Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Joy Ashton                    Sent from Joy on Monday, July 25, 2016

This week was so good! I still don’t know how to speak Spanish but it is ok because poco a poco I will!
So this week we were washing our dishes out in our pila and all of a sudden hna Jara shrieked and pointed at the wall. I for some reason was expecting to see a bat so when I saw a spider whose body was the size of a dollar coin and whose legs were long enough to wrap around a golf ball and touch, I was relieved. I sprayed it off into the tub of water but it got out so I took off my shoe and smashed it.
Not two minutes later, there was another scream from my peruvian next to me shrieking something that sounded like "gran." So I thought ok, there is another big spider.  But, that was not it.  On the first day that I came she showed me a picture of a scorpion they had in their apartment and so when she said "como el foto" I was enlightened. The word "alacran", which sounded like “gran”,  means scorpion. So I went inside and got a shoe nd and I smashed it.  


The next day we went to San Salvador so I could get a visa permit thing and while we were there we talked to the other sisters and one of them had a scorpion too and the way they killed it was with a stack of  Liahona magazines.
The next night we were taking care of business as usual and getting ready for bed and hna Jara opened our door so she could leave to go brush her teeth and on the ground was a moving black alacran the size of our cell phone.  So trying not to panic that the alacran was in our house knocking at our bedroom door,  I put on my highest shoes and went to the room that holds all the stuff we store and found a box of folletos that was perfect for the job. The giant scorpion was moving toward the bathroom and then its life ended. It lives in heaven with Jesus now and was ironically killed with a heavy box of pamphlets about him.
We were trying to find an antigua investigator and we could not find her anywhere. We were asking people in the streets and no one knew where she lived, but one person sent us down a street where a family was out talking.  So we started talking to them and explained that we are missionaries and the mom was super excited to talk to us. She is a religious, spiritual person so we went back and she is so ready! But, when we left her house after looking for two days for the antigua, a woman started talking to us and we asked her name and it was the antigua who we were searching for!!!!!! The Lord is going before us!  It was so cool!!!!
I taught an English class and it went horribly but that is ok!!

I love you all!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Speth and Joy

                                                    Hermana Jara and Hermana Ashton.
                                                Joy looks tall.  But, we know she is not.
Joy Ashton              July 18, 2016


Well, last Tuesday we left the MTC by bus at 6 am and all the people headed for El Salvador were shoved in together! We drove for a few hours on really windy roads with so much jungly green around us. It was beautiful but the feeling in my stomach was not. I threw up my breakfast but luckily I had a bag ready.

We got into El Salvador and it was a couple more hours until we got to San Salvador. We dropped off the Santa Ana missionaries, which was hard because I had to say goodbye to Houston but luckily I still had a couple of the elders from my CCM (MTC) district with me.

The San Salvador temple is beautiful on the outside and I think I will get to attend it in August.

We got to the President´s house and we were there all day being lectured by the assistants and the nurse and stuff.

That night we stayed in an apartment which was the grossest place I’d ever seen. But we swept up and I put sheets on my mattress and sprayed everything with deet and then I took the fastest shower I have ever known because the bathroom, which was once white, was now brown. When I went to turn off the water though, I got a little shocked so there was a little time when I didn´t know exactly what to do to turn off the water, but finally with the shower curtain I was able to turn it off.

The next day we got our companions and I am so happy with my trainer! She is the cutest little Peruvian that you have ever met! I love her so much! She is super friendly and even though she 
doesn´t know English, we are working together on the communication between the two of us. She is so patient and I am so grateful for that. She knows "don´t worry" and "super cute" which are surprisingly very comforting.

We then traveled by bus for another two hours to San Miguel which is my area. It is a city which is good because we can catch buses if we need them.

The buses here are strange because they will stop wherever you wave your hand. They don´t actually have bus stops.

We arrived to our house and it is so so nice. I was so grateful that it was not like the first night in El Salvador. The house is really big for just the two of us and it has a really cute teal door, and there is a shower but the drain doesn´t work. So, we have to use a bucket to take the water out and pour it down the sink. I’m fine with that. The best part is that our bedroom has AC!!!! un milagro!

The food is good for the most part. We have a member of the ward make us lunch everyday so the first day that I arrived we went over to her house and it was the first time that I really got scared about the language. I. could. not. understand. a. word. she. said.  It was horrifying. Honestly, I felt like I knew no Spanish at all. It has improved a little bit since that first day.

There is something here that is really weird. It is like hot yogurt and the people love it, but it is not really my cup of tea. Last night we had to eat a pint of it each. It was so much and I had to eat it all. I forced myself though.

The language is going to come but it is taking its sweet time. It was like night and day though when I realzed that "bien" not only means "well" but also "very." It was incredible what a difference that made! haha.

The people here are always shocked to see me. I am so "bien" white.  We are walking up and down the streets constantly and people will literally lean out the windows, and they look back as they are driving to make sure that I am real. It is a little funny. It is also a little annoying. But, it’s all good.

The people are pretty nice but it is still really hard to understand them. Luckily Hermana Jara, my trainer, speaks real Spanish so I can understand her if she goes slow. We still have our moments where we have to break out the dictionary to explain ourselves.

There are dogs and garbage everywhere and never have a sweat so much in my entire life. I am never not sweating. San Miguel is good though. I love the people here and it is fun when I actually can understand things. It is sort of obnooxious that the people think that I’m stupid and talk to Hermana Jara as if I am deaf and mute. I am doing my best but when they don´t speak properly, it makes it harder. Jara explains their way of speaking as "campo" which I have taken to mean as “ghetto” or just less educated so the words that I read in Spanish do not sound like the words I hear.

But, I am in the right place. This is where God has sent me. And there is purpose in all things! No parasites yet!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We have not received a letter from Joy this week.  Her Prep Day has been on Tuesdays in the MTC in Guatemala, and she has faithfully written every Tuesday.  

This week her P-Day was used traveling to El Salvador.  Since we have not heard from her yet, I am thinking that she did not have a chance to get to an internet computer site/cafe and so we shall hear from her next Monday or Tuesday, depending on when her P-Day in El Salvador is.  

I know she was excited to get to her mission.  I hope she has a kind and helpful companion.  

We will look forward to hearing from her in a few days!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Joy's 5th week letter!    Dated  July 5, 2016

Hey this week came and went and I don't know how, but I'm cool with that. The MTC has been great and all and I do appreciate that I don't have to live off of oatmeal and rice quite yet, but I also think I have a little cabin fever.  I think this is the last email from the MTC because next p-day I will be traveling to El Salvador.

Like I said, this week was so fast I don't even know what happened.  I do know, however, that I, for the first time in my life was excited for Fast Sunday.  Learning a language is pretty hard and even though I know that I could not have learned half as much Spanish without this experience, I still need help, so when Fast Sunday came, I definitely had purpose. I felt the spirit so strong all through Fast and Testimony Meeting and I really wanted to share my testimony but there was a line of 30 Latinos. It was the best meeting ever though!

One of the Latinos calls me Rapunzel because of my blonde hair (even though it is shoulder-length) that is usually in a braid since there is no time to actually do my hair in the morning.  When he called me that I could not figure out what he was saying to me so I just smiled and nodded.  I think I will have to do that a lot for a couple of months.  I am praying real hard for my trainer.  Bless her.
The Fourth of July here was great.  All the girls in our suite wore our red white and blue.  We looked so cute and some of the workers here wished us a happy Dia de Independencia.   We ate watermelon and they made a flag out of cupcakes decorated with red white and blue.  As I was brushing my teeth last night I heard some pops out the window so I ran in to our room, flew open the curtains and in the air there were big fireworks just a street over. It was like a present on Christmas day! They were beautiful. I love fireworks so stinking bad! It made me so happy!

The girls are all trying to put together an intermediate hymn for our last Sunday and if we can ever end up making it sound alright we will sing "Come Thou Fount". I love that song.  It is so pretty. It gets stuck in my head all the time though.

So for laundry we have a set schedule and a set machine that we have to use when we wash our clothes. But this week our machine was  out of service so we asked one of the workers what we should do and she said to use the one next to ours. So we popped our whites in and thought nothing more of it.  But when we came back we looked into the machine and there were clothes but they were not ours.  We went to every machine and none of them had our clothes.  We thought it was so weird because why would anyone steal our whites? As we were running around looking for our clothes, probably looking similar to chickens with the heads cut off, Hermano Duban, the guy in charge of maintenance came in and asked us if we were missing our clothes. We said yes, so he opened the closet and pulled out a basket with our clothes, which were now with a stiff crusty feel having been taken wet from the washer and left to sit in a heap to dry. He got mad at us for not following the schedule so we explained what had happened and how the lady had told us to use the other machine.  His heart softened a little, but it was still a very stressful moment in our lives.

I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is His church.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God and is truly another testament of Jesus Christ and that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore His gospel on the earth. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Love you all! I hope that everyone is having an awesome summer.   Everyone needs to be safe okay?

Love, Hermana  Ashton