Looking Forward with Faith

Skyler in MTC with Elder Woolf

Skyler with Elder Woolf

This week was filled with several great, spiritual experiences. Forgive me for making this e-mail so long, but I think you’ll enjoy one or two of the things that happened to me this week!

On Monday, we had a hot-dog roast with our friend, and investigator on Monday. We’ve been teaching him for a while, but he hasn’t been “progressing”. We feel like he really likes us and on Monday, Elder Sly and I both had the impression that he’s going to start progressing very, very soon. So I guess we’ll see what happens!

On Tuesday, we drove down to Osoyoos to visit some of the sister’s investigators (the single guys) because they want us to teach them. We give the sister’s in our area our single women and they give us their single guys. It makes it easier for everyone! Anyways, so we met another investigator. He is super cool, old, and LOVES to talk! During our visit, Elder Sly and I talked for about 5 minutes. Our investigator;  however, talked for THREE AND A HALF HOURS!! Haha, it was nuts! We’ll be visiting him soon, and there’s no way I’m going to let us stay there for that long again haha.

Wednesday! Wednesday we visited a lady (a less-active member) in the hospital. We had a REALLY good visit with her and we’ll be teaching her and her roommate, in a week or so. However, the crazy thing happened as we were leaving. She almost died! Ahh! It freaked me out! I had to go get the nurse and stuff, but it’s ok, she’s fine now. Phew! Then, we went and taught our other investigator, our 7th day Adventist friend. It went SUPER good! We were on exchanges at the time, so I had to take the lead teaching her the Plan of Salvation. Luckily I’d spent all morning getting scriptures ready for the lesson. I’m glad I did because she wanted EVERYTHING to be proven out of the scriptures. Most of our investigators are like that. Anyways, the lesson went great; we bore testimony and set another lesson for next Wednesday!

Thursday! Not a whole lot happened, we just weekly planned, but I did get to teach one of our recent converts how to tie his tie! It was super cool and he was very appreciative!

Friday! We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders! I was in Rutland with Elder Olson. Rutland is… for lack of better words… the ghetto. It was nuts. We ran into some Muslims which was cool, and we ran into a bunch of adults in Halloween costumes. One of them (he was dressed as a lion) became a new investigator! So that was awesome!

Saturday! We had the ward Halloween party! It was super cool and a TON of non-members/less-actives/part-member families showed up! So we got to talk to a ton of people that needed the gospel. The best part, however, is that Elder Sly and I got to take home the leftovers! We were very, very happy about that because we’re both out of funds for the month and have been living off of potatoes and… Well actually, just potatoes. So it was a nice change from the norm!

Sunday! Sunday was excellent. Church was great and afterwards we went to give a lady, who was a referral from someone in the ward, a blessing. For being a non-member, she was much more accepting of the blessing then others we have run into. I was the one giving the blessing and it was crazy, I didn’t say at all what I thought I was going to. We really are just instruments in the Lord’s hands because I would NOT have given the kind of blessing I gave her if the spirit hadn’t prompted me too. Our member that came with us, Brother Sevey, even spent the next twenty minutes telling this lady how “unusual” the blessing she was given was. I honestly thought he was making fun of me/my blessing at first, but he wasn’t and it turned out that I had said exactly what she needed to hear. Long story short, she has taken the discussions before, family told her not too, she hasn’t even considered it since and still hadn’t until right after the blessing. She described to us how she felt the spirit “wrap its arms around [her]“. She was very touched and asked us if we would give her the discussions again. So of course… We said YES! So we’ll be teaching her again shortly!

That’s about it for my experiences this week, but I want to leave all of you with a scripture I found during my personal study this week. D&C 6:22-23. It hit me with a ton of power when I read it and if any of you are ever struggling with your testimony, read this scripture! I know that Christ lives, that this is His church on the earth and those miracles have not ceased. I see them every day. I love all of you and I hope you all have a very great week!

With Love,

 

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

Fighting to Keep the Work Hastening

Skyler on missionary exchanges

Elder Rushton ready to work.

This week was good; really long, but really good. We started the week with not a whole lot happening. The ward here in Penticton is really old. As soon as it gets dark; they all go to bed. The problem? It gets dark at 6:00 now so when we try to do member visits from 7-9, they’re all asleep! Ahh! It’s frustrating because we can’t do a whole lot else from 7-9 and the member visits are supposed to help keep the ward focused on missionary work! So that’s been something that we’ve been trying to resolve for a while!

What else happened this week… Oh yeah… One of our investigators reappeared!!!! You might not remember her, but to put her story in a nutshell: We met her on the street, she was super, super solid (committed to baptism) then she went missing, then she randomly called us one day and said she was in the hospital! So we told her we would contact her when she got out in a few weeks. It’s been a couple weeks since then, but on Tuesday this last week, she called us again! So we set up an appointment with her for Wednesday! We had a GREAT lesson and committed her to be baptized on Nov. 16th. She said yes and we were super happy about it! Then, she tried to hug us again… No Sister, you can’t do that to missionaries. But anyways, she’s back and everything was all set for her to go to church on Sunday! But then we were street contacting on Saturday and who did we run into? Our Sister Investigator! She told us she couldn’t come on Sunday because her sister was visiting. Dang! But we’re set to teach her on Wednesday and I’m sure that lesson will go great as well.

So I’ve mentioned this before, but we’re not allowed to have dinner at member’s houses unless there’s a less-active, recent convert or non-member there. But this week we had two dinners! It was awesome–and a nice change of pace from potatoes every single day haha. Our neighbors, two non members  invited us over for a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner last weekend. Everyone there was a Salvation Army pastor, so we didn’t get to do a ton of active missionary work. So we just ate, smiled and talked with all of them. We didn’t think anything really came from it, but this last Sunday guess who came to church?! One of our neighbors!!! She came into the building and Elder Sly and I were completely surprised! We were so happy to see her there because all of our other investigators flopped! It was truly a miracle, and it made us look good in front of the ward ;)

Well, that’s really all there is to say about this week. So I guess I’ll share a spiritual thought now! Elder Ballard gave a great talk on missionary work this last conference. Our mission President is having us take it to everyone in the ward and re-emphasize Elder Ballard’s challenge to the church:

“We are not asking everyone to do everything. We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior.”

Really, it isn’t that hard to reach out to just “one” person! So that’s my challenge to all of you too! I love all of you, I am so happy to get letters from you all and I know that you can all do what an Apostle of the Lord has challenged us to do! I hope you all have a spectacular week! I’m praying for all of you, everyday! Talk to you next week!

With Love,

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

Canadian Thanksgiving

Skyler Rushton enjoying Canadain Timbits

Elder Skyler Rushton enjoying a Canadian snack food.

Hey friends and family!,

So this last week was crazy! The big event of last week was zone conference in Kamloops! Kamloops is about 3-4 hours away from Penticton, so that meant another super, super long day of driving for me because we had to go there and back in the same day. Elder Sly and I picked up Elder Jensen and Elder Bolckom from Westbank and started out to Kamloops early in the morning. Man, having two missionaries in the back seat is much, much worse than having two five year olds in the back seat!

So the zone conference itself was super good! My mission President, President Tilleman, is a super inspired man. As usual, he gave a spectacular training and then conducted some interviews. I wasn’t interviewed this time around because there were too many missionaries there, but I will be next time. I did get the chance to talk to him, however, and I only had one thing to ask him, “Is the Eugene, Oregon mission in our mission area?” He paused, and then ran over to his laptop, threw it open and said, “Of course they are! And looking at this…. We’re much, much better than them.” Hahahaha, I laughed so hard. I told him my brother was in that mission and he said that if he got the chance, he would look for him there. So look out Austin!

Then we came back to Penticton fired up! So we went tracting! Then, at the first door we knocked!… The guy threatened to sue us for harassment if we ever came back again. Needless to say, I prayed for him later haha. But we still went tracting and ended up getting a new investigator out of it, so that was cool! However, our new investigator currently thinks we’re Jehovah Witnesses… So hopefully we can clear that up next time when we meet with her!

Today, Monday, October 14th, is Canadian Thanksgiving! We’ve had two dinners in the last two days with non-members (the only people we’re allowed to have meals with) and I’ve just eaten until I was ready to pop! They serve the same food here as they do in the states, but more pickles for some reason… The problem with eating with non-members the last two nights has been WOW issues. For dessert, they offered us coffee or tea; nothing else. When we said “Water” they kind of freaked a bit, but it gave us a great chance to share some of our doctrine with them!

With my Thanksgiving today, I just want to let you all know that I’m so, so thankful for all of you! I love you all and I love the Lord and my Heavenly Father too! I know that they live and love me too! I know, without a doubt in my mind, that they love all of you; so go through this week remembering that you are a Child Of God! Don’t get discouraged, keep your standards and try your best to please him! I love all of you and I hope you have an amazing week!

With love,

–Elder Rushton The Third

The Land of Much Weather

Elder Skyler Rushton Driving in Canada

Elder Skyler Rushton driving in Canada

Hello family and friends! This last week was transfers and I’m staying in Penticton until, at least, the middle of November! So Monday and Tuesday were pretty uneventful for the most part.  Our 80 yr old investigator had a birthday party Wednesday morning at 12:00 so we dropped off a nice religious birthday card with a nice note inside from us! We bought it at a London Drugs store and originally I thought it was only going to be like a dollar or two but it turned out to be… $7.80!!! It was soooo dumb! It was just two pieces of paper stapled together! But it’s ok, I’m over it now…

So Wednesday at 1:00 we got on a bus to head to Vancouver for transfer meeting. From the Okanagan (the valley I live in) to Vancouver is about a 7 hour bus ride. But the busses ran late and we didn’t get to Langley (just outside of Vancouver) until around 8:20. During the bus ride, we experienced every single kind of weather you can imagine!

As we left the Okanagan, it was a nice, sunny day. It was probably around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As we traveled east for an hour, we came to a town called Merritt. We drove through a BLIZZARD in Merritt!! It was nuts how fast the weather changed! The temperature there was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Then about an hour later we were in another valley and we were driving through a downpour the entire time! It was warmer, but rained non-stop. Then, as we got closer to Vancouver, it stopped raining finally and turned into a nice night.

So we stayed the night at the White Rock Elders apartment which isn’t too far from Vancouver. When we woke up the next morning, we walked outside into the thickest fog I have ever seen in my life! You literally couldn’t see more than three feet in front of you! Apparently they get that every morning and it rains like crazy all winter. It doesn’t snow at all in Vancouver, but the rain is non-stop.

So we went to transfer meeting in Richmond (again, just outside of Vancouver) and President Tilleman and his wife both gave excellent trainings. Our goal for October is 125 baptisms as a mission– 1 per companionship. Elder Sly and I have to get cracking on it because our most promising investigator,  dropped us last night. We’ve been helping him stop smoking and trying to get him baptized, but last night he told us that he didn’t want to be baptized. So that really stunk because he was on a baptismal date for Oct. 26th. Our 80 year old investigator has also fallen off the face of the earth so currently we have no progressing investigators and we have to baptize before the end of this month… It will be a challenge… But the Lord will provide a way.

If there’s anything I learned from conference (which was awesome by the way!) it was that I shouldn’t give up hope; especially if it means affecting someone’s eternal salvation and happiness. I don’t plan too, but right now I’m praying for a miracle investigator to baptize! I’m also praying for all of you guys too, so don’t feel too left out!

Well that’s about it for this last week! Hopefully we have more success this next week and find more people to teach and to baptize! Have a great week everyone! I love all of you!

 

–Elder Rushton The Third

The Work is Hastening

Skyler and Elder Sly in their apartment

Elder Rushton and Elder Sly in their Penticton apartment

Hello everyone!

So this week was pretty sweet! It started off slow, but picked up as the week went on. So since my last e-mail (where I complained about the rain… a lot haha) it has rained every single day. Last night was a ferocious thunderstorm that shook our apartment and freaked me out a little bit! There have been rainstorms allllll week, but I’ve just come to accept it. I’ve also found a way to use it to my advantage!

So my trainer, Elder Sly, makes me knock on every single door when we’re out tracting. Because of that, I’ve actually started to get really, really good at my door approaches. His first piece of advice to me was a scripture that says, “Take no thought beforehand what you shall say” and just let the spirit guide you and loose your tongue and whatnot. So I’ve been doing that, but I’m getting noticeably better at it and I’m getting faster at recognizing certain situations.

So with the rain, it’s kind of gone like this:

Me: “Hey, how are you today??”

Them: “………”

Me: “Good, good hey; have you ever talked to Mormon Missionaries??”

Them: “Not interested.” *starts to close door

Me: “WAIT!”

Them: *stops shutting door for just a second

Me: “Can you BELIEVE this rain?!”

Them: *goes on for 10 minutes about how they haven’t seen a downpour like this in years

Me: “Yeah I know, right? Crazy. So hey, can we share a quick little message with you about Jesus Christ?”

Them: “Sure yeah, why not.”

 

So it doesn’t always go like this, and door approaches should never be rehearsed or anything… But some dialogue very close to this has happened quite a few times this week!

So our biggest event this week was the rededicatory prayer, offered by the Bishop, of the Penticton area for missionary work. The Bishop is really pushing for the ward to help us with missionary work by introducing us to their non-member friends and doing things with a “priesthood purpose”. Basically, everything you do should in some way magnify the fact that you’re a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. So everything you do should somehow include missionary work, member retention or growing closer the Jesus Christ. Before I talk about the rest of my week, I would like to challenge all of you to focus on doing things with a Priesthood Purpose this week! Just reach out, be friendly and be charitable!

So the rest of my week; it was pretty slow going for the first few days and then we went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders around the middle of the week. I was with Elder Fitzner (a native of Alberta) and let me tell ya, this guy is a blast! We had so much fun! We did a lot of tracting and taught another one of our investigators. We did a whole lot of hard work, but we didn’t have any numbers to show for it. Just a couple QGC’s (Quality Gospel Conversations). We also went on exchanges in Westbank where Elder Bolckom and I did a TON of walking. They have a huge area and since it’s the end of the month, they didn’t have any Kilometers left for their vehicle. So we walked… and walked… and walked some more! It was a lot of fun, even though it rained the entire time!

So there were 2 investigators we focused on the most this week. One is starting to overcome his problems and is actually making progress while the other one is a little more slow-going. She’s yet to read the Book of Mormon, but she promised us she would next time! She also invited us to her 80th birthday party next week! However, a condition if we go is, how she put it: “you can’t be preaching to everyone you see at my birthday party!” (said in an Irish accent, of course.) So we probably can’t go, but we’ll see…

On Sunday we found a wonderful, wonderful family that we’re going to be teaching. Elder Sly met the husband when we were on exchanges, so we both met the family for the first time on Sunday. They’re super cool, but they’re not married… So we told them that Bishop could marry them if that’s what they wanted! And since that’s what we need for them to be baptized, we REALLY encouraged them! Haha, so that will be the first step for them and then we’ll see if we can’t get the whole family baptized next month!

Well that’s about it for this last week, but I’m not looking forward to the next one. Transfer meeting is Wednesday, but the chances of me getting transferred are slim; so I’m not counting on it. Of course anything could happen, but I’ll go wherever the Lord needs me! If that’s in Penticton, so be it! But regardless, I’ll keep trying my hardest to fulfill my purpose as a missionary! I love all of your letters/e-mails but I love all of you even more! I feel like my letters are really long… but I suppose that some of you find joy in them haha! Have a great week everyone! I’ll talk to yall’ next week!

 

With Love,

–Elder Rushton The Third

 

Skyler has been home this long-

  • Skyler has been home for:
    2 years, 2 months, 13 days, 7 hours, 15 minutes, 11 seconds ago