Transfer Time

Well, transfer calls came this weekend and I’m going to transfer to my second area- Gimpo (김포) and be companions with my first American companion since the MTC, Sister T!!!  I’m really excited to see how it is, but saying goodbye to everyone in my lovely Yeonsu has been heartbreaking.  I just love them so much, but I really am excited to open my heart and love those living in Gimpo.

Yeonsu is a little southwest of Incheon. Now I’ll be in the Gimpo area.

I don’t think I could have had a better last Sunday in Yeonsu.  Our investigator, Brother Yoon was baptized after church and everything just went perfect.  Over the past few weeks, and through Korean EFY (Especially For Youth), he has made a lot of member friends who all showed up to support him.  He seems really excited about the future (learning more about the church, going to the temple, and serving a mission).  It was great to see how much he has progressed and see him make the first sacred covenant along his path back toward Heavenly Father.

There were lots of people that were saying goodbye to me at church and taking pictures and exchanging emails and such…but one girl really touched my heart.  She came up to me and held my hands and told me she was going to miss me.  She’s a member who I love, but that I don’t always understand.  I told her how much I loved her too and she started crying a little bit.  She told me that I really had helped her feel loved and welcome in the ward when she was going through a hard time.  I had no idea that this had ever happened or how it happened, so I was a bit confused and surprised.  She told me, however, that every Sunday she could feel my love and see it in my eyes, and that meant more to her and helped her more than any words could.

Pictures of lovely Yeonsu Ward members

It taught me that I don’t have to have elaborate conversations (though I try and study my hardest everyday in order to do so in Korean) to share my love.  True Christlike love transcends cultures, languages, and any other obstacles that may stand in the way.  Christlike love is everything.  I really believe that.

I hope you have the best of weeks!  LOVE YOU! 사랑해요!

Sister Stastny ❤

 

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Bugs and Baptism

안녕하세요!

Another week in Korea and I feel blessed beyond belief.  There’s been a lot of crazy bugs everywhere lately.  I attached a picture of a spider (my camera takes lots of blurry photos- sorry), and a demonic looking creature crawling on the sidewalk that belongs in a horror movie.  What is it!  I have no idea, but I was pretty intrigued with it-hence why I took a picture:)

 

MOVING ON… This coming Sunday our investigator- Bro. Y. is preparing to be baptized! Woooohh!!  It’s amazing!!! Brother Y. is 18 years old (maybe, I still haven’t learned how to convert the Korean age to American age so that’s a round about guess). His mom, Sis. P. is a member that hadn’t been to church in 20 years when Sister H. and I found her.  We started meeting with her every week and doing our 30/30 program with (30 minutes English/30 minutes Gospel).  We taught her for about 6 weeks…and there was absolutely no progress.  She was really impatient and there seemed to be nothing that was able to touch her heart.

One day, we talked about prayer.  She told us she had never felt good, peaceful, or happy, when she tried praying.  We taught about what to pray for and how we can be more sincere in our prayers, and she agreed to give it one shot.  She said the closing prayer and something was different in the house.  We all could feel it.  When she said “아멘” Amen, there were tears in her eyes and she looked at us and told us she felt it.  She felt the Holy Ghost.

Ever since that experience, she has been reading the Book of Mormon and the Liahona daily and coming to church weekly.  Her kids, after watching their mom change, were understandably intrigued and started coming to church with her.  Her son, Bro. Y., loved his experience at church so much that he actually came to the bishop and asked him how he could be baptized.  Since Sis. K. is Korean, we were summoned to teach all the lessons and answer any of his questions so he could be ready to be baptized soon.

Yesterday, we had a lesson with him and his mom, and he bore testimony to us about the commandments and the truthfulness of the church.  It was really powerful!  In his closing prayer, he told God that he knew he was living and there (“하나님 게신다는 것을 알고있습니다”), and it just was the best thing I’ve ever heard.  When he ended, his mom was just in tears.

I came over to hold her hand and she looked in my eyes and told me, “Thank you for waking me up.” I don’t think anything could have meant more to me.  I still can’t speak Korean perfectly, but God is helping me fulfill my purpose and invite others to come closer to Christ. It was a really touching. I’m so excited for him to make such a special covenant with God.  I’ll tell you how it went next week!

사랑해요!

Sister Stastny

International Ward

This week I taught Sunday School!!! Not in Korean, thankfully, but English.  Our ward is turning international.  We have a lovely investigator who is from London, England, who comes every week; one set of Elders have an investigator from Russia; and the others have an investigator from Ghana.  In addition to that, we also have an American family in our ward who are such a blessing… so this week I taught a separate Gospel doctrine class to all those who can speak English.  I was a bit scared because everyone is from different backgrounds and at different levels of their understanding (of English and the Gospel), but everything turned out okay.  Heavenly Father helped out a lot and the spirit was felt.

I just love our Yeonsu ward so much!  Anybody that comes in–regardless of what language they speak, what race they are or where they are from–are loved.  They are all part of a bigger family…God’s family.  Even if they can’t understand each other, they still find ways to show their love.  They really are showing me what Christ-like love is.

Mission Moments:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

On a random, fun fact note, there are millions of cicatta’s in Korea right now.  They’re so loud that it’s sometimes hard to hear people on the phone.  Little kids like to catch them by the dozens and play with them in the parks.  It’s fun.

Pictures of my perfect Yeonsu after a rainstorm. I love Korea!

 

Also, we bought Korean pizza this week. Sweet potato pizza and regular potato pizza. It’s not really anything like American pizza, but I think I like it better.

Anyway, I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

❤ Sis. Stastny

Burger King and Humidity

안녕하세요! Annyeonghaseyo!

Have I expressed to you how much I love 연수 (Yeonsu), my area?  Because I really love it a lot.  I’ve been here about 4-1/2 months and I’m pretty sure I could stay here the rest of my mission and be just fine.  I love the ward, I love the people I’m teaching, and I love our apartment.  Our bishop is great, too.  He lives in the fanciest apartment I have ever seen and his favorite place to take us and everyone he knows is to Burger King.  He loves it.  It makes me feel sick every time because I’m used to my rice, kim (dried seaweed), and kimchi…but bishop is so thrilled to have the opportunity to take us, our investigators, our ward members, and anyone else.. to Burger King, so I eat it to make him happy. I just love Koreans.  They’re the greatest.

It hit a record of about 32 degrees celcius (90~F) this week and what feels like 100% humidity, but I heard that 인천 (Incheon) is actually a bit cooler than what 서울 (Seoul) is, so I’m pretty blessed.  We don’t have any air conditioning in our apartment, but we have a big and small fan, so we just sit in front of it full blast and we’re fine.  I’ve never been in a place so humid though! It’s a bit claustrophobic-feeling because you breathe in and you don’t seem to be getting much air.  It feels like you’re half way underwater or something. It’s an adventure for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know that God lives, and that he does hear and answer our prayers!  I really am grateful to have the opportunity to share what I love so much to such wonderful people!  Missionary work is the greatest!  I love you and miss you!  Have a great week!

항복하세요! hangbokhaseyo! Stay happy!

❤ Stastny자매