Tag Archives: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

International Ward

This week I taught Sunday School!!! Not in Korean, thankfully, but English.  Our ward is turning international.  We have a lovely investigator who is from London, England, who comes every week; one set of Elders have an investigator from Russia; and the others have an investigator from Ghana.  In addition to that, we also have an American family in our ward who are such a blessing… so this week I taught a separate Gospel doctrine class to all those who can speak English.  I was a bit scared because everyone is from different backgrounds and at different levels of their understanding (of English and the Gospel), but everything turned out okay.  Heavenly Father helped out a lot and the spirit was felt.

I just love our Yeonsu ward so much!  Anybody that comes in–regardless of what language they speak, what race they are or where they are from–are loved.  They are all part of a bigger family…God’s family.  Even if they can’t understand each other, they still find ways to show their love.  They really are showing me what Christ-like love is.

Mission Moments:

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On a random, fun fact note, there are millions of cicatta’s in Korea right now.  They’re so loud that it’s sometimes hard to hear people on the phone.  Little kids like to catch them by the dozens and play with them in the parks.  It’s fun.

Pictures of my perfect Yeonsu after a rainstorm. I love Korea!

 

Also, we bought Korean pizza this week. Sweet potato pizza and regular potato pizza. It’s not really anything like American pizza, but I think I like it better.

Anyway, I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

❤ Sis. Stastny

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Cherry Blossoms

This week was really fantastic!  The Cherry trees have bloomed!  I never thought I had a favorite tree, but I love cherry blossoms so much.  They make the streets looks like Heaven because they are so white and they smell so good.  I love them!

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I have a quick story to share with you this week on listening to the Spirit. So we were walking home one night when we passed this girl walking the other direction.  I said “Hi” to her, and she smiled and we kept on walking.  As we were walking, though, I got this big feeling that I needed to go back to her- but I felt like that would be super creepy if I did.  It would be so easy to keep on walking because Sister H was busy on the phone, but I felt like I needed to go back to her.

So I turned around, and literally ran until I caught up with her, then I think I yelled, “Where are you going?” (because it’s one of the few phrases I know how to say in Korea).  She said something that I couldn’t understand and pointed, and I smiled and nodded like I understood and said, “Great.”  Then I just stood there and I couldn’t think of anything to say.  My mouth was open but I didn’t have anything to say.  Sister H came up and said that we were missionaries, asked a question, then said goodnight and that was it.

As we were walking home after that I thought about why I had felt such a strong prompting to talk to someone without really receiving the ability to do so.  I didn’t feel weird about what I did at all, which is interesting because usually I would feel a little creepy running back to a random person and yelling a question at them…but I felt good.  I just felt this big love for the girl that just jumped out of me.

I think the purpose of me being prompted to go back to her was for the Lord to see if I was willing to listen to the promptings of the Spirit and put my faith before my fears.  Even though nothing really seemed to happen from it (we didn’t even get her name or give her a card argh!)  I think we made her happier that night.  I think my faith has grown a lot from that simple experience.

I keep on thinking back to the story of Moses in Exodus, and how he is “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue,”  but the Lord provides a way for him to accomplish what he has commanded still.  In Moses’ case it was Aaron, his interpreter; and in mine I think it is Sister H, my trainer.  When the understanding and words I want to say just don’t come, Sister H is there to make sure that the Lord’s work still gets done.  I know God put her into my life for a reason, and I’m so thankful for it!

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Our ward had an activity this week at this Korean cultural center. We took our investigator who is absolutely lovely. The place was beautiful! All the missionaries were dressed up in traditional Korean dresses (I think they are called hanbok’s) and then the ward took pictures of us like they were the papparazi or something.  Funnest, weirdest ward activity ever. (Click below to see full pictures and captions)

Me dressed up in my Korean queen outfit (the headpiece made me feel like Princess Amidalla from Star Wars.  It was fun)

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We went to a place in China town with a member and her friend who she’s wanting to introduce the Gospel too.  We had dinner inside this place then took some pictures outside haha.  It went really good! Member missionary work always seems to be the most successful. We’re going to meet with her this week to start teaching the lessons!

I love Korea so much and I love missionary work even more!  It’s so cool!  Everyday we have so many miracles.  It’s the best!

Love you lots!

Sister Stastny

 

I love Korea!

me and investigator; dressed in kimono
Me and one of our investigators.  This was the first time I met her and I didn’t understand anything, but all of the sudden I’m dressed up in a Kimono and we’re taking pictures.  Okay!  Right on!

I love Korea!  First off, we committed one of our investigators to baptism.  She’s amazing!  She has so much faith.  She’s from a town outside of Hong Kong, China, and she’s learning English and Korean right now.  We teach her in English because she understands it better than Korean (I do, too), but she reads the Book of Mormon in Mandarin Chinese.  She’s so cool!  She loves the Church, but her husband and mother-in-law go to a different church in Korea and don’t want her to attend our church.

She actually told us that ever since she’s met with the missionaries, she feels really guilty every Sunday that she’s not at our church.  She’s starting to give up coffee, and pray, and do everything that we’ve been teaching her because she believes it’s what God wants her to do.  We felt prompted to promise her that if she keeps trying to keep the commandments, the hearts of her husband and mother-in-law would be opened to her attending and eventually becoming a member of our church like she wants.  Ahh!  She’s so amazing!  I’ve been praying for her everyday.

Something about Korea that I wasn’t expecting was how many Christian churches there are.  There are so many!  I realized that every single corner has a cross on it for this or that church.  Lots of times we run into other preachers on the streets who are passing out things for their church.  Lots of people advertise by putting their info on packages of tissues and wipes.  We have so many wipes in our apartment.  It’s actually kind of nice because some bathrooms in Korea have the toilet paper on the outside of the stalls (don’t ask me why), and their packages come in handy when I forget to grab some before I go into the stall. Haha!  I think lots of the preachers would be mean to us, but they just assume we don’t speak Korean.  I haven’t learned the vocab for anything mean so I wouldn’t understand even if someone was mean to me.  I guess that’s one of the perks of not knowing Korean very well:)  Woo!

This morning was amazing because we invited one of the members in our ward and his mom (who isn’t a member) to come hiking with us. It was so fun!  Something I realized with missionary work is you can make it as boring or as fun as you want.  My companion and I definitely like to have fun!  We like to change things up.

I’ve done missionary work in a bunch of ways already.  I’ve been on the streets just talking to people, I’ve passed out flyers for our free English class at the church, I’ve knocked on doors (it’s fun in Korea, because people will just yell, “Who are you?” from inside their doors, and you start having a conversation while they’re inside their house and you’re outside).  There’s a bunch of things I’ve done.  There’s never enough time to email all about it, but I’ve been a diligent journal writer for once in my life so I can share all my experiences with others when I get back.

I love the old people in Korea.  They are so great.  All the teenagers seem to be at school, or after-school schools, or studying at home.  They don’t seem to be out as much as they do in America…but the Grandmas and Grandpas are living it up.  They’re always at parks with their friends just hanging out and being great!  I love them.  I can’t understand them, and I don’t think they can hear me enough to realize they don’t understand me, but they are so funny and nice most of the time.

All is going well here.  I’ve actually been fed lasagna and pizza already by some members and it’s pretty good.  I don’t miss any American food.  I really like this dessert thing called patbingsu.  It has this sweet red bean paste over this icy mixture that’s kind of like a snow cone!  Oh! It’s soooo good!  I can’t go back to America where they don’t have it now.  It’s too yummy!

I love Korea!  I love the Church!  I love sharing what I love with others!  I also love reading the scriptures!  Ahh they’re just amazing to me!  I’m trying to read the Book of Mormon (Korean and English), New Testament, and Old Testament each day.  It’s my goal to finish reading the Korean Book of Mormon before the end of my mission (and understand at least a little bit of it).  It’s hard for Koreans to understand sometimes, but I really feel like I should do that.

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Me and my companion in China Town

Love,

Sister Stastny

1st Week in Korea

안녕하세요! I’m in Korea!!!!!   It’s crazy and I love it!

View from my apartment
View from my apartment

When I stepped off the plane it felt like paradise!  It was a crazy first day.  I met my mission President (President Morrise) and his wife in the airport.

0319 Stastney and Hammerl

They fed us some Korean snacks, gave us a 몰몬경 (Mormonkyong–a Book of Mormon), and then threw us on the subways and we just started talking to people. I had no idea what was going on and I was so tired from jet-lag, but people are so kind.  You can just say Hello to people in Korean and they will then compliment you on how good your Korean is.  People also like my hair and eyes and will tell me I’m pretty no matter how I actually look (haha).  They love that a foreigner is trying to learn Korean.  It makes them so happy.

Subways are fun. So many people squeezed together ignoring each other to look at their phone...except us. We talked to everyone.
Subways are fun. So many people squeezed together ignoring each other to look at their phone…except us. We talked to everyone.

That night we were fed a delicious Korean meal by Sister Morisse (some sort of spicy/sweet meat  over rice with Kimchi). It was delicious!  The next day I got my companion, Sis. H. She’s from Australia and says “Crickey!” It’s probably the best thing in the world!  I love her so much.  She doesn’t have that much of an accent when she speaks Korean, but she does when she speaks English.  Lots of people will actually come up to us on the street to practice their English and they make me translate what she’s saying because they don’t understand English with an Australian accent.  I feel bad, but she’s a good sport about it.  She speaks the Korean, and I speak most of the English (haha).

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View from apt. We ran up that hill one morning and met a guy who used to take English class from the missionaries, but then moved. We invited him to ours and he was super excited.

We’re in the Yeosu area.  It’s not as crowded as Seoul, but it’s so lovely!  We teach a free English class at the church every week and it is my favorite thing so far, I think.  That’s where we have found most of our investigators.  People really want to learn English here so they are really excited to come.  We teach with the Elders in our ward a beginning, intermediate, and free-talking class.  I’m teaching the free-talking class because I don’t know enough Korean yet to explain everything, but I love it so much!  Everybody is so kind here!

I love our ward so much!  There’s about 50 people in it.  They made me introduce myself and I was so nervous, but somehow I got the words out. At the end, I did say something that would translate to, “I PRAY this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (which is wrong). I realized as soon as I said it, so I jumped back up to the pulpit and yelled the word for “to testify” in Korean. The ward thinks I’m super funny now because of it.  I hope they like me.

I didn’t understand anything of what was said in church.  Apparently during Gospel doctrine, they were talking about First and Second Estates in Korean, so that makes me feel a little better that I didn’t understand.  I don’t think I even understand that very well in English.

I love the food so much!  My strategy at the beginning was–if I don’t throw up after eating it, I love it!  I actually do love most of it.  Except one of our investigators fed us a meal, and I was eating something really crunchy and delicious…and then I realized there were a bunch of little eyes staring back at me.  Haha! I think it might have been crunchy anchovies, but I’m not sure.

Vegetable Kimchi pizza I made with my companion. Nothing about it was like a pizza...except its shape...but we had fun
Vegetable Kimchi pizza I made with my companion. Nothing about it was like a pizza…except its shape…but we had fun

Everyone likes to ask if you’ve tried Korean food yet and if you like Kimchi.  If you like Kimchi, they love you a lot!  So I love Kimchi SO MUCH (haha)!  Korea actually does have the best drinks I’ve ever tried though.  I had aloe water for the first time and it’s SO GOOD!  I also had this milky soda drink and I don’t know if I can live without it now (haha).

Everything is fantastic!  I’m so happy I’m in Korea.  I feel so blessed. Love you all!

Sister Stastny