Sunday, December 14, 2014

11/24/14

Well there hasn't been a whole lot that has been going on but we were able to see Meet the Mormon's at a ZTM.
We have been working with Deanne Woods to be able to start teaching there family. It is going slow but atleast it is going. Satan is working on Clint, her husband, very hard and it seems like he might prevent any of the family from learning. Any prayers in behalf of the Woods family would be greatly appreciated.
 
Other than that we are just trying to plant some seeds in everyone's heart her in Winner and give them a good look at the church. We are waiting for some seeds to grow, and find those that have already been planted and are ready to be harvested.
Elder Ashcroft

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11/3/14

This week on Thursday we had a Multi-Zone Conference in Rapid City. Our visiting General Authority was Marcus B. Nash of the seventy. It was really great. My companion got to have a personal interview with him. One of the things that I got out of his training is we all have weaknesses and we might continually fall into the same temptations making us not perfect. Meaning in other words we are not being obedient but if we practice diligence and continually try to overcome our weaknesses and temptations we can overcome them. All God really asks of us is to be diligent so that we can become obedient!
 
On Friday for Halloween we had a district dinner. It was really fun! It was a pumpkin dinner meaning that the food was cooked inside the pumpkin. We listened to Christmas music while we were waiting for the food to cook! After the food we carved pumpkins. Some made a Santa figurine and 
I just made a snowflake ornament (or at least the first stages of one).
 
This week before going to church we got a phone call from someone asking where the church was. I found out, once getting to church it was Amy Koch. She bore her testimony about how I taught her how to pray and how it changed her life! It was really great to know that I was able to help the Lord by being an instrument in his hands to help her come closer to him!
Overall not a bad week!

 

 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

10/27/14

This week at correlation meeting I was able to meet the Branch President and ask him personally what and who he wants us to focus on. He gave us a couple names of people to see and told us that he wanted us to focus our efforts on doing service in the community. To use it as our main source of finding. So we will be continuing to look for service opportunities in the community so we can find those that are prepared to receive the message of the Restoration here in Winner. 
Hopefully we will be able to start to see some fruits come from doing service and find those whom the Lord has prepared at this time to receive this message! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10/20/14

Well I was transferred this week to Winner, SD. We cover 2 units Winner and Rosebud Reservation. I am serving in the last District in the US. My companion is Elder Curtis he has been out one transfer less than me.

10/13/14

This week was great. We were able to have our first lesson with Jerry Damon. He is pretty much a "Dry Mormon." He said that he is looking for a spouse with the same standards that he has. We thought to ourselves, "well you came to the right place." He keeps asking when church starts so he can make sure that he doesn't miss it. He was even taking down notes so he could remember. He even wrote down his commitments. I was giving the account of the First Vision and as I said the words "Joseph.....This is my Beloved Son hear him" chills ran down my back. It was another reconfirmation to me that Joseph Smith was God's chosen prophet to restore His Gospel to the earth.
 
 
Later this week Jerry gave us a call and saying he was reading the material that you gave and had a few question for us. "What is my purpose here on earth?" He wanted us to think of that answer for when we meet on Saturday. That was really awesome! We told him thats exactly what we were going to talk about and that we have the answer for him.
 
On Saturday we taught Jerry the Plan of Salvation one of the scriptures that I used to explain our purpose here on earth was Alma 12:24. Later tonight Jerry, Rodney and Steven will all be coming to a convert baptism.
On Sunday, just as we thought Jerry was there. At the lesson on Monday we had Bro's Faustin and Renken sit in. It was really great both of them to show up. Being recent converts they expressed to him how he could have his prayers answered. To know that this is the true church on the earth today. We invited him to be baptized and we set a goal with him for the 22nd of November. He said that he would set it as the goal but if he wasnt ready by then that it would be pushed back. He committed to try for it though. Brother Faustin then asked him again how he felt at church. Jerry said that he felt peace and joy. We read him Galations 5:22 and said that he just expressed in his own words that his prayers had been answered!

Saturday was transfer calls. I will be going to Winner, SD covering Rosebud Reservation. This is one of the few areas that covers 2 units and I am serving in the last district in the US. My new companion is Elder Curtis he came out 1 transfer after me.
 
 Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls
 District in Sioux Falls
 Fall in Sioux Falls
 Hay we unloaded for the Zoo in Sioux Falls
Scenery in Sioux Falls

Monday, October 6, 2014

10/6/14

This week we made a special effort to share scriptures regarding Prophets and Apostles to everyone that we come in contact with. We also give out the information regarding General Conference and invite them to attend. Last week we had a secretary at the church give us a name and number of a man, Jerry Damon. He was wanting to learn more about the church. I took the note with the information and called him. Gratefully Jerry lives in our area. I asked him what made him want to learn about our church. He said he had a friend in California that is a member and he was happy. He wanted to learn how he could have that happiness in his life as well. We set up a time to meet with him at the church and gave him a church tour. We then invited him like everyone else to come to General Conference. He ended up coming and we introduced him to a few members to get fellowshipping going. I am very excited to be able to teach him this upcoming week!
 
 
While we were walking to the library for media hour this week we found an old lady that had fallen. Had we not been there at the exact time she probably would have laid there hurting until someone else walked out of the library. Heavenly Father is mindful for each of his children to put us in that exact place at that exact time to be able to help this women.

Companion Picture


9/15/14

On Sunday night we to see if Andy and Patience were home to teach them a quick lesson. They weren't home so we decided to go for a walk to see who we could talk to outside. We walked for awhile then it was time to head home for dinner. We walked past a person we met a few days ago. Elder Hale was talking about how he is nibling on the bait and now we got to slowly reel him in. I said, "that's not fishing thats hunting. Fishing is when THEY come to US." Right after I said this we looked behind us and saw a teenage kid on a bike. Later we learned his name was Garrett Masters. He asked if we were Mormon Missionaries. When we said yeah he then ask asked if we had a Book of Mormon. He is Lutheran but wants to learn more about the church. We gave him a Book of Mormon with our card and a Restoration pamphlet. It was really awesome! Hopefully his parents will have an open heart and mind so we could teach the whole family. It was a really great experience to make up for a really bad week!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

9/8/14

This week we were able to meet with Rodney Borth and Steven Tagle. They are friends and they both came to church the previous week. They are showing interest in the lessons. Rodney invited Steven to come up from Texas to work for him. Rodney has been looking into the church for quiet a while now. He has been working with various members of the congregation. Such as, Brothers, Bertelsen and Renken. They live in the sisters area but they are single adult men so we will be teaching them. The lesson went great and Rodney said that he was excited for the next one. Its good too because he has lots of questions. The great thing about him is that he is not afraid to interrupt and ask his question, which is perfect!

We also met with Darryl Blakey. We met before but were unable to talk at the time. The other Elders reffered him to us because he lives in our area. He is a 48 year old African that speaks English. He grew up in the Methodist church. When we called him he said yes which we learned later was just to be nice. By the end of the lesson his attitude seemed to change from being nice to actually learning.

We didnt get to teach very many people and other lessons still fell through but we are still doing our work. The week was still good!

Elder Ashcroft

**The next couple of post will be a little older. To get a better idea check the post title date.**

Thursday, August 21, 2014

8/18/14

Towards the end of this week we started going through the Less Acitve list. We have started teaching all the Less Active members in our area. The Stake President has ask us to share the Plan of Salvation with every member. After the message we ask for referrals so we can hopefully increase our teaching pool.
 
One of the Less Actives that we visited was Melissa Johnson,.During the lesson at the end we invtied her to just come to sacrement if nothing else. We told her we know this can help all of her burdens to be relieved. The spirit was so strong that she started crying. It was a really amazing lesson!
 
During our lesson with Homer Cook, he told us how he had been praying. As he was ending his prayer we walked by. That was when he chased us down and told us he wanted to turn a new leaf. It was really amazing to see how God directed his life. Helping guide us to that particular place at the exact time so as he could receive the help that he needed.
 
Elder Ashcroft

8/11/14

James Muchow- this week when we were talkig with James about the importance of getting rid of his rated "R" movies the spirit was really strong. It seemed like it started to click and make sense with him. I think that with the help of Brother Oakes, who himself had to give them up, he will be able to do it. He was on date to be baptized this Saturday but we are going to have to push it back. We want to make sure that his testimony is stronger before he is baptized.
 
Derrick Weaver- will be back this weekend. He is on date to be baptized next week. He has missed a lot of lessons, due to being gone to camp for 3 weeks, we are going to push his back as well. We will be meeting with him this upcoming Sunday.
 
Kim and Gordon- are a young couple with 4 kids and another on the way. We tracted into them. I love them so much already and we haven't. We haven't even taught them yet. We have only sat down with Kim and told her about the message we share. I hope to be able to teach them with their super busy schedule. While we were over there she told us that she needs the kids to be in Sunday school. I know that if they will start keeping the commandments that they will be able to find a better job and start providing for their family. Then be able to spend more time together as a couple.
 
Quanah Reid- this week while we were talking to her I got the impression to ask if she knew that Jospeh Smith was a prophet and if The Book of Mormon is true. She told us that she did not. I explained to her that our entire message depends upon these 2 things. If she knows one to be true then she will know that everything else that we teach is true. We invited her to read a designated chapter out of The Book of Mormon and then to pray and ask.
 
Andy, Edward, Patience, Naomi- this week we were able to teach Patience and Naomi and make them new investigators so that we could start teaching them all together! We taught them The Restoration.
 
Rich Fredricks- while talking with Rich, he told us of his desire to quit smoking. We told him that we have a 12 step program that will help him quit in a week. He was really excited for it and is starting to open up a little at a time. Hopefully, through this we will be able to share the message of The Restoration with him. He is a really awesome guy!
 
Elder Ashcroft

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

8/4/14

-James Muchow is doing good. We have not been able to work with him recently regarding his addiction to rated R movies. Our mission president has said that for him to be able to be baptized he needs to either one destroy them or two sell them to a pawn shop.

7/28/14

Well this week was awesome! We had the highest lessons we have had in this area, which was double the highest number we got last transfer. It is great to see the area start to take off.
 
On Sunday we got to go teach Andy and Edward The Restoration. We are hoping to be able to teach Patience and Juliana this upcoming Saturday!
 
Derrick is doing great we taught him about some of the commandments. He is on date for Aug. 23rd. We would be able to be baptized alot sooner but he has so many camps. He is getting pretty excited especially from going to another baptism and feeling the spirit so strong there.
 
This week we got a referral for a 28 year old guy named James Muchow. We have been meeting with him 3 times a week, which is really awesome, and the most that I have ever met with an investigator. We leave him like 3 commitments each time we have a lesson, including to find people who would like to hear the message of the restoration. He finishes all the commitments within the 2 days before his next lesson. He said that he is feeling closer to God by doing all the things that we are leaving him to do. James is on date for baptism for Aug. 16th.
 
We also got a referral from a lady named Quanah Reid. She actually referred herself. She looked across the park one day and saw us walking across the way. When she was online awhile later she looked us up. She  had met with missionaries a long time ago and wanted to try it again. We left her with a lot of scriptures about how our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate and distinct individuals. We then invited her to read and pray about them. She needs to get over the hurdle of the Trinity before we can teach her anything else. It is really awesome that she is open to learning and doesn't just mentally "close the door"!

.:Baptism:.

Gary Hoffman

Sunday, July 20, 2014

7/14/14

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

7/7/14

On Monday we gave Bro. Bertelsen a call to give us a ride to get groceries. We are in a walking area so it makes it kinda hard to shop. Next thing we know we are on a trolley at Falls Park, going on a tour of historic downtown Sioux Falls. He then took us to lunch at a diner, which was really good. I was stuffed after! Then we got back on the trolley, finished the tour, went to the falls and walked around to take some pictures. Finally, after all of that he took us to get our groceries. He had heard us mention we were going bowling for the rest of Pday and he gave us money to pay for some of our games. He really taught me a lot about being giving and helping others around you.
 
For the 4th of July our mission president allowed us to stay out and watch fireworks. We still had to wake up on time the next morning. It was really fun we went to the Thorins and watched them light fireworks, then they had a video Helicopter that they were flying to video the fireworks. It was really awesome and a very fun day spending the time with members, and nonmembers. The whole day I was thinking of the freedom that this country gives us to be able to "worship" how, where and what we may.
 
On Saturday we were invited to go to a funeral of a little African girl. She was a little under 3 years old that passed away for no reason. At the funeral it was really sad seeing how almost everyone, that did not have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, thought this was the end. The one thing that was really amazing was they were all dressed completely in white. It was the neatest thing to see. After the funeral invited a few people to come to church the following day with the thought that we could eventually teach them of the comfort and peace that Plan of Salvation can give.
 
Speaking of which, we were able to teach Derrick the Plan of Salvation. We had Bro. Oakes with us, which was really great, and he pointed out a scripture regarding the Spirit World in the Bible. This was one of the things that Derrick was questioning the most about our religion. He also said that he went to his pastor and couldn't fine any scriptures in the Bible supporting the Trinity. He wanted to know what our belief was regarding it so we reviewed the first vision with him.
 
Finally we are able to teach the Darsaw family. We watched the Restoration video with them. They still have confusion due to some of their African culture and beliefs so it is going to be a little bit more of a process. We would like their entire family to be baptized together so this could be hard but we wont give up. I don't want to deal with that guilt when I stand before the Savior at the last day and have to explain why I gave up on helping his children receive his gospel.
 
Elder Ashcroft 

Brian Sanders got baptized!!



.:PICTURES:.

 Car dealership building we were picking up out of the creek.

Tornado Cleanup
 
Manuel Cabrera
 
 Snappin Turtle!
 
Wessington Springs Service; Sister Johnson & Sister Sumsion

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

PICTURES COMING SOON!!!

Elder Ashcroft has sent pictures. They will be posted soon!

6/30/14

Last week we spent whole week out working as hard as we could "finding" We used up almost every hour of the day and had no visible success whatsoever. This week was alot better. On Monday all the missionaries in the Brookings and Sioux Falls Zones got together and helped clean up a tornado. It went through Wessington Springs this time. It was a really great opportunity to help the community and we were even able to share a little about our beliefs with a guy that was with the army there.
 
On Tuesday, we did service at the Sertoma Butterfly House and Marine Cove. It is pretty awesome there. It is a tide pool where they teach people about the sea life that exists in that type of habitat. Part of what they teach them is how to touch the animals. My favorite is in the marine cove. We helped teach people about the sharks and stingrays. There was another place called "the flight room." We helped in there also to answer questions that people have about butterflies....and we make sure there weren't any excapees!
 
On Thursday, we had our first lesson here in Sioux Falls. It was with a recent convert and her husband. We read about Lehi's Dream and then had a discussion about it as to understand it better. When we finished there we made our way over to the Petty family. They had invited us over for Root Beer Floats! It was really awesome to just have desert and get to talk about missionary work.
 
On Friday, morning I recieved a phone call that my bike had been stolen in my last area. We decided to go to the thrift store to see bike prices. On the way we passed by a car lot. I saw that there was a key left in one of the truck doors. I went in and told a worker guy that it was left in the door, pretty simple, then we left. We were headed on our way again but as we were walking I saw a few more cars with keys in them. I decided to double check that this wasn't on purpose and went and told the guy about it. While in the talking to him this last time he asked us if we had a Book of Mormon on us. He had a friend wanting to find a church and thought he would get one for them. After talking to him for a little while he then asked for a Book of Mormon for himself, because he wasn't a member himself, and would like to learn more. He also mentioned he might have some referrals for us too. This nonmember is doing better missionary work then most of the members.
 
After, talking with Aaron, the guy at the car lot, we continued on to the thrift store. We were given bus tickets so we decided to take that home. While on the ride there was a lady behind me that had a little daughter. When exciting the bus I simple said, "here this is for you" and handed her a Plan of Salvation Pamphlet with our card in it. That one small trip to the thrift store was surely inspired.
 
On Saturday, we went out to Humbolt for a ward clean up for a differnt tornado. I was with a different group and while we were there a man pulled up with backhoe for us to load but then left. I asked if we were supposed to be using it to make the work faster and easier. Another guy asked if I knew how to drive it. I was like Yeah! (yeah what I didn't say was that I pushed the controls for all of about 10 minutes while sitting on my cousins lap) He told me to hop up in there and for the next little bit I operated the backhoe. It was pretty fun I picked up the piles they would make and hauled them off to the burn pile. IT WAS AWESOME!!
 
That night we were able to meet with Derrick Weaver.He is a decendent of Jospeh Smith and has alot of questions about the church. We were bale to teach him the Restoration and he came to church on Sunday along with Abraham, Mark and Sam.
 
On Sunday, we were able to finally get in with Abraham and his family to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and how through the Priesthood there family could be together forever! There is Thomas, Emma, Abraham is 19, Issac is 15, Samuel is 14, and Mark is 10. I will be really awesome if there whole family can all be baptized together. I am very excited for them. I already am feeling a love for them even with only teaching one lesson!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

6/16/14

Hello from Sioux Falls, yup, you guessed it I've been transferred again! My new companion, Elder Hale and I are opening a new area in Sioux Falls. It's really awesome with trees, grass, and even houses. We cover some really nice neighborhoods. I am excited to get the area going!
 
Tuesday we went down to Dickinson, ND by 11:00 am and didn't arrive at our apartment in Sioux Falls until 11:00 pm. That made for a pretty long day.
 
Wednesday was pretty much getting groceries and going to the district meeting. Then we had a meeting with the sisters to find out our area boundaries. They gave us the records for all the people in our area which was good we didn't come into it completly empty.
 
Thursday we went to a huge city park and tried doing some finding. We decided to walk around the park pathway and this girl said, "you sure are dressed up nice to be coming to a park." This was a great opening so we went over and talked to her about what we do as missionaries.
 
Friday we went did service at the Butterfly House. On the way home, before our lesson, we were looking for a quick bite to eat. I saw a mall and thought that they might have a food court so we went inside and started looking around. While we were looking around a man saw that we were kinda lost and asked what we were looking for. I told him and then he followed up by telling us he was a "Born Again Chirstian." He started to ask us questions and things almost like a bible bash! I pulled out the scriptures and was able to explain many truths to him. I bore my testimony to him multiple times and told him that if he read and prayed with an open heart he would come to know himself. Such as Elder Hale and I and fifteen million other people have done.
 
***Elder Hale wrote a pretty good narrative of how our conversation went with this man. His story below.***
 
So one day my companion and I were heading back to our apartment to get a ride to a less active members house to help them get to church. We decided we were gonna find something fast to eat on the way. Nothin was really sticking out and we were short on time. Then we saw this mall right by us and decided to try it.
As we entered we walked a little ways in. To our disappointment there were no food stands or fast foods available. A guy named Paul asked us if we needed anything. We told him that we were looking for something fast to eat and thought this mall might have somethin. He shook his head and said, "sorry to disappoint you but this mall has nothin of the sort other than the restraunts on the side of it." We told him yeah we kinda figured.
Paul then said, "are you witnesses?" We replied "no" and told him we are Mormon missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint. He then said , " I know you guys, I've talked to one of you before." We like said "really? What did they say?" He then responded, "now I know that what I'm about to say your gonna agree with most of the things I believe in. Like being Christians and believing in a one God. But you believe in multiple Gods and contradict yourselves."
Paul continued saying, "there's no 3 beings but one God only." (The Trinity)
Elder Ashcroft responded, "I can point several scriptures in the bible that say they are 3 distinct beings." One of the scriptures we turned to was in Acts 7:54-55. Then Elder Ashcroft brought up the account of Christ resurrection and when he appeared unto Mary Magdalene. And made a response to her saying, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended unto the Father." Elder Ashcroft then asked him, "how would you interpret that?" I was looking at Paul and could tell he was stumped a bit. I then was observing Elder Ashcroft. With how he kept cool and collective and kept his demeanor. I was really impressed on how Paul came back at us with all these questions that would confound us, but instead of him trying to confound us, we confounded him. What really got him thinking was when we got to baptism. Elder Ashcroft told him that only by the proper authority can we be baptized. Paul said, "I have been baptized by my Pastor." Elder Ashcroft replied, "where did he get his line of authority?" Paul was silent. Elder Ashcroft then said, "I can trace my line of authority all the way back to Christ through Peter, James, and John." Paul then said, "wow, I haven't heard this before from the missionaries." He was puzzled. Im looking at Elder Ashcroft and saying to myself, go Elder Ashcroft. I could feel the spirit real strongly. We then gave him a restoration pamphlet and Elder Ashcroft said, "we cannot convince you of the truth ourselves. All we can do is help give you the tools to get there. I myself was a convert and learned this of myself as well as Elder Hale. And if you open your heart and mind and truly ask with sincere prayer God will testify to you with the Holy Spirit." Paul was so takin back that he had more questions. I told him we'd love to talk some more but we were pressed on time. So, we set another time that we'd come back. And that was our fun little adventure. :)
By: Elder Hale
 
***Now retuning to Elder Ashcroft's blog report.***
 
Saturday it was raining really bad and if you know me then you know that I hate sitting around. So even though it was raining I said Elder lets get to know our area and get a good journal entry in. Sure enough the rain started coming down and we were pretty wet and I took of my coat off sense I was sweating! Elder Hale said, "Thank you Heavenly Father, I feel so clean!!" It was hilarious we had a great laugh
 
After Church on Sunday we went and followed up with the refferals that we had gotten. One of which is an African family. One of the boys name is Abraham and he is one of four kids in his family. We left him with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and told him after he talks to his family to call us so we could teach the whole family. Abraham is really open and willing to learn I hope his parents hearts will be softened.
 
Elder Hale and I are getting along great we are having lots of fun and laughs and are tearit up. I can't wait to see the success that is going to take place over the next few transfers!
 
Thank you all for reading and writing me and all the prayers that you have sent in my behalf.
-Love Elder Ashcroft

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

6/2/14

We were supposed to proselyte on Monday but due to it being Memorial Day we went to the Cook's for dinner. While we were over there it all of a sudden started hailing really bad. The hail was as large as a marble. A tornado touched down that same day and destroyed a members trailer. The Cooks invited them to spend the night at there house. Then Tuesday morning, even though it was Pday, we went and helped the Dewitts gather anything that was salvageable after the tornado. Surprisingly they were able to save quiet a bit. Thankfully no one was killed in the tornado. There were only 3 injured but last report was they are doing well. After all that mess, Wednesday, we went over and did a baptismal interview simulation with Kaleb and Claira. This is done so they would know what it was going to be like and what they needed to review before their interview on Friday. Thursday we watched The Restoration with Gary at the Kelly's. It love being able to go around and hear all the thoughts and feelings. Listening to what stuck out to them, in a way, allows us to look into their heart and mind. On Friday after District Meeting we had exchanges. I was in Killdeer with Elder Chugg so Elder Goodwin could go perform the Baptismal Interview in Watford City. We switched back Saturday for the baptism. It was good to see Kaleb and Claira's Aunt and cousins, who are non members, even took the time to come down and support them. I really think the baptism softened Bro. Nelson's heart. Hopefully enough he might want to take the lessons again. That way he and his family can work on being sealed together. Melissa, their aunt seemed like she is opening up to learning as well! All around the baptism was a great experience for everyone!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

5/16/14

On Monday and Friday we had lessons with Kaleb and Claira to help make sure that they are ready for baptism on the 31st. We went over the baptismal interview questions, and reviewed the things that we have taught them. On Thursday we got a new investigator, his name is Manuel Cabrera Aaron. A RM invited him to come to church when he saw him fishing at Arnegard Dam. He ended up coming to church Sunday and then we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ on Thursday at the Pinto home. The library here in Watford City is being remodeled so we have been helping them move their furniture and books etc. It has taken up a lot of out time but it looks really good now.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

5/19/14

This week we had Zone Conference on Tuesday we woke up at 4:00 and were on the rode by 5:00 and we didn't get back until 12:00 that made for a long day, but it was good i was able to receive alot of personal revelation which was awesome! President and Sister Anderson taught together about Eternal Marriage it was really great because this is something that my mind has been thinking alot about lately and i was able to have many questions answered! 

At church we had a Hispanic man come all because someone invited him. His name is Manuel Cabrera, we are going to set something up this week to start teaching him. The members have been doing a lot of member missionary work lately. We have a few potential investigators, which is really awesome and sorely needed!

On Monday night, at 2:00 am I heard a few people next door screaming and yelling at each other because i couldn't sleep anyways. After awhile of this yelling I heard them making threats at each other. I called the police and they things were taken care of. I learned a valuable lesson last night. The lesson that I learned was that when our families are centered around Jesus Christ and we follow the teachings of the prophets our homes are filled with love peace joy happiness and comfort. Unlike the contention hatred yelling and screaming that was heard from the room next door. If they believed in the prophet they would not have drank their alcohol. By not drinking they would have not had the argument that they had which is what brought in the spirit of contention and hatred. As I look at the home that I grew up in I am grateful because we were following Jesus Christ and his prophets I was able to feel loved and safe at home.

If you know of someone that could benefit from this please share it with them. That they might be able to receive the same blessings of love and comfort, peace, joy and happiness in their homes as many of the Latter Day Saint homes have! The only way nonmembers can have love, joy, peace and happiness in their homes is by keeping the commandments, which comes from Jesus Christ and his Prophets. The way for them to receive this is by us as members of Jesus Christ church to open our mouths with love and share why they enjoy this gospel, share the blessings they have seen with love. Invite them to church read The Book of Mormon and listen to message of The Restoration from the Missionaries.

I know that if each member will invite others who are struggling to listen to the missionaries the members doing the inviting and the nonmember hearing the message both will receive blessing to help them in there times of need in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Ashcroft

Monday, May 12, 2014

5/5/14

This week was pretty crazy!
  • We taught Kaleb and Claira about the Word of Wisdom,
  • Went over the Baptismal interview questions with Gary.
  • We set priorities with Rebecca to help her know where to focus her attention on. This way she can start to receive the blessings that our Heavenly Father has in store for her by keeping the Commandments. 
  • To someone else that we are helping to gain a stronger testimony. We talked about how the Savior wants to forgive us after we repent. (In the lesson she opened up and I was able to share with her, through my experience, how I know our Heavenly Father loves us. It was a great lesson and I hope she will be open to doing the things that the spirit directs. That she may be able to feel loved by our Heavenly Father again!)
As for the rest of the week we were moving out of the NASTY basement into our NEW apartment. We are living in the most expensive apartment in the mission. It is really nice for a change. 
Sunday, for Stake Conference Elder's Hillier and Bowen of the Seventy were there to split the stake. There is now the Minot and Bismark stakes. he conference was held in the Municipal Auditorium because there were so members there. It was an amazing experience to see the stake split as a historic event! 
 
***In my future blogs I am going to be doing a weekly scripture. If I get enough comments or emails responding about how they feel or what they think about the scripture then I will continue to do it. I think I will be starting next week.***
 
Love Elder Ashcroft
 
 
We were able to take to Elder Ashcroft on Sunday, with it being Mother's Day and all. Best time spent as a family by far. Thankful for the technology we have but even more thankful for the old school speaker phone. Our Skype went down 10 minutes into the call. We spent some time trying to get things working but in all decided to resort to the phone. It was almost better this way no other distractions just talking. Although, in the short time we were able to see him, it was good seeing that he is eating well. The voice and spunky personality was all we needed. Sitting on the couch as a family, listening to Andy talk our ears off about absolutely nothing and no one else getting a word in edge wise was priceless. We are excited, as is he, for the next 9 months as he works with these families and calls on Christmas, for the last time, and comes home 2 months later. Thanks to all the support in Andy's behalf and to the member families that have taken him in.
Love The Ashcrofts

Thursday, May 1, 2014

4/21/14 & 4/28/14

Sorry everybody who has been keeping up on my blog for the missed report last week. It was one hectic p-day! But here is a quick update!
 
Gary has been taught all of the commandments lessons and now ready for baptism! He is taking baptism very serious and wants to meet with the Branch President before to make sure that he is completely worthy/ready to be baptized.
 
We had a lesson with the Howells on Joseph Smith. We showed him were he can get the true information rather than false doctrine.
Kaleb and Claira are on to the commandments lessons now. They are doing great and I think they are getting more excited each day.
This week we started moving out of our apartment. In the process I noticed that my elbow was hurting pretty bad. The next day it was really red and I was feeling sick. As the days go on it seems to be getting even more red. We are thinking that it might have been a bite. The Dr. wanted to monitor if it spreads and further.


 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

sUrPrIsEd

Monday we had the opportunity to hear from a member family that has taken a liking to Elder Ashcroft. He was at there home at the time and she sent a few pictures of him. The top picture is of her daughter and  the bottom one must be of her son. It wouldn't be Andy if he didn't try betting up some innocent kid. To our understanding the family's Grandfather grew up in Hurricane.
 
 Alex Woodbury
wrestling around


4/14/14

Happy 4/14/14 everybody!!! 
This week we had a pretty cool experience with the priesthood. Brother Pinto asked us for a blessing about a boil that was causing him discomfort. He told us later, he was able to sleep through the night and that next morning the boil was gone. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to preform a blessing and then to hear what came from that blessing. I am so grateful to be a priesthood holder and cant wait until I can bless the members of my family! 
 
On Monday, we were able to teach a 10 year old boy, Kaleb. He told his mom one night that he is ready to get baptized. She got ahold of us so that he can start taking the lessons. The plan is that him and his sister Claira can get baptized together. She is going to be turning 8 on the 26th.
 
On Tuesday, we had a lesson with Gary about the Word of Wisdom. We invited him to live it but he told us he already had been working on that. When we gave him a pamphlet to read it talked about that. He went and got medication right away to help with his problem. He is willing to change anything to follow our savior Jesus Christ, which is so awesome to be able to see the change that is happening in his life. I can't wait to be able to see him go through the temple when he gets married to his wife for eternity.
 
On Thursday, we had a lesson with Rebecca and Dustin about CPR (church, prayer and scripture reading) and how it will feed our Spirits. I promised them that if they would just do these 3 things they would be able to see special blessings the lord has in store for them. 
 
On Friday, we had ZTM in Minot. That took up pretty much our entire day, 5 hours of driving!!!....Yeah we are pretty much tired of sittin' on our hinnies.
At church this Sunday, we were able to get 5 Less Actives to come to church, 2 Investigators and 2 soon to be Investigators.
 It was really great to see that some of our hard work paid off! 
 Elder Wilkinson
Williston District Transfer 1

4/7/2014

Monday
We helped an investigator of ours move out of his apartment. It kinda stinks that he is moving. He is a really great guy that could really use the gospel in his life right now.
Wednesday
Gary taught "US" The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He did a really great job! He even used scriptures that we use as missionaries to teach. It was really awesome!
Friday
We taught Tithing and Fast Offerings to Gary. He is growing so much and absorbing everything that we teach him like a sponge. We are running out of information to through at him. 

Side Note:
One day I was thinking about how we could get the members to be better "Member Missionaries." I received revelation that we need to make a flyer and ask them what "they" would be willing to do to help, rather than us inviting them to do things. We have already started to see success. The members have handed out copies of the Book of Mormon. They have even invited Less Active/Non Members to church and other activities. The work is starting to take off, which is really good, and really needed here in the branch.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

3/31/14

Wednesday we had our first lesson with Gary Hoffman. He accepted the baptismal challenge with a goal to be baptized on May 3rd. He was truly prepared and guided by the hand of the Lord.

Thursday we taught the Howells Family about the Restoration. They are members but are still pretty new to the gospel so they requested the lessons again. Their son Christopher has a hard time learning so we had to break it down really simply for him to understand.

Friday we had our second lesson with Gary. This lesson was on the Plan of Salvation. We asked him if he had done the commitments we had given him and he said he had. Then we asked if had prayed to know if he should be baptized and he said he did...and Then we asked was your prayer answered, and he said, "I believe it was." At lunch on Sunday he said that he loves the feeling he has been getting from the church even for the four weeks that he has been coming. 
 
 
Sunday on the way to church Elder Walker and I were talking about how when Gary will be going through the temple we will be off our missions and be able to go through with him. I am really excited for that day to come! Rebecca made it to church today even though she was super sick. She decided that she was going to follow through with her word and come to church even if she was sick so she could receive the blessings.
 
Overall a pretty good week. Thanks to everyone for all the support.
 
Love Elder Ashcroft

Monday, March 24, 2014

3/24/14

This week we had transfers I got my new companion, Elder Walker. He speaks spanish and came out with me but was in another district so I didn't have the chance to get to know him. This week has been very stressful trying to find a place to live sense we only have till Apr.1. 
We had a very small budget but now thanks to the mission president
 raising our budget opens are a little more widened.
Yesterday, at church, Gary Hoffman came up to me and said he was really excited to get a call from us because he had a lot of questions for us. It was great to hear the excitement so we knew where his interest level is. Gary could probably be baptized in a month!
He has a girlfriend up in Canada and felt that for there relationship to be stronger he would need to learn about the church. He was literally placed in our hands! 
Watford is really amazing. Here the people recognize what is wrong in their life. They give us a call and ask for help in getting their lives back on track. It is has been really amazing and I'm glad that I am able to serve in this area for that reason. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

3/17/2014

Transfer calls were this week my new companion will be Elder Walker. He came out with me but was in a different district. This week we had either all the rest of our investigators move or drop us.

On Sunday, Bro. Homer called me over to meet a guy that he'd been talking to. His name is Gary Hoffman and has made it to church twice now. I had thought that he was a member, but to my surprise he was not. He has been interested in investigating the church. I gave him a Book of Mormon and got his phone number so we could start teaching him. Gary likes a girl that lives in Canada. She is a member, which is the biggest reason he decided to learn about the church. This is another WITNESS that this is the Lords work. Right when almost all of the investigators we were teaching fell off Gary was placed right into our hands without tracting, a referral, or anything.
 
On Thursday, we had a lesson with Rebecca's son Dayvon. He had been having a hard time and hasn't really been desiring to learn about the church. Due to events that occurred in his life this week we was willing to listen. We each told him about our plans for after our missions and what we were planning on doing. The spirit was soo strong I KNOW that he felt it. As I mentioned last week it was another one of those "knife cutting" spirit filled moment.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

3/10/14

This week has been full of UPS and downs with missionary work. We had a investigating family move, and had an investigator dropped us because she got a hold of false doctrine. On the other hand we got a Less Active girl with a non member husband and a referral for a lady and her daughter today. Yesterday, after church we had a lesson with Fritz. We reinvited him to be baptized and explained how he would come to know what we have taught him is true. The work is going rough but hopefully with our challenge to the branch the work will pick up.
While in companionship study we were thinking how we can increase from a teaching pond to a teaching pool. The scripture in Mosiah 28:3 came to mind.
 
It reads: Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
 
After reading this the thought came to mind that we need to have the branch invite those who they come in contact with to come to church. it is a very simple invitation that all members can do. We know that this is what the Lord wants to have happen at this time in the branch.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3/3/14

I was looking back at some of the spiritual lessons I have had on my mission. While thinking of these I remember a lesson in mission prep before I came out. Brother Johnson said to me one day, "Can you feel that? It feels like you can cut 'It' with a knife!? Thats the Spirit." I remember walking out of that lesson saying how much I wish I could be like Brother Johnson. To be able to bring in the Spirit so much that it feels as though you could cut "It" with a knife. While looking back at the spiritual lessons on my mission I have seen many times were that Spirit has been present just as strong and feels as though you could cut "It" with a knife.  I am thankful for each and everyone of them. I pray and express my gratitude to my Father in Heaven for allowing me to have those experiences as well as my investigators as I know that it makes a difference in everyones life!

Friday, February 28, 2014

LETTER

.:Letter from the Russell Family in Chardron:.
 

.:pIcTuReS:.

Flash Back to Chadron
 Amy and Madeline
 Brian Sanders
 Burch Family
 Elder Hildreth
 Elder Jones
 Elder Rittmanic
 Elder West
 Elder Wolfgram
 Lauridsen Family
 Margett Family
 President Wright
 Russell Family
Skeen Family

2/24/14

When we were planning for Saturday on Friday night, I told Elder Wilkinson that something good is gonna happen tomorrow but I wasn't sure what it was going to be
 
On Saturday, we went to a Less Actives house. When we got there we talked to his wife Brenda and she said that she is a Baptist but is willing to learn more about our church. So we threw out the plans we had and taught the Restoration. We got a new investigator that has an open heart and is willing to learn, it was something that we really needed.

2/17/14


Well for this week, we had Zone Conference on Friday and sadly we didnt get iPads which I was really hoping for. This week I would like to say something different from the normal....
 
When we were at Bible Study at the Lutheran Church they were asking questions about the Plan of Salvation and none of them knew exactly what happens after this life. I am so thankful for the knowledge that we have about the Plan of Salvation and and that we dont have to "wonder" what happens after we die and that we can know "Exactly" what to expect because of the revelation given to the prophets regarding life after death. President Anderson said that because of the death of Brian Scott, and the relation he had in my life, that my testimony of the Plan of Salvation would never be the same! When I bore my testimony in church on Sunday about the Plan of Salvation I had multiple people tell me that they felt the spirit from my testimony. I was glad that I was able to be the means of helping them feel the spirit, and help them to gain a testimony of the Plan of Salvation for themselves.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2/10/14

First off, I was transferred to Watford City, ND it is next to Williston, ND. My companion is Elder Wilkinson he has been out 7 months. The weather here doesn't really like to get over 10 degrees, so as soon as it gets to 15 degrees with no windchill it is very nice weather...hahaha. I got to Watford City Tuesday night at around 9:00 and Wednesday it was straight to work. A lot of people here are from Hurricane so its pretty nice to get to talk to people that know what I am talking about and we have something in common.
 
We had a lesson with Rebecca, instantly I felt the love that our Father in Heaven has for her, and I was able to have a love for her and a desire to help her come closer to Him.
 
On Thursday's we go to "The Good Shepard" were we play bingo and give a sermon to the old folks. It is an awesome service opportunity!
 
On Friday, we had a lesson with a man named Mike. While we were teaching we had awesome companionship unity that I haven't had with any other companion so far.
 
Church her is held in Arnegard in an old school building there was 115 church attendance. It is a branch, of course. They are trying to build a church here in Watford. We also have a church service at 8:00 at night for the oil workers that cannot make it to the earlier service.
It is a very interesting experience up here.
 
Next week I will have pictures for everyone! Thanks for writing me and being interested in the blog. Love: Elder Ashcroft

Monday, January 27, 2014

1/27/14

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This week we had a lesson with Amy at Sis. Russell's again. This lesson was on the Law of Chastity. Amy is moving right along, it is really great to see! Madeline has been coming with her to church which is really awesome as well!!
 
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On Thursday, there was a Health Fair at the college. The church had a booth on 72 hour kits so from 3:00 to 7:00 we manned the booth. Before going, I had been praying for those who are prepared to come by the booth that we would be able to talk to them. We decided to bring all the languages of The Book of Mormon that we had. Then, 10 minutes into it a guy comes up and says, "hey that's my language... Can I look at that?" It was Arabic. We tell him about it and give him a card, 20 minutes later a girl walks up and says, "hey that's my language... Can I look at that?" And again it was Arabic!! Then a college student walks up, and I bet you guessed it, he says, "hey that's my language... Can I look at that?" It was Arabic!!! At first I was thinking that it was just by chance after the 3rd I realized it wasn't. I knew that I was prompted to bring that Arabic Book of Mormon. The college student that came by brought his friend by so he could see and he asked if we had Swahili. We told him, "no, but we can get it." Another college girl hurriedly walked by and grabbed a card. That day we talked to around 100 people with in those 4 hours. It was an awesome opportunity!
 
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On Friday, we had a lesson with Brian and we challenged him to pray about Feb. 22 as a goal for him to be baptized. He said that he would need to talk to his Mom first and a RM in the branch named Matt.
 
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It feels like I am building up the area so Elder Raffensparger can have people to teach when I get transferred next week! 
 
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Monday, January 20, 2014

1/20/14

This week we had a lesson with Amy, at the Russell's house. We taught her The Word of Wisdom. On Thursday, we finished teaching Laura the Laws and Ordinances. This was a first time for me as she is the first investigator that has been baptized. Karla wasn't home when we went there. We were going to start getting her ready for Temple Preparation Class. On Friday we had our lesson with Brian it went really good, he is still talking to us!  He invited us to go to breakfast with him on Saturday. We ended up going to a pancake place and I got to try Chicken Gizzards!!! It was nice to be invited by him though. Yesterday at church Amy and her daughter Madeline came to church as well as Brian. It was exciting that they all could make it! After church the Burch's invited us and Brian to go out with them to the state park for a fire and dessert. We went to there house after and I gave there 3 kids hair cuts until it was time for dinner. While eating dinner we watched The Best 2 Years (Approved by President Anderson) and then Bro. Burch gave us and Brian a ride home. I think this was all good for Brian. That way he could see how we are outside of just church.
Chadron Barber Shop
<-------------Elder Wolfgramm & Elder Hildreth------------->
 

 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In Memory of Brian Scott, My Brother, and Friend

I have never really understood and still don't fully understand "The Lords Tender Mercies". I think we all can see the tender mercy in Brian's passing.. Brian fell asleep and when he woke up he was "Home"! As it says in Alma 40:11 All... are taken "Home" to that god that gave them life! Not only did he wake up "Home" but he has been freed from his Leukemia and other sicknesses for the last and final time, as it says in Alma 40:23 The soul... and the body... shall be restored to their proper frame!
 
 
In Marshall Minnesota at the time in my mission where I was planning on going home early I received a blessing, and in the blessing it said that "There are others on the other side of the veil that are watching and helping you"! Just as Brian was my "BodyGuard" in this life I'm sure he is doing the same in heaven! 
 
Brian came into my life at a point in time where I didn't have very many friends and was still being made fun of etc. Whenever Brian was around and someone purposefully said something rude to me, Brian ended it and would make sure it wouldn't happen again! When I think of the fun times that I had with Brian it always involved 2 things. The first being four wheelers or dirt bikes and the second being camping! I spent countless nights camping with Brian from Timberline Scout Camp to Dumont Sand Dunes! I hope and pray that there are sand dunes in heaven for Brian and I to play on when it is my time to return to home as well!
 
In D&C 121:7-8 it reads: My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; I know that Brian was and is exalted on high for "enduring" his trials which our father in heaven placed before him, I know that each and everyone of us who love Brian will see him again and I leave this testimony with you.  In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.