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 

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