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, October 15, 2010

Eric's email of October 14th, 2010

Alright, I gots lots of questions to answer, I can see.

(How is your ami Adam?  Would you like a Book of Mormon in Arabic for him?)  So first, Adam is doing better I think, because we haven't seen him since Sunday.  We were supposed to see him again on Monday, but he wasn't there and he doesn't have a phone anymore.  Also stopped by on Tuesday and Wednesday, but no luck.  So, I guess that means hopefully that he is somewhere doing something.  But, I just discussed with Elder Acorda, and if you could send an Arabic Book of Mormon, that would be nice.  And pretty cool just to see, at least.  That language is ridiculous looking.

(Are there a lot of satellite dishes in Yaounde?) As for the satellite dishes, it seems like the houses that are nice enough, that have a gate around and such, usually have a satellite.  And a lot of the houses with gates also have a guardien that is almost always there.  I don't know how often they get stolen, or what someone would do with a stolen antennae here.

(How many floors are in your apartment building?)  I think in our apartement building there are 4 or 5 floors, but we live only on the 2nd.  And that building across the way, (in a recent picture) I don't know if they are still working on it or not.  There are a good number of buildings that seem to begin being built, and then half way through they realized they don't have enough money or something to finish it.  And construction just takes a darn long time here.  And actually the background of me studying is the same as the other picture.  I'll check.

(Why is your companion polishing your shoes?)  Well, I think I "can" polish my shoes, but I just choose not too.  I'll wipe off the mud and stuff if its ridiculous, but they just get so darn dirty after a couple days, I don't see why I should spend so much time polishing them.

(How many emails do you get each week?)  This week I had 19 emails, but a few where ones from last week that I didn't look at.

Alright, I'm jumping over to Dad's.

So unfortunately there are actually a lot of kids who live in a home with only one parent, and kids that just live with other family members.  I don't know a good number to give you, but I say that you would be fortunate to live in a home with both your parents.

I don't think too many families have pets here.  There are dogs here though, but I think they don't really have an owner.

If I had to guess how many people come to our branch on Sunday, I would say 60-ish?  But there is something like 150 or more on the branch records, so that's why we want to focus so much on reactivation.  And there's not that many youth aged kids.  They do have seminary once a week.  Maybe a dozen in my branch.  And the primary has about 20 kids each Sunday.

(Mark has a shoe shining story-he had two pair of shoes on his mission: one for church that were always clean and one for the rest of the week that he NEVER shined.)  And since I can't remember about your shoe shining story, you can tell me about it next week.  But I do not like shining shoes.  I can think of a hundred better things to do with my time at the apartement.

And just so you know, I'm getting conflicting reports on the Redskins last week.  I think it was Scott who said that they lost to the Texans, but you told me they won.  And I don't know who to trust.  (Redskins beat the Packers 16-13 in OT.)

So the first highlight from last we is that nous sommes allés au champ.  That means we went to the field, or the farm, something like that.  On Saturday morning Elder Acorda, Elder Kesler, Elder Lamb and I went with Maman Natalie and her family, to go to their field to plant stuff.  We planted stuff like manioc, or cassava, and other stuff that I don't know the name of.  It was hot.  And, I had just gotten a haircut.  I put on sunscreen on my face, but I still got a little bit burned.  It burned away my collar tan line, though.  (He told Jacob that he was burned, but not to tell Mom about it.)  But we got to her house at 8 AM, than we sang hymns for about 30 minutes waiting for their cousin Etienne, also a member, and then we walked there.  It took about 30 to 40 minutes to get there, and we were carrying bags of stuff to plant and tools and machetés and such.  I spent most of my time tilling the ground (I don't know if that's the right word, but we were stabbing the ground in a repeated manner with some kind of shovel-y tool making the dirt plantable).  Then we left around 12.  I got a few pictures that I will send next week when we go to the good internet café.

 4 of us working to till the ground with Maman Natalie
 Maman Natalie, Elder Acorda, and Elder Kesler workin'
 Eric burning under the sun "I got a haircut just the night before, 
probably wasn't the best idea"

The missionaries gave talks last week in Sacrament meeting.  People told me I took too long, sorry if I had to give my talk in 2 languages and it started late.  I talked about fortification.  I also have another fully-loaded branch mission plan that I can email to you, unfortunately only in French again.

Yesterday we took a 100 franc bus home from Massassi, which is basically the village.  And everyone was freaking out because the whites where trying to take a cent-cent.  (We don't understand this right now-we will clarify next week.)  We also got stuck in the back, and the lady next to me said that I have to pay 2 place, which is 400 francs.  And the guy on my right asked, "tu sais danser?", (do you know how to dance?) and I said "pas vraiment" (not really).  And then he said I should learn to dance like the Cameroonians, because if he went to chez moi, (where I'm from) he would learn to dance.

I'm struggling to think of things that I can tell you about...  Before I forget, you can thank Sister Warnick, Sister Bertonneau, and Jisu for me, because I got letters from them last week. (Thanks)  They were sent to Kinshasa, and the Thompsons just had a 1 week couples' conference there, and they brought back mail.  I don't know how long ago they were written.

Well, like Paul said, combattez le bon combat, gardez la foi, (fight the good fight, keep the faith) and something else I forgot.  I hope you guys are all doing well, for me now I can't believe each time its p-day again, its weird.

Je vous aime,
- Eric

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