Memorial Weekend -email from 05-29-2012

Hey Family!

Last week was a low numbers week for us because of all the traveling we had to do. We still had a pretty decent week though despite all the time we lost.

Our best investigator has a baptismal date, but he was gone for the weekend so he wasn’t able to come to church.
Some of the things we teach the investigators take a little time to be acted upon, but when they finally decided to give it a try they are amazed at the difference they feel.

He has an awesome testimony of the Book of Mormon, Sacrament Meeting and all the other commandments we have taught him.

I left him a talk to read.  The talk I left his is “Why All the Rules?” by Elder Richard L. Evans from the 1971 General Conference. It is a really great talk that I have left with investigators and less actives before.

As for me, I’m doing better this week. I’m not as stressed out as a I was last week and I think part of that came from just assigning my companion to do some specific tasks instead of trying to do it all on my own.

Not too much else has been going on. We have a few really hopeful
investigators that are really close to baptism. I miss you guys! Have an awesome week!


Work, Work, Work! 5/21/2012

This week was an ok week for us. Our numbers were lower but we had some great things happen. We had an investigator family come to church which was great! The wife is a long time inactive and her husband and daughter are non-members. They got married about 3 weeks ago and are really making progress! The husband is on baptism date for June 9 and I really hope he makes it. They had a great time and were really fellow-shipped well by the ward. We hopefully will have 3 baptisms in June so keep your fingers crossed.

We’ve been doing some great work with the members in our ward. We have gotten a lot more referrals lately and there are a few members really working to find people for us to teach. The bishopric really took the initiative and started inviting people. We have 4 new investigators just off the bishop and first counselor. Then in priesthood meeting, the bishop called everyone out and said we need to start working harder as a ward. It was sweet! We are also working with the Bishopric to help increase the wards home-teaching numbers too which should help.

I’ve been really stressed out this past week. Like I told you earlier, I feel like I’m doing pretty much everything. Most of the planning, most of the teaching, all the phone calls, and plus all of my district leader responsibilities (planning district meeting, reporting numbers, helping 4 other missionaries etc). Let’s hope the next week will be better. Thanks for your prayers!

Other than that, everything is going well. I have really good relationships with the ward now and I have a couple members that I love and they love me. One family in particular likes me a lot and always wants to have us over. The only problem is that they’re clear on the edge of our area! But I’ve really loved most of the ward so far. Now we just need to get them teaching with us and finding people for us.

Well, I hope everyone at home is doing great. Thanks for the letters and pictures and everything. Love you guys and I’ll talk to you next week!


Good Old Howell

(Erik got to call Mom on Mother’s Day!  It was great to hear his voice!  Several of the mission companions Erik has known or served with have recently returned home early for a variety of  reasons.  Erik said he is feeling really good himself, it’s just hard when these kinds of things happen.  He is getting used to filling out all the reports and making the phone calls he needs to as District Leader. He also mentioned that he getting to know more members of the ward in Howell and that has made it easier to get referrals from members. We told him to keep up the good work and we will pray for him and his mission !)

Letter from 5/24/2012

It was good to talk to everyone yesterday! But like I said, it doesn’t feel like it’s been 5 months since I called home on Christmas. 

It was a pretty stressful week for me with all the missionary drama going on.  It’s tough to watch missionaries that I consider really good friends go home.  But even with all the stuff going on, we were still able to have a pretty good week.

We have one really solid investigator on date for the 26th of May. He already counts himself as a member of the ward and everyone in the ward loves him too. He got a little discouraged about a week ago because he went to a Christian community service center and they tried to talk him out of being baptized. He’s really excited to be baptized and has been telling everyone he knows to come to his baptismal service. But when he told that Christian center he was going to be baptized, they tried really hard to talk him out of it. But he is doing much better now and was really happy that he came to church yesterday.

 Last week we had some pretty crazy rain storms. There was one thunderstorm that came through that dropped 6 inches of water in 30 minutes. It was crazy! We were driving home and I had to pull over because I couldn’t see anything because that rain was so thick. Plus it was dark which didn’t help. When we finally got home our whole parking lot was pretty flooded. Then a couple days ago we had a storm come through that had a tornado watch on it. Howell wasn’t in any real danger though. 

Well I don’t know if I have much more to write about. I think I pretty much told you guys everything on the phone yesterday. Hopefully I can do something to help the mission keep the missionaries here in the field! 

Well, hope everyone is doing well. It was good to get to talk to everyone yesterday. Love you guys!


My Takeover of Howell 5/7/2012



This week was tougher than usual. Last night on a conference call with the Zone Leaders and other District Leaders it sounded like it was tough throughout the whole zone. I know in our district we had 3 former junior companions taking over the area and everyone’s numbers went down. At district meeting I encouraged everyone to try and make it around the ward to build trust with the members in the first week. Elder Simpson and I did that and it really helped. We have really good relationships with some members now and we were able to get some referrals out of it as well. We were able to have the Bishop come out teaching with us to a referral that he gave and it was really awesome. Yesterday during fast and testimony meeting we had a lot of members get up and share their experiences they had teaching with the missionaries and I think that also helped inspire more people in the ward. 

Being District Leader is just how I thought it was going to be. More paperwork and more having to call the zone leaders and other areas etc. I planned my first district meeting last week and I think it went OK. Luckily, I only have to plan 4 this transfer because we have 2 different Zone Conferences. 

So my new companion is Elder Simpson and he is from Washington State. He’s a pretty cool guy and we’ve gotten along well so far. We’ve just been trying to get to know everyone in the ward because Elder Loutensock and I didn’t make it around to everyone. Everything else in Howell is going ok right now. A lot of our investigators just disappeared last week and we haven’t been able to get in contact with most of them so that’s been frustrating. But we do have a couple hopefuls and one investigator that should be baptized soon if all goes well.  

This past week the weather has been really crazy. It got up to 95 on a couple of days and then the humidity was really high. We also had a severe thunderstorm warning come through and also a tornado watch. We had this super crazy rain storm pass through that dumped about 6 inches of water. Our apartment parking lot flooded pretty bad haha.  

Well, I hope everyone had a good week and is doing well. Hopefully I’ll have more to report on next week. Not a lot has changed here.


And…..Elder Rushton Becomes District Leader

Actually I’ve been District Leader before, but only Temporary Acting District Leader and only for one week ha-ha. Last night I got a call from President and he called me to be the District leader. With all the stuff that’s changing in our district, I’m going to be the most experienced missionary out of the 6 of us. Our mission President told me that we are officially the youngest district in the mission with me at 10 months, and the next person down at 4; two missionaries at 3; and we’re getting someone fresh out of the MTC. It’s pretty crazy.

 We had an OK week this week. Our numbers were a lot lower than normal and we only ended up teaching 17 lessons. We had no investigators show up for sacrament meeting which was pretty sad too. We did have about 4 less active families that we have been working with show up to church. It was really cool to see them all there. We are really close to getting a couple reactivations. Hopefully they work out.

 A lot of our investigators just totally failed us this week. I can’t tell you how many appointments we had set up that canceled about 30 minutes before we were supposed to meet. And like always, the flu only goes around on Sunday. We have a couple investigators that just happen to get sick or go to the ER every Saturday night. Its crazy how many people make excuses Sunday morning. The Saturday night before we usually have 4-5 hopefuls coming to church and then Sunday morning everyone bails. It gets frustrating pretty fast!

 I had another fun experience with a little girl in the ward.  Her sister got really sick last week and her family asked us to come over for dinner and to give her a blessing. Anyway, when we got there she ran up to me and said “Elder Rushton! I drew you a picture!” It reminded me a lot of Alexa –HA HA. Also, in Sacrament meeting yesterday we had a 5 year old kid that drew the missionaries a picture for our apartment.

  This transfer FLEW by. It seems like only yesterday I was unpacking my stuff in Howell. Now I’ve been here for a month and a half. I really enjoyed this past transfer and I am sad to see Elder Loutensock go. He is going to be a District Leader too but in another district. We saw a lot of miracles and had some pretty cool experiences together.  There are a lot of cool members here that I am excited to work more with. We have a lot of members that are starting to reach out and share the Gospel and it’s great. In the past 2 weeks we’ve had 5 different appointments where members have invited their friends. It has been awesome. People are so much more open and receptive when they are around their friends. And like I’ve told most of the members, it doesn’t matter what you say or if you say too much, the investigators will hear what the Spirit wants them to hear.

 Things in Howell are going great! Say hi to everyone in the ward for me and tell everyone in the family I love ’em!