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.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eric's email of November 4th, 2010

So here is what happened to me this past week.

First off, is an unfortunate piece of news.  It doesn't look like 
Douglas will be getting baptized this weekend.
Also, last p-day we missed playing basketball again.  First off, Elders
Kesler and Lamb got home 1 hour later than they were supposed to in
order to go play basketball at the American School.  And then, 2
missionaries from the other side of town called us and said they got
in, but there was no ball.  So we ended up playing this card game
called Monopoly Deal. I lost every time.

We did get to watch all of General Conference this past weekend,
though!  And I watched all 10 hours of it in French.  It did get kind
of hard to pay attention, because I was kind of tired, and just listening to frenchy 
french is not something easy.  I understand it,
but it takes more effort than English.  I still think that Elder
Nelson's talk from the priesthood session is my favorite one this
time.  But I also got an awesome coordonnée (referral) because I sat in on the
French section!  When I came in Sunday morning, it was still kind of
empty, and I sat on an empty bench.  And right when I sat down 2 other
gentlemen came and sat next to me.  We soon started talking, and I
learned that the older man sitting next to me is a member who lives in
Léon, France, and that he goes by "Papa Daniel".  He had come back
down to Cameroon for his wife's funeral.  He left Sunday evening, but
he came to church in the morning.  And he told me when he woke up, he
felt like he should bring one of his sons, named Franc, to church.
And he was very pleased that the first time his son came to church
he would get to watch General Conference.  And he told me that when I
walked in, he felt prompted to come sit by me and exchange contact information 
with me and his son.  He said he was very surprised to see
American missionaries in his country too.  But when he left, we took
some pictures, and he took my email and said he would send it to me,
so I'll check soon and see if its there.  But briefly he told me his
story, and when he lived in Cameroon he used to be a pastor.  But
when he found the missionaries in France, he changed and gave up his
old job.  He also was telling his son a lot about temples and
sealings. So we will see his son tomorrow, because he has
been busy this week.  And missionaries talk about "golden
coordonnées", and if I ever received one, this is it.  He took my pen
to take notes during conference, so I'll be really excited to
start teaching him with Elder Acorda.

This week in weekly planning, Elder Acorda and I dropped a lot of
investigators, and did a lot of contacting, especially Sunday night.
So we have a few people who have progressed and kept some commitments,
and a lot of new people.  And we have started seeing a good number of
less actives, and I think that might be our biggest focus this next
transfer.  We contacted one who came to conference on Sunday named
Frère Ndzana.  He has been a member since 2007.  But when we visited
him, he told us after he joined the church the missionaries left.  He used the word, 
"relachement", I don't know how to use it in English.  But I basically decided that it
came down to him not getting home taught.  And that unfortunately
seems to be a common thing here.  But it looks like he will be back,
was happy when we talked about the branch mission plan, and
has children and some family members we could help too.  So it seems
that people haven't gone inactive because they don't like the church,
but because they weren't involved enough or had enough friends.

One really good thing, is that Elder Acorda and I finally had a lesson
with Soeur Christine.  We had a lesson with Frère Simplice, who is in
the branch presidency, who introduced her to the church.  I think it
had been over a month since she let us sit down and talk with her.
She told us that with the passing of her mother, and trying
to keep her children in school she has become quiet stressed and
overwhelmed.  Frère Simplice talked about eternal families
and the temple, and then Acorda and I talked about obedience
and the blessings and help it gives us.  So we really want to get her
back to church this Sunday.  She said she still wants to be baptized, 
so we just need to get her back doing the things she was
before her trials came along.

Also, the investigator we found by doing service at Christine's
funeral told us on Tuesday evening that she would be willing to find
and choose a wife for Elder Acorda and me.  And then she asked if she
should come pick one at our church.  Elder Acorda said she could
pick one but that he wouldn't promise to marry her.

And about transfers, no one in Yaoundé is getting moved, and we don't
think anyone in Douala is getting moved either.  That was a surprise,
because there is one companionship in Douala who has already done 4
transfers together, which is basically 6 months.  I don't care who my
companion is, 4 transfers is too much, not to mention 5.

So that's that.  Elder Acorda and I will be together 6 more weeks, but
there is a transfer right before Christmas when 4 of the 19 north
Americans go home.  So chances are Acorda and I will split up to be
with younger elders.  So you can send a Christmas package according to
what you think is best. 
Je vous aime,
- Eric
(Mom's email) 
So Adam (an investigator) is well, but he has moved to a farther quartier, also highly
populated with non-Christians.  We are waiting for his phone call,
because we don't know exactly where he is, so he is supposed to call us
or bip us.  (bip?)
Dennis is ok, he still isnt understanding 1 church, but says he wants
to get baptized.  I don't think we'll make it on his date we set, but
he is progressing slowly.

(Do you know who the freemasons are?)  Yes, I know now a lot about the freemasons. 
But some people here buy random DVDs off the side of the road about who knows what
made by no one knows who and such.  But at least Tchobang has been reading her
Book of Mormon a lot.

(Did you go to the Halloween party at the Embassy?)  We didn't go to the Halloween party. 
Nor did we play basketball.  But, I really want to play American football on Thanksgiving.

Je t'aime,
(Dad's email)
Um, I don't think any one here in Yaoundé is from Arizona, but I'll ask around.

There is no Halloween here, unless you are at the American embassy.
(You mentioned that you run for about 30 minutes… that would be about 5k 
or 3 miles, right? (Or perhaps a little more since you have young legs!)) And this 
morning my thighs really hurt during the run.  That's probably
what I get for eating a Snickers bar for the first time in forever the
night before.

(What are the education experiences/opportunities for the African 
missionaries in your mission? Do they have education opportunities? Do 
you know what they do when the return home from their missions?)  So in
Cameroon they still don't have some church organizations and
such.  But I know in several places they have the Perpetual Education Fund. 
I don't know too much, here there are 2 RMs I know.
One is in a branch presidency.  Lots get married, maybe even faster
than most RMs chez nous.

Je t'aime,
- Eric

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