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, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Happy 10 months on mission to me!!!

This week flew by except for Saturday and Sunday, but those were really good days.

This week we worked really hard on getting some of the branch leaders to come and see some of our investigators.  We brought the Relief Society president with us to see two women, she was able to bear a
powerful testimony to help them understand that they need to pray about the Book of Mormon.  She even was able to see a less active sister too.  Working with members is a lot of fun.  It takes some planning but it totally pays off.  I invite all of those reading to find a time to go with the missionaries to see even just one person, your own testimony will grow,  and you will be able to help someone else’s grow as well.

Wednesday I was with Elder Okunrobo (Nigeria) on exchange, but that morning we had a nice little visit by President Kirkham.  That day went by super fast.

Thursday was Thanksgiving.  Elder Kaiser had a potato soup mix that we made in celebration.  Nothing too special, but it was fun.  Happy Thanksgiving, I hope that black Friday was fun and safe, and that you all can find good cool things on cyber
Monday(see the Extra's below)

Friday I was on exchange again with Elder Seiya (Seirra Leone),  that day we only were able to see one person...  we got bounced all day long, even our backups weren’t there..  we did all we could to find someone to teach.

Saturday was fun.  This weekend we had district conference, but it was a special one, we had Elder LeGrand Curtis, the Africa West Area President in attendance.  That was super cool.  He is such a good teacher.  He also brings such a good spirit with him too.  Saturday he talked about "hastening the work of salvation" but he focused on the Atonement, how even Christ didn’t want to fulfill it.  He trembled with pain and begged for a way out, but He understood that it was His Father’s will.    It was a really good talk.
For the general session on Sunday  we had two full buses full of people going.   There was almost a thousand people there too.   It was only for half of the members in LIB too.  It really shows how the church is growing here.   There wasn’t a seat empty.   Most missionaries were either standing on the sides or out in the hall.   As for me, I sat on the ground and tried to listen.  Elder Curtis talked about how important it is to truly repent, hopefully it sunk into some people.

This week flew by!!!  It was a great week too.  I hope that everyone had a great week too.

Elder Park
The White African

So, last Sunday I told him that Thanksgiving was “next” week, and he thought that it meant this week.  So I mentioned he was a week off when we got to exchange a couple of emails back and forth, so he said:   wow thanks mom, we celebrated it early!!!!!


THE LEGOS ARE THE BEST!!!!  I have the airplane on my best.    Hahaha  I love the pillow case too!!! (The package was his birthday package, at least it got there the same month as his birthday, not bad.  The new pillow case has superman on it, of course I made that for him.  The legos were Grandma’s idea, but I get credit for shopping and shipping them).
The weather is weird here.  During the day it doesn’t rain much.  At night the storms happen, but all day long it just looks like it’s going to POUR but it doesn’t, at least not on me.

I asked him about how many missionaries there were in the mission.   He said:  I do know
that there is no where to put any more missionaries.  We are full.  93 of us!

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013
WOW   This week was fast.

On Tuesday, I officially became a man, I am no longer a rotten teenager.  I am now a rotten 20 year old kid.  I spent my birthday giving instruction at district meeting like I do every Tuesday.  Then I had to go on exchange with Elder Nabende my Zone Leader.  It was good.  I have a few things I need to work on though.

Thursday we taught a few people but had to come back early to wait for the new missionary for Elder Bell.  Elder Sanders is from Springville Utah.   He's going to be a good missionary.  He is still adjusting to the heat, all the sweating, and all the dirt.  It was fun to just observe him.  It makes me think about how I was when I first got here.  It seems just like yesterday and I can completely remember it.  It’s funny to hear the small experiences he has every day.  He's really green, but it’s good.   We've all been there.  I’m looking forward to seeing him grow and develop.

Friday was normal.  Elder Baldwin and I taught the Book of Mormon class that we have every week.  This week was 1 Nephi 13, really interesting when you take time and study it.  Lots of prophecy in it too.  I am very thankful for the prophets that we had anciently and even the ones we have today.

Saturday was really just normal.   We saw a couple people that we haven’t seen in a long time.   We tried to help one woman haul rock so she could come to church on Sunday but when we got there, she wasn’t working so I was really disappointed.  I really wanted to haul and crush rock.  Even though we weren’t able to do that she still came to church.

We didn’t have a lot of investigators, but we had a TON of people at church again.  This branch is really growing.  A lot of the classrooms are getting too small for the amount of people that are
coming.  It’s really good and amazing to see.   Since I have been here for so long I have seen the branch almost double it’s size.  The missionary works here is evident!!!!

I  love my mission!  I love sweet LIB!!!

I love you all!

Elder Park
The White African

Extras:   (I asked him if he got his birthday package yet).   My companion received one this past week.   For me I just don’t wait for them, I just pretend they aren’t coming in hope of them coming faster.

(I was asked by someone if there were a lot of mosques where Collin was)  I can find mosques every once in a while.   Not a lot of them in my area, but in my old area I could.
(I told him he had to call me first on Christmas day, not his sister, he called her first on mother’s day – not fair, and some of his accent was rubbed off by the time I talked to him)  There are a couple things that I don’t say normal anymore,  even I can tell.   hahaha when I call home I will be exactly 11 months on mission.  I have found that not counting actually goes a lot faster, but I could count big number things like:  I have 7 boxes of doxy (the anti malaria stuff),  I’m almost done with 3.   I was given 17 planners, I’m on 8.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013
This week was a good week, but it started slow.  Thursday was Thanksgiving for LIB, so not a lot of people were home that day.  It was okay because I had a big long leadership training meeting that day.  It was good.  We talked about how we need to retain more people.  That night we got transfer news super late!!!

NO ONE MOVED!!!!   I will spend another 6 weeks here in Tinker Village.  It will be until just before Christmas, so I will spend almost exactly 8 months here.  The time is flying!!!  It doesn’t seem like I’ve been here that long.  Time flies when you are having fun!

Saturday was good, we had 2 people get baptized.  Dorcus Johnny and Daniel Fomba.  They are sweet!  It was a lot of fun to work with them and see them change.  Daniel went from a punky 20 year old kid with a big afro to a clean cut kid that looks like he could go on a mission.  We are going to start working with him and preparing him for that.  We have our work cut out for us.  Also that afternoon the Elder's Quorum had a reactivation activity.  We as missionaries went with some of the elders and visited the less active members and invited them to a Q/A that afternoon and to church on Sunday.  It was really good.  We didn’t quite get the turn out we wanted but it was still good.
I went with the elder's quorum president, and boy, did we walk!!!!!  We walked far and fast.   Towards the end he said that he’ll have to take some pain killers that night because he hasn’t walked like that in a very long time.  I didn’t even think it was that bad either.  At church on Sunday he said he was really sore and I just laughed. 

At church we had a TON of people!   Over 130 in attendance, and we had one of President Kirkham’s counselors there, he was really impressed.  The eight of us (there are 8 missionaries in Collin’s district working in the branch) are really working hard is what I told him.  I think that we had almost 30 non members there too.
My week was really good and hope that yours was better.
I love you all and miss you.

Elder Park
The White African

In an extra email:  Yeah, I’m staying in the same spot.  My bed hasn’t moved either.  I have slept in the same bed, same spot, walked the same paths for almost 7 months and it will be longer now too.  We’ll get transfer news probably on the 19th of December.  I’m not bummed, well I kinda am.  I wanna see something new, be somewhere new.
(someone asked me about the stars over there, this was his response)  The stars are awesome!!!  So is the moon.  Even last night or the night before I was laying in bed and I looked out the window and the moon was just staring at me, big and beautiful, half moon, just shining on me as I slept.  It was really cool.

(I asked him if he had any plans for celebrating his birthday on the 12th)  Hmmmm, I get to give a district meeting instruction, go on exchange with my zone leaders, I think.  But, I’ll probably get a soft drink to celebrate!


Monday, November 04, 2013

November 4, 2013
Wow, this week was super fast!!!
First off, it was week 11 in Elder Baldwin’s training, so this week I was able to play newbie!!!  I had a lot of fun.  He took the lead in everything.  He played senior companion for the week.  I acted like I just came from the MTC.  I actually learned a lot.  I learned how I need to know the Book of Mormon more.  Even though I learned a lot, I think that he learned more.  This week is really a test for all missionaries, to test their knowledge, test their teaching skills, and to prove to themselves that they are able to be a missionary.  I feel like it was a good week.  It was a good experience for him because we got bounced a lot!!  He was constantly trying to figure out who to go and see.  Even on Wednesday,  while I was on exchange with Elder Bell, Elder Baldwin had to go with a branch missionary that has been with a missionary for a week.  They had a great day!!!  As far as Elder Bell and myself…. not so much.  Lots of people were gone or not able to see us.  Missionary work is awesome, but sometimes a little frustrating.  

When I first got to Thinker Village I was able to baptize Ojuku Harris.  Since then I have taught his family and they are all members too.  On Friday I got a note from Margret, his wife, saying that he was in the hospital and having surgery the next morning.  So I referred her to our branch president. Saturday we went to the hospital, I pray I never get really sick here…., he had surgery on his appendix.  I don’t know what happened, but something did.  We spent most of the day there.  I love this family so much, please keep Ojuku in your prayers.  I am going to see how he is later today, so I don’t know how he is right now. 
The rest of Saturday was good, just a normal day.

Sunday was good.  We had a lot of people come, but I know there was even more that didn’t.  I am amazed at how this branch has grown since I got here at the end of April.  I’ve been here for 6 months, transfer news comes sometime this week, Thinker Village is my home away from home.  No matter where you serve, you fall in love with the people.  I will most likely get moved somewhere within the week, and mission continues!

I love you all, miss you all

Elder Park

The White African


In an extra email he said hello to Courtney.  Also, if you want to send a package, send Oreos and peanuts!  I think it’s funny that those are what he misses.