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, June 18, 2013

June 18, 2013

To start, I said goodbye to President Roggia for the last time yesterday.  (At the end of the month the Sierra Leone Freetown mission will be split, the new Liberia Monrovia mission will be created.  President Roggia and his wife will be going home after serving three years.  Both missions will be getting new presidents.  I'm sure Collin will tell us all about President Kirkham.) That's why pday (preparation day – kind of a day off, they do laundry, clean, shop, relax, send emails home…   Usually Pday is Monday, that is when I get my emails from him, but this week it came today, Tuesday) is today.  We had all the missionaries gather up, there were 66 of us plus senior couples so about 72 in total.  Even though I never really got to get to know him well, I was sad to see him go.  He gave us a lot of encouragement yesterday.  He talked a lot about enduring to the end, in life, and on mission.  He also talked about David and Goliath and how David may not have had armor on, but he had the armor of God on.  Then he talked about how the stripling warriors put on the armor of God.  After, he tied it together for us currently.  I forgot the reference but it’s in the Doctrine and Covenants, about how we as missionaries, as members, and as people need to face our foes, face our Goliath, wearing the armor of God.

He also showed videos of people bearing their testimonies from Liberia and Sierra Leone.  The people that were on it, I know and have talked to, they were members before the war and have the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard.  It made me think of how I took this gospel for granted.  The only thought I have after this is "I need to do more."  I almost cried while watching the videos.  It has ‘recharged my battery.'   Missionary work is draining, but totally worth it (idk if the videos are online yet) (I really hope they share these on the mission blog, I will post a link if they do)
He shared some stats of the mission while he's been president 2010-2013.  A new mission created (mission splitting, creating the Liberia Monrovia mission), over 6000 baptisms,  250 missionaries served in 2 countries, leads West Africa with people with baptism dates, with people who attend church, leads the WORLD in baptisms per missionary per month. created the 3000 stake, 2 new districts, 15 new branches, over 150 temple ordinances done.  Elder Holland said, "this seems to be Africa's moment"  this is so true!

As far as going to kakata (the bush or interior), we go with the humanitarian couple.  We were only there for a couple hours.  We met the branch president and he takes us to the people he wants us to meet and to teach.  We don’t have set appointments when we go there.  I brought my camera but fell asleep while going there, the A/C was really nice!
(I asked him how he was able to print the pictures I got last week) The way I was able to print pictures was I found a guy that has a system that allows me to plug my cord into his printer and then i take control through my camera.  This is the only place that I’ve heard of that’s like this.  It’s cheap and quick.

This week we had a struggle with meeting people because we had to go to another area with Elder Tolar ( from Texas – Elder Tolar didn’t have a companion for the first part of the week, so he was with Collin and his companion – missionaries never work alone).  It was really hard to balance the amount of time we spent in each other’s area, but we made it work.  He received his new companion on Saturday, Elder Bell (from Utah), straight from the MTC.  He needs a couple days to adjust to mission life and to Liberia.  It takes about a month.
Who asked how we contact people (I asked in the email I sent to him)?  Ha, we don’t look for people, people look for us.  We always have 1 or 2 people come up to us and tell us they want to join our church.  We take the name and number (75% of the people have phones, but only 15% have electricity...)  out of 10 people who do this, maybe we'll find 2 people who are serious.  Meeting people is easy, finding the serious ones is a little more difficult.

The time is flying by.  No joke!  It’s going too fast!  I love my mission.  This is the best!
I love and miss you all

Elder Park
The White African

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