Monday, April 4, 2016

4/4/2016 Y'all are carrying me

Dear Dad

You now how I made everyone write all this advice in a book so I could read it when I'm sad? That book was carrying me through my days at the beginning of this week. So thanks to everyone who wrote in it. 

"It's so hard to write in your journal when you had a bad day." -me for the first week and a half after transfers 

"why is mission so hard?" -me commenting on things not actually being any different than usual 

"Sister Peterson probably thinks it's really lame that her trainer just cries all day every day and doesn't even know how to exist." -me like 3 times a day for half of this week 

I'm just tryin to be real so y'all don't think I'm a perfect missionary with no problems. Don't be fooled I actually have a lot of trouble getting along with people. Heavenly Father helps me though. So I'm just trying to remember the super good lessons I've learned this week, but I don't really know how to write them down there's just so many. I didn't get my life figured out until like the 31st whatever day that was. You know I've already been out for 4 months. That's so upsetting! What is life? You know mothers' day is next month? What is that? Disgusting that's what. 

I guess lets get real: 

One thing I learned this week is that I'm a super prideful person. Also I have a really rebellious heart. I was struggling with loving Sister Peterson, not because she's a bad companion, just because we're two different human beings with different personalities and different comfort zones. I was also feeling like Heavenly Father wasn't using me as an instrument in his hands, because we haven't baptized anyone within a week and a half. Go figure. So I felt like I couldn't feel the spirit and I was a really terrible trainer, because I was not being myself and I was swept up in this vicious cycle of each of those feelings getting progressively worse based on literally nothing. We would just be going places and doing things in silence and planning accomplishing things with no unity because I was being a tool and not letting myself be friends with my companion. 
Heavenly Father was telling me to get a blessing for like 3 days in a row. I kept putting it off because I felt like I wasn't actually doing that badly. I was ignoring this spiritual prompting and continuing to ask Heavenly Father what I could do to feel better about my life and he was like I've told you like 20 already Sister Atchley you already know what to do. 
I got a blessing that day and it was literally the shortest blessing I've ever gotten. It was basically "Madeleine, Heavenly Father wants you to know that he is pleased with you. He will give you the peace you are looking for. He wants you to, when it comes, thank him for it." 

 So I woke up the next day already feeling like trash and rolled out of bed and tried to live my life. I was laying on the living room floor feeling all scooped out  trying to do crunches or whatever and I just burst into tears for like the 50th time. I just became so done with being sad and I was like Heavenly Father look at me I'm trying my best but I can't do it so I'm just going to open my scriptures please guide me to something that will help. 
Then he did. I just felt the Spirit super strong and read the Book of Mormon and received peace. Basically I leveled up. So I'm sure another trial is probably coming really soon, but then I can just level up again. 
I also realized that Heavenly Father keeps teaching me the same lessons over and over again. Almost like there are some key flaws I have that I have to overcome in my life. Almost like he gave me weaknesses so that I can be humble. Almost like Ether12:27. Fancy that. 

Here's one that I keep learning over and over again: 

If I ask Heavenly Father for something he expects me to not be a hypocrite. 
Example: I've been praying for the gift of discernment. The spirit told me I can't look into peoples souls unless I'm open to everyone seeing inside MY soul. 

I've been praying that people will be able to see how much I love them. The spirit told me that it won't work if there's even one person that I'm not trying my best to love. 

It's a pretty cool lesson. Mostly because the spirit tells you you have to do something and then strengthens you to do it. 

We did A LOT of service this week. It was pretty awesome. The best part was seeing the Elders carry these big crates of wine and vodka around to get some people ready for a benefit. 

Conference was so amazing. I had pretty much every one of those hymns stuck in my head for the past 3 weeks so it was really satisfying. ALSO THEY SANG COME THOU FOUNT!! Come Thou Fount is like the theme song of my mission. It's what everyone was singing when I started my papers, they sang it in the MTC twice, they sang it my first day in the field, and then they sang it at my first general conference in the mission. Also President Eyring was speaking directly to me I think. I mean obviously the spirit was speaking directly to me, but conference is so awesome. My prediction is that Elder Stevenson's talk will be the one that we have 100 lessons/talks on for the next 5 months. Kind of like the truck/snow one and Where Justice Love and Mercy Meet. 
Elder Hallstrom when he talked about How Firm a Foundation!! So good I was just sobbing. Also Elder Christofferson. I was like Oh he's about to tell me what kind of husband I need and then I wrote like a page and a half of notes. 
President Uchtdorf's talk and then his reaction to Elder Kearon's throw down. "This moment does not define them but our response does define us." So good. Then I just want to be like Elder Holland when I grow up. I'm not even sad that people compare me to him anymore. #NewFavorite 

I love conference. 

I have some funny quotes: 

"Your hair looks lighter Sister Atchley.... I can tell from up here." -Sister Fullmer

The Korean ladies that we talk to struggled for a solid like 3 weeks to understand what orange is the new black meant. We finally got it explained to them and Sister Peterson and I both wore orange the other day. 

"Oh wait!! Before we start!! ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK!!" -One of the Korean ladies

That's right, I've got inside jokes with Korean moms. 

"like Dr. Nightmare but nice. Dr Nicemare." -Sister Fullmer 

"Hey Elder Center how much does a goat weigh?" -Sister Fullmer
"About 194." -Elder Center
*Everyone dies laughing* 
"How much does a goat weigh when it reports to the MTC" - Sister Fullmer 
".......about 169......" -Elder Center 

"We never have to talk about middle school." -Elder Hook
"Bet y'all can't guess what I was in middle school!" -me
"A boy!" -Elder Hook 

"I'm full of mer" -Sister Fullmer
"I'm wonderfullmer" -Sister Fullmer 

"Hi we're missionaries-" -me 

"Please don't starve to death Sister Atchley. I'm the district leader so if you die it's my fault." -Elder Davis

"What do you know about the Book of Mormon?" -Sister Fullmer
"I saw the play!" - a lady
"Oh well yeah so they're a bit different. Different authors you know? The play was made by the people who make South Park while the author of the book is God." -Sister Fullmer 

"I want to marry the right woman." -Elder Robinson
"A white woman?" - Elder Burk 
"NO the right woman!" -Elder Robinson 
"Did you just say you want to marry a white woman?" -me 
"OK FINE I want to marry a covenant keeping woman." -Elder Robinson 
"Did you just say you want to marry a caucasian woman?" -Sister Fullmer 

BTW The girl I wrote y'all about, Layla, was at conference and apparently she's getting baptized this month. I contacted her! Finding is equally important as teaching! I'm so stoked. She said I better come. 

The reading assignment is this: 
The very first time I went to institute you asked if the Bradleys would write down a talk for you to review later. It's been on a notecard in the front of my scriptures for almost two years. I have no idea what it says. 

Neil A Maxwell: Things as They Really Were. 

Love y'all! 

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