Monday, April 29, 2013

4.29.2012

Good morning!
 
So I wonder what was similar to my mission and Dad's mission. Did Dad keep a pretty good journal when he was in Michigan? I want to know a little bit more about Dad's experiences as a missionary sometime. I remember that he was the "financial secretary" in Lansing for a while and that everyone always thought they were the feds, but not much else besides that. And the main thing I remember about Tyler's was his experiences with the dogs, as well as trying to get everybody married so that they could get baptized. It's funny to think how different the missions are, but similar at the same time.

The weather here has been pretty good as well. Walking around in a long sleeved shirt feels great, and it'll be time to put on a short sleeved shirt before we know it! I'm excited for the warmer weather and color. New York gets really gray and brown during the winter, but there will be a ton of trees blooming before we know it! Every morning we go on a run around our apartment, and there is a big apple orchard we run by. It'll be really great when it's all blooming!

To answer some questions:

In the NYUM, we get $160 a month for food, etc. Normally, that's pretty good. Because we had to start in Massena with nothing, it was a little tight at the start, but we're doing okay now. Hopefully we got our money for May today.. The mission is teaching me budgeting from month to month! If you've only got 10 bucks left, you just live with what you've got until you have more. However, it's taught me that living like that (as much of the world does) is not fun. I want to be smart with my money and get a good job so I'm not worried if I have enough for groceries the last week of the month. The things you learn! I haven't had any leftover MSF (missionary supply fund) for a few months, but when we have extra we try to fix up the apartment. Right now we just have a small frying pan that can cook ~3 eggs, so I'm going to try and save a little money this month so that we can buy a nice big frying pan for missionaries to use in the future.

My companion is doing good. He's learning a lot and improving on his teaching every day. It's weird.. I didn't really feel inadequate when I was a Zone Leader in Syracuse and had 28 missionaries looking up towards me, but I feel like I'm showing all of my faults and passing them on.. It's definitely a humbling experience training new missionaries.. We get along pretty well. We went to "Return and Report", a meeting in Utica for all of the new missionaries when they've been out for a month, and they separate the new/old missionaries and talk about how things are going. He told me he was surprised at how much some of the new missionaries were railing on their trainers. He thought most of them would have gotten along as well as we have. So that's good!  He loved doing Motocross and working on his El Camino back home, so we don't have a ton in common, but we really do get along well. He's a funny kid and he's really good at focusing on the work and just working hard. He has 2 sisters that are pregnant now as well. They're due this summer. Pretty cool!
 
Massena is doing well. This past week was a little slower because we drove to Utica and back (4.5 hours each way), but Return and Report went well. I feel like I learned a lot and figured out a few more things I can do to help out here. It was really cool to see a lot of my mission friends there too. Elders McPhee, Davis, and Chandler from my group coming out were all there. I also got to see Elder Tingey, (one of the assistants to President Wirthlin) one more time before he goes home. That was good. He was a really great missionary and it's crazy to think he's going home in 3 days.. Crazy!



We have some investigators that are really progressing well. The hurdles you have to overcome in missionary work are a little crazy sometimes, but it all works out in the end. We had a few come to church this week and we're going to work really hard and hopefully get a whole bunch of them to church next week. They really like what we've taught them all so far though.

It's crazy to think about how fast time goes by. All of the people I knew in High School are graduating this year! Heather and Tyler and finishing school. The Searle twins are old enough to DRIVE!?! That is SO WEIRD to think about.. It's crazy how quick the days and months go by. And everybody just tells me it goes by quicker and quicker the older you get. Scary! It tells me that we just need to make the most of it while we can. We can't just sit around waiting for life to happen to us, we just need to get up and make it happen! One thing that Elder Bednar talked to us about that really made an impact on me is that we as people are meant to ACT. (2 Nephi 2:14; 10:23; Helaman 14:30- I recommend looking these up and seeing what it means to you). God has created us with agency, which is the ability to choose and act upon whatever we desire, good or bad. This simple principle of the gospel has really opened up my mind and helped me see the point/purpose of life a lot more. I am determined that I will be someone who acts, and is not just acted upon, throughout the rest of my life. If you make that decision to act, you can accomplish amazing things.
 
It's cool to think that it's almost May! That's a pretty big month for our family (with my birthday and Dads).  Then before you know it, it'll be Tyler's birthday and Heather will be having a baby! That's really cool!

One thing I've been listening to a lot lately is David Tolk's album, Grace. He does really beautiful hymn arrangements. I know that you'd probably like it a lot. You should check Deseret Book or iTunes and see if he has any more albums out.

It's going to be really good to get to talk to you all on Mother's Day. This year has gone by really fast so far. It doesn't seem like too long ago that I was in Owego! But things here are good. I'm continuing to learn and grow and hope that all is going well for you at home. Thanks again for everything you do for me. I really appreciate it!

Love you,

Elder Hussey


Monday, April 22, 2013

4.22.2013


There is a Senior Couple in Massena. They're the Huff's, from Montana. They are really great. We see them about every other day. They feed us on occasion, and we have them come teaching with us every once in a while and they have us come help teach sometimes too. Here's a picture of them.


They're great! They spoil us and we'd be pretty lost without them. They just got to Massena a month before Elder Bybee and I got out here, and they've been making some good progress. We go to the Potsdam Branch for now, but it'll hopefully be the Massena Branch soon.

The Potsdam Zone is HUGE! It has the least amount of missionaries of the UTICA Zones, but it probably covers the most area. If you were looking at a map of New York, it probably covers the top third or fourth of New York. The poor Zone Leaders have to drive about 2.5 hours to get to some of the areas.. In Syracuse we had a 50 minute drive at the longest. The NYUM Mission is very different when you go from zone to zone.

Transfers are actually next week! That's crazy, isn't it? I can't believe it... I'm fairly certain that Elder Bybee and I will be staying here in Massena though. I wonder how long I'll be here... Who knows! I guess I'll just enjoy it while it lasts.

The work in Massena is still good. We had a few investigators come to church this week and we have been very blessed to find more and more people every week. Last week we found another family! We have been working really hard and doing our best, and everything is just falling into place. We might be setting up a few baptisms here pretty soon! There's a lot of really good people out here.

I'm learning and growing in the Gospel more and more every week. My eyes are opening up more and more to the greater idea of life each day. I know that as we seek to improve (repent) and grow in faith, everything else falls into place naturally as the Lord steps in and takes care of us. And I'm starting to recognize how great a smile is. A few investigators have mentioned how I always have this great smile on, so I've tried really hard to have a smile, even when I'm not doing something fun. Today at Walmart, I just had a big grin on as we were getting our groceries and I smiled at a lady who looked like she was having a bad day, and she got a big smile on her face and walked away. That's a good feeling!

Thanks for all that you do. I continue to realize how blessed I was to grow up where I did with parents that brought me up so well. I'll always be grateful of you!

Love you,

Elder Hussey

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4.16.2013

Hello family!

What a great week! It's been amazing. But I'll get to all of that in a second. :)

Sorry I'm not writing until today... Hopefully that didn't put a damper on you Monday! We had Zone Conference yesterday, so our preparation day is actually today.

For my Birthday.. In all honesty, I'm not really sure!  I could use a scripture case for my compact set of scriptures. Also, there are mechanical scripture marking pencils that have like 8-10 colors in one that a lot of missionaries have.. That would be awesome. I've been using "Crayola Twistables" which work great, but then I have to carry around 10 different pencils. And I'm always up for more ties. :)
So.. I guess I could say-
1. Scripture Case
2. Scripture marking super pencil thing
3. A tie
The only thing I don't need any of- Candy. I want to stop eating candy and soda. :)

I've been using the Electric Razor lately that I got for Christmas and it started to work really well after about a week or so of use. Thanks so much for that! I really like having that.

Holy cow.. This is going to be a big email! Here's what's happened this past week-

We have been extremely blessed here in Massena. We have made contact with a lot of the Less Actives and several of them have expressed interest in coming back to church once we open in Massena. A few of them actually have kids that are older than 8, so we should be teaching them the lessons soon. That's pretty cool!

Tracting has finally given us success! We found a nice single mom tracting this past week. When we came back to see her, she told us that her best friend was a less active member that had just moved to Massena, but she didn't know that her friend was a member until she mentioned that she had invited the Mormon's to come back to her house. Her friend wants to come to church, so we had her, her 3 kids, her friend and her friend's sister at church this past week. The friend's sister also has 3 kids, so we could have just found 3 families of 4 each that want to come to church. We're teaching them all the restoration tonight.

Last week, I told you about a few kids coming up to us and saying they wanted us to come teach them.. We've taught them a few times and it's going really good. They also all have a few friends who want to learn about the church as well, so we could have around 7 or 8 people taking the lessons at their house as well. With all of the less active members we're working with, the few active members, and investigators, we could have somewhere around 30 people at church when we open up. That's SO COOL!

We continue to tract a lot, and we don't always find people, but it's okay. We'll find one here, one there, and slowly build up. Step by step, precept by precept. It's been super great and cool to see how the Lord just steps in and helps as we do our best. There is a really cool scripture that really resonates with me and my mission right now. It's Doctrine & Covenants 64:29-34

The Work of The Lord is the greatest work I could be involved in at this time of my life. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity and to have so many great people like you supporting me and making it possible for me to be out here. Love you and I pray that things continue to go well at home.


-Elder Hussey

Monday, April 8, 2013

4.8.2012

What a great weekend! It's really cool to get to watch General Conference as a Missionary. I learned SO much! We had to travel to Potsdam for Conference, so we stayed with the Canton Elders (Elder Lamb and Elder Rebmon) on Saturday night.  We were talking, and someone said- "Man, I feel like they're giving us so much good advice I wish I would have had as a 12 year old kid.  Did they give us that good of advice when we were kids?"  Haha we came to the conclusion that we've always been getting information that good... We just didn't really listen when we were younger.  But it was really good!  I feel like I learned a ton about 3 different things-

1. How much of a blessing commandments are. I've come to realize this on my mission, but I didn't understand it before. They help us keep ourselves out of trouble, and are also the means by which God is able to bless us. The World might be going further and further into left field, but we just have to stay right where we are and get stronger and stronger each day.

2. How important the family is. I need to always remember this one when I get home. It's amazing to see how much family relationships been changed in the past few years.  I've been able to see what it's like when people's families fall apart on my mission and I'm so grateful for the counsel we've been given to protect us.

3. Missionary work is something we all need to do better on.. The convert baptisms for 2012 were about 70,000 less than in 2011. It's up to all of us to do our part to share the Gospel. What I really got from this is just not being afraid to invite. We shouldn't go up to all of our friends and say "Hey, you should convert to my religion because it's super awesome", we should just invite them to come to church, come to activities, etc and they'll see how the Restored Gospel can help them in their lives. They might not always accept our invitations the first, second, or third try, but we can make slow simple progress as we just continue to get them chances to make the choice themselves.

Those seemed to be the 3 main themes of Conference to me. It was sweet and I feel like I learned so much! We got a lot of challenges to do better, huh?

There's a member up here that makes cool knitted slippers for all of the missionaries that serve up North.  He got us ours this past Sunday. Really nice of them to do that for all of us. I got mine in Syracuse colors.
 
Besides that, it's just normal work in Massena! We've tracted SO much, but we're starting to find people who are looking for the Gospel. It's amazing to see how people are  prepared for the Gospel and then we're placed in their path. The other day, Elder Bybee and I weren't having too much success. We felt like going and trying a potential that we found on an old record in our Area Book. We caught them home and set up an appointment to see them tonight, and then as we were walking down the street, 2 kids just ran up to us and asked if we were Mormon Missionaries. When we told them we were, they said they wanted to come to church sometime and asked us if we could come over sometime. Then their Mom walked up... and asked us if we could just come in right then. Of course! :) Turns out she was baptized when she was younger and stopped coming to church, but she feels like it's time to come back again. We also have an appointment with them tonight. So after tonight, we'll hopefully have 9 investigators! Not too shabby... I can definitely feel that Massena is prepared for the Church to come back, and I got that feeling like 20 times during conference.  Pretty cool!

It's different training another missionary. I feel kind inadequate at times when I recognize my bad habits I'm passing onto him.. But I know there's a reason I'm the one training him. Hopefully I pass on more good habits than bad, huh? He's doing good though. When we're out working hard, he doesn't have time to think about home much, which is good. Then, whenever we have free time it ends up that we're both so tired we just fall asleep. That's really good as a missionary. :)

Time has been going by really fast lately. I still feel like I've only been out for about 6 months... And it's almost May! That's weird. Hopefully it feels the same for you back at home! It'll be our birthdays/Mothers Day before you know it!

We're just continuing with the work day by day here in Massena. I can feel the Lord guiding us in the work and know that we'll continue to make progress as we just do our best and stay obedient to the commandments. I can't wait until we all get our copy of the Ensign next month to go over all of the talks again!

Thanks for all you do. We're staying safe and doing well here in Massena. I'm grateful for all of the help you give us and the support we've had from you. It's such a huge blessing to have been raised up with the values and morals of the Church in my life. Let me know if there's ever anything I can do to help you out.

Love you all!

-Elder Hussey

Monday, April 1, 2013

4.1.2013

It doesn't really seem like it's April Fools Day.  I didn't do anything to Elder Bybee and he didn't do anything either. Probably for the best though.. :)

We did have a pretty good Easter! It was different, but we still enjoyed it. I've come to realize that I need to appreciate time with the family more when I get back home! It's really a great blessing to have the opportunity to be able to spend time with family and friends.


Church was pretty good yesterday. We went to the Malone branch, which is a little northeast of us. That was different! It's pretty small (~20 People) and gave us a good taste of what the Massena Branch will be like when we open it.  Sacrament Meeting was good and we had some good talks on the Atonement and Ressurection. The Malone Branch is a little worried because when we open the Massena Branch we're stealing 4 of their most active members. Should be interesting!

After church, The Huffs (the senior couple in Massena) had us and one of our investigators over for dinner. We had Ham and funeral potatoes here as well, so it was kinda like a taste of home! It was pretty fun. We went out afterward and tried to find people to teach, but almost everyone was doing stuff with family and having their Easter Dinner, so we didn't have any luck yesterday. But this past week was pretty good and we had some good success. We went out and tried to contact a lot of former investigators, met a lot of people who haven't been to church for a while, and did a lot of tracting. I think I've probably done more tracting in Massena already than I did in the first 9 months of my mission! Crazy stuff.. But we're enjoying it. We found a lady and her family tracting. She had investigated with the missionaries 8 years ago and hadn't seen them around since, and she was excited to have us come back. We also have some really great members that we're working with on a few things to get them back to church. Somehow, we managed to teach 11 lessons last week, which amazes me. In Syracuse, there were a few weeks towards the end that we taught less than 11 lessons! So we're just going to keep working hard and see what we can get done!
 
The people in Massena are really pretty nice for the most part. The Jehovah's Witnesses tract a lot out here, so everyone seems to think that's who we are.  But the work is going good. We just choose a former investigator, potential, or less active member for every half hour, then just tract the surrounding area as backup. It seems to be working pretty well so far. We're offering to do service every chance we get, but nobody has taken us up on it yet.
 
 
We had one investigator  we taught twice last week. She came to a baptism in Potsdam and really felt the Spirit and wanted to get baptized. However, she is moving this upcoming Saturday. Due to time constraints and a few things we'd need to work on, it wasn't possible for her to get baptized here before she leaves. She seemed to understand that pretty well when we were with her, then texted us later and said she would just meet with missionaries when she moved and that she didn't want to meet with us this week. That was pretty tough. It's hard to see how something little can discourage someone so much. I just pray and hope that she really will learn from missionaries when she moves.
 
 I've really been thinking and wondering what I want to do with my life after the mission (although that's still a long time away) and I don't quite know! Maybe I'll have to do a little study and work to see if I would like working in Insurance, huh? Who knows. I guess I'll figure that out in a year or two. Gotta just focus on the work while I'm out here, because 2 years is going by pretty quick already!
 

Weather here is pretty good, although it's supposed to get a little cold this week. Hopefully it doesn't snow again.... But that's what the weather forcast is saying. Dang! But Elder Bybee and I are both doing well. I had a kinda weird cold this past week that is kinda lingering, but I'm almost over it and should be back to normal soon. I'm also trying to get into better shape, but people just keep on giving us candy!  Elder Bybee and I had almost a full week without any and feel kinda gross now when we have it. Pretty weird!
 
The work is going good. We can feel the Spirit in the area and know that we just need to keep praying for guidance, then getting out and doing the work! As we continue to do that, everything will work out in the long run. We just gotta try our best, and the Lord takes care of the rest.
 
 Love you guys!
 
 -Elder Hussey

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