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Erik's Weather

What Did Erik Do That Day?

July 2018
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Dear Family…..from Erik Sept 28th-30th

Sept 28th

 It was just business as usual today.  Like usual, all of our appointments fell through this morning and nobody answered their doors while we were tracting.  It rained all day until around 5.  We got so soaking wet!  Tracting in the rain and biking in the rain was even worse.  My pants were soaked straight through.  We took our lunch break at 3 PM and changed into dry clothes.  Luckily the pants I have dry-out pretty quick so they should be dry by tomorrow. 

Sept 29th

We taught Kenyata today. Kenyata is the guy that just randomly walked into our church on Sunday.  He was very knowledgeable about all religions.  He’s already read the first book of Nephi, some of D & C and all of the Book of Moses.  It was great having a discussion with him because he was so open to learning about our gospel and had a lot of questions.  We set a return appointment with him because he was very interested.   So it’s official!  I finally have my very first investigator that I found!  Up until now I’ve only been teaching investigators that other missionaries found.

Sept 30th

Tomorrow is my 1 month mark!  I can’t believe I’ve already been gone that long!  Well, I don’t have much to write today. It was just a normal day of tracting and teachings but I figured I would answer some of your letters.

Dad, I haven’t seen of downtown Detroit yet.  We are planning on going downtown on our next prep day.  I’ll be sure to take a bunch of pictures.  Our Church is very small and it’s in a building that the LDS church bought from the Jehovah Witnesses.  There is no chapel, only an “Assembly Room” and only about 5 classrooms.  We are the Grand River Branch.  Our area is pretty big.  We ride our bikes about 15-20  miles a day and one day we actually rode about 30 miles.  I’ll take a picture of our maps so you can see our area.

We ride our bikes 90% of the time.  We have a car to use but we only take it to church, District meetings and any meetings the Mission President calls us too.  We will be taking the bus when we go downtown on Monday. The members of the church have warned us though to never take the bus at night.  We didn’t ask why…..

It sounds like BYU is doing awful.  BYU better beat Utah State or I’ll never hear the end of it from my companion.   

Mom, here is my typical day.

6:30 AM Wake up, exercise, pray
7:00 AM Shower, dress, eat breakfast
8:00 AM Personal Study
9:00AM Companion Study
10:00 AM Leave to go tracting, teach, etc.
3:00 PM Return to apartment for lunch, eat, short nap
5:00 PM Leave to go teaching
9:00PM Return to apartment for planning for the next day
9:30PM Personal time–eat, journal writing, shower etc.
10:30PM Bedtime.  I never thought I would be exhausted by 10:30PM!!

Love Elder Erik Rushton

Letters from Erik Sept 24th-27th,2010

This week we hit the jackpot and got 2 letters !!  We sent a form letter to him to fill in the blanks and to circle answers and we found this worked really great! 

In response to our questions —he said the flight to Detroit from SLC was long and boring.  He misses Chalula sauce (all they have in Detroit he could find was “Franks Red Hot” hot sauce and he didn’t like it. )(so …..I sent him some today)  I think this might mean he is eating ramen noodles–he used to put this sauce on them at home.

When choosing a word for the weather there Erik said:   The weather is weird–Detroit went through an indian summer and now it’s starting to get cold. 

His companion, Elder Parker Erickson from Bluffdale Utah has been in Michigan for 9 months.  He really likes him because he is spiritual, strong in the gospel, determined, nice and smart.

The best thing so far?  Being in the poor part of town—-The worst thing so far? Being in the poor part of town

His favorite scripture right now is 1st Nephi 3:7  (because with God all things are possible)

9/24/2010 Excerpts from his letter:  Well I’ve been here for a few days.  Not much has happened though.  Everyone keeps canceling their appointments and we haven’t had success anywhere.  We keep running into weird people at all of our investigators houses.  It’s like someone’s brother will show up right in the middle of a lesson and totally throw everything off.

We took one of our investigators to a fireside with us and that was pretty cool.  His name is Glen  and he is a pretty cool guy.  I guess that he just barely started meeting with the missionaries but he has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday.  He was asking me questions throughout the fireside and it was really cool to be able to answer him.  If he comes to church this Sunday, we will probably ask him to be baptized when when we teach him the next lesson. 

Story from Detroit:  I heard gunshots for the second time today. They’re always really distant but you can tell it’s a gun.  My companion told me that most of that stuff happens on the East side of Detroit.  All of the gangsters live on the West side but do their dirty work on the East side.

9/25/2010  The day started out crappy like usual.  Everyone canceled their appointments except for Charles.  We had to stop teaching Charles though because he’s been meeting with missionaries for a month now and hasn’t progressed at all.  So unless he shows up at church tomorrow, we’re going to have to quit meeting with him.

We got one great lesson in today and I really  needed that confidence boost.  We met with Jeremiah, Tyree and Phil.  They are about 20 years old and really cool guys.  We taught them all about Christ and the Book of Mormon and then committed them to baptism!  Next time we meet we will put them on a baptism date and then it’s just a matter of teaching them the lessons.  They should be baptized around the end of October.

Story from Detroit:I saw a squirrel get run over today.  It was gross!  I heard gun shots last  night around 2 AM. They were pretty far away but still close enough to wake me up.

Sept 26th: We had church today.  Our branch is only about 25 members.  It’s so small that it’s not even a ward, it’s a branch.  Two of our investigators showed up which was kind of disappointing because we had about 12 say they were coming.  I sat with one of our investigators that is kind of weird.  She believes that when she feels the spirit she can speak in the gift of tongues.  (But really all she is speaking is gibberish)  She’s been very hard to teach because of all the different things she believes in. 

There was one really cool thing that happened today at church.  We met a guy with really cool dreadlocks named Kenyata.  He just wandered in and sat down for the service.  Nobody knew who he was so my companion and I went and talked to him after church.  We found out he was a college professor and was doing some religion hunting.  He saw us out tracting the other day and then decided he would come to our service.  He was very interested in the Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment with him.  He could very well be a new investigator by the end of next week.

After church we went and taught Sister Lockhart.  She’s been inactive for awhile so the missionaries drop by to talk to her from time to time.  We had the best lesson that I’ve had so far!  It was amazing!  She really opened up to us and told us that she picked up a cigarette about two weeks ago and felt horrible about it.  So we taught her all about the gospel of repentance and forgiving ourselves and we ended up having a great discussion.  We’re going back to her house next Sunday for General Conference. 

Detroit Story:  I saw a Cadillac today that had 30 inch chrome rims, hydraulics and a really bassy stereo.  It was wild watching it move up and down.

9/27/2010 Detroit has been an alright place so far.  Very poor though as you’ve probably seen from google maps.  We don’t do too much tracting around our apartment.  We usually only tract when one of our appointments falls through so we end up tracting by where our next appointment is scheduled.  I don’t think I will ever be a door to door salesman!

My companion tells me it’s pretty safe here.  He’s only been robbed once and that’s because he ignored a prompting from the Holy Ghost.  He said that as long as you listen to your feelings, you’ll be ok.  The gangs don’t mess with us.  We’re actually teaching a kid right now who is a member of the 6-mile gang.  As long as you put a picture of Jesus on something, it won’t get stolen.  We have a picture of Jesus on our car, our bikes and our apartment door.  My companion said that sometimes our apartment complex gets broken into, but nobody messes with ours because we have Jesus on the front door!  But like I said, there haven’t been any incidents involving missionaries.  I guess if it was truly unsafe, our Mission President would make us move.

Love you all!  Elder Erik Rushton

1st Email from Erik in Detroit!

Erik emailed us on Monday the 27th (his first P day in Detroit!)  He said Detroit is cold and dark and he was kind of culture shocked the first few days but he thinks he is getting used to it. Nothing has been stolen yet-( In answer to Mom’s question) and his companion is from Bluffdale Utah. Elder Parker Erickson told him that the gangs usually leave the missionaries alone.

They don’t have enough members in the area for a ward, so they just have a branch with not much Priesthood leadership so they have to bring in other people from other wards and stakes to fill the major roles like Branch President.

They are teaching a few people.  His favorite so far are 3 –19 year old guys names Jeremiah, Tyree and Phil.  2 days ago they had an awesome lesson with them and commited them to baptism.  They are seeing them again next Saturday and will hopefully put them on a baptism date.  Other than that, they haven’t had much success with investigators. 

From Erik:   Tracting is all most useless out here.  Nobody answers their door before noon because they’re all asleep, and nobody answers their door after 6 because it gets dark around then and they think you’re either a copy or a gang member.

We only had one confrontation with a guy at a bus stop.   He was high and drunk and basically just wanted us to tell him that Jesus was black.  Everyone is pretty nice overall.

I started writing down my experiences everyday so I can send them home to you. That way I don’t have to try and write a long email before my time runs out. So you’ll get to read all of my experiences in my snail mail letter.

Detroit has been interesting since I’ve been here. My companion said that it has been ‘extra ghetto’ lately. One of our investigators has a marijuana plant growing on her front porch. She says it’s her cousins and not hers but…. I don’t think I believe her. I’ve learned a few handshakes already too. I know how to do the ‘Detroit Handshake’ which is one that almost everyone in Detroit does. And right now I’m working on the ’6-mile gang’ handshake. There are gangs everywhere here but we don’t see much of them. I guess that everyone LIVES on the west side of Detroit where we are but the do all of their Dirty work on the east side.

 All of the streets are named here. There are no numbers so it gets pretty confusing at times. But basically the gangs are all named after the streets. You just get a group of guys and claim a street and boom, you have a gang. So there are the Schoolcraft boyz, Z8NE, 6-Mile, P-Rock, 7-Mile… All the major streets are gangs.

Well I’m running out of time so I better log off. Hope you’re having fun!


Elder Rushton

New Mailing Address for Erik Already!

Hey everyone! I get 5 minutes on the computer to let you know of my new address.
It is:
Elder Erik M Rushton
12635 Memorial #302D
Detroit, MI

I’m stationed in Detroit in the Schaefer area. My companion and I are the only white people here. I’ve already done some tracting and knocked on my first door. I knocked on three today on our way to the library. I got rejected but it was still cool. Well my p-day is on Monday I think so I’ll write more then. 

Love you!

-Elder Erik Rushton

Erik Leaves the MTC and flies to DETROIT!

We got a phone call from Erik today about 6:25AM. He was in the SLC airport getting ready to board the plane with about 20 other missionaries. Some of them are going to Detroit, others have a layover there on their way to Canada or New York.  I think that is a pretty safe flight!  He said the airport was not busy that early in the morning (they arrived there about 5 AM)

We are excited about finally getting out in the field!  We look forward to finding out who his new companion will be, when his new P day is and which area he will be covering!  We will be anticipating his first letter or email home!

God be with you Elder Rushton!  Go forth with Faith!

Letters home Saturday, Sept 18th

Today we received several letters from Erik, all addressed to different people in the family. He had mentioned before that he was getting so many letters that it was hard to respond to all of them.  He was getting the most letters in his whole District!

Here is a bit of what he wrote:

My time at the MTC is almost over!  Everyone in my district is so excited to finally be getting out into the field!  I’ll hopefully be calling home on Monday before I board my flight.  We’re pretty much done learning doctrine and how to teach in the MTC. Now all we’re doing is practicing teaching EVERYDAY. I’m really looking forward to getting to Detroit.

Well, I love  you all and miss you,

Elder Erik Rushton

Email from Erik today! Thursday 9/16/2010

We got an email from Erik today!   He was talking about learning all the lessons getting ready to teach.  Here is a part of his email:

Wow this week has FLOWN BY! I can’t believe that I fly out on Monday. Everyone in my district is super excited to be leaving. We’re all ready to get out into the field and work with real people. We’ve pretty much learned all of the doctrine in Preach My Gospel and now we’re just practicing teaching EVERYDAY. One of my teachers said that my companion and I are two of the best teachers he’s ever seen new missionaries be. We’ve only gotten one negative mark on one of our 6 teaching appointments. Tomorrow we have our last appointment with one of our ‘investigators’ (he’s actually a church member that you practice with) and then one on Saturday with an actual teacher. Then on Sunday we have all of our departing district meetings and we get to pack up and then we fly out Monday morning.

Thanks everyone for sending so many letters! I still get the most out of everyone in my district. It’s awesome getting so many but I have a hard time responding too everyone.

Everyone in the MTC is passing around the flu. Everyone in my district has caught it except for me, Elder Cook, Sister Klingler, and Sister Vance. I’ve gotten pretty lucky.

I think I’ve finally gotten used to the MTC lifetyle. Which knida stinks because now I’m leaving. Well I’m running out of email time so I better log off soon. I’m going to try and write everybody before I leave the MTC. After Monday you won’t want to use dearelder anymore to send me letters. The mission home won’t forward them to me. Just use snail mail so that they can forward it to my apartment. (The Mission Home address)

Love you all!

- Elder Erik Rushton

Sept 14th, 2010 Letter from the MTC


I got everyone’s  letters today finally!  There was a ton! My companion and I have been doing great at teaching!  We commited one of our investigators to baptism on his first lesson!  It was only role play teaching but it was still cool.  Tomorrow we have our second lesson with a different investigator. Hopefully we can commit him too.  PS: My Branch President here is President Connors and we’re related to his wife.  We had a long chat about Edwin and Richard Rushton (ancestors around Nauvoo time) during my last interview. Pretty sweet!

Love you all,

Elder Erik Rushton

Erik’s Flying out on Monday, Sept 20th

Erik sent a short letter home with a photo of his flight plans.  He has to be ready to leave the MTC on Monday, Sept 20th by 4 AM!  His flight is at 7 AM and he will arrive in Detroit Michigan at 12:46 PM local time. We are looking forward to a short phone call from him while in the airport–at least that is what we hear! You can still write to him FREE through for a few more days!  After that it will be snail mail but we will give you the address. He already loves to get letters!

Sept 9th Written Letter Home


Elders Erik Rushton and Jeff Law at the Provo MTC


Dear Family, 

Sorry for the short email the other day.  I had some password problems and by the time I resolved them I only had 20 minutes left to email.  I’m doing laundry right now so I have a little extra time to write.  I was looking for Jeff (Jeff is another Elder from our ward) all day yesterday but couldn’t find him anywhere!  As were were coming back from our late class, my companion and I stopped by to say hello to the Elders that moved in next to us.  Low and behold one of those new Elders was good ol’ Jeff Law!   I thought that he might be in the same building as me but I had no clue that we were going to be neighbors!  It was good to see someone from home. 

I have a few friends from work that I see from time to time, but it’s great knowing that I have a really good friend here now.  We talked for awhile and then I let him get unpacked.  I’ll send a picture of both of us when I get a chance.  My homesickness isn’t coming on as strong lately as it did the first few days.  Those first days were tough. I look forward to everyone’s letters everyday!  So keep sending as many as you can!  I leave the MTC on Sept 20th. After that you should just send letters snail mail instead of  

Listening to all the cheering at the BYU game was KILLING me last Saturday.  There were a bunchof Elders going crazy too–ha ha! 

I’ve been playing volleyball pretty much every gym time so far.  We play with the Tongan’s in our branch so it gets pretty intense!  It’s fun playing with all the other Elders! 

Time is flying by the week.  I think I’ve finally started to get used to the lifestyle around here.  You feel the spirit really strong here all the time.  My companion and I have really connected since the first day.  And all of my roommates are really cool.  As much as I want to come home sometimes, I know this is the right place for me to be. 

Well I hope you guys are having fun without me.  I miss you all (even SKY!)  Have everyone write me for family home evening or something because checking the mail at the MTC is like running to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning!  We check our box about 5 times a day!  

Love you all, 

Elder Erik Rushton