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

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