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, April 02, 2013

April 1 2013
Hello family and friends,

This week was an interesting week. It flew by!

On Thursday we were teaching that man I’ve been talking about who couldn’t really walk.  When we plan to meet with him it’s interesting because he has had all the lessons and he is just waiting to get married before we baptize him, so we just listen to him and talk about that.  He started talking about how he wants his family to come with him to church.  We talked about that and then out of nowhere I felt like I needed to have him read 1 Nephi 8 about Lehi's dream.  It was the Spirit totally taking over, we still need to follow up with him about that and find out if he read it and if he has questions.

Friday night, we had a “family counsel,” Elder Finau (DL) gave a challenge to us.  Since it’s so hot in the apartment, we usually have our personal and companion study wearing just shorts.  He challenged us to have that study time in our trousers.  Elder Skouson and I, without talking about it, decided to go a step farther and to have our white shirts and ties on as well.  So we did that Saturday morning,  then went to our baptisms (I'll talk later).  After we got back from that and got to our area, we only had time for one lesson because we had an interview for next week.  That lesson was one of the best lessons we've had.  We kept talking back and forth and the Spirit was putting words in my mouth when Richard would ask a question.  After, when we were walking, we talked about it and we committed to each other that we will always have a white shirt and tie on.  It was because we were exactly obedient that the lesson went so well. Richard and his wife will be baptized in two weeks. April 13th.

So back to the baptisms, I was able to baptize Mary Toe, Jacob Toe, and Sarah Toe, their father/ husband was an old man who got baptized a couple weeks ago.  It still stuns me when the people ask me to baptize them, but I am always honored to do that for them.

After the baptisms, the Relief Society (the women’s group) was having a program of some sort so we snuck into the back and watched.  I have one word to describe African programs. WOW. I've never been to a Relief Society program before, let alone an African one.  The whole time I was laughing, there was lots of dancing, and lots of clapping and laughing. There were about 8 elders there and we actually got up in front of them and danced for a couple seconds.  I’m glad we did because they gave us food, the food was so good!!!   The best I have had since zone conference when I first got here.  I have a couple short videos of it, so interesting, I am definitely in Africa.

Since it was Easter weekend, of course we had an Easter Program.  It was very last minute but it was pretty good.  All the missionaries (10) got up and sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” There are some hymns that can make me tear up, and that was definitely one of them.  It totally set the tone of the meeting and brought the Spirit there, it was really good.  Here in Africa, the people don’t really celebrate holidays, it’s just a day that no one goes to work, it’s just a lazy day, and they have a holiday for almost anything.  They definitely don’t celebrate like back in the States.

Overall it was a good week. we didn’t teach as many lessons as we wanted, but we taught some really good ones.  For me, I would rather have good lessons and low numbers than bad lessons and really high numbers.

I love everyone back at home and I miss everyone.

Elder Park
The White African

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