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.