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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