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.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Eric's email of June 3, 2010

Salut, la famille.
So today I don't have as much time, cuz Elder Parsons and I got behind schedule, so I got to do this fast if I want to answer everyone. So onto questions:

Do you think you got sick from drinking water or eating some food or were you sick? So the first time I was sick last week I think was just because my stomach didn't like the food that was made because it was too American or something. If that makes sense. And the second time I think I was sick, because I shake too many little kids' hands. So I do not do that anymore. And I do think the weight loss had been gradual-ish. Its probably picked up since I started running constantly, but I probably did lose more than normal with the unfortunate mishaps last week. Just so you know, I've leveled out at 161 lbs. pretty much. But I'm still the fattest in my apartment.

So yes, the Baxters and the Willis are gone by now, plus one elder I knew. Its weird, because they are the first missionaries I've known that have gone home. But for the new couple that comes in July, they will move into the other apartment in our parcel, if that's English. Basically chez-nous is two apartments stuck together. And when the new couple gets here they will stay in an apartment with the zone leader and his comp, and the other apartment will have the other 4 companionships.

(How big is Pointe-Noire compared to Richmond?)
So Pointe-Noire is a pretty good sized city. I've heard the Republic of Congo has about 2 million people total, and there are basically only two big cities, Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville. And not much else. I think Richmond is bigger in population than Pointe-Noire, but you can go on wikipedia to confirm. But I know there's nearly 4x as many people in Virginia than all of the Republic of Congo.

Jacob, stop annoying Andrea. (Andrea was complaining about her brother.)

Alright, I just talked in English with Elder Parsons, and some french guy next to me looked at us really weird.

Anyways, so you know, yes I got the camera. So thanks a whole lot! And its a nice camera. I'll send a couple pictures today, but everything on that is fine, so yeah. Make sure to thank Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Stacey and everyone again. (And cousin Dave for taking it to Provo!)

Eric and Elder Parsons in their kitchen. Looks really clean!
Glad to see his face after hearing he was sick.

Oh, and a random side note. Elder Buck, (the new Elder who took the new camera to Eric) he went to SUU last fall! And, he lived in Juniper C-200, the same hall as me! So that was awesome. Right now he is kind of sick, but I've given him so many hugs, for bringing my camera and going to SUU.

So here there aren't any real movie theatres, from what I've noticed. There are smaller ones in the neighborhoods where people just find the way to get a TV or projector or something, and then some kind a movies. They also show football games often. But they have lots of American movies, maybe the most popular thing from America here is 24, the TV show. Elder Tumba always calls me "President Palmer" now, and a branch missionary calls me "David Palmer". So, they like their 24.

If I need to get cash, first I will use my real cash, because they give you a better exchange rate with the physical bills. They like that for some reason.

(What are the transportation differences between Cameroon and Ponte-Noire?) So there are some transportation differences in Pointe-Noire. In Bonabéri, there were taxis and lots and lots of moto bikes. Here, there are taxis, but zero motos. Here there are lots and lots of buses (and lots and lots of bad, careless drivers). Also in Cameroon all the taxis were yellow. Here the taxis and buses are blue. And in Brazzaville they are all green. I don't know why they are different. Also here I think transportation is a bit cheaper. We just took a bus from one end of Pointe-Noire to the other, that took over 30 minutes, and we paid 300 CFA for 2 people, which is about 60 cents.

So, this past week was good. Didn't get sick. Lots of people starting to progress. The only bad thing, is that I got stolen from. Again. At the same place, Fond Tie-Tie. Its the second biggest market here, and this time it was getting late, already about 7. And we were crossing a round point, trying not to get hit by cars. And this guy going the other way bumped into me, I assumed he was just trying to dodge cars or whatever. But my hands were full with my backpack and the other with bread. I have been carry the cell phone in my chest pocket, because Elder Parsons had lost it a few weeks ago in a taxi because it fell out of his pants pocket. But I walk a few steps after that guy bumped me, and noticed the phone and my badge were gone. So yeah. I think I've learned my lesson now. Pretty much, you can't carry anything in your shirt or pants pocket at Fond-Tie-Tie, and not put yourself at risk. Sow now I keep everything, everything in my bag, and carry it in front of me.

But missionary work is going well. Most of all with one ami, Fabrice. He is a 50+ year old guy, who just came up to us one day, asked us who we are, and we gave him a family brochure. Then a few days later, we walked by his house and he called us over, we taught him, and now he's been at church the past 2 Sundays. He is a stud. Elder Parsons always calls him "our main man" Fabrice. And its true. We gave him a Book of Mormon about a week and a half ago, and he has read from the beginning to Mosiah. He also got one of the new, sleek Principes de l'Evangile (Gospel Principles) books, and has read from the beginning to chapter 11. He's the man. Last rendezvous he explained to us the story and principles in Jacob chapter 7. I don't think I could say much more.

Also this Saturday we will have one person baptized, who has been an ami for at least 8 months now. But he works for the military, so he was sent on missions, worked Sundays and such. But he got a 30 day break, and is finally getting baptized. Most of all for Elder Parsons, that will be a happy day.

There is also another really good ami named Matinga. He's like Fabrice, pretty much already prepared by the Lord. He is now getting ready for baptism on the 26e of June. But right now, he is the only one coming to church. His wife had been at the village since the first rendezvous, when we talked about the Restoration. We had set Matingas baptismal date, but she did not get why she would have to be baptized again. So Matinga, who loves to expound and use scriptures, talked a lot. But we finally got her to not worry, and told her to forget about baptism, or the apostasy, and stuff like that. So we gave her the engagement to actually read the testimony of Joseph Smith, and to pray. And that's it. She was very much lest argumentative after, so hopefully she will just actually pray.

So that's pretty much my life right now. I'm just grateful to be able to be able to meet these people, and watch some of them take the restored Gospel and run with it. Hope everyone at home is doing well, try to stick out the rest of school!

Je vous aime vachement,
- Eric

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