Detroit River East Letter from Feb 20, 2013

Erik in Detroit with Book of Mormon

Erik tracting in Detroit

Hola Mi Familia! I guess I better start learning some Spanish since I’m now serving in the Spanish branch!

My last week in Warren was a pretty fun one but it is always kind of depressing to leave. We spent a lot of time preparing Warren to receive 2 more missionaries and organizing the new apartment and area. I’ve had 3 areas that I’ve spent six months in and I love staying in areas for a long time, but when you have to leave it sucks. You grow really close to the members you are with and it’s tough to leave. I spent most of Sunday evening and Monday evening trying to see everyone I’ve grown close to in the last 6 months. It’s really hard to say good bye knowing that you’ll probably never come back!

Transfer meeting yesterday was pretty interesting. We had 25 new missionaries come into the mission (about 5 of them were 18) so there were a ton of trainers called. Elder Jackson was called to be a trainer so we had to be there at 9:00. With all the new missionaries coming in our mission opened up 16 new areas and opened a new zone called the Detroit Zone.

There was so much logistical stuff for the Mission President, Mission Office and Assistants to work out it was ridiculous. Imagine not only finding 16 new apartments, but purchasing them and moving in all the furniture in less than a month! I did not envy their position that’s for sure. The mission has only been able to purchase 2 new cars as well so most of the new areas are bike areas. When they called my name to announce my new area, I learned that I would in a tri-panionship with Elder Guest who has been out about 14 months and Elder Jones who has been out 2 months. I knew Elder Guest from serving around him before so I was really excited to
be with him. The funny thing was, they weren’t at the meeting! I loaded my stuff up with the Assistants and they drove me to my new area.

As hard as it was to leave Warren, I’m really excited to be in my new area—Detroit River East. I love serving in a branch and I’ve always wanted to serve in the Detroit River branch. It’s the Spanish branch of the mission and there are now 7 missionaries total that serve in it. 4 of them are Spanish elders and I’m back around Elder Gonzalez again which I was really excited about.

The really cool thing about this area is that we literally cover downtown Detroit. My apartment is really close to Ford Field where the Lions play and the Motor City Casino. Last transfer I heard they were opening an area that specifically covered downtown and I was really hoping I’d get to serve in it. My dream came true and this will probably be the last area of my mission! How much better does it get! I’m back on a bike which is really killing me right now-since I’m used to a car.

Our area is very new too so we’re doing a lot of tracting and trying to get some new investigators. I have a feeling we’re going to generate a lot of referrals for other areas since we’re spending time downtown doing street contacting.

Our apartment is suuuuuuuper small and run down. All of our windows are covered in bars to prevent people from breaking in and I’m back to sleeping with my butterfly knife by my bed just in case…….. Don’t be scared mom! I got Jesus on my side! Our shower has a concrete floor and our bathroom overall is tiny. We have antique radiators for heat and all wood floors and we have to lock our back door with a bike lock. I’ve also never seen a stove as tiny as ours, and trying to cram 3 people’s food into a tiny fridge is tough. Plus we’re surrounded by abandoned buildings. So yeah, I’m back on the poor side.

Have an awesome week!

Elder Erik Rushton

Snow in the City-letter from Feb 4, 2013

Hey family! We had people updating us with the Superbowl score all night haha. I’m glad the Ravens were able to pull it off.

We had a fairly common week with a lot of rain and a lot of snow mixed in. I swear the weather really contributes to if people want to listen to us or not. When I first got to Warren we were teaching 20+ lessons a week and finding around 6 new people a week to teach. But now in the cold it’s a struggle to get over 12 lessons and find anybody new to teach.  It also doesn’t help that we can’t go into a house without another male at least 16 years old present. In the fall it wasn’t such a big deal because we taught a lot of people on their porch or other places outside. But obviously nobody wants to sit outside in a foot of snow and 15 degree temperatures! This week we had a lot of success with part member families though and ended up finding 4 new investigators. We also had 7 less actives show up at church and two investigators. The chapel looked packed for once!

This upcoming week we have a few things going on that are out of the normal routine. We’re going on exchanges tonight with the missionaries in Troy. I’ll be staying in Warren and going with Elder Clark who I went on two exchanges with before when I was back in Howell. And then on Friday I’m going out to Roseville to go on an exchange with my favorite dutchman Elder Riekwel again. I told him to schedule with Sis.Hubbard too so she’ll probably commit me to bring Bonne Nuit to Detroit again haha. Other than that though this week should be pretty standard. We’re waiting to hear back from the mission office on when we’re going to help open up the new apartment for when they split Warren next transfer. We’re probably going to be preparing for that a lot in the next two weeks.

We had interviews with our mission president this week and that was kind of cool. He told us that there is going to be 23 new missionaries coming in next transfer, but only one of them is a sister. There are going to be so many missionaries that they might open up a new zone too. Right now we have four zones and our mission president told us that they’re all really big. The zones on our mission are just divided up by the four stakes that are in our mission. So I have no idea where they’d open up a new zone. It would totally throw off the current logistics of the mission.

On Saturday I had a pretty funny experience. Well… It’ll be a funny experience once my hair grows out longer. I decided to cut my hair down again on Saturday night. I usually do it every two weeks or so and I’ve probably cut my own hair about 18 times now and I’ve only ever made one mistake which was the very first time I’ve tried. So I’ve been pretty dang good at doing it! Well I got a little impatient which was my first problem. I must have been pushing to hard with the guard or something because it slipped and I cut an nice line down the center of my head. I was like ‘crap I’m going to have to really short to even that one out!” So long story short… I usually cut my hair down to a half inch, but to even it out I had to go down to a quarter inch. Now I just look like I went through boot camp! The whole time I was cutting it short I kept thinking to myself ‘at least I don’t have to see the mission president for another two weeks!’

Well I gotta bail but I hope everyone in the family is doing well. Tell Sky I’m proud of him for getting his mission papers done so quick. And tell Austin that chicks aint worth it!! When I go home, the mission president is going to have to put the marriage pressure on me reeeeaaaalllyy hard because I really have no desire to get a girlfriend or get married haha. Missionary for life!

-Elder Rushton