APRIL 29th Letter—-3 Months Left

Finally finally finally a break in the rain and cold. We finally had a pretty nice week and it only rained on Sunday night.

This week was a great week for us. We got a ton of referrals from our Bishop and they’ve all turned out awesome so far. We started teaching a part-member family and have a potential 3 baptisms there and we have another part-member/less-active family we will hopefully get to meet with this week who want to get their daughter baptized. Our Bishop also hooked us up with another referral he just met on the street and I got to talk to him Friday. He was really excited to meet with us this week and really wanted to come to church Sunday but he was out of town. We also picked up a new investigator that just decided to come to church last week. She lives across the street from the church and just decided it was time for her to check us out. She’s come to church twice already, came to a ward-activity we had last week and also came to Book of Mormon class on Wednesday. Prayers for finding are working!

We had a great turnout for the mission fireside on Thursday. We had 5 people there and they all had a good time. I can’t believe that as of tomorrow I’m down to 3 months left. It’s pretty crazy.

 On Friday we didn’t have a ton to do but we were able to contact a bunch of former investigators and old referrals and had a lot of people tell us to come back. We met up with the Flint North missionaries for lunch. On Saturday we went to a member’s house house and helped him clean up a bunch of wood in his yard. We were pushing a bunch of big 2x4s and other boards through a wood-chipper and it was pretty fun.

Sunday night we stayed the night with the Flint North Elders so they didn’t have to come pick us up Monday morning to do laundry. It’s the end of the month and we’re all only allowed a certain amount of miles to drive so everyone is stretching. Plus Elder Nelson and I are on bikes Sunday night through Wednesday so someone has to pick us up to go shopping and do laundry.

We played a bunch of board games again and I’m still Stratego champ (10-3 against Elder Nelson and 15-3 everyone else) and I’m tied for Jumangi champ at two wins. I suck at everything else though –haha.

Ryan’s Baptism

Sweet Ghetto-Rider

 So that’s a run down of our week last week. I’m attaching photos of the baptism we had with Ryan and also of a sweet ghetto-rider we saw in a parking lot. Hope you guys are doing awesome! Thanks for the letters and prayers! Transfers are this week! I don’t think I’m leaving but I hope Elder Nelson doesn’t either!


First Baptism In Flint Aug 22 Letter

This last week was a pretty awesome week where we had a lot of fun and success. Ryan’s baptism went awesome and we had a great turnout from the ward to support him. It was my first baptism of the year so I was pretty stoked for it too. Our week was pretty much dominated by the preparation we put in to make sure everything went smoothly for the baptism. I was really glad everything worked out well.
We had a member in the ward buy Elder Nelson and I each our own Beta fish. For the past few weeks he’s been trying to give us two beta fish tanks he had lying around. We kept telling him that missionaries aren’t allowed to have pets but he kept insisting that he talked to the mission president at the last fireside. So finally he just went and bought us some. Elder Nelson got a girl and I got a boy.
We told David that these fish are probably going to commit suicide because they know we’re not supposed to have them. Well we had them for about 4 days before we came home to find out that Elder Nelson’s fish jumped out of the bowl and died on his desk. Mine is still alive and as happy as ever. I made him a house out of a coke can and named him J’Rome.
On Friday night the ward had a family game night that was pretty fun.
We had a pretty good turnout from all the members, less actives and investigators we’ve been working with. I got my butt kicked in Scrabble but then made a major comeback to go undefeated in Stratego.
Then Sunday all 3 of the missionary companionship’s went over to a member’s dinner and to play pool. Elder Nelson and I beat the other two companionships but that’s mainly because he’s pretty good. In 1 on 1– I was toast!
Well, thanks for the letters and everything last week.  
Well, have a good week!
-Elder Rushton
PS: Here’s something funny for you to laugh about today. When I opened up Google Chrome, a little pop-up box came up that literally said
“Chrome has auto-updated with bettar spell check!”   Obviously…

Biking in the Rain Letter from April 15th, 2013

Erik rides a fish in Detroit

Erik rides a fish in Detroit.

This week was really slow due to horrible weather. We only have a car Thursday – Sunday so Monday-Wednesday we got stuck biking in the rain. Not just a light rain, a full on downpour. There was a flood watch all over Flint and they closed a couple roads down due to flooding dangers. It was a crazy week.

We had one really sweet miracle this week. We have an investigator who’s been learning about the gospel for about 5 months now. He comes to church every week, he reads every day and he was following all the commandments but one – smoking. The first time I met him we put him on baptismal date for April 20th and committed him to quit smoking. He’s had multiple baptismal dates in the past but just hadn’t been able to kick the smoking habit. Well last Wednesday we had an appointment with him and we were trying to figure out what we needed to teach him. Everything we practiced just felt dull and it always led to the same commitment – quit smoking. We decided to just go over and tell him to keep up everything that he is doing and when he feels he’s ready to quit smoking and get baptized to let us know.

So that’s what we planned to teach. We went over there and started with the routine question, “how has quitting smoking going?” I was expecting the usual answers, but he surprised us by saying “it’s going great. I haven’t smoked in 4 days.” My jaw dropped and Elder Nelson didn’t quite know what to say. I asked him what was the difference trying to quit this time as opposed to times in the past. He told us that he decided that he really wanted to be a part of this church and he realized the only way he could do it is to quit. He’s getting baptized this Saturday!!!

Other than that not a whole lot happened around here. Some tracting, some teaching, some pawn shop hopping, just normal missionary life. I’m going to be sending home a letter/package later this week when we have the car back. It’s got a couple cool pages for Austin and Sky to look at that have really helped me on my mission.

Well, I hope the family is doing well. Tell everyone at home hi for me!

-Elder Rushton

Lots of Meetings–April 9th Letter

I don’t know if this is true or not, but awhile back a member of the church in one of my past areas told me that a popular magazine (I believe it was Forbes) came out with a list of the Most Depressing Cities in the US. Rounding out the top three were Detroit, Warren and Flint Michigan, although which order they went in I don’t remember. Well, Detroit has always been fun for me but that may be more because of my companions and the fact that downtown is one of the nicer areas. Warren wasn’t bad either although it was hit pretty hard by the collapse of the auto industry in 08. But Flint easily takes the cake on most depressed city. You can definitely see it as you drive through the city and interact with the people. The only two bright spots in the city are the community college, and the University of Michigan branch. Downtown is pretty nice too but it’s more like walking around downtown Lehi, but with less people out.

Overall I have enjoyed the area so far though. Conference was awesome too and a great up-lifter to the week. We had a ton of meetings this week through which destroyed a lot of our productivity. Besides the 10 hours of conference we attended, we also had two days of Specialized Training to attend. Those went from 9-4 plus it was about an hour travel time. So that took up a lot of our week but I did learn a lot. Our mission president talked a lot about the gathering of Israel and how the tribe of Joseph will be gathered first. I’ve heard his instruction on that about three times now but it’s a good one and gives you a lot of things to think about. He had everyone raise their hand if they were from the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim of Manasseh) and every single missionary raised their hand. He talked a lot about how it’s Joseph’s duty to gather the lost tribes, but first we have to gather each other first. So basically if someone doesn’t want to listen to us they’re probably just some Reubenite or from one of the other tribes. It’s a really interesting thing to think about.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning we had a little bug scare in our apt. I woke up with a lot of bites on my right arm and I was like “crap this better not be bedbugs.” Luckily we had specialized training that day and we were riding with the senior couple assigned to our ward. I asked Sister Picket if the bites were what I thought they were and she said no. She thought they were spider bites. I also asked Sister Holmes and she said the same thing. And I asked another missionary who has dealt with bed bugs before and he said I didn’t have anything to worry about. I shook my bed sheets out and vacuumed around the bedroom and I haven’t had anymore spider problems since then.

We’re teaching a lot of cool people right now that I hope can get baptized soon. If not this month than early next month. We’re teaching two full families that I’m really excited about. My whole mission it has been a goal of mine to help bring a family into the church. So far it hasn’t worked out but hopefully this area will change that.

Well, hope everyone at home is doing well. Thanks for all the letters and all that good stuff! Talk to you next week!