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.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

This is a letter we got this week through the mail from Collin,  it’s almost a month old and so some of what he has written are things we have already heard about from his emails, but it’s still good to hear from him.
FYI:  since the announcement that his mission would be split and he told us he would remain in Liberia, I have updated the address for sending letters and packages to him so they will go directly to Liberia.  Please write!   He would love to hear from you.  Postage on a regular envelope is $1.10 and if you see me (his Mom) I will gladly give you stamps if you promise to write!  So far he has not recieved any letters since he got to Liberia a month ago.  This is not because nobody is writing, it's because it takes awhile to get to him and he will probably get a bunch all at once.   I would love to see him get a tall stack of letters when they finally do reach him.  Feel free to pile it on!

February 11, 2013
Living here isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  We have power all night starting at 7:30 pm and going to about 6:35 am.  It’s so nice!  I get to sleep under a fan all night so, not swimming all night sweating.  I am in one of the nicest apartments in all of Liberia.  The area I’m in is huge!  Probably walk about 3-4 miles a day.  I actually walk a lot more than that.  When we come in I’m dead.  We aren’t allowed out after 7pm (dark) because it can be dangerous.  So we’re really good at getting in.
I’m in what they call Doe community.  The people are great!  All so nice, but they don’t always come to church.  Retention is hard here.  Everyone gets baptized but only about half stay active.  It’s a lot of fun going around talking to people.  They really like us white guys.  My companion/trainer is from Vegas and is a ginger.  By the time you get this you’ll already know probably.  You’ll know almost all of this actually, but I said I would write every week.
All day we are teaching.  All day and it’s a lot of fun.  It’s hard to understand the people, and it’s hard for them to understand me so the lessons are long and there is a lot of ‘can you repeat the?” “Say again?”  It’s sometimes are that way.  It’s funny when they say my name.  They can’t say it very well.  It’s so funny.  We gave a man a blessing so he can walk and use his hand, he’s not a member but he has a date of March 9th to get baptized.  We baptize like crazy our here, we average about 2 a week.  It’s crazy awesome. 
I am living with 4 Americans and one from Ivory Coast.  So wild.  There is 5 white guys:  one from Arizona, my companion from Vegas, a black guy from Missouri, and a Samoan from LA.  It’s so funny.  We talk about movies and music all the time.  It’s cool.
I’m having a good time here.  I’m trying really hard to stay focused and work hard, but seeing the way the people live, it’s really distracting.  They live in garbage.  The kids hardly have to do anything.  It’s really interesting.  I don’t know how to describe it but it’s …… WOW!  You can’t understand it until you see it.  I’ll try to take a picture , it’s really amazing to see all this, and see how happy the people are.  It’s crazy.  I think of how I am and say I don’t have this, this, and this.  It’s really humbling.

Well I’m doing really good.  I’m sleeping in a “princess” bed which sucks  (the netting over the bed to help prevent insect bites which hopefully will keep him from getting Malaria).  My bed is terrible.  It’s sunken in the middle.  I’m taking my malaria pill. I’m staying healthy and smart.  I love you all and miss everyone. Yes, even Dad and…. Derek.

Love you all,
Elder Park

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