Sunday, July 13, 2014

Last Week of the Transfer!

Answers for Mamma Bagley's list of Questions:
·         Tell me about those you are teaching.
So, we're teaching a bunch of people, actually. But first and foremost comes Ah-een. She's 45 years old and single and she's the one who we set the baptism date with a while ago. So.... we actually ended up post-poning the date on Saturday because she's just feeling a lot of pressure. She reads the Book of Mormon every single day. I know she'll end up getting baptized eventually... but probably not until she finishes the whole thing. That was hard for us because we've been making so many promises to her but we realized we were probably pushing her in ways that weren't best for her. So we're trying a new approach. Wish us luck and pray for her to be able to recognize her answer when it comes.

Another woman we're teaching we just set a baptism date with this week. She's really cool... but she's not super diligent about keeping her commitments because "the TV drama was too interesting!!" and other such various excuses... but she loves the scriptures! We can't seem to figure out how to get her to read on her own, though. We're meeting with her really frequently and she's excited to learn more about the gospel. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

We have an 85 year old man who lives down the street from us who has one of the coolest life-stories I have ever heard. He's a successfully retired businessman who came from a childhood of very little. He now speaks 3 languages (English, Japanese, and Korean) and spends a huge chunk of his time doing volunteer service that requires his language skills. We call him Nam and he's our BFF. Nam has met with a few sets of Elders over the course of the last 15 years of his life and so diligently studied all that they asked him to study... but eventually they stopped meeting. He got baptized into the Roman Catholic Church in December and that was that.

But, ever since I've been in Gangnam we've been working really hard at just being his friends. We'd talk with him, never fail to say "hello" when we'd see him, and even deliver cookies to his home for him and his wife to enjoy. Recently we've started joining him on Fridays in the service he does at the subway station. We LOVE Nam!! We never tried to directly talk about the gospel with him unless he'd ask us specific questions or bring it up himself. Anyways, on Tuesday we woke up to a text from Nam that asked us when we'd be able to study the gospel together! We're now meeting and teaching Nam!!! We love him so much. And I am so honored that he trusts us enough to answer his questions. He's my best friend. (I have a lot of Korea best friends... and they range in ages from 2-85 years old.)

·         Help me to know what the life of a missionary is like.
It's tough! But also so amazing. You don't live a single day without receiving the help of the Lord to help you make it through. You're always tired and you always want to take a nap... but you never do. You just keep smiling and pushing through and then you see miracles. Every single day. We do everything that we do for other people and it's seriously the greatest thing I've ever gotten to do. I've never felt more.... me. Not in my entire life. I don't think there are any words that could accurately depict what it's like to be a missionary.

·         How do the people receive you in Korea?
A lot of people just love us because we're Americans. And then they extra-love us because we are Americans who speak Korean. Every now and then there are people who call us a cult and what not... but for the most part, people are really nice! :) I love Koreans!

·         What did you do this week that made you know of His love?
Yesterday we were at this big park and we were just walking around looking for people to talk to and we found this whole clan of elderly women sitting on these benches just fanning themselves from the heat. We walked up and said hello and they loved us immediately! Especially because we were these two young little "babies" who were speaking to them in Korean. Anyways, they all just told us to sit down and enjoy the evening with them for a minute. So we sat down next to this precious OLD woman and just talked to her for about twenty minutes and I can't even explain how much love I felt for her in such a short amount of time. That happens to me a lot, to tell the truth. I feel immense amounts of love for the people I get to meet and talk with and spend time with and I know that the love I'm feeling is just a glimpse of the love that our Heavenly Father has for them. And being able to feel that for other people has really helped me to feel His love more deeply.

·         Do you ever get discouraged?  How do you fix yourself?
Always. But I have this kind of a mindset: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. If there's one thing I've learned on my mission, it's that God makes weak things strong. So maybe being weak isn't always the worst thing.... it's actually a big blessing.

·         When is the next transfer date and do you think you will be transferred?
This is the final week of the transfer. We'll find out this Saturday about what will happen with the upcoming transfer. I think I'll probably be staying here in Gangnam. I dunno for sure though... It's more likely that Sister Giles will be transferred out that me. But we'll just find out when it happens! The Lord is full of surprises! You'll hear from me again next week! :)
·         How many people are you teaching?

Right now we have about 15-20 people on our "list" of people to focus on every week. But it's tough to answer that questions accurately because sometimes plans and appointments fall through. But we've got a lot of people we've been consistently meeting with and working with. 

It's so cool to be a missionary. Basically the biggest thing I heard God telling me this week was, "For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith." (2 Nephi 27:23)

I've mentioned a few of the miracles I saw this week, but I can't even begin to explain how amazing this week has been when it comes to miracles. Each day I wake up excited to see what kind of miracles the Lord will show forth that day. It's been a constant, non-stop flow of miracles in Gangnam for the past couple of weeks. I wanted to share one really cool, really specific one before I say goodbye for the week...

We live across the street from this little elementary school. So, twice a day there is a "crew" of elderly people who volunteer to be crosswalk guards while the children are both coming to school and leaving school. They always just hang out outside our little apartment building. There is this awesome tiny grandma who always eats our food and this man who wears the same hat that says "Texas" on it every single day. That's why we call him "Texas." Anyways, Texas hadn't been outside with the crosswalk-crew for about a week and we were beginning to wonder where he was. But on Thursday, as soon as we left our apartment, we ran into the crosswalk-crew and there he was, sitting in his usual chair amongst all of our friends. (They make us come talk to them every time we walk by.) We asked him why he'd been gone for so long... and when he began to speak we noticed that his face was pretty swollen and beat up. The entire left-side of his face was immobile. He informed us that he'd been at the hospital all week and then asked us if we'd pray for him. And when we said we would, he removed his cap and motioned to his head as if we were going to give him a blessing. At that point we had to explain that we weren't able to bless him like that but that the Elders could and we'd come back later that day with them so they could give him a blessing. But as we started to walk away we called the Elders, just to see where they were at... and miraculously, their appointment had cancelled on them and they were literally walking past our house at that exact moment. So we ran back to the cross-walk crew just in time to see the Elders coming around the corner. They were able to give him a blessing, right then and there, on the side of the street, right when he needed them to. Everyone that witnessed it was absolutely amazed and we were able to teach all of them about the Priesthood and the blessing that it is in our lives today. It was one of the coolest moments of my entire mission.

The Lord is with us in this work!
I hope you're seeing miracles, wherever you may be!
I love you and I love being a missionary!

Sister CaLea Bagley

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