Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hey There, We've Moved.

 Hey there. I'm home from my mission and life is grand. I married my best friend (met the kid in seventh grade), had the wedding of my childhood dreams, and now we're just happily living and learning together. So, I suppose if you're interested in continuing to follow along with us and our many adventures, feel free to do so by clicking

I hope to see you every so often over in that corner of the internet. It will be a party, I can promise you that. (Mostly because.... I'm too weird to go about living a "normal" sort of life.)

Thanks for following along. 

Sister CaLea Bagley (Gunther)

Monday, March 30, 2015

New Transfer, New Adventures!

Well, to put things simply: a LOT happened this week. I'm never quite sure how to share all the experiences I'm having from week to week because every single day is full of hundreds of little miracles. To others, they may seem like insignificant coincidences, but we don't believe in coincidences-- God is in charge and He has a perfect plan for every single one of us. 

In Doctrine and Covenants 4:4 it reads: "For behold the field is white already to harvest..." In our mission recently, we've been really starting to focus on baptism and the importance of making that covenant. We've been trying to focus more on finding and teaching people who are prepared to accept the gospel. We have a program called "the Family English Program" that we do with almost all of our investigators. We meet with them for an hour and spend half of that time helping them with English and then the other half of the time sharing a gospel message. In all actuality, a lot of the people I've met with during the course of my mission have been mostly-English interest investigators. (Of course, we've seen people's hearts change and we've seen miracles happen-- but we've also seen a lot of people come to KNOW and believe in the restoration of the gospel... but not be willing to put forth the effort to keep the commitments we extend.) As missionaries, however, our purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." And that's what we want to focus on with the people we're teaching.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for every type of person in every type of circumstances, but sometimes people just aren't ready to accept it in their lives-- not yet, at least. Recently we've been really trying to follow the guidance of the Spirit in order to know who is ready to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their life and who is not. And we've seen such a difference in the progress of the work here in our area. I mentioned a few weeks ago that, as a district, we set a pretty high goal for how many people we wanted to help get baptized within the course of this next transfer (six weeks). Initially, as we were thinking about what goal we wanted to set, we just couldn't shake the higher number; it felt so right! (That's the hard part about setting goals-- we have to ask ourselves "are we doing this in faith or are we just being irrational?") But, we have come to realize that there are two types of people in the world: people who are ready to accept the gospel and people who are still being prepared to (someday) accept the gospel. Both types of people are important, but as missionaries, it's important for us to recognize which of the two categories the people we are working with fall under so we can know how to best help them. Our ward mission leader right now has asked us to put the majority of our focus on those who are ready to accept the gospel-- or in other words "Hey, missionaries, 'the field is white already to harvest...' so let's work hard to find those who are ready to accept the message you came here to share."

We've been working with so many awesome people-- and as a district we've been seeing so many miracles. There are so many prepared people! For example, one of the women we're currently working with has been basically giving herself commitments to keep. For example, we started officially meeting her last week-- she told us that reading the scriptures is hard for her (particularly the Bible), so we gave her the church magazine, The Liahona and asked her to just read over one of the talks before we met again. When we showed up again for an appointment, she'd been reading the Liahona daily and had started to read the Book of Mormon daily as well. She had so many fantastic questions about all that she had read and studied. And then she asked if it was okay if she came to church even though she's not a "member" of our church... she's SO good and she's so genuine about wanting to learn more about the gospel. Before we left her house that night, we asked her if she had any plans for the next day. Her response was, "Well, I'm going to wake up, say a prayer, organize my thoughts a bit and study more of the Book of Mormon. It's a little confusing, but I really like it." Seriously, we are so impressed with her. And what's great is the fact that there are people just as prepared as she is that walk the streets of Korea every single day! The trick is merely finding them. The field is white NOW and ready to harvest NOW! As missionaries, we've just got to be really aware of the promptings of the Holy Ghost and we have to be willing and courageous enough to then act upon those promptings. Heavenly Father will lead us to those who are prepared to follow His plan for them. It's such an honor to get to see others begin to gain testimonies of the Gospel!

Our ward has started this new weekly tradition called, "Friendship Night." Every Saturday night one of our ward members will prepare a dinner and invite all the missionaries over, ivite some investigators over, and then invite a couple of other ward members as well. The whole purpose of it is to strengthen investigators by talking with them and getting to know them while eating dinner and then having a mini testimony meeting together afterwards. It's been such a beneficial method of helping our investigators get to know our ward members-- plus, it's almost always on Saturday nights so it makes it easier for investigators to come to church the next day. I'm telling you, being a missionary is so cool when you're serving in a ward FULL of enthusiastic member missionaries. Every day is a new day full of new adventures and I'm loving every second of it. 

In other news, Sister Brocious and I are the new sister training leaders for our zone... the look on our faces when we got that phonecall was pretty priceless (mostly because we thought it was a joke... but alas, it wasn't). Needless to say, I am quite convinced that this transfer is going to be one to remember!

We got a phone call this week from a number we didn't know... and guess who it ended up being: one of my favorite  old grandpas from the Gangnam ward! (The area I was serving in when I got sick, right before I came home.) I guess he referred a friend of his to the sisters in my last area and I guess my name came up or something. Long story short, he was so excited to hear that I made it back to Korea that he got my number, called us up, and then asked if he could take us out to lunch. He brought his friend (an investigator from my old area) with him so that we would actually be able to go out to lunch with him. That was a pretty eventful day, to say the least. Flashback to Gangnam! I loved it though. And it made me so happy that he was so excited that I made it back to Korea. He came allll the way down to my area just to buy us lunch. He's seriously such a sweetheart. (Also, he made Sister Brocious eat a snail. He just pulled the little guy out of its shell- slimy and everything- and then Sister Brocoious ate it. hahaha. Too funny.)  

Missionary work is the best. 
I'm one happy Sister Missionary.
(Especially now that the flowers are all beginning to bloom!)


Sister CaLea Bagley

p.s. CONGRATULATIONS to Jade! We'll get to be missionaries together for a few months and I couldn't be more excited about it! 



Baptismal Font Cleaning and Other News

In a lesson we had recently, there was a moment in which our ward member (who is probably one of the most eccentric Korean women I've ever met) asked our investigator, "What is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father has given to us?" at which point our sweet investigator paused for a moment and then timidly responded, "Faith??" Almost as immediately as she had answered, our member exclaimed, "DANG!!" (which, in that particular set of circumstances meant, "wrong") before she proceeded to answer her own question, "It's agency."

Conveniently enough, that's what I've been spending a lot of time thinking about lately. It's really ironic, actually, being a missionary and teaching people about the gift of agency (or, the ability and privilege that God gives us to make decisions throughout the course of our lives) because far too often we find ourselves a little upset by the ways our investigators choose to use their agency. (It's silly, right?) We just love them so much and we want them to be happy. We share with them all the secrets of how to lead a happy and successful life... and they choose to not accept it or to not act on the feelings and promptings they receive. We all have our agency and God will not take that privilege away from us. He sent us here to our various homes and circumstances, He continuously sends us the tools we need to find the right path back to Him, and then He waits with open arms for us to choose to follow the plan that He created for us. He's given us the opportunity to become like Him but we choose whether or not to accept that opportunity by the way we choose to live our lives. 

I think one really awesome way we can use our agency is to choose every single morning, as we wake up, that we're going to have a good day. In all honesty, I don't believe in "bad days." Of course, bad things happen all the time, trials come and go, and sometimes we just feel like being a grumpy-face, but when it all comes down to it, there's ALWAYS going to be more reasons to smile than there are to frown. We don't always have control over circumstances, but I know we always have control over our reaction to circumstances. There's no such thing as a "bad day," I believe, because in every day there are at least a thousand little blessings and miracles that pour down from Heaven-- the trick is learning to recognize those little blessings rather than getting all caught up in the things that are difficult. I know that blessings always outnumber trials. 

Happiness comes in so many forms; even though there were some hard this week, I found more than enough happiness to compensate. I found happiness in teaching all the young women how to play soccer for a youth activity and then going head-to-head against all the boys as a "girls team." (Just seeing those girls who initially didn't want to play throwing the young men into the wall and stopping goals was such a great moment for me.) I found happiness in the warmer weather, giving a ice-cream bar to the man working at the convenience store, waking up to sunshine and our pine-scented dish soap. I found happiness in our ward "family" (because the people here really are family) and all the ward "gatherings" we got to participate in this week. I found happiness in the determination and diligence that the ward members here are putting into missionary work. I found happiness while teaching an entire English class full of elderly people the song "Over the Rainbow" and singing it with them repeatedly for the course of an hour. I found happiness in the hazy sunsets and looking out into a world full of fog. I found happiness in watching our ward members and investigators interacting and becoming "best friends." I found happiness every morning within the pages of the scriptures. I found happiness while holding the hand of a grandma we met on the street while we trekked down towards a subway station. I found happiness EVERYWHERE this week! I think Heavenly Father just wanted to remind me that there is happiness in everything we do. That doesn't mean it's not hard-- the difficult times just make the sweet times sweeter! And I am so grateful for all those sweet moments.
I have another funny story this week! But you better buckle down because this is a really good one. We had an appointment with one of the women in our ward this week. We hadn't been able to visit her since I got to this area because she struggles with her health so it's not exactly easy for her to invite us over-- especially because everyone in Korea feels like they have to feed us when we stop by to visit. This lady is seriously SO AWESOME. She's got so much spunk and she's just... very blunt. The first time Sister Brocious tried to sit next to her in sacrament meeting she told her that she needed to move because the smell of her shampoo made her want to vomit. That being said, we weren't really sure what to expect upon our arrival at her house, but what happened definitely wasn't anything we were prepared for. We sat and chatted with her for quite some time. Every now and then she'd ask us semi-interesting questions that were relevant... but also not relevant at the same time. She kept asking us questions like, "Do you have boyfriends back at home?" and "Do you think you could live in Korea for the rest of your life?" and "Do you find Korean men attractive?" We weren't really sure how to answer the questions at times, but we kind of just blushed and giggled it off. It wasn't until she said, "Well, let me tell you why I invited you here today..." that we finally discovered her real intentions for inviting us over. Straight up, she offered up her son as a marriage candidate for Sister Brocious. It took every last drop of my will-power to refrain from bursting into a fit of hysteria... and Sister Brocious refused to make eye contact with me because she knew if she did she'd start laughing and wouldn't be able to stop. 

Seriously-- it was awesome. But now we're just trying to figure out to politely decline someone's offering up of their child for marriage... the only thing coming to mind is the story of Ammon: "I'm not here to marry your daughter, I am here to be your servant." We'll likely use a similar method for our set of circumstances...

In other news, we've set some high goals for the missionary work in our area-- in order to prepare, we worked on cleaning out the font this past week. (It was terrifying... ) We ended up having to douse everything in vinegar because the mineral build-up was so bad. But it was quite the adventure and we had to get really creative. Also, we may have gone a little crazy just because of all the cleaning supply fumes. (Hence all the crazy photos...)

Anyway, as always, I'm happy to be here and I'm happy to be a missionary. We only have so long to serve as a full-time missionary for the Lord. I'm grateful for the time He has given me. 

I love you! 

Good luck to Jade this week-- I hope  you find your mission call in the mailbox SOON! I'm excited for you and so anxious to see where the Lord will call you to serve! (I hope we'll get to be serving at the same time!)


Sister Bagley 

p.s. sorry, all the pictures I have this week is of us cleaning the baptism font and the game we played with our nine-year-old investigator and her mom while we were teaching English. :) haha



We're Vikings Now, I Think.

Well another week has come and passed (again) and I'm sitting here (just like every other Monday) feeling a wee-bit baffled by the fact that it is already time again to attempt to muster up a collection of words to share about the work we're doing here in Korea. I don't think words could ever actually be ENOUGH to fully express all that is occurring here in my beloved Korea, but you can't say "never" until you actually try, right? Now, where do I even start?

We got to go to the temple this week. I didn't realize how much I'd been stressing over everything until the moment I walked into the temple and felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I'm not sure how to even explain it other than that there was this instant "calm" that overcame me. Remember the story of Jesus calming the sea? That's what it felt like. I was worrying about lots of little things and He calmed the sea of worries and helped me to just BE. I don't know about you, but I think it always feels most peaceful after the storm. I realized as I was sitting inside the temple that the feeling of peace that I feel there is something that I can have ALL the time. Heavenly Father gives us the Gift of the Holy Ghost and invites us to live worthy of his constant companionship. As we consistently do the little things, the Spirit is able to abide with us always. 

On our way to the temple this week, as Sister Brocious and I were sitting beside each other on the subway, this little old man (who was sitting a ways further down on the train) tried to start talking to us. He'd been mumbling a lot of indistinguishable words out loud throughout the duration on the train ride, so when he started to direct his words towards us, it took us a moment to recognize it. Now, in Korea, the subways are usually pretty quiet. It's strange to "make a ruckus" on the train when you're surrounded by so many other people. But this man didn't care. He just started shouting out, "HEY. Where do you come from?" At first we weren't sure if he was even talking to us, but when we examined the rest of the train and realized we were the only "foreigners" in the cab, and that at that point everyone else was staring at us too, we weren't entirely sure what to do. In order to respond to him, we'd have to shout back across the train. Because we didn't immediately respond to his first question (we were trying to feel out the situation and figure out what to do-- so we just smiled at him and nodded) he fired off another question, "Do you descend from the Vikings? Norway? Are you Vikings?" At that point, we just decided to give up our seats and go over to talk to him. He was probably one of the coolest people I've ever met. He had that entire conversation with us in English. At first, we kept responding back to him in Korean, but because he was persistent in trying to communicate via English, we eventually just switched over to the good ol' English language. This man only had one tooth and his eyes were turning gray because he was going blind, but as we talked with him he shared lots of thoughts about lots of different things going on in the world before proceeding to quote all of his favorite verses from the Bible in English. Little did he know, the beautiful verses he so perfectly recited were the words I needed to hear that day. We kind of just soaked in the moment. There was one particular instance where our discussion had kind of trailed off, and after a moment of silence between us, the old man just looked up at us and said, "You are good, good, good, good people. You are good women." I don't know why, but right at that moment his words meant so much to me. I think God uses moments like that in our every-day lives to remind us that He loves us. That little old man whose brown eyes were turning grey did a LOT for me on the subway ride. He doesn't even know it-- he probably never will. But I know, and I won't forget it.  

Our ward here in Singal is on FIRE with missionary work. In the words of Elder Dadivas, our district leader, "Is it possible for a ward to be TOO on fire?" My answer? No! As the missionaries, we're just working hard to keep up with them and all the work they're doing. We count ourselves as the "finders" and the real missionary work is being done by the ward. For example, we hear news about our investigators and their lives through our ward members. I've never seen a ward that has been this good at fellow shipping less-active members, recent converts, and investigators. I am seriously so blown away by the the people here. If I ever grow up, I want to be just like them! They give so much and sacrifice so much to help the work in this area to keep pressing forward. It's such an honor to be serving with them.

Now, I have a funny experience to share from this past week! (Every time I think about it, I can't help but to start laughing.) So, we were sitting in sacrament meeting while the deacons were passing out the sacrament; the chapel was pretty quiet because everyone was using that time to review their week and to look for ways to be better for the next week-- when suddenly, one of our favorite grandpas in the ward (who was sitting on the opposite side of the chapel) shouted across the room, "Bay Que Ree! (my Korean name) Buh-row-show-suh! (what Sister Brocious' name sounds like in Korean) Good morning! Nice to meet you! Have a nice day!" (That was his absolute best attempt at greeting us in English...which was adorable, but not exactly at that moment) Now, the entire stake presidency attended our sacrament meeting this weekend... and as soon as grandpa man called out our names (and, like I said, the chapel was quiet because the sacrament was being administered so everyone there heard him shout out our names) I felt my cheeks start to burn red. We acknowledged him with a smile and a nod and then went back to trying to be reverent during the sacrament. (Obviously we just acknowledge grandpas screaming at us with smiles and nods...) At that point, we (and everyone else in the chapel) hear grandpa man start fiddling around with some sort of plastic wrapper in his bag before he chucked an open bag of candy across the ENTIRE chapel towards us. He had fantastic aim, it landed directly between us... but it was SO inappropriate for him to do that right in the middle of the sacrament meeting. (Which is why it was SO funny.) He ended up getting chewed out immediately afterwards by another grandpa who was sitting on the pew behind him. Needless to say, that was a very-- interesting sacrament meeting. 

I don't think I've stopped laughing since I made it here to Shingal. It's a happy place. And it just keeps getting happier and happier as the weather keeps getting warmer. Oh, and guess what: I have officially been a missionary (collectively) for an entire year. I've never had a happier (or more difficult) year in my entire life. And it only gets better from here! 

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and I hope that you'll all make this next week even better. 


Sister CaLea Bagley

p.s. companionship inventory this week went really.... bad.

I just love being a missionary.

So, who is familiar with the story of Korihor? 

I've been recently reading through the chapters in the Book of Mormon that talk about all the amazing missionary work that Alma and the Sons of Mosiah were doing among the Lamanites. It's been so inspiring to read about their missionary adventures and miracles. I think, as missionaries, we are always looking for ways to improve and to become more like the "Preach My Gospel Missionaries," that we want to be-- for that reason I am always grateful for the examples of valiant missionaries within the pages of the scriptures. I love reading about the work that they did and I love learning about the miracles that they were able to see because of their diligence and their obedience. I think, in the end, their most powerful tool was their ability to listen to and heed the promptings of the Spirit. Heavenly Father was able to protect them, to direct them, to comfort them, and to give them hope all through the Gift of the Holy Ghost; they were worthy of receiving those blessings because they chose to live and act in such a manner that was conducive to that Spirit. 

In Alma chapter 30, we learn about Korihor. In Zarahemla, at that time, there had been continual peace in the land for a long period of time. When Korihor, however, came into that land, he began to preach unto the people that there was no Christ, there was no "penalty for sin," and that men received blessings in life only according to their own knowledge and strength. He went among the people and taught things that attacked hope and repentance-- and somehow his words were able to weasel their way into the hearts of some of those that heard them. 

Because the things he was teaching began cause contention in the land, Korihor was taken by the people, tied up, and presented to the authority/leaders of the land. Long story short, they tried to figure out why he was going about trying to cause problems but Korihor just kept going on and on about how the leaders of the land were teaching about Christ to get gain over the people. (I actually found myself giggling out loud a couple of times as I was reading because the arguments that Korihor was presenting made no sense. He just seemed so confused!) It got to the point where nobody could even talk to Korihor because the spirit was unable to testify of truth unto him... "Now when the high priest and he chief judge saw the hardness of his heart, yea, when they saw that he would revile even against God, they would not make any reply to his words..." (Alma 30:29) He didn't have the protection of the spirit in his life and satan was able to gain complete control over him.

He kept telling people that they had no evidence of God and that there was no way for them to know that God even existed. But the response that Alma gave to him was, "...I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them?" (Alma 30:41) Korihor's response was that he wouldn't believe in a God unless they showed unto him a sign that God existed. He refused to allow the Spirit to testify unto him and he wasn't willing to do the things that are necessary for him to 1.) welcome the Spirit into his life to testify of truth and 2.) to gain a testimony for himself that God lives. He merely allowed satan to control him-- he was deceived and very confused because he was abiding by the teachings of the devil and so he became cursed by the Lord. He lost his ability to speak so that he could no longer go among the Lord's people and attack their faith and their hope. He spent the rest of his life "[going] about from house to house begging for food and for support" (Alma 30:56, 58) until eventually  he was driven out and trampled down to death by wicked people. "And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell." (Alma 30:60)

So yes, it's a terrible and incredibly sad story. But I learned SO much from it so I wanted to share. I have been thinking a lot about what it must take for someone to get to the point that Korihor was at-- what I came up with was kind of what I initially started talking about: the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Korihor became a victim of satan's maliciousness because he wasn't taking the time to arm himself with the Spirit. In this past October's conference, Elder Allan F. Packer said, "Just a little time on a consistent basis will yield the joy of the work." I think that statement applies to a lot of things, actually, but when I read it I was specifically thinking about the story of Korihor. If we take a little time every single day to consistently offer up prayers to our Heavenly Father and to read, study, and ponder the words He has given us both in the scriptures and through modern day prophets, we are fortifying ourselves against the attacks of satan. Doing such simple things is such a BIG act of faith and it requires a constant and conscious effort. When we pray and when we study our scriptures we invite the Spirit into our lives to protect us from the temptations of the adversary and we show our Heavenly Father that we are striving to follow Him. It's such a simple act of faith but it yields SUCH incredible blessings! I don't want to ever end up like Korihor, who neglected to protect himself from the temptations and attacks of satan and who fell victim to the all the lying, confusion, misconceptions and deceit that satan infuses into hearts that aren't protected by the Spirit. When we do the little things that we are instructed to do, the Lord blesses us and protects us. That's why the little things are so important.

We do the little things to keep the Spirit of the Lord with us.

"For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked." (Alma 34:35)

"...contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but receive it... be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for he rewardeth you no good thing." (Alma 34:38, 39)

The trick to living happily is merely living in such a way that you may always have the Lord's Spirit with you. Alma and the Sons of Mosiah were "swallowed up in the joy of the Lord" because they lived in such a way that they had the Holy Ghost with them always. Korihor did not. And that's the difference. We should always remember to ask ourselves if we are doing all that we can do to be worthy of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Anyways, on a lighter note, it's been a really, really good week! The Lord led us to two new investigators and we couldn't be more excited about it! They're so inspiring! The mother's entire goal in life is to have a happy and healthy family. She doesn't currently have a religion, but her  nine old daughter goes to church because she just decided one day that she wanted to. And she's the first nine year old that I've ever met who LOVES the Bible. We get to meet with them twice a week from here on out so I'm sure you'll get to hear a whole lot more about them as time goes on. I am already in love with them, though. So much love. 

Sorry for emailing late this week! We got to visit the Korean Traditional Village today with our entire English Class.  I cannot even put into words how AWESOME it was. I'm just such a history junky, so just walking around a HUGE park full of "olden day" Korea exhibits made my soul so happy. We even got to see what a traditional Korean wedding ceremony is like-- THAT was really cool. But I think my favorite part was when we were all gathered together and one of the members of our English class said, "We just LOVE you." They were referring to all of the missionaries, but it just warmed my heart. I love Korea. I love the people, the culture, the food, the fashion, the history-- I love it all. Being here and being a missionary makes me so happy. 

I am so happy.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!
Remember to say your prayers and read your scriptures!

I love you with all my heart. 


Sister CaLea Bagley

p.s. fun fact of the week: I had a conversation in German with a Korean woman today-- that was an adventure. :) 

Catch Ya Later, February!

Welcome, March. 

It's been another really fantastic week here in Shingal. I think what was really amazing was just seeing how all the pieces fit together so that all these little miracles could happen. We've been seeing a plethora of little miracles every single day, but I want to focus my email this week specifically on this past Saturday (mostly because it was one of the last days of the week, but also because when we got home that night we were utterly speechless because of the miracles that Heavenly Father showed us that day). 

So, our ward plans one family night every month that we all do together. We meet up at one of the ward member's houses and we eat dinner, share a spiritual message, and then all do a fun activity together. This month's "all together family home evening" (as the Koreans say it) just so happened to be this past Saturday and our ward mission leader's request for all the missionaries was that each companionship serving in this ward was to show up with an investigator or a less-active member. We'd been contacting several different people throughout the course of the week but unfortunately nobody seemed to have time. So Saturday morning we sent out an invitation via text message to several different people and kept our fingers crossed that someone would be interested and have a little time to spare so we could all go to the family home evening activity together. 

That morning we had an appointment with one of the less-active members that the sisters in this area have been frequently working with for quite some time. I hadn't actually met her before that particular appointment because she recently had a surgery has been unable to meet. On Friday night, however, when we called to check up on her, she talked to us for a bit before suddenly inviting us over the next morning (Saturday morning) so we could meet. We managed to squeeze enough time into our schedule to meet with her-- but our schedule consequently became a very tight schedule. 

We studied the gospel principles book with her and talked a little bit about the questions that went along with the chapter before we ran out of time and had to head to our next appointment. As we were putting our shoes on she asked us where we were headed next and we promptly responded, "Oh, we're going to English class." She stood there for a second before saying, "Can I come too?" Sister Brocious and I were utterly baffled by the fact that she wanted to come with us because she has always had a really hard time leaving her house; her comfort zone doesn't extend beyond her home. It was entirely unexpected but we enthusiastically agreed! 

The only catch was that we were planning to meet up with a potential investigator on our way to English class... so we ended up pulling her along with us. 

The potential investigator we were meeting up with is a man from Napal. We found him through the phone project we're currently working on. We've got about 1,000 contacts in our phone and we probably only know about 30% of them. Essentially, we've got a bunch of names and numbers saved in our phone with no memos or information on who they are. So we've been going through and contacting every single person (and recently we've been giving out sheets with 20 names/numbers to our members to contact as well in order to speed up the process and get our members involved in missionary work!) in order to find out who they are and to ask them if they are interested in meeting with missionaries again. 

Anyway, he met missionaries up in Seoul about six months ago and those missionaries referred him to the missionaries in this area because this is the area he lives in. He hadn't been contacted since! So when we called him and started talking to him on the phone, he didn't remember who we were initially-- but after a couple minutes of chatting he managed to find the memory of meeting the missionaries that has been tucked away within his brain for six months. He ended up setting an appointment with us to attend our English class and then to join our post-English class ping pong activity. 

So, yes, we showed up to our English class on Saturday a little late... but we showed up with TWO people who we never thought would actually come! We were absolutely elaborated. After English class we all went to the top floor of the church and had a ping pong competition... except I didn't participate because I am terrible so I just ended up playing tag with a herd of five year olds (They relate to me so well). The man from Napal had a really great time (because he's a champion at ping pong and he annihilated everyone else). We got to sit and chat with him a bit about his thoughts and beliefs and he seriously had so many cool things to share. I see grand things in his future, his heart is so good and he's got such an open mind. I'm excited to see how everything goes with him.

During the ping pong time, we got a phone call from a potential investigators that we had met at a bus stop two weeks ago. She'd received the text about the ward's family night activity that we sent out that morning and she wanted to come. She's a 24 year old college student and she's seriously the cutest human on the face of the whole world. And she CAME with us to the activity! So by a miracle, each set of the missionaries was able to bring an investigator along to join the festivities. 

On the bus ride to meet up with her, Sister Brocious and I split up so we could just talk to the people we sat next to on the bus. I went straight to the back at sat next to a woman who was playing a game on her phone. As soon as I sat down I said "hi" and when she looked up and saw me she was speechless for a second. Come to find out, she is the less-active member who we'd been trying to get a hold of since I got to this area! And Heavenly Father put me RIGHT next to her on a bus. She was so excited to meet me. She just held my hand as we sat there on the bus introducing ourselves to each other. Of all the buses, people, and seats on a bus in Korea, somehow Heavenly Father put us right next to her right at that exact moment. It was amazing!

Anyway, that night at the family night activity was such a blast. Everyone that attended walked away with giant smiles on their faces-- including the three investigators! 

Seriously. I know that God is a God of miracles and this is HIS works. As missionaries, He's just giving us the opportunity to witness all of it. It is so humbling to see how He can use imperfect people to do His perfect work. I'm not qualified to do all that He needs me to do... but yet He still gives me the opportunity to do it and He strengthens me every step of the way. Words will never be adequate enough to express just how much of a blessing this missionary experience has been to my life! 

I'm happy. And I'm doing well. :)
Sending all my love from Korea, 


Sister CaLea Bagley

p.s. at the ward family home evening activity we played the marshmallow minute to win it game. One partner throws marshmallows at the other partner and they have to catch it in their mouth. Each time you manage to catch it, you move further and further back. Long story short, Sister Brocious ended up (overhand) chucking marshmallows across the entire house and I was half-diving to catch them in my mouth. And you wanna hear another miracle? We only dropped three. The ward members all had their phones out so they could film us by the end of it! The Elders were all pretty upset too because they couldn't even compete. ;) 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

You Won't Believe it!

Hi people!

So, when I was sick, before the decision was made to send me home, I received a transfer call that told me I would be moving to an area called "Singal" (pronounced: Sheengar). However, because I ended up getting on a plane and going home, I never had the opportunity to serve in that area-- until now! This week we received transfer calls and I am now serving in Singal! It's just cool to see how everything has come full circle. I always wondered what it would be like to serve in this area but now I have the opportunity to actually serve here. And, as if that isn't exciting enough, guess who my new companion is...

I am serving with Sister Brocious! We're both from good ol' American Fork and we played high school soccer together for four years. I had to introduce myself in sacrament meeting this week and the whole ward was probably more excited about the fact that we knew each other before the mission than we were (which is hard to do because we were pretty excited). 

When all the men in the ward heard that we were both soccer players they practically had a heart attack. There's supposed to be a big soccer activity this upcoming weekend with all the young men and we got invited to it at least twelve different times. So, to say I am incredibly excited would be an understatement. 

This week a lot of the thoughts bouncing around my head were about the Holy Ghost and "timing." Sister Brocious and I were talking about the importance of the Holy Ghost and we decided that one of the most valuable gifts we can obtain is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. When we get confirmed after we are baptized, we are promised to always have the spirit with us as long as we remain worthy of its company. So I made it a personal goal to really work on living in such a manner that I am worthy of that constant companionship. Everything we do will either welcome the spirit into our day-to-day lives or drive it away. When we are making a conscious effort to keep that spirit with us, I believe that we will be blessed beyond anything we can even imagine. As a missionary I feel an extra desire to have that spirit with me so that it can guide me and direct me in the work that I am doing. As long as you have the spirit with you, you can know that you are doing exactly what the Lord wants you to do exactly when He needs you to do it. (Now I just want everyone to take the time to go read 2 Nephi 32:5!) 

As for timing-- we had several different minor incidents this week where we were late for something or where we changed the game plan up a bit and because of the change in plans, we were able to meet people that we needed to meet. We were absolutely amazed by the little miracles we saw just because we were at the right place at the right time. I definitely have a testimony of trusting the Lord and trusting His timing. He's the one in charge, He's the one pulling all the strings--  it's our job to merely constantly confide in Him through prayer and to receive instruction from Him through diligently studying. He wants what is best for us and sometimes our idea of "what's best" is very different from His. But He is perfect and all-knowing, so it only makes sense that what He has in store for us is far greater than we could ever imagine. 

This is His work. I know it with all my heart. And I know that He loves each and everyone of us. He listens to our prayers, He knows our hearts, He's constantly giving us opportunities to learn and to grow, and He blesses us every single day. I'm seeing His blessings pouring down on my life right now and I really cannot even express how grateful to know that He lives and that He loves me! 

I hope everyone had a good week. Wish Sister Brocious and I luck as we work on our lacking soccer skills for the upcoming week. ;) 

Love you!


Sister CaLea Bagley

Another Week Has Passed... How?!

Hi everyone!

Okay, so this past week was really sneaky and managed to slip by without us even noticing. On Saturday night when Sister Tovar asked, "Is tomorrow Sunday?" I think my head almost exploded. 

We had an exchange this week with the Sister training leaders in our zone and that was a really cool experience. Sister Tovar went to their area and Sister Holdaway came here to Boondong with me. I was actually really nervous about it too because we had a couple of  appointments scheduled back-to-back and I wasn't 100% sure how to travel from one appointment to the next. (This was also my first time taking the lead in the area.) 

Anyways, long story short, we ended up making it to the first appointment on time, but I was exceptionally more nervous about navigating our way to the second area from the first. (It required a couple of bus transfers and some walking to get to the place we intended to go...) Anyway, I managed to get us on the first bus that we needed to be on and we were able to transfer to the second bus we needed to be on pretty easily. At that point, however, I was really stressed about getting off the bus at the right stop. I was worried because I couldn't exactly remember where the members lived and I couldn't seem to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to the point where the map of that particular area was making sense in my head. At one of the bus stops we passed, I had a distinct impression to get off of the bus... I even vocalized that thought to Sister Holdaway-- BUT I didn't listen to the prompting. I thought, at that point, that I had everything under control. Big surprise: I most certainly did not! A couple of bus stops later, we realized that we had passed the stop we were trying to go to. We frantically pushed the "stop" button on the bus, got off, crossed the street, decided that waiting for another bus would take too long, then began to briskly walk/run back in the direction that we had come. At that point I was pretty frantic and confused-- and what made it worse was the thought that we were likely going to be late to our appointment. It was all pretty hectic for a bit before I finally found enough common sense to stop where we were at, say a prayer, and then check the map again. 

As soon as we did that, we knew exactly where we were and exactly where we needed to go to get to our desired destination. I think "the importance of prayer" is one of those life-lessons I'll never stop learning. How often do we wander down dark, unknown streets relying on our own limited knowledge when all we have to do is remember to turn to the Lord through prayer so He can guide us to where we need to go? That's a lesson I learned this week. 

We got to go to the temple this week! It was my first time getting to go since being back in Korea. I love that place so much. I have been worrying about lots of little things over the course of the past couple of weeks, so being in the temple was a big blessing to me because it brought so much peace into the hectic whir of thoughts and emotions that have been cluttering my mind. How lucky are we to have so many temples? Pretty lucky, I'd say. 

My MTC district hit their in-country- year-mark this week. Isn't that absolutely crazy? They all still consider me a part of the family even though I am a couple of months behind. It's so crazy that all my mission friends are now starting to be considered "older" missionaries. I swear, we were all just barely at the MTC and we'll probably feel like brand new missionaries right up until the end. There's just so much to learn still, I suppose. :)

Well, I'm doing well. Spring officially started in Korea this week-- it's been  pretty warm here up until the last couple of days. (We're in the middle of a cold spurt but I'm sure it will warm up again soon.) I am so grateful for the opportunity Heavenly Father has given me to be one of His full-time missionaries. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is the greatest adventure I have ever been on... and what a BLESSING it has been (and continues to be) in my life!

I hope all is well with you, wherever you may be this week.


Sister Bagley