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

Follow by Email