Hi, I'm Amanda, and I'm a Mormon missionary!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Her and her daughter, Audrey :)
Everyone has someone who has truly made a difference in their life--someone who changed them more than anyone else. Well my someone is Kristie Lynn Nelson, my Young Women's leader and best friend. She changed me. If I had not met her, my life would not be the same. To be quite honest, I'm not sure if I would have even joined the Church if it was not for the amazing influence she was in my life. She still is my biggest influence and inspiration!
She was one of the first people to ever greet me when I first went to church. She was one of the most positive people I've ever met! When I first met her, I had no idea that she had only months to live. I had no idea that she even had cancer! As time went on and it became closer to my baptism and closer to her passing, I could tell she was getting worse. Her liver was failing--her jaundice was very severe and her tumors caused her to look pregnant. However, this never got her down!  She managed to get up every fast and testimony meeting and bear the most incredible testimonies about the meaning of life and the Plan of Salvation. She would go up and publicly say how incredibly grateful she was for trials and how much she and her family had learned from them. Her trials made everyone else's seem so minuscule, for she was 39 and had 3 very small children and was DYING, yet she was able to always remain positive and be grateful for the many blessings she had. It really showed that there is ALWAYS opposition in all things--if someone with cancer can find positives among the negatives, then so can you and so can I a midst every single trial we will ever have and have had. I have never had cancer, so I don't know about the mere amount of pain she went through, but I know it was extreme. But she never showed it. Ever.
Not being able to tell her directly about my many experiences has been hard. I would tell her all the time about what was happening in my life. She was so excited to hear about when I was going to be baptized! I wonder how she would have reacted when I would have told her that I was going on a mission or going through the temple (which I did on her birthday, by the way!). The good thing about having a best friend who is dead, is that I don't have to call or facebook her to tell her about the happenings in my life. She is ALWAYS there for me when I need her. Whenever I am having a hard time, I know that Christ is there for me, but I also know that Kristie is right by His side. That's how it has always been ever since I met her. She was always the kind of person to put others first even during her hardest times. She gave an amazing talk at my baptism about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and gave me a bracelet with Joshua 1:9 on it as well as a bookmark with Doctrine and Covenants 87:8. I didn't know that she was really preparing me for what was to happen the following month.
When I got the call that she died, I was heartbroken. Absolutely heartbroken. I had never had someone so incredibly close to me die before. It was only a month after my baptism--I didn't really understand the Plan of Salvation. I didn't understand why bad things happen to good people. To be honest, I was angry with God. I prayed to Him asking to bring her back because it wasn't fair that she was dead. How could all of the fasting and praying NOT work? I wish this talk existed before because it has the perfect answer. The truth is: God needed Kristie to do work on the other side. She touched SO many lives here on earth, I can only imagine the amazing work she is doing in the spirit world! I'm so excited to be working together with her as missionaries for Christ! There is a small distance between us, but we are doing the same work and we will do it together! She WILL be there for me to comfort me when I am discouraged or feel alone. I will never be alone. I never am alone. Christ is ALWAYS there for me, and so is Kristie!
This was her favorite song! The Young Women sang it at her funeral :)
And this is the song that reminds me of her the most :)
On this side of the bench 3 John 1:4 is written. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" I'm not her child, but I really hope that she's proud of the life I've decided to live!

Have you ever wondered why exactly I love San Diego and its temple so much? It isn't just because it's pretty. Every temple is pretty. She is why. She was married in the San Diego temple. Every time I look at that building, I think of how amazing this woman is and how much I want to be like her. I think about the Plan of Salvation and eternal families. I feel the spirit stronger simply looking at that building than actually being inside the celestial room of other temples because of the very strong connection I have with it. When I went there over Christmas break with the BYU marching band, it was the strongest I had ever felt the spirit before... and I wasn't even allowed to go INSIDE the temple! I know for a fact that when I get married there, Kristie will be sitting right in the front row!
Surprisingly, I have never gotten a picture WITH her! This is close enough :)
What I would like everyone to get out of this post is that bad things do happen to good people, and to be quite honest, it's no fun. It's not necessarily fair either. But that's the reality of living in this telestial world. Bad things happen. However, I KNOW that the Plan of Salvation is real BECAUSE of the pain I have gone through because of her death as well as the incredible peace that I've felt. I have felt Kristie's spirit so many times in my life. I KNOW where she is. I KNOW that she is not gone! I KNOW that her spirit lives, and she WILL be eternally blessed for the way she lived her life. I know that the experience of losing her will help me help others who have also lost loved ones.

The Plan of Salvation is real. I want everyone to know that it is. I want people to feel the incredible peace that is possible through the Atonement despite the trials in their lives. I want people to be happy! This is why I'm going on a mission! :) I love this gospel :)

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