메리 크리스마스!!! (Merry Christmas!!)
Oh my turkey and gravy it was fun getting to skype you guys!!! I just loved seeing all of your faces and hearing your voices! It made my Christmas one of the best ever!
So my week was pretty amazing…
On Tuesday, we had a mission conference where we listened to lots of music and musical numbers, watched fun slideshows of all the missionaries baby photos, and also heard lots of wonderful testimonies and received training from our leaders.
On Wednesday (Christmas Eve), we wanted to do something special, so we decided to fast until dinner for a Christmas miracle. We went outside as soon as we could and started talking to everyone and sharing our happy message about Jesus Christ with the world. There were lots of people who listened kindly and took a message card, and there were some who didn’t. My heart was filled with gratitude for the kind people that day; but I also was thankful for what those who didn’t listen taught me.
There was one person in particular that I wished a Merry Christmas and gave a message card with a picture of Mary and the baby Jesus on it . She took the card and looked at the picture for a few seconds, and then shook her head and handed it back to us, turning the other way to head back on her path of errands and Christmas Eve duties.
I had encountered many rejections on my mission before this, but this particular instance seemed to fill me with sadness. It was as if she had looked at the Savior and rejected Him. I thought, “If only you knew. If only you knew who He really was, you would let Him in.”
As we continued walking and sharing our message along the streets of Korea, I thought about Mary on the night of the Savior’s birth, looking for somewhere she could lay her child–the Son of God. I felt like her as we looked for someone who was prepared to accept our message–to let Christ into their lives. I felt more love for everyone, those who seemed to open their hearts to the Lord, and those who had closed their hearts for one reason or another. I knew Christ loved and perfectly knew them all.
We had worked really hard that day and had found lots of people with lots of potential, but we hadn’t found somebody who was willing to accept our lessons. Christmas Eve passed, and we retired for the night with our Bishop and ward members for a delicious, luxurious dinner, caroling, and Christmas Eve fun.
On Christmas day, we woke up at 6:30 (dead tired and completely excited for the day ahead of us–as usual). We opened our presents in our Yos, then went out to skype!! (Woop Woop).
Lots of people have Christmas day off, so the streets and stores were crowded with families and friends having fun. We went caroling outside of a mall for a couple hours with the other missionaries in our zone and talked to hundreds of people! It was so fun and everyone was so happy and loved our singing (which is a Christmas miracle if you’ve ever heard us…haha). That night, our ward mission leader invited us to eat 칼국수(kar-guksu–a yummy Korean soup), kimchi, and icecream. It was a perfect day and Heavenly Father blessed us so much.
Other Mission Moments:
Heavenly Father lets us witness tons of little miracles each day, every week, but on Friday, He gave us a miracle that we’ll forever be thankful for.
We were on our way over to a member’s house (our Korean grandma’s house specifically), when we see this lady walking the opposite way towards us. She was looking at us pretty intently (which isn’t that unusual because we’re blonde-haired Americans in Korea), so we said “Annyeonghaseyo” and bowed our heads a little bit like a normal greeting. She stopped completely and asked “한국말 할 줄 아세요?” (Do you know Korean?).
We said Nay (which means yes in Korean) and started talking to her. She asked if she can pay us to teach her family English. We told her that we teach for free along with teaching about the Gospel and she got really excited. She told us she was really open to hearing about our message and that we could come over anytime.
So Friday, we decide to stop by her house and meet her family. They are all so nice and perfect, and Sister L and I knew as we met them that they were the answer to prayers and fasting. They all are very kind and sincerely open to hearing and studying about our message of the Restoration of the Gospel. The mom who met us on the street told us that she’s been looking for someone to help her family. She said that she had seen us walking the day before as she was driving with her husband and felt like she should get out and talk to us. So her husband dropped her off a block over and she came walking to talk to us. She told us that she felt very lucky to have met us. I don’t know if she’ll ever know how lucky and blessed we felt to have met her.
Heavenly Father does hear and answer prayers, and this is His true, restored church. I love it with all my heart, and I love you guys too.
❤ Sister Stastny