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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

 

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.

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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

I’m here!

Hi!   I made it to Korea all fine.  All went well with our baggage and flight. 🙂  It felt like paradise when I got off the plane–the weather is perfect right now!  The food is delicious and the people are really fun and kind!  We went preaching on the subways and it was definitely a new experience.  So many people.  So much Korean.  I don’t blend in at all, but I think that’s a good thing. I’ll tell you more later.  Till then,

Sister Stastny

MTCfest – February

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