“Home” Is Where Your Heart Is

Elder Skyler Rushton and family

Elder Skyler Rushton Reunited with his family after 2 years!

Hello everyone! This email comes to you today from my missionary email, but I am sadly no longer a set apart missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints… However, my original ministerial certificate I received as a missionary still has a day on it! August 7th is when that bad boy runs out. That means… Not really anything haha, but I like to think that it means I can still write one more missionary email to all of you to let you know of my last week as a missionary. Hopefully it still means at least something to you!

On Monday while we were emailing, President Burt called me and thanked me for ten minutes for working so hard this last transfer of my mission. A young missionary I had been on exchanges with the week prior wrote President and said that I “set a great example of how a missionary should act this close to the end of his mission.” It was so touching! After emailing, we walked around downtown, I bought real Canadian maple syrup to bring back to the folks and then we knocked on doors for the rest of the evening. Tuesday was a super busy day for us with regards to teaching and finding. Wednesday was also great, and we spent a couple hours getting things ready for our zone meeting on Friday.

Thursday was my last weekly planning session, and I will NOT miss those things haha! I stayed focused while we were doing it, but it was weird planning things for the missionaries to do after I left… But hopefully, right now, they are doing them!!! Thursday we also did a mini-service project with our Ward Mission Leader where we helped him move a gigantic rock to a certain place in his backyard. I know it doesn’t sound that intense, but his backyard is a mountain. Literally. Very, very steep. But we got the rock moved and now it looks great! My arms were sure dead for the rest of the day though. The Duncan Elders also came up to Nanaimo and we did an exchange with them. Elder Bonfield and I went with Elder Wood to work and Friday morning, we got to split wood for a couple hours! It was ironic, and seemed fitting to me because both Elder Bonfield and Wood are Canadian!

Friday we had our zone meeting that was fabulous. I got to bear my last testimony to the missionaries there and I promised them that if they would just trust in God, live the commandments and give everything they have to preach the gospel, the Lord would bless them with a “successful” mission just as he has with me. It was so nice to give my dying words to that zone, they are so amazing. Saturday we got transfer calls! Mine was to Pleasant Grove, Utah, Elder Higley is going to Vancouver YSA and Elder Bonfield is staying. I am also glad that I don’t have to deal with transfer calls ever again–they’re stressful! Saturday we also invited everyone we possibly could to church because it was Elder Rushton’s last Sunday! It worked like a charm, we had four people show up! Mitch and Crystal came with their two little kids and Len came with his girlfriend! It was great to see them all at church; luckily we didn’t get any crazy testimonies with it being fast and testimony meeting! I bore my testimony in the meeting as well where I finally (I didn’t really tell any members prior to that) told everyone that it would be my last Sunday. I had a lot of people come up and say goodbye afterwards and thank me for the service I rendered. It was really touching–I did not cry!! We spent the rest of the day working hard so we could reach standards for the week, and we did! Us and four other companionship’s in the zone did. It was a great way to leave!

Monday, a member bought us sushi, we said goodbye to Ashwani and then I shipped out on the 3:15 p.m. ferry to Tsawwassen. I was alone on the boat (for the first time in two years!) so that felt super weird. I walked around, took pictures and eventually we landed in Tsawwassen where the Assistant’s picked me up for my departing interview with President Burt. The interview was awesome and put me a lot more at ease for going home. I spent the rest of the night with the Assistant’s doing transfer travel plans, and we didn’t get to bed until 1:00 a.m… I feel sorry for those guys! On Tuesday, we had our temple trip where, after making it into the Celestial room, sat down and bawled my eyes out for a couple minutes. I couldn’t believe that my mission was finally over, that I had made it, and how much I actually loved my missionary service. Later, we had our departing missionary dinner with the Burt’s and our final testimony meeting that was powerful beyond all belief. That, coupled with the temple trip, made Tuesday one of the greatest days of my life. We finally got to our hotel and checked in at around midnight.

Wednesday morning, I woke up at 3:45 a.m., showered and got my stuff loaded onto the shuttle to the airport. I flew to Utah with 7 other missionaries–two of them being my best friends from the mission, Elder Englestead and Lewis–and so we had to go through customs and whatnot. On top of that, I got selected for a random security check! Yay! What a great way to leave Canada haha. It wasn’t actually bad, but I thought it was pretty funny. We finally got to the plane with really no problems (the customs officer said, “Do you have anything to declare?” And I said, “Some clothes and maple syrup I guess.” To which he responded, “Alright! Welcome back to America!” So, pretty easy going for me! Other missionaries got grilled for a couple minutes on what they were “actually” doing in Canada for two years!) and then we flew to Los Angeles first where we had to run to make our connecting flight to Salt Lake City! I’m sure it was a pretty epic scene in the good ol’ LAX.

We finally got to SLC, I said goodbye to the other missionaries, hugged my mom and dad, went and got Costa Vida (which I haven’t had in two years!), taught my family the Restoration (with Austin as my companion), got released, then went and played laser tag with the teacher’s quorum! Things that felt weird included: Being called Skyler, not having to back up the driver of our car, walking around alone in the laser tag arena and not feeling guilty for looking at T.V. screens! I feel like I’m living in a dream being home still, but I’m sure it will pass. I slept in until 7 today, went running, studied the scriptures and then was going to unpack, but decided that this was more important. I loved my mission a lot and you will probably hear me talk about it a lot for the rest of my life, so be warned! I haven’t been able to stop talking about it since I stepped off the plane. My heart was really in my mission when I was there, and it was sad to leave it. It was “home” for these last two years. But now that I’m back, my heart is right here with my family. I love them so much, I have missed them more than anything else in the world and I am literally tearing up as I am writing these things. I love the Lord. He is good and I pray that I may always be His disciple. I love all of my friends as well; thank you for reading my letters as I’ve gone about this great journey. My testimony was strengthened by it, and I hope that yours was as well. The blessings of God are real, this church is His church. We can and should trust the modern day Prophet and Apostles. They are called of God. Elder Christofferson changed my life when he visited our mission; the spirit I felt as he testified created my testimony of who those men really are–they are servants of the Most High God. This is a really long letter so if you made it through the whole thing, thank you for reading. We will have Elder Rushton the Fourth out in a few years, so you can follow him next haha! I love you all, have a spectacular week. May the Lord bless every one of you!

–Skyler Rushton, Formerly Known As Elder Rushton The Third

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Skyler has been home this long-

  • Skyler has been home for:
    1 year, 11 months, 17 days, 20 hours, 40 minutes, 10 seconds ago