Coming back home

Hello! It’s crazy to think that this is the last letter I will be writing about my missionary work.

Well, my last couple days as a missionary were fantastic!  My companion and I got to talk to a lot of people, see a lot of members and potential investigators, and have a blast as we did all this.  I love serving with her so much.  I learned that I should have started packing early because the time from 9:30-10:30 at night is not quite enough to stuff everything I’ve obtained in these 19 months in a suitcase (let’s just say the night before transfers was a very long night).
Wednesday (transfer day) was emotional and extremely hot (which is not the best combination because you end up wet from both sweat and tears).  It was hard for me to wrap my head around being transferred back to America–with no companion assigned to me!  It was a sweet and spiritual day though.  It was so hard looking out my apartment window for the last time and saying goodbye to my area and the people that I have come to love like crazy these last 8 months of my mission.  
It was strange.  The hardest part about leaving my beautiful mission area came because I had invested everything there, I knew I had served there with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. It was hard, but it was also for that same reason that I was able to find the comfort and courage to leave it.  
The last days in the mission were spent at the mission home trying to get our suitcases to the correct weight.  That wasn’t very fun, but it taught me the importance of provident preparation.  We had a big fireside/testimony meeting where all the missionaries returning home bore their testimonies and we talked about how we can still keep Christ close in our lives.  
One of my favorite parts was going into the stairwell of the mission home after that meeting (though it was extremely hot and humid and everyone was sweating), and singing hymns in Korean as loud as we could.  I think the spirit enveloped everyone as we sang and we knew, that even with our mixed emotions on returning home- things were going to be okay.
In one of the songs it said:
Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.

As we sang that song I felt the spirit gently reminding me of how much God has guided me these past 19 months.  I have truly witnessed miracles because of His grace and endless kindness.  If God helped me that much through my mission, I know he could continue to guide me after it.

This gave me hope…

Though my mission has ended, my life as a missionary has not.

I’m so thankful for all that I learned on my mission, and to my God, Heavenly Father, for helping me through all of it.

I know this church is the true church of Jesus Christ restored to the Earth.  The Book of Mormon is true.  Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  And Heavenly Father does hear and answer our prayers.

I’m so thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you all!

Sister Stastny

Goodbyes, Emergency Room & Miracles

I don’t even know where to begin this week!

Well, I took what you said to heart and I worked 110% this week. I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder in my life. I was a bit unfortunate, though, because I got a bladder infection out of the blue and I didn’t want to cancel any appointments, so I just bought a gallon of cranberry juice and drank it. It started getting worse where it hurt for me to stand–(which I still thought was okay because who needs to stand when you are teaching investigators or with members, right?), But Wednesday night it got really bad, and my mission President finally sent me to the Emergency Room at 11:30.

It was crazy! The emergency room in Korea at 12 AM is a blast by the way- unless you’re way sick, then….yah, you are in a lot of pain. I thought I was in pain- I was writhing and crying, but I was definitely not the most hurt person there. There was someone that looked like he had got shot in the eye, another girl that was pale and couldn’t walk by herself, another lady had some nice cuts on her face and blood and bruises on her body, and a person was wheeled by us as we were waiting whose whole shirt was stained in blood. We spent about 3 hours there before they got the test results and some medicine for me (it fixed me up pretty quickly so you don’t have to worry about me now). It was definitely an adventure, though.

I learned that no matter how much you think you are suffering, there is probably someone that feels a little worse than you. So why not try making them feel better? It was hard in the Emergency room when I was the sick person, but I tried to think of Christ and be more like Him. A nurse had been very serious and a little stressed looking before, and I gave her a compliment (I was buckled over because of the pain so it was about her shoes), but it completely changed her whole countenance. She smiled and it just lit up her whole face. It wasn’t much, but it was the best I could do then. Even though I was in pain, I felt the comforting peace and love from the spirit.

I’m better now, by the way:) Nothing to worry about now.

What was more painful than going to the hospital, was going to my 영등포 ward for the last time. It broke my heart. They asked me to give a last talk, and I don’t think my whole time on my mission could have prepared me for the feelings I had as I went up to the podium and looked at the faces of the ward I have worked with for the past 8 months.

I saw every member and I felt like I have come to know them so individually the past months; the deaf members, my recent converts, the less-actives who have started coming back to church, and everyone else that I love so much smiling at me. I looked at them and I just felt so much love for them. I don’t know how I can leave them.

I looked and reflected on everything that has happened in 영등포 and throughout my mission here in Korea. I have grown so much, learned so much, and developed a personal relationship with my savior Jesus Christ. And yet I wish I could do something more to serve the people here, but I’m not sure what.

I know that I served the Lord and worked my hardest. It’s going to be so hard to leave this beautiful country and the food and the people that I love so much here, but I know that a release as a full-time missionary is just a call to serve as a life-long missionary.

I’m excited that this isn’t the end.

❤ Sister Stastny