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:

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