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, May 20, 2010

Eric's email of May 20th, 2010

Today I was able to catch Eric online and we were able to send a couple emails back and forth. It makes me feel like I am talking to him! We also had a short phone call from the Baxter's about replacing his camera-and they handed the phone to Eric for a very quick "Hello"

Alright Dad, I'll do my best to get these 6 questions from above answered:

1) So to go look for a camera, I'll be able to schedule time next pday to go looking and figure out what stores there are.
2) Right now in American dollars I have $146 I believe. I actually tried to go change some today, but they were only going to give me 400 CFA to the dollar, but if I brought $100 or more I could get 525 CFA for the dollar. And I think if I need more you can just make sure there is money on my debit card, because last week my companion used that to get money at an ATM thing.
3) I'm pretty sure I can use my debit card, but I don't know about the American Express. I'll try to find out.
4) I think that if I need more money, the best way would be through my debit card.
5) If you send me money, just send it in US dollars.
6) Ok, I don't see there being a need to send actually money in a package, so don't worry about that.

Alright, I found more than 6 questions up there. Wait never mind, that last one is too general, so I'll answer that in the email to mom probably after I answer the other quick questions.

(Eric was supposed to get himself soccer cleats right after Christmas. We questioned him several times about it, but never got an affirmative answer, until today!) Yes, I have already bought soccer cleats, I bought those back in Douala.

(What do you know about the new missionaries coming to Pointe Noire?)
For the new missionaries, I have been told by many people, including the mission president, that at the beginning of July there will be 20 North American missionaries entering this mission. So that does not include the African missionaries that could come. But, we actually just got transfer news because the end of this week is the end of the transfer. And so I will be staying will Elder Parsons, but there will be 5 missionaries getting transferred here, and we will go from 3 companionships to 5 companionships. One of the 5 coming will also be a brand new missionary from North America, and there is one other brand new one going to Cameroon. But I don't know the exact day of the new missionaries' arrival.

Alright, I think those are all Dad's stuff, now I'll go make sure I look at all of Mom's.

(Do you have bugs in Pointe Noire and what are they?)
So yeah, there are lots of bugs in Pointe-Noire, and the most annoying one is the mosquitos. Here I have to sleep under at least one sheet, because if I don't I'll just get bit all night, especially on the ankles. Its weird. There's also lots of flies, and some weird looking wasp things. And in the apartement we find the occasional cockroach.

Alright, I think that's all the ones I found in Mom's email. (His cousin Jeff just reached Argentina to start his mission.) That's really cool about Jeff, I have his email so I'll try to send him one again.

So things here are going well, like I said we got transfer news. That kind of stuff always keeps me from getting bored, I don't know why. Just the anticipation of a transfer is fun. And this transfer also went by really fast, I still kind of feel really new to Pointe-Noire.

But one new goal thing I started this week to help my french, is now I carry a petit cahier(small notebook) around in my pocket, and write down the words I want to say but don't know in french. At the end of the day I look them all up and write them down. And then I can go back and look at the words and not forget them so easily. I just started this yesterday, but here are the words I've written down and looked up so far:

to insult = insulter
to lactate = not found in our dictionary
a goat = une chèvre
a germ = un germe
extra = supplémentaire, de plus
a shot, injection = une piqure
a grill = un gril
a garlic = un ail
an amount = une quantité
to exchange = échanger

So yeah, I need to look in another dictionary to find "to lactate" in french, but I think this will help.

Also, last Sunday I taught the youth Sunday school last week. Elder Parsons warned me how hard it would be, but I didn't really understand til I actually taught the class. Its mostly because there is a group of 5 or 6 girls who just like to talk amongst themselves the whole darn time. (Girls are girls no matter where in the world they live!) And I also used really bad french one time, because I wrote on the board "qui est-moi", trying to say "who am I". But they let me know, and helped me change it to "qui suis-je". Dumb. The lesson was on testimonies, and we were reading in Matthew 16 when Christ asks his apostles who he is. And later we read a little in Alma 32, but I gave up on the reading and just drew a seed growing to a tree with fruit on the board. And when we got to the point when the tree had grown and producing fruit, I asked one kid what his favorite fruit was, and someone responded by saying "poulet!". Then the whole class started laughing, because poulet is chicken. (Once again, kids are kids no matter where they live.)

My food preparing skills have also gotten better. I can make oatmeal, spaghetti, rice, something with chicken,(something?) and hamburgers. And I keep asking one of the branch missionaries to give me his mom's recipe for saka-saka, which is something literally everyone eats here a lot. (Saka-saka is made from Cassava leaves, veggies and fish.) But he keeps forgetting, but I plan on adding that to my repertoire too

So as far as the missionary work and proselyting and such, this was more of a quiet week. But Elder Parsons and I have a new idea so that we get more cordonnées (referrals) and higher quality amis. We are going to work a bit more with the recent converts and finish up all their after baptism lessons in a timely manner, and let them invite family or friends or whoever to the lessons. Just the success rate with cordonnées compared to contacts made by missionaries is a lot better. And its makes our work easier. So hopefully that will work how I've thought it out.

Um, yeah. I think that's about everything notable. I just wrote to look for cameras in my agenda, so I won't forget. I hope everyone is still doing well, enjoying the end of school. I know Scott is enjoying the lighter work load after all his exams. Congratulations Andrea on bus safety, and Jacob at Busch Gardens! Also, I speak horrible English now.

Je vous aime,

My email to Eric:
So, about the mosquitos-use repellent and do you have a mosquito net to sleep under?

Dad pulled a tick from behind Andrea's ear this morning-she has been "exploring" in the back yard a lot lately.

To lactate is- allaiter. (to nurse) Can also be a noun. Produire du lait means to make milk. And why did you need that verb?


Hey Mom, thanks for the french help. I wanted to know that word, because Elder Parsons and I were waiting for an ami to show up, and there were goats in their yard thing. And one was feeding the other, and so that's why I thought of goat and lactate.

There are no nets to sleep under, but as long as I have a fan on, the sheet works just fine. Thanks.

Je t'aime,
- Eric

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