July 6, 2016




Celeste Barton


Hello everyone!
Thank you so much for your emails! I love reading them even though I don't always get to respond and I'm praying for you <3

This week has flown by and I'm sure they'll only get shorter as I get closer to going to Japan.  We've been working on memorizing the first vision this week, which has been difficult but I have almost all of it :)  Lessons with our investigators (we have two investigators and one less-active) have been good but some days are rough.  Some of you have asked how the "investigators" work: Our teachers choose a persona and backstory of a real person and then be that person for us to teach.  So in a way they are "real" but still very controlled.  But, every Wednesday we get a chance to teach two members in "TRC" (Teaching Research Center).I've been really tired recently but I have made a resolve to still be perfectly obedient to the schedule and I know the Lord will bless me to stay awake in class ;)
A funny story: A Sock Fairy has visited our classroom several times and mysteriously left socks for elders.  Earlier in the week, the elders were reminded that they could not have patterned socks and a few did not have any other socks and so the Sock Fairy presented them with some on their desk.  (It's been super fun to sneak around - Erickson Shimai started this game and now it has extended to all the Shimaitachi giving socks with the elders none the wiser)

The MTC decided to make the Fourth of July, "International Freedom Day" (because America is the basis for the entire world...).  But it was really fun :)  We had a special "freedom" devotional on Saturday where all the flags were presented from everywhere where there are missions or missionaries, and many talks about freedom and the gospel.  We also got to watch fireworks and stay up late (bad idea...) from the Stadium of Fire event happening in the stadium nearby.  We were instructed to "watch the fireworks and ponder about how the Lord prepared the way for the Restoration of the Gospel". (I thought that was really funny...)

I love this gospel so much though.  I have definitely seen miracles as I've prayed and I know that God answers prayers.  Cool things I've learned about repentance this week: You are CHANGING to FOLLOW God.  Repentance is a blessing and it's a real change to become better.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ can take away all sins (a.k.a. things you did that didn't follow the commandments) and ALL pains. (Alma 7:11-13)  Also, the scriptures are the BOMB - you guys should definitely check them out.  They can answer any questions you have and I'd be happy to help answer them too.

Anyway, I love you all so much!  Thank you for your support and kind words.  I really appreciate your prayers and know that you are in mine.
Love,Sister Atkinson


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