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

Monday, September 9, 2013

Amanda to Mom 9-9-13 - Spider hitched a ride!

Dear Mom and Dad...You had a raccoon in the house!!!! insane!!!! We had a spider attach itself to the back of our car and rode about 15 miles down the highway with us. We were amazed he lasted. We didn't find him till we got home.
We just moved into our new apartment on Saturday. Its amazing! Its half a mile from the ocean. All of the appliances are new and we have 3 closets, one of which you could fit a bed in. Plus this place is 7 minutes away from the church. Its great!!!
The man we met, his name is Park Larsen. Unfortunately we don't get to see him anymore because he's out of our area, it breaks my heart.
We had a great dinner with a member last week. He brought a friend and it wasn't until we started our lesson that he told us his friend wasn't a member. later that night he told us his friend was very impressed with us and like the lesson and wanted to meet with us again. He also bragged to the ward about us and encouraged them to invite their friends to meet with us.
We seem to be our ward's favorite sisters, because we are so enthusiastic and get involved with as much as we can. I'm just excited because we can go to the single's activities :) I love this ward so much though! It's so great!
We're doing a musical fireside on Sunday. I've got a solo. The song is so beautiful, I feel so privileged to sing it. I wish I had some new pictures but this week has been a little crazy so I'm short on pictures. But I'll work on getting more for you next week. I love you and I miss you.
Sister Park

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Amanda to Mom; Amanda to Dad 8-26-13

The reason we get two separate responses is because I (Donna) usually am composing my email to her late on Sunday night and by the time I'm half-way through John is asleep, and John usually uses his voice texting to compose his letters on his phone during commercials of "Longmire."

Dear Mom:
The mission is great. I got stared down by a skunk and have been working on a crazy big map for our area since we cover the entire stake for the singles ward. I love the ward, they are so pro-active on getting nonmember friends to activities. It's really encouraging since we don't have any investigators at the moment. We've been sharing an apartment with another set of sisters and its been loads of fun, but its 20 minutes out of our area and we already have a lot of driving we have to do in there without tacking on going back and forth for dinner. However I think we're going to start getting more dinners. We told the guys in the ward that they can't feed us unless they take us out or they have another girl there. We are now an excuse for a date ;D They tell the girls they offered to feed the Sister Missionaries but they can't do it unless the girl is there. Some guys have set up double dates already. ^-^ The ocean is beautiful everytime I look at it. I took a lot of pictures but I forgot my camera so I'll just have to send them to you next week. How is the medco thing going? I'll send you my perscription recipts this week. I hope there's money in my bank account because I'll be out of medication on thursday so I'll need to get a refill. Fortunately Dr. Vincent gave me 2 refills on the bottles. I love you Thank you for taking care of me.

Love Sister Park

PS. How is Johnny?

Dear Dad:
It's been crazy, I've been moved from an area where people would stop and listen to what we had to say, even if it was only for a moment, and now I'm in an area where we're lucky if we can give them a passalong card. We don't knock on doors, we just talk to whoever we see out and about. We're over just a single's ward now so anyone who's interested who's married or not between the ages of 19 and 35 we have to hand off to other missionaries. We've started to run into some real odd ones too. Fortunately our ward is fantastic and is really gungho on doing activities that will get their nonmember friends out there and interested. I haven't given a real lesson in almost 3 weeks and I miss it so much. I love teaching and when people just wave you by it's hard to keep up your spirits. but thats one thing that I am set on doing. keeping my spirits up. I'm trying to be happy no matter what and talk to everyone I see. Sometimes I fall short but Sister Wickham and I have agreed to start over this week and really go at it.I wish I had remembered my camera to send you some pictures. I'll send you some next week. I can't believe its already almost September! Time is flying so fast!! I love you so much! and I love reading your stories! I share them with my companion and my roommates all the time.

I love you and miss you loads!

Sister Park

Amanda to Mom 8-19-13 The new assignment

Just got white washed into a YSA ward in Del Mar. One investigator might have potential, but I haven't met her yet and the former investigator that we could find and still lived here isn't really all there. She's kind of a hippy and she just sort of floats.

But the craziest thing! One of the guys from my YSA in Park City, who we all thought had moved to Chicago, apparently moved into the Torrey Pines YSA two weeks ago, the ysa I just got transfered to! It's nice to have a friendly face.

I have to admit though, this place is beautiful. I'm taking pictures all the time. The only down side is the hills I have to run (I swear they're 85% angles), the mosquitoes, and the wildlife. We got stared down by a skunk last night just around the corner from our church! The owls we saw the other night were pretty epic though ;) Here are some pics of my new area.

I've just been transfered from the hottest part of the mission to right by the beach. I get to see the ocean every day! It is the most amazing thing! no matter how many times I see it, it's always beautiful :) I'm now in charge of a young single adult ward and I have no one to teach yet but my new companion and I are working super hard on changing that. this new change is going to be great!!!

8-12-13 - Amanda to Daddy

Note:  Some of her responses refer to John's recounting of his mission to her.

That's so cool! Did you go into Switzerland a lot? I don't envy the stair climbing. They didn't make you run a half hour every morning too did they ;P I wish we could have motor scooters, that would be so much fun!!! Why did they faze them out? Guess what, I'm being transfered. I'm leaving Murrieta tomorrow to get my new companion and new area. And funny thing, the other day, I reached into the back seat and grabbed the cd case and a little lizard ran out from underneath it! I think I accidently left the car door open one time and a lizard snuck into the car! It was awesome! We chased it out just because we didn't want it to get stuck anywhere and die, but I wish I'd had my camera with me so I could have grabbed a picture of it. It was only about 2 /2in long. And there's been a gorgious fog that settles in in the mornings so we get to go running in it. Tomorrow I'm going to take my camera and send you some pictures next week. The most amazing thing is that I saw a fog rainbow this morning! I'd never seen that before. The fog had arched itself into a perfect rainbow shape....Why do I never have my camera when I need it?!?!

I love you so much! Thank you for the mission story, I love it and I'm looking forward to hearing more.


8-5-13 - Short but sweet

By the way, P-day has been moved back to Monday. Nice to know that you wait till the last minute to email me ;P Love you.

Hey Dad, I was wondering if you could tell me more about your mission. I'm curious to know where it covered, your transportation, your prostilitizing styles...stuff like that. I didn't really ask before I left, but lately I've been wondering. And how are all of your projects coming along? I hear a lot from mom.......not that I don't love you, mom.....but I want to hear for you too.

Next week is transfers and I'm not really sure if I'll still be in Murrieta or if they'll move me somewhere else in the mission. It's going to be exciting to find out.

I love you SOOO much, I'll talk to you next week.

ps. by then I'll be 24 ^-^

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 25th

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Hi Mom and Dad,
I've had an amazing week.  We've been praying for this recently reactivated lady's daughter and her husband, that he would get stationed here in the States.  Since she lost her dad just a few months ago, she's really been needing her husband who's been stationed in Japan.  We just found out on Monday that he's staying here.  We are so happy about it!  And now that he's staying they're both probably going to start taking the lessons and going to church.  I'm so happy we can help to try and bring this family together, they are just amazing.
Also, this other member's husband that we have been teaching, he knows everything in the church is true, he just has a problem with the Word of Wisdom, had an amazing breakthrough on Tuesday.  None of the Sisters before us ever took a member with them, they just counted his wife.  This time we took one of the brethren and taught about Priesthood.  The Spirit was so strong in that lesson, we asked him if he would want the Priesthood, and he said "yes."  Then we asked him if he'd be baptized and he said "if he prayed and got an answer that this was the true church, he would be baptized."  His name is Kurt, will you pray for him?
A couple of weeks ago I did this amazing thing where I left a Harvesting Blessing with an awesome family.  There were about 10 people there.  A Harvesting Blessing is something like a Priesthood Blessing except I can have it by my virtue as a missionary.  I have never done something so fantastic for someone before.  there are six daughters, most of them inactive, two of them getting married to non-members.  One of the fiancees was there and he's not really interested in the church, but when I said the prayer, addressing each of their needs individually, everyone was touched by the spirit.  i didn't know I could do something like that.
After last week I've changed my outlook on things and how I've been going about everything.  Since then I've seen so many blessings.  with Gracie and Ian, that coupe I talked about at the beginning and with Kurt.  With how we are received by people when we're contacting.  Even with how Sister Grover and I have been dealing with each other lately.  I was having a really hard time putting up with her for awhile, but we finally really got out everything and talked it out.  Now I'm opening up more and she's working on being less controlling.  She's half-Italian so it is that and mood swings...and not a lot of facial expression.  But I think we're both learning from each other which is very helpful.
Oh, by the way, an update on everyone (except Jessica, who keeps me informed) would be appreciated.  And I can't tell you how much I'm dying for musical soundtracks like "Oklahoma," and "Singing in the Rain," and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."  I need something to sing along to in the mornings and while I'm running.
It's kind of irritating being the only Sisters in the Zone because any time there's a service project or something, even if it's out of our district and there are plenty of people there to help, the Elders always invite us because they want the girls to be there.  The Spanish Elders are the worst offenders.  they always try to make excuses to spend time with us.  I do laugh every time they ask, though.  Elders are obnoxious sometimes, and sometimes they're extremely helpful.  I'm glad we have them.
I miss you, I love you.....Sister Amanda Park  

Morning Hike

Sis. Grover's awesome but we don't mesh the best so we probably won't be together after this next transfer. I don't know who will be transfered, but one of us will be.I love her to death but some things just don't mesh.
On a chipper note. We went on the best hike this morning! It sucked waking up at 4:00 am but the outcome was totally worth it! You should have seen it last night! The mother of a family that was just moving in went into labor so no one would be there to unload the truck at 8:30 at night. the call went out through the Elder's Quorum and when we got there I swear half the ward was there. It was awesome! We've seen so many miracles with the ward and potential and progressing investigators. I love this, I'm so glad I'm here! Here are pictures of the hike.
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NOTE from Donna:  For some reason, an amazing picture of a spider web won't copy, so I'll try to get it on later

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

From Amanda's Email 7-23-13
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I love the pictures! (She's referring to the pictures I sent her of the family reunion) Thank you! Thank you for taking such good care of me while I'm away from home. You are amazing! I'll send you a letter soon. I'm going to write it today. Sister Grover is great by the way. She's half Italian and likes to hog the lessons, but that's good because it's getting me to be more outgoing. I'm sending you pictures. I love you so much.
You guys would love it down here, it's quiet and safe. The only problem is the prices. Fortunately we're fed every night so I don't need to worry about buying enough for three full meals a day. I'm starting to cut back on everything I buy, only to the things I know I'll really eat or use.
I love you here are some pictures,
Love, Amanda

Monday, July 8, 2013

From Sister Park 6-28-2013

I love the cookies!  Thank you so much.  To answer all of your questions:  President and Sister Smart met us all at the airport and my companion from the MTC and I rode with them to the Mission Home.  (Btw, they're not related to Don and Geniel).  My P-Days are going to be on Tuesdays starting next week.  I'm living in a member's home which is nice because then there's a full kitchen and a washer and dryer.  They (the members) don't have any kids but they have a little dog which is basically the equivalent.  They spoil her!  My day starts at 6:30 a.m. and ends around 10 or 10:30 p.m., depending on how much we have to do.  6:30 we exercise, then we get ready for the day from 7-8:15.  From 8:15-10:15 we're doing personal and companion study.  At least, that's what we usually try for, sometimes appointments or meetings throw it off. Lunch is at 11 or 12, depending on the day, and it's an hour.  Usually I nap after a quick lunch.  Once lunch is over we go to appointments to try to meet with less-active or part-member families.  Along the way we talk to 20 people.  Then there's dinner at roughly 5:30 or 6, and then we can't return to the Home Stay until 9.  that's when we polan our next day, and it could take forever or it could take no time at all.  We have a car so that we can get all around our area resonably.  Our area looks like (she had a diagram, but I can't reproduce it with type so I'll just say.... It's like a trangle without the bottom, or a C standing on it's open part.) There's lots of stuff inbetween each point which makes a car a blessing. 

My companion, Sr. Grover, is great!  She's half Italian so she has mood swings, but she's an awesome trainer.  I'm not sure what she likes to do.  She's not one to share a lot and I don't pry.  She did come he from Sweden though, that's cool.  All of the missions are getting smaller so the Carlsbad Mission isn't too big, but I don't know its boundaries yet.  I do know that Murrieta is as far inland as it goes so it's mostly ocean front property :-)  Depending on where I go for my next area I could even go running by the beach for my morning exercise.  Murriet's a tough area.  Tracting is difficult with all the Christians and Catholics and our ward members are less than helpful with referrals.  All of the other missionaries in our zone say they get all of their investigators and baptisms from the members.  I don't know how they do it.  but I do love murrieta, and I'm glad I'm here.  I love you and I miss you!

Love, Sister Amanda Park

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Amanda's Guardian Angel

This is from Amanda's 1st P-Day email, and very impacting!

"So, the whole time I was preparing for my mission I always had this image of Jesus standing just behind me with his hand on my shoulder. And it was a comfort the whole process and even now he's still there, all the time. But I always thought that his image was kind of weird. It wavered a little and I think I just stuck on the facial hair and the robe. I realized this while I was sitting in sacrament meeting on Sunday. People were talking about past family members and I started to wonder about mine and if any of them ever watched over me. I thought about Grandma and Grandpa Dickerson, and Grandpa Park. And then I just thought about Uncle Sherm and I started crying. I know I never met him, but I think that he's watching over me as I go through my mission. I don't know why but there's just this strong feeling in my heart every time I think about it. I think he's happy."
Well, I love you and I really look forward to your next package.
Sister Amanda Park "

Monday, July 1, 2013

Websites and blogs for the missions

When we first found out about Amanda's mission to Riverside a friend pulled up the mission blog and it was amazing!  It was full of pictures, and information, and a live blog.  Unfortunately, the Carlsbad mission website is just being developed and doesn't have much, BUT, we're looking forward to great things.  Today is Amanda's P day so we're also looking forward to hearing from her, especially since I heard that Diana Krebs (who's daughter just left the MTC so she and amanda just missed each other).,..... anyway, Diana Krebs got to trade emails with her daughter for two hours on her daughter's P day, and was able to speak to her three times the day she flew out because 1) the plane was delayed at a stopover, and 2) her daughter called her from the new mission.  I just got one call----IT WAS A GREAT CALL, MIND YOU--but I'm a touch jealous.  Don't worry, I'll get over it.
Anyway, if anyone knows of a Carlsbad blog, let me know.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 20-27th

Tuesday was CRAZY! Everyone was exhausted because they didn't get to bed until 11 or 11:30 because they were finishing packing and then we were all up by 2 or 3 so we could catch the bus to the airport at 4:30. About 144 missionaries flew out that morning, 29 of them were all going to riverside with me, 1 of them were Spanish speaking. I got to call mom and dad when I finally got to my gate at 6:30 but my plane didn't leave until 8:45. I talked to mom for about an hour and half and by the time I finished gathering my stuff and my companion, there was no time for a nap. I sat next to a girl from my zone on the plane so I got a little power nap in, but the flight was only an hour and half long. One thing that we've all been expectiong is that Riverside Mission would get split into three different missions. So when we finally got to California we were rushed to training and we had to wait until 1pm to find out who our new companions were going to be and where we were going to go. Everyone in my district was hoping we'd stay together, but as our mission President began to call us to our new companions some of us ended up in areas that would be in the Riverside mission and some in the soon to be Redlands Mission. I got called to a companion in the Murrieta area.  I'll be in the Carlsbad Mission. We were the only sister companionship called to this mission. All of the sisters I was hoping to see again, I'll only see once before they split the mission up. That's the only sad part. The rest of it is great! I love my new companion, Sister Grover. She's working with me a lot to make sure I know what I'm doing and she usually asks me if I'd like to do something I haven't tried before. Sometimes I think I get on her nerves, but usually were pretty good with each other. Every day we're supposed to do this thing called OYM's, It's "Open Your Mouth" where we go and talk to people. We're supposed to get 20 a day, ten each. So everyday we're trying to talk to twenty new people before 9pm and that's with working around all of the other things we have planned for the day. It was to the point we'd just go to a parking lot that last hour of the day and cram them all in there. Then we went on exchanges with some sisters and things changed. Sister Grover and I both learned that tracting through out the day is the best way to get them. Who knew?! Right?! The exchange was on a Tuesday, on Wednesday when Sister Grover and I were back together, we took what we learned and our day turned out amazing. We got to know our district better and then when we went looking for a less active we went to the wrong address  but ended up meeting a nice buddist family and we're going to meet with them again. Later we went to another member's house but they had moved out and only the painter was there so we talked with him. He's so happy and he loves God. We left a blessing with him and he said we can come by any time this week and talk to him some more. We took one of our investigators on a church tour. We took him and his son through each of the main rooms of the building, focusing on the pictures and explaining them. Then we ended in the chapel and point out that there are no pictures in there and the main focus is on the sacrament, then we leave them with a song.  The song is important because it helps the spirit fill the chapel. After the song we asked him if he would pray about the church and the book of Mormon to know if they are true and if he felt they were true if he would be baptized by someone holding the priesthood. There was a great calmness about him and I could feel the spirit around us as he says he would. He's on date to be baptized on July 20th, and his little 6 year old boy wants to come to church EVERY sunday. It's so great to hear that sort of thing. I love just sharing my testimony about the gospel and my stories so that other people can feel that truth through my belief and love for the savior.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Amanda's new mission area

Sister Park's new mission area.

Mission splits

The Mission Splits:

Just received this from the Mission President.

Dear Brother and Sister Park,Last February the First Presidency announced the creation of 58 new missions. That announcement included modifications to the California Riverside Mission boundaries. Beginning in July, those boundary changes will move four of our zones (Palm Desert, Redlands, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley) into the California Redlands Mission. A fifth zone (Murrieta) will transition to the California Carlsbad Mission. Seven zones (Corona, Hemet, Jurupa, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Moreno Valley and Riverside) will remain in the California Riverside Mission.

Separating our mission into three pieces has been a difficult assignment for us, even though we realize the growth and opportunity it represents for the progress and maturity of the Church here. With this change, about 40% of the missionaries we currently serve with will be working in a different mission with a different mission president. This is a hard thing for us; kind of like sending about 100 of our own "adopted" children off to the mission field, all on the same day. I tried to describe the change to our missionaries as a "longer transfer than normal" and look forward to having opportunities to see everyone from time-to-time when we finish our missions.

Beginning in July please begin sending mail to Sister Park to the following address:
California Carlsbad Mission Office451 W BobierVista, CA 92083United States760-941-4154

We love Sister Park, and have loved serving with her. She brings great strength to the work here and our association with her has been a great blessing to us as well as all those she has served. Thank you for your love and support.

Sincerely, President and Sister Smart

Letter from mission president

This just in from the Mission President:

Dear Brother and Sister Park:

We are so grateful to have Sister Amanda Jordan Park join us here in the California-Riverside Mission.  It was exciting to meet her at the airport.  I had the opportunity to interview your missionary and we were able to hear her testimony before having dinner together.  We have been impressed with her testimony and desire to serve.  It has been a privilege to get to know her.

Sister Park is now hard at work in her new area, the MURRIETA Zone with her companion, Sister Gemma Jean Grover.  Preparation day is Monday; most missionaries choose to email their family on that day.  We encourage you to write or email weekly as well.  Thank you for keeping your letters positive, uplifting and encouraging your daughter to work hard and take advantage of the time spent here in doing the work of the Lord.  You may also keep updated with our mission events by looking at our blog at:  riversidecaliforniamission.blogspot.com.

As we visited with your daughter this is what she said about her family:  "They support me whole heartedly on my mission and they're super protective."

We look forward to a wonderful experience together with your missionary.  Thank you for preparing one worthy to serve.  May God continue to bless you.

Paul F. Smart, President
California Riverside Mission

Letters to my parents love Amanda!

John and I got individual letters from Amanda dated two days before she left.  The contents of my letter is as follows:

Mom (heart symbol)
Thank you for all your emails.  It's really nice to get a letter every day.  I'm sorry I couldn't reply to your emails.  I've been so busy i've had no rea time to write letters.  It took me a week to finish Jessica's letter.  I'm finally writing you two days before I leave for California....
Could you send me more stationery (Note:  I designed a simple "missionary" stationery for her), I went through mine fast writing notes to my district and my teachers.  You would like them, they're all amazing, supportive and comforting. 
I'm nervous about Tuesday because I'll get ther, I'll put down mybags and head out to the field.  Drop and go.  It's nerve wracking.  But to make it easier on myself I asked my District Leader to give me a blessing last night. I just need to make sure I'm ready for tomorrow night.....
Please give anyone who's helping me my intense gratitude.
I love you so much,
Sister Amanda Park,

On Tuesay, June 18, I got a call from the California-Riversiade medical person in charge of the girls from L-Z saying she was on her way to take Amanda and her new companion to their new home and needed to order her medicine.  She was sweet enough to take a picture of the girls for us and, on my request, gave Amanda a big hug.  In return, she texted me that Amanda hugged the phone!!!!


.........I love being your little girl, dancing on your shoes.....  and here's a sketch she made on the back of his letter!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

First handwritten letter from Sister Park!

June 10-12-14-15, 2013
You wouldn't believe the things that I've experienced since coing to the MTC! My heart has been filled with the spirit multiple times in the last few days. The most amazing one was the moment in our district meeting when we were reading about the return of the prophets to the earth and how we have a modern day prophet. I walked out of the room because of home much I was crying. I've been asking for months if Thomas S. Monson was really called to be a prophet of God and finally he answered and the joy I feel is immense. I'd listen to my companion, who'd been questioning whether or not she was really supposed to be here and I'd comfort her but I couldn't share my joy with her because it would always make her feel worse.I couldn't stop some of the tears of joy from spilling over though. Fortunately, she has finally chosed to stay and continue her mission after receiving a great blessing from our district leaders. It helped to strengthen my testimony too. I know for a fact that this what I'm supposed to be doing. The more I study, learn and practice, the more I feel the spirit and happiness fills my heart. It's been a week since I first got to the MTC, I can't believe it!
I have experienced so many changes and learned so much more then I ever thought possible in 7 days. I'm getting to know my district better and better and I realize how lucky I am that we are all going to the same place. It means we will get to see eachother every now and then and might even be companions. I'd like to see the elders out there too, because now that we've broken through their shells they make each class and every meal an adventure. :)
Last night (tuesday) was EPIC!!!!! It was the first time that they've ever had an MTC devotional outside of the MTC. There were over 2,000 missionaries in the marriot center. The music was great and Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the quoram of the seventy and his wife shared such amazing talks. I got so much out of each of them plus I got to be ground floor so when we were leaving I go to shake Elder Arnolds hand and Sister Arnold gave me a hug. I know it sounds corny but I haven't met a General Authority before so I thoughtit was the coolest thing. As everyone was walking back, one group would start singing and the rest of us would join in. So it was a mass of singing missionaries walking down the street.
We had infield orientation today (Friday), and I realized how much I am not prepared for talking to people on the streets. I'm sad because tomorrow one of our teachers is going to be gone so my companion and I don't have an "investigator" to teach, and we had just gotten "Rob" to commit to baptism. We won't get to talk to him again until monday just before we leave for California. The funny thing about my teacher, Brother Corbit, is his quirk. He always says "INTERESTING". One time, when I was kind of keeping track, he said it fifteen times in forty minutes! You would love my district. We all take care of each other and try to stay together throughout the day. We've got a lot of inside jokes now. Some are between all ten of us and some are just between the girls. All of us have phrases we say randomly now. "Roll Tide!" "Boom..SHAKALAKA!" "Holla!" and "INTERESTING". All of those came from either our teacher or one of the Elders. The Elders are wonderful to us. They joke around with us all the time and when we need it they drop the boy facade and give up beautiful blessings that are exactly what we need.
15th- I had the most amazing ecperiences today! My companion and I had to teach two people we knew nothing about. The first was practice in tracting. We knocked on the door and we had to try to get this guy who let us in to give us a drink to let us teach him. We eventually got him to promise to pray and to set up another appointment. The other one the guy was Jewish and he had talked with alot of christians and catholics so we had to try to teach him against those. What he knew about Mormons he had learned from South Park so we had to deal with that too. We talked about so much it was crazy. At the end he agreed to read the Book of Mormon and to pray and if he ended up believing in God he would be baptized. The things I've learned are fantastic! I can't believe I leave in 2 days! Tuesday I will be in California with a new companion and probably be out tracting or goint to appointments. No rest for the weary! I'm terrified! The last week has flown by so fast. By the time you get this I will be in Riverside, that's such a crazy thought!
Love, Sister Amanda Park
PS She would love to get some letters!!!!
Sister Amanda Park
5900 Grand Ave.
California Riverside Mission
Riverside, CA 92504

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Leaving MTC.... Off on the mission!

Amanda is leaving the MTC this morning and will be headed to riverside, ca to begin her mission!!! 
We received a photo of part of her group before their departure from the MTC. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

First email from Sister Amanda Park:)

This last week has been so crazy! From the minute I got out of the car it's been rush, rush, rush! Everything is on the top floor! My room is on the fourth floor of the residence, my class is on the fifth floor of the language building (we're the only English speaking class in there), and our Zone Meeting is on the fourth floor of building 4. No Elevators. Who needs gym when you're hiking all of those stairs about twenty times a day!! But I love my companion and my classes so I guess it's worth it. :)  Everyone in my District was effected by the age change, they're all under 21. The funny part is that they all thought I was too. You should have seen their faces when I told them I was 23. Everyone's talking about being homesick and how this is really hard because they want to be with their families. I feel kind of out of place when I just look at it all and go "I feel like I don't know enough." Which is when I pull out my books and start studying and go to my 3 hour long classes and I feel better. It was an amazing thing last night when about 2,000 missionaries walked out of the MTC over to the Marriot Center and listened to Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the Quorum of the Seventy. It was the first MTC Devotional ever done outside of the MTC campus. The sight was so fantastic!! The new missionaries are coming in today, not as many as my group though. There were over 900 missionaries that came in with me. Today it's somewhere around 800. Some of them are going to be in my Zone. Now I'm going to be the senior missionary, it's so weird! All of the walking in dress shoes has literally killed my feet. I'm going to the clinic today about a lost toe nail. No pain, no gain I guess, right??? :S At least I have the day to let it rest. It's my preparation day, which means laundry, email, temple, and relaxation.....until 6:30. I fly out for California on Tuesday morning. I wonder if I'll be anywhere near ready. I guess that all depends on me right? Well, I'll email again in probably a couple weeks when I have another P-Day.
I miss you, see you in 18 months!
Sister Park

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Return With Honor in 18 months!

Our Sweet Amanda is finally on her mission!!!! Mom and Dad dropped her off at the MTC yesterday.... Such a bittersweet day! Uncle Art called this a "bipolar" day and it's sure turned out that way. We had a good chance to say our good-bye's at the temple and then took her to the MTC where there was a whole line of people waiting to greet her and within minutes she was swallowed by a whole bunch of Elders and Sisters who acted like she was the gift they had been waiting for.

We will start posting letters as we get them. If you would like to mail her here are her addresses:

while she is @ MTC
Sister Amanda Jordan Park
2009 N 900 E Unit 116
Provo UT 84602

Her mission address
Sister Amanda Park
California Riverside Mission
5900 Grand Ave.
Riverside, CA, 92504-1328