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 8, 2010

Eric's email of Octover 7th, 2010

So, earlier today Elder Acorda and I were doing internet, but then the connection died after I finished reading all the family emails, so thats why this one is being sent so much later.  We had to go to one thats a little bit more expensive, but the connection is better and it will read my card thing so that I can send pictures.
I had already typed this once but I'll do it again.  Dad asked a bunch of questions about families here.  So here someones brother or sister is not just limited to his immediate family, neither his mom or dad even.  Any kind of cousin or even just close friend can be a brother or sister.  Its called an Africa family, because here a family does not just mean mom dad and siblings, but extended family and friends.  But in lots of households, both parents are not there, which is probably due to the marriage system.
Here there is the traditional marriage and the civil marriage.  The traditional marriage consists of a dowry, which is some kind of payement you have to make according to what your fiancée's family says.  There are also presentation things that require wine and food that you have to pay for.  So lots of people don't get married because its too darn expensive, but they still live with their "spouse", which causes other problems.  And if you get civilly married before traditionally, the family gets quite upset and people don't want to be "cursed" or anything.
So I don't know what age people normally marry at, because lots don't even get married, but still live together.
Divorce also does happen, and also people leave their spouse because they aren't even really married, but I've also met people who were legitimately married and then got divorced unfortunetly.
Kids per family, I honestly cannot give a good estimate, but I can easily say its a higher average than in the USA.  And then when people come from polygamist families, that just complicates it.  And there plenty that do.
Ok, now you if you are talking about a home, there are plenty of houses that people of different family members from all over living together.  So there are plenty of houses with cousins and 2nd uncles and friends and stuff like that.
I think the biggest difference I see in LDS families is how they treat their kids.  Lots of parents here just don't seem to have any patience, and don't treat their children very nice.    But I guess when the parents really understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it will bless their family, they don't hit them and such things.
So last week actually we didn't eat any crocadile or cat, he was "pullin' our leg".  We ate chicken and fish and spaghetti with sauce with lots of pima in it.  Pima is a pepper than everyone eats here in almost everything.
I forgot how long it takes to get the conference Liahonas, I'll let you know when they get here.  But lots of the members have trouble getting the other Liahonas, I don't know why, but I know one family hasn't gotten the Liahona for over a year, and they have subscribed since forever.
So I sent the branch mission plan in another email, Dad can translate it.  And if there is weird French don't blame me, because it wasn't me that typed it up.  But this Sunday we, the missionaries will be giving the talks to present it and explain how we are going to do these things.  And then we plan on visiting each member in order to give them their own copy, answer any questions they have and put it into motion.
So our amis are doing pretty good.  Franklin, who is the closest to baptism, has traveled to Douala for work.  He doesn't know yet if he will be staying there for a long time, but the missionaries down there came to the shop he is working at soon after he got there.  And when the couples (Senior Couple) get back from Kinshasa this week we should be able do to his interview, whether he stays in Douala or comes back to Yaoundé.
We also went to the funeral, or "le deuil" for Christine's mom, it went well, and hopefully this week she will get back into the flow of coming to church and stuff.  We also went to her house on Friday to help set up, and we got a new person to teach from that service project.  It was weird to wear normal clothes over there, though.
We also have Adam, I don't know if I've talked about him, he is from Sudan.  He has been at church for 4 weeks in a row now.  He's from a Muslim family and such, but he found the church from a friend, and kept coming and we have been teaching him.  He speaks English, kind of difficult to understand, but his main language is Arabic.  (Is the Book of Mormon in Arabic?)  But he reads his Book of Mormon really really well, marks it up and writes the words in Arabic he doesn't understand, so he is progressing very well.  We have to go very slowly, right now we are at the Plan of Salvation, but he's getting it.  Our main thing right now is to get him to pray.  He says he practices at home, but yesterday he said he wasn't ready yet to pray in front of us.  But he is a really nice and sincere person.
But right now Adam is about to face a lot of trials.  He already has one which is communicationg with people.  Most of the people speak French, and I don't think there are very many anglophones in his quartier.  And now, his quartier is supposed to get destroyed by the government for some reason.  Adam came to Cameroon and lived with a friend, his friend traveled about 2 weeks ago, so he has stayed there himself.  But when he told his friend on the phone that they are going to knock down his house, it doesn't sound like his friend is giving him much help.  And Adam has also been looking for a job ever since he got here.  So, like I've asked everyone so far, if you could put him in your prayers that would be great.  We even heard today from Elder Wilkins that today they started chasing people out of the marché with fire houses, so it looks like it'll happen sooner rather than later.
So after this we will be heading over to the church to do a practice run through of our missionary activity we will be doing next weekend.  We have now an overprogrammed schedule, and are having to decide who to see and who not to.  Its a blessing and a burden.
I hope you are enjoying the fall weather in Virginia, and that school is bearable for everyone.  Thanks for everything, and Mom, I don't get tired of seeing your mom-things-to-say at the end of your emails.  They have reminded me more than once to take my malaria medicine.
Je vous aime,
- Eric

No comments:

Post a Comment