Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Week 20

Hello everyone,

Well it has been a fun week...It was great to talk to my family and Mattie on Thursday for Christmas!  It was neat to see Annie, Grandma and Grandpa on a double FaceTime as well, even though I didn't get to talk to them much.  The 40 minutes went way to fast, but I am glad I had the opportunity.

This week was transfer week and I am happy to say that I am staying in Williams.  Elder Parkinson is being transferred to another area and he has been called to be a Zone Leader.  I also received a call from President Griffin.  He has called me to be a TRAINER!!!  I will get a brand new missionary on Wednesday.  I don't know who he is or anything about him so I will email all of those details later.  President Griffin is trying to infuse some younger leadership into the mission right now.  This transfer on Wednesday there are many of our leaders heading home.  2 Assistant to the President, 8 Zone Leaders and a couple of District Leaders.  I am excited for this opportunity to have an influence on a new missionary.  So I will be in Williams for another 3 months!

Brittany is still working on the Word of Wisdom and we have pushed her date back to January 17.  We have another appointment with Califia on the 7th.  Her daughter didn't join us last time for the lesson.  I think that Califia will progress over time...

Excited for the newest chapter in my missionary service with training a new missionary...I will update all of you on Monday!  Also, we are supposed to get some pretty good snow on Wednesday...I thought I was getting out of the snow!!!! :-)

Love you all,
Elder Ashby

Update from Ward Member Sister Flannery:  You should be so proud of Elder Ute (that is what they call him) he has grown so much since being here!!  Watching him evolve and grow has been awesome.

Update after they found out about transfers:  We are elated!  I can't believe that he is already a trainer when he is so new himself.  That just shows the kind of person that he is.  Of course we are sad that Elder Protein (Parkinson) is leaving, but we are so happy that Elder Ute is staying!!!  We are just so proud of him and so looking forward to the next few months with him as the leader!

Photo's from Sis. Flannery...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 19 - Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

First off I want to challenge everyone that reads this to "Share the Gift" one more time before Christmas day.  I know that isn't much time, but I know you all can do it.  Just give them the website of!  This is the true meaning of Christmas and the best gift that any of us could ever possibly ask for, the Savior Jesus Christ.

I am looking forward to talking to the family on Thursday!  Should be calling around 11:30 CST. 

All our investigators are doing well.  We met with Brittany one time this week, but they canceled our second appointment.  Brittany has asked for another blessing to help her with the Word of Wisdom.  She is still set for baptism on Jan 3.  Keep praying for her!  We also met with Califia yesterday and it went really well.  She is very open to anything that we teach her.  I think our next lesson will be great for her when we talk about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  We appreciate all the prayers for our investigators!

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Our next transfers are on Dec. 31 so we will see if Elder Parkinson or I get moved or if we get to stay together another 6 weeks...I won't be writing until Tuesday next week.

Love you all,
Elder Ashby

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 18

Hello everyone!

Well this past Saturday I hit my 4 month mark...Wow how time flies...Things are going very well here in Williams.  We had our Christmas Conference this week.  We were able to go to the Mesa Temple and do an endowment session and then meet with the Mission President and all of the missionaries.  It was fun to see all of my friends that I made in the MTC.  I think we will all share a brotherhood since we all started our mission together.  I will post some pictures of the lights at the Temple...they were beautiful.

We weren't able to meet with Brittany this week so we are not sure how the battle with her quitting smoking is going.  We are going to try and get in touch with her early this week. Travis and her were married on Saturday.  The wedding was good, really short and it just didn't seem like the way a marriage is supposed to be.  It has strengthened my desire to be sealed in the temple.  Brittany is still on date for January 3rd, but we need to meet with her more often for that date to be an option.  Everyone keep praying for her!

I got Grandma's package this morning...Thank you so much!  I really appreciate all you do for me.

Joan Cichos emailed me this week.  She wants to meet with us as missionaries and take us to dinner after the holidays.  That would be a long drive for her to come meet with us.

Love you all!  I will write again next week.
Elder Ashby

Elder companion from the MTC.

Elf hat from Mattie...

My District

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week 17

Hello everyone!

Well another week has passed and this coming Saturday marks 4 months on my mission.  Wow how time flies.  When you look back it has gone really fast since entering the MTC in August.

The only investigators that we were able to meet with this week was Brittany.  We did end up meeting with her twice to try and keep her on track for her January 3 baptism date.  Both lessons were great.  We did find out that she does have a problem with smoking, but she did commit to live the Word of Wisdom and quit. (here is the actual unedited version of Trent's email..."We found out that she has a problem with smoking but she vomited to live the Word of Wisdom".  I guess spell check changes some of the meanings at times).  So back to his email..... This week we taught Brittany the principles of Faith, Repentance, being cleansed from sin and the Word of Wisdom.

We also stopped by the mother and daughter we met with last week, Califia and Chesnie.  They were pretty busy so we are going to go back Wednesday and meet with them again.  No other new investigators this week....but we are still working hard and looking for those that the Lord has prepared for our message.  Please keep praying for opportunities for us here in Williams as well as for your own personal missionary opportunities wherever you live.  We have been sharing the Church message "He is the Gift" during this holiday season.  You can find it at  It is a 2-3 min video Christ being the true gift of Christmas.  It is as awesome missionary tool.  I have been placing it out on Facebook, so please "share" that and it will go across social media with all your help.

Tuesday we have the opportunity to go to the Mesa Temple for our Christmas Conference.  I am so excited.  We are planning on doing an Endowment Session, looking at the Christmas lights and EATING!  Should be an awesome day!

Love you all!
Elder Ashby

PS. Message from Sister Flannery is fun to hear from her every week..
It has been another great week here in Williams!  Snapped a few pics before they were headed out to teach a soon-to-be-baptized lady.  She how "glowy" they are?  full of optimism, energy and true charity all wrapped up with a fun sense of humor.  They even had a smile on their face when I passed them walking home from Safeway this week in the rain with their year supply of toilet paper.  Felt bad that mish rules wouldn't let me give them a ride.

So Elder Protein (Parkinson) talked Elder Ute (Ashby) into trying a jalapeno popper, turns out he got one of the two super hot ones and we dang near killed him, nonetheless he was a great sport.

Pictures from Sis. Flannery

Some fun pictures of this week....

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 16 - Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone!

This week was Thanksgiving and it was a different week.  On the actual holiday we stay in our apartment unless we have appointments with members for dinner.  No proselyting that day.  I am sure that there wouldn't be many people that would want to let us in to teach a lesson while they are all stuffing themselves.  We were well taken care of on Thanksgiving.  We had a lunch appointment for Thanksgiving and then another family invited us over for left overs for dinner that night.  As you can see from one of the pictures below...I was stuffing my face!

 The work seems to be picking up for us over the past week.  We met with Brittany on Wednesday and taught her a lesson.  We had another meeting set with her on Saturday, but she wasn't home for that one.  We need to teach her 2 times a week until her baptism so we can make sure that we get her committed to everything.  We still have her Baptism date set for Jan. 3rd.  She seems to be doing very well with all that we are teaching. 

Last week we ran into a guy named Harold and set up an appointment for later in the week.  We stopped by and we talked about a variety of things and he realized that he needs to be baptized before he dies.  Since we were not able to teach him about the Priesthood Authority, he doesn't see the difference of getting baptized by someone holding the authority than any other preacher.  So we set up another time to come back and talk to him.  He is very busy recovering from a surgery, so with doctors appointments and his recovery we are going to try and catch up with him after New Year.

We were tracting the other day and sharing "He Is The Gift" video with people.  This is an awesome 2 minute video stating what the real gift of Christmas is.  We met with Kaleefia and her daughter Chesnie and they were really open to hearing about it and really liked the video.  Her husband wasn't interested in talking with us so he just continued to make Ramen noodles while we shared the message.  We are going to try back on Friday and we hope we can teach them the Restoration.

Love you all!
Elder Ashby

Note from Steve Ashby:
One of the members of the Williams Ward really takes care of the missionaries.  These two pictures below were sent by the Flannery's.  She also sent a message to Elder Parkinson's family and our family via Facebook and I wanted to share what she wrote:

Rona Flannery: I have been so terrible at sending you awesome parents pictures!! But I will try and do better!  I was gone for a few months helping my daughter, but now I'm back and I'll try and keep you better "informed" from my perspective anyway.

I just wanted you to know how much we love your boys!  They are truly awesome, BOTH!!  Both Danny and I breathed a sigh of relief when neither of them got transferred.  They are such great missionaries, such hard workers and it is such a blessing for us to be here so close to them and seeing the work progress.  And it's taking off like wild fire here!  It was dead for soooo long, and now BAM!  They are truly who Heavenly Father needed here at this time.

They both have great work ethic and a sense of humor - which I'm pretty sure you'd die out here without because it's actually a very diverse place - not typical valley Arizona at all.

So Danny has gone with them a few times and is so impressed with their teaching abilities.  Even our sweet Elder Ash comes right out of his shell - you would never know he started off shy, because he is so open now.

Just last night, we were chatting with them and they had a few spare minutes and went tracting.  They were able to share a very spiritual message and schedule an appointment for next week.  That never happens!  They were pumped! (because no one opens their doors these days unless you have thin mints - lets get real LOL)

Anyway, they rock!  They are loved! They are needed! Thought you should know.  And as soon as I can figure out why my pictures won't download, I'll get some sent.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 15

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Well this will be the first real holiday since I have been out on my mission.  We will be well taken care of on Thanksgiving.  We have a dinner appointment at noon and then another dinner appointment later in the day for leftovers.  I am sure that we will be fed well this week.  I hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We still haven't been able to meet with many of our investigators this week, but we have been teaching many lessons.  We taught 18 lessons this week to members.  We are hoping that this turns into some referrals.  We did actually meet with one of our investigators that we haven't met with for about a month, her name is Brittany.  We were able to teach her and set a baptism date with her for January 3.  Her and her fiancĂ© are getting married on December 13.  This gets us through some of the issues since they have been living together.  Travis, her fiancĂ©, is a member of the church, and he has just started coming back to church.  He has been in jail for the last while.  That would have been the highlight of the week except we had another great experience on Sunday.  Our new convert, Bob, was able to bless the Sacrament for the first time.  It is a real neat experience to see how he is growing and now utilizing the Priesthood.  He was very nervous and had to say the prayer twice since he didn't do everything right the first time.  I remember how nervous I was the first time as well.  We hope this will just be another step for him in his growth in the Church.

I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Ashby

Elder Parkinson and I did some multi-tasking while we were planning.  Notice the Phoenix Temple made with thumb tacks...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week 14

Hello everyone,

Well first things first....neither Elder Parkinson or I are going to be transferred tomorrow, so we are together at least 6 more weeks.  We are both pretty happy about that.  We had a trainer/trainee meeting on Friday, so I was able to see all of my MTC district.  It was really cool to see all of them again.  Only one of them will have a new companion at this point.

On Saturday this week we were able to go down to Phoenix and be a part of the Phoenix Arizona Temple Cultural Celebration.  It was really cool.  President Monson, President Uchdorf and President Perry were in attendance.  It was a good feeling being in their presence, even though we weren't able to meet them.  The Cultural Celebration focused on the 5 C's of Arizona: Copper, Citrus, Cattle, Cotton and Climate...President Uchdorf also said they missed one C....He said all of us that participated were COOL!  We were able to sing Called To Serve as we walked in the stadium with all of the missionaries in the Phoenix mission.  I was able to stand on the front row of the stage when we got there.  We also participated with the entire group in singing "Be the Light" which was the theme of the celebration.  We also learned the sign language to Be the Light.  It was a neat experience to be a part of that.  We didn't get home until 11:30pm that night...Glad our Mission President wasn't worried about curfew that night... :-) 

On Sunday we were able to watch the Temple dedication at the Stake Center.  I have never had the opportunity to be a part of a Temple dedication before.  It was a little different, but very cool.  One of the mothers of a missionary in our mission owns an embroidery company.  She embroidered all of the missionaries a white handkerchief with the Temple on it.  I will post a picture of this.  It is really cool.

The work with our investigators has been pretty slow this past week, but we have also been very busy with everything else.  It was a great week.  Christmas lights are starting to go up in the town of Williams...seems like time is flying by.

Love you all,
Elder Ashby

This is the handkerchief that was given to us from a missionary mom.
Flagstaff Zone Fun

 Standing from Left to Right: Chidester, Zaugg, Christensen, Lundquist, Pratt, ME, Shurtleff, Fife, Ford, Shepherd, Qwok, Madsen, Parkinson
Bottom from Left to Right: Graziano, McCombie, Hixson, Wooden, Knott

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 13

Hello from Williams,

This week we went to a funeral for someone Elder Parkinson had taught.  Friday we had Zone Conference, which was bitter sweet because I love seeing the Zone, but I heard from two of our Elders that are going home in about a week.  Saturday we were able to go to the Mesa Temple with Barbara, Frankie and Bob to do Baptisms for the Dead.  They all had family names and it was really cool!

No new investigators this week, but we do have a couple of referrals we are going to contact soon.

The Cultural Celebration for the Phoenix Temple Dedication is this coming Saturday, November 15 at 7p MST.  It will be broadcast on as well as  We hope everyone can watch...Who knows you may see me singing!

Love and miss you all!

Elder Ashby

Mesa Temple Trip
Gave myself a haircut for the first time


Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 12

Hello everyone!

I hope all is well with everyone at home (where ever that may be).  Things here in Williams are going good.  It seems that we have hit a bit of a lull in the missionary work.  This week almost every lesson fell through.  We only were able to have six total lessons and none were with an investigator.  I am sure the Lord is testing us to see if we will continue to be obedient and keep working hard.  I know the hard work will pay off.

Transfers are coming up in a couple of weeks.  Elder Parkinson was only here a month before I came, so we really don't know if either of us will be transferred.  Member meals are going well.  Dad asked what is one of the more different things I have eaten....It would be biscuits with chocolate gravy.  It is delicious.

Our area here in Williams is huge.  This area is the largest in the mission by far.  It is over  600 square miles.  We don't get out to some of our surrounding areas much.  Ash Fork, Seligman and the Grand Canyon are some of the other towns.

Love you all,
Elder Ashby

We went to Ash Fork to visit a member.  They weren't home....but the goats were...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 11

Hello all,
I hope everyone is doing well back home.  Things are going OK here in Williams.  We are having some trouble with some of our investigators canceling, but it has still been a good week.  Serving the Lord is always a good week.  I have a bunch of pictures that I am going to send today so I hope you all enjoy them.

I love you all!
Elder Ashby

Bob Robinson Baptism (baptized by Bro. Grimes)
MTC fun...
We called this group the Unconscious Club (we are 3 point bombers)

 Phoenix Temple (we got to go with a Part Member Family on Friday)

Some fun pictures....

Williams sunsets and some deer...