Friday, June 16, 2017


I got to have lunch with a general authority!

Honestly my motivation to email home right now is really low. Last week was really crazy. We had Elder Cordon come which was really amazing, but our p day got scrambled. So we spread it out over Monday and Tuesday. We had food pantry service on Tuesday that we couldn't not go to. Then we had Mission Leadership Conference on Wednesday with Elder Cordon. We went and helped out with a family history booth at Ranchofest Friday and Saturday. Basically it felt like this week was incredibly busy and super fast. Also I'm like so exhausted. I have to constantly remind myself that I have a little more to give. I have to say to myself "you didn't sign up for 12 transfers and 4 weeks. You have to keep working hard."

My ward mission leader found out I go home soon. He was shocked. He was so confused because I don't act like I'm going home. I hope he doesn't tell anyone because I honestly don't think I can handle everyone harassing me about it. I feel sorry for Sister Loveridge because everyone knows how long she has left. 

Last week I learned that Forever 21 is literally an affront to humanity and an enemy to the plan of salvation. I can not feel the spirit in that store. 99.98% of the clothing is inappropriate and the music straight up filthy. It was horrible. I have heard so much worldly music this week. I honestly think that I will never listen to music again for at least a month when I get home because I hate it so much. 

MLC was pretty cool. Elder Cordon talked a lot about a question asked by one of the zones. They asked "How do I balance having fun and being consecrated." I think Elder Cordon was mainly appalled. He talked to us about how if you aren't having fun while doing missionary things then you aren't actually consecrated.  I realized that I am a consecrated missionary and that's why a lot of people give me a hard time. I feel like everyone talks about how the mission is the most spiritual time of your life. It's true that I've developed a closer relationship with Heavenly Father. I've developed better habits for everything and I've learned how to do everything too. When I came on my mission I literally didn't know anything. Now I know a little bit more. On the other hand I've never had to struggle so hard to be consecrated and to live my beliefs. I just think about how I've had to plead with my companion to listen to hymns. I've been called prideful for sharing my spiritual insights and for trying to share best practices. The worst part though is that I've lowered my own standards to try to fit in. I'm sad because some missionaries in this mission don't lower their standards and everyone speaks unkindly of them.  I've been struggling a little bit lately because I spent a lot of my mission not being as good as I could have been.

I do know that once you start doing something with all your heart it's as though you've been doing it the whole time. That's the way the atonement works. So I know that if I understand how to stand up for my consecration now then 18 months were worth it. If I could summarize everything I've learned on my mission into one sentence it would be this: On my mission I have leaned how to take up my cross and follow the Savior.

Jacob1:8 8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; ...

When I first came on my mission I was really excited to be out here and I was excited to serve the Lord. I thought everyone felt the same way. I found out that it's not true. It took me 18 months to find it out though. I always though that everyone on my mission was so amazing and spiritually strong because they are missionaries. I've always though that I'm a new member so maybe I'm not as enlightened as everyone else. I've always though that the people I serve with are mainly good and in tune with the spirit. Therefore I've always been confused when I've born testimony only to be met with accusations of thinking I know everything. I've been confused when people have told me the doctrine of Christ is not that important, but every time my leaders talk that's ALL they talk about. I've been confused when I've been teased for wanting to read my scriptures. This week I finally realized that I'm not the one that's wrong.  I've just been blessed with the opportunity to experience the atonement. If we believe in Jesus Christ we will have to have opportunities to view his death and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world. We are going to always be called to pass through trials if we are his disciples. 

2Timothy3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

I love what was said to Joseph Smith when he was in Liberty Jail in D&C 122. I read it this week and I thought of all of the things on my mission that have made me sad, or that have brought me to my knees. Then I read verses 7 and 8 "... know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?" That took me to these verses in the Book of Mormon: 

1Nephi19:7 For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.

8 And behold he cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem.

9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.

When I was talking to Sister Clark about all of this she said "look at the Savior people didn't treat him very kindly either." Sister Clark told me that she had been crying for two days straight over the culture of this mission. Then she told me that I've been true so I will be alright. 

I love my mission. I love the people that I serve with. I know that Heavenly Father knows exactly what he's doing when he puts us into missions. I know that on my mission I've learned to be bold in standing up for what I KNOW to be true. I don't have to learn about the gospel from imperfect sources I can learn about it directly from my Heavenly Father and when he reveals things to me I don't have to let any person shake my testimony. I have a few days left on my mission and I'm determined to come home with not a drop of energy left over. 
I love this work. 

Here's some quotes: 

"Are you going to read Preach My Gospel before next zone conference?" -me 
"yeah I've got about 40 years until my next zone conference." -Elder Williams

"Ok first we need to introduce ourselves." -Sister Loveridge
"Hi! I'm Sister Nattress I MEAN WAIT DANGIT!!!" -Elder Nattress

"What are some healthy activities you can do on P-Day?" -Elder Cordon
"basketball." - someone
"what else?" -Elder Cordon
"... more basketball." -Elder Chain

"I don't feel qualified to sit at this table."-me 
"You don't have to be able you just have to be available!" -Elder Cordon

"What!? I just need to be a little fatter!" -Elder Chain

"I hate when people judge people." -Elder Chain
"Yeah or make stuff up about people" -Some zone leader
"No making stuff up is ok. I make stuff up all the time about people. Did you know Sister Atchley can ride two horses at once?" -Elder Chain
"It's ok. I tell everyone you're a gentleman." -me 
"oh dang! That IS made up." -Elder Chain

"And what's your name?" -Sister Mitchell
"We call him David." -Lilly

"Did you tell him to come in or did you just tell him old spice?" -Nick

"I can SMELL my way!" -Sister Mitchell

"you should have been here yesterday when all the students were here. It was weird." -Elder VanOrden
"did you look like them?" -me 
"WELL I'M ONLY 19" -Elder VanOrden

"I love potatoes" -Elder VanOrden
"That's because you're from Idaho. Do you farm potatoes?" -me 
"I could if I wanted to! I know how!" -Elder VanOrden
"does your family farm potatoes?" -me 
"They used to until my ancestors lost the farm." -Elder VanOrden

"Elder VanOrden are you going to be an engineer, or a computer programmer?" -me 
"Maybe both." -Elder VanOrden
"Farming simulator?" -me 
"I can't believe you just stereotyped me like that!" -Elder VanOrden
"The worst part is that you're ginger." -me 

"your daughter acts just like you." -Sister Loveridge
"Oh I feel sorry for her then." -Brother Shields

"Sister Atchley is rich she's got us!" -Elder Blue
"The worst part about going home is that everyone treats me like a sugar mama!" -me

"Imagine if we sang guide us oh you great Jehovah." -Bishop Forrest

"I haven't followed up with my biscuit today." -Sister Mitchell

Here's a reading assignment:

The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship

By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

This is our weird district picture at tropical smoothie café.
TSC is life

She's a giraffe mermaid

Elder Anthony called me his homie which is pretty uncharacteristic so we're basically best friends I think

He wears this to everything

Bishop gave a talk about prayer and we were joking about this common phrase
So he brought us breakfast. So he brought us breakfast. 

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