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, April 8, 2010

Eric's email of April 8th, 2010

Hey Mom, I'm sending you this short email real quick, so that you don't send any packages to Douala, or Cameroon actually. The reason is, I'm getting transferred to Point-Noire! I leave on Monday, so yeah. (He later told us it would be Friday, April 16th.) I don't really know much more about that, but its kinda a bummer, because the following week is when they will move into the new building, but all well. If you want good pictures of the church when its finished, I think you will have to ask Sister Willis. But I have been told that in Congo they have a real, actual LDS church building, so that will be good. But yeah, just thought I'd get y'all the big news first.

Je vous aime,
- Eric

"J'ai été muté!"

I think I spelled that last word wrong in the title, I just guessed. Dad can correct me on that. But that means I got transferred! To Pointe-Noire! But here are Dad's questions from last week, that I am required by law to answer:

(When you go out for fish or whatever to eat, what are the names of the "restaurant's" that you get the food at? Do you usually go to the same places or do you try all sorts of places?) So when we go out to eat, which is normally fish, there aren't restaurants with names and such. The only times we've gone to restaurants with names is at Zone Conferences when President Headlee takes us. But we have 2 fish ladies that just post up on the side of the road. We just call them "fish ladies". And sometimes every so often, we go the other places, one we get beans & benyais (spelling...?). Benyais are just doughnut ball type things, except with no frosting or sugar, just fried. So pretty much, its all just from some lady on some road somewhere.

So there's not really too much in common about the members' jobs, except I noticed that the higher class and such usually don't give a hoot about what we the missionaries have. But there are lots of different jobs, one is a hair-cutter, one works at this place called "OK Foods" that just packages little snack things and such, one drives trucks around and hauls stuff, one sells soya which is meat on a stick, one is a teacher, one works at the docks, and some don't/are looking for a job. And I don't really know too much about education, but most people didn't go to college or anything.

Dad, why do you ask random questions all the time? (This was Mark's question):If you had the resources, what "store" would you open in Cameroon that would do really well? What kind of stuff would you sell, maybe stuff that the Cameroonians would love to have but just don't get much?If I would open up a store here, its would be...ugh...I dunno, if I had the resources I would open my store up somewhere else. I guess if I had to, I'd just sell candy from America, because lots of the candy from here is not really good at all. Like last week I gave the bag of Skittles you sent me to Fred & Omega because it was their birthdays during the week, and they loved that stuff. So I would open up a candy store with actual good candy.

So about Limbé, it will be best described with some pictures I took, which I shall send later today. But one great thing about it, is that it is an anglophone area! So Elder Wilkins and I said one day near the end of our missions we will go open up Limbé or some other English place and be companions again. But we saw a whole bunch of monkeys and such at the Gorilla Wildlife Reserve or something like that. I also bought a hat. Its called a "traditional hat" or "nature cap", but I just call it the "anglophone hat", because if you see anyone wearing it, they are an anglophone. After the monkey zoo, we went to another beach, had some fries and a soda, and played sports. We had to pay this guy darn 2000 CFA for a volley ball and a soccer ball for 1 hour, but it was worth it. It was sweet because we played football down on the beach, and I scored.

So I think I got them all Dad. Now I'll talk about the baptism, which was great. On Saturday, Eb, Emmanuel, and Fred were all baptized. But we did have a small problem because the water at the church in Bonapriso was off, so we did the program and such at the church, then relocated to the Willis'. They have a pool in their backyard, so that saved us thankfully. We had to take taxis from the church to the Willis', and probably got about 7 or 8 of them, that took a good chunk out of our soutien. (Money allocated for the week.) And then one person forgot baptism clothes at the church so we had to wait for him to go back and get them. And we didn't have the Willis' car because it got hit by a truck last Thursday.

But we eventually got everything together, and it went fine. But I'm glad I got to see them all baptized before I left, because I started teaching all of them from the beginning, and it was great to see how they changed from beginning until now. Especially Emmanuel, who used to never go to church, because it was toooo hot, or tooooo much sun, or tooooo much rain, or toooooo much tired. But now he comes each week, and is ready to keep "the 10 commandments, and the commandments in the Book of Mormon". That is a direct quote from his testimony, which was awesome btw. Emmanual bore his testimony at the baptism Saturday and at church Sunday, and he is the best. All he does is keep it simple, and says what he knows is true, and its great. One problem is some people give long as could be testimonies with a billion ideas and stories, which wastes time and messes up other peoples opportunities. Sunday only 3 people got time because the 1st person took for ever... But I was just especially glad Emmanuel got to share his, everyone should take his testimonies as the perfect example.

This week we finally started cleaning the new church as well. We started Tuesday, spent all day cleaning and preparing everything to do painting on Wednesday. And also a good number of members and amis (friends) showed up, so that made me happy to see. Then Tuesday night I got the call from Sister Willis that I'm getting transferred to Congo, so that's kinda a bummer. I don't get to see the building all finished, the General Authority, Elder Runland, and Pres Headlee coming all the way out to Bonabéri itself for the new building, so that stinks. All well. But yesterday we did a good chunk of the painting, everything except the main room. So Friday we have to do the big room and some 2nd coats if necessary. They might have to do some more things next week, but it should be ready for the 18th. Also last night we played soccer and football. I caught 3 touchdown passes, and got closelined (literally, by a closeline that got me on the neck) right after I caught a full field touchdown pass in stride from Elder Lee, and scored once in soccer. And we won both games, which is always fun.

But yeah, its sad to go. One member, Andrew, is always upset when missionaries get transferred. Yesterday he told me and Elder Lee that they should keep missionaries in an area for 1 or 2 years, haha. Oh, and this transfer is also surprising, because Elder Lee is getting transferred as well! He is going back into Bonapriso though, so we both are getting taken away from the new building. I am excited to go to Congo, but it will be a bummer leaving Bonabéri. Getting transferred is a small bit of what its like to get your mission call, or going home from your mission, its weird.

So that's that. I've been informed there are no anglophones down there, so that stinks, because they are hilarious. But I think it will be good. So I hope everyone enjoys their spring break, Jacob don't get too bored. And enjoy going to Puerto Rico Mom and Dad, now I know why you wanted the frequent flier miles!

Je vous aime,
- Eric

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