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 18th, 2010

Alright, so this computer was not letting me get on myldsmail.net, so I at least wanted to send you the email I wrote. We'll see if later I can login on and see what people sent me.

We have been doing a lot of service lately, since that's what the Thompsons told us what President Headlee wants us to do. And I think the past few weeks we have done more service hours than the missionary
handbook really asks to you do. But each time we have done service so far, it seems to be the same thing: going au champ or to the field and pulling up weeds or planting and stuff like that. We did it again today
with la Soeur Therese, who is a recent convert. She was a coordonnée (referral) that got given to Elder Acorda and me by another investigator. But she got introduced to us because she had won the American lottery to go live in the United States.  She had everything except the money. Due to some recent problems of some kind she had to use the money she had saved. And she told her friend, who introduced her to a couple of Americans. So when we talked to her, we said we can't directly help her with her American lottery problem, but that the Gospel would help her both spiritually and temporally. So she lived over in Elder Kesler and Elder Lamb’s sector, they went and taught her, and about 6 weeks later she was baptized! So that makes me happy, because I realized that anyone, even if they are a coordonnée from a weird person or looking to go to America or whatever, has the potential to receive and accept and practice this Gospel.

Anyways, today we went to her house at 9 AM to clear out plants and weeds in front of her house. I’m not sure exactly why, but we chopped up everything with machetes, and they will let it dry up and then they will burn it. So I guess that’s not a bad way to get rid of weeds, especially when you have as many as she had. And then after, she fed us “indolay”, which is one of my favorite Cameroonian dishes. I also went on a comp exchange twice this week. Tuesday I worked with a member of Bastos 2 named Patrick. I worked with him because Elder Acorda wasn’t feeling well, and ended up sleeping at the Thompsons’ all day. But Patrick has been a member for 4 years now, he was the first from his family to join, but now there are many relatives of his in the church. He speaks really good English, but he prefers to speak French to the missionaries to make them learn their mission language, which is a good thing. It was nice to have a francophone companion for 1 day again. But during the day, we were all over the place. We took a 20 minutes bus ride, and I only had to pay 100 francs for each of us, so that came out to be about 40 cents, if you can believe that. But the lessons we taught ended up being just so-so. With one investigator we had been talking about baptism a lot, even from the first appointment. He did an ok job of keeping commitments, even had a baptismal date. But
on Tuesday at the end of our Plan of Salvation lesson, I asked if he had been praying about baptism at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or at his other church. And then he told me that last week he got baptized in his other church. Ha, I didn’t really know what to say, it was kind of weird. And I felt like he felt awkward telling me that or something. It was interesting.

I also went on a exchange yesterday with Elder Lamb. First off, he let me borrow this blue Hawaiian tie that matched perfectly my pants. It was nice. (The first indication that Eric is paying attention to his wardrobe.)   But I went into his sector. We ended up having over have of our appointement fall through, which led to a lot of contacting, and still got 8 lessons in during the day, as well as district meeting and eating lunch during the day, which does not happen that often. But Elder Lamb has been out a bit over 6 months now, his French and everything is coming along. But I really liked teaching with him, and learned how if
these principles are taught simply and if we bear testimony sincerely and talk of blessings and such, and just smile and get along with the people, missionary life seems to go very well. We did a lot of contacting, but I do not remember one single person telling us to go away or be unhappy to see us.

Elder Acorda and I will also be planning a priesthood lesson with a less-active member for the first Sunday of December. His name is Frère Ndzana. Ever since we got in contact with him he has been at church and such. But one thing that seems to frustrate him a bit is a lack of training for priesthood holders. He suggested to us to make little pocket-size things with instructions for blessings and such to give to holders of the priesthood. And so we thought about it in weekly planning, and we proposed to Frère Ndzana and then the elders quorum president to do a priesthood training. That way we would give something to do to Frère Ndzana. So Elder Acorda and FrèreNdzana and I will plan it, and also make some pocket-size thingies like he suggested. And so I hope most of all that this gets him actively active in the Church.

Last big event, is from last Saturday. With our new branch missions plan (did I ever send you a copy of that?), we wanted to start having more activities that would help people make friends with other members. So on Saturday we did les Jeux Olympiques, (Olympic games) like we did in Bonabéri. We didn’t get the same
turnout, it basically turned into a youth activity because they were pretty much the only ones there. But we did stuff like egg-on-the-spoon race, musical chairs, water balloon toss, water balloon volleyball, and a few other things. So Sister Thompson will put up pictures from that activity in the church building so that everyone can see how much fun they missed. But we are still trying to think of better activites that will get people to come and make friends.

Elder Kesler and I have gotten back into the groove of running in the mornings. Tuesday and today it rained on us. Today when we got to our half check point, it was raining so hard that it kind of hurt, especially on the face. People had been telling me that rainy season was almost over, but I think the rain just switched from the afternoon or evening to the early mornings when Kesler and I run. But I prefer that over heat.

That’s about it, except I seem to be getting really tired lately. It seems like the last 3 nights, after coming home I just crash even before dinner is ready. So today I have some area book and journal catching up to do. Oh, and I also got 2 letters from Bishop Carter and one set of letters from the youth in our ward, so make sure to thank them for me! I hope everyone in school is surviving and even enjoying it a bit, and that Scott and Jacob and Andrea aren’t giving Mom and Dad too many headaches. I love you all and thanks for everything!

Je vous aime,

Dear Mom,

The the Cleverlys, the embassy couple are American, but brother Cleverly is actually Finnish turned American.  His wife served a mission in Finland, so they speak Finnish some times.  I'm glad that isn't my mission language.

(How are the red dots on your arms?)  So today I can barely see a couple faint red dots on my arms, so its pretty much gone.  I don't know what it was, but it didn't do anything really.

And so you can still send the Arabic Book of Mormon, but Adam, the investigator from Sudan, has moved to a different neighborhood.  And because he doesn't have a telephone and he's kind of far away, we haven't seen him for a bit.  And the neighborhood has lots of Muslisms, it isn't something that we are going to go walk around by ourself doing whatever.  He is supposed to call us sometime soon, so I hope I'll be able to give him it.

Thanks for everything!

Je t'aime,

- Eric

Dear Dad,

So, Felicitations!  (Congratulations!)  That was no way a waste of my pday time, thanks for telling me that.  (Mark's email was a review of the half marathon he ran last Saturday!)  As I've been doing these little whimpy runs I've thought about you every time, and its motivated me.  And I have been thinking about the same thing this week. (Do you want to run the half marathon next fall with me?)  And I've decided that I do want to do the half marathon with you next year.  I know right now I'm a long way away, and I might need to stop drinking so much Nesquik, but I'll do it with you.  (Mark is excited-yet not?)

(Do you have any plans for Thanksgiving?)  We actually talked about Thanksgiving in district affairs yesterday.  Thankfully it will fall on a pday, so we will play football in the morning, and make some kind of special dinner in the evening.  Those are the most important things to me.

(How are you doing with "stuff?"  Do you have everything you need?  Is anything wearing out that needs to be replaced?)  As for "stuff", I can't think of anything that I really need to be sent here... clothes are fine.  I don't really know what else to worry about.  My camera is not stolen.  I'll let you know if I think of anything.

Oh, and one other thing.  Have you thought about my post-mission stuff or college or anything?  Anything notable?  (First real sign that he is on the back side of his mission.)

Je t'aime,

- Eric

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