Friday, February 7, 2014

One Week Left!

Well. Things are getting pretty serious here at the MTC. Our "native" missionaries (the group of native Korean missionaries that are going to be serving in Korea with us and who will leave the MTC with us in a week and a half) arrived this week! We're all still kind of stunned about that-- like, what? Our natives are here? That means we're going to Korea way sooner than we feel ready. But at the same time, it's about time we get out of here. We've been at the MTC since the dawn of time. It's time for us to just go and struggle and learn. But we're still freaking out about it.

We got our Korean name tags this week too! We all sprinted around from classroom to classroom reading everyone's tags and taking pictures. For the next sixteen months I'm going to be known as " 배글리 자매" (which sounds like this: bay-kuh-lee cha-may), or in other words, Sister Bagley in Korean. I can't even wait. It's just weird that the final touches of our MTC preparations are finally occurring. I've watched this happen twice already and it's hard to believe that this time it's for us-- WE ARE GOING TO KOREA!!!!! (Everyone is invited to freak out with me.)

Oh! In other news, I'm no longer the sister training leader. So that's been an adjustment. I was so grateful for the opportunity to serve, but I'm not going to lie, it's been pretty nice having so much extra study time. I think it was just what I needed for my last few weeks here at the MTC. 

We hosted all the new missionaries this week and guess what: I FOUND JORDAN CRUMP! I didn't host her but Sister Anderson (the adorable blonde sister who takes ugly pictures with me on a daily basis) did! I ended up running into them a little later and we made a scene because I dropped the suitcases I was lugging around and sprinted up to her screaming before I leapt into her arms. It was a pretty exciting moment, obviously.

Hosting was super cool though! I mean, watching the looks on the faces of the mothers as I led their child away from them for an eighteen month time period was probably the worst moment of my life (and it happened about seven times...) but aside from that, it was great. Our district will host again next week because it's our last week at the MTC. I'm actually really looking forward to that. Even though it rips my heart out kind of.

So in Preach My Gospel, on page 133, there's a super cool quote about learning languages and I think it's by President Thomas S. Monson. (If I had my PMG with me right now I'd just straight up quote it right here... but since I don't, I'll just tell you where to find the quote I want to quote right here... sowwy.) Anyways, it hit me: learning Korean is hard, yes. Very hard. But it is such a gift. And beyond that, struggling to learn Korean is a gift. God is obviously capable of all things-- so if He wanted to, He could give me the ability to speak Korean right here and right now. He could do that at any moment. BUT, He hasn't. It's been a slow and gradual process and it's going to continue to be a slow and gradual process. The gift of tongues is a gift that God promises His missionaries through diligence and hard work. But the struggle has to be part of acquiring that gift. When we struggle to learn Korean, not only will the ability to speak Korean be a gift, but we acquire gifts such as patience, diligence, love, and long-suffering in the process. So, because God loves us, He allows us to struggle in the language-learning process so that He can bless us with more than one spiritual gift once all has been said and done. I thought that was pretty cool.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be stretched beyond my limits. I am so grateful for the opportunity to become the kind of missionary that my Heavenly Father wants me to be. That's something that hit me this week pretty hard. I can't be the missionary that I want to be. I just can't. But I CAN be the missionary that God wants me to be. And in the end, He has far greater plans for me than I have for myself. So, my goal this week was to simply strive to understand what kind of a missionary God wants me to be. 

I let that thought bounce around inside my head for a few days. And after it lingered in there long enough, I realized that the first step towards becoming the missionary He wants me to be is to just love. I can't speak Korean (okay, I can... a little), I've got a terrible sense of direction, I'm a baby-- I'm only nineteen years old and I'm going to Korea, but despite all the things that I can't do, I CAN love. And so that's what He's sending me to Korea to do. I may not be able to say much in Korean, but I can love. And what more does a missionary need than love? I think love can conquer all things-- even language barriers. And Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of love. I wear His name upon my chest. I can't do a lot of things, but I can love. And I want to invite others to come unto the Savior in order to feel His love. 

Being a missionary is the coolest experience. I'd try and explain what it's like but words don't do it justice. This is one of those things that you just can't even begin to understand until you embark on your own missionary adventure with that black nametag upon your chest and an army of angels and prayers pushing you along. This is the Lord's work. And the whom the Lord calls, He qualifies. 

Wish me luck in my last week here at the Provo MTC!
Korea better be ready for what's coming-- here comes district 28B!


Sister Bagley

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