Monday, August 29, 2016


Joy's letter this week:

Hola! como esta? bien bien? con calor? si siempre caminando, sudando,. sì porque somos misioneras de la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias y realmente la docrina se centra en jesucristo...

This is how we start talking to people in the street but I’ve been having to start more and more conversations to find new people. I am pretty solid in lecciones when we are talking about the gospel but really small talk in Spanish is very hard. It is hard to not make it sound completely forced, but day by day I improve a little bit. Thank the heavens for Hermna Jara. Really. Thank the heavens.

Yesterday our investigador Gerson passed his entrevista for his baptism and we are sooooo excited for him. His seriously was prepared for this gospel. He is ready. He has been ready and  now this Saturday he is going to get baptized! We are soo happy for him. Seriously, every lession we have with him is great. What is also awesome is that he WANTS to learn more, like he really want to learn what is right and about this gospel. He is so awesome.

We also have a family that we are working with, the familia Romero which is so great. A few years ago they talked with the elders but then the elders left and the family was lost, but they are great and we really hope that we can work with them a lot more.

also... TOMORROW WE GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SOOOOOOOO HAPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!! This is the best thing that I can think of doing.!  I have been wanting and waiting for this day and it has finally come! I am so happy!

And mama, I think that is because you want it so badly, the Hermana Lideres have asked Hna Jara y yo to sing a special number for our meeting this week. And also, we sing in every lesson a hymn to bring the spirit. Don’t worry. I’m singing. 

I have a picture of one of our smashed pets. It is quite artistic. I should frame it to always remember. 

I love the scriptures and every day in personal study the times goes so fast. That is the worst part because I just want to read them all the time and find more and more scriptures. Really, one of the fastest ways to learn is by reading the scriptures. If not the short hour that we have as missionaries, the 10 minutes that it takes to eat breakfast, or waiting in line at the grocery store (because it is so nice to have the scriptures on your phones trust me) or when you are in need of a break. Read the scriptures. For me. I wish I had more time for it, so when you have time, read.  If you think of me, read. They are seriously so beautiful and can help our lives. 

Here are some pictures from Hna Jara`s camera of the mom and one of her daughters in the Familia Romero.
But really. The scriptures are friends. Also they talks from conference and in the Ensign/Liahona are so awesome. They can help us to feel the spirit and the spirit testifies of the words of the prophets and the profetas testify of Christ, who is the Son of God, the one who atoned for us, who knows us perfectly, who will help us because he loves us no matter what. He will always be there with his arms open, but we have to be the one to take his hand and ask for his comfort and forgiveness, which he will always give. He could not have died for us if we would not use this atonement.  We can always come to him in the buenas y las malas.  Because he loves us unconditionally.  He will help us. I love Christ and I love his gospel. I know that it has blessed my life and really how much it can bless so many other lives too. I only have 18 with a tag that lets me say that I am a representative of Christ so I will make every second count. I will invite the children of God to come unto Christ so that they can feel the true happiness that this gospel brings. I love it. I love Jesus. I love my heavenly father and I love the restored gospel. This is a part of my testimony in words, but really I wish I could put the feeling in my heart on this page. I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, mi amigo.  Amen.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sent from Joy on 8/ 22/ 2016

This week was AWESOME!  Pedrito got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!  He is such a good kid!  I am so happy for him. On the way to the baptism we took a bus as usual but it was one ride to remember. This bus driver would pump the brake to the beat of the music and he had the bass up all the way so we could feel the Spanish rap on our way to the church for Pedrito´s baptism and salvation :)

The service was bonito y I was so happy!

Another reason that I am so very happy this week is because Hermana Jara and I don’t have cambios!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( For all of us Gringos out there, this means they aren’t being transferred).  We are going to frame the words "Ashton y Jara forever and ever" en nuestra casa!  Really we are so grateful!  And what is more, is that we are the only companionship in our zone that is not getting split. La unica!  Really it is a miracle!

Last p-day we went up a mountain and it was bonita.  We were able to see Honduras and the ocean.  It was Hermana Jara´s first time up a mountain and the pobrecita got a scratch on her leg.  But it was really fun with the whole zone so it is sad that so many people are changing out.  We have all become good friends! 

We had a conference for just the trainers and trainees this week and we got to share how we were learning how we feel and I think that Hna Jara and I are the best friends of all the companionships!  En serio!   We are besties. It is going to be the worst day when we have to change out. 

We also did a service activity this week and we used machetes to cut the weeds. I also got my very first burn in El Salvador.  I have been very faithful in putting on my sunscreen but that day was brutal.  EVERY missionary got burnt. The next day at district meeting it was very apparent that the sun got us all. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monday,  August 15, 2016

We were walking about doing our usual missionera stuff when we started to feel raindrops falling. We looked up and not a cloud was there.  We kept going and felt more droplets, but still the day was clear and sunny.  It really is like swimming in the air here.  100% humidity is real and it makes rain appear from nowhere.

In other news... PEDRITO IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!!!! He is a super awesome Joven who is so ready for this gospel!  I’m praying for him to stay super strong!  I am so excited for him and my heart grows more and more everyday.  I love sharing the gospel  because it is what makes me happy and I know that it can make others joyful too!

I am up to 5 scorpions.  Hmna Jara was in the bathroom when I heard her call Hermana Ashton!  I got up slowly because I thought that it was a spider because she always has me kill the spiders.  Nope.  Alacran! It was big and in the doorway of the bathroom.  I had to kill it the usual way with a box of the gospel but now, I have to accompany her if she goes to the bathroom, the kitchen, or the "backyard."  Truth.

Today we are going up a mountain so that is exciting.  Next week I will tell you all about it.
Oh, I live under a volcano which is cool to look at everyday.  The Chaperistique.  Bien bonito.
Yesterday we had Fast Sunday which was so nice.   I love Fast Sundays.  We bore our testimonies and mine was more simple than some of the childrens’s but it was good.  We also are….(she didn’t finish this :(  .

We had zone conference this week and of course like in every group pic, the Hermanas are in the middle, sitting, ten feet closer to the camera than the elders.  Super flattering…. but its good!

Mama, my house doesn’t have a number.  So it is not possible to find really.  Sorry about that. Everything gets sent to the mission home.  Also we will find out if we have transfers this week so pray that Hermana Jara and I don’t get separated!!!! I will cry!  But all is well.  We are happy.
I don’t know what else to add.


I hate roosters.  They go off all through the madrugada and they are awful!   Bless them!

Monday, August 8, 2016

From Joy Ashton    Written August 8, 2016

This week we went to the temple for a mission activity. We had a bus for our ward and we took our investigators to learn more about the temple. There were people from all over our mission. Presidente Vasquez said that about 1,600 people came.  It was great, but it rained so we were scooping ice cream and the ice cream got all over our hands so we rinsed them off in the rain afterward.

Also, mom, we don’t keep any of our food out. Every crumb is in the fridge so the ants don’t get to them... and possibly a mouse...

We got home the other night and we went into the kitchen to grab a snack and when we turned on the light we saw a dark little skutteling thing move across the floor!  It went behind the fridge so I  tried to move the fridge but it wouldn’t move. It’s been a few nights since we’ve seen him so we think that he left, and there isn’t a dead smell anywhere in the house so we are hopeful that it found a different home.

We also found a menos activo while walking.  His name is Fancisco and he is a very cute old man who can’t go to church because of his health. But he is very sweet and when we met him I felt the most genuine love for him. It was so sweet. Whenever we visit him the spirit is there. Really the fruits of the spirit in Galatas 5:22-23 are what I feel.  Amor y gozo especially.
But we were bringing a liahona to read to him and I accidentally brought an English one. That was no good. Oops but we laughed it off and we will continue to visit him and read to him.

I am happy here and I am praying for everyone. I love you all.

Oh, I thought I would write some of the things I’ve become more accustomed to :

-the chickens and ducks live with the people in their houses. They poop and eat off the floor.  They are quite gross to look at because many of them don’t have feathers in patches. It is horrible.
-but the people also spit on their floors and walk barefoot through all the ickiness.
-Buses get filled very quickly and the people don’t have a problem with personal space because that concept doesn’t exist.
-there is no such thing as vegetables here.
This week was good on this end!

I’m praying for everyone.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Joy Ashton               August 1, 2016

This week we sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat. But, apparently March and April get EVEN HOTTER! Yes!

Oh, but one time when we were not sweating was when it poured…. Buckets.
It was about 5:45 in the evening and we were out walking as usual, when the clouds finally had their fill and couldn’t hold back. First, there was 5 seconds of drizzle and then it was a torrent. The sky was dark and the sheets of rain came down hard. We were on our way to an appointment with our wonderfully excited investigator Hermana Lourdes and it was across our area so we walked through the rain, laughing and enjoying the rivers which were once streets. Honestly, the water was moving fast.  We would step down and the water was up to our ankles. we were completely soaked.
We got to her house and knocked and she was so surprised to see us standing there absolutely dripping. She went away for a little bit and came back with blankets, towels, and dry clothes.  It was very sweet of her, but she had us change right there, so I held a blanket for Hma Jara while she changed into a soccer jersey and tie-dye skirt and she held it for me when I changed into a bright pink Aeropostle shirt and bright yellow skirt. Fue gracioso.

We shared a prayer and a hymn and then we left with the new outfits and the blankets but this time using their umbrellas. We walked home and thought about our clothes that we had left with Hermana Lourdes.

When we got home we made sure that our stuff in our bags (similar to backpacks) was ok and luckily, thanks to my sister Catherine, nothing of mine was wet.  My bag is truly waterproof!
The next day we traded our things back and Hna Lourdes had washed and dried our clothes.  She is the sweetest person.  I really hope that she follows through.  She is so Christlike and excited to learn about the gospel.

Yesterday, she and her son came to church again and we were in a lesson and were asking families if they would share their Liahona magazines with their neighbors and Lourdes volunteered to share the Liahona with her neighbors.  She hasn’t even read one before.  She is so awesome!

We talk to people and one of the things they say is that I’m "chele" which, here, in El Salvador, means really white. I think it is shocking for them. As it is shocking even in the united states to see how white I am, but even more here. I would love to be able to tan, but I will definitely not give up my bloqeador to get color. That is not a risk I am willing to take.

Yes, I eat fried bananas.  And liquified beans, and this week I’ve got my pupusa count up to 15. We eat cereal for breakfast and dinner usually.  I still cannot understand the Hermana who cooks lunch for us… not a word.  Other people I can though.  It is pretty weird how differently everyone speaks.  
Everyone and their dog has a hammock here. There are hooks built into the houses to allow for hammocks. It is so interesting.

I love it here and I am learning poco a poco and I haven’t cried yet.  Is that weird.  I haven’t cried in the hard moments and it is scaring me. I’ve forsaken feeling I guess.

We helped one of our investigatores wash his dog this week.  We traded skirts for a couple of days which was fun to change things up a little. Oh, we finally got to take out the garbage!
We had a mountain of garbage on our back porch waiting for us, but the garbage man doesn’t come every week.  Only once in a while.  So last night when we saw the neighbor’s garbage hanging up, we got excited. now our back porch is icky-free!
And the banana tree has baby green bananas. 

I love you!

I will pray for you if you pray for me ;)