Two emails put together-the first to Mom and siblings and the second to Mark.
Hey Kid! (His sister always starts her letter with "Hey Kid")
Well I got your guys' package this week! The one you sent to Douala. President Headlee brought it back down on his flight. So yeah, that was pretty sweet. I am going slowly through the candy, though, today is p=day though so I might have a feast, and if lots of other missionaries get into it, something bad could happen. And I also got the New Era Mom sent, thanks for that one also. Mom, you said you might try to send something to the Pointe-Noire PO Box, but you sent that here, didn't you? I think stuff like that in those envelopes should be fine. But yeah, merci beaucoup. I haven't read the soccer article. I started reading the other Ensign before the New Era, so I haven't read the soccer one yet, but I'll get there.
So food prep is going ok, I think I'm gonna start making peanut sauce more often, one because its delish, and two so I'll be able to prepare it bien myself soon. But it is possible to make fajitas, and there are actually 2 grocery store places here, and last week we baught Lebanese bread, which works. The 2 grocery stores are called "Park 'n' Shop" and "Casino's". They are pretty expensive, so we don't buy very much there. And as for milk, you can find some kind of real from-a-cow milk, but its weird and expensive. So one of the first things I eat when I get home is a fat bowl of sugary cereal with real, super cold milk.
Oh, and also thanks for the birthday card and the ties, I'm wearing the light blue one right now. And again I apologize, I didn't bring my camera today, because I went straight from the sector to the cyber café, so sorry. But Grandma did tell me about a hilarious picture of Dad trying to stack golf balls. (Family game night.) That would be nice to see. Oh, and also tell all the young men thanks for the stuff, I read all their letters, and I was going to write down the names of who wrote me so I could tell you to specifically thank them, but I forgot to do that. So I'll write it in my agenda to do it next week.
Je vous aime,
Les Réponses Rapides:
So, for Pioneer Day, I don't really know what's happenning. I don't know if anyone even knows that its going to be Pioneer Day. Here, unlike Bonabéri, we the missionaries are out of the loop as for planning church lessons or activities, besides baptisms or "une activité missionaire", so I don't know if either of the branches is planning on doing anything pioneery.
So my shoes are fine, they don't look nearly as nice as they used to, but the brown shoes' sole started peeling, but back in Bonabéri I bought some super heavy duty super sticky super glue, squished it in between the shoe and the sole, and its held up so far. Speaking of those brown shoes, Elder Gates told me he has the same ones.
Socks are holding up pretty good-ish. I started with 2 pairs of each color, now it seems like I'm down to 1 and 1/2 of each color, but I got some for Christmas, and I steal them from other missionaries sometimes.
Alright, I'll think about what could be could to send that would be small, I'll get back to you on that. Elder Lee suggested an i-Pod or Sports Illustrated. I don't know.
So Elder Bally is from Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. That's the capital. He also has his village somewhere, but I forgot the name. But Elder Bally is the only member in his family. He found the church when he was 12, and got baptized when he was 13. He told me he had neighbors that were members of the church, and he started hanging out with them for family night. Then from that, went to church and said he just liked how that family and the church prays (here, or maybe just in french "to pray" or "prier" can mean more than just say a pray, but just like how you worship or whatever). He said at first his parents would not give him permission to get baptized, but eventually they did. And so to this day he is still the only member of his family, and his parents weren't the biggest fans of him going on a mission, but obviously they came around again.
So that's pretty much his conversion story. He really likes deep doctrine and stuff like that, he loves reading "Doctrine du Salut" by Joseph Fielding Smith. So he knows more stuff like that than me. On Sunday night we had a weekly planning that basically turned into companionship inventory. I told President Headlee in my email to him this week that this will most likely be the most learning-filled transfer of my mission so far. So yeah, progress to be made there. But I don't know if I said this last week, but I have learned how to contact a lot better from Elder Bally.
Anyways, the funniest thing that someone said to me this week... so this is going to be a pretty weird something that I'll tell you. So for about the past couple weeks, some chick kept calling mine and Elder Bally's phone, and she would always ask for Elder Palmer. She would call and make her number unknown, to trick us or something. I remember at first I thought she said her name was Grace. I didn't know who she was, she would always tell us we have a rendezvous. But we don't, so I just told her to come to church if she wants to talk with the missionaries. But it was the worst Monday and Tuesday morning. Now this lady said she is called Divine, kept calling for Elder Palmer and said we had a rendezvous. But Tuesday morning she was calling like crazy, and Elder Bally just turned the phone off. But I turned it on, and told Elder Lee to answer it for me, and tell her to stop calling. So Elder Lee answers, she says its Divine, but she thinks its Elder Palmer. Elder Lee asks why she is calling and stuff like that. Then I don't here what she said, but in English Elder Lee said, "oh! well that's a big problem." and then he started laughing. He said he is not Elder Palmer, but Elder Palmer is not allowed to have friends like that, and than she didn't really say anything and hung up. After the call, Elder Lee said she was saying some stuff in french, but didn't understand her and told her he didn't understand, and then in English she said "I love you!". So yeah, after that she didn't call since, I think. Weird. It was pretty funny, though.
So this morning at 5:30 AM, we did something I hadn't done in a while. We played basketball! And on an awesome court that looks like NBA Street. I'm gonna take a picture of it for you, but its next to a little bar and a graffiti-ed wall and burning pile of garbage. And its euro-style. Ah, it was awesome. I shot horribly, I blame it on the slightly bent forward rim, but I literally missed 25 layups probably. I don't have any motor skills anymore. But we played 4 on 4 and Elder Gates even played with us. I'll just get you a picture so you can see its awesomeness.
Elder Gates shooting over all the younger Elders while wearing the same 1998 U of U champion T-shirt as Eric. No wonder Eric likes him so much.
We also had a mini zone conference Monday evening. One interesting thing, is that President says they are going to open up Gabon and the Central African Republic soon, as in this year! And that President could send North American missionaries to both of those places! So that would be cool beans.
So what could you send that would be small and nice... gosh, I don't know. I can't think of anything I don't have that I want or would be able to use. Sour Patch Kids are small and nice.
Well have fun adjusting back into Virginia. I can't believe its the end of July almost! Time to get ready for school soon for Andrea and Jacob and Scott!
Je vous aime,
- Elder Palme