Category Archives: MTC-Provo

Good times

MTC bunkers.  It's been fun living here.  Since our bldg is old, we've found hidden treasures from past missionaries in vents-behind drawers.  It's kind of nasty, but kinda like family history work, except notLife at the MTC will soon come to an end. I wanted to remember some of the good times.  These are the MTC bunkers. It’s been fun living here. Since our building is really old, we’ve found hidden treasures from past missionaries in vents, behind drawers, and other places. It’s kind of nasty, but kind of like family history work too, except not. Ha ha Smile

Here's a picture of the showers. Ooh wow! So cool! It's actually kind of boring, but I want to remember it so here it is haha

Here’s a picture of the showers. Oooow! Wow! So cool! Actually, it’s pretty boring, but I want to remember it, so here it is. Yeah!

Here's a picture of Bethesda--the blow up cat-demon that is thrown into showers at night.  This is what happens at the MTC after a while

Here’s a picture of Bethesda, the blow-up demon cat that is thrown into showers at night. This is what happens in the MTC after a while.

Koreans are really cute...and everything they touch turns into cuteness, too.  So this is my talk in Korean on Faith in Christ (we have to prepare a talk in Korean every week in case we randomly get selected)

Koreans are really cute and everything they touch turns into cuteness too. So this is my talk in Korean on Faith in Christ that I tried to make super cute. We have to prepare a talk in Korean every week in case we randomly get selected to speak in Sacrament mtg. I didn’t speak, but I was kind of proud of it so I took a picture. Smile

My brother’s letter this week was the funniest thing I’ve gotten in the MTC so far–his Mormon version of the Old Spice commercial.  It made me laugh, and it almost made me cry.  My companions and district loved it, too (I had to read it aloud for them).  They said he was really good with words and would make an awesome missionary someday.  I agree! Here’s an excerpt from his letter for your enjoyment:

Hello Kimber, look at me, now back to you, now back to me, now back to you. Sadly I am not you but I can become like you if I go on a mission. Look down, now back up. Where are you? You’re in that investigators new house with that new freshly scented bible. Look at your hand now back up you have it, its an oyster with an invitation to that thing you want to go to, look again those invitations are now strength to the youth pamphlets. Anything is possible when you follow steadfastly in Gods footstep. I’m on a dog, woof.

Don. R. Clarke of the seventy came to speak at our Tuesday devotional this week.  He was amazing.  He reminded me a little of President Hinckley in the way he looked and talked to us.  Something he talked about to us was miracles.  He shared the story of the lady who healed her son’s hip when it got blown off in a massacre by replacing it with some sort of branch (I’m terrible bad with details, I’m sorry, but I hope you know the story that I’m talking about).  Anyway, he told us that we have the power to perform mighty miracles, too.  We just need to believe in mighty miracles.

I think being able to say all that God wants me to say in Korean will be a miracle; but I believe in miracles.  I believe in the gift of tongues.  I believe that I have nothing to fear in going to South Korea, because God will not fail or forsake me.  I love you all so much!  I’m so excited to serve the Lord in 한국 (hangook) Korea!

사랑합니다! (Saranghamnida!)

스태스니 자매 (Sister Stastny)

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I Believe

안녕하세요! (annyeonghaseyo…or Hello)

Well this week has been rad!  We got to teach some Koreans over Skype.  It was a different experience, but so fun.  I understand some of what our volunteer was saying, so that’s a plus.

We took an LSA this week (a Language Speaking Assessment) where we are given prompts that we are supposed to talk about in Korean. I’m pretty sure I got the lowest score in the class, but my teachers wrote and told me I have a lot of confidence and enthusiasm when I speak, and that will help me a lot as I continue to strive to learn the language.  That was nice of them.  I feel pretty animated during our lessons because I want our investigator (i.e. our Korean teacher here) to understand what I want to say, even if I can’t say it. Ahh!  I get way too into it!  I use my hands a lot, but our lessons are never boring.

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Our Korean Branch

This week, during a lesson on the Law of Chastity I said, “Ducks’ bodies are temples.”

What!?  I feel so blasphemous.  I really need to work on my pronunciation.  The thing about this was that no one even told me until later that night.

My teacher just said, “You were trying so hard and I didn’t want to laugh and make you feel bad.”

Haha! I hope the people in Korea pity me enough to listen to my message.  I know I’ll get the language someday 🙂

In other news, I read an article from the New York Times this week that spotlighted a couple sister missionaries serving in South Korea.  One of the Korean teachers here, (Sister Sagers- who is a genius that helps me with my Korean so much) was interviewed in it along with some other people we know so our branch sent us copies.  I just want to say a couple things about it to anyone who may read this letter:

The issue of more Sisters serving missions is not about feminism; it’s about Christ.

    “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”  -(2 Nephi 25:26, Book of Mormon)

This is what we do as missionaries.  It is the same regardless of gender, ethnicity, economic status, or whatever seems to separate people in the world. Anyone who is too worried or intrigued by feminism in the church, is missing the point, which is much greater and more glorious than probably anyone can fully understand:

  • About 2000 years ago Jesus Christ lived on the Earth.
  • He was crucified.  He was resurrected.
  • He lives.
  • He lives and directs our Church through Prophets and Apostles just as he did in older times.
  • His Gospel is our Gospel, and it is the same Gospel that was given to Adam and Eve at the genesis of mankind.

I believe this and nothing can shake me from my faith. I may not know a lot of things, but I know that what I am doing is a much nobler work than the world thinks it is.  I get to talk about the LIVING Christ every day!  I can’t think of anything better.  I am lacking nothing.

If anyone does want to know more about women in the Church I would suggest that they read Power in the Priesthood by Elder Neil A. Anderson of the quorum of the twelve apostles, read what members of the church feel about the issue on Mormon.org, or study what we believe in the Book of Mormon and pray to God for more direction. I promise that will never fail.

I really do love this Gospel.  It means the world to me.

Sister Stastny

Ducks and Joy

안녕하세요!

(I finally learned how to write in Korean on the computer contraption)

This week has been awesome.  First off,  I have an awesome story for you.  This morning we went to the temple and after our session we went to eat breakfast in the Temple cafeteria (which tastes SO good after weeks of processed MTC food).  While in the cafeteria, we started talking to some people to see how they were doing and try to brighten their day.  So we meet this lady in the cafeteria who had hosted an exchange student from Busan, South Korea (that’s where Orme 자매님 (Sister Orme) went for her mission this week!).

She told us that she had taken this girl around temple square and a bunch of other sites and she just loved it.  All she had ever known was Buddhism, so being introduced to Christianity was really exciting for her.  She even asked the lady why there weren’t more missionaries from our church in Korea because she loved it.  It was great!  So we got the name of this lady and the name of this Korean girl, and she promised she would send us more of her contact information so missionaries in Korea could invite her and her family to learn more about the Gospel.

It was amazing!  We got a referral for the missionaries in Korea even though we’re still in the Provo MTC.  How wonderful is that!  I’m coming to learn that there aren’t coincidences in missionary work. The people I’ve met here are put into my life for a reason. I’m really thankful I opened my mouth and talked to this lady in the temple cafeteria.  Now we can pray for her and her Korean friend. Woo-hoo!  I love praying for people!

In other news, a couple of the older groups from our branch (including Orme 자매님) left for Korea this last Monday.  I am seriously so excited to go to Korea.  I’m not very good at Korean, but I am pretty good at being happy and sharing my love of the gospel with others.

The group of Korean natives were giving everyone Korean names and mine was 기쁨. Hopefully I spelled that right. It translates to JOY in English.  Yahh!

Haha. I learned this week that I’ve been accidentally saying 어리 “ducks” instead of 우리 “we”.  Ahh! So I’ve been saying things like:

“I know that if ducks keep the commandments, ducks will be happy” and “God loves ducks very much!”

My district always jokes with me because if you pronounce God wrong, too, you could easily say, “Hippo.”  So one could say a prayer that starts off, “Father Hippo, please bless the ducks!”  That would be great.  Oh man, learning a new language is fun.  I really do love it.

I hope you all are doing well.  Stay safe!  Have fun!  Do good!

사랑해요! (sarangheyo!)

스태스니 자매
(Sister Stastny)

MTCfest – February

Super Sister Missionaries

Jeffery R. Holland and his son came this week to speak to us this week. It was amazing! Jeffrey R. Holland’s son speaks just as good as his father does.  He talked about the life of Joseph Smith and it was so powerful.  He told us stories about Joseph Smith’s life that I had never heard before, and he expounded on the stories I already had heard.  The Spirit was strong.

I had a really great experience teaching this week (which was nice, considering last week’s dwerp fest haha).  We taught a native from Korea who was a member, and as soon as I met him, I just felt the Spirit so strongly telling me what message to share with him.  So me and my companions all share something that we hadn’t planned, but it went great.  When it was time to go we asked him to say the closing prayer and he started to choke up and we could tell that he was so grateful for what we had taught him.  It was incredible.

As we left, he grabbed our hands and told us to remember this time when we taught by the Spirit.  It was the best experience on my mission so far.  It felt so good!  I knew my language skills were really bad and I said a lot of things wrong, but it felt like what I wanted to say was just leaping out of me…so I just opened my mouth and went for it.  I learned from this whole experience that it’s not the language that teaches, it’s the Spirit.  Ever since teaching that man, I’ve been less stressed and feeling more successful with the language because I know now that the Spirit can testify to others even when I’m not sure exactly how to in Korean.

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ SO MUCH.  It brings so much peace and happiness and I wish everyone understood the full measure of how much it could bless their lives.  It’s crazy that I’ve already been out a month.  I’m also at the half way point in the MTC to Korea. Hooray!

Sister Orme is leaving to Korea in 4 days, so she’s been cleaning out her stuff and she found these awesome gems…so naturally we dressed up as Super Sister missionaries in them and took a bunch of pictures! Yeah, we’re cool.

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I love you all.

Sis. Stastny

Nothing more rewarding

Hi Everyone!

This week we celebrated one of my companion’s 21st birthday.  Her parents sent us some bubblyz (sparkly cider), so we drank it up like we were sister missionaries celebrating a birthday at the MTC! Whoop whoop (cause we are)! SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESFun fact: Because of the way they count age in Korea, I’m also 21!!!  Which is so awesome!  Being 21 rocks!

We got a group of Native Koreans here. Somebody’s mom (not one of the Koreans) sent them Kimchi, so they gave it to the Koreans and they loved it SO MUCH! I have never seen someone love a food that much. It was pretty funny. They idolize it. I’m actually really excited for the food in Korea.

The MTC is really great. They feed you ice cream at lunch and you can have cookies and root beer for every meal if you want—but you shouldn’t, you really shouldn’t! Ha ha! Besides the food, you get to hear really cool speakers. It’s like you get a personal General Conference every week. It’s awesome!

A mission is a lot of work though. Even here, we put in 16-hour days and every hour you’re working, studying, AND feeling the Spirit. I’m not going to tell you it’s easy, but I am going to tell you that NOTHING is more rewarding and worth it than being a servant of the Lord.

We sang an arrangement of a song called Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer. It was SO POWERFUL! The lines are so beautiful:

“Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer, we are weak but thou art strong.”

And there’s this part where it gets louder and then the choir is singing at their loudest:

“Curb the winds and calm the billows, bid the angry tempest cease.”

The MTC choir director makes me love choir. He makes it his goal to teach and expound upon all the doctrines in the song so we’re not just teaching, we’re testifying. I respect that a lot.

I have a pretty funny story to share.  Once a week we have TRC (Training Resource Center) where volunteers who are fluent in Korean come in and we share an uplifting message with them about Christ.  This week our volunteer was a returned missionary from Korea and I couldn’t understand him at all.  He was using a lot of grammar forms and conjugations that we hadn’t learned yet, so I was dead blank. 

We asked him a question and he started answering and I didn’t know what Korean he was speaking…So I just smiled and nodded. I must have been doing a pretty good job because he turned to me and said something and then he stopped.

So I said, “Dashi?” Again?

And he said the same thing 3 more times. I just kept staring at him.  Then he started pointing towards me and touching his head.  It turns out he was asking me, “Can you understand?”, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying–he was mumbling and kept shifting in his chair.

Anyway, I thought since he kept pointing toward me and touching his head he was complimenting my face or something (because obvi…just kidding), but I dwerped out, “GAMSAHDEURIMNIDA!” Which not only means “Thank you,” but is the highest form of “thank you” which you ONLY use when talking to Kings or praying to God.

I knew it was the wrong answer as soon as I said it, but everyone thought it was pretty funny.  The best part of this story though, which I found out later, is that one of my companions used to date this volunteer. That’s why he was so uncomfortable. Bahahaha! It was great.

Anyway, I guess what I’ve learned through studying a different language is that you have to be able to laugh when things don’t turn out the way you would like them to.  I just have to keep trying everyday even when I think I can’t speak Korean. Haha:)  There’s a quote by Elder Bednar that I really like:

“It’s not what we say, it’s who we are that’s important.” 

That comforts me.  I hope I can be the missionary that Heavenly Father wants me to be.  I love the support that you continually send my way.  All of it means a lot, even if I don’t have that much time to write you back about it.  Thanks!

Love you,

Sister Stastny

Strengthening

Heyyo!

 This week has been fantastic!  I felt strongly and surely that the Lord was strengthening me because of the prayers of others.  I can’t explain it, but I know it’s true.  I’m not sure who has been praying for me, but I know that God does answer prayers and I am extremely thankful for it.  I’ve been able to grasp language concepts faster, retain vocab words, and feel good everyday this week.  Thank you.

The first thing I should tell you is that I’ve inherited a new companion.  She’s a solo sister in a group that got here a little before we did, and I get to be her companion outside of class.  She’s adorable.  I’m pretty stoked to say that I have 3 other companions, too.  I want to know if that’s a record. Haha.

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Me & my 3 companions!(L-R) Sis. Hurst, Sis. Mcnatt, Me, Sis. Orme

Did I tell you that Sister Hurst’s parents are in the MTC too?  They were called to New Delhi, India, but their visas got rejected, so they’re waiting to be re-assigned.  We see them all the time. I’ve adopted them as my MTC parents because they always brings us treats and Korean snacks from the outside world!  Senior missionaries are treated like royalty here.  They are pretty great.  I love them.

My companions and I met an Elder from Beijing, China!  That’s amazing because the Church isn’t allowed to proselyte in mainland China.  It was humbling talking to him because he has sacrificed SO MUCH for this church and to serve a mission. It’s amazing.  He knows that this gospel is true. It makes him happy and he wants everyone to feel that happiness.  Talking to him was great.  It strengthened me.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes of the week:

“You have 18 months to serve and the rest of eternity to think about it.  Make it count.”

Even though the schedule is rigorous, the language is hard, and the food sometimes is cold, I love that I am here.  I love being a missionary.  I love Jesus Christ and the strength I feel from being His disciple. It’s amazing!

I love you!

Sister Stastny

Inviting others to Christ

Hi everybody!

Thank you so much for your letters and “Dear Elder” letters.  They make my day every time I get one!

This week we had a group of native Koreans come to the MTC.  They are honestly the cutest human beings on the planet.  One of the sisters is from New Zealand and is pretty good at English.  One night I went to talk to her after a rough day of studying Korean all day, but not making much progress. She told me a story about how the missionaries that converted her Father were terrible at Korean.  One missionary had been out a while, but had the worse pronunciation, and the other missionary was fairly new and didn’t know any Korean.  She said that even though her father didn’t understand what the missionaries were saying, he felt the Spirit so strongly that he knew their message was true, and was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our leaders are constantly reminding us that our purpose is not to speak Korean; our purpose is to invite others to Christ.  Korean is just a tool to do that.  I’m trying to remember that so I don’t get discouraged when I’m having trouble with the language.

In other news, Janice Kapp Perry came and spoke at Relief Society on Sunday.  She wrote A Child’s Prayer, I Love to See the Temple, Love is Spoken Here, I’m trying to be like Jesus, and tons more wonderful songs.  A Child’s Prayer is my favorite, so it was amazing to meet the woman who wrote it.  I love music.

My companions and I joined the MTC Choir so we can get out of our classroom for a little while. It is honestly one of the best decisions we have made yet.  The Choir director is brilliant.  He’s always cracking jokes and expounding on the doctrines in the songs.  It makes the music way more powerful.

My district is fun.  My companions and I are the only sisters in the group so sometimes the Elders are crazy, but it’s funny. This week, during study time we were listening to LDS Radio and You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban came on. All the elders started singing and flapping their arms.  It was bizarre, but hilarious.

This week during personal study I read in the Bible Dictionary about Prayer, Fear, and Isaiah. I highly suggest that you read those sections if you haven’t because it’s AMMAZZINGG!  The section on prayer is especially powerful.

I was also reading in Jesus the Christ this week and I came across this quote that is beautiful.  It says:

The Purposes of God, as they ever have been and ever shall be, are infinitely superior to the deepest designs of men of devils.

How awesome is that!?

I’m sorry this is kind of short and that there are no pictures (I forgot my camera).  I just want you all to know that you are consistently in my prayers and I love you all! Send me “Dear Elder” letters so I feel special!

Love you!
Sister Stastny

Spirit Paradise

How is life for everyone? Life in the MTC is pretty #swagalicious (that’s for my brother). The food is not gross, but everyone complains about it. Sometimes it’s cold or hard as a rock, but there are lots of delicious options so it’s never a big deal. The orange juice does not give you diarrhea FYI. They have ice cream at lunch sometimes—which is awesome.

Some people call the MTC Spirit Prison because you’re usually in a small brick room for 9-12 hours a day studying, but I believe it’s Spirit Paradise. I do have to admit though that I get really excited when we go outside and I see real life trees! Just kidding…kind of.  I have hugged a tree ‘cause it looked so cuddly.

I think we get to go to the Provo Temple every P-day. The Provo Temple is gorgeous inside. It’s so much bigger than the Boise Temple, but all temples are amazing because they’re the Lord’s House.

We have 80+ people in our branch (the Korean Celestial Branch is what we’re called—ha ha). Everyone I have talked to has plans of doing the Gangnam style dance if we are called to the Gangnam district in Seoul (but secretly in a dark corner so no one judges us as missionaries). Ha ha.

We got a bunch of Korean natives going to serve in Seoul a couple days ago. They’re here for two weeks and they are seriously the cutest people in the world! They all know a little bit of English, so I can say more than just “Hello! My name is Sister Stastny. God loves you!” to them

Something interesting about Koreans is they don’t take compliments. For instance, if you’re a man and someone tells you that your wife is beautiful, you say, “No, she’s ugly.” It’s just humble and polite over there.

One of the Korean girls told me that they would love me over there because I’d be a “blonde babe.”

I was like, “Well, thank you!” I might have to work on being more humble. Ha ha.

The Korean language has a million different ways to say the same thing depending on who you talk to. They’re teaching us the highest (hardest) form because we’re supposed to speak honorific to most people. One of the MTC presidents told us that besides Finnish and Navajo, Korean was the hardest language to learn. Yah!

It’s going good though. I can’t believe how much I know already! Have a good week. I’ve tried to Korean-ize your names!  Not sure if it’s right, but have fun.

  • Curtis = Cuh-teesh =커티스 
  • Jessica = Jeh-shee-ka = 제시카
  • Christina = Cuh-suh-teen-ah =크리스티나 
  • Dad = Ah-bah = 아빠
  • Mom = Oh-ma = 엄마

Sarang Hamnida (I love you) 사랑해요

Stastny Cha-may (Sister)

I’m Alive!

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Posing in my classroom by the Korean flag #swag

Hey everyone!  How have you been!  P-day is Thursday (we didn’t get one last week so that’s why you haven’t heard from me yet). Thanks for the Dear Elder letters.  They are the best to get!

The MTC is amazing!  We study about 9-12 hours a day, but it’s totally worth it because we are learning so much!  The second day everybody was reading and writing in Korean, and the 3rd day we were teaching to a Korean.  Eek!  It was really hard and I didn’t understand what He was saying to us, but it was my 3rd day.

I’m in a trio-companionship with Sister Hurst (a tall short-haired blonde who has already studied Korean, taken 5 years of Chinese, and traveled to Asia), and Sister McNatt (a short brunette who has studied Japanese for a couple of years and traveled to Asia also).  They are such a blessing in my life and help me out so much with the language!  They’re wonderful!

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My companions and I at temple

There are so many people going to Korea.  We actually have had one of the biggest branches in the MTC (there are 80 people right now in it).  It’s going to be interesting to see how many people are actually in my mission.   I’m excited for it.

The Korean language is hard, really hard.  My companions think it’s harder than Japanese and Chinese…but it’s beautiful.  We’re learning the highest form of Korean right now (which is the hardest because honorific form is longer than common and low form).

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Our names. In Korean they say (last name) Sister, instead of Sister (last name).

My favorite word in Korean is “Ha-na-neem Ah-poh-jee”.  Heavenly Father.  I wish I could write it in Korean, but I’m not sure how to on the computer.  Oh well!

My second favorite word, by the way, is “hew-sheek,” because it means “break” and I love breaks!

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My MTC nametag! When I go to Korea they are going to write my name in Korean–Stastny will probably translate to “sa-ta-sa-nee”! Pumped!

The devotionals here are amazing!  We had Sheri Dew and Gerald Causse (the 1st Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric) come and speak to us. Brother Causse said something that I love. I’ll try to sum it up from my notes:

The Lord isn’t looking for those who are already strong, he’s looking for those who are inadequate because they rely on the Lord, and He can shape them into who He wants them to be. 

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This is the classroom where we live during the day.

Oh, I had to give the closing prayer during Sacrament meeting on Sunday…in Korean.  I thought I was going to pass out, but I prayed before that I would be able to say my prayer okay in Korean (it was pray-ception), and heavenly father helped me say exactly what I wanted to say.  After I said amen the room burst out in “Good job! Nice prayer!”  It was strange, but nice. My Branch Presidency was so proud of me. Haha I love them.

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When the going gets rough, you have breakfast and candy for lunch with your companions. I regret nothing.

I’m doing good!  I have a lot more to learn, but I’m excited for it! I love you and I’m praying for all of you!

Sister Stastny