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What Did Erik Do That Day?

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1st Letter from Erik!

10/10/2011

Hello family,

Ive had a pretty awesome first week back in Michigan. I’m stationed in Romeo right now. It’s a pretty cool place. One of our Zone Leaders was joking around saying that it has an ‘All American’ town feel. There is only one high school so Friday night football is really big here. It was homecoming week last week too so there were tons of celebrations going on all week. It reminds me a lot of King of the Hill. And it’s very different from the west Detroit ghetto for sure. There are lot’s of HUGE houses out here too (our branch president owns 11 acres)! But there’s also a lot a trailer parks with tons of Hispanics living in them.
Right now we have one Investigator with a baptism date. He’s a really cool kid and he’s only 17. He was supposed to be baptized last Saturday but his he wanted to postpone it so his mom and some of his friends could be there. His mom is really nice but she really doesn’t like Joseph Smith and has huge issues with how he started practicing polygamy— But we think that if she comes to his baptism she’ll feel the spirit and want to learn more. His friends are really cool too. Two of them are pretty interested in the church and we want them to come to his baptism too so they’ll feel the spirit.

His mom cooked us Mole’ yesterday. It’s a type of spanish sauce that’s really…. interesting. It’s made from jalapenos but isn’t very spicy. And it looks like poop haha. I’m still trying to decide if I liked it. It kind of reminded me of homemade Betos.
A lot of members have fed us Jet’s Pizza too and it’s really good.

I had to speak in church yesterday. It was pretty nerve racking because I only had two days notice and I didn’t know everyone in the branch yet. And my mission president was there too which made me even more nervous. I gave a talk about agency and how halloween mazes kind of relate to life on earth.

We have a car out here. A chevy malibu…………….. It’s not my favorite,.

We’re having a hard time finding new investigators right now. Especially ones  that speak english. We’ve been tracting in the trailer parks because everytime we do we find about 3 new potentials. The problem is they speak mostly spanish! And Elder Erickson can speak spanish pretty well, but not well enough. Luckily we have a ward member that speaks it fluently so we take him with us a lot. It makes my teaching easy!

Everyone out here is really excited about the Detroit Tigers beating the Yankees. I guess they only have to beat Texas now and they’ll go to the world series. And the Lions are doing awesome too so everyone is really happy.

Well I’m almost out of time. I’ll write more in a letter later today. Tell everyone I love them. And tell my primary class sorry I wasn’t around to check off their article of faith I had them memorize.

-Erik

Erik Returns To The Mission Field

Setting Erik Apart For His Mission

Erik's Setting Apart

We’re happy to announce that Erik has returned to complete his mission in Detroit, Michigan. Erik flew out of Salt Lake City on October 3, 2011. We are sad to have him gone but excited that he is continuing the work he began last year. His testimony of the atonement is much stronger and he is ready to preach the gospel.

Erik flew out with some other missionaries that came from the MTC and were on their way to Detroit as well. We are waiting to hear who Erik’s new companion is. We do have his address and he would love to get letters from anyone that wants to write to him. Here is his new address:

Elder Erik Rushton
514 Plum Ct.
Romeo, MI 48065

We will be updating Erik’s blog with his letters home so check back often.

Erik Leaving For Detroit At The Airport

Erik Leaving For Detroit - Salt Lake City Airport

Temporarily Home

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for the love and support that you have shown me these past few months as I left to go to serve the Lord in Detroit. Unfortunatly, I have had to return home to take care of some personal issues. Everything is running smoothly as planned and I will be eligible to return to Detroit next September. I hope that you can all continue to support me and I look forward to further preparing myself to serve the Lord the best I can.

Love, Erik

P-Day November 1st–2 Month Anniversary!

Erik got the guitar we sent him! We will be posting up his Detroit photos he sent to us last week shortly.

Here is his email home on P-Day today, Nov 1st.

They should make a “I Survived Devil’s Night in Detroit” T-shirt. I’d wear it.

We had some cool things happen to us this weekend with two of our investigators and their families. We stopped by to talk to Ariel, one of our investigators, and when we knocked on the door her mom answered. Ariel wasn’t home but her mom said that she wanted to start studying with us too. She said that she had been reading the pamphlets that we’d left Ariel to read and really liked them. She also told us that the other day she decided to quit drinking and wanted top change her life around. We set an appointment with her for tuesday. It was really a spiritual experience.
After Ariel we went to stop by Jeremiah to set an appointment with him. While we were talking with him he mentioned that his grandma had died and that their whole family was still pretty sad. We didn’t have a lot of time to meet with him but we were able to start into the Plan of Salvation. His mom decided to listen in too and they both really liked everything we were explaining. We set up an appointment for next Saturday and we’re hoping we can teach both him and his mom.

Dorothy is totally ready to be baptized. She could’ve been baptized last week but she recently had surgery on her neck and we had to push her date back again. We set her new date for Nov.13 but may have to push it back farther if her doctor doesn’t give us permission to go through with it. She’ll be baptized eventually though.
We got transfer calls last Saturday. Elder Erickson and I will stay in Schaefer for at least another 6 weeks. Elder Adamson is leaving Greenfield though so we’ll get a new missionary into our district. I’m glad that I get to stay another transfer here though.

That’s sweet about Justin Blackhurst’s Mission Call!!! We’re still neighbors even in the mission field! To bad Detroit’s better!  HA HA

Well I hope the family is doing well.   Thanks for all of your packages and letters!

Love  Elder Erik Rushton

P.S. – I can’t believe I’ve been out 2 months already!

Picture sent via Detroit Member on Halloween!

Erik Halloween 2010

Celebrating in Detroit Halloween 2010

We got this sent to us on Halloween directly from a member in Detroit!  Looks like they are enjoying themselves!  Elder Erickson is to the left of Erik–that is his Companion.

We shipped Erik’s Acoustic Guitar to him this week since he got permission to get one so he can play hymns at a baptism.  We will find out if he got it on Monday  (Pday)

Family Letter Oct 18th, 2010

Dear Family,

So I ended up not getting a guitar again.  (Erik was given permission to find a guitar so he could play hymns at baptisms)  There were no music shops that we could find in Detroit! Downtown Detroit is just as bleak and gloomy as where I’m stationed.  You can tell that the entire city is just poor and rundown.  So overall our trip downtown wasn’t too exciting.  But then again, I bet it would be funner if it was warmer and if we had a car.  Detroit isn’t like Las Vegas where you can just walk everywhere so see stuff.  Plus it probably would’ve been funner if we would have had more time to spend down there and alot of that time was spent riding the bus. 

We spent most of our time today in the GM building.  It was a pretty cool building and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that many white people in one place.  I got my picture taken next to a camaro and a corvette.  We also got to look across the river at Canada there too.  We ate at a place called Nikki’s pizza that was pretty good.  I’ve never had lamb on pizza but it was pretty good.  I go some cool pictures of some statues too. 

We really didn’t have much time to do anything downtown today.  I’d like to come back one day after my mission and really check everything out.  Transfers are coming up on November 2nd and I’m hoping not to be transferred but it may happen.  I really hope I don’t get transferred though because I want to stay until Dorothy gets baptized on the 13th of November.  She’s all set and ready to go.  We were going to baptize her on October 30th, but she had to get surgery this week and won’t be able to get baptized for 3 weeks–I guess we will wait.

Love Elder Rushton

Email from Erik Oct 18th, 2010

We had another tough week. We’re dropping 6 of our investigators this week because they are not progressing. They only really good lessons we had this week were with Kenyatta and with an 18 year old kid named Jeremiah. 

Kenyatta’s lesson went really well. He took us into his library and showed us all of his religious books and that was really cool. He has a copy of the Egyptian Book Of The Dead so I got to thumb through that and it was really cool. We didn’t have a lot of time to teach him but we started into the plan of salvation and he was really liking that. So this Wednesday we’re going to go more in depth with it. Those plan of salvation cards that mom gave me are AWESOME. They make it so much easier to teach. 

Last night we taught Jeremiah and had a good lesson with him about baptism. We took the senior missionary couple that’s assigned to our branch with us and they loved teaching him. 

The senior missionary couple that we work with are the Hoopes’ and their really sweet. They’ve been out as long as I have. They have a blog as well and I think there will be some pictures of me coming up on it so you’ll have to check it out. It’s – motorcitymissionaries.blogspot.com . I’m not allowed to look at it so you guys will have to tell me how it is.

 Other than that it’s just been same old same old. I sent out more journal pages today so you guys should get them soon. They explain a little more. Tell Alexa thanks for the pictures!

We asked Erik about how Detroit handles Halloween Night:  We’ve seen a lot of burned down houses out here and there are a lot of abandoned ones too. We heard that they set a curfew at 6:00 and a big police patrol guards all of the abandoned houses. It sounds like it gets pretty intense.

Below is what the other couple wrote on their blog about Erik and his companion, Elder Erickson.   Pretty neat!

This evening the missionaries invited us to a teaching appointment and we loved it! Elder Erickson is the taller from Sandy UT and Elder Rushton from Pleasant Grove UT. They both spoke in Church today and gave amazing talks. Elder Rushton who has only been here for five weeks, spoke of keeping our baptism covenants. Elder Erickson spoke of the good guilt which brings one to repentance and the guilt from the advisary which causes one to feel hopeless and unworthy for baptism. Both gave excellent and spiritual messages. These two Elders were also in the picture at the Palmer Park Ward on the day of Conference. We are grateful to serve with and learn from these young Elders.

The picture with me & the Elders shows pictures of Christ on their bikes. They do that to thwart any who would want to steal their bikes. They also keep their car clean and keep pictures of Christ on the dash board for the same reason. When the car does not have things piled up it is not so inticing to break in to.

Journal Entries Oct 5-8th 2010

Erik's Church In Detroit

Erik's Church In Detroit

Oct 5th, 2010 Tuesday

We have exchanges with the zone leaders tomorrow. I’ll be going with one of them and staying in a new area of Michigan for 24 hours.  I’m a little nervous because I’ve never met this missionary before and I’ll be teaching people that I’ve never met. My companion says not to worry though.  He says I’m the best missionary he’s trained so far and that he’s surprised how fast I got used to the mission field.  So that’s comforting. 

Detroit Story:

Last night we biked past a house that was completely in flames.  The fire department was just barely getting there to put it out as we biked past.   It was pretty intense.

Oct 7th, 2010

Exchanges were pretty fun. I went and stayed a night with Elder Bowler in Canton Michigan…Canton is kind of like Pleasant Grove.  It is much richer than Detroit.  It was weird seeing so many white people—ha ha!  We taught a few lessons and did a lot of tracting.  Everyone out there has jobs though so we didn’t get a lot of answers.  I got back to my area about 4PM and my companion and I did some teaching.  It was a rough day.  We only ended up teaching one investigator and she’s different.    She basically believes she’s a Prophet and receives revelation for people and she’s just very hard to teach.  She also believes that the Holy Spirit causes her to have an outburst in another language so we will be teaching her a lesson and she will randomly shout out something in gibberish.  It’s very frustrating.  Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have some good lessons.

Story from Detroit:   Have you ever seen an ambulance with chrome rims?  I have now!

Oct 8th, 2010

Just another good ol’ day in Detroit.  I learned a new gang handshake.  We met a kid from the Plymouth –or P-Rock Gang and he taught us their handshake.  We got another one of our investigators on a baptism date.  Her name is Ariel and she is pretty much set to be baptized on Nov 13th.  She wants us to start teaching her fiancé too so that their daughter will grow up in a church going family.  So that was pretty exciting.  Other than that, it was just the same old lesson—teaching and tracting all day.

Detroit Story:

We get stopped about 3 times a day by people who want to pray with us.  And then after the prayer they ask us for money.  I’ve stopped carrying any at all.

Note:  We asked Erik if he and his companion had gotten into any arguments with anyone or been robbed yet: (Mom’s biggest worry!)–His response was: We get in arguments with the Jehova Witnesses a lot.  There is a big Islam population in Detroit too and they argue with us sometimes.  But I haven’t been robbed yet!

Email from Erik Oct 11th

Week 3 in Detroit was tough.

We started off the week great and had nine lessons in one day! But just when we started thinking how awesome this week was going to be, that’s when everything started going wrong. All of our appointments started getting canceled. People would call us ten minutes before we had them scheduled and they would cancel. So we ended up doing a lot of tracting this week. On Wednesday we only taught two lessons; on Thursday we taught 1; on Friday, Saturday and  Sunday we taught a whopping zero.

Last night we had to break up a domestic dispute between one of our investigators and his mom. Since when did I become a family counselor?

Also last night my companion got a flat tire and we ended up having to walk home in the dark through one of the more dangerous parts of our areas. That was exciting.

I never realized how sheltered we really are in Utah. Detroit is really…. bad… ha ha. All we have to worry about in Utah is having the cops tell us to turn our music down. In Detroit, it takes the cops 40 minutes to respond to a break in call. It’s crazy out here. I’ll just put it that way.

Well it was a tough week but it can only go up from here. Hope you’re all doing well.

-Elder Erik Rushton

Another Letter today! It feels like Christmas!

Elders in Detroit

When we checked the mail today we were so excited!  Yes, another letter from Erik this week!  It is so awesome!  Now I know why parents always say how great it is to hear from their Missionaries!

Oct 4th Monday

Dear Family,

I ran out of time to write a long email home on p-day (today)  We had to take a survey from our Mission President that took a long time to complete.

Things here in Detroit have been going GREAT!  We have been having some great lessons and have been teaching TONS of people.  Last week, we taught 17 lessons which is a lot for our area.  We got that many lessons in 5 days because we couldn’t teach on Saturday or Sunday with General Conference on.  We got 2 new investigators last week too and I am very excited about them.  One of them is Kenyata which I think I already wrote home about him. He is a great guy that was really impressed with the Book of Mormon.  He couldn’t believe it had only been translated 1 time.  Every time we study with him, he pulls out 4 different copies of the Bible that he studies from.  He says he likes King James the best though which is good. 

I’m sending home some pictures for you guys in this letter.  I don’t have any from Detroit yet-next week I will.  Notice my bike has a light on the front which I duct taped it on! 

We also sent Erik another question and answer form so he could fill in the blanks:

The best thing about my companion–Elder Erickson knows how to answer every question people throw at us and he knows the Bible REALLY WELL!

My favorite breakfast:  French Toast and Apple Juice–Michigan has tons of apple orchards and so every Sept all the stores start selling un-pasturized apple juice–it’s the BEST!

But most of the time we eat–Cereal, yogurt, scrambled eggs, homemade breakfast burritos

My favorite lunch is….food!   But we eat mac and cheese, nachos, and sandwiches on a normal day.

My favorite dinner is tacos, pizza, and enchiladas, but we eat chicken, beef tenders and all the cheap meat.

I wish I had more—-REAL mexican food to eat and less cheese wiz type mexican.

I can’t find any watermelon sour patch kids and granola bars so please send some!

The best spiritual experience I had so far this week was:  One of our investigators, Dorothy Johnson, agreed to be baptized on October 30th and is the only one of our investigators that is FULLY committed.  I can’t begin to explain how AWESOME is feels to see someone’s life change like hers and to know I was a part of it. 

My spiritual scale from 1-10 this week is 10!!  Conference was awesome and all of our appointments this week were great!

How would you describe the area you are in now?  As my companion put it, “Everytime we go into someone’s house I feel like we’re in an episode of Cops!”

I feel the spirit of the Lord the most when ITeach  If we can get the investigator focused, the spirit teaches.

My favorite scripture this week is: Alma 32.  We read this chapter with investigators and less actives ALOT!  It’s an awesome chapter about exercising faith in every gospel principle. I encourage everyone to read it for family home evening.

Love you all!  Elder Erik Rushton