Category Archives: Young-deung-po

Tri-Panionship!

We got transfer calls last night and Yeongdeungpo is getting a Tri-panionship!  Sister L., me, and Sister N. (a cute sister who came in the group after me in the MTC)! We are so pumped!

I think Heavenly Father was preparing us for a tri-panionship because this week we had an interesting request from one of our youth. She’s considering serving a mission when she’s older and asked us if she could spend a couple days serving with us while she’s on a break!  Of course!  It was so fun!  We woke up and did our regular studies in the morning at the church, taught lessons, proselyted, and lived as missionaries the whole day.  It was the best!

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She was so cute!  Even though she has taught with us before in lessons, she felt a different duty this time and studied and marked the lesson pamphlets with notes and scriptures and was almost trembling before one lesson with anticipation and excitement.  She attended district meeting with us and was marking every scripture that was mentioned!  So great!

She’s a convert and the only member in her family, so as we taught others, we were also able to teach her and help her with things she’s wondering about.  It was a really good opportunity to serve with one of our young women and help her along the way! It was a fun week!

This week is 솔날 (solnar) by the way!–Chinese New Year’s!  So we’re going to party like it’s Christmas in America!  Woop!  Woop!  Actually, everyone is going to their hometowns to be with their families for the occasion so we might spend a lot of the week finding service projects!  (Which is equally as fun, to be honest!).

Mission Moments:

Also…one of our investigators (Sis. Jo Ha-nee) is preparing to get baptized next Sunday.  Please pray for her!  She’s been investigating and attending church for a really long time and she’s finally decided to receive baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  We’re hoping that she’ll be able to stick to her commitment. We’re praying for her really hard!

❤ Sister Stastny

Surprise Baptism!

Yeah, we had a surprise baptism this week. Missionaries have been teaching a cute young woman for a little over a year now and she’s been wanting to be baptized for a long time now.  She’s too young and needs permission from her parents (which they haven’t given her), so she’s been waiting and attending church ever since.

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Our church (I literally cannot seem to take a whole picture because it’s so big)

She was going through a hard time and her parents could tell, so they asked what they could do to make her happy. She told them to give her permission to be baptized!  They consented and she called us out of the blue one morning and told us to bring baptism papers over so her mom could give written permission.

After doing that and passing the baptismal interviews, Kang-jin was ready to be baptized!  On Sunday, we had her baptism! It was after church so the whole ward attended to support her. The Young Women’s president, who has been working with her and helping her from the start, gave a beautiful testimony on God’s will and pressing forward in faith and hope.

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Before this though, Kang-jin was changing into her baptismal clothes and she asked us when she was done if she could come in.

Okay, this is probably my fault, but I thought she meant come into the room where all the ward was gathered (Korean is hard). So I told her yes, and waited.

But then I heard a splash and realized my mistake.

We ran into the font and there Kang-jin was just sitting on the stairs waist-up in water, with a face like “Baptize me!”

We laughed and ran frantically to get a dry pair of baptismal clothes so we could have the service in the right order haha. It was pretty easy to get her dried off and ready to have the little baptismal service, so that was a blessing!

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Besides that, this week I was called on last minute to give a talk in Korean Sacrament Meeting.  It was on Joseph Smith’s First Vision, so I had it in the bag and was able to talk for the needed time.

I also had to sing three songs in church! One with the choir for English branch, one with the choir for Korean ward, and one for Kang-jin’s baptism.  I sing so much as a missionary that I’m starting to thing I actually enjoy it! (Oh no! What am I becoming!!)

God is good! And I know he really is looking out for us and caring for us! Hope you have a good week!

❤ Sister Stastny

 

Questions of the Soul

I did not miss the super bowl.  You know me and sports, and how we don’t understand each other very well.  It’s funny, because out of all the sisters in our mission that love and miss their sports, I’m in the ward where we play sports the most for missionary work.  I have to play basketball every week and I realized I don’t know how to do it! I just thought that if you throw it in the hoop, you’d be good. Well, nope.  So I’m learning how to play sports good so people will want to talk and have me on their team and so I can find people to teach. Haha. It’s the life!

This week we had the opportunity to meet with a lot of people who were all going through different stages and hard times in their life.  Although their circumstances were all different, they all seemed to have the same question:

Why do we have to suffer in this life?

One of our investigators (a girl from Russia who’s a champ at Korean) has been really struggling with this question and her relationship with God.  She has been going through some hard times lately and has been wondering if there really is a loving Heavenly Father or not.

As we were meeting with a young women from our ward this week, we felt prompted to ask for her input on this question.  She immediately said in her cute Korean accent, “NO PAIN, NO GAME.”  We laughed and agreed, but as I thought about it, I realized the truth behind what she said.

In 2 Nephi 2, Lehi tells his son Jacob,

Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness, and behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow…Nevertheless…thou knowest the greatness of God; And He shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

The Lord allows us pain for our gain!

No matter who we are or where we are, we are bound to face trials, afflictions, and sorrows.  But if we continue to trust in our amazing, loving Heavenly Father, he will bless us, and He will consecrate our afflictions for our gain!!!

I really believe that God doesn’t want us to suffer, but he wants us to have joy, and learn, and grow to become more like Him.  Without hard times, however, we could never progress in the way that our Heavenly Father wants us to!

I’m so thankful that we do have a loving Heavenly Father that cares for us and understands us perfectly.  God is good!

❤ Sister Stastny

 

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

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