Thursday, February 25, 2016

February 21, 2016

Only a few pictures this week. The bottom picture is a story, in German, they got siri to tell them. We aren't really sure what it says but if anyone knows please share. The top picture is Elder Ashcroft playing a guitar in their apartment.
We are so proud of our little missionary. He has grown so much in the few short months he has been out! Each week his emails get better and better. He loves his mission and the people he is teaching. We couldn't ask for anything better. Thanks to everyone for your support and sharing in our love for this Elder.
~Love the Ashcroft's~

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

This week was pretty good if I do say so myself! It has been kind of stressful but all worth it!

Montag- after studies and groceries we went to this really nice furniture place to get some schnitzel. It's a long story….hahaha! Jk We got some coupons in the mail for schnitzel there. It was quite tasty! After that we headed to the church and made Pizza with the Persians, then played soccer and basketball! Then we went finding but nothing turned out:(

Dienstag- in the morning we took a train to Salzburg for zone training. Zone training was pretty good! Sister Berry gave her dying testimony and that was pretty sad! :( She goes home this transfer. We ate at Burgerista for lunch which is always good, then we all took
a train back and luckily we got a booth! When we got back we did studies and had dinner.

Mittwoch- in the morning we had our Deutsch course for the Persians. Then we had a lesson with them which I was really nervous for! Mainly because it was the lesson we were asking them to be baptized. Everything went well even though we didn't have a translator. All of them except for 1 of them accepted! :D Omid wants to get baptized but he doesn't feel ready yet. We told him that we are always there for him and will eventually prepare him for baptism. The other one Iman was sick that day but in a latter lesson accepted. They gave us hugs and thanked us for everything! The date is for the 27th of February. We had lunch finished studies and went finding with two of our ward missionaries. I taught with Klaus and Elder Walker with Brother Mayer. We went dooring in a complex which turned out really successful! One of the doors Klaus and I knocked on a lady answered. She said they didn't have interest and closed the door but moments later the door opened again and there was a pretty girl my age. She said but I have interest!! So we talked with her on the door for quite a while and got her number. We also gave her a Book of Mormon. Her name is Carmin and she speaks hardcore dialect!! She is seriously the coolest!!! Elder Walker and Brother Mayer also made out a lesson appointment with someone while they were dooring. Then we went to the church and had GMK.

Donnerstag- I woke up in the morning and was sick! :( So we stayed home all day :P
We text Carmin but apparently I wrote down the wrong number... So we are planning on going back to get the right number and maybe set up an appointment :)

Freitag- I was a little sick but better than I was. At 11:00 we went up into Lichtenberg my favorite place!!! :D We did service for Emil Ivanovski. We worked on his house which he wants me to come see when it's finished after my mission. After that we came home and had dinner.

Samstag- after the Deutsch course we had another lesson with the Persians and went through all the lessons with them to make sure they understood everything. We also planned out all of our appointments up until the baptism. Then came home and did the rest of our studies, lunch and weekly planning.

Sonntag- we didn't have choir because our choir leader was sick. Church was really good and we had translation for the Persians! After church we ate at the Erlacher's it was really fun I love their family! After that we came home and did studies!

February 8, 2016

This week has been crazy! It was mostly normal but it got pretty crazy by the end. Fasching/Carnival was going on, which is basically Mardi Gras. It's a Catholic holiday were you go crazy and do whatever you want. Then you go to church on Ash Wednesday and repent of everything. It's a huge European thing.

Montag- we got groceries at Lidl then got a Döner like usual. ;) After we got our hair cut at a Turk place. The first time we got our hair cut there we ended up teaching the entire parlor so they remembered us. Then we went to get some photos printed and Elder Walkers shoes repaired. We went to play basketball with the Persians and the Sisters when we were done there. It was so nice to wear normal clothes!! It was supper fun and everyone stopped and watched because they got to see actual Americans play some b-ball…hahaha! Sister Berry is actually pretty good, she played in college. Then we went to email! Then finding it was but nothing turned out from finding :P

Dienstag- we had Distrikts Versammlung in the morning and Elder Walker and I talked about accountability. The Zone leaders were there because they were going to Austausch with the district leaders. We had a Döner for lunch and went street contacting. We came home a little early that night to do area book work and write our "Fortschritts Bericht" (sorry idk what it's called in English). Then we ate dinner which was homemade Schnitzel! I think I am a master of the Schnitzel now it's like one of the most common things we eat….haha!
Mittwoch- we did studies in the morning then had Deutsch course at 11:30. After the course we taught the Persians about the temple. It was a little ruff at the start but turned out being good. They want to visit the Salt Lake Temple. We made a bunch of pizza for us and the Persians for lunch. Then we went dooring before we had GMK (ward mission correlation meeting). The Sisters were having such a bad day because everything fell through for them. One of their investigators was mad at them and they forgot there Fortschritts Bericht for GMK. We then walked home from GMK which was nice. Sometimes it's nice to just walk and wind down.

Donnerstag- so we thought it'd be nice to bake the Sisters a cake because the day before was so bad. We even put it on a silver platter! They asked for our Persian bible that day so we brought the cake with us. They were so happy about the cake…haha! Then we went to the Linz Rat House to get me an active pass so my tickets around would be cheaper. Then we headed back for lunch at Sprach Studium. After that we went dooring in Solar City. We only had time to door for a little bit. We needed to hook our iPads up to wifi for about a half an hour. We do this so the church can take information from a language test we did. Then it was time for dinner so we went home. For dinner we had Weißwurst! It was actually pretty good and is a typical German meal!
Freitag- we did studies then took a train to Ansfelden for an eating appointment with the Obermayers. It was so good! We had soup, rice, chicken wings, salad and sour kraut. Then we took a train home and changed at McDonald's to go play basketball with the Sisters and Persians. There was four new Persians there this time. One spoke really good German and another one spoke really good English. Who knew that playing basketball would actually be a good finding tool!?…Haha…I've actually herd about some missionaries here challenging people to basketball and if they win they get to teach the first lesson…haha! After basketball we got a drink at Hofer then went to the church to help decorate for a party. Then we went home for weekly planning and dinner.

Samstag- we had Deutsch course then ate lunch at a pretty nice restaurant. We had coupons so the price wasn’t that bad. The food was pretty good! It was Fasching so everyone was dressed up real weird! It's pretty much the same thing as Mardi Gras but in Europe. Then we went to the church Fasching party for the kids which was super fun. Most of the ward was there. After we went down to check out Fasching on Innenstadt (downtown). It was actually real sketchy. If you are wearing a tie during Fasching the girls are suppose to cut it off then kiss you which I did not know until after! Luckily nothing happened!! Phewww... It was crazy they had Poliezi everywhere. Innenstadt was blocked off with barricades so that the drunk people wouldn't get out into the city. Nothing like that started until latter so we really didn‘t see anything going on. Then we went and ate at Subway for dinner and went home.
Sonntag- this was the best day ever! We woke up went to choir practice, then greeted everyone. Then Brother Ausobsky came up and talked to us and said the Persians were cleared to be baptized!!!!!! :D It's so crazy! He talked to the Stake Presidents in the area, the 70 and President Kohler and they ok'd it! Then in our investigator class we told the Sisters. Sister Berry almost started crying. We were all so happy! Brother Ausobsky taught our investigator class and told them to start preparing for baptism! They knew it could be dangerous but they said we are already in danger for being here. Plus, they have already been baptized as Christians. So we will see who will accept the baptismal commitment on Wednesday this week. It is so amazing seeing something like this happen. It should be within about a month or so. President Kohler is probably going to do the baptismal interviews. After church we went home did study's and made cinnamon hazelnut pancakes. :)

The spiritual thought for this week is to make everything an adventure!
Most of my life I have always been disappointed or mad when something bad happens. Like if my tire popped or I took the wrong bus. Ever since I've been out on my mission I've just
learned to not worry about the little things. If it weren't for things like that my life would be so boring! Life gets so much better when you learn to embrace everything you can't change and work through the things you can! :) I learned this from one of my uncles and it has been some of the greatest advice!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February 1, 2016

This week has been so fun! It was a really good week. It hasn't been as cold lately so that's good. I am losing my English even more. So sorry if some of the things I write don't make sense. Some words I just can't think of in English…haha!

Montag- After studies we went to get groceries and then had a döner. We emailed then went to send letters at Bahnhof. Then took a train to Ansfelden to go eat at the Bishop’s house. Bishop Vogl is so cool! We had lasagna, which isn't my favorite. This one was surprisingly good! I eat a lot of things I didn't like before my mission like sparkling water. I love sparkling water now!!!! My companion is starting to get the dialekt of Oberösterreichisch but it's still a little weird for him.

Dienstag- We took a train at 7:48 to Salzburg for interviews with President. Interviews were pretty good. We watched a 2 hour broadcast for all the missionaries with the Brixon Italy district. I got to see Elder Melville again! :D It was super good; some of the apostles talked, and gave great advice! We went to Burgerista, which still doesn't compare to a homemade backyard American burger. At least they try, it was still pretty good. It was also Elder Walker's, my new comp, first time at Burgerista! After we all took a train back as a district. Elder Walker has some of the funniest stories. I love him…hahah!!

Mittwoch- We had the Deutsch Kurs and taught the Persians more about the commandments. It was a good lesson. At first I didn't feel like I wanted to teach them the commandments because had already taught them it. We did anyways and it turned out good! Everything we've taught them this week seemed to tie back to the commandments especially our lesson on Sunday. I know that the Holy Ghost prompted us to teach them the commandments! It's so cool how it all worked out. We ate at sushi at Innenstadt with one of our ward missionary's. I never thought I would see an Asian that speaks German in my life but I did…hahaha!!! It just doesn't seem like they should speak German. Later we had GMK (missionary ward correlation meeting). We were a little late though because the Straßenbahn didn't come! After Brother Mayer drove us home which was nice. He told us his story of how he was converted when he was 18 it was a cool story.

Donnerstag- This morning we got Elder Walker and Sister Michelson registered in Linz and got Elder Walker a Monatskarte for the Straßenbahn. After studies we went dooring in Leonding. It was fun and
so beautiful over there. All the rich people live over there so it's kinda hard. Some of them don't think they need God. :( We took this creepy path through a forest which was fun! It was super dark also because it gets dark way earlier over her then it ever did back home!!

Freitag- We did our morning studies then went finding for an hour. After we had a member eating appointment with Sister Dafalias. When we were on our way I forgot to check what Straßenbahn we were on... It was the wrong one so we had to wait for another Straßenbahn. we ended up being a couple minutes late! It was a fun time there because the Sisters and the senior couple, Graham's, were also invited! Sister Dafalias is known for feeding 7 course meals all on silver platter. It's crazy! The Sisters gave the spiritual thought then we talked about when Sister Dafalias was young. It was right after WWII and they lived 30 minutes outside Linz at this time. There were a lot of Russians in Austria then and they lived with some. Her mom eventually learned Russian. She said "they were so nice but they drank a lot. All they wanted was to be your friend.“ One day one of them took her to a war film. Her mom came home and didn't know where she was. "They wanted to make friends but weren’t very good at it" she said…hahaha!

Samstag- In the morning we helped with the Deutsch course for the Persians. Then had a lesson with them. We have taught the Persians literally everything now…haha! We decided to go through first Nephi Chapters 1 and 2. They have a hard time understanding some of the things in the Book of Mormon because the translation isn't complete. They only have about half of the Book of Mormon in Persian. We taught them how to scripture study. How to mark things, ponder and search words they didn't know. They are all the way through first Nephi but we are going through it again with them. It is really cool how interested in the story they are. All except for 1 have testimonies now! :) After we played ping pong with them for a bit and then they took us to lunch at a Döner/Kebab (Turkish shops that are everywhere) restaurant. It was funny because white Americans were walking around in a posse of Persians…haha! Everybody looked at us weird. It was fun hanging out with them. Iman's, one of the Persians, screensaver on his iPhone is a picture of Jesus! It's crazy learning about how they all got to Austria and what they have went through. One of the families were on a ship coming across the Black Sea and there boat started to sink. They thought they were going to die. They prayed and a minute later the boat was just fine. Omid, another Persian, walked through 10 countries by bus and mostly by foot to get to Austria. Awwweee I love the Persians so much! The Stake President is talking to the mission president about helping them get residency so hopefully that works out!

Sonntag- We went to choir then had church. Church was good and for some reason I just felt great that day! :) After church we ate at Dirk and Manual Erlacher's. Their kids are so cute! We had a very good meal. We gave a really good spiritual thought. That I’m going to share with you this week.;) After when we were on the Straßenbahn the sisters got a call. Apparently the phone feel out of my pocket so we had to go back to the Erlacher's to get it! :P So ist das Leben. When we got home we planned and I wrote in my journal. :)

So that brings me to the spiritual thought of this week! I only have the story in German, sorry, but I'm going to post a picture of it anyways.
This story is really good and relates to a lot of things in my life. The last paragraph says "sometimes when we hear the word of God, we try to decipher gods will for us. But all God wants is that we are obedient and that we believe on him. We should always have the faith to move mountains, but in the end we know it is always God who moves mountains." Sometimes when it seems like none of our work is paying off, we don't look back at how much stronger, and how much we learned from our work. My advice is that if you give your best everyday your best becomes a little better. So why not start today!?