Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Almost Home!

I'm sure Devin would love a big welcome home, so please feel free to join us at the Fresno airport on Saturday, July 5. His flight is scheduled to arrive at 3:56 p.m.

Last Week

Well, there is not a whole lot to talk about as far the work here in Eureka as we still literally have nobody to see. So we have been trying to find some service opportunities. We just barely got done doing some yard work for a recent convert who lives just a few houses down. We've been weed whacking for an hour and it been the hottest today for a long time which it is about 85 which I know will be nothing to the 104 that I will be coming home to. I am so used to the 60's!

For church Sunday we sang "O Canada" for the opening hymn for Sacrament Meeting as half the congregation came down from Canada as Canada Day is July 1st, which is today. Then we sang our national anthem for the closing Hymn. So there are tons of Canadians here in Eureka and in Kalispell this week! Also I saw the huge line of cars waiting to enter U.S.A. at the border.

Well, don't know what else to say except it will be weird that I will be home this Saturday! I will be spending Thursday night with the Zone Leaders and have to be in Missoula by 9:30 and leave there around 10 for a 6 hour drive to Billings. Have my interview and Saturday morning at 6:15 have a temple session and fly home at 1:00! Crazy huh? Time does fly by fast! Have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Elder Ashcroft's Day

Well, things are going pretty good. My mind just went blank... been trying to contact several people in Eureka but a lot of people are not home and we have been doing a lot of tracting but have not found any potential yet. We are working with Milus who we set on Baptism Date for July 5th my first week in Eureka but he hasn't come to church yet. So the baptism may not happen. A less active who we've been working with got offended and does not want the lessons now and didn't show up to church this Sunday, so that is super disappointing and we hope to stay in contact with her. We are pretty much starting from scratch now as we literally do not have anyone to teach.

Yesterday was Elder Ashcroft's Day as that is what the Zone Leaders wanted to happen. So I was going to have us go to Glacier Park except it just snowed last week during summer.... it snowed 14 inches and most of the park is closed though I hear it might open up this week or next. So instead we played Ultimate Frisbee at a park for a couple of hours then we went to the church and palyed volleyball. So it turned out well.

I am currently on exchanges in Columbia Falls with Elder Blackmon till Wednesday after District Meeting. Oh yeah, Friday was a really good day! We went to Kalispell early in the morning as all the missionaries in the Zone helped out at the Youth Tri-stake Conference. The Stevensvile, Missoula, and Kalispell Stakes. I was able to see several people from my first area and from my last area! It was neat to see all of them again. Anyway, I helped out with the activities. I was with Elder Remington, and we had two posts with ropes that had about 16 holes in them that is just big enough for them to go through. The point was for the youth, groups of about 14, to get through the holes without touching the ropes. Once a person went through the hole they couldn't use that same hole again. It is hard to explain, it would be easier if you actually saw it. Anyway, we then shared a spiritual thought at the end about how the activity related to the repentance process. How the ropes represent sin and temptation. How some struggled to get through the rope, in which case they had to go back and do it again. Sometimes we think we have repented an realize we haven't and have to go through the process again. It may be difficult, and may need help from others, which the youth need help, but will be rewarding once you finish the repentance process.

After the Conference we had Zone Training for our Zone. That was really good, and of course they had me go up and bear my testimony. I felt that this was a lot more difficult to do than when I did it at the Mission Tour. It was good though. I'm running out of time, hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stomach Flu :(

Seems like I am always catching a flu and have had quite a few of them on my mission! I was out for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday so we were not able to do a whole lot last week. The exchange ended Wednesday morning in Kalispell and switched over for District Meeting. I gave a discussion, which Elder Remington gave me the same topic that I gave for Zone Leaders Training Last transfer in the Stevensville Zone! So I was pretty well prepared and it went well. Unfortunately, I had to cut my discussion short as we had to facetime in to the Zone Leaders as a district for some information from the mission. Also announcing that Elder Ashcroft's Day is next Monday for preparation day. So, of course I want to go to Glacier National Park and do a hike, so that is what we will be doing next Monday as a Zone. That should be fun and exciting. Crazy to think I only have 2 1/2 weeks left! Gahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmm, oh yeah, Wednesday the Eureka Ward did a Burger Burn at the church and had a pretty good turn out. Had about 6 non members come. I also think I got food poisoning from that, hence I was sick for 3 days. I guess I was the only one that got sick too! :(  Some of the members here live in very nice homes and right next to a beautiful view of a lake/mountains/Valley! There are quite a lot of Canadians here too! Seems to be a tourist hot spot as well down in Kalispell near the Flathead Lake, which by the way, is a very beautiful lake!

I suppose that is all I have for you this time, have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

                                     Elder Schlenker and I during our exchange in Kalispell!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mission Tour

Well, we were able to travel to Helena Tuesday and I was able to drive up with Elder Linton, who I served with in Riverton, WY, so that was a fun car ride. We then ended up staying overnight with the Stangers! Stangers are the members that I lived with for 3 transfers in Helena so it was great to be able to talk to them. They told me that their home will always be my home and that I am always welcome. :) Really one of the neatest people I have met on my mission! Then on Wednesday we had our mission tour and Elder Codoy was there. He was great! He is very animated and hilarious. He was telling us how great our mission was doing and that we are doing very good at all aspects of the missionary work here in this mission! He also said "if this mission cannot baptize thousands, no mission can." So that is a huge compliment on how well our mission is doing and how much more we can do! Then, something unexpected happened, which I should have known it was coming, I was asked to give my departing testimony to half the mission! I was the first one to go, in which Elder Landry, Elder Burrows, and Sister Ward gave theirs as well. I feel that I did pretty well and handled it pretty good as well. The others gave great testimonies as well. It kinda stinks seeing all those missionaries for the last time on the mission. Anyway, the mission tour was great!

So currently I am on exchange with Elder Schlenker (Zone Leader) in Kalispell 2 ward since yesterday till tomorrow. It's nice being back in Kalispell 2 even though I only served here for only 3 weeks last time I was here. I was able to see Garret yesterday, who was literally one of the first persons I saw when I came to Kalispell and he was baptized that day! He is still active and married one of the members as well last year and now has a 11 week old boy! He is doing great and it was nice to talk to him!

Well, that is all for now that I can think of, have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Well, the library here is closed on Monday so I will be emailing on Tuesday for now on. So you will have to wait another day to get my emails. :/    So Eureka is very pretty. We have the mountains nearby and there are a lot of rolling green hills, reminds me of the Shire in Lord of the Rings. So Eureka is 8 miles from the Canadian border, in fact the other night we went to see a part member family, who weren't home, and their backyard fence is the border to Canada. So I have seen Canada on my mission! Pretty cool huh? I will have to get a picture with the "Now Entering Canada" sign. 

The members here are great and supportive! Very missionary minded and our ward mission leader is fantastic! They are good about giving us names to see. We do not have too many people to see at the moment that are progressing. We did meet with one of our investigators and set a baptism date for July 5th, so we hope he keeps with that commitment. He has yet to come to church. So we are finding more people to teach. As missionaries we are always looking for more people to see. 

I have also been doing a lot of cleaning in our apartment. It amazes me how missionaries do not know how to clean their living quarters. I cleaned out our pantry which a lot of the food were empty cans/packages. Got rid of can foods that expired 7-9 years ago. Now I am working with the bathroom which is horrendous and am halfway done with that. Never knew how much cleaning I would have to do when I got into the mission! It is rewarding though once the place is clean and it definitely invites the Holy Ghost when you have a clean living quarters. Enough with my little rant about cleaning.

Elder Maughan is a good missionary, he is from Florida and has been out 7 months. We are getting along pretty well and are keeping ourselves busy here in Eureka. We helped a member move one of her storage unit to another one so she could save extra money. It amazes me how much people hoard their stuff which a lot of them they would never use. Anyway, it was great to serve other people and I
love doing service projects! 

Loving this beautiful area and the people here. So Elder Maughan and I are leaving today at 2:30 and driving to Kalispell in which our Zone is carpooling to Helena as we have a mission tour Wednesday and Elder Codoy of the Seventy is going to be there along with another Seventy, can't remember who. So I am super excited as I will be riding up with Elder Linton, who I served with in Riverton, WY. Also, I will be staying with the Stangers in Helena tonight, the family that I lived with for 4 months in Helena! This is going to be a great week! Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

P.S. It's very green here and members here tell me I got here at the best time of the year which is 
super nice! And well, it will be clear one day with nice weather in the 70's to being cloudy and bit on the chilly side like today. So you never know about the weather. Beautiful with lots of rolling green hills and the mountains nearby that are covered in pine trees and have some snow on it still. Very green here and members here tell me I got here at the best time of the year which is super nice! An hour and a half drive away from all other missionaries so we are pretty secluded to the mission. So that is Eureka! Lots of Canadians here with a second home/cabin for the summer. So we see a bunch of Canadians. Forgot to mention! Eureka just became a ward a month ago! :) Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Last Transfer

Well, transfer call came Sunday and found out I am being transferred to Eureka, MT which is north of Kalispell and right next to Glacier National Park. I will just be a normal missionary this transfer and a senior companion to Elder Maughn, who I have not met before. I'm hoping this will be a good last transfer of my mission. Hard to believe I have less than 6 weeks left now!

So of course I am sad about leaving Corvallis and all the Pinesdale people I have been able to get close to. Also on Sunday we set a baptism date for Ellen who has been investigating the church for over 40 years! Bummed I will miss out on her baptism on June 14th.

We did quite a bit of service this week. Since it was memorial day weekend we were encouraged to see what we could do to help so we called around and got a hold of the guy in charge of the cemetery in which we helped do some garden work for him on Friday. Found out Steve had known some members in the church and he invited us to help out at his place with landscaping which we did on Monday. He is a really neat guy and we hope to start teaching him. On Wednesday Tarikh Peak was baptized and confirmed Sunday which was a neat experience. The other Elders have been working with him.

We had preparation day today as we worked yesterday, so today we got together as a Zone and went on a nice hike and it is a beautiful day today. Well, I am leaving tomorrow and still need to finish packing. Hopefully this is my last transfer till I go to Billings. Have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

P.S Excited to hear I am an Uncle now! :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pinesdale Families

Hmm, there are a few exciting things that happened this week. We have been meeting with one of the many Jessop families and they met with President Sangster and President Sangster wrote a letter of recommendation for the Jessops to Salt Lake for them to be baptized. So they should be hearing back this week from Salt Lake finding out when they will have their interview and with which Apostle which is super exciting! We are super excited for them. Also, we've been working with another Jessop family and they will be having with an interview with President Sangster this week in which if it goes well President Sangster will write a letter for them to Salt Lake. Both the Jessop families have progressed so much this past 3 months! Another exciting thing is another Jessop family, who I helped teach in January of last year who were baptized are being sealed in the Temple at the Salt Lake Temple this Saturday! So happy and excited for all the Jessop families! Then just to talk about more Jessop family, we met with another Jessop family last night for dinner and Bro. Jessop is the Elders Quorum President so we had a good meeting with him last night. Believe me, it can be confusing sometimes with all the Jessop families! We also met with one of the Jessop's sisters, Sister Koerner who lives up in Pinesdale who is ready to join the church but we are waiting on the husband. We also met with the Powell family who are also up in Pinesdale and are waiting to hear from Salt Lake as well! I love teaching the Pinesdale people!

Hmm, oh yeah, we had Zone Leaders Training Wednesday, I feel that it went really well. The theme Elder Eiselin and I spoke on was Motivation. What stops us from being motivated and what motivates us and how to stay motivated once we are motivated. Elder Eiselin spoke of the six destructive D's. It is from the April 2009 conference talk by Elder Kevin W. Pearson "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." For my discussion I used the example of Alma the Younger and how he was rejected in Ammonihah and was about to leave and explained how he was not transferred, despite how much he felt like he did! Instead he got a (new) companion Amulek, and kept on teaching the people which led to success. How as we missionaries feel like we've done everything we think we could do and have no success, and find out you are staying in your area! President Mecham has told us to expect to stay in an area from 6-9 months. (Which is funny as I can't manage to stay in an area for very long, no longer than 5 months haha) So I explained that we must remain diligent and press forward. I spoke about attitude and what kind of attitude we must have. Anyway, Zone Leaders Training went very well.

I feel blessed to know that the Stevensville Zone is very obedient and diligent missionaries in this Zone and have had no issues which has been great! It has been amazing the see the transformation of this mission from when I first arrived till now! How the example of leadership has changed and how much more respect there is for the leadership and callings in the church. Been a great experience!

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mothers Day

It was definitely nice to see and talk to the family yesterday! Seems like everything will be mostly set up for when I get home which is nice so I won't have to worry about the unknown!

Not a whole lot of excitement this week as far as missionary work goes. Things seem to be slowing down and we are searching for more people to teach. We of course have two amazing families we are working with from the Pinesdale group. In fact, we had dinner with one of them on Saturday. The Jessops are an Amazing Family and can't wait till they get through the interview process so they can be baptized!

So, President Mecham came to Stevensville Wednesday to interview the Zone. I was able to interview the missionaries before they went in to interview with President Mecham which is interesting how these interviews go. It was my first time interviewing Sister Missionaries which was an interesting experience. The interviews went great and all the missionaries got interviewed except for Elder Eiselin and I as President Mecham was behind schedule, so he will be interviewing us over the phone or facetime sometime in the future before transfer end.

There was a baptism for a Brother who was excommunicated and has been working his way back into the church for a little over a year now. So it was nice to see his baptism and Elder Eiselin and I were able to be the two witnesses. It turned out really nice.

Hmmm, my mind is blank and can't think of anything else that happened this week. Well, I suppose that is all, have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

P.S. Ahah! Remembered Something! So there is something else, we just received 6 missionaries in our mission. These six missionaries were reassigned to our mission, leaving the Ukraine Donetsk Mission due to civil unrest. They arrived last Friday. Thought you might be interested in hearing about that. :)  [Devin's brother, Brandon, served in the Ukraine Donetsk Mission.]

Monday, May 5, 2014

Zone Leaders Business

Well, my mind went blank right when I am about to write, let's see what happened this week? Had District meeting which was good as usual, talked about using the Book of Mormon in our teaching and all that good stuff. I believe Wednesday I ate something that did not agree with my stomach and was sick the rest of the evening which was a bummer but recovered the next day.

Thursday, Elder Eiselin and I went around the Zone checking all the missionaries living quarters making sure it was clean and that they had a CO and Smoke Detector. So we did a lot of traveling that day. We also did a few hours exchanges in Lolo while we were there. I was with Elder Skousen, who is a great nephew of Kleon Skousen. Pretty cool huh? Anyway, during that 2 hours exchange we were able to help them find 2 solid potential investigators which is a miracle for them as they have been striving to find people to teach. They are both exceptional missionaries and they will do great things in Lolo. In fact, we have a really great Zone with great missionaries. It is not very often when you get all the missionaries in a Zone who are all very obedient and hard working, which is a great blessing!

We have several people here in Corvallis on date that are not from Pinedale, but unfortunately I can't teach them. :(  Since Elder Eiselin (ZL) and Elder Alston (DL) have taught them and so if I teach them we would have to have the Zone Leaders in Missoula do the Baptismal Interview, so we are keeping me from teaching them so I can do the interview. We are going to have two baptisms the next two weeks, so we hope it will happen.

Lets see, I guess I will talk a little bit about my companion, Elder Eiselin. If you didn't notice all ready, he was in the March Ensign 2014 in "Inviting Success" with a short story of his conversion story in "Talk to the Tech" with his picture of him and his Fiancee! That's right, he is engaged! Well, he's been engaged just about his whole mission, they already got a sealer picked out in the Gilbert, AZ Temple for September. Elder Eiselin goes home 6 weeks after I do. In fact I was there when he first came out in the mission where he started in Missoula. We have good memories then. Anyway, thought you would like to know that.

We are currently planning for another Zone Leaders Training for May 14th. We believe it will be a good meeting.

Well, that is all I can think of right now. Have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

P.S. I forgot to mention in my email, I am not looking forward to the blazing heat! It has been really nice weather here lately, in the 70's or late 60's. Wish it could be like that year round. Love ya!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Birthday Pics

The group picture from left to right, Elder Alston, Me, Elder Black, Elder Eiselin, & Elder Ponath. That is the massage chair Elder Black and Eiselin got for me, super nice of them!
Was able to make myself a birthday cake as well! :)

This was also what we did for my birthday at a members house while waiting for dinner.
 Also saw a yax that day!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mid Transfer Adjustment

Bet you the title made you think I was leaving again huh? Psych, I'm staying! However, unfortunately Elder Black left for Billings to serve in Shepherd where I served  last year in January for 2 weeks. Also, I am not with Elder Ponath anymore, I am with Elder Eiselin and Elder Alston is with Elder Ponath. Also, I do not cover Darby anymore and just here in Corvallis. So that makes Elder Eiselin officially companion number 31. One of the Zone Leaders that was serving in Shepherd got his visa to Brazil after being in the mission for a year so Elder Black went there to fill his place. Also, a set of Elders were doubled out in Lolo after a week and got a new set of Elders Thursday, which meant they missed out on my awesome discussion Wednesday for Zone Leaders Training. I went to Missoula pretty much everyday this week! Was great though, I enjoyed it.

Zone Leaders Training went well. It was supposed to be held in Stevensville but found out late the night before that we needed to do it in Missoula so we made it happen on short notice. The meeting went well. I used Alma 38:12 "Use Boldness, but not Overbearance," as the center of my discussion. How we can know the difference of us being bold or overbearing. Which led up to following up vs. pestering. How we need to follow up on those we teach without feeling like we are pestering them. I felt like it went very well and helped out our Zone knowing what the difference is. Of course there is no fine line what the difference is but is all about having the spirit with us and showing love to them as we be bold with those we teach.

Our Zone is doing really well right now! Just a few weeks ago we had no one on baptismal date and now we have 14 on date as of right now! So exciting to see things starting to flourish here in this Zone! At Mission Leadership Council on Tuesday, President Mecham was telling us how much this mission has grown since July of 2012. How our mission went form baptizing on average 22 a month to now 56 on average a month! I know that there is a huge difference in our mission from when I first arrived to the mission till now. How the culture changed, especially the obedience level in this mission has dramatically changed! We strive to be the most covenant keeping mission in the World.

Anyway, Mission Leadership Council was really good as well. Talked about several policies in the mission and about the use of facebook, ipad, and online proselyting. Were able to witness some really great missionaries give their departing testimony and can't believe they are leaving!

Oh yeah, since the transfer adjustment and me being with Elder Eiselin I am back to living with the Holmes again just as I did in January/February of 2012! Brings back a lot of memories when I was with Elder Croteau, who was one of the ones who gave a departing testimony. Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Sister Ashcroft and I! We are piloting the new program as young couples as missionaries! haha jk jk. We found out we are related through Henry Ashcroft, so I believe she is my 5th cousin? 
Pretty cool huh? 
The other picture is me with a replica of the Golden Plates which weighed quite a bit!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Pics

Thanks to the Kirklands who sent these pictures.

"We had the opportunity today to feed all the missionaries in the Corvallis Ward.  Afterwards they helped out with hiding the eggs for our kids Easter Egg hunt.  I think the Elders had more fun than the kids!  They are a great example to our family and are grateful to have them in our area!  They also sang us a song at the end and did a pretty good job."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter and 1 Year Wiser

Wow! This has been an eventful and amazing week! Transfer happened Wednesday and Elder Black and I went to Missoula early in the morning for transfer and were planning to stay in Missoula all day, but a car from Lolo had to be taken to Billings and of the 3 missionaries going to Helena none have driving privilages so Elder Black and I ended up driving to Helena, dropping the car off and coming back in the transfer van with the missionaries going to our Zone. When we came back to Missoula we went to Cafe Rio! Yum.

Elder Alston is now in Corvallis, making five missionaries in Corvallis and all five of us are all really close. We all work well together and it feels like all five of us are companions as we see each other all the time, have dinner with members with all of us there and we split up all the time. So I am counting Elder Eiselin and Elder Alston my companions as well, making my 31 & 32 companions! :)

Saturday was great! Thank you all who wished me a Happy Birthday, I really appreciate it! We ended up moving a member in Darby and she gave us all her food that she wasn't taking with her, so we got a lot of stuff, Huckleberry Syrup, Salmon, bacon, etc., so that was really nice, so we ended up having breakfast for lunch. We also made my birthday cake and lit up the candles. It was a great day and were able to do some contacting and tracting as well that day. Oh yea, these four missionaries are awesome! They got me a massage chair that is super nice. I will send some pictures next week as I forgot my camera. We also saw a Yax that day as well!

Sunday was great! We had a devotional with all the missionaries in the Zone in Stevensville and it was really inspiring. Learned about the Atonement and the enabling power of the Atonement. I was also able to bear my testimony. It was great! Went to church in Darby and sang in the choir "Onward Christian Soldiers", that went really well. Then we had dinner at the Kirklan's and we hid all the eggs for the kids. Then after that they hid some chocolate easter bunnies for us to find. They did a good job of hiding them as it took us awhile to find them. So that was great. Then I prepared my discussion for Wednesday as we will be having Zone Training that day. Tomorrow I will be going to Helena again for Leadership Council, can't wait for that!

We saw Pam and Jay in Darby and they are doing really well and are reading the Book of Mormon! They are in Alma 32. Halfway through the book! We are teaching an 8 year old girl as well that is going well. We went into Pinesdale this week working with the Dubois. They are a great family, just going to be a long process there. Loving Corvallis/Darby and hope to finish up here! Love you all!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm trying to think what happened this week and my mind went blank! I suppose nothing major happened this week as far as missionary work goes. Oh yeah! We went to see Peggy in Darby and got in with her for the first time, due to bad timing previous attempts, and she has been reading in 1 Nephi! She said she knows it is true and we gave her some more reading assignments and have a return appointment with her tomorrow. So I am super excited about that. Other than that we didn't have much to do except trying to find new people to teach. We've been doing a lot of contacting and tracting but to no avail unfortunately, we hope to find new investigators this week.

So, transfer, we found out about it yesterday and Elder Black and I are staying! Yay! Also, Elder Ponath, who is also serving in Corvallis will be with us in a Trio! Elder Black has also been given a special assignment to create a handbook of rules for online proslyting and for ipad for the mission. So I will be able to help him create a handbook with Elder Black for the mission! Pretty cool huh? Also Elder Black will be doing a lot of traveling around training Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders on how to check other missionaries iPads and how to best utilize online prosylting. Pretty Sweet! Also, Elder Eiselin (who is in page 25 of last month's ensign) is our third Zone Leader in the Zone and his companion is a District Leader. Also, we got a another set of Sisters in our Zone, going from 10 to 13 missionaries in the Zone! Should be a great transfer!

I forgot to mention a miracle that happened last week. So two days before general conference I was singing A Childs Prayer and then I felt like I really wanted to hear the Mormon Tabernacle choir sing this in General Conference so I prayed for that. Then it happened! Made me super happy! :) Heavenly Father truely answers prayer.

That is pretty much what happened this week. Transfer happens this Wednesday. Have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, April 7, 2014

Zone Conference photo

Exchange in Hamilon

Well, I spent the whole week in Hamilton till Saturday after the Priesthood session. The exchange went well, the Elders are struggling to find people to teach. All their investigaters are not progressing and they don't really have any less active to work with. We've just been contacting all the former investigators that were in the Area book but no success. A lot of the addresses do not exist, they moved out, or are not interested. So they will have to start on a clean slate and start finding new people to teach. A whole lot of tracting will have to be done in Hamilton, and Hamilton is the biggest town in the Zone as well covering two wards. So we are hoping they will find success. I was able to help them find a potential investigator who invited us back, so they will have to follow up with that.

General Conference was amazing! I'm sure everyone else agrees with me. I realized I don't have that much to talk about this week. Transfer is next week, so I'm curious as to what is going to happen to this Zone and with Elder Black and I. Well, hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, March 31, 2014


It's been quite another week and this week shall be interesting as well. Just gotta love exchanges sometimes as a Zone Leader. Even in such a small zone there are quite a few problems Elder Black and I have to deal with. Anyway, in the beginning of this week Elder Black went to Lolo and was with one of the missionaries there while I had one of the missionaries from Lolo come down with me in Corvallis/Darby. It was a long three days but I feel that it was very beneficial and was needed. I was able to keep us busy and found several people that we have return appointments with which was good. Went to Darby and we met with Bro. Pine, a part member family, who I taught a year ago, who wants to be baptized soon. He has been coming to church the last 5 years and he finally feels ready to be baptized. Then exchanges ended and it was great to have Elder Black again.

With Elder Black again we saw Travis up in Job Corp and finished teaching the commandments and he has been living the Word of Wisdom! He has been great! He had the interview Friday night and was cleared to be baptized! So it was a little crazy setting up the baptism as we were not quite sure if it was going to happen. We got it all figured out. Shane, who is from Job Corp and was baptized the first Saturday in March was able to baptize Travis. Shane was the one who invited Travis to his baptism which started Travis wanting to learn more and have a desire to be baptized as well. Super sweet! Travis is already one of the best missionaries. Telling everybody about the church and answering their questions. He told us that someone said he was already a Baptist, and he said, "so, I was too, but now I am a Mormon." So solid! Anyway, Elder Black confirmed him on Sunday which was great. The sad thing is, Travis and Shane will be leaving in a few weeks to El Paso, Tx for a job. Shane also has a girlfriend that he will be asking her to marry him, she is in El Paso and is already a member and he already has plan to be married in the temple next year in March! Pretty cool huh?

So I will be going on exchanges with one of the missionaries in Hamilton starting tonight till next Monday as both missionaries are struggling and need help. So Elder Black is getting one of the companions to be with him in Corvallis. Should be interesting and fun. I will get to know Hamilton better and help out the area. Can't wait till General Conference this weekend! Hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, March 24, 2014

Naps Challenge!

Three pound burger, pound of shake, and a pound of fries all under 25 minutes! :o  
No one finished it unfortunately. :(
I didn't do the challenge, 
I just sat there joyfully eating my basket of sweet potato fries and took pictures. :)

Zone Conference

Not going to lie, this has been one emotional week with so many things happening. I suppose I will start off with Zone Conference. Zone Conference was amazing as always and they are always so different. Never know what to expect for Zone Conferences. We had it in Missoula with Kalispell, Missoula, and Stevensville Zone. So this Zone Conference was focused on Book of Mormon and the importance of it, the role of it, and how we should use it in every lesson we teach. It was very inspiring and I realized how much more I should be using the Book of Mormon in the lessons. I'm repenting haha. One of the things we did was we broke out into groups and each group was lead by a Zone Leader or Sister Training Leader and we read in a group in different parts of the Book of Mormon for an hour, both in the morning and in the afternoon. By doing so, all the missionaries have read the whole Book of Mormon cover to cover in two hours! Pretty sweet huh? Then we had departing missionaries give their departing testimony and Elder Olsen gave one, which is weird to think about as he has been an Assistant for this mission for 13 months now! It will be different when he leaves.

After Zone Conference we had all the missionaries and Ward Mission Leader in Stevensville Zone have dinner at President Sangster's house. We had pizza for dinner and after that we had a meeting which went very well and went over what we hoped to achieve in the Stake for missionary effort. We are definitely headed the right direction.

We are still working with several families from Pinesdale which they are doing very well, just doing the waiting game with interviews. Elder Black and I also found a new less active and he said we are the first people to see him from the church in 10 years! Mostly because he lives in the middle of the mountains. So we have a return appointment with him and we will see how that goes. We also are working with Travis from Darby and he has a date for baptism this Saturday, we are hoping this will happen as long as he is doing well with the Word of Wisdom he should be good to go!

So, one of the reasons this past week and previous week have been pretty crazy emotionally is that I found out that I have medical problems and would have to get surgery. It went from, I could get surgery here in the mission and recover to having to go home to do surgery, recover, and come back out. Then it went from that to going home and having surgery and not being able to come back out on my mission to finding out that as long as I keep the medical issue under control I can finish my mission and have surgery when I get home. So many things running through my mind as to what will be happening and wanting to finish my mission as I have 3 months left. What a roller coaster! Fortunately I got this all figured out and I can focus on my mission and finish strong. I never realized how much I love being a missionary till I thought of the possibility that I could possibly be going home and not come back out on a mission. Knowing that I don't have much time left and what a blessing it is to be a missionary I renewed my effort to be a more effective missionary and to better fulfill my role as a Zone Leader and to preach the gospel.  I am so thankful for Elder Black and Elder Burrows as they have been with me during these moments and to help me remain focused on missionary work. I'm also thankful for President and Sister Mecham, medical coordinator, and Mom and Dad during this as well!

Hope all is well and you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mission Leadership Council

Well, had my first official mission leadership council in Helena Tuesday. Been to one before back in July as a guest. Anyway, it was Fantastical! I was able to see a lot of my previous companions and those I served around. There have been several things that have been approved for our mission now which is exciting. One, everyone has texting now, before it was just the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. So that is pretty exciting. Also, the whole mission now have the opportunity to go to the Billings Temple once a transfer as long as we get rides from members and we are back in our area by 6 p.m. which means my Zone wouldn't be able to do it as it is too far away and wouldn't be able to get back by 6 in time. But it is a lot nicer for other Zones as before only the two Billings Zones could go. So that is super Sweet!
As a Zone Leader it takes up a lot of our time, even such a small zone as Stevensville! A lot of administrative work and dealing with missionary problems. This week, Elder Burrows, our Assistant and who came out with me and my previous companion, came back with us after the MLC in Helena so he could do some exchanges and some business here in the Stevensville Zone/Stake. There have been several issues with some missionaries and with the Stake members. So that has been very interesting as we have some things we have to follow up that Elder Burrows would like us to do. So many things we have to take care of, feels like we neglect our area sometimes, fortunately we have another set of Awesome missionaries in Corvallis that are doing a lot of great things.

I Love being a missionary and grateful to be serving here in Corvallis and in the Montana Billings Mission! I see so many miracles and blessings everyday and wish I could just be a full time missionary forever! Anyway, hope you have a fantastical week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, March 10, 2014

Everything is flooding back to me as well as learning a lot of new things and my new responsibility as a Zone Leader in the Stevensville Zone. I suppose I will start off explaining Stevensville Zone. A lot of things happened in this Zone for this transfer. The Elders in Darby were taken out and the Elders in Stevensville were taken out as well. Just of lot of issues that had taken place before I got here so the area is getting cleaned up. So there are 5 sets of missionaies in this Zone which is by far the smallest Zone in the mission. There is a set of Elders in Lolo, set of Sisters covering two wards in Stevensville, and a set of Elders covering two wards in Hamilton. Also something new this transfer is there is now two sets of missionaries in Corvallis. However, Elder Black and I cover Corvallis and Darby. So that is our Zone, so I have stewardship over 8 missionaries.

So, Corvallis and Darby, I am surprised at how much I remember how to get around the area, which is nice, I don't have to take time getting to know the town. I'm trying to figure out where I want to start, I have so much to say, so this might be a long email! So, I have Pinesdale again! Yippee!!! I guess I will briefly go over them again. I believe I talked about them last year in January when I served here in Corvallis. Pinesdale is a break off from our church, the Fundalmentalist Group and they still practice polygamy and all that stuff. They pretty much have the same teachings as us in general except for a few minor things, like the priesthood authority which they believe they have. We can NOT go ino Pinesdale unless set appointment and with one of the Bishopbric. We split up Corvallis with the other Elders, so they have downtown Corvallis while we have the outskirt and Pinesdale people. We also cover Darby which we will be going two days out of the week. We have 18 progressing investigators in Corvallis/Darby! We have two families from Pinesdale, that just need to go to a huge interview process. I might just have to write an email just on Pinesdale, so much info! Saw two Pinesdale families yeserday, Pinesdale converts makes the BEST ACTIVE MEMBERS! I could easily write a 5 page email on Pinesdale.

So Darby, they have Job Corp up there and we went there Thursday and set a baptism date for March 22 with Travis. Job Corp is for anyone 18 and up helping them get a job i think? Not quite sure. I will research on that.

It has been a blast serving with Elder Black and being a Zone Leader! Tomorrow I will be going to a Mission Leadership Council in Helena which I can't wait for. I love it here in Corvallis! Going to be a great transfer!

So I forgot to mention last Monday, but I got free dental cleaning and I have no cavaties! Yay! Anyway, have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Watch Models

Sister Randall, Sister Romrell, Elder Ashcroft & Elder Inman

Monday, March 3, 2014

Transfer News! :o

Well, just having quite a conversation with a potential investigator that the Sister's Ward Mission Leader brought to us in the college library. We answered a lot of her questions and taught some principles from the Restoration. The girl is from New York and it was quite a conversation. Let's just say people from New York have different personalities as to humor, eventually the Sisters showed up so we were able to transition her to the Sisters as she is in their area. So that was really cool.

So, Sunday we got a call from President Mecham during dinner so we missed it and he left a voicemail saying I need to call him back. So that made me little nervous of course. So I called him back after dinner and found out that I will be a Zone Leader in the Stevensville Zone! I suppose I am super excited and nervous at the same time. I'm sure I will do great! This also means I am going back to Corvallis, where I got doubled in there last year in January and was only there for 3 weeks. Back in the day when it was still in the Missoula Zone. Stevensville became its own Zone back in August and Corvallis is now a Zone Leader Area. So my new companion is Elder Black who I have never met before. All I know about him is he is from Arizona and has been out 14 months I believe? So this should be an interesting transfer. Luckily I know what my responsibility as a Zone Leader as I've spent a quarter of my mission with Zone Leaders haha.

So yesterday Brother George, our ward mission leader, took us out to see people which we didn't have that much success but was good. Afterward we ate dinner at his place where he lives halfway between Powell and Cody. He showed us around his dairy farm and all the cows and all the food they feed the cows. I learned that cows are on a strict diet and are heavily monitored. They just got new technology that shows what the cows should be eating and how much. It also shows how much money they lose if they mess up the diet. He said in one month they lost at least $60,000 which is insane! So that was cool and interesting fact.

It's been freezing here and there's lots and lots of snow. So we have done lots of shoveling for people. My eyelashes started to freeze shut and my eyebrows started growing icicles. That was fun I suppose. haha

Also, we went to an investigator's 1 year old's birthday party which was inside a Baptist Church which was quite interesting as I have never been inside a Baptist church. Birthday party was interesting and fun I suppose. we hope to start teaching the investigator and her family.

I'm sad to leave Powell, only been here a month. It's been great here and I have enjoyed it here. I'm now onto my 17th area and 27th companion! Crazy huh? Well, hope you have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, February 24, 2014

Interview With President Mecham

So the beginning of the week was a bit of an unexpected event. We got a call Monday evening wich we missed but got a voicemail from President Mecham saying he was coming to our Zone to do interviews the next day, which was District Meeting. So Elder Rasmusson lucked out on giving his role play. Instead of us going to our District in Cody we had to go to Lovell District first as that was where President started the interviews. So throughout the Lovell District Meeting missionaries were being pulled out to be interviewed by Elder Rasmusson and Elder Inman first, then by President Mecham. So we were there till 11:30 then we had an hour drive to Lovell to Cody to have an interview with the rest of the Zone. We were there till 4:30. So I was one of the last one to be interviewed and the interview went very well. That will probably be my last interview with President Mecham till my departure interview which is crazy to think about.

Lets see, what else happened this week? Oh yeah, Elder Rasmusson went on Exchanges with the Byron/Lovell 3 Elders for 2 days so it was just me and Elder Inman. We were able to contact several new people that we haven't seen but there in no real progress with them, but we will follow up with them and see how they are doing.

Yesterday after church we went on exchanges with one of the ward members, Brother Gwynn who I went with. He actually has a son serving in the Fresno Mission and is in Fresno right now. Anyway, we went to try and contact several people and pretty much all of them were not home. We then tried a less active, Abe, and we were able to have a good ten minute lesson. Shared a mormon message "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" which is Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. I thought it went very well. Then later in the evening we get a call five times from his girlfriend, who is Jewish, during dinner, (missed the phone call and got a voicemail) saying we couldn't come back to her place, since Abe is living with her, and she said she didn't believe in our faith and all that jazz. So that was kinda unexpected so we will see if we can still meet with Abe since he seems like a really nice guy.

Other than that not a whole lot is happening right now. Hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, February 17, 2014

Zone Training

Well, planning for Zone Training for Elder Inman and Elder Rasmusson was a little hectic. So we were having a new missionary meeting in Worland Tuesday which we were going to go to because since they are Zone Leaders they needed to go to that, then we were going to have our Zone Training here in Powell for Thursday. However, none of that happened the way we were planning it. We got a call from the Assistants late Monday afternoon saying we were going to combine our Zone Training with the Wyoming South Zone in Worland for Tuesday. So we had to let everyone know that it was the next day and not Thursday and that the new missionary meeting was right after Zone Training. The reason was so President Mecham didn't have to make two trips to Wyoming so he was able to see us. So it was crazy for Elder Inman and Elder Rasmusson as they had to get rid of half the assignments they had made and had to coordinate with the Zone Leaders in Wyoming South Zone. It all worked out in the end.

There were very good discussions at the Zone Training. Elder Rasmusson spoke about the importance of Leadership and the Priesthood. How the organization of the church is set up. How we have Bishops, then stake Presidents, area seventies, apostles, and then Prophet, then God. And how the mission is set up the same way, District Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, Zone Leaders, Assistants, then President Mecham, Prophets, then God. He explained the role of Leadership and why they were there. How it isn't about the person, but about the Office. For example, it isn't Elder Rasmusson who is instructing the Zone, but it is the Zone Leader who is instructing the Zone. Hope that makes sense. Also how these callings aren't about power or a ladder, but where the Lord needs you to be. Really good discussion.

Elder Inman spoke about how we can find happiness in our mission. What I can remember is he related Alma when he goes to the city of Ammonihah, i believe? Anyway, they rejected Alma and he was about to leave and found out he isn't being transfered! Instead, he got a new companion, Amulek. He related that sometimes we feel we've done all we can in an area and we want to leave, but we get disappointed when we find out we are staying with a new companion. How Alma was able to find success and we could too if we have a good attitude.

I can't really remember what the other spoke on. We then stayed for the new missionary meeting which went well. So we were in Worland from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. So that was fun.

The rest of the week didn't go so well. One of the part member family we have on date got sick so we couldn't see them, but we were able to read the Book of Mormon with them last night and are doing well. The other part member family the husband, who is not a member is in North Dakota right now, so we couldn't meet with them. Everyone else was not home or wouldn't answer the door this week.

Sunday our Ward mission leader, Brother George, took us out to see people. We found a new less active couple and had a good lesson. Invited them to church. They have 3 kids sealed in the temple, they have never gone to the temple, so we made that their goal with them to get sealed with their kids. Brother George is awesome! His father also just got a call to be a mission President in Mexico and leaves in April. Anyway, things are going great! Hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Ashcroft

Elder Ashcroft wiping the snow off the car.

Monday, February 10, 2014

YSA Fireside

So, we were really busy this week which is a good thing. So our AP, Elder Payne, challenged us to put two investigators on baptismal date this week as we had 6 progressing investigators but none were on date. So we were able to put 3 people on date! Both are part member families. Unfortunately we then found out one that we put on date is 8 who we thought was 9 so that won't be a convert baptism. So that family is the Young family and the wife is not a member and the husband is being reactivated. They are so great and every time we go over to their home we have an amazing spiritual lesson. They also agreed to let us come over every evening to read the Book of Mormon with them. It is great being able to teach them!

We also have another part member family, the Rackness family, where the husband is not a member but the wife is. They have been coming to church every Sunday and have two little kids. Brother Rackness has very little knowledge as to religion and didn't grow up with any particular faith. So we had a very good lesson on the Godhead and about prayer. He is an amazing guy and a great family. We committed them to read the Book of Mormon every day as a family which he is doing. He leaves to work for North Dakota tomorrow so he agreed to have a lesson over Skype with us while he is there in North Dakota for 2 weeks. So that is super awesome.

So yesterday the Powell YSA ward which the Sisters cover had a fireside to help them get motivated for missionary work. President Mecham was going to be there and speak but things came up and he couldn't make it to Powell. So President Hopkins (First Counselor to President Mecham) and his wife, who live in Powell, spoke at the fireside. That was really good to listen to them speak. We also listened to a recent convert of last Saturday tell his conversion story. Then the fellowshipper also spoke about how she helped him join the church. So that was really cool. Then afterward we split up into 6 groups and we missionaries taught them the Restoration. We had 4 other sets of missionaries come up for the fireside. Anyway, that was really cool to be able to teach the Restoration to YSA.

Things are going very well and we are finding and contacting people here in Powell. We have fantastic Ward Mission Leaders for both the Wards we serve in.

So we are planning on playing basketball this afternoon, we invited the Youth to play, mainly because we invited a less active kid, and the Byron Elders are coming up and the Sisters are joining us in playing as well. Going to be a lot of people playing, that should be really fun. Have a fantastic week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, February 3, 2014

Powell, WY

Well, this been a pretty cold week and it is going to be a lot worse this week, going to be below 0 several days this week. I made it to Powell Wednesday as Elder Rasmusson and Elder Inman were in Helena for Leadership Council Meeting Tuesday and didn't get back till Wednesday. So Powell is a College Town and we cover Powell 1 & 3. The Sisters cover the YSA and Powell 2 ward. Elder Rasmusson is from Reno, Nevada and has been out 7 months. Elder Inman is from Surprise, AZ and has been out a year. They are great missionaries and I love them a lot! We have several people we are working with and the members here are great! We are picking up more and more people to teach as we are focusing on finding as well as on the people we do have.

Wow, my mind is blank right now, can't think what else happened this week. Oh yeah, so the Sisters, Sister Romrell and Sister Randell had a baptism Saturday. Their investigator called them Friday saying he wanted to be baptized Saturday and he been taught everything. So they had a day to invite people and to make the program, which turned out really nice. It was actually a really good baptism and good attendance considering just a day's notice! It is always nice to attend a baptism service.

So, being with Zone Leaders is great as I get to know what is happening in the Zone. So in the past this Zone had a bad history and not a lot of success and missionaries not doing what they should be doing. So there have been huge changes here and there are great things happening in the Zone now. Also, I have been helping Elder Rasmusson and Elder Inman as they are both new to being Zone Leaders and still learning. Even though I haven't been Zone Leader I have had experience being around them quite often. This is my fifth time being companions with Zone Leaders. I enjoy being companions with Zone Leaders a lot as they are obedient and are always awesome to be around as well!

One of the coolest things about being a missionary is free hair cuts. I will be getting a hair cut this week which I am looking forward to. Also, there is a member here who is a dentist and he offered to clean our teeth. So we just have to set up an appointment. So I'm looking forward to that as well. Also, I did service for a less active in redoing his house and he works with hearing aids, so he offered to clean my hearing aids for free and he is going to give me hearing aid batteries as well! So that is really cool. Being a missionary definitely has benefits and blessings.

Well that is all, hope you have a wonderful week!

Elder Ashcroft

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rough Week


So a lot of things have been happening this week and a lot of struggles. One thing is, I lost my wallet on Tuesday and have not been able to find it. I have been praying and fasting to find it, but haven't been able to find it yet. I also lost my oil vial which I'm disappointed in, I feel lost with out my oil vial as I have many opportunities to give blessings.

This week as also been very slow and we haven't done a whole lot of work. We did however have a baptism on Saturday and confirmation Sunday. That was really neat to be a part of. Also, Chris who was baptized the week before and got ordained the Aaronic priesthood was able to go to the Temple Saturday for baptisms for the dead. So that is pretty much the highlight of the week.

So I just got off the phone with President Mecham and I will most likely be leaving Thermopolis and be going to Powell and be with the Zone Leaders there in the Wyoming North Zone. So it will most likely happen this week. I am not sure how I feel about this yet, not quite sure who the Zone Leaders are up there and who would be my companions yet. I am on my way to my 13th area and my 25th and 26th companion. Super Crazy!

Anyway, that is my week, hope yours turned out better than mine!

Elder Ashcroft

Well, just got a call and I am expected to pack up my stuff today and to leave for Powell, WY and leaving Thermopolis. I'm quite surprised! Was definitely not expecting this. Hope all goes well.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Transfer News

Well, we received transfer call Sunday and found out I will be staying here in Thermopolis with Elder Anthony and Elder Anglin still. So I am super happy about that. Elder Anthony and Elder Croteau are still our Zone Leaders. So Elder Croteau is still in Riverton with Elder Clark, so the Zone Leaders are split apart.

I love it here in Thermopolis as there is so much work going on here and the members are great and very supportive! Just this last Saturday we had a baptism for Chris and he was confirmed Sunday. Elder Anglin was also able to give him the Aaronic Priesthood Sunday as well so he can go on the temple trip with the youth this Saturday! Chris is so awesome!

We have another baptism this Saturday as well which we are looking forward to. We also have 6 other people on date here in Thermopolis! So much happening here which makes me happy!

I'm sad to hear that Keenan has passed away. I wish I could do something but I'm out here on a mission. Hope the funeral goes well. My prayers are to the Paul Family.

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, January 13, 2014


District in Riverton

Elder Anthony & Elder Anglin


Well, I don't know if you heard, but I got transferred to Thermopolis to be with Elder Anthony and Elder Anglin. I left Riverton Tuesday and have been in Thermopolis all week. Transfer will actually happen next week so I'm curious as to what will happen to me. Anyway, I love it here in Thermopolis! There is so much work going on here. We will be having a baptism this Saturday which should be exciting. I love how there is so much work to do here. I also love Elder Anthony and Elder Anglin. We call ourselves AAA  hahaha  

We just have so much fun together and so many jokes. So the other day during personal study, I was messing with Elder Anglin and kept moving his cup when he wanted to pour some juice. So he slammed the jug down and the cap came off and Juice went flying everywhere soaking me wet and Elder Anthony. It was just really funny. Anyway, there is a lot of fun within our companionship.

This week should be good as we have Zone Training this week here in Thermopolis. I'm super excited for that. Well, that is all I can think of right now. Hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

Well, another year come and gone and a new year has begun. New Years was good, we first went to the ward hangout party, we were there for only 10 minutes, then we left to go to the college branch party, not going to lie, it is weird hanging out with people your age as a missionary. So we only stayed there for like 15 minutes, then we went to our house and the Dubois Elders came with us and we played Ticket to Ride, which I haven't played in forever! I of course won Ticket to Ride. :) Then after that the Elders left and we went to bed at 11.

Other than that not much happened again this week since I got sick again... this time I got the stomach bug and was throwing up for several days. So pretty much stuck inside the house all day. Luckily, our mission is allowed to watch 17 Miracles and Ephraim Rescue. So we watched those, it was my first time seeing Ephraim Rescue and that is such a wonderful movie! And I got to sleep and read scriptures a lot. That is always good.

Well, something cool happened this week. So we have no investigators right now, but we get this call from Mark, who Elder Linton was teaching before I got here, dropped the missionaries and I have never met him. Anyways, he called and said he wanted to meet with us. So we are going to see him this evening. Elder Linton said Mark is in his early 30's and he inherited millions of dollars from is relative, but lives in a trailer. So I am curious to meet him and sounds like he is interested. The funny thing is, he came to church two or three times since I have been here, but always when we are up in Shoshoni. So I hope this meeting goes well.

Hope you have a fantastice week! Love you all!

Elder Ashcroft