Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14, 2016

An update on Elder Ashcroft.

He has completely immersed himself into the mission, which mean me don’t hear from him every week anymore. We couldn’t be more proud of him. He has 2 upcoming baptisms (yeah…out of the blue. It’s the first we’ve heard about them too.) When we do hear from him it is only a few sentences here and there but just enough for us to know he is doing good. We had thought maybe he just forgot English, haha. But we got a cute little video of his companion and him singing, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, “ in English. (I can’t find the video at the moment but once I do I’ll post it.) Transfer calls are coming up and he is really hoping to stay in the area a little longer. He was prompted to tell the President to keep he and his companion one more transfer. So we will see what happens, transfers should be this weekend. Thank you everyone for the prayers and support. We love you all!

~The Ashcroft Family

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November 20, 2016

Just a real quick story!
Someone ordered a Book of Mormon online and agreed to have the missionaries (us) bring one by. We didn't really have time to do it but we eventually made it out to her house by bus. We knocked on the door and introduced ourselves. She was really happy to see us and invited us in. They have a really nice house by the way. Her husband works in Switzerland. We greeted the husband and he was super nice. We sat down and she got us some water. We started talking with them and found out that she was trying to track us down because she wanted a Book of Mormon. She was wanting to learn more about the church. She had been to the church two times and talked with someone from Salt Lake multiple times online. She even rang the doorbell at our apartment. All for the sake of coming in contact with the church. So that's why she was so happy when we came by. We talked about the Book of Mormon and explained a little about it. Right after I asked them why they ordered the book in the first place she started telling us about this intricate dream she had.
She was outside a big Temple with three big spires and a big front door. She said that there were three sets of doors. She felt so at peace and felt one of the best, happiest feelings she's ever felt. Then there were other people walking around outside the Temple, and she started talking to these people. She had noticed they were taking the Temple for granted but somehow she knew how great it was!
That was all of her dream. We were really quite shocked when we heard this! She said that after the dream she wanted to find this place, so she searched the internet for it. At first she thought it was Solomon's Temple but wasn't sure. Then she found it. The exact same Temple and place that was in her dream. It was the Salt Lake Temple! So she really wants to go there. This is crazy how she has been being prepared but whats even crazier is that her husband has had, as of late, the sudden interest in Jesus Christ and finding what is really true. He started reading through the Bible. They've been being prepared together! She said how she wanted to go to the Temple but knew the you have to be baptized in order to go to the there. We talked about the lessons and how our job as missionaries is to help people come unto Christ through the gospel and that we do this through 5 lessons. And that after the lesson we baptize them. We asked if they had interest in taking the lessons. Her eyes lit up she said yes realy fast. She then looked at her husband for support and he also said, “sure why not!?” We taught them the first lesson and it was funny because she just sat really still listening with wide eyes. The lesson went really well. They had a few questions but understood it pretty well. At the end they had a question or two about the word of wisdom because, they heard, or read about it somewhere. It was if we eat pig or not. We clarified a little and they had no complaints. They even seemed to be ok with the thought of not eating pig meat, haha! We said a prayer together and we're getting ready to leave. They didn't seem to want us to leave. She kept offering us some cake. It happened to be her birthday. We sang happy birthday and she blew the candles out. She's turned 32 and her husband is 36. We ate cake and talked with them for about 15 minute more then left. They are coming to church this week and we are meeting with them on Monday to teach the next lesson. :)
I also felt the ancestors of this family that day confirming that they are helping so that their work can be done in the spirit world. He is also really into the stories of his ancestors and thinks that part of the church is really cool and how we are baptized for them in the temple.
Cool right!?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October 10, 2016

***unedited this week. So no mind the mistakes. Enjoy!!!

Hello wonderful friends and family! The week has been a good one and my new companion (ElderHofeling), and I have been having a great time together! The work is going ok, but the weather is really really cold, and moist!! :(... I freeze.

Montag- we didn't really do anything interesting. Just shopping, cleaning, emails, and such.

Dienstag- we had District meeting in Freiburg. District meeting was really good considering it was my first time being a district leader. After district meeting, we handed out flyers for a celebration from the church in Freiburg as a district for an hour. After that we took a train home, and found some more.

Mittwoch- we had studies, and then we did some dooring in Switzerland. We came back in the evening to finish some of elder Hofelings in field training on the computer, and had dinner after that.

Donnerstag- we did studies and then went finding which went well. We came back a little early so that we could have dinner, then have a lesson with sister Rehm, but the lesson fell through. We ended up just having a member lesson with the joint teaches family anyways.

Freitag- we had studies, we found, we worked on Elder Hofelings in field training, and we had weekly planning.

Samstag- we went to Murg, contacted a referral, and went from door to door.

Sonntag- we had church. The mom and the kids of the Rehm family all came. :) after church we went over to sister Rehm's house with a member to bless her house. Ever since she has had a baptismal date, she has been being experiencing a lot of scary things from evil spirits. The good thing is, she takes this as a sign that the church is true, and is still determined on being baptized! :) after the blessing, we stayed and ate dinner with their family, then taught them one of the lessons.

The spiritual thought of this week is on fasting. I have thought a lot about fasting lately, because as a mission we have been reading in the New Testament, and I read the part where Jesus fasted for forty days. I never really thought to much about it before, but this time reading through it, it made a lot more sense.
When Jesus fasted in the wilderness he was preparing for his ministry. But why fasting? I read something in the institute manual about fasting that I really like and gives a good answer as to why he fasted.

“Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful. It can fill our minds with the revelations of the Spirit. It can strengthen us against times of temptation. Fasting and prayer can help develop within us courage and confidence. They can strengthen our character and build self-restraint and discipline. Often when we fast, our righteous
prayers and petitions have greater power. Testimonies grow. We mature spiritually and emotionally and sanctify our souls. Each time we fast, we gain a little more control over our worldly appetites and passions” (“The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 2001, 73).

I challenge everyone the next time fast Sunday rolls around, to really pray, and fast to find out what your personal strengths, talents, and gifts are, and then, and pray every day to be able to use those talents, and abilities to help other people.

I know that fasting, and prayer are two of the best ways that we can draw upon the powers of heaven, and that God gives us everything that we have, because he really does love us, and he loves us because we are his children. He wants to help us.

I hope that everyone has beautiful week, and a great time doing all the things you guys do! :) if you ever need anything, hit me up.

~Elder Ashcroft~

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 3, 2016

Hello friends and family! :) It has been a great week here and it's finally starting to get cold. Really cold! :( But I'm just a wimp for the cold I guess…haha!

Monday we went shopping and packed a little for Elder McDaniel. In the evening we had a member appointment in Rheinfelden with the family Kamm as a farewell for Elder McDaniel.

Tuesday we had our last district meeting with Elder Jensen, McDaniel, and Sister Petitt. District meetings take a huge chunk out of our day. It takes two hours to get to Freiburg then we meet for an hour and a half, eat lunch and take the same two hour train ride
back. I guess a positive side is that the train ride is absolutely beautiful because we go through the Black Forest the entire time. :D When we got back we had an appointment with the family Rehm, an investigator family. The wife is from Peru and cooked us some really really good dishes from her home country. After the meal we shared a scripture and then went home for the day.

Mittwoch we had transfer day! We took a train early in the morning to Zürich where I spend a total of 10 hours before my trainee arrived. It was such a good time!! I got to see all of my good friends in Switzerland and got to catch up a little. After the first group left
I went around Zürich with the zone leaders. We had a service project, ate lunch then went finding for a little bit. It was a really good time. :) My Trainee came into Zürich at about five o'clock so we helped everyone get their luggage off the train. We all waited for our trains going back home after that. We got home at about 6:00pm. I helped my companion unpack a little, we had dinner then went to bed.

Thursday we had studies then went to the church for some in field training for Elder Hofeling on the computer. Then we went dooring in Switzerland for his first time dooring.

Freitag we had studies and a service project helping sister Jung carry some furniture. After she feed us some really good food and we went home. Then we had an appointment with Frau Singh fall out. We had an early dinner because we had an appointment that night with Sister Rehm. The lesson with Sister Rehm went really well. We shared the Restoration with her, which Elder Hofeling, my companion, did very well for his first time, not to mention it was in a foreign language! Elder Hofeling is a great guy and he really has the gift of tongues because he can understand seemingly a lot. Sister Rehm is progressing a lot and is committed to her baptism happening. :)

Samstag we had weekly planning, had to fix the light on my bike, because the Germans are super strict about you having a light, then we had to go shopping because Monday is a holiday. After that he found a bit.

Sonntag we went to Basel with an investigator and some members to watch the preisthood session. Then came back and ate lunch at the members house with the investigator family and all watched conference after that.
Cool beans.

September 26, 2016

Hello everybody, I have been very bad at getting my weekly mails out
but I will start doing it again I promise! There have been some very
big changes this past week! First of all we set the date for Schwester
Rehm's baptism for the 29th of October and planned everything out on
a calendar. Her daughters will also get baptized so we will also
start teaching them the lessons. Joshua has also been expressing his
desire to be Baptized into this church and we set a date with him for
the 12th of November.

I can really say that this area has improved so much from before. I've
definitely had the most success being here than anywhere else on my

The second big thing that has happened this week was transfer calls.
I will be training next transfer, which really excites me. I am
also supper nervous because I've never trained! To make things
crazier I will be the new district leader and the district is the
youngest district I've ever seen! Hahaha….Three people are going to be
trained in our district and I'm the oldest, on the mission,
missionary in the district.

There have been a lot of other things that also happened but these
are the two big ones. I will just sum up by sending some pictures,
but I promise I will send my weekly next week…haha! ;)


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 12, 2016

Hey everyone! I just wanted to write about a cool miracle that happened.

I have been here in Bad Säckingen for about four weeks, and we have been working our butts off! When I got here there was only one or two eternal investigators and that's it. It's a small branch here and the locals are known for being more cold because of the Black Forest. The Lord has blessed us so much though. We have been where we needed to be and opened our mouths at the right times. We
have been praying and fasting a lot for the work to pick up and the Lord has led us to the people that were open and ready for the gospel. We have also had a family that came to church yesterday and
the wife started crying during the lesson from the Spirit. She said that she wants to be Baptized and be an example for her daughters.

I have a strong testimony that when you truly do things the Lords way and put your efforts in the Lord will magnify your work! But only when we have the faith that he will.

 I wish everyone a wonderful week!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 29, 2016

Montag- we didn't really do to much. We did emails then looked for a barber shop to get my hair cut but they are all closed on Mondays! :( Then we finished making a song for zone training. We also went grocery shopping. In the evening we had a member appointment by the Kamms. It was really good because they also invited a brother Biagio, a new convert, and his wife. She is not a member but that will hopefully change! ;) After, we came back and talked with the Biagio's for a bit and had ice cream. Then we went back home.

Dienstag- we took a train in the morning to Singen for zone training, which was really really good! We go to Singen instead of Zürich because not everyone has Swiss train tickets. That makes it a lot cheaper for the German missionaries and saves the church money. After zone training we ate a little lunch and then headed home on a train. When we got back Biagio hooked me up with a €10 haircut from his Italian friend. That took about 20 minutes then we finished studies, planing and then had dinner.

Mittwoch- in the morning we had personal study then went down to Innenstadt on our bikes. We got me an meldet, telling the state that I have arrived in Germany, there. Then we took a train to Beugen to go by one of our investigators. She happened to not be home because of the vacation. So we doored a bunch of houses then took a train back to Bad Säckingen. Then we had an appointment with a Swiss less active fall out so we had to tell our joint teach. We came home to eat, have comp. and language study, then went by on Frau Ebner. She is Mexican, it's at this point that I wish I would've actually learned Spanish back home. She is married to a German and they have a family here. She was supposably baptized into our church back in Mexico or something but there are no records of anything. She might have to be baptized again. The members have been working with the church headquarters to find out. They are also going to write her old bishop because her parents were members. She happened to not be home so we had dinner then planned for the next day.

Donnerstag- we went on a bunch of Vorbei's and went finding. In the evening we had a member appointment in the beautiful town of Laufenburg. It's nice to still have Switzerland in my area! :)

Freitag- we had weekly planning then rode our bikes to Sisseln Switzerland and doored for a bit. We then met up with Lorrenz, an investigator. After that we rode back to Bad Säckingen and had a lesson with Biagio and Magerita.

Samstag- in the morning we rode over to the Rehm's house and had a lesson with them. They are really really cool! I think that they'll get baptized. We are going to set a baptismal date with them when they are all together. After that we visited Frau Ebner. We had a lesson with her and her son. We also got to know the husband. They made us food which was really nice of them! :) Then we rode back and went street contacting for a little bit.

Sonntag- church was really good. Frau Ebner and her son Alexander showed up! After church we had a big pot luck because Steven had a birthday. He is special and doesn't have family so the ward supports him a lot! He is really awesome and loves giving hugs! Haha…We made some salsa and guacamole, which turned out pretty well. Then we went home and had studies. Then Steven’s home teacher and our ward mission leader came and picked us up to go over to Stevens for a party.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 22, 2016

I'm doing ok. I'm a little sick but it's not to bad. My new comp. is from Provo. That makes my second comp from Utah. This is the only companion I've had so far where I speak better German than. The people here are more closed off than in Linz and Zollikofen. It is really beautiful and our area goes into Switzerland, so we go there sometimes to find. They speak Schwäbisch, Badisch, Swiss German, and High German. I can understand High and Swiss German. The other two I can't understand yet. It is a Branch here with about 40 members. The church is above a bank. We also have bikes. The apartment is pretty nice but it is dirty from other missionaries so I am in the process of cleaning it out. I'll send pictures once it's clean. My comp. has until February but he can choose to extend if he wants.

Two more of the Persians we found were baptized this week! I wasn't able to be there for it but Elder Bensing, who is already done with his mission, came back down from Germany to baptize them. We found them through the baptism of the other Persians. They are really awesome!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August 15, 2016

Well quite bit has happened this week! It was really good and we got a lot of work done! The weather has been absolutely beautiful as of late. Most people think it's been pretty hot but I guess that's the perks of coming from a desert…haha. Well the main news is that we had transfer calls this Saturday and I will be going to Bad Säckingen Germany/Switzerland! It is in the Zürich stake and right on the river dividing Switzerland from Germany. So I can still buy Swiss chocolate but also shop in Germany because it cheaper! :) I will also be able to go into the Black Forest which is cool! So maybe Ill get a koo koo clock or something!? Anyways... Everything is great over here! I hope all is well back home and I wish you a wonderful week. If you ever need anything feel free to email me! :) Schöne Woche!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 25, 2016

Imagine waking up on a beautiful sunny day in Switzerland. A view of the gorgeous Alps with the sound of the bells from grazing cows in the distance. It's just beautiful right!? :) Yes it is! Until…one of your neighbors starts smoking weed. All I can say is that so many people smoke weed over here. And the cops don't do anything! Haha anyways onto the week!

Well the week has been rather slow, but if everything was exciting then nothing would be exciting…haha. Manly what's going on right now is just the normal business. We are currently trying to contact referrals of people the members have given us which is surprisingly really hard. Everyone is on dang vacation! Because I am an American I only have 27 days left in Switzerland. I'm getting the best out of it I can.

Montag- We traveled around with a less active and visited this real cool old castle that he grew up in. Then went to an Emmentaler Cheese Factory in a small village. We got some ice cream there and then walked up a huge hill and sat on a bench with a view of the Alps to eat it. After that we came home and had a member appointment with the Jakob family. "le Tour de France" was also on this day ten minutes away from where we live! Elder Lucas ,my broski, got me a shirt from it. :)

Dienstag- On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays we do this parkour workout in the forest with a member. It's crazy cool! There are a bunch of stations in the forest to do different workouts and we jog from station to station doing them. It's cool because there is nobody else around mainly because it's at 6:00 in the morning and somewhat deep in the forest. After we finished our forest jogs by 7:00 we came home, showered, ate and did studies. Then we had lunch and tried to contact referrals. That was pretty much our day.

Mittwoch- we went to the Temple in the morning because we didn't have time last week. After that we came back to the apartment and ate lunch with the Biel Elders. We were having interviews with President in Zollikofen. After we ate we headed to the church for interviews. It was a really good training I thought. We talked about obedience and success. After training and interviews we had a member appointment with the Filbrandt family. Then we went home and planned.

Donnerstag- we did our morning jog in the forest then studies. At 11:00 we had GMK (Ward mission correlation meeting.) We ate lunch and worked on transitioning the area book to the iPads. After that we went to a member appointment with the Flemming family but we accidentally took the train too early to Fraubrunnen. Luckily we had some cookies that we had baked earlier so we brought them by a less active family in the area. It was really good and we were able to sit down and talk with them a bit. They just had a new baby a couple weeks ago and the father wants to bless it in church but he said he's not prepared or ready yet. It is our perfect chance to try and get them going to church! (They actually went to church! :D)

Freitag- in the morning we had studies and then for Lunch we took a bus to Münchenbuchsee to eat lunch with the family Von Allmen. It was a really good time. :) I love these guys!!! After lunch we shared a spiritual thought about not judging. In the evening we had an appointment with one of our investigators, Gabriele, she is coming along but rather slow. It's really hard to work with her because she wants an answer before she takes any steps, which isn't showing faith.

Samstag- in the morning we ran in the forest then had studies. After that we ate lunch, and then played soccer with our neighborhood. Normally every Saturday at 10:30 we play soccer with a member family, the Bern Elders and what ever less actives, or investigators we can find. Whenever someone walks by we naturally invite them to play also. So it has grown to be pretty big and now we have quite a few non members from the neighborhood there every week. It is really good and will hopefully be able to start teaching some of them! :) That was all of the interesting things that happened.

Sonntag- I like it here because we actually have time to do personal study before church. The morning bells go off at 9:00 and it's loud enough that they actually start church at 10:00, instead of 9:00. I gave a talk on how we are here to help save others based on the talk "To the rescue: We can do it" by Mervyn B. Arnold in the last General Conference. It was ok, I guess haha. I used the poem that everybody used at their farewell "Ladder of Hope". We made a translated version into German because there isn't any. If you haven't read this poem I highly suggest doing it. It is a bit long but the message is great! After church we came home and did weekly planning.

The Spiritual thought of the week is pretty deep.

Psalms 139.

1 O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

There is a Joseph smith translation for verse 8 that says "The Lord will perfect me in knowledge, concerning his kingdom. I will praise thee O Lord forever; for thou art merciful, and wilt not forsake the works of thine own hands."

Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4, 2016

Hello family and friends! It has been another wonderful week here in Zollikofen. This week has been filled with appointments, some finding and mostly planning for things coming up!

So first of all we got transfer calls and Elder Kilgore and I will be staying together in Zollikofen for another transfer. One of my good friends from the MTC is going to be our new Zone leader. That should be awesome! :D We started off our week amazingly; in the mountains (Grindelwald)! It was our District P day. It was a lot of fun. The next day we had Zone Training in Bern, which went ok. The next day we had three member appointments!!! We got to know Sridar, a member, really well. He is really cool! We agreed to do early morning exercise with him, which was a horrible idea at first. It’s ok now! Haha He is really really fit so it destroys us. I have been feeling so good lately because of it though. The next day we got permission to leave our area to visit a member in the Burgdorfs area. Then the next day we had a great lesson with Gabrielle. At first she said she wasn't going to come to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Zürich but now she's coming! :)

So there is this youth group containing all of the youth from the Adriatic north mission that are doing a Temple trip here in Zollikofen. Normally they go to the Freiberg Temple in Germany but it is currently closed. So they are coming here! They contacted our mission president and he told them that we can help with everything. We have been planning and emailing back and forth like crazy this past week. The people who are putting all of this together are the mission couples from the Adriatic mission. The youth aren't planned to be here until Tuesday, but the Mission couples came this Sunday. It has been really awesome planning for this, and we are excited! There was a pretty crazy miracle that happened on Sunday. A member from Japan was visiting. He was very old. Well it so turns out that one of the mission couples husbands served his mission in Japan about 50 years ago. So he could speak with the man. Since it was Fast and testimony meeting we went up to bear his testimony and the Husband translated it into English, because most of the members understand English. He talked about how he had dreamed of coming to Switzerland ever since he was a boy and how he saved up his money until he had enough to come here. He was so grateful and almost cried. After church some members fed him lunch to help save more money. Now the miracle was, the one time in this mans life that he came to Switzerland was the one day that the guy that served in Japan happened to be there too.

So on to the spiritual thought of the week. :)

I have been listening to the April 1996 General Conference talks as of lately, it is the year I was born, and I have come across a lot of great things. My spiritual thought for the week is from one of these talks that I really liked. Read the passage below.

“‘Words do not convey meanings; they call them forth.’ I speak out of the context of my experience, and you listen out of the context of yours, and that is why communication is difficult” (David O. McKay, as quoted by Lowell L. Bennion, in Conference Report, Apr. 1968, 94; or Improvement Era, June 1968, 90).
So if this is true, then what is the best way to communicate with others and be unified? Well he goes on to answer saying this...

"The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, sent forth by God to reveal all needful things. He teaches and testifies with divine power and clarity. His witness may go unheard or unheeded, forsaken or denied, but it is never misunderstood. “The Holy Ghost is a revelator” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 328). That which is received of him has a more powerful effect upon the soul than anything else received in any other way. A millennium of experience through sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, and all the powers of the universe combined cannot approach the sublime and complete experience of one brief moment under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is a spirit personage. He has power to speak to the spirit of every man and woman, boy and girl. His message is conveyed with absolute certainty. This revealed knowledge constitutes a personal testimony and witness of the truth" -Bishop Keith B. McMullin

I know of the power of the Holy Ghost is real. Other people can feel when you have the Holy Ghost with you. A lot of times investigators wonder why everything makes sense when we teach them but when we leave it’s not as clear. It's because of the Holy Ghost being with us. Think of times when you have had the Holy Ghost really strong and then when you haven't at all. I know for me that everything makes so much more sense and is clear when I have the Holy Ghost with me. It is of major importance for us to qualify for the Holy Ghost so we can stay strong in the Gospel. When we, ourselves, are strong in the Gospel we can help others.

Well I hope everyone has had a fantastic week! :) If you need anything just write me.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

June 28, 2016

I'm doing really well. The work is ok but it's still not where I want
it. I know we can do better. I can only give the first names of
the people we are teaching because Switzerland has some laws about
information. We are teaching Gabrielle, Augusto, his wife and
Feven. We are mainly working with less actives here.
 They are Jan, Sina, Milena, Pietro, Jessica, und
Andy und Tracy. I only get to go through the Temple for endowments
once a transfer so I can't go that often. But we helped the youth do
early morning baptisms for the dead so that was cool.
It is so so beautiful here! You have no idea! I seriously think
it is the most beautiful and expensive mission in the world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 19, 2016


Es war eine sehr schöne Woche hier in Zollikofen! A lot has happened in one week, wow! It has also been quite the rainy week. All I can say is that I'm glad it's not as hot as back home!

Montag- in the morning we taught Augusto, a Portuguese investigator, some German and read in the Book of Mormon together. He doesn't speak any German or English but he has already made so much improvement the past three weeks that I've been here! After that we finished studies, ate lunch, and then went to the church to write emails and relax. That night we had an appointment with the Von Allmen family (there are two and they are not related.) It was real good! We had some really good Swiss bread with a bunch of different condiments to go on it!

Dienstag- we had zone conference in Zürich, since Switzerland isnsomewhat small. We have a "GA" (an unlimited ticket for any train in Switzerland, including boats.) We go to Zürich instead of Bern. It was really good and I got to see all the Europeans from my MTC group, other than two sisters. That took up all of our day.

Mittwoch- in the morning we met with Augusto and taught him more German. We always read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, in German. We are currently at chapter 1 Nephi 5. Then we went to a member appointment with the Mecurio's. They have some less active kids that we are trying to work with, so we got to know them a little bit better. Then we went by on some people but no one was home. We saw some members by the church so we talked with them and found out that they were doing a primary activity in the forest behind the temple. They invited us so we went home and changed. It was a lot of fun. We played capture the flag and cops & robbers. After we cooked sausages and marshmallows over a fire.
Donnerstag- we met with Augusto, again! Hahaha…We only meet with him so much because he doesn't do anything and he lives in the same apartment building as us. He is super cool so we go over about three to four times a week.

Freitag- we had a member lesson but it fell through. We went by on some people and contacted a few referrals. On our way back we saw the temple workers working on the temple so we went home, changed and worked on the temple for a while. The temple has been closed for two weeks and they are opening it back up tomorrow. They are building a new flower bed in front of the temple with a walkway so you can take pictures. That's what we worked on. After that we went home, showered and had a great lesson with Gabrielle. She is one of our investigators and is progressing really well! We are pretty sure that she will be baptized sometime but she's just not ready yet.

Samstag- we played soccer with the Filbrandt kids, which was really fun! After we went and had an appointment at their house, which was really good! The father is less active and we have been meeting with him one on one to try and help him. He gave really good answers during our spiritual thought! :) Their family is really cool! Their daughter is actually in the France Lyon mission, which is where one of my friends is going so that's cool! After that we had weekly planning.

Sonntag- we had GMK and then church. Sacrament meeting was pretty good. Elder Kilgore gave a talk on receiving answers from God, which turned out pretty well. After church we had a member appointment at the Mössner's. It was so fun! We played some fun games with the kids and got to know them pretty well. After that we went to sister Peterli's/Bucher's to sign some letters they were sending to some less actives about the Mormon tabernacle choir in Zürich.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June 12, 2016

      Not a full letter this week, but we did get a few emails to him while he was online early Monday morning. Here are some interesting tid bits he shared with us.
  • President Uchtdorf was in Zürich like two weeks ago! plus his family was in my companions last area and hewould always go over to their house.
  • Sometimes the trains are really noisy.
  • I have been in the temple for one session. We only get to do one session a transfer but inside the temple everyday. We are even helping them make an area in the front of the Temple to take pictures.
  • We go to Basel to grocery shop. I think there are even French missionaries in the French part of Basel.
  • There is a regulation on how much Swiss chocolate you can take out of Switzerland.
Thanks to everyone for their love and support for Elder Ashcroft. He is loving his mission. We see that each week in his letters and it is the best thing we could ask for. Continue to keep him and the people he is serving in your thoughts and prayer. We love you ALL!!!
~~The Ashcroft Family

        Wednesday, June 8, 2016

        June 6, 2016

        The train ride took about 8 hours but it was so beautiful!!! My new area is really small haha! We live next door to the temple and right above the train station. So that's amazing! The work is good but we are looking to improve! My new companion is amazing I love him so much!

         The Matterhorn is the peck in the far distance.
        (above picture) 
         The view from our balcony.
        (above picture)
        We traveled to Germany to grocery shop because it's so much cheaper!
        (above picture)

        Wednesday, June 1, 2016

        May 30, 2016

        Well I've had a pretty good run for my money here in Linz but I guess it's time to move on! :(.. I have learned so much here! It's gonna be hard to leave this place. It's time to move on, learn more and help other people. :) I guess I'll kinda go through a summary of my week.

        On Monday we went shopping, then emailed and got our hair cut by some Turkish people. I'm telling’ ya Turkish people are amazingly good at cutting hair!! It's a gift! After that we took a train to Ansfelden to visit the Bachmayers. They fed us and we taught their son it was really good. :) We taught about our Heavenly Father and how he loves us. At the end of the lesson we sang I am a Child of God together.

        On Tuesday we had district meeting and then visited Mario, a member, the gospel of Jesus Christ. After, we had GMK (ward mission correlation meeting) at the church.

        On Wednessday we had two appointments with investigators fall out so we stayed home because Elder Bensing was still pretty sick. In the evening we visited the Lipp family, which went really awesome! Little did I know that the wife was from the area I am going to next and still has family there. They gave us some Swiss chocolate before we went home, which was amazing! :D

        On Thursday we did a service for the Erlacher's in Enns then had dinner with the missionary couple in Linz.

        On Friday we did more service for another Erlacher family then went and had a member appointment that night with another Erlacher family.

        On Saturday we got transfer calls in the morning and... I'm going to Zollikofern Switzerland! Where the temple is. My new companion is Elder Kilgore, another German companion, haha! After studies we went to Ansfelden to have lunch with the Obermayers, then a lesson feel through with an investigator. Later that night we went to a member appointment with the family Harbon in Enns. Sunday the sisters (because they are taking the sisters out of Linz) and I gave our leaving testimonies in sacrament meeting. It was so sad to say goodbye to everyone! The members are my family away from home! After church we had a ward potluck, which the ward does every Fifth Sunday of the month. It
        turned out really well. After we said goodbye to the Persians, which was so so sad!!! :(... It is amazing to see how far they've come. They will be receiving the priesthood in two weeks and have already been interviewed. :) They thanked us so much for teaching them because it "changed their lives.” Then we went home and I packed a little.


        The spiritual thought for the week is about this quote "Nobody is likely to change, unless they are invited to do so." -Keine Ahnung
        A lot of people are sometimes scared to ask certain things because of the answer that they might get or because they think their relationship with the person is at stake. But if we just sit back nothing is likely to happen. I have especially learned how to get over being scared of these things this transfer (mainly because I have a German Companion, hahaha!) and we have seen so much more success because of that. For example we have been meeting with a less active that hadn't come to church since he was 12. He was 23 by this time and no one had really asked him to do anything. Well he came to church the past three weeks, repented of his sins and bore his testimony this Sunday. It is truly amazing what we can achieve when being guided by the Holy Ghost to know what to say.

        Thanks for all of your support! I love you guys, and if you ever need anything, I'm here.

        Sunday, May 29, 2016

        May 23, 2016

        Howdy y'all! How's it going this beautiful day? This week has been interesting! I'm sorry I haven't had to much time to write any weekly's lately but I have time now.

        Montag- at 12:30 we had a member appointment with Claus and Manuela in Neuhoffen. It went really well. The husband, Claus, is only really active in the church because his wife tells him to go to church. we are working with him and have already made a lot of progress! :) After meeting with them we had another member appointment with the Anreither family but it fell through because their daughter came over to talk about some problems. So we did a little emailing instead.

        Dienstag- we had a really good district meeting and then ate as a district. After that we had an austausch with the Wels Elders. I stayed in Linz with Elder Bowers. First we went grocery shopping because Monday was a holiday and the stores were closed. Then we made a Fortschritts Bericht für GMK. Then we went to GMK. We have a new GML now so GMK is quite different. It is better and shorter! After that we walked home.

        Mittwoch- we did studies and then went finding until 14:32, then took a train to Wels to tausch back. When Elder Bensing and I got back to Linz we had an appointment with an investigator named Axel Tigges, from Germany. The lesson went well, but if he doesn't start progressing we might have to drop him. :( After that we took a Post Bus out to Galneukirchen and walked through the Austrian forest to get to a members house! It was a cool little trail and it even had a little stream. We had a really great lesson with the Vogl family. After we got a ride back to the Straßenbahn, then rode home from there.

        Donnerstag- we had lunch at the church and watched some videos because my comp was pretty sick and we didn't really have a p day. Then in the evening we went to Subway because one of our less actives works there.

        Freitag- we had a member appointment at the Obermayers. So we took a train at 12:36 to get there. The Obermayers are such cool people! We learned about their conversion story. It's so cool!! Especially because they have a big family in the church now. After the appointment we missed the train back so we doored two houses then did some weekly planning on the Bahnsteig. The cool thing is that the second and last house we found potentials! After we got back to Linz we had an appointment fall out so we went home to finish weekly planning.

        Samstag- on Saturday we had a finding day as a district in Linz. So we all met at Bahnhof then split up. Elder Wiberg and I went to Leonding for about 3 hours. When we got back Elder Bensing and I went back home because he was sick.

        Sonntag- church went really well, and the weather was beautiful. After church we had an appointment with Anneliese and Günther in Galneukirchen. It also went really well. It was just a good relaxing day in its self. After we came back home to do studies and I had the most in depth craziest scripture studies I have ever had!!! It was amazing! And just what I needed.

        Here is my spiritual thought for the week. It has helped me quite a bit!

        “The ability to turn everything into something good appears to be a
        godly characteristic. Our Heavenly Father always seems able to do
        this. Everything, no matter how dire, becomes a victory to the Lord.
        Joseph (of Egypt), although a slave and wholly undeserving of this
        fate, nevertheless remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live
        the commandments and made something very good of his degrading
        circumstances. People like this cannot be defeated, because they will
        not give up. They have the correct, positive attitude, and Dale
        Carnegie’s expression seems to apply: If you feel you have a lemon,
        you can either complain about how sour it is, or you can make a
        lemonade. It is all up to you.” (Hartman Rector, Jr., “Live above the
        Law to Be Free,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 130.)

        Wednesday, May 11, 2016

        May 9, 2016

        Hello everyone! How's it goin!? It has been a great week, even though I was sick for two days! Aber so ist das Leben! I'll try and wrap my week up.

        So on Monday we went shopping, emailed, then took a train to Bishop’s house. Then went to Benjamin Mielachers 22nd birthday party! Tuesday we had district meeting then ate as a district. We went home and did a lot of area book work until our appointment with brother Viekbauer, a member. Our lesson went pretty well and we plan on meeting with him more often now! On Wednesday we ate lunch at Tokyo Running Sushi with Klaus the Sisters and the Graham's. After that Klaus came with us to teach Mario Meixner, another member. We taught the restoration because I wanted to practice it more. It was really good! The spirit was so strong when we got to Joseph Smith’s vision! Then we had GMK, which took the rest of the day. On Thursday we met Lukas at Bahnhof to give us a ride to the sport day in Salzburg that the Salzburg stake was doing. We spend all day there and it was so fun!!! It was also really beautiful because we were right next to an alp! It was really good because all of the new converts came and we were able to introduce them to everyone. They got a lot of support. I played a lot of soccer and volleyball. Then I taught people how to throw a football and played a little bit of rugby. Friday I was sick! :( It was really awesome! Saturday we had a finding day in Wels, which was fun! Elder Bakewell, from England, and I went finding together! :) After we came home I rested because I was still sick. But in the evening we went with a bunch of ward members to a play to support one of our less actives! :) Sunday was really good and beautiful weather. After church we ate at Sister Wagner Hachenberger's it was sooooooooooooo goooooooooooooodddd!!!! Awwweee!! Then we came back to the church and skyped! :)

        Well that was a short basic run down of my week! :) So here is my spiritual thought for the week.

        It is a simple truth that all of us have heard but do we believe it? God loves us and we are his literal children. I am a Child of God is one of the most sang hymns in the Church.

        Romans 8:35-39

        35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation,
        or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or

        36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we
        are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

        37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him
        that loved us.

        38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
        principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

        3Nephi 22:10

        10 For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my
        bkindness shall not cdepart from thee, neither shall the covenant of
        my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

        Monday, May 2, 2016

        In Memory of Charlie Sefita

        My heart goes out to the Sefita and the Yardley families. Charlie has had a very big impact on my life. His passing has torn me up pretty bad. He's had one of the biggest hearts I've ever known. I would like to ask everybody to pray and fast for these families. My mission president called me last night and told me of the news and talked with me for a while. It was really heartbreaking and I couldn't think straight. Then today when we came to the church to write emails I saw a picture of him and just started bawling. That was when it really hit me. The hardest part is that there was no warning. When Brian Scott died, Charlie was there for me and we cried together. Now I feel as if Brian is on the other side helping me cope with Charlie's death. Charlie will always be in my heart and in all the hearts of the people of Hurricane.

        Be still, my soul: The hour is hastening on
        When we shall be forever with the Lord,
        When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
        Sorrow forgot love’s purest joys restored.
        Be still, my sou: When change and tears are past,
        All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
        -Be still my soul.


        Wednesday, April 20, 2016

        April 18, 2016

        Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great week! This week was transfers so it has been pretty crazy for me. But it has also been a really great too. The weather has been warming up quite a bit so that's been nice. Everyone thinks I'm crazy because I love the rain so much but it's because we don't get rain that much back home.

        Montag- we got groceries and I got my hair cut. Then we went home and packed a bit for Elder Walker. In the evening we had an eating appointment with Achim and Louise Erlacher. It was really fun. We had root beer floats :):) After dinner we had a really good spiritual thought from Sister Graham about how God knows us individually. The spirit was really strong and we all shared experiences.

        Dienstag- we had district meeting and district lunch. District meeting was pretty good and Elder Graham gave a really really good assignment. After district meeting we went to the town hall to unmeld Elder Walker because he was leaving Austria.

        Mittwoch- we had transfer day so Elder Walker and I went to the train station early in the morning. Elder Bensing came to Linz then Elder Walker and Elder b=Bowers went to Salzburg from there. We brought Elder Bensings luggage back to the apartment but he left his bag with his iPad and other stuff back in Wels on accident so we had to take a train back to Wels and get his bag there. We ended up getting Elder Bensings hair cut and eating lunch in Wels because they had a bunch of appointments on Monday. Then we came back to Linz and had GMK. After GMK we joined the institute which was real good!

        Donnerstag- in the morning we went to McDonald's for wifi to check for train times because we had a lunch appointment with Sister Hachenberger. We had a really great meal with them and a really great discussion. After that we headed to the church to play sports with the young single adults such as table tennis, volleyball and soccer. Two of the Persians were able to come so that was good! :) After, we made a bunch of calls and went home for dinner and daily planning.

        Freitag- we did our morning studies then did an hour of weekly planning, ate, then did weekly planning again. We were invited by a former investigator from Norway to come to a breakfast and religious discussion with a bunch of other representatives from different religions. Some of them were Catholic, Muslim, the moony church, Lutheran and Family Ferdaretion. We called President and asked if it would be a good idea he said it would be great and that we should represent our church well. The topic was on world peace and the refugee situation. So we went over to the Graham's to plan for our presentation. It was really good and we planned on sharing President Patrick Kearons talk about refugees. After that we went home and finished weekly planning.

        Samstag- in the morning we went to the religious meeting and it went really well. We ended up reading The Family Proclamation and talking about how we are all one big family and need to help each other and come together. Everyone loved The Family Proclamation so much that we even got two potentials. The meeting was really good. There was no arguing about religions. We went to the funeral of one of our ward members, which was pretty sad, but also good. Then we went to the church to print out a 30 minute lesson sheet for the members to sign up for because we had an eating appointment fall out.

        Sonntag- in the morning we had choir then we talked with the members until church started. All of the meetings were themed about missionary work so both the Sisters gave talks Sister Graham said the opening prayer, Elder Bensing introduced himself and I gave the closing prayer. We even sang called to serve for the closing hymn. The rest of the classes were also good. After church Lucas Till was Ordained an Elder. It was honestly one of the coolest moments on my mission! I love that kid so much and now that he's reactivated he's going on a mission!!! There were a couple of people crying and the spirit was so strong!

        This week was much needed and I am just so happy to be able to help people. The longer I have been out on my mission the more and more I want to help people. Serving God has definitely changed my life and it is the best way to love. Which brings me to my spiritual thought for this week, which is love. Love means everything. It is why we are here, what we are here to do and also what we need to make it through life. Our Father in Heaven loves us more than we can now.

        Romans 8:35-39

        35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation,
        or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or

        36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we
        are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

        37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him
        that loved us.

        38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
        principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

        39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to
        separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

        Monday, April 11, 2016

        April 11, 2016

        Sorry I don't have very much time at all to email this week but here's a short run through of the week! :) Enjoy!

        Montag- on Monday we got Elder Walkers hair cut, emailed then had an eating appointment with the Obermayers in Ansfelden.

        Dienstag- we had district meeting then Elder Bensing and I went back to Wels for a Tausch. Our Tausch was great and I learned a lot which is always good! We had two lessons that night then did some finding.

        Mittwoch- The next day we took a train back to Linz Tausched then Elder Walker and I got picked up by Lukas for an eating appointment with his family. Man I love that kid! It was a really good meal and we got some pictures with their family. After that we went dooring with two of our ward missionaries.

        Donnerstag- I was sick so we stayed in until later that day because we had a lesson with Rogar but it fell through.
        Freitag- we went to the church and had studies with Klaus and Lukas. After that we drove around in the country going by on members and did some finding. It was so cool and also pretty! It was probably the most productive day I've had on the mission.

        Samstag- in the morning we had transfer calls! I'm staying for a fifth transfer in Linz and my new companion is Elder Bensing!! :D We are already good friends and I'm looking forward to being his comp! Elder Walker is going to Pforzheim Germany. After studies we went finding, did weekly planning then ate at Burgerista for dinner because it's Elder Walkers last time.

        Sonntag- Sunday was good we blessed the sacrament for the first time with Lukas! :) Then the Persians were confirmed by Hadi from Hamburg Germany. It was done in their mother language so that was really cool for them. Elder Walker gave his farewell testimony. Hadi told us that there are four missionaries in the Berlin mission learning Persian. Some of us are also learning Persian! It's amazing how humble some of them are.

        Tuesday, April 5, 2016

        April 4, 2016

        Diese Woche war wunderschön! Wir hatten so viel Erfolg, und wir haben Lukas kennengelernt! :) denkt daran, dass wir General Konferenz hatten. Ich habe euch lieb und Ich danke euch für euere unterstützen.

        Montag- on Monday we had our district P-day her in Linz! We all
        wore Trachten and went to Pöstlingberg. It was really quite fun and we took a lot of pictures! After we got back and changed we went finding as a district. I went with Elder Bowers at first and it went pretty well! Then halfway through the Wells Elders left on a train and I found with Elder Liechty. It was all and all a good day! That night the Haag Elders stayed with us because we had district meeting the next day.

        Dienstag- we had district meeting in the morning which was ok but honestly not the best. Our whole zone had been planning this zone finding day for a while now so we did that. Everyone got together as districts and went finding at the same time. We brought quite a few youth along with us. I think it was a really good experience for them. I went with Jakob! He is super cool and it was awesome to see him speak dialect with the natives! Then when we got back we had to go get groceries because all the shops were closed for Easter Monday. After that we came home ate and planned.

        Mittwoch- we had two lessons fall out on us. :( We went to the
        church to clean some dishes because there wasn't any soap at the church when we ate there for district meeting. We had to bring some from home. After that we had an eating appointment with Klaus at Tokyo sunshine run. We go there about once a month with him. It is really good but you never feel so good afterwards, haha! Klaus came with us to go by on a potential but he wasn't home. So we decided to door. Sadly nothing turned out. :(... Then we had GMK at the church. We went home after that. Little did we know Walker left his iPad at the church. This had a really big role with the rest of the week! It was defiantly for the best! Es gibt keinen Zufall!

        Donnerstag- so the next morning Elder Walker and I decided to go to the church to get his iPad and do studies there. We were almost to the church when a car drove by and some kids waved at us but we didn't see who it was. A minute later the car turned around and pulled up next to us. It was Dani and his girlfriend and one of their friends in the back seat (some members). They asked if we were going to the church. They didn't have any keys and needed the computers. So they ended up taking us to the church. I had seen the Kidd in the back seat before but I didn't know his name. He was a less active. So we let them in the church and went on the stage to start personal study. As we were studying the kid that was sitting in the back seat came in and asked us if he could study with us. I was actually really shocked! “Of course,” we told him. He got a Book of Mormon and started reading. As personal study was almost over he said his name was Lukas and that he was 19. Then he asked us if he could bear his testimony. It was so cool! He said he was born into the church but always had a lot of problems. All of his siblings are inactive including his mom. Then he said about two days ago I was talking with my friends and then all of the sudden I just knew it was true! It just all clicked. He said he knew he had to serve a mission. He is seriously the coolest kid I have ever met! He asked us if he could come finding with us so we took him. He was testifying to everyone he could talk to about how he found the truth! He is such an amazing kid! He asked us if he could come finding with us all the time and come to our lessons. And to think we would have never met this kid if Elder Walker wouldn't have left his iPad!

        Freitag- we went street finding and found this really cool girl from Graz! She had lived with a Mormon family before and just loved it. She saw how they were different and wanted to be like that. So we got her number from the Graz Elders. Hopefully they are able to teach her! :) Then at 1:00 Lukas came finding with us! :D he even wore a white shirt and tie. It was pretty good! Man I love that kid!! Then we went to the church and did weekly planning before our lesson with Rogar (refugee from Nigeria). Lukas asked if he could do weekly planning with us so we all did it together. He hooked us up so much! He is asking everyone for referrals and having us over for lunch next Wednesday! :) After weekly planning we had our lesson with Rogar an hour late because he was on African time, hahaha!! We went over all of the lessons we would be teaching him and got to know him better. After our lesson we talked with one of our ward missionaries then went home.

        Samstag- we went up to Lichtenberg to help Emil Ivanovski with his house. On the way we found out that there was a marathon through Linz. It was cool to see and reminded me of when my sister would run marathons! After we got home we went to the church to watch the Saturday morning conference session. We saw Lukas there, which was awesome to see. That was the rest of our day.

        Sonntag- after some studying we went to the church for the rest of the day to watch conference. Other than the priesthood session everything else was live. It was really good! I have never loved conference so much until I came on my mission! And just in case you guys didn't remember, President Uchtdorf called German the Celestial language! ;) hahaha "Es gibt nicht gutes, außer man tut es."

        Der geistige Gedanke für diese Woche! President Uchtdorf talked about relationships and said something to the effect of stop complaining about the weeds and water the flowers. I take this as really good advice that can help any relationship. I am defiantly going to start trying to do this. But first it takes humility. We must strive to be constantly humble through prayer and fasting. When we are humble we can notice other people's achievements and praise them for their good. I have always told myself that I want to marry someone that makes me want to become a better person. That means I have to become someone that makes other people want to become better also. The best time to start is now. :)

        And just another Really good quote “Obedience is not the process of bending, twisting, and pounding our souls into something we are not, instead it is the process by which we discover what we truly are made of.” - President Uchtdorf