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!|