Happy Days

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Me and my new friend –and the V for Victory sign

This coming week our 사랑하는 investigator is going to be baptized!!!  She is the one I told you about a couple weeks ago who started keeping the Word of Wisdom before we even taught her about it and a million other miraculous things!  We are so happy for her!  It’s amazing because we haven’t had to push her or anything.  We simple teach and testify, and she studies and acts on what we teach her to see if it’s true.  She’s a miracle.

This past week, we taught her about temples and how she can be baptized for her ancestors who didn’t have an opportunity to receive the gospel while on this Earth.  She was so excited because she really wants to live in the 해의영광 (Celestial kingdom) someday, and she’s excited that her deceased family can have the opportunity to live there, too.

Also this week, we started meeting with a Nepali girl who we met while talking to people on the street.  She’s doesn’t know much Korean, so she’s pretty happy to have someone who can speak English with her.  She’s Hindu, and is the first person I’ve met that has had an arranged marriage.  She told us about it and how it took a pretty long time (11 days) to get married, but she’s completely head over heels for her husband.  It’s pretty adorable.  She loves to talk about everything good about her husband and is so kind and dear.  She’s definitely filled with the pure love of Christ.  We like her a lot.

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In other news, I ate 순대 sundae (not like an ice cream sundae, but pronounced ‘soon-deh’).  In essence, it’s pig intestines filled with coagulated blood.  The dish I had was topped with some nice liver, too.  It didn’t make me gag, so I would call it good.

Mission Moments:

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful week!  I loved hearing from everyone!  Tell Norbert, the bearded dragon that Curtis bought, “안녕!”  from me! Ha ha. McCall looked beautiful by the way!!!  So glad you are having a great summer!

❤ Sister Stastny

 

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Speaking by the Spirit

Annyeonghaseyo!

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This week has been pretty fun!  Yesterday was the best.  We had a surprise person come to church.  She is this gorgeous 40-year-old girl (who looks like she is–no exaggeration–21).  She used to attend our English class, but got so busy she had to stop coming.  We met with her once and gave her an overview of the Gospel, but she told us she didn’t have much interest.  She does, however, have a couple friends in the church because of English class and has been hanging out with them a lot lately.

Anyway, on Sunday, we see her walking up to church in high-waisted mini shorts, high heels, and a Marilyn Monroe crop top.  Haha!  She didn’t seem to feel out of place, and because we were so happy that she came at all, we decided we would tell her about church dress code another time.  She sat next to her friend that she knew from English class and seemed really comfortable.  We even noticed her during the passing of the Sacrament with her head down and eyes closed–praying!  She’s wonderful! She told us that our church was a lot different from any other Korean church, but that she liked it a lot and wanted to come again.  Sweet!  We love her and we know God loves her too!

Mission Moments:

I also ate a whole chicken filled with rice at a member’s house yesterday.  That’s random, but because I only had metal chopsticks to take the meat apart with, I would say it was a feat for sure.  It was really good!  I’ve never eaten anything like it before.

Everyone seems to be asking how I’m doing with the language lately.  I’m not fluent, but everyday I’m picking up on new words and understanding something that I couldn’t the day before.  It’s a slow process, but I’m trying my hardest and Heavenly Father helps me with the rest.

Something I learned early on about the Gift of Tongues is that it’s not the ability to speak fluently, but the ability to speak by the Spirit.

We’ve been teaching this less-active lady for a while that told me this week that even though I don’t  speak perfectly, and it’s hard to understand me at times, she feels the spirit when I speak because of simple sincerity, and that’s what’s been moving her to read the Book of Mormon and pray a little more every week.

It’s humbling, but once I rely wholly on the Lord, He provides the way for His work to get done.  Not knowing the language perfectly doesn’t hinder the Lord’s work as long as I’m doing what He wants me to do.  So don’t worry! Have a good week!

❤ Sister Stastny

More Pics of Songdo-the crazy man-made island in our area. Check out the picture of me and a mural of a Van Gogh painting I came across in an apartment complex one day.  So sweet. I love Korea!

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Looking to Serve

안녕하세요!

This week we worked really hard to find another service opportunity in addition to teaching our free English class on Fridays.  We didn’t find a weekly activity like we had planned, but we did find a plethora of unplanned service activities and it was so great!

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We helped a girl in our ward sew her wedding dress this week since her parents don’t approve that she’s marrying another Latter-day Saint and aren’t supporting her with the wedding.  This is a funny service activity because we both don’t know how to sew, yet somehow Sister H and I were able to pin and stitch things so it looked pretty nice.  It helps a lot that this girl in our ward is absolutely gorgeous.

I’ve always wanted to help an old lady cross the road like they do in movies, but I’ve never had the opportunity.  Well…fancy that, because this week we happened to notice at a cross walk a sweet old lady with a walker who looked petrified by the cars going by.  So like a cliche right out of the movies, we slowly but surely guided her across the road holding her hand.  Once we got to the other side of the street she touched our faces and then told us thank you and we just felt so good our hearts were about to burst!

We also had an opportunity to help a lost old lady find her way to the police station and that was beautiful.  She was so kind and thankful.

The point of sharing all these experiences is to let you know that if you are searching for service, Heavenly Father will place opportunities in your path…and it’s awesome!  Service is the thing that always can lift me up even on the hardest days.  I know that “when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of you God,” (Mosiah 2:17), and serving God is the best!

I love you!

사랑합니다!

스타스니자매

Mission Moments:

 

Staying Put

This week we had transfer calls.  Every 6 weeks the mission President and the assistants to the mission president give us a call to let us know if we are staying in our area with the same companion or not.  All the new missionaries stay with their trainers for at least 12 weeks (which is how long I’ve been with Sister H).

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Anyway, the night of transfer calls we were pretty nervous to see what was going to happen and I stress-cleaned the entire apartment, but Sister H and I got the call AND… We get to stay with each other another transfer!!!  Boo-yah!

President actually told us a little before transfer calls that he loves and thinks we’re one of the best companionships in the mission.  I’m not sure if that’s true and he just says that to everyone, but we do get on really well.  We are so excited because miracles are starting to happen in 연수 Yeonsu and we have high hopes that more miracles are yet to happen.

We have a beautiful investigator who we met last week.  She saw the elders in our area on a bus speaking Korean and English, and she approached them and asked if she could buy a Korean Book of Mormon for her sister who lives in America. So naturally, they gave it to her for free and got her number and referred her to us.

She is one of the prepared people that you only hear about in stories.  After meeting with us once, she started researching online all about the church and talking to her friends and family that are members.  Before we taught her the Word of Wisdom, we learned that she was already trying to keep it (which isn’t easy since green tea is in almost everything in Korea, and she loves coffee).

In short, she is wonderful, and she, through the Spirit, her studies, her LDS friends and family members, is changing her life to come closer to God. It’s amazing.  Sister H and I know that we really aren’t the ones that are doing anything in her conversion process.  It’s the Spirit that is doing everything.  We just are sitting back and watching it all happen.

Our lessons with her usually consist of us teaching her what she already had been studying and cheering her on as she commits to live the laws and principles of the Gospel.  We extended to her an invitation to receive baptism and the Holy Ghost and she’s really working hard to be prepared for her date.  After we taught her the Plan of Salvation and the requirements to get into the Celestial Kingdom, she really is excited about baptism.

Yesterday she came to church and was writing notes about what the speakers during Sacrament Meeting were saying (which members don’t even do), participating during Sunday School and Relief Society, and talking to all the members.  Sister H and I were blown away.  We are trying really hard to become the kind of missionaries that a person like her deserves.

Holy Schamoles!  Your hike looks so fun and beautiful! [The family did Angel’s Landing and The Narrows in Zion National Park this past week}  Someday when I get back from my mission I want to go there 🙂

People love hiking in Korea.  They’re so active.  In Korea, when people go hiking though, they always where legit hiking clothes that cover their arms and legs completely, and they usually have a hat/visor on too, because everyone is trying to be as pale as they can.  They think it’s the weirdest thing that westerners want to be tan.  Because it takes more effort to try not to tan (especially in Korea during the humid summer where everyone bakes like cakes), it’s a sign of beauty the more paler you are.  People think I’m really pretty because of how pale my skin is haha. It’s my least favorite compliment:

“Ooh!  Your skin is so pale!”

“Thanks..I guess”

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Me and a friend from the ward

Anywhere else I’d be a pasty translucent mess, but I think it’s smart not to try to be tan.  Less chance of getting skin cancer and everything.  Anyway, it’s amazing what’s happening and I’m excited for more miracles!

❤ Sister Stastny

Quentin L. Cook in Korea

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Quentin L. Cook came to Korea!!!  No big deal or anything..but he came and spoke to all the missionaries in the Korea Seoul and Seoul South missions.  There were about 400+ of us, and at the beginning of the meeting, he told us he wanted to shake every missionary’s hand.  It took a good 10-20 minutes, and I’m sure his arm was probably dying as he got to the last missionaries, but he was so happy and sincere, and he made sure to look into everyone’s eyes as he gave them a nice smile and a “Hello Sister/Elder!”

It was such a neat experience to get to see and learn from him in person.  I learned that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and him were companions on their missions in England.  That’s only the coolest companionship in the world, and I think it’s so neat that they are now serving together as general authorities.  That was definitely inspired of God to put them as companions on their missions.

My favorite part of the meeting though, is when Elder Cook gave all the missionaries an apostolic blessing.  He told us that what we are doing here to serve the Savior is so important that everybody we love and will love will be blessed because of our service.  That meant a lot to me and since I love all of you so much I wanted to share it with you.  I know Heavenly Father is watching out for you and I’m so thankful for that!

The weather in Korea is getting hotter and more humid.  It’s hard to describe what heat + humidity feels like, but if you want to get a taste for it, I would suggest standing above a pot of boiling water.  It kind of feels like you are getting steamed.  It’s uncomfortable, but since everyone is in the same situation it’s not the worst thing.  I heard from members and missionaries that the summer is so hot and humid, that the clothes you hang up (no one really has a dryer machine, so everything is hung up on clothes rack) don’t dry…and if they do dry, they’ll be damp in a couple minutes because of sweat.  That’s a nice visual.  I’m kind of excited for it, though.  Bring it on, summer!

Mission Moments:

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Here’s me with the two hakwon teachers that we are sharing the Gospel with!  Sister H plays the guitar so we promised them that we would sing some hymns for them.  I don’t know why I’m holding a guitar in this picture, because I can’t play the guitar, but here you go anyway 🙂  Humidity is the worst for hair – ahh!

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Me rolling some 김밥 (kimbab), hands down my favorite food. So good!

In Doctrine and Covenants 31:7 it says,

Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you, and I will establish a church by your hands.

I know that God is working through us to build His church.  The Gospel is true and it only brings peace, comfort, and happiness to those who receive it, so why not share it with everyone!  It can change lives and change the world.  I love it with all my heart.

❤ Sister Stastny