Sunday, December 22, 2013

I'm Still Alive.

Hello, loved ones. There was a minor accident this week...

As Sister Glauser, Sister Anderson and I were hanging upside down from my bunk bed a few nights ago, (it's a nightly therapy ritual-- don't question us. We spend way too much time in our classrooms each day to even consider ourselves sane anymore) we somehow managed to all fall off of my bed. Don't worry, my head broke my fall. Glauser got a rug burn on her elbow and Anderson escaped unscathed. No missionaries were seriously injured-- but we did spend a solid half hour smashed between two beds with our arms and legs all tangled up and tears oozing from our eyeballs because it was just so dang funny. 
So, our little trio companionship got split up this week! I mean, that was kind of a sad moment. A new korean-speaking sister came into the MTC this week and Sister Hoffman was assigned to be her new companion. It's just Glauser and I now! (We think Hoffman was secretly relieved to be rid of us). BUT, all four of us share a room and Sister Hoffman is still in our district so we're with her all day anyways. Um. It's kind of a weird confusing thing to explain-- but whatever. 
Speaking of new missionaries, as a sisters training leader, I was expected to share my testimony in Korean with the new dongi (group) of Korean-speaking missionaries that came in this week. After we shared our testimonies, we had them try and guess how long we've been at the MTC. They thought I'd been here for six weeks already... Maybe my Korean is coming along better than I thought? Granted, I bore my testimony to a collection of individuals who don't speak Korean yet. I mean, for all they know, I was just muttering a bunch of random words in Korean, mashing them all together, and calling it my testimony. (For the record... that's not what happened.) 

Our teacher, Brother McArthur, is no longer our teacher. That was a devastating "fun fact of the day." He informed us that he was going on a nine day vacation back home for Christmas and the next thing we know he's no longer teacher our class. Glauser and I were pretty upset about that-- it's still a sensitive topic for us. 
Glauser and I decided that we are basically a married couple. We came to this conclusion one night when the two of us found ourselves in adjacent bathroom stalls in the middle of the night because we had both consumed too much water during the course of the day. We get anxiety if we are ever separated during gym time and we answer personal questions for each other whenever others inquire such things of us. Our sense of humor is identical. And we're both ridiculously weird. We're practically married.
So, I finally whipped out Kallin's shirt today. I kept it in the bag forever because it smelled so good and I didn't want to defile the man perfume with my girl-stench. But alas, I gave in. And I ran down the halls of the residence exclaiming, "Attention, Sisters! I'm willing to hug you and be your temporary pretend boyfriend today because I smell amazing." Kallin, you're blessing the lives of sister missionaries with this shirt. Just saying.
The language has been eating my soul this week. That's probably the best way I could phrase that... the days are a roller coaster of "I totally understand!" moments and "Can I bash my head against this brick wall now? K thanks." moments. But no matter what, after hanging upside down from the bunk beds each night, I feel like life is going to be okay. Like I've said a hundred times, life as a missionary is so good. It ain't no walk in the park though... (it's more like a run in a hailstorm; it's exhilarating and exciting but sometimes it's kind of painful. But it's totally worth it. Everyone should try it out sometime, ya know what I mean?) Just kidding. But really, missions are the greatest.
GOOD NEWS! I get an hour of emailing on Christmas day. So keep those cellular devices of yours close so we can have a lil' chat. 

Anyways, I love you all a whole bunch. I'm happy and I sing Disney songs and hymns wherever I go. Missionaries are really good at joining in and throwing down some sweet harmonies. I've been giving out so many pictures of baby Jesus and it's making me so happy. (Thanks Ma.) Elder Demille (one of the super awesome Elders in my district) is a professional robot-drawer-drawing man.
I made him sketch one just for me so I could put it in the front cover of the little binder that I'm super attached to. (I literally take it with me everywhere. It's basically got my whole heart in there. It's an MTC survival guide that I created just myself. Everyone should make one. Especially little missionaries who will be here for as long as we're going to be here.... seven weeks to go.) 
My district is the greatest. There's such a spirit about us. And there is so much love and support for each and every member of it. We are literally a little family away from our real families. I've been so grateful for that-- it's good to love the humans that you spend every waking moment of every waking day with. I love 'em. Yep.

This week we had Elder Rasband from the seventy come speak to us for our Tuesday nightdevotional! He talked about spiritual gifts to get us all in gear for Christmas here at the MTC. Anyways, I've been really thinking about spiritual gifts and I've come to the conclusion that God has given me the gift of peace. Yes, peace. And that peace comes from my knowledge of a Savior who loves me enough to have died for me. That atonement is central to God's plan of happiness. And that plan of happiness helps me to put my trials and short-comings into perspective.
In Ether 12:27 it talks about how God gives us weaknesses and that through His grace and His love, they can become strengths. This week (and really the whole time I've been at the MTC) I've become very, very, very aware of my personal weaknesses. But one thing that really hit me this week was this: as we begin to see our weaknesses very prominently in our lives (and on our missions), it is an evidence of us coming unto Christ. He shows us our weaknesses; He brings all of those weaknesses to the surface so that we recognize them and so that He can help us overcome them. Through Jesus Christ's atonement, we can overcome anything. His grace is sufficient enough for me, for you, for ALL of us. Besides, this isn't MY mission. It's the Lord's mission. I'm merely a tool in His hands. I know that as I work on coming unto Him that my struggles and my short-comings will be swallowed up in His love. Again, back to my mission scripture, Alma 26:12. I can't do much of anything. But in my GOD, I can do ALL things.

My love and prayers are with all of you this week.


Sister Bagley

p.s. Dear Elders and letters here at the MTC are like manna from heaven. Hint hint. Seriously though. I can't keep up with Glauser! She gets like... twelve letters per mail delivery. (Mail deliveries happen twice a day...FYI.)

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