The Christmas decorations are starting to come up here in Owego! This Friday is a big holiday celebration called "Lights on the River" which apparently draws in a pretty good sized crowd of people. Should be able to try some missionary work in that sense, and there's free hot cocoa, doughnuts, and fireworks at 8 PM. Win-win-win situation. :)
We are getting a training on the Church's Christmas campaign tomorrow morning.. Should be cool to see a little bit more of what it's all about! If you want, check out Mormon.org/christmas and you can see a part of what it's all about. I do wonder if this will make any differences in the missionary work for us in this area.. I hope so! We're struggling to find new people to teach! (I'm not very good at finding.... Something to work on!)
Thanks for updating me on Elder Baird. I've written him a few times, but I haven't heard back yet. Oh well! I can understand how that is. I got a letter from Elder Duncan last week! He's doing good, but it sure does seem like a foreign mission is a completely different experience! It's weird to think about.
Things here are going pretty good! Our investigators are doing well. I think we'll see at least 2 baptisms this transfer.. Maybe 3. I'm praying for 4, but we'll see how that works out.
The church does has a "Stop Smoking Program", but it's old (probably the same as when Dad was on his mission) and could probably use updating here pretty soon. Our investigator tried the program and it didn't work for him before. This time, he's just going on willpower and cinnamon candy.. Lots and lots of cinnamon candy. He's made it a week already though! That much is really good.
I'm doing pretty good! This past week was pretty interesting.. We had another slow week. But we did have a interesting challenge! We had previously met a youth pastor for the Baptist Church that seemed pretty nice, so we went back to have a gospel discussion with him. He was pretty nice until we started talking about the Book of Mormon, then he started throwing out all sorts of different anti-Book of Mormon info at us. The interesting thing was that he was telling us we needed to stop following our emotions and feelings and look at the "proof" he was showing us.. Yet he quoted Proverbs 3:5-6 a ton! "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Pretty weird experience, but I feel like it's just motivation to work harder and strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Partially because of that, I decided to challenge myself and read (and mark) through the entire Book of Mormon during the month of December (hopefully before Christmas)... It's kinda intimidating.. But I'm already on page 47 and I'm learning all sorts of new things this time! There's no way that the Book of Mormon is a story that was made up by man. I remember Dad mentioning on his mission getting a bunch of anti-literature thrown at him. I guess your testimony can't grow as much unless it's challenged every once in a while, huh?
This week should be really good though. Elder Gasetoto and I set some good goals and are going to work really hard to improve ourselves, which should improve our area and our investigators. I'm constantly finding a lot that I can improve on.... Nothing wrong with that though!
I'm very grateful for all that all of you do for me. To people who haven't heard from me in the past little while... I'm so sorry! Our P-Days got crazy and I have a big pile of letters to respond to.. But I'll get there. I really appreciate hearing about how all of you are doing and hope that you all stay safe as we are coming into the winter months.
Each day my testimony, love for the people, and understanding of how great this Gospel is grows stronger.
I love you all!
-Elder Mitch Hussey