Mission Hump Day! (Aug 5th letter)

Elder Skyler Rushton

Elder Skyler Rushton at Vancouver Temple

Hello everyone! I’m e-mailing today (Tuesday) because yesterday was B.C. day! AKA. Another random Canadian holiday they celebrate just so people don’t have to work and so they can close the libraries. So exactly a year from today is the day I go home from my mission! Whoah, where did THAT come from?? I’ve been out a YEAR?!?! Seriously everyone, I can’t even believe it myself. Oh well, mission life goes on!

So yesterday we were at the mission office and I got a letter from my trainer Elder Sly… It was his wedding invitation haha!! Well congratulations Randy Jo Sly, you got married within three months of being home, just like I called it from the day I learned about your girlfriend. Haha, kind of sad I can’t go, but I’ll be there in spirit :)

Well, all of the 52 weeks I’ve been on my mission have been crazy in one way or another, and this week was no different. On Monday, we played mini-golf with the members of our district and then taught a less-active family where the husband is going through chemo treatment. We gave him a blessing a couple months ago at the beginning of his treatment and on Monday, it was actually his wife (who is more less-active than he is) who asked if we would give him another! We happily agreed, and it turned out to be our most spiritual visit with that family ever! After that, we went and taught a former investigator who I will refer to as “Conspiracy Chris”, you can probably guess why. To sum up his crazy ideas: The holocaust didn’t happen, the wealth in the world is controlled by the Jewish people, JFK’s assasination happened differently than was reported and 9/11 was planned by a Jewish person to help him get more money. Anyways, that was a weird lesson and Chris is an odd duck, but it went pretty well. As we left his house, we walked past a bar and a group of friends sitting outside at a table started talking to us. It started off kind of as a joke, but it actually turned into a quality gospel conversation! Then, Satan intervened. Two punks we see all the time in downtown Langley showed up out of nowhere and started anti-ing the people we were talking to. Then the people we first started talking to started to stand up for us and yell at the two punks! Then… a bar fight almost broke out, and Elder Bennett and I had to duck out before anything happened. Now that was crazy!

On Tuesday, we were on exchanges and I was in Willoughby with Elder Sloan and Elder Zamano! It was a lot of fun! Elder Sloan is the one with down syndrome, so he is with Willoughby Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday during the day. He is a great missionary and so full of love! Also, his favorite thing in the world to do is eat perogies! So… that’s all the Willoughby Elders feed him! And that is all he eats while he is with them! They aren’t the healthies things in the world, and I did some math while I was up in Willoughby… They feed Elder Sloan 14 pounds of perogies a week. Haha oh man… so I committed Elder Zamano to feeding Elder Sloan some fruits and veggies next week.

Wednesday, our old district leader Elder Bullock showed up randomly on vacation with his family! So it was good to see him. Thursday was a pretty normal weekly planning day and Friday I was on exchanges again with an Elder Eschrich from Pittsburgh. He has only been out a week and I was his first exchange, so we had a fun time together! We taught lessons ALL DAY and got double big Mac’s (a Canadian specialty!) in between some lessons! It was a good day, and it was fun to be with a new missionary!

On Sunday, we had two investigators, Conspiracy Chris and a guy named Al, come to church! We also had three less-actives come as well, so that was good. Yesterday I got to travel to the mission president’s house for the first time ever in Richmond! So that was fun! We got to see a lot of the lower mainland on the drive too, so that always makes for a good time! Well I’m running out of time today; this week was just so crazy, I can’t fit it all into the letter! But just know that I love all of you still and that as I look back on my time in the mission, I have loved my mission thus far. God is so good. Well everyone, I’ll talk to you later! Love you bye!

 

Elder Rushton The Third

From “Magic Underwear?” To Mini-Missionary

Vancouver B.C. Temple

Vancouver British Columbia Temple

Hello friends and family! They are having some kind of random pirate dance party in the corner of the library I am e-mailing at… So please forgive me if this e-mail seems a bit scatter brained!

So this week was CRAZY! So long! The highlight of the week was our mini-mission with our recent convert. He was the 18 year old that requested a Book of Mormon over Mormon.org after watching South Park and The Book of Mormon Musical! It has been amazing to see him go from asking us on our second visit, “Are you guys wearing your magic Mormon Underwear?” To coming on a mini-mission with us–preaching the Gospel–for three whole days. I’ll talk more about this a little later; but if that transformation isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

So last Tuesday, after I emailed, we went on exchanges with Willoughby! First, they came to our apartment so we could all have lunch together before we broke off. Elder Sloan was with them so I made his favorite of course… Perogies!! Haha, he loved it. So Elder Smith and I were in Brookswood and we had a great day! We taught ALL DAY! Which was great because that is just how I had planned it! So near the end of the day, we got a call from the two of the Assistants–Elder Baker and Elder Kennedy–and they told us that they were going to spend the night with us so they didn’t have to travel all the way from Richmond to Abbotsford the next morning. Elder Baker actually trained Elder Smith in Brookswood a year ago, so it was cool to hear them talk about what had happened in my area a whole year ago! I don’t think I could learn anything else about this area… considering I’ve been here so long haha! So their sleepover was a lot of fun–I can’t wait for Elder Kennedy to get home and play basketball for BYU! I’ll be like, “I know that guy!! He ate all of my food once!” Haha.

Wednesday morning, we had a great zone meeting with some spectacular trainings and testimonies. I got to bear my testimony, and I used 1 Peter 5:5-11 in my testimony. I used it because we had been talking about humility earlier in our meeting, and it is also one of my favorites :)  So then, after zone meeting, I went on a back-to-back exchange with Elder Englestead! We had a super good day. He came out at the same time as me, so it was cool reflecting on how the last year of our missions have gone. We also taught one of our investigators (who has some slight mental handicaps), and when I asked him if he thought Joseph Smith was a prophet, he said, “Well yeah, he is. God and Jesus Christ appeared to him didn’t they? Then why wouldn’t he be?” Miracle!

So Elder Bennett and I were finally back together on Thursday and we weekly planned. We also made our last preparations for our mini-mission with our new convert I mentioned at the beginning of this email.  So on Friday morning, we picked him up from his house and started on our missionary work! The day went great and we did a little bit of everything with him–teaching, finding, planning; the works. Then Saturday went great as well! We taught our investigator I call Conspiracy C and had an awesome lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (or “J-C” as he calls him). At the end of it, we invited him to be baptized on August 30th and he responded by saying, “Holy Crap.” In German. Oh C, such a jokester haha! Anyways, he actually said yes!! We taught him the Word of Wisdom (which he had NO problems with because he is a health nut) and the Ten Commandments–mainly because he’s got a bit of a problem with taking the Lord’s name in vain haha. He said yes to that too! Then he came to church again! Miracles! He is on track to get dunked at the end of this month!

Another cool thing that happened on our converts mini mission is that we ended up teaching him and another Brother (the recent convert about to get his endowments) D&C 132… The section that explains how we can become Gods. Haha, never expected to teach that on my mission. It went shockingly well, however, and they both understood it. I’m glad that I know doctrine well enough to break it down so recent converts can understand it. Because let’s face it, that is some DEEP doctrine haha! Anyways, enough of that. Church went great, and then we had to take “Elder Green” home. It was sad to see him go because we had SOOO much fun with him haha! Elder Bennett and I are his “original” missionaries before we handed him off to YSA. He was baptized in two and a half weeks and has been a member for three months; but he did an awesome job sharing the gospel with us on his mini mission! I wish we could do it again! We will get the chance to do it with a couple priests in two weeks, so that should be fun! I’m sorry this letter is longer than normal! I didn’t have that many others to respond too and SO much happened this week! The next paragraph of this e-mail is kind of my testimony for the week; read it if you dare!

The most memorable thing that happened this week, for me, came Friday night when we were P-T’ing (pillow talking!) So since we have to be in bed by 10:30, but we usually aren’t done talking; we pray and then lay on our beds and chat. So Elder Bennett fell asleep pretty quick on the floor, but our recent convert and I stayed up talking for a while. We talked about a lot of things, but one thing in particular was about where his testimony is at now. His is kind of at the point of, “Even if God isn’t real, at least this church makes me happy and I feel like I’m doing the right thing.” Which isn’t bad, but I went ahead and used it as a quality teaching moment. I told him about how I know that God is real: It is because of the Book of Mormon. If the Book of Mormon is the word of God (or “true” as some say), then Joseph Smith really did translate it from golden plates by the gift and power of God–never could a man such as him write a book like that, even with the help of others! If Joseph Smith translated them from golden plates that he had (and there are 11 men that testified that Joseph had plates “with the appearance of gold”), than that means that the angel Morori appeared to him and revealed to him where they were buried. If an angel of God really did appear to Joseph after his original First Vision, then there is no way that Joseph Smith would have lied at the start by claiming to have seen God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in that grove which is now sacred ground. If Joseph Smith was visited by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the sacred grove, than that means two key things: That Joseph Smith was called of God to be the Prophet of the Restoration; and that God and Jesus Christ are REAL, are very much aware of us, are two separate beings, and a multitude of other truths! For me, I know that all these things are true. And as for objections to these events that happened, consider this quote by Ezra Taft Benson: “Our main task is to declare the gospel and do it effectively. We are not obligated to answer every objection. Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand”. I have received that witness for myself and I can’t deny it. Our recent convert is still learning for himself, but I’m sure that the experiences he had with us on his mini-mission will be a foundation for his testimony in the years to come!

Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed this novel of an e-mail! I hope you all have an excellent week and that your summer continues to be glorious! I’ll talk to you all later! Love you all!

 

–Elder Rushton The Third

Holding Down the Fort

Skyler Rushton by Vancouver Temple

Elder Skyler Rushton by the Vancouver B.C. temple.

Well to start off, I did NOT get transferred!! Crazy! That means by the end of this transfer I will have been in Brookswood for 7 1/2 months!! And I’m still with Elder Bennett too; which means I’ll have been with him for 4 1/2 months by the end of this transfer! Am I happy or sad about it? Not really ha-ha. It works for me–and obviously it works better for the Lord or else he wouldn’t have left us here! But even in the few days since transfer meeting, we’ve been seeing the reasons already as to why the Lord left us here. This should be a GREAT transfer!

 The beginning of the week was crazy with transfer calls and whatnot. A lot of our zone was changed up and Surrey zone got DESTROYED by transfers! The big stories about transfers are: The Surrey Spanish ward went from having eight missionaries to just one companionship of Elders, my old area (Penticton) I found out was closed by President Tilleman before he left because the ward was not doing so well.  We heard the transfer meeting was super, super good, but Elder Bennett and I weren’t there because we didn’t get transferred! Oh well, maybe next time!

 So our week was pretty average until Friday; we taught a lot of our less-actives and we went to go see our house full of Jamaicans that I mentioned a couple weeks ago, and it was ABANDONED!! A house filled with 18 Jamaicans and they are all just GONE! So that was crazy. Friday morning we got a call from President Burt: He and Sister Burt were coming up to meet with us at the chapel around noon. Crazy! So we met them there and we had interviews with them. Took us completely by surprise!. But the interview was great! President Burt told me about his company back home–Burt Brother’s Tires–and a bunch of other cool stuff. 

President and Sister Burt wanted to take us to Wendy’s for lunch! So they followed us to the nearest one and we went inside and he bought us both lunch! That day meant a lot to both Elder Bennett and I. President Burt has been on a mission for almost a month, has 280 missionaries that he has to take care of, and he took the time to show his love for Elder Bennett and I. It was awesome. We had a super fun time at lunch with them too. We just HAD to ask about iPads! He said we might have them before the end of the year or early next year! “Definitely before you go home.” Is what he told me! Yay iPads! He also told me, “If you EVER go less-active, I will hunt you down, and I will kill you.” Ha-ha-ha, he said it in his President Burt-jokingly way, but I believe him!! Oh man, he is just so awesome.

 So then Saturday was a good day too! We called EVERY SINGLE former investigator in our area book to set up lessons for next week! We had a TON of success with it! They changed the way we count new investigators, so it is harder to reach the basic standards of excellence (a combined total of 12 between New Investigators and Member Present Lessons), so we are going to have to rely a lot more on MPL’s to reach standards. But next week is looking really good for that. We also figured if we are going to stay here for another transfer, why not make it our best yet??

 At church on Sunday, the Assistants randomly showed up and came to church with us! We were afraid they would want to go on exchanges (I HATE it when they surprise “go on exchanges” with us!!) but they ended up just coming back to our place for lunch and then went back to Richmond! One of them, Elder Kennedy, is a 6’10″ black guy who is going to play basketball for BYU when he gets home, and he is my favorite haha! We had so much fun together! Everyone at church just had to ask if he did sports back home, and it was super funny when he said he was going to BYU! Oh man, it was just classic. We also had an investigator show up for church which was the major accomplishment for the week! She is great, but it will take some work from the Atonement to fix her up and get her baptized. She comes from a rough background and she just moved here to live with her aunt who is a member. She will be someone that we focus on next week!

Well that’s my week for ‘yall! I hope you enjoyed it! I sure enjoyed the end of it, especially when President Burt came to visit us. I hope all of you back home are doing well and that you are enjoying the summer! It has been SUPER hot here for us! The humidity was 100% percent for a couple days… and it rained once which cooled it off for a day or two, which was nice. Oh yeah! We pushed some lady’s car out of the street in the rain because her battery died. That was great too! Well anyways, have a great week everyone! I love all of you! The church is true, and God is so good. Talk to you all later!!

Elder Rushton The Third

My Journey for Jesus

Elder Skyler Rushton with candy.

Elder Skyler Rushton with Cadbury eggs.

Note: (We are waiting to hear if Skyler was transferred this week so check back on the blog soon!)

Hello friends and family! It has been another week of my journey for Jesus up here in Beautiful British Columbia! It took me almost four minutes to think of a title for this e-mail, but I think that it is fitting haha.

So on Monday, we got 5-dollar Lebanese haircuts that President Burt complimented on Saturday; so that was the first success of the week! That was the major event of Monday. On Tuesday, we found out that the Willoughby Elders in our district were going to get another missionary–Elder Sloan! Elder Sloan is so awesome!! He lives in Surrey, B.C. which is about twenty minutes away and he has Down syndrome. But he is an awesome missionary and he is the most loving missionary you will ever meet! They just moved him from Kelowna to Willoughby so he could be close to his parents again (previous to Kelowna he was serving in Richmond–also close to Surrey) and he is EXACTLY what Willoughby needs! Willoughby is a tough area; lots of rich people that won’t give you the time of day. But Elder Sloan just melts hearts, so when we heard that he was coming to the district, we were all pumped! He just had his birthday on Thursday as well, so Elder Bennett, as a good district leader, bought him a birthday cake! Thursday is our weekly planning day, so it was a good break from planning to go get a cake. So Monday through Thursday was pretty uneventful except for Elder Sloan, so we will move on to the rest of the week!

Friday I was on exchanges with Elder Wood in Pitt Meadows, AKA. Pitt Ghetto’s. It was sweet! They cover Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, so we split our time between the two. We had a great day of finding and teaching a less-active Brother; but the best part of the day came in the afternoon when we taught a YSA girl. The YSA Elders brought up two YSA members to fellowship her and be the members for our lesson. They brought the members and then went out finding while Elder Wood and I taught our investigator. It went SO GOOD!! The 2 YSA members are both recent converts that were baptized in April—One of them got baptized in two weeks after meeting the missionaries and the other got baptized seven months after meeting the missionaries! They both had very different stories on how they eventually accepted the Gospel and got baptized, but they both have fireball testimonies! One of the sisters was just blown away by them and we ended up going over the Restoration, Plan of Salvation and Gospel of Jesus Christ with her. The spirit was super strong and I am super jealous that she is not our investigator –haha. She is totally getting baptized!  Elder Bennett and I went to the YSA for a bit on Sunday to see her and we ran into a guy (he’s East Indian) who was found by my good mission buddy, Elder Lewis. He is getting baptized next week, so it was super cool to get to talk to him about his conversion story! God’s plan is totally perfect.

On Saturday, we drove to Richmond to have interviews with President Burt for the first time, and that all went pretty good! It is always a lot of fun driving on Highway 99 into Richmond; you get to go 120 KPH which looks really fast because it’s a number over 100, but it’s really like 75 MPH; which is still fun! I was also interviewed by some of the Assistants–Elder Baker and Lieber–and it was cool to get to talk to both of them because I’ve gone on exchanges with them before. Before we headed back to Brookswood, we had to drive to Pitt Meadows to drop off some Book of Mormon’s. It was sweet getting to drive the Richmond to Pitt Meadows route, because I got to go through Delta, Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam for the first time ever! Traffic in New West was nuts, but the drive was very scenic. It was cool getting to see the diversity of the Lower Mainland.

On Sunday, Elder Christensen, the area authority for British Columbia, came to our ward and taught combined High Priests and Elders quorum meeting. He opened up the floor for questions at first and a LOT of questions were asked about the women and the priesthood issue. It was special seeing someone almost general authority status answer questions from the priesthood group. Then he gave a training on the duties of the priesthood. It was excellent!!! Blew my mind, that’s for sure. Then after the meeting, Elder Bennett and I got to assist Elder Christensen in a blessing for someone in the ward! It was awesome getting to be a part of that.

Well those are really the key points of this week! Tonight is transfer call night and considering I’ve been here in Brookswood for six months now, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a call! Langley has been a good city to serve in; I’ve definitely met the most interesting people ever here. But we will see what happens tonight! I know that whatever happens is inspired. I think the major lesson I learned this week is that leadership in the church is called of God. You can’t aspire to certain positions in the church

(Hebrews 5:4)–the Lord is going to put you where he knows you need to be. God’s plan for us is perfect, and where He puts us is no less perfect! I’ve totally got a testimony of that!! I love you all!! I hope you have a wonderful week! Keep praying for me, I’ll be praying for all of you! This church is true, this work is divine and God truly does love us all. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you; talk to you all later!

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

El Scorcho in Canada….who knew?

Elder Skyler Rushton at Vancouver temple

Elder Skyler Rushton at Vancouver B.C. Temple

Before I dive into this week’s e-mail, I need to give you all my new address again… because I think I  forgot the apartment number off of last week’s e-mail ha-ha… so here you go!:

Elder Rushton

20050 55A Ave

Apartment #209

Langley, B.C.

V3A 4K9 Canada

 

Alright, into the week… on Monday, we went and played volleyball at a park that had beach volleyball courts! It was a lot of fun, and it was just the start of our insanely hot week! Then we went and played basketball for a bit!

On Tuesday, I met President Burt (my new mission president) for the first time ever! He and sister Burt are soooo loving! They are so different from President Tilleman! He was very, very loving too, but their personalities are very different! So the Burt’s are from Utah, and President Burt served his mission in Alberta. They are from Bountiful, Utah and they are just super awesome. So on Tuesday night, we texted President Burt to see if he wanted to come to a lesson Saturday night with us to a less-active family. We didn’t know who to take with us there until our zone conference; we figured the Burt’s would work perfect! So with 280 missionaries in our mission, it is very rare that our Mission President would even have time to respond to our text. But he did! And he said yes! So that was the accomplishment of the day; the rest of the day we spent packing up our apartment and preparing to move. We also got a rental car from Boyd auto body that we were sooooo grateful to get!! Without it, we wouldn’t have been able to move this week haha.

On Wednesday, the Surrey 3rd Elders (the Elders in charge of helping missionaries move in the Lower Mainland) came over with their truck and trailer to get our furniture. So they took our beds, couch, table and our other stuff to the new place. Then they helped us take it up to our apartment. That step took about two hours or so, but it was so HOT and exhausting, we were all dead by the end of it. Pretty much that whole day was hashed with us moving everything else to the new place. We collapsed at the end of the day, but we really like our new apartment!

We spent some of Thursday moving stuff and getting set up, we also had to drive to Abbotsford and back. That night was the highlight of the day. We taught a sweet Jamaican guy named Winston who is living on a farm that he is employed by. He is living in a farmhouse with 18 other Jamaicans; they work during the day and are free at night. Surrey 3rd gave us him to teach because he is in our area. During our lesson with him, one by one all the Jamaican’s started coming out of the house to listen to us teach… it was kind of scary at first, but it actually turned out to be really cool! A couple of them wanted book of Mormon’s, but we only had one to give out with us, so we told them they would have to share! They couldn’t come to church yesterday, but we might have to get some kind of bus to go pick them all up next week haha. It was crazy!

We had a zone meeting on Friday where we discussed our new mission motto from President Burt:

Love–Serve–Obey

It was a good meeting; we all loved President Tilleman, but we all agreed that President Burt is what this mission needs right now to keep hastening the work! We drove to Richmond this day too for interviews with President Burt (he is trying to interview every missionary in the mission right now), but we showed up and the Assistants told us they were three hours behind. So we had to head back because we had an appointment that night… so we spent 3 hours of the day driving :(  Vancouver traffic sucks, really bad haha. On our way to Richmond, they cut five lanes down to one… it was ridiculous.

Saturday we phoned President Burt to make sure he could still come with us, and he told us he had totally forgotten, but that he would still come! So we had our lesson that night with a family and President and Sister Burt; I don’t think it could have gone any better! It was super good. President Burt is super inspired and Sister Burt is as well! Elder Bennett and I have mad respect for them both now. It also turned out to be President and Sister Burt’s very first missionary lesson on their mission!! We were super lucky to be part of that!

Sunday was kind of the usual: ward council, sacrament, gospel principles and priesthood. All went well, and it was nice to be out of the heat! Our apartment is super hot. Turns out, NO ONE IN CANADA HAS AIR CONDITIONING!!!! So we were dying allll week. Kind of made me miss winter… But we are still alive (for now), but this week is supposed to be hotter. We broke another heat record this week, so I might just ask if I can wear shorts for once… Haha, probably won’t happen.

Well that’s the sum up of the week for you! It was a crazy one, that’s for sure. Hopefully this week we get some more real missionary work done! I love you all!! Thanks for all of your e-mails, love, support, and prayers! Let me know if I can do anything for ya! Until next week; talk to you later!

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

Skyler has been home this long-

  • Skyler has been home for:
    2 years, 4 months, 12 days, 4 hours, 0 minutes, 27 seconds ago