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.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Eric's email of July 15th, 2010

Well first off, all the dumb computers in this cyber café are dumb, so my usb thing doesn't fit in any computer. So next week I will just bring my chord to connect to the computer, so sorry I can't send any photos again today. I did take a lot of good ones. With the Gates' and the branch president of la branche d'Aéroport, Pres Caillet, we went up north somewhere for the first part of p-day. I had already gone there once with the Baxter's, but I didn't have a camera then, and we planned on playing American football. But like I said, next week I'll have some good pictures.

Oh, and I already told you that Elder Buck went the SUU, and lived on my same hall. And today we found out that we have a 3rd Thunderbird here! Elder Gates went to school at SUU as well!

So now on to Dad's questions. I don't really know what holidays people celebrate here. I know where the was the huge "enterrement" after the train accident, a whole lot of shops and boutiques and such were closed. That's not really a holiday, but people didn't work. Ah, I can't remember, but I feel like there was one since I got here. I bet wikipedia could help you, I know they do have an Independence Day. The World Cup is kind of like a holiday, you can always here the buzzing of the crowd.

So now that the World Cup is over, not that much has changed actually. We don't have to worry about scheduling rendezvous during matches anymore, but besides that not much else. I think after the last Africa team, Ghana, went down, so did some of the peoples' interest. Like Elder Bally, he told me he supported nobody, because there were no African countries left.

Thanks for reminding me about Pioneer day. I don't know if people at church have planned on teaching about that yet, but that would be something great for them. It just shows how many sacrifices some people made to have the church become the blessing it is today. But I bet they would relate to those stories, and it would also give them a little push, too.

So yeah, I still run in the mornings, but its harder to get some one to run with me. I started with Elder Ritchie and Elder Parsons, but Ritchie finished his mission and Parsons is in Bonabéri. Now I've gotten Elder Buck and Elder Lee. But I remember Elder Lee and I tried to do this in Bonabéri, and after 2 weeks we failed. I'm already used to this, but I don't know how long Elder Lee will last. He is a bit sick, so he's not going tomorrow, and Elder Buck needs to buy longer socks, because the back of his heel was bleeding at the end of Wednesday's run. But yeah, I still run. And I'll be ready for that 10k. When is the Ukrops 10k?

So the reason I took out some money, was for things to buy, that I don't buy with the missionary money, because they were basically souvenir type things, that will remain undisclosed at this time so you will be surprised later. But yeah, I got the 20,000 FCFA, and I don't think I got a service fee or anything.

So actually yeah, about Elder Leake's mission call. (A newly called missionary from our ward going to Mozambique.) I've pretty much told everyone in my apartement that I'll have another kid from my ward on the same continent as me. And I also know he'll love it. But I don't know much about it, I just asked Elder Chirwa, who is from Zambia, and he said right now "it's cold" there. I don't know how cold you Americans would think that is, but for me, one thing I wished I brought was a jacket, and I want to find a blanket or something for my bed, cuz I'm getting darn cold at night sometimes. But I should be able to find a jacket for cheap. But anyways, I was surprised but happy that Spencer got called to Africa too.

So yeah, Mom asked more about what I have been making. This week I got in a food group thing with Elder Lee and his comp, Elder Lamm, and Elder Tingey. I'll tell you what the food menu is for this week. Thursday: la sauce d'arachid (peanut sauce, and Elder Mbuyi is teaching us how to make it well tonight), Friday: mangezvous with "la maman des missionaries", a member at church, Saturday: burgers and fries, Sunday: Pizza (Elder Lee's specialty), Monday: Pres Headlee is taking us out because we will have a mini-zone conference, Tuesday: Spaghetti, Wednesday: Taco Goodness. So there's the diner menu. For breakfast, we plan on making pancakes, french toast (the Gates' found a really good bread place), or sandwiches from the guy by the round point by the apartement, or corn flakes with powder milk. So we are pretty much set. But thanks for the suggestions Mom, I plan on putting that fruit syrup suggestion into practice.

Elder Lee just said Dora the Explorer "is so fine". Don't worry, it was a joke. Dora the explorer was on the TV here, and Elder Lee has done 21 months on his mission, so he is starting to loose his marbles. Its good to be in the same apartement with him again, because we have fun, but are also missionaries when we need to. We always tell each other what NBA or NFL jerseys we saw during the day.

Anyways, life with Elder Bally is getting better. There are 2 Christlike attributes that I am working on, and will have to improve or I will go crazy. They are humility and patience. Humility, because Elder Bally has told me more than once basically that I'm not good at contacting, and that I don't retain scriptures well. He told me if I eat more chocolate, I will remember scripture references better. And patience, because he likes to teach his way, which is taking forever on one principal. Yesterday, we taught the ministry of Christ 4 times, and I was not enjoying it very much. Elder Bally knows a lot, and he knows a lot of Bible verses. It is taking us too long to get to the good stuff, like the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. And, he doesn't like companionship study very much, but this past week I got him to read with me in Prechez Mon Evangile (Preach my Gospel) after we planned the day. We started in chapter one, and hopefully I can help him and he can help me. He already knows pretty much every thing and every verse necessary, but I hope to help him learn to teach the ministry of Christ in 5 minutes. Normally, we spend 25 - 30 minutes on that. If I start, I teach it simply, talk about apostles and Christ giving power to them, and I like Ephesians 2:19-20, and then briefly the Atonement. But when I finish, he likes to talk about Luke 10:1 which talks of the 70 disciples and explain everything he knows. And I don't say this to sound like I know how to teach perfectly and stuff like that, but we need to get to the Restoration sooner, and not waste time on the seventy, or show every verse that God is not a spirit. So that's my big goal for Elder Bally and I. I know yours prayers would help.

But we do have a couple people progressing well. One is Frère Marley, he was a cordonnée from Salvy (a recent convert). He is progressing well, is programmed for the 7e of August to get baptized. And everything is good, we've almost taught everything, but there is one thing that I have also seen happen with several other people on my mission. Frère Marley lives with his brother, his older brother, I believe. And, his old brother has an unnecessary poster on his wall, no details needed, just know that it is something that does not invite the spirit. And so the day we fixed his baptism date, he asked what he needed to do to completely prepare himself. So we talked about faith, repentance, scripture study, church attendance, all that. And specifically, I told him he needs to take that poster off the wall. Then he informed me that it is his brother's. So I said ok, well why don't you ask your brother to take it down. He said, that would be very difficult. So I said, explain to him why he doesn't want that poster and even share your testimony a little bit. Then, Frère Marley, whom I love, went into "well, in Africa" mode. "Well, in Africa" is when people tell me that they don't know how things are done in America in my culture, but here that is not acceptable. He said, that that kind of stuff gives his brother and other people who choose that kind of stuff, and feeling of "orgeuil", which is like bad pride. And if he was to approach his brother about that, it would cause problems. After the lesson, I wrote in my agenda that "I'm sick of people fearing African culture more than God". Not to diss African culture, because that probably happens in New Zealand or Russia or Argentina or California or anywhere, but I hate that excuse. That makes me just think or the scripture that say "God is no respecter of persons", something like that. The commandments don't change according to what continent you live on.

But yeah, besides a few new challenges I'm having life is actually good. I'm actually happy right now. I've almost finished reading the Liahona general conference issue in french. I can pretty much read and understand everything now, unless its simply just a word I don't know. But yeah, the mission is the best.

Je vous aime,
- Eric

p.s. Jacob, I'll take you up on that (new speed slides at Lava Hot Springs, Idaho) and we are going off the top platform together at Lava Hot Springs when I get back.

p.p.s. Enjoy the vacation and tell everyone I love them!


  1. Dear Palmer family,

    Where do you live in Virginia? My wife and I live in Chesterfield County, near Richmond. We are members of the Bon Air Ward in the Midlothian Stake.

    Chuck Gates

    P.S. I am the son of Elder Ed Gates and Sister Kriss Gates - the new Senior Couple in Pointe-Noire, Congo. Check out their blog which has some photos that include Elder Palmer.

  2. Oops, I see that your links show up in black. Here is the Gates blog address - http://elderandsistergates.blogspot.com/