This week I had a lot of opportunities to ponder about what charity is and how it has been manifest in my life. First off, I was thinking about how much Heavenly Father loves all of His children. He loved us so much that He sent His son Jesus Christ so we could all become something better than we were through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I think the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the greatest manifestation of love ever to be in the history of the world. Every time I apply the Atonement in my life, I am filled with a love that is just bigger than myself, and I want to in turn share it with everyone!
Next, I experience the pure love of Christ when I talk to people on the streets and subways. There are lots of people that we talk to that simply don’t like us because we’re missionaries, Christians, or representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I realize that regardless of how people treat us or accept us and our message, I love them anyway. It doesn’t make any sense really. Rejection, lies, unkind words, or looks can’t put a canker on the love we find for Heavenly Father’s children. I always find a love that seems outside of myself for everyone I talk to; and I know that charity is truly a gift from God.
I also see charity manifest every week through the actions of others. Our deaf members each week lovingly lead a man who is both deaf and blind around the church to his seat. They keep an arm around him to let him know they are there. They take one of his hands and write with their finger what is being discussed during Sacrament meeting, and form his hands into familiar signs that he knew before he lost his sight to communicate with him. They lovingly and selflessly serve him; even though they too are in need of other’s help and assistance. Every time I see them I can’t help but think of the scripture found in Moroni 7:45, 47
Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things…Charity is the pure love of Christ.
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!
❤ Sister Stastny
Funny Quote of the Week: “What does Kangaroo taste like- it tastes like horse!” ~Sister Tui
This week was great! The MERS epidemic panic is slowly dissipating and the weather is getting warmer and warmer everyday. Apparently typhoon season is just around the corner, so we’re starting to get ourselves prepared for the fun rain!
If I haven’t said so lately, serving in Korea is fantastic! I love being a missionary here with all my heart! Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how my view of missionary work has changed since the start of my mission. Before my mission, I used to think that missionary work was inviting others not of our faith to come and learn; but on my mission I’ve learned that it’s so much more than that. Missionary work blesses everyone–it’s inviting and helping everyone to come closer to Jesus Christ. It brings us closer to Christ, and because we experience the happiness and love that comes from living the gospel, we in turn want to help everyone–regardless of who they are, how long they have or haven’t been in the church, their position, calling, race, or economic status–experience the joy and peace that can only come from following Jesus Christ.
Missionary work changes lives and saves souls. It’s changed my life. My hopes and dreams in life have changed to fit a beautiful eternal perspective. I’ve realized that I can’t possibly just live complacently and strive for worldly success when I could spend a lifetime courageously following my Savior and seeking to serve Him and His children. How could I not want to help others after Heavenly Father has so mercifully helped me so much?
I realized that this week as I began a simple conversation with a lady who looked like she had just finished work. She looked like a very important business woman who had more than enough to provide for her needs and wants. She was very kind as I began talking to her and seemed really interested in why I was here. She couldn’t believe why anyone would leave their schooling opportunities back home to pay to go on a mission. I had to admit that it did seem a little crazy looking at it from that perspective, but I testified that the Gospel was worth more than anything that could possibly be obtained in this world. It had changed me so much, and brought so much hope into my life, that I couldn’t possibly just be complacent and not share it with others. As I testified, I knew that there was no place I’d rather be right now than here, serving as a missionary and sharing the gospel.
I know that the Gospel is amazing. God is amazing!
This week we were blessed to see some little miracles due to our efforts to talk to everyone!
On Tuesday, We were on a subway seeking to talk to people, when a man sits down next to me and we start talking. We only had time to exchange a few words (hardly even had time to tell him we were missionaries) because his stop was next, but I got his business card. I felt prompted to send him a text as soon as he got off the train and explain who we were and what we were doing in Korea. At first I was hesitant, hoping that I could do it another time. But I felt the prompting again and sent the text. I explained that we were missionaries serving in Korea, that we taught about Jesus Christ, and that we want to serve just like Jesus Christ did so we taught free English.
To my surprise, he texted immediately back asking if he could be invited to our church’s English class. I gladly told him yes and gave him the church’s address. That Saturday he showed up to church for English class, met the other missionaries, and loved it! He promised to come again this week and seemed really excited for it. He seems to have a lot of potential so we were really happy!
Another small miracle we saw from talking to people also occurred on a subway. It was rush hour so there were a lot of people packed on the train and we were standing really close to people. You think this would be an easy time to talk to people since you have about 7 people directly next to you, but most of them have earphones in and are on their phones and refuse to make eye contact with anyone. I noticed however, a lady that didn’t have any earphones in and was just fanning herself with a pretty hand fan. I bowed toward her, she bowed back-then I started asking her about herself and her family. I got to telling her that we were missionaries and we started a more religious conversation. She attended another church and refused to take any flyers or pamphlets from us, but as we were getting off the train she stops me, puts the Korean fan in my hands, smiles and tells me thank you. It sort of shocked me, but I was really grateful for her kindness. Even though she refused our message, I knew that we had represented the church in a good way and that perhaps next time in the future she would be more open to accept our message.
I really have a testimony that as long as we work our hardest to open our mouths about the gospel (regardless of whether others accept or not), we will feel that God is pleased with our work.
This week there’s been a big scare with MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). It hasn’t really affected our missionary work at all! Just mouth-masks and hand sanitizer are sold out at all the pharmacies. We got permission to wear masks if we want to, but I haven’t been able to find any, so just doing missionary work as normal here. It’s actually been an easy way to get a conversation started with anyone-
“Are you wearing that because of MERS?”
“Yes I am. How do you know Korean and can you tell me about that blue book in your hand?”
…and then the rest is history! Haha!
Anyway, this week has been really good! We’ve been trying to work a lot with members and part-member families in need and have seen a lot of blessings from it. We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to teach investigators lately, but because we want to prepare and practice for when we are blessed to teach, we’ve been asking the members to help us out with practice lessons. Because my companion is still fairly new and not completely comfortable with Korean yet it’s been a good, non-pressuring way to practice without the fear of making mistakes.
I think it’s helped members in the ward trust us more and show them that we really do care about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and want to teach it with everyone we can. We’re hoping that the more we work with them, the more they will develop the courage to ask their friends to meet with us because their testimony will grow and they will have faith that the Spirit will testify through us and bless others.
Every day we are blessed to see miracles-whether they seem big or small. We know that Heavenly Father is watching out and guiding us. We’re so thankful for all our blessings!
Funny moment of the week:
When my companion who comes from a place where it’s not bad to say the H or D word over the pulpit (ie. AUSTRALIA), gets up in Zone Conference and bears her beautiful testimony that you can’t teach without the spirit, and slips out that if you’re teaching without the spirit then what the ( H—insert word here) are you doing! I think it nearly knocked half of the elders in our district off our their seats in shock. Regardless of that, the spirit was still strong as she was spoke! 🙂 Love her!
With the sister training leader and her Chinese investigator
I don’t know what’s going on here. It was Friendship night
This week we had a combined mission conference with the Seoul Mission at our pretty Yeoungdeungpo building where we got to hear from Elder Ringwood and Elder Maynes. To prepare we did A LOT of cleaning and reorganizing so everything looked up to par for everybody. Although parts of the church, like the bathrooms and kitchen, were a bit sketchy looking at the beginning, we made them all spic and span by the end! It’s interesting how as you clean out a little at a time it’s hard to see the difference you are making, but when you take a step back and see the end result, you realize how much of a change there is and how clean things have become. I guess that’s how life is sometimes. You may not realize the difference you are making, but when you have an opportunity to take a step back, you can realize that you really have made a change; both in yourself, in others, and in the world! It’s awesome!
The conference with Elder Ringwood and Elder Maynes was really inspiring and relevant to us as missionaries. They talked a lot about goals, faith, planning, and prayer. Without doing those four things effectively it is harder to fulfill our purpose as missionaries.
Our district/missionaries serving in Yeoungpo at the temple
Temple with my companion
Me at the temple
Making written candy cards on the board with our cute investigator
In other news, this week we also went to the temple! I love the temple with all my heart. When I truly prepare and go to the temple seeking inspiration and direction, I can always find it. Sometimes, it’s not always a specific answer like I’m expecting, but just an overwhelming feeling of peace that as long as I keep on seeking to do good and choose the right path, things will work out how they are supposed to be. It’s a peaceful reassuring hope that allows me to keep pressing forward unwearyingly.