Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Wish List

Christmas List:

Dear Santa,
       I have been a really really good boy, so please give me the following.

1.Warmer Weather
2. 2004 EFY CD "Stand in the Light"
3. See The Hobbit and the Batman movie
4. A brother who doesn't have a one pack belly
5. Ticket to the Super Bowl
6. Year supply of Muddy Buddies
7. Basketball shoes
8. Cookbook
9. Moccasins
10. Basketball Pump

Well, not much is happening in Roundup. I was in Billings Friday since Elder Orr had a Doctor's appointment. Oh yeah, we had a Christmas Zone Conference with half the mission in Billings and it was pretty good, the only thing was was that it was poorly planned out. They did this really cool slide show where they got a picture of all the missionaries when they were younger during Christmas. It was pretty hilarious. So I found out that I am able to Skype home for Christmas, but I'm not sure when we will do it yet.

So we have these Investigators, the Roberts, they are an older couple and they are really cool people. They also showed up to church yesterday which was nice. Hopefully things will work out with them. I think the missionaries started seeing them in June or July, and they are awesome people! There is also another Investigator, Cole, who we went out with him at 6:30 in the morning to help him chop wood. We went out about half hour north of Roundup and I saw a bunch of Elk, a coyote, and antelope. It was super cool, and it was fun to go out and do something. Well, hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nasty Gross Water : /

Well, I'm in Roundup! I didn't get to Roundup till Wednesday night. I ended up staying in Billings all day Tuesday and most of Wednesday. Elder Orr had a doctor appointment Tuesday and we had to wait till Wednesday afternoon for his perscription to come in. So we were teamed up with our Zone Leader Elder Walch all day Tuesday and we visited a bunch of people Elder Orr and Elder Walch wanted to see. Elder Orr has been out ten months and he has served 7 1/2 months in this zone so he knows most of Billings and he's been in Roundup for only 4 weeks. I really like Billings and I love Roundup too! Elder Orr is from Thatcher, Arizona. If you've ever seen that mormon message of the two boys who are friends but play against each other in football, he is actually in one of the scenes. Anyway, Elder Orr is our District Leader, and my District is twice the size than when I was in Missoula, 4 sisters, us, and the Zone Leaders. I really love this place, the population is only 2,000 people and Elder Orr said it has been tracted out 2 months ago so we aren't doing any tracting. So we just see investigators and less actives and active members.

So it is starting to get cold here. On Saturday we did some service fixing a gate for a member and we were out helping for 3 hrs. It was 15 degrees out and with the wind factor it was 5 degrees! I've never been so cold in my life! Hot chocolate never tasted so good in my life after I was out in the cold. There isn't a whole lot of snow, it is just dry and cold. Elder Orr loves to do service and in this area there are a lot of things we can do. So we keep ourselves busy by doing a lot of service.

So on Sunday we had a baptism for a 11 yrs old, Issiah. That was really neat. I gave a talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was really nice. I love the people in this Branch. They have about 80 people go to church regularly. I just really love it here. The only downside about this place is that the water here isn't very good. They pump out the water from a coal mine and that was where the miners used to go to the bathroom and spit. And we're not supposed to drink the water otherwise we will get sick. Also the water leaves a stain in the toilet, so the toilet in our appartment is gross, the whole bathroom is kinda gross. I had to do some cleaning when I got there since the last Elder was there for 9 months and he wasn't very clean. Beside that this place is nice.

I have a Christmas Zone Conference tomorrow! :) Anyway, that's about it, love ya!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, December 3, 2012

Families in Clinton

The Starks who I stayed with.
 I'm going to miss Sister Stark making me breakfast every morning!

The Nystroms. I'm going to miss them in Clinton!

Bye Bye Clinton :(

Well, as you can tell from the Title, I am leaving Clinton, Drummond, and Seeley Lake. I will be leaving today around 3 to Roundup, MT. Roundup is an hour drive North of Billings so I will be leaving the mountains. :(  I will be in the Billings East Zone and my companion will be Elder Orr, who was in the same District with Jameson in the MTC. I haven't met or seen him before. I was able to talk to Elder Scott this morning and I found out he is already leaving Powell, Wyoming and is going to Kalispell, which is disappointing because he went from the East to the West, which means I won't see him at the Christmas Zone Conference since it is split up from West to East. Oh well, it was really nice to catch up with him for awhile. Elder Scott is Awesome!

Well Dad, it is not snowing up here, we have no snow except some in the mountains, thats about it. I've heard there is snow in the East though, so I may have snow in Roundup. It's fairly warm here in Missoula, in the 20's-30's. Mom, I only have one friend writing to me and that is Joel. So, I don't know much what is happening or how my friends are doing. Haha, that's funny that Amaya knows Elder Isaacson. Elder Isaacson says he is single and desperate for a girlfriend and is wondering if Amaya would be interested in him when he gets home. Haha just kidding. Oh yea, apparently Elder Isaacson supports tattoos too haha.

Well, I had a disappointing call with Bro. Sprague yesterday morning. We called to make sure he had a ride to church and he told us that he is not interested to join the church in this point of time in his life and dropped us. So hopefully things will work out. He is also still struggling with smoking. Things have been very slow in this area and we really don't have any investigators. Hopefully Roundup is better.

Next week we will be having a Christmas Zone Conference which should be fun. I think just about everybody from my MTC District is in the West side of the mission except for Sis. Pattullo who should be in my District over in Billings. Unless she got transferred too. Anyway, I'm all packed and ready to go Roundup. Love ya!

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Missoula Zone

Elder Isaacson on the far right and Elder Gunnerson in the middle sticking out his tongue, they both went to Salem and were friends in High School.  They said they both knew Amaya. 
Elder Anderson on top row second from far left is from Pleasant Grove, UT.

Stuffed like a Turkey!

Well, Thanksgiving was definitely different since being away from family. So for Thanksgiving I went to two members thanksgiving dinner. The first one was with the Dinoias at 3, they are an awesome family and enjoy being around them. Then we went to the Heileson at 5 for a second meal, and boy was I stuffed. So, Thanksgiving was pretty good, we weren't allowed to go see people since it was a Holiday, so we didn't really do much in the early afternoon, but it was a pretty good Thanksgiving.

No way! Leah got called to Colorodo, Denver Mission?!?! So when does she leave to the MTC?  That is awesome that Amaya is thinking about serving a mission too! That is great that Braden is going to Boston, Massachusetts, the last time I saw him was when I went with Brandon to see Avengers on opening night and I was able to tell him I was going to Montana, he was telling me how he was uncertain about serving a mission, I'm glad to hear that he is going on a mission. It's great to hear all these people who are deciding to serve a mission!

So, to answer your question Dad, Missoula has 4 wards, in my area I have 3 branches. The Clinton Branch, which covers East Missoula (small town 3 miles outside Missoula) all the way to Beavertail(7 miles past Clinton). I live in Clinton and we go to East Missoula everyday and they are 15 miles apart, so about 20 min. drive everyday. Then Drummond has its own branch, Drummond is 32 miles east of Clinton. Then Seeley Lake has its own Branch, which is 36 miles North of Clinton. A huge area and not enough miles to visit them, we switch from seeing Seeley Lake and Drummond once a transfer, which is unfortunate.

Transfer call is this Friday, I have grown to love my area and hoping I don't have to leave, but I don't really have a choice in that matter.

Hmm, just curious, so whats happening back home in Clovis, anything new, interesting, or exciting happening?

So, our investigators, the Spragues unfortunately went back to smoking, so we are going to recommit them to live the word of wisdom and we are going to set another baptism date for them. Not sure if I told you this yet or not, Bro. Sprague finished reading the Book of Mormon and is now rereading it. So, hopefully things will turn out for the best.

So, apparently the Sister missionaries in my zone are planning activities today and everyone in our zone will be here today, so today should be fun. I also heard that we might be getting 9 new missionaries next week. Oh ya, our message for the week was Our Life on Earth from Preach My Gospel, and we shared Alma 34:32-33. It talks about our purpose here on Earth and how we must do our labor here on Earth to prepare to meet out Heavenly Father.

Love ya!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bald Eagle

Raking Leaves

Well, nothing real special happened this week. There isn't too much to write about this week. We raked some leaves for a potential investigator this week then we saw her on Friday. She said she doesn't feel like joining the church right now in her life but invited us to come back anytime. So I had tea for the first time in my life. Don't worry I didn't break the Word of Wisdom, I had Herbal Tea, and I didn't particularly like it so I won't be having it ever again. To answer your question, Parker's restaurant is in Drummond. It isn't really too cold yet here so I haven't really worn my coats yet, just my suit coat. I also don't really need to wear boots yet either, all the snow already melted. It will be in the 20's one day then be in the 50's the next day. So, the weather here isn't very stable.

I'm really bummed I can't go to Julia's wedding, I wish I could just go out for the wedding, I wonder if I could. Oh well, there is nothing better than doing the Lord's work. Julia's wedding after Jordan and Jessica's anniversary huh, it'll make it easier to remember their anniversaries I suppose.

Well, not much else to write about, I guess I could share a message that Elder Lieberum and I shared this week with members at dinner appointments. We talked about how the Gospel Blesses Families and about having the Gospel in our homes. We Shared Alma 56:47-48, Helaman is writing an epistle to Moroni about the 2,000 young stripling warriors. About how they were taught by their parents and were raised in the gospel. Anyway, we expounded on that, so that was our message last week. I'll tell you what our message for this week in the next email.

Love ya!

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Me and Elder Rust. He's in Wyoming now. Elder Rust is a great missionary!

Elder Peschke

Anita's Baptism

The Library is closed today, which explains why I'm writing my email late today. The older Sister missionaries that work at the Stake Center here are letting us use their computers to write home. Well, this week was pretty good. It is starting to get pretty cold and starting to get snow. It is in the low 20's or in the 10's right now and my area is in a canyon so we get a lot of wind which makes it much colder than it really is.

So last Saturday Anita was baptized! Seeley Lake does not have a baptismal font so she had to go down to the Clinton Branch to be baptized. It was great. President Carlin Baptized her and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. Then we went up to Seeley Lake for Church and Elder Lieberum did the Confirmation. I think things are now going to slow back down now that Anita and Teresa have been baptized. We are still seeing John and Jane. The last time we saw them Jane still has problems with her gall bladder, we are praying that she will get well soon.

I'm not sure if I said this already or not but I'm not driving anymore and Elder Lieberum is driving now. It is taking him a long time to get to know the area so I have to keep telling him where to go. I wish I could just drive it would be so much easier but I just need to be patient with him. He is also not the greatest of drivers so I have to pay extra attention when he is driving, but as long as we are safe and arrive to our destination I suppose i will be fine.

So we had a member call asking for some help. Her trampoline was tied down, but the wind still blew it over their fence into the park behind their home and was in the baseball diamond backstop. So we took the trampoline apart and put it in the back of their car. It took about 30 min. and it we did it during a small snowstorm. It was super freezing and windy. Despite all that it was quite fun. Afterward we had hot chocolate. :)

Well, I got more free winter clothes from Bro. and Sis. Dalhquist this week. They gave me a nice coat and some good winter boots. :) they were the one who gave me winter clothes from before too.

I can't believe Julia is actually engaged! Too bad I will miss the wedding. Have they decided what temple they want to go to yet? At least I don't have to worry about helping with the wedding and the clothes. Too bad you can't postpone it for another year so I could make it. Oh well. Well, I hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, November 5, 2012

Teresa's Baptism!!! :)

I went from a bad week to a great week. :) So, on Tuesday I went up to Seeley Lake and we taught Anita the Plan of Salvation. Then Wednesday we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Commandments. We will be back up there for her Baptismal Interview This Tuesday and her baptism is this Saturday. That should go through. Then Thursday Teresa, in Drummond, had her Baptismal Interview and was set for Baptism. So Saturday was her Baptism and she was baptized!!!! :) Her brother came out from Utah to baptize her and for her confirmation. He is a convert also who was baptized in 2006 and he has gone to the Temple. He was saying how his life was a mess and was praying for guidance and he said the missionaries knocked on his door and he yelled at them to go away and he slammed the door in their face. He said he regretted it and wished them back, then two days later they came back and knocked on his door and they asked if he was sure he didn't want to see them and he accepted them and he became a member. Anyway, back to Teresa, it was an awesome baptism and she is my first investigator baptized in my mission. :)

As for "John" and "Jane," I think I forgot to mention that they did stop smoking through the Stop Smoking Program that Elder Scott and I started with them and they are now nonsmokers. :) Anyway, we are back in term with them. We don't have a set date with them anymore but "John" said he just wants to go to church and get to know the members before he get baptized. He is still reading the BoM. They have been unable to come to church the last two week because "Jane" is ill and has gallbladder problem and will have surgery this Friday. I hope she is doing well and will recover soon. They are still interested and we are still meeting with them.

Things are going great and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, October 29, 2012

Parker's Challenge 10/17/12

 2 pound hamburger, 1 pound shake, and 1 pound fries

: )

Owner of the Restaurant

Baptismal Interview Dropped :(

This has been a very stressful week. It is tough to plan for everyday when I know the area and Elder Lieberum doesn't and it made me realize how much Elder Scott knew of the area and how little I actually know. I'm showing Elder Lieberum the area and all our investigators. I loved church yesterday, it was the first day since Elder Lieberum came that I felt relief. Elder Lieberum is a great missionary and we get along fine. He is from Houston, Texas and is 22 yrs old. He's been out 13 months. The area he just came from is glascoe? Not sure if I spelled that right. But Glascoe is in the NE corner of Montana I believe.

So we got a depressing call from "John," our golden investigator who was going to have a baptism interview tomorrow, saying he didn't want to be baptized. He didn't understand why we have to have a interview and says it is between him and the Lord. We encouraged him to pray about it and we are going to try and keep in contact with him.

We still have Teresa from Drummond who will have an interview this Thursday and will be baptized this Saturday. That should be good. We will also see Anita tomorrow up in Seeley Lake and teach her, she is still on date for the 10. Yesterday I was a witness for a kid baptism. Bro. Wilson received the Melchezidek Priesthood several weeks ago and he will be married this Saturday in the Temple in Spokane and be able to seal his family together. :) The Wilson's are an awesome family.

So at church yesterday we had a High Councilman there and he said that he was the one when he was Stake President that he created the Clinton Branch and got the building for this Branch. He also said that the Clinton Branch is very close to becoming a ward! That is great news.

So I was talking to a member yesterday and I found out that her sister's husband is the High School Football coach in Bakersfield who beat us in the Semi's last fall. She is the first person I met who knows where Clovis is and she knew Clovis High. We talked a little bit about the game between Bakersfield and Clovis High.

Anyway, hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Another Golden Investigator!!!!! :)

WOW!!! Things have been going great this past month! We got another referral this week from Seeley Lake. There is this lady name Anita and she is staying with a member and she came to church with her and she said she felt drawn towards the church and she expressed her desire to be baptized! We set a date for her for November 10. She is so prepared and she pretty much already has a testimony that this is the true church and that we have the proper priesthood in our church. We also still have Teresa from Drummond on date for November 3. Dave and Vilene are doing great! We have been seeing them two to three times a week. They are following through with the Stop Smoking Program and haven't smoked a cigarette. They are set for a baptism this Saturday. They will have a baptismal Interview this Wednesday. Unfortunately they have a issue that we will have to take care of which will delay their baptism and will take some time to resolve. Dave is on probation and I so I don't know how long it would take to resolve this issue. But I know they will get baptized because they are totally prepared and ready. They also asked me to baptize them, so I hope I do get the opportunity to do that.

Sad news. Elder Scott will be leaving me today in the afternoon to Powell, Wyoming. My new companion will be Elder Lieberum (Lee-burr-um) and he is from Houston, Texas. He has been out longer than a year. Other than that I don't know anything about him. Well, I was just talking to Elder Thawley who was with me in the MTC and I found out that he is already going to train a new missionary! Also, apparently all the missionaries in the world will be going through training even if they have already gone through it and I just got finished training, so I guess I'll have another 3 months of training.

I was able to drive this past week to know the area better. It was nice to drive again. :) Yesterday we had another Stake Conference. So many conferences have been happening. We already had Stake Conference, General Conference, Zone Conference, Mission Tour, Stake Conference yesterday, and Branch Conference next Sunday! Anyway, the Stake Conference was special, it was broadcast from Salt Lake for Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. Elder Nelson (Quorum of the 12), YM First Counselor, YW President, and Elder Callister (Presidency of the Seventy) spoke in the Broadcast! It was Amazing! They mainly focused on the Youth and preparing them to serve a mission now that the age has been changed.

I'm sad that Elder Scott is leaving, and I won't be able to listen to his CD's anymore. So if you would like to get me the CD's that would be Great! 1. Leeland the Great Awakening    2. Mercyme      3. Eclipse Grateful Praise       4. Stand in the Light (EFY 2004)

Hope your week goes well!! Oh, the trees here are beautiful and so are the mountains. I'll send pics next week when I have more time since I will be dropping Elder Scott off in an hour.

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, October 15, 2012

Devin's Study Area

Another Golden Investigator!!! :)

This has been a really great week! We are still teaching Dave and Vilene and they are still on date for the 27. They are reading the Book of Mormon and since we last checked they were halfway through 2 Nephi. They always have good questions to ask. They went to church yesterday, and unfortunately they had to hear Elder Scott and I speak. We found out that we were speaking at 10 Saturday night so we didn't have much time to prepare. I spoke about how the BoM is the Keystone of our religion. We also had two other speakers and they were really good. Anyway, Dave and Vilene really enjoyed church. During third hour, they taught the Word of Wisdom and Dave said he will try and give up smoking. Elder Scott and I are lucky that we didn't have to teach the WoW but we will still go over it. We also invited them to see a baptism that is going to happen in Missoula this Friday so they know what is going to happen. They are a great couple and they know that everything we are teaching is true.

New Golden Investigator! We got a call Friday Night from our Branch Mission Leader in Drummond that Teresa has been taking lessons from the Branch missionaries for a month. I wish we knew this earlier! We are never in Drummond because the Branch Mission Leader doesn't want us tracting there since it has been tracted out and the people been living there for a long time. So they made an agreement that we wouldn't tract there for awhile. Anyway, Teresa became interested because of Lacey, who is a college student at BYU-I has a job there in Drummond. It all started because Lacey bore her testimony of not drinking coffee and the Word of Wisdom so Teresa became interested. Teresa has given up coffee. Anyway, she has been taught all the lessons from the branch missionaries, so yesterday we saw her the first time with the branch missionaries. We did a review of the first two lessons and we will see her again this Wednesday. We set a baptismal date on the 27!

It's starting to get cold and the smoke has finally cleared out and it is raining a little bit today. It has snowed once, and that was two weeks ago but the snow didn't last long and melted within a day. So the snow isn't here yet. The trees are yellow and they look beautiful. Things are going great here in our area. We get transfer call this Friday, so I'll find out who's leaving or staying.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Golden Investigators!!!

Well, to answer some questions, On P-day Elder Scott will have personal study and sometimes companionship study in the morning. We then clean our rooms, bathroom, and truck. We then go into Missoula and do some shopping at Walmart. Then we go to the stake center where we meet with 8 missionaries and we usually play basketball, but today I played Risk and I took second, I almost won, oh well, maybe next time I'll win. Yup, that's mostly my p-day. Like I've said before, Elder Scott is from Robinson, Illinois and he will have been out a year in November. Clinton is his second area and he has been here for 7 months. As for meals, the Starks that we stay with feed us breakfast every morning. We have members feed us most of the time, but this week we won't since we didn't pass out our dinner calender this Sunday. Haven't had any game meet yet, rifle season starts next week so I can't wait so we can get some good meat from members.

Well, this week I was in a trio from Monday night to Thursday morning. Elder Savage stayed with us, he has a special calling of a traveling assistant. Elder Savage travels from area to area and stays with other misionaries for a few days. He is a really cool missionary and he's been out 22 months. Anyway, we saw George, an investigator, and he gave us a referral to a retired couple. So on Tuesday we meet the Spragues and they are just golden investigators. We committed them to baptism and they accepted, we then came back on Wednesday and talked to them more and we set a date for their baptism on October 27! They also watched Saturday morning (members house), Sunday morning (different members house), and Sunday afternoon (their house) sessions with us! They are actually reading the BoM too! :) They are really amazing. I was really shocked about the age change for missionaries!

Anyway, Elder Savage was a really cool missionary and helped Elder Scott and I a lot. He was super funny and spiritual. I'm going to miss him. Things can either be going well with stuff to do, or be really slow with nothing to do. Something funny and bad happened yesterday. Elder Scott was getting inside the truck, but the thing was, he forgot to bend down to get in and he walked right into the truck and got an inch cut between his eyes, luckily it wasn't a deep cut. He's fine and it wasn't anything serious.

I went winter shopping today and I went to Murdoch Ranch and Family Supply and a member in our branch is the manager. He was very helpful in getting us good winter clothes and he actually bought the stuff for us, which was really nice of him. He is a really cool member.

Well, I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, October 1, 2012


Zone Conference

I'm still in shock that President Barrus passed away. I would have never of thought of him being gone. I will always remember the big smile he always had and how he would thump me in the back or chest then always giving me a huge handshake that would last a whole conversation. I also always enjoyed listening to him when he gave talks, either for stake conference or when he spoke to the Youth. Also, when I had just been ordained an Elder and had only been an Elder for a few days President asked me to go with him to give a blessing to someone at the hospital. It was my first blessing I ever did and it was with him. I loved how he was always willing to serve and also give other people a chance to serve along with him. I'm so thankful for him taking me along so that we could exercise our priesthood authority. He's been a great example of helping others and to use the priesthood authority to bless others. I will miss President Barrus!

Well, we started teaching George and he is really interested. We also taught Clifford who we tracted into last week. We also got four referrals that we are going to try and see this week. We still don't have anyone on baptismal date but we are working on it. I'm super happy about Dave, a less active, because he just got custody of his children and because of that they have been coming to church the last two Sundays and I believe they will become active. Dave daughter, McKell, who's 10 is amazing and very mature for her age. I think it would really help if she was old enough to go to Young Womens. We are also working on Don, a less active who is really trying to change and become active again and has been coming to church. He just has a problem with smoking but he's an amazing guy.

We had Zone Conference in Helena last Wednesday and Elder Robbins of the Seventy was there and Elder Ecohawk who just been called as a Seventy and it was his first mission tour. Elder Robbins stressed the importance of inviting others to be baptized. He said that our mission doubles the average of baptisms in a mission, but we half the average of having investigators in a mission. He said that our mission does a lot of tracting but we need to use other finding methods. That we must take advantage of converts since they have many friends who are not members and we need to ask referrals from recent converts. He said that we need to use the wordgoal to  baptism in every lesson, so Elder Scott and I made a goal to use the word baptism at least twice in every lesson. I also love Zone Conference since I'm able to see some of my friends from the MTC.

Well, there is not much to talk about. Love ya.

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chased By Dogs!

Well, I guess I'll start off by talking about the mission and about online proselyting. President Mecham is basically restarting facebook and about being online since a lot of missionaries aren't following the rules and abusing facebook. Since I've been here, I realized that a lot of missionaries aren't being very obedient and I think President Mecham is doing a good job and being more strict in the mission. Anyway, he took everybody off facebook and only has 15 missionaries online. Being online now is like a calling and you have to have an interview in order to get on. He checks how well you are doing in your area and checks how much you are tracting and giving lessons. After every transfer 15 more missionaries can get on and he said that probably only 30-50% of missionaries will get online in the mission. Which is a good thing since a lot of missionaries are abusing their privalages. So, all missionaries who were online and those who weren't will now be taking an hour of the day to read out of the BoM instead of that hour being online. I really enjoy that one hour to read the Book of Mormon.

Well, it's still smokey as usual and is really smokey today. I've also been sick all week, I've had headaches, stuffy nose, and sore throat. So It's been a tough week. Especially since the Zone Leaders set a goal that every companionship in the zone to knock 300 doors. So we did a lot of tracting and walking this week. We ended up knocking 246 doors, which is a new record in Clinton. We also beat our Zone record, which was 750 and as a zone we got 1700! The only bad thing is that there really aren't very many places to go tracting besides houses that are far away and it's difficult to get rides out there. Since Elder Scott has been here he's knocked about 1500 doors and of those we only have 1 potential investigator. They say that every 1000 doors you knock you get one baptism. So that one investigator that we have we saw her Friday and she is studying the BoM and in fact she's getting about 5 others to read it too! :) Lyla is Amazing investigator! Unfortunately we wont see her for several weeks since she will be out of town.

So while tracting this week, we knocked on a door and nobody answered but we heard dogs barking, so when we were walking away either the person opened the door to let the dogs out or the dogs got out somehow (I think the person let them out personally) so the dogs chased us for a good 300 yards. And we were sprinting for our lives, and that just wiped out my energy for the whole day since I'm sick. One of the dogs nearly bit my ankle. Another story that I forgot to mention last week while tracting, we were walking up to a house and a dog bit my right ankle till the owner call him away. The dog pierced the skin, but I wasn't bleeding but the dog left a bruise. So I am now wary of dogs.

This Wednesday I have a Mission Tour in Helena, which is 2 hrs drive away, and there will be a member of the seventy there. I can't wait for that.

A good scripture I found this week is Alma 38:9. You should look it up, it's a great scripture.

Well, that's been my week, and hopefully I'll get over my cold. Hope all of ya have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, September 17, 2012

Extreme Smoke Conditions

Well, things are moving slowly, now that school started and summer is gone, it's tough to keep busy in the afternoon. All the teenage investigators we have are in school, so it's tough to get a hold of them. Plus the half the population in our area is gone since half the houses here are summer homes. We do most of our tracting in the afternoons since all our appointments are in the evening. So with all the people gone for winter, most of the houses we tract the people aren't there. We went tracting Rock Creek this week and it's beautiful up there and the creek, more like a river, is beautiful too. I'll have to send you some pictures next week.

I learned something new this week about baptism. I always thought that being immersed in water made you clean till I read 2 Nephi 31:17 which says "then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost." now I know that it is the Holy Ghost that makes you clean when you receive it. I don't know how I never knew that before because that is very important to know. Another thing I came across was 1 Nephi 2:16. It talks about Nephi and how he asked God to know the mysteries of God and the Lord "soften (his) heart." It made me think, Nephi must have been like Laman and Lemuel and had a hardened heart. The only difference between Nephi and his brothers is that Nephi prayed to know if the things his father (Lehi) taught was true. Anyway, just things that I've found in the scriptures.

We went up to Seely Lake Friday because we got a referral from the mission home. We actually called the referral and he invited us to come see him so we were up in Seely all day. Unfortunately we weren't able to see him, so we did a bunch of tracting up there. Our tracting improved alot from last week. From 15 last week to 68 this week. We probably have about 2 potential new investigators. We are seeing two part members family on a regular basis. We also have new investigator who is really interested that we tracted into 2 weeks ago and we taught her a week ago, she seems like a golden investigator. Also Saturday we went back to Potomac and saw Ray again and we gave him a BoM and he said he will try and read it in a week and come to church next Sunday and we will set an appointment with him then. I'm super excited about Ray, he said he read the BoM before, so he's just rereading it.

There is still a lot of smoke here in Missoula, it's really been really smokey for a month now and been in extreme air condition because of the smoke also. I've also been really tired for the last two weeks, so I think it's because of the smoke, I don't know, but I am always wanting a nap, so I took a nice two hour nap this morning and now I feel refreshed. :) It's also starting to cool down now, so if it wasn't for the smoke the weather is great! I guess I need to prepare for winter. There is a member in our Branch that owns a store that sells winter clothes and he said he'll help me get some good winter clothes, which will be nice. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Well, this week has been very slow and we weren't able to do a whole lot of productive work unfortunately. We had to go into Missoula 4 times this week. Monday for P-day, Tuesday for District Meeting/Email, Wednesday because we have to write to the Mission President by email now instead of letters plus we had to do a survey. Then on Friday because the missionaries have a tradition of eating at a pancake place for lunch to discuss about transfers. So Elder Scott will be finishing my training in Clinton, which means Elder Scott will have been in this area for 7 1/2 months! We will be getting 3 brand new missionaries in Missoula area on Wednesday.

Tracting was terrible this week since the only place we can really tract is way out in Rock Creek since all the other towns have been basically tracted out. The houses in Rock Creek are really spread out so it takes awhile to go from one house to another. We only tracted 15 houses this week. It's really frustrating and we're going to try and do better this week. We also tracted part of Ovando yesterday, which is 20 minutes past Seely lake, and we talked to a guy who lived in Salt Lake for a couple of years so he knew about our church and he said he also read the BoM, but he never prayed about it, so he doesn't have a testimony of it. Anyways, he said he lived in Ovando for 40 years and he said the missionaries have never been there! Thats Crazy to think that missionaries never tracted that town! But Ovando is a really small town, population just over 50. I think Elder Scott and I are the only missionaries who have been to every town in our area and tracted in them for a very very very long time. In fact, I think we are also the only missionaries to go to all those towns in one transfer too in a very very very long time. I'm sure other missionaries have done it, I'm just saying it hasn't been done in forever. Anyways, we weren't able to tract out Ovando because we had to get back home, but of the people we talked to, they are really nice and seemed prepared to listen to what we have to say.

We went to church in Seely yesterday and it's a really small church! They had about 40 members there and they are amazing people. Saturday we spent all day doing service with a family who moved to Seely about 4 months ago. The Hamlins said that when they first arrived they asked their neighbors if they knew where the church was located, well they were anti-mormons so they responded that there was no church there. Well, the Hamlins eventually found the building a month later. The Hamlins are great people and we helped with their house and yard all day from 10A.M.-8P.M.

One thing I've learned since being out here is that I need to carry a lint roller everywhere I go cause just about everybody up here has a dog. And they always leave a ton of hair on my pants and it's a pain to try and brush it off. The other day we saw a St. Bernard and the guy said he weighed 200 pounds! We have also seen some half dog and half wolf! We also see a ton of deer up here. I'm not sure if I told you, but hunting season started, which means I'll be getting a lot of meat, which I'm excited for. :)

Elder Ashcroft

Zone Conference

Service (September 4, 2012)

Well, a random guy came up to Elder Scott and I and we started talking. We talked with him for 45 minutes right outside the library and he knows a lot from the Bible and is big in following the commandments. Anyway, we found out that he reads parts of the Book of Mormon and he said that he believes to be true as far as he knows because it goes along with the teaching of the bible. He also said that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Its a shame that he lives in Missoula outside my area, but we got his number so we can give it to the missionaries in Missoula and of course we gave him the numbers to the missionaries in Missoula too. It was a nice conversation and he is very open and he said he is studying the Bible. He should be a really good investigator.

Well, District meeting was good today, I just love having District Meeting every Tuesday. So transfers are next Tuesday and I've heard that there will be 18 new missionaries arriving from the MTC. Which will mean that a third of the missionaries in our mission will only be out less than 6 months and 3/4 of the missionaries been out a year or under a year. That's a lot of young missionaries in our mission. So we will get a call on Friday to see if we are transferred or not. Elder Scott has been in my area for 6 months, so we're not sure if he's going to stay or leave. I hope not since he's an amazing trainer and I want him to finish training me.

So as for investigators, we have a 13 year old girl who we are teaching and we weren't able to teach her this week which is a bummer because we are going to set a baptismal date with her. We can only teach her in the evening now since school started last tuesday. She actually would have been baptized before I came to the area, but they cancelled it because the missionaries were concerned about her being active. She would come to church every sunday its just that she doesn't have a ride and her parents are fine with her joining the church, its that they don't give her rides to activities. So were going to set a baptismal date with her this week, and her grandpa who is a member will start giving her rides which will help her be active. Another investigator that we have, Lerene, is pretty close to baptism I believe. Her husband, James is an active member, who is helping her and I think she will get baptized eventually. Lerene used to be a Jehovah Witness. We also have a less active, Clifford, and he's being reactivated. We are also teaching Clifford's wife, who's not a member, and I think she will eventually join too. We went tracting the other day and ran into a woman who invited us back on Friday night and offered us Hot Chocolate. She also basically asked us to teach the Restoration, so I'm super excited for this Friday. So things are going well.

Oh, thank you mom for the camera! I can finally take pictures. In fact I'll try and send some pictures next monday. I need to take some pictures of my area and the mountains. Which reminds me, all last week was super smokey. I guess there has been a lot of fires lately. We have a fire out near Drummond, which we're getting some smoke, but we're also getting smoke from Idaho, Washington, and Oregon from what I've heard. So we are getting ashes and a lot of smoke. The other night the moon was deep red. It looked pretty cool.

Let's see, I'll be going to Seely Lake for the first time Saturday and going to the Branch their on Sunday. So I will have visited every town in my area in one transfer. :) In fact we went tracting in Potomac and Potomac hasn't been tracted in 5 years! Which reminds me, we met a woman who gave us her number and invited us back! This has been a really good week. We are still working to get a baptismal date though. Love you guys!

Oops, I almost sent my email and I realized that I didn't mention about my service, which is the title of the email, haha, my bad. Well, on Saturday we went up in the Mountains to help the New's build their house. We helped from 7AM-6PM, so for 11 hours of hard work. But I really do enjoy serving because I lose myself in the work and I don't stress or think about other things. I've grown to love doing service, it gives me peace and a sense of comfort.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Stake Conference

Things went really well this week for tracting. As a mission our weekly goal is to approach 100 people and to invite 50 people to do something. And it's pretty tough to achieve that goal, but this has been the best week. We approached 92 people and of those 92 people we approached we talked to 34 of them. Yesterday we were tracting Rock Creek and met a family that were open and that was my first actual walk in lesson since I've been here. It went really well and I think we're going to go back and talk to them more. We also ran into a guy who keeps 4 hives of bees, he said one were Austrian bees and I can't remember what the other bees were. But the Tom was really nice, in fact he let us try the honey from the comb and it was the best honey I've ever had. He was really nice and he said that Elders used to visit him (I think they were our missionaries, might have been Jehovah Witness), and he invited us back. He was a really nice guy. He also gave us a free jar of honey. :) On Wednesday we were out tracting and it started raining, so we stayed at a members house till the rain stopped, and I was wearing a silk tie, so now it was a little wrinkled, I'm pretty bummed about that, at least it still looks nice. I've found that it is really hard to find new investigators. But things have been going great.

I had Bear meat for the first time, it was pretty good. I also had goat milk for the first time, and it tastes just like the milk you get at the store, I couldn't tell the difference. I love the members here, they feed us very well. :)

On Saturday I had to wake up at 4 and left at 5:30 to leave to Helena to be there for a missionary conference with our Apostle, Elder Neal Anderson and some members of the seventy. Elder Gonzales, I believe is the Second President of the Seventy, and Elder Case(?) of the area seventy. I hope I didn't get the names messed up, feel free to correct me. ;) The meeting was great! The all spoke about missionary work and how important it is. What stuck out to me is that we must remember that an Apostle and President Monson are still regular men. Elder Anderson was saying how President Mecham's son used to mow their lawn, but he now mows it himself. Even an Apostle still mows his own lawn. He also spoke that on his mission he said he was an ordinary missionary and that he was never called to be District leader, Zone leader, or an assistant to his mission president on his mission. Anyway, the meeting was amazing, and we closed by singing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives", which is my favorite Hymn, and I really felt the spirit when we sung that song. It just sounded amazing and beautiful. After the meeting we had another meeting with just the missionaries and I wasn't the only one touched by that Hymn. Everyone was bearing a testimony from that Hymn and what it meant to us. I find myself singing that Hymn a lot in my head and reading the Hymn before personal study.

Then on Sunday we had Stake Conference and Elder Gonzales spoke. He spoke about missionary work, families, and the Temple. He gave a really good talk. Stake Conference however, was short and was only an hour and a half long. So this has been a really Great week. Even though this was the greatest week on my mission so far, it also been the toughest just because I got a big wave of homesickness. But for the most part I've gotten over it now. I try not to think about home too much and get lost in the work. I just like keeping myself busy and losing myself in the work and not be idle so I won't have much time to dwell about what's happening back home. I am really enjoying myself here in Montana and the scenery is beautiful. I encourage all of you to try and share the gospel with others or just setting a good examples to others. To find ways to serve others. I find myself being happy as I find ways to serve and out sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ our Savior. "How sweet the joy this sentence gives I know that my Redeemer lives."

Monday, August 20, 2012


Hmmm where to start? Well, I've started biking again since my tire blew out my first day. I'm riding a different bike,  and the gear was messed up. It wouldn't pedal very well on flat road or downhill, but it worked on hills. So basically I had to pedal every 3 for Elder Scott's one pedal. It was like this for 2 days. And we bike from 20-30 miles a day. Then on the third day I managed to fix the gears on my bike, so it's much better now and can travel twice as fast than before. That's my small miracle this week. But biking is super tiring, we are now biking everyday so we can save on our miles in the truck. Plus we do 1-3 miles of walking each day. So, I'm pretty exhausted every night, and pretty tough to wake up in the morning. Somehow I am able to be awake in the morning, in a way I see it as a blessing to be able to stay awake.

Yesterday was Great! We got a less active, Bro. Stombaugh, to Church, which was the first time since Elder Scott has been here, and Elder Scott has been here for 5 months. We also had a less active family, Hadleys, to church also! They haven't gone to church in 2 years. So we are doing well with less actives, but we are working on our investigators. I thought wrong when I first got here that we can't go tracting anywhere, It's just East Missoula and Clinton we can't tract. So we've been doing a lot of tracting. So on Saturday we went tracting in Potomac and we found a guy name Ray, and he seems like a potential investigator. So, we have some potential investigators, it's just hard to set appointments with any of them. But things are going pretty well, it's progressing.

Food. There is so much food that I've eaten that I would have refused to eat at home just because I said I didn't like them. Things that I don't like that I now like, cantaloupe, cherries, and rhubarb. And other fruits, but I just love cherries now, and it's a good thing too because people up here really love cherries. I've also had huckle berries, which only grow in Montana, and it's by far my favorite type of berries now. Guess what Aunt Lynette?!?! I ate a banana cream pie the other day! I'm sure I made you proud haha. ;) I've had Elk meat for the first time too. I think it's decent, I kinda like it. So, I suppose my taste buds changed, so I now like fruits that I used to hate. :) I'm also really well fed, I'm eating a lot more than I used to eat and the weird thing is, I'm hungry all the time. Yesterday, I had a big lunch at 3, had salmon, with the Starks, (Family I stay with), then I had dinner at 5, and had salmon again! Boy, was I stuffed, two really huge meals and the weird thing was, I was really hungry half an hour later. I guess I'm trying to put meat on me before winter hits haha. Unfortunately I'm not gaining any weight because of all the walking and cycling I do.

By the way, Missoula actually has 2 Walmarts and Costco! So I go to Walmart on P-day for shopping. I feel like I'm rich, I've only spent $20 the last 3 weeks, and I have $170 left on my card. I really don't even need that much money, but I'll probably just get a bunch of snacks. :) Well, that's about it I guess, Love you Guys!

Elder Ashcroft

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012


Well, the second week was so much better than the first! Elder Scott and I were able to see more investigators this week and surprisingly, we didn't do any service tracting because we actually met with some investigators. We have a new investigator, the missionaries before me tracted into her, so Elder Scott and I taught Christian the restoration and she seemed interested so we'll keep seeing her. We have another investigator John, who is a CEO of YMCA. He seems to like all the things we've taught him, it was his second lesson and he was a referral from a member. So, things here have definitley improved and the members here are great!

On Thursday I went to Helena for leadership meeting. I saw my Mission President, the Mechams. I was also able to see most of the Elders and Sisters from my district from the MTC. It was great to see them! Elder Chappell and Sister Pattullo were the only ones not there. It was a nice little reunion. I found out that Elder Burrows sleeps in a tent in his area! I didn't know some missionaries still live in tents. Anyway, leadership conference was Awesome and I learned so much. I also found out that the missionaries here will get to meet an Apostle on the 25th! President Mecham said it will be Elder Anderson and there will be two Seventies there as well. I can't wait.

So this weekend I went to Drummond, which is a 45min drive from Clinton, and missionaries rarely go out to Drummond. It is really beautiful out there and about 60% of the people are active members. Most of the people there are cattle ranchers. Anyway, we stayed at a members house all Saturday, the Laceys. Bro. Lacey used to own, I can't remember, I'm guessing, 100 acres and 250 cattle. He said that he used to make $600,000 a year! But he sold most of his land because of his health issue and couldn't keep up the land. So anyway, Elder Scott and I spent the whole day doing yardwork for the Laceys. For lunch they fed us the best BBQ ribs I ever had! Bro. Lacey joked that he should have the missionary more often cause he got a check for $130,000 in the mail that day! He's a really cool guy. But working all day tired me out, but I liked it since it was a change in our schedule.

Then in the evening we visited the Fellons family, the wife and the daughter are 5 year converts and the husband a 2 year convert. Apparently the missionaries haven't visited any families or church in a very very long time. So that's where I found out that Cliff McKinney and his companion were the last ones to actually visit the Fellons. So you better ask Cliff if he remembers them. It sure is a small world, but it's really unfortunate that the missionaries haven't been up here in awhile.

The main reason why we came to Drummond was because we gave talks on Sunday. Elder Scott spoke on the Plan of Salvation and I spoke on Christlike Attributes. My whole talk is basically from Preach My Gospel. So for any future missionaries out there, get familiar with PMG, you will use it alot! My talk went pretty well. The Branch here has about 6 Young Men. So the YM President asked us to speak during Priesthood class, so we taught them the Restoration as how we would teach it to investigator, so they know how to teach. What I liked what they were doing is that they use PMG for their lessons.

After church we met with 3 families. The Piippos, Wise, and Bryants Family. Bro. Piippo works for a show called Predator which is a hunting show. So he has alot of cool guns, and he took a picture and sent it to you, so you should have it, if not I'll forward it to you. Anyway they were a cool family, as were the other families out here in Drummond. I really love the Branch there and it is an amazing town.

Things are progressing here and it is great. I'm starting to really love it here. I will be going to Kalispell for Zone Conference tomorrow. Should be a long drive.

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Well, I met my mission president, the Mechams, they are really awesome people. One of the sadest things about arriving in Montana is that I won't be able to see all the friends I've made at the MTC. I can't believe you found out where I was going before I got to tell you. :( So yes, I serve in the Missoula Area, but I'm not actually serving in Missoula though. I serve from East Missoula to Drummond and I live in Clinton which is between those two towns. I have a huge area. I'll talk more about my area later though. As for Facebook, this is one of seven mission in the world that get to use facebook and blogging. It is a new thing that they are testing out and they said it is working pretty well. However, we can not use facebook or blogging till after our first transfer and how obedient the missionaries are. So, maybe in a few months I'll have facebook again. :) We use facebook to get in touch with our non-member friends back home, investigators, and inactives. We are given this tool to share the gospel, spiritual thoughts, and to answer any questions people have of Mormons. It is becoming a really great tool. This is one story of facebook, a missionary was going to Brazil but had to wait for his visa so was sent to Montana for awhile, well he was here long enough to be able to use facebook and found someone in Brazil who was interested. So when the missionary got his visa, he actually met up with the guy and he ended up baptizing him. That's how awesome of a tool facebook is.

Ok, enough of that and more of my area and Montana. So I arrived in Billings tuesday night and I went with experienced missionaries, Elder Wahls and Elder Greco, we taught recent converts who wants to be married in the temple a year from now. It was amazinfg we retaught them the restoration. Then Wednesday I had a 7 hrs drive to Missoula. My companion is Elder Scott and he's from Robinson, Illinois. We have a truck, a 2012 Chevy Colorado, and we have bikes. So on Thursday, we decided to ride bikes so we could save milage on the truck, and we have really really old bikes and we rode 30 miles that day..... my rear end was sore for a few days because of the rock solid seat, plus I was super exhausted. Plus, by the end of the day my back tire popped because they were super old tires and we still had 6 miles to go, so we got a ride from a member.

So I've quickly found out people here don't like Califorians at ALL! Because they think we are just rich people buying up the land and they hate our government. Since I've got here in Missoula, I've only seen two of our investigators. Apparently tons of our investigators dropped us, avoiding us, or out of town. One investigator is Madeliene, who's 13, and Elder Scott said she would've been baptized already but she can't make it to church because she can't get a ride from her parents. She is a really good investigator. Then we have another golden investigator, who is practically a member already, except we are just waiting for her to get married with her fiance, since they are living together. Waiting for the guy to propose to her. Other than that she's golden. I've found out pretty fast that people here isolate themselves from people and aren't social so that's why we are really down with few investigators. All the towns are super small, so Elder Scott and his companion before me already tracted in all the towns and we have to wait 6 months before we can go back tracting, so I haven't done any tracting. We do ALOT of service tracting in our work clothes. We just walk around neighborhoods looking to do service, we do abou 2-3 hrs of service tracting and people are very indepentent and want no help, so we basically just walk around all day. We've only helped 3 people and each lasted no more than 3 minutes. So it's really disappointing.

There is alot for smokers, hippies, and alcholic here. In fact I came at the worst time because they have this T****** Festival in one side of our area. From what people said and from my companion, it's a bunch of nude people, heavy drinking, and they do a bunch of vulgar stuff. A week long festival that they do annually, so, it's pretty bad here. So there's been a lot of ambulence and cops driving by within the last week. In fact yesterday on our way to church there had been an accident on the road from drunk driving from the festival and found out two people died. Pretty bad here.

However, the members here are great! They are very nice people. Unfortunately, I've found out there's a split in the branch and some of the people don't like each other, so Elder Scott and I need to bring them back together. Most of the members here are converts, and there are a lot of less actives. We have a lot of work to do here.Elder Scott and I have been really busy. Elder Scott been out 9 months and I'm his second trainee.

I am living at a member's house, I'm staying with the Starks. The are a nice older couple. There is a railroad track right across the house and the trains go by several times a day, so you can feel the house vibrate every time the train goes by. The trains transport a lot of coal out to Washington which is then shipped to China. There is a huge lumbermill shut down because of enviromentalist, so there's a ton of chopped down trees lying around uselessly.

I'm not going to lie, it's very discouraging here. The progress here is slow and I'm getting a little depressed. But I know the lord called me here for a reason and that I can make a difference. I love Elder Scott cause he's a very hard worker and is a great trainer. I know we can make a difference in people's lives here and to help progress the branches here. I know without the Lord I cannot do anything, but I know that with his help we can help pick things up in my area. That I need to be patient and show love to the people here. That I must always remember our Savior and that he has gone through much worse than what I'm going through right now. I know that the Gospel is true.

Elder Ashcroft

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Missionaries in Montana

Elder Ashcroft Has Arrived!

Sister Mecham, the mission president's wife, sent this email and some pictures.

We know Elder Ashcroft is going to be an amazing missionary!  We are excited to have him in the mission.  President Mecham and I express gratitude for the faith and sacrifice that have allowed Elder Ashcroft to be with us.  We will take good care of him.  He is assigned to the Clinton, Drummon, and Seeley Lake areas in Missoula, Montana.  His trainer and companion is Elder Scott.  We hope you enjoy the attached pictures of his first days in the mission.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Hey!!! Well, I'm leaving tommorrow at 8 A.M. and I get to write to you today before my departure. I might be able to call home at the airport before I take off for Montana!! :) I'll probably call sometime in the morning. I just absolutely loved the MTC, my teachers, and my district! I'm really going to miss all the friends I've made from my district and from other districts. I've just grown to love the Elders and Sisters. Hopefully I get to be companions with the Elders from my district some time in my mission.

So, something sad happened this week. I dropped my camera and so when I turn on my camera I get a blank screen. :( So I'll just send home my SD card, but I was wondering if I should send my camera home to get it fixed and you can send it back, or you or I get a new camera? Or should I try and get the camera fixed in Montana? That's the sad news this week.

I had an amazing experience this week during my personal Study Time. I just had this prompting to pray, and I gave one of the most sincere prayers I've ever given. I was praying for all the things I was and am grateful for in my life. Then I found myself asking if Joseph Smith was a prophet, if the BoM was true, if there was a God, if Jesus Christ did suffer for our sins and that if it was possible that I could dwell with my Father in Heaven. That if what I was doing is right and what my purpose is as a missionary. I don't know why I asked those questions because I thought I already believed in all those things, but I felt like I was prompted to ask those questions. And I recieved an answer, I felt the Spirit answer and confirm to all those questions that I asked. I felt this peace, comfort and joy. The Holy Ghost was so overwhelming that I started to cry with joy. I've never felt such surety and comfort in my life before now and I'm so glad I listened to the prompting to pray and to have the Holy Ghost reveal the truth to me with reassurance. I believe that Christ is my Savior and that he did die and suffer for me. I am so grateful for the atonement and that without it we can not dwell with God again. I know that there is a God, and that he does loves us and care about us, which is why he sent his only begotten son to the earth and died for us so we can live with our Father in Heaven. I know that through Christ Joseph Smith was able to restore Christ's church back on Earth and that we have the proper priesthood again. And with that proper priesthood we can be baptized and have our sins washed away. That we can also partake of the sacrament once a week to renew our covenants of our baptism. I am truly grateful for all these things and I know with a surety that all these things are true. And that you can also find the truth for yourself by reading, studying, and pondering the scriptures and by praying with a sincere heart the truth will manifest itself to you by the spirit.

I am so excited to help others to find that truth, to find purpose in their life, and to find comfort and happiness. I am so glad that I chose to serve a mission and to serve the Lord. I love all of you guys! :)

Elder Ashcroft

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Gym Closed

So to answer some of your questions, Elder Chappell is 6'1" and there is just the three of us in a 6 man bedroom. Which is nice because we get more space. As for my teachers, It's Bro. Davis, Bro. Rudd, and Bro. Nate comes in sometimes. Also, everyone in my district is going to Montana.

I'll start off with what happened during GYM time last Thursday. I was playing soccer and I got kicked in the back of my left heel in which I got a big bruise and was left limping for two days, but I'm fine now. I really don't have much option for Gym time because the Gym was closed last week and won't open till next week because they are redoing the Gym, so I've been playing soccer out in the field. Beside the Gym being closed, the Temple was closed last week because they were cleaning the temple, however it opened today so I was able to go this morning. :)

I'm really loving my companions and I hang out a lot with Elder Burrows. I love my district and we all get along well. I also like Elder Burrows and Elder Thawleys roomates Elder Handley and Elder Thompson who are in my zone. I'm not sure if I mentioned about my zone leaders from last week, but they are really cool and have been here a month and have another 3 weeks to go, since they are going to Finland.

It's crazy how much I have learned in two weeks, Bro. Davis and Bro. Rudd are just really great teachers!! They help us to really understand how to help investigators and to recognize how they feel and to teach to their needs. We aren't teaching lessons we are teaching people! We have zone teaching pretty much every day so since Friday I have been teaching an Elder who has been here for only a week and tommorrow will be my last day teaching since I'll be leaving to Montana Tuesday. Which reminds me, I'm in charge of our flight for my district. The Traveler Agent!

I can't remember who spoke Sunday at the fireside but he gave a really good talk. He spoke on Hymn #30 "Come, Come Ye Saints" and how it related to us. How we are pioneers as missionaries. I really wish I had my notes on me since I can't really remember much of it. Then yesterday, Elder Colesman of the Seventy spoke at Devotional. He spoke also of us missionaries as pioneers. He also talked about converting others and that we will convert at least one soul, which is ourselves. He also spoke a lot about coming unto Christ. Did you know on average, every 1.7 verses in the Book of Mormon it mentions Christ? That is a lot.

I guess I'll talk a little more about my district. I don't think I ever mentioned the Sisters. There's Sis. Larson, Sis. Renfro, and Sis. Pattullo. Sis. Larson is quite hyper all the time but is nice. Then Sis. Renfro is nice and relaxed and is a 2 year convert. Then there's Sis. Pattullo, she is nice. She can sing and play the piano really well. Anyways, I've never laughed so much in my life just hanging out with Elder Burrows, Elder Thawley, Elder Landry, Elder Chappell, Elder Thompson, and with Elder Handley. They are just an awesome group of people.

Elder Ashcroft

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


To start off with, my p-day is on Wednesday. I guess I'll start off before I went to the MTC, so I had lunch with Grandma before going to the MTC but because I was so nervous I threw it all back up. So, the first day at the MTC I was starving haha. I'm loving the MTC! I can definetly feel the spirit and I love my companions. I actually have two companions instead of one. So it's kinda tough sometimes because we have to wait on someone. Haha. Besides that, I love my companions, I wouldn't ask for anyone else. I have Elder Chappell who's from Utah and Elder Landry from Arizona. Elder Chappell has a great sense of humor and we like to tease each other a lot. He grew up on a farm and is such a great Elder. Then there's Elder Landry, who's 6'9"!!! He is probably the biggest Elder at the MTC. He's a cool missionary and can be very funny. However he's having a little trouble getting used to the schedule here, because he used to work at Home Depot from 10 P.M. to 3 A.M., so he's having a hard time staying awake during the day.

I also love my District. There are 8 of us in the district. Besides us there are 3 Sisters and 2 Elders. We all get along, just after two days you would think we have all been friends for a really long time. The other two Elders are Elder Burrows and Elder Thawley. Me and Elder Burrows get along very well and we hang out alot. Elder Burrows is from Ogden Utah and Elder Thawley is from California, somewhere in the bay area. The sisters are great too.

I've learned so much, I feel much more confident and I feel like what I'm doing. I love my teachers, I have three teachers each day. Brother Davis, Brother Rudd, and Brother Nate, they all teach during different times during the day. They have taught me so many things that I never knew or thought about before. We do a ton of role play here. I was freaked out at first, but as I said, I'm becoming more confident. I've already had 5 different investigators. My main Investigators are Jack (Bro. Rudd) and Farren (Bro. Davis). I've learned so much teaching them lessons. I've also changed alot, before I could barely carry a conversation with strangers, and I never really talked alot, but now I find myself talking alot and I can express my thoughts better, I'm still not that great expressing my thoughts, but I'm definetly alot better than before.

I love my zone leaders, Elder Murray who's from Scotland so he has an awesome accent and is a convert of two years. Then there's Elder Glegg, and he's super awesome and willing to answer any question. Our zone leaders always drop by during the night and give us a hug and a mesage. They are super awesome. The food here is great too. I seriously think I'm getting fat haha. Things are GREAT! I love the Fireside and Devotional here. Sunday Jenny Oaks Baker (President Oaks daughter)  spoke and played the violen for us. Then Vaughn J. Featherstone of the seventy spoke Tuesday. Well, times running out since I only have 30 min to write.

Elder Ashcroft

Friday, July 13, 2012

Departure & Small Miracles

Devin flew out of Fresno on Tuesday and what an eventful experience that turned out to be. He was scheduled to leave at 12:45, so we left the house at 10:45, picking up Ethel on the way, who was supporting us as Marvin had had to leave for San Ramon on business early Monday morning and wouldn't be back until Thursday. When Devin checked in at the Delta counter he was told that the flight was overbooked and as he didn't have an assigned seat he would be the one to be bumped if no one volunteered to go on the later flight at 4:45. If someone volunteered they would get a voucher for a free flight, but the agent told us that if Devin was unwillingly bumped he would be compensated in cash for 4 times the price of his ticket. (I made sure to tell Devin to not volunteer for the later flight!)

So, after he was all checked in he was able to visit with his friends who had come to see him off, which he really appreciated. At 12:15 he went through security and after he had walked out of sight his friends left. Ethel and I waited to make sure he got on the plane. After a while I texted him and he said he was just waiting at the desk. After a longer while he ended up walking back out with an agent. No one had volunteered for the later flight. We went up to the front desk where we waited again, this time for someone to bring him out a check, which turned out to be for $1036! It wasn't 4 times the amount of his ticket price, but it was good enough!

By this time Devin was finally hungry. He had been too nervous to eat in the morning, but he was ready by then. We went to one of his favorite places, Dog House Grill. We then went home for about an hour until it was time to leave for the airport again. Before we left I thought to call the optician again. Last week we ordered glasses for Devin and they hadn't arrived by 10:30, but by 3:30 they had! We were able to stop there on the way, get them fitted and get to the airport on time. I dropped him off at the curb, parked and when I got in he was already through security. We waved goodbye and I watched him walk down the hall. I waited for his plane to leave and then went out to the parking lot. As I got to the parking lot a man asked me if I could help him jump start his car, so I drove around to his aisle, he pushed his van out, and we got it started. 

I am just amazed at how things worked out. Instead of being a bad experience, being bumped from his flight brought us blessings.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

MTC Mailbox # 99
MT-BIL 0731
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

This will be my mailing address from July 11 to July 30 for when I'm in the MTC. The mailing address that's on the blog is for when I'm actually in Montana and will be used for the continuation of my mission.
Well, this is my first and last time I'll be posting on this blog since I'll be leaving Tuesday for my mission, which I am super excited and nervous for! So I'm just going to tell you what my mom will be posting on here for the next two years. My mom will be posting my emails which I'll be sending once a week so that all of you guys get to find out what I'll be doing on my mission, all the experiences, miracles, and all that fun stuff! I will most likely be sending some pictures too, so there should be some pictures up on this blog. That is pretty much it. I'm super excited and can't wait to serve the Lord, the people in Montana, and all the companions I'll get to meet and have!

Love, Elder Ashcroft

P.S. I hope you guys write to me, my address is on the top left hand corner of this blog. :)