What an exciting week! It's been really crazy so far. But it's been really really good!
I am now in the Syracuse West area. Syracuse is a lot different than Owego, that's for sure. I love it already though! The people (I've met) are really nice, we have some sweet investigators, and the Lord is already blessing us hugely! It's been AMAZING!
First off, everyone keeps asking me if I'm freezing being here in New York. When they ask that, I remember the cold winters when it was -20 and say it's not too bad here. We have quite a bit of snow, but it's been about 25 degrees most days this past week. The new coat I got a few weeks ago is PERFECT! It has 2 pockets that fit a Book of Mormon in them perfectly, and it's warm. That all worked well in the end.
Second, you asked about what being a Zone Leader is all about... Lets start at the top. You have The Mission President and his 2 Assistants that are looking over the whole mission. Then, there are 5 Zones in the Mission. In each Zone, there are 2 or 3 districts, with 4 or 5 companionships in each district. So, as Zone Leaders, Elder Simmonds and I are over quite a few missionaries. We go on exchange with all of the district leaders, solve problems that areas are experiencing, and try to help everything run smoothly in our Zone. It's pretty crazy! We spend a lot of time on the phone, a lot of time on planning, and will be spending a lot of time doing exchanges. In fact, I'm going to Cortland tonight! It's been great though.
Elder Simmonds is the man! He's from Bountiful, UT, and has been out around 14 months. He was not the Zone Leader before, so we're both figuring it out. President Wirthlin kinda let it slip that we are one of his "experiments" Pressure is on! But it's been a great companionship! Elder Simmonds is really great at talking to people and finding new investigators, which is something I've struggled with. We've worked hard this week and are being very blessed!
We have 9 investigators with baptismal dates, and have been finding new people to teach left and right! The Lord is taking good care of Syracuse!
We show up to teach an investigator and there are 2 new people there that want to learn about the Church. We show up to church and there's a Senior in High School that wants to learn about the Church. We go to Walmart to buy milk- A guy says "Hey Elders!" then explains he used to meet with the missionaries, but then he moved here. We're going to teach him too! It's just been an amazing week and has really helped me out a ton!
The new youth curriculum does seem really great! It puts the ball in our court a little more, but there's much more room for growth and experience within that. It's going to do great things for the youth of the church!
Sorry I haven't gotten many letters out in the past few weeks. I'm going to fix that today. I'm also going to get the Flu Shot, right after this. Sound good? You can also expect a package from me in a few days... Sweaters, a tie, pants.. A few things that I knew I wouldn't be using out here on the mission and couldn't fit in my bag. I did find out though... Priority Boxes are the way to ship things! I didn't do that...and Parcel Post cost 5 bucks more... and takes 4 times as long to get there. Live and learn, right?
I love you guys! Know that I am doing well, I feel like the Lord is definitely taking care of me, and there's no place I'd rather be/thing I'd rather be doing right now. Serving on a mission is sweet, and I'm so excited to see more people experience this joy. I set some New Years Resolutions, and I'm going to do the "Read the entire Standard Works in a Year" challenge. The Pearl of Great Price is SWEET! I'm learning so much already.
Anyway, because we don't have a family history center here, I won't be able to email as much (or I might just seem really scatter brained..) But I'm loving life! Thanks for all you do!
Love you guys! You're in my prayers, and I'm definitely learning that God truly does answer our prayers... sometimes just a little differently than we expect. I'll get over it. :)
Talk to you next week! Have a great week,
-Elder Mitch Hussey