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 26, 2010

Eric's email of November 25th, 2010-Thanksgiving!

BON….  THANKSGIVING !  I don’t know what to say in french.

So this past week was an eventful one.  Oh, and before I forget, we got an email from the senior couple in Douala today.  And they said, since it is the holidays, the postal service people in Douala charge a whole lot of money for customs, and they even said they put armed gaurds there and such, so they said right now they charge too much for packages.  They said it would be a good idea if no one sent anymore packages until after the holidays.  So I forgot if you said you already sent a Christmas package or something, so don’t send it if you already haven’t.  And when any package gets sent make sure not to put it in a box, but those big envelope things, just a reminder.

But in lieu (honor) of the holiday, we played football this morning!  I am happy Thanksgiving is on pday.  We played American football this morning.  Personally I didn’t do too much on offense, but I did have 2 interceptions, ran 1 back for a touchdown.  And my team, the Bastos district, won in the college football style overtime.  One of my interceptions was while I was guarding Elder Lamb, who was a running back at BYU.  It was mostly the quarterback’s fault, but still.

I forgot to tell you last week, but we moved apartements.  I didn’t really want to, because we lost our whole Friday moving stuff, and we still have to go back on Monday to finish it.  I think we moved because the apartement had become more expensive and our water kept going out and such.  But then, our new apartement barely had any water until yesterday we they came and fixed a bunch of things.  I took a warm shower for the first time in 2 months maybe.  Our new apartement is nice, but a little bit smaller.  It feels like a hotel, though.  And for some reason the washing machine is leaking all over.  And there is a school right next door, and also a café resto (restaurant) that plays annoying music during the day, but thankfully we usually aren’t there.  But its nice, I’m just glad we got all the moving junk out of the way.  (For pictures of the move, see Elder and Sister Thompson's blog listed on the left sidebar.)

On Sunday I played piano during the sacrament meetings for Bastos 1 and Bastos 2.  During Bastos 1 I played for the primary program, which actually went very well.  During the sacrament meeting it went better than any of the times we practiced it.  And then during Bastos 2 we came back so that I could play the piano for Elder Thomspon and a young man while they sang “Beautiful Zion”, pg. 44 in English.  I’ve gotten pretty good at sight reading hymns.

Elder Acorda and I did have a nice lesson with a recent convert named Brigitte.  We had been struggling what to teach her this week, because she knows everything already.  But Elder Acorda decided to share something in D&C 137 or somewhere around there, and then Soeur Brigitte told us she found an answer to a question she had had for a long time.  It was about what happens to small children who die before being baptized and such?  Where would they go?  And she told us how happy she was to get that answer.  Blessings of the Restoration!

On Sunday we were invited by a new investigator named Samuel to go to this prayer-group-church-thing that he attends on Sunday evenings.  So we went, and it was people of different churches and such, but they all spoke the same language.  We got there late, but they still let us say a few words.  But the most interesting thing, was the one person shared a dream he had had.  In this dream, he saw a white hand, then a less white hand, then a black hand all reach and out touch each other.  But he said that that evening was the accomplishment of the that dream, when Elder Acorda (the less white hand) and me (the white hand) came to their meeting.  So it was cool to go to their meeting, and we did get 2 coordonnées, which was our goal.  1 of the guys we took contact with was the one who had the dream.  On Tuesday we even saw him again and taught him the Restoration.  We won't be able to go back this Sunday, (to the prayer meeting) but if we do, we plan on presenting the Book of Mormon.  I’m interested to see how they would react.

So we found about 5 more inactive members to see this week.   Seriously, if a good chunk of the inactives that are in Yaoundé got reactivated, Bastos 1 could have a fully functioning branch and then create a whole new branch.  Its kind of sad how many people have gone inactive, and also frustrating.  Our teaching pool has gotten so filled up, that I think for at least once a week from now on we will have to go on splits.  Tomorrow we will be doing so to increase the number of people we can see.  One person will be Frère Patrick, who I worked with last week.  I don’t want to say that we shouldn’t contact any new people, but we have to just be very selective on how many new people we begin to teach regularly.

One of the inactive members is an Anglophone named Gillorine.  I have never met any one else in the world like Gillorine.  The first question he asked me, is what is the Urim and Thummin, and then what is a breastplate?  He got baptized and taught by Elder Ternieden and Elder Parsons when they were together here in Yaoundé.  But according to Gillorine, he got discouraged and such and stopped paying tithing.  But he came to church last week, also with a friend, and we went and saw him on Tuesday.  Lets just say that he is very challenging to work with.  He sometimes has really good questions, then has really off topic questions, mostly about where to get “the breastplate”.  I think that the best thing he will be able to do to get answers to his questions is to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover.  Tuesday night, I literally thought my head was about to explode.

Yesterday we also had our zone conference.  We played scripture golf, where each person takes a turn reading a chapter heading, and everyone else has to guess which chapter they read from.  I don’t know why its called golf, because the highest score wins.  10 points if you get the book and chapter, 5 points if you got the book and are within 5 chapters, and 1 point if you just get the book.  And it was only from the Book of Mormon.  We went around twice, and I got 2nd both times, 65 points then 67.  But anyways, we actually learned about the Book of Mormon.  I have learned about that a lot recently, because Elder Kesler gave a lesson on it a few weeks back, Elder Acorda and I have been reading about it in PMG (Preach My Gospel) Ch. 5 in comp study, and then that was our subject for Zone Conference.  Basically, the Book of Mormon is the key to everything.  Part of me wants to just carry around a Book of Mormon all day and nothing else.

I hope your Thanksgiving goes wonderfully, and if no one besides Dad eats the yams, you can send me some!  And know that I am thankful for this Church, this mission, and of course for all of you!
Je vous aime,
-          Eric

(To Mom)
Hey Mom,

So for dinner tonight we are actually going to eat at our new apartement.  So thankfully we got the water issue fixed.  I really don't know what we are going to eat, but I do know that Sister Thompson is going to do chicken and some kind of pie.  Elder Acorda knows lots of food kitchen stuff, so I'll probably just go and help him with whatever he decided.  But they told me candy yams would be too hard...

So when you go au champ-ing, you use your hands or a machete type thing.  That's about it.  Or a shovel thing.  And I think we were planting manioc, or cassava.

And just so you know, I have been wearing my hat a lot more, and we will be going au champ-ing with Maman Natalie again Saturday, so I'll be sure to bring it.

(Can we send some money to help with the customs?)  And don't worry about the package thing, but it might just get left in the post office for a while.

Je t'aime,
- Eric
(To Dad)
Yeah, I told Mom the Thanksgiving plans.  Which was, I don't really know, except there will be chicken and pie by Sister Thompson.  Next year I want to eat a whole pan of candied yams by myself.

I'll ask the Thomspsons if they have a blog at dinner tonight.

I also remember that I suggested cranberry, but no one said they knew where to get it.  So I don't know how this dinner will be.

Just so you know, I might have cried if the Utes lost again, so thank goodness.

Je t'aime,
- Eric
(This one was to Scott who felt compelled to tell him that Katelyn, who Eric traveled to Provo to date while attending SUU, had turned in her mission papers.)
Hey nut, I knew Katelyn was going to turn in her mission papers ever since we dated in college.  So sorry, but no shock to me there.  The mission is seriously the best thing ever, and I hope to death that you are preparing to go on one yourself!

Je t'aime,
- Eric

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