Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102

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