Monday, November 27, 2017

Joy's Last Email Home!!!!!

My first letter home reads:

We flew a long way but the sunrise this morning at 4:30 a.m. was BEAUTIFUL. On the plane to LA I sat next to this guy named Raul who is a religious person and we had a nice 2 hour chat about religion. Luckily, he was sandwiched between two missionaries so we tag teamed and Elder Beus gave him a Book of Mormon. Companions are a really good thing to have. I know that now. 

The others on the plane who came in my group are really awesome and Guatemala is really green and jungley and I can´t understand anything. Oh well. I will learn.

I love you so much! I am super happy and don´t worry about me at all.

I love you!

Hermana Ashton

I am so grateful for this year and a half that I have been able to work to serve the Lord here in El Salvador. I am so glad to see that even from the beginning I was so excited to share the gospel and now I am still excited about it! 

I have progressed in many ways and as I look back, it is all thanks to the Lord. I have seen his hand in all the good that has been done. He has blessed me with so much and I hope never to lose what I have felt and grown to know.

As I have shared my testimony with the people here, not only they have been able to benefit, but I too have had a change of heart. 

I know with a surety that this is the work of the Lord.
I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the Savior of every single person that lives, that has lived, and who will live.
I know that He has given his priesthood to his servants and that with this power and authority, we can perform the ordinances needed to return to Him with our families.
I know that Heavenly Father loves me and all His children.
He has called a prophet to bless us.
I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. He directs it.
I know that families can be sealed together for eternity.
I know and love these things and I testify of them in the name of Jesus Christ.

And I would like to report that I learned Spanish and that I understand everything jaja :)

I love you sooo much!

Hermana Ashton

We will pick her up at the airport on Thursday!  Can't wait to see this dear girl!

Monday, November 20, 2017

For some reason Joy's journal pages and pictures are not uploading tonight.  So....I will just put in a mom note. 

Joy comes home a week from this Thursday!!!!!  She comes on Thursday, November 30!!!!!
It will be so nice to have her home.  But, she says she is sad to leave her mission and will miss everyone there very much.  She hopes to be able to say good-bye to everyone she has grown to love, and is afraid there is not time. 

Hopefully the pictures will upload later.

Monday, November 13, 2017

On Thursday we had an activity all about purification. We, as a zone, had the opportunity to meet together to set goals to be able to be better focused missionaries and to be able to be cleaner vehicles of the spirit.

This activity helped me remember how important this mission is to me. I want to be able to serve well and with all my heart.

We made lists of our temptations that distract us from feeling the spirit. Then for everyone, we  answered three questions. What we gain from it, what we lose from it, and why we shouldn’t let it into our lives.

It was a good activity. It helped us learn what our weaknesses are and we all shared them and made goals to be able to get over them, to be able to be the best servants of God that we can be.

I want to be the best missionary possible.
I want to be useful in the hands of the lord. If I am his instrument, I better be a good one.

I love you

Monday, November 6, 2017

There is a neighborhood in our area that only has one entrance and at the head of this entrance there is a house. Almost every day we pass this house and in  the last month or so, there have been renovations and it has new owners of the house. But at the times that we pass, the house is either vacant or when we are running to get home at night and there is a family inside chatting. I have been wanting to contact the family that lives in the house for a very long time. 

On Sunday as we were walking to this area we were about to pass the house and we saw a woman sweeping outside. I don’t even remember thinking as we walked up to her and I said hello and offered to help her sweep. We had almost passed in that moment because we had an appointment but my legs took me, I opened my mouth, and God helped with the rest. She let us in and we found the family there. 

After the lesson we started walking again and Hna Hernandez told me that she always wanted to contact the family in the house and as we were walking by she had the distinct impression to contact the woman at the house but was going to keep walking. We reflected on all the times that we have contacted people after passing them. We sometimes pass by and think that it is too late to turn back because it will be awkward but we have turned back and found very good people.

The impressions of the spirit are there to be acted upon. The promise is real that if we act on one impression, we will be ready and able to recognize and act on another. So it makes a chain of call and response. If we don’t act, it takes a while for the next response, like waiting for a bus. The bus route that we want does not pass every second. If we miss one bus, we have to wait a while until the next one passes; but, it is our choice if we take that bus or let it pass again.

So the house that we pass every day is a house with a family and a family is perfect to teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love the gospel. I love the savior. I love you all!
Hna Ashton

Monday, October 30, 2017

This week went by fast.

I don’t know how it passes so fast. The time is on a race track and wants to win. But I don’t know who it is competing with because it has left me far behind.

On Monday we helped Chinameca move houses.

Supposedly this week we were supposed to have a hurricane but in San Miguel it was just cloudy and rained lightly on Saturday.  We were just dandy.  But I was worried for those in Centro and  in San Salvador. I think it was harder for them there. I am grateful that we are protected. 

I have been thinking a lot about personal revelation this week. It is so important. I don’t know what my life would be like without it. It has been so important but also really difficult to recieve. I have had to think a lot of things out in my mind and had to pray a lot. And now that I know how powerful fasting is, I have used it as a tool to help me learn what I need to do.

God answers prayers. Sometimes quickly but also he waits. He tries us to know how badly we want an answer. He wants to know if we have real intention. Real intention is when we put our desires to the side and let God direct us.

Humility is also very important. Sometimes our pride gets in the way when God wants to make us something that we don’t want to be. He sees our potential. 

I like the story by Hugh B. Brown about the current bush that he had, but he cut it back. When he didn’t get the advancement in the army that he wanted. He remembered how he had cut the bush down so it would have fruit and then thought about how God is the gardener. 

This is so true. Sometimes because we don’t want to change something or we don’t want to be seen as something small or something or other, our pride gets in the way of our personal revelation. 

God wants to guide us in all that we do, but we have to listen to the spirit and follow its promptings. That can be hard when we are in a world that doesn’t let us listen. The world is really loud. It throws a lot of things in our faces to make us forget about the important things. We have to see above those clouds and breath in the fresh air and accept the will of God. 

It isn’t easy. But, little by little we are able to make these little changes. I know that this is true. I love the gospel so much because it teaches us that we can have our own communication with our Heavenly Father. It is a such a blessing to have a relationship with him. 

Heavenly Father loves us and will lead us back to him. I love him too. I have been so blessed by this gospel and I hope to bring it to as many as possible here at the end of this race.

I love you all and I hope that everyone is happy and well!

Happy Halloween!

Hna Ashton