Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102

Friday, November 29, 2013

Giving Blessings


Well, trying to think and remember what we did this week. We don't have many teaching opportunities as we are really short with investigators, so we've been focusing on contacting inactive members in the ward, in which we were able to find about 4 new less actives to start visiting and teaching. So not a whole lot going on but working with less actives.

So Elder Linton and I have been giving a lot of blessings this past week, too many I can't even count. We went to the Sisters area to give blessing to their less actives and investigators, then a lot of blessings within our Ward. It is always humbling to be able to give blessings to people. To know that I am able to be worthy to hold the Priesthood. Then I realized all the authority I hold as a missionary and how short of a time left I have on my mission. Not very long unfortunately.

So today should be fun as we have most of the Zone here in Riverton for P-day today. Then I am looking forward for this week as Elder Anthony, our Zone Leader is going to be with us from Tuesday to Thursday, should be lots of fun.

That is all I can think of for as of right now, so hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pictures :)

Me soaking wet after a bike ride in the rain in Helena one day. 
You can see the dry marks from the straps of my backpack.

 Me with Bro. Schlecht our awesome ward mission leader 
and Bro. Lund our awesome ward missionary!!! :)

The Hansen Family to the left side and Angela and Ani to the right of me. 
Ani is a recent convert who with the Hansen's had been helping us teach Angela 
who we set a baptism date with the night before I left for Riverton.

Me with my host family in Helena, the Stangers! :)

Elder Gunnerson and Elder Ashcroft

Me finally meeting up with Elder Kharazi during transfer on my way to Riverton. 

Russ and Elder Ashcroft

Russ and Elder Linton

That's all folks! Hope you enjoy!

3 Baptisms

So this has been a good week. So we had Zone Training Wednesday and that went pretty well. Learned all sorts of stuff, mostly refreshers for me but it was all really good. My discussion with Elder Linton went pretty well I suppose according to what other missionaries told us... not sure if they are reliable sources haha. It went well.

Then on Thursday I caught the flu and I was like how is this possible!!!? I got the flu shot this year unlike last year and still caught the flu. Anyway, wasn't as bad as the last time I caught the flu, but anyway I was down for the count on Thursday with throwing up all morning and with headaches. Fortunately the flu only lasted for a day. So that evening while I was sick I went to a member's place while Elder Linton went with a member and saw some people. Apparently I missed a very good lesson with an investigator I haven't met yet who started crying and knew the church was true but still didn't commit to baptism. I was bummed that I missed that.

So Saturday we had 3 baptisms! Super sweet, one was a member baptism of an 8 year old at 10 in the morning. Then we had Mitchell's baptism at 1 where I gave a talk on baptism and Elder Linton spoke on the Holy Ghost. That went very well. Then at 4 we had Russ' Baptism in which Elder Linton baptized him. That one went very well. Then for some reason they wanted me to confirm Russ on Sunday, so I was able to do that yesterday which was super sweet. That is the second confirmation I have done so I knew what I was doing this time so that was a really neat experience. :)

So we have Elder Thawley with us for a couple of days He's been with us since 8 in the morning yesterday and is staying with us till tomorrow morning. Been a blast with him so far! He is a super awesome missionary. So I believe for today we will be playing basketball which should be fun! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Ashcroft

P.S. So Riverton and Shoshoni are all on the reservation. I forgot to talk about my area and Riverton. So Riverton isn't the safest place to be. A lot of drunk Indians and a lot of drugs, crime and violence have been happening around town. We cover the roughest part of town as well. We cover two parts called All Nation and Garden North and both are extremely bad neighborhoods with a lot of bad stuff happening. Just last week somebody held a gun to a lady's head at Walmart. Then there have been about 5 people killed this month already. So a lot of things are happening here in this small town of Riverton. Anyway, we've been fine, hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Doing Work!

So, this week went well. I had my first District meeting on Wednesday and it went well. I'm glad to say I manged to make the meeting 3 hours long when there is just the six of us. It is very interesting to just have Sisters in my district. It is amazing how young my district is as well, all of them have been out less than 3-4 months. It is also crazy to think I have been out longer than my whole district combined as well. I'm getting used to my responsibility.

So I wasn't able to email yesterday due to the library not being open for Veteran's Day. So Elder Linton and I met up with 6 other Elders in Lander and went to Sinks Canyon. So about a 30-40 minute drive south of Riverton. We went spelunking, which was super fun. It was a one man tunnel and had to climb up and down the cave which was super fun. I unfortunately forgot to bring my camera so I have no pictures. Then after that we went hiking up to some water falls that were frozen. The water was frozen as well so we had fun walking on the ice and seeing the frozen falls. That was super fun, I hope to go back again. It was also a very beautiful hike.

So we have two baptisms for this Saturday. One for Russ who Elder Linton has been teaching for 4 months now and he is finally ready to be baptized. We also have Mitchell, a 9 year old who is getting baptized as well. Then there is going to be a member baptism for an 8 year old, so we will be at the church all Saturday with the baptisms. Super exciting.

So I went to church in Shoshoni this Sunday which is a small branch. They had 53 people at church Sunday. We were able to set a baptism date for December 14 with a 9 year old girl in Shoshoni on Sunday as well. We will be teaching her. I don't think Shoshoni had a convert baptism all year so this should be exciting.

Well, I believe that is all that happened. Tomorrow Elder Linton and I are doing a discussion at Zone Training tomorrow. I'm also excited for tonight as Elder Thawley (From my MTC Distirct) is spending the night at our place tonight. He is the Zone leader in the Wyoming North Zone and he is going around in our Wyoming South Zone to all the companionships to see how they teach with the ipad. So it should be nice to have him this evening. Well, hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, November 4, 2013

Riverton, WY

Well, this has been quite a week. So I am still figuring things out here in Riverton but I think I got the jist of it now and I will eventually know everything the next week or two. So there are 3 Wards here in Riverton. Aspen Park, Sunset Park, and Mountain View. So one set of Sisters cover Sunset Park, another set of Sisters cover Mountain View and the YSA Branch, and I cover Aspen Park Ward. Elder Linton and I also cover Shoshoni which is a population of 300 and has a little Branch there. So Wednesday I left Helena and traveled to Bozeman, had a quick stop, then to Billings for a half hour stop. Then traveled to Lovell, Wyoming and spent the night there. So about 6-7 hours drive. Then on Thursday I drove the truck down with two Elders and two Sisters. That was fun, so we drove to Thermopolis, where our Zone Leaders serve and we had about 3/4 the zone there and had a testimony meeting. After that I drove the truck again with the same people to Riverton. So all in all about a 4 hour drive. So we have a Toyota Corolla that I am driving around which is pretty sweet.

So I guess I am loving it here. It is pretty flat here with mountains pretty far away. Different not having mountains being right there. So I am enjoying Riverton. Elder Linton is Awesome. We are getting along great! So he has been out two transfers, all in Riverton. His last two companions only served in Riverton for one transfer and left to be Zone Leaders, so he keeps telling me I'm going to be a Zone Leader next transfer, which I kinda don't want to be, since that is a lot of responsibility, but we'll see.

So we have two people on date with very few investigators. We also have a ton of less actives. So I have been told about 80 show up to church on average and we have around 500 less actives. So a lot of reactivation work to be done. However we had about 130 show up yesterday and there was no special event at church so that is good. The members here are nice as well.

So I found out that right before Elder Linton showed up the previous Elders weren't the best and ruined the area and members trust, so the past three months Elder Linton and his two previous companions have been building it back up. So we have a lot of work ahead of us.

So I arrived here Thursday then Friday evening we went up to Shoshoni, Elder Linton second time up there and we spent the night at the Branch President's house. So we went to see our branch mission leader and he wasn't home so walking back we saw some high schoolers playing basketball, so we asked to join in and we played them, which of course Elder Linton and I showed them whats up. ;) After playing awhile they asked us questions and they never even heard of Mormons before, probably because they grew up in a small town of Shoshoni their whole life. That was cool. Then Saturday we spent the morning going through the area book for Shoshoni and updating. Then we met several members and a part member family which was a great visit and good potential. That is about it. Elder Linton tracted the whole place in 2 hours the last time he came up. So we go there about once a month.

Things are going well. Hope you have a great week! Oh, we have like the only Walmart in Wyoming for our mission. :)

Elder Ashcroft