Monday, August 27, 2012

8/27/2012


This week was CRAZY! Lets see what all happened... The biggest thing was my very first experience with Transfers! Pretty exciting, but I'll get to that later. We also had a missionary leaving the Owego Ward to go preach in Las Vegas. Also, I got to speak in Sacrament Meeting... Fun! All in all, it was a very busy, very eventful, and very fun week.

Last Monday had some cool events happen...  Cesar , one of the coolest people out ever, taught Elder Baird and I a few things. A lot of REALLY tough exercise workouts. He's such a cool man! He's 72 years old and has a lot of different health difficulties, but he is such a good example to me! He is ALWAYS at Church, no matter what. He is a super hard worker and is always doing stuff for his wife. He's also super funny and loves teaching us missionaries the things he's learned in his life. It was really good to get to spend time with him. Then we met with a girl , who has been coming back to Church lately. She is a really great girl that I've loved meeting with lately. We had a very spiritual lesson with her on staying strong in the faith and the things we can do in order to always help out testimonies grow.

Throughout the rest of the week, we had some great lessons with investigators! We have some really great work going on and sometime soon... we should start seeing a few people really progress in the Gospel. It's exciting to see.

Another one of our investigators is super awesome! She's really fun to meet with and really loves learning about our church. After our lesson this past week, she told us about "slag", which is a rock that is naturally partial glass. Then, she gave Elder Baird and I our own pieces of Slag. We later took them home, cleaned them up, and now they look pretty sweet! Mine looks like a big, black rock with a blue-ish tint to it, but if help up to light or viewed at the right angle, it is actually a dark teal color of glass. It's super cool!

Other miscellanious news- This week, I decided that I needed a little bit more variety on my ties, so we made a quick stop at the "Open Door Mission" in Owego. (It's basically like a  DI) In there, I was able to find 4 new (to me) ties that all looked pretty good! In fact, I'm wearing on of them right now. Anyway, I was able to get 4, high quality, good looking ties for only 7 dollars. How cool is that?!? So I now have a few more to mix it up occasionally. :) Also, we were able to finally get the mini copies of Preach My Gospel! It's awesome to have a little copy to have in my backpack that doesn't weigh as much. So that was really great!

So this Saturday was transfer calls... The really scary day that comes every 6 weeks for missionaries. All day, we were worried that even though Elder Baird is training me, he might get transferred away. So at about 7:50 PM, we got a call from our zone leaders informing Elder Baird that he would be staying in Owego, and that I would be serving in.... Owego.  Thankfully, I get to continue working here for a while! What a relief! In 6 weeks from now, I'll get the joy of going through that again...

Then Sunday was a great day! I was lucky enough to get to speak about the Sacrament, the importance of it, and what we can do to prepare for it. My talk was...ok. I had a lot of people tell me I did a good job, but I'm sure I'll get better as I get more practice. Then Sister  Cox  gave her farewell address to the congregation. That was really great to hear! She left today, and she'll be a great missionary! Kinda crazy thought though... If I were to serve in Owego towards the end of my mission, I could actually be at her homecoming as well! How weird would that be?!? We also had one of our investigators at church, and once again- She loved it! I'm glad she's enjoying it and it's really exciting seeing how her life is changing as we meet with her and help her understand God's plans for her.

Now, here I am at another P-Day! After this, I'm going to be off for my missionary duties once again! Grocery shopping, cleaning the car, laundry, and writing letters! Wouldn't have it any other way!

I'm really grateful I get to stay here in Owego for a while longer. I'm really loving the people in the ward, the people we're teaching, and all of the ways that I'm growing as I serve there. I'm glad for this oppertunity to serve here and am starting to find out why exactly my Heavenly Father has sent me to Owego, New York!

As school is starting up again and life is getting busy for friends and family back home, I wish you all the best! You're all in my prayers!

Love you all!

-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, August 20, 2012

8/20/2012


Hey everybody!

It is really crazy how fast time flies by when looking back on it.  Just a few days ago, I realized that it was almost exactly one year ago that I was in Cedar City, worried about college and everything else... And all of the sudden I'm in New York, already past one month out here in "The Field".  Pretty exciting!

One of the many exciting events this week was "Return and Report", a meeting in Utica one month into the mission where all of the missionaries come back and receive more training. Elder Baird and I traveled to Norwich on Thursday night and stayed with Elder Chandler, who came out with me, and his companion, Elder Gleue. They're both awesome missionaries and it was good to catch up with them and everything else. Then on Friday morning, we were off to Utica.

Return and Report started off with a lot of training on what to do if we get sick, how to take care of out feet, car care, etc. Then we got to the good stuff.  President Wirthlin taught us about a lot of different stuff- Recognizing and sharing the Spirit, following it's promptings, etc. Then the AP's, Elder Becerill and Williams, taught us about being the "4th" missionary. The talk was very interesting that they were sharing from and talked about the 4 different types of missionaries there are out there, and why we should strive to be the 4th type of missionary. It's a good goal to set and I'll always work towards that while I'm out here.

In other news, it was another good week! I received a letter from Casey, including pictures of his "get-up" from Mr. UBIC and I couldn't be any prouder of that kid. Way to be! Now I have the Sax part from Careless Whisper (I think...) stuck in my head though, on constant repeat. Haha gotta love that! Also, during the drive to Utica, Elder Baird and I listened to a few CD's he has that are AWESOME. He has the Nashville Tribute to the Prophet- Joseph Smith and Nashville Tribute to the Pioneers- Trek. They are very country, and surprisingly, I love them. I'm already a fan of country... So if any of you out there know of any other "Nashville Tribute" cd's, I love 'em! *hint hint

Our investigators are all doing well. We have some very exciting things coming somewhat soon.. I'm really blessed to be here in Owego. Seriously, I can already tell I was sent here for a reason. The sister we've been working with is doing great. We're working on helping her quit drinking coffee and she's been doing really good so far. Elder Baird gave her a really awesome blessing and I could feel the power in the room afterwards. We're re-evaluating her baptismal date, due to the fact she needs to be 4 weeks off coffee before baptism, so we should know when that will be soon.

So I'll finish with a slightly funny/gross story. Recently, Elder Baird and I have been finding a lot of Spiders.. Spiders are everywhere here in New York, and I'm pretty sure I have the beginning signs of Arachnophobia.. It's super gross. Some missionaries play a game where they see how many spiders they can count on a porch before people get to the door. When Elder Baird and I hit 28 or so on one porch, I decided I was done playing that game.. But recently, there has been an.. influx of spiders in our apartment and we couldn't figure out why. In fact, it was bad enough that we now have a spider kill-count on our white board. As of today, I'm at 27.

But this morning, at the start of our personal study, I looked up and saw a spider on the blinds of my window, so I got the bright idea of pulling the blinds up to smash the spider. (Hint- Don't do that.) Turns out the blinds weren't exactly mounted the best, so the sudden movement pulled them off of the wall and a few spiders exploded throughout the room. After killing the spiders and picking up the blinds, I realized that there was about a 2 inch gap at the top of our window where anything that had a desire to get in our apartment could. Apparently, windows in New York slide open from both the top AND the bottom.... So I got up and slid the window shut up top... I think we're going to duct tape it shut so it doesn't slide down again...

So I found out where the spiders were all coming from! Now I just need to mount the blinds back up and all will be well.. :)

The joys of missionary work. Fun stuff!

Things here in Owego are going well! The members are all out trying to get me fat... We've been fed by a lot of members and it's AWESOME! Such a great blessing. My testimony grows every day and I made some major progression both as a missionary and member of the church. There's SO much good found in our church and it can really bring great happiness to those around us. I'll admit it- I didn't always know how big of a blessing this church was to us, but I'm starting to scratch the surface.

I'm loving being out here! There's both bad and good out here in the mission field, but if you focus on the good, you don't even remember the bad.

Hope all is going well at home! You're all in my prayers!

Love you all,

-Elder Mitch Hussey



Monday, August 13, 2012

8/13/12

This past week has been really exciting and seemed to fly by quickly!


We had Zone Conference last Tuesday, which was great. President Wirthlin and the AP's came out and we had some really great trainings on the Holy Ghost, working with the wards, and a ton of other things. The day was over before we knew it, but it was awesome to meet a lot of other missionaries. After Zone Conference, I was on Exchange with Elder Tollefson from Corning. Funny coincidence- Elder Tollefson is from Vernal! He went to Uintah and I probably played against him freshman and sophomore years when he played soccer! Pretty small world...

Pretty funny story concerning the Exchange. We were going to Owego, while Elder Baird was going with Elder Hougaard in Corning. So I was in control of the Owego area... planning and all. All of the missionary cars have something in them called "TIWI". It's a Electronic GPS box that I refer to as "Big Brother". Big Brother is always watching us as we drive. He makes sure we don't speed, and if we do, we get a speeding violation. If we push on the gas too hard or brake to hard, we get reckless driving violations. These are logged on our personal driving records, so all Elders have a Tiwi Card that they scan before driving, so that they know who is in control. Because I'm a new missionary, I hadn't received my Tiwi Card yet, so Elder Tollefson was the Designated Driver. When we got to Owego, we made a discovery. He had accidentally left his wallet in the Corning car. Corning is a long way away, so we couldn't exactly head there to pick it up. After consulting with the AP's, they decided that because I had my wallet, I was designated driver for the exchange. But because we didn't have a TIWI card to log in, TIWI was saying- "No Driver Logged" constantly on our way to meet with the Elders at the end of the exchange. But I did get to drive! That was exciting.. And wouldn't you know it... The very next day I got something in the mail- My TIWI card! I thought that was pretty funny!


The exchange was really great. Elder Tollefson was willing to go running with me in the morning, and we were able to go out, meet a few people and set up appointments while we were here. The rest of my week was pretty standard. We had some awesome lessons with some great investigators, did quite a bit of service, and had an awesome Sunday. Two Elders from the Owego ward got back from their missions this past week and were speaking in Church. Elder Quinten Knudsen served in Fresno, CA speaking Hmong. Crazy! Then Elder Cameron Barth served in El Salvador. They both were awesome missionaries and it was great getting to meet them. We also had a Linger Longer after church, so we got to get to know some people in the ward a little better. Throw in some great lessons with people like Steve and Vickie and our Sunday was a success!


That was my week! Pretty good if I say so myself. Elder Baird and I are figuring out how we can best serve Owego and I'm looking forward to the upcoming week. I can feel some really good things coming up soon.


So I know there's a question you all have- How in the world do you say "Owego" and how did it get it's name? The 1st question is an easy one, and I've had a few people tell me different answers to the 2nd question.

Owego is pronounced- Oh-we-Go. Pretty easy, huh?

Now there used to be a Native American tribe here, and the area was called Osweago (or something like that...). When the British came to America, they found the land and asked the Natives if they could have a part of the land. However, the Natives didn't like the new people invading their land, so they just responded by saying, "Oh..... We go" and left!  Haha now I don't think that's the real namesake of the town, but that's the story I've heard most commonly from the people here.

Owego is doing really great lately, and I've been doing pretty great myself as well. It's cooling down a little bit and the work is progressing. Can't ask for much more than that!


I've been studying Joseph Smith a lot lately and my testimony of his has grown ten fold. Seriously, he was such an amazing man! I started a Joseph Smith quote sheet and I'll try to share something awesome each week. I found a really good one this morning- "If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; But if we start wrong, we may go wrong, and then it will be a hard matter to get right." -Joseph Smith, King Follett Sermon.

The truth behind that phrase is awesome! In everything we do, if we start off right, it will be MUCH easier to keep doing right. But if we don't start in the right way, it's gonna be tough to get back there. I'm applying that to myself as a missionary, and I'd like to challenge all of you to keep that in mind. Starting a new job, a calling in the church, or even starting up school again- Start everything in the right way. It'll be a lot easier that way, and I can promise, it'll be a lot more enjoyable that way too.


Hope everyone is doing well back in Utah (or wherever you all may be!) I'm doing well here in New York. I've really enjoyed receiving letters from all of you and you're in my prayers!


Love all of you!


-Elder Mitch Hussey

After our morning run!

Monday, August 6, 2012

8/6/12

Hey everybody!

Another week down! It's crazy to think that I've been out here for over one whole month so far! Some missionaries count how long they've been out by the amount of Fast Sundays they've had, so if I'm doing that- 2/24 down! Crazy!

This past week was a really good one, although slightly tougher than the previous weeks. We had about 10 appointments cancel on us throughout the week, so we finally made it out tracting. Fun stuff! I'm proud to say that I made it 17 days in the mission field without tracting. Pretty impressive feat if I say so myself. Haha! But that helped me appreciate how nice it is to have appointments. We had some very hot days last week, and walking from door to door got hot pretty quick! But nobody was rude to us as we were tracting and I was only freaked out by some dogs one time, so all is well. :D

As I look back on it, there was some exciting stuff that happened this week! Monday was P-Day, which is always awesome! Then on Tuesday, we had District Meeting in ElMira and stopped at Walmart to pick up a GPS. That was pretty fun to get to figure out! I will definitely need it though... The roads here in New York are really confusing. The way Elder Baird puts it- "It looks like they spilled a plate of spaghetti on a piece of paper and decided that was where the roads should go". Makes me appreciate the grid system they have going in Salt Lake!

On Wednesday we met with a few solid investigators and had a really great day. I received a really great compliment by some potential investigators. They told me- "We've had a lot of people come and try to convince us to join their church, but there's something different about you. You show you represent Christ by what you do, not just what you preach." I'd say that's a good compliment to get! That, mixed with a package from home, makes the day about as good as it can get!

Then on Thursday, I finally noticed that the days were starting to go by quicker and quicker each day. It helps when we have a lot of appointments and service to do, but still- The days aren't dragging on as much. On Thursday night we went and had dinner with the Bruns family in "West Corners, NY" (Endicott). Really fun family with SUPER CUTE 2 and 4 year old daughters. They were really fun to eat with. And West Corners was really nice! If I were ever to live in New York after my mission, it would be in a place like that. Beautiful houses, green hills everywhere, neighborhoods that weren't scary. About as much as you can ask for! So that was a pretty nice night. Now I just need to convince Elder Baird to go tracting up there... :)

Friday was the hottest day I've had in New York, and the day that SIX of our appointments fell through. BUMMER. So this is when we got to go tracting for a few hours. So the day seemed to drag on.. Until!.... We stopped by a investigator's house who was never home, named Eric. He is a super solid guy that always grew up semi religious, but is just trying his best to find what he believes is true and feel the Spirit. We had a sweet lesson with him about the Restoration and it made all of the tracting seem worth it. Then when we went out to our car, there was a note on our car window.. It said- "Elders- If you like Zucchini Bread.... Come inside!! -The Cox Family". We had parked the car close to their house, and they noticed it and put the note out there. So of course, being two exhausted and hungry missionaries, we weren't going to pass up an offer like that! So we went and visited with them for a minute before heading home for the night.

Saturday was another hot day where a lot of appointments fell through. But, we helped 2 people, Sis. Newbury and Tom Thomas, with service projects they needed help with. Sis Newbury had some trees come down in the storm last week, so we helped her haul all of them out of the yard. I'm pretty sure we were discovering new species of insects left and right as we were hauling those trees! Kinda gross, but funny at the same time. Then later in the day, we were helping Tom Thomas move a playset he had built for his daughter... The first 2 pieces were easy, but the last piece was HUGE. It was like a tree house, with no tree needed. Instead, it had a bunch of 6 by 6 boards holding it up.. And 3 of us to move it. It probably weighed at least 500 pounds.. With a lot of hard work, prayer, and honestly, luck, we were able to get it on its' side and slide over to where it needed to be. I still don't know how, but we got it! The next challenge... Getting it back up on it's feet so it can be used again! Haha

Sunday was an awesome Fast and Testimony meeting. Elaine, a super solid investigator, was able to make it to Sacrament Meeting for the first time and loved it! I was feeling the Spirit a lot through the meeting and some very inspiring testimonies were given. Even I got up there to bear mine! And amazingly, the 2 fasts I've done on my mission so far haven't even been bad. I haven't felt fatigued or extremely hungry yet.. Knock on wood! And this was also the first time I've ever paid Fast Offerings! Pretty good! It was really an awesome Sunday, and we ended it with a sweet lesson with The Mercer family. Sister Mercer was baptized about 4 months ago, and her husband is close. We just need to get them to Church more often and help Bro. Mercer stop smoking. So we had a lesson with them about satan and his attempts to influence our lives. This is when I had a little inspiration and I like the way that it came out. Towards the end of the lesson, we told them that satan didn't want them to read scriptures, pray, or go to Church. In fact, he'll do whatever he can to try and make it inconvenient for us to do so. So I just told them that we need to "Stick it to satan". When we think about how miserable satan wants us to be, we just need to think about how much it must tick him off when we do good, spiritual things, and do them! I bet it drives him nuts to see people making these huge changes in their lives and coming closer to Christ. Just my personal thoughts about it. :)

So that was my week! Email time always flies by... But next week I'll tell you a bit more about Owego, New York, the crazy animals out here, etc. Should be exciting!

I'd just like to leave all of you with a challenge to Stick it to satan. He might try to keep you from reading scriptures and praying, but just think about how much it drives him crazy when you do those things.. Then do them! The more good we have in our lives, the less control he has. Who wouldn't want that?

Hope all is well back at home! I'm doing good out here and learning to love the work.

Love you all!

-Elder Mitch Hussey

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