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, November 19, 2010

Eric's email of November 11th, 2010

Well, today was an unusual pday.  Today our proselyting time was supposed to be service with one investigator, Maman Créscence.  We met her about a month ago when we did service for Soeur Christine when we set up for the funeral for her mother.  Maman Créscence was the lady in charge of the decorating.  We have taught her a few times, mostly she has one daughter who is interested, so that’s why we keep going back.  But she asked us if we could help her set up for a funeral again today.  At first we were supposed to show up at her place at 10 AM.  Then this morning, she called and told us to come at 12.  So we got there around 12, and we ended up waiting another hour because the guy with some stuff wasn’t yet there, so we talked with her daughter on their porch.  Then finally around 1:30 we started working, and there were more hands then jobs to do.  We ended up being a little bit of help, I put lots of staples in the walls to hang up drape type things.  But then we didn’t get out of there until around 5.  Then we waited for a taxi for about 30 minutes, barely any taxis and no one took us.  We walked for about 20 minutes, saw and talked to an old ami de l’Eglise, then by 6 we finally got a taxi.  Then we sat in a traffic jam, got home around 6:30, changed and now we got here.  Thankfully one of the other companionships did our shopping when we asked them or we would’ve been in trouble.  So that was my pday today.

One really good thing is that Elder Acorda and I have started seeing Christine again.  She had a baptismal date, even back for early October, but when her mom passed away, it wasn’t easy for her.  And for a while after the funeral, I honestly thought something had turned her away from the Church.  Each time we would pass, she said next week she would be free.  But we finally saw her with Frère Simplice (member of the branch presidency who originally presented her the missionaries), and she said she wanted to re-prepare for baptism.  So we have seen her a few times, even helped her kids with English class.  And on Tuesday we went and gave her a copy of the Liahona, and that was probably the happiest I had ever since her since I met her.  So I’m happy she didn’t loose her testimony and is ready to get back into the groove of it.

We also started teaching a guy named Frère Jacques.  We contacted him one time when we were walking to church, and he called us Jehovah’s Witnesses when we passed by, so we corrected him and gave him a brochure and an invitation to church.  One time he came to church when we weren’t there, but Elder Wilkins (my MTC comp) and Elder Hancock were there.  They taught him, and he's been back to church twice and watched general conference with us 2 Sundays ago.  But the funny thing, is he looks like how Parker Froelich would look if Parker was a 30 year old Cameroonian.  That’s who I think of every time I look at him.

We have also been seeing Douglas and his family.  Last time we had just a lesson alone with Elder Acorda and me and him.  The 2 times before we taught the whole family, and it was mostly his mom, Leonie, who was involved and such in the lesson (this past fast Sunday we even fasted with Leonie to get help with her problems).  But Douglas wasn’t really into the lesson and seemed kind of upset.  But he had just been having a hard time at home due to recent issues, and he hasn’t even been able to go to school or study.  But we had a good lesson, talked about some specific commandments and their blessings.  He was a lot happier after the lesson than he was before.

Also during our weekly planning on Monday, Elder Acorda set some transfer goals.  This is the first time we did it together, and I know we should have been doing that always.  But I will now do that from now on, because Elder Acorda and I set a goal to have 5 baptisms this transfer.  So we read in Preach My Gospel Ch. 8 and talked about who specifically we could and what we need to do.  And then our first lesson of the day was with a new-ish investigator named Vivienne.  We have now been teaching her about 2 weeks, and that day we came with a Livre de Mormon to lend her.  And, she asked about baptism!  It was just a really good lesson, and I think she is sincere in her search for the truth.  So I just saw the difference in how the Lord, I believe, trusted us more when we made goals and discussed what we had to do to accomplish them.  So, now we just got to do everything we said.

Also, on Saturday we had a baptismal service.  Acorda and I didn’t have any convert baptisms unfortunately, but I did baptized a recent convert's child.  His name is Ivan.  It was actually his 2nd time to get baptized in the church, because they accidentally baptized him about 2 months before his 8th birthday and no one caught it.  So yeah, that’s kind of weird.

We also had family night chez the family who works at the American embassy.  They are the Clerverly’s.  They have 3 kids, Asher, Jesse, and Gabriel, all very young.  Asher is the only one going to school.  But they just invited us over, we had dinner, had a little family night and played “red light, green light”.

Oh, and yesterday we also did service, too.  And we went “au champ”, or to the farm with another member of the branch.  This time we mostly just pulled weeds out of the side of a hill.  It was lightly raining, so thankfully it wasn’t hot like last time.  But I did wear my hat, just so Mom knows.  We worked for about 2 hours, it wasn’t too hard.  But, all of us missionaries got red polka dots on our arms.  I still have mine, and they are kind of itchy, I hope they go away soon

So that’s about it.  I’m pretty sure I have this realization each month, but I’m always surprised when the 10th or 11th of a month rolls around, because that means the month is already one third gone.  The time is going by really quickly right now.

Je vous aime,

(Letter to Mom)
So the young man we met at Conference, Franc, is doing pretty good.  But we have met almost all his family who is still in Cameroon.  We had a miscommunication on one rendezvous, and missed everyone except one of his brothers.  But they are doing well, most of them already know the Bible really well and stuff.  And Franc and his twin brother are both english teachers, and so the lessons end up being in English and French which messes with my head sometimes.  But they are doing well.

(Can you buy peanut butter?)  I think you can find peanut butter at the American store, but it is probably pretty expensive.  There are people that sell peanuts and la pate d'arachid (peanut paste) everywhere, but that is basically peanut butter without sugar, I think.  So it doesn't taste good by itself.  Its basically mashed up peanuts with oil.  You use if for la sauce d'arachid.

(How many e-mails/letters do you get?)  So most of my emails are from the family, and from Elders Aldridge and Lee and sometimes a few other random friends on missions or a couple at college.  And I actually did get one letter in the mail last month, from Elder Hansen that I know from SUU.  He is serving in Brazil, and his letter got here after forever.  I still need to write back, though..

Je t'aime,

(Letter to Dad)
(Do parents "pick up" missionaries in Cameroon?)  I have not heard of any missionaries' parents ever coming to pick them us from this mission.  I don't even know if it would be possible.  And I don't know what we would do, honestly.  There's not that much, except for probably super expensive hotels, a golf course, things like that.  I'l try to think of what one would do here on a trip, something that one couldn't do anywhere else.  But I'm having trouble.
Good luck on not getting injured on your half marathon!
Je t'aime,
- Eric

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