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!


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