Conference & N. Korea

안녕하세요!!!!

Okay, so there’s a lot of things that happened this week!  First off, thanks for all the birthday wishes!!  It was seriously one of the best birthdays ever!  I went sightseeing and finally danced in Gangnam (haha pictures are below).  Everyone called me and wished me happy birthday and it was just the best! At night, I got to be with my ward and do family home evening night with them.  It was just perfect!  I loved it.

 

We also had transfer calls and I’m going to be with Sister L. as my new companion!!!  She was in the same group I came into the MTC with and we’re so excited to be with each other!  My first companion (Sister H) has actually been with Sister L. for the past 12 weeks, and now we’re switching and I get to be with her!  So fun!  If you look back at my early MTC pictures, I think there’s a picture of her and me in our P-day clothes in the MTC laundry room (she has super long blonde hair).  I’m really excited to serve with her here in our lovely Gimpo!

I also saw General Conference this week!  Woooh for 살아계신 선지자 (living prophets)!  I just loved everyone’s talks.  I realized that the way I watch General Conference has changed a lot.  I used to just watch General Conference for myself- so I could be edified and uplifted, and so could receive answers and revelation from God through our prophets and apostles.  I don’t think that’s bad at all, but now when I watch General Conference I have a bigger reach in mind.  I watch General Conference for the member who is struggling with her testimony because of seemingly unanswered questions; I’m doing it for hair-dresser we teach on Tuesdays who wants to know how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints differs from other churches; I’m doing it for the 학생 (hakseng) on the street that doesn’t have enough time to meet because she has to study and is in desperate need of hope.  I watch it now not just for me to be spiritually uplifted and edified, but in order for me to assist in uplifting and edifying others along with the Spirit too.  General Conference meant a lot more to me than it has in the past because of this.  I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to have watched it.

 

Along with many other things, I also got to go to one of the islands in my area and take a tour around the North Korea Peace Observatory.  We got to look through binoculars and see North Korea across the water about a mile and half-two miles away.  The guide showed us a village that had been destroyed in a mudslide a couple years back, but that was rebuilt just to be rebuilt, (no one lives there or goes there apparently), and then he showed us a place where people do live and go to school.  It was interesting.  We learned a lot about Korean history, too, and it was sad and fascinating.  Through the binoculars, I saw people in the fields harvesting rice, some people riding bikes, some people (probably soldiers) standing and talking to each other in the heat of the day, and a few people walking the path by the gate which surrounds their side. It was a cool experience.

 

We also talked to a lot of the people that were in the observatory and had a lot of good, spiritual conversations with them. Lots of the older generation actually knows people (whether friends or family) who got separated from them when Korea split.  They come to the observatory because it’s a place where they remember and try to renew their hope for reunification someday.  Many people we talked to were willing and wanted to hear about our message because it truly is one of hope, peace, and happiness. As the day went on, we got to share our testimonies that God lives and truly loves everyone of His children (regardless of where they are or what they may be doing), and that His love is (and will always be there) for everyone. It was powerful, and the spirit was strong.

I love being a missionary and I truly honestly love God and His church–the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I know it to be true for myself, and I want everyone to be as happy as they can through living this gospel.

Have a good week!

❤ Sister Stastny

 

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