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 25, 2013

February 25. 2013


I have a TON to write about.  This was a good week!

So the weeks are flying by!  It’s hard to think that I’ve been here for almost 3 weeks and have been in West Africa for a month already.  It’s crazy! time flies when you’re having a good time I guess, haha.

So you asked about goals that we have for missionaries out here.  For this week starting today and ending Sunday the 3rd, we have the goal of 2 baptisms and 3 confirmations (one girl was late on Sunday so we couldn’t do that), 20 investigators with a baptism date, 17 member present lessons and 5 other lessons w/o members.  For the month of march we have about 12 baptisms (or conversions as President Roggia calls them) planned but we think that we will have about 3 more than that.  The church is growing so fast out here it’s crazy.  We teach all day long.

I walk a ton! and so far my shoes are fine.  I switch every Thursday to the other pair of shoes, so they are still really good.

OH!!!!  it rained on Thursday!!!   It was so much fun.  I have a video of it but I can’t send pictures on email.  I'll try to print some.  It was raining so hard.  We got lucky though, we hadn’t left the apartment yet.  We were about to leave and then it started POURING!!  So we changed into shorts and played on our balcony.  It was so much fun! Then the next day (Friday) I went on exchanges with Elder Zolo (from the Ivory Coast learning English) and we got caught in another rain storm.  We hid under some old Ma's porch with about 5 little kids (or small small pikens as the Africans say).  It was a blast!! Neither of the rain storms lasted very long but it was a nice break from the heat.  It cooled the temperature for a little while and the exchange was a lot of fun.  No matter where you go here, you're teaching all day long.

So we are very lucky in my apartment.  We have running water that runs through a filtering system.  So whenever the power is on, we have water.  It is so nice.  We also have a small fridge so we have cold water. It’s more like a freezer when the power is on and a fridge when it's off.  Cold water feels so good when you come inside from a long day.

Church is sweet! (something the africans say A LOT!!! everything here is sweet!)  It makes me so tired though.  Whenever a teacher doesn’t show up, we teach.  Whenever the people have a question about something in the gospel, they ask us. The branch president is there but no one goes to him, they always come to us.  We have a small little building in our area, no A/C, but we have a generator that makes it possible to have fans that don’t do much and a microphone that’s not loud enough because of the generator, but it’s sweet.  We have a recent convert that always cooks for us after church.  I usually don't know what it is and it’s usually really spicy and it makes my nose run and makes me sweat even more but it’s alright.  The Liberians love the spicy stuff or pe pe. It's the stuff that makes it super spicy!  Nothing like anything back home.

So a man got baptized on Saturday. Joseph Garwolo Ndorbor.  We asked him Saturday night who he wanted to baptize him, he wanted me to do it for him.  Baptizing someone like that is nothing like baptizing you friend back home in the temple.  You feel the spirit so much stronger.  It was an amazing experience.  I am so grateful that he wanted me to do that for him.

The other day me and my companion talked to a someone of another faith.  He wanted to help us understand the bible, he doesn't understand the Bible.  I know I don't know it that well but he had us look up scriptures, then he explained them, it made no sense with what he was saying. The entire time I was thinking to myself "this is a waste of time."  This is pointless.  He doesn't understand anything he is talking about."  It reaffirmed to me that this church is the true church. The Book of Mormon is a true book and it really does help us understand the Bible.  This church is amazing.

Elder Kirkham and his wife are the senior couple already here.  They are leaving at the end of march for a couple months.  In July they are coming back.  He'll be the mission president (of Liberia) for the next 3 years. They have already been here for about 20 months.  He's the only one that makes sense to be the mission president out here.  He picked me up from the airport.   He keeps us in line.  He's pretty much been the acting president here since President Roggia spends all his time in Sierra Leone.

Since pday (preparation day – the day they use to do laundry, email home, and stuff) is a day off for us, we got up early and went to play basketball. Then we walked to the beach and had our personal study right there on the beach, about 30 feet from the ocean.  It was so much fun.  It was nice.  We usually hear cars and people talking really loud when we are in our apartment during that time, but today, all we heard was the waves crashing, it was awesome.  After the hour of study time we have "companion study" which consisted of us playing football on the beach with the water coming half way into our field. Haha, it was a blast!  This morning was sweet!

So I got my first letter today. It was actually 2 in one. It was a DearElder from Lauren Briggs and Breanna Davis. Thank you! I wrote a letter back, I have no idea when I'll be able to send it, but it is written and in the envelope.  I think I was supposed to get it in the MTC since the date said January 25th and the mission was Ghana MTC but it was printed in Salt Lake and then sent through pouch over here. I haven’t gotten anything from home but it’s okay. It takes a while for mail to get here.  It was a pleasant surprise to add to a really good day!

Some of the funny sayings here and also part of the 'english' they speak here:
My pikens-- my little ones
one one time-- every once in a while
see you ya-- goodbye or see you later
sorry ya--
bluffing/ bluff/ bluff-o-- it means you can show off, like wear nice clothes and 'be all that'
how da day?—how’s the day
how da body?-- how are you
small small-- little
they also like to add 'o' at the end of words like:
good morning-o

They also call everyone brother or sister if they live remotely close.  All the old ladies are called “Ma” and the old guys are “Pa.”   A random guy on the street is “uncle.”  A lady is “auntie.”  I can understand them for the most part when the talk slow, but when they talk fast/yell/normal for them, i have no idea what they are saying.

I love everyone!!  I miss everyone!

Elder Park
The White African
This Is Africa!

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