Monday, March 28, 2016

3/28/2016 The Hardest Week Yet

Dear Dad

This has been a really good week. I've been built so much by the Lord, and, as you may have experienced, when the Lord builds you he doesn't do it gently.

Transfers were a lot harder than I expected them to be. I knew everything that was going to happen, but when it happened it was just crazy and hard. I miss Sister Shober so much, I kinda feel lost without her. I also miss Elder Dayton, our new district leaders are great Elders, but I just apparently can't handle change very well. Who knew? 
So transfers were on Tuesday and for like 3 days after that I cried myself to sleep every night. It was awful. Like I would be perfectly fine all throughout the day and then as soon as we finished nightly planning I would just be a puddle until I fell asleep. Then one night I was praying and I was like "Heavenly Father I don't know what to do please just help me." So the spirit told me to talk to President Orgill. The next morning I woke up and started crying. Like I was stood in the bathroom brushing my teeth and sobbing and choking to death. It was the worst. So I texted President Orgill and said "President Orgill I'm struggling and I don't know what to do. The spirit just told me to talk to you." President Orgill is a great loving man so he told me to come to his office at 1:00. 

My conversation with him went something like this: 

"I'm really upset right now and I don't even know why. I just really miss Sister Shober and it's hard and my life is hard." -me 
"That's normal when you go immediately from being trained to being a trainer. What are you doing about it?" -President 
"uhh praying." -me 
"What are you praying for?" -president 
"like... strength" -me
"What does the Lord give you when you pray for strength?" -president
"oh... trials." -me 

He then proceeded to tell me several stories about prayer and people who pray with great faith. As he was telling these stories I thought back on several blessings I've received and how all of them have told me to pray. The spirit told me that I had been misinterpreting the council of Heavenly Father (this is a common theme in my life....) and that rather than praying MORE Heavenly Father wanted me to be praying BETTER. So since then I've been trying my very best to listen to the spirit when I pray and my prayers have changed. Something President Orgill said to me was that our individual desires may not seem like much in the grad scheme of things, but our Heavenly Father loves us and we are important to him. Therefore, the things that are important to us are important to him. I thought that was so beautiful and I had never considered it before. Another thing the spirit told me was that I personally am not happy when I'm not subject to the will of Heavenly Father. That probably seems super obvious, but it's something that I hadn't realized about myself before. I also realized that it doesn't matter if I REALIZE I'm not being subject to his will. All this conversation happened on Saturday so I was on this crazy spiritual high during women's conference. Women's conference was amazing btw. You need to listen to Sister Marriott's talk she threw down. I want to be Sister Marriott when I grow up. Also they called to repentance everyone who is racist against refugees boldly and directly. 

Yesterday I was fasting super sincerely about how to pray more effective, or rather how to pray the way Heavenly Father wants me to. Bishop bore his testimony and I don't remember the first half of it, but he just kind of changed gears half way through and ended up bearing his testimony of prayer. It was literally like he stopped, listened to the spirit, and then answered my question. Then for the rest of sacrament meeting the Spirit bore witness to me of our savior Jesus Christ as the Spirit often does. (1Nephi11:1-6) My testimony grew so much yesterday, and again this morning during personal study. I don't even know how to explain it except that now I have received a very clear and direct personal witness of our savior Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of His gospel. I wish I could explain how close Heavenly Father and I are right now. We love each other, and I try to do what he asks, and he gives me what he knows I need. This week with Sister Peterson I have been able to feel myself be a instrument in his hands and I have been able to feel the love he has for others. It's been the most amazing thing of my life. I wish I could print my feelings out on the screen, because words can't describe them. 


We were able to teach two lessons during contacts this week which was pretty cool. That's never happened before. One guy really lives in Arizona though so we'll put his info in as a referral. A kid called us over and asked us to tell him what we were talking about. That was pretty cool. 

Everyone and their dog told Sister Peterson that she has the best trainer in the mission. #awkward 
Elder Dayton ran up to her and was like "YOU'RE LUCKY K BYE" I think she was nervous. 


The Assistants and Elder Center made us burgers: 
"I can taste the love" -me
"I made that with love." -Elder Center
"Mine are made with frustration!" -Elder Fuell 

"Did I say this stuff? I didn't know I was funny!" -Elder Dayton 

"Can we go to Moo-ya?" -me (It's not in our area by like one street) 
"Rio de Janeiro?" -Elder Dayton 
"no can we - go to - Moo-ya?" -me
"Rio de Janeiro? Absolutely not that is not allowed." -Elder Dayton
"K but can we just go get burgers though?" -me
"Oh yeah that's fine good trick Sister Atchley ask for something totally ridiculous that you know you're not gonna get then ask for something way less obnoxious k bye." -Elder Dayton 

"If you had a million dollars and you had to spend it in one day, but you can't buy real estate, or vehicles, or put it in a bank, or invest it what would you do?" -Elder King
"Probably buy a bunch of guns or cows." -Elder Center 

"Can I eat one of these ball things?" -Elder Ball 
"Isn't that cannibalism?" -Me 

There was a huge pile of rubble in front of our garage on transfer day. It was scary. 

I think I forgot the reading assignment last week sorry. Your reading assignment this week is page 12 and 13 of Preach My Gospel.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Dad and others

So I have to relate to you a conversation, but first I need to point out that NOBODY wants to get calls from the assistants the Friday before transfers. So just assume as you're reading that there is a lot of anxiety going on in this situation.

"Oh look we missed a call from the AP's." - Sister Shober (level of panic: 3/10) 

"Hi this is Elder Ashton" - Elder Ashton 
"Hi Elder Ashton this is Sister Shober!" -Sister Shober 
"Hi Sister Shober is Sister Atchley there?" -Elder Ashton (level of panic 8.5/10) 
"Hi this is Sister Atchley" -Me 
"Hi Sister Atchley! How are you doing?" -Elder Ashton 
"Good!" -me
"Great! I'm calling in behalf of President Orgill who wants to know if you would be willing to be a trainer this next transfer!" -Elder Ashton 
"I would LOVE to!" -me (level of panic: dead/10) 

So yeah Sister Shober's outta here and I'm TRAINING APPARENTLY!!! Her name is Sister Peterson and she gets here tomorrow. 

Needless to say I have a lot of mixed emotions about this. Sister Shober said that when they were considering trainers I was the first person that came to mind. After I finished being totally shocked I realized that the spirit has been telling me this was going to happen forever. When I say forever I mean since thanksgiving when everyone was like "oh so you're going to be a trainer like this time next year?" and I was like "mehhh I dunno about that. I'm probably just gonna be a reeeegular missionary...." and the spirit was like "not so Sister Atchley" 
Then I was reading my scriptures and thinking about how It's crazy that I haven't even been a member of the church for 2 years and I'm on a mission and I'm about to be training. I was thinking about how I don't deserve all this trust my Heavenly Father places in me. Then the spirit reminded me of a lesson that I was in one time where whoever was teaching brought up D&C 124:143 and said something to the effect of "We as Latter-day Saints often focus on the work of the ministry and neglect the perfecting of the saints." Then I just kept remembering times when I felt like I was going to be a missionary to other missionaries.  

I got a blessing from Elder Dayton yesterday and it was probably the coolest blessing I've ever received. Elder Dayton is not afraid to be quiet during a blessing and listen to the spirit. So he would say something and then pause, and when he paused I would ask a question to Heavenly Father in my heart. Then Elder Dayton would address the thing that I was thinking about. I know Elder Dayton is just a regular human being and not a secret mind reader, so it really showed me that I do have a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of my thoughts and feelings, and the priesthood is real and amazing. Afterwards Elder Dayton said that whenever he's around me he feels an overwhelming sense of destiny. Also this is a really powerful scripture about blessings and the words of prophets and missionaries: D&C1:38 

Elder Dayton is becoming a real life Spanish Elder which means I'll probably never see him again. 

So anyway all that is pretty cool, but I don't know if it's going to help anyone since it's just basically a bunch of personal revelation. 

We had a window at a park the other day and we sat there for the entire hour with nobody showing up. Then at the very end this lady came in and we introduced ourselves to her like awkward missionaries do. She was like "yeah I already know you're the missionaries, I used to meet with some missionaries they would read the book with me, but then I stopped working here so I stopped meeting with them. I actually met them in this park." 
And thus we see that it is super important to give people's information to the missionaries that cover the area where they actually live no matter how badly you want investigators. So we gave her stuff to the Anaheim mission to figure it out. 

I was getting down on us the other day because we never have anyone to teach and everyone ignores us, but then I realized that we've given SO MANY referrals to other missionaries. I was sad because  I felt like we weren't doing the work, but then I realized that it's all the same work no matter what boundaries you cover, or if you're doing the finding part or the teaching part. 

I have not been able to sleep for the past couple of nights. I think I'm just nervous and/or stressed. 

Here's some funny stuffs: 

Elder Dayton said that I'm NOT SASSY I'm just dramatic! 
"If you think Sister Atchley isn't sassy you just don't know her." -Sister Shober 
"If you give me an example I'll believe it." -Elder Dayton 
"Just all the time" -Sister Shober 
"That's not a good enough example. You have to give me a specific example of a time when Sister Atchley was sassy then I'll believe that she's a sassy person. She's not though I know her pretty well." -Elder Dayton 
So yeah I'm not sassy. 

"I pounce on things, you know, like a falcon. Wait falcons don't pounce that's raccoon stuff. Dangit! I'm a raccoon." -Elder Dayton 

"If I'm a 10 then what's your brother?" -Elder Center
"Sister Atchley, what's my brother on a scale of 1 to Elder Center?" -Sister Shober 
(I had no comment) 

"You're an old seasoned oak now." -Brother Turner 
"I still feel like a young sapling." -Elder Center 

"who's the brown haired scout? He's kind of a bigger kid..." -Sister Tenney about non member scouts 
"That's my son, Ryan" -Bishop Henderson 

"We all know what happened next, lets just say those robbers would never again lay a hand on the kings sheep."  - the youth speaker at sacrament meeting
btw I was laughing about this all day. I'm still laughing about this actually. 

So for the reading assignment: 

Read Romans 12 and prayerfully seek council on which of these things you can improve. Remember the Lord only expects you to do your best, but you don't even know what your best is. 
Then read Romans13:9-10 and think about that for a minute. 

Love Y'all!
Sister Atchley 

P.S. Please email me if you read my blog and are helped by it in any way. Reading stories about other people feeling the spirit helps me feel the spirit. I've heard it gets read and discussed, but I want to know about the discussions too! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

PI Day 3/14/2016

Dear Dad
We get transfer calls this week. Sister Shober thinks she's out of here. I don't know about that. I'm just in denial. :]
I've almost completely filled the journal I brought out with me. If I sustain this level of journal keeping for the rest of my life my children will be able to fill a library with everything I write. Unfortunately it's mostly useless information and silly quotes.

So as far as miracles this week, I accidentally washed a ballpoint pen with all my clothes. Empty ink cartridge, only like 3 unnoticeable stains. Where did the ink go? It's a mystery.

We really did have a good week this week it just felt weird.

We taught a lesson with a guy named Alex. Unfortunately he lives in Tustin which actually isn't even in our mission. We contacted into him while I was on exchanges and gave him a card and he was like "I have some friends who are Mormon but I have different beliefs." Then he got in his car and drove away. Now, that's the kind of thing that people say to us when they want us to get out of their business and never speak to them again so I was super confused when he texted us and was like "hey when can we set up a time for you guys to teach me more of what you know?" So we taught him and this week we're passing him off to the Anaheim missionaries.

I just had a really homesick first half of the week because I had a really homesick song stuck in my head. Then I got over it and knocked on a bunch of doors and felt better. Missionary work is weird.

So awhile ago an Elder asked me about my conversion story, but I didn't have time to tell it to him. So between the time he asked about it and the time I told it to him I prayed that I would know what to say so that my conversion story could help him be a more effective missionary. Then during our zone meeting he brought up my conversion story and talked about how because of it he's been studying comp unity and being a better missionary. I was like #powerofprayer

I had an interview with President Orgill this week. It was a surreal experience. President Orgill first of all is totally full of energy and he's like the most loving person you will probably ever meet. So I go in to the interview and before I could even say anything he was talking about the kinds of things he hears about me. He started by talking about how he loves it when missionaries email him good things about other missionaries, and how he hopes that when that happens the people are also saying those things to the missionaries etc. Then he paused and probably looked into my soul and said something like "The things I hear about you from such varied sources are so uniformly positive that it amazes and delights me." Then he talked about how Sister Shober hardly writes him anything unless she's just raving about me and talking about how great I am and etc. etc., but also apparently a ton of missionaries from my district and zone tell him that I am example to them of faith and just various Christ like attributes. He said he is always excited when he has such a missionary in his mission. Then he gave me like the craziest priesthood blessing I have ever received. It was kind of long and really in depth, but the general theme of it was that if I do my best to try to understand others and serve the Lord I will leave every companion, every district, every zone, and every ward better missionaries than when I got there.

So needless to say I walked out of the interview feeling very small and like there was no way I could possibly live up to everything people say about me and to the person Heavenly Father tells me I need to be in priesthood blessings. It got me thinking about how the things that I say about myself inside my brain aren't uniformly positive and I feel like I don't have the gifts that Heavenly Father said I do through a priesthood blessing. I started wondering why my view of myself completely doesn't match the things that people say about my behind my back and the things my Heavenly Father tells me about myself. It's actually a lot more negative. So I was in the attitude of pondering who I really am when I realized that I tell people on the streets that if they read the Book of Mormon it can answer all of their questions. So I prayed and sincerely asked Heavenly Father to tell me who I really am.

The answer I got was kind of crazy. Basically He told me that I am nothing. I don't have a different testimony or better conversion story or more spiritual gifts than anyone else I serve around, but through the Holy Ghost I can be an instrument in His hands. This is kind of cool because it's the first time I've noticed the Spirit tell me something that seems like it would be hard to hear, but in reality just increased my love for Heavenly Father. A relevant scripture is Alma26:12.

So funny stuff:

"If you could serve your mission anywhere where would you go?...... FRANCIS!" -A kid

I woke up the other night at 4:00am with a stabbing pain in my leg and the next day I had a massive bruise. I guess my leg tried to cannibalize itself.

"You could probably dunk that it's only 8 feet." -Elder Center

"How many mums did you have?" -Elder Mann
"Un none" -me
What!? No one gave you any mums?" -Elder Mann
"never in my life" - me
"TEXAS IS USELESS!!" -Elder Mann

"I've been waiting for these packages since DECEMBER!" -Sister Naegle
"I've been waiting for my parents' love since birth." -Elder Burk

"I've my wife said I was just a stonecutter I would be like well you're just homeless" -Elder Chain

"I'm not sick" -Sister Shober
"She touched a cat."-Me
"Was it an almond cat?" -Elder Dayton
(Sister Shober is deathly allergic to all tree nuts and sesame.)

"Wow this journal entry is unnecessarily sassy.... and short. Oh man this journal entry is a type of me." -Me

Apparently I made it onto the zone leaders' funny quote wall with
"What's your spirit animal?" -Elder Hook
"Probably a cat. Wait like several cats." -Me

The reading assignment is this:

Acts19:13-16 Consider why the exorcists couldn't cast out the demon even in Christ's name

Don't Let Negativism Ruin your Marriage by Terry Baker
If you aren't married substitute "marriage" for something else like "friendship" or "classroom"

Covenant of Love by Aileen H Clyde
This is just a really powerful testimony.

Love Y'all
Sister Atchley

Monday, March 7, 2016



I gave a training at district meeting this week about the importance of the Holy Ghost in conversion. Apparently I threw down and called everyone to repentance. I've never been so excited to give a training in my life though. The real topic was like "so basically the APs said that we always talk about baptism but never about the Holy Ghost so we need to be better at it..."

Coincidentally the Holy Ghost is my favorite part of being a member of the church. The Holy Ghost can do literally anything and can help literally ever single person just be a more effective human. I realized that in all the really powerful baptismal invitations in the scriptures (Mosiah18:8-10, Acts2:37-41, etc.) the only promise they give the people is that they will have the spirit. Just that promise is enough to cause them to want to get baptized, yet we don't talk about the spirit all the time as missionaries. We will say stuff like "you need to get baptized because it shows God you love him." or "baptism brings a remission of sins." which are true statements, but if I don't care about that kind of stuff then it's not going to mean anything to me. However the Holy Ghost can help every single person. So like "after you get baptized you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost is able to help you be a better father because he can help you discern the thoughts of your children and bring ideas to your mind so that you can more effectively teach them. After you get baptized you have Gods promise that these things will happen. Don't you want that?" The Spirit is just my favorite person in the world and my favorite person to talk about.

Everyone said they felt like I called them to repentance.

We passed Layla off to the YSA sisters and they were super good. After our lesson she shared an experience she had with prayer and said she knew the Book of Mormon was the word of God. She also said that when we contacted into her she was at the park talking to her boyfriend. She said she had been planning on leaving 2 minutes earlier because it started raining. She was like "If I hadn't have kept talking to him for 2 minutes I wouldn't have met you sisters and I wouldn't have gotten this book."

The YSA sisters extended a textbook baptismal invitation and Layla was like "yeah Sister Atchley asked me last time but I have a concern." which kind of threw the YSA sisters off a little because I guess brand new missionaries aren't super excited about inviting people to be baptized in the first lesson usually. So Layla's concern was that she was going to be out of town on the date we extended to her so she was afraid she would miss her opportunity to get baptized. Sister Shober and I are invited to her baptism when it happens. I'm excited.

We saw Elder Blue the other day and he was super surprised that we set a date and we keep finding people to teach in Oak Creek. Apparently the last baptism in Oak Creek was last February. Like February 2015. I guess they forgot to tell Sister Atchley that Oak Creek doesn't baptize. Also a guy we contacted in the parking lot one day texted us saying he wanted to know more. We're meeting with him on Tuesday.

So Gladys Knight is coming to our mission with the Saints Unified Voices choir and apparently when she goes anywhere like a million people investigate the church and get baptized. btw did you know Gladys Knight is a convert to our church?

So funny quotes:

"Help I've become entangled in a helmet and baseball bad and I can't get up!" -Me
"I'm familiar with that problem" -Elder Burk

This is exclusively for Matthew: Elder Davis said Oklahoma is the frying pan of Texas at the same time I was saying it's the hat of Texas. "I'll turn my trusty frying pan into a drying pan" -Brock

"Yep... look at that.... Arkansas driver's license for goats." -Elder Center

We went contacting in a park that usually never has white people in it. It's like an exclusively Asian park. This time it was full of white people, but they were all from Russia. "I'm Russian orthodox. It's different" -Everyone

This conversation was related to us by Ryan Henderson:
"Where are you in your Book of Mormon reading?" -Bishop Henderson
"I don't know I'll have to check my log." -Ryan
"Don't check it just flush it." -Bishop Henderson

"People respect me! I don't know who they are, but theoretically!" -Bishop Henderson

To make up for the questionable spiritual value of this email the reading assignment is really long:

"Come What May and Love it" -Joseph B Wirthlin
Actually listen to this don't read it. It's better.

"Waiting on our Road to Damascus" Mormon Message
"Your Day for a Mission" Mormon Message
Just search "Elder Holland Testimony of the Book of Mormon"

Love Y'all!
Sister Atchley

P.S. next time you email me make Matthew write me a paragraph or something. Make him tell me about the new generation of Pokémon. I heard a rumor

Wednesday, March 2, 2016