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What Did Erik Do That Day?

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Done and Done

Hey everyone! This is the Original Elder Erik Rushton finally typing on his own blog! I completed my mission to Detroit, Michigan on July 31st 2013 and I want to thank everyone for all the support you’ve given me for the past two years. It truly was an awesome experience and I hope you all had fun reading about it through my blog. I better give a shout out to my mom and my dad for doing such an awesome job at setting up the blog and running it for two years! Whoo! You guys are the bomb!

I’ll still be posting on this blog from time to time to keep everyone updated on what’s going on with my life. For all my friends I made in Michigan, you can now finally see what I’m like outside of the mission field.

A little update on what’s happening right now – I started school at Weber State University on Monday. I’m on scholarship to play trumpet in the band program there. I was in marching band camp all last week and we have our first half-time performance at the football game this Saturday.  School has been fun so far and it’s fun to get back into the routine. I’ve played 7 gigs with my rock band Bonne Nuit so far. I also had the awesome experience to see my little brother Skyler off on his mission to Vancouver, Canada. All in all it’s been a fun month home!

Well, I hope you all keep in touch and continue to follow my blog. For all my pals in Michigan, my Facebook address is www.facebook.com/erushton99

 

-Erik

Subject: The Last Letter Of Elder Rushton Date: July 29th, 2013

Erik by Graffiti in Detroit, Michigan

Erik by Graffiti that reads “The Dream Is Now”

Well, I’m all packed and ready to go. It seems surreal that the day is  finally here when my mission ends. Tomorrow I’ll head to the mission office, go through the job and marriage seminar, go to the temple, stay at some other missionaries apartment and then travel home Wednesday, I can’t believe the day is finally here.
 
This whole past week flew by. We had a lot of members that wanted to have us over for my last week so that took up most of our evenings. I also had to run errands throughout the week to get everything done that I needed to – dry cleaning etc. We also had a couple good lessons thrown in the mix plus three investigators and five less-actives at church. So I’d have to say that all in all it was a pretty great and eventful last week.
 
It’s been said that when your mission ends the people around you make a bigger deal out of it than you do. Not to say that I’m not excited to come home, but that statement is pretty true haha. I can’t tell you how many members at church yesterday gave me their advice on school, marriage, work, kids etc. I also haven’t had to keep track of how many days I have left on my mission because everyone else does it for me. I’m excited but I think I did a good job of containing my enthusiasm and focusing on finishing my mission strong. It really was a great two years.
 
Well, I guess I don’t have much else to say. I’m going to go fishing, hit a dinner appointment and that will round out my last day in Flint.
 
Well, see you on Wednesday!
 
Riders Under Satan’s Hand!!  (A silly Seminary joke about the Rush concert on Wednesday July 31st, 2013!!)
 
-The Original Elder Rushton

Elder Erik M Rushton
 
 

 

Last Week!

Jill Rheaume and Erik Rushton

Erik with his Aunt Jill.

Whenever I’m in a dangerous part of Michigan I always joke about having to go to the ER for a gunshot wound. It’s a joke I’ve been telling since before my mission began. Well I finally made it to the ER, but with pneumonia.

So here’s the short version of my journey. Two Sundays ago I started feeling sick. On Tuesday I got permission to call the mission doctor and he diagnosed me with strep over the phone. By Friday my strep felt fine but I still had a fever of 103 degrees so I went to an urgent care. That doctor found nothing and said give it more time. On Saturday night I woke up at 3:30 and knew I was going to have to go to the ER. I had Elder Smith call the mission president (I couldn’t talk at all) and we went it. They did a chest x-ray on me and admitted me into the hospital with pneumonia. I spent two days in the hospital and was let out Tuesday morning. It was the only time I’ve missed church as a missionary! I had a lot of visitors in the hospital and I even got a phone call from some members I knew in Howell which I was grateful for. It  really broke up the boredom of just sitting there looking out the window. Jill (my Aunt) came by on Thursday after I was out of the hospital and it was fun seeing her again.

Needless to say, my sick week was very unproductive. I think I left the house three times that whole week. This week was much more productive. We had a good amount of new investigator lessons and we had two members give us two awesome referrals. I’m kind of sad I won’t be here to watch them progress. Hopefully this week I can help give them a big push in the right direction and help them prepare to be baptized after I leave.

It’s weird to think that this is my last full week as a missionary.

There were times I never thought the end would come! It’s strange to think that I’ll never be doing something like this. I’m really glad I came and it was a great experience. That being said… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was super excited to come home! I’m looking forward to hanging out with everyone again!

Well, other than that there’s not much more for me to report on. Next week’s email might be even shorter!

Elder Erik M Rushton

July 16th-Spending a Couple Days in the Hospital

Hurley Hospital Flint, Michigan

Erik had a nice stay in Hurley Hospital

Erik didn’t get P day this week.  He was in the hospital in Flint Michigan.  He kept getting sicker and sicker all week and then went to the Insta-care last Friday.  They thought he just needed to wait it out and stay on his antibiotic but by Sunday morning, Erik’s companion knew he needed help.  He was coughing and couldn’t breathe very well. They called the Mission President and he told them to go to the Emergency room.  Erik was admitted to the hospital on Sunday morning with Pneumonia.  The mission President called us and told us that he had been admitted and gave us permission to call him!

We called him Sunday afternoon and he didn’t sound very good. He said he was on oxygen and an IV (the first of 2) His spirits were good but he was tired and no appetite.  He has had many visitors including the Mission President and his wife.  We called him again on Monday and he was feeling a little better.  Today, Tuesday, he was released in the afternoon to go home.  He found out that one lung was 2/3 full of fluid and the other was 1/3 full!  It’s good they had him in the hospital!

He has to go back in 10 days for another chest x-ray to make sure the fluid is gone, but he is not taking pain medication any more and his fever is gone.

Thanks for everyone’s prayers on Erik’s behalf.  We are grateful for his Mission President, his companion and those in his ward that came to check on him.

2 more weeks and he will be home!

Firework or Gunshot? Letter from July 8th 2013

 

Elder Erik Rushton and his companions

Erik and his companions model their fashionable ties

Dear family,

I feel like absolute crap today. Why did I have to get sick the last month of my mission!?! Saturday morning and afternoon we had two service projects and I started to feel bad at the end of the second one. I thought it was just a bit of heatstroke because it was 95 degrees with 70% humidity, but then it stayed through Sunday. Then this morning I woke up with a fever that I wasn’t very happy about. So hopefully it passes quick because we have a ton of stuff to do this week.

We had a couple cool things happen this week with contacting member referrals and finally getting in contact with some part member families we’ve been asked to go by. The Canfields, our senior missionary couple, have done a great job in helping us track down some less-active and part-member families. We’ll be meeting with two of the part-member families this week and they both are super awesome and want to come back to church. They both have kids that have yet to be baptized so we’re going to have the primary help us out a ton. The primary presidency in Flint are really awesome and I’ve loved working with them all.

Thursday was a sad day and a fun day all in one. We got a call from our Bishop informing us that our ward mission leader’s wife had passed away the night before. She went to Arizona about a month ago because he had retired and they wanted to move out by family. He had to stick around for a bit to pack up and sell the house and was planning to leave at the end of July. Anyway, we usually have our coordination meeting on Thursdays but obviously that wasn’t going to happen. We still decided to get all 9 missionaries together to go and visit our WML and we all signed a card for him. It was a good visit and he was glad to see all of us.

Thursday evening we went over to the Smith’s house for a bbq dinner.

We also fried up the fish we caught on Monday. Did you know Bass has 20g of protein in just two ounces?? David Smith is a pretty good cook too so dinner was really good.

For the 4th of July we had to be in by 7:30 so we obviously didn’t get to to any fireworks. We did get to play the fun Flint guessing game “Firework or Gunshot?” It’s a fun game and your answer is only confirmed by if you hear sirens or not, and you only hear sirens if someone dies haha.

Saturday morning we went to a members house and helped him cut and haul wood. With all the tornado warnings and sever thunderstorms that were coming through last month, he had two trees downed on his property. After that project we went to meet a part-member family The Canfields, introduced us to. We stuck around for awhile and helped them level some of their land for a swimming pool they were putting in. It was a lot of digging and we were so sore the next day!

Sunday was my last fast-sunday as a missionary. I wasn’t planning on bearing my testimony because I had done it last week for missionary sunday, but in the end I was pressured into it by a few members of the ward. I bore my testimony about the blessings of a mission and talked about how everything at home has just been working out for me since I came on a mission. I haven’t really had to worry about school or money or anything to much and I know it’s because of my missionary service.

Plus I talked about how awesome my parents are in taking care of everything for me ;)

 

Well, I think that’s about all the time I have today. Now I’m going to go home, hit the drugs, and crash out for the next few hours until our appointment at six.  I can’t believe I only have three more emails to write after this. I’m not trunky. I’M NOT TRUNKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

-The All Original All American Elder Rushton

 

P.S. You know, with all this news about planes and helicopters crashing left and right, I’m not so sure about flying home anymore :)

 

Elder Erik M Rushton

July 1st letter: Subject: Investigator Slurpee Finding

We had a pretty good week this week in terms of missionary work.
Slurpee’s helped me find another prospective investigator! On Friday we decided to hit 7-11 to end the night and on our way out of the store a guy who had been outside smoking asked if we were the Mormons. When we told him yes we quickly put out his cigarette and apologized for smoking in front of us. We got to talking and we found out that his grandma was a member and that he really hadn’t felt comfortable in any church except the Mormon church. We set up an appointment this week with him and his girlfriend so hopefully all goes well! That’ll be the second investigator I’ve found through that 7-11.
 
So this morning we had an activity at the stake center with our whole zone and that was pretty fun. Elder Smith and I didn’t stay for long because we brought an investigator with us. The coolest thing about the Grand Blanc stake center is that it’s on a huuuuuge amount of property and has it’s own lake. And I mean it’s a pretty serious lake. Our investigator always wanted to go fishing there so we figured that this would be the perfect opportunity. At first we were only catching smaller Blue Gill fish, but then we decided to try an experiment. I took my knife and murdered some Blue Gill in our bucket, then we started fishing with fish heads! It took a bit, but we ended up catching some pretty bigBass. Elder Smith caught a huge one that’s probably at least 10 inches long.
 
Unfortunately missionaries aren’t allowed to handle fireworks… But we can watch other people handle fireworks! Things are gonna get crazy out here in Flint! People have been shooting off fireworks for about a week already ha-ha. At first we thought they were just normal gunshots (I never thought I’d ever think a gunshot was normal…) but it turns out it was just fireworks. We got invited to the Smith’s house for the 4th of July and that’s where we’re going to fry up all the fish we caught today. We’re also going to be blowing up a watermelon that we didn’t cut up and eat fast enough.
 
On Friday we had our chance to meet the new Mission President, Pres.Gerber, and his wife. It was a pretty fun meeting and he is a pretty cool guy. I wish I would’ve had the chance to serve under him longer than I will. Because this Sunday was the 5th Sunday we had a special sacrament meeting all about missionary work. All the missionaries got up and introduced themselves with a short testimony. Apparently I did a good job in not letting people know how soon I go home because I got a lot of looks when I said I go home in 31 days ha-ha. One of the recent converts got up and shared his conversion story and then a former missionary that served in the Flint ward spoke. All of that was followed by our mission president who ditched his own ward on his FIRST Sunday in Michigan to come to our meeting. It was pretty cool and everyone enjoyed it. Plus we had 3 investigators there so that was awesome!
 
Well I hope you guys are having fun and getting ready for the REAL
party to start when I come home. Don’t get to excited!
 
-The Original Elder Rushton
 
Get me Austin’s mission field address as soon as he gets
out because I have something I want to send him.

Elder Erik M Rushton

When Does The Countdown Begin? Letter from June 24th 2013

Elder Erik Rushton

Elder Erik Rushton in Flint, Michigan

5 weeks left… Crazy to think that next Sunday will be my last fast Sunday of my mission. It really is bittersweet!
 
We had a pretty good week this week and we had a lot of service projects that we participated in. Monday night we helped a lady clean out her 5 weeks left… Crazy to think that next Sunday will be my last fast Sunday of my mission. It really is bittersweet!
 
We had a pretty good week this week and we had a lot of service projects that we participated in. Monday night we helped a lady clean out her gutters. You know those trees that drop the “helicopter”seeds? Well they had landed in her gutter and started growing. Tuesday we helped a older sister in the ward mow her lawn. Thursday we helped a part member couple clean out their horse stalls which was pretty gross. They fed us a super sweet lunch though so it was all worth it.
Then on Saturday we went back to the non-member family that we’ve been helping build a brick path to their dock. All in all it was a pretty fun week this week for service. This upcoming week we already have service projects scheduled for Tuesday,  Thursday and Saturday.
 
Monday night we had another tornado warning come through. There was a super fast super low thunderstorm coming through and it looked crazy.
It moved from us out to the Great Lakes it under a half hour. It was small but pretty violent. There were no tornadoes but we had golf ball sized hail and 70mph winds. We had our emergency packs in our basement fortress all ready to go again in case a tornado did touch. It ripped some siding off our building and took down a bunch of limbs and small trees.
 
We had a great week this week especially in working with the members of the ward. We have been getting anywhere from 2-3 referrals a week from members in the ward and they have been much appreciated. It really started out with Bishop Berger and our Ward Mission Leader, Bro.Partridge, each giving us a bunch of referrals. We have a Sister in the ward who has been giving us some great less-active and part member family referrals that we have been able to set appointments for for this week. I’m very excited about a great number of referrals from the ward. Bishop Berger and Bro.Partridge have really been pushing hard for member referrals to happen and it is starting to pay off. We also just had a dinner calendar coordinator be called for the ward so hopefully that will further help us.
 
We met a pretty sweet part member family this week that I’m pretty excited about. The Father hasn’t been to church in 20 years and was labeled as a “Do Not Contact” in our GPS. A member of the ward told us we need to go buy because for some reason he had become really receptive all of the sudden and she didn’t know how long it would last. When we looked up his name in the GPS Elder Smith was like “oh crap he’s a DNC.” I told him that there’s no thing as a DNC in missionary work.  We went over and he was super receptive.  We were only able to meet with him but his wife and daughter are non-members.  We committed him to talk to his family about taking the missionary lessons.
 
The Leadership Training Broadcast on Sunday was awesome! I kept trying to look for Austin in the MTC choir but I figured he got into the MTC a little to late to be a part of that. I though Elder Holland was pretty hilarious with all the jokes he was cracking! Especially at the beginning. It was really cool to see all the new technology that missionaries and the church are starting to use. I really appreciated Elder Perry’s comments on how the nature of missionary work is changing. I liked how he basically pointed out that going out and knocking doors is becoming a less and less effective way for missionaries to find people to teach. I really liked how he encouraged members to embrace the new technology and social media that are available to help share the gospel. The video they showed of the family all sharing the gospel in different ways was pretty cool. I have definitely seen new technologies affect my missionary work.
The girl I baptized in Romeo/Rochester, found the church through Mormon.org. And another in Warren was on Mormon.org all the time. It’s pretty cool to see missionary work changing for a new age.
 
We have some fun stuff planned this week. Today after we email and shop we’re going fishing at a members pond. They have so many fish that they had to buy a snapping turtle to keep the population under control. On Tuesday we’re helping to move out a senior couple who just finished their mission and we’re moving in another senior couple who is about half way done. We also have the mission fireside this week and a “meet the new mission president” day on Friday. Should be a fun week!
 
Well, hope you guys have an awesome week and don’t miss me too much! I got my “don’t get trunky” letter today so I guess that means the countdown begins! Love you guys!
 
-The Original Elder Rushton

Elder Erik M Rushton

Visit from An Apostle June 17th letter

Erik Rushton by Eastside Graffiti

Erik by “Eastside Mission” Graffiti

So we had a pretty eventful/crazy week this week. I don’t even know
where to start. We had a ton of stuff to do and we were super busy all
week long. But I like busy weeks so that’s ok.
 
Monday and Tuesday we’re pretty standard days. Monday’s routine is
virtually the same every week. We get up and go do laundry and
breakfast at Bro.Greens from 7:00-noonish, then go shop and hit the
library. After that we sit around and I play music and stuff until we
have a dinner appointment at 6.
 
Wednesday was messed up! When we turned on our car in the morning, the
check engine light came on. We went to district meeting and afterwards
called our vehicle coordinator to ask what to do. He sent us to Bel
Tire first and we ended up spending two hours there before they told
us there was nothing they could do and sent us to the dealer instead.
We drove to the dealer and they weren’t going to be able to get our
car in until Thursday morning.
 
Thursday we got up early and drove to the dealer. They told us we
wouldn’t get our car back until at least 2pm. We called the Flint
South Elders and they came and picked us up. We spent most of the day
with them. We finally got our car back at 6pm. It turns out the last
person who worked on the car installed the air filter cover wrong and
the air sensor got contaminated. All in all it cost the church around
$350. Needless to say we had nothing happen those two days.
 
Saturday was pretty sweet. Elder Christofferson come down with two
members of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishop to speak to us. They
actually came down to do leadership training but while they were here
they decided to speak to the mission. It was a really cool meeting and
Elder Christofferson cracked a lot of jokes. He also let us have a
question and answer session that was pretty cool.
 
Saturday evening we found out that neither Elder Smith or I are
getting transferred. So Elder Smith is officially my last companion.
In fact everyone in our district is staying but Elder Olsen and he’s
only leaving because he’s finished his mission. Flint North is going
to be a tripanionship but that’s about the only real change. It’s
strange to think that this is my last transfer and I’ll be ending my
mission in Flint. Everybody keeps asking me if I’m “trunky” yet. I’m
not really, or at least I don’t think I am. Part of me is excited to
go home, but most of me doesn’t want to have to deal with real life
again.
 
On Sunday we had a special stake conference where a member of the
Seventy came and spoke to the stake. Since they were all in town to do
leadership training, they decided to host a stake conference as well.
It was pretty sweet but the best part was I got to see some of my
favorite people from Romeo again. It was good to see them all again
before I go home.
 
 
This past transfer with Elder Smith has been a blast and I have
enjoyed the success we have had. Betty’s baptism was obviously the
highlight of the transfer but we also had some great success with
referrals from the ward. We’ve also had two less-active families that
have started to come to church pretty steadily again. We’re looking
forward to building on this transfer as we move into the next
together. It’s very surprising to think that I’m entering my last
transfer as a missionary. Last week I set some goals for myself that I
want to accomplish in my last transfer. I hope they will help me to
stay focused on my work and end my mission strong. My goal is to leave
Flint East with it being an area with a lot of good things happening.
Hopefully we’ll be able to pull off one more baptism before I go home
too.
 
It’s crazy to think Austin will be entering the MTC this week. Tell
him to not be to worried about it. The MTC is basically like being in
seminary for 24 hours a day, every day. He’ll probably like it a whole
lot more than I did. Plus, since the church shortened the amount of
time you’re in the MTC, he won’t be in as long as I was. Like I said
on Mother’s Day, it was like a prison for me haha. Especially since I
had to sit there and hear the BYU game going one Saturday! Haha he’ll
do fine though. Good luck on your mission Austin! And I need his MTC
address asap.
 
Well, hope you guys have an awesome week! Don’t cry too much on Wednesday!
 
 
 
 Elder Erik M Rushton
 

Letter from June 10th, 2013

Graffiti wall in Detroit

Elder Erik Rushton by Graffiti wall in Detroit

This week was a pretty busy week for us which was nice for a change.
We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and that was a blast. The whole
conference was focused on converting ourselves before we can help convert someone else.

President Holmes again shared the story of one
reason President Hinckley decided that now was the time to have Preach
My Gospel. Before PMG came out, President Hinckley was disappointed
in the number of returned missionaries who go less-active when they
come home. Our church leaders put PMG together as a way to convert the
missionary before the investigator. And that’s so true because
virtually every single chapter is focused on the missionary and not
the investigator. It was a great conference.
Betty’s confirmation went well and she is super excited to be a member
of this church. We found another person last week who’s uncle is a
member. She was interested in what we taught and also came to church
on Sunday.

On Saturday our whole district got together for another service
project for a less active lady in the ward. We helped her clean up her
yard because it was a jungle. I was seriously wishing I had a machete to cut through everything.

Well, that’s about all I have time for right now.


Elder Erik M Rushton

June 1ST Letter- 4 Tornadoes and 1 Baptism!

Hey family and friends!

This week was a super crazy week but it was super fun. Organizing a
baptism is a lot of work and it takes us all week but it’s a lot of
fun. Betty’s baptism went awesome yesterday and she was super excited
when she came to church. We had the bishop baptize and everything
turned out a-ok. Next week will be the confirmation and then she’ll
officially be the newest member of the Flint ward. That brings the
total of convert baptism in Flint this year to 9.

Tuesday was tornado day! I know I already sent home the videos I made
and a letter about it, but I figured I’d write about it again for the
blog and also because I’ve learned new details. It turns out that
there were 4 tornadoes that hit the Genesee county area. All of them were about

5 to 8 miles from us. One actually passed just south of the
Flint South Elders apartment and the biggest tornado hit Mt.Morris
where the Flint North Elders are. All the missionaries in the county
were a-ok though. The closest tornadoes to us were in Goodrich which
was an EF2 and in Mt.Morris which was just an EF1.

So now my experience of the storm. I’ve always wanted to see a tornado
and this was finally my chance! We got home around 9:00 and I sat down
to play guitar at about 9:15. As soon as I started to play guitar the
tornado sirens went off sounding a warning. It caught me off guard
because usually the mission office sends out a storm watch text and
they never sent out anything. In fact I’ve only heard the tornado
sirens give out an actual warning once on my mission and the mission
office sent out a text hours before that. Elder Smith called our Ward
Mission Leader to see if it was for real (despite what I told him he
was convinced it was a test) and Bro. Partridge told us there was a
strong indication of a tornado landing. There was a tornado watch out
until 9:15. I called Pres. Holmes right after that so he would know
what was going on and forward a text to all the missionaries. We put
together two emergency survival packs and took them down to the
basement before heading back up to the deck to watch the sky. As soon
as I saw a spiral forming we were going to book it down to the
basement.

Our ward mission leader called us whenever there was an update and we
headed to the basement whenever we felt there was a significant change
in the storm. The tornado sirens sounded every ten minutes to let us
know the watch was still in effect. The watch was extended all the way
out to 11:30. We could actually hear the Goodrich tornado hit and that
was when we spent the longest time in the basement.  That one was
moving in our direction. It died after 12 minutes and traveled 4.6
miles. Other than that nothing too crazy happened to us. Flint North
stayed in their basement so they were fine and Flint South was at a
member’s house when the sirens went off. All our neighbors either
weren’t home or bailed when the sirens went off but I knew better than
to try and outrun a tornado in a car. Everything turned out fine and
we went back upstairs for good at 11:30. I still stayed up till almost
1:00 am to make sure we were all good and we slept with the window
open so the siren could wake us up if needed. It was an exciting
adventure that’s for sure! Still never saw a spiral though…

Thursday and Saturday we had 3 service projects. On Thursday mornings
we always go and help a part-member family with various things on
their ranch. They own 4-horses and there’s always some fun work to do.
Plus they make us lunch! Also on Thursday we got to
go help an older single sister mow her lawn. On Saturday we went back
to the same non-member’s house we helped lay brick at before and we got
really close to finishing everything. It’s always fun to do service.

On Friday I hit my 2 months left mark. It’s crazy to think that time
is flying so fast. Elder Olsen got his departure itinerary today and
its super crazy that I’ll be getting mine soon. I’m really focusing
on making these last few months great and I would love to get one more
baptism before I take off. Trying not to worry about school and
everything is tough too. My time is running out!

Well, love you guys but I got to bail. Library is packed today!

-Elder Rushton