Ziggy Ansah is Coming to the Mission‏–letter from Erik May 20, 2013

Happy birthday dad! 
This morning there was an article in the paper talking about the most violent/dangerous part of Flint. It’s in my area on the South East side. I find that strange though because that’s not to far from where the University of Michigan Flint campus is and Mott Community College is over there too. Guess we’re going tracting there though 😉
This week was a pretty good week for us. If all goes as planned we should be having a baptism this weekend. The work in Flint has been going well and every area is planning on baptizing in the next 3 weeks. It should be great! In ward council Bishop Berger commented on how the ward is lucky to have great missionaries and two veteran missionaries (Elder Olsen and I) right now and all the presidencies need to be ready to work with the investigators and converts that we bring in. The ward is going to have a hard time finding a Ward Mission Leader to replace Brother Partridge when he leaves in July because he’s been one of the best WMLs of my mission.
If all goes as planned, our investigator’s baptism should be this sunday after church. Another Flint area is hopefully baptizing someone as well so that will be really cool. This will be the first time in my mission that I’ve baptized two months in a row. That is of course assuming things go as planned. Now is the time for things to start going wrong if they’re going too. The only thing I’m nervous about is that this will be the fastest I’ve ever baptized someone so it’s tough to cover all the material. In Warren we baptized an investigaor in five weeks but we’ve really only been teaching her for almost three. She’s come to church five times though and comes to BOM class every week. I always get nervous leading up to a baptism though.
We didn’t have a lot of major stuff happen this week. We had a training meeting on Tuesday and that was pretty much just the usual stuff. We’re going top have one more Zone Conference before President Holmes goes home so that one should be pretty fun.
On Saturday we had no appointments so we decided to save the miles on our car and just bike all day. We’ve been struggling at finding new people to teach so we figured if we biked we could meet more people on the street as we went to some potentials, investigators and less actives we wanted to stop by. Plus is takes time to go from appointment to appointment so we’re not just endlessly tracting all day. We had two 40 minute bike rides that were killer but fun. It was nice to get out and exercise our legs a little. You get super sweaty though! We didn’t end up teaching anyone that day but we made a lot of good contacts and a couple of the people we stopped by to see came to church.
The mosquitoes have finally come out during this past week and they are MONSTROUS. They have to be at least 3x the size of Utah mosquitoes. We had a couple late frosts that hopefully killed a lot of the population, but I got bit three times last week. Remember when we went to Illinois and we stopped at a gas station at night and saw all the weird bugs crawling on the car? Well that’s what being in Flint right now is reminding me of. We helped someone out with their garden this week and I kept running into these weird bugs I’ve never seen before. The Cicadas should be coming out soon and you know how much I hated those in Iowa and Illinois. The Fireflies are starting to come back though so that’s nice.
Ziggy Ansah is going to be the speaker at our mission fireside this week in Livonia which should be sweet! I was super excited to hear they got him to come out and speak to our investigators. Hopefully it will draw in a lot of people.
Well hope you guys have a good week! I haven’t been able to find a cool gift for dad for his birthday, but I’ll try and find some sweet gifts to bring home with me when I come home. 
Elder Erik M Rushton

New Companion Time!

New Companion Time!—May 9th Letter


Transfers are tomorrow and we found out last night that Elder Nelson is getting transferred. I was very surprised because he’s only been in Flint for 3 transfers and with me for 1. Our mission president usually transfers people out of areas at 2 transfers or 4 and leaves companions together for 2. But I guess I have to get ready for a new adventure. This will probably be the last companion I get before I go home. Crazy to think about that.

This week was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. We had stake conference this week so we went to the adult session on Saturday and then stake conference was on Sunday. This stake conference was a broadcast from SLC to all the stakes in the Eastern United States. We heard from someone in the Seventy, the General Primary President, Elder Hales and President Uchdorf. It turned out to be a really great conference and I actually learned a lot. I figured the adult session was going to be all about marriage and helping our families and that I wouldn’t get much out of it. It actually turned out to be an open discussion between the congregation and the all the stake presidencies about different topics. It was really cool but I don’t think it work on a large scale like in the battlecreek stake.

Thursday was a stressful and busy day. We had appointments every hour of the day but one and we kept having people call us asking for help.
Plus, the Flint North Elders needed to pick up their car from the shop and couldn’t find anyone to take them. We ended up having to drive them out there and we ended up putting 123 miles on the car. We usually average 35 a day.

The weekend was the same old same old except we HAD to hit up free comic book day on Saturday haha. We were driving around looking for a place to tract and I noticed a sign outside a comic shop that it was free comic book day. Elder Nelson loves comics so we had to stop in and get some. It was a fun break from routine.

We have a couple potential people for baptism in May. We finally had our first lesson with a lady who just decided to show up at our church a couple weeks ago. I asked her why she decided to come to our church and she said “it was just the closest one.” I asked her how she’s felt about it so far and she said “It feels like I’m coming home. Everyone is so friendly here!” We committed her to read the BOM and continue coming to church and she said she would. She wouldn’t accept a baptism date yet but that will come in time.

Well I hope you guys are doing well and having fun. I’m looking forward to talking with the family this sunday! Thanks for all the letters and everything!

Elder Erik M Rushton

After Mother’s Day Email– May 13, 2013

Mother’s day is an interesting time for a phone call because the next Monday I have absolutely nothing to say. I’m pretty sure I told you everything that happened to us last week. But I guess I reiterate some things for blogging purpose. And because I suck at keeping a journal!

I didn’t tell you about our awesome appointment we had Tuesday. We’ve been teaching an investigator named Michael for about three weeks now.
He found the church through working at the University of Michigan. One day he just decided to stop in at the institute building and talk to one of the senior missionaries there. They referred him to us and we’ve been teaching him ever since. Well he’s been reading the BOM like crazy because he loves religions and he told us it has been his favorite book out of all the scriptures he’s read. He’s read the Bible, the Koran, the Torah and a lot of the dead sea scrolls. It was great to see the BOM have that effect on someone.

Sunday was easily the best day of the week. Elder Smith and I prepared an awesome lesson for the Gospel Principles class on the Great Apostasy and Restoration of the priesthood. We showed a short video called the Great Apostasy from the Doctrine and Covenants DVDs that detailed how Wilford Woodruff found the church. It’s a really great video. After class our investigator asked if she could talk to me for a minute. She just decided to show up at church one day and she’s been coming for about a month straight. We’ve only had one actual lesson with her because we’re not allowed over at her house because of the people she lives with. We finally were able to meet with her last week and get her a copy of the BOM. After Gospel Principles she told me about a talk she had with her daughter after the first lesson we had with both of them. She said that after that lesson, she knew she wanted to be apart of this church and would do anything she could to be baptized. She asked me what she needed to do and I was in shock and lost my words for a minute. I told her about the missionary lessons and told her that she would be able to fly through them. We have an appointment with her this Wednesday and we’re going to put her on a baptismal date!

Other than that we didn’t have a lot of anything special going on out here. Sunday night we went over to a members house where Elder Smith called home while I played pool with the other Elders. I played my best game yet but it’s not like that counts for anything haha. We had a great lesson with them and then came home and now it’s today.

Well, I hope you guys have a great week! It was good to hear from everyone on Mothers Day!

-Elder Rushton