Monday, September 30, 2013

9.30.2013



Good morning family!

It's really good to hear from you. I love hearing about everything going on at home and I'm grateful for the info you all send me. It's an exciting time in the world, isn't it?


I'm so excited for conference! I have grown in knowledge (and probably maturity) enough that I know how important it is. Think about it... In the scriptures, there are great learning opportunities like "The Sermon on the Mount" and "King Benjamin's Address". Would I kick back on my sofa and struggle to stay awake for any of those? No way! I'd be mentally, physically, and spiritually prepared so that I could get as much as possible from it! The fact that we have a living Prophet and 12 Apostles is AMAZING! But just as the Scriptures don't do too much unless we read them, the counsel from a Prophet and Apostles doesn't do much if we don't listen. (I'm really putting this in my email so that I have a big guilt trip 15 years from now when I've gone back to old ways and call myself to repentance!... :) ) We can learn some great things from Conference if we prepare ourselves correctly and come with questions to be answered. It'll be good!  (Also, I did hear that the Priesthood session will be broadcast.. I hope people still come to church for it though. It's a lot more powerful watching conference in a dedicated building when you're dressed up.. You guys should try it for the Sunday Sessions if they're going to have it going at the church.)

This past week was good for us! We had one day that we had 4 lessons, 3 investigator lessons (all with members present) and one less active lesson. It was fantastic! I hadn't had a day like that in a long time. We found new investigators, made contact with some wonderful people who will hopefully be investigating soon, and just did our best. That doesn't mean we didn't have our setbacks... But all in all, it was a good week. Things are going well in Lowville!

We had a Priesthood activity this past Saturday. We were all taught how to use a compass, then we went on a wild goose chase through the woods trying to find our way to lunch.
 
I thought it was going to be an easy course.... I was wrong. After getting lost a few times, wandering in circles, we eventually made our way to Lunch. It was a lot of fun though and we all bonded a lot! And I learned a lot as well.. Follow directions exactly when you receive them, and don't take the easy route. Sometimes you have to put your shoulder down and push your way through some brush and bushes in order to stay on track.
 
 
I got a lot of really good pictures as we were out in the woods! Nature is so beautiful. It was quiet, peaceful, and you could slow down and think a lot more than you can in the normal world. I can understand why Joseph Smith went into the Grove of Trees to pray. Powerful stuff!

 
Things are going well. We're striving to do our best, and when we really give it our all, that's when the miracles start to happen. My favorite scripture still stands true-  Alma 26:12- "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
 
We can see miracles happen in our life every single day. The only thing it depends on is our Faith, and then the necessary actions required on our part! The mission is still going great. I am continually amazed to see how much I've changed already. In fact, I actually ate a pickle the other day! :O I know what you're thinking.. No way!  However, I'm sorry to say that I still really don't like pickles... At all. Oh well! :)

Anyway, I love you all! I hope you continue to do well. Thanks for all the love and support allowing me to be out here.
-Elder Hussey
 
P.S. CD's work great! We have the cd players in the car, as well as CD players in most apartments. Also, I use the computers to throw the music onto my little speaker thing I brought out here on the mission. So CD's work well. Some artists I really enjoy- Enoch Train and David Tolk. I really love instrumental artists!
 
 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

9.23.2013

Dear Family,

 
I cannot believe how fast this month has gone by! It has been a very unique month with some difficulties and great learning opportunities. I'm grateful for all of the opportunities I've had, even though they haven't all been the easiest things to go through. But all in all, I'm grateful for the month of September! I can't believe it's almost been a month since Elder Sedgwick got here! That's crazy.

 
That will be odd to think that the 11th Ward might not be your home Ward in a week.. I can think about how difficult that could be for the Youth. After my mission, I understand what the point of church is and would be able to adapt from it, but it would have been difficult to go from the Priest's Quorum with all of my friends to another with different guys. But, after a month or so everyone will adapt and it will seem like normal!

 
I'm glad you were able to find the Enoch Train music on iTunes! Yeah, it's instrumental (kinda folk-ish) versions of Hymns. They're pretty good, while being unique. With the limited amount of music we have, it sometimes sounds like we're listening to the same thing over and over. I have learned to love Hymns though! When we hear normal music in Walmart and other places, it all seems.... I'm not quite sure how to put it. Pointless? It doesn't uplift or edify in most cases. Hymns on the other hand, definitely help me focus on the work. Not to say I'm only going to listen to Hymns after the mission, but I have learned the purpose of them! :)

 
Now that it's fall, we probably don't need to worry about the white shirts. I have a lot of long-sleeved shirts and they're all holding up pretty well. I like the size 15 on the neck as well as "Slim" or "Fitted" fits. I don't know if you could tell in pictures lately, but I've slimmed down a little bit this summer. I'm back down to 140, which is what I was before the mission. At my peak, I hit 150.... So that's pretty wild stuff. I want to stay around 140! It's been amazing to see how quickly I've been able to lose weight as I did simple stuff like drink more water and stop buying soda and oreos... :) Also, walking and biking all summer helped. So hopefully I don't start gaining again this winter! You're right though, most suits and slacks are getting slimmer and more fitted.. That's the style now days. I guess that means we need to try and stay slim and trim so that we can fit in them! My suits are all holding up fairly well. I think I'm going to go get them dry-cleaned soon (I haven't done that as much as I should..), but the only Dry-Cleaners in Lowville doubles as a liquor store.... So........... Yep. Haha
 
Things haven't changed much in our mission yet. I figured because we're in the US we'd be one of the first to get them, but I was wrong! There's been a greater emphasis on working with members, but besides that it's just work as usual! We've been told that we will be making the changes (facebook, iPads, Church Tour Hours) during the 1st quarter of next year. As of now, it's just been the same old thing.. Try potentials, tract, try referrals, tract, and teach a few lessons here and there. But things are beginning to improve!
 
This past week Elder Sedgwick and I both had colds, which is no fun. I don't know why, but the colds out here in New York stay with me a lot longer than they did back home! It's odd to realize that when you switch where you live, even you immune system is affected! But I felt a lot better yesterday (because I could actually breath out of my nose!) and am improving. That's good. Besides that, we had a pretty good week. We did a bunch of service on Tuesday that was fun! We helped a member clear out his "swamp" and get a bunch of wood out and cut the wood. I never imagined I'd be cutting through weeds and stuff with a machete to clear a path on my mission, but I can now say that I did! Pretty cool. It was hard work though! I was picking up some pretty big pieces of wood and then throwing them out to dry land so Elder Sedgwick could cut them. Don't worry though, I was really smart on how I was lifting and throwing. I've seen too many people with bad backs and knees on my mission... Not something I desire in my future. I feel like I could go and do shot-put (or whatever it's called when you throw the metal ball) a lot better now! Although, my right side was the one getting the workout. My left side of my body seems kinda weak in comparison. Oops.

 
We also had a Zone Meeting in Utica, which was really good. We rode down with the Senior Couple in Watertown, The Hamarris (I may have misspelled that..). They were really cool to get to know and reminded me of how much I miss the Huffs! Elder Hammari was telling me I should look into the Airforce ROTC when I get home if I want to go into either Dentistry or Meteorology. He said if they really want someone, they'll pay for pretty much everything in schooling as long as you sign on to work for them afterward. Something to think about.. :)

 
Brother Laconti's funeral was on Friday. Because most of his family is Catholic, it was a Catholic service. It was amazing to see the differences there was in the funeral, as well as the similarities. The Lowville Branch priesthood was all there and we were the pallbearers for the casket. Kind of another unique experience. It was all in all good.

 
On Saturday, it was the Cream Cheese Festival and Lowville made history! They had the biggest cheesecake in the world here... Unfortunately, Elder Sedgwick and I weren't there when they revealed it, but we did get to eat part of it. So I ate part of a world record on Saturday. Pretty cool stuff, huh?

 
Yesterday was really good too. We had a lot of people at Church that hadn't been for a while. Also, our recent convert Becky, invited 2 of her friends to come to church. They really liked it and we have appointments set to teach them this upcoming week, as well as a few appointments with referrals and former investigators. Hopefully we'll have a very busy and productive week! It looks like that should be the case.

 
I'm getting excited for conference! I can't believe it's almost that time of the year again. It's weird to think back about what life was like last time it was fall conference... I was in Owego with Elder Baird! A lot has changed since then, but a lot is still the same! It'll be good to hear the counsel of the Church Leaders! I love General Conference!

 
Well, I better get going. Hope you're all doing good!
 
Love you guys,
-Elder Hussey


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

9.16.2013

Hey family!
This week was very unique. It's amazing to see how when you're obedient and do your best, the Lord does bless you and help you along the way. However, that doesn't mean that you won't have difficulties or struggles. One thing that has been a little bit hard to deal with this week was the death of one of the members of the Lowville Branch. We had just started to meet with Brother Laconti a few weeks after I got here and I was starting to get pretty close with him. He had a difficult life and a lot of struggles, but we were meeting with him and started to have some really good visits with him. This last Thursday, we had a really good lesson with him and he was really starting to progress. We stopped by on Friday and helped him load up his van for a trip he was going on and had a good visit. However, his neighbor we're teaching called us and told us he thought Brother Laconti was in the Hospital. So we drove by after church and saw that his van was still there and he didn't answer when we called, so we went to the Hospital to find out if he was there and visit him. When we got there and found out he had been admitted, the nurse told us that he had passed away a few hours before. Didn't expect that to happen. It was kind of a weird day. My testimony of the Plan of Salvation has grown a lot, so I wasn't upset or angry, but I still can't quite believe that he's gone and that we won't get to meet with him anymore. It's just hard to believe we saw him and he was doing fine, then two days later he was gone. However, I am grateful for the fact that he was beginning to progress a lot and that he was mending his relationship with God right before his passing. But that was the difficult part of our week.

Besides that, things are going really well. The Lowville Branch is so great! When I first got here, we only had one meal appointment a week. However, I've been working really hard to build relations with the members, and it's starting to work! We had a few really good member present lessons this week, and in the upcoming 2 weeks, there's only 2 days someone didn't sign up to feed us. It's amazing how quickly things can change as you do your best. We still don't have a ton of people that we're teaching, but we're just doing our best and I know that we'll start to see the work pick up and progress. Just like Massena, it's only a matter of time! I know that this is God's work.

That's cool to hear about that meeting Dad got to go to! It's really cool when you get the opportunity to see an Apostle or General Authority in person. The Spirit is strong in those meetings! Dad did spend a lot of time at church this week though! Back before my mission, that might have been a little rough, but I've learned to love the time I spend at church. Meetings and figuring out how we can better help our Brothers and Sisters out there are great, as long as it's followed by action.

Things are going well. It's amazing to see how many unique experiences I've had so far on my mission.... A companion getting really sick, opening a branch, and now the passing on of a good friend I met on the mission. It's really odd to think about, and while that sounds like it hasn't been the best experiences, I'm really grateful for the things that I've learned so far and the ways I've grown. Missions are pretty great!

I love you all! Thanks for all of your love and support.

-Elder Hussey

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

9.9.2013

Dear family,

We had a great week here in New York! It's amazing to see how quickly things can change as you're obedient and just do your best. Things are going good out here. But it's getting chilly! The other day when I went to bed I just had my little sheet on me and the fan blowing on me (it had been an average day around 75-80 degrees), then it got down to 36 degrees that night! I was freezing when I woke up! Just this last night, it got down around 40 degrees again... So I got my big blanket out of my suitcase. I can't believe I already am getting out the blanket! Crazy stuff.

So, I'm sure you're all excited to hear about my new companion. Here he is!



His name is Elder Sedgwick (Sedge, like hedge, then wick, like a candle) and he's from Post Falls Idaho! He's great. Really excited to be out here. He got baptized about 2 years ago when he was at college and he's got a strong testimony. It makes me think about how odd it would be to come out on a mission so soon after having been taught and baptized! It's a brave step into the unknown, that's for sure!

Like you were saying about the first area setting the standard for the rest of the mission, I actually think this might be a really good experience for us. Elder Bybee and I both really had our work cut out for us going to Massena, but it really pushed us to work hard and while it was very difficult some days, we saw a lot of miracles happen and Elder Bybee is already a really solid missionary because of it. I've really learned that trials make us stronger, as long as we go in with the mentality of changing and improving. Because I've learned this lesson from Owego with Elder Baird, Syrace and Massena, I'm excited to see what happens. Hard work pays off!

Speaking of hard work paying off, we had a great first week in Lowville! We found a few new investigators through formers, had some good lessons with people we've already been in contact with, and have a few members getting excited about missionary work and giving us people to teach! This was the best week I've had yet in Lowville, and I only plan on it going up from here. :) Good things are to come.

However, the adversary is working as well. We had one guy that was absolutely furious and was screaming like crazy at us yesterday and told us never to walk on his side of the street again.. We could have let that discourage us and called it quits, but we just kept on going and found a really great family a few doors down that was really interested and had been looking for a new church to go to.. That's the way it always seems to work. When someone is really rude and tries to make us stop, that's often when the next door neighbor is ready. So when we have trials and things are getting really hard, Satan is trying to get us to give up and sink into despair, but if we persevere... anything is possible. But, as a new missionary, having somebody freak out and scream at you is a pretty wild experience.. That didn't ever even happen to me in my first 6 months!  (Don't worry about it at all, it wasn't really a big deal. It was just an older gentleman that didn't want anything to do with us. We will just steer clear of his property from here on.)

It's exciting to hear about everything going on back home! I hope you know that by informing me of Comicon in Salt Lake City, I'm instantly making plans to go if it's there again in the next few years... I may have changed a lot so far on my mission, but I'm still kinda a nerd.. :)

That's really cool for Emily and Barbara to get their mission calls! They'll be great! I wonder where Allina will be going.... Exciting! The anticipation can be killer. They'll all do great. I'm also interested to see if they split the Roosevelt 11th Ward.   That could be a tough thing to accept if all of your friends were in the other ward, but it gives you a chance to make new friends and learn more about how church is really about the Savior.

I like the healthy eating challenge you are doing! I've been trying really hard to cut out the sweets and I've pretty much stopped drinking soda, and already I've dropped about 8 pounds back to where I was before my mission... The only problem now is that I've lost a lot of muscle. But I'll just continue to try and eat healthy and get more fruits and veggies.  I've been improving a lot on the veggies I'll eat when people prepare them for me, but I have difficulties getting myself to make them for myself.. The 8 cups of water sounds like the most difficult part, but that would probably make a huge difference in the way I feel. I'll try to do that.  Tell me what the point system is and I may join in! :)

By the way, thanks a ton for the package Mom and Maylee sent. It was a lot of fun and it's always great to get a reminder of you all back home during the week. And I'll try to do better on sending actual letters to all of you...

I love you all! It's amazing to see how much the Lord blesses us as we simply do our best, as insignificant as our best may really be. God is good! :)

Love,
-Elder Hussey

 
P.S. Elder Baird (my trainer) finished his mission last Wednesday! Sad day... Time goes by quickly. Elder Simmonds goes home next transfer, then Elder Gasetoto the next!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

9.2.2013

Another transfer gone by, and more adventures in the near future! We got transfer calls last week and.......... I'm training in Lowville! Exciting stuff. Training is a really good experience, because it just pushes me to work so hard and be so obedient to set a good example for the new Elder. And Elder Bybee is like one of my best friends now. We got really close. So I'm excited for this new adventure. Elder Davis is headed to Liverpool, which is a suburb just north of Syracuse. He'll love it there. But I'm really excited for this. We gotto Utica tomorrow night and I'll know who I'm training on Wednesday!
 
Here's a picture of the District. Elder Baird and Elder Chandler are our Zone Leaders and they were there when we took pictures. Elder Baird (my trainer) goes home this Thursday! Crazy to think about..
 

Regarding missionary work, I think the best place to start is the less active members. We need to show the Lord that we appreciate the people he's already led to the church. Plus, they have already had an interest and a testimony, so we just need to find some way to get the flame going again. When you teach and reactivate them, it'll lead to their family and friends being introduced to the church and it's a chain reaction from there. And we all know less active members, so everyone can instantly know specific people they can begin to work with to bring back.

Anyway, I feel really scatterbrained today. I'm super excited to train again though and I know that it'll be a great experience. We have made contact with a few families this past week that we'll hopefully be teaching soon, so the work might really pick up momentum in the upcoming transfer.. I love and miss you all at home, but I really love being a missionary. It's amazing to see how active God really is in all of our lives!
Love you all,
-Elder Hussey

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