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