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.

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013


My companion is from Vegas, he’s a ginger, Elder Skouson, he's taller than me, and is a great missionary.  He has taught me a lot without even trying.  The people here are wonderful.  So nice!!!  Whenever we meet new people, they are always accepting our message.  One thing that we do here is set a date for baptism the first time we meet them, baptizing them is really easy but retention is the hard part. From what I have heard, we average 2 a week but about half will fall away within the first couple months.  That's a bummer.  We teach all the time, from about 11:30 to 6:30 since we have a curfew at 7.  We aren’t allowed out of the apartment after 7.  The apartment is one of the best in Liberia.  We have power from about 7:20 all night till 6;35. and then it turns on again at 7:30 and is on till we leave at about 11, so I have a fan on me all night!! Living large!!!

My area is huge!  but we only really stay in one area.  I’m in Doe Community.  It’s a great branch, small but good. I’m just across the river that runs in the middle of Monrovia.  The people live in... well ... you won’t be able to understand unless you see it.  It’s crazy what they live in and how they are still so happy!  The little kids are so cute.  I wanna take them home with me, holy cow, I love them.  They always say "white man hello!" and run up to us and shake our hands.  They love my watch for some reason.  It’s so cute.  By the time I get back to the apartment, my hands are disgustingly dirty.  The kids play in the dirt and make things out of garbage, it’s interesting to see what they can make.

You have to be careful about all the germs and stuff, but there is almost no way to get around it. You just can’t put your hands in your mouth and you have to wash them before you eat. It’s tough. I wish i could send a picture of my shirt that I’ve worn the past couple of days, it’s caked in dirt but that’s just what you do here.  You don’t rotate shirts that often because it’s so hard to wash.  I haven’t washed yet but I’m doing that tonight.  It’s going to be interesting.

The food is boring, rice and this weird mix of things, it’s alright, that’s for dinner.  For breakfast we have rice porridge, it’s basically rice that has a lot of liquid in it, we add sugar to that.  We also get a 65 from a lady outside our apartment, it’s bread with egg and onions with this yummy sauce, it’s super good!!!  We've gotten a couple FMs (free meals).  It’s rice and this stew stuff. You don’t ask questions about what it is because you probably don’t wanna know. Also the FMs are super spicy!  My mouth was on fire the other day when we ate at the branch president’s house.

We can get a lot of American stuff here.  Liberia has a lot of UN people here and so there is a lot of American influence, so that’s nice.  They even use American money.  If you have American money you are living large!  Most of the people use Liberian dollars or LDs. there is about 74 LDs to 1 US dollar. I I exchange 5 American dollars and I look like a rich man.  I got a hair cut today by an African that cuts outside of our apartment.  It cost 50 LD, cheapest hair cut  I’ve ever paid for, not gonna lie, it looks pretty good.

I’ve been here since Thursday and yes, I’m already sunburnt, only slightly though.  I caught it pretty early and put some aloe on it, I’ve been putting on sunscreen ever since.  Don’t worry mom, I’m taking care of myself.  No, I’m not used to the heat.  It never cools down, and the humidity here puts Wisconsin humidity to shame!!!!  That trip (to Wisconsin) did nothing to prepare me for this heat and humidity. Try and look up Liberia motor bikes while driving, you see my mode of transportation, me and companion both fit on there, it’s dangerous and we're not supposed to do it, but it’s the cheapest and fastest way to get anywhere. It’s fun! look it up.

Oh tell Katie and Adam i saw a packers jersey out here on my first day!! I took a picture but we aren’t allowed to put anything in to the computers here, the owner won’t let us. Oh well.

Tell Derek good job on his grades. (Derek got a 3.5 last semester)
to send letters.
Elder Park
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Hortons Ave & Capital Bye-Pass
P.O. Box 1905
1000 Monrovia 10
Liberia, West Africa

It'll be about 3 or 4 stamps (it takes $1.10 in postage to mail a letter to him), and it takes just as long as the pouch.  You can send that in an envelope.  To send packages it’s the same address, just a flat rate box from the post office, send some American food: jerky, Ritz crackers, and soap (bar). envelopes. and shampoo in a ziplock. and then whatever else you can fit.  I've seen a lot of boxes so it might not cost as much as you think, not sure.
I love all you!  I pray for everyone back home all the time, especially you mom.  I know it’s hard on you because I’m gone but know that this is where I need to be right now.  Heavenly father wants/ needs me here. i love everyone and miss everyone so much.

Elder Park

I have a printout I got at the post office with shipping prices – for the flat rate boxes the rates are: small 23.95, medium 59.95 and large is 77.95.   The sizes for these boxes are approximately:  small 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.5;  medium 11 x 8.5 x 5.5;  large 12 x 12 x 5.5.   I guess you really have to love him to send him anything, and then be really picky about what you put in the box! 

1 comment:

  1. The flat rate boxes are only good if you are sending rocks(heavy and small). You have to keep the package under 4 pounds or pay even higher rates. A 4lb box to Peru was$39 (up$15 from 2 weeks ago). You will have to fill out a customs form with weights of what is in the package. I pick up a stack to full out at home. Even those small puffy envelopes require a form. I know it costs a lot but it makes me feel so good when I do. Collin sounds great. Yea for email!