Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102

Monday, April 29, 2013

Christine's Baptism

So obviously from the title we had a baptism this week. One of our investigator's, Christine, has been investigating since December and when Elder Packham and I saw her about two weeks ago she said she finally wanted to be baptized! Elder Burrows happened to be with us so he was able to do her interview. She wanted to do her baptism on that Saturday but it was Stake Conference so we had her Baptism on Thursday. She was then confirmed yesterday and I was able to take part of that confirmation. So that was the most exciting thing for me this week. 

This week has been a little difficult for Elder Packham. He received a call in the middle of the week from his Mom and found out that his older brother who was in basic training in the army had dementia. So it has been really tough week and we are trying to keep busy. So besides the baptism it has been a very slow and tough week.

We don't have very many people to see or teach so we are trying to keep ourselves busy by trying to find service to do. So I don't know if I told you this, but our mission right now is reading the Book of Mormon within six weeks and we are highlighting all the times Jesus Christ is mentioned or referenced to. So I am a little behind, I am currently in Alma and looking back it is amazing to see how many time Jesus Christ is mentioned and all the names and titles he is called by. It has helped strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I am so thankful to be doing this and going through the Book of Mormon. President Mecham mentioned that we will be reading the Book of Mormon three more time this year and be doing some activity while reading the Book of Mormon. I can't wait to find out what we will be doing.

So we had Zone Conference in Missoula Tuesday and it was amazing. We talked about new finding ideas, obedience, health, bikes, and our mission standard of excellence. I really enjoyed it and love Zone Conference. Also I was able to see all the other missionaries again. We also got our new bikes, they are really nice but we have not been able to ride them since we don't have our helmets yet. We will be going to Walmart in Polson tomorrow after district meeting so we can start riding our bikes.

I can't wait for this week, since my District leader will be doing exchanges so I will be with Elder Brown, my district leader, from Tuesday to Thursday. Hopefully this will be a better week, which I am sure it will. 

Can't believe Julia is getting married this Saturday!!! Congrats!

Hope you all have a good week. Love ya!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Window Washing

This has been a really good week. I was so glad that Elder Burrows was able to stay with us for a week. Elder Burrows left us Friday morning. We did a lot of new things that I have never done before. One day we decided to do some service so we got some Windex and paper towels and went along main street washing store's windows. We also approached several people parked in the parking lot and offered to wash their car windows. I have to admit it was kinda weird and awkward at first but it became fun and a great opportunity to share our message and who we were. Surprisingly enough a lot of the people we approached were less actives. Elder Burrows approached one lady in her car parked and she waved him off because she was on the phone. Elder Burrows still went up and talked to her and she reluctantly let us wash her truck windows. Afterward we got to talking and I found out she is a less active and is from Clovis! She said she knew the Van Wagenens, Dockstaders, and others. She said she grew up around them, I think she said she grew up with Bro. Dockstader who is in the Stake Presidency.  Anyway, she lives in our area so we need to drop by and see her. Her name is Marilyn. Another thing I did the first time with Elder Burrows was calling people out of the phone book. We actually had some good conversation on the phone, but received no potentials out of it. The first call Elder Burrows made was with a pentecostal pastor. That was pretty funny because he sounded very promising at first but then he wasn't interested, but he was nice though.

So we finally got a hold of one of our referrals, Neeka, from what I heard her daughter Shawnee bore her testimony in church one day and said she wanted to be baptized, she is 10. So we saw Neeka on Thursday and taught her the Restoration and invited her to Baptism and she accepted. So we are working with her and her daughter. The Strangs are the best family ever. Sis. Strang is the one who referred Neeka to us and she was there in the lesson.

We tried to see a former investigator and she was excited to meet with us but she said to come by during the summer when she isn't busy. So hopefully that works out. I don't think her husband is too thrilled about the idea of us coming over to teach her though.

So I pretty much celebrated my Birthday on the 18th instead of the 19th and we ate at the Strangs. Sis. Strang made me a German Chocolate Cake and we had hamburgers. Anyway, that was a great day.

We had Stake Conference Saturday and Sunday. It was really good. We had three members of the seventy there. The Former Stake President has just been made a Seventy so Kalispell got a new stake presidency. It was really good.

This Tuesday we are going to Missoula to have Zone Conference with the Kalispell and Missoula Zone. Can't wait!

Well, that is about it, so hope you have a great week. Love Ya!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bronze Sculptures

Devin sent these pictures a few months ago when he was serving in Clinton.
A member there makes these. Aren't they beautiful?

Elder Burrows Meets the Burrows

"And thus ended the nineteenth year of the reign of Elder Ashcroft." (Alma 49:29)

This has been a very good week. Elder Burrows is spending about a week with us. He came Friday and will be staying till Thursday. So we have been working with a less active in Lone Pine who hasn't been to church in over 50 years! She is the nicest lady I have met and she is so close to coming back to church! She actually offered to give another lady a ride to church but the other member has been sick, so she hasn't been to church yet. :(  On Friday Elder Packham, Elder Burrows and I went to Thompson Falls and did some community service. We helped in the Beautification Day which the town does every year. People go out and do projects around town. So we helped pull out crab weeds from rose bushes. There was a 100 yard line of rose bushes. After we pulled all the weeds we helped put mulch in. So we spent 6 hours out there working. Also a nonmember gave us $40 for lunch which was very generous. After that we went back in Plains and chopped wood for an older couple in the Branch. Then right after that we had dinner, so by the end of the day we passed out, after planning of course.

Sunday was really good. I love fast Sunday because of the opportunity to hear people bear their testimonies. Oh yeah, the Stake President here in Kalispell got called as an area seventy in General Conference. So we have stake conference next Sunday to get a new stake presidency. Sunday was really good, the three of us went tracting and we got two potentials out of it.  Also on Sunday night we took Elder Burrows to see the Burrows, they are not related. The Burrows are our investigators. We taught the Restoration and it went really well. The were very open and a lot of the things they believed was exactly what we believed. We got a little bit into the Plan of Salvation and it was a very good lesson. We gave them the Book Of Mormon and invited them to read the Introduction, and they were like, no, we are going to read the whole book! So excited for them and I hope that they will read the BOM and to find out the truth for themselves! That was the highlight of my week.

So we are going to Kalispell today for a meeting, so we are going to stay at the Zone leaders place tonight. Oh, I received the package and I'm planning on making the cake tonight. :)  Oh, I also got Julia's wedding invitation this morning! Can you send me the picture of me that will be at the wedding? Jordan said I was 6 feet tall and he said he was going to chop my feet off so I would be shorter. Haha.

Well that is all, oh, and we should get the new bikes in next week. :) Can't wait. Hope you have a wonderful week.

Elder Ashcroft

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Investigator

This been a slow week with transfer. I am really sad that Elder Bishop is gone but I'm adjusting. I'm getting along with Elder Packam, he is my first 18 year old companion. So on Wednesday I was able to help at the sheep farm again while waiting for the new arrival of missionaries. I was also able to help at the food bank.

I really don't like taking over areas, especially since I have only been in Thompson Falls for 1 week and trying to remember everyone we're supposed to see. So we went on splits with 2 of the youth on Thursday and I went with Bryce and went to see a former investigator who never got taught because she was so busy. So we saw her, but unfortunately she was in the middle of cooking dinner, but the good news is, she was really nice and wanted us to come back so we set an appointment for Wednesday the next time we are in Thompson Falls. Super pumped to be able to teach her, in the records she really wanted to take lessons but has always been busy but now have more time. So hopefully this turns out well. Other than that we haven't had a very successful week. Things were moving very slowly. Hopefully things will pick up.

General Conference was amazing. We went up to Colombia Falls which is North of Kalispell for Saturday General Conference. We went to the Shaws to watch the broadcast. Elder Shaw is one of the counselors for President Mecham so he invited all the missionaries to watch at his house. It was a great day. I really enjoyed General Conference. I really liked Elder L. Tom Perry's talk, felt like he was rebuking the world and that we can't pick and choose what commandment we wanted to live by. I also enjoyed Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy. I enjoyed his talk on the Atonement. Those two talks really stood out for me.

This has really been a challenging week for me but I know things will get better and I must rely on the Lord and that all things are possible through him. Hope your week goes well!

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Transfer Call on April Fools!

So this has been a good week. I really enjoyed the hike up Baldy, we hiked about 6 miles and it felt great to go hiking since I haven't gone hiking on my mission yet.  We didn't quite make it to the peak, but we still got a very good view. Anyway, we hiked in snow the whole way. The snow was about 3-3 1/2 feet deep. It was funny, so when I walk I would only sink about 1 foot and Elder Bishop would sink all the way through. Haha It was a great day too, the sun was out with little clouds and a nice little breeze. It ended up being me, Elder Bishop, Casey, a returned missionary, and Casey's sister Ashley who will be going to BYU-I. It was a really fun trip. On Tuesday for District meeting I spoke about the Law of Chastity. It went pretty well. The rest of the week we managed to keep ourselves busy.

The members here are amazing and they give so much to us missionaries. I received so much more stuff in this area than I have in any of my other areas. So this past week we received a $50 gift card to Subway. A non-member gave us $10 for helping at the Senior Center. A Less Active member has to get rid of some of the things in his home so he gave me 4 knives for free and Elder Bishop 3 knives for free and gave Elder Bishop $80! We try and not accept money but people always insist we take the money, so we try and use the money for a good use and to help others instead for ourselves. So the knives I got, I have to send one of them home since it is to big. We as missionaries in this mission can carry knives as long as they aren't longer than the palm of our hand. They are really nice knives and one of the knives comes with a really nice pocket watch. Then a member family owns a Hamburger stand and they told us to come by during Lunch and they feed us for free. So today I had a buffalo burger for the first time. Their huckleberry lemonade and shakes are so good too. There fries are amazing too! We go there about once or twice a week while we are in Plains. Elder Bishop and I went and saw a less active in Paradise and he gave us two dozen eggs and gave us three pounds of  homemade sausage. The sausages are soo delicious. Way better than those sausages you get at the store. We are always getting farm raised eggs, which taste better than store eggs. Anyway, the members feed us well here and take good care of us!

So we got a call yesterday from President Mecham while I was in the shower. So Elder Bishop said he got transferred to Great Falls and I will be getting Elder Pacham who came out with Elder Bishop. I didn't believe him at first because it was April 1st. But I found out it was true. So I will be getting Elder Pacham Wednesday, he will be coming from Cutbank/Shelby which is on the Indian reservation in the Great Falls Zone. I will be finishing up his training. So tonight I we will be staying overnight in Kalispell with the Zone Leaders and leave for Helena tomorrow for transfer. Another crazy thing is Elder Burrows and Elder Scott are still together as Zone Leaders! This means they will be together for 6 months! A quarter of their mission together. That's a long time, but I am glad they are both staying because I love them a lot!

So yesterday was busy. We cleaned up our place in the morning, than we did our laundry. We then had to go to Kalispell to get our oil changed and tire rotated for our truck. The library here in Plains doesn't open till 11 and that was wheen we had to leave for Kalispell for our appointment for our truck, so I didn't have time to email yesterday.

So I won't be doing my blog the next 6 weeks, actually the whole mission won't be online, because we are doing an online fast. So the hour we would normally be on, we will then be reading the Book of Mormon for an hour instead. Then after 6 weeks everybody gets back on.

I'm sad Elder Bishop is leaving, we got along very well. We saw some members for Elder Bishop and a lot of the members said we were one of the best set of missionaries they have seen in years as Elders. No one can beat the sister missionaries haha. But the past Elders hasn't been the best and we had to regain the trust of the members. Being clean up crew just like when I was in Corvallis. Anyway, everyone is sad that Elder Bishop is leaving. Elder Bishop came out with Elder Pacham and he said he is a great guy. Also 2 other missionaries who came out with him in my zone said the same thing. So I'm looking forward to meeting him.

This has been a great week and looking forward to this transfer! Hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft