Sunday, April 13, 2014

Korea is Kool

Hey, kids.
Wait, has it been another week already? Strange. 

First of all, I hope Arica and Sophie had happy, happy birthdays! I was thinking about them this week! So, it's been another amazing week in 만수. I've been so blown away by how much the Lord's hand is in our day-to-day lives. Often times we don't even realize it until we sit down at the end of each day and are going over the events that occurred during the day. Missionary days are compilations of hundreds of little miracles. Earlier this week I was asking for eyes to see the miracles and let me tell you-- I've seen them. 

We've been going through all the old records of former investigators this week and have had such an incredible experience with that! We found a woman who has been going through a certain set of circumstances and has been searching for the kind of peace that the gospel can offer. She literally said, "I have never known God-- but I think I am ready to know Him now. I want to learn more about your church." And we were freaking out because... hello! Golden investigator! Buuut... alas, we discovered that she doesn't live in our area. And so we referred her to another set of sisters. Funny story: we've deemed ourselves as the "referral sisters" because we have found so many awesome investigators and have had to refer them to other sets of missionaries for a variety of different reasons. But don't worry, we're keeping our heads high and working harder than ever. Finding is a very difficult aspect of missionary work-- but we're smiling our way through it-- every step of the way.

We do, in fact, have a new investigator though. She is meeting with us because of English interest but the way that our first meeting went actually really made me excited for the meetings to come.  She said, "I don't believe in God because I cannot see Him." and shared that a lot of the reason why she has a "closed mind" towards religion now is because of the bad experiences she's had with religious people telling her that she'll be condemned to hell if she doesn't believe. Korea is loaded with people who are so pushy with religion. It's actually rather uncomfortable. And as a missionary, it's pretty difficult to get on people's good sides because as soon as we introduce ourselves as missionaries they assume we're going to start telling them to "repent or go to hell!!" Again-- religion in Korea is pretty intense. People want to bible bash ALL the time. Anyways, the only thing I could think to say at that point was this: "I guess in some ways, God is similar to the wind. Maybe you can't see it-- but you can feel it." We shared that we aren't trying to force anything upon her-- this gospel has blessed our lives so much and because of that, we've left our loved ones, our home, our schooling-- everything-- to share it with people who are looking for answers. She seemed pretty uncomfortable when we first started talking about the gospel with her, but by the end of the meeting she seemed to trust us a bit more. 

Fun fact: So-- my official soccer name is now 김승, or in other words, "beast." Bet you can't guess why... I'm pretty excited about it. Don't be surprised when I end up with a Korean soccer jersey and "beast" written in Korean on the back.

Another fun fact: my companion and I climbed the stairs all the way up to our apartment this week. In case you were wondering, we live on the fourteenth floor. Yikes. 

So when a Korean invites you over for a meal they will literally watch you eat and continue to refill you plate/bowl/cup until all the food has been consumed. Not even kidding. So every time we eat over at a member's house we feel like we're going to die. Funny story: this week we had four consecutive appointments with members in one day. Two of which were meals. We ate two ginormous meals in the time period of two hours. I've never felt so huge in my entire life... it was awful. The food was amazing. But it was awful. The worst part? My comp saying, "Get used to it." Hi, I'm going to gain four hundred pounds on my mission. 

Speaking of food-- I conducted a food experiment this past week. I called it the "Fake it until you make it" experiment. Hypothesis: If I tell everyone that all my least-favorite foods are my favorite, eventually I will learn to like them. Conclusion: If I tell everyone that my least favorite foods are my favorite, eventually I will learn to like them. I'd say it was a success, what about you?

Joke of the week: my face. Okay, Korean weather has made my skin wayy wayy irritated. Long story short, I've been dealing with some acne for the last week or so. That being said, I've had two members (in the last two days) approach me and ask me what's wrong with my face. Once even suggested a hospital visit. Wayyy too funny. Also-- Koreans are extremely dramatic when it comes to medical things. Just saying. 

Well, I'm running out of time but I just wanted to say that I am so happy and that I'm so grateful to be in Korea! I read the entire book of Matthew this week and was soaking up all the wonderful teachings of the Savior. So incredible! One story that really struck me that I wanted to share was the story of Peter walking on the water. In Matthew 14:29-31 it talks about how the Savior invited Him to come unto Him and how initially, Peter had enough faith to walk upon the water because he was focused on the Savior. Eventually, however, he began to focus too much on the crazy circumstances that were around him and because of that, he began to be very afraid. When he lost focus on the Savior, he began to sink. At that point he calls out in desperation to the Savior and "immidiately" the Savoir reaches out to him and saves him saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" When we focus on the Savior, we can do the impossible. Despite the crashing waves and difficult circumstances around us. Jesus works through our faith and obedience to preform mighty miracles. Trust in Him! (Also-- Luke 1:37)

I love you all! Make someone's day better this week.

Sister Bagley

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