Sunday, January 18, 2015

Can Anyone Else Believe It's Already 2015?

Sup? It's me again. First things first: I'm sorry I got on so late this week. We had an appointment with a new-convert family and so email time kind of became last-priority. Anyways...

I can't believe it's already time to talk about a new week. I swear I was just barely sitting here telling you all about last week... time passes too fast! I can hardly even keep track of it. (Happy New Year, by the way.)

A couple of days ago, as we were on our way the the Songnam church to meet up with a group of missionaries for lunch (in celebration of the new year), we ran into this elderly woman who was stuck at the little "check out" machine in the subway station. She had dropped her card and couldn't pick it up because she was wearing gloves. I saw her struggling with the machine so I approached her and asked if I could help. My gloves were stuffed in my pockets at this point so I easily picked up the card and handed it to her. It took absolutely no real effort at all. After she was able to check out of the subway, she immediately took both of my hands in hers and began to shower me in a plethora of kind words. We walked together for five minutes more before we had to go our separate ways. 

It was so interesting to me to see how such a small effort on my part could receive such a grand reaction. I was absolutely baffled. But then, coincidentally enough, I ended up on the other side of someone's "small act of kindness."

On Sunday night we were traveling back to our house from a dinner appointment. We had fasted all day and then consumed unheard amounts of food, so needless to say, we were ready to be home for the night. It wasn't until we'd ditched all of our winter clothing (such as our coats, gloves, scarves, etc.) and attempted to make a phone call that we realized we didn't know where our phone was. Thankfully, we live in a four-sister house so we just had the other set of sisters call our phone... and someone else answered it. Somehow, the phone had ended up left on the seat of a bus that was continuously traveling further and further away from us instead of in my companion's bag. And so here was this stranger, kind enough to answer the abandoned, ringing phone on a bus in the middle of Korea, only to discover that the people on the other end of the line were a couple of foreigners who stumble over their words as they attempt to speak Korean. Long story short, this girl got off of the bus she was on and waited at a lonely, cold little bus stop so that we could meet here there and pick up our accidentally deserted cellphone. I couldn't believe how kind she was and how willing she was to go out of her way to help us. 

Yes, these two examples vary immensely, but I guess what I am trying to say is this: don't disregard the opportunities in your day-to-day life to perform little acts of kindness. I don't know what kind of a day that sweet old woman was having, but her grateful response to my almost-effortless attempt to help made MY whole day. And I can't even begin to explain how grateful we were to that sweet girl who helped us recover our lost cellphone. We only had enough time to say, "Thank you!" before she hopped on another bus, waved, and disappeared into the flow of Sunday evening traffic. Acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, can go a very long way.

I was reading a conference talk this past week and there was a part of it that really stood out to me: "...She wanted to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers. She wanted her grandchildren to know of their righteous heritage-- because she knew it would bless their lives.

The more connected we feel to our righteous forefathers, the more likely we are to make wise and righteous choices." 

I have this little blue book that I carry around with me everywhere I go. It's the place where I put words and feelings and experiences when I don't know where else to put them. It's been with me throughout my whole mission. As I was looking through it the other day, I found something I had written when I was a greenie that went along with the conference talk I read.

"This isn't just about me; it's about all who struggled before me and all who will travel the path that I tread. It's about forever, eternity. And we will all make it together." 

This week I was really overcome with gratitude for the plan of salvation. It's interesting to be out on a mission teaching people about the gospel because more often than not I find myself learning more about the gospel from the people we teach. But also, it's cool to just recognize the fact that we're all connected through God's plan for us. It's about all of us; it's for those who paved the way for my family and I, but it is also for those who will follow behind us. That's what's cool about forever-- it's limitless. And it's the kind of limitless we can share with everyone.

I think the extra boosts of help that come when I start to drag my feet under my burdens and hardships is help that comes from all those who have already passed on and who are cheering for me to make it. I'm grateful for the emphasis that the gospel places not only on our immediate family, but on our ENTIRE family. 

Wow. I'm all over the place with my email this week. Sorry about that. I just have had so many experiences this week that were so.... amazing.

Anyhow, we have an investigator with a baptism date. We set it with her two weeks ago but I have been hesitant to really say anything about it because even though we felt prompted to set one with her, and even though she said yes, we were both kind of concerned about whether or not she was truly prepared to be baptized. But in our lesson yesterday, when the idea of maybe changing the baptism came up, she showed a sincere commitment to not only the date that was already set, but to the concept of getting baptized. My heart was so full of so much happiness that I thought it was going to burst. It's so cool to get to see the Lord's hand working in the lives of the people we're meeting with. Seriously, we don't do ANYTHING. These people are the ones making the miracles happen and we're just the ones showing them where to go. Being a missionary is the coolest thing ever.

I'm convinced that I've never been happier in my whole entire life. 
Sure, trials come and go no matter what-- that's a given. But you know what I think? When the trials start pouring down from heaven, the miracles pour down even more. It's all about the way you choose to look at things. If you're looking for miracles, you'll see them everywhere. 

Smile and be happy this week, just for me. :) 
I love you all. 


Sister CaLea Bagley

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