Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Rd
Billings, MT 59102

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