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, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013
What a week.. Where to start...

On Tuesday I had to give an instruction for the district.  Since
we have one set of missionaries opening a new area I talked about how
to find people, more specifically, to find those that are prepared for
us.  Finding those people starts with us.  We as missionaries need to
be prepared mentally, spiritually and physically.  If we can do this,
we can find those people that are ready for the gospel.  We can have
the members gain trust in is so they can help us find those prepared
people.  The district I’m in has 6 missionaries including me.  We are all
working in the same branch too.  It’s going to be a lot of fun, but a lot
of work too.

As a district leader I have to have a district meeting every Tuesday,
i have to organize the baptisms, send in weekly numbers, make sure
there are no problems within the district, and if there are any, solve them.  I
have to make sure the apartment has everything it needs.  Basically I
am the mother of the apartment, I take care of everything...  Mothers, I
love you all.

On Wednesday I went to a “train the trainers” training.  It was to help
me be prepared to train my new companion who I received on Friday.
Elder Baldwin is from Idaho Falls, Idaho.  He is fresh out of high
school.  He loves to work hard so these two transfers are going to go
by super fast!!  He is going to be an amazing missionary.  He is willing
to try and do anything.  The first day he was here we had a lady give
us some fu-fu, you don’t chew this meal, you swallow it.   He dug
right it.  He has eaten a chicken foot also.  Elder Baldwin will
eat/try anything that is thrown his way.  I know that we will get along just fine.

Sunday was an adventure. I don’t really want to share what happened,
but just pray for the people here in LIB, and specifically here in
Thinker Village.  (He shared what happened, in a separate email, with a member who had a medical emergency, not info for the blog, but I wanted to share enough to let you know Collin is ok because when I read this line I started to worry). 
I know that my Savior lives.  I know that our Heavenly Father lives
and answers my prayers and He will answer yours.  Pray with faith,
nothing wavering.

I love you all

Elder Park

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Here is a picture of the missionaries in the Liberia Monrovia Mission.  The picture was taken on July 2nd and was posted on the Liberia Mission Blog:

Collin is on the back row, 4th from the left, looks like he has a white tie on.  His new mission president and his wife on the front row, Sister Kirkham is in teal and President Kirkham has a red tiw on and is sitting next to his wife.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

This week was.....  wow.

Lets start at the beginning.  I went on exchange with Elder Kouao.  Those two days went by super fast.  Nothing too crazy happened there.  I met a couple cool people and spent a lot of money.  Elder Kouao likes to eat.

Thursday evening I was planning with my normal companion and we get a phone call from our Zone Leaders.  I will tell you what they said later.  Saturday we had baptisms, we had to travel to a nearby building because our generator wasn’t working so we couldn’t pump water for the font.   We made it there in good time and everything went really smoothly.  We were able to have 2 people baptized, Mercy Tarkpor and her younger sister Marthaline.  Teaching them was fun because they always had small children with them. 

Our Sunday was good.  Since it was the 3rd Sunday, we all gave small talks, basically we just bore our testimonies.  It was a really good service.  Some of our branch leaders got a little emotional too.  It’s really rare to see male Africans get emotional, they feel it’s a sign of weakness, I don’t understand it.

After we went to the branch president’s house we had a delicious meal of LIB style spaghetti, potato salad, and really good chicken.  President Harris takes care of us. 

Okay- here’s the transfer news:  Elder Tolar and Elder Bell are staying the same. Two more missionaries are moving into the branch and opening a new area.  I am staying in Tinker Village and I am receiving a missionary from the MTC as a companion.  I have no idea who he is, or where he's from.  AND I am now the new district leader for Tinker Village.  This transfer is going to test me beyond belief!!! 

This week will be interesting for me.  I have to be in a threesome, split an area, go to a leadership training meeting, prepare a district meeting, and receive a new companion.  Well, here we go!!

I love you all and pray for you all

Elder Park

The White African


And in a second email:


What a glorious day that was.  I got the one with the side bag (shoulder bag) and pants and 2 more packages with garments, they are sooooooooo white!!!!!  Elder Marondera loves the shirt and says thank you (Collin requested a new dry-fit shirt for playing and working out on pdays, I sent one for his companion who was from Zimbabwe).   Thanks for the socks also. 

So, it has taken quite awhile for packages to get to Collin - one of the packages he got I sent in March!   This picture and description was on the Liberia Mission Blog:
On Wednesday as I walked into the office I was greeted by 2 Royal Liberian Mail employee's asking me why I had not been to pick up our packages. I told them that Brother Sayon went 2-3 times a week. They then gave me a bag of 22 packages for missionaries! They informed me that they could not store them and that we needed to pick them up more often. When Brother Sayon got to the office he said that he had gotten a call saying that there were packages for the missionaries. On Thursday he went to the post office to see what had happened. He was given another 22 packages!!! These were packages from June, July and August. Some of them had been eaten into by rats and mice and others were fine. There was one package that was so badly eaten we had to open (what was left of the box) and transfer the contents into another box. The only thing that had been eaten (besides the box) was a whole package of Twizzlers - we have discriminating rats at the post office!
Here is another picture from the blog.  New washing machines for the Elders!

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

These weeks are going by way too fast.

This was a pretty good week.  Although we didn’t set history like we did last week, it was still really good. 

I went on exchange with Elder Tolar on Friday.  He is a good missionary, he's been out just over 5 months but knows so much!  It was actually a lot of fun teaching with him.  We had a lot of lessons and a lot of them were powerful lessons too. 

Speaking of powerful lessons, we met one man called Richard.  We met him on Tuesday and taught him about the Restoration of the gospel and about Joseph Smith.  We returned on Saturday and only talked about the Book of Mormon.  Towards the end we both felt inspired to extend a baptismal day, so we did.  He excepted right away.  Most people do, but with Richard it felt different.  Some people just say yes because they know they have to be baptized but don’t understand that it has be by the priesthood power.  I honestly feel like he understood that.  He also came to church on Sunday.  Richard is a great, smart, educated man and I know that this gospel is going to bless him.  All throughout the week we were having lessons that were just powerful. 

The other day my companion and I had a disagreement on something and it started the day off the wrong way.  We taught a couple people and I am so thankful for the Spirit.  We were not teaching together but we eventually became friends again and taught a lot better today.  The spirit works miracles on people we teach and for us as missionaries.

Our branch leaders really help us missionaries.  We had dinner at the branch president’s house last night and we all walked away with at least 2 study manuals about the bible.  He just willingly gave them away.  He probably lost about $150 worth of books.  President Harris is one of the best people I know here in LIB.

This week was way too fast for me to remember anything else that happened, but it was a good week!!


I love you all and pray for you all.

Elder Park

The White African


In an extra email the same morning:

My companion is sick today.  I gave him a blessing this morning.  Something with his stomach, so most likely not typhoid, it kept him up all night too.  He's feeling a lot better now but still hasn’t eaten anything.

Monday, August 05, 2013

August 5, 2013

These weeks are going by way to fast... 

This week was a history setting week for me and my companion and our area.  To start, we had a TON of lessons this week.  We were literally teaching lessons all day long, every day, not a whole lot of bounces either.  This week we had more lessons than I have ever taught in my area.   We have never really had a lot of members come with us to teach, but Friday and Saturday Joseph Kumeh said he'll come with us.  It was a good experience for him.  His family has been in the church for over 20 years, so he knows the principals we teach, but he just needs to learn how to teach.  It was one thing that I struggled with for a long time when I first got here. but I worked and I got better.  It’s the same with Joseph.  We are getting him a Preach My Gospel book so he will be able to learn more. 

Young men who haven’t gone on a mission and are reading this: GO AROUND WITH THE MISSIONARIES!!!!!!

Since the new mission was created not much has changed.   We found out that the branch that I am serving in,  they are trying to make this one of the first wards.  We have been assigned one of the mission counselors to meet with the branch every week and do training.  This will be a good thing for everyone.  I feel like we can do it,  just that we need some help and motivation to do it. 

Yesterday (Sunday) we had a man walk into the church and sit down.  None of recognized him, so I went and talked with him.  He's actually our neighbor and had heard a lot of things about our church.  From what he said, he doesn’t like to believe things people say unless he sees it, so he decided to come and see.  When Sacrament meeting was almost over he leans over to me and says that everything that he has seen and heard thus far, was all good and that he was really impressed.  We took his information and will be sitting with him this week.  People like that don’t always happen to come our way but when they do it’s always fun! 


In my apartment we have several things that we do every week.  On P-day (preparation day), we wash and clean like usual.  Washing by hand sucks!  Go hug your washing machine. Drying takes all day and into the night.  Go hug your dryer.  Once the clothes are washed and the apartment is clean,  we eat.  Every  Monday and only Monday we boil eggs and eat boiled egg sandwiches.  It may not seem like a whole lot but it’s always fun for us.  The little things mean so much. 

LIB is too sweet.  I love it here.  Tinker Village is an amazing branch.  Home away from home.

I love all my friends and family at home and around the world.

Elder Park

The White African



From an extra email the same morning:

I still haven’t gotten a package since late April.  Letters are never opened.

Transfers come probably on the 18th, lots of people will move.  Some areas will be white washed (meaning that the missionaries who know the area will be moved, so the new ones won’t know anyone or about anyone).  That’s next to impossible to deal with here because there are no addresses and not everyone has phones.  It'll be very interesting.

As far as changing, I have changed physically and in all the other typical ways a missionary changes.  I am back to where I was physically at the beginning of senior year.  I have been working out every morning, even today I have done about 160 pushups along with sits ups of every kind.  Tell Derek I’m coming for him!!!!