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, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013
This week was a really busy week.  We didn’t have as many lessons as we wanted or planned for but it was a good week. 
Wednesday was Zone Conference.  One of the best ones I have been to.  Elder Vinson is amazing.  He is from Australia but lives in Ghana.  He can teach!  I really enjoyed listening to him.  He talked a lot about how we are truly assigned by our Father in Heaven to be here, and the that Brethren are really watching this part of the world with all eyes.  He let us in on how they extend calls too, really cool!!!  He was able to extend calls with Elder Holland a little while ago too.   It was really cool to listen to him teach.  His wife talked about Hymn #185, "Reverently and Meekly Now."   This is one of about 3 hymns written in the perspective of our Savior.  Read the words, they are so powerful and meaningful.  It all but brought me into tears.  (I included the words at the bottom of this post)
Thursday we went on exchange.  Elder Tolar is a really good missionary, I love working with him.  We managed to get all the interviews done that we needed to do.
Friday we started our first Book of Mormon class.  We had a great turnout for the first time.  We had about 15 investigators there.  It was really good.  We just went over the introduction of the Book of Mormon.   We answered a lot of questions, it was really good. 
Saturday..... oh boy.  We got up early to start the generator of the chapel so it could pump water.  Elder Baldwin swept inside while I was outside cleaning the font.   It took forever because it was POURING!!!!!!!  It started raining at about 4 am and didn’t stop till about 1 pm.   We also combined with Harbel for the baptisms.  It was Harbel’s first baptism ever.  They had 9 people come and get baptized.  The baptism didn’t start till about 12, normally we start at 9...   Also only 2 of our 5 candidates showed up...  It was really frustrating because two of them had their phone off, one told us early that morning so it was okay.   It was a really spiritual service.   We sang "I know that my Redeemer lives"  it started right there. (I included the words to this Hymn too, one of my favorites)   Music really does invite the spirit into the room.  All my frustration about the rain, people not coming, everything, it was gone once we sang that song.  It was really good.  I ended up having to give a talk on baptism which was easy.  John 3:5, the importance of baptism, 2Nephi 31:13 and Mosiah 18:8-9 the covenant or promise we make. 
That evening we made Liberian Enchiladas.  It was soooooo good.  Nothing like home, but we managed. 
Sunday was a good day it.   Usually the rain stops people from coming to church, but we still had about 85 people come.  We had 5 investigators there also.  This branch is growing!!   I think they are going to split my area so we will now have 8 missionaries in one branch.  It’s crazy!
Sunday night we made spaghetti and french fries, with fry sauce.   Yes I know it was very interesting, but it was DELICIOUS.   It was also really cheap.  
Elder Baldwin is still doing good, still eating everything and still learning.  He has a lot to learn still but we had to learn things, we are still learning as we go!
Hopefully this week will be just as good and a little more successful. 

i love you all and miss you all
Elder Park
The White African
From  an extra email: 
I laughed hard at the pic.  ( I sent him a picture of his uncle Sparkie wearing a Red suit jacket – he had lost a bet when Utah beat BYU in a football game. )
I asked him about stress after hearing that it can be hard for missionaries to handle, this is what he wrote back:  Stress as a missionary is normal.  Some people can handle it, some can’t.   You know that I can do hard things, stressful things.  Right now I’m stressed because of training and being a district leader, but it’s normal.  I have even been given an assignment from the mission pres. to read a book about handling stress.  It was actually really helpful for me and it will help me be able to help others.
Collin mentioned a couple of songs in his email.  Here are the words to those songs:
Reverently and Meekly Now
1. Rev'rently and meekly now,
Let thy head most humbly bow.
Think of me, thou ransomed one;
Think what I for thee have done.
With my blood that dripped like rain,
Sweat in agony of pain,
With my body on the tree
I have ransomed even thee.
2. In this bread now blest for thee,
Emblem of my body see;
In this water or this wine,
Emblem of my blood divine.
Oh, remember what was done
That the sinner might be won.
On the cross of Calvary
I have suffered death for thee.
3. Bid thine heart all strife to cease;
With thy brethren be at peace.
Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be
E'en forgiven now by me.
In the solemn faith of prayer
Cast upon me all thy care,
And my Spirit's grace shall be
Like a fountain unto thee.
4. At the throne I intercede;
For thee ever do I plead.
I have loved thee as thy friend,
With a love that cannot end.
Be obedient, I implore,
Prayerful, watchful evermore,
And be constant unto me,
That thy Savior I may be.
Text: Joseph L. Townsend, 1849-1942
Music: Ebenezer Beesley, 1840-1906

I Know That My Redeemer Lives
1. I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
3. He lives, my kind, wise heav'nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.
4. He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
Text: Samuel Medley, 1738-1799. Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.
Music: Lewis D. Edwards, 1858-1921

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