Wednesday, December 9, 2015

First long letter from the MTC 12/9/2015

I got this beautiful email from Sister Atchley (I keep wanting to call her Madeleine)


so much has happened since I've been at the MTC it's hard but it's also awesome so don't worry about me at all. I don't really know what to share so I'll just share a bunch of experiences a lot just from my journal. 

First some serious ones: 
"As the plane took off there was a moment that I felt like I could see all of Midland and Odessa IT was like seeing all of my people, my good memories and my life outlined by the window. I noticed that a mist was creeping over the town so as to obscure my view but just about the horizon was a bold strip of color and the brightness of the sun barely obscured by the clouds. As we overcame the cloud layer I looked up again and saw that everything was beautiful and white and illuminated by the sun. It reminded me of the Temple and the sacred spirit that is there. I can already feel the mists of my old life settling, and I see the bright light before me. I know that as I serve I will break through my own personal cloud layer and be exposed to all the light, truth, hope, love, and glory that my Heavenly Father has to offer.' - I wrote this on the plane

The first day I was here I saw this Elder that looked like a baby version of Elder Severson and it made me cry a little. 

I got back to our residence after the first day and realized that my shoulders were killing me. I wondered what weight I was carrying on them. They've been fine ever since though so maybe it's just because there are thousands of stairs at the MTC. Utah is beautiful with all the mountains I love it. 

I wrote in my journal that I am so thankful that the Lord prepared our Elders to teach us. I wondered if we were introduced in the pre-existence I wonder if they were told that they were going to have the opportunity to be born into righteous that had the gospel homes but I was not. I wonder if we were told  that we would be able to trust them when we met them on the Earth. I wondered if that's why I felt so comfortable around them. I've learned a lot since I've been here that it doesn't matter what you teach because nobody will remember that, but it matters who you are and how you make people feel. One of our teachers said that our children are looking down on us and rejoicing at our decisions to serve Missions. 

The other day I was having the worst day. I felt like every time I opened my mouth to start teaching my personality would just leave.  I couldn't stop crying and I finally was able to tell the teacher how I was feeling. Right after I got it out the Elders in my district came in, and Sister Oikle, my companion, asked if a blessing of comfort would make me feel better. I asked our district leader, Elder Bowman, to give me one and he agreed. So the trio in our district gave me a blessing and it was so amazing. You could tell it was from God and I think that they were able to realize the power of the priesthood that they have. One thing in my blessing was that The Lord trusts what I have to say. I asked if Elder Bowman had heard me say that I felt like I was forgetting who I am. His response was "why did I say something?" It was just a really amazing testimony builder. 

I was feeling like I had so much to teach everyone here, but I was too stubborn to learn from anyone. I prayed and fasted about it and I realized that it felt like months since I had taken the sacrament. After I took the sacrament it was like just people's actions testified so much to me. I've definitely had to humble myself a lot and try to put myself in the position of others. I've also had to remember what it was like to be an investigator. It's like before you go on a mission Satan tries to tell you you're not good enough, but when you're here Satan tries to tell you that Heavenly Father wants you to be perfect, or better than you are able to be. That was a hard thing to realized, but I learned it from my companion and the other sisters in my district. 

We watched a video by Elder Bednar called the Character of Christ. It was about turning outward when everyone else would naturally turn in. One thing he said was that if you just write down everything people say when you take notes you're just making large plates. If you write down your thoughts and feelings that come to you when you're listening you're writing down your revelation and making small plates. 

And some silly ones: 

The Elder that was in Midland who always yelled TEMPLE SQUARE at me was working in the Cafeteria the other day and I was all like GUESS WHERE I'M NOT GOING!!!! 

They made me and my companion the online coordinators even though almost none of my computers have worked since I got here. 

I was sitting in lunch the other day and I realized that just a little over a year and a half ago I didn't know anything about the church and at that moment I was sitting at the Missionary Training Center as a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints eating green jello, how far I've come. 

There is an Elder named Elder Pinkney and he is literally 6' 6" what is my life? Also he says his spirit animal is a killer whale. 

One of the teachers who isn't assigned to our district came in the other day and I asked if he had a band-aid. He proceeded to pull out his wallet and hand me this miniature band-aid. I was like "aww wow this is a tiny band-aid!" and he goes "Well... you have a tiny finger...." it was pretty much the cutest thing. (all the teachers are returned missionaries so I don't know if that makes it more or less awkward.) 

some quotes (you're not getting any context for these): 
"sometimes you just gotta dump some dumpage" - Elder Bowman 

"Slap a salmon, slap a salmon, punch a bear, slap a salmon, slap a salmon punch a bear, grab a bald eagle and fly to freedom!" - Elder West
"This fell, is that ok?" - Sister Fullmer
"Well it fell that men may be and men are that they may have joy." -Sister Oikle 

Anyway I wish I could write you all day but I'm actually out of time. I love you and I miss you! 

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