Canada: A Foreign Land

Skyler in MTC with Elder Woolf

Skyler with Elder Woolf

For the first three or so days of this week, I don’t feel like I talked to a single white person. But that’s ok, I don’t like them anyways… Haha kidding, kidding.

So this week was pretty good! It wasn’t quite the spiritual high like last week, but it was still great! I had my best week in Brookswood results-wise, so that’s always a nice feeling! I feel like big things are right around the corner for this area, which is good considering our ward has a goal of 30 baptisms for the year and between us and the sisters we have… none… Yet! They are a-coming!

 The highlight of the week was my exchange with Elder Camp on Wednesday! We had a powerhouse district meeting (with me giving training on diligence and Elder Johnston training on the Book of Mormon) and then started our exchange! Since we’re on transit, we went and caught the bus into town. Then, we got hungry. Then… we caved in and got all you can eat Pizza Hut buffet… it was awesome ha-ha. It’s run by a bunch of Croatians, so that’s cool. I love their accents!

 Anyways, Elder Camp and I found a bunch of new investigators and had a great lesson with a part-member family. Elder Camp’s last companion was my best friend from the mission, Elder Lewis. I came out with him and he is seriously my best friend right now. He’s awesome! Anyways, Elder Camp and I talked about him a lot and also about Elder Camp’s past life. He was in a band and when we get home, we’re going to start a band ha-ha. He lives in Orem and was their starting quarterback for the last two years, but he’s put on some weight on him mission ha-ha. Anyways, he’s awesome.

 Then, we went on splits! I was with Brother Leonard who is from the U.K. I LOVE his accent, and he looks just like a young captain Picard from star trek. I told him that, and he got a kick out of it haha. So we visited some part member families and all went well!

 On Thursday, we went with Bishop Towns to visit an investigator couple who I’ve been working with since we got here. They’ve got the cutest daughter in the world, who is four and this couple is living common law. I feel like we had an awesome lesson with them, so hopefully we start to see some more progress there!

 Church was great and a recent convert family really digs Rlder Johnston and I and the mom finally came to church for the first time since I’ve been here! Everyone in this ward tells me how much they like me compared to the last Elder that was here, so that’s been pretty flattering I guess. Haha, now hopefully our investigators will start to feel that way too and get baptized!

Well have a wonderful week family and friends! I love all of you! Being on a mission has really made me recognize how much I really did love my family and friends back home. So have a great week, may the Lord bless all of you very abundantly!

The American Behind Canadian Lines,

–Elder Rushton The Third

An Asian, a Persian, a Menonite and a Black guy walk into a church…

Skyler Rushton Tie headband

Elder Skyler Rushton and his new style of wearing a tie.

I know, I know, it’s not the greatest e-mail title in the world but it’s what I’ve got haha.

Salome! (“hello” in Farci!)

This week was crazy (as they all seem to be) but lots of cool things happened this week! We met a Asian guy, a Persian guy, a Menonite and a Black guy this week! The Asian guy was Korean and we set a baptismal date with him at the bus stop before passing him off the the Burnaby Korean Elders! The Black guy is like a track star apparently! We met him at the Langley city bus loop and he’s sweet. Elder Johnston and I were waiting for the bus by the temple when the Assistants saw us (they had been at the temple for P-day) and gave us a ride into town. It’s always nerve wracking to be around the Assistants because you know that everything you do will be reported to President soon haha. So they dropped us off at the bus loop to contact there, saw a black guy, started yelling,”Black baptism!” and kicked us out to go talk to him. Luckily they left while we were talking to him, and he became a new investigator! So that was pretty sweet.
The Menonite guy I met was on exchanges in Willoughby with Elder Bonfield–a new missionary. We didn’t have a whole lot of success finding, but that night they had planned to teach a guy who’s wife had actually told them to come back. So we went with our member (some scottish guy whose accent I LOVED to death!) and met him! He’s a Menonite, like another investigator from Penticton, and he acts exactly like every other menonite guy I’ve taught. Super nice and really curious, but not really willing to act. He wants an NIV version of the BOM but I told him, “No sorry, that would be of the devil.” So we had a nice talk about the BOM and the Trinity. He believes in the trinity but just like everyone else who believes in the trinity, he can’t really explain what he believes in haha. So he was nice and I guess we’ll see if he goes anywhere!

Now the Persian guy we met was pretty interesting! His name is something in Farci, but no one can pronounce it, so he goes by another name and he is from Iran. We were at the library waiting for an investigator to come up and I saw him looking at this horse statue and I was like, “Hey, what’s up?” and he literally talked for an hour straight after that haha. He is not Muslim, he is Ba’hai. I’ve met them before and they’re really cool but to sum up their religion, they belive in EVERYTHING. It’s crazy and I can’t really explain it any better haha. But he is the smartest Ba’hai I’ve ever met! He’s met with the temple president here, the leader at the local Jehovah Witness Kingdom hall and other local pastors. He’s done a lot of truth seeking and has found some true doctrine, but he’s also got a couple of messed up beliefs. But we did have some common ground though, we both don’t like Jehovah Witnesses! So that was nice to hear haha. Hopefully we’ll be teaching him again in the near future.
Another investigator we found, is Muslim, so we have to get permission from President and ask him a couple questions before we can teach him. It’s for their own safety so we’ll see what happens with him!

Another cool thing happened this week, we walked by a film set! They were filming an American movie called “The Stars and Stripes” in downtown Langley. Pretty ironic they were filming in Canada eh?? Haha, we had a good laugh about that.

Well that’s about it for the week! I hope all of you are doing so very well! I love to hear from all of you and I hope you all have a very wonderful week! Follow the Spirit, dress modestly and choose the right! Love you all!
Your favorite Canadian Mexican,
–Elder Rushton The Third

The Church is True!

Elders Crossing a Bridge

Elders Crossing a Bridge (photo by Skyler Rushton)

The subject line says it all. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the twelve came to our mission along with Elder Marcos A. Aidukitis of the seventy, Bishop Causse of the presiding bishopric and our area authority, Elder Christenson. It. Was. Incredible. Words can NOT describe the spiritual enlightenment I felt at the feet of these great men–especially at the feet of on the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. As per my mission president’s instructions, I will not attempt to convey my deepest feelings and spiritual experiences I had with their coming, but it is sufficient for me to say that this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is true.

On Friday, we had a mission conference with the entire mission–because our mission is so huge, this has NEVER happened before. The cost of getting every missionary down here was enormous so it will probably never happen again. Friday we were instructed and edified by only President and Sister Tilleman to prepare us for Elder Christofferson and Company. That meeting alone could have been one of the greatest spiritual experiences of my mission. I firmly believe that one of the biggest reasons I am serving in the CAN-VAN mission was to be around President Tilleman. The man is a role model to me and he is truly incredible. On Saturday, Elder Christofferson himself said, “President and Sister Tilleman are the greatest mission president and wife that we [the brethren of the church] have to offer.” Sister Tilleman is the granddaughter of President Ezra Taft Benson and President Tilleman has an incredible story himself that you can find on LDS.org. Look it up if you ever get the chance, its great!

So the meeting on Friday was incredible and prepared us all spiritually for the meeting on Saturday. Again, I can’t put that meeting into words, but I will say that the chance to meet, shake the hand of and hear a “special witness” from an apostle of Jesus Christ is unlike anything else I have ever experienced in my life. Elder Aidukitis said, “Today will be THE foundation of your testimony of modern day prophets and apostles.” How right he was! Elder Aidukitis is also one of my heroes and I had the opportunity to hear him speak again at Stake Conference on Sunday. He gave another incredible talk there as well!

Bishop Causse gave a great talk on love. “It is the fire for everything that we do that is related to missionary work!” Ahh man, I have so many great quotes to share from that meeting, I’m just bursting with them! To conclude the whole ordeal, Elder Christofferson gave us and apostolic blessing (which is the second one of my mission including the one given to me in the MTC by Elder Scott of the 12) and the words are too sacred for me to write here right now.

Just this morning I went through an endowment session in the Langley temple. It blew my mind more so than usual and I was sitting in the Celestial room pondering on everything that I heard, felt, and learned from this weekend. I wish I had longer and could express better in my words everything that happened this last week, but I can’t! But I will close with my testimony:

This church is true. The Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, is actively leading it and guiding it every single day. When we pray for our leaders, He hears it and answers our prayers. The Brethren are truly favored of the Lord and are constantly inspired by Him. I hope you all get the chance to meet an apostle someday for they truly are the leaders of the Lord’s Kingdom here upon the Earth. Everyone keep your covenants, love they Lord with all of your heart and Love thy neighbor as thyself and I know that you will reach your exaltation in the life to come. I love the Lord, he loves me and I know with a surety that he loves all of you! I love ALL of you and I wish you one of the greatest weeks of your mortal lives ha-ha! Stay safe all of you and know that I continually pray for you all throughout my entire day. Usually by name too; so just know that!

Love you all, have a great week!

“He lives!” –Elder D. Todd Christofferson

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

Cupcakes are Like Sin

Skyler Rushton enjoying Canadain Timbits

Elder Skyler Rushton enjoying a Canadian snack food.

I know what you’re thinking, “WHAT is that title?!” Well, I promised Elder Johnston that it would be the title of my e-mail this week ha-ha. And the title is true! Cupcakes look really good for you and they’re really sweet at first, but what happens after you eat a lot of them? You get an upset stomach, gain weight and have your arteries clogged by trans fat. So then you need to repent by being healthy and actively working against eating bad stuff again. Anyways, enough of this crazy cupcake analogy and onto the week.

Monday was great! We had dinner at a less-actives house and she was part native, so we talked about my native nickname “Seen-cleep”! So that was cool. She said she’s going to make me a totem for it, so I’ll be looking forward to that! Then that night we found a couple new investigators and one named “Holmes Tingley”… No joke, that’s his name! I couldn’t stop laughing on the way home.

On Tuesday we had a tri-zone (Abbotsford, Surrey and Langley zones) conference with President Tilleman and Elders Smith and Orgill (two of president’s five AP’s.) All of the trainings were excellent. Elder Orgill has been an AP as long as I’ve been in the mission and he is just a spectacular missionary. And President Tilleman will be a general authority some day, you mark my words! Every time he speaks the spirit just hits you like a wall. Really, he is probably the best speaker I’ve ever heard in my life. I hope you all get the chance to hear him someday! Sister Tilleman gave an excellent training too and told how President proposed to her while they were reading the BOM together ha-ha. So she LOVES the book of Mormon! And she was 17 when she married president.. who was 25… so that was pretty crazy too!

The rest of the week was a little slower, but it started snowing on Friday and it has been snowing ever since! We have about a foot and a half on the ground and this NEVER happens in the Lower Mainland! It’s awesome, but it sure stinks to not have a car in it! But the Lord has put a lot of people in our path that we wouldn’t have met any other way! Like Krista! We were waiting at a bus stop for our bus to come when she walked by and we asked her how she was. She wasn’t doing very well. She had just had her purse stolen and a couple other things, so she was pretty low. To make a long story short, she agreed to let us come over and share another message about Christ and how he loves her! So, another new investigator thanks to the Langley public transit system!

So Elder D. Todd Christofferson is coming to our mission this Saturday so I’m stoked for that. A couple other general authorities are coming too, and no one seems to know why they’re coming. President told us they’re coming because they are so amazed at how our mission numbers have exploded…. I’m just hoping for I-pads. But we will see! That’s about it for this week though, but I’m very happy to be here in the CAN-VAN mission at this time! We break our own records every week and the Lord just keeps pouring out blessings! It’s a great time to be a missionary during the hastening!

I love you friends and family and I love the Lord as well. I know this work to be true and I believe the testimonies of our prophets and apostles when they say that “He lives!” I hope you all have a great week and possibly one of the greatest weeks of your life! As my friend Brother Agar would say, “Have a great week duders and dudettes. May the lord bless you eh!”

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Your favorite person in the Great White North,

–Elder Rushton the Third

Learning Life Skills in Brookswood–Feb 17th, 2014

Elder Skyler Rushton with Canada Elders

Elder Skyler Rushton with Canada Elders

Hello there friends and family! It’s your favorite son/friend/acquantince, Elder Rushton!

So I learned a whole lot of things this week!:

1. Public transit in Langley is NOT reliable!! Even if you’re at the bus stop fifteen minutes early, you’re still likely to miss the stinkin’ bus!

2. The sidewalks in B.C. are WAY too close to the road haha! I got soaked walking on them as cars drove by. Haha, it was terrible.

3. You meet a lot of… interesting people on the bus haha.

And 4. I’m apparently allergic to shellfish.

To start with, the busses stink here in Langley haha. They only come every 30-60 minutes and they aren’t reliable at all! I had to learn to read the bus map and stuff, but it doesn’t help at all if the bus just comes whenever it wants too haha! On Sundays, we get up at 5:30 so we can catch the 6:15 bus to town. Then we have to RUN two blocks to make the next bus which will get us a couple blocks from the church. Then, to make it to ward council at 7, we have to jog down the street to the temple and chapel. We have been coming in soaked in sweat but we haven’t been late yet!!

Next, the sidewalks are way too close to the street haha. This one is pretty self-explanatory, and whenever diesel trucks drive past us we get SOAKED haha.

Next, lots of good people use the bus system, but many of them are… interesting haha. I’ve met a lot of people who can’t speak english, a lot of handicapped people and some people that are ready for the gospel! Maybe that’s the reason we were put on transit, but I still kind of wish we had a car back haha. We met a super cool Korean guy on Friday at the Langley bus centre that we even set a baptismal date with! We passed him off to Burnaby Korean though, so hopefully they can get him baptized!

And then finally, I am allergic to shellfish. A less-active member took us to get fish n’ chips at C-Lovers on Wednesday, and I ordered the prawns! I ate all of them, felt really full and then we went out tracting. About an hour and a half later, Elder Johnston looks at me while we’re on a door step and goes, “Dude, you’re all red!” Before that, I had started to feel really itchy so when he said it, something clicked in my head and I knew something wasn’t right. So I called the mission nurse, told her I was breaking out in hives, and she told me to go to Wal-Mart and buy some anti-histamines! So I did and then I went to the washroom to look at myself in the mirror… I looked like a leper man! It was crazy! But then the medicine started to work and I was just fine.

So this week was filled with mini public transit related adventures, but it has been a learning experience for sure. I just hope I’m never stuck relying on a bus when I’m older haha. So apart from the temporal lessons I learned this week, I also learned a great deal of spiritual lessons. My testimony of the Gospel has grown immensely since I have been out on my mission. I am learning new ways to bear my testimony all of the time and my spiritual progression has been off the scales. However, it has not always been fine and dandy. There have been ups and downs, acceptance and rejection; but that’s all part of life, isn’t it?? So that has been the biggest life skill I’ve learned since I’ve been on my mission, dealing with life. I’ve still got a ways to go but if there is one thing I know with a surety, it’s that the Savior WILL help you get through it! Life can be pretty bleak sometimes but as you trust in the Lord, you can get through everything! Of that, I have a huge testimony!

I love all of you! I will continue to pray for all of you! And I hope every single one of you has one of the best weeks of your life! Have a wonderful week everyone!

–Elder Rushton The Third

Skyler has been home this long-

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