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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I got actual mail from Collin and it came with pictures!  Nothing makes this Mom happier than to see her son smiling in pictures taken on the other side of the world.  The letter was dated January 13, 2014.  I'll add the pictures at the end.

He mentioned in the letter that he was teaching a district lesson on Chapter 1 from Preach My Gospel.  He said he ended up using one of his Dad's coaching things from years ago, the ABC's, he wasn't planning on using it, but he realized they make sense for being a successful missionary as well as a good ball player.  Attitude, Battle, Confidence, Desire, Effort, and Family, Fun, and Fundamentals. 

"This mission is so cool.  Once or Twice a week we'll be walking or doing something that makes me pause and just have this thought:  'Holy Cow!  I'm in Africa!'    It's crazy to think I have lived here for a year and still have another year to go!   This place is so cool.  The people here are so cool.   I've said it before, everyone is just family.  Everyone is 'Ma' or 'Papa!'  Most of the time the small children, once they learn my name, call me 'Uncle Elder Park.'  That's just the culture.  It's sweet."

"Every Sunday we sing a cappella because no one knows how to play the piano, so none of the branches have a piano, only the district centers.  I miss having the piano or organ playing.  How we do it here is the conductor sings the first line or how ever much she wants to, counts to 3 and everyone joins in.  It's kinda cool.  Also, none of the songs are on key because no one has ever heard them on key.  It makes me laugh at the hymns during church sometimes since it sometimes is so off!   No one can sing here."

"So you may notice that in most of my pictures that my shoes are  really dirty.   Ya, I don't really polish.  There has been a few times that I have someone on the street do it and I give them money, yes, that is the job they do.  The reason why I don't is because most Liberians complain about not having shoes to wear to church and can't believe it's okay to wear slippers (flip flops).  So, I show them my shoes and say "Look at my shoes.  They are dirty.  It's ok to wear slippers."  Plus, everyday I walk on dirt roads or on trash.  To me it makes no sense to polish if I'm just going to do that the next day.   So there's that. 
"Elder Park
The White African

and here are the pictures: 


This is Africa!
Don't know why I did my hands the same in both pictures"
Mom, here's your Santa picture!   This is Elder Lamont with a pillow!
We have taken pictures of the kids with Santa forever, and so I asked him if he could get one with Santa on mission, I told him he could be creative if he needed to.   This is what I got!  
What a smart alec.

This is Mama G, it's her yard name (nickname).  She is 6 or 7 and went around "bluffing" for Christmas with her new clothes.  Dated December 25, 2013
December 27, 2013.  We had a service project for the sumo family.  They are less active and we were hoping that this would help them come to church.
Sunrise in Gardnersville

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