Sunday, July 6, 2014

Goodbye June, Hello Miracles!

This week has been absolutely amazing. (I feel like I start out every email like this... but I promise that I mean it from the very bottom of my heart. Maybe missionary work is the best thing that has ever happened to me?) 

We've been having a hard time with investigators lately just because everyone in Gangnam is so busy all the time. It's hard to consistently keep meeting with people. So, we've just been slowly having to drop investigators because it eventually becomes too difficult to meet with them or they're not willing to progress anymore. It's been so hard! We have a couple of really fantastic investigators who are so solid, but we've been really feeling as if we need to work to pick up some new investigators as well. So Sister Giles and I just decided to kick it into gear and start working even harder in every aspect of missionary work. And guess what happened: miracles.

We picked up four new investigators this week! All of whom are gospel interest and who have so much potential. One is a woman that I met when I was on exchange in a different area. I said hello to her and we gave her the number of the Sisters who were serving in that area because we ended up having to get off pretty quickly. People don't usually call us off the pass-along cards we give out... but she did! She ended up calling the Sisters... and, long story short, she lives in Gangnam! So they called us and were so excited to refer her to us. We met with her and she loved us. We sang a bunch of primary songs together and we taught her all about the Book of Mormon. It was really neat. She now refers to herself as our Korean mother... (Yes, now I have two... but just wait.)

We met a woman on the street a few weeks ago who tried to feed us dinner right then and there.. but we were running a little late so we just got her phone number and then headed to our next appointment. BUT, the other day we felt very prompted to call her. She didn't answer..... but she called us the next morning at 6:00am and invited us over for dinner. Long story short: she introduced us to her sweet husband and fed us dinner. We got to teach them about the Book of Mormon as well! The man is the sweetest 72 year old man I've ever met and his wife is wonderful. She called herself our "mother" as well.. and referred to her husband as our "grandfather" because she thought it was funny. They both LOVED the Book of Mormon and basically told us to come and teach them anytime we have extra time. I've never loved two people so much in such a short amount of time in my entire life. I'm completely in love with them.

The last woman we met after our English class on Saturday. She showed up just as it was ending... and so we told her we could just meet with her personally. We ended talking all about religion and found out that she's a christian who doesn't attend church. She told us that she's been looking for the "right" church for a long time but just hasn't found what she's been looking for. We taught her about the Book of Mormon as well. 

The Book of Mormon is the coolest book in the whole world. Every day I find ways to apply the things I read from it to my own life and the lives of those we are teaching. It's magic. And we got to teach four new investigators all about it this week. It's been such an adventure. 

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, I want to share a couple of my favorite passages that I read this week:

1 Nephi 14:14

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

So. I just think the phrase, "...armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory." sounds pretty awesome. It's a fantastic blessing that God gives to us when we choose to live worthy of such a blessing. And I can definitely testify that I've felt that power backing me up as I've been out here in Korea doing missionary work. It's a battle against the adversary... but Satan's got nothing on us because we've got God on our side. Nothing will stand in the way of the work of the Lord. 

1 Nephi 7:17-18

But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again.
This set of scriptures really touched my heart this week because I've been praying for so many things and I've been receiving so many answers... just not the answer I prayed to receive. It was also neat because not only was this an answer to MY prayers, but to one of our investigator's prayers as well. Sometimes we pray for the strength to "burst the bands with which [we] are bound." And God hears our prayers... but sometimes, the answer comes by "the bands [being] loosed from off [our] hands and feet..." We often pray for one thing and our prayers are answered in a very different way. I guess this week I learned to start praying for the ability to recognize the answers when they come. 

3 Nephi 19:24

And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.

And then... there's this scripture. I really like that it just talks about how they didn't "multiply" their words; they said what they needed to say and they were directed by the spirit to pray for the things that they needed to pray for in order to find success. I also just liked the idea that prayer is a way of aligning our desires and will with the desire and will of our Heavenly Father. My favorite part is the line, "...and they were filled with desire." They were able to conquer their own desires in order to be filled with a desire to do and be what the Lord wanted them to do and become. And if you ask me, God always has a better plan than I do. I learn that every single day on my mission. My days never go the way we plan them to go-- I write in my planner more in whiteout than I do in pen. But that being said, my days always seem to go better than planned. It's been such a blessing. 

We had interviews with President Morrise this past week. Fun fact: President conducted the interviews at our homes. It was so much fun! We were beyond nervous (and I think that was just our womanly instinct coming out because we knew people were coming to our house so we cleaned like crazy!) but it ended up being my favorite interview so far since I've been out on the mission. We bought them ice cream and they ended up showing up with ice cream. So we all ate ice cream around a fold-out table and I had to use my bed (aka my floor mat) as a chair. It was awesome. 

 President told us how proud he was of us this week. We could definitely feel the truth in his words through the smile on his face and in his eyes. 

I'm proud of us too, actually. We're doing good work and having the time of our lives doing it. I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face. I love everyone and everything-- it's a side-effect of missionary work, I think.

I'm doing really, really, really well. 
I like doing this stuff, it's fun.


Sister CaLea Bagley

p.s. This week one of our investigators gave Sister Giles and I matching rain boots. Hers are pink and mine are red. I've always secretly wanted red rain boots. That was another miracle. Miracles are happening everywhere. 

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