It's been another really fantastic week here in Shingal. I think what was really amazing was just seeing how all the pieces fit together so that all these little miracles could happen. We've been seeing a plethora of little miracles every single day, but I want to focus my email this week specifically on this past Saturday (mostly because it was one of the last days of the week, but also because when we got home that night we were utterly speechless because of the miracles that Heavenly Father showed us that day).
So, our ward plans one family night every month that we all do together. We meet up at one of the ward member's houses and we eat dinner, share a spiritual message, and then all do a fun activity together. This month's "all together family home evening" (as the Koreans say it) just so happened to be this past Saturday and our ward mission leader's request for all the missionaries was that each companionship serving in this ward was to show up with an investigator or a less-active member. We'd been contacting several different people throughout the course of the week but unfortunately nobody seemed to have time. So Saturday morning we sent out an invitation via text message to several different people and kept our fingers crossed that someone would be interested and have a little time to spare so we could all go to the family home evening activity together.
That morning we had an appointment with one of the less-active members that the sisters in this area have been frequently working with for quite some time. I hadn't actually met her before that particular appointment because she recently had a surgery has been unable to meet. On Friday night, however, when we called to check up on her, she talked to us for a bit before suddenly inviting us over the next morning (Saturday morning) so we could meet. We managed to squeeze enough time into our schedule to meet with her-- but our schedule consequently became a very tight schedule.
We studied the gospel principles book with her and talked a little bit about the questions that went along with the chapter before we ran out of time and had to head to our next appointment. As we were putting our shoes on she asked us where we were headed next and we promptly responded, "Oh, we're going to English class." She stood there for a second before saying, "Can I come too?" Sister Brocious and I were utterly baffled by the fact that she wanted to come with us because she has always had a really hard time leaving her house; her comfort zone doesn't extend beyond her home. It was entirely unexpected but we enthusiastically agreed!
The only catch was that we were planning to meet up with a potential investigator on our way to English class... so we ended up pulling her along with us.
The potential investigator we were meeting up with is a man from Napal. We found him through the phone project we're currently working on. We've got about 1,000 contacts in our phone and we probably only know about 30% of them. Essentially, we've got a bunch of names and numbers saved in our phone with no memos or information on who they are. So we've been going through and contacting every single person (and recently we've been giving out sheets with 20 names/numbers to our members to contact as well in order to speed up the process and get our members involved in missionary work!) in order to find out who they are and to ask them if they are interested in meeting with missionaries again.
Anyway, he met missionaries up in Seoul about six months ago and those missionaries referred him to the missionaries in this area because this is the area he lives in. He hadn't been contacted since! So when we called him and started talking to him on the phone, he didn't remember who we were initially-- but after a couple minutes of chatting he managed to find the memory of meeting the missionaries that has been tucked away within his brain for six months. He ended up setting an appointment with us to attend our English class and then to join our post-English class ping pong activity.
So, yes, we showed up to our English class on Saturday a little late... but we showed up with TWO people who we never thought would actually come! We were absolutely elaborated. After English class we all went to the top floor of the church and had a ping pong competition... except I didn't participate because I am terrible so I just ended up playing tag with a herd of five year olds (They relate to me so well). The man from Napal had a really great time (because he's a champion at ping pong and he annihilated everyone else). We got to sit and chat with him a bit about his thoughts and beliefs and he seriously had so many cool things to share. I see grand things in his future, his heart is so good and he's got such an open mind. I'm excited to see how everything goes with him.
During the ping pong time, we got a phone call from a potential investigators that we had met at a bus stop two weeks ago. She'd received the text about the ward's family night activity that we sent out that morning and she wanted to come. She's a 24 year old college student and she's seriously the cutest human on the face of the whole world. And she CAME with us to the activity! So by a miracle, each set of the missionaries was able to bring an investigator along to join the festivities.
On the bus ride to meet up with her, Sister Brocious and I split up so we could just talk to the people we sat next to on the bus. I went straight to the back at sat next to a woman who was playing a game on her phone. As soon as I sat down I said "hi" and when she looked up and saw me she was speechless for a second. Come to find out, she is the less-active member who we'd been trying to get a hold of since I got to this area! And Heavenly Father put me RIGHT next to her on a bus. She was so excited to meet me. She just held my hand as we sat there on the bus introducing ourselves to each other. Of all the buses, people, and seats on a bus in Korea, somehow Heavenly Father put us right next to her right at that exact moment. It was amazing!
Anyway, that night at the family night activity was such a blast. Everyone that attended walked away with giant smiles on their faces-- including the three investigators!
Seriously. I know that God is a God of miracles and this is HIS works. As missionaries, He's just giving us the opportunity to witness all of it. It is so humbling to see how He can use imperfect people to do His perfect work. I'm not qualified to do all that He needs me to do... but yet He still gives me the opportunity to do it and He strengthens me every step of the way. Words will never be adequate enough to express just how much of a blessing this missionary experience has been to my life!
I'm happy. And I'm doing well. :)
Sending all my love from Korea,
Sister CaLea Bagley
p.s. at the ward family home evening activity we played the marshmallow minute to win it game. One partner throws marshmallows at the other partner and they have to catch it in their mouth. Each time you manage to catch it, you move further and further back. Long story short, Sister Brocious ended up (overhand) chucking marshmallows across the entire house and I was half-diving to catch them in my mouth. And you wanna hear another miracle? We only dropped three. The ward members all had their phones out so they could film us by the end of it! The Elders were all pretty upset too because they couldn't even compete. ;)