Now, It’s a Young Man’s Game

Elder's Rushton and Bennett

Elder Skyler Rushton and Elder Bennett

Hello my family and my good friends! This has been another super crazy week in the land of British Columbia. I was transfered to North Vancouver about two weeks ago and had a pretty good time there! It was super pretty being right by the ocean and I met some pretty crazy dudes!——

But now, I am no longer there… I have been transfered to the Fraser Valley YSA branch to be with the Langley YSA zone leaders, Elder Englestead and Elder Atwood! I got a call two days ago (Saturday) in the morning from the Assistants and they told me to pack my bags. Then we picked up Elder O’Brien’s new companion, Elder Guinn, from a trio that was in Vancouver and went to the Vancouver chapel. We were there, Van-Chinese was there, President and Sister Burt were there and of course Langley YSA was there. So then we parted ways and I have been in the YSA ever since! And wow, do I feel about five years younger… and I’m only 19…
So last week in North Vancouver was still a fun time! We went on exchanges with the Korean Elders and that was the biggest highlight of my time there! They are a trio right now because one of their greenies is coming late September. But they are the only Korean speaking missionaries in the mission right now, so they get to go wherever they want! I actually went to High School my Sophmore year with one of them! A guy named Joseph Robinson–Elder Robinson now. He is so awesome! I was with him and Elder Kennedy and we spent most of the day in Burnaby. I quickly realized that about 95% of the Asian people I see walking around are not Korean, but Chinese… hence we have a lot of Chinese speaking missionaries but not a lot of Korean. Also a lot of their English skills are remarkably good, so I didn’t get to sit back and relax on the exchange as much as I thought I would haha. We had this crazy good Chinese food and massive Bubble Tea Slushies (they are an Asian thing–SUPER good!) so that exchange was a boatload of fun!
Then everything else fun that has happened has happened since I’ve been in the YSA! It is so weird working with YSA people though, you have to strive a lot harder to be professional and not act like a YSA member hahaha. But it is a lot easier to get good fellowshippers and all of our members and investigators text, so it makes setting lessons up much easier! A lot of them have more flexible schedules too, so we teach a lot more and at pretty much any hour of the day! We met some crazy people at the various bus loops we went to last night. One in particular told me that I would have the most beautiful “white person face” if I ate 7-8 green apples every single day… his name was Bright, and he was a homless black guy from Liberia haha. Good times.
Well I’m about out of time for today!! But it has been a super crazy, super fun week for me here! I hope you all have a good time wherever you are in the world and that you know that I love you! Have a super good week everyone! I will talk to you later!
–Elder Rushton The Third

Vancouver? Or Elder Rushton In Wonderland​?

Elder Skyler Rushton Vancouver Temple

Elder Skyler Rushton at Vancouver Temple

Hello friends and family! What a crazy week it has been here in the area of Vancouver. My only question: Where the heck am I? I know, strange question. But it is the sum up of all of my thoughts since I’ve been here! So the first day we drove here to North Vancouver (The name of the city is really “North Vancouver”) we got to drive through downtown Vancouver. So. Crazy. The traffic was nuts, every ethnicity was very well represented, names of stores in Mandarin Chinese to Farcie to Punjabi to Thai to Keren… You name it, it was there. Scantily clad everyone (except for the missionaries of course!), street performers, and business people; there was everything. It was a tad bit overwhelming! And that was just downtown during the DAY! On Saturday, we got the opportunity to drive through it again at night.

Nighttime Vancouver is very different from day time Vancouver. We saw a lady walking around with a giant snake draped over her shoulders, tons of crazy homeless people, tons of nightclubs and the kind of crowds they attract, giant bright neon signs; it was pretty much Las Vegas Strip status! It was all enormously different from my last area, that’s for sure!

So up here in North Van, it isn’t too bad actually. It’s one of the most beautiful places to live in the province, and also one of the most expensive. For those of you that know what my house back home looks like, it would cost about $1.7 Million here–land included. Super— Expensive. Most homes have basement suites so the owner can pay for the house. We live in one of two basement suites at our house, and its pretty ghetto-ey for $1100 rent haha! Although I will say that the gas fired stove is a nice touch! The members here are pretty rich apparently, but the chapel is pretty old so I’ve really yet to tell. I’ve seen every single nice car imaginable this last week, which is what missionaries, told me to expect when I knew I was coming here. Lamborghini’s, Porsches, Maserati’s, Corvette’s–everything. I’ll have to take some pictures!

In terms of missionary work here, it is a pretty small ward with a little bit of potential. There are three sets of missionaries in the ward, but only the sisters have baptized in the last year or two. There are tons of people to talk to here, so hopefully we can find some solid people to teach. Korean Elders are my district, so I should be learning some more Korean this transfer! Also, the zone leaders are Chinese ! I hear that exchanges in those areas are fun too, because all of the lessons aren’t in English and you don’t do anything except smile ha-ha. I’m good at that!

Elder Daniel L. Johnson of the seventy came to our mission on Saturday and gave a powerful training to us, the Bishop’s in the area and the ward mission leaders on member-missionary work. It was super intense. He broke the wall between members and missionaries and made us all feel unified in our work. It is kind of hard to describe! Every member in attendance gave at least one referral to the missionaries in their ward, and Elder Johnson didn’t come with any prepared material; he just followed the Spirit the whole time! His goal was to bring members and missionaries together. Well Elder Johnson, you succeeded. Job well done. Hastening of the work, here we come!

Well that’s pretty much all I’ve got to report! I love all of you and I hope that as you all head back to school and stuff that you’ll be able to adjust easily! Have a great week everyone! I’ll talk to you later!

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

Over the River, Thru the Woods and to North Shore We Go!

 

1024px-North_Vancouver_Canada

North Vancouver, Canada

Letter from Sept 2nd 2014

Hello friends and family! So today, the day after Labor Day (yes, they still have it here in Canada!) wraps up the craziest, but most fun week of my mission! First of all, we got transfer calls last night! So I started my mission in Penticton, crossed the Okanagan river to Brookswood (AKA. Brooks-Hood due to its Ghetto nature), and now I am traveling to Northshore Vancouver! I’m just working my way west across the province; kind of like the pioneers! Maybe I will head to Vancouver Island next… Guess we will have to wait six more weeks to find out!

It is a tad bitter-sweet leaving Brookswood after 7 1/2 months here. I’ve got a lot of good memories here and some really good friends both in the ward and in the missionary zone. But I swear I have talked to every single person in Langley city haha; it is time for me to go. If I was supposed to meet someone here during my stay, chances are I probably did since I talked to so many stinkin’ people! I’ve got a good number of members I’ve got to say goodbye too and a few non-members as well. You don’t realize how many friends you have somewhere until right before you leave!

So this week has been filled with craziness! I was on exchange with Elder Wood on Tuesday, and he taught me how to defend myself from someone with a knife and how to get someone in an arm bar. It was fun! Then I have been on exchange with one of our zone leaders, Elder Englestead (who came out with me and is from Cedar City, Utah!) since Wednesday night! We have been having a blast together; Elder Englestead is such a goof it’s awesome! Missionaries that are put in the YSA generally come out a lot funnier, and Elder Englestead is no different! He was very much a redneck back home, and he’s got a lot of funny stories. Yay for Southern Utah/Second Texas people!

We helped move people three different times this last week. The first was this non-member old lady into a retirement home and while we were moving her, these other old ladies kept trying to hit on me because of my “shiny blue basketball shorts”… I’ve never felt so uncomfortable in my life ha-ha-ha. (So awkward.) The second was a new member to the ward and the third was my good friend Brother C who has been trying to find a new place to live since I got here! The ward finally helped him find a new place, and we were very glad to help him move out of his super-ghetto apartment building where people get stabbed on a regular basis… Yay for moving!

We have had a pretty sparse teaching pool here in Brookswood since our one investigator was freaked out by tithing. But we have been doing a lot-of less-active work which has kept us surprisingly busy.  One Youth got back from EFY last week and he was super less active, but since he has been home we have been visiting him a lot and he is as good as reactivated now. Brother C, who is a recent convert, will also be going through the temple this month, and I’m still close enough to come back and go through with him! So that will be great.

The last amazing thing that happened last week is that Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy had a special meeting with us!! He taught us some AWESOME deep doctrine and talked about how to create a Celestial mission, as well as other things. I actually heard him speak in the MTC and I didn’t like it that much…. but this was probably one of my favorite meetings I’ve had on my mission! General Authorities are always so awesome to go hear.

Well everyone, that’s about 1/10th of what happened this last week, but I hope you all enjoyed it! I’m excited to get another area under my belt, but the transition process to a new area always stinks a bit. But it should be an adventure! I love you all, and I hope every single one of you has a superb week! Goodbye for now!

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

Mini-Missionaries? So am I a Mega-Missionary?!

Skyler and companions

Elder Skyler Rushton with his companions.

Hello my family and friends! We had TWO mini-missionaries with us this week. (Young Men that are 16-17 getting ready to serve missions)

Needless to say, it was another crazy week. But definitely one to write home about!

So P-day was a P-day–we got lost looking for somewhere to pick blackberries and then we visited a Brother in the ward. His son was the director of “Saints and Soldiers” and “Forever Strong”, so we talked about that for the most part.  Then we visited one of our mini-missionary families to give him his name tag and planner for his mini-mission!

Tuesday morning we picked him up and headed to Burnaby for a Lower Mainland zone conference with President and Sister Burt, and their two sons Corey and Brandon. It was an excellent meeting! Both of President Burt’s kids served in France and they gave excellent trainings on getting along with companions and doing effective missionary work together. Then we took a picture with all of the missionaries before we headed back to Langley. We ate at a Dairy Queen in Surrey on the way home, and I knew Surrey was a ghetto before, but I never realized that they would have bars on the windows of their fast food restaurants! So that was nuts.

Then we got back to Langley and taught some really good lessons with our mini Elder! We got to take him tracting and contacting with us too, so it was a full day! He is only 16 but man, he held up like a champ. When he turns 18 that boy will be ready to serve a mission! Wednesday, the second day of his mini-mission, we went on exchanges with the zone leaders so unfortunately I wasn’t able to be with him his second day.  But they said he did AWESOME and Elder Atwood and I had a spectacular time in the Langley YSA area! For example, we taught a pregnant girl the law of chastity while she was in the hospital about to give birth  –her second child to be exact. This one is also going up for adoption. Needless to say, that was a unique lesson! And just for kicks we taught the Word of Wisdom too. It went great! She accepted both and she is on track to get baptized on September 20th! She is supposed to have the baby today  (Monday) and then when she gets out of the hospital, she will be able to come to church enough times to be baptized. Yay for crazy experiences on your mission!

We exchanged companions  back Thursday morning so Elder Bennett and I could take our mini Missionary home and it was sure tough to say goodbye to him! We had a great time on his mini-mission; but we also knew that we could potentially do it again sometime, so it wasn’t too hard! We said goodbyes and then Elder Bennett and I went home to weekly plan. While we were planning, the Assistants called to tell us to drive into Richmond so President could talk with us. On the way there, we both didn’t trust Elder Bennett’s GPS and ended up getting off on the wrong exit–placing us right in downtown Vancouver. So that was crazy, but I had never been there, so it was fun! I got some great pictures and eventually we ended up in Richmond! President just wanted to see how the first mini-mission went and while we were in the Mission Office, the Richmond relief society was having a dinner so we got ribs!! Another pretty awesome day.

Friday morning, we picked up another Mini Elder and started his mini-mission with a great companionship study session! During their mini-mission’s, they are with us 24/7 and are basically normal missionaries for the next three days. We had just as much fun with this Elder as we did with the other one! He is 17 but when his mission time rolls around, he will be ready. He sells his window washing services door to door, so tracting wasn’t too different for him to do. He is a really good teacher too! So after the first day, the zone leaders did another mini-exchange with us the second day and two Elders and I ended up teaching the pregnant girl in the hospital again! This time, we taught the law of tithing! It went great! Our Mini-Elder  bore a solid testimony on paying tithing, and the lesson went without a hitch. When we exchanged back, we went to a baptism in our ward. His sister was a member, and the Sisters in the ward were the ones that taught him (mainly because Elder Bennett and I could never get past his own sister to teach him haha…) and finally got him baptized! This was our ward’s second baptism in two weeks, so hopefully we can keep this momentum up. That was pretty much it that happened for Saturday!

Sunday, we were told that the choir director wanted the three of us to sing prelude music for sacrament meeting, so that was fun! Then, because one of our Mini Elders is one of the few Priests in the ward, they needed him to help bless the sacrament and I got to do it too! It was the first time I had blessed the sacrament on my mission, and luckily I didn’t mess up at all. My companion, Elder Bennett gave a talk in sacrament meeting and really just ended up talking about the experiences we had with the mini-missionaries over the last week. The ward LOVED hearing about their young men coming out with us being missionaries! Our Mini Elder also got lots of compliments on his name tag that Elder Bennett and I had made for him (we just covered my name on one of mine with a piece of paper and put his last name on it). His Dad, also came up to us and thanked us for taking his son on a mini-mission. It was pretty great. After church, we packed up his stuff and took him home. It was sad saying goodbye, but Elder Bennett and I officially have no food now because our mini-missionaries cleaned us out!!!

I am so thankful for the chance we had to be with those two great young men this week. They are both really great, and I think it helped them prepare for their missions more than anything else they could do! Fun, fun times.

Well that’s about it for this week! Next week is Labor Day, so I may not be e-mailing until Tuesday. Also, transfer calls are next Monday -Sept 1st (can you believe it?!) so I might know if I’m leaving or staying by next Tuesday! I hope you all have a really great week and that you enjoy this last bit of summer we’ve got! I love all of you! I will talk to you later!

 

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

The “Calm” Before the Storm

Skyler by a missile

Skyler by a missile.

Hello everyone! It was yet another week in the Urban Canadian Jungle of Langley, B.C. Last week, we had our first mini-missionary of the summer and this next week we get to have TWO back-to-back mini-missionaries with two priests from our ward! We have another convert coming with us Tuesday to Thursday and then another Priest is coming with us Friday to Sunday. It is sure to be crazy, but we will all have a good time!

So on Monday we played basketball for a couple hours in Pitt Meadows during P-day, and then we taught our friend Conspiracy C! He went off again on the Holocaust, but we were able to bring it back to the gospel and had a pretty good lesson with him! That was about it for the day.

On Tuesday we had to travel to a chapel in Surrey for a meeting, and I got to meet Elder Sloan’s mom! Elder Sloan is the Elder in our district with Down syndrome. We told her about how all he would eat is perogies and that he said that’s all he ate at home. She laughed and told us that he was totally playing us!! She was like, “We NEVER eat perogies at home! They are so bad for you! He has been conning the Elders in your district the whole time!” Haha, we had a pretty good laugh, and then she told us to never feed him perogies again! So we called the Willoughby Elders and told them his mom had banned perogies. Then they told Elder Sloan… and then ten minutes later Elder Sloan called his mom crying ha-ha! She picked up the phone and told him, “No Elder Sloan. We have to eat good food to be good missionaries! Now have a great day honey!” Ha-ha, couldn’t have said it better myself. But anyways, all is good now and Elder Sloan is eating much healthier.

On Wednesday, we had a good district meeting in the morning, and then that night a member of the bishopric took us and our investigator Conspiracy C to Boston Pizza for dinner!! It was great! He set it up on Sunday with him and we all had a good time. Conspiracy C played semi-pro hockey in Germany for eight seasons, and so he had lots of good stories to tell! During dinner, our member started talking about the Plan of Salvation (one of the few lessons we hadn’t taught him yet) and Conspiracy C had no idea what he was talking about. Unfortunately it was one of those, “We can become God.” type comments that missionaries love so much, so our member got him really pumped up to be taught the Plan of Salvation on Thursday!

Thursday! We weekly planned and then taught Conspiracy C that night! He is the biggest jokester ever, and during the lesson he told us that he had received an answer about Joseph Stalin being a prophet. “Don’t you mean Joseph Smith?” We asked.

“Oh yeah, that’s what I meant!” He said, “Well, the answer came in an unexpected way… it came in German.”

“Oh really? What was it?” (Previous to this, when we had asked him to be baptized August 30th, he had responded, “Holy Crap” in German. So we figured it was just that again…)

“It was Sieg Heil!” (Translation: Victory is Imminent)

His answer to Joseph Smith being a prophet was one of Hitler’s, and the Nazi’s, major phrases. Haha, so we told him to go pray about it again and to stop reading Hitler’s biography and the Book of Mormon at the same time. But other than that, the Plan of Salvation went great!

Friday was a crazy day! We taught our friends A and J (both have pretty bad memory problems and mild mental disorders), and both lessons went good. J told us he would stop smoking so he could get baptized on Sept. 6th; that was a step in the right direction! Then we taught Conspiracy C yet again that night. We had taught him all of the major lessons and committed him to the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity, so we just had one last hurdle before he was good to go: Tithing. So we took our English friend, and taught him the law of the fast (which he kind of brought up on his own) and the law of tithing. Well, suffice it to say that he won’t be getting baptized on the 30th unfortunately! Looks like he wasn’t as elect as we thought, but hopefully somewhere down the road we will try back with him and see more miracles!

On Saturday, a 14-year old girl the sisters were teaching got baptized! The service was EXCELLENT and Elder Bennett and I were pretty busy the whole night making sure the whole service ran smoothly for the sisters. The girl was confirmed on Sunday and the Bishop (who also baptized her) said that she was the missing piece in our young women that we didn’t know was missing. Her story is the definition of a Preach my Gospel baptism and conversion! The young women fellowshipped her so well, there was no way that she wasn’t going to get baptized haha. She was the huge miracle for the week because she was the first convert baptism of the year for Brookswood ward! Another one of the sister’s investigators is getting baptized this Saturday, and then Conspiracy C was supposed to be the next Saturday… but it looks like we will just have to keep looking!

Well that’s about it for this week everyone. The weather has been nice up here lately, but WAY too humid!! I hate the humidity! But other than that all is well! I hope you all have a great week! Love the end of the summer! I love you all! Talk to you later!!

–Elder Rushton The Third

Skyler has been home this long-

  • Skyler has been home for:
    3 years, 4 months, 13 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes, 0 seconds ago