I've always been the kind of missionary who wakes up each morning thinking, "I can't believe I am in Korea." It's one of those things that I will probably never ever get used to. But now, after spending three months at home longing to be back in Korea, it's also something that I will never again take for granted. I'll be honest and say that I was a little nervous about returning to Korea because I was scared that I'd be dealing with a lot of feelings and circumstances that I never before had to deal with as a missionary. So maybe the plane ride felt extra long because of that... BUT, the moment I stepped off the plane, gathered up all my luggage, and walked out to see my sweet mission president and his wife waiting for me and holding up a sign that read, "Welcome Home Sister Bagley!" I knew that everything was going to be okay.
I've never been much of a crier, but I sobbed. I dropped all my stuff and just cried as I hugged Sister Morrise. I don't think any collection of words will ever be sufficient enough to capture that moment-- but I'll keep it in my heart forever.
The first day here (Thursday) felt a little strange but by Friday, we were running around all over Boondong (my new area) going from appointment to appointment. I think I am grateful for this trial. Mostly because I thought I was happy as a missionary BEFORE I had to come home... but now I've reached new levels of happiness. I'm so overwhelmed by it. I doubt I'll ever have a bad day ever again. Why? Because I am a missionary in KOREA! I am the luckiest person in the whole entire world.
Everyone keeps asking me about my Korean so I guess I'll just go ahead and answer that so it's out of the way already-- There are a lot of little things I forgot but just being back in Korea has jogged my memory. Yesterday I had to speak in church to introduce myself because I'm the new missionary in the ward. Afterwards, all the members came up and told me that I speak very well... but all you have to say to people in Korea is "Hi," before they start swooning over the fact that you speak Korean. I think they were just being nice. But it meant a lot to me nonetheless!
Before I left America for the second time, in a conversation I had with Mom and Dad, Dad said, "Home is where the heart is." I have heard that phrase so many times throughout the course of my life but it never really hit me as hard as when I heard Dad say it that night. It's true-- home is where the heart is. It was really interesting for me to be home for three months. I was so grateful to be with all my loved ones but yet I still felt a little out of place. I think I now understand that I felt that way only because I didn't feel at "home" yet. I left my heart in Korea. When we started to talk about "home" during the time that I was sick, I was determined to not get on a plane back to America. I think I was determined to stay in Korea because there was something inside my heart that kept telling me that my work here in Korea wasn't supposed to be over yet. President Morrise helped me to sort through all my thoughts and feelings during that time and together we made the decision for me to go home. But thanks to President, (truly, if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be back in Korea) I was able to go home and receive the treatment I needed in order to come back to Korea and finish what I'm supposed to do here.
I feel home. I truly feel like I am at home. I'm doing what God intended for me to do and somehow, during the course of the last couple of months, I now am even more in love with missionary work. Seriously, I don't think there's such a thing as a "bad day" in Korea. Nothing can get me down!
Anyways, I'm happy. And we're really feeling the Christmas spirit over here in Asia. Everyone also keeps asking if I'm sad that I don't get to spend Christmas with my family... and yes, of course! But I am also just really really grateful to experience Christmas a different way. My feelings are so tender right now and I have a feeling this will be the best Christmas yet.
Being in Korea is my Christmas miracle!
I love you all.
And I'm happier than ever,
Sister CaLea Bagley
p.s. Elder Grossegebauer (I can't spell his name....) is in my district/ward and so is Elder Hastriter (my last district leader.) And did I mention that I'm living in the same house as Sister Giles? (My last companion.)