Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102

Monday, January 28, 2013


Oops, sorry, I didn't play for 43 hours, I would most likely have died.  [Mom's note: Devin's last email said 43 hours, but I changed it to "for 3" hours.]  Haha, no it was 4 hours. I will most likely be playing dodgeball again today. So as for my area. There is a Hamilton and Blodget Ward, both of those are in Hamilton and the Hamilton Elders cover both of those wards. Those two wards share the same building. Corvallis has its own building. As for Darby, Darby is South of Hamilton and Blodget Ward. Hamilton and Blodget are in between Corvallis and Darby. Darby is a 30-40 min. drive. So Elder Croteau and I went to Darby for the first time last Saturday and Sunday. We stayed at our Ward Mission Leader's cabin which is next to their house and it is a super nice cabin. I'll have to do a video tour the next time I stay there. There is a river right behind the house and cabin, so it looks beautiful.

So what we are doing as a mission is we have what we call a Dinner List. When we have dinner appointments with members we have this paper that says "The _____ Family" and then it says, "Yes, we are Missionaries". There on the paper the family can write names of people who they think they can fellowship and share the gospel with them. Both the family and we have a list and by the next dinner appointment or the next time we see them we can ask how they are doing with the list of names they have written down.

So we have a part member family in Darby and the wife is an active member and the husband is an active non member. He knows a lot about the church, what we teach, and goes to church every Sunday. The only thing we are waiting for is his decision to be baptized.

Elder Croteau got sick yesterday so after church in Darby we just went straight back to the cabin, which meant we missed the potluck the Ward had after church. So we didn't really do much yesterday except church. He is feeling better today but still sick. I just hope I don't catch it. Oh, Darby was a ward but now it is small and should be considered as a branch but they still call themselves a ward. They have about 60-70 people show up. In Corvallis they have 180 people show up on average. I really love my district and zone.

So on Thursday we had a Zone Leadership Training, basically a Zone Conference and it went very well. President Mecham is trying to get the Zone to be more unified and the companionship to be more unified. Then I was going to go to a Leadership Training in Helena since Elder Croteau is District Leader but I found out at 10:00 Thursday Night I couldn't go. I was disappointed because I would have seen Elder Scott my Father and Elder Burrows from my MTC District. oh well, I went on my first Split/Exchanges with Elder Wood who is in Hamilton. Elder Wood has only been out a week. He is really cool and I like him. Since I didn't find out I wasn't going to Helena, I had to plan for that day during companionship study, but we were able to keep busy. So Elder Croteau went and he said they emphazied on short but powerfull lessons. A 20 min. lesson by using the pamphlets we have. Missionaries haven't been using the pamphlets like we should so we are bring back the pamphlets and its importance.

Anyway, sure do love ya and it is beautiful and cold up here.

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Elder Ashcroft & Elder Croteau

This picture was sent by Brother Holmes. He said,
"You have a good young man and should be proud of him. 
He is a welcome addition in our home."
Thank you Brother Holmes!

Staying Busy!

Wow, what a week! Sorry I wasn't able to write yesterday since it was the holiday and the libraries were closed. I also only have 12 min. to write, so hopefully I can include everything and not forget anything. My companion is Elder Croteau and he is an amazing missionary. We get along very well and he is very hard working. We live with the Holmes and I really love them, they are amazing and very hospitable. So we are basically cleaning up the area as the past missionaries weren't very obedient and didn't have trust with the members. Our area book hasn't been updated since October, which was Elder Hatch who is now AP. I actually cover two wards, Corvallis and Darby. I haven't been in Darby yet but we have met our Ward Mission Leader there and told us what was going on. They have 120 people who have a potential in becoming Elders. So all we have to do is reactivate them. There is also a lot of part member families. Corvallis isn't really a town, more like an area since all the homes are spread out. We also met with our Ward Mission Leader in Corvallis and he helped us a lot with who the investigators are. We also have Pinesdale in our area which is a polygamist colony. We can not go in there unless we have a set appointment and have our Ward Mission Leader or Bishopbric come with us. Pinesdale is a break off from our church, the FLDS. A lot of our baptisms in our area come from Pinesdale. We have four excommunicated investigators who are waiting for the General Authority to let them be baptized. We went to a family yesterday and they referred us to 12 families! They were waiting for missionaries they could trust and they trusted us! We have a Ford Fusion which is terrible for our area. We have been stuck in a ditch 3 times now. Each time it took us 5-8 tries to get us out. Everytime we say a prayer though, we are able to get out. We do not have four wheel drive. Yesterday P-Day was the best  I've had so far, we played dodge ball for for 3 hours, but I'm super sore right now. I'm out of time, but I love ya.

Ok, I'm back on again, so I have more time and can go more into details. So about Pinesdale, around here we do NOT call ourselves Mormons, because people associate that name to the polygamists in Pinesdale. In Corvallis Ward a lot of members came from Pinesdale. The FLDS teach the same thing we teach and believe in the BOM and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. They broke off when we stopped practicing polygamy. They also have another group in Salt Lake City. Anyway, that is Pinesdale and we're not allowed to go in there without an appointment. I really wish we had a truck, it's terrible with the Ford Fusion that doesn't have four wheel drive, we can't really get anywhere, so we have been doing a lot of tracting. As I said, P-day, we did dodge ball and I'm sore everywhere. My back hurts, my shoulder hurts, my legs hurt, and my butt hurts. :(  Haha, but it was fun and worth it. That was also the first time that our whole zone met for P-day. All 16 of us. It feels weird to be back in Missoula  but nice also to be back in the Zoo Zone. Mi-zoo-la. Haha. Anyway, Elder Croteau and I are working hard and rebuilding the trust with the members here. Well, sure do love ya!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Change of Plan

Sooo, I'm not going back to Roundup. I just talked with President Mecham and I found out I'm now going to Corvallis  which means I'm going back to the Missoula Zone. I will be with Elder Croteau?, not sure if I spelled his name right, but I served around him in Missoula before and I'm super pumped to serve with him. I really like him and we should get along great. Elder Anderson will my Zone Leader again, since he was my Zone Leader when I left, so that should be awesome. Also, Elder Croteau will be the District Leader. I'm super pumped and excited. But I believe we are both being doubled in, I don't think he was there before. President Mecham said the previous missionaries didn't get along with the members there and that we need to rebuild the relationship with the members. Anyway love ya! I leave Wednesday for Corvallis.


What a crazy week. It has been both good and bad. So, Wednesday night I got really sick and threw up four times at night and also had diarrhea all night and didn't sleep well. I was sick all day Thursday and stayed in bed all day. Elder Aldous was able to go on split with another missionary from the other zone and set a baptismal date without me. Then after that 4 elders came by and they gave me a blessing. I started feeling better. I still had stomach problems and whenever I ate anything it just caused pain. I also had diarrhea all week. I believe I am officially better as of today. I feel bad though, cause I got some other people sick also. Elder Aldous got a minor case of it but is fine now. I unfortunately got one of the sister missionaries sick and we gave her a blessing last night. We found out this morning that she is feeling better now. I feel bad about spreading the flu.

So about transfer, I will be going back to Roundup with Elder Payton, who was the one who replaced me, and with Elder Warner which I think is crazy. I was the one who replaced Elder Warner and he is already coming back after a transfer. Previously he was there for 9 months which is a long time. So it should be interesting in being in a trio again. I know Elder Warner is from Provo, Utah and Elder Payton is a 6'4" Navajo Indian. So this should be an interesting transfer. So Elder Aldous will be going to Level, WY to train for the last transfer of his mission. They say Level has the largest church building around the world. And they have a big gym across the church building. There are 4 wards and Level is the same size as Roundup. Crazy!

So on Wednesday, before I got sick, we went with Sister Taylor and Sister Enk-Baatar to an old folks home and went bowling. Yup we did bowling. Haha, no it wasn't actual bowling. But we just helped set up the pins and gave them a big bouncy ball and most of them were wheel chair bound and they just threw the ball at the pins from anywhere from 3-5 feet away from them. It was interesting and great to be around those people.

So at the Hawthorne Ward yesterday, a guy gave his farewell talk since he is leaving for North Korea for his mission. He had a ton of people show up for his talk. About half the people that showed up weren't from the ward.

I still think it's crazy I 'll be in a threesome, I don't know where the third Elder is going to sleep since we only have two beds. Probably will sleep on the couch. I unfortunately have to pack again and I will probably go up on Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, that has been my week.

Well Jordan, good luck with that diet, I think you just might end up gaining ten pounds instead of losing it. Well, love ya.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Emergency Exchange

This has been a crazy week! So on Thursday I recieved a call from my Zone Leaders that I was leaving Roundup to be with Elder Aldous, who is the Zone Leader, in Shephard and Hawthorne. Something happened with the other set of missionaries, I don't know what but they did something they weren't supposed to be doing, so Elder Walch, the other Zone Leader went to their area, and the other missionary left to take my place in Roundup. They told Elder Orr to straighten up the other missionary and Elder Walch is doing the same with the other missionary. Elder Aldous and Elder Walch are still the Zone Leaders even though they aren't together anymore.  So I've been in Shephard and Hawthorne since Friday night. So I'll be here for another week till transfer, which is next week, so I'm either going somewhere or going back to Roundup after this. The only bad thing is I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone in Roundup, oh well. Anyway, Shephard and Hawthorne are just right outside of Billings. Yesterday I was in Church for 7 hours! I went to both of the wards, so I was there from 9-4. The people here are pretty nice and I like it here.

The one thing I like about Montana is that you can see more stars. The only downside is that the sun beigins to set before 5. Anyway, I just love staring out at the stars at night. So the last few days here it actually warmed up. It actually went up in the high 40's.

Along with the emergency exchange I have been sick since Friday night, I have had a real stuffy and runny nose. It has not been fun and hasn't really been a great week. I'm getting along with Elder Aldous. He is from Hunington Beach, CA and he goes home in February. So, I'm still eating a lot of junk food from the holidays. Unforunately I haven't gained any weight yet. "Try to keep trying and that which becomes difficult become possible."  -President Utchdorf   I'm still trying haha.

I finally found a scripture for prayer. In 3 Nephi 18:18-20. Anyway, hope your week goes well.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas with the Checketts

Well, it was nice to be able to Skype home on Christmas. Christmas was nice, Elder Orr and I spent Christmas with our Branch President and his family, the Checketts. We spent 3 hours helping them put up their new air hockey table. I love all their kids. Their oldest is a freshman and their youngest is 3 years old and they have 5 kids. I really enjoyed spending Christmas with them. Last Monday we spent our P-day with the Severe family. They are a really cool family. We spent some time helping Bro. Severe with his cattle for an hour. He has a ton of cows! I'm guessing 3-5,000 cows. Then we played basketball with them. Not much happened this week. Elder Orr and I delivered 150 christmas cards  from the branch to less actives. That took awhile to do, but it gave us something to do.

On Saturday we went to Stage Stop to help Bert and Ruth to help set up and decorate their dance floor for the New Years Party. So we ended up eating at Stage Stop for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, all for free since we helped them decorate. I never know what Bert's going to make me but it is always good and he hasn't disappointed me yet. Well, I don't have much else to write about, since not much has really happened since everybody is out of town. Have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft