Tuesday, November 19, 2013

To Mom and Dad 11/18/13

Dear Mom and Dad:
I actually found a great copy of lizzie's healing on familysearch.org. I've been addicted to that website for the last couple of weeks. I'm really glad that they have us working on this because its making me look back on who my family is and what they've done. Someone on the Card side posted a small story about Parkee and a lot of people have uploaded pictures. It's so much fun to go digging around on there!
Mom, may I reserve doing some of grandma henry's ordinances? Or would you like to do those for her?
I asked a member in the ward to play "Mary's Prayer" for me. when she saw that there were vocals she insisted that I sing along. You've created a beautiful masterpiece mom. I love the accompinament. It's really nice to remember where it was when we were working on it and to hear it now. You're truly amazing mom! Sister Christensen, the lady who played it, was really impressed and loved it :)
This last we has been amazing. I've been opening up more and contacting more people. I've also been working on loving my companion and seeing around all of the little things that bug me. And I've also realized that sometimes she says things, and even though they sound harsh, she's really trying to be helpful. I'm trying to make sure I stay possitive, because when I don't I've noticed that I get super depressed. We actually had a lot of success this week. We have 4 new investigators and 2 great potential investigators. 2 of our new investigators are brother and sister and their parents are less active but the kids really know what we're talking about and they have a great spirit about them and a desire to learn. One of our investigators was born catholic but now she attends a born again christian church and she likes to learn about other churches. we gave her a book of mormon to read. Our other new investigator, Jason, is friends with a member couple in the ward. He's a marine. We taught him yesterday, and we answered a lot of his questions, we also taught him the restoration. We made sure he understood what a commitment the church is and also how it can bless his life. He's deciding a baptismal date that he's comfortable with. One of the potentials is another marine. His girlfriend is a member and lives in Utah. He wanted to know exactly what it was she believed and he liked what he saw. he's attended 3 different lds churches but he decided to come back to ours and have us teach him since we were the first missionaries that he met. He's a really nice guy. The other potential is a member's neighbor. she's talked with her neighbor about the church a lot but now she wants us to come over and teach her what we know. She's a sweet lady and she has a cute little 3 year old daughter. This last week has just been full of miracles :).......and blistered feet. :P
I love you SO MUCH!!!!!! I'll see you in a year and a day!
Love Sister Amanda Park

From Amanda to Mom 11/12/13

Hi Mom! 

Sorry, I forgot to give you the heads up about the holiday changing things. Sister Seadall wrote me! it was so great! I hope you are both doing great teaching. She told me that she didn't realize that there were people who didn't know about Heavenly Father and his love for them. I kind of had to chuckle at that, she's such a sweet lady :)
I should tell you that I brag about you all the time. I tell people that you have your own businesses and you're doing so well. I know that you're going to totally rock your new business. I'm so amazed and proud of the energy and drive you put into it. Don't forget that God is always with you. I know that that is the way that I get through a lot of hard times. I have to pause and talk things out with Christ and really straighten out what's truly important. Your emails really do help. I'm sorry that I always sound so needy. You've helped me so much.I know that the reason I can handle a lot of things is because I was raised right.
Don't forget, if you need help with anything, especially the bathroom, the missionaries LOVE service opportunities. They're are a very valuable asset. ;)
This last week has been full of miracles! One of our former investigators, Felicia, wants us to start teaching her again because she's noticed the difference when she had the gospel in her life and when she didn't. Another is some members have been bringing their friend, Jason, to church for months and he really likes it but he never wanted to meet with the missionaries, but Sunday he came up to us and asked to start taking the lessons. We also found a new investigator. She's a wonderful woman named Mildred, she was raised catholic, goes to a born again christian church, and is open to learning more about other religions. We gave her a book of mormon and told her the first vision. The idea that we have a living prophet didn't turn her away instantly. She's looking forward to having us come back. The Spanish elders also found an inactive member who just moved into our apartment complex. Her name is Tabitha. She wants to start coming back to church and she wants us to come over and teach her husband and daughter. I'm so excited to see how the next month goes.
I sent a letter to Jenni last week. I've been trying to write it for the last 2 transfers, but things kept going crazy and I'd have to start over. I got the letters and the music. I'm sooo greatful for the music, thank you!!!! I'll write you a letter with answers to your other questions. I wear those no show socks that you wear with dress shoes. Do you know the ones that I mean? the socks that just come to the edges of the shoes. I'm glad Ender's Game was good. Every time I see the title on the theater signs I get excited and wish I could see it.
What's Uncle Art's full name? do you know when and where grandma and grandpa got married? do you have any stories about them?
I kind of need that info by next week. Elder Packer of the 70 is going to be here and talking about family history.
I love you, I hope this letter was better.
Sister Amanda Park

Monday, November 4, 2013

Between Daddy and Daughter - 11/4/13

Hi again, daughter dear,
I love getting your letter today while I was at work, it brightened the rest of my day. I'm very impressed with how much more prepared you are than I was when I went on my mission. The only preparation I had was Sunday school and before school seminary, along with the knowledge that I was going to serve a mission. The fact that you were preparing for your mission even before you made the decision to go is outstanding. You will have your ups and downs spiritually, emotionally and physically so just keep focused on the Lord and his work and you'll make it through fine. I love hearing about your contacting and teaching experiences but like Brad Pickering was saying yesterday in a conversation after church, he found out a lot more about his boys experiences after they came home.

I will try to think of some stories and experiences about your grandma and grandpa but I don't have a great memory of my past life so I need to find some ways to jog my memory. Dad always had a day job and from the time we move to Benton City when I was in the 6th grade he went out to work in the orchard as soon as he got home from work. He was an electrical engineer and since I am NOT very mechanically inclined I didn't spend much time with him working on the cars and tractors to keep them running. Walt was always the mechanic and spend more time with dad then I did. As I look back on how he spent time with his grandchildren after I left home I think I felt a little cheated
as well as jealous. I spend much more time with Mom doing housework and baking. We didn't have a dishwasher so Mom would wash the dishes and we boys would dry them which gave us time to visit and talk and get to know her.

I'm sure I've told you the story about how Sherman died. It was cherry season in June and Walt and I were across the street in Monson's cherry orchard picking fruit. Most of the migrant workers started at daylight and quit at noon when it started really getting hot but Walt and I kept going later than that. Sherman was working for the Monsons and we could hear his tractor over the hill and I was tired of picking so I decided to go see what he was doing. As I approached the tractor I could see it stopped by a tree just idling so I went around behind a tractor to see what Shermie was doing. I could see him sitting in the tractor seat backed up to pick up the disk that was sitting beside the tree but he had backed into a tree branch. It hit him in the back and pushed him forward into the cowling on the tractor before he could stop. His lips were blue and he wasn't moving and there was a lot of blood. My first thought was to get help so I called to Walter to run home and get mom while I went running to the next orchard where I could hear some adult migrant workers talking.

I got them to come back with me to see if we could move the tractor away from the tree. I didn't know anything about driving the tractor except that the clutch was a handle next to the seat and that it had to be moved to take it out of gear or move it. The workers said there wasn't anything they could do so I asked me to stay with Sherman and I ran home. I got there before Walt did, I got mom and we went running back to the orchard. I left mom with Shermie and went running down to the road to flag down a car to get an ambulance coming. I don't remember much more of that day except that I prayed that I would be able to not cry and help Mom as much as possible. After the funeral we kids were farmed out to friends while dad took mom away for awhile to recuperate.
From then on I was the oldest and felt I had to set the example for my siblings. It really shaped the rest of my life.

Well, enough reminiscing for a while. We will try to get some music recorded for you for Christmas but don't expect it too soon. Keep working hard and feel free to let me know if your feelings whenever you want. I love you, dad. XOXO

Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless
From: Amanda Park <amanda.park@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 12:51 PM
To: "jstutpuck@cableone.net" <jstutpuck@cableone.net>

That explains why you like to make cookies ;) which I LOVE! (hint, hint). I'm out of vitamins. I didn't think that I would be so soon, but I opened up all of my bags and there wasn't a bottle anywhere. I was thinking about you yesterday. I was relaxing a little and playing Sudoku before going to visit a member in a nursing home, and then there was something that smelled like you in the room, I'm not sure what it was. But I felt like I was back home just sitting on the bed with you working on the newspaper sudoku. It was a welcome break from reality.
We had an amazing contact last night. He was interested in learning more about the restored gospel, he took the book of mormon, and we gave him our number so that he could call us if he had any questions. He texted us this morning so that we wouldn't think that he was just leading us on.
We didn't meet with any of our investigators last week, but it was Halloween, so it makes sense. But most of them we rescheduled with and I really think that we can help them over come the hard trials they're facing right now. It's interesting to see what different people are going through. One is facing the loss of a loved one. One is facing the poor decisions of a child. and the last in faced with mistakes from the past. Its the people who are struggling and need healing that are truly open to the gospel. This is why I'm here. And I don't want to be anywhere else right now. It's crazy to think though that in a couple of weeks I'll only have a year left. At least I'm only missing one holiday season :)
I love you so much and I miss you LOADS!!!!
Sister Amanda Park

From Amanda - Short and sweet 10/28/13 -

I loved the package! The cookies were delicious. The coat is much needed. The brace is a saving grace. I'm going to start my personal progress this week.
And That journal is FANTASTIC!!!!!! I love the pictures! It reminds me of home :)
One of the members in my ward, Mike Cleaves, is Sherm's best friend. It's actually because of Sherm and his friends that Brother Cleaves joined the church! It was so cool!!!!! The Beus's are amazing! I want to be an example to someone the way Sherm was.
We have a potential baptism. He's a really nice guy. His name is David, and he wants to turn his life around. We're hoping to set a date tonight.
We're going to be a pilot program for family history so I was wondering if you could send me any stories about you and about grandma and grandpa dickerson and about their grandparents if you know any.
Here's a new picture!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

From Amanda - 10/28/13

PRELUDE:  Amanda has asked her Dad to share his mission experiences with her and it has been so fun for him to revisit his slides and his journals and relay those adventures with her.  This is her latest response to his tales:

We have a saying here. "Catholics make the best Mormons" ;) It's so crazy how different missions are both from when you went and now and where you went and where I am. The people accept things differently. I recently reread Alma 21 and 22 and its a good example of how different missions are.
When Ammon went to the Lamonites he met King Lamoni and told him he'd serve him and then converted him and it went really smooth.
When Aaron went to the Amalekites he went to their churches and preached and they said, "Well, we believe in God, isn't that enough?" and he asked, "Do you believe that Jesus Christ is our redeemer?" they said, "We don't believe that." and then they mocked him and threw him in jail. Ammon and Lamoni got him out, but what did he do when he was free? He went right back to those same people and kept preaching.
I look at it like this: Ammon went to Mexico where people are very open and willing to hear and accept the gospel. Aaron went to California where people's hearts are hard and they believe that they can do things on their own, that they don't need God.
Both missions were hard in their own rights.
Sometimes I'm glad I didn't have to learn a language, that I can just say what I feel, and sometimes I hate having to think about what I should say.
The gospel really is it's own language.
By the way, We're doing a family history thing here in the mission and I was wondering if, along with the fantastic story of your life that you're sending me, could you send me some stories about Grandma and Grandpa Park and their parents too if you know any. The story of Lizzy's healing would be great too :)
I love you, Thanks for the cookies :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

At last, in Oceanside - September 30, 2013

I've been white-washed into Oceanside.  Neither my new companion nor I have been in this area before. We've established that I'm the foster kid. Since I'm on my third transfer and my third area and my FOURTH apartment. I'm wondering if this is going to be the pattern of my mission. People say that there's no way, but I only have twelve transfers total and the President is changing a lot of things and he LOVES white-washing. My new companion is a lot like us. A Who-vian and a geek. She quotes movies all the time. She and I have seen almost all of the same movies. I can tell that this transfer is going to be fun. :) She's from Tennessee and when you get her excited you can bring her accent out. I get her excited a lot ;D Her name is Sister Rodney and she's a southern fireball. I love it!!
 We get to go to the temple in a couple of weeks and i'm so excited!!!! I haven't been since June and I've really missed the spirit that I feel in there. I need that little boost. I'm looking forward to the spiritual overload I'm going to get from conference and a temple trip. This ward is totally awesome though, I love it!
Sister Park

Monday, September 23, 2013

California's getting colder! 9-23-13

Trust me. I'll need that jacket I asked you to send. There's going to be an ocean breeze in the winter and it's already getting colder. I'm coastal now not inland, things have changed.
I really wish you had sent me that song. I've been DYING to sing it all the way through. (Note: She's referring to a composition I just finished and played in Ward Conference.  Mom)
This has been the best week of this transfer. We played Quiddich with our zone last monday! It was such a blast! We just got a new investigator and he’s really solid. We made some great contacts and found some people that were interested that we handed off to the Elders.  One of our members brought us her nonmember friend and we gave him both an English and a Japanese Book of Mormon. Sister Wickham wrote her testimony in the front of the English one. He was so much fun! This Japanese guy had never met a Mormon until he came to America and now he’s really interested in learning more. He saw the San Diego temple and said that it was like the castle at Disney Land. I love that people think that our temples look like castles! There is also a neighbor of some members from a family ward who has a lot of our same morals and when she found out about us she wanted to know more. The biggest draw for her was also the temple. We brought the relief society president to meet her and they hit it off great. I’m so excited because I’m sure that she’s going to fit right in with the ward and they’re going to love her! I wish that I could see how it all plays out. I guess I’ll just have to count on Sister Wickham to email me the updates. On that note; I’m being transferred….again. I’ll know tomorrow where I’m going so again I’ll update you next week. I’m going to miss being able to drive around everywhere in the stake and see the ocean all the time (that’s assuming I don’t get called to another sea side area).
We’re getting 14 Sisters in this transfer and only 10 Elders. That’s a new one. We’re really excited, but it also means that by next transfer (November) we’re pretty sure every Sister will either be training or a trainer. I’m hoping that tomorrow they tell us that we get facebook and ipads. The Anaheim mission already has it, so we’re praying for it, especially those in Singles Wards. By the way
I am so coming back to this singles ward after I get off! They are so much fun!! I love ya I miss ya. I’ll tell you my fate next week.
Love Ya
Sister Amanda Park