Monday, June 23, 2014

6.23.2014

Wow.... This is weird.

I cannot believe it's been two years since I left all of you back in Utah. It seems like the time went by really quickly, but it also feels like I've been a missionary forever. I have absolutely loved my mission and will forever be grateful that I served, but I'm excited for my "Graduation".

As you were all wisely counseling me, we have been working really hard this week. Even though today is Preparation Day, we had one lesson at 10AM, another at 4:30, and one at 8:00 tonight. Then tomorrow, we have one early in the morning, as well as 2 in the evening... Finding time to get everything packed might be a little tricky, but we'll get it all figured out. Things are really going good in the Fayetteville area and I feel good about everything I've been a part of on my mission. Nobody ever looks back at the mission and wishes they didn't work so hard while they were out here, and I can say the same.

Getting to go to the temple again was amazing. I was reminded of so much and am very grateful for the reminders of some of the things I learned. Loved it! Seeing all of the other missionaries and other Church history sites was amazing. I felt the Spirit in the Sacred Grove, even though we were all swarmed by mosquitoes... I got bit about 20 times.. The Temple Trip was fantastic though.

This past week, we did our District Meeting on Lesson's Learned on the mission. We watched a talk called "Life's Lessons Learned" by Elder Wirthlin, then took a while to think of the experiences we've had on our missions, and the lessons we've learned. Afterward, we had a form of testimony meeting where we all shared one or two things we had learned that will benefit us the rest of our lives. It was really good to reflect and see what the Lord has taught me as I've been serving. I've grown quite a bit over the last two years, although I'm still 5 ft 5. :)

I went on exchange to Syracuse with Elder Butterfield this past week too. That was great! Elder Butterfield came out and started his mission in DeWitt when I was in Syracuse. I love the guy. We had some great teaching experiences together and I got to see a few people from the Syracuse Ward I hadn't seen for a while. That was great! Then, all weekend, Elder Wendt and I have been hitting it hard trying to see everyone we could and get things set up for Elder Wendt and Elder Jackson later this week! Things are going pretty good and they should be able to manage pretty easily. Like I said earlier, we have a few lessons set up for today and tomorrow (5) and need to get laundry and packing done.. We're going to be really busy. However, I am determined to get out there and try a few more people while I'm out here. I'll still be able to do missionary work and help teach when I get back home, but I won't be doing any more tracting. That actually sounds kinda nice. ;)

Thanks for all of your love and support in getting me out here on a mission. I'm so grateful for Dad, Tyler, Grandma & Grandpa Hussey, and Nick's examples in serving missions. I'm grateful for great parents that put up with me throughout the years, and all the love and support Heather has given me. I don't know how I would have done this without all of you. I'm glad that I've been able to wear a tag that says "Elder Hussey", as well as the Lord Jesus Christ's name on it.

This work is true! The Fullness of the Gospel has been Restored, additional scripture has come forth, and the Heavens are open! God is our Heavenly Father and Jesus is the Christ, and they have provided the Plan of Salvation so that we can live with our families forever in eternal happiness. These things I know to be true.
See you soon,
-Elder Hussey

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

6.16.2014


Greetings family!

I hope you are all doing great! Elder Wendt and I are enjoying ourselves in New York quite a bit, even though it has been quite rainy. However, cooler temperatures and no humidity sure are nice to have. Things are going really well here for us in New york. Much like all of you in Utah, we have been quite busy! That is really nice as a missionary. It's good to have places to be.

This past week was really great! Let me think for a minute about everything that happened.... Alrighty, here we go!

Monday- After Emailing and shopping, we went to the Church for a District Activity! We brought a Frisbee and played Ultimate Frisbee together, which was pretty fun. It was a muggy day, and I really got into the game, so I was pretty worn out by the end. The one sad part about our District Activity was that before we even got there, one of the Sisters (the one that is going home with my group actually) did something and hurt her ankle... I knew nothing about that, but found out when we saw her using crutches the next day... Oops! It's nothing too serious though and she's doing pretty good. Missionaries need to be really careful to make sure they don't get hurt, both right before coming on a mission, as well as when they're about to come home. I'm being super safe! :)

After our District Activity, we headed to Cortland for my exchange with Elder Rebman, and it was fantastic! We had a miracle right from the get go when we got into Cortland. As we parked the car and were going to put my change for proselyting, we saw a note pinned to the front door that read- "Hi, my name is Henry. I am moving to China tomorrow, but I would like to learn more about the Mormons before I leave. Can you give me a call?" At first glance, Elder Rebman and I didn't think there was any way it was for real.. It sounded too good to be true. However, we gave it a call, Henry gave us his address, and we went right over! He was a foreign exchange student that was attending at SUNY Cortland for a semester while he studied Linguistics. One of the last things they did was go to New York City, where they attended the Book of Mormon play. He said that he really enjoyed the play and it made him really interested to talk with us. He talked to someone who apparently knew where the Elders lived, so he came and rang our doorbell, and when we didn't come, it made the note we found.

We ended up teaching him the Restoration, answering a bunch of questions he had, gave him a Book of Mormon, and then he said the closing prayer, which was his first vocal, structured prayer. It was awesome! Afterward we ran to the Church to use a computer, where we found a way for him to contact the Church for more information when he got back to Beijing. Once we got that to him, he asked for our emails so that he could send us any questions he had as he read the book. It was really awesome!


Tuesday- Elder Rebman and I had a great day! We went tracting for a while, talked with people on the street, then got lunch at Denny's, which is one of my favorites to go to. afterward, we went to an investigators and helped him paint his dining room. Painting was a lot of fun and the room looked WAY better once we were done. As we painted, we actually did a lesson with Will and talked about the 10 Commandments. Will was awesome and is actually going to be getting baptized in 2 weeks. Pretty sweet!


Later in the day, we were able to teach their investigator, Brandon. Brandon is sweet! He's a 17 year old that met some of the Elders who invited him to Church Ball. He started coming to play ball, then started coming to Church on Sundays. He likes it a lot and wants to get baptized, so the Elders are helping him get there. That was way awesome teaching a kid close to our age that was attending church/investigating all on his own. There are so many prepared people out there! We have no idea...
After the lesson, we all played Basketball and I wore myself out again. I'm not too bad at shooting and I'm still in fairly good shape, but I don't know plays or anything.. But we had a lot of fun.


Wednesday- We ended our exchange at our Zone Training Meeting in Liverpool. Unfortunately, somebody rear-ended a school bus and we got stuck on the highway for about 20 minutes, so we ended up getting to the meeting late.. Oops. The training was awesome though and I learned a lot! We had a member from our Ward (Bro Bird) come and talk with us about the Book of Mormon. He has a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and is really motivating! It pumped me up again.


Here's Elder Rebman and I after the meeting was over-



We took several pictures, but I didn't have any with us looking at the camera.... :/
Right when we got back into DeWitt, Elder Wendt and I ran off to our investigators, the Nelsons, to take them on a Church Tour. Because we didn't have the car, we had to get a ride with them. We had a great Church Tour with them. They liked the building a lot and we were able to answer a lot of the questions about Sunday Services. Church tours are a great way to answer questions and help people understand things a lot more. Had dinner with an awesome family right after the Church tour and finished our night!

Thursday- Good day! We tried a bunch of people in the morning, did weekly planning, then had dinner at Sister Loomis's home. We had stuffed shells and I ate WAY too much... It was really good. After dinner, we had a great lesson with our investigator Pam about the Plan of Salvation. The member who came with us, Brother Herlihy, did a fantastic job explaining everything and is a great teacher.

Friday- RAINY DAY! We were able to see a less-active brother in our Ward, and then on our way to a headquarter referral we received, we noticed a giant rain storm coming in... We started to power walk and made it to the referral's before the rain started, however, the referral didn't answer the door.. Dang. So, we ran outside as it just started raining and took cover under a bus stop just as the downpour started, where we waited until Brother Huller picked us up for dinner. When dinner was finished, we went to our investigator Don's house and read the Book of Mormon with him. It's amazing to see the power of the Book of Mormon as people read it. They naturally stop swearing and smoking and the Spirit really comes into their home. It's quite odd actually, but it's really cool!
Saturday- Went to a potential's house from the Blitz we had. Curtis let us right in, and his wife sat down with us also. We started teaching the Restoration and they were really interested and wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. We gave them one and set up a time to see them this week! So, we were able to find more investigators this week, which was REALLY nice. Things are really coming together here in DeWitt!

We went to help the Blanchs (an active family in our ward) with some service and got a great workout moving furniture, then we had another good lesson with Pam about the Plan of Salvation. I drew it out for her and we answered a bunch of her questions. It was a great lesson!

As soon as the lesson was done, we headed off with one of the counselors in the Bishopric to Bishop Frazee's. They did a cookout and had all of the Bishopric and the missionaries over. It was great getting to know some of them better and hearing stories about their missions. We have great leadership here in Fayetteville Ward. I love them!

Sunday- Church was great! Everyone pretty much knows that I am leaving soon, so a ton of people were asking if it was my last Sunday... it was kinda crazy. I don't feel like the end is coming so soon... Weird. But we enjoyed Church. We sat by the Ward family during sacrament (the 2 boys that just got baptized) and helped the kids stay quiet during sacrament. It was fun. I love the Ward family. :)

We saw a less-active sister of the Ward who said she would come to Church next week, tried a bunch of people, then went to dinner at the Malcom's. They are an awesome family that moved into the Ward just after I was transferred there. We've gotten their son Tyler out teaching with us a few times and I'm really glad they had us over for dinner. The Ward also had a farewell dessert for the Chamberlains, the first Stake Patriarch that is moving to Michigan this upcoming week. Saw a few people from the Syracuse Ward that were there.

Now- As you can tell, it was a crazy busy week, but it was really good. This week looks equally busy, and I'm just so grateful to see the growth that has come to our area the past six months. Miracles are always happening and the work is progressing. I'm glad to be a missionary. :D

I love you all and I look forward to seeing you all soon, but I'm glad I have one more week in the field. Keep safe and we will meet up soon. I'll try to not drive Elder Wendt crazy this week as I'm nearing the end of this adventure and the beginning of a new one. Life's good
.
-Elder Hussey

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6.9.2014

Dear Family,

 Elder Wendt said that he doesn't ever want to leave Utah after his mission, which is too bad! I love seeing new places and learning about different areas. It's always an adventure!

In our mission, we go to the temple the 2nd to last week of the mission.. So on June 17th, at 7:00 we will meet up in Liverpool, and I will go with my group to the temple! It's crazy to think about... Elder Wendt will be staying with the missionaries in Liverpool throughout that day, and we will get back from Palmyra at about 8:15 that night. We're going to do a temple session, then tour the Church History Sights. There's also a few mission traditions, like racing up the Hill Cumorah. I better start conditioning now! :) I'm pretty excited to go to the temple again. Brother Huller, a member that takes good care of us, has done over 800 Endowment Sessions in his life, and his goal is to get to 1000. That is crazy! I've only done 3! He definitely set a good example there.

Elder Wendt and I are doing good! We are seeing small, simple, consistent improvement in our area which is good. This past week we picked up a new investigator- A man named Pat who was a college professor at LeMoyne University, a catholic college nearby. He's a really cool guy and seems really interested in our message. The funny thing is, he told us that he typically isn't interested in religion after bad experiences he had in his life, but he still wants to talk with us! We answered some questions about the Plan of Salvation and gave him a Book of Mormon. He then informed us about the Triple Crown, horse racing, and his favorite horse, Secretariat. Talking with Pat helped me realized that there is a lot in the world that I have NO clue about. I still have a lot to learn...

Training is a lot of fun at the end of the mission.. It's funny to look back at when I was being trained and see what I was like compared to now. I remember feeling ready to take over once the Elder Baird situation was over, but also being really excited and worried about what would happen. It's starting to get to that point for Elder Wendt! I'm having him take the lead in planning and a lot of the work. He is more of a white personality in the color code, so it's quite a bit different than when I was with Elder Bybee (who was more of a red personality) and Elder Sedgwick (who was more of a blue personality). Things are going well though and we will continue to work! Talking with people is the biggest thing we're trying to work on. It's kinda hard to walk up to a random person and try to figure out how to share the Gospel with them.. But it's exciting!

This week should be really good. We are having a District Activity today, then doing an exchange until Wednesday, then we have Zone Training Meeting, as well as 2 Church Tours later that night, and several lessons and service opportunities already set up! It's really nice when we plan things in advance and have a good week already set up in advance. Planning ahead makes life a lot easier!

I want to bear my testimony to all of you about the value of setting productive goals, then working hard to accomplish them! I know that as we all identify specific things we desire to accomplish, then do everything we can to accomplish them, as well as calling upon the powers of Heaven to aid us, we can accomplish miracles. It takes a lot of hard work, as well as focus to do this, but it will make us much more productive in our lives. There is a talk on LDS.org titled "Personal Time Management: One Key to a Leader's Effectivness" that I have learned a lot from. This is one part of the article that I really like:  "There are some basic principles and fundamental concepts of time utilization that are very helpful in learning to manage our time better. The first is the concept that we don’t really manage time but rather we manage ourselves in the amount of time we have. So we are really addressing the subject of self-management. We must learn to operate most effectively in the uniform allotment of time each of us has received.
 
A second fundamental principle that relates to effective time management is the constant focus on results. The leader who focuses on the required results rather than on activities will find the greater results actually occurring. We often race at high speeds all day only to discover that we have been doing things rather than getting things done. We have been involved in many activities but have not accomplished the results."


Now, this being said, I want to let you know that I am far from perfect at this.. I still am a procrastinator, plan to do too much in the time I have, and fall behind schedule from time to time, but I am working on it. I'm grateful for the examples of Mom and Dad trying to get me to "use my time wisely" and see the benefit of using our time wisely. The Savior didn't have much time during his earthly ministry, but he was able to accomplish much more than we can even comprehend. As we follow his example, we will be able to accomplish miracles within our lives and the lives of others.
I love you all! I hope that you are enjoying the every day tender mercies of the Lord! You are all great examples to me and I want you to know how much I care about you.


-Elder Hussey

Thursday, June 5, 2014

6.1.2014

Dear Family,


It does sound like you guys are all busy busy! Life seems so complicated... As a missionary, it's kinda weird because we don't have to worry about the temporal things very much... Just as long as we have food and can get our laundry done, we're happy. Then, when coming back to the real world, we no longer have a credit-card that refills with money every month, the bills for the car and apartment aren't magically covered, etc. I'm sure it's a little bit of an adjustment. It all should be really exciting! Glad you are all doing well.. I feel extrememly blessed that everyone in the family has done well since I've been out. I've seen some missionaries that get really worried about family while they're out. Thank you all for helping me out in that way!

This past week was really a good week. Let me think back on what happened...
On Monday, we went to dinner with the Vickery family. They are really great! They actually remind me of our family quite a bit.. Bro and Sis Vickery both remind me of Mom and Dad, then they have 3 kids that are spaced out about the same age difference as us (although they have 3 daughters instead). As we were riding with Bro Vickery to dinner, he and I talked about classic cars, current sports cars, restoring vehicles, etc. Bro Vickery works for a company that paints cars, so he travels around New York working on Hot Rods and the likes. Suprisingly, I've taken a liking to cars since I've been out here... If Dad is going to test-drive any cars in the near future, he should take a Mercedes E-350 out for a spin.. There was one parked at the supermarket we go to and I was kind drooling over it.. Luckily it didn't get to the point of coveting.

Tuesday- We had a Zone Training Meeting in Liverpool. Elder Butterfield is still one of our Zone Leaders and I love getting to work and learn with him. He's great! I still remember his first morning in the field when Elder Simmonds and I had to take him and his trainer shopping... Time flies! One of the Sisters, Sister Christensen said something very profound during a testimony meeting after the training- "Be grateful for our imperfections, for they provide us with opportunities to come to know Christ." I've come to know that is true as I've been a missionary.

Wednesday- I was on exchange in Cortland for 2 days. The most exciting part of this was feeding baby squirrels with a bottle! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of me doing it. More unfortunately for Elder Moore, the baby squirrel he was feeding... Made a mess on him afterward. Oops! It was pretty memorable though! We also did a Book of Mormon Class with the Ward while I was there.

Thursday- Ordered a new phone from Sprint! Our current phone is having issues... There's a short on it, so it randomly restarts and causes trouble for us. We finally decided we were going to fix the problem, so I got to talk to a lady named Maria troubleshooting the phone for a while before they decided to send us a new one. Exciting stuff!

Saturday- Went to a small parade in Minoa (a Duchesne sized town) with some members and went to a fair afterward to get some burgers. It was kind of like the carnival that comes to Roosevelt every year. It reminded me of home... Haha
Sunday! Awesome day. We had a baptism!
 
That was pretty exciting. Their family is great! The kids were just adopted by the Ward family, so we have been teaching them and getting them ready for baptism since I got here in DeWitt! Teaching kids is definitely a new experience for me. The baptism went really well and they had me do a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost! I prepared a little bit before hand, but gave the talk "off the cuff". Hopefully this doesn't sound prideful, but I feel like I'm getting to be a competent speaker, and I hardly ever have anything that I'm reading from. It's fun!
That was our week here in New York! The weather has been BEAUTIFUL, it's not humid yet, and the work is all going well. I'm glad that I get to be out here! This upcoming month is going to be fantastic.
 
Love you all,
Elder Hussey
 
 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5.19..2014

Hello family!
This past week was interesting... It was really good and went by quick, but at the same time, it seemed like it went forever. In fact, it was about the opposite of the way time went by when I first came out. The days went by quick, but the week was long. Kinda odd.
 
So, updates on New York the past week.. It's been really good! Like I stated earlier, we had a good week. Elder Wendt and I talked a lot about having courage and just talking to as many people as we can each day, and it has really helped the work be exciting.. We've learned a ton and met some really great people in the past week. We also had quite a few lessons with investigators and we have a few people who are progressing quite well. I looked back at some records from when I first came to Fayetteville and I am amazed to see the growth that has happened in the past 4 months. Sometimes, it takes hindsight to see how much we've grown.

The weather this week changed quite a bit.. We had a few days that were 85 degrees and really humid, followed by a few rainy 55 degree days... In fact, we went to bed one night and it was 75 degrees in our apartment, then we woke up the next morning and it was about 62 in the apartment! Brrrr..... But now it's a nice in-between. It's not humid yet, but it's not cold. It's just about perfect! Hopefully it'll stay that way for a month or so... :) I enjoy the rain though when it comes.. The humidity is the only thing I'm not a fan of.
 
 I've been the "go-to guy" for a lot of the Zone Leaders and other missionaries when they have needed help with paperwork. I've kinda tinkered around with Microsoft Word and Excel quite a bit and figured out how to make forms for recording info. So, each week we get 2 hours of computer time to use church websites and computer programs for work related things.. It's kind of funny, because now the Zone Leaders have asked me to compile all of the stuff I've made and give it to them in a "Elder Hussey Packet" so that they have all of that stuff. It's really funny see the talents and abilities the Lord blesses us with as we serve him.. I didn't ever think I'd learn how to use Excel on my mission!
 
Well, that's all I have to update you on this week. The work continues to move forward. We just need to do our best and let God take care of the rest! When I remember that, life becomes extremely satisfying, even when things don't go as planned. Love you all! Thanks for your love and support. You guys are the best!
 
Love,
-Elder Hussey

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5.12.2014

Good morning Family!

So this past week was probably one of the best I've had on my mission. Here's what happened.

Tuesday- After a long day of work, Elder Wendt and I went to our bus stop to catch the bus back home.... We were there 10 minutes early, but it never showed up. After about 30 minutes waiting, our Ward Mission Leader (Brother Horn) came to save the day and gave us a ride to his home for dinner.

Waiting at the Bus Stop

On Wednesday, we did Service cleaning up an old historic cemetery as a District. Now this cemetery was pretty old.. Like, people who fought in the Revolutionary War were buried there. Because most of the tombstones go really far back, it was kinda in rough condition. We all worked hard, had fun, and cleared out as much garbage as we could! We worked at it for about 2.5 hours. Here's some pictures to show the results-

It was a lot of fun! We all enjoyed getting to know each other better and enjoyed Pizza afterward. We then went to the Church and had a great District Meeting, followed by District Pictures!


I'm not sure why... But I have a really goofy smile in this picture. I was probably up to something...... :)

Thursday flew by, then on Friday we headed to Utica for Return and Report, the new missionary follow-up training. That was really good. It was great to see a lot of missionaries I've gotten to know over the past year and get excited for the upcoming transfer. President Wirthlin pulled me in his office and we talked about the upcoming transfer and what was going to happen. He gave me a heads up that I'd be finishing in DeWitt and that I'd be with Elder Wendt, then he told me not to tell anyone else. Haha! President Wirthlin is great.

Saturday, we received transfer calls! Elder Wendt and I are staying the same, but almost every other companionship in THE ZONE is changing. Every companionship in my District is switching.. That wild. It will make for an exciting transfer! Elder Rebman, who was in the same district when I was in Massena, is coming to be in my district! I'm way pumped to get to work with him. It will be AWESOME!
Sister Susan Grant's baptism was great. She was beaming and looked SO happy! I am so grateful that I got to be a part of it.

A joke with most missionaries is that the week of a baptism, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. We showed up to set up for the baptism on Saturday to find out that they had refinished the gym floor in the Church.... And all of the tables and chairs from the gym were in the Chapel and hallway. We shoved them in any classroom we could fit them into to de-clog the hallways, got the font filling, printed the baptism programs and got it all set just barely in time for everything to start. The service went perfect! The talks were good, music was great, etc... But wouldn't you know... I said the baptismal prayer wrong the first time. I was so focused on doing everything right that I mixed up a few of the words! Luckily, I caught it before I put her under the water, so it was simple to start over and do it right. Luckily, God allows do-overs in life. The rest of the baptism was great.

What a memorable 21st Birthday! I loved it.

Side-note: When we went to get my birthday dinner on Saturday, we told the Waitress that it was my birthday. After she found out I was turning 21, she asked us all what we'd like to drink. When I said lemonade, she asked "Would you like your lemonade with alcohol, or without?" Hahaha that makes me feel old. I don't think I'd ever be responsible enough to drink. So, we turned down the alcohol and had a great dinner. It was fantastic!

Sunday- Talking with the family yesterday was excellent. I love you all and appreciate you so much. Getting near the end of the mission, my perspective is changing, but I'm still excited to be here. I am excited to be out here, but I'm also very excited to see all of you here pretty soon.

Now, to keep from getting trunky, I'll put the necessary Prophet quotes-
"Forget yourself and go to work" President Hinckly
"Lengthen your stride" President Kimball
"Keep Keepin on" ?

Love you all! Keep working hard.
-Elder Hussey

Off to switch the car!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5.5.2014

Good afternoon family!

This past week has been pretty exciting.. Good things are happening here in our area. We have been very blessed to have a new investigator that is progressing quite well. Pam had met with the missionaries once in 2009 and at that point, either got too busy or ended up losing interest. Every once in a while, missionaries had made contact with her, but she was still too busy. Elder May and I felt pretty good about trying her, so we did! Our first time meeting her, I was feeling pretty sick and it was a cold day.. As we talked to Pam, we found out she was having problems with one of her feet, so we offered to shovel her driveway/sidewalk. She told us that she wouldn't ask us to do that, so we asked "hypothetically, if we shoveled it, would you be upset?" She of course, said no, so we shoveled her driveway and got her phone number to get in contact and set something up. I may have mentioned this last week, but she had something crazy happen where she ended up going in the hospital for a few weeks and we lost contact. Luckily, we got in contact with her again and things are matching up with her schedule. We've had some good lessons with her and set up to do a church tour with her this past week. It went really well!

We got to the Church before hand and got things set up. We turned the lights on, got the heat going, set up the Sacrament trays, and made it look as alive as possible. Pam and a member came and we took them on a tour! We focused a lot on the pictures and answered a lot of Pam's questions. It really stuck out to me how much our Church buildings focus on the Living Christ. Rather than pictures of the crucifixion and Christ on the cross, the pictures are all focused on his teachings and his resurrection. That was a little bit of an eye opener that I hadn't had before. How wonderful is it that we know the most important part of Christ is that he's living rather than his death? It was all a part of God's plan and truly is a joyous gospel!

Toward the end of the tour, we watched the Church movie, "The Restoration". It was really great! I felt the Spirit really powerfully as we talked about the Restoration and then went into the Chapel to talk about the Sacrament. It was a great finale to the tour and the perfect place for all of us to pray together. I really hope that Pam recognized the Spirit as we did the tour and continues to progress.

During our Church tour, Sister Grant was getting her baptismal interview... She is good to go! This Saturday, May 10th, at 6 PM, Sister Grant will be getting baptized! It's going to be a birthday to remember. The best part is that my Birthday this year will be focused on someone else. I don't want it to take away from Sister Grant's special day at all. It'll be good. :) After she had her interview, they came and were a part of the rest of the Church tour. And Brother and Sister Grant are coming to our lesson with Pam tonight! It should be great. We're going to ask Sister Grant to invite Pam to come to her baptism.

Besides that, Elder Wendt and I are doing good. There was an emergency transfer here with the Sisters.. Sister LeBaron was very likely leaving at transfers anyway, but because a Sister got sick she ended up leaving on Thursday. We all met up right before she left and we took a bunch of pictures together. Here we are!


As you can tell, I cut my hair this week... It's short! Sister LeBaron is the one standing next to me and she is now in Binghamton (right by Owego!). I'm sure she's doing great. It just goes to show that you never know what's going to happen in life! You just need to be flexible and do whatever the Lord asks.
Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I love you all. I hope you're doing good and I look forward to "seeing" you later this week. Have a great week!

-Elder Hussey

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

4.28.2014

The work is going well here in NY. Things are progressing, the weather is getting nicer, and we're seeing a lot of growth take place, within ourselves, others, and the area. It's been really good lately.

So, first things first, our lesson last Monday went really well! We're now meeting with a new lady She is really great! She grew up going to church a little bit, but doesn't have too much knowledge of spiritual matters. She is pretty interested in our beliefs and seems really open to learning. We had another lesson with her on Friday that went really well. We'll be seeing her again tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be able to help her have a spiritual experience and she'll really start progressing. It's really nice to pick up a new investigator. We also were able to make contact with all of our investigators, which was great. We've had a few of of them that we lost contact with for about 4 weeks... We taught one on Sunday, and set up an appointment to see the other 2 on Wednesday. That's a relief! I think anyone that has served a mission experiences that. You don't know if someone has been given "anti" material, if they're busy, or what is going on. Luckily, they all seemed to be doing good and want to meet with us again in the future. That made the finish of our week great!

On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. I was really excited for it! The mission has been working on a teaching package/method for the past few months and they finally finished it. During Zone Conference they introduced it to the mission and trained us on how to apply it. The idea behind it is pretty simple- People need to have spiritual experiences with-
1. The Savior
2. The First Vision
3. The Book of Mormon
4. The Priesthood

The focus is for us to have much more simple, but powerful contact with our investigators. I remember something that Mom once said about when she was taking the lessons. She essentially said that "the things that the missionaries taught me sounded like a story from a movie, but it all felt good. I felt like it was true. It didn't matter if I understood everything they taught, because it felt right." That's the exact principle we're going for. Rather than being lecturers that blast people with a lot of religious information, we are really simplifying our teaching and trying to focus on the spiritual experiences.

I've thought a lot about what I learned on Wednesday, and it's really helped open my eyes. There has been a lot of time in my life that I've been focused on the information more than the spiritual experience. Now as I read the Book of Mormon, I'm trying to feel the Spirit. It's amazing to see the thoughts and impressions that come as you do that. Some of the things I learn have nothing to do with what I'm reading, which is quite odd. But I'm learning and growing in my testimony, and that's what scripture reading is all about!

We had an experience last night that was really cool. After our dinner appointment with a member, we asked if we could roleplay this new teaching method. As we went through the Restoration, we really focused on the experiences that the member has had in her life. Then, as we talked about the first vision, I had a powerful moment. I came to understand that although "The Great Apostasy" ended with the first vision, there are many people in the world who are still in a personal apostasy. Apostasy is "When individuals, the Church, or entire nations forsake or abandon the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Restoration Pamphlet) Two things that are lost in Apostasy are Revelation and Priesthood. I came to understand that for periods of my life, I had been in my own apostasy. However, the way to end Apostasy is to do as Joseph Smith did- Go to God. Ask him to reach out to you, then be open to accept him. As I bore my testimony about when I came to know that The Book of Mormon is true, I came to understand this more fully. That was one of the first times in a lesson where I almost started crying.. It was really powerful, and it all came from teaching simply. It was good to get that Spiritual Boost again! I'm also working on having another strong, spiritual experience with the Book of Mormon. As of now, I'm on Alma 23. I'm still working towards finishing it by May 10th... I need to pick up the pace a bit! But it's been great reading through the Book of Mormon. It's great!

Elder Wendt is doing really good! He gave a talk in sacrament yesterday and did a great job. I've been really impressed in seeing the growth that has occurred within him already, and we'll just continue to be diligent and work hard. We had a really good talk yesterday about what we can do to improve upon the foundation we've already established and I think this week will be great.

I am so grateful to be a missionary! I continue to learn and grow, and I really appreciate all of you. You guys are great. I love you!

-Elder Hussey

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4.14.2014

Hey Family!

Pictures from last week-


"Goodbye Elder May!"

My goal is to only have one chin by the end of my mission..... We'll see if I'm able to do that! People are feeding us pretty well here..


"My Eldest Son and the Youngest"

Seeing Elder Bybee (whom I trained, so was his "Dad") was awesome! He is a great missionary and has done great things already. He's sweet. And Elder Wendt is in this picture! Woohoo!

So those are the pictures I wasn't able to send last week. Hope you enjoy them! You can tell that my choice of tie has changed quite a bit since I came out.. I didn't like the paisley's very much when I came out, but now that's mostly all that I wear!

This week... What has happened this week? Here we go...

First things first, Elder Wendt found out when I'm going home... The typical answer in our mission when people ask how long we've been out is "a little over a year", and that's what I told him. However, after a week of him not knowing, he peeked at my ministerial certificate and saw the expiration date.... Dang. But, that has been good, because he now has a good understanding that he needs to take the initiative, because I'm not going to be here forever! That's probably good for him. I hope he is able to learn a lot from our experiences together! I want him to avoid making the same mistakes I've made in my life.

Elder Wendt and I looked for Service opportunities in the area. We went to Town Hall and talked with a few people there and may have found a food pantry we can volunteer at, and we're also going to check at the nearby nursing home and a few other places. Getting to serve really seems like a privilege nowadays, because it is way to hard to find people to serve! :/

On Wednesday, I gave a training in District Meeting focused on the importance of the Book of Mormon. We talked about how sacred it is and practiced introducing it to people as a very important book. After, I invited everyone to pray and set their own goals of how they will utilize the Book of Mormon more in their life. I decided that I need to show the Lord my understanding of the Book of Mormon by consistently reading all the way through it. To kick it off, I started reading the Book of Mormon 4 days ago with the goal to read all the way through and have a sacred experience praying about it by May 10th. Now, I just always make sure I have a copy of the Book of Mormon with me, and whenever I get 5 minutes of free time I read. By doing that, I've made it to page 58 so far. I invite each of you with smartphones to download the Book of Mormon app and then to refer to it every day. They've said it in conference a few times.... If we read the Book of Mormon as much as we read a text from our phone, we would be reading through it several times a year.

After that, we did an exchange with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Kelly here in Fayetteville and we had a good time. He's a really nice kid and has a heart of gold! I learned a lot from him, but it also taught me that I'm pretty old. He was still full of what many call "Green Fire" and is a fun kid. Haha we had some funny experiences.

Elder Wendt and I had a lot of good lessons on Saturday. One of our investigators is still progressing really well towards her baptism on May 10th.. She asked me to baptize her! She just needs to make sure that she keeps living the Word of Wisdom the rest of her life. We also taught a less active that is progressing well and moving well towards reactivation, and then the adopted kids of the Ward family. Conner and Andrew understand a lot and the adoption is going through soon, so they set a potential date for May 31st. They're excited!

Besides that, we're continuing to work as hard as we can to find those who are prepared to accept the Gospel! The Church put up a website for Easter at mormon.org/BecauseofHim to help spread the Gospel through media. I LOVE the video that they put up here! I think they did a fantastic job. The video really reminded me of the importance of what Christ did. I'd like to invite all of you to go to that website, watch the video, and then seek for one way that you can share it. Through Social Media, a home teaching visit, or just telling somebody you know about it. I hope you all will take my invitation and check it out! It's good.

So, to finish my email this week, I'll end with this-


One of the girls in our Ward drew this a while ago and I saw it when we came to their home on Sunday. I thought it was really funny! However,  I know that the Holy Ghost will testify of truth. I've been doing self evaluation lately and have sought for understanding of the things that I truly know. I've learned that there are many things that I have a sure knowledge/testimony of, and I've identified a few areas that I need to seek for greater understanding and grow in my testimony. I've felt a significant difference in my life as I've begun to come to the Lord for greater understanding. I pray that you will all continue to learn and grow in your testimony! I love you all and hope that you are doing great. Let me know if I can do anything to help you out.

Love,
-Elder Hussey

Sunday, April 13, 2014

4.7.2014

Hey Family!

We are finally getting Spring here in Fayetteville! However, it isn't the bright sunshine/blooming Spring yet.. That's probably a few weeks away still. However, it is above freezing temperatures, so I feel great! :D One of the days when conference was on, it switched between a few different seasons... Bright and sunny in the morning, then cold and rainy, and then all of the sudden.... SNOW! Again! Luckily, it didn't last long. I did notice during Conference that the video clips of Temple Square weren't quite as bright and Spring-y as they usually are, so I guess Spring is taking it's time all over the country.

Let me preface this email with this.... I forgot my camera cord at the apartment. Because of this, I sadly will not be able to put any pictures in this email. Oops! Live and learn I guess.

With that said, let me introduce you to ELDER WENDT!

Elder Kael Wendt
From- Orem Utah
Interests- Geneology and computers
Favorite Food- Peanut Butter Sandwich
Girlfriend- No
Pre-Mission Occupation- Call Center
Personality (according to the color code)- White with a little bit of red. Light pink.
Height- 5ft10
Weight- Undisclosed (He's pretty skinny though! He told me that a goal for his mission is to gain weight.)
Talkative Scale 1-10- (1= Never talks, 10 means never stops talking.. For reference, I'd be about an 8.) 3-4

Haha that's the stats I was able to come up with. He's a good kid and seems excited to be out on a mission. He is quite a bit quieter than Elder May, so that will take a little bit of time to get used to.  He prepared well for the mission by reading the Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, and Jesus the Christ right before. He is a little bit shy, so getting him to talk with random people might be the biggest thing we'll be working on.  I'm excited to be training one more time. I've been keeping it kind of vauge regarding how long I've been out to him and my past as a missionary... As of now, he doesn't know how long I have left. The other day he was asking me if I hoped that I would be called as a Zone Leader after I was with him and I told him that'd be okay if that happened, but that I really enjoyed being in Fayetteville and wouldn't want to leave. He's starting to pick up on little things people say here and there, but he hasn't got me figured out yet! >:D Heheh!

Conference was sweet! I agree with Mom- One of the main themes did seem to be Courage. To me, it seems like persecution is going to increase in the future, and it seemed like they are pleading with all of us to strengthen ourselves and our relationship with the Savior so that we can stay strong through the trials and tribulations of life. I will have to attach an email of my notes next week... I did the conference note style Elder Bednar recommended to us last year- Break each talk down to 1.Doctrine, 2.Invitations, and 3.Blessings. I really enjoyed Elder Nelson's on Saturday, all of Elder Uchtdorf's talks, Elder Hallstrom and Elder Ridd's in Priesthood Session, Elder Ballard's and President Monson's on Sunday Morning. I think that another one of my favorite parts of Conference was the awesome version of "Let Us All Press On" the Choir did on Sunday morning! That was awesome.

Besides conference, things are pretty good. I've been trying to come up with things to do besides tracting with Elder Wendt, but I'm starting to run out of ideas.... I haven't really hit the pavement and worked the streets here in DeWitt like I did in Massena and Lowville.... I'm trying really hard to find through other means, but it is a much slower process... We are going to continue to focus our efforts on our progressing investigators and less-actives, but I think I might work up some calloused knuckles in the coming months! Coming up with creative ideas is hard work.... Haha I really just hope we can build up a solid teaching pool while I'm here. But the work we do have is going really well! We have an investigator on date for May 10th!.... Sister Grant is doing really good and knows about all of the commandments, so she should just continue progressing and have a great baptism! We also got word that the Ward's, the family who adopted 2 young boys, adoption went through and they want to set a baptismal date! That will probably be late May/early June, so that's exciting! We also had one less-active member come to Conference on Sunday, which was her first time to Church in a really long time. So things are happening here... I just need more patience. :)

 
Well, my email time is almost up for today... But know that I love all of you! I appreciate all that you do SO much and think you guys are the best! Let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.

Love,
Elder Hussey

Sunday, April 6, 2014

3.31.2014

Hey Family!
The sun is out and the snow is melting! What a beautiful day... Although it's still only 38 degrees. But hey, it's improvement! Spring is on it's way and it's mud season here in New York!

We got Transfer Calls on Saturday! President Wirthlin makes phone calls whenever anyone is getting called to leadership (District Leaders, Zone Leaders, Assistants, Trainers, etc) before the rest of the mission gets calls, so everyone is always holding their breath the morning of transfer calls... This Saturday, I wasn't even really thinking about it and was just about to eat breakfast when Elder May threw the ringing phone to me. I caught it and saw that it was President Wirthlin.... (Every time this has happened, even when it's been kinda expected it's scared me to death.) So, I answered and President asked me if I would be the District Leader and Train in Fayetteville! I accepted the call (Elder May heard) and that was all we knew! We had to wait until 7:00 that night until we got transfer calls from the Zone Leaders to find out where Elder May would be going! It was driving me crazy, but Elder May was doing pretty good. At least he didn't show that he was freaking out. He is going to Ogdensburg, which is up in the North Country kinda nearby Massena! That will be really sweet and he'll love it a lot. He gets to see what  a Branch is like! Lucky guy! I've really enjoyed serving with Elder May. He's a way good kid and I learned a lot from him. He's going to do great things throughout his mission and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to be his companion for 3 months.


I'm really excited that I get to train and be a District Leader for the next 2 transfers. Almost all missionaries really want to train towards the end of their mission. This helps them focus on the new missionaries progression instead of the fact that they're going home soon. It's also going to be really cool having the knowledge that I now have as I'm training. I've learned a lot since I was with Elder Bybee up in Massena. Speaking of Elder Bybee, he was just called to be a Zone Leader!! I was really hoping that he would be coming and filling the vacancy in Syracuse as a Zone Leader, but he's headed to Rome in the Utica Zone! That means he might get the opportunity to work in Lowville! That'd be sweet.


So on Saturday, I had a first happen for my mission! It was a beautiful day, so Elder May and I were out working in our suits. No coats necessary. Toward the end of the day, some clouds started rolling in and it started to sprinkle. We had felt prompted to go and try a former investigator that lived a little ways out there, so we were a ways away from our apartment. We went and talked to Pam, (who was really nice! We'll hopefully get to meet with her soon.) and after we talked to her, it started raining pretty hard... Elder May and I ended up standing underneath the porch of the nearby Elementary School until we were picked up by a member... I'd never gotten caught in a bad storm like that without an umbrella or a coat before.. Luckily my bag was waterproof and the suit didn't get damaged from the rain! It was actually pretty funny! We were pretty wet though and took this picture of us sitting on the ground.. Good times.


We ended up serving dinner to the Sisters during the General Women's Conference and then cleaning up while they watched it. It was a lot of fun and it was good getting the opportunity to serve the Sisters! It was a lot of work getting the gym all cleaned up afterward, but we had fun. We were surprised to see Sister Ross (one of the Sister Missionaries in Syracuse a year ago that has been home about 6 months) walk in the doors! She had been back visiting the mission. Pretty funny to see her.


I've learned a lot the past few months as I've been here with Elder May. I'm really grateful for the ways that the Lord provides us with opportunities to learn and grow. Sometimes, it isn't all sunshine and lollipops, but it all works out in the end. And if it hasn't worked out yet, it must not be the end. :)

Love you guys! Thanks for being such an awesome family!
-Elder Hussey

Here's picture of all of us in Fayetteville! Elders Hussey and May and Sisters Resare and LeBaron. Sister Resare and LeBaron (yes, I did ask if she had relatives in Roosevelt UT.. Not that she knew of) are staying together for their 4th transfer together.. That's 6 months in one companionship! Crazy! They are awesome though and are getting some great work done!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

3.24.2014

Hello family!
I'm glad that it's Spring back in Utah for you guys! It's still pretty much winter here.... Haha we woke up to a dusting of snow on everything this morning and 21 degree weather... But the Sun is out at least! There was a member from Utah that was visiting family this Sunday and he was talking about how much nicer the weather is back in Utah. Needless to say, he was excited to get back! Haha we're wondering how long exactly winter is going to last out here.. Last year it started warming up pretty well around mid March. Oh well! I'll survive.. :)

Let me tell you guys a little bit more about DeWitt! It dawned on me that I haven't quite given you guys as much information as I should have... I've realized that as missionary work has become a more natural part of who I am, I haven't thought to mention it as much... Oops! So, here we go..

DeWitt is a fairly big, compact town right on the edge of Syracuse. The people here are pretty nice for the most part. It's full of middle/upper middle class families who are quite often new to the area. This is really nice, because East Syracuse (where we used to live) was a lot of older couples who had lived in the area for a really long time. So, we now have greater potential to find FAMILIES! That's been a big focus that we've had. One interesting thing about where we live is the Jewish population. We live right across from JCC, the Jewish Community Center. There are 2 temples within walking distance, one orthodox and one that isn't. Because of this, there is a high population of Orthodox Jews that live in the area. Because they can only walk so many steps on the Sabbath, they typically live within a few blocks of their synagog/temple. That's been interesting and adds some variety to the work!

The work has been going good, although we still don't have many people that we are working with. One of our investigators is married to a recently reactivated member. Brother Grant's family joined the Church when he was a boy in New York, moved to Utah, and somewhere around the lines he stopped attending. He has been doing great and is such a great guy! They've been to church about 5 times now and Sister Grant has a baptismal date for..................... MAY 10th! Elder May and I were discussing potential baptismal dates and I threw that out there (kinda as a joke). I was on exchange during our next lesson with the Grants, and was surprised to get a text that night saying that May 10th was her date. Haha pretty funny! She is doing super well and is progressing great! We love the Grants.

We've also been working with a few less actives in the Ward and are seeing some good success there. Besides Brother Grant, we have had one Sister (Sister Montenegro) that we were working with come back to church (6 times so far). She's set on getting temple worthy and doing the temple work for her ancestors, so we've focused a lot of family history with her. She's loving Church, just accepted a calling, and had us over for dinner last night. We have two other less active members we are meeting with regularly that have started to progress. We have started out by getting them to pray daily, then challenging them to read the Book of Mormon again, then when the Spirit prompts, inviting them to do more. They both came to an emergency preparedness fair that we had on Saturday, which was the first time they have ever stepped foot in the Fayetteville building. So good things are happening here, even though we don't have many teaching appointments each week.

What I've really learned about is the importance of Daily Scripture Study and Prayer. That is SO vital to stay strong in the Gospel. When that begins to slip, other little things soon follow. Another thing that we have started to focus on is getting the members of the Church to study Preach My Gospel. As such, I would like to invite each of you to study Preach My Gospel at least once a week during your set aside scripture study time. I know that if you do so, you'll see great spiritual growth in your lives, as well as the lives of others. It's such a great resource and answers a lot of the questions and concerns we may have about missionary work. It's great!

I love you guys! Thanks so much for all of your support. I'm super glad that I get to be out here in New York serving the Lord, and I couldn't do it without you. Keep up the good work family!

-Elder Hussey

p.s. Thanks for the package you sent! The homemade oreos are SO GOOD! Elder May liked them a lot too. And the other things in there are good too. I'm quickly learning that more important that what I eat is HOW MUCH I eat... Portion control seems to be the biggest struggle. One cookie is manageable... 5 in bad. Haha

p.s.s. Transfer Calls are this Saturday.... Crazy! I'm hoping that I get one more opportunity to train, but I'll do whatever the Lord asks of me.

Friday, March 21, 2014

3.17.2014

Good morning Family! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

So, it has been pretty darn cold here this past week! On Tuesday, the weather was BEAUTIFUL! We were out wearing suit coats and loving the fact that we could see grass. apparently the weather was around 50 degrees! Everyone kept telling us that we were going to get 10 inches of snow the next day.. Elder May and I thought that was ridiculous! The Sun was out, everything was melting, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We went to bed thinking that everyone was crazy for worrying about that storm so much.. The next morning, we looked out the window and saw... Grass! There was no snow at all. So, completely confindent that we were right and there was no snow storm, we got ready and started studying.. About 9:00, it started to rain. Soon, that rain turned to snow. And, by about 3:00, we had about 10 inches of snow. :(
We got out of District Meeting and pushed the Sisters cars out of the parking lot, then we did an exchange! I got to go back to Syracuse again, which was great!


I was with Elder Mckay May, who goes home in about 2 weeks.. He is such a good Elder! When I was serving in Syracuse, I knew him because he was up in Potsdam and we went to a ZL meeting together once a month. Then, when I was in Massena, he was my Zone Leader! Now, I'm back by Syracuse and he's my Zone Leader again! I was really excited to get to do one final exchange with him and am grateful for the opportunity. We got to go and see a few people that I remembered from Syracuse and had a lot of fun! The highlight was definitely....

SEEING KIRY BELL!


He is doing so good... I love Kiry! He's just such a hard worker and is being a great missionary. One of his brothers has joined the Church since he was baptized and one of his sisters is getting pretty close. He goes out with the missionaries a lot and is currently working as a Pharmacy Tech. He is saving up money and wants to get into Pharmacy School. I'm so grateful for his friendship! He's such a great guy.

We had a great exchange, then ended it by going to Denny's. Elder May (Sr) and Elder Butterfield both got "Endless Pancakes".. They started eating, and long story short, Elder May ate 15 pancakes. The waitress was amazed by his pancake eating talents and a guy in the booth next to us dubbed Elder May "The Pancake Slayer!" It was hilarious and we all had a good time together. In hindsight I should've gotten a picture at Denny's... Oops!

Something I've thought a lot about this week is what our testimony consists of... We all have specific moments in our lives where we are made aware of Spiritual Truths. An example of this might be when I was at Brother Laconti's funeral in Lowville. There was a specific moment during the service where I absolutely knew that there was life after death. That specific moment helped me come to a knowledge of that spiritual truth. Now, because it was knowledge, it really helped me get through the death of Bro Rich (from Massena) instead of being shocked and struggling a lot with his passing. However, if that knowledge is not carefully recorded and remembered, it is easy to forget the Truths that we know and revert back to the way we once were. Coming to this understanding made me really ponder what Spiritual Truths I really know. So I did a lot of reflecting, thought back on the moments when I came to know spiritual truth, then began to record the things that I really know. We all can have faith, but eventually it evolves into something even more. This change enables this knowledge to really benefit others as well as ourselves. I have no idea if this concept makes sense to anyone else, but I'd like to invite you all to ponder what Spiritual Truths you know. Think back on how you came to know that it was true, then ponder what has helped build that knowledge since. I think that is why we continue to re-read the scriptures and hear about the same things in Church- So that we can remember the things that the Lord has previously taught us.

That's something I came to understand this last week that helped me out quite a bit. I hope that makes sense to all of you! We have to continually build and reinforce our testimonies if we hope to progress to greater things! I know that is true.

I love all of you guys! Thanks again for all that you do. You guys are the BEST! :)

Love,
-Elder Hussey

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

3.9.2014

Hey Family!
So we finally got everything done on P-Day! Now that we are in DeWitt, we'll be able to email on Monday. We'll make it a priority! I'm glad that things work out better with us being here.. I felt bad when I remembered how much Mom looks forward to getting an email on Monday, then realized that we hadn't emailed on Monday for the past few weeks. But that shouldn't be the case from now on.

 Something exciting happened today....... I GOT TO SEE MATT SIMMONDS! :D I was really excited about that. We went and got lunch in Downtown Syracuse. It was great! Matt will be in Syracuse for a few days this week. We also went with Tyler Allred, another great missionary that served in Syracuse, Tyler's Dad, and Brother Voyles from Syracuse. Here's a picture!


As you might be able to tell from the picture, Matt has a mustache! Holy smokes! (Don't worry Mom... I don't want to grow out my facial hair when i get home... Yet. :) Haha) But it was really good getting to catch up with him and see how he has been doing. It sounds like life gets pretty crazy when you get back from the mission! Scary. However, Matt is still the same awesome guy I remembered!
We had a picture here almost exactly a year ago! Time flies way too quick... Scary!
Besides seeing The former Elder Simmonds, our week was great! We finally have started to make some progress in our area. We were able to meet with 2 people that were found during the Blitz. One of them, a young mother named Sarah was WAY nice. She has a really cute family and is really interested in meeting with us and learning. We got there for our appointment and she apologized and said- "Sorry... I only read 25 pages of the Book of Mormon so far." Needless to say, Elder May and I were both really excited! We had a great lesson and invited her to "investigate" the Church, and she accepted! We met with another guy named Curtis that was pretty nice and told us we can come back in 2 weeks.

Last night, Elder May and I were trying a few people from the Blitz and couldn't get anyone to answer. It was getting a little bit discouraging and it was getting dark/cold, so we were about to finish up for the night, but we felt prompted to go and try one more person. We didn't have a name, so we ended up just knocking on their door around 8:15. They came to the door and quickly told us that it was too late, but that we could come back Monday morning. Now, we decided that sacrificing a little bit of our P-Day time would be worth it, so at 10 AM today we went back. They let us right in! They have a son that is a less-active member (of the Syracuse Ward that I know) and they really appreciate what the Church did in his life when he was going. We explained what the Book of Mormon is and invited them to read the Book of Mormon and investigate the Church, and they accepted. We have an appointment with them next week also! So, things are starting to happen. Just don't lose faith and keep working!
So a funny story regarding college.... After last week when I found out that I was accepted into BYU, I told Elder May that it was going to be really tough to decide where I was going. That night, I was reading in my Journal what I wrote a year ago. In it, I referenced a missionary (Elder Erdmann) that was going home and going to BYU. At the end of what I wrote, I wrote "who knows... Maybe I'll see him there! Haha". Then, that next night, we went to dinner at a members. Guess what their daughter was wearing?


Yep. So of course I told them I had just gotten accepted and they were way excited and said I should go there. Guess what happened the next dinner appointment? We show up and Brother Ward (a BYU alumni) was wearing a BYU shirt. He had no idea I had just been accepted... So Elder May told me on Sunday that if BYU was brought up again that I need to go there. It was brought up by 3 individual people at church. None of them knew anything about it!
I've thought about it and prayed a bit, and all jokes aside about signs, I feel pretty good about it. I'll have to continue to pray and see what I feel, but I honestly feel like that might be what I end up doing.. Just an update there!
The weather here is slightly warmer! It was about 38 degrees the other day and it felt great! In fact, all of the missionaries were only wearing their suit-coats because it felt so warm. However, it sounds like this Wednesday the weather is going to get bad again.. Oh well. Spring will be here soon enough.
Thanks for sending me emails and mail! I really appreciate hearing about what is going on back home. I hope everyone gets over the colds that they've had and that the cut on Dad's face heals well! I'm glad that it ended up not being anything too severe and that they caught it so early. Our family is really blessed! I'm amazed when I look at how much good the Lord has given to our family. I hope you are all continuing to be strong and healthy! I love you all and am so grateful to be a part of the family. The mission is going GREAT! I love being out here. The Church is true!

Love you all.
-Elder Hussey

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3.4.2014

Hey family!

Sorry I'm not emailing until today... We had to clean out our old apartment yesterday so that we are all the way moved out. We deep cleaned it and it took quite a bit longer than we thought... They always have us do a deep clean of the apartment before we move out so that the Church isn't charged a "Cleaning Fee" by the apartment complex. We did great though! I've come to learn how important it is to clean you home frequently, because I've seen a bunch of missionaries make messes of the places they live. So yes, Mom, I now understand why it is that you wanted us to vacuum once a week... :)

So, this past week went great! We had a lot of exciting things happen. Most exciting, was the Blitz! It was great. We had a lot of members participate, we had organized it well, and it ran smoothly!
Here's a map of the area that we worked in the Blitz-


Each member was assigned to a missionary, then for their 2 hour block, they went to their "Area" and tracted (going door to door). Elder May and I really took preparation for this seriously. We made color coded packets that each companionship took out with them. Each companionship had about 110 houses within their area that they were trying to get to. Everyone split up, knocked some doors, then returned to a members home 2 hours later. The missionaries then went out and worked for 2 more hours with a member. The exciting part was seeing everyone together before and after their shifts. People were way excited after they went and talked to a few people and got something set up for later. Some companionships even got in and taught a few lessons!


Here are the totals we had from the Blitz-
27 individual Members came and participated.

12 Missionaries
9 Lessons taught
68 Potentials (people who said we could come back at a later time)
22 of which gave us a name and phone number or return appointment.

I got to go out and knock doors with President Wirthlin for 2 hours, Elder Zenger, Henry; a young man in the Ward who is just putting in his mission papers, and Brother Parke, the Stake Executive Secretary. President Wirthlin and I had the most success. The first door that answered us was a nice older gentleman that let us right it! We taught him a lesson about the Restoration and set a return appointment. The other person who let us in was a young college student who was nice enough to give us a break from the cold. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he said we could come back sometime this week. The hardest part from the Blitz is going to be following up with everyone before they forget they told us that we could come back... But it gives us a great start to living in DeWitt! We're really excited and things are going great.

The rest of our week has been crazy! We've been trying to get our apartment unpacked whenever we have free time and do a lot of little things (like mounting whiteboards on the walls, organizing supplies, etc.) Elder May and I went to a Thrift Store to get some furniture (I needed a new chair) and as we were checking out, a box caught my eye... I went and looked in it and found.... A BUNCH OF SWEET OLD TIES!


Before my mission, I wasn't a fan of "Paisley" ties, but when I was with Elder Bybee, Rich gave me a few. Elder Bybee and I had a thrift store we would go to and buy ties. Since then, I hadn't found any that were really cool... until now! Their is a designer called "Mario Valentino" that made sweet ties.. I've found 4 of his ties so far! (in this picture, the middle tie is a Mario Valentino.) That was a pretty funny side note to our week (and also the reason that there are charges on my card to "Thrifty Shopper").

Besides that, we saw a pretty sweet SUV! Elder May LOVES Subway a lot. In fact, we've probably gone to Subway more since I've come to DeWitt then I have the rest of my life... But it's growing on me! So with that said, here's the SUV

Yum!

So, to answer things from Mom and Dad's email..

We do get to go to Palmyra towards the end of our mission. It seems like the missionaries all have a great time when they do it!

Thanks for updating me on the applications! That's exciting to hear about BYU! I've seen a lot of missionaries decide they wanted to go to BYU, apply, then get denied.  So I'm glad that isn't the case! I'll have to pray a lot about college. Do I need to decide before I get home? It'd be nice if I didn't have to. Haha

Sorry to hear about Mary's brother! Tell them they are in my prayers! I hope that you were able to see them and that she's doing good. I know that she'll get the chance to see her brother again!

I love you guys so much! I'm really glad that I get to be out here on a mission. It is a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone that is on the fence regarding it. It's so good! Thanks for your love and support. I'm really glad that I have been blessed with such an awesome family! Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.

Love you!
-Elder Hussey

p.s.  As a side note, Elder May and I are going to start using the crockpot a lot more.... So if you have any easy/good recipes we would love them! Also, remember the chicken marinade you have that is teryaki or something that has 7-UP in it? That one is a favorite of mine. I'm going to try to learn how to cook a lot more while I'm here in DeWitt!

Love you Mom!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

2.25.2014

Good morning family!

Sorry we didn't get to email yesterday. We were really busy moving to our new apartment! That took up a lot of our P-Day, but it was still a really good time! I'll give you more details on that in a little.

I cannot believe how fast the time is going by. I'm hearing about all of these missionaries from our mission that are engaged or married already.... It seems like they just went home! In fact, one of the AP's that just went home 3 months ago is married. WOAH.
It seems like the 3 transfers I was with Elder Sedgwick just started yesterday, and I only have 3 transfers left. :/ It's kind of bitter sweet. Time goes by way too quick though.

So, here is the update of our week!

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Elder May and I helped out a food pantry in a small town called Minoa. (Meh-no-ah) It's quite a bit different from the food pantry in Lowville. The Lowville Pantry was set up like a grocery store. People would come in, get a cart, and then then were able to go through and pick their foods. They were allowed a set number of things dependent on the number of people in their family. So, they would get to choose what soups they wanted, what meats they liked, etc. Then, we bagged all of the groceries (I guess I could do that for a living after the mission, huh?) and would carry their bags out to the car. In Minoa's Pantry, we help unload the truck that brings the food on Monday, put all of the bags together on Tuesday, then distribute the bags on Wednesday. Everyone just comes in and gets their back depending on family size. It's cool to see the different ways that people do it, what's more effective and what doesn't work as well. It's also a lot of fun getting to meet different people. This past week, we met a guy who wanted to find a church to go to. He was really humble and wanted to get church back into his life, so we invited him to church, got his number, and told him we'd call him to set up an appointment. Unfortunately, somebody led him to some anti and he wasn't interested when we called him later. :C Dang. But it was still good getting to serve.

We've had a lot of dinner appointments with members lately, which is sweet! The members in the Fayetteville Ward are great. There are a TON of young families with cute kids. I think the 2 branches I served in helped me appreciate the Primary kids a lot. But we are getting to know a lot of people and relations with members are starting to improve a lot. We have a lot of members that are excited for the Blitz and ready to work with us. Hopefully the excitement will keep building to the point that people will start sharing the Gospel with their friends and acquaintances.

So, a few more cool things that happened this week. A girl I helped teach got baptized in Massena! She was someone that we were teaching when we very first opened the area. That was SO exciting to find out! I've also heard that 2 more people Elder Bybee and I taught have baptismal dates. Also a young Mom that we were teaching, has made contact with the Huffs and is starting to come back. That is such good news! We also have a member we have been working with here that has just started coming to Church again. She's been the past 4 weeks and is doing well. After Sacrament this past week, she asked me who the Ward Executive Secretary was, then after talking to him, she came to me and told me that she was meeting with the Bishop to start working towards getting her temple recommend back. That was SO great! It was a really cool moment. One of those things to always remember. We're meeting with her tonight.

I spoke in Sacrament this past Sunday. I focused on how blessed we can be with the Gospel in our lives, as well as the things that we need to do to be living "after the manner of happiness". I didn't use any notes throughout my whole talk and it went really well! I feel like I might ramble a little bit when I give talks like this, but I'm sure I'll improve as I keep trying it. Kinda crazy part of Sunday... After Sacrament Meeting, I started to feel kinda weird. My stomach kinda hurt all throughout Sunday School, and then it got really bad in Priesthood. I was pretty much just leaned against the wall trying to pay attention. My whole body was aching and I had a super bad headache. Elder May and Brother Huller gave me a blessing as soon as church was out. We got back to the apartment and I took some medicine, then passed out for about 3 hours. I woke up and all of my joints ached, I had no appetite, etc. That night was really bad, and then I felt a lot better when I woke up Monday morning. I feel completely fine now, but I'm not sure what it was that was going on! It might have been a 24 hour flu or something like that... All I know is that is was not fun at all! Made me appreciate being well.


Yesterday, we finished packing all of our things and made it to our new apartment! It was a bigger deal that we initially thought it was going to be... Our apartment had a lot of stuff in it. We were glad that the Assistants and our Zone Leaders came and helped us out, because it would have taken us a really long time on our own. We are moving right into the middle of DeWitt, and our old apartment was in East Syracuse. The way we found the new apartment was pretty cool. Everything has just worked out perfectly in getting us there. It's quite a bit bigger than our new apartment and has a really cool set-up. We feel really lucky to be here and know that it will definitely help the work progress well in the coming months. It's been amazing to see the Lord's hand in our lives the past 6 weeks, and we'll start to see the fruit from that in upcoming months. I'm way excited!

Things are going great here! We're in the new apartment, better location, and the Blitz is going to be sweet! We did a bunch of math when I was sick... There's approximately 1200 houses in the blitz area, and the average amount of companionships we'll have out at a time is 9, and the amount of time the blitz will be happening is 8 hours. It should be really good. If you could, please please please pray that the weather will be okay, because it's been kinda bad today and yesterday. We really doing want members cancelling on us because of bad weather. Haha
Love you guys! I'm super grateful for the Gospel, and I'm super grateful for you! Do your best, let God do the rest!

Love,
-Elder Hussey

P.S. I'm not sure if you guys are aware of the Bible Video project the church was working on last year http://www.lds.org/bible-videos/?lang=eng, but they have finished filming those.... And.... They've starting doing to BoM. SWEET! Watch the first one they have finished here

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2.17.2014

Happy (belated) Valentines Day! Love you guys!

Thanks for the package you guys sent! It made it here on Wednesday. A lot of people at church liked the tie and it was kinda nice to have some treats... We've heard a lot about "Trader Joe's". Do they have that store in Utah? We've heard a lot of people raving about it lately and they are building one about 1 block away from our new apartment! Should be sweet!

First things first, TRANSFER CALLS! Elder May and I are staying the same. WOOHOO! We are pumped! Elder Bybee is still up in Malone, which is the area next to Massena. It's crazy, he hasn't left the "North Country" since a meeting we had one month into his mission. It's crazy to think that he's about to hit his year mark! I also found out that Elder Sedgwick got transferred from Lowville to Binghamton, which is right next to Owego. I was a little sad about him leaving Lowville already, but I'm sure it will be good for him.

So this upcoming week is really exciting... Because we are moving next Monday! The apartment complex we are moving in is in a way better location! As of now, we live in East Syracuse, which does not have many bus stops... In order to get anywhere, we have to go to the bus hub in downtown Syracuse (about a 40 minute ride on the bus), wait for the next bus to come in, then ride it back up to DeWitt or Jamesville (normally a 30 minute ride). The new apartment is about .5 miles away from Shoppingtown Mall, which has it's own bus hub. The area we will live in is going to be a lot better for working. East Syracuse has a lot of older families and older folks who are nice, but not super interested. DeWitt (where the new apartment is) has a lot of younger families. We've made it there every once in a while and have had good luck with finding nice, young families who are interested in learning more. DeWitt is also where we have to go to shop, so we'll be really close to all of the stores. All in all, it's going to be a good move. I just don't look forward to moving.... That's never much fun. But the apartment is nicer (it's a two bedroom!), the location is a lot better, and the Landlord LOVES us. We gave him a big copy of the LDS King James Bible last week.. We had offered it to him as a joke because of a Headquarter referral that fell through, saying we didn't want to carry around the big Bible all day, and he said he would love it! It was pretty funny.

We also have been working really hard to get everything figured out for the blitz. It looks like things are going to work out pretty well! We are getting a lot of members that have signed up to help and we are figuring out the missionary situation. It looks like we will have 10 missionaries and 10 members at each 2 hour block, so we will have 20 people total! That's pretty impressive. We'll be able to get out there and hopefully find a lot of people in a relatively short period of time. It should be great!

The past week went well. We had a cool experience last Monday. We went with a member to try a potential named Pat, and we had a good chat with him, but that night didn't work for us to share a lesson. Instead of having the member just drop us off at home, we had him drop us off at a random neighborhood we had a potential in. The potential was nice, but couldn't meet that night, so at about 7:15 we had the opportunity to show our faith and find someone to teach! We said a prayer asking for direction, then went to a road to knock all of the doors that had lights on. The first door we knocked, a really nice guy came out and talked to us for a little bit. He's an active Methodist, but he said he really respects what we do and how much we sacrifice, and that he would let us come over another time to share our message with him. It was a really good experience and we'll see what happens when we share The Restoration with him! Further down the street, we found another guy that said we could come back another time. It was cool! We then ran to the bus stop and caught a ride back home at 8:10.

We also had a "Zone Training Meeting" where all of the missionaries in the Syracuse Stake came together for a training. That went really well. We had great discussions on "Studying, Pondering, Praying, and Preach My Gospel". It went really well and I learned a lot about how we can utilize pondering and prayer in our scripture study. It was fun to get to see a few missionaries I hadn't seen for quite a while too!

The weather hasn't been horrible out here, but we did get quite a bit of snow (for Syracuse area). We probably got in between a foot or two of snow in the past week. It's been manageable, but I'm ready for Spring! It sounds like some of the southern states and the coast has gotten ice and had a lot of problems, but Upstate New York knows how to handle it's snow pretty well.

If I forgot anything exciting from this week, you'll probably be able to read about it on Elder May's blog!   We seem to forget little bits and pieces of our weeks, but when you put it all together, you can see the big picture. :)

I love you guys! Thanks for all that you do. I'm grateful for your support and examples! It means a lot to me.

-Elder Hussey

Monday, February 10, 2014

2.10.2014

Hey Family!

Things are going quite well here in New York! It sounds like all of you are doing well back home. I'm really glad!

So we had 2 fairly unique opportunities this past week... Pretty cool stuff!

#1- We were on TV! Every year, the Fayetteville Ward volunteers at WCNY, one of the TV Stations in Syracuse to answer phones on a Travel Auction TV show, and we got to be a part of it! So we went, got some training on what we were supposed to do, and then the show started! It was pretty fun. People would call in, then we would fill out forms for their bids on whatever trip they were interested in. Occasionally, it would show the calling center and we would see some close ups of some of the members we were with talking on the phone with people. The broadcasting part of me loved it!



Here I am backstage!

They also fed us good food, then sent us home with a big container full of burritos.. YUM!

The next day, (Sunday) after church, we went to the Liverpool Stake Center for a Interfaith Celebration! It was crazy! There were about 500 people at the church, 50 of which were LDS. There were Catholics, Methodists, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, and even Wiccans. We helped usher people into the Gym and gave out programs. During the program, which was lead by one of the Stake Presidency, everyone went up and did a quick presentation on how their faith respects the beliefs of others, followed by a musical selection. Some of them were very unique and some were really cool! A lot of the middle-eastern religions had some crazy instruments!

Also, after the presentations, we all ate food. Needless to say, it was good.  Speaking of food, here's a good demonstration of why I need to eat healthier food-a little girl in our Ward mentioned how all of the Elders have double chins.... So I'm going to try to get rid of that.


 But, as you can see here, it started snowing again! This storm only brought a foot or so to us, so it wasn't anything too crazy. But it did help me realize that I am SUPER ready for Spring. I can't wait! :)

So that was pretty much our week. We continue to work hard and haven't found anyone yet.... The area we live in is really out of the way and hard to work, but we have found a new apartment complex and should be moving in about 2 weeks.. As long as our application goes through. If not, we might be living in the car that we don't have! ;)

It's also good to get a little update on Owego! I talked to a missionary that had served there yesterday, and he told me that Elaine spoke in Stake Conference! That is SO COOL! Then, he told me that she got up to the podium, then said the Spirit helped her understand that her prepared talk wasn't what she needed to say, so she gave the whole talk by the Spirit! I was so excited! Kiry is also doing way good! One of his brothers got baptized a few weeks ago, he baptized a friend about 2 months ago, and one of his sisters is getting baptized soon. And, he's going to the temple in about 2 weeks... Elder Simmonds is coming out to Syracuse and is going through the temple with him. I'm pretty jealous!

Anyway, I love you guys! I hope you all continue to stay safe... One of these days, I'll (maybe) have enough time to get some handwritten letters out.... Maybe. Love you all!

-Elder Hussey


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