People always ask me about the oilfield. Now I know the sad news.
SO THIS HAS BEEN A REALLY GOOD WEEK.
You may have gotten another picture of Sister Shober and I with a man, a woman, a baby, and a plate of rice crispies? If so those are our investigators. The man, Payam, is ON DATE FOR MARCH 26TH!! I can't remember if I told you about this family several weeks ago but, they live like 5 houses down from our bishop with a member of the church who lives in Idaho on the weekends. So this member and Payam have been friends and business partners for like 15 years. Brother Jones, the member, called Bishop Henderson and asked for the number of the missionaries in his ward. I guess Bishop said we were the missionaries in his ward and we set up a time to meet with the family.
Well we finally got to meet with them last Wednesday and Payam is a rock solid golden investigator. We talked to him about the spirit and what it feels like and how it will testify of truth. Then read with him Mosiah18: 8-10, which just so happens to be Brother Jones's family's theme chapter, and talked about how great a blessing the gospel would be for his little daughter. At the end of the lesson we extended a baptismal invitation and he said "You know what Yeah! I'm just going to move forward and say yes" and Sister Shober looked him dead in the eye and said "Why?"
So I was like Sister Shober what the heck, but it turned out to be the perfect question because he said that he knew God would answer his questions through feelings in his heart and help him make the decision. He also said that he's always know that he would pick a faith one day, but until this time he's never agreed to sit down and learn about one. Then he paused for a long time and said that when he listened to Elder Bednar's talk Come and See, which Brother Jones had shown him, he already felt "like [we] were talking about, a feeling of truth."
Also remember the girl I told you about who was super excited to learn about the Book of Mormon? She asked like a million questions and accepted a baptismal date as well. We are giving her to the YSA next time we meet with her. When we were teaching her one of the things she said was that she liked how her Mormon friends say they follow Jesus Christ and then actually try to do the things he asked. Later during studies I was thinking about this and I realized that this is exactly how I felt when I met the missionaries. Also the reverse of this is why I didn't really believe in God before I met the missionaries. Before we really started attending church and talking to the missionaries I had never really spent time with someone who was a true disciple of Christ with the gift of the Holy Ghost. While I was thinking about these things the spirit brought to my remembrance a commonly quoted passage of scripture that I didn't understand fully until that time.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
I thought about how in these verses Christ says that we are the light of the world. Rather his disciples, or people who have covenanted to follow him, are the light of the world. I think that in verse 15 when it says "neither do men light a candle" men is referring to Jesus Christ. Aren't we all born with the light of Christ? So when we, through the light of Christ that the spirit is able to testify to, make a covenant with God to follow Jesus Christ are we not a lit candle? Then in verse 16 he says "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." When we keep our covenants people WILL see our good works and because we are Christ's that WILL lead to them glorifying our Father which is in heaven. This is what happened to me.
So like I said at the beginning of this email we have had a really good week. I've been thinking a lot this week about diligence. Recently President Orgill announced our mission's "cultural beliefs" which are a set of like two word power statements that we are to use when talking about other missionaries. Then when we are looking for these things in others our opinions of those around us will be higher and we will be inspired to be better missionaries ourselves. So we're supposed to point them out when we see them in others.
People keep telling me that they see this one in me:
Submit Everything: I live to give him my heart, might, mind, and strength
So we had exchanges again this week and I went with my sister training leader, Sister Reynolds. Some time during the day Sister Reynolds turned to me and said "Sister Atchley do you remember the first time we were on exchanges and we were planning for the next day. You looked at me and you were like 'Sister Reynolds how fast can you eat a sandwich?' That stuck out to me so much and you are such an example to me of a missionary who is just completely dedicated to serving the Lord." and some other stuff that if I write I'll be crying in the library like a sissy. Then she asked me if I could stand before the whole world and tell them my conversion story and how I've felt the power of the atonement in my life and that I know the gospel is true. I told her that I thought I could and she said "What if your life was at stake?" I told her I hoped so, but then I realized that sometimes I can't even stand in front of one person and tell them that for fear that they will tell me that I don't really follow Christ because I'm not doing service and saving lives and because I'm not a vegan. That is literally the rudest thing anyone has ever said to me in a contacting situation. I'm not a real disciple of Christ because I'm not vegan. I have nothing to be afraid of.
So I was thinking about this and about how I just so happened to run into Elder Whatcott after his departing interview. I'll probably never forget our conversation:
"Hey Elder Whatcott what are you doing up here?"
"I just got out of my departing interview."
"Oh dang are you so excited?"
"No. I've just been crying."
I just want to be so diligent that even though I talk about my family all the time and even though I miss home there is not one single fiber of my being that would rather be somewhere else.
I know this scripture was in the reading assignment last week, but I've decided that it is the theme of my mission:
Luke9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
I want to be a missionary that really does submit everything to the Lord until the moment I sit down with the stake president and get released. That is my goal.
Trust that people said hilarious things this week but I don't have time to write them.
Your reading assignment is "The Question of a Mission" by President Hinkley
<3 Sister Atchley