Monday, January 25, 2016


<Dad> I told her I prayed about helping her on her mission, then opened my Book Of Mormon randomly to Alma 32 and began to read. So I suggested she read Alma 32 for inspiration on who to teach. </Dad>

Haha there are no poor people in Irvine California. This week they are pruning the trees. Let me explain:

No trees live in Irvine unless they were placed there intentionally by human beings.
Every tree is placed in a straight line with other trees of its same kind.
Apparently every year crews of people come through and prune each individual tree so that it looks as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

I'm in the Oak Creek ward. We met with a guy yesterday that may or may not know Severson's brother. Apparently there are like 3 people in our ward who work for Blizzard. I heard one of them is a pretty important character designer. I also heard that some very important members of Pixar belong to the church which wouldn't surprise me at all.
Transfers are not tomorrow, but next Tuesday. I will know what's going on by the end of the week though. Probably nothing since I'm training, but every time people assure me something will happen one way literally the opposite thing happens. So we will see.

You need to get on the Irvine California Mission facebook page.

Sister Shober keeps being frustrated with me because I'm a convert and I accidentally have a bunch of scripture mastery scriptures memorized somehow. I just memorize the ones I like. We met with a lot of members this week so Sister Shober is probably sick of hearing my conversion story. Tell Matthew that he needs to get ready to tell his conversion story a million times. Also if he gets called to speak a language the first thing he needs to do is convert his conversion story into that language.

We met a lot of converts this week too, somehow. At temple tours we met this guy who had one of those crazy conversion stories where he was praying to have more truth and a beam of light came in the window and the missionaries knocked on the door 2 seconds later. I realized that for the convert this is a huge spiritual experience, but for the missionaries they were just in daily planning like "we have an hour empty lets tract peppermint street." or whatever. I've just been thinking about how still and how small the still small voice of the spirit is. Elder Bednar is frequently pointing out that you don't have to realize you're being led by the spirit to be led by the spirit.

For example Sister Shober and I were planning for the lesson we were going to teach to the Hydes this week. The next thing in order to do with them was read the Book of Mormon. However we both ended up accidentally studying as though we were going to teach the plan of salvation. We decided it was probably revelation and taught them the plan of salvation instead. Sister Hyde's best friend was there that night and Sister Hyde later shared with us that the friend had some things she was going through and the lesson was just what she needed.

We also made plans to meet with this less active member and her roommate. They ended up coming up in ward council because the home teachers had been trying to contact her with no luck. They making all these plans to go over and talk to her and find out her info and we were just like "hey we actually have a set appointment with them today." Turns out the appointment we had right before her was with her home teacher. Everything worked out perfectly. All we did was make plans during weekly planning.

I've been reading a lot out of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is crazy and awesome.

We taught a lesson to a street contact. I placed a Book of Mormon.

Brother England taught me how to make Texas with my hand so now I can more easily tell people where Odessa is. Apparently he had a lot of companions from Texas on his mission.

Now for fun stuff:

Elder Ashton is the most normal name in our district. We have Elder Ashton, Elder Fuell, Elder Blue, Elder Dayton, Elder Center, Sister Wimmer, Sister Rudy, Sister Shober, and me. In PMG it suggests that you carry around your 4 generation pedigree chart and share it with people who have the same last name. Fat chance here tho...

Sister Shober always is saying stuff like "I'm gone for" or "I'm doomed for"

"nice tie" - me
"Thanks you too." -Elder Mann

We had steak and potatoes at a members home the other day

*Elder Center giving passionate discourse on different cuts of meat*
"Elder Center is just really passionate about steak." -me
"I can see that. Does he teach this way in lessons?"- Brother Stokes
"You should just talk about the gospel the way you talk about steak." -me
"If I KNEW the gospel like I know steak..... all of Irvine would be baptized" -Elder Center

"When I go back to BYU I'm going to be in the hip hop club. Just kidding I'm not ratchet enough" -Elder Dayton

"you know what it's like being with someone 24/7 I'm just trying to give him some space, but you live with Sister Atchley so you have nothing to worry about." -Elder Center
"Whatever Elder Center if you had to live with me 24/7" -me
"I would hate your guts!" -Elder Center

The reading assignment is this: 2Nephi3:12 is talking about the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Put this in your brain and then read Ezekiel 37. It's a super cool really awesome chapter. It was blowing my mind.
Matthew's reading assignment is D&C:84.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Matthew looks SO OLD!! It looks good though, was it long enough to donate? Has he gone out with the missionaries? He needs to start going on splits or something. Does he always go to institute or do you have to make him? I guess this would have been the first week.

Some people write me, but I don't really write anyone so I'm not offended that they don't write me. I did get 3 emails last week about strengthening less active members. We decided that we would start trying to "practice the missionary discussions" with less active and part member families. We broke up with our only investigator because all he wanted to do was bash. ): I shared a scripture with him and he was totally stumped so he basically just ignored it. Basher no bashing! Anyway we aren't actually his missionaries so we gave him to Elder Chain and Elder Gee who apparently love to bash. 

This week was hard because Monday's email made me homesick for the first time since I've left. So I've been missing some people a lot this week. We got to go to the temple though and while I was praying in the Celestial room I felt impressed that I would be 500 times as homesick if not for the constant comfort of the Holy Ghost. So I'm thankful for that. 
I felt like getting a blessing when I was struggling the most with missing home, but I thought I would just wait and see if it went naturally. So the next day I wasn't feeling as bad and I was trying to decide if I should still get a blessing. I said a prayer and asked if it would be ok for me to get a blessing and I just thought like "if you're afraid to get a blessing because you're not in anguish and you think you will be inconveniencing Heavenly Father then that's kind of insulting because Heavenly father is all powerful and you literally can not inconvenience him by asking for help." then I was like "oh yeah that's right..."  
So I got a blessing and it ended that Heavenly Father didn't want to tell me about my homesickness at all. I have also been feeling like because I'm always laughing and being cheerful people will think I'm not serious about the work. In the blessing it said that my joy and happiness is an example to others and helps strengthen them. It reminded me again that I'M called to represent Christ and help others, and that Heavenly Father made my spirit the way it is because he needs someone like me, and I don't have to be anyone else to be a profitable servant. 

There's this really cool family, the Hydes, who we asked if we could practice the lessons with. Brother Hyde is like an assistant ward mission leader I think. They are super cool. We taught them the restoration and it was probably one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had. We ended up all talking about our struggles and how much having the priesthood helps. It was crazy how much they opened up to us after having talked to us only one other time. It reminded me that I'm called to invite and help all people come unto Christ not just non members. 

We also had a really good conversation with Sister Tenney, the young women's president, about how she knows the stories of the people in her family that joined the church, and people many generations after me will know my story and praise me for my decision. I was thinking though so I got baptized so what? That is like the bare minimum legacy I can leave for my posterity. So know I'm trying to think of other ways I can be a good example so if my great great great grandchildren are telling my story they won't only be able to say that I got baptized, but that I endured to the end as well. 

Now some funny stuff: 

If you go to a parking lot and look at it and then imagine that all the trucks are replaced with minivans and all the sedans have clamp on luggage racks then you will be picturing a parking lot in Irvine California. 

I saw this old guy wearing under armor leggings, jogging shorts, a bright orange shirt, and a windbreaker tied around his waist and it reminded me of you. <dad> I almost deleted this before publishing </dad>

OH there was an earth quake that I forgot to write about last week. I have no idea how big it was but you can probably find out online. 

Every time people talk trash about the Anaheim missionaries, which is all the time, I think about Aaron. Apparently we're supposed to hate each other.  

So there's this Elder, Elder Mann, and apparently when he was in high school he printed out like 200 one inch tall pictures of Nicholas Cage and he still has like ~50 left. So Elder Burk walks by and puts one face down in front of me and goes "you can have my card" then I flipped it over and it was a tiny picture of Nick Cage. They are my favorite Elders. 

"Oh you're an art major does that mean you like to draw?" -Elder Burk in a sassy voice 

A guy asked us for a lighter while we were contacting. 

We convinced Elder Center that we all independently determined his spirit animal is a goat. 
"If I had a spirit animal what would it be?" -Elder Center
"Oh man I don't know It's some kind of farm animal cause you're a farm guy..." - Brother Johnston 
"Whaaaat which one???" - Elder Center
*everyone mouthing goat* 
"hmm do you eat trash? you a goat?" -Brother Johnston
*Elder Center dies of confusion* 

"I'm 9 months." - Elder Mann
"That's full term congrats!" - me 
*highfives* "I should have taken pregnancy pictures" -Elder Mann 

"Elder Dayton keeps looking at me with this dopey cow-eyed expression" -me
"......moo...." -Elder Dayton 

Anyway that's my life at the moment. Your reading assignment is not from the Book of Mormon this week. So you need to go to and look up two articles. "That They May Know the Covenants of the Lord" and "Out of Captivity" also Elder Blue and Elder Center gave me this talk to read so y'all have to read it too "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox
Then I want y'all to think of 3 ways you served the Lord last week, 3 blessings you received, and 3 things you can do to serve the Lord this week. I promise you will think of way more than 3. 

Love y'all!!
<3 Sister Atchley

A picture of her zone members

Monday, January 11, 2016


The funny thing about Logan is I miss him and Carl a lot. Also Wesley and the Thackers and Alexandria and Matthew. Oh and Delany. I talk about them all the time haha. And you, everyone wants to meet you and I think Elder Center has a man crush on you even though y'all have never met. Typical... :P It's cool that you're getting a ton of work done, blessings! Is Matthew getting his hair cut because I told him to in my letter? Does he even get and read my letters? He never writes me. >:U I had simultaneously the worst and best week ever this week. I've been having this prompting which I haven't been listening too since I left home and I've been having this debilitating fear of contacting. So I finally followed the prompting and even though Sister Shober and I were having a terrible day we went out contacting and my fear was just gone. We got 65 contacts and placed a Book of Mormon in like 45 minutes. We were on fire! I could tell that it was the Lord removing my stumbling blocks for being obedient. We ended up getting 142 contacts this week. We still don't have any investigators though. It can be hard because people here don't necessarily feel like they need the gospel and everyone goes to Mariners church. "oh no thank you I already go to Mariners" - Everyone We also visit this less active lady who has a bunch of health problems so she can't really go to church. Apparently she's always hated the sisters and right before I came the Elders took Sister Shober and Sister Ward over there and she flipped a pancake. She loves us though and calls us her little ones. She calls me her littlest one haha. One time she asked me what my favorite color was and then told me I need a new favorite color. She's super blunt and always says offensive stuff and nobody has every been able to share a spiritual though with her, but I love her so much. We always feel the spirit when we go over there. She made me tell her my conversion story and laughed at me and then SHE SHARED A SPIRITUAL THOUGHT. It was a miracle. One of the first things President Orgill said to me when I got to the field was something like "There's an Elder serving in this mission right now who came out after being a member for a year and a half like you whose mom is flying down in a few weeks so that he can baptize her." I got to go to that baptism and it was so cool. I got a blessing the other day for these weird headaches that I always have and in the blessing it said that my friends and family at home would follow my example. That could mean like 50 different things but all of them would just be really awesome. Even though all this good stuff has been happening I feel like a terrible missionary a lot. I have to constantly remind myself that I'm brand new and I'm doing my best and I can't be perfect. It also helps to remind myself of the members that I may be helping to build up. Another thing that helps is just thinking everything is hilarious and focusing on how much I love being here and how funny everything always is. I laugh literally all the time. So I'm basically going to put a lot of funny quotes after this:

Apparently I say "thanks friend" a lot so now if anyone else says it Elder Dayton said "your welcome Sister Atchley"

"I lost a Green Day CD and a Carrie Underwood CD to the same CD player. I was way more upset about the Carrie Underwood CD even though she's a stinkin liberal and a vegetarian and she hates farmers and ranchers and I hate her stinkin guts, but her voice is good so it's ok." - Elder Center

"I was super lame in highschool I used to get my Ipod and go snowboarding and I would listen to Green Day and Skillet and Linkin Park and a sorts of other stupid stuff." - Elder Center in a really hick sounding voice

"Sister Atchley always takes a ton of pictures of us being.... not very.... photogenic..." - Elder Blue

"Oh Sister Atchley I didn't see you there. I just looked right over your head sorry." - Elder Center about 50 times this week

"What are y'all on splits with the primary?" - Elder Center after I said people think I look 12

I can't remember what Voltorb evolves into and it's driving me crazy. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings and I apparently had like the 3rd hottest wings there and they were like nothing and people were like is this sister even real what do they feed you in Texas? It was just habanero peppers though.

Anyway I love it here and I can't believe I've already been gone a month.

Love y'all Sister Atchley

OH and your reading assignment for this week: Read Alma 36, 38, and 39 and look for ways you can relate to different people in these chapters. Also notice that Alma 36 is a chiasmus.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday 1/4/16 Its a new year

<Dad> Madeleine responds to my email about her reading assignment in this email. What I said about the chapter she told me to read (3Nephi 3) is:
 I have read 3Nephi 3 several times and it is an amazing chapter. I do see the parallel between the epistle of Giddianhi and the way Satan works. Lets see if I got out of this the same thing you did.
1. False praise and statement that is dismissive about your beliefs even trivializing the fact you hold those beliefs.  
2. Feigned sorrow at the fact that you cling to those beliefs when the majority do not.
3. Convince you that your beliefs are causing the majority to become angry at you.
4.  Offer of protection from the majority if you will abandon God and pledge to me.
5. Threat if you do not.
So, here is the part Madeleine wrote
Dear Dad
That's pretty much what I got out of the chapter. Another thing is that he says basically I have hundreds of warriors just waiting to stomp you down if you say no but really that isn't even true.
I got up to bear my testimony yesterday and they waited until I was almost all they way up to the front to put the podium down and he just grinned and wiggled his eyebrows at me the whole time he was doing it. >:( haha just like home.

I've been having kind of a hard week because I learned that no matter what I do I am scared of contacting. So I've been throwing a temper tantrum in my head about it like every day, but then I remembered that I've only been in the field for like 3 weeks or something. So I'll try to be less afraid of contacting. On a positive note: I don't have any problem at all knocking doors somehow.

So I had my first lesson with a non member the other day and it was really bad. This guy was dropped previously and he basically just wanted to bash. At the end I felt like my insides were scooped out it was the worst. I'm pretty much the sassiest person in the world so it was hard not to immediately argue with him, but I didn't! We're teaching him again and if he still just wants to fight then we will respectfully tell him that we can't meet with him anymore. I'm hoping it will go a different way though.

We had the opportunity to go to the sealing of a girl to her parents this week. It was really cool. At the end the guy preforming the sealing told her that she was part of an eternal family now. It was also super hard though because at the moment I don't have the option of being part of an eternal family. So everyone was congratulating them and I was just crying like a huge weirdo. I think I had to teach the plan of salvation so many times with the missionaries so that my testimony of it would be strong enough that I can still testify of it even though I can't presently see how it will work out for me. You know?

I've been experiencing this thing that I'm pretty sure only converts who go on missions ever experience. It's pretty cool, but it also hurts my heart sometimes. It's called sitting in district meetings and daily planning and talking about people's investigators. Every missionary does that, but for me it's always awkward because I think of our Elders sitting in district meetings and daily planning and talking about us. Its usually just this funny feeling, but I've been noticing lately that there's a pretty common theme that missionaries will say that just makes me super upset. That is that someone will say something along the lines of "Yeah we met this guy and he was pretty nice. We taught him the restoration, but he didn't ask very many questions and he was atheist so I don't know if his level of interest is that high. I don't know if we'll go back and teach him or not." and I just imagine like Elder Severson and Elder Stone sitting in a district meeting and being like "Yeah so we were trying to contact this guy but he made us talk to his daughter instead so I don't think he was very interested. We taught her the restoration but she's atheist and she didn't really have many questions. She agreed to a baptismal date but you know I think she was just being sassy so I don't know if we'll go back and teach that family." or Elder Whatcott and Elder Severson sitting in daily planning and being like "So Madeleine is coming to church, but she won't pray in front of us and she's not keeping her commitments to read the Book of Mormon. She also doesn't seem to be getting any closer to making a decision about baptism you know we ask like twice a week and she always says she hasn't decided. If she doesn't start progressing soon we might have to drop her." Then I have like a tiny anxiety attack and I have to say a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for sending us missionaries who didn't give up on us. I probably should express these feelings to people when I hear them say stuff like that.

Elder Center explained to us a foolproof method of contacting the other day. Read this in kind of a redneck accent:
"Ok so here's how you make sure you're contacting is effective. You go to the park and see a bunch of people playing basketball, so you roll up on the court and challenge all of them to a game of 1 v 12 or whatever. then you tell em 'if I win y'all all have to learn about the gospel.' and they're like 'whatever like we're gonna lose against this white guy in a suit.' Then you just ball so hard that you school everyone at basketball and they're like 'that is not a human being' so you're like 'I'm a deciple of Jesus Christ' and they're like whaaaat and they all just want to get baptized." -Elder Center

So I'm expecting this method to be implemented mission wide by next transfer.

Anyway your reading assignment is Alma 23. Look for who was converted, what it took, and what the results were. Something I would like to point out in case you don't catch it: verse 14: And the Amalekites were not converted, save only one;
An entire people were not converted except one of them and when Mormon was abridging the plates he felt this one guy was important enough to include. Just like the Lord rejoices at all of our conversion stories.

Love You!!
Sister Atchley

P.S. Our church is also at 9:00 but we have to be at ward council at 7:30.