Greetings from the ice bowl. We've had a blizzard for the past few days. The people who have lived here for millennia say it's the most snow and coldest it's been in decades. God does have a sense of humor, "let's send the Arizona kid to the coldest mission we have..." haha.
It was a great week though! Monday we played dodgeball with the zone. The only difference was they were yoga balls hahahaha. That night we did something probably pretty stupid... We washed the car. It was 5 degrees out. And it was a "do-it-yourself" car wash. I had the opportunity of using the power hose. Naturally my hand was frozen in a gripping position and the car glazed over with ice so we couldn't even open the doors haha they were iced shut! It was awesome.
The good thing about all this snow is tons of service opportunities! We've been going to less-active and investigator homes to shovel their driveways and sidewalks. Which I guess is a law here. One of them we did for a widow at 8:00 PM. She had 8" of built up snow. Oh and a side note, it was -2 out and there was wind, so our faces were a little crusty! Shoveling is quite a good work out though.
Wednesday I got all 4 cavities filled! Not once in my life has a dentist been able to get my face numb...for the first time ever, Dr. Hull was able to numb exactly half my face! I was speaking pretty funny in the following lessons. We were on exchanges (Elder Rasmusson was with a companionship in Cody for a few days), so we drove to Cody and I switched spots with him. The purpose of exchanges is to assist other missionaries in the zone with their missionary work. So I was with Elder Chelson (my MTC companion!) and Elder Jackson who is one of my favorite Elders in this mission (from Kalispell zone).
We had a sweet lesson with Beau Brown Friday. He had a question prepared about Revelation. He shared a personal experience that had just taken place recently wit his family, causing him to wonder whether it was revelation or if it just the result of a dedicated will. I thought it was an excellent question. While it is true that you can see the result of something you are putting all your effort into, some things (many things) are independent of your trying. There are so many things that you can point to and say you know it happened by someone or something other than yourself. Beau (being both hilarious and extremely sarcastic) gave our companionship individual nicknames. He stands up to shake our hands after the lesson and says to me, "My abuser, (the to Elder Ashcroft) silent man, (then to Elder Rasmusson) and the Front Man. Haha I thought that was pretty funny. He calls me the abuser because I'm pretty blunt with him and he loves it lol. Later Friday night we had agreat discussion with one of our relatively recent converts, Sister Ackley. She grew up Pentecostal and knows her Bible extremely well. She has full faith that the LDS church is the correct church, but she has developed some deeper questions that she didn't ask in the originally discussions. I LOVE gospel conversations, especially with someone who is very knowledgeable in the Bible. She even had a question, not even deep doctrinal, actually pretty fundamental, that stumped us regarding the Priesthood and healing. We searched the scriptures for hours and couldn't find it. We actually ended up asking a member of the Mission Presidency but he did not have a direct answer either. It isn't a question that would sway your faith, but it was interesting.
Saturday. I never thought I would be going to a 1 year old's birthday party at a Baptist church on my mission lol. Quite the experience. A few weeks ago, we gavea blessing to a young mom and her baby who was sick. They are not members. The Mom (Alexis) invited us to Joshua's (baby) 1st birthday party which was held at the Baptist church. We got him a 3 foot long mickey mouse puzzle (only 42 really big pieces). We even played games...one of them involving fast CRAWLING on a hard floor in our suits as part of a relay race (they were baby oriented games). Still not sure that was the greatest idea.
It got to -31 this week with a wind chill. For the first time in my life my eye actually froze shut! Water got onto my eyelashes and it literally froze my eye shut! It was AWESOME. This was while shoveling more snow. Service gets you all kinds of free stuff. We are not allowed to accept money, so people justify giving us food. We got fresh banana chocolate-chip bread, a meal, and I forget what else. Dinner was with Brother George (ward mission leader) yesterday. His family has 2000 acres of farmland. Their big thing is dairy cows. I got to have straight cow milk. Raw, with no purification, just filtered. It was SO good. And I didn't even get sick!
Well that was our week. We did mainly service all week but we taught 19 lessons still which is still good for our area. Transfer calls came! Elder Rasmusson and I are remaining the Zone Leaders in Powell (so excited!), and Elder Ashcroft is going to Stevensville, MT to be a ZL there. We are inheriting another third companion, Elder Nessen who has been out longer than I have and is still waiting for his visa to Brazil...so we'll see how this goes!
I am so jealous you got to go to the Temple dedication and the Prophet was there. Thanks for all the sweet info on the Hosanna shout dad! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
oh! Check out the Simpson's snow men! They want a return appointment with us :) doh!