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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eric's email of December 16th, 2010

          I know I usually have lots of typos, but today I'm on an English keyboard, so I apologize in advance because I've gotten used to the French one.
            First off is transfers, which have already started to happen!  This morning Elder Acorda was shipped off to Bonaberi, so I've spent the day with Elder Lamb, because his comp (Elder Kesler) is flying home this weekend with 3 others, including Elder Parsons who I served with in Pointe-Noire.  Our comps will arrive tomorrow at 19h00, and we will work with branch members during the day.  I’ll be working with Patrick again, I think I already sent a picture of him a few weeks ago.  But my new comp will be Elder Tingey, who I knew for 1 transfer in Pointe-Noire.  He is from Kaysville, Utah.  He is tall and good at basketball.  I can't remember anything else right now, but we got along great before, and he likes the Jazz too, so we just have to not talk about sports together all the time.  Me and Elder Lee had that problem at first, but then we made some companionship rules, and there were no problems, so I imagine we will have to do the same kind of thing.
            As for our amis de l’eglise, Blaise and Jacques are still the 2 most progressing ones.  One Tuesday we were able to meet Blaise’s family, they were really nice and fed us ero.  Ero is basically grass clippings cooked in oil and pima, and is actually very good.  His family was very welcoming, understood well and accepted to pray.  The father has a rough work schedule, he works 7 days and then gets 1 day off, so normally its only 1 of every 7 Sundays that he is free.  So well see.  Blaise is still progressing well, and he had talked a lot about the Book of Mormon to his family.
            Jacques is still progressing, still preparing for the 8th of January.  He always does his reading assignments, and usually has a really profound question each time that I don’t have an answer to, which ends with him saying, “ca, ce n’est plus le religion, c’est la science", (it's not religion anymore, it's science) and then we move on.  We should be doing his interview next week.  We are about to finish the 3rd lesson, so yeah.  He’s good.
            Acorda and I also contacted a famille from Kinshasa on Sunday.  We just had a short lesson about the 1st vision, I only think 1 or 2 people really understood or payed attention.  But I was able to use my Lingala skills, which are limited to one or two words.  I said “mbote”, which is like bonjour.  I’m glad I remember that at least.
            I also received some wonderful news on Monday when Fred from Bonaberi called me.  He informed me that Robert got baptized last weekend!  Robert is someone that I had worked a lot with with both Elder Ternieden and Elder Lee. (First area on his mission)  I looked in an old planner, and it was almost 1 year ago that we had our first rendezvous with Robert.  I wrote and sent a letter with Acorda for him.  So that made me happy.
            Last Friday we also held our mission conference.  Sister Headlee gave a great lesson on how music effects us and what kind we should be listening too.  President Headlee taught us about “Teaching People, Not Lessons”.  Embarrassingly, I can't really remember that many details, so its a good thing I wrote those down in my study journal.  But I also did get an interview with him on Saturday morning, my first one in 5 transfers.  I did talk to him a bit about some goals that Acorda and I had set, and then pretty much fail at achieving this last transfer.  He talked to me about expectations, the expectations that missionaries have for their sector and those they teach.  I guess it was pretty related to his lesson, focusing on people and not numbers and such.  I don’t know, but I did feel better after it.
            Elder Acorda and I did meet a guy from Greece the other day.  He was on the other side of the road, and yelled, “etes-vous les mormons?”  So we talked a little, he said he lived in Salt Lake City for a year, he works with the Orthodox church, and he said he knows everything about theology.  I asked if he would want to talk to us, and he said no and told me the same thing again.  And then today Elder Lamb and I ran into him again in DOVV, the supermarche.  His accent is different from what I'm used to, so I only understood about ¾ of what he said, but something about polygamy.  I told him that it ended 120 years ago.  I don’t know if he believed me.
            So now that my 3 transfers with Elder Acorda are up, I think the biggest thing I learned from him is charity.  He is always ready to help or serve someone.  Even if I  had made him upset or things like that, he was even charitable to me.  So that's what I learned, even though we had some challenges together, he taught me a lot.
            Recently in the Book of Mormon I've been reading Jacob.  Tomorrow I will start chapter 5, so we will see if I still like it after tomorrow, but this time I've seen a lot that I never really noticed before.  I think the favorite passage I've found is Jacob 1:17-19, its about the priesthood, and how to get the authority and then the power.  ("Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errandfrom the Lord.  For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph had been consecrated priests and teachers of this people, by the hand of Nephi.  And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.") There were lots of really good ones too, though.
            Today at 17h00 we are going to go play American football at the embassy.  Hopefully.  We called Bro. Clerverly who works there, and he said he would get us on the list.  And this will also help fellowship a couple marines who have started to be a little interested in the Church.  They came to church last Sunday with the Cleverly family.
            And yesterday I bought 2 soccer jerseys for 5000 CFA.  That's $5 a jersey.  And today, when Elder Lamb and I went to develop photos, we saw the same one in this guy's shop, and he told me he sells them at 20,000 CFA each.  So he's trying to sell at $40 what I bought at $5 off the side of the road.  (The cheap gene rears it's head.)
            I assume everyone is finishing school tomorrow, luckies.  I cant believe Christmas and the end of the year is coming up so fast.  Ah, dang it, and I forgot to talk about the Christmas phone call.  So, tell me when it would be good for you.  I assume the evening one day will work best for me.  And the evening here is I think 6 hours ahead of you.  President says it doesn’t even have to be on Christmas, so if Dad and Scott’s birthday or another day is better, just let me know.

Je vous aime,
-         Elder Eric Palmer

Dear Mom,

(How many missionaries are going home this transfer?)
  So in our town we only had 2 going home, but 4 total from North America.  We have heard that in 6 weeks we will get 1 new missionary named Elder Prince.  Thats all I know about that right now.

(Will the branch do anything to celebrate Christmas?)  I know our elders quorum is having some Christmas thing on the 24th at 4 oclock.  Thats about it, I think.  (Have you noticed any Christmas songs that are different than ours?)  And in the French hymn book there are a few that aren't in the English book.  Like, "il est ne le divin enfant" (He is born the divine Christ Child) or "Noel Nouvelet" (typo?), that Dad might know.  And theres others like "Angels We Have Heard on High", which in French has 5 verses and the first half of the song's melody is a bit different.

Je t'aime,
- Eric
Dear Dad,
I actually did backup my whole memory card this morning to the Wolverine.  There will be much organizing to do when I get back, though.

I'm completely fine cash wise.  Too much cash.

Yes, rainy season has been over for a few weeks now.  Here dry season get pretty hot during the day, not like Douala though.  I still think in Cameroon I prefer rainy over dry season, just because I don't like that heat.  Pointe-Noire had the best weather, though, because during dry season its cool.  But I've heard, because luckily I wasn't there, that in Pointe-Noire during rainy season its very hot and like enfer. (Hades)

Je t'aime,
- Eric

p.s.  no Andrea email this week?

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