Whaddup amigos? I have officially completed 1 transfer in the mission! In total for gringos, I think there are 16 transfers, so yeah, I'm already a sixteenth of the way done with my mission. I come back June 9th, 2020! So crazy to think about that, and so crazy to see how time is flying.So, a lot of cool stuff happened this last week. I have a ton of cool pictures to send! So first off, last Monday and Tuesday, my comp, and the comp of one of the guys who came with me from the MTC, Elder Blackburn, had to go to Mission HQ for a meeting for district leaders. So Presidente Orquera decided to throw me and Elder Blackburn together for 2 days!! 2 brand new gringo missionaries all alone in an area called Villa Alem. It was so lit! We visited with a ton of people who all laughed at our efforts with Spanish. But, we actually got around pretty good! We taught a ton of lessons on the Restoration, and a couple on the Plan of Salvation. It was a super cool experience to see how much we've both improved from the MTC (check the pics for me and Elder Balckburn, he's the guy with brown hair like me. He's a stud).
After working alone Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, we traveled to Salta for a meeting for all the new missionaries and their trainers. Blackburn and I traveled with our buddies Elder Bustos (who arrived with us too) from Spain and his trainer, Elder Prado from Brazil. Check the pics for Elder Blackburn and I with them. When we got to Salta, we reunited with all my friends from the Mexico MTC, they're in the pics too.The economy here is doing super bad. When I arrived in Argentina, the peso was at about 25 pesos for 1 US dollar. Now it's at 40 pesos on the dollar. Lots of people don't have enough to eat. There are riots every once in a while. The people are torn between blaming their president, Macri (who is basically a lot like Trump) and Americans. I was talking to one of my buddies Elder Perkins, and he was telling me the other night, that he and his comp got a call from the branch president saying they needed to head to the apartment early that night (at like 7 o'clock) because the people were really mad and were looking to take it out on Americans. They haven't changed the amount of our allowance yet either, so even though the peso has been inflating we're stuck with the same amount of money. So we have no money left right now for the entire MONTH. We rely a ton on members and it is some scary stuff going on here. But I know we'll be protected as representatives of Jesus Christ!Then, this Sunday, Elder Gustafson and I had quite the adventure. We were sick of the fact that none of our investigators are coming to church. So, before church Sunday morning, we went and rounded up the neighborhood "chongos" (basically means hood rats) and brought them to church with us (with permission of their parents of course). Check the pics for a sweet photo my comp nabbed of me walking with them to church.I think this is it! Thanks so much for your love and support, and if you could please send some prayers my way, and my buddy, Elder Zack Prusse's, and cousin Elder Joel Ashton's way, whose missions are getting wrecked by a typhoon right now I'm pretty sure (based off the Spanish news I catch in people's houses) that would be sweet!!Love,Elder Ashton
1. Transfers are tomorrow. However, Cooper and his companion will remain together in the same area. He is excited not to be the newest missionary any more.
2. Of the new missionaries that are showing up, 3 are from Mesa, Arizona.
3. He says most of the homes are built out of cinder blocks, roofs are just straight metal.