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, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

This week was an interesting one, never had a completely normal day. 

Tuesday I had to give instruction at our district meeting, good thing I remembered about it.... Monday night... but missionary work makes me good at winging it, then we had to go to interviews for the other elders in my district that evening.  Wednesday we had interviews for ourselves and had to wait for the Zone Leaders to come for that.   Thursday, haha, funny story.  Since it’s the rainy season and someone wanted our boots more than us, we have gotten really good at long jumping.  Sometimes there is a bridge that we walk across like a tight rope.  Thus far I hadn’t fallen, but Thursday wasn’t my day... the 'bridge' moved while I was walking across and I went about thigh deep into NASTY!!!! water.  I spoiled a Book of Mormon that I was carrying.  We went back to the apartment for me to change and grab another Book of Mormon.  Other than that it was a normal day.  Friday my companion had leadership training so I got to sleep outside.  For some reason I was sleep deprived all week.  Oh well.  Saturday we woke up early, cleaned out the baptismal font and started filling it.  Albert Bondeo was baptized.  This man was hard to see but very interested in the gospel.  Sunday, Bondeo and Salven were confirmed.  It’s always good when people show up to church early.

Sunday was missionary Sunday.  I gave a talk on obedience to the Lord’s commandments.  Obedience to ALL of them ALL the time.  Hopefully it was good.  I was then asked to teach Adult Sunday School.  i taught on D+C 101-105, having about 2 minutes to prepare, and never reading those sections before, I can say without a doubt, the lesson sucked.  i couldn’t wing that one...

My week was an interesting one to say the least.  This one will be the same.  Friday is LIB's Independence Day.  No small celebration will be happening. 

To answer some questions:  people make money by buying things and then selling them for about 5 dollars more, by making things by hand.  Many people walk about selling things that they have in a bucket on their head or with a wheel barrow.  The way we buy our food is we all put in $20 USD and go buy a big bag of rice, canned goods, onions, pepe and oil.   We get most of it at the market, which crazier than anything that I have seen before.  i would take a picture but then people would definitely know that I have money.  I hate walking around with a lot of money.  There are shops that we can get lapas, fabric worn as skirts. Mom, don’t worry, I'll be bringing a lot home.  Nothing has an address or a name, you just walk around till you find what you're looking for.  That goes for the whole country of Liberia. 

School here is hard for most people.  Often times people don’t graduate high school till about 21 or so, mostly because they can’t afford the school fees.  I don’t know how much that is.  The schools are small, only about 100 students, but they are all over the place.  It’s so different.

They have a lot of American hip hop/rap music, but the actual West African music is mostly what they call 'Azonto'.  It’s actually really cool, and when they hear it and aren’t doing much they will dance azonto.  Really cool!!!!

I swear the kids here are born with a 'football' ball (soccer) with them.  They mostly play that, but some of the older guys play basketball but don’t know how to truly play because no one has taught them the rules.  It’s interesting to play against them.

Hopefully that answers a few questions.  I love you all!

Elder Park

The White African

I was online when his email came.  I was able to ask him a couple things, here are some of the answers.

Someone came and stole 4 pairs of our boots.  Another missionary apartment got broken into twice in a 3 day span while they were sleeping.  No one was hurt, no one found out until morning.  When I asked him more about this he said:  Remind me never to tell you about things like that again.  Hmmmm, that was not really an answer.

I asked him if he needed a western union sent.  He said:  I went to a western union with another Elder, holy cow it’s crazy.  People are trying to get your money.  Just send $20 with letters.  Letters are never opened but packages usually are.

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