Week 5 In Howell

Things here have just been more of the usual. We have one investigator that is on the fast track to baptism. In priesthood yesterday our Bishop talked about how Howell hasn’t had a baptism in a long time. He really tried to inspire the members to reach out and talked about how good Elder Loutensock and I were as missionaries. It was really nice. Anyway, our main investigator was there and he raised his hand and told everyone that he was planning on being baptized on May 19. It was really cool. He is amazing because he just fellowships himself. He can walk up to anyone in the ward and just strike up a conversation with them.


But other than that, most of our investigators are kind of stuck where they are. We have one investigator who would be baptized… today… but he’s on parole for another 5 months so he can’t be baptized yet. We also started teaching a 12 year old girl who’s really cool. Her mom is an inactive member and we have been teaching her non-member dad for awhile. We brought a couple of the YW with us once and they brought her to mutual and she loved it. Now she wants to go to mutual and church every week and asked her parents if she could take the missionary lessons. So hopefully that all works out well.


I thought I’d tell you about a couple of the members out here that I’ve made friends with pretty easily. The first ones are the #1 family. They’re a younger family with two kids and they feed us every so often. They have a 5 year old daughter that is in love with me for some reason– ha-ha. One Sunday, she drew a picture of her with her parents… and Elder Rushton ha-ha.

Then there’s the #2 family.  They have 5 kids from 5-13 years old. They have us over a lot and are really good at helping us out as missionaries. I seem to get along more with the younger families than older ones usually. There are a few families out here that I love to work with and go over to their houses.  It’s a lot harder to develop personal relationships with people in a ward than it was in a branch though. There are just so many more people to deal with. Elder Loutensock has been here 6 months and he says he still hasn’t met everyone in the ward. By the time I left Romeo, I had met everyone (less active, part member and member) on our whole branch directory, but I don’t see that happening in Howell.


We get transfer calls this Saturday. I’m not really worried about being transferred. I don’t think that I will though. Elder Loutensock will most will most likely be transferred though because he’s been here so long.


Well, I gotta bail so I’ll talk to you guys later.


Love you!


Happy Easter! 4/9/2012 Letter from Erik

Erik roasting a Peep

Erik Roasting A Peep

So if you ever wondered, yes. Yes you can roast a Peep over a gas fireplace in your apartment.

 I hope you all had a good Easter. One of the kids in the Howell ward asked me yesterday if the Easter bunny came to our apartment. I toldhim that the Easter bunny was running out of time so he just air mailed our Easter baskets to us. One member told us something funny they do for Easter. They told their kids that the Easter bunny doesn’t come until Monday. Then on Monday morning they wake up early and go buy all the candy at a discounted price and then hurry and come home to hide the eggs. It’s genius!

So for Easter we had a lunch at a members house, 1st Dinner at another members house and 2nd dinner at another members house. It was crazy! We ate so much. Not as much as we did for Thanksgiving, but pretty close. 2 of the members invited non-members over so that was really cool. It’s always better when the members do the finding for us. More people get baptized that way. Member missionary work is key, pure and simple. 

We had another cool finding experience this week. We had just gotten out of an appointment and for some reason the activity that we had written down in our planners just didn’t feel right. We were listing off places we could go and we decided to go tract a small apartment complex that we had found the other day. We drove up there and lo and behold the first door we knocked on we got let it. The guy who let us in is really cool. He just got out of prison about a month ago and he told us he really is looking for a way to change his life around. When we taught him about repentance and forgiveness he said “Wait, you mean I can be forgiven of every bad thing I did and start over?” We said “yep” and then put him on a baptism date for May. It was pretty sweet. 

We had two lame disappointments this week though. In both of them we had an awesome first lesson and the people we were teaching were asking all the perfect questions and seemed like the best investigators ever. But then when we got to the end, they both rejected a copy of the Book of Mormon and told us they were comfortable where they were. It’s so frustrating when that happens!! You find these people that totally get it and understand everything you’re talking about, and then they shut the door on the Spirit right at the end. But I guess that just means their not ready yet. The Lord will have to keep working on them.

 We had a super awesome lesson on Thursday with a less active member. He’s just a little younger than me and he’s really cool. We showed him a mormon message and then we asked him what he thought his purpose in life was. He was quiet for a little bit and then looked us right in the eyes and said, “I need to serve a mission.” It was WAY sweet! Itold him the story about how I had to come home from my mission the first time and then bore my testimony about how no matter where we are in our life or what mistakes we’ve made, we can always come back. I told him how in the past 9 months I’ve learned more about myself and about the Gospel than I ever had in my entire life before. It was a really great lesson. 

Overall things are going well here in Howell. Tell everyone thanks for the letters. I’m working on responding to everyone.

Love you guys



The Big House, Michigan State –Email from Erik– April 2, 2012

Erik at University of Michigan

This week was pretty good for us and General Conference was great way to end it. We were able to have three investigators watch conference
which was really cool. One of them came to the church and watched it with us and he loved it. When we first told him about how the Prophet was going to speak he got really excited and said “the Prophet is going to speak?!? We HAVE to go see that!” It was really cool.

Lately, we’ve been having a lot of cool finding experiences. One experience this week really stands out to me. On Tuesday we were out knocking doors and both Elder Loutensock and I had a prompting that we needed to be somewhere else. We felt like we should go to an apartment complex where we had a couple former investigators. We couldn’t decide
who it was we were supposed to go see there but we settled on one former investigator and went and knocked on her door. It was… thewrong door. The next night, I felt like there was still someone we were supposed
to see there. We went back and settled on the name of a different former investigator. We went to her door and she wasn’t there but her sister was. We had a great talk with her at the doorstep about why there are so many churches around. She was really interested and set an appointment with us for the next night.
The appointment we had with her was awesome! She had totally been prepared by the Lord to receive us. She really loved the message we shared and at the end she decided to tell us about a dream she had.
She told us her dream and it was almost identical to Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life, except she saw it from the side of the great and spacious building. It surprised both me and Elder Loutensock and we left her some chapters to read about the Tree of Life.

Another cool quick experience. We were out tracting Sunday when I had a prompting that we needed to go see an investigator that I hadn’t even met yet. It was clear across town and we only had about a half hour till conference but we decided to try. He wasn’t home, so we tried to figure out why the Lord would bring us to this apartment
complex. We were standing by his door when we saw a lady outside smoking by a different building. We decided to go talk to her and that proved to be the reason the Lord brought us there. She let us right in and we had an awesome lesson.

Both of these really just increased my testimony that the Lord IS preparing people, I just have to find them. And having the Spirit with me really helps my finding efforts.

We had SO MANY meetings this week! We had two specialized training meetings this week which both run from 9:00am to about 5:00pm. Plus with another 10 hours of General Conference… that’s a lot of sitting in the Chapel. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it all but it was a lot of meetings for one week. I’m surprised we were still able to see as many
people as we did.

We’ve been getting fed a TON lately too. Not that I’m complaining of course. I basically have nothing to buy for groceries this week because I didn’t use very much at all last week. We have around 3 dinner appointments scheduled for this week already too. And that doesn’t even count people we go see that just surprise feed us.

This morning we went down to the University of Michigan and toured The Big House (their football stadium). It was WAY sweet. I’m emailing you guys a couple pictures so you can check it out. I guess this stadium
is the largest stadium in the world. It holds around 110,000 people or something like that. What’s really cool, is that they guarantee their students tickets. So every game they have about 20,000 people there that are students, not like BYU where they only have that one little section dedicated to students. We got to go up into the press boxes,
the suites and the TV rooms. It totally reminded me that I really want to do sports broadcasting–haha. We got to go through the team locker room and on the field as well which was pretty cool. We had about 30 missionaries and our mission president with us. I kind of cringed every time our tour guide said “National Championship” though because
Michigan is part of the BigCrappySchools (BCS if you didn’t catch that).

So if there’s anything in particular you want to know about my companion you should send me another one of those question sheets. I think those are the best way for me to answer all your questions.

Well, I'm going to have to bail now. Hope you're all doing well... And
 go JAZZ! Well if their still doing well... I'm kind of disconnected
 from the world right now.