Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7/30/2012

 


 

Hey everybody!

Another week down! I have now been out here over one month! Time is really, really weird here... It seems like it was FOREVER ago that I had last P-Day! But then again, I can't believe I'm already one month into my mission!

This week was full of exciting experiences!

First, we have an investigator on date for baptism! That was really exciting. She is such an awesome lady. Elder Baird and his previous companion, Elder Felsch, had an appointment fall through one week and decided to go tracting. So they knocked on a door, and when this lady answered she responded with- "Elders! Come right in! I have some questions for you!" So they came in, got a glass of water, and then went into a room where she had a whiteboard full of scriptures and questions related to the Plan of Salvation. So of course, they taught her all about the Plan of Salvation and our beliefs on it and she loved it! They didn't give her a Book of Mormon, but in between that appointment and the next she went online and read it on Mormon.org. (So now we are to the point when I met her).  Elder Baird told me that we had a lesson with an awesome investigator, so we went to meet with her. We answered a lot of her questions at the start regarding the Priesthood and started into our lesson on The Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, Enduring to the End). It was an awesome lesson and the spirit was there very strong throughout it. She is a very religious woman that was honestly teaching me a lot about these principles. After reading 2 Nephi 31:30, the Spirit was really doing its work when she paused for a minute.... then responded with "Oh my goodness........ Jesus was a Mormon!"  Sweeter words have never been heard! I love that... So before we had even invited her to be baptized, she was already talking about how she was going to need to find a way to tell her family she was going to be Mormon, etc. So of course, we invited her to be baptized. She's on date for August 25th!  We met with her again since the last visit and talked about commandments and the Word of Wisdom, and while she drinks coffee, she said she would see if she could quit. We're meeting with her again this Wednesday, and she'll hopefully be at church next week for Fast and Testimony meeting. Awesome teaching experience!

The second highlight of the week was the storm on Thursday. Apparently the news stations were all freaking out and the TV's were doing the annoying alarm, but we don't get to watch TV as missionaries, so...Elder Baird and I were in our apartment Thursday afternoon doing weekly planning when I noticed a nasty storm blowing into town. It was about 3:40 and we had Ward Missionary Correlation at 4:00. Our power in our apartment was starting to flicker on and off, but we didn't really think much about it. Then the storm hit! HUGE raindrops were falling sideways. The rain wasn't coming down from the sky... It was coming from who knows where! Then there was super loud thunder, a little bit of hail, and all sorts of nasty weather. I looked at Elder Baird and asked, "Are we seriously going out in this?!?" About 5 minutes later, we had our rain jackets on and our umbrellas out and headed out into the storm. Luckily, the storm let up for a minute as we went the 2 blocks from our apartment to where the car is parked. But then we were driving to the Church, seeing all of the tree branches covering the road. Crazy! 
Then we got to the church and had correlation meeting. The church building didn't have power and we were huddled around the primary room window for light, but it was still a good meeting.  Owego was fairly protected from the storm. Apparently there were 2 tornadoes about 45 minutes away from us though! CRAZY STUFF! But it was a fun adventure.

Then the next morning, Elder Baird and I headed out for our morning run. We run on a pathway down by the Susquehanna River, which is normally pretty nice. Unfortunately, the storm killed a TON of bugs and washed them all down there. At first, there was a pile here, a pile there, but nothing too bad. But then I saw Elder Baird kind of slip on something, and we were then running through several inches of dead bugs. It was super gross! Luckily it was only about 5 steps to a stairway where we were able to get out of there, but still…not too fun! 
We've gotten a few good chuckles out of it since that happened.

Besides that, it was a pretty normal week! We have had a lot of appointments. Enough that I still haven't even been tracting! Can you believe that?!? I've almost made it 2 full weeks without tracting any neighborhoods. We're joking saying that at this rate, my first time tracting might have to be on the way to the Airport in 2 years! Ha-ha I'm sure I'll get the joy of tracting soon, but I'm not complaining about the way it's been so far! The people here are really great to teach and get to know. Owego is already starting to feel like home! It'll be hard when I have to move in a few months. But I'll just enjoy it while I'm here!

I've noticed a few changes about myself already being in the mission field
1. I actually like Pineapple now! Weird... We used to always have it at home and I didn't enjoy it.
2. I can get sick of eating Quesadillas! I need to mix it up more.
3. I'm developing mild arachnophobia as I'm out here... There are spiders everywhere! Elder Baird walked into a spider web yesterday night and had a gross spider chasing him on the web strand stuck to him. Luckily, I was looking out for him, got the spider on the ground, and then stomped on it repeatedly.
4. I like country music now... What?!? How did that happen? I think it's because the only music I can listen to is "The Work" CD that I have! But it (country music) is growing on me! Who would have thought?

It's been an adjustment getting used to being out in the mission field, but I'm beginning to really enjoy it. Some days are super long, but I always sleep well at the end of them. I'm getting used to the schedule, and starting to like the work. The amazing thing is meeting all of the really great people here that I probably would have never talked to otherwise, but am growing to care for, and wanting to help them. It's definitely missionary work though. Sometimes, you just have to stop worrying and just work. But, the payoff at the end of the day is always good.

Love you all! Hope all is well back in Utah.

-Elder Mitch Hussey



No email :(

We did not receive an email from Mitch yesterday, but because we (his parents) are spies :)  we could tell from his bank account that he was out and about and at Walmart.  I am guessing the email problem may be because last week he tried to send a ton of pictures and it appears we only received a portion of them, so it may have clogged up his email or something.  Hopefully we'll be able to let him know in a letter so we can get it all fixed.  Until then here are a few of the pictures he sent last week.

Owego was voted the coolest small town in America in 2009
 

Proof that Mitch is keeping a journal


This is the entrance to his apartment


Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm Here!

Hey everybody!

So, I'm alive and well in.............Drum Roll............ OWEGO NEW YORK! Pretty crazy!

Owego is a little town of about 5,000 people, surrounded by a lot of little "villages" where people live like Newark Valley. So, it's "kinda" like home... but at the same time completely different. Holy cow, it is really different. But I'll start at the beginning!

Leaving the MTC was a weird experience.... I really loved my time at the MTC. On Monday, we had to say goodbye to our teachers, Brother Roberts and Sister Engebretsen. Loved both of them a ton and they helped me out in more ways than they'll probably ever know. Brother Roberts was SUCH A STUD! Coolest guy out there. If I can be a missionary that is anything like him, I'll be lucky! But at least I have a high goal to work towards now. We all got a tie for Bro. Roberts and signed it and we got Sister Engebretsen a journal and did the same thing. It'll be good to leave them with something to remember us by! Then we got to do laundry and pack... That's always fun! But I was able to fit everything in my bags and keep them both under the 50 pound travel limit! (Pretty good considering two Elders coming to NY with me had bags that weighed about 65 pounds!)

Then we said our goodbyes to all the guys in the dorms. We grew really close to each other. Our Zone Leaders were AWESOME and so were the guys in the rooms next to us. Good luck in Canada/Detroit/Everywhere else to them! They'll all do great. It was really REALLY weird saying goodbye to all of the Elders in our District that were going to Omaha Nebraska. I miss Elder Chappell, but I know he'll do great out there! Pretty weird saying goodbye though...


So the next morning, Elder McPhee, Davis and I got up at 2:45, tried to find food somewhere (and didn't....), grabbed our stuff, and were off! We were all pretty tired, so we were all falling asleep a lot as we went from place to place. We got on the flight from SLC to Detroit, and were officially on our way! A man asked us where we were going to our mission, and when we told him Utica NY, he got a surprised look on his face and told us that he was the mission president there 6(?) years ago! His name is Tom Mullins and he came back and talked to us a bunch during the flight to Detroit. Pretty cool he was on the same flight as us when he was going somewhere completely different than NY! The Gospel makes the world a very small place sometimes... SWEET!

Then we landed in Detroit. Surprisingly, we were about 20 minutes early than our estimated arrival time! I made the mistake of saying something about it... because flights NEVER get you there early, right? So of course... our flight from Detroit to Syracuse was delayed about 2 hours... But it was fun being in Detroit. The Airport had some pretty cool things in it! There was a tunnel that had a light show going to music that was pretty sweet! And, small world again, there was a girl from Utah named Ally Kennedy (Sister Kennedy) that was going to Alabama to visit her cousins and had a layover in Detroit. So she had a few hours of nothing going on, so she stuck with us missionaries. She was really cool and good to get to know! She's going to UVU next year and is studying Broadcasting! She wants to be a News Anchor in Utah, so who knows.. Maybe I'll be working with her someday! Pretty fun though!

The flight from Detroit to Syracuse wasn't much fun... The air conditioning was only partly working, so it got really hot on the plane! I was sweating like crazy. But I talked to the guy sitting next to me for a while. He was with a Power Supply company that builds the HUGE Power Plants all over the world, so we talked a lot about that and world travel. We even talked a little bit about religion, but I was too big of a wimp to do too much there... Whoops! But he was a really nice guy and it helped the flight go by quicker.

So then we landed in Syracuse, met up with the AP's and President and Sister Wirthin, got some pizza in Syracuse, then headed out to Utica! We finally made it to Utica, had green shakes (I've been missing having Dad make me those!), and had a little bit of training and went to bed. We were all exhausted, so we slept well. Then the next morning, we woke up, had interviews with President, did a few more training things, then headed to the Church to find out where we were all assigned. Met a lot of the missionaries, saw some that were going home the next day, then had some lunch. So I'm in Owego with my trainer, Elder Baird from Joseph City, Arizona. I've heard a lot of good things about him and we're getting along great. He's a red head, and kinda (in a very minor way) reminds me of Uncle Larry. And he's the District Leader! Looks like I'm destined to be the leaders helper out here! ;)

So now I'm here in Owego. It's an... Interesting town! Nothing like what I expected. It's a little different than life back in Utah. The Humidity can be tough, but it really hasn't been too difficult to deal with. It helps that I brought a bunch of Rain Storms and cool weather here with me! They've had a really hot, dry summer here in NY, but we're getting a break from it as of right now. The people are pretty interesting!  My personal favorite that I've met so far was a previous Army Ranger. He served in the army for 16 years, had three bullet wounds and a bunch of cool scars. His name? Mad Dog. So I'll make sure to stop by and say hi to Mad Dog every once in a while! The people here are pretty nice. People definitely think we're weird.  There is a big difference in the amount of people that will wave at us in our suits compared to service/work out clothes. But for the most part they're nice and will talk to us, even if they won't really make eye contact. Occasionally a car will zip by and we'll hear someone yell something about Mormons at us, but we just assume they're telling us they really love Mormons!

The ward is really nice. Went to the Richardson's house for dinner on the first night, then we've also been to the Mercer family's house for dinner. Already I'm having to aquire a taste for boiled eggs and macaroni salad. YUM.... Haha. I'm sure I'll love it by the end of my mission though!

Church was great! They had me get up and give a little 5 minute talk/introduction/testimony, which went really well. Then after sacrament, a guy comes up and asks me if my dad is Ray Hussey. BLEW MY MIND. Turns out it was Sterling from the Salt Lake Gallagher office! I'd heard a lot about him, but never met him before. They were coming through the area after the Hill Camorah Pageant and decided to stop there for Sacrament Meeting! If either Sterling or I had been there one week earlier/later, we probably wouldn't have met each other. Amazing how stuff happens with the Gospel at times. He has a video of me proving I'm alive and well for you!

Mission life has been really good so far. I'm adjusting pretty well! The apartment is pretty nice and has it's own washer and dryer, so that's good! Elder Baird keeps saying he is amazed that I'm just barely out here and keeps saying I should be training him! I don't know about that.. But it's good to know that I'm doing good out here. We really haven't had any issues at all! Today we're going to go and get some food so I don't have to keep eating Quesadillas for every meal, so that's good news! And I'm going to knock my first door later tonight... PRAY FOR ME! :) It'll be good and exciting. I also sent a lot of fun pictures! I'll send the memory card home soon, but this is a preview at the fun we had in the MTC and my first few days here.

A few things all of you need to know- When you send me letters or packages, send them to the address I gave all of you earlier, then the mission office forwards it to us. That's just a little easier than informing everyone of different addresses at transfers and having mail go to the wrong place, etc. But, if you are sending a package, it needs to be First Class, Flat Rate, or Priority through the Post Office in order for them to forward it to me. If it isn't one of those things, I'll have to wait until the next Transfer to pick it up. But if you send any letters or packages to the Mission Office Address (The Whitesboro one) through the post office as First Class, Flat Rate, or Priority, they can forward them to me. Also, normal letters can be forwarded.

Make sense? :) Excellent!

Already, I've learned that I was SUPER SPOILED back at home in Utah, and I don't think I'll ever forget it. We're all very blessed for what we have back there! But I know that we are also very blessed to have the Gospel in our lives, and need to do what we can to help other people learn.

So I'd just like to challenge all of you reading this to try and do something to make a good impression of the church for somebody, or if you really have the guts, try to share something about the Gospel with someone you know needs it. You'll be blessed, but more importantly, they'll be blessed.

But I'm doing good! This is going to be a tough two years... I can tell that already. But it will be a great two years that is worth every moment. And look at this? I'm already a month in! Now I just have 23 left to help people as much as possible. :) It's good work!

I love you all! Don't worry about me, I'll just keep working hard and do my best.

Until next week,

-Elder Hussey

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Small World



We (Mitch's Dad and Mom) were suprised to receive this picture in an email from a friend from SLC who is vacationing in New York this week.  He just happened to attend church today in the ward where Mitch has been assigned.  Since he has only been there a few days and hasn't had a P-day we had not yet heard exactly where in the state he is at.  Thanks to Sterling, now we know he's in Owego, NY

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Last week in MTC

Holy cow... My time at the MTC is almost done! This is the last P-Day I'll have here and then I'm off to New York! That is both exciting and a little scary to think about... But this past week has been really good! Time is definitely warped here at the MTC... I feel like it's been a long time that I've been here, but as I look back on each day it seems like it has flown by. We do have our flight plans for Tuesday! Our flight from SLC leaves at 7:05 AM, so we get to wake up at 3 in order to go to the airport!  We have a layover in Detroit. We'll be there from about 12 until 2 in the afternoon. Then we're going to land in Syracuse around 4 or so, then have a few hour drive to Utica. Should be an exciting day!


MTC life is still going good!  I've enjoyed the pictures I got from my family, the "downstairs" Cedar Hall girls, and Sarah Henretty!  Helped give my room a little bit more personality.. :D Thank you all for everything you've sent!  That's awesome!

We haven't quite had enough time here to get the food schedule down, but we know that there's ice cream on Wednesdays and Saturdays! Pretty exciting stuff! (The ice cream is really good...)


Speaking of ice cream, I've gained a little weight! Hahaha! But, on the positive side, I think it's because I'm actually working out here, unlike the past little while. I might be a little bigger when I get back, but hopefully not softer! Once I get to New York though.... the pizza won't help me out. But while I'm here at the MTC I've been trying to eat pretty healthy. I always have a big salad with my lunch and dinner, and I've aquired a constant craving for salad croutons. They're the only way to give my lettuce a little flavor, considering I don't really enjoy salad dressing.


I've run into a lot of people from Cedar City and Roosevelt that I know! Let's see if I can remember everyone I've seen..Sister Gillespe and her companion Sister Butters a LOT! They are on a similar schedule to me. I've also ran into Sister Empey and Sister Reid from my Mission Prep class. Then I've seen Elder Glen Reber, Elder Cameron Alldredge, Elder Daniel Farrah, Elder Myles Anderton, Brother Karson Yack, and Elder Kevin Roberts? (I don't remember for sure if his last name is Roberts... but it might be. Oops! Also, sorry if I misspelled people's name.) Then yesterday when I was a "Host" missionary, which is the missionaries that swoop in on the new Elders and take them away from their family, I saw Elder Jeremy Evans! That was cool seeing him because he was one of my Ward Missionaries at school! So I was actually his host and took him around campus and showed him everything. Pretty cool experience!


And speaking of my experience being the host missionary... About 10 of the Elders (Elder Chappell and myself included) hosting were lucky enough to be chosen for a special assignment. There were about 10 missionaries from Korea here that spoke very little English, but still needed to be taken through campus and shown a few things.  It was an adventure! Have you ever tried to show someone who spoke no English how to work a padlock before? That was a very interesting challenge. After about 10 minutes and a lot of hand gestures, we finally got it figured out. Then I was cracking up as we were walking around campus, because all of the Japanese and Chinese Elders were trying to talk to the Korean Elders. We were all laughing about how everyone was just assuming where they were from is where they were going on their mission. I tried to learn how to say hello from the Korean Elders I was escorting, but it was super complicated. I forgot really quickly after they told me. Doesn't help that saying hello was about a five word phrase! But it was cool getting to see the new Elders for sure! I felt lucky that I was able to do that.


Pretty crazy that my time is almost over here though as I look back! But it's been really cool being here. Food is still pretty good, and the lessons have been cool. Just yesterday, Elder Chappell and I taught 4 different investigators lessons! It was pretty fun! Our investigators, Ryan and Sacha, and both doing really well. I also taught a guy named Cedric that was really good to teach as well. Felt the spirit really well during those lessons. Then Elder Chappell and I have been meeting with a guy named Alexander who is a Haitian. He has a super sweet accent that is sometimes hard to understand and is a great guy that already is doing most of what the Gospel brings to people and likes reading the Book of Mormon, but he refuses to believe anything about Jesus Christ being our Savior. He just won't believe us and won't pray about it. Kinda frusturating. But he's still good to meet with.


Well, a half hour flies by pretty quick when I'm emailing! I hope all is well for everyone at home! Don't worry about me, I'm loving my experiences here! My testimony has grown a lot and I've had some really cool things that I've learned while I've been here. The Gospel is a huge blessing for us, and while I knew that before the mission, I'm learning it more and more each day I'm here. I'm learning to rely on the Spirit a lot more and follow its promptings and I can already feel it guiding the lessons, not me!

Alma 26:12- "For I know that I am nothing, as to my strength, I am weak. Therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things..."  Amen!


Love you all!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week 1

Hello !

Well... One week down! Crazy stuff, huh? It's really weird... It feels like I've been here FOREVER, but in a good way. My district is great, my roommates are awesome, the MTC is super spiritual, and the food will keep me alive. What's really weird to think about is the fact that this Monday we get our Flight Plans for heading out to NEW YORK!!! I'm excited, but it's kinda scary as well. The MTC is really great and I feel like I've learned a TON so far. Every day is filled with spiritual experiences and I've grown a lot from them.

Everybody here at the MTC kept telling us that if we could make it to Sunday, we'd be good through the whole MTC. Because of that, Elder Chappell and I felt like the first few days were going to be pretty rough, but somehow it ended up being super great anyways! Surprisingly, I slept a lot better the first few days than I have been lately. Hopefully I've not getting too stressed out! (I really do feel good about everything, I'm just waking up in the night)


MTC Life... Wake up, get ready, eat breakfast. After breakfast, we either have a workshop or go straight into our 3 hour class sessions. Then, lunch, MAIL TIME, more class, workshops, dinner, MAIL TIME, and a nightly workshop, teaching experience, etc. Then sleep and repeat! It's really busy and wears me out, but good. Thanks for the mail/packages from my fam (loved the cookies!), Sarah, Nichole Pitt (Sorry if that's misspelled!), and ADAM SHURTLIFF!  Congrats to Adam on his call to Merida Mexico!  You'll do great buddy!

As a part of the class, we teach investigators the gospel lessons. Elder Chappell and I have been teaching a girl named Sacha and a young man named Ryan. It's weird how different people seem to be made to teach other people. All of the other companionships have been doing really well teaching Sacha and are intimidated by Ryan, but we LOVE Ryan. The lessons have gone really well and we've had some really cool experiences with him. We teach Sacha tonight though and are going to try to get her to trust us as she gets to know us a little better though, so hopefully that goes well.

Our teachers, Sister Engebretsen and Brother Roberts are great! Brother Roberts is from South Africa, has an awesome accent, and is one of the most quoteable guys I know! I learn SO MUCH from him in the lessons. Every day I feel like I'm twice the missionary I was the previous day!

4th of July was pretty weird... It was a little bit of a bummer because we weren't able to get any mail! Even when I don't get mail, seeing how excited all of the other Elders are is really fun to watch. We had a patriotic fireside from Gary Stott (some Utah Judge?), got Magnum Ice Cream Bars, and watched the fireworks! It was a lot of fun. We sang "I'm Glad They Called Me On A Mission, Now That I've Grown A Foot or 2" at the fireside. Cracked me up!

 We heard a talk from Tedd Gibbons on Sunday! It was a personal account of Willard Richards and his experiences with the restoration. COOL STUFF!

We didn't have a ton of time to write emails today! Thank you all for everything and I have a motto for my mission that I think you'll get a kick out of: Try your best, Heavenly Father does the rest.


Love you all!


-Elder Mitch Hussey

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