Monday, May 30, 2016


Dear Dad

It's funny how you complained a lot about no home teaching in Odessa first ward then they made you partly in charge of seeing that home teaching happens. Funny how Heavenly Father listens to the prayer of your heart. Also funny how he makes you use your agency to change stuff while simultaneously teaching you to be humble. It's only funny because the exact same thing is happening to me right at this very moment. We're learning the same lessons.

So as you know my districts were bonkers this transfer and I've been surprisingly ok with it. However I went on exchanges this week and learned that there's an uncomfortable amount of obedience problems. I mean, not that it's my place to comment on it. I've learned that this week too. The spirit just has been bringing this thing that I always say to my remembrance a ton this transfer, namely "You know what makes me mad? When people go to a YSA branch and then quit the church because the didn't like the way the branch was. Like what did you do to contribute if it was weird homie?" I've just been picturing myself saying that so much lately and finally I was like wait a minute.... you mean.... when [Sister Atchley] goes to a [district] that she doesn't like and then quits the [mission] because it was weird..... that's the thing that I hate? What did [Sister Atchley] do to change it?... oh.... gooooot iiiiit. So basically I realized that I was a massive hypocrite and decided that the best thing to do would be to try and be a really good example. So THEN I realized that I'm actually super disobedient and I'm a stiffnecked and rebellious child. I was humbled all over again. 

I was thinking about how bad it was that I was being so rude to my district leaders so I decided to follow the advice of some wise people and ask them for suggestions on how I can improve. (It says to do this in Adjusting to Missionary Life if you don't get along with mission leaders.) I thought they were not going to take it seriously, but they took it so seriously. They were super kind and gave super inspired advice. I was surprised because they started out by listing my good qualities. I was surprised because I was so sure that my district leaders just didn't even like me at all. It was a huge lesson in understand and communication. You could say my heart grew three sizes that day. 
Wait no... But really you become like Christ - develop His attributes - one action and decision at a time. (It says this in PMG) 
Anyway one of the things they said was that I have a desire to be exactly obedient. I just was so thankful for the opportunity I had to be around so many obedient missionaries at home and to have a really strong first district and companion. 

Speaking of obedient missionaries at home. We had zone training meeting this week and I just thought about Elder Whatcott and Elder Severson and cried the whole time. So now I'm four for four. I wonder if someday I will have a ZTM where I won't think about my missionaries and cry all the time. Every time I'm on exchanges I'm like "So have I ever told you about the time my missionaries bluhdudhduduh" The coolest part is that they were just regular missionaries and really anyone has an opportunity to make a huge impact on people. 

So I've decided that next transfer is going to be really hard. I've decided because I keep feeling prompted to pray for mountains. Except I keep not seeing any mountains. So I started praying to recognize trials. The spirit told me to study patience. Then I was asking Heavenly Father what I could to do improve the most now. I felt prompted to pray for a trial of faith / furnace of affliction. Then I got super scared and asked Heavenly Father to at least help me prepare for all this stuff that's apparently about to happen to me. Every talk in sacrament meeting and our third hour lesson were about overcoming trials and being spiritually prepared. 
So basically I'm nervous. 

Which brings us to the reading assignment(s): 

Funny Stuff: 

"We can put a sticky note on other Melissa's goat. I mean gate." -me 
"Thinkin about Elder Center?" -Sister Suchanski 

"You're basically in the Center. Ha! You're in the goat." -Sister Suchanski
I was walking with my eyes closed. I was super good at it. 

"Mary you're my favorite kid." -me 
"And I'm almost as tall as you." -Mary Stokes 
She's 10 and really sassy, but then she gives me hugs. She's a punk like me. 

"Kill Santa, kiss bigfoot, marry the Keebler elves." -Sister Peterson

"Sarcasm is funny and I've enjoyed its use on many occasions." -Elder Mills

"I want a krilled cheese." -Sister Fullmer 

"I won't believe that!!" -angry asian man 
"Oh... God's words?" -Sister Fullmer

"They're doing stake reports they want a report on our steaks. They're medium rare." -me 
"WOO TEXAS" -Elder Chan 
Elder Chan looks for every excuse to yell Texas at me. 

Love Y'all!
Sister Atchley 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Now that that's out of the way:

We had zone conference this week and it was amazing. I don't know about in other missions, but here Zone conference is actually trizone conference. So I saw a boatload of missionaries that I love who don't serve in Irvine anymore. ALSO I SAW MY MOOOM. Next transfer is Sister Shober's last transfer. She's so old. I'm so sad that she's going to go home and get married and have a life. I just want her to come back and be my companion forever. She told me that they were doing introductions at some activity and one of the questions was whose your best friend. She said she said it was me! #winning I think approximately 2039485723 missionaries came up to me and said that they miss me and such. It was a weird time. It was nice though I'm not complaining.

We had this training on contacting and how you become like Christ through contacting. We had this practice where Mission Viejo zone pretended to be people to contact and everyone else contacted them. So they turned us loose and Sister Peterson and I were kind of in the back of this pretty big group. The first people who were immediately outside of the doors were Elder Ashton and Elder Fuell. (the assistants to the president #scary) I watched like probably 20 something companionships walk right past them instead of talking to them and I got so sad. I was like man nobody is gonna pretend to share the gospel with them just because they're the assistants and they're scary or whatever. I HAVE TO DO IT. So I contacted the assistants. Later we were evaluating the practice and Elder Chan asked the people who were being contacts to share how they felt being contacted. Elder Ashton shared that he as Elder Ashton learned a lot about contacting with love from my example. It was pretty cool. What I learned was that nobody contacted the assistants because they were scared, but when I'm in my area contacting there is NO BACKUP PLAN if I get scared. I can't afford to walk past people because there will be no one behind me to share the gospel with the scary non members. It was pretty cool. I used to hate contacting, but I hate it a lot less now. Actually secretly it's my favorite thing in the world.

President Orgill basically said goodbye to us and it was really amazing. He extended an invitation which was the coolest thing in the world I learned so much. He asked us to compare our notes of what the spirit has been telling us, our patriarchal blessings, and one of the lists of the gifts of the spirit. He promised us that we would be able to know what gifts Heavely Father wants us to ask him for. IT WORKS. Y'all should do it.
So, my patriarchal blessing is written, of course, in a way that I can understand and learn from it. It's divided into clear paragraphs that contain usually only one or two specific ideas. I have read it enough times that most of the promises and blessings and things are readily available if I need to call them to memory. There are a few places where it clearly talks about specific gifts of the spirit, and I've read it many times before with the intent of learning about spiritual gifts. So honestly I wasn't expecting to find any information that I didn't already know. However, Jacob is not messing around when he says "How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of [The Lord]; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways." (Jacob4:8). I learned that even though I've read my patriarchal blessing a million times I apparently have failed to notice some pretty major things. There are 18 separate references to a specific thing and I have never noticed it talks about it so much before. Amazing.
This week Sister Peterson expressed to me that she sometimes struggles with the fact that when we are in large groups of missionaries from other zones people are so excited to see me. She also said she feels as though she's living in my shadow sometimes because I receive so much praise and no one makes mention of her. This was so sad for me to learn because I've been an outcast all my life. I tried to help her understand that I know how she feels because all my life I've been mistreated and excluded and bullied. I tried to tell her that outside of the mission I'm a big lame loser. She can't understand that though because all she's seen is Sister Atchley who walks into a group of missionaries and 15 people say they love and miss her, or Sister Atchley who is admired and praised in front of three zones by an assistant to the president. It made me think of all the times that I feel like nobody understands what I'm going through, but I'm wrong because our Savior understands. Even though he's glorified and perfect he knows exactly what it's like to feel all kinds of guilt and pain and sorrow. I learn a lot from Sister Peterson. I'm also not really sure why everyone here likes me so much. It's so surreal to me when people are genuinely excited to see me. I've always though my whole life that people just forget about me when I'm not standing in front of them, but even people I wasn't super good buddies with are stoked to see me. I need to repent and love everyone else a lot more in order to come close to deserving this kind of attention.

Funny quotes n stuff (there are a lot):

*Elder Kenner being really unsuccessful at clearly explaining an awkward situation*
"What you mean member Deanna tried to swerve investigator Deanna?" -me
"YES!" -Elder Kenner
"Wow rude." -me

"Me and Elder Chan are like 10ths cousins or something and GUESS WHAT!? It's through your mom!" -me
"WHAT!? Not the Chinese?!" -Elder Chan

We shared dinner with the Northwood Elders. The children were obsessed with me suddenly making a straight face. It was the funniest thing ever.
"You look like an emo." -A kid
"little do you know...." -me
(Nobody actually believes me about this. Please send pics.)

*passes Elder Te'o the salad*
"your move Elder Te'o. White goes first in chess." -Elder Mills

"I'm feeling like I'm gonna have to take a number four tonight." -Elder Te'o
"what?" -Sister Peterson
"You know I'm just really full. I ate a lot. It's gonna be like a four five six." -Elder Te'o
"I don't understand." -Sister Peterson
"Basically, Sister Peterson, I'm gonna take a really big dump." -Elder Te'o

Sister Peterson accidentally called Elder Hales Elder Wu.
"Ha! You're all the same! Look! I'm the same too!" -Elder Anthony (he's in Yale Ward)

"Want some of my sunscreen? It's SPF 100." -Elder Killpack
"You don't mess around." -Sister Fullmer
"My skin doesn't mess around with the sun." -Elder Killpack

"The alien space bishop?" -Sister Fullmer

*Elder Hales eating a doughnut with chopsticks*
"They don't mess around with chopsticks where you're from." -Sister Fullmer
"Arizona?" -Elder Hales
(So Elder Hales was adopted from china by a family that lives in Arizona when he was like 10 or something. He has an accent and everything.)

"If you get hit you can sue them for a bunch of money." -Elder Killpack
"but I'd have to go home." -me
"but you can come back WITH A BUNCH OF MONEY!" -Elder Killpack

(Use this in your classes)
"Elder Eppig can you read?" -Elder Mills
"Uh yeah..." -Elder Eppig
"PROVE IT by reading verse 14!" -Elder Mills

"So they contacted me while I was taking a smoke break so I was already miffed why do think I was smoking?" -Elder Radeke

"President said I'm greenie breaking myself." -me
"sounds inappropriate" -Elder Burk

"UUUH what is that!?" -Sister Peterson
"Marijuana!" -me
"It smells like a skunk!" -Sister Peterson
"That's what it smells like!" -Me

"I can't see Sister Fullmer back there so she can go last." -Elder Te'o
"Oh yeah, because I'm SO tall." -Me
*Everyone dies laughing*

"I always though the chair just set up magically." -Brother Yamane
"Unfortunately we're out of wands. We used them all up." -Brother Smemoe

"They said we don't really have to know anything about the scriptures to participate." -Brother Yamane
"Stokes would be good for that then." -Brother Turner

I've learned that ward council is a meeting where ward leaders get together and talk about serious stuff for 5 minutes then act sassy for an hour. Also there's singing involved.

Your reading assignment is this:
Pure Testimony by Elder Ballard

Alma 40 is actually a really hilariously sassy chapter. Read it like you would imagine someone sounding if this was the fourth time they'd explained the same thing to you. It's super funny I promise. "look all I'm sayin is that everybody dies, but they don't get resurrected immediately. who knows how many different resurrections there's gonna be, doesn't mater! point is everybody gets a body, but UNTIL THEN you gotta go somewhere. So that's why the spirit world." <-- cliffnotes for Alma 40

Love Yall!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

5/16/16 Crazy Week

We had such a full week this week and we saw so much missionary work happen!

We finally met our Gladys Knight referral. She's pretty cool. She's a really nice lady, but she's kind of busy. We've been trying to meet with her for like 3 or 4 weeks. We're kind of really awkward people so it was kind of an awkward lesson. It was alright though. Later we saw her while we were volunteering at the Korean Cultural Festival. That was a little miracle itself. Hopefully we're going to meet with her again tomorrow.

The other really cool thing is this girl named Deanna.
So as you probably know we got put in a random district for who knows what reason. Last Sunday our stake president's daughter gave her farewell talk in sacrament meeting. She pretty much invited like half of Irvine which was awesome. One of her friends got snatched up by one of our ward missionaries and brought to gospel principles. We met her and set up an appointment. It turned out she was actually in Woodbridge second ward. Woodbridge second Elders just so happened to be in our new district. Coincidence? I think not.
So we taught her once and then had a pass off lesson with Elders Kenner and Killpack. They were both really good lessons, but I want to talk about the pass off lesson.

Elder Kenner and Elder Killpack are pretty boss missionaries. Even though there were four different missionaries teaching the most complicated lesson (Plan of Salvation) we taught in a spirit of unity. The spirit was definitely there. I learned so much from just being around the Elders and seeing their examples. They remind me of our missionaries.

Elder Kenner is kinda real weird sometimes, but every time he bears his testimony you can feel the spirit so strong. You can also tell he's just so full of love for the gospel and for everyone he serves around. It's cool because you wouldn't immediately judge him to be the type. He's just like a really converted really caring person, but also really weird. He's like Whatcott, but a little like Severson. If you combined the two you would get Elder Kenner.

Elder Killpack is just really hilarious. He also understands the gospel really well. He's good at explaining things and talking about spiritual things and making connections. Also he's a ginger but that's not important here. :]

I have this really short list of missionaries who I think I would have been baptized if they were my missionaries. Those two are definitely on it.

Actually I might as well just share the whole thing!
It goes roughly in order:
Elder Center
Elder Robinson
Elder Dayton
Elder Killpack
Elder Kenner
Elder Fuell
Sister Reynolds
Elder Chan

I'm sure this list will be added on to because there are so many amazing Christ like people all around me.

They moved us out of the lake district back into the bryan district! How's that for confusing? They moved Elder King and Elder Ball to lake instead. I'm "a little" sad about it because  I feel like I fit in a lot more in lake district. By fit in I mean people love me there. And by love me I mean they don't make fun of things that are important to me like my conversion story, and my missionaries, and the things that I learn. Also they appreciate when I learn about the gospel and they share what they learn and we all grow together. That's something that I kind of struggled with last transfer. I just felt like nobody wanted to listen to what I was learning and they did not know how serious I am about the gospel. I mad the wrong decision though and chose to be like sorry I inconvenienced you with my revelation I'll never participate in district meeting again. Basically I had a really terrible attitude. I'm actually working on having a better attitude this transfer though so I'm sure this is just Heavenly Father's way of saying I didn't learn everything he wanted me to.
I learned that I feel most loved when I can talk about the gospel and people get excited with me.

I've been learning a lot about love this transfer. Love is my christlike attribute study focus. I thought I was going to learn a lot about how to love others, but I'm actually learning a lot about how people love me. The spirit keeps telling me all this stuff related to other people's love and stuff. I wish I could explain to you what I'm learning, but I don't have the words.

I do have the funny quotes though:

"come play!" -Sister Fullmer
"The spirit didn't tell me I need to play volleyball!" -me
*Elder Anthony laughing* "It's not about should it's about shouldn't. It's like the baptismal invite." -Elder Anthony

"What did you sing in primary?" -Brother Zaffos
"Love is spoken here" -Elizabeth Zaffos
"At first she thought it was called love is smoked in here." -Brother Zaffos

"If you want to live in Texas you have to like spicy food." -me
"We can't move to Texas because I don't like spicy food! It's the rules and you can't break rules!!" -Elizabeth Zaffos (She's 5)

"I need some copies of this." -me
"We can do that! Elder Foutz will do it for you! Not because you're stupid, but because he's a gentleman." -Elder Fuell

"I'll whisper in Elder Kenner's ear at night so he'll think the spirit is telling him to ask you to give all the trainings this transfer." -Elder Killpack

"My hair is dyed." -Sister Peterson
"Mine too." -Elder Killpack

"If I tie my hair in a knot it doesn't stay." -me
"Mine either." -Elder Killpack

I realized that if you combined Elder Robinson, Elder Davis, and Elder Anthony you would have a person named Anthony Anthony Anthony.
(Anthony Robinson, Braxton Anthony Davis, idk Elder Anthony's human name he's too consecrated)

"In our other district." -Sister Peterson
"She means our better district." -Me
"your lame district?" -Elder Davis
"I gave a training today." -me
"sorry your SUPER lame district." -Elder Davis

"We're ALLOWED to shoot the pigs with automatic weapons in Texas." -Elder Brown

"I just ate a whole pizza and biked over here in four minutes." -Elder Kenner

"I think that was part of a cigar." -Sister Peterson
"did you smoke it?" -me
"what no!" -Sister Peterson
"good that would have been awkward. President, Sister Peterson smoked a guitar.. wait..." -Me
"How would you even smoke a guitar?" -Sister Peterson
"In a pipe probably." -me
"Well I don't have a lighter so that wouldn't work." -Sister Peterson
"AAAAARG" -Sister Peterson
She's 90% done with me at least 70% of the time.

"One time they were trying to get me to see a move that ended at 12:30 and I was like but that would be violating the Sabbath day and they were like the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath and I was like this is why you're less active and I'm not." -me
"you're kinda sassy." -Sister Peterson

The reading assignment is 1Thessalonians2. Compare it with D&C18:15-16

Love Y'all!

So this is my area
Fun Facts about California
We're gonna come back to my mission and walk Jeffrey trail. It's not long

Monday, May 9, 2016


To: Dad and everyone

Generations! Yay!

I got to consecrate my talents

That quote is modified from the gospel principles manual.
They got me to make the zone mother's day card. Elder Mills said it was superior to all the other zones. It was definitely the only hand painted one.

It's my MTC district, but five months later!

My best homie Sister Lee

President and Sister Orgill holding hands! I love them

They're always smiling.

Sister Orgill isn't short, President is just really really tall.

Sister Peterson and I built this kale mountain. Wise use of time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5/2/2016 Everyone I love is leaving

This is the saddest transfer of my mission. Elder Robinson is going home and  like everyone else cool is getting transferred. I'm mostly sad about Sister Rudy, Elder Center, and Elder Burk. Also they wrecked our district. They just like gerrymandered the district so that Northwood Elders aren't with us anymore. So now there are only three companionships and only one companionship of Elders. ALSO I've been in the ward for the longest out of anyone serving in the ward starting tomorrow.
Actually I lied. They just wrecked our whole zone. There are only two companionships that are staying the same. Me and Sister Peterson and Northwood Elders.

We had a service project this week that was literally 6 hours long. We were registering people for a marathon. They needed our entire zone and also our entire Saturday. You want to proselyte during prime proselyting time? That's unfortunate.  

We kind of had a really bad week. I mean it seems like a good week, but when I read my journal it's like a series of kind of less than average days. Weird. We met SO MANY BASHERS. Everyone tried to bash. It was obnoxious. They weren't even from Mariners church.
One lady was trying to tell us that the scripture at the end of Revelation that says nothing taken away blah blah means the Book of Mormon is not the word of God. I told her that the standard works were compiled and canonized after Revelation was written so that didn't even make sense. She was like "uh yeah well who WROTE Revelation?" and I was like "Uh.... John the revelator...." and she derped out. I still don't understand the point she was trying to make. Bashers always just run out of things to say to you and then call you names and pretend to be concerned for your salvation. It's awesome.

I did have one really cool experience. I fasted to have a better attitude, because my attitude this transfer has been pretty out of line. Then I just had a way better attitude yesterday even though I was fasting and we had temple tours. We just basically laughed all day. It was amazing. Even though I'm sad about everyone getting transferred and going home I'll have a good transfer because my attitude is better. I wonder how much more I would have been able to uplift the people I was serving around this transfer if I hadn't been grumpy cat the whole time. Looking forward to meeting new people to love.

OH also we celebrated my baptism day this week. I made a cake. They..... sang.... it was awkward. They also made me tell my conversion story.

Funny stuff: 

"Do you pretty much just wish you lived in Texas all the time?" -me
"Yes" -Elder Davis

"Can you bring fire to district meeting tomorrow? I need to light a candle." -Me
"Like an actual lighter or like strong spirit fire?" -Elder King
"Uh both... I just want to see you light a candle with your faith." -me

"Don't die Sister Atchley!" -Elder Davis
"Ugg I'm trying" -me
"We need you." -Elder Davis
"ugg why?" -me
"To do missionary work so your guys can get baptisms." -Elder Davis

"Elder Center really enjoyed the video of you bleating." -Elder Ball
"Actually I went home and cried a little." -Elder Center
"When you cried did it sound like Weheheheh?" -Me
I guess I make a really entertaining goat sound.

"A wise man once told me 'People should think you're pretty close to dang good, but they shouldn't be surprised when you're not.'" -Elder Fuell quoting Elder Ashton
"Yeah that sounds like something someone from Texas would say." -me
*Elder Ashton being so done*

"There are gonna be no Sister Atchleys to throw down in Mission Viejo." -Elder Center

Y'all should read "The Fourth Missionary" and replace missionary with Latter-Day Saint.

Love Y'all!