Thursday, February 27, 2014

Missionary Training Center

Amanda is now in the MTC! She would love letters and packages! Here is her MTC address. She will be there until April 29th.

Sister Amanda Nicole Kelly
2007 N 900 E Unit 6
Provo UT 84602

Monday, February 24, 2014

Heart Rock Falls

I LOVE hiking so that's exactly why we went on a hike before I left on my mission. Check out my brother's vlog. I get set apart as a missionary in exactly one hour so sorry for all the recent posts haha, but I'm leaving! AHHH!! I love all of you so much and I'm so grateful for your support! I'll be honest I haven't even started packing yet. Procrastinate much? Yeah, totally sounds like me haha! But hey! I've been busy spending the day with the people I love; I think that's a great excuse haha!

Please write me! I'd love to continue feeling all your love and support, especially cause I know this will be a big change and adjustment at first. Thanks again! See you all in 18 months!!

Last weekend before I leave

On Saturday I spent some time with close friends and also spent the evening with my family doing sealings in the Newport beach temple. Just FYI that is such a pretty temple! My farewell talk and open house on Sunday was great. I wish I took pictures with everyone who came but I got a few and today I went on a hike with most of my siblings, poor Kevin had to work :( Here's the pics from my great weekend. Enjoy my snapchat pictures at the end haha!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Farewell talk

I recorded it but I can't figure out how to get it on here, so my brother will have to upload it on here later. It's much better only because I said some funny things not written in my talk.

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters, I feel honored and privileged to speak to you today. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord in this calling. Growing up in this wonderful ward has been such a great blessing. I thank all of you who have taught me, and helped me grow. I feel it a blessing to have known you. 
I am grateful for my friends and family who have sacrificed their time to come and be here for me and to share this time with me. I want you all to know that I am truly grateful. It really means a lot to me that you could all make it today. Wow, this is it. -explain current feelings- 
It really seems quite surreal being up here.
I can honestly say that I never thought I would be in this position today talking to you. Growing up as a mormon girl I grew to have this desire just to find the love of my life, get married and be a great mother and supporting wife to my family.
I’ve come to realize that God sees a lot more potential in me than I see in myself. It’s crazy how all your life you think it will turn out a certain way and you’re suppose to do one thing, but then the Lord laughs and says to you, “No, no, silly! I’ve got something else in store for you.” 
 I did not expect to be serving a mission and it took the Lord telling me 3 times to finally get me to accept it, but it’s a choice I’m never going to regret making.
  Over the coarse of this past month, I’ve had many people ask me how I’m feeling. I’m definitely nervous and don’t feel quite eligible enough, but yet I’m very excited and I can’t wait to serve the Lord and share His gospel.
As many of you know this is my last Sunday here with you. I leave for Utah super dooper early Tuesday morning. Like Bishop Halterman said, I'm going to be serving in the Korea Seoul South mission, beginning Wednesday Feb. 26th. And I'll be speaking Korean! Isn’t that crazy?! 
The Lord was being serious when He revealed to Joseph Smith in the 35th section of the Doctrine and Covenants that He would “call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of [His] Spirit” (v. 13). I don’t know the first thing about the Korean language, the people I’m going to meet, how I’ll be able to eat the food or how I’ll get along with my companions. But I do know that my Heavenly Father knows what He’s doing, that He knows me personally, and that for the next 18 months I will be doing what He wants me to do. I will be continuing the work first started on this earth by His Son; my Savior.
What I know about the gospel is what prompted me to serve a mission. And I want to share with you part of what I’m going to be sharing with the people in South Korea.

God Is Our Loving Heavenly Father:
God is not only our Ruler and Creator; He is also our Heavenly Father. He has a body of flesh and bone that is glorified and perfected. We are His children. All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. 
Every person who was ever born on earth is our spirit brother or sister. This is why we address each other as brother or sister “so and so” Because we are the spirit children of God, we have inherited the potential to develop His divine qualities.
In Matt 5:48 and also 3 Nephi 12:48, we learn that we should strive to, “be ye therefore perfect, even as your father, which is in heaven is perfect.”
 Our experience here on earth provides us with the opportunity to develop the attributes of godliness. Heavenly Father has given us this experience on earth so we can learn and grow. We can show our love for Him through our choices and our obedience to His commandments. He loves us unconditionally. He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right. He wants to communicate with us, and we can communicate with Him through sincere prayer. 
He understands we are not yet perfect which is why He has provided us, His children, with a way to be successful in this life and to return to live in His presence. However, we must be pure and clean through obedience in order to do so. Disobedience moves us away from Him. Central to our Father’s plan is Jesus Christ’s Atonement.
 And it is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become like our Heavenly Father and receive a fulness of joy. The Atonement included His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane as well as His suffering and death on the cross. Through the Atonement we can be freed from the burden of our sins and develop faith and strength to face our trials.

The Gospel Blesses Families:
The restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses and helps husbands and wives, parents and children as they strive to develop stronger relationships and spiritual strength in their families. These blessings are available now and in eternity. Furthermore, the gospel of Jesus Christ provides help with the challenges and concerns we now face.
Because families are ordained of God, they are the most important social unit in time and in eternity. God has established families to bring happiness to His children, allow them to learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and prepare them for eternal life. The best place to learn, teach, and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ is in the home. If homes are established on gospel principles, it will be a place of refuge and safety. It will be a place where the Spirit of the Lord can abide, blessing family members with peace, joy, and happiness. Through prophets in every dispensation, including the prophet we have living today Thomas S. Monson, God has revealed His plan of happiness for individuals and families.
I know that family is important, without my family and my parents teaching me the difference between right and wrong, and other good morals and principles of the gospel I probably wouldn't be where I am today. I'm very grateful for my family, I know that I have been blessed to have them in my life, and I know that the gospel has blessed us.

In The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ the prophet Jacob talks of families and he says this: "Because of this observance, in keeping this commandment... Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children..." Jacob 3:6-7

I know this gospel blesses families, and helps us to have more love at home and a better life if you allow it to. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ - for it has blessed my family beyond measure. Thanks to loving parents who raised my family through teaching basic gospel truths, my family has developed a special bond and love that could not have been developed by no other way. This was done by consistent family prayer, scripture study, and other teachings from the Savior. It has provided my home to be a place of peace, joy, happiness, refuge, and safety. The home is the best place to teach, learn, and apply principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The savior taught in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Our mission as a Church is to preach the gospel to all the world. That means, in due time, every country, nationality, and people. 
In a letter to Mr. John Wentworth in March 1842, Joseph Smith prophesied: “No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; … the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (History of the Church, 4:540; italics added.)
It’s my love I have for my savior that moves me to want to do my part and go into all the world and preach His gospel to all those ready and open to hearing it.    
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the first presidency of the church said this about the hastening of the work, “There is a way for everyone … to participate in this great work. We can each find a way to use our own particular talents and interests in support of the great work of filling the world with light and truth.” 
We members of the church all play a role in hastening of the work of Salvation. You may not being serving a full time mission in South Korea like me, but in your own way, here in California, you can share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 
However old we are, or are capacity, Church calling, or location, we are all called to the work to help the Lord in His harvest of souls. (President Henry B. Eyering)

Because I know this, it is why I am going to be serving a mission. I want to tell you that I personally feel that I am able to get through everything. Absolutely anything. With Him. There is power beyond my own that can help me get through it all, and it comes from the Lord.
How great the importance to make Him know unto everyone on this Earth.
Serving a mission has been the best decision of my life thus far. And I haven’t even gone yet!
The feelings in my body and in my soul. All the excitement for what I’m about to do are making me the happiest girl alive! Do you know why?!
Because I’m going get to share what brings me such happiness. And I’m going to let people know that if they accept these things, they too can feel that joy and success.I’ve seen the blessings in my life from living the way of the gospel, I am so glad that I have the opportunity to maybe help a few more people be just as happy as I am. 
I really believe this church that I belong to is true and it indeed is the restored gospel. The same gospel Jesus Christ established while He was on the Earth.. And it’s not just that kind of belief that sits in the back of your head—it’s the kind of belief that really and actually leads to action.
I just spent a year up at probably the best college I could have ever wanted to go to, with a ton of great friends. I’ve got many, many great friends here too. But, I’m putting family, school, music, friends, dating—all these things I enjoy incredibly—all on hold for 18 months. Everyone I’ve talked to has told me just how hard it is out there, how it’s physically exhausting and completely emotionally draining every day. But what gave me comfort was D&C 18:15-16.
 “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!”
I don’t know how many people’s lives I’ll touch or change, but I’m happy to just go, serve and try my best. 
Now I would like to bare my testimony in Korean…haha but I don’t speak Korean.. YET! So, I’ll just settle for baring my testimony in english.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Current thoughts and feelings.

Over the coarse of this past month, I’ve had many people ask me if I’m nervous … Well, of course I am!! I don't know how anyone could not be! I dreaded whenever someone asked me that. As the weeks got closer for those who have talked to me, I bet you could tell I wanted to avoid thinking about it as much as possible. 

It's true I have had the experience of being away from home as I went to BYU for a couple semesters, but I could always come back during vacations, I could always call my family whenever I wanted to. In fact, I got in the habit of calling my mom every day as I walked to and from campus, in-between classes, or when I was just plain bored. I was blessed to have my older sister living 15 minutes away from me. There was always the comfort of friends and roommates but now I won’t have all that. I’ll be in a completely different country with a different culture, different foods, even a different language! I mean, living in the “mormon” bubble was different from here in California of course, but not that different! I will be far away from the help of my family and the comfort of my friends. And yes, it makes me nervous to think about.

It’s crazy to me that I will be teaching. I will be?! Because the truth is, I don’t know the scriptures as well as I wish I did. I’ve gone to mission prep, but I don’t know all the content of the manuals and books from which we’ll be teaching. 

The Lord was being serious when He revealed to Joseph Smith in the 35th section of the Doctrine and Covenants that He would “call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of [His] Spirit” (v. 13).
I’ve come to realize that God sees a lot more potential in us than we see in ourselves. It’s crazy how all your life you think your life is going to turn out a certain way and you’re suppose to do one thing, but then the Lord sorta laughs and says to you, “No, no, silly! I’ve got something else in store for you.” At least that’s how it feels for me.

I don’t know the first thing about the Korean language, the people I’m going to meet, or how I’ll get along with my companions. But it’s comforting to know that Heavenly Father knows what He’s doing, that He knows me personally, and that for the next 18 months I will be doing what He wants me to do.
I will be continuing the work first started on this earth by His Son; my Savior. 

Leading up to receiving my call, I was very hopeful that I'd be going foreign. When I say foreign though I actually meant Scotland, France, or even Australia. I never once thought I’d be called to Asia of all places! In fact, South Korea was one of the places on my “do not want to go there list”  As I read the words Korea Seoul South- mispronounced I might add haha! I heard everyone’s excitement. Except I was shocked. I didn't know how to react other than finish the sentence, and smile. "Fake it til you make it" resounding in my head. And so I did. It didn’t seem too hard as I continued to read on to see when I would report to the MTC but then as I read the words ‘speaking korean’ it finally hit me. I'm not going to lie to you guys and tell you that I was excited in that moment.

My family was probably the only ones who knew those tears weren’t for joy, I tried my best to hide my disappointment and I held my head up, and after a little more crying and lots of praying, I decided that if it be the Lord's will, I will go and do the things which he has commanded me. I was willing to sacrifice my comfort and wants for what the Lord wanted me to do. The Lord definitely humbled me a bit. 

 Now, telling that story is a bit ridiculous, as I could not be more excited. The more and more I learned about South Korea the more and more comfortable I got with the idea. I can honestly say I know I’m meant to serve there. I have no clue why there of all places, but I trust the Lord and I know there is a reason.

5 days lefts...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

7 days left

I spoke this past sunday in the young single adult Chaffey branch. I was so nervous and my papers all got out of order so my talk didn't go how I would have liked. I'm hoping and praying my "real" farewell talk will be a whole lot better. Also, I really hope I can bring the spirit. It's really important that I do. Chaffey branch talk I didn't feel the spirit at all and I feel embarrassed that my talk was kinda bleh and not very spiritual. I don't know.. maybe I just think to much.

This has and will be the hardest week for me. It's barely Tuesday and I still feel time rushing on by. I hate goodbyes, especially to people I love.
On sunday I went to my last ysa fireside for a while. It was good. I got to hang out with two great friends who I'll miss a lot. It wasn't till I got home that night that I realized this week is going to be hard. There's a certain few people I'm going to have a tough time saying goodbye to. I mean I know it's more like a "see you later" kind of thing, but there's a chance they may not write me very much while I'm away or they may move on and just forget all about me. It's just sad to think about what if.

I haven't packed anything in my room. My room is a complete mess! Clean clothes all over the floor and books and stuff. Just a huge mess! Which is one reason I'm so hesitant to pack, but the main reason is because I'm not ready. I mean I know I am but I don't want to go and pack because that means I'm really leaving. It's sad and really scary. It's different packing and moving away to college; this is me going on a mission. I can't call my mom whenever I want to. I guess I could write her a letter but I can't just text or call people when I miss them.

I'm trying my best to make this week a good and memorable one. I want to have the chance to hang out with everyone I care about. Some I wish I had more time with, but I can't cause I need time with everyone. It's tough :( but I'm taking it one day- hopefully a slow day- at a time.
Geez! Today is already half over! I was watching The Bachelor this morning and then when I watched next week's previews I realized I won't be able to watch it because it's the night I'm getting set apart as a missionary. Big bummer. I know tv is not that very important, but it made me sad and kinda frustrated actually haha because I really want to watch the dates the hometown dates where he gets to meet the families. It looked like there would be a ton of drama too! UGh! I gotta get over it.
I think I'm done getting all I need to, all that's left to do is write a better talk and pack it all up.

eek! 7 days!