Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

When You Can't Speak, LOVE.

Okay, first things first: can someone PLEASE find my long-lost friend Morgan Evans and kick her in the rear for not emailing me about her mission call!? Thanks. I'd appreciate it. But after you kick her in the rear, CONGRATULATE HER! I'm so excited! Brazil!? So cool. 

Anyways, hello again from Korea! What a crazy week it's been! I'm just going to make up a list of things to talk about and there's no real particular order or connection to the different things I'm going to bring up-- it's just a compiliation of all the occurences in my life from the past week. Ready, set, Go!

1. We got to go to the temple this week and it was suuuch a cool experience! It was just so cool to be in a place I've never actually been before and still feel as if it were familiar. All the 만수 investigators (our investigator and the Elders' two investigators) showed up at the temple when we were leaving and we got to talk to them and hang out with them a bit on the temple grounds (which was way cool!) Our investigator wanted to get a picture with us in front of the temple and while we were posing one of the other investigators asked one of the Elders (while motioning in our direction), "Why do they look so happy?" and the Elder immediately responded, "It's because they got to go to the temple! The temple is such a happy place!" Preach it!

2. We set a baptismal date for our sweet investigator! As part of my greenie training I was in charge of offering the invitation. I was way nervous about it all day but when the pivital moment actually arrived, all I felt was peace. We set a date and everything! April 6th. The only sad thing is that she's moving out of our area this week so we had to refer her to another set of Sisters. Sad to see her go but glad to see that her life is being blessed!

3. I ate pig intestine and coagulated blood this week. I've been eating all sorts of strange foods. Too many to list, honestly. But it's an adventure! I've been taking Dad's tip on not asking what I'm eating until after I've already consumed it. Every single time my trainer says, "Do you wanna know what it is?" and I say, "One sec." and stuff the food in my mouth, chew it up real well, swallow, and then say, "K, what did I just eat?" I thought I'd be more grossed out about it. It doesn't phase me anymore. And for the record-- I eat Kimchi like a champ these days.

4. Miracles this week: One day we were running way late for an appointment and I had no more money on my bus card (but I didn't know it until I'd scanned in on the bus). Normally bus drivers in Korea are kind of rude and don't really care-- but this guy was so kind and just waved me on to the bus and said it was okay. Free bus ride. Also, our timing has been SPOT on this week thanks to the help of the Lord. We've been trying to get a bunch of less-active visits done and normally less-active visits result in people yelling at you through a closed door or just blatantly ignoring you. But twice this week we walked up to doors as the people were returning home-- which allowed us to meet them and share a short message with them. One instance, in particular, was cool because we accidently took a wrong turn and ended up going on a 45 minute detour. So when we finally arrived we were just hoping that something good would come from the visit. Lo and behold, we rode the elvelator with the girl and didn't even know it was her. But when we followed her off the elevator and realized who she was we were instantly grateful for the long and tiresome detour we'd managed to take. So cool.

5. I've officially acquired a Korea mother! There are about five ward members we meet with consistently every single week and the rest are a mix and match of other members. But of the consistent ones, we've found a Korean mother. She deemed herself such this week. I love her to pieces! She feeds us and we teach her lessons every single week. And she never lets us leave without a bag of food. And the best part? We get hugs from her!!! I love hugs. Koreans don't hug. Anyways, her exact words were, "Your real mom is in America... but I am your Korean mother." I was so excited. I'd already considered her my korean mother but now it's official.

6. Turf-burn for days!! With all the soccer I've been playing, I was just WAITING to see when I'd get a huge turf burn. This was the week! I played with a TON of elders and young men this week (I was the only female on the field... this is my life) and I tore up my leg with a sweet slide tackle! It's way gross but way cool. I don't feel complete walking away from a soccer game without turfburn on my leg. 

7. I got to sketch a little bit this morning! I just started drawing an asian-looking dragon and I'm having a blast. There's a picture of it-- but it's just the preview of the final product-- I only worked on it for about half an hour so it's been a pretty quick (but way fun) project.

8. Since my comp is the sister training leader in our zone we go on a TON of exchanges. It's way fun though. This past week I went on my first exchange where I stayed in the area and my comp went to another one-- which meant I was senior companion. Yikes. I was texting people in Korean and making phone calls in Korean and navigating the bus system and freaking out the entire time. Long story short: I'm quite content with being the junior companion for now!

9. We probably walked about 10 miles yesterday. And we didn't eat dinner until 7. What a way to spend fast Sunday! haha. Man we were dying! but it was fun and it was such a beautiful day so we definitely weren't complaning.

10. We had 12-week follow up training this week which meant I got to see EVERYONE I came to Korea with! I was sooo happy! I'll always have a special place in my heart for those kids. I love them all to pieces. 

Anyways, like always, I'm happy and I'm happy to be a missionary! Sometimes I photocopy my face at the church just to make things interesting. I think that life is meant to be enjoyed and I'm definitely enjoying it. I hope you're all enjoying it back at home as well!

Sending you all my love from Korea,

Sister CaLea Bagley

Korea is the Coolest.

Well, another week has come and passed in the crazy cool country of Korea! (I was originally aiming for a life-changing alliteration right there.. and it kind of worked... but it ended up being slightly more anti-climatic than I'd hoped.) Anyways, people keep asking me what it's like to be a missionary in Korea... so uh, here's a short (and most-likely lathered-in-sarcasm) summary of a typical day in 만수:

6:30-- The alarm pierces the silence and I hear my companion say, "...already...??" as we roll out of bed (which isn't that hard because we sleep on the floor) scramble around in the dark looking for our tennis shoes.
7:00-- breakfast and shower time! Whooo-hoo! Fun fact about the shower in our apartment... it's merely a shower-head connected to sink. So long story short, when I shower, the entire bathroom showers with me. fun, fun!!
8:00-- personal study. It's the best.
9:00-- companion study. It's also the best.
10:00-- 12 week study. (greenie life)
11:00-- language study. Korean is hard. But not at hard as I'm working! I will conquer!
12:00-- LUNCH. We eat rice and 김 (dried seaweed with salt and oil on it.. and I'm quite obsessed with it, actually.) for...every meal. We're real exciting. (But mostly just poor.)

.... and then we go out and do work. Which usually includes: member visits, more member visits, talking to people on buses/the street/subways, trying to find a less-active member's house... and running from one appointment to the next (literally RUNNING) because there is never enough time in the day, I swear! Sometimes we even forget to schedule meals. We're the worst. But we're working hard and that's what matters. 

So anyways, I have this super huge book that I brought with me to Korea from the MTC (that probably took up about a fifth of the weight of my suitcase on the flight over here) that I've been studying to help my Korean and on the front page it has one of my FAVORITE quotes about learning a language for the mission:

"...you can learn Korean. You can speak well if you wish. The Lord has called you to do just that and He will never fail you if you are diligent in your efforts and desires. I promise you that if you will study diligently, practice tirelessly, bear ridicule and embarrassment good-naturedly, and seek the Lord constantly, you will receive the gift of the ability to speak Korean. Your understanding will open and your tongue will be loosed. It will not be easy-- no, it may be the hardest thing you ever did, but, then, the Lord does not bestow gifts easily." 

So yeah. I don't really have time to talk about how AWESOME I think that is. But I did want to go ahead and share it. Anyways...

This week has been awesome! Our work here is really starting to pay off! Opening an area is definitely not the easiest thing in the world but it IS a lot of fun. We've officially started teaching our first investigator and we have a few potential investigators that we're hoping to meet with this next week! I can't even begin how cool it is to have the opportunity to start applying all the things I have been studying so hard for the past few months. But the coolest part about teaching is the power of the spirit that comes with the message we share. It's such a powerful experience. 

We're told to use our talents in order to help us spread the gospel and this past week I got to do just that... after English class this week a bunch of men (and young men too) went out to the dirt field across the street from the church to play a match of soccer. I've been dying to get out on a soccer field for sooo long and so Sister Sloan and I managed to talk ourselves into getting to play along with everyone else! Typically they don't let girls play... but long story short, near the beginning of the game, no one would really pass the ball to me. But by the end of the game I had people passing to me like crazy and coming up to me and giving me high fives. At the end of the game they deemed me the "MVP" and at church yesterday everyone kept saying, "Wooow. You scored three goals!" and telling me that I'm going to be professional. I definitely feel the love here in Korea. Looks like I'll be playing soccer a whole lot more. (all those years of practice are paying off! It's helping me spread the gospel!) Soccer in Korea is way too fun.

Again-- I'm happy. So happy. I know I say that every week but I mean it with all my heart. There is nothing like being a missionary. And there is NOTHING like being a missionary in Korea. I have been so blessed. And it's such a cool feeling to know that we're not out here on our own. We've got the power of heaven on our side and I definitely feel the help every step of the way.

"We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord's service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word." -President Henry B. Eyring

Anyways, time is running out! But I love you all and I'm grateful for the prayers and love you've been sending my way. I can definitely feel it all the way over here in Korea. I'm happy to be here, I'm happy to be serving. Miracles are real, I see them in my life each and every day. 

Take some time to feel God's love this week. 
To really sit back and feel it. Life has a tendency to get busy and it's important to slow down long enough to notice all the blessings that we've been given. 

Smile at a bunch of strangers this week. 
All my love,


Sister Bagley

p.s. Challenge of the week: so this upcoming Sunday is fast Sunday, right? I read Alma 45:1 and thought it was a really cool scripture. From what I read I kind of understood that they not only PRAYED in gratitude towards the Lord, but fasted in gratitude as well. That being said, this upcoming Sunday I'm going to fast for all the things I'm grateful for. I thought that was such a cool thing! I'd never thought to do that before.