Erik emailed us on Monday the 27th (his first P day in Detroit!) He said Detroit is cold and dark and he was kind of culture shocked the first few days but he thinks he is getting used to it. Nothing has been stolen yet-( In answer to Mom’s question) and his companion is from Bluffdale Utah. Elder Parker Erickson told him that the gangs usually leave the missionaries alone.
They don’t have enough members in the area for a ward, so they just have a branch with not much Priesthood leadership so they have to bring in other people from other wards and stakes to fill the major roles like Branch President.
They are teaching a few people. His favorite so far are 3 –19 year old guys names Jeremiah, Tyree and Phil. 2 days ago they had an awesome lesson with them and commited them to baptism. They are seeing them again next Saturday and will hopefully put them on a baptism date. Other than that, they haven’t had much success with investigators.
From Erik: Tracting is all most useless out here. Nobody answers their door before noon because they’re all asleep, and nobody answers their door after 6 because it gets dark around then and they think you’re either a copy or a gang member.
We only had one confrontation with a guy at a bus stop. He was high and drunk and basically just wanted us to tell him that Jesus was black. Everyone is pretty nice overall.
I started writing down my experiences everyday so I can send them home to you. That way I don’t have to try and write a long email before my time runs out. So you’ll get to read all of my experiences in my snail mail letter.
Detroit has been interesting since I’ve been here. My companion said that it has been ‘extra ghetto’ lately. One of our investigators has a marijuana plant growing on her front porch. She says it’s her cousins and not hers but…. I don’t think I believe her. I’ve learned a few handshakes already too. I know how to do the ‘Detroit Handshake’ which is one that almost everyone in Detroit does. And right now I’m working on the ‘6-mile gang’ handshake. There are gangs everywhere here but we don’t see much of them. I guess that everyone LIVES on the west side of Detroit where we are but the do all of their Dirty work on the east side.
All of the streets are named here. There are no numbers so it gets pretty confusing at times. But basically the gangs are all named after the streets. You just get a group of guys and claim a street and boom, you have a gang. So there are the Schoolcraft boyz, Z8NE, 6-Mile, P-Rock, 7-Mile… All the major streets are gangs.
Well I’m running out of time so I better log off. Hope you’re having fun!
Hey everyone! I get 5 minutes on the computer to let you know of my new address.
Elder Erik M Rushton
12635 Memorial #302D
I’m stationed in Detroit in the Schaefer area. My companion and I are the only white people here. I’ve already done some tracting and knocked on my first door. I knocked on three today on our way to the library. I got rejected but it was still cool. Well my p-day is on Monday I think so I’ll write more then.
-Elder Erik Rushton
We got a phone call from Erik today about 6:25AM. He was in the SLC airport getting ready to board the plane with about 20 other missionaries. Some of them are going to Detroit, others have a layover there on their way to Canada or New York. I think that is a pretty safe flight! He said the airport was not busy that early in the morning (they arrived there about 5 AM)
We are excited about finally getting out in the field! We look forward to finding out who his new companion will be, when his new P day is and which area he will be covering! We will be anticipating his first letter or email home!
God be with you Elder Rushton! Go forth with Faith!
Today we received several letters from Erik, all addressed to different people in the family. He had mentioned before that he was getting so many letters that it was hard to respond to all of them. He was getting the most letters in his whole District!
Here is a bit of what he wrote:
My time at the MTC is almost over! Everyone in my district is so excited to finally be getting out into the field! I’ll hopefully be calling home on Monday before I board my flight. We’re pretty much done learning doctrine and how to teach in the MTC. Now all we’re doing is practicing teaching EVERYDAY. I’m really looking forward to getting to Detroit.
Well, I love you all and miss you,
Elder Erik Rushton
We got an email from Erik today! He was talking about learning all the lessons getting ready to teach. Here is a part of his email:
Wow this week has FLOWN BY! I can’t believe that I fly out on Monday. Everyone in my district is super excited to be leaving. We’re all ready to get out into the field and work with real people. We’ve pretty much learned all of the doctrine in Preach My Gospel and now we’re just practicing teaching EVERYDAY. One of my teachers said that my companion and I are two of the best teachers he’s ever seen new missionaries be. We’ve only gotten one negative mark on one of our 6 teaching appointments. Tomorrow we have our last appointment with one of our ‘investigators’ (he’s actually a church member that you practice with) and then one on Saturday with an actual teacher. Then on Sunday we have all of our departing district meetings and we get to pack up and then we fly out Monday morning.
Thanks everyone for sending so many letters! I still get the most out of everyone in my district. It’s awesome getting so many but I have a hard time responding too everyone.
Everyone in the MTC is passing around the flu. Everyone in my district has caught it except for me, Elder Cook, Sister Klingler, and Sister Vance. I’ve gotten pretty lucky.
I think I’ve finally gotten used to the MTC lifetyle. Which knida stinks because now I’m leaving. Well I’m running out of email time so I better log off soon. I’m going to try and write everybody before I leave the MTC. After Monday you won’t want to use dearelder anymore to send me letters. The mission home won’t forward them to me. Just use snail mail so that they can forward it to my apartment. (The Mission Home address)
Love you all!
– Elder Erik Rushton
I got everyone’s letters today finally! There was a ton! My companion and I have been doing great at teaching! We commited one of our investigators to baptism on his first lesson! It was only role play teaching but it was still cool. Tomorrow we have our second lesson with a different investigator. Hopefully we can commit him too. PS: My Branch President here is President Connors and we’re related to his wife. We had a long chat about Edwin and Richard Rushton (ancestors around Nauvoo time) during my last interview. Pretty sweet!
Love you all,
Elder Erik Rushton
Erik sent a short letter home with a photo of his flight plans. He has to be ready to leave the MTC on Monday, Sept 20th by 4 AM! His flight is at 7 AM and he will arrive in Detroit Michigan at 12:46 PM local time. We are looking forward to a short phone call from him while in the airport–at least that is what we hear! You can still write to him FREE through Dearelder.com for a few more days! After that it will be snail mail but we will give you the address. He already loves to get letters!
Elders Erik Rushton and Jeff Law at the Provo MTC
Sorry for the short email the other day. I had some password problems and by the time I resolved them I only had 20 minutes left to email. I’m doing laundry right now so I have a little extra time to write. I was looking for Jeff (Jeff is another Elder from our ward) all day yesterday but couldn’t find him anywhere! As were were coming back from our late class, my companion and I stopped by to say hello to the Elders that moved in next to us. Low and behold one of those new Elders was good ol’ Jeff Law! I thought that he might be in the same building as me but I had no clue that we were going to be neighbors! It was good to see someone from home.
I have a few friends from work that I see from time to time, but it’s great knowing that I have a really good friend here now. We talked for awhile and then I let him get unpacked. I’ll send a picture of both of us when I get a chance. My homesickness isn’t coming on as strong lately as it did the first few days. Those first days were tough. I look forward to everyone’s letters everyday! So keep sending as many as you can! I leave the MTC on Sept 20th. After that you should just send letters snail mail instead of Dearelder.com.
Listening to all the cheering at the BYU game was KILLING me last Saturday. There were a bunchof Elders going crazy too–ha ha!
I’ve been playing volleyball pretty much every gym time so far. We play with the Tongan’s in our branch so it gets pretty intense! It’s fun playing with all the other Elders!
Time is flying by the week. I think I’ve finally started to get used to the lifestyle around here. You feel the spirit really strong here all the time. My companion and I have really connected since the first day. And all of my roommates are really cool. As much as I want to come home sometimes, I know this is the right place for me to be.
Well I hope you guys are having fun without me. I miss you all (even SKY!) Have everyone write me for family home evening or something because checking the mail at the MTC is like running to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning! We check our box about 5 times a day!
Love you all,
Elder Erik Rushton
Erik And The Detroit Elders
Note: Erik emailed us around 9:30AM on Thursday the 9th. We were able to chat real time with him part of the time!
So yesterday was my 1 week mark! Only around…..95 left to go! The first few days were tough to get through. I was feeling pretty homesick for awhile and hearing all the cheering from the BYU game didn’t help-ha ha!
Everyone tells you to make it through the 1st Sunday and then time flies by and man is that true! I can’t belve it’s already Thursday! Our bulding gets really cold at night. Around 60 degrees. The other day my roomates and I snuck into the blanket closet and borrowed some extra blankets. The showers are alright at night but if you wait until the morning they are really cold. But I’ve started to get used to the lifestyle around here.
Thanks for all the packages and letters everybody! Love you all!
Sept 2, 2010
Today I was made the Senior Companion in my companionshop. But just as I was feeling powerful, my companion was made District Leader. I’ve been feeling a bit homesick but everyone tells me to push past the first Sunday before I go home. Well, I’m out of time to write but watch a big email coming Thursday when I have my P-day.
PS Please send letters right now ONLY through DEAR ELDER.COM I get them really fast!