Tuesday, March 26, 2013


This week was a lot easier with not getting too stressed out about the language. I struggle with being attached at the hip to someone all the time apparently. 

So I'll just start my letter at last Tuesday! The devotionals are super great here, and they're always geared toward being better missionaries and last Tuesday's devotional was especially great because the Elder that spoke and his wife both served in Tokyo!  They were great, but it was kind of nerve-racking to hear how miserable the fact that Japan has no central heating is.  He mentioned how he would put his shampoo in the fridge to keep it from freezing over night.  So I'll probably be needing some warm love from home next winter. 

The rest of the week my classroom instruction was mostly planning and organizing lessons and less of Japanese language training. We've done a lot of work on grammar this week and it's kind of confusing but I bet if I studied it a little harder I could get it.  

In my gym time I usually stretch, because I have a goal of being able to do the splits by the time I leave because half the girls in my district can. And I sometimes run on the indoor track. (10 times around is a mile...and that gets pretty boring so I usually just run 5 laps.) I do lots of push ups and there's a pull-up machine I go on every once in a while. Yesterday I didn't really work out though because me, my companion and Davis Shimai (another sister in my district, from Provo) were trying to memorize the baptismal commitment and started talking to the Nihonjin sisters. They're so cute and they were telling us how to say all sorts of things.  It gave me a lot of confidence seeing how patient they were with us learning their language. :) I loved it!  

Our district is really close, we eat together and go to the temple together and class and devotionals and everything. On Friday our District Leader, Elder Fernellius, decided that we should hold a district testimony meeting.  So at 7am on Friday we were all sharing how the gospel has touched our lives. It's kind of a different feeling bearing testimony as a missionary.  It's pretty wonderful! 

On Sunday our Sacrament meeting was the same, except I'm in a different branch now.  So only my branch president knows how to speak Japanese fluently, but the others are learning and trying like the rest of us.  I can sing hymns in Japanese! I can read Hiragana now, which I thought would take forever!  Of course I can't translate what the songs are meaning to say but at least I can keep up!  Next week is a special Easter sacrament meeting with one of the 12 Apostles, we're not sure which one.  But I'll be in the choir with my doryo and we'll for sure get seats in the actual devotional room instead of the overflow.  I think Easter will feel so special here at the MTC. Of course I'll miss you all, but I'm really excited to hear from a general authority!

On Sunday the Branch President announced that sometime on our missions we'll have ipads!  I thought the laptop computer thing was exciting, but ipads seem super legit!  Of course I'll be limited in what I can do with them.  Also he mentioned that while we're in the MTC we can email friends and other family members. I really want snail mail though, because I only have half an hour to read and respond to any emails I get. WRITE ME!  I haven't gotten letters from anyone!  It's sad.  I choose not to ask if the DL has already passed out the mail because I'm usually disappointed when he says he has and I didn't get anything AGAIN.   

Ai shitte imasu!

Love, Sister Bagley :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Child and a Disciple

"I've heard that Eyring gave a talk in 2000 about how there will be a day when everyone in Japan will flock to the gospel. Could that be now!?"

"A few years ago I spoke to the missionaries in the training center in Japan. I promised them then that a great day would dawn in that nation. I said that there would be a great increase in the members speaking eagerly to those they met of their testimony of the restored gospel. My thought then was that the courage to speak would come from an increased admiration for the Church in that land. I know now that the great miracle, a mighty change, will come inside the members, not in the world around them.
They and members across the earth will love and listen and talk and testify out of changed hearts. Bishops and branch presidents will lead them by example. The harvest of souls will be great, and it will be safe in the Lord’s hands. 6
To be part of that miracle, you must not wait until you feel closer to Heavenly Father or until you are sure that you have been purified through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Pray for the chance to encounter people who sense there could be something better in their lives. Pray to know what you should do to help them. Your prayers will be answered. You will meet people prepared by the Lord. You will find yourself feeling and saying things beyond your past experience. And then in time you will feel yourself drawing closer to your Heavenly Father, and you will feel the cleansing and the forgiveness the Savior promises His faithful witnesses. And you will feel His approval, knowing you have done what He asked of you, because He loves you and trusts you."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The First Week at the MTC!

The first week is super tough!  I walked into my first class and my sensei's not speaking a lick of English! It was really intense walking in there trying to figure out what was going on.  I guess since the first day I've learned quite a bit, it just doesn't really feel like it in comparison to how much I still have to learn! 

My companion, Jensen Shimai is so great!  We're never apart, and we don't really mind it.  I'm already used to having roommates (4 of them) and all of the shimaitashi in my district are also so great! Subarachi! It's amazing how many sister missionaries we have here at the MTC right now.  My district is 13 people, 8 elders and 5 sisters (chorotashi and shimaitashi). We all get along really well!  We all love each other and it's like a little family away from home :) It makes it a lot easier to have people I enjoy around me all the time.
The spirit here is always so strong, I've learned so much about myself than I ever thought was possible.  I think I started the week off with too many expectations and the MTC was nothing like I thought it would be.  I am only in language training for 3 hours a day, and the rest of the day I'm doing companion study, personal scripture study, companion/personal language study, etc etc.  At first I was frustrated that I was doing everything on my own and that was getting me down because I felt that it was going to be impossible to learn Japanese by myself.  I think that at that point I realized, yes it would be impossible to learn Japanese all on my own and there was one person I definitely could rely on to help me.  I knew that Heavenly Father was there, willing to listen to my prayers.  My struggle with the language is real, and I needed to take the burden off of myself because I don't have to do it on my own. 

On Saturday my district took an online questionaire to see what our strengths and weaknesses were.  I scored pretty low on patience...I new I would.  The whole week I had been dealing so much with being impatient with my companion and impatient with myself that there's no wonder I was getting frustrated with learning Japanese!  I've set some goals to work on my patience and I've been a heck of a lot happier since then.  :)  The devotional we had on Sunday also talked a little about how we need to rely on the Lord's time table instead of our own, and I know that was speaking straight to me.

Sacrament meeting on Sunday was all in Japanese!  It was overwhelming at first but I think I'll really start enjoying it.  It's actually pretty cool, our branch is splitting because yesterday we just got 12 or 13 Nihonjin (Japanese missionaries) who will be here for a couple weeks, then we are getting about 60 new English speaking missionaries going to Japan the week after the Nihonjin leave!  God really is speeding up his work!