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.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eric's email of December 10, 2010

Good Morning !  Thats what all the francophone kids say to us.  Apparently they don't teach them when to say good afternoon and such.  And even sometimes anglophones say good morning in the afternoon.
So recently we have found some new amis, and some are progressing quit well.  One is named Soeur Jeanne.  We contacted her 2 Saturdays ago, and most of all she was very interested in the Book of Mormon.  We weren't able to see her again until last Friday, but we lent her a copy of the Book of Mormon, and committed her to come to church.  Unfortunately, she fell through on her church commitment, but yesterday we saw her and asked about her reading.  And she showed us that she was already to Alma 3!  At first I was kind of skeptical, but after asking a few questions, I realize she actually did read all that in under a week!  I think she read kind of quickly and didn't get every detail, but that's still amazing.  And because of her Book of Mormon progress, I forgot to be devasted that she didn't come to church, but she's been recommited to come this Sunday.
Also, our anglophone investigator Blaise is progressing very well.  On Sunday we watched a Stake Conference that was done for the whole south eastern-ish Africa area, in the which Elder Oaks and Elder Packer spoke.  Blaise enjoyed it very much, and asked if he could get a copy of it.  In his Book of Mormon he is going much slower, but is understanding very well.  Sunday was also fast and testimony meeting, and after Blaise asked Elder Acorda if he could have bore his testimony.  So he says he’ll probably do it next month.  And he's lucky, because the missionaries and the Thompsons go to DOVV, his store, often, and ask him about his Book of Mormon reading and such almost daily.
Elder Acorda and I also fixed a baptism date this week !  And its a baptism date that I am actually very confident will go through.  I say that, because recently we have made a few, but they kept falling through or being pushed back because the necessary preperations aren't being made.  Anyways, its a baptismal date for the 8th of January with Frère Jacques.  I think I told you about the guy we contacted who looks like Parker Froelich, right ?  Well that's him !  He has been to church every Sunday for over a month now (and even gets to church on time !), keeps all his commitments, and from the beginning has been discussing baptism.  And I can also tell that he pays attention in church, because he wasn't very happy when we informed him that there is not yet a temple in Cameroon.  But its people like Jacques, or Soeur Therèse (did I tell you about her ?  coordonnée that Elder Kesler and Elder Lamb baptized last month) that motivate me to do door to door contacting, or go see coordonnées no matter who they come from, because you never can know how the Lord is going to prepare someone for the Restored Gospel.
We also went « au-champing » again this week, again with Sister Ndongo.  We went to her farm about a month ago and just did a bunch of weeding.  This time we did a little bit more weeding, but mostly harvested corn.  Actually here in English corn is called « maize », but we kept forgetting, and Sister Ndongo didn't know what we meant by « corn ».  I wore my hat, just so Mom knows.  Didn't get nearly as many red spots as I did last time.
So about the Stake Conference we watched last Sunday, it was something they recorded in Salt Lake City and sent DVDs to us.  Along with Elders Oaks and Packer, someone from the 70 spoke and someone from the General Young Womens Presidency spoke.  But my favorite thing was said by both Elder Oaks and Elder Packer.  They talked a bit about African traditions.  That there are good things, and that there are bad things.  They stated simply, that if there is any part of one’s culture that helps one practice the Gospel, they should keep it in one’s family.  But, if there is any part of culture or tradition that is in any way contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ, one must get rid of it.  Sometimes I don't think that is completely understood, so I’m glad 2 apostles said it.
Finally, President Headlee came to Yaoundé today, and tomorrow we will have a mission conference.  I think I will have an interview with President for the first time in 5 transfers !  We are also anxious to hear about transfers.  That will happen sometime at the end of next week, and I don't know if we'll get the info this week or next, but because no one in all of Cameroon and Pointe-Noire go transferred last time, President told us that there will be big changes this time, especially because 4 elders will go home next week, including our current zone and district leaders.
And so if my calculations are correct, next week will be the last week of school before Christmas break ?  I hope everyone’s concerts and end of year shpeels are going well.  Also Elder Thompson dropped off some mail today and told me I have a good amount.  I haven't been back to the apartement yet, but he did tell me there was an Arab Book of Mormon.  But thanks for everything you do, and I love you very much !
-          Elder Eric
Hey Mom,

How did I know you were going to tell me to where my hat when I go "au-champing"?  (I always tell him to wear his hat....)

Beignets are basically small doughnuts with no hole.  Just fried dough.  (See picture)

 This is me with the lady that sells beans & beignets each morning.   
I eat there 5 or 6 mornings a week, and only spend 40 cents!

And now I've actually worn the long-sleeved shirt 2 times, and each because it was kind of "cold".  Its not anything like what you are having now, but it actually was kind of chilly.  I felt weird wearing it, but unusually comfy at the same time.  (See below)

And the red soda did actually come out of my shirt.  (Spilled on his shirt by a child at the orphanage.)  I left it on the back porch for about a week (because I forgot about it) in a bucket full of soapy water, then I put it in the washing machine, and now I can't even tell which one was stained.  C'est un miracle!  Malgré que je n'aie pas eu de foi. (It's a miracle.  Even though I didn't have faith.)   But when he spilled it on me, he was just standing in front of me, and I asked him, "est-ce que tu va cracher dans mon jus?"  (Are you going to spit in my drink?)  Then he said no, and punched my drink.

(I told Eric a young man from our ward just arrived in the Mozambique mission where they have AC units in their bedrooms.) Yeah, we don't have any ACs.  But we don't really need them.  They would be really nice in Douala, but we just get by with fans.

(Describe the supermarket.)  DOVV, Blaise's supermarché, is more like a Food Lion than a 7-11.  Its pretty nice, actually.

(How do you study the Book of Mormon?)  So when I study, things that stand our to me are commandements and blessings.  I underline commandments in blue and blessings in red.  And then anything in a missionary lesson sticks out, because nearly every gospel principle in my mind fits into missionary lesson 1 to 5, or a Christlike Virtue. (Do you read your scriptures in English or French?)   And I just study in French now, but I have a dictionary close by.  Especially when I was reading the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi.

Je t'aime,
- Eric
Hey Dad,

I don't know the details about the call yet, (Christmas Day call) but just in case, send me the calling card info, and I'll look in my stache.  And last time, I called you on the cell phone and you called me right back.  Can you tell me how much that cost, just so I could know if that may have been a little bit cheaper?

And thanks for the Wolverine reminder, I'll backup up my card tonight because it has been a while.

Je t'aime,
- Eric

p.s.  go D-Will (Utah Jazz)
p.s.s.  and there is an elder in my apartement from Idaho who is a cocky sports fan.  So I hope he won't have a reason to talk trash to me.  (Boise State will play the University of Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.)

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