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 2nd, 2010

La zone de Yaoundé

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to live a normal American life again, because I usually get a little headache just from looking at this computer screen once a week.  And its a good thing I love you guys so much, or I probably would just stop doing emails.  And also Mom and Dad would probably get upset if I sent nothing. 
                Well this morning we went to the Gorilla Park in Yaoundé.  Actually its outside of Yaoundé, took us about an hour and a half to get there, it was pretty similar to the one I went to in Limbé with the Willis’.  But here, the monkeys throw more stuff at you.  I got a few videos.  Some of the stuff gets through the fence, too.  But we saw gorillas, chimpanzees and all that.  Some of them are really athletic.  Also, Sister Thompson brought us all lunches, and she brought Shasta Root Beer from the American store !  That was the first time I think I had had that on my mission.  It made me burp a lot.  I’ll send some pictures.

Eric and Bobo a 12 year old gorilla
                Last week for Thanksgiving, we ended up eating chicken, mashed potatoes, pie (Sister Thompson used squash to make something like pumpkin pie), veggies, things like that.  I ate a lot of mashed potatoes.  And then on Saturday we went again to this orphanage that the missionaries have known long before I got here, and they invited us to go there.  We couldn't stay very long, and they hadn't finished preparing the food before we left, but one of the kids did spill Top Grenadine all over my shirt.  That is a red soda.  I don't know if I’m going to get that out.  You couldn't really tell from a distance so I ended up wearing that stained shirt the rest of the day.  It was kind of weird, because there were several non-Cameroonians, so I just felt out of place, and never knew whether the speak French or English.  I just ended up playing this scripture golf game with Elder Kesler.
                Last Friday Elder Acorda and I went on splits.  It ended up being a bigger headache than I was expecting.  The member I was to work with showed up about 30 minutes late at the church, and he came with no tie, and I barely convinced him to tuck in his darn shirt.  I think it stayed tucked until for 1 lesson, then he took it out.  And then at our second lesson, we taught a referral given by another member, so the member friend was there.  And after that appointment, the person I was supposed to work with all day said he had to be somewhere at 3, and needed to leave.  Good thing the other member said he could work with me the rest of the day, or I would have been in trouble.  After that, it was a pretty smooth day, but I was getting kind of frustrated at first.  We did it because we have found lots of inactives lately, and I thought that would be the most effective way to handle it, but that wasn't completely true.
                But, Elder Acorda and I have received one new, really good investigator.  His name is Blaise.  He works at the new supermarché called « DOVV » that is near our apartement, so all the missionaries go there often.  But we met him the first time we went to Dovv, he works at the veggie section, and was really interested in who we were.  We have only met with him twice so far, but he is progressing really well.  And all the missionaries know him, so they can remind him frequently to read his Book of Mormon and come to church.  He has committed to come to church this Sunday, and if he is as sincere as he really is, he should know sooner rather than later the truth of the Restoration.  And he's an anglophone !
                Last Saturday we were supposed to go au champ-ing again, but we didn't realize the rain would stop all work.  It was kind of raining when we left, and Maman Natalie doesn't have a phone, so we decided to go anyway.  When we got there, she was very surprised we had come in the rain, and was even more upset that we were wet.  She thought we were going to get malaria.  I think people here have less tolerance for rain, because if it rains long enough or hard enough, life stops.  So, we ended up just singing a few hymns with Maman Natalie and her family, then went back home.  All well.
                Something weird, and kind of random, but an investigator called us on Sunday, and told me that her family thinks that I’m her husband.  Awkward.
                I don't know if you’ll believe this, but I weigh 80 kg right now.  The cell phone told me that is about 176 lbs.  I remember in Pointe-Noire, the least I ever weighed was 155, after I had thrown up a few times one week.  But now, Cameroon is making me fatter.  At this rate, I’ll weigh more at the end of my mission than at the beginning. (We think his calculations are incorrect.)  Embarassing.
                Also, President Headlee is coming a week from today, and a week from tomorrow we will have a mission conference !  Maybe I’ll get an interview with President for the first time since I was with Elder Parsons in Congo !
                Also, I received a package from you this week.  I haven't opened it yet, because I don't know if its for Christmas or not.  (It is!  We are so happy he got it in time!)  It said there is a t-shirt and letters in it.  So let me know when I’m supposed to open it.  Also, there are 3 other packages that arrived in Douala, and due to what the post office does around this time or year, they charged 11,000 CFA extra to get them out, so I’ll pay that with the American money I have.  I assume those are Christmas packages, too ? 
                And so to finish, this transfer my appreciation for the Book of Mormon has grown and grown.  I realize why PMG says to use it as our main source for teaching the restored Gospel.And right now as I go through it, I’m underlining all the commandments in blue and all the blessings in red, and I’m understanding it better than ever.  I know that it is the most correct book of any book on the earth.  And I’m sad when investigators are incrédule about the Book of Mormon, because they have no idea what huge blessing they are missing.
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric

      The new apartment is fine, except the water issue.  I think it may be resolved now, but seriously the plumber guys were there every morning, and then every evening a pipe would bust in a different spot.  Its not that far from the old one, and we hired someone with a big truck to move us.  With just the Thompson's truck, that would've been a pain.  And yes, my shower time has greatly decreased, but when I do have warm water I am more likely to take my time.

      (How many missionaries are in your apartment?)  And actually right now there a 6 missionaries, but after this transfer we think there will only be 4 due to missionaries going home.  The missionaries right now are me, Elders Acorda, Kesler, Lamb, Wilkins, and Hancock.

      Of course I remember Scott in that primary program.  (Eric played the piano for their ward primary program.  I reminded him of a funny story about his brother, Scott.)

J     Je t'aime,
-     Eric

      Holy cow... (sports reaction)  (BYU v Utah game)   

      So as for college, I've realized one thing I really miss is science.  So I'm almost completely sure that I want to do something science related.  Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of my counselor at SUU.  Did you ever try to get on the my SUU account?  But yeah, I love science.

     Je t'aime,
-    Eric

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