Category Archives: Gimpo Area

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!

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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

 

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Christmas Miracles

안녕하세요!!!

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:

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Random pic of Sis. L in the wilderness

 

We found a couch so I naturally set up there to teach the gospel:)
We found a couch so I naturally set up there to teach the gospel:)

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 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

Almost Christmas

This week we had lots of fun spreading “the Gift” (the Gospel of Jesus Christ) to everyone in Korea.  Our mission gave us little pass-along cards that have a picture of Mary and Jesus, that says “그분은 선물임니다”-(He is the gift).  We’ve been sharing them with everyone that we can, and bearing testimony that our God truly loved us, and sent His only begotten son, our Savior, to the world for us.  It’s such a wonderful opportunity I have to share the Gospel this Christmas season.

To be honest, this Christmas has sort of snuck up on me.  Korea recognizes Christmas, and kids get presents, and there are a few Christmas trees up here and there, but it’s mostly considered a western holiday.  On Christmas, most people are going out to a movie or a dinner with their friends, or are staying home by themselves to relax.  The streets aren’t covered with Christmas lights, the shops don’t play Christmas tunes, the stores aren’t full of big lines with people waiting to buy gifts…but there still seems to be something special in the air that is making people’s hearts softer as we share the message of the Gospel to them.

There really is something special about Christmas, regardless of who you are or where you are.

At church this last Sunday, we had a Christmas program where the primary kids sang, the missionaries sang (I don’t know why they ask us, but we always do it), and a couple beautiful Christmas talks about the Savior and His birth were given.  I took turns translating for one of our amazing sisters from the Phillipines. We also had a nice bibimbap lunch after church that was prepared by our wonderful Relief Society. It was pretty simple, and completely perfect.

Because Christmas isn’t as big of a holiday as it is in America, it seems easy for everyone to focus on the main reason for Christmas–CHRIST.

I’m so thankful for this humble opportunity to serve as a missionary in Korea this Christmas season!

God is great!

Mission Moments:

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We made a temple out of chocolate mix and candy bars for a ward member we love (and are preparing to someday go to the temple)

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This one has a story- We were at one of our Korean grandma’s houses in our ward, and I spilled some of the drink she gave us on my skirt (I’ve come to the conclusion my skirts just want to be giant napkins). She called me a 바보 haha, which is what Laman and Lemuel called Nephi in the Book of Mormon…and then she gave me this huge aluminum apron to wear the rest of the time in her house.  I love Korea.

❤ Sister Stastny

Lord’s Tender Mercies

This week we had our Stake Christmas Party and it was the best!  We had a nice little dinner and then a huge talent show. Seriously my favorite Christmas party ever!  Laughed, met with lots of members, sang (wasn’t good, but sometimes you got to do things for the Lord that you don’t want to), ate, and just had the funnest time of my life!

All the missionaries sang Heal the World by Michael Jackson (don’t ask me why?  I don’t know, but everyone loved it).  Sister Lyman and I also got roped into doing a Korean love song with our district…it was..umm terrible.  We don’t sing, but we sang haha.  A disabled girl played the piano and sang at the end with us so she saved our act with her adorableness!  Anyway, Here’s a video with some very short clips from the show.

 CHRISTMAS VIDEO-KOREA

I honestly don’t know how people expect me to leave after things like this!  I just love Korea and everyone here with all my heart. By the way, Koreans love to sing!  And they belt their hearts out when they do!  I love it!  They have karaoke places everywhere!  It’s so popular!

I also got to go on an exchange with my Sister Training Leader this week and we had so many miracles.  Sister H gave one of the most amazing trainings I’ve ever had on my mission.  Usually lots of Training leaders are given a topic they can talk about and they apply it to each of the sisters individually.  However, Sister H wanted to try something different, so the day before she chose to study for me.

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Looking like an eskimo 🙂  I bought the coat because A) the owner of the store is a potential investigator, and B) it was cheap and cute and warm 🙂

I began sharing what I learned in Personal study with her, and she’s flabbergasted.  Everything I had studied that day she had studied the day before too–almost exactly!  I read 2 Nephi (the Isaiah chapters); and so did she.  I read in Jesus the Christ about the apostle Peter and his work after Christ’s resurrection- stopping before Stephen the martyr…and she read in Acts about Peter and the apostles (also choosing to stop before Stephen’s testimony and death).  We also read the same parts in Preach My Gospel.  And the best part is, none of us knew what each other was studying!

She also shared with me 2 Nephi 16 (where Isaiah sees the Lord and is forgiven of his sins)– honestly one of my most favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon (which she had no idea of before)…and we were just blown away.

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Sometimes there are ups and downs as missionaries, and I was having a rather down time before this…but when this sister gave her training to me, I knew that it was only through the Spirit that she could have planned so perfect for me.  I felt sure that God knew me perfectly and I was astounded and ever thankful for Him.

I realized that if God could inspire her to so clearly and conveniently to receive revelation for me (this random missionary from Idaho), how much more could He inspire me and all of the missionaries around the world to receive revelation for our investigators!

I was touched by the power of the Spirit, the power of God, and the power and authority of our calling as missionaries for the true church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I was uplifted, motivated, and grateful for the tender mercy of God. I really know that God does still inspire men and women everywhere! How amazing is the Gospel!

Mission Moments:

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Me and a recent convert from the Phillippines (honestly one of the most faithful people I have ever met in my life)

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Snow in Korea! It’s cold!!!

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A family I absolutely adore!  Meeting with them and preparing them so they can go and be sealed in the temple 🙂

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Erin (that’s her English name) is one of the most cutest creatures on the planet.  She’s amazing at English (and Korean) and is progressing little by little as we teach her each week 🙂  I love her to pieces!  She has a cute little lisp when she speaks English, and combined with her Korean accent, she’s just the most adorable thing ever!

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This sister is always at her hair shop, so we come there to meet with her and teach her the gospel.  She loves religion and listens and asks questions better than most of our other investigators. We have a lot of hope for her.  She also likes to cut my hair a little every other time I go into her shop!  I swear I’m going to be bald by the time she’s prepared to be baptized…haha.

Have a great week!

Sister Stastny

스태스니 자매

Baptism

Annyeonghaseyo! 안녕하셍요!

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Shabushabu? (샤브샤브) Such good food! You put a bunch of veggies and meat into a broth and them wrap it up in some rice paper and it equals the best thing ever:)

December came in as cold as it could! The ward gave us some fleece-lined tights and we’ve been wearing about 2 pairs, (along with 2 pairs of gloves, boots, 2 heavy jackets, a long sleeved shirt, and sweater or 2, a hat, a scarf, and pretty much anything we can find to keep us warm). Technically, I don’t think it’s as cold as Idaho (I’m not sure how Fahrenheit coverts to Celsius, so I’m just guessing), but because I’m surrounding by a river and an ocean, and because we are in a more country part of Korea than Seoul, the wind blows and it feels like you’ve just plunged into the icy Arctic waters!

But, God’s love is warm, so missionary work is easy!

An especially extraordinary experience happened this week! We have a recent convert in our ward from Singapore and if you met her you’d fall in love with her immediately! She got baptized earlier in the year and always comes faithfully to church even though she doesn’t understand everything that is said. Her husband is Korean and is not a member, but he loves philosophy and religion and usually accompanies her to church. The missionaries and the ward have asked him if he will ever get baptized, but he has told them “later” for a couple months.

Well, miracles of miracles, as the elders were meeting with him this week (on Wednesday), he told them that he pondered and prayed about it, and he wants to be baptized…on Saturday. What?!!

He’s been to church for months and has received all of the needed lessons, so all he had to do was be interviewed for baptism. All the missionaries were praying and fasting for him as hard as we could. Our mission president (who actually knows them personally) also joined in the prayers.

Saturday comes…and he passed his interview and he was prepared to be baptized!!!

It was a beautiful service, and more than half of our ward came (despite the late notice) to see and support him and his family!

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On Sunday, he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost! Both him, and his wife were radiating! It was amazing to witness them both come a little closer to Christ.

one of the famous twins
one of the famous twins

Even though his baptism did not come at the time that the missionaries and ward wanted or expected…it came. I know that the Lord is always watching out for those we love and preparing them in ways we can hardly comprehend.

My companion and I at the temple (before it got so freezing cold)
My companion and I at the temple (before it got so freezing cold)

God is amazing! Jesus is truly the Christ. And this is His restored Church. I’m so glad to be a part of it.

사랑합니다! (sarang-hamnida) LOVE!
스태스니 자매 (stastny cha-mae) Sister Stastny

Thanksgiving in Korea

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all throughout the day, only Kimchi was eaten, in almost every single way…plain Kimchi, fried Kimchi, Kimchi boiled in a stew, Kimchi eaten with hot rice, Kimchi eat with cold rice, and extra salty Kimchi..).

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2/3 of our fridge is filled with kimchi

 

It’s Kimchi season and oh do we have a lot of Kimchi in our house! So let’s just say I felt a little sick when Thanksgiving day actually rolled around. But I still ate some 김치찌개 (Kimchi stew) for lunch, and some nice 칼국수 (kar-gooksu) (I’m not exactly sure how this is explained in English but it’s like Korean chicken noodle soup with yummy homemade noodle). The good news, is I didn’t have to worry about gaining a million pounds from my Thanksgiving feast haha!

I think I eat more kimchi than Koreans do
I think I eat more kimchi than Koreans do

To be honest, more people knew when it was Halloween, than they did Thanksgiving day. Korean’s Thanksgiving (Chuseok) is on a different day, so it kind of just felt like any other day…which is great because any day as a missionary is awesome!!

So that was my Thanksgiving! Also, all the missionaries threw a Thanksgiving culture night for our Stake on the weekend. That was fun! We made pilgrim and Indian hats, decorated lanterns, made fortune cookies, Indian bracelets, did face painting (that was my job), and practiced our American archery with a homemade deer target…can’t get more Thanksgiving than that! It was so fun! I loved hanging out with all the people in the stake and meeting member’s friends and family. It was a great opportunity to meet lots of people.

Mission Moments:

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Sister L and I are loving life in Gimpo. We are getting to know and love our ward a little more each day, and we are really blessed with lots of opportunities to teach people about the Gospel. I know Heavenly Father is watching over us and blessing us a lot. I’m so thankful to have this opportunity to share what I love the most every day–the GOSPEL!

Keep on keepin on!
❤ Sister Stastny

Plans–Ours & the Lord’s

In missionary work, we make a lot of plans.  We plan (and back-up plan) what we are going to do during every hour of the day.  Sometimes our plans work out, and sometimes they don’t.  What I’ve come to realize throughout my mission is that the Lord’s plans always work out!  If we are living faithfully and obediently, His work will never be frustrated (even if our plans seem to be).  The Lord has a plan for us!

This week I had an experience with this as we were preparing to head out the door to start our work for the day.  The lady that we had wanted to see, told us she couldn’t, our back-up plan sent us a last minute text cancelling too.  Our day was completely open and empty.  We said a prayer, asking that Heavenly Father would guide us to know what we could do that would be effective, and then we went out and started working.

As we were out, we passed an apartment where I knew an old lady who is a less-active member of our church lives. We had tried in the past to meet her without success.  Her apartment has a keypad and code to get in (which are not our friends as missionaries), and we couldn’t find her exact house number anyway to ring if we wanted too.  As we were walking past her house this time, however, a person just unlocked the door and let us right in (what?! That never happens! It was huge miracle!).

I know that Heavenly Father was leading us to her, because her husband had recently died and she seemed really lonely.  When we first got into her house, she was really somber.  None of her lights were on, and a window was open and it was freezing cold.  She cut up some fruit to share with us–like is natural in Korean culture–and then she sat there glazy-eyed. We said a prayer in our hearts that we could somehow help her, and felt prompted to start asking her about her family.  At first she just gave us little, one word answers…but as we continued to ask about her family and show genuine interest in her, she started lighting up little by little until we were looking at pictures with her and laughing and listening to all her good experiences.

In Preach my Gospel it says that “People typically have spiritual feelings as they talk about families.”  I witnessed as I was with her, talking about her and her family, how the spirit started entering the house.  It started becoming lighter and happier, and I could tell she was more willing to listen to us when we asked to share a simple message from the Book of Mormon.

It’s hard to describe in words just how meaningful and amazing being a part of these experiences is, but I hope you can always live worthy to have the Spirit’s influence in your life so you can have your own spiritual experiences and recognize them!  Just go out with a determination to do something good, even if you’re not exactly sure what it is yet.  I know that the Lord will guide us to where HE wants us to be if we are living worthily and faithfully; and that when we get there, we will realize just how amazing God’s plans are and we will be incredibly thankful.

This is the Lord’s work, and this is His restored church. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to be a missionary sharing the good news!

❤ Sister Stastny

PS: Happy Thanksgiving! (I forgot my cord, so pictures are going to have to wait till next week, sorry!)

First Snow

Gimpo got it’s first snow for the year this week!  It melted by the morning, but it’s still freezing cold.  All the Korean high school students had their ACT/SAT-type of test this week…which is a big deal!  They study insanely hard because it determines whether they will get into college or not.  It lasts about 6 hours and it sounds SO HARD.  I think it’s part of the reason why we don’t really have the opportunity to teach much high school students (because they literally are studying from dawn to dusk during their high school years to pass this test.

Anyway I’m mentioning this because there’s a jinx apparently where it always gets drastically bitter cold on this day, and I want you to know that it was (and since then) has been bitter freezing, bone-chilling cold.  Because we’re right by the Han river, and close to the ocean on the other side…it feels like we’re plunging into ice cold water when we walk outside.  But, to be honest, it’s pretty fun.  When the conditions are hard, it makes me appreciate being a missionary and sharing this Gospel and warming up people’s lives.

Sis. H and I
Sis. H and I

This week has been filled with a bunch of amazing things.  My trainer, Sister H, is going home, and I got to see and catch up with her this last P-day.  While serving in Yeonsu together, there was a young single adult’s mom that we tried really hard to work with and teach. She’s the lady that we went on a hike with and took some pictures with a while back.  Anyway, she’s so lovely and I love her to death..but while serving there our schedules never seemed to work out, and we weren’t able to teach her.  However, I learned recently that she had been bedridden, deathly sick, but her sons and the ward started praying for her, and she miraculously got better!

After she recovered, she contacted the sister missionaries serving in Yeonsu right now and told them she wants to get baptized!  She said that she knew from that experience, that this church had to be true!  There just couldn’t be any other explanation for her miraculous healing.  So the missionaries are currently teaching her all the lessons and preparing her for baptism!!

I’m seriously so happy for her and her family!  Sister H and I had prayed really hard that she could taste of the joy of the gospel with the rest of her family.  I’m so glad that the Spirit was able to touch her and guide her along a path toward Christ!  The Lord is miraculous!  I love this Gospel!

I know that the Lord hears and answers our prayers.  The answer might not always come at the time or in the manner that we expect, but I know that it will come.  We just have to be faithful, patient, and hopeful.

Mission Moments:

Have a great week and stay warm!

❤ Sister Stastny

 

Sticker Boarding

안녕하세요!

Annyeounghaseyo!

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About once a month in our Gimpo ward, we have the opportunity to teach what we call Mini MTC at our church!  It’s where all the missionaries come together and teach the youth about missionary work and how we can share the gospel.  It’s really nice because it motivates our youth to be member missionaries and allows us an opportunity to teach them the things that we have learned through our missionary work.  So usually, we just teach a little from Preach My Gospel, then do a role play with the youth, but this week, we wanted to do a hands on activity.  So we decided we would go STICKER BOARDING with the youth outside on the streets!

I’m not sure if I have explained what sticker boarding is already, but I’ll give another explanation just in case.  So we have a board that is divided into usually four sections with  questions inside each of the boxes.  At the top there’s usually a big main question:–(the one that I used yesterday said “If you met God, what question would you ask?”.  The questions in the boxes included: “What is my purpose in life?”, “Why is there suffering in the world?”, “How do I balance my work and my family life?” and “How can I find peace and happiness?”

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We take these boards out on the streets (usually to a busy intersection) and pass out stickers to people to put in the boxes on the question that they would ask.  It’s a really good way to talk to lots of people, start conversations about the Gospel, and have a fun time while doing it.

I loved doing it with the youth because they really looked to us as examples and we were able to light a spark in them to do missionary work.  They obviously can speak Korean more fluently than me, but they kept on coming up to us and asking “What do I say if a person asks this, or does this?” “What do you say?”  So I would tell them the simple thing that I say, and they’ll say, “That’s perfect!”  I don’t think anything I was saying was too special, but it was nice to be able to help them anyway.  We told them, that the way to be a better missionary is to live worthy to have the Holy Ghost with you always and to faithfully, courageously follow those promptings everyday!

I loved having the opportunity to share a hands-on missionary activity with them and hopefully inspired them to better prepare to share the gospel in their own daily lives.

Mission Moments:

I know this church is Christ’s restored church!  There’s so much peace and joy that I receive from being a member of this church that I can’t help but want to share it with everyone! This Gospel is amazing!

❤ Sister Stastny

P.S–Check back on the Miracles post to see a video and pictures I couldn’t download last week from our Halloween party.

Miracles Every Day

Happy Halloween!

That was our topic in the conversation English class this week. Fun! For our Family Home Evening that we had as a ward, we had it Halloween-themed. We dressed people up as mummies with toilet paper, had a pinata, and drew those mix-matched monsters that we always use to do during family home evening! It was a blast.

Also, on Halloween, I had 낙지덮밥(nakji deoupbab). I’ll let you look it up to see what it actually looks like, but I think you will think it was an appropriate Halloween meal haha! It was actually really delicious. Me and my companion ate all of it (which is the polite thing to do in Korea, so we do that anyway), but we actually enjoyed this meal. 🙂

Stir-Fried Octopus with Rice – Octopus, onion and carrot, stir-fried in a red chili sauce

So in missionary work, we see so many miracles every day, and sometimes every hour if we’re looking hard enough for them, so I just want to share about 1 day this week and a few of the miracles we saw throughout it..

Nov.1:

The first miracle happened quite unexpectedly. We had 3 appointments scheduled for the day–Kate (Names changed: a recent convert from the Philippines who moved to Korea for work) at 1:30pm, Julie (an investigator we teach English and the Gospel to) at 4:30, and Eunice (another investigator we teach English and the Gospel to) at 8pm. So after we finished lunch, we had some awkward time before Kate’s appointment, so we went outside and started walking. I was racking my brain for what we can do, or who we can see, and I think of an investigator that we haven’t seen in a long time.

We had already tried to visit this investigator the other day, but she wasn’t there; but we decided to try again, and MIRACULOUSLY, she and her family is home!!! We were able to share a message with her about prayer, and she opened up more to us than I had ever seen (another miracle) about how she doesn’t know if God it there, so that’s why it’s been difficult to try praying. We told her to ask, “God, are you really there?” And talked about how she can receive answers through the Holy Ghost. It was a simple lesson, but it seemed to touch her and she seemed willing to experiment on the things we had taught her (miracle).

This investigator’s lesson was running a little long, but Kate (the recent convert we were going to meet next) texted us in the lesson telling us she was going to be about 30 minutes late (just the time we needed to get to the appointment on time). It worked out perfectly (another miracle)!

With Kate, we learned about her conversion story (she was baptized about 5 months ago in the Philippines) and about the hardships she is going through in her life right now but overcoming through her strong, triumphant faith in Christ. We talked about family history and she was really excited to learn how to do that and prepare to go to the temple to perform baptisms for her deceased ancestors. (She’s just a miracle in herself, so being with her was really fun and enlightening).

So after Kate, we headed over early to Julie’s area. I had spent a lot of the night before, going through old records and trying to find members, or less-active members that might live in her area just in case we had some extra time. So we were walking around the area and I see an apartment named “Oe–oolim” and it sticks out to me. I look through the sheets of addresses I have, but all I can find remotely close is an apartment named “oo-mi-lim”-which is nowhere in sight.

Because we have time though, my companion suggests we go over there just in case it is the right apartment (even though we know the names are different). We feel good about it, so we start walking toward it, and lo and behold, we greet these 2 ladies, tell them we’re missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ, and they tell us they’re interested! We get their number and set up an appointment to meet with them next week right then and there!!! Giant miracles!! It’s interesting how the sprit nudges us in different ways so we can meet the people we’re supposed to. I’m so grateful for it.

After that, we got to teach our investigator Julie the first lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel. When we shared with her James 1:5, we asked her “From this verse, what can we do if we have a question that we want answered?”

She seemed a little flustered at first, but as we asked a little more questions about the subject we realized she was just blown away at the idea that she could ask God anything she wants, and talk to Him openly as she would a close friend. I testified that Heavenly Father really does want to communicate with us, and her eyes just got big with amazement. At the end of the lesson she jumped and asked if she could say the closing prayer (another fabulous miracle)! In her prayer, she thanked Heavenly Father for the new things she had learned with us. It really touched my heart. I’m thankful the Spirit spoke to her and made our message more amazing than we ever could on our own (definite miracle).

To end the day, we got to teach our other investigator, Eunice, about the Restoration of the Gospel, too. I love teaching about the Restoration because it’s just a giant miracle in itself. I think about how crazy amazing it would be to hear something like that for the first time—that God does live and talk to His children today personally, just like He has in times of old; that Joseph Smith truly did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I always feel the Spirit when I teach about Joseph Smith’s First Vision. I really know he was a prophet called of God. The Church of Jesus Christ is the true restored church of Jesus Christ.

In summary, it was a miraculous day! (I haven’t even included all the blessings, the nice people we got to meet on streets, the delicious foods we were fed, the lovely weather, and just the blessing of serving in beautiful Korea). I know God is always with us in this, His work.

Miracles do happen!

I love serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

❤ Sister Stastny

(<<that is a Korean syllable that looks like a person! When said, it sounds like “oot”) Random, but enjoy!

I love to see the temple

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSo this week was temple week!  I love that we have the opportunity to attend the temple every 6 weeks or so in my mission.  It’s such a special opportunity. I always feel so much peace, happiness, and love while I’m in the temple.  The more I have gone to the temple, the more I want to make everywhere I go more temple-like: less-judgmental, more kind, forgiving, peaceful, happy, and more in tune with the guidance and direction of the Holy Ghost.  Lately, when I teach people about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am trying more to make the setting one where those I teach can learn like I am able to learn in the temple–where they can listen, learn, and feel the Spirit confirming the truth of what we say in their hearts and minds.

Since, we teach people in multiple settings (including, but not limited to, homes, hair shops, buses, subways, restaurants, cafes, sidewalks, and streets), I have learned that in order to make a teaching setting more temple-like, I always have to be temple-worthy.  I always have to be in-tune and following the promptings of the Spirit, diligently, and obediently working as hard as I can to do the Lord’s work.  When I truly am working my hardest to follow the Spirit and live worthily, testifying and teaching people regardless of where they are is a lot easier.  They don’t always like or accept my message, but I feel better knowing that I gave made them the best opportunity I could to listen and learn about it with the Spirit present.

I hope with all my heart that everyone can have the opportunity to go to the temple and feel of God’s love and power and mercy; to feel that peaceful, happy feeling that comes from going worthily to the House of the Lord.  I hope to be an influence for good in helping people wherever I am live worthily to go to the temple and feel of the Savior’s love for them and all His children!

The temple is truly the House of the Lord!

❤ Sis. Stastny

***LANGUAGE UPDATE

The language is going good!  I haven’t remembered most of my dreams (because I’m so tired and out of it when I go to bed and wake up), but I don’t think I’ve reached the point where I can dream completely in Korean yet.  It is seriously such a hard language.  I think I could spend my whole life studying it and still not be perfect at it.  Even Koreans don’t know everything because they have so many derivations of Chinese characters that turn into a bunch of different words in their language.  It’s just crazy.  But I do like studying it each day.  I can go up to random people on the street and talk to them about most things.  I understand usually the jist of what people say, but when it comes to the complete details, and being able to repeat what they said back, I’m still lacking…but I still have lots of time left to keep learning.

Koreans tell us sometimes that their language is hard for them to understand.  I believe it.  It’s sort of like English–lots of people can speak it, but when it comes to speaking correctly and understanding EVERYTHING (hard words, long, intricate sentences) it’s not always the easiest.  That’s how it is with Korean…except I think Korean is a lot harder than English obviously…hahaha.

 

Oh Happy Missionary Work

Okay!  This week has been fabulous…I might say that every week…but I really mean it.  I got put with Sister L from my same MTC group and we are just loving it.  It’s fun being with someone that is at the same point in the mission because you get to really learn with and from each other more than other times.  We get to learn and teach each other what we learn and I feel like we are progressing in the language even faster together!  We’re just having a blast!

Since I’ve only been in Gimpo about 7 weeks (and our area is massive), I still don’t know how to get everywhere, but Heavenly Father helps Sister L and I out a lot.  The other night we were going to visit a less-active, and we were trying to find an address and were really lost.  We asked lots of people (who were very willing to help us out; if Koreans don’t know where a place is they will usually always take the time to search on their phones, or ask other people and help), but no one knew where this particular address was!  So we were meandering through streets, humming hymns and saying hi to people when I look up and see the small apartment complex that we were looking for!!!  It was a miracle!  We couldn’t see any entrance to get into the complex area, so we jumped a wall (modestly in our skirts, mind you), just to look back and see that the entrance was a couple yards away, hidden by mass surplus of foliage (oh sweet missionary work haha)!

Anyway, the Lord has been helping us out like that in many ways!  We’re not always sure how to get places, how to say things perfectly in Korean, or how to do a number of other things- but when it comes down to it, Heavenly Father is always there, and what needs to be done, gets done.  I have a big testimony that this isn’t our work, it’s the Lord’s work.  Even when our plans don’t go the way we expect, the Lord’s work is never frustrated.

Mission Moments:

I know the Lord is definitely helping us out here and I’m so thankful for that. I love being a missionary and sharing this happy Gospel!  It’s awesome! Have a good week!

❤ Sister Stastny 🙂