When Does The Countdown Begin? Letter from June 24th 2013

Elder Erik Rushton

Elder Erik Rushton in Flint, Michigan

5 weeks left… Crazy to think that next Sunday will be my last fast Sunday of my mission. It really is bittersweet!
We had a pretty good week this week and we had a lot of service projects that we participated in. Monday night we helped a lady clean out her 5 weeks left… Crazy to think that next Sunday will be my last fast Sunday of my mission. It really is bittersweet!
We had a pretty good week this week and we had a lot of service projects that we participated in. Monday night we helped a lady clean out her gutters. You know those trees that drop the “helicopter”seeds? Well they had landed in her gutter and started growing. Tuesday we helped a older sister in the ward mow her lawn. Thursday we helped a part member couple clean out their horse stalls which was pretty gross. They fed us a super sweet lunch though so it was all worth it.
Then on Saturday we went back to the non-member family that we’ve been helping build a brick path to their dock. All in all it was a pretty fun week this week for service. This upcoming week we already have service projects scheduled for Tuesday,  Thursday and Saturday.
Monday night we had another tornado warning come through. There was a super fast super low thunderstorm coming through and it looked crazy.
It moved from us out to the Great Lakes it under a half hour. It was small but pretty violent. There were no tornadoes but we had golf ball sized hail and 70mph winds. We had our emergency packs in our basement fortress all ready to go again in case a tornado did touch. It ripped some siding off our building and took down a bunch of limbs and small trees.
We had a great week this week especially in working with the members of the ward. We have been getting anywhere from 2-3 referrals a week from members in the ward and they have been much appreciated. It really started out with Bishop Berger and our Ward Mission Leader, Bro.Partridge, each giving us a bunch of referrals. We have a Sister in the ward who has been giving us some great less-active and part member family referrals that we have been able to set appointments for for this week. I’m very excited about a great number of referrals from the ward. Bishop Berger and Bro.Partridge have really been pushing hard for member referrals to happen and it is starting to pay off. We also just had a dinner calendar coordinator be called for the ward so hopefully that will further help us.
We met a pretty sweet part member family this week that I’m pretty excited about. The Father hasn’t been to church in 20 years and was labeled as a “Do Not Contact” in our GPS. A member of the ward told us we need to go buy because for some reason he had become really receptive all of the sudden and she didn’t know how long it would last. When we looked up his name in the GPS Elder Smith was like “oh crap he’s a DNC.” I told him that there’s no thing as a DNC in missionary work.  We went over and he was super receptive.  We were only able to meet with him but his wife and daughter are non-members.  We committed him to talk to his family about taking the missionary lessons.
The Leadership Training Broadcast on Sunday was awesome! I kept trying to look for Austin in the MTC choir but I figured he got into the MTC a little to late to be a part of that. I though Elder Holland was pretty hilarious with all the jokes he was cracking! Especially at the beginning. It was really cool to see all the new technology that missionaries and the church are starting to use. I really appreciated Elder Perry’s comments on how the nature of missionary work is changing. I liked how he basically pointed out that going out and knocking doors is becoming a less and less effective way for missionaries to find people to teach. I really liked how he encouraged members to embrace the new technology and social media that are available to help share the gospel. The video they showed of the family all sharing the gospel in different ways was pretty cool. I have definitely seen new technologies affect my missionary work.
The girl I baptized in Romeo/Rochester, found the church through Mormon.org. And another in Warren was on Mormon.org all the time. It’s pretty cool to see missionary work changing for a new age.
We have some fun stuff planned this week. Today after we email and shop we’re going fishing at a members pond. They have so many fish that they had to buy a snapping turtle to keep the population under control. On Tuesday we’re helping to move out a senior couple who just finished their mission and we’re moving in another senior couple who is about half way done. We also have the mission fireside this week and a “meet the new mission president” day on Friday. Should be a fun week!
Well, hope you guys have an awesome week and don’t miss me too much! I got my “don’t get trunky” letter today so I guess that means the countdown begins! Love you guys!
-The Original Elder Rushton

Elder Erik M Rushton

Visit from An Apostle June 17th letter

Erik Rushton by Eastside Graffiti

Erik by “Eastside Mission” Graffiti

So we had a pretty eventful/crazy week this week. I don’t even know
where to start. We had a ton of stuff to do and we were super busy all
week long. But I like busy weeks so that’s ok.
Monday and Tuesday we’re pretty standard days. Monday’s routine is
virtually the same every week. We get up and go do laundry and
breakfast at Bro.Greens from 7:00-noonish, then go shop and hit the
library. After that we sit around and I play music and stuff until we
have a dinner appointment at 6.
Wednesday was messed up! When we turned on our car in the morning, the
check engine light came on. We went to district meeting and afterwards
called our vehicle coordinator to ask what to do. He sent us to Bel
Tire first and we ended up spending two hours there before they told
us there was nothing they could do and sent us to the dealer instead.
We drove to the dealer and they weren’t going to be able to get our
car in until Thursday morning.
Thursday we got up early and drove to the dealer. They told us we
wouldn’t get our car back until at least 2pm. We called the Flint
South Elders and they came and picked us up. We spent most of the day
with them. We finally got our car back at 6pm. It turns out the last
person who worked on the car installed the air filter cover wrong and
the air sensor got contaminated. All in all it cost the church around
$350. Needless to say we had nothing happen those two days.
Saturday was pretty sweet. Elder Christofferson come down with two
members of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishop to speak to us. They
actually came down to do leadership training but while they were here
they decided to speak to the mission. It was a really cool meeting and
Elder Christofferson cracked a lot of jokes. He also let us have a
question and answer session that was pretty cool.
Saturday evening we found out that neither Elder Smith or I are
getting transferred. So Elder Smith is officially my last companion.
In fact everyone in our district is staying but Elder Olsen and he’s
only leaving because he’s finished his mission. Flint North is going
to be a tripanionship but that’s about the only real change. It’s
strange to think that this is my last transfer and I’ll be ending my
mission in Flint. Everybody keeps asking me if I’m “trunky” yet. I’m
not really, or at least I don’t think I am. Part of me is excited to
go home, but most of me doesn’t want to have to deal with real life
On Sunday we had a special stake conference where a member of the
Seventy came and spoke to the stake. Since they were all in town to do
leadership training, they decided to host a stake conference as well.
It was pretty sweet but the best part was I got to see some of my
favorite people from Romeo again. It was good to see them all again
before I go home.
This past transfer with Elder Smith has been a blast and I have
enjoyed the success we have had. Betty’s baptism was obviously the
highlight of the transfer but we also had some great success with
referrals from the ward. We’ve also had two less-active families that
have started to come to church pretty steadily again. We’re looking
forward to building on this transfer as we move into the next
together. It’s very surprising to think that I’m entering my last
transfer as a missionary. Last week I set some goals for myself that I
want to accomplish in my last transfer. I hope they will help me to
stay focused on my work and end my mission strong. My goal is to leave
Flint East with it being an area with a lot of good things happening.
Hopefully we’ll be able to pull off one more baptism before I go home
It’s crazy to think Austin will be entering the MTC this week. Tell
him to not be to worried about it. The MTC is basically like being in
seminary for 24 hours a day, every day. He’ll probably like it a whole
lot more than I did. Plus, since the church shortened the amount of
time you’re in the MTC, he won’t be in as long as I was. Like I said
on Mother’s Day, it was like a prison for me haha. Especially since I
had to sit there and hear the BYU game going one Saturday! Haha he’ll
do fine though. Good luck on your mission Austin! And I need his MTC
address asap.
Well, hope you guys have an awesome week! Don’t cry too much on Wednesday!
 Elder Erik M Rushton

Letter from June 10th, 2013

Graffiti wall in Detroit

Elder Erik Rushton by Graffiti wall in Detroit

This week was a pretty busy week for us which was nice for a change.
We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and that was a blast. The whole
conference was focused on converting ourselves before we can help convert someone else.

President Holmes again shared the story of one
reason President Hinckley decided that now was the time to have Preach
My Gospel. Before PMG came out, President Hinckley was disappointed
in the number of returned missionaries who go less-active when they
come home. Our church leaders put PMG together as a way to convert the
missionary before the investigator. And that’s so true because
virtually every single chapter is focused on the missionary and not
the investigator. It was a great conference.
Betty’s confirmation went well and she is super excited to be a member
of this church. We found another person last week who’s uncle is a
member. She was interested in what we taught and also came to church
on Sunday.

On Saturday our whole district got together for another service
project for a less active lady in the ward. We helped her clean up her
yard because it was a jungle. I was seriously wishing I had a machete to cut through everything.

Well, that’s about all I have time for right now.

Elder Erik M Rushton

June 1ST Letter- 4 Tornadoes and 1 Baptism!

Hey family and friends!

This week was a super crazy week but it was super fun. Organizing a
baptism is a lot of work and it takes us all week but it’s a lot of
fun. Betty’s baptism went awesome yesterday and she was super excited
when she came to church. We had the bishop baptize and everything
turned out a-ok. Next week will be the confirmation and then she’ll
officially be the newest member of the Flint ward. That brings the
total of convert baptism in Flint this year to 9.

Tuesday was tornado day! I know I already sent home the videos I made
and a letter about it, but I figured I’d write about it again for the
blog and also because I’ve learned new details. It turns out that
there were 4 tornadoes that hit the Genesee county area. All of them were about

5 to 8 miles from us. One actually passed just south of the
Flint South Elders apartment and the biggest tornado hit Mt.Morris
where the Flint North Elders are. All the missionaries in the county
were a-ok though. The closest tornadoes to us were in Goodrich which
was an EF2 and in Mt.Morris which was just an EF1.

So now my experience of the storm. I’ve always wanted to see a tornado
and this was finally my chance! We got home around 9:00 and I sat down
to play guitar at about 9:15. As soon as I started to play guitar the
tornado sirens went off sounding a warning. It caught me off guard
because usually the mission office sends out a storm watch text and
they never sent out anything. In fact I’ve only heard the tornado
sirens give out an actual warning once on my mission and the mission
office sent out a text hours before that. Elder Smith called our Ward
Mission Leader to see if it was for real (despite what I told him he
was convinced it was a test) and Bro. Partridge told us there was a
strong indication of a tornado landing. There was a tornado watch out
until 9:15. I called Pres. Holmes right after that so he would know
what was going on and forward a text to all the missionaries. We put
together two emergency survival packs and took them down to the
basement before heading back up to the deck to watch the sky. As soon
as I saw a spiral forming we were going to book it down to the

Our ward mission leader called us whenever there was an update and we
headed to the basement whenever we felt there was a significant change
in the storm. The tornado sirens sounded every ten minutes to let us
know the watch was still in effect. The watch was extended all the way
out to 11:30. We could actually hear the Goodrich tornado hit and that
was when we spent the longest time in the basement.  That one was
moving in our direction. It died after 12 minutes and traveled 4.6
miles. Other than that nothing too crazy happened to us. Flint North
stayed in their basement so they were fine and Flint South was at a
member’s house when the sirens went off. All our neighbors either
weren’t home or bailed when the sirens went off but I knew better than
to try and outrun a tornado in a car. Everything turned out fine and
we went back upstairs for good at 11:30. I still stayed up till almost
1:00 am to make sure we were all good and we slept with the window
open so the siren could wake us up if needed. It was an exciting
adventure that’s for sure! Still never saw a spiral though…

Thursday and Saturday we had 3 service projects. On Thursday mornings
we always go and help a part-member family with various things on
their ranch. They own 4-horses and there’s always some fun work to do.
Plus they make us lunch! Also on Thursday we got to
go help an older single sister mow her lawn. On Saturday we went back
to the same non-member’s house we helped lay brick at before and we got
really close to finishing everything. It’s always fun to do service.

On Friday I hit my 2 months left mark. It’s crazy to think that time
is flying so fast. Elder Olsen got his departure itinerary today and
its super crazy that I’ll be getting mine soon. I’m really focusing
on making these last few months great and I would love to get one more
baptism before I take off. Trying not to worry about school and
everything is tough too. My time is running out!

Well, love you guys but I got to bail. Library is packed today!

-Elder Rushton