Baptized! Letter from Oct 29th 2012

So this week turned out to be pretty awesome even though it we didn’t have the huge numbers we had last week. The baptism was awesome! I felt so privileged that I got to be the one that baptized her. That is the first time I’ve ever done it as a missionary and the first person I have physically baptized into the restored gospel. It was pretty sweet. We had a really good turnout from the ward too. The Warren ward as a whole are really good at fellow shipping people. That evening we went over to our Ward Mission Leader’s house for dinner.

Saturday ended up being a really busy day for us. That morning we had a shipment of winter coats (about 1,200 pounds worth) come to the church from SLC and we were distributing them to the public from 9-12. There were a lot of people show up and it was awesome to be able to help out needy people again for the second week in a row. All the clothing was from DI though and it made me laugh to see how many BYU jackets we passed out. The whole time we were doing the distribution though we were also preparing for the baptism which we had scheduled for 1pm. The whole baptismal service was awesome and it was nice not to have to be the one to put together the whole program. Our Ward Mission Leader did a really good job. After the baptism we wen’t and taught a few people and then we had our Ward Halloween party that night at 6pm. There was an awesome turnout a whole lot of non-members there. I was very surprised by how many ward members brought non-member friends and we made some good connections. Plus the chili was awesome! I came in 4th place out of 11 so you’ll have to tell Laura thanks for the recipe!

Nothing to exciting happened during the rest of the week for us. We spent a lot of the time out trying to find new people because the weather was really warm. We did get into one bible bash with a pastor we knocked into but Elder Stark is dang good with the Bible so I just let him take care of it. He told me one of his favorite past times in Alabama was going around Bible bashing with all the baptist pastors haha.

This will officially be my second Devil’s Night in the Detroit area so I’m pretty excited. Everyone says our little section of Detroit isn’t that bad though. Apparently my first Detroit area was supposed to be a lot worse but nothing really happened there when I was there for Devil’s night. We’ve been told to be in by 7:00 unless we’re in an appointment. We have a member that has invited us to come over to help pass out candy and have dinner though so that’s where we’ll probably be. A lot of people in Michigan go all out for Halloween and it’s pretty amazing. We met a guy last week that carves 150 pumpkins every year for Halloween and hands all the kids a big box of theater candy instead of a little fun bar thing. He said every year he drops about $500 on Halloween alone. It was pretty amazing.

Well I don’t have much time yet but I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for all the prayers, letters and packages! I hope the marching band does good in Cali!

Love, Erik


Miracle Week—Erik’s letter from Oct 22, 2012

Elder Erik Rushton September 2012

So this week was sweet! We had so many cool things happen, that hopefully I have enough time to type them all! In every mission, at the end of every week you add up your “numbers” or “Key indicators” to report to the mission office. Every mission has their own “standards of excellence” that they set which are goals that are attainable, but they require you to stretch and work hard. I’ll list a couple of them so that I can brag about our week a little bit 😉

Total lessons per week: 20

New Investigators per week: 5

On Baptismal date: 2

Investigators at Sacrament: 2

This last week we found 18 potential investigators, 9 new investigators, had 4 people at church, and taught 27 lessons – all new records for me. I’m pretty excited if you can’t tell.


First off, the ward clothing distribution went really well and it was a lot of fun. Just like dad said in his letter, I did fell like Santa Clause handing out 12,000 pounds of clothes to everyone! On Friday, a counselor in the bishopric talked to me and asked if I would speak in church. I said sure! And then he asked if I would do it THIS Sunday. If anyone can out together a talk in 24 hours it’s the missionaries! So I spoke in church yesterday and it was really fun. My topic was on Alma 34:33 about repentance. Everyone loved it and I shared a lot of stories about music and the family band and stuff so people had a ton of questions afterword.


At the beginning of the week we set a goal to find 5 new investigators which has been hard for me to do my entire mission. Normally I can get 1-2 and 3 is a stretch. We decided to show our faith and put our trust in the Lord to help us achieve our goal. We went out knocking doors and after about 15 minutes we had a lady not only talk to us, but let us in! I was thinking “Sweet! We’re one new investigator closer to achieving our goal!” But the Lord wasn’t done yet. We were about to start teaching the Restoration when she stopped us and said “hold on, my whole family needs to hear this!” She brought up her husband and four sons! Long story short – we hit our goal of 5 new investigators on the very first day  of the week, all in the same house. It was sweet!


Later in the week we had another miracle. We were walking down a street on our way to visit a former investigator to see if he was interested in meeting with missionaries again. As we were walking we heard someone shout “Hey guys!” but there were a lot of kids outside playing so we didn’t think they were calling to us. Then we heard “Hey Elders!” and then we were like “ok, obviously they mean us.” We turned around and walked back to the lady who had called out to us. She was awesome! She told us that the whole family used to meet with missionaries and that two of her daughters were baptized. She moved about year ago and never reported to the ward that she had moved so nobody had any record of the family. She told us that she had been thinking a lot about being baptized recently and we put her on a baptismal date on the spot. We set up an appointment to meet with her Sunday evening and then she also came to church yesterday as well! And then at church, she said she heard a lot of things that were obviously spoken just for her.  it was really cool!


Overall things are going awesome in Warren. Everyone is very excited for the baptism this Saturday. She is easily the most prepared investigator I’ve ever had and I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to teach her.  I hope everyone at home is doing well. Everyone hope the Tigers win the World Series because it’s much easier to do missionary work when they win! haha


Love Erik



1 Week until Transfers—Oct 8th letter


This week was a pretty fun week and General Conference was pretty sweet. We had 3 investigators show up at the church and watch the Sunday morning session and they all loved it so that was sweet. We also found a bunch of new investigators this week to help replenish our teaching pool a little bit so that was nice. We have a baptism coming up on this next Sunday and he’s pretty excited about that. We have another investigator that is scheduled to be baptized on Oct 27 and she is really excited for that too. There are some pretty cool things happening in Warren right now and I really hope I don’t get transferred next week. We get transfer calls this Saturday so I’ll know if I’m leaving or staying by then. 

I also got to do some good old Detroit family counseling this week too. Family situations in Detroit are so messed up it’s amazing, But you just have to give them all the gospel and hope and pray it fixes, or at least improves, their situation.


It’s starting to get cold and dark again which I’m not looking forward to because that means people will get meaner again. As soon as the sun goes down at 5, NOBODY wants to answer their doo— Especially if you’re in Detroit because everyone either thinks your cops, or you’re coming to collect money/drugs. In a way it’s kind of funny, but also really frustrating because that makes it really hard to find anyone to teach and also to even set up solid appointments. But somehow, someway, Elder Stark and I are still finding success in everything. Even with General Conference taking up 10 hours of our week this week, we were still able to find 4 new investigators and also teach 19 lessons. The Michigan Detroit Mission standards of excellence are 4 new investigators a week and 20 lessons taught. Sow we got super close even with all that time missed!

This week we made a special effort to try and visit with as many members as possible. Looking at the old records of the area, missionaries haven’t really done whole lot of member work. Elder Stark and I talked about it and we set the goal to try and see 5 members are week instead of the usual 1 or 2 we see. So far it’s paying off. For the first couple weeks I was in Warren I felt kind of disconnected from the ward. Romeo and Howell were like family to me and I just didn’t seem to really click with someone in Warren. But, I’m hoping that visiting more and more members will help me build a strong relationship with them and use that to further the gospel even more. Cross your fingers that it works!

Well, I hope everyone is doing well and I hoped you enjoyed General Conference. Thanks for all the letters and everything!. You guys are the best!


-Love Erik


Fun Times at the Zoo—Letter from 10/1/2012


This week started off awesome but by the end it got kind of frustrating. The Detroit Zoo was pretty cool but it was about half the size (or maybe less) than Utah’s Zoo. They did have a heck of a lot more penguins and gorillas than Utah’s though! Detroit Zoo’s biggest attraction though are their Polar Bears and they weren’t even around when we went. Although, talking to other members, everyone said the Polar Bears are almost never there. It was still a fun trip though. 

I had another cool music type experience this week. There is a member in the ward we try and visit pretty frequently and we were down at his house in Detroit on Tuesday when he told me he had a recording studio in his basement. I was like “wait? you can have a recording studio in Detroit and not be worried about getting robbed???” haha. We went downstairs so I could see it and it was nothing spectacular right now but it was better than anything else I’ve seen so far out here. Anyway we got to talking about music software and he mentioned that he got this new midi software but wasn’t really sure how to set it up. I asked him what it was and low and behold it was Reason 5! So I helped him set it up and then we played around with it for a bit so I could teach him how to use it. Once again that’s another skill I never thought I would be using out here.

The hardest part of the week was this weekend. We were supposed to have a baptism yesterday but our investigator had to work and that took over everything. He’s still super determined to get baptized though and we’ll hopefully be having the service in two weeks. We also had no investigators come to church which was kind of lame. Everything we do during the week really builds up to sacrament meeting and when none of our investigators come to church that really sucks. But oh well, hopefully next week we can get some.

Other than that our week went relatively smooth as usual. We were able to find a couple new people and two more really promising investigators. Right now we have two baptisms  scheduled to happen in October and two baptisms scheduled to happen in November. So keep your fingers crossed!! We have a ton of people that were working with right now and most of them are progressing really well. The ward is really focused on getting people to come back to church because we have a lot of less active members and right now we have a lot of them that are really progressing well.

I’m going to send home another SD card today with pictures from out trip to the zoo and also pictures of a Camaro SS that one of our ward members took us for a ride in. It was pretty fun and he was willing to let me drive it but I couldn’t…missionary rules…

Well I’m running out of time! Thanks everyone for all the letters and everything you’ve sent! Missionaries love letters!

Love, Erik

Two Year Expiration Date —Letter from 9/24/2012


I think it’s kind of funny and sad that once the stuff you bought for your mission reaches the ripe old age of two years, it starts to fall apart. The first thing that broke was my original badge from the MTC. It literally split in half on August 29, 2012 – almost exactly two years from when I entered the MTC. Other two year items – my bike which has been giving me issues lately, my backpack has needed a few stitching repairs, one of my suit pants pockets ripped the other day, I’ve had to re-stitch a couple buttons on my white shirts and I had to through two of them out last week, and the watch I bought in the MTC just died last week. Missionary stuff really does have a two year lifespan!

Our week as a whole was really cool. On Monday I had a cool experience regarding my guitar. We were just getting home and as I was unlocking our apartment door, one of our neighbors came downstairs and asked “so which one of you has the guitar?” I started thinking “great, I’m playing to loud for this guy,” and I told him that I was the one playing. He goes “You’re pretty good! Do you play any Christian music?” I told him that’s pretty much about all I play right now and I told him about the church and how we’re missionaries. He told me he gets together with a couple guys every so often to have a jam session and play Christian soft rock and that I was invited. I told him to let me know when they get together because I’d love to come and he said OK! It was pretty cool.

Our baptism that we have set for Sept30 looks like it will happen! He is 19 years old. He has a pretty cool story too. He’s been taught by missionaries since he was about 11 years old but never really got all that into in until his dad passed away. His dad was Mormon, his mom isn’t, and they took their kids to a lot of different churches to see what they liked. He was the only one that really wanted to keep meeting with the missionaries, but he never really had a desire to be baptized. Everyone in the ward already knows and loves him too!

We had are next strongest investigator at church yesterday which was awesome. She’s on date to be baptized at the end of October and is progressing really well. I really like it when we find the people who have the perfect questions, read everything we leave and take a ton of notes. The Lord really does prepare people for us! That makes it really easy to forget about all of those mean people that we run into.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of the “Legacy” series that broadcasts. They’re really good! They have an episode all about Mormon Myths that I like but my favorite so far is probably the one about Porter Rockwell. You guys should check it out!

Well, I hope you guys are doing awesome and I hope you’re enjoying the new dog. You can break her in for me so when I get home I can hang out with her. Thanks for everything!