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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 12:51 PM
To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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