Sundays

First off, I’ve had sort of a bad hair week so I don’t know if I’ll get any pictures to you (at least ones that have me in it)…but hey, I’ll have a funny story for you in the future…ㅎㅎhopefully…right now it only looks funny..ㅎㅎ

Anyway! Yeong-deung-po is NUTS! Sundays as missionaries are usually always a bit busy, but I’ve never been in a place that’s like this. We are literally running from one story to another, from person to person and class to class. Since the English Branch and Korean Ward overlap (and we have investigators in both) we have to go on member splits to try to do everything we need to do. It’s crazy, but so fun! There are about 300 people in the church at one time so we’re also trying to talk to everyone and learn who everyone is as we run errands for people, make sure our investigators are doing okay, and learn and participate in classes. Thankfully, our ward members are very friendly and naturally love to get to know those who are new or visiting.

Since we’re attending church for a solid 5 hours straight, I’ve gotten pretty good at switching from Korean to English to the little Korean sign language I know. I feel pretty tired after church, but it’s the happy sort of tired. 🙂

Although, church is really busy, and there are a million things to do as a missionary…I still feel like it’s my peaceful time of the week to learn and feel the spirit with my ward and friends. During Korean sacrament meeting, a deaf member gave an amazing talk about service! He had written down the things he planned on talking about, then signed his talk up at the podium as a sign language missionary translated for the ward below. Although not everything made perfect sense translated to spoken Korean, everyone felt the spirit and Christ’s love. It was a really neat experience!

I love you! And hope you enjoy every Sunday because they’re just so special!

❤ Sister Stastny

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Where your treasure is…

안녕하세요!!!

This week was so fun!  We have so many activities in our ward.  We have English Class twice a week (Wednesday & Saturday) so more people have the opportunity to attend. We have a family/friendship night twice a week where we share a good message, then play sports, card games, and karaoke with our ward and investigators.  And as if that’s not enough, we have both a basketball night and a soccer game once a week.  It’s great for us as missionaries because we can meet lots of new people and also invite our investigators to activities where they can meet and make friends with our ward members without feeling too much pressure.  영등포 is really such an amazing area!  I don’t know how I got so lucky to be here!

This week we were blessed with the opportunity to meet an amazing couple in our ward!  Their apartment was small and didn’t have much as to earthly possessions, but with the little space they did have they had carefully stacked their scriptures, church books, and church videos.  On every single wall there were pictures of the Savior and modern day prophets and temples.  I even noticed as a looked up that they had posted pictures of the Savior on their ceiling above the tiny mat they had laid out for their bed.  The way they had chosen to decorate their house was just a small expression of their inner commitment to follow Jesus Christ.

As I began talking to them, I realized just how hard of lives these two saints have had.  Though they’ve experienced many hardships, they kept on testifying of the Lord’s love and hand in their lives.  The wife sang hymns as she graciously served us rice and dried seaweed that she had been preparing all morning.  Although they had a hard time remembering when their birthdays and anniversaries were, they were able to tell me without hesitation the exact date of their baptism and what it meant to them.  I was touched by their charity and Christ-like examples. They taught me through the way they are living what truly matters most.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

It was clear as I met with these faithful members that they knew what mattered most.  They treasured the Gospel of Jesus Christ more than any other earthly thing, and it showed in the way they righteously lived their lives.  Their hearts were focused on their Savior Jesus Christ.  They were a huge example to me and I’ll forever be grateful for what they taught me!

I know this Gospel is the living Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If we put God first in our lives, He will make us more rich than we could ever imagine.

❤ Sister Stastny

Yeoungdeungpo

영등포 : The Land of Peanut Butter & Golden Investigators

Location of Yeongdeungpo-gu in Seoul

Yeoungdeungpo is so cool.  I don’t even know where to begin.  First off, our church is the biggest Latter-day Saint (LDS) church in Korea.  It’s massive.  We’re in charge of the English branch (which consists of about 200 people living anywhere in or around Seoul, and  on the military base), and the Korean ward, which consists of about 50-60 people.  The church times overlap a little, so every Sunday we are attending church for a good 5 hours (English Sacrament meeting, English gospel principles, the Korean Sacrament meeting, Korean gospel principles, and Korean Relief Society/Young Women).

Attending English Sacrament Meeting for the first time in a year was SO WEIRD!  Oh my goodness, the people who gave talks were so good at English! They spoke so fast and used really big words and I… I did not.  I honestly asked someone (the Relief Society President, mind you) “How does your family become?”  I just couldn’t think of a good way to ask about a person’s family and how many are included in it and stuff like that! She was understanding, thankfully! I’ll learn, as time goes on hopefully.

Anyway, I felt really at home when I got into my Korean branch and it was really quiet during the meeting and I could bow and ask how their family becomes–가족 어떻께 되세요?

In the Korean ward, we have a couple deaf members.  A pair of Elders are called as the Korean Sign Language missionaries, so they translate for them during the meetings and travel to other places in the mission to teach investigators who are also deaf.  Since we have so many deaf people in our ward, however, all the missionaries in Youngdeungpo attend 수화(su-hwa–Korean Sign Language) class so we can learn how to sign, too.  I think Heavenly Father knows that I like to use my hands to express myself anyway, so he’s given me this wonderful opportunity to learn.

I don’t know hardly anything yet, but I’ve come to find that our deaf members are some of the most sociable in the ward.  They came up to me right away and started asking questions, signing things that I didn’t know, then acting things out for me when I didn’t understand, and having me write where I’m from, and where my ancestors are from, and all about my life. I just love them to pieces!  I think I moved to the best place in the mission.

Our investigators are amazing and have so much potential and desire to learn about the gospel (I just think they’re all golden).  We have so much peanut butter and American toothpaste at our house (which is priceless in Korea, I think).  And our wards seem really excited about missionary work!

Mission Moments:

Last pictures from Gimpo (my last area)

This is so long, but I don’t think I’ve began to cover just how amazing my new area, my ward, and my companion are!  It’s seriously amazing! I’ll tell you more as weeks go on and send more pictures of my new area.

❤ Sis. Stastny

 

New Year & New Area

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! (enjoy the video to see how we celebratedㅎㅎ<ha ha)

(Missionaries have to go to bed at 10:30…so we were pushing the celebrating at 10:27) In Korea, Solar New Years (what we just celebrated), is not as big as Lunar New Years (which is usually in February). Anyway, I think that’s fun.  Because solar New Years hit, I’m  now 22 !!  Boo-yah.

So with this New Year’s I got a new area and a new companion!!! I’m going to an area called 영등포 (Young-deung-po) to be with a younger missionary named Sister L. (I actually met her last P-day when we went to the Peace Observatory)!  She’s adorable, I’m so excited.  영등포 has a pretty big church and is the center of our mission (it’s usually where we have conferences and mission trainings and anything else that requires lots of space).  I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing there, but I know that they have one of the only English wards in Seoul as well as Korean wards…so we’ll see what it brings!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
At the Peace Observatory–just sort of awkwardly looking out of binoculars

This year I decided that I would take some time to make some New year’s goal before New Year’s.  Among some of them I have to eat Kimchi a little more everyday, work my hardest and have fun with the rest of the time I’m given on my mission, and finish reading the Book of Mormon in Korean (I’m in 2 Nephi, so I think I can finish it before the end of the year).  I’m excited for everything this year has to bring and for the opportunity to learn and improve a little more everyday as I serve as a missionary.

At the N. Korean Peace Observatory--sort of foggy so it was hard to see anything
At the Peace Observatory–foggy, so it was hard to see anything

I know that this church is true and I love being a missionary to share the good news–the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Everyday as I read the Book of Mormon and pray I feel a confirmation that Heavenly Father truly lives and loves us and nothing could mean more to me.  I know that the Gift of Tongues is real and that words truly will be given to you in that you need them, and that those words (no matter how simple or profound they may be), will be carried to the hearts of those that need them through the Holy Ghost.

Went on an exchange with one of the sisters and found some chopped pig heads to pose with:)
Went on exchange with one of the sisters and found chopped pig heads to pose with

God lives and loves us, and I love you too!

❤ Sister Stastny