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 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

I pay 75 LD for an hour of computer. so about a $1 US.

The mission pres is awesome, that conference (last weekend) couldn’t have happened at a better time for me. We got really good food there too! A lot better than what I eat every day.

So now to tell you more about what I’ve been up to this past week. To start, we walk about 7 miles a day. We teach about 5 to 7 lessons a day. It’s sometimes hard to teach because they can’t always understand what I’m saying, it’s frustrating sometimes. But then there are the really good people we are teaching. We have a man named Augustine. We gave him a blessing last Sunday so he'll be able to use his hand and leg again, and he's getting a lot better! The priesthood power here is amazing!! We've given a couple blessings this week, everyone could use a blessing but we do it sparingly. If we do them too often people with think that we are doing magic and freak out, or people will flock to us and ask for blessings and not understand what they do. But for Augustine, he is really progressing in the gospel. He understands us really well and is getting baptized on the 9th of March.

The reason we ask people to get baptized the first meeting is to show to them that this is the goal we have for them and to make them understand that we aren’t here to just talk about scriptures. Besides, you can walk up to anyone here and ask if they'll get baptized with you and they will most likely say yes. This mission is the highest baptizing mission in the world. If you ask the people to sit and talk with you about the gospel they will. They are totally excepting of the gospel. Most everyone will get baptized but not everyone understands the "endure to the end" part, retention is difficult. Overall, the mission, the people, are great! The little kids make me laugh and smile every day. Last Monday i played with kids for about an hour straight. I love it. We have a little girl in our area that will come running up to us and give us both huge hugs every time we see her. She's adorable.

Yesterday we had missionary Sunday. Every third Sunday of the month the missionaries give talks and assign people to teach. I gave a talk about prayer. I talked about how we need to pray always, morning and night, personal and family prayer. I told them that we missionaries don’t do anything without a prayer first. We don’t even leave the apartment w/o prayer. I told them that if they can do this, they will be blessed. i taught them how when we have a question about the gospel, we must study it out in our minds first. (D & C 19:8) it was a good talk but i felt like I was all over the place with it and I kept repeating myself. Hopefully next week will be better. I also taught the investigator class. We talked about the 5 parts of the gospel: faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. They asked questions about enduring so I talked about Lehi's dream. chapter 8 of 1 Nephi. I also taught them how dad described it with the Shepherds rod. Elder Skouson hadn’t thought of it that way. Finally I taught him something!!! Church is exhausting, I took a 2 hour nap after we got home. It felt great.

We got 2 FMs yesterday. (Free Meals) they were both the same: potato greens. It was actually good, but like dad said while camping, just don’t look at it. I didn’t look good at all but it tasted pretty good. It was this leafy stuff with seasonings and pepe, (really hot and spicy stuff), it was throat searing. It was good but not quite qualifying as goodness.

Overall the mission is amazing. I'm having a blast out here. Yes the heat and humidity sucks, but you just deal with it. You just accept the fact that you are going to be hot and sweaty ALL day. Once you accept that, it’s alright. I’m in the middle of that process right now.

Washing (laundry) by hand is a pain in the butt and it hurts. I rubbed 3 knuckles raw, and it takes forever. Nothing gets super clean either, but that’s life over here in AFRICA. I sometimes still think to myself, "HOLY CRAP!! I'M IN AFRICA!!!"

Being here is awesome, greatest mission in the world. Always working, always teaching. They work is sweet (as the Africans say). I’m picking up how they talk small. (small, as they also say.,they don’t understand what little is).

There are some days where I get really homesick and some when I don’t even think about home. Sundays I think about home. i miss Sunday dinners. I miss those a lot.

Anyways, I love you so much. I love everyone!

Mom, I love you!

I love everyone so much and I miss all of you!

The time is flying by and it's awesome! T.I.A - This Is Africa!!!!

Elder Park

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