Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29th Letter

Hey guess what? I'm going to France.
Salut ma famille!!
Alright. So for starters, this email will probably not be super long. Because I will most likely be able to write again on Saturday, and I want to make sure I have time to send pictures today.
Ummm sooooo I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS! Woohoo! I'm actually going to France!
I've never been more excited or more absolutely terrified in my entire life. But wow am I ready. I love it here so much and I really am going to miss the MTC. But I'm ready to be out of here.
Second big news of the week. I got a new companion. Again. Haha it's been so crazy. But I still have Soeur Bragg! To spare you the dramatic details, there was a companionship that was having like some problems so now I'm in a trio again. It actually has been pretty hard. Because me and Soeur Bragg had just such a good thing going, we got along so well, and all of a sudden in our last week here everything got turned around. The first night and first day was pretty hard to get used to being in a trio again. And I met with my teacher because I was just so stressed about it. It was stressful mostly because of all of a sudden having to throw her into our lessons right before our ami's baptisms, and when we already have such a good relationship with our amis and she doesn't know them...anyway, I just took it kind of hard. But of course he said the best thing to me. He said, "Well, why do you think this would happen to you right now? Why would God have this happen?" Haha I told him because probably things were just getting way too easy for me. Haha that's what I thought. But then he said to me, "I think it's because that in your time here, and even in the past week itself, your capacity to serve has improved. You are ready to serve, and He is giving you someone to serve." Wow. That hit me. And I realized how right he was. So, the first day was a bit stressful. But now things are just fine! Honestly, she is so sweet. And she is AMAZING at the piano! Oh, and she's from England. So I enjoy listening to her talk. Although oh my gosh I'm already strarting to talk in an English accent after being around her...haha. So that was my big event of the week. But I'm just grateful for this experience. I've only been a missionary 5 weeks and I have already had 3 companions! Haha just preparing me for the field. I really have learned so much through having all these companions. And I know it will help me so much with all the companions I am going to have in France.
Other than that, this week hasn't been super eventful. Just the same working hard, studying hard, amazing missionary work!
One day this week our teacher accidently slept in and didn't show up for class (we made him pay for it with candy) and it was so much fun because I was just like alright welp, we still need to learn French! And I know that we were planning on learning imparfait that day which I understand pretty well, so I got up and just literally taught the class for like an hour and a half. It was so much fun. And everyone kept saying that they learned more in that hour then they felt they had learned in a week. Haha it made me feel good! Honestly...don't like freak out or anything...but I'm definitely considering working here when I get back. I think I would love to teach here. I've been thinking about it a lot, and after that experience I really just realized how awesome of a job that would be.
Wow, watch me turn into a BYU student and a teacher at the MTC. Hahaha. Oh no. Who am I! I'm already changing! Hehe. But I love it. The changes I'm making are so amazing!
I also had a fun experience teaching yoga this week ;) (I thought Abbey would be proud of me) The sisters in my zone wanted to do some yoga on Saturday and I was like okay let's do it! I'll teach! So we just went outside and had like  a serious yoga class. I took it very seriously. Haha. Especially the relaxation part of it. We all really needed that. And it was so much fun! They were all like so amazed at how much it helped them. That's just a little thing was way fun. So I guess those are my two experiences in teaching this week!
So, every week here seems to kind of have a theme to me. Something that I feel like every time I study and all of the speakers keep talking about over and over again.
And this week, the thing that I have been thinking about is authority. Power and authority. And more specifically, MY power and authority.
One day in class we were working on promising blessings to our amis. And how not only bear testimony, but PROMISE them that these blessings will come as they follow Jesus Christ. And my teacher just simply said "You have literally been given the AUTHORITY to promise these blessings." And that really hit me. And then I listened to an amazing talk by Elder Holland last night that talked more about it. K really though, Elder Holland is like the best. Side note.
And I've just been thinking about it a lot this week. The authority I have been given to preach this Gospel. And to stand in place of my Savior. And I wrote something down like this in my journal and I just wanted to share it.
I'm just a 19 year old girl. Just a girl who grew up with dreams of traveling the world and of making a difference. Somehow making my mark on the world.
And now here I am. This is how I am going to have an effect on the world. I'm going to teach the people of France of their Savior. That they are not alone. That there is no reason to ever have to try and struggle through life alone. To teach them that there is a book, and that this book literally has all the answers to everything they will ever need. And that this book was delivered from an angel. And literally came from God.
I'm just a 19 year old. And I've been given authority to stand in the place of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And to do what He would do if He was here on the earth. To literally be His mouthpiece. His instrument. To be led by the Spirit to serve this people.
No matter how many times I feel down, or wanting to give up, or the trials I go through, it doesn't matter. Because it's not about me. It's about serving these people of France. I've been given the authority to do so. And I can't let Him down.
How grateful I am. To have been set apart, to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. No matter how hard this will be as I leave for France, I'm ready. Because He will be with me.
I'm so beyond grateful for this experience. I've been a little homesick this week, and it's been a little hard at times.
But I would never, EVER change this choice I have made to be here. It's the most amazing thing I've ever done with my life. The most happiness I have ever felt.
How blessed I am to have to work SO hard that it even requires a little bit of my soul. It's amazing.
I hope you all know how much I love this Gospel. And how much I know it is true. I will never, ever deny it. And my pray for you is that you don't either.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your constant prayers and support. You have no idea how much it means to me.
I love you all so much!!
Soeur Magleby

July 22nd Letter

Lundi encore?
Bonjour my beautiful family!!
Wow. I seriously cannot believe it is Monday again. The time here really freaks me out. It truly is like how everyone says "days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days." There is no better way to put it. But time is flying! This past week especially has probably been the fastest yet. I feel bad because I honestly don't have a lot to say today haha. I mean, of course I always have a lot to say because there is so much going on every second, but this week has pretty much just consisted of working as hard as I can, studying like crazy, and witnessing miracles! #lifeofamissionary
For starters....THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!! My feet are doing soooo much better. I went to the doctor again on Wednesday and pretty much the doctor just told me that that bump on my feet is just the way my feet are...and it just got inflamed because of how my shoes were rubbing against it or something. Which I think I know which shoes did it. But it's just weird. But yeah he just said there probably isn't really a cure just to wear good shoes...which we already knew. But my feet are doing great! Okay well...not great. They seriously just hurt all the time. But nothing that is getting in the way of my work. I'll be okay. I really feel all of your prayers. It's amazing. You guys are the best!! Haha it was so funny though, when I took off my shoes in the doctors office (it was a different doctor than I saw last time) he seriously said "WOW! You've got a lot of stuff going on with your feet." Haha it made me laugh so hard. Like yeah, sorry, I know my feet are disgusting.
But, OH MY GOODNESS MOM THANK YOU FOR THE SHOES!!!!!! Seriously that was the best package in the world. If I have time hopefully I'll send you a couple pictures, and one of them is me with my package and just how excited I was to get it...seriously mom, you are the best. Everyone is so jealous I have the best mom ever. Really, the sisters in my room are always saying that. And mom I will give you more details in an individual email or letter, but the shoes are AMAZING. And they fit!!! They are so comfortable and feel sooo great for my bunions. So they are awesome. Thank you so much. I'm sorry we didn't figure out the shoe situation before. But I know that Heavenly Father will help me as I do my best. I'll be okay.
So. Don't stress about me. I'll just get good shoes and I'll be just fine!
There have been so many moments of pure joy this week. There are just so many times I am feeling the Spirit so strong, or just laughing so hard I can't breath, and I just take a moment to analyze my life and just how happy I am. I am having so much fun. This is seriously the greatest experience of my life. I'm so grateful for my teachers and for my district, we are always just laughing so insanely hard or feeling the Spirit so strong I'm always trying not to cry. It is all the simple little things, of like us somehow getting a huge thing of cheese balls and we all went crazy and were throwing them in each other's mouths just laughing like crazy...haha it sounds so silly. But let me tell ya. Anything is funny and hilarious after spending so much time in one room with all the same people. We all go a little crazy. It's really starting to hit us this week and we are all getting weird. Haha but it is just so funny!
This week I've started to get pretty terrified about going to France. I can't believe it is only 2 weeks away. It sounds so far but so soon all at the same time. A lot of moments this week I've just felt so terrified about it. About how much I really DON'T speak French. And kind of just have no idea what is going on and I'm going to be so insanely lost. So I've been kind of stressing about it a lot, but also of course just being so super excited. Seriously, there is at least one moment everyday where I am completely baffled that I'm going to France. I still have no idea why I am so blessed. I'm just so happy everyday about it!! But, after being pretty terrified, yesterday faith seemed to be like the big topic of the day. And it really hit me of like, the lesson I seem to have to learn over and over, that there is no reason for me to doubt my Heavenly Father. I just need to have faith in Him and then I won't be so scared. So now I'm really not so scared. I just feel ready. Because I'm doing my absolute best. I'm working so hard. And I know as I continue to do so, that I will be blessed. And I have complete faith that although it is going to be so hard, I have a Savior to lift me up. And to help me every single day to be better. I just have so much faith in my Savior. I know that it will all be okay.
Speaking of French....I had the COOLEST thing happen a couple days ago. It was 2 nights ago in my personal prayer. So, pretty much I've been saying about 50% of my personal prayers in French and the rest in English. It just gets really hard sometimes to actually convey the thoughts of my heart in French. But on Saturday night...I SAID MY ENTIRE PERSONAL PRAYER IN FRENCH. Haha okay it seems a little pathetic when I write it. But you have no idea how stoked I was. The time I feel the gift of tongues the absolute strongest is in my personal prayers! I say so many things I didn't know I knew how to say. So yeah. I said a 12 minute prayer, all completely in French. I almost cried I was just so filled with the Spirit and so happy afterwards. The French is definitely coming along. I'm so far from where I need to be, but my goodness the miracles are happening.
So, I love being a Sister Training Leader! It's great to sit in Branch Council and talk about all the sisters in our zone who are struggling. There have just been a few sisters I have been worried about, and I love being able to be the one (well, and Soeur Bragg) who get to talk to our president about all the sisters and what we can do to help them. It's so great! I am learning a lot of great motherly qualities while I look out for these sisters that I think will really bless me.
I finally saw Sister Eborn! I have a picture hopefully I'll send you in just a second. It was great to talk to her. We actually got to sit next to each other at the devotional last night and so we talked for a while. It was so great! It's so comforting to see someone I know. Haha I just said to her like "Wow, when I first met you I never would have imagined we would be sitting in the MTC together one day." It's just such a fun place here. I love it.
And I forgot that Elder Aslett (I hope that's how you spell it) is coming on Wednesday!!! I'll definitely be searching for him. That would be so much fun to see him!
So, that's pretty much it for me this week. I want to send a couple pictures so I didn't want to make this too long.
The coolest thing I've learned from this just how amazing the Book of Mormon really is. There is literally every answer to every question we have in that book. It's absolutely amazing. I was thinking a couple days ago about how funny it is of how before my mission I would probably read 1 or 2 chapters a day and be done for the day. And not that that's bad. It was good I was even reading it. But it's so funny because now I literally am stressed because I don't feel like I have enough time in the day to read my scriptures. I'm just so immersed in them all the time. The coolest thing ever is actually "feasting upon the scriptures." If I could just sit all day and read the Book of Mormon (wow that looks so weird to me in English), then I would! So that's my challenge for you this week. Cause you know, I'm a missionary so I have to challenge you to do something. Make the BOM a part of your life. A real part of your life. I would kill to have the time that you have to be able to just read the scriptures. It sounds so silly as a missionary to say that I guess...but we are just always doing so much! It's nice to have personal study just to read the scriptures. So utilize your time! And if you have any questions...I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, that they are in that book!!
That's another cool thing I've been doing which was a challenge in a talk from Elder Bednar. I bought a new BOM, started clean, And I'm reading the entire book just asking one question. And looking for answers to that one question. It's really crazy how you read the same scriptures I've read a million times in a whole new light. So you should try that out too!
I love you all so so much. I really do feel your prayers. I mean it when I saw I couldn't do this without you. I'm so grateful to have such an AMAZING support system.
You are the best family in the world. All of you. I love you and prayer for you always. Don't ever worry about me, my Savior is with me.
Je vous aime!
-Soeur Magleby
P.S I sure hope you are all watching lots of movies for me...I seriously have been having physical withdraws this week. I miss watching movies SOOOO much. Definitely planning on having like a week long marathon of movies when I get home ;)

July 15th Letter

Achilles Tendon, French, and STL!
Alright. I have so many things to tell you about this week! So here we go! P.S I hope you enjoyed my subject line. I'm trying to make it more interesting!
This won't be chronological. Sorry. I'll start out with highlights of the week!!
Yesterday was probably the greatest day I've had on my mission yet. I just absolutely love Sundays in the MTC and yesterday was especially amazing.
First off, I spoke in Sacrament meeting! Most of you probably don't know how this works, but we don't know we are speaking until they announce the program for that day. But it's not as stressful as it probably sounds because we all prepare a talk ahead of time just in case we get called. I had a big feeling I was going to be called, since I'm like the only one with a background in French. And sure enough, me and Elder Muller were the speakers for the day! The only two in our zone who knew French before our missions.
And it was great! It was a pretty short talk, but I felt like I was really able to convey everything I wanted to in French! It was so much fun. You all know how much I love speaking anyway. So it was great.
The French is definitely coming along. It is such a struggle and so frustrating everyday, but I get better and better everyday as I work as hard as I can! Actually,one of the highlights of my week is one day before Frere Blosil was leaving class he said "Soeur Magleby, can I talk to you out in the hall?" And not like I had done anything wrong but I was still scared at what he was going to say...haha. But he is the best and he just wanted to talk to me to tell me how grateful he is to have me in class, and he is grateful for how much I am helping everyone with their French, and especially for how much I am helping Soeur Bragg. It was a great motivation! It was great to see that he really does appreciate how hard I am trying to get the language.
Back to yesterday. Relief society was AMAZING yesterday. I just love Relief Society so SO much! All of the sisters meet together, and it is so powerful. There is seriously nothing like all standing up and singing "Sisters in Zion" together. I get emotional everytime. Yesterday we had Carole Mikita come talk to us! She is an anchorwomen on KSL news. And her talk was amazing. So emotional. But in all the right ways. Yesterday was just kind of a super emotional day for me, but never tears of sadness. I was just so overcome with how happy I am. She talked about her conversion story. And it was so touching. I hear so many all of the time, but it truly is so amazing. Her whole family of 6 ended up getting sealed in the temple because of two elders who decided to knock on the door of a house at the end of a dead end street. There is so much power in that. I was just overwhelmed with the feeling of just how blessed I am to be a part of this work. It is such a beautiful thing. I just hope that I can work hard enough to be the kind of missionary that can touch someone's heart. I already love the people of France so much, and I just can't explain how excited I am to go and serve them.
And THEN, the next great thing about my day yesterday! Soeur Bragg and I got called to be Sister Training Leaders! I'm sure many of you don't understand it, but it's pretty much the same thing as a Zone Leader, just with the sisters. Pretty much we are just in charge of all the newbie missionaries that will becoming next week. It is our job to show them around and to help them figure stuff out here. I'm really excited! I'm excited that Soeur Bragg and I got called together, because that usually doesn't happen and they usually call one sister, but it will be super nice because we won't have to be apart! So that was pretty exciting. It will be a little bit of work but I'm excited to serve all the new sisters that will be coming!
Ugh side note--the space bar on my computer sucks. Sorry if some of my words aren't separated. (EDITOR'S NOTE:  I fixed them and added spaces)
And then for the last amazing thing yesterday, it has to do, once again, with the Atonement. In our district meeting yesterday we had one of the coolest talks that I have ever had about The Atonement. Our branch president brought up a lot of things I had never really thought about before. It made me understand the Atonement EVEN MORE than I already did. It is crazy how we seriously spend our entire lives learning about the Gospel, and still we can never learn enough.
We also talked about the scriptures in Matthew 25:35-40. It was SO COOL. Those scriptures have never hit me so much before. I encourage you all to read them! It just really hit me how I am LITERALLY serving my Savior as I serve the people of France. It's never hit me in such a way before. It's hard to explain over email. But it was just a really cool experience. And then last night after our devotional we watched The Testament. Aw man. I was bawling. Haha I told you it was an emotional day for me. Just watching the scene of the Savior performing the Atonement and being crucified. I can't even explain to you the Spirit I felt at that moment. Never in my ENTIRE life have I ever felt so strongly about that moment before. I mean, I've seen that scene of the Savior being crucified so many times in my life. But never like that. I had never felt so strongly that the Savior did that for ME. He literally chose to do that for ME. I hope that you all truly understand that. It was His choice whether or not to go through with the Atonement. But he chose to do it. He chose to do that for YOU. He literally knows absolutely everything that you have ever felt. He knows every pain, every sadness, every sickness. I just got so overwhelmed last night that I couldn't even control my emotions of how grateful I am for His sacrifice. I challenge you to really ponder that this week, and take some time to study the life of the Savior. And to truly understand how much He loves you.
So yeah. AMAZING day yesterday. I haven't ever felt the Spirit so strong before. It was absolutely amazing.
Okay, I bet you are curious about the achilles tendon part in my subject. Well. We all knew my feet were going to be a struggle,didn't we?
So it happened last Tuesday night as we were walking to the devotional at the Marriot Center. I had been getting blisters on my feet, but not so bad that I was dying, I just put on Band-Aids and I felt fine. But there is this one pair of shoes... (for mom-the brown and black ones. Like the only cute ones I have!) And I'm pretty positive that is what did it, but I'm not even 100% sure. ANYWAY, we walked to the devotional. And my feet hurt, but I was fine. It just felt like a blister in the back of my foot. But then it happened like all at once, walking back from the devotional. All of a sudden I was in so much pain that I literally couldn't walk. I seriously wanted Soeur Bragg to carry me back to the MTC. It took everything not to just start crying in the middle of a crowd of missionaries. But, I made it back to the classroom. So then I sat down to look at my foot and wonder why in THE WORLD my blister was hurting so insanely bad, and it wasn't a blister. I look at my foot and on the back of my heel was literally something the size of a golf ball. Haha I said to Sister Bragg "My foot is swollen to the size of a baseball!" And she looked at it and said, okay maybe not a baseball, but that is definitely golf ball size!! It looks so weird. I haven't seen anything like it. But I thought maybe it would be gone in the morning, haha I don't know, so I just went to sleep that night. But then I woke up that morning and I swear it looked even more swollen. So we decided to go to the health clinic. So I got into the health clinic to have the doctor look at it, and it was funny he just kept saying over and over again "Hmm, I think we need to send you to the podiatrist." So I'm not 100% sure he knew EXACTLY what he was talking about, but he told me that apparently at like the bottom of our achilles tendon that is a sac type thing, and that mine is inflamed for some reason. Probably from rubbing against my shoes. But he really wants to get me into the podiatrist. So, I made another appointment for this Wednesday and he told me to take 3 ibuprofen every 6 hours to get the swelling down. And to avoid the shoes that I think did it. And the ibuprofen I think did help with swelling, because it looks a lot better. But it still hurts. Like honestly the only way I can describe it is it looks like I have a third bunion on the back of my heel. It even feels like a bone. It sucks because I haven't been running because I don't want to make it worse. But not running sucks. But it just feels really strained when I run. So yeah, I really have no idea what is going on. But I have another appointment on Wednesday because he wanted to see if the ibuprofen would fix it, but it hasn't, so I bet they will be shipping me out somewhere to go see a podiatrist because the one here won't be back until after I leave.
Yeah sooo I hate my feet. BUT don't stress too bad about it. I'll be okay. I don't think it is a huge deal, it was just a really weird thing. But I just wish I knew what shoes exactly did it because I'm really not sure, I just guessed. But don't stress too much about it. Just please pray for my feet!
So, those are pretty much the big events of my week! Teaching is going great with our two investigators Anouk and Johnston. I love teaching so much. It's funny because before every time I teach I always get super nervous, but as soon as we start teaching I just never want to stop! And honestly...I would be WAY more stressed out if I had to teach in English. I can't even describe it, but I am already in the position where I can easier teach people about the gospel in French than in English.
Soeur Bragg and I are just working really hard and having so much fun! We also had TRC's this week which were WAY FUN (real members who volunteer to just let us teach them, not as a fake investigator though) and they were all super nice and encouraging and said our French is great!
I'm so exhausted beyond belief but couldn't be happier.
The letters mean so much. Please continue to send them!! I love reading them before I go to bed.
I love you all and pray for you. I am beyond grateful for your support.
I love you!!!!!
-Soeur Magleby
P.S they served Salmon and quinoa this week and I almost passed out I was so happy. Another highlight of the week ;)

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8th email

Yaaay I finally got a normal P-Day!! ;) Haha it feels so nice to take a little break from everything..even if it is just a very short break. I've been so excited to email all week! Seriously one of the hardest things for me is all of these great things happening to me everyday, and it's so impossible to fit it all into one single email a week. BUT I am being very good at writing in my journal every single night before bed, so when I see you all again I'll be able to talk for hours about all my amazing experiences :)
This week has been GREAT!! The first week is just so crazy and busy and overwhelming..but once I got into the swing of things, I just LOVE it so much here.
First off...remember when I told you about my first investigator Nicholas? And how awesome I thought he was? Turns out they totally were tricking me. BUT I knew it the entire time...Haha that's why I said that in my last email. I was pretty sure he was my teacher, because we only had Soeur Echols at the time...but yeah sooo FRERE BLOSIL!!! Oh my goodness I love him. He is THE greatest teacher. Seriously though he totally convinced all the Elders that he was from France. We all knew he obviously wasn't a real investigator but they all totally believed he was from France. But then he walked into our classroom with a teacher badge on. It was the BEST! Haha we spent a while just cracking up over all the stupid things we said in our lessons...
He is such a great teacher. I am so so grateful for him. I realized in my last email I forgot to talk about Soeur Echols..and she is amazing as well. She's so cute and little and loves the French people so much. And she is a great teacher! But yeah...Frere Blosil is my favorite. His French is sooo great. Like, he definitely sounds French. No American accent at all. Which I love so much because I'm so afraid of sounding like a complete American when I get to that was the highlight of my week!! We all have so much fun with him. And he never speaks in English, but talks slow enough in French that I understand everything he says..which totally tricks me because it makes me feel like I can understand. But uh yeah. I'm very far from that. They just talk so fast...but the teachers are great at talking slow to us.
Fast and testimony meeting yesterday was sooo great! I bore my testimony in French!! That probably sounds like a lot more than it actually is...because pretty much the first thing we learn is how to testify. BUT I felt pretty good about it because I said everything I wanted to say..and didn't just follow the outline they give us of how to bear our testimonies. I'm working really hard at the French. It's just still super frustrating that I'm so far ahead of everyone. But I've just been working hard at memorizing lots of scriptures and verbs and phrases and everything. I obviously have so far to go, but I feel really good. I'm not stressed at all. I know that if I work really hard, I will get there!!
I've definitely seen some miracles happening with Soeur Bragg's goodness. She's amazing. I can't believe she didn't know any at all when she got here. She's working really hard and it pays off. Sometimes I feel like she understands better than I do! I'm just so grateful that she is such a hard worker. We push each other to be better and it is definitely paying off. We are seeing miracles everyday. In our last lesson with Nicholas before he was Frere Blosil..we walked out of the room and just started jumping up and down we were so happy about our lesson. We work so well together and it's crazy how Heavenly Father really does help me to know what to say. We are teaching Soeur Echols tonight for our first lesson with her...I'm a little nervous. But I think it will go well! I've improved so much since my very first lesson just a few weeks ago...
Oh also, mom asked this in her letter and I realized I forgot to say it in my last email and yeah so Soeur Bragg is going to Lyon as well, and actually everyone in my district is going to Lyon! Out of our whole zone we have one district going to Montreal, two soeurs and one elder going to Paris, and then other then that it's allll Lyon. It's great! I love that my entire district is going to Lyon. It makes it so it's not going to be as sad when we have to say goodbye! Man because it is going to be sad. I've only known them two weeks and I already know I'm going to hate leaving them...I love all those Elders so much. They have such sweet testimonies and they work so hard! To answer another one of mom's questions, they are a mix of 18 and 19. I think most are 19, except for Elder Baldwin who graduated a week before he came! But he is actually our District Leader and we all love him so much. He is an awesome leader.
It's amazing how much I have grown in just two weeks. All the devotionals we get around here are so great. I'm uplifted every single time! Sunday's are so fun around here. They are such a treat for us! Except scary moment when you put the equation of fast Sunday + buffet food...I even scared myself with how much I ate yesterday. But the Elders were terrifying. Haha. It's hilarious. But the Sunday night devotionals are always great! And then we get to watch a movie after. Last night I went to the movie that everyone around here raaaaves about so I knew I had to go. It's like always soo full of missionaries because everyone talks about how life changing it is. And oh wow is it. It's called Character of Christ by Elder Bednar. It's a talk he gave when he came to the MTC on Christmas Day a while ago. I really have no idea if you can somehow watch it...if you can, do. It seriously is life changing. I felt the spirit so strong while listening to him talk. I wish I could explain it to you..but it's practically impossible. I just love my Savior so much. And he truly is the most amazing example we could ever ask for. He consistently turned outwards when the natural man would turn inwards. That was the entire theme of the talk. Is that even in the MIDST of his anguish,.the Savior never, EVER thought of himself.
The Atonement has been a big theme of my week. And I guess really it should be a theme for everyone, all the time...but I've been learning so much this week.
I've always had a testimony of The Atonement and I know that it is real, and that our Savior suffered for our sins. But I always looked at The Atonement as what we use when we messed up. When we need to repent. And OBVIOUSLY that's a big part of it...but this week I've really come to realize how much The Atonement can truly strengthen me.
Every single day I'm doing things that are beyond my own capabilities. And every day I'm AMAZED and how I'm able to do so. But it's because it's not me doing it. It's not my own strength. One of the best things I though Bednar said in the talk I was just talking about, is he said "If you think you can't do this alone, you're right." There is literally no way I could do this alone. I am literally FORCED to turn to my Savior and to utilize His Atonement. And he will literally heal my pains, and turn my weaknesses into strengths.
I'm in a situation where I no longer have the things I used to to turn to. To have all of you to talk to when I'm down. Or to be able to listen to music. Or watch a movie. All of these things that helped me cope with life.
The literally absolute only place I have to turn to is my Savior. And it's just a beautiful thing. And it was at first weird to realize, and it was hard to cope without all of these things I used to use.
But I turned it all over to my Savior. I got on my knees and told Him I needed his help. And I couldn't do this without Him.
And in turn, He has truly lifted me up. And helped me. I'm so far from getting to where I need to be, but this week the biggest lesson I have learned is just HOW real and readily available The Atonement is to each of us.
He suffered all of our sins. How silly are we to ever think we could ever get through life without Him. We can't. Turn to Him. I promise He is there for you.
Other then that...I'm just have a great time here!! Great companion. Amazing district. Wonderful teachers. I'm smiling all day long. And sometimes I'm so exhausted beyond belief. But it is so SO worth it. I'm so excited to go teach the people of France. I feel so inadequate. But I know I can do it. This is such an amazing opportunity.
Yes, I am really homesick at times. Especially on the 4th of July. Oh! I forgot to mention that. So they did let us do something for the 4th! We got to go outside and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks! AND we watched 17 Miracles!! That was an emotional movie. Emotional movie AND emotional missionaries...everyone was bawling. SO much fun to watch a movie though! And the fireworks were great. AND they let us stay up past our bedtime!! Haha isn't it hilarious how the little things mean so much? Although me and my companion hated going to bed late because we have to wake up at 5:30 every morning...we eat breakfast at 6:30. Yeah it pretty much sucks. But we get through it!
Anyway, it was a fun day. But I was pretty homesick. I missed the simple things of spending the 4th with you guys.
But. I couldn't be happier, and I never EVER consider not doing this.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers. I miss you and think of you everyday.
But don't ever worry about me! I'm doing so great!
Je t'aime!!
Soeur Magleby

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First letter from Soeur Magleby!

Bonjour tout le monde!!
I am okay!!
In fact. I'm doing WONDERFUL. It's so funny because I don't feel like this is the first time you've heard from me. I guess it's because I feel like we have been in communication because of all your great letters. So I will try to fill you in on as much as I can!!
I LOVE it here. I am having so much fun. It really does feel like I have been here forever though. I can't believe it has only been a week! Time is so weird here. Especially on days where I have to wake up at 2:30 in the morning to fly to California.....yesterday was probably the hardest day so far. But I got through it.  It just sometimes seems like they forget we are all human around here..haha.
The first day I got here was completely overwhelming. We just got thrown around everywhere. And it takes a little bit of time to get a handle on everything. But once you do everything is fine. Everyone always is saying on your first few days "Just make it to Sunday!!" And that really is what you have to do. Sunday's are soooo awesome here. And I did make it! Actually, I felt pretty great probably by Saturday or even Friday. But Sunday was amazing.
It's funny because every night I fall asleep I think about all the things I would write in a letter about that day. And I must say, the letter's I write in my head are pretty great. But then of course as soon as I finally get to write a letter I can't remember anything at all.
For starters, I LOVE my companion!! I feel so so blessed to have her. I love Soeur Bragg and I seriously feel so blessed to have her!! She's from Los Angeles and we are seriously so weirdly similar. Like with all these different things! First off, we have the exact same diet. And she loves to run. Those are the first two things I found out and I was like okay, I think I'll be okay. Haha. When we were eating dinner like the second day we were here she said "Everyone tells me I eat like a rabbit." Haha that made me laugh so hard. Because I was like me tooo!!! Our personalities just go really great together. And like everything she says I go ME TOO! And we already planned that I'm going to visit her after our missions because she is surrounded by SO much film where she lives and she is going to try and get me connections. She didn't have any French experience at all. But she is a really hard worker, and she has made such amazing strides in the past week. It's crazy.
Speaking of, NO ONE IN MY DISTRICT HAD ANY FRENCH EXPERIENCE. Which I kind of expected. But still. Okay, there is one other Elder who actually knows a little. He probably knows as much as I do. Everyone is always asking us questions. He is from Germany so he learned French there. But other than that...everyone is SO stressed out about the French!! That's honestly been the biggest struggle for me I'd say. I'm having to reeeally push myself outside of class because practically everything we learn in class is review for me. Except for the church vocab. Which is obviously important. So I've been really trying to memorize that.
I sincerely LOVE my district though. We have so much fun. Haha we are laughing all the time. I've already learned to love every single one of them. There are only 4 soeurs and 6 elders. So we feel a little dominated. But they are all so great. Although sometimes they do a lot of things that REALLY remind me they are 18 year old boys...haha. Only one is 19. But we have one Elder from Germany and one from Madrid! Poor Elder Ruiz. He speaks practically no English. But he is working so hard. But he is honestly one of the sweetest Elder's I've ever met. He has such a sweet spirit about him. He is always making us laugh.
The French is coming along great! The lessons have been pretty tough though. I super suuuper love our first investigator though. His name is Nicholas! (Nick-O-LA) He's just a member volunteering at the MTC. I think. Unless they tricked me. But he is the sweetest. He is so understanding of our absolutely terrible French. Haha. And he is in such a great place to teach! He talks about how he really has no idea who Jesus Christ or God are at all. And so we spend a lot of time just explaining everything to him. The lessons are always fun because he is super nice. Although super stressful. The gift of tongues is 100% real. I literally walk out of the lessons, turn to Soeur Bragg and say "Ummm...what did I just say?" And she's like "Man I don't know but it sounded great!" Haha I am still sooooo far from learning. I don't even understand everything he says back to us. And I can't answer all his questions like I wish I could. But I sure am working really hard. French is seriously the blessed. I feel insanely lucky to be learning SUCH a beautiful language. Praying in French is the best thing ever. I feel the spirit SO strongly when I do. It's so much fun.
The devotionals here are awesome and I've learned so much already. It's insane how much I learn every single day. My testimony is growing so much more than I thought it could. It's so cool here how you can LITERALLY feel angels surrounded about you. Every second. It's so funny, because I honestly don't feel like myself anymore.  I am literally Sister Magleby. Nothing but a mouth piece for the Lord. A tool in his hands. BUT by being so, I feel more like myself than I ever have before. It's hard to explain. But I can literally feel myself fulfilling a calling that was predestined for me. I know for a fact this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing right now.
And I couldn't be happier. It's so so hard. But so much fun. I love you guys so much!! Thank you for all the letters. They mean so much to me!! I really get so excited to read them every night. I feel your prayers and I am so grateful for them. I'm praying for you.
Je t'aime!!
Soeur Magleby
OH P.S. don't fall out of your seats...but honestly the food isn't bad. Haha okay if I ate what the Elders do, I'd be like 10 pounds heavier now. But I pretty much just eat salads and fruit everyday...and they really aren't that bad. Haha. I think I'm just going to be reeeeaally sick of salads soon. But I'll be fine.

Au Revoir

Who knew that leaving would be so hard?  (Not speaking for Sister Magleby, but for her family--it was HARD!)
First, saying good-bye to Belle
We had a bit of a solemn lunch in Provo
With both of the sisters....
And stopped by the Provo temple for a few last pictures before her time to check in at the MTC
and the big brother

she's ready to go

the best family pic at the MTC taken by someone passing by (only one where we don't look sad)

and she's off (with her two massive suitcases)
our last glimpse of her as we rounded the corner and drove away--many thoughts going through all of our heads!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Farewell Party!

After Karissa's perfect farewell talk on finding true happiness, she got to visit and say good-bye to friends and family.