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, May 06, 2013

May 6, 2013
Hello World!

This week was pretty boring but it went by super fast, which was nice.
(Twice a year we have what we call General Conference, there are 5 sessions, they are broadcast on cable tv and over the internet.  Where that isn’t possible, when it becomes available on dvd then it can be sent to those areas.  It is also available to read.  Each  session  different church leaders give talks on a variety of different gospel topics). Yesterday at church we watched the Sunday morning session of General Conference, at least I think it was Sunday morning, but since the speakers  talk "serious," meaning american english,   I’m sure a lot of the people that were there couldn’t understand a lot of it.  For me, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t till I came on mission that I loved conference, and I will admit, I wish I would have been awake for it in the years past, I mean I wish I  wasn’t listening with my eyes closed... :)  It’s always good to hear from the prophet.  Time to be more obedient!

During the week I find myself asking more and more questions that make me think "did I really just say that?"   More and more often I can feel the Holy Ghost  taking over and speaking through me.  I am becoming more bold with asking questions and teaching.  I hope that I won’t become too bold and offend some people later on.  But when I ask these questions I always seem to get harder and harder questions, sometimes in the same lesson and sometimes not.   This man, John, grew up Muslim, 5 years ago changed to become a Christian man, as he put it, and today, you would couldn’t even tell that he grew up Muslim.  We were teaching him about the Book of Mormon and we were reading the last paragraph of the introduction.  He read that it is "preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah" he then asked, "what is the purpose of having the Second Coming?"  For me, I didn’t know how to answer, but thankfully my companion did.  It’s to fulfill the prophecy of ancient prophets.  They have taught us that Christ will come again and reign on the earth.  We can also call this the Millennium.  Reading/learning from the Book of Mormon is another way we can prepare for Christ's coming.   I never really thought about it that way before.
We also sat down with another man named Gardea, (means new man in basa, his tribes language).  This man was/is a pastor/preacher/minister of another church, still Christian though.   He heard about the Book of Mormon in the 90's when it first came to Liberia.  He said he asked a lot of questions that the members couldn’t answer,  they were just members and not missionaries.  Since we passed by him he called us over and asked who we were.   He said to come back the next day.  So we did.  He asked us a lot of questions about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the about the church in general.   At the end of us talking he said he wanted to become a member of our church.   Talking with him, I could see that he is prepared to hear our message and that he will become a great member, it’s going to take some work on our part, but he'll get there.  This lesson went completely different than I thought it was going to go.  I thought that he was going to try and Bible bash, but it turned out exactly how I wanted it to.  This man is going to be a good, faithful member someday.

To answer some questions:  my apartment is really small and we have 4 missionaries total, two Africans and two Americans.   My companion, Elder Marondera from Zimbabwe, is great, he doesn’t talk too much,  but enough.   He was baptized in 2006 and is a couple years older than I am.  He may have years on me but I got height on him!!   He's been out for about 9 months I think, he reported late in July.  We have running water most of the time but there is a well about 50 feet outside the door.   So we always have water.   In Liberia there is a water shortage but for some reason none of the missionaries are having a problem with it.  The only times that I have had a problem with water is when we call the water man too late, thus far, I've never had a problem.  We have a generator that we start at about 7:30pm and let it run till it turns off on its own which is at about 1 am or around there, we never fill the tank though.   Where we live is close to the beach so we get a really nice ocean breeze at night, so it’s still pretty nice to sleep.  The area I am in now is about a 50 minute drive away from the last area I was in.  I’m on the opposite side of the city from where I was.  To travel there would cost a lot of money for me.   It’s alright, I’m sure I will be able to get back to Bushrod Island before my mission ends.
My interview with President Roggia (the mission president) was good but very short.  I didn’t have any questions for him and he didn’t have any for me.  He asked me about my area and my companion and that was pretty much it.  He's good though.  I like him a lot.

Anyway, I love you all and miss you all,
Elder Park

The White African

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