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, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

Collin is on the top left side, holding the "M" in Merry

It’s a good thing we don’t focus on the numbers, because when you look at our numbers, you would laugh and ask if we even did anything.  That may be the case, but this week was SWEET!!!!!

Tuesday and Wednesday were just normal, although I was on exchanges with our Zone Leaders. This time I was with Elder Morrison (Ghana). I didn’t really understand the reason for the exchange, it’s because there wasn’t one... annoying. Those two days were really boring because either people were gone, or they were too busy to sit with us because they are finding money for Christmas. So those days kinda stunk, but I had a lot of fun with Morrison.

Thursday and Friday were sweet!   We had a 2 day Zone Conference.   Thursday was the fun day, we played a game, they made us sound out animal noises and then we had to find the other elders/sisters with the same animal and then got to know each other better, trying to get a mission unity type thing going on.   We all got Santa gifts (Santa knows best!!!) all the Elders got socks. So funny. Some of us really needed more. We also got Christmas cards from the Kirkham’s and their family. People from around the states sent us Christmas cards, it was so nice to receive those. I actually got one with a return address, the guy lives on Bainbridge Island!!! Hahaha, it was fun to get that one. Then we had a talent show. Elder Pentreath (England and our AP) played the violin. It was really good. We did sing the 12 days of Christmas with actions that went along,  watching Pres. Kirkham was HILAROUS!!!! Even though we are serving the Lord, we are still just small pekins.

Friday was the spiritual part of the conference. It was really good. I can’t remember all of what was said but I took a lot of notes. I did like Elder Skouson's instruction. He talked about how we need to change the word 'correction' to the word 'improvement'. It was really good. We also got more Christmas cards from people. I love those. We even got one from the First Presidency!!

Saturday we didn’t have a baptism, but we went to the service. Elder Kaiser got his first. He's a little excited. Since we had to travel back into town there wasn’t enough time to go teach people, kinda sucked. But the devotional that Pres. Kirkham gave was amazing. It was all about the birth of our Savior. I learned a lot. He went into the details of it too.   Wow, I learned so much.  Pres. Kirkham is the best. He came to church with us Sunday. He talked a lot about how missionary work goes. He talked about how we desperately need to have members come and see people with us and meet people. It will definitely help the retention rate that isn’t very good. If members would just say hello to new faces, more people will stay. They will feel welcomed. I invite all of you members, please, if you see someone new come to church, take a second and say hello. 

This week is going to be great. I get to call home on Wednesday. I have a lot of people who have invited us over for food. I have left over money too so we are going to have the Park Family tradition of a big Christmas Eve dinner.  Man, I’m excited!!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your friend in LIB!!!

Elder Park
The White African

I told him that our friend, Victoria Gallardo, got her mission call to Mexico, he said, "the Gallardos are so good. I love those guys!”

We emailed back and forth about when the phone call would be on Christmas day. I made sure he knew he was supposed to call me first (he called his sister Katie first on Mother’s Day, by the time I talked to him his funny accent was gone. I want to hear it this time!). He said, "haha, okay I'll call you first. It’s really hard to talk 'serious' or normal as you'd say."

I asked him what he was going to make for his Christmas dinner since he mentioned they were going to have a big Christmas Eve dinner (which is a Park family thing – it’s really so nobody has to spend time cooking on Christmas day – just warm up some leftovers, so far none of us are very fond of cooking).   He wrote: “go to the supermarket. buy two chickens, make our own dry rub and cook it!! We haven’t totally figured it all out, but there will be a lot of junk food eaten.

BTW, I got the package from Elder Robb and one from you that had oreo's and new underwear.

As we were emailing back and forth, James (Collin’s brother), his wife Danica, and little Sophia arrived after driving over night from Idaho.   I was able to take a picture of Sophia and send it to him  from my phone while he was still online - and he got it!  I love technology!  Sophia was just a couple weeks old when Collin last saw her, a week before he left for the MTC. He said: "I better get a lot of pictures!!!   I want to see Stinky!”(Sophia might have been a smelly baby!) and then when he saw her picture he said “holy cow, she is BIG!!!!! look at those champers!!!!!”

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