Blog Description

This is a blog for the family and friends of Collin Park. He will be serving a two year mission in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he left on January 24, 2013. While Collin is on his mission his Mom will be posting pictures and letters as she gets them, the content will be straight from Collin (unless otherwise noted) - spelling and punctuation will be corrected of course! Commentary and clarification may be added by his Mom as needed.
UPDATE: Collin's mission was split in half! The Sierra Leone Mission included the country of Liberia when Collin first left. As of July 1, 2013, the mission was split along the border and the new mission created: the Liberia, Monrovia Mission. Collin will never see the country of Sierra Leone. He has been in Monrovia Liberia since he left the MTC in Ghana.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Because of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Liberia and Sierra Leone Missions were evacuated on August 4, 2014 and missionaries were reassigned to different missions. Collin was reassigned to the Salt Lake City Central Mission.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 18, 2014

What a week!

The beginning of the week was a little boring, but Wednesday was good, but very cold!!   It was my 21st birthday!!   I’m legal!  hahah  A member took us to lunch at a little French restaurant which was actually really good.  Then it was full of lessons the rest of the day.  We saw Dakota (more on her in a second!), Ariane, and then Antonio.

A miracle happened on Wednesday!!   We grabbed a member as we were going to Ariane, and then all of a sudden, a lady yells Elders!!   So we went and talked to her.  She was a member visiting another member who didn’t speak any english but needed a blessing, so we helped her with that.   What was really cool and amazing was just before they called us over, they had prayed for help from our Father in Heaven and then they saw us.  It was amazing to see how the hand of the Lord works in our lives.

That night a member (who works at a bakery) brought me a cake!!  It was so cool!!  It had Boston Red Sox stuff on it and Packer and Seahawks as well!  It was so good and we are still struggling to finish it!!

On Friday we spent the day at the Temple (Jordan River)!!  A couple weeks ago, the mission said that when have someone get baptized within two weeks we can go to the Temple with them.  So we took Jani!!  It was so much fun to watch her do that.. even though we aren’t allowed to do any of the ordinances, we were able to watch and be there for her.  It was really cool to see someone do that for the first time!

Dakota Maes was baptized and confirmed this weekend. She is staying with her grandma for a couple months and was OYMed by the Zone Leaders and then passed off to us (“OYM” is a program called “Open Your Mouth” which encourages you to talk to people and share a message  http://mormonmission.blogspot.com/.../oym-open-your-mouth...)   Dakota’s mother grew up in the church but was never baptized. Dakota and her mother have been reading the Book of Mormon over the phone for the past several weeks. She is originally from Elko Nevada. Her mother drove all Saturday morning and made it for the baptism on Saturday.  It was awesome to meet her. Dakota is going to return to Elko in a few weeks and will help in getting her mother back into the church again.

 We have a couple people that we are working with towards baptism!   So, we are super excited for the coming weeks!  It’s really fun to be a missionary right now.

Hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Park

Happy 21st Birthday!

The Seahawk logo must be on the other side?!
His favorite Sprecher rootbeer.   Mom dropped some off for him in August, did he save it?  or did he find more?  
nice thought - he came from Liberia to Salt Lake, not from Libya, but it made Collin laugh

and last, but not least:
Dakota was baptized

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014

That was a good week.  So much to talk about.

We took Antonio (preparing for the 22nd) to Temple Square along with Dakota (preparing for the 15th!!!!). It was a great time.  We focused on Prophets and then finished at the Christus.  It was great, the Spirit was strong.  We have been working with Antonio for a while and he has said he'll get baptized but he wouldn’t set a date. We invited him several times while we were there for the Nov 22nd  After I said one of the more “bolder” things, he finally accepted.  What I said to him was that he already knew the church was true, and that he just needed to take a step of faith and not to hold back. Then he accepted!  I was so happy that night.

On Saturday we had a pass over lesson with the Sandy YSA sisters in the south mission. We got Chris who was already on date for the 22nd this month.  This guy is so smart. He is already in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.  The best part is that he remembers the stories.  He even quoted a couple D and C sections too, it was awesome, I’m excited to work with him.

On Sunday we had dinner with Bishop Summerhayes who has been working with an Investigator that we've meet, but he didn’t want to meet with missionaries yet. So, Bishop was helping him along and still trying to have him become comfortable enough to meet with us. This past Sunday he finally accepted the invitation to have us come.  We had a fantastic lesson with him on Sunday. The Spirit was strong.  Elder Dahlke did a fantastic job on teaching about the Book of Mormon and as I was listening, the strongest prompting of "just invite him."  I’ve been working hard to heed to the promptings, and I’m so glad I did.  He is now preparing for Dec 6th.

This week was just so amazing.  It was fantastic. I have again renewed my testimony that Heaven Father does indeed hear and answer our prayers.

We are working really hard even with Elder Dahlke's broken arm.  He is still able to ride a bike, but we just don’t go as fast as we normally do.  It makes things interesting though. There some really good laughs sometimes.

It’s really fun to be a missionary right now.   We are staying really busy, which is awesome!!

Busy missionary= happy missionary.

Sweet is the work!
Elder Park
The White African... in Utah

PS. Happy Birthday Derek!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

November 4, 2014

What a week!!  Friday and Saturday were the best though!

So I got Elder Dahlke on Wednesday.  he's from Tennessee, he lives close to Nashville.  He has been out for about 3 months and he is already accepted into BYU when he gets back and after that he’s going to go into the Air Force to be some type of  physicist.   So the guy is smart!

Wednesday was also a very interesting day because we didn’t ride our bikes.  On Monday last week, Elder Dahlke got in to a bike accident and riding a bike was making his arm hurt a lot so we walked.  I haven’t walked that much since LIB.   We got a text from President that asked if we were walking, we said yes and then we had to call him... let’s just say we rode a bike the next day.

Friday we went to the Doctor’s, finally.  Elder Dahlke is now in a cast half way to his shoulder...  so biking is still a little interesting with him.  He fractured the radial head in his arm.  It’s really funny.  He can’t button his top button so I have to do that for him.   And he can’t tie is tie, so I do that also!   Hahaha, he just looks away in shame.

But that night was AWESOME!!!  We got to go to the Jordan River Temple!!   It was just what I needed.  I love going there and it’s been a long time since going.   The amount of peace I felt there was amazing.   It was also really nice to get away from  the world for a little while.

Saturday!  Saturday was awesome!  Jani N. was baptized!!!  Before the service she was very scared.   Her parents and grandparents were coming and they weren’t completely thrilled with this decision of hers.  So she was just very scared and nervous about all of it.  I understand why though.   The baptism went really smoothly and the Spirit was so strong.   It literally felt like you could cut it with a knife.    While she was changing Elder Dahlke and I did a little message.   We showed a video called "Lifting Burdens."  It talks about how we can draw strength from the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I know that the Atonement can change lives.   (here is a link to that video:   https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2009-10-38-lifting-burdens?lang=eng)

Sunday was a crazy busy day.   We were running from meeting to meeting.   It was really fun though.  Once church was all done we had a good dinner and then had another 2 lessons that night.  Being a missionary is so much fun.   You are constantly busy.   So much fun!!!

This work is so rewarding.   We see how the Gospel of Christ can change people.  We are teaching a girl from Elko Nevada and she going to be baptized hopefully next weekend!!

I hope all of you are having a great thanksgiving month!!   I challenge you all to think of some of the blessings that you receive daily,  and then to thank our Father in Heaven for them.

Elder Park
The White African.... in Utah

 Who would have thought Collin would see it snow on his mission?

 This is Jani on her baptism day with Collin and Elder Dahlke



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28, 2014
This was probably the best week I have had since getting here to the States.

We were so busy all week.  We were running around so much.  It was a lot of fun.  We had 13 lessons on the week.  Jani is progressing so nicely, she had her interview on Saturday and is being baptized on saturday!! I’m so excited for her!  This Friday, Halloween, we are going to the temple, so it’s going to be an awesome two days.
A lot happened this week so hopefully i will be able to remember all of it.  OH!!!  I met a guy from Ghana!!  I’m teaching him, I’m so excited.  He is so cool.   He's been here in Utah for about two years and got here because of winning DV (lottery that the US does to bring people here to states and get green cards).  He's super open to listening to us, but he's just super busy.

We made a better effort at setting return appointments. Elder hale and I had a great week.  We were always coming back to the appointment, so exhausted, so fun.   We would fall asleep so fast it was wonderful.

So we got a call last night.  Elder Hale is leaving me.  He is going to the Taylorsville South Stake.  I am staying in the YSA and I am getting Elder Dahlke who is from Tennessee.  So I don’t know how its gonna play out. I don’t know him too well, so I'll update you next week.

This week was awesome, but it was just full of teaching, so it’s hard to write about.  Sorry it’s so short.

I love you all.

Elder Park
the White African... in Utah

I asked for a picture of him with the quilt, this is what I got. 
This was breakfast on their P Day


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014

This week was a struggle...

It was the week of continuously being cancelled on... it was really frustrating, so this letter is probably going to be short.   We did have a couple great lesson with Jani who is going to be baptized on Nov 1.  She is so cool, we met her in September and as of Saturday she was reading in Alma 5.  How awesome is that???  She's been to church about 4 times now.  I'm super excited for her.

We are teaching Brendon still and last night we had a lesson that was AWESOME!  We watched the Restoration video with him, and then talked about how it has helped us in our life.  We had Trevor there who is an RM who served in Mexico, having him there made all the difference.  We came to find out what Brendon’s concern was, what was bothering him and making him hesitant in making covenants with our Father in Heaven.  Now we know where to go, it was just a great lesson.  He is starting to pray about the Book of Mormon which is awesome!! and he committed to pray to know if Joseph Smith is a true Prophet.  I’m excited to continue working with him.

Last week I went on exchange with Elder Soelberg.  He's from Oregon and was going to school at BYU-H. How cool is that? He's still in his first transfer but doesn’t really seem like it, he's very mature and very smart.  He's going to be an amazing Elder.

On Wednesday we had Elder Clarke from the Seventy come.  He's like 3rd in command when it comes to missionary work.  Pres. Monson, Elder Nelson, then him, hahah.  He's super funny.  It was fun to watch him give President Moffat a hard time.  He talked about a lot of things.  Towards the end he said something that stood out to me that is very scary to think about,  he said in the next 5 years, a 1/4 of you missionaries will become Less Active.  That is just so sad for me to think about.  How can someone who is teaching people this gospel and seeing the change it brings to people’s lives fall away?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  I can’t begin to explain how much I have grown on my mission.   The things that I have learned, gained, the people I've met, I’m not willing to throw that all away.  I know that this church is true, I love it.  the Book of Mormon is the word of God, it is true!!

Elder Park
The White African... in Utah

He took a picture of his bed with the quilt I made him


Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

This week was pretty good.   We are slowly teaching more and more.

We have a couple people we are working with.  Jani is awesome!!!  She is preparing for the 25th of Oct to be baptized.  There is still a couple things that we have to work with her on, but I’m sure she'll be  good to go.  She is already in reading in Mosiah and we have only been teaching her about 3 weeks now. so that’s AWESOME!!
!
Antonio, we met through the Sisters, he is sweet too.  There are just a couple things that are holding him back, but he's awesome.  He's been to church a couple times already, so now it’s just time to work and teach him a little bit and he's good to go!

The whole week was pretty good, we had at least one lesson everyday so that made me happy, but the high light lesson was on Saturday.  We got to take Jani with us to Temple Square!!!  I've been there so many times before, but this time was just different.   It was really cool to walk around and have the sisters there do the teaching, and the tour was awesome.   It was so cool being there. The Spirit was super strong there also.

On Sunday Elder Hale and I gave talks in the Parkway Ward.  We also showed up a couple minutes late too.   We had a meeting at the Cottonwood building which is about 10 miles away, and it started at 8:15 and church in the Parkway Ward started at 9, so we were racing to get back.   It was a fun.  I think I was all over the place with the talk and saying 'um' a lot, but everyone said we did good, and I didn’t see too many people sleeping so that’s good right?

I hope you all had a great week

Elder Park
The White African... in Utah

Salt Lake Temple

Elder Park and Elder Hale


Granny's house


Elder Park, Elder LaMont and Elder???
Collin and LaMont previoulsy served in Liberia, Elder ??? was previously serving in Sierra Leone, so these are all West African Missionaries.  (I wish Elder Elliott had been in this picture, he was the fourth West African mission reassigned to Salt Lake, he was serving in Liberia too)

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

October 7, 2014

What a weekend did we have??  That was awesome!

This was the first General Conference I watched on my mission, but the funny part of it is, that it was also the last one I will watch as a missionary.   It was really nice actually hearing the leaders of the church speak.  Ever since returning to the states and realizing that I was able to see it, I’ve been so excited and it was totally worth it.

For those who might be reading this and don’t know what General Conference is, here is a link:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/?cid=HP14GC&lang=eng

We have General Conference twice a year, there are 4 regular sessions, 1 session specifically for the women of the church, and 1 session specifically for the men.   Our church leaders give talks on a wide variety of topics that provide inspiration and direction for members of the church, music is provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other choirs.  The Conference takes place in Salt Lake City but it is broadcast to many of our church buildings, is available on cable tv and over the internet.  We look forward to it every time.  These Conference sessions replace our regular church meetings that weekend.   The link above links you to all of the talks so that you can watch, listen or print them.

The best part of it is on Wednesday when we were having interviews with President Moffat, I told him that I have haven’t seen a General Conference since 2012, he paused, then handed me two Priesthood session tickets!!!!!  I literally couldn’t think of anything else.  I was so happy!!!  It was a great day.

All the talks were FANTASTIC!!  I really liked the Saturday morning session there were a lot of great talks. but all of them really awesome!!

This week was pretty good too, we are starting to have some good lessons.  We had one with Jani and we had it at the Bishop’s house.  After that he took us to lunch haha.  It was a great lesson about the Book of Mormon.  She even commited to being baptized which made our day!  Now it’s time to start working!!   after the lesson, the Bishop, who a return mission president, said that the way we explained the Book of Mormon was one of the best, if not the best he's seen from a missionary.   I was actually really surprised he said that because I thought we were all over the place, but that made me feel good.

We had a little scary moment Saturday morning with Granny (The missionaries live in the apartment in the basement of Granny’s house).   She had fallen and couldn’t get up, so she got her cane and started banging on the floor hoping that we were still there.   We heard it so we ran up the stairs and granny was so happy.   We decided after that that we would watch the afternoon conference session with her.   I love granny but just pray that she doesn’t hurt herself.

We are making some progress with some of our investigators.  The Spirit is really starting to work hard over here.   Yesterday we, as a zone, would stop at every hour and pray specifically to help someone that the missionaries were working with throughout the zone.  It was great because now, as a zone, we have 8 more people that are now preparing for baptism.  The Lord works in mysterious ways!

I hope that everyone enjoyed conference, I know I did!!

Elder Park
The White African... in Utah