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

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