It's interesting because I don't feel like I'm going home. We talked to some Elders today and they said they have no motivation to do missionary work because they got doubled in their last transfer. They made it sound like they have just given up. They literally said that they try to stop by someone occasionally and they just work out and do My Plan. Sometimes I think that I'm at the end of my mission.... and I become INCREDIBLY ANXIOUS to do everything I can to leave a lasting impression on this ward. I can't understand the desire to take it easy your last transfer, or your last week, or even your last day. I think about the events of the week leading up to the atonement. The savior accomplished so many things in just one week. I think about what would be missing from our scriptures if the Savior had decided to take a break his last week. We wouldn't have the parable of ten virgins, the talents, or the sheep and goats. We also wouldn't have the first and second great commandments. It makes me ask myself what this ward will be lacking if I decide that there's no point to serving them for my last 6 (or 4) weeks.
Right now I'm trying to make a positive lasting impact on our ward mission leader. He's the kindest most loving man ever, but he's not the best ever at goal setting and planning. He also doesn't know how to be bold and to the point. Those are skills I've developed over the course of my mission. If I can teach them to my ward mission leader he will be a more powerful force for good for the rest of his life, and he doesn't go home when I do. Therefore, if I'm successful, the last 6 weeks of my mission will be of service to the ward for the entire time Brother Mauss is ward mission leader.
I gave my departing testimony at zone conference this week. It still doesn't ever seem like real life. It just hits me sometimes how much longer I have left. I realized when people were bearing their testimonies that I will never go to zone conference again. That's actually not totally true because we have a special zone conference with Elder Cordon next week, but anyway. I will never have another regular zone conference. Sister Clark is so upset that I'm going home soon. She's in as much denial as I am.
I'm like 5 times as stressed out anytime something happens though because I'm like "I DON'T HAVE TIME TO BE SICK I ONLY HAVE THIS TRANSFER!!" Also it honestly feels like my body is just giving out on me. Sometimes I'm so exhausted that I feel like I'll just die before the end of my mission. All my joints hurt. My back hurts. My shoulder hurts. My legs hurt. When I sleep at night it feels like it was only 5 minutes. On the other hand, I feel so close to the Lord. I can just see His hand every day in my life. I can even see it from moment to moment. I'm so blessed with amazing companions who understand and love me. I am in an amazing ward. I receive revelation literally constantly about my purpose when I return home, and how I can help the people while I'm still here. I feel confident that I'm doing everything I can to serve my mission and to walk uprightly before the Lord. Because of that I'm learning so much.
Here's some quotes:
"I'm not going to eat any." -Elder Blue
"WOAH! I didn't recognize you ELDER FOUTZ!" -Elder Hampton
"I once fell asleep on the floor holding a bag full of dead fish surrounded in ice. True or false?"-me
"I couldn't do that... so it's false." -Elder Beus
"Sister Atchley is probably my favorite Sister Missionary." -Elder Howard
"Aw lucky! I don't get that title." -Elder Beus
"Elder Blue literally started PRAYING while I was cutting his hair!!!" -Sister Loveridge
"Why do Sisters always wear each other's clothes?" -Elder Cheever
"Why do Elders pay so much attention to what sisters wear?" -Sister Loveridge
"Oh no! My crouton." -Sister Bollard
"Sister Atchley! You go home soon! Ooooooooooold!" -Elder Powell
"Tropical Smoothie Cafe wrecked my companions. Their stomachs hurt. I think it's because it has a lot of healthy stuff in it and their bodies aren't used to it." -Elder Blue
"I love doing blood drives at the Mormon church because set up is always the exact same. I always know it's going to be in the gym!" -Red cross guy
"God created the earth." -Emmett
"Actually Jesus created the earth under the direction of Heavenly Father." -Sister Loveridge
"well they're the same person anyway!!" -Wyatt
(they're some member kids that we brought to fellowship our recent convert kids)
"I gotta spray some old spice. Oh yeah gotta hit my biceps. Now I can't forget my lovely thighs!" -Cole (age 12)
"I caught it with my old spice muscles!" -Cole
"Sister Atchley, you always sit on the floor. Can we get you a chair?" -President Clark
"President, I sit on the floor because my legs are too short to reach the ground in a chair so my lap is slanted and my scriptures fall on the ground." -me
"I see, I see, So what we'll need to do is get a box for you to carry around and put your feet on." -President Clark
"I gave a talk two years ago so I was surprised when they asked me to speak today." -Cole (age like 17 or something)
"I just want to share a story about alpacas." -Cole C.
"I thought I had rounded them all up when I looked to the side and saw a pregnant alpaca laying under a tree. I tried everything I could but I couldn't get her to move. Finally I prayed and asked God for help I explained what had happened and what I needed. When I finished the prayer I saw the alpaca walking back to the stall by herself. It was a miracle." -Cole C.
( I like to imagine this prayer.)
"I hope the next time I speak will be my mission farewell." -Cole C.
Here's a reading assignment:
Perfect Love Casteth out all Fear
It made me think that we have nothing to be afraid of because we already know what will happen in the grand scheme of things if we do what is right.