Monday, October 29, 2012

10/29/2012

Happy Halloween!

I'm sure you all have heard of the "FrankenStorm" that is going to be hitting New York later today/tomorrow, right? That should be very interesting.  People in Owego are kinda skittish because of the "Flood of 2011" that nearly wiped the town out last year, so most of the stores are cleared out (everyone bought everything) and the gas stations have had a pretty constant flow of customers for the past 3 days. We went and got a bunch of water, bread, and peanut butter last week, so we'll make it through the storm. It may cause me to no longer love peanut butter sandwiches, which would be a bummer, but it'll all work out. 

I used to think that the 30 minute drive to Vernal was SOOO long.  But I'm getting a lot more used to being on the road pretty often. Here in our area we travel about 1,200 miles a month. That's a lot for a missionary. My companion does not drive, so I am already the lead driver! It's been kinda nice though, because I was afraid I'd forget how to drive if I went too long without getting to drive anywhere. However, the mission has said that the first day that we get snow here in New York, no missionaries can drive anywhere. Apparently the 1st day of snow is normally has a pretty high crash percentage rate? That is something we'll be sure to do in order to stay safe.
 
 It seems like almost all of the people who will actually talk to us throw in an "oh, by the way, I'm voting for Mitt Romney" at the end of our conversations.. Haha! In Delhi (my companion's first area) everybody thought that the missionaries were actually just campaign workers for Mitt Romney. Pretty funny! It will be really interesting to see what happens here in the next month. Should be exciting!
 
Let me tell you all a little bit more about my companion! He is from American Samoa, and has been a convert to the church since 2008. He didn't like Mormons very much when he was growing up, but his dad started meeting with the missionaries. After overhearing a lot of what they were talking about and noticing the change happening to his dad, he decided to start listening as well. One thing leads to another, and he ended up getting baptized about 7 months later! It's funny... The MTC made it seem like everyone would be ready to get baptized within 6 weeks of teaching them.. But it often takes quite a bit longer than that. We all just need to have some patience!  He is super fun to be a companion with. He didn't speak much English before his mission, but it's getting pretty good now. However, there have been a few lessons that we've left and his response has been- "Holy Moly.. I didn't understand anything that they were saying in there!" He LOVES rice and chicken.. He eats that once or twice a day.   And he snores like a freight train! But luckily, I have earplugs. Haha! He's a good teacher and is doing a great job.  He's been out on his mission for about 10 months now. His first area was downtown Albany.. He got there on December 21st and was FREEZING! (He's already getting super cold) His second area was Delhi (something like that) and he served there until about a month ago, when he went to Elmira for a week, then the beautiful Owego! We're getting along really well and having some good times serving together.
 
The missionary work is going good here! We had a very busy week and were running all over the place trying to see everyone that we haven't been able to for the last month or so.. Elder Gasetoto still hasn't met about half of our investigators. Depending on the storm this week, we could have another crazy busy week!
 
One thing that I have really come to appreciate already is having members go out and work with the missionaries. We have a lot of investigators who are women, and we can't go in their house without another male! Plus, it's sometimes just really nice to have a 3rd person to help with teaching. We went teaching with a ward member yesterday and he was able to add some very good insights and help us with a few of our investigators. Missionaries really appreciate help teaching, eating dinner with families, and rides to appointments. Just something to keep in mind. ;)

If you were wondering about the picture of me on a slide in someone's apartment, that is a slide that is in our Landlord's apartment that used to go from an upper loft to his bed, but then when he moved his bed is still just sitting there, and it's kinda a mission legend. The last day Elder Baird and I were here, Elder Baird really wanted to get a picture on it.. So we ran into one of our Landlord's friends, asked him about it, and he took us up and let us get a picture. It was super funny!

 

Missionary life is great! I love the feeling of the Spirit that is always present in missionary work and am having a great time serving the Lord. I'm very excited for my friends who are in the MTC or will be soon. The mission is sweet!  My advice?  Work hard, pray always, and keep a good journal. :)
 
Love you all! Have a great week!
 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22/2012



What a crazy week! It's been pretty great though.

First things first- Elder Baird ended up going back to Arizona for a short medical absence. He met with the doctors in Arizona and is going to get his Gall Bladder taken out soon! Crazy! That should be really good though. That means he should be back out here in the mission field within a month or two. It was really weird seeing him have to leave. We got a call on Monday night informing us of that, we packed everything up, then he headed out on Tuesday morning. While it was a wild past few weeks and I was sad to see him go, I'm comforted that the doctors know what the problem is and will be able to fix it pretty soon. I really enjoyed my time with him as my companion and learned a lot from him. He's one tough Elder for pulling through as long as he did! Get better quick Elder Baird! We need you out here! ;)

Now, I am here in Owego with Elder Gasetoto (Elder Nah-Say-Toe-Toe). He is from American Samoa and he is awesome! We're already having a lot of fun and getting back into the work. This past week flew by because we were so busy, but it was super good. We were able to meet with a lot of our investigators, do some tracting, and attend our Stake Conference with Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy.

A lot of our investigators are doing really well. We had some very spiritual lessons with people last week and I'm really able to see a huge difference in their lives from the time that I originally met them compared to their lives now. While the past transfer delayed some of their progress, they picked up right where they were this last week and are back on the path towards Baptism. There are about 3 or 4 that are getting very close towards baptism, and I just hope and pray that I'll still be here to see one or two of them make this wonderful commitment to live their lives like Christ. Seeing how much the Light of Christ can influence their lives for better makes all of the hard times out here worth it.

Elder Gasetoto is a ton of fun! Like I said before, he's from American Samoa and is a great companion. He's been on his mission for almost one year. He started his mission off in Albany on December 21st, 2011. Back home, he always spoke Samoan, but his English has gotten to be pretty good in the past year. We've had a lot of fun meeting (and eating) with the members here. When we ate with the Bruns family (they are SO awesome!) this week, they pulled out some pumpkins and we carved Jack-O-Lanterns after dinner! It was Elder Gasetoto's first time carving a Jack-O-Lantern and we had fun!

The rest of the week was pretty crazy. We were able to get Elder Gasetoto moved in, then got to work! We have had a lot of people to stop and introduce Elder Gasetoto to while setting up appointments, we did quite a bit of service this week, and we taught some great lessons. I'm already learning a lot from Elder Gasetoto.

Yesterday was Stake Conference here in Owego. Elder Bowen, Stake President Beck, and President and Sister Wirthlin were able to meet and talk to a few of our investigators before the meeting started, which was really great.

Elder Bowen (He spoke in this last General Conference-Sunday morning session) did a great job. He talked about a lot of different topics, but mainly our gospel, the reasons why we should share it, and the importance of the Temple. It was very powerful and I learned a lot. I was also surprised and loved the dynamic feel of his talk. He was very funny and could also bring the Spirit into the room for everyone. I'll send my notes I took in a picture so you can all read what I got from it. Warning, the "Quotes" may not be exactly correct, but the general idea is contained.


 
Besides that, we are just getting back into the swing of work as normal. The last month or so has been very different than I ever would have imagined, but to be completely honest, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I learned a lot by going through this trial and I feel like Elder Baird and I both got to be great friends going through it together. While we will all have trials in our life that sometimes straight up stink, we can always learn something from it. I've found the scriptures to be very true that tell us that God will not give us anything in our lives that we can't handle. Sometimes we don't realize how strong we really are until that strength is tested.

I hope all is going well at home! All 50 Billion trees out here in New York are red, orange, and yellow, and it's beautiful! I'm doing well and loving my time as a missionary.

You're all in my prayers!

-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15/2012

Good Morning!

It's a beautiful day here in Owego! The temperature is almost perfect, the leaves are all different hues of yellow, orange, red, gold, and brown, and it's a great day to be a missionary! :)


Things are about the same as last week..The Doctors still don't quite know what is going on with Elder Baird. However, we have one more visit with a doctor this Wednesday. We'll just continue to have faith that everything will work out and we should know what's happening for sure by next week. I'm hopeful to finally find out what is going on as well. But, Proverbs 3:5-6 was a good answer to my prayers considering this matter.


The past week has been pretty good. Elder Baird and I have gotten out to teach a little bit, and we've had some really good lessons with people. One of our investigators has now been off of coffee for over a month, so she could be baptized sometime soon. We just need to get out and teach more often and we should see the work begin to progress at a really great rate. I'm really excited though. When an area has missionaries leave or they get sick for a while, the work kinda slows down, but once it starts up again, the areas EXPLODE! Hopefully we'll be seeing this sometime soon. We know a lot of great people who are wanting to accept the Gospel, they just need a little bit of help getting there. Stay tuned for all of that coming soon! ;)

 
Besides that, I've been practicing the piano a lot (thanks to a borrowed keyboard from our wonderful Ward Mission Leader, Brother Demming) and I'm getting quite a bit better! In fact, I'll be playing the hymns for Zone Conference in about 3 weeks. Scary! I've also been working on a sweet missionary scripture setup, and I've been making some serious progress lately in reading through it, marking it all according to a color code setup I came up with, and tabbing scriptures to help out in the missionary work. Tabbing scriptures is helping me a lot in memorizing where the scriptures I need are. Already, I'm no longer relying on the tabs, but thanks to them, know where to find the specific scripture on faith that I need. That much is good!

 
One thing that was pretty exciting, was we were invited to dinner at Stake President Beck's home this past Friday. They have a great family and a beautiful home, and they made us/sent us home with some awesome home-made chicken noodle soup. Afterward, our Zone Leaders came and we had a spiritual blessing for Elder Baird. It was an exciting little experience that we were blessed to be a part of.

 
So that was my previous week! This week should answer a lot of our questions and prayers, then the work will start to progress again.


I can't quite remember the exact quote (I think Heather or Mom sent it to me),  "Come what may, and love it." Those are wise words indeed. We don't always know how things are going to work out, but we just need to do the best we can and have faith. I've learned a lot about that recently!

 
Stake Conference is this week, and Elder Shane M. Bowen of the Seventy is going to be addressing the Saints right here in Owego. SWEET! Should be an awesome experience.


Keep up all the good work at home! I hope things are good for all of you.

 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

Monday, October 8, 2012

10/08/2012


Good morning everybody! What an exciting week!

First off, we got transfer calls this past weekend. Looks like I'm going to................. be spending another transfer in Owego with Elder Baird! Crazy stuff. Elder Baird is consulting with a surgeon this upcoming Thursday and we'll be finding out if he will be getting his gallbladder out sometime soon or not. So we might know what is finally going to happen after this upcoming week! Then, he'll hopefully get that popped out, and after a week or two of nursing him back to full strength, we'll be able to work again! I cannot wait to get working again. But we'll continue to just keep on having faith and do all that we can with these unique situations. Plus, look at all the strange stuff I'm learning from this experience! My future wife will love it! Haha :)

Second off- Wasn't conference sweet!?! I know it's a little bit different as a missionary, but I really enjoyed all of it. A few of my thoughts about it-

1. The missionary age is now 18 for males and 19 for females!?! What the?!? That would mean I would already be a year out here already! Elder Baird and I were shocked. There should be a huge influx of Sister Missionaries in the coming months. My first thoughts were about friends like Jessica who want to come and serve missions, but would have to wait a long time to do it. Now, many of my friends could get out and serve right now! That's exciting!

2. The talks were sweet! By taking notes and going to the church to watch it, I feel like I got a lot more from this session than any previous. I can't wait for the Ensign issue where I'll be able to read them all again.

3. My favorite talks- (Let me apologize beforehand.. My "Quotes" are not exact quotes.. But they're as good as I can remember.)

-President Uchtdorf's Saturday Morning talk about Mortal Life. "Do not wait until we are ready to die, to learn how to live." So true! I've realized that I often miss out on the enjoyment of things in the moment, but then looking back on them realize how great they were. Something to think about..

-Elder Neil L. Andersen's Saturday Afternoon talk- "Do not leave the Church during your trials. Doing so is like leaving the storm cellar during a hurricane!" Boom. That's that. :D

-President Monson's Priesthood Session talk- "We must look at people not as they are, but what they can become." This is something I've been trying to live in my life as a missionary, and I wish I would have done more at home. Also- "Courage is the work we need to hear and hold near to our hearts. Try and try and try again." Good words of advice for everyone about sharing the Gospel and improves the lives we are involved in.

-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's Sunday Morning talk- Holy cow. That was such a powerful talk! I think he poses a good question to all of us. "Can I always answer the question- Do you love me (Christ)?" I like how he put it- "True love leads to true loyalty." Powerful words!

-President Monson's powerful Sunday Morning talk- "The more we act on the inspiration that the Lord gives to us, the more he will trust us to do his will." That is so true! I think we all receive inspiration much more than we ever realize.. I've made a new goal to try really hard to follow the promptings of the Spirit, even though I sometimes don't really see the relevance. It's a good goal to work on, especially on a mission!

There were many more excellent talks, but those are a few that stuck out in my mind.

4. We had one of our investigators at the Sunday Morning session of Conference. Afterword, the Spirit was really strong. She stated that she had never seen anything like it. The Spirit was so strong and the influence of Christ so strong that she can't see how anyone would have the beliefs that many have against our great Church. Hearing that from her was a huge testimony builder. It's really great to see the opinion of someone who hasn't grown up with hearing conference their whole life.

That was what I got out of conference! I hope you all enjoyed it as well and found some new advice/goals to apply in your life.

The few times that we have made it outside we've seen how beautiful the leaves are in the surrounding areas! I love the fall foliage!

 
Also, I found an amazing food.. Pizza Pretzels. Seriously, it was good.




Besides that.. The apartment bound missionary life continues! I've loved the letters I've received from you all this past week! Our Ward Mission Leader was kind enough to let us borrow his son's keyboard, so I can now practice up some more hymns and be somewhat competent at playing the Piano. If one of President Monson's greatest life regrets is not sticking with the Piano, I better make sure I don't make the same mistake! I've also been working on the super set of missionary scriptures.. Lets just put it this way. Once it's finished, all other missionaries will envy the setup that I've got going on. I've put a lot of time and effort into it, and it's going to be awesome! Just sayin. :D

That's about all that is new in my life! We will hopefully be finding out what is going to be happening with Elder Baird this week, then the work will continue to progress!

Oh, one more thing- "I'm a Mormon- I know it, I live it, and I LOVE it."

Love you all,

-Elder Mitch Hussey


Monday, October 1, 2012

10/01/2012


The weather here in Owego is starting to get colder! The leaves are starting to change, and while many people have said it's not as good as most years, seeing the colors of thousands of trees in the distance is really awesome. As one of our investigators puts it, "Only God could paint colors that beautiful." We're going up to a scenic view of Owego sometime today to get pictures of all the color trees and the town. That should be fun! But when we walk outside in the mornings it's a little chilly, so it's perfect weather to wear a suit. Suit up! Also, the wonderful Sister Cox was able to fix my winter coat's messed up pocket, so I'm doing good there. Tomorrow, we should be in Elmira and we're going to stop by Burlington Coat Factory again, so I'll probably be buying a liner for the coat. That mixed with the UnderArmour will work pretty great!

 
Besides the weather changing, not much new is happening for us here in Owego. I was able to get out a few times and teach, which was really nice. The Ward here is being super awesome at getting somebody to stay with Elder Baird while I go with one them and teach. It's been trial by fire in teaching however, as I am planning and teaching most lessons by myself. But I've done fairly well with it.

 
One funny thing happened last week... Elder Baird got a medical test that required him to be knocked out for a little while, and when I picked him up, he was pretty loopy...for the rest of the day. So I got the pleasure of pushing him around the hospital in a wheelchair, watching him try to tie a tie for several minutes, and taking care of him. It was a pretty interesting experience... and really funny. He said some hilarious things...and he remembers none of it. :)

 
Another cool experience I had was getting to work with the AP's in Owego. Elder Becerrill, who was also trained in Owego went and taught a few lessons with me. He's an awesome missionary and it was great to see how he worked with people. We met a Born Again Christian on the street and had a 30 minute Gospel discussion with her, followed by a 5 minute prayer by her.  It always makes me chuckle a little when the people we talk to pray for us to "come to the knowledge that we're wrong" and that "we need to find that Christ is our Savior". Most people like that don't really listen to anything we say. No matter how much we talk to them about how important Chirst, repentance, and baptism is, they still don't believe we're Christian because we have the Bible and Book of Mormon. But, I've come to realize you can't make anyone understand your beliefs, unless they're willing to listen.

 
Another fun thing that happened this week.. I taught a combined Relief Society/Priesthood lesson at Church yesterday! Elder Baird was feeling sick, so I was in charge. I taught everyone about Mormon.org and all of the great resources on the internet that can help further on the missionary work. The ward seemed to enjoy/understand what I was trying to teach them all and hopefully they'll all try the things that I taught them can help missionaries out.

If any of you want a few fun things to do to help out missionary work, you can-

1. Make a Mormon.org profile. It's pretty easy and fun to do. Just go to mormon.org/create and follow those steps.

2. Watch Mormon Messages or the "I'm a Mormon" videos on either Mormon.org, LDS.org, or YouTube and then share them with people on Facebook, twitter, etc. Don't plaster them on your page, but as you share one or two videos on occasion, it might show somebody how the Gospel can help them.

All in all, it was a fun lesson to teach and it all went pretty well.

 
This next week should be exciting! We're going to District Meeting in Elmira tomorrow, then the missionaries from the mighty Corning Area, Elder Hougaard and Elder Plotkin, are coming to spend Thursday/Friday with us, and then we get to watch GENERAL CONFERENCE this weekend! I'm really excited to see what our Prophet and leaders of the Church have to say to us this year. I feel like I'll get more from it this year than I ever have before! I feel like if anybody has any questions about our religion, they just need to watch conference this coming weekend. With all the interest and publicity we've gotten lately, this could be the greatest watched conference yet! I expect (and know) great things from Conference, and I'm determined to do whatever I can to learn from it.

 
Random info- I've gotten slightly experimental this past week with food. My weirdest creation? A Mac-N-Cheese Quesadilla. Don't knock it before you try it! It was actually kinda good! :)


Hope everyone is doing well at home. I appreciate everything that you all do for me. You're all awesome!


Love you guys!

 
-Elder Mitch Hussey

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