10-31-2011 Happy Halloween from Romeo Michigan

Happy Halloween!!

This week was a pretty decent week even though we didn’t teach as many lessons as last week. We usually teach about 18, and 20 lessons is considered a good week. This week we had only taught 7 lessons by Thursday, but we still ended up finishing with 16. Most of those were taught to less actives and members though and not investigators so that was kind of a bummer but oh well.

One contact is scheduled to be baptized this Sunday after church but we may move it back again because he didn’t show up for church yesterday. He’s totally ready for baptism but he’s only been to church 3 times and missionaries have been teaching him for 4 months. We may still go as planned though and baptize him this Sunday. By the churches standards he can be baptized, but I think everyone would be more comfortable if he came to church a few more times.  A couple days ago our contacts mother cooked us Chicherones’ which is basically pork rinds cooked up with a bunch of salsa Verde and different peppers. It was interesting.

We had a great lesson with two of our Spanish investigators. Every time that we’ve been able to teach them, they’ve been pretty quiet and just mainly listen. But last week we asked them how they felt about what we were sharing. One of them opened up to us and said that even though he feels the spirit when he reads the bible, he feels the spirit so much stronger when we come over. He also said that the Book of Mormon makes him feel really happy inside. His wife said that the Book of Mormon makes her feel peaceful when she reads it. We asked them both to be baptized, and they said that they want more time to study with us and want to check out our church first. The spirit was really strong though and I feel they could be baptized soon. It’s still a pretty big pain teaching with a translator though.

Everyone is really excited for Halloween here. We’re going to carve pumpkins today since it’s p-day. The only real problem with today is we have NO appointments for tonight! The Elders in Detroit have to go inside at 6 but all the Elders in the country are supposed to just do the same old things. Basically the church told us that if we have no appointments, we should tract. How do you tract on Halloween!?!?

One of our cooler families, invited us over to their house to just hang out with them so we’ll probably do that. They are a really cool couple and he served a mission in California and loves Pink Floyd. He baptized his wife in January last year and their going out to Utah to be sealed this January.

On Friday our branch had a Halloween party and it was really fun. We were able to get one of our investigators to come and she had a great time. One of our members, introduced us to one of his non-member friends that he’s building a barn with. We got to talk to them and we set up a service project to come and help them out. After the service project we were able to talk to him for awhile and later we were told he’s really interested and may come to church with us this next Sunday.

Well, hope everyone is doing well! Love you all and I’ll write next week!


Letter Home 10/24/2011 Romeo Week 3

Week 3 is done and done! It’s been pretty slow here lately but this week we have a lot of appointments with new potentials we found so hopefully it picks up. It’s getting harder and harder to meet with people now that the weather is getting colder.

As a missionary, we can’t go into a house unless there is another man there who is at least 19. That makes it really hard to meet with our investigators because most are single women or have husbands that work. In the warmer weather we just meet with them outside but we can’t really do that in the cold. From what it sounds like though, next transfer they’re going to send a Spanish speaking missionary up here and we’ll be in a tri-panionship until Elder Erickson leaves. That will be nice because with 3 elders, you’re allowed to go into a home with no males present.

Lately we’ve been doing a lot of work with members. We’ve been doing what we call the ‘Preach My Gospel’ activity with them to hopefully get them more comfortable with telling people about our beliefs. Basically, we ask them a question (something like ‘what does your church believe?’) and then give them one minute to answer it. It’s kind of funny watching people stumble over there words trying to get all of our beliefs in one minute. It seems easy to me since I do it every day! After their minute is up we show them that at the end of the Restoration lesson in CH3 of Preach My Gospel, there is a 3-5 minute lesson plan that has a good, easy statement to say that takes less than a minute to say. It’s a fun activity to do and hopefully it will lead to more referrals! We joke around that the mission is where you pay for all the times you turned people away at your door, or for all the times you didn’t give referrals to missionaries. I don’t think I ever gave a referral at home.

Lately, most of our investigators have decided to look up a bunch of Anti-Mormon material on the internet. It really sucks because then we’re stuck answering a bunch of questions and defending ourselves when we shouldn’t have to. When they look up that stuff, they stop reading the BOM too. You can’t gain a testimony of this gospel without reading the BOM! This week we’re just going to tell everyone to stop listening to what OTHER people say about the BOM, and start reading it themselves.

We had a lot of service projects we did this week. People have to rake leaves like crazy out here and I think we racked up 6 hours of leaf raking this week. We also helped a member winterize his boat and later this week we’ll be painting a ceiling for someone. It’s a lot of work but if it leads to referrals and appointments I’m all for it.

Yesterday was stake conference here and it was really far away. We had to drive about 45 minutes both ways. So once again none of our investigators came for the 3rd week in a row…

The Halloween decorations out here are amazing! There is a street right across from out apartment complex called Tillson St. that is well known around Michigan for their Halloween and Christmas decorations. We walked down it last week and it was really really cool. Mom would drool over it! This Friday is the branch Halloween party and we have permission to go too so that should be fun.

Well I guess I’ll talk to you guys later. Tell everyone in the Family and Sis.Peck and Sis.Sabin for writing! Hopefully I have enough time to write back today! Say hi to Fritz for me!- (His Friend returns from his mission this week)


Romeo oh Romeo–Letter home 10/17/2011

Hola Familia!

The past week and a half has been pretty tough for us in the work. We had interviews with Pres. on Thursday and we told him that we’ve been struggling to find appointments and that tracting hadn’t been very successful lately. He shared a passage out of Helaman…5 I think? it basically tells a story of when the Mulekites go to where the Jaredites used to be and they find that there is not wood there to make houses. So instead, they learn to be great cement mixers. Our Pres. told us that maybe we need to find the ‘cement’ in our area and work with that instead.

We’ve been looking for things all week that may qualify as ‘cement’ but so far we’ve been unsuccessful. But now we’re going to try to get the members more involved by sharing with them a talk by Elder Bednar called ‘becoming a preach my gospel missionary’ that has a lot of stuff about member missionary work in it.

We had a pretty cool experience yesterday. All this week we had been out tracting every night from 8:00 to 9:00 because all of our appointments would fall through or nobody would schedule us that late. I don’t really like tracting that late because people don’t like to answer the door when it’s dark and when they do answer the door, they’re usually not very receptive. So we were tracting last night at 8 again and we knocked three doors with no answer like usual. We have been trying to figure out why our nights have been so slow in the work and last night we came to the conclusion that maybe we should try to be more positive about tracting. So on the fourth door, right after we made that decision, we ran into a family who’ve had missionaries teach them before and they let us in. We had a good ‘get to know you’ lesson and they said that they’d like to have us back sometime later in the week. It was a cool experience and now we’re more resolved to be more positive about everything in general.

We’ve been running into a lot of Hispanic contacts lately in the trailer parks around our area.  But the trailer parks are the only places we’ve been having success lately so we have 5 Spanish appointments this week.  Luckily there is a family in our branch that can translate for us.  Its funny too because I have to say Book of Mormon as “El Libro De Mormon” or the Spanish people don’t get it.  Maybe I’ll come home knowing a different language after all.

Last week I went on a companion exchange with the zone leaders and I got to stay in Lake Orion for a night.   We ate with a member who was Melba Crow’s Grandson!  (A Ward member)You’ll have to tell her when you see her.

The members here have been giving us alot of food so I haven’t had to buy much. Fruit is really cheap out here. Especially apples and strawberries so I have been eating a lot out here. Romeo is famous for their apple orchards and the cider they make is AMAZING. If you buy it straight from the orchard then it comes unpasteurized and tastes great.

Tomorrow we’re doing some service for our Branch President to help them get ready for a Halloween Youth dance this Friday in their barn.  They said they usually have about 100-150 youth show up which is cool because we only have about 10 in our branch.  This branch does a TON of service projects so the town knows us really well.

On Saturday we went to a members house to help them cut wood. It was fun and I got to teach Elder Erickson how to use a chainsaw. Oh and I got to cut a tree down too which was pretty exciting/nerve racking.

Romeo Michigan is a pretty fun town. The Lake we’re closest to is Lake Orion but I’m not sure exactly how far away it is. One of the members told us that unless you’ve had 3 generations of family living in this town, you’re considered an “outsider”.  A couple other cool things I found out about Romeo – The town used to be the last stop before Canada on the underground railroad. A lot of blacks just decided to stay here so we still run into a lot of black neighborhoods.    Also, after Hitler attacked Poland in WW2, a lot of Poles came and settled here. Because of that, there are a lot of different last names here.

Everyone out here LOVES Halloween. It’s pretty different from Detroit where everyone hated Halloween. We ran into a lady who has a huge Halloween Village kind of like our Christmas one. She said that she loves Halloween more than Christmas haha.

We’ve only biked a couple times because it’s been raining the past week. Most of our appointments are pretty far away too so we take the car usually.

That’s awesome PG is doing well! And great that Davis beat AF!! Especially at they BYU competition because that one always seemed to favor AF.

Hope everyone is doing well and BYU keeps up the wins! Tell the kids I love them and they better keep the band going!

Elder Rushton

1st Letter from Erik!


Hello family,

Ive had a pretty awesome first week back in Michigan. I’m stationed in Romeo right now. It’s a pretty cool place. One of our Zone Leaders was joking around saying that it has an ‘All American’ town feel. There is only one high school so Friday night football is really big here. It was homecoming week last week too so there were tons of celebrations going on all week. It reminds me a lot of King of the Hill. And it’s very different from the west Detroit ghetto for sure. There are lot’s of HUGE houses out here too (our branch president owns 11 acres)! But there’s also a lot a trailer parks with tons of Hispanics living in them.
Right now we have one Investigator with a baptism date. He’s a really cool kid and he’s only 17. He was supposed to be baptized last Saturday but his he wanted to postpone it so his mom and some of his friends could be there. His mom is really nice but she really doesn’t like Joseph Smith and has huge issues with how he started practicing polygamy— But we think that if she comes to his baptism she’ll feel the spirit and want to learn more. His friends are really cool too. Two of them are pretty interested in the church and we want them to come to his baptism too so they’ll feel the spirit.

His mom cooked us Mole’ yesterday. It’s a type of spanish sauce that’s really…. interesting. It’s made from jalapenos but isn’t very spicy. And it looks like poop haha. I’m still trying to decide if I liked it. It kind of reminded me of homemade Betos.
A lot of members have fed us Jet’s Pizza too and it’s really good.

I had to speak in church yesterday. It was pretty nerve racking because I only had two days notice and I didn’t know everyone in the branch yet. And my mission president was there too which made me even more nervous. I gave a talk about agency and how halloween mazes kind of relate to life on earth.

We have a car out here. A chevy malibu…………….. It’s not my favorite,.

We’re having a hard time finding new investigators right now. Especially ones  that speak english. We’ve been tracting in the trailer parks because everytime we do we find about 3 new potentials. The problem is they speak mostly spanish! And Elder Erickson can speak spanish pretty well, but not well enough. Luckily we have a ward member that speaks it fluently so we take him with us a lot. It makes my teaching easy!

Everyone out here is really excited about the Detroit Tigers beating the Yankees. I guess they only have to beat Texas now and they’ll go to the world series. And the Lions are doing awesome too so everyone is really happy.

Well I’m almost out of time. I’ll write more in a letter later today. Tell everyone I love them. And tell my primary class sorry I wasn’t around to check off their article of faith I had them memorize.


Erik Returns To The Mission Field

Setting Erik Apart For His Mission

Erik's Setting Apart

We’re happy to announce that Erik has returned to complete his mission in Detroit, Michigan. Erik flew out of Salt Lake City on October 3, 2011. We are sad to have him gone but excited that he is continuing the work he began last year. His testimony of the atonement is much stronger and he is ready to preach the gospel.

Erik flew out with some other missionaries that came from the MTC and were on their way to Detroit as well. We are waiting to hear who Erik’s new companion is. We do have his address and he would love to get letters from anyone that wants to write to him. Here is his new address:

Elder Erik Rushton
514 Plum Ct.
Romeo, MI 48065

We will be updating Erik’s blog with his letters home so check back often.

Erik Leaving For Detroit At The Airport

Erik Leaving For Detroit - Salt Lake City Airport