a lot in memorizing where the scriptures I need are. Already, I'm no longer relying on the tabs, but thanks to them, know where to find the specific scripture on faith that I need. That much is good!

 
One thing that was pretty exciting, was we were invited to dinner at Stake President Beck's home this past Friday. They have a great family and a beautiful home, and they made us/sent us home with some awesome home-made chicken noodle soup. Afterward, our Zone Leaders came and we had a spiritual blessing for Elder Baird. It was an exciting little experience that we were blessed to be a part of.

 
So that was my previous week! This week should answer a lot of our questions and prayers, then the work will start to progress again.


I can't quite remember the exact quote (I think Heather or Mom sent it to me),  "Come what may, and love it." Those are wise words indeed. We don't always know how things are going to work out, but we just need to do the best we can and have faith. I've learned a lot about that recently!

 
Stake Conference is this week, and Elder Shane M. Bowen of the Seventy is going to be addressing the Saints right here in Owego. SWEET! Should be an awesome experience.


Keep up all the good work at home! I hope things are good for all of you.

 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, October 8, 2012

10/08/2012


Good morning everybody! What an exciting week!

First off, we got transfer calls this past weekend. Looks like I'm going to................. be spending another transfer in Owego with Elder Baird! Crazy stuff. Elder Baird is consulting with a surgeon this upcoming Thursday and we'll be finding out if he will be getting his gallbladder out sometime soon or not. So we might know what is finally going to happen after this upcoming week! Then, he'll hopefully get that popped out, and after a week or two of nursing him back to full strength, we'll be able to work again! I cannot wait to get working again. But we'll continue to just keep on having faith and do all that we can with these unique situations. Plus, look at all the strange stuff I'm learning from this experience! My future wife will love it! Haha :)

Second off- Wasn't conference sweet!?! I know it's a little bit different as a missionary, but I really enjoyed all of it. A few of my thoughts about it-

1. The missionary age is now 18 for males and 19 for females!?! What the?!? That would mean I would already be a year out here already! Elder Baird and I were shocked. There should be a huge influx of Sister Missionaries in the coming months. My first thoughts were about friends like Jessica who want to come and serve missions, but would have to wait a long time to do it. Now, many of my friends could get out and serve right now! That's exciting!

2. The talks were sweet! By taking notes and going to the church to watch it, I feel like I got a lot more from this session than any previous. I can't wait for the Ensign issue where I'll be able to read them all again.

3. My favorite talks- (Let me apologize beforehand.. My "Quotes" are not exact quotes.. But they're as good as I can remember.)

-President Uchtdorf's Saturday Morning talk about Mortal Life. "Do not wait until we are ready to die, to learn how to live." So true! I've realized that I often miss out on the enjoyment of things in the moment, but then looking back on them realize how great they were. Something to think about..

-Elder Neil L. Andersen's Saturday Afternoon talk- "Do not leave the Church during your trials. Doing so is like leaving the storm cellar during a hurricane!" Boom. That's that. :D

-President Monson's Priesthood Session talk- "We must look at people not as they are, but what they can become." This is something I've been trying to live in my life as a missionary, and I wish I would have done more at home. Also- "Courage is the work we need to hear and hold near to our hearts. Try and try and try again." Good words of advice for everyone about sharing the Gospel and improves the lives we are involved in.

-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's Sunday Morning talk- Holy cow. That was such a powerful talk! I think he poses a good question to all of us. "Can I always answer the question- Do you love me (Christ)?" I like how he put it- "True love leads to true loyalty." Powerful words!

-President Monson's powerful Sunday Morning talk- "The more we act on the inspiration that the Lord gives to us, the more he will trust us to do his will." That is so true! I think we all receive inspiration much more than we ever realize.. I've made a new goal to try really hard to follow the promptings of the Spirit, even though I sometimes don't really see the relevance. It's a good goal to work on, especially on a mission!

There were many more excellent talks, but those are a few that stuck out in my mind.

4. We had one of our investigators at the Sunday Morning session of Conference. Afterword, the Spirit was really strong. She stated that she had never seen anything like it. The Spirit was so strong and the influence of Christ so strong that she can't see how anyone would have the beliefs that many have against our great Church. Hearing that from her was a huge testimony builder. It's really great to see the opinion of someone who hasn't grown up with hearing conference their whole life.

That was what I got out of conference! I hope you all enjoyed it as well and found some new advice/goals to apply in your life.

The few times that we have made it outside we've seen how beautiful the leaves are in the surrounding areas! I love the fall foliage!

 
Also, I found an amazing food.. Pizza Pretzels. Seriously, it was good.




Besides that.. The apartment bound missionary life continues! I've loved the letters I've received from you all this past week! Our Ward Mission Leader was kind enough to let us borrow his son's keyboard, so I can now practice up some more hymns and be somewhat competent at playing the Piano. If one of President Monson's greatest life regrets is not sticking with the Piano, I better make sure I don't make the same mistake! I've also been working on the super set of missionary scriptures.. Lets just put it this way. Once it's finished, all other missionaries will envy the setup that I've got going on. I've put a lot of time and effort into it, and it's going to be awesome! Just sayin. :D

That's about all that is new in my life! We will hopefully be finding out what is going to be happening with Elder Baird this week, then the work will continue to progress!

Oh, one more thing- "I'm a Mormon- I know it, I live it, and I LOVE it."

Love you all,

-Elder Mitch Hussey


Monday, October 1, 2012

10/01/2012


The weather here in Owego is starting to get colder! The leaves are starting to change, and while many people have said it's not as good as most years, seeing the colors of thousands of trees in the distance is really awesome. As one of our investigators puts it, "Only God could paint colors that beautiful." We're going up to a scenic view of Owego sometime today to get pictures of all the color trees and the town. That should be fun! But when we walk outside in the mornings it's a little chilly, so it's perfect weather to wear a suit. Suit up! Also, the wonderful Sister Cox was able to fix my winter coat's messed up pocket, so I'm doing good there. Tomorrow, we should be in Elmira and we're going to stop by Burlington Coat Factory again, so I'll probably be buying a liner for the coat. That mixed with the UnderArmour will work pretty great!

 
Besides the weather changing, not much new is happening for us here in Owego. I was able to get out a few times and teach, which was really nice. The Ward here is being super awesome at getting somebody to stay with Elder Baird while I go with one them and teach. It's been trial by fire in teaching however, as I am planning and teaching most lessons by myself. But I've done fairly well with it.

 
One funny thing happened last week... Elder Baird got a medical test that required him to be knocked out for a little while, and when I picked him up, he was pretty loopy...for the rest of the day. So I got the pleasure of pushing him around the hospital in a wheelchair, watching him try to tie a tie for several minutes, and taking care of him. It was a pretty interesting experience... and really funny. He said some hilarious things...and he remembers none of it. :)

 
Another cool experience I had was getting to work with the AP's in Owego. Elder Becerrill, who was also trained in Owego went and taught a few lessons with me. He's an awesome missionary and it was great to see how he worked with people. We met a Born Again Christian on the street and had a 30 minute Gospel discussion with her, followed by a 5 minute prayer by her.  It always makes me chuckle a little when the people we talk to pray for us to "come to the knowledge that we're wrong" and that "we need to find that Christ is our Savior". Most people like that don't really listen to anything we say. No matter how much we talk to them about how important Chirst, repentance, and baptism is, they still don't believe we're Christian because we have the Bible and Book of Mormon. But, I've come to realize you can't make anyone understand your beliefs, unless they're willing to listen.

 
Another fun thing that happened this week.. I taught a combined Relief Society/Priesthood lesson at Church yesterday! Elder Baird was feeling sick, so I was in charge. I taught everyone about Mormon.org and all of the great resources on the internet that can help further on the missionary work. The ward seemed to enjoy/understand what I was trying to teach them all and hopefully they'll all try the things that I taught them can help missionaries out.

If any of you want a few fun things to do to help out missionary work, you can-

1. Make a Mormon.org profile. It's pretty easy and fun to do. Just go to mormon.org/create and follow those steps.

2. Watch Mormon Messages or the "I'm a Mormon" videos on either Mormon.org, LDS.org, or YouTube and then share them with people on Facebook, twitter, etc. Don't plaster them on your page, but as you share one or two videos on occasion, it might show somebody how the Gospel can help them.

All in all, it was a fun lesson to teach and it all went pretty well.

 
This next week should be exciting! We're going to District Meeting in Elmira tomorrow, then the missionaries from the mighty Corning Area, Elder Hougaard and Elder Plotkin, are coming to spend Thursday/Friday with us, and then we get to watch GENERAL CONFERENCE this weekend! I'm really excited to see what our Prophet and leaders of the Church have to say to us this year. I feel like I'll get more from it this year than I ever have before! I feel like if anybody has any questions about our religion, they just need to watch conference this coming weekend. With all the interest and publicity we've gotten lately, this could be the greatest watched conference yet! I expect (and know) great things from Conference, and I'm determined to do whatever I can to learn from it.

 
Random info- I've gotten slightly experimental this past week with food. My weirdest creation? A Mac-N-Cheese Quesadilla. Don't knock it before you try it! It was actually kinda good! :)


Hope everyone is doing well at home. I appreciate everything that you all do for me. You're all awesome!


Love you guys!

 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, September 24, 2012

9/24/2012

This past week has definitely been an adventure.  Most of it was spent in the apartment. While a week of studying scriptures, napping, and watching LDS Videos might sound like a nice vacation, it's starting to make me really anxious to get back out working. When we were working hard every day, the weeks seemed to fly by and I couldn't believe time was going by so quickly. However, this past week went by pretty slowly.
 
As missionaries, we have a tiny little DVD player in our apartment. This is normally used for training videos, but when a missionary is sick (or it's P-Day) we have permission to watch church published movies. Some, like "The Testaments", are really good and entertaining to watch... But many of the videos published by the Church or BYU before the 2000's are extremely funny to watch.  Movies used to be super cheesy! But, it's a nice way to take our minds off of things as we can't get out and work as much.
 
I was lucky enough to get out and work with our Zone Leaders from Elmira and a few ward members this past week, which was REALLY nice. I've missed going and teaching people A LOT. The way that worked is we would get a missionary or ward member to stay in the apartment with Elder Baird while another went out teaching with me. As weird as this may sound, even tracting was fun to do this week!
 
In regards to that, I have a funny story about tracting from this week. One of my Zone Leaders, Elder Syrette, was in West Corners (Yes, there is a town called West Corners... Crazy New York!) with me for an appointment. We decided to get there a little early and tract the surrounding area. On one house we knocked, the main door was open, but they had a screen door that we could see through. As soon as Elder Syrette knocked, a fairly big rottweiler ran to the door and started staring him down. Now, we deal with a lot of dogs out here, but this one was slightly concerning to me because it wasn't barking... It was just starting at him. We talked to the people (who were pretty nice) and started walking away from the house. We heard something and looked back and saw that the dog had gotten into the backyard and was trying to jump their 4 ft fence to try and eat Elder Syrette. Luckily, the fence was too tall for the dog to clear, but we got away from that house in quite a hurry. I thought that was pretty funny!

Besides that, nothing too exciting happened this previous week. I'm taking Elder Baird to the doctor tomorrow, so hopefully they're able to figure something out for him. Today we'll be stuck in the apartment again, so hopefully we'll be able to get out shopping sometime soon. And that's really cool to hear about the Brigham City Temple Dedication! I've heard from quite a few of you back home about going through the open house. Makes me miss the temple even more! I can't wait to get to go again at the end of my mission. So much stuff I want to learn from it! But things here should improve soon as we get out and get working more often. The advice I got was right- "If you work hard, it'll be the quickest 2 years of your life, but if you slack off, it'll be the longest 2." Not that we're slacking off, but I've found the truth in that statement.

Also, I have a few friends leaving on Missions soon! Congrats to Adam! It's exciting stuff. I got a letter from him the other day, but I'll need to get his mission address from someone before I can write him back. He forget to tell it to me. But I hope that goes well for him and he enjoys the MTC. The MTC really was a blast! It's fun to look back on the good times we had there. So good luck to Adam as he leaves, and also TJ as he is leaving soon. And that's sweet to hear that got his call! I'm pumped for him as well! And Ben is back from his mission? Holy cow! That's super weird! Exciting time of life!
 
I hope things are going well for all of you back home. We're hanging in out here and things will quickly begin to improve as Elder Baird gets better. Thanks for all of the contact, love, and support you send this way! We really appreciate it all.

'Til next week,

Elder Mitch Hussey

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

9/18/2012

Hello Everyone,

This past week has been a interesting week! Elder Baird has been a little sick, so we had a few days where we were confined in our apartment. Needless to say, I am very grateful for the fact that missionaries are now allowed to have little DVD players and church approved/produced videos that we can watch. (After all, you can only study the standard works for so many hours of the day..) While that made this previous week a different than I every expected when going on a mission, life is still pretty good here in Owego.

This past Tuesday was pretty exciting. Our mission has a new zone meeting that happens once a month called "Zone Training Meeting". It's really awesome, because we actually get to see more of the Zone on a fairly frequent basis. That's awesome! So we went to Elmira for ZTM and learned a lot about the Holy Ghost and it's purpose in converting people. One thing that I've been learning more and more on a daily basis is that this Gospel depends on the Holy Ghost. Everything we talk about would seem kinda crazy if it wasn't for the confirmation in people's minds and hearts from the Holy Ghost. "By the Holy Ghost, we may know the truth of all things". So being worthy of having the Holy Ghost in ourselves and our homes is essential to staying strong within the Gospel.

There was one lady that we met with on Wednesday. She is moving to Ohio, so we were going to help her pack up a few things before she left. She was a hoot! In previously talking to her, I found out she used to be on the radio here in New York and had a political talk show. That was fun talking to her about her previous radio career and she told me I had a good face for TV.. I like that compliment! ;D But it was good to see her one more time before she moved.

 
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. We were able to make it to a few appointments that were close here in Owego, but besides that, Elder Baird was able to catch up on sleep while I came up with the perfect missionary scripture set-up, practiced drawing, studied, etc. It's really funny to watch the older church videos, like the one titled "Together Forever". They're super cheesy, but entertaining. (Disclaimer- Don't think I'm being a lazy missionary, I've done about as much study as I possibly can.. In fact, the Zone Leaders felt bad I've been stuck in so they gave me a few more videos (IE The Testaments) to watch.)

Then yesterday, we had one really exciting event happen. Elder Shane M. Bowen, from the Quorum of the Seventy, came to do a mission tour and met with all of the missionaries. Luckily, Elder Baird was feeling up to traveling to Liverpool NY for the 1/3 Mission Conference, so we were still able to go. Elder Bowen was an awesome teacher and helped me realize a little bit more how important that the temple really is in our lives. That's something that I think I will always be learning more and more about in my life. Elder Bowen worked in the insurance biz before being a member of the 70, so I was thinking there was a very slight chance Dad might have known him, but he was living in Idaho at that time. It's funny seeing how small of a world it is- He was actually Elder Baird's older brother's mission president! How funny is that?

Now, today is our P-Day and we're heading to Sayer PA to get this problem with Elder Baird fixed (hopefully...). It's kinda funny... We're some of the only missionaries ever to have permission to actually leave our mission boundaries.. Pretty exciting. One weird thing about this side of the country.. While the people don't always live their lives very religiously, there are a TON of signs of religion everywhere- Jesus fish bumper stickers, almost everyone owns shirts saying things about religion, and the hospitals all have chapels that people can go wait in with non-denominational preachers found in them.

Besides all of that excitement, there isn't much new going on for us here in Owego. The leaves are starting to change colors, so I'll be getting some neat pictures soon! Also, today is a very rainy day.. But it'll still be a great day. Hope all of you are doing well at home! Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers! They really make a difference.


Love you all!

-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, September 10, 2012

9/10/2012


Another exciting week spent here in Owego New York!
 
One of the first sweet parts of my week... Meeting the new Elders in my District! Elder Rammel (Zone Leader- Elmira) and Elder Plotkin (Corning) are both from California and are a blast. While we'll miss Elder Erdman and Tollefson, we still have a sweet district. I was joking around saying I'm slowly bringing the district down to my level, as the new missionaries are shrinking closer and closer to my height.. Heheh :)


The next exciting part of my week? Stopping at Burlington Coat Factory after District Meeting to find a winter coat! While there, we were able to find a very nice looking, professional, coat that fits me almost perfect. I don't look like a marshmallow when I have it on! Because it was left over from last years winter gear and a few other details, I was able to pick it up pretty cheap. I took it for a test run during a storm the other day and it's really good at keeping my warm and dry, and with a liner will be perfect for the winter months here. I was also able to get a "Power Tie"(as Elder Baird referred to it) at Burlington. That just means that it's a sweet tie that the missionaries and people see that's just awesome.. So I like it! Maybe you'll see it in pictures sometime soon... :) Elder Baird has a thing for "Paisley" ties, so he was super excited to find some sweet cheap ties while we were there. It was pretty entertaining to watch!
 

 
This week has been filled with some pretty weird storms. It's kinda weird, we'll go out in the morning and the sky will be filled with blue skies and sunshine, but you can just feel something weird in the air... Then sure enough, in about 5 minutes a bunch of dark clouds, rain, and wind will blow in. It'll be crazy weather for 20 minutes or so, then it'll just stop. Then, it normally starts up again for another 10 or 15 minutes, and will be done for the day. Luckily, Elder Baird and I have had appointments at all the right times. Right when the huge rain drops start coming down, we'll run into our lessons apartment and barely escape the storm. While we're in teaching, you'll hear all of the crazy weather outside, then it'll let up just as we leave the appointment. We have gotten caught in the storms a few times, but it hasn't been anything my new coat and an umbrella can't handle!
 


The awesome part about these storms- The clouds hold electricity in them and glow like nothing I've ever seen when the sun goes down. It's made AMAZING sunsets this past week. Made for some good pictures too!
 

One of our investigators was having a hard time with a few things this past week, so after talking about it for a little while, she asked me if I could give her a Priesthood Blessing. It was an honor of her to ask, but it scared me to death! While I've stood in on quite a few now, this was actually my first time ever giving the blessing. It was really cool to see how much the Spirit was guiding me in what I said.. In fact, I can't even remember much of it, but Elder Baird said it was really powerful. Afterward, she told us that Elder Baird and I made a strong spiritual circle and she could actually feel a difference in the surrounding area. It was cool to see how much the Priesthood can help, even if it's just for giving people comfort and peace in their situations.

We also had a great visit with President and Sister Wirthlin on Saturday. We had talked to them previously and they said they were going to stop by and see us at the Church at 5:00, but our appointment at 4 fell through, and on our way back to the apartment they called and told us they were there and ready to see us. It was pretty lucky our appointment fell through and also very lucky that we keep our apartment clean. I wasn't embarrassed to have them come through and President Wirthlin liked a few things we had and was taking pictures to show as examples of the missionary white board, etc.


I had a really great interview with President Wirthlin. He was just seeing how I'm doing, if I've been able to adjust to the mission field, if I need anything from him, and then we ended with a prayer. I've been able to get to know President Wirthlin pretty well now and I really love the man. He's always got the spirit with him and he's already taught me a lot about being a missionary.

While it's been an exciting week, missionary work is still going good! We have a few really awesome 'Gators (aka Investigators) that we're working with, as well as some sweet less active families that are starting to come back to church. While sometimes progression is slow, we are making progress in the work. We had an excellent Sunday yesterday with a Linger Longer afterward. Our Investigator and a few of the less actives that came really enjoyed the excellent food and getting to know the ward better.

 Next week should be exciting! We have a 1/3 mission conference in Liverpool with Shayne M. Bowen, a member of the 70. (For a glimpse at what he is like, you can watch an awesome Mormon Message based on one of his talks here- https://www.lds.org/youth/video/reclaimed?lang=eng ) It should be really awesome! Because of that being on Monday however... P-Day next week will instead be on Tuesday. It should be an awesome experience and I'll be excited to tell you all about it!

 One thing that I've been learning recently... There is SO MUCH awesome stuff that is on LDS.org. The "Bible Videos" are fantastic and show Christ's ministry in an excellent way. If you have a smartphone or iPad, search LDS Church and download the Bible Video App. You won't be disappointed! Also, I've been finding out so much about church history on LDS.org. It's really cool to really dive into and learn more about how it is that we have this awesome Gospel in our lives. I took all of these resources for granted back home, and I'd like to challenge all of you to get on there sometime and find something cool for yourself, especially as conference is coming up soon.

Well, the Church is true! I'm getting constant reminders of that on a daily basis and I'm trying my best to help people recognize that as well. Some of the weird rumors people have heard about our church will never cease to confound me, but we can just do our best to live our lives in the correct way to show people that we have the true Gospel. Be good examples in all you do, and it'll make the missionaries jobs a lot easier. ;)

Love you all! Hope things are going well out West. Thanks for all of the love and support!

 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, September 3, 2012

9/3/2012

Hope everyone is having a good Labor Day!
 
We've had a LOT of people talking politics with us lately.... A few people asking questions about our thoughts on Mitt Romney and a few others asking us questions about the TV Special about Mormons that was on a week or so ago. One lady was asking me if we dress different when we go home.  She was thinking more like Amish or something, but we were able to clear that up pretty quick. Some people must be trying to attack Mitt Romney by bringing up Warren Jeffs as well, so we've had a few opportunities to clear up misunderstandings there. I just wish people would realize it's not a big deal to ask us questions about our church. We're not that different and love to clear up misconceptions.

So I had a small miracle happen this past week..
 
Elder Baird and I went to a Wedding Reception for a family in our ward for a few minutes, and while we were there, a lady from the ward came up to us, looked at my name-tag then handed me a letter from home. It was addressed the correct way to the mission office, but instead of putting Whitesboro (where the mission office is) on the address, it had Owego. So the letter came here to Owego and went into PO Box 149 which is the correct box # in Whitesboro, not Owego.  Here that PO box is the local newspaper's box.  As lucky as I am, a member of our ward works for the "Owego Pennysaver Newspaper", and collects the mail in the mornings. She noticed one was addressed to Elder Hussey so was able to get it to me.  It's cool to see little miracles that happen in our daily lives! If it had been any other PO box, I probably wouldn't have ever received that letter! The Lord is definitely looking out for all of his missionaries.

This past week was really good. We had some super spiritual lessons with a few investigators.. There should be a baptism or two in the near future! We had a few investigators come to church yesterday, and it was an AWESOME fast Sunday! It seemed like everyone's testimonies were exactly what our investigators needed to hear. As a missionary, it's amazing to see how much the member's testimonies and participation in church services really help. Our investigators are really feeling like they are a part of the ward and love attending the church service.

Another thing that has been really great lately is getting to know our ward here in Owego better. A lot of members have been graciously inviting us over to eat with them, and I've really enjoyed getting to know them all. We've had some really great lessons and some super good food meeting with the members and I love that opportunity! It made me think about the times we had the Missionaries come and eat with us in the Dining Hall at SUU freshman year.. Fun!

Speaking of College, holy cow! It's crazy to think that everyone back at home is starting school again! I hope everything goes well with school in the upcoming year.  Also, give my best wishes to (almost) Elder Brown! I'm really excited for him! I can't believe he's going in the MTC!! It's a crazy fun experience like nothing else. I know he'll do good! Also to TJ, Adam, and Keith who are going to be leaving soon as well, my words of advice- Don't pack everything the night before you go in the MTC! Hahaha

One last funny experience from this week before I need to go- my companion has been a little sick lately, so he went to the bathroom to get the thermometer. I heard a little clatter and him saying "shoot... I broke it.."  He had accidentally dropped our thermometer, and it wouldn't turn on... As we assessed the casualty, I got an idea... "If dropping it broke it, dropping it again might fix it!" So I picked it up, dropped it on the ground, and it worked again! We got a good laugh out of that.

Things in Owego are progressing well! I think I have the perfect missionary setup for marking/tabbing scriptures, so when I finish it this week I'll send pictures of it so future missionaries can use it.

I hope everything back in Utah is going great! I love getting to hear from you guys, and I'm very sorry if I'm slow to respond to letters. P-Days are kinda crazy, but I promise, if you write me, you will get a letter back from me!... Eventually. :D

Thanks for all you guys do! Continue the good work you're all doing out West!

Love you!

-Elder Mitch Hussey

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