october skies.

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October has always been my favorite month. Not for any one reason, mind you, but for every reason. Like haunted houses, crispier air, golden leaves, pumpkin everything, fall fashions, boots on boots on boots, cuddling weather, morning hot chocolate and lots of fuzzy socks. I could, of course, be extremely cliche and list lots of other things that people (myself,in particular) love about the autumn season (and more specifically, the month of October) but I'll just let you fill in the blanks with a curt head-nod and an acknowledgement of how awesome this month really is. 

I heard lovely words today. The kind of lovely words I've been waiting to hear ever since I stepped onto the aircraft that carried me out of Korea. It's just a step, but it's a step in the right direction. 

*     *     *     *     *

It was a lazy Friday night. I fell asleep during the movie, as usual, and I'm sure he thought it was funny. But I remember waking up for a moment and fidgeting enough that the blanket I was cozied up under slipped off my feet.  And he ever so gently tucked my feet back underneath it. And there was another night when I tried to convince him to teach me how to longboard. But I chickened out as soon as I put all my weight on a stick suspended by wheels. So I made him run circles around the cul-de-sac as I death-gripped his shoulders and we both attempted to keep me safely on the board. There are so many moments-- memories-- dancing around inside my head. And it feels almost as if time has somehow transformed them into dreams.  

On days like today I miss the days that used to be. Not because the right now isn't happy-- just because I miss the people that used to be right here. And I know they're doing good things. Especially him, I know he's doing wonderful things. I know he's very capable of touching the hearts of so many people because of the way he was able to touch my heart. It's not a bad kind of missing. Just missing. And I've always known that missing is one of the privileges of loving someone. 



official zombie hunter.

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//Sometimes I wonder what it might be like if I were a tree instead of a human. But then I remember that being a human has its perks so I just forget about it. 

//I have no motivation to do anything at all these days. I can't tell if that's a physical problem or a mental problem. But now that I think about it, it's probably both. 

//I miss talking to strangers on the street in a crazy Asian language every day. I miss Korean food and constantly being surrounded by missionaries. I miss walking down the crowded streets and randomly freaking out about the fact that I lived in Korea. I miss everything about my mission all the time. Missing is both a blessing and a curse, I think.

//My father just informed me that I'm the "screw up" of the family. Gee, thanks, pa. Your sarcastic little grin is too evil to handle right now. 

//My heart hurts. But it also feels numb. So I'm actually technically not entirely sure what I'm feeling at all, I guess. But I sure am feeling lots of something. 

//I thought I wasn't going to get to see a Utah fall until next year. Surprise! But I sure do love autumn in Utah. I think I'll write that down in my book of things I'm grateful for. 

//I've considered running away to the mountains several times over the course of the past couple of weeks. I just don't know how to respond to my current set of circumstances right now. And fresh mountain air is the cure for everything, right?

I need some mental cures right now. I'm thinking caramel apple spice, a harry potter marathon, and lots of time hanging out with Nephi, Ammon, the stripling warriors and the rest of my ancient homeboys. Or retail therapy; as in, DI will surely heal my patched up heart with patched up and abandoned treasures. Sometimes, during moments like this, I crave a big, warm, teddy-bear hug from my favorite boy who is all the way on the other side of the world. He has magic "CaLea-healing powers" and he knows it too. But hey, we've made it this far. The hard part is already over, right?

What do you do when you don't know what to do?



i'll race you.

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Life's pretty weird, I'd say. It has this bizarre tendency of twisting and bending in every which direction to the point where right in the middle of all of it you find yourself thinking, "What the heck is going on?" I mean, several times a day I find myself questioning everything about my life and my goals and my aspirations. I guess I'm just the kind of person who runs full speed in the direction of where I want to end up but yet always manages to end up somewhere entirely different. Maybe I have a terrible sense of direction? Or maybe the Big Man Upstairs just has a very different vision of what my life will become. 

But I'm just going to keep running nonetheless. 

I've been going through different phases of emotions more quickly than I can even find the words to try and explain. One moment I'm overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be reunited with my family and the next I feel like crying because I loved everything about Korea and my mission. And in another moment I'm certain that I'll be stepping onto another plane back to Korea soon-- while in different moments I find myself wondering how long I'll have to wait to get back to that place I love so much. I have to keep reminding myself that it's not only important to have goals that you're working towards, but to enjoy each little step of the journey along the way.

So I've found myself out in nature with my camera in hand on more than one occasion. I also often find myself amongst the company of the sweet spirits I call my nieces and nephews. I've read a couple of books and written a couple of poems. I wear leggings every single day because who needs pants? It's funny because when I strum the strings of my guitar I feel as if I'm strumming the strings of my heart. Unexpected visitors are always welcome. Who knew I'd missed so many wonderful movies while I was away? I've missed Jillian more than I could have ever realized when I was all the way over in Korea. I really like Mom's homemade smoothies. There are so many little details that contribute to the tapestry of my life; and I suppose that's what makes it so beautiful. 

I'm crossing my fingers and wishing on every shooting star, 
but in the end, I'll be happy no matter what. 
Everything happens for a reason, right?



hold your breath and count to three.

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If there's anything I've learned during my short nineteen (almost twenty... huh!?) years of life, it's that I don't know much of anything. Lately, however, I've been given the blessing and opportunity to see that as more of a strength than a weakness. I've spent my entire life trying to understand things; but up until recently, I was never able to accept the fact that some things just cannot and will not be understood on my own terms.

Take, for example, the fact that I'm currently existing in America. I signed up to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the duration of eighteen months and yet nine months into my journey I was sent home and temporarily released for medical reasons. Nobody plans to go on a mission just to come home. In fact, I had a large portion of my life all planned out and centered upon my mission. But now, everything that I had planned is changed. That doesn't mean I'm not going to get back on a plane to Korea and finish those last nine months of my mission; it just means I'm not going to be finishing my mission when I had originally planned to. I think God just wanted to remind me to TRUST in Him rather than trusting so heavily in myself and my own set of plans.

I'm working hard on getting better so I can get back to Korea as soon as possible. I'm grateful for all the love, prayers, and support that have been offered on my behalf. It truly has been such a humbling, wonderful experience and I owe that to the people who have loved me through all of this.

God's plan for us is always better than our own plans; sometimes it just takes a little patience, prayer, and trust to see where His plan for us will lead us. 

And I guess that's what makes life such an adventure?
I love you and I'm grateful for my trials.



Remember. 기억하다.

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If we came to earth and everything we'd ever wanted to happen happened, I'm actually quite positive that we'd still find a reason to be unhappy. And so I guess that's a thought that I have been tossing around within my skull for the past few weeks. I didn't WANT to come home from Korea; in fact, that was actually the last thing I wanted to do. And honestly, right at this given moment in time, I don't want to be where I am at; I want to be back in Korea. Don't get me wrong, it's been amazing to be with so many of my loved ones, but given the current circumstances, I just feel so out of place. And the gaping hole in my chest is clear  evidence to me that I left my heart in that Asian land of kimchi an K-pop.

It's funny, because we always manage to want exactly what we don't have. Curly-haired women envy straight hair and straight-haired women envy curly hair. When I lived in Korea, I longed to see my family and now all I long for is to be back in Korea. And so as I was sitting one day in sorrow whilst reflecting upon the memories that were born in K-town, I realized something: if we spend our entire life longing for things that we don't have, how on earth can we expect to just be HAPPY? 

This is hard. But then again, life wasn't meant to be easy. God did, however, create a plan that was intended to make us happy. Not just in a futuristic sense, mind you, in a moment to moment, day to day, year to year, forever kind of sense. And so, when we succumb to sorrows and sadness, we are merely forgetting. 

Even though part of my heart is immensely sad, I am happy. I am happy because I am with the people I longed to be with for nine months. I am happy because I found my space pants in an old box and now I wear then way more than I should. I am happy because I've got a mailbox full of letters and you know how much I love words. I am happy because I went on the greatest adventure of my life; and hopefully I'll get a chance to continue it. I have so many reasons to be happy that I'd be silly to waste so much energy focusing on the things that make me unhappy.

So today, I'm going to smile.
Today, I'm going to be grateful. 
Today, I'm going to remember.


breathe in the moments.

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I think that life is all about discovering moments of bliss amidst the all the havoc of the universe. I guess that's kind of what I've been figuring out while my own little universe has seemed to be in shambles recently. I have absolutely no control over anything. And I suppose I've learned that countless times throughout the course of my existence... but now, more than ever, I am learning that as long as I make righteous decisions, I am in the Lord's hands. He gives me both a reason and the choice to smile and it's all up to me to decide whether or not I will react to life and all it's ridiculous circumstances happily or give up and allow the darkness to suffocate me. I don't quite think I'd enjoy suffocating all that much... and I rather like smiling.

So that's the trick. The trick is looking for the blessings that come among all the hardship. Because you'd better believe that hardship will come; that's inevitable. But you know what else? The blessings will come too. God loves us too much to abandon us in difficult times-- He always sends blessings our way; whether in the form of a lovely sunrise, a good friend and a warm hug, or the realization that sometimes it's not as big of a deal as you make it up to be. God loves us so He blesses us. Immensely. And I know that to be true.

Yes, this is the hardest thing I've ever done. Yes, there's not a single day where I don't sit in awe and wonder why the events of my life have played out in this order. Yes, I feel utterly and entirely confused and I'm not exactly sure what to do at this point... but I know that I have a Father, a Heavenly Father, who knows and loves me perfectly and has created a plan just for me that will guide me to happiness far beyond anything I could ever imagine.

So maybe I have a whole bunch of questions and not a lot of answers.
But then again, I have one important answer....

I know He lives and I know it's going to be okay.

So for now, all the other answers are unimportant.
And I really do believe that.



onward, ever onward.

Time has a really peculiar way of sneaking up on you much quicker than you were ready and of changing the right now into something the you of the past could have never possibly imagined. And so it's funny to be sitting right where I'm sitting right at this moment in time when even just a few days ago this present set of circumstances was entirely unfathomable.

On Friday morning, I was a missionary in Korea; on Friday night, I was a sad little CaLea who had to take off the little black name tag that reminded me every single day who I wanted to be. And I guess that the thoughts and feelings that are raging through me can't exactly be captured by mere words...

But I can say this: we, as mere mortals, do not have the capability of controlling the story line of our lives-- things happen. We will stumble over the trials and unfortunate circumstances will fall in our paths. Sometimes, bad things happen. Sometimes tears will fall from our eyes. That's been a promise since the beginning. But despite all the sorrow and misery that may try to consume us in this life, we've also been promised that there is hope for better things to come.

I don't know why things have happened the way that they have. And quite frankly, that's not something to worry about right now. Worrying about why things aren't the way you'd like them to be only blinds you from seeing all that CAN be. And the mere idea of those "hoped to be things" is what can give you the strength to keep pressing forward-- no matter what.

I'm CaLea Bagley. I was a Sister missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wasn't ready to take off that little name tag-- but I've learned that sometimes things don't go the way that I want. That being said, I don't believe in endings; I only believe in new beginnings. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that each new day contains a thousand new opportunities to smile.

And life tastes much sweeter with a smile.



Called to Serve Him.

Well kids-- this is it. The day has finally come to say goodbye to this beloved blog of mine for a short eighteen months. I've been counting down the days until I would begin my new adventure as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a very long time (at at times, it felt almost too long). But I am ready; I am ready to be a missionary for this wonderful church-- and more importantly, I am ready to be a representative of our wonderful Father in Heaven.

This isn't the end of my story. In fact, it's just the beginning of a new chapter in life. I have been called forth at this time to serve in the Seoul Korea South mission. I'm both terrified, excited, anxious, and prepared all at once-- fear, however, is a silly thing. For I believe in a God who believes in me. He has offered to help me every step of the way as long as I remember to look to Him for help in and with all things. I am grateful for a Lord who cares enough to allow me to grow. And I am grateful that He loves me enough to pick me up each and every time I fall.

I know without a doubt that this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know without a doubt that Christ lives and that He will come again. I know without a doubt that His plan leads to true and lasting happiness and I know without a doubt that I want to experience such joy. I have a testimony of our loving Savior, brother, and friend, Jesus Christ. I know of His love because I have felt it time and time again. It's everywhere-- we just have to be willing to recognize it. 

I could not possibly live my life having enjoyed the blessings of this sweet gospel without feeling a sincere desire to share it. I want everyone to know what it is like to have the Holy Spirit as their constant companion; I want everyone to know what it is like to have a knowledge of a Savior, a heavenly being, who loves each and everyone of us personally and unconditionally.

This is my time to dedicate my life completely to Him.
This is my time to learn of His love and to learn of Him on a more intimate level.

I invite all of you to join me in my adventure. This blog may be put on pause but I have created a mission blog that will be updated once a week (every week) for the entire eighteen months that I am away. Come, be a part of my adventure. (And write me letters. I'm really good at writing letters in response...the address is posted on the other blog.)

I want to be able to share this experience with you.