Elder Palmer (back row, 6th from left) is serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa mission for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Eric returned home on August 27th, 2011!!!!!

He was transferred to Yaounde, Cameroon on August 13th, 2010.

Links listed on the left are from the senior couples and Mission President!

Comments in italics are clarifications from Mom.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eric's email of February 5th, 2010

Je manque "Car Talk", et personne ici le connais. (I miss "Car Talk" and no one here knows what "Car Talk" is.)

Geez, over 16 inches of snow? I don't even really know what that means anymore. But earlier this week our water heater went out, so I had to take cold showers. And it was the first time I actually really felt cold in over 3 months, so that was cool. I will probably take cold showers more often.

But I bet all the kids loved having school off, but if you all went back to school today, I'm sure Mom was very happy. But yeah, things are starting to go better with the work here in Bonabéri and with some of the members. But none of the members play the piano, as far as we know. But there is one guy who is the chorister, and one other elder is teaching him piano after church on Sundays. And I'll probably take that responsibility soon because the missionary doing it now, Elder Price, will probably get transferred we think. And as far as the building, not really any luck so far. The other companionship in Bonabéri said they saw a possibility, but I dunno.

So about Grandma Ralphene, that's kind of sad, but not really. (Grandma passed away on January 30th, 2010) Its just great to have knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, and that death is definitely not the end of existence. But on Tuesday Elder Lee and I went to a "deuil" or something like that, which is a funeral. And they are quite different, they have the body in the casket inside, then out front they have music playing and a whole bunch of chairs for people to sit. And in the room around the body, there are usually some people crying or mourning very vocally, its different. But it doesn't bother me or anything, but its just a good chance to see how they do that here, and also makes you realize they need to have the message of God's plan shared with them.

I've heard about the earthquakes in Haiti. Some people thought it was there in the states, but whatever. Grandma Carlene told me last week about her shoe drive, and the Hutchings actually sent me a picture of it. Btw, I'm going to send pictures from the Willis' tonight. (Grandma Carlene collected over 600 pair of shoes to send to Haiti through "Soles for Souls".)

Ok, and to address Sang's concern, I send him an email every darn week. Tell Sang I am getting his emails, but none of mine are going through for some reason. But if you want you can just forward my email to Sang as well until his problem gets fixed.

So I will say, no, definitely not the good time of year for weather here. And I don't know if there is a good time. Its probably better in other parts of Cameroon, where it isn't so darn hot during the dry season, but its kinda ridiculous how hot it is. My shirts are becoming discolored. But I hear it is much nicer in Yaoundé and other places, as far as the weather.

So the group in Bonabéri is officially part of the Douala branch. In Douala there is only 1 branch and 1 building right now, but the church has already purchased land for another building somewhere else in town in Douala, and like I said we are looking for somewhere in Bonabéri still. But with our goal for finding families and 192 baptisms and such, President Headlee said that will be enough to create 2 more branches here, which he says he wants to do this here. He also said he is planning on organizing a district in Yaoundé. Right now there are 2 branches there. There used to be an English branch, but that got dissolved. He said there will be some reorganizing taking place and in July he wants to start with the district and more branches and stuff.

So in our group, I believe there are... 4 dédenteurs de la Pretrise Melchisadek, I think. I can only name 3 right now, but we are pretty sure there are 4. One other person went to have an interview with President Headlee for the Melchizedek Priesthood, but he has to get all the way married first. Since the marriage system is different, (and actually kinda dumb, I think), if someone just starts the process for the traditional marriage and has the intention to complete it, the church considers them married, and they can be baptized and have the Aaronic Priesthood. But for the Melchizedek Priesthood, they have to be all the way married, so yeah. But the traditional marriage includes giving the family of the wife a bunch of food and drinks and stuff, and you can't just go and get civilly married, because then their family will get ticked off. So that is an issue here.

Ok, so for the Willis', they have been in Douala for a bit over a year now, and they are going home in June. And there used to be a senior couple in Yaoundé, but they just went home this week. So normally the Willis' are always in Douala, but now that there is not senior couple in Yaoundé, they are going to visit there every so often, I think a couple times a month, and they are up there today. They go to check on the elders and pay bills and stuff like that. But they did finally find a replacement for the couple in Yaoundé, but I don't know when they will come. And they haven't found anyone for Douala yet, and the Willis' actually said they are considering extending their mission a little bit. The Willis' are awesome.

Since the Willis' aren't here today, I can't leave anything with Sister Willis to mail, but I'm going to take pictures of the tickets and send them tonight. And no, I haven't bought the cleats yet because things have been busy here and I don't want to bug the Willis' with exchanging money for me, but I'm planning on doing it this month. But I will send the ticket stuff tonight, for reals.

So I think I covered all the questions. And now I am going to share my spiritual experience of the week. Because, in the white handbook, we read that we should share these with the people we write, and I realized and I haven't done the best job with that. So lets see, what should I share... I think I'll talk about our opportunities to give Priesthood blessings the last couple days. So on Tuesday, we went to our appointment with Phillip (the guy I baptized) and Andrew. And Phillip had a huge bandage on his said. He said at work, he got hit in the head with a panel thing, (he works at the docks). Somebody was carrying one around the corner, and knocked him in the head. And it also turned out that that employee with the panel was trying to steal it, so he got caught thanks to Phillip's head. And then Andrew said, "God put you there to stop that thief, but you did not do it like a normal somebody." He was sent to the hospital, they stopped his bleeding, and he is doing better. But we also gave him a blessing, and also last night we gave a blessing to this other lady because she was sick and had a headache, and she also said she was stressed. But just what I've noticed is people's willingness to get blessings, because they are humble. When we asked her if she wanted a blessing, she said "Who in the world can reject blessings from God?" So yeah. Even though some people here have trouble understanding some things, they are always willing to have God's help, and hopefully these opportunities will help people truly see that the Priesthood has been restored in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

So yeah, that's the week pretty much. Its hot, and its supposed to stay hot til the middle of March, when the rains come back. I'll send more stuff tonight, and I'm sorry to Andrea, Jacob, and Scott, if you had to go back to school today.

Je vous aime,

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