(Once again we have two emails put together-the first to Anne, the second to Mark.)
So yeah, I'm gonna respond to all of your questions here Mom, then do Dad's and write some other stuff.
Yeah, last week I sent an email to Bro. Dajeu and told him about the new building we have found.
(We found out this week that some newly called DRC missionaries had been reaasigned.) And yeah, I remember you told me about those kids that got their call the DRC. And I remember the last zone conference Pres Headlee said there were too many kids getting called here, and told them he can't fit them all here, so I knew some kids were going to get reassigned. All well, I guess, Uganda sounds pretty cool too.
(The Gladys Knight Saints United Choir gave a fireside here in Richmond.) And I know who Gladys Knight is, Mom. But that's really cool - I'm glad that that was a success, and I'm glad that will give the missionaries there a lot of work to do.
And finally, for this email, I got the package this week! We had another Christmas in our apartment Sunday night, because we decided not to open them until after the day was over. But thanks for all that stuff, the stain remover will be very useful, but I still think by the end of my mission my shirts will be just completely disgusting. But thanks a lot again for that stuff, the pictures were also great, too. Everyone said Jacob looks like me a lot, so, sorry Jacob. And Andrea looks like a street-baller in that YMCA picture. And my comp, Elder Lee, said Scott always looks so happy.
Alright, I'll finish this stuff on the email to Dad.
Je vous aime,
Alright, so let me go look at what questions I gotta answer...
(Patoa is a term for dialect-Eric is sharing the English patoa with the investogaros ie- "cool" etc.) So I am not disputing the info you found on the internet, but "patoa" is how the people here told me how to spell it. First I thought it was spelled "partoi" or something, but in English class we taught a little bit of "American Patoa", and they told me to spell it like that. So, just saying. And Dad, my companion Elder Lee says you are a jerk because you ate ice cream, and we didn't. Not really, but sorta. (Mark had just advised Eric to watch what he eats on his mission to avoid gaining weight, but then informed Eric he had just eaten some ice-cream.)
So first of all, the answer to that question I sent, is... C! Yes, C is the correct answer, have fun with that.
Fufu corn is cous-cous made from corn, and thats it. But my companion just informed me that it is different from the European cous-cous stuff. And I haven't even eaten it that much, only 2 or 3 times ever. But that amie de l'église called me fat again this week, along with another one. So last night at diner I asked Grant, the branch missionary if I am fat, and he said no. So I told him all our investigators tell me I am, and he says I am just fat compared to all the other missionaries in Bonabéri. But its probably just because I'm the only one that works out in the mornings, so I'm just more buff.
So for the new building, we still haven't started cleaning it, because the owner is still finishing up a few things. We wanted to be in there for church on April 4th, but its looking more like April 11th now. But first part of April we will be in the new place. And it is only about a 5 minute walk, on the same road as our old apartment even. So that's only a 10 minute walk maximum, even if you are walking African speed. And to transport our stuff, we will just carry it or load it in the back of the Willis-mobile.
And yes, the new building will definetely help to get a branch here in Bonabéri. Pres told me in a few months or so there should be a branch here. In that old building, it would have been impossible to organize a branch there, there just aren't the necessary facilities I guess you would say. So finding this new building may have been the most important step in getting a branch organized in Bonabéri.
So this past week was good, especially Sunday at church, because we had 8 amis de l'église at church! Which is really good compared to some recent numbers. We are also getting 3-4 people ready for baptism April 3rd: Eb, Emmanual, and Fred. We were planning also one Omega as well, but he is only 17 so we need a letter from his mom. And we finally met her on Tuesday night, and she is fine and happy that her son is at church and such, but doesn't think her son needs to be baptized again. We tried to explain it briefly, but it wasn't the right setting, so she lives in town in Bonapriso, and we are sending her phone number to the missionaries there. So it looks as if Omega will have to wait, but that's ok. But this week we got all those people ready and talked about the interview, so tomorrow I will be with one of the zone leaders from in town who will come out to do their interviews, so yeah.
Also on Saturday we are having an activity, called "Bonabéri Olympics". And this is something just organized by us the missionaries, to show members a church activity that is fun and not just like a missionary discussion. So I'll talk more about that next week, but we are going to have games like tug of war and such. When we tell people, they always ask if we are going to play football, and we have to tell them no. So I hope people show up even though we aren't playing football, we'll see.
Also Tuesday night Elder Lee and I had a really unique experience. One of our amis, Robert, works at the airport, and he was rewarded with a medal for working there for so many years. So Tuesday evening at 4:30 there was a reception at his house. We were a little late according to when Robert told us to be there, but we were able to relearn the principal of Africa time. We didn't start really anything until nearly 6:00. We ended up rescheduling the remaining 2 rendezvous we had planned. But we went, and Fred (who is getting ready for baptism), sat us down at a table, and we just sat there waiting for a while, and then there were some speeches in Douala (their patoa), and some lady at our table was kinda translating. And Totto, who is a member of the church, gave the last speech and the prayer in Douala, so that was cool. Then we ate a whole bunch of African food, and we had Fred as our cultural expert to help us not mess anything up. We also taught Fred a good amount of American Patoa that evening. Again, we observed that Cameroonians love their alcoholic beverages, and some kept asking us why we don't drink and such. Only one lady was annoying, and said we need to drink so we can tell people we've actually been to Cameroon. I don't know. But the point of all this is, that Cameroonians like to have receptions with lots of drinks and speeches in their patoas. So it was pretty cool.
But that's about it, I am still anticipating rainy season when it is much cooler. Yesterday Elder Lee told me that he had never seen me sweat so much, because we were at a family's house that was not well ventilated, and I had to make sure I didn't transpire (french for sweat) on my Book of Mormon. Tell Scott that he is grounded again for not writing. Thanks again for the package and stuff, and Dad, ne meurs pas au 10k.
Je vouse aime,