Sorry I didn't acknowledge you being the first to wish me happy birthday last week Dad. So just for the record, Dad won. (His birthday was the 8th. He is now 20.)
So my birthday was pretty normal, I didn't really do anything. I did drink a Sprite in the morning for breakfast, so that wasn't normal. I think next Thursday we are going to go to a pizza place where there should be World Cup on. But I haven't really done anything yet.
And YES, the Congolese are into the World Cup. Even though their country didn't make it, everyone is going to watch it. Just goes to show how nearly the rest of the world besides the United States loves soccer. Even by the grand marché they are putting up a huge, like almost 3 stories tall big screen where the public can just come watch. That place is going to be packed. And I bet there will be a handful of taxi drivers who get in accidents while they are watching the game as they drive by.
(We asked Eric if he felt he was getting enough support in way of packages from us.) And yes, I saw that question from last week, but I ran out of time and forgot to send it cuz I was rushed. But yes I am definitely getting the support I need from my family. Packages are great and all, but the emails each week are the best I think. So don't worry about that at all.
And just so you know, unfortunately I don't thing that Hallmark card Mom emailed me is going to work because these computers don't have the correct flash player or whatever. I'll see what I can do, but its not looking good.
(Do you cook more in Congo than in Cameroon?) Here I probably do a little bit more cooking, because there were more places in Cameroon that I liked to eat at. But here we cook for ourselves pretty much every night. We usually keep it as easy as possible, like spaghetti or beans and rice and stuff. I'm too lazy to do fancy stuff.
(Was it hard to replace the cell phone that was stolen?) So it's not difficult at all to find a replacement phone. The zone leader got us one at grand marché, but it was a super fake Chinese Nokia, and people told us they had difficulties hearing us. So we got the zone leader go back today and get a real phone.
The baptism on Saturday went well even though it was smaller. But for the one on the 26e we will have a good number getting baptized. Last Saturday, we had one person, Frère Simon get baptized who has been an ami de l'église since forever. And also one other person, Frère Salvie, was someone Elder Parsons and I taught a lot, but lives in the part of our sector that we gave to one of the new companionships. But it was good.
After the baptism we had English class. The missionaries did it before, but stopped it, and now restarted it. We get a lot of people actually, and I got put in charge of the debutants, the beginners, which is the biggest class. I think we had about 30 people. A little bit intimidating. But it wasn't that bad. Elder Ritchie taught the beginners last time and he helped, so now I think I understand how I got to teach it. ("I understand how I got to teach it"-great grammar for an English teacher!) We taught them the basic stuff, greetings and such, next week we will teach them how to pray in English.
Also recently Elder Parsons and I have been really blessed to find good amis, people who have been really prepared by the Lord. One lady read the Joseph Smith testimony brochure so well, she asked us some questions that I had never heard before. I think I was able to answer all of them besides "what town was Oliver Cowdery from?" We taught her early today, and she had read the whole Plan of Salvation brochure, where she basically just taught it back to us.
Also "our main man" Frabrice is still progressing well, he has almost reached Alma in his Book of Mormon reading. Another person who is the husband of an inactive-ish member super analyzed the Joseph Smith brochure. Thank goodness for the Guide des Ecritures (Scripture Guide) after the Book of Mormon, which helped us answer his question about the prophet Elie. (Elijah)
So missionary work is great and getting better, pretty much all the missionaries are healthy now I think. Tonight after internet we are going to the beach to play football and soccer.
One interesting thing I don't know if I've mentioned. So people here, especially who live in the quartiers, don't see that many white people, which is why people just yell "mindelé" when they see us. And its people of all ages, like little kids, their older siblings, their parents, and their grandparents. But we also get called other things besides "mindelé" or "les blancs". (white) Next most often is "les chinoix", (Chinese) even adults call us that sometimes. Also, if they feel like being immature they call us "hee-haw", and the tone they use is, um, not nice. If Sang, or Elder Lee was here, (a friend who is Korean and serving in Oakland, CA) I don't know how he would like that. But today we got called a new one, some one at Fond Tie-Tie called us "egyptiens". (Egyptians) Its kind of interesting to see how many races people have thought I am.
Lets see, what else... oh, if you want to know about a really interesting religious fact here, you can do some research about a guy named William M. Branham. I don't know if I spelled that right, but that guy is suuuuuuper popular. Its interesting.
Well its weird to think I've already missed a whole school year. I'm sure the kids, especially Scott, are excited for it to end. Say hi to Dave and Uncle Mat when they come out. Thanks for the support, love you guys!
Je vous aime,
- Elder Palmer