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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Eric's email of January 27th, 2011

Well, we are waiting for the internet connection to get fixed,
so I’m just writing on Microsoft Word now.  Hopefully well get
connection sometime today.

First things first, Blaise got baptized on Saturday !  And most
of his family came to see it.  And on Sunday he got confirmed
and even was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.  And on Sunday
night he invited all the missionaries to his house, so we had a
lesson with all 6 Bastos missionaries and then we ate.  His
family prepared a tomatoe sauce that we ate on spaghetti and
rice, and there were also plantains and pate d’arachide, which
is basically peanut butter, but this one had a little bit of
pima in it, and we ate it with the plantains.  It was actually

Blaise and most of his family at his baptism

We also got Blaise in a tie, but it was a pink tie (that Elder
Tingey gave him for his birthday in December) with a brown

Last Friday we also found some community service to do.  Earlier
in the week, Elder Tingey and I were walking and had no
appointment, and these guys working construction called us over
and told us to help, so we helped them a little, but then came
back Friday all 6 of us.  I think we might have been too many.
We helped carry bricks down to the base, we filled up buckets
with mortar and carrie dhtem around, helped place some bricks on
walls.  Nothing fancy.

We also did exchanges on Tuesday, and I worked with Elder Lamb
in my sector.  Tuesday is pretty much our only completely
proselyting day this week, so we had to get a lot done.  We got
8 lessons, 5 of them where after baptism.  And we finished the
day with Blaise’s family, and talked about baptism.  And so the
whole family has committed to prepare for baptism, but the only
problem right now is the dad’s work.  We are going to have to
get creative, but they are planning on getting baptized as a
family in February.

Yesterday Elder Tingey and I set another date for the 5th of
February.  I think I told you about it last week, Elder Acorda
and I started visiting an inactive member named Odette, and she
has been at church the past 3 Sundays now.  But she has a 10
year old daughter named Marina, and last week she asked us to
donner les cours du bapteme a sa fille.  (would we teach her 
daughter about baptism.) And we asked Marina if
she wants to be baptized the 5th or the 19th of February, and
she chose the 5th.  So we are seeing her pretty much every day,
but she has been to primary for years with her older sister,
Abbi, so she’ll be ready.

We have also continued with another really good investigator, la
Soeur Melanie, who was a coordonnée from one of the branch
 presidency members.  At first, she was open to talking with us,
and coming to church every once and a while, but also staying
catholic.  But now, she is more willing to fully look into the
church.  But right now she is not having an easy time.  She has
had some health problems for almost 2 years, she recently had a
15 month old child pass away, just got news that she needs to
find a new house by February because they are going to knock
hers down, and her husband is on crutches because he got hit by
a taxi about 7 months ago.  So yeah, elle a besain de
l’Evangile.  (She really needs the Gospel.)  The thing that is
stopping her from progressing right now, is she says she isn't
interested in the Book of Mormon.  That each time she picks
it up, she gets tired, and wants to turn on the TV or something.
She herself has even said that its "un esprit satanique" that is
keeping her from reading.  But I feel like once she gets over
this and actually sees what's in the Book of Mormon,
she’ll have a breakthrough, if  I may say so.  But, shes got
a lot on her plate right now.

Tonight the Thompsons also invited us for diner, so I’m assuming
we will get transfer info then.  I’ve already been here 4
transfers, and the assistants to President told Elder Tukuafu
that "beaucoup entre nous seront mutés"  (Many of us will be 
transferred.)  Scaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrryyyyyy!

I bet you will be surprised when I tell you this, but I weight
185 lbs.  You can choose to publish that or not.  (I chose to publish.)
But Elder Tingey and Elder Lamb and I talked about starting to run, but
then we whimped out.  We decided we would rather do all our
studies than go running 3 times a week, and I would probably be
super tired during the day.  So I still have the goal to do 100
pushups a day, I do it almost each day.

Well hopefully the internet comes back at some point so I can
send this.  I hope everyone is back into the groove of school by
 now.  So...yeah.

        Je vous aime,
-       Elder Eric Palmer

p.s.  This might be the only email that will get through today, so sorry
if I don't respond to your personal emails.
Hey Mom,
(Good choice in answering Mom's questions when you have limited time!)

(How do you think it would be different if we had letters instead of email?)
I think the main problem with letters here would be how inconsistent
receiving and sending would be.

This building stuff wasn't that hard, we didn't hear gloves of anything.

I have baptism pictures, but there's no way they will get sent this
week due to the connection, sorry, I'll send them next week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eric's email of January 20th, 2011

Oh la vache. (Holy Cow)  Its kind of hot today.  This morning we went golfing at the Yaoundé Golf Club.  We did just the driving range.  Since I was never really good at golf, I was as good as I normally am, which isn't very good.  It cost us 10,000 CFA for 10 buckets, and 5,000 CFA to rent one bag of clubs.  Elder Tingey is really good, though.
                Blaise is getting ready for his baptism this Saturday, he has prepared himself very well, and his whole family plans on being there for his baptism.  Theres not really much to say about him, about how happy he was after his interview and such.  Getting his whole family into the Church with him will probably our biggest goal.
                Who also set another baptismal date, for the daughter of a less active member who has become active again this month.  Her name is Soeur Odette, she has been baptized for about 10 years, but stopped coming due to some certain problems.  But Elder Acorda and I had been visitng her since November, and she has been back to church the 2 past Sundays.  We have just been reviewing the lessons with her, and yesterday we talked about baptism.   Odette has a daughter who is 10, who had been coming to church with her older sister for a long, long time.  But I never really thought to asked if her 10 year old daughter was baptized until yesterday, and she hasn't been.  Her name is Melanie.  And it was Soeur Odette who brought that up without us even asking, so its good to see that not only is she ok with her daughter getting baptized, but actually wants that to happen.
                Today we will also be teaching a marine at the American Embassy, before playing football.  His name is Tim, he's from Minnesota and has been coming to church with the Clerverly’s for 2 to 3 months now.  We taught him for the first time last Thursday.  He seemed happy when we asked him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, I think he didn't know what to expect from us, but was content with that.
                Elder Tingey and I also helped a few guys building an apartement building on Tuesday.  We were walking by, just contacting, and one yelled at us and told us to come help.  We had about an hour, so we did.  They were kind of suprised that we actually accepted.  We are going back tomorrow morning to do our weekly service with them.  There are building a 5+ story building just out of cinder blocks, and making the cinder blocks themselves.  Its hard work.
                I also gave a talk on Sunday, along with Elder Tingey and Elder Nsimba.  Elder Tingey’s was about Alma 37:6-7, mine was about home teaching, and Elder Nsimba talked about la diligence au service du Seigneur.  We had to give it in french and english, and so the talks were pretty short, especially mine.
                Well, unfortunately I just got a call from Tim, and he’s busy with something, so now were gonna have to reschedule that.
                We also worked with Frère Etienne this week, and he helped us a lot.  Even though the rendezvous took a little bit longer than we expected, I belive the people we taught received the message a lot better because Etienne was there.  The first family we taught, Etienne talked at least half the time, and the wife especially opened up a lot more that time.  And then we saw an inactive-ish  member, Frère Ndzana, we just reviewed faith and repentance.  His aunt, who isn't a member, was there, and she participated in the lesson and Ndzana and Etienne started talking to her about the church, and Ndzana basically taught the 1st lesson and half of the 2nd lesson.  When he gets going on his testimony, there's no stopping him.
                Elder Thompson also told us that transfers will be on the 4th of January, one week later that it was normally going to be.  But sometime soon I’ll find out if I’ll stay here, this is the end of my 4th transfer in Bastos 1, and I’ve never done more than 4 transfers in a sector, but I think I might stay.  I dunno.
                Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer
And if you are asking, my waist size probably is 34 by now.   Mmmmmmmmmm, Ero.........(A Cameroonian dish Eric likes a lot.)

Yes, I believe that one has to pay even for padded envelopes.  And that reminds me, I still owe both the Thompsons and the Gates some money.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
Hey, thanks for the Priesthood line!  I think Elder Tingey's is about the same size.  And if you send a package, and already haven't, could I somehow get the family calendar for this year?

And also, can you ask exactly which mission Jeff is in?  Elder Tingey has a friend somewhere in Argentina, too.

Last night we got fed at Blaise's house, in english its called "jumping rice", but people generally call it something else that doesn't really register in my head.  But usually when I eat Cameroonian food, its Ero right now.  I've also emailed Elder Dajeu in New York a little bit, (Elder Dajeu is from Cameroon, his family lives in our stake, and he is currently serving a mission in New York State)  and asked him if his mom knows how to make Ero and Ndolé, and he said yes!  So I'm going to have to learn how to make those things.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Friday, January 14, 2011

Eric's email of January 13th, 2011

Well, I looked at my planner for this week, and I didn't see many exciting things to write about.  But I'll do my best to not make this a boring email.
                First highlight, is that Jacques got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday!  And he even wore the white shirt we got him for Christmas to Church, now we just need to get him to wear the tie with it.  The baptism went well, actually started ontime.  It wasn’t that hectic, because he was the only one getting baptized.  And on Sunday he got sustained a member and also ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.  So things are just continueing normally, not much to say.


Blaise and his family are also doing well, Blaise is getting ready for his interview on Saturday, and we are planning on his family getting ready to be baptized in February.  Blaise’s only problem right now is his job, it made him miss church last week.  So we talked about the importance of the Sacrament and such, and so he said he will make it at least to that meeting on Sundays.  And Blaise even talked about how he would be interested in serving a mission.  He's on the edge of the age limit, but we can really see that he is becoming converted to the Restored Gospel.  We also presented the father, Daniel, to Bro. Cleverly, who works at the embassy and lives just across the street from where Daniel works.  And we also visited Daniel with Bro. Ndongo, and they became friends very quickly and such.
                On Saturday, we played soccer with some of the members, mostly young men.  But President Balla, who is the branch president of the other ward was there, and he was the other team’s player-coach.  I stink though.  I think mostly because I'm not used to running.  So in my head I knew what I was supposed to be doing, but my body didn’t always want to cooperate.
                We also changed the time our branch starts, we are the afternoon now, 1 PM to 4 PM.  It’s the first time on my mission where I have not been required to show up to church at 8 or 9 AM.  So one good thing is that we get to keep our normal study schedule.  But now we've got to figure out what to do in between 11 AM and 1 PM.
                I had another obstacle while translating on Sunday.  An Anglophone named Sister Elizabeth quoted some words from a hymn that I didn’t know.  It was something about “the rocks of ages”, I don’t know.  But when she saw that I was stumped, she just went off herself and translated what that was supposed to mean in French.  We should just get one of our bilingual Anglophones to translate as their calling.
                We have also continued to look for service, because according to the white handbook, going au-champing every week is not the ideal form of service.  So we've talked to some one at a school, but then we realized that la bible blanche says not to do service at schools, and then an American language center wanted more commitment that we can give.  So yeah, we are still on the search.
                Oh, and one other really cool thing happened on Sunday.  The branch reorganized a few auxileries, and one was the relief society.  La nouvelle presidente is la Soeur Therese.  She has now been baptized for 2 months, was a coordonnee that Elder Acorda and I got, and after one meeting sent over to Elder Lamb and Elder Kesler.  But, she is solid.
                Alright, well I have to hurry up and check emails, because at 1:30 we are seeing Blaise and his father, and then I want to get Ero, my favorite Cameroonian food, and then we have a rendezvous with a marine at the American embassy at 4, and then football at 5.  Wish me luck, especially with the rendezvous.
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer

Dear Mom,

First thing, is I do still have my passport with me in my "important stuff" folder.  (Cousin Jeff, in Argentina, doesn't know where his passport is, so I was worried.)

Thanks for the piano advice.  (He is tired of playing the piano all the time.)

(Do many people in Cameroon smoke?)  Yes Jacques was the only one baptized, and yes a lot of people smoke in Cameroon.  And every pack of cigarettes has a huge lable on them that says "smoking is damaging to your health and can lead to death and/or serious illness", something like that.

So In Blaise's family, there is their mom and dad, then Blaise is 24, Blandine 19, Ghislen 17-ish,  Rigobert 15-ish, Melchior 14, Queentine 13.  They all live together, their mom, Victorine sells food, the dad, Daniel, is a guardien, and Blaise works at the supermarche called DOVV.

(What is in achoo besides beff skin?)  I don't really have any idea about what is in achoo, so I'll ask.  And we don't eat that often with amis or members, maybe twice a month.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Friday, January 7, 2011

Eric's email of January 6th, 2010

Salut, tout le monde.  Il fait chaud aujourd’hui.
(Hello everyone.  It is hot today.)
So I’ll start off with Jacques.  We saw him Monday, finished the last few things for the 4th lesson about commandments and such, so it looks like he will be good for his baptism on Saturday!  The only thing, is that the elders in Ekounou (other side of Yaoundé) were planning on having baptisms, and their branch was to be in charge of the service, but recently we found out that they won't have any baptisms, so now we are in charge of it.  And so we are just scrambling to put together a baptismal service, but its not that hard thankfully.  I’ll end up playing piano, as usual.  But Jacques is doing really well still. Its been pretty smooth with him.  Especially since he told us he was able to quit smoking a year ago.  Maybe that was one of the ways the Lord prepared him to receive the Restored Gospel.
                Blaise and family are still doing well.  Blaise and his dad had to work all day Sunday, but his younger siblings Rigobert, Blandine, and Queentine all came to church.  I think I told you that Blaise has a baptism date for the 22nd of January, and now we are wanting to extend that invitation to the whole family, but there are a few kinks to work out.  Mainly, its that Daniel, the father, has a weird work program of 5 days working and 1 day off, which allows him to be available only 1 of every 6 Sundays, something like that.  But when we saw them on New Year’s Day, they gave us some Cameroonian food, and I don’t know if Elder Tingey really likes it yet.  They gave us a dish called “achoo”, I like it, but not many other missionaries do.  It was a struggle for Elder Tingey, but he got through it, even at the piece of beef skin.  (Couldn't find a picture or description, but I don't know if I could eat it.  Eric is like Mikey, he'll eat anything.)
                Also continued doing translation in Sacrament meeting.  Last week was testimonies, so it wasn’t very hard.  But I did get stumped on one word that Président Gwet said, which was “un tamis”.  I wonder if dad knows that one.  He explained it to me, and I still didn’t get it, neither did the Anglophones.  But then he continued his thing and we he used the example of “un tamis”, and some Anglophones figured out he was talking about a sifter.  So that was the first time where I was completely stumped doing translating, but now I learned a new word.
                But during testimony meeting, la Soeur Brigitte gave my favorite one.  She is a recent convert, coming up on a year sometime soon, and we visit her once a week.  She has always been kind of quiet, but I have seen a difference in her interest in the scriptures and the Church and such since my arrival and now.  And on Sunday it was the first time I really heard her bear her testimony, and it was an awesome testimony.  She was a little nervous, I think, it was really simple, saying what she is grateful for, but I just felt really good while translating for her.
                We also had zone conference on Tuesday, and President Headlee even “skype”-ed in and talked to us for about 20 minutes.  He was in somewhere in DRC, we think Kenanga, organizing a stake.  But he talked about 2 main goals.  The first was to make sure that every day, we talk to many people about the church, whether while traveling in between rendezvous or real contacting, and to tell 10 new people a day about the Church and who we are.  And the other was about distributing Books of Mormon, giving out at least 4 a week.  Elder and Sister Thompson talked about obedience and being enthusiastic, and our district leaders, Elder Nsimba and Elder Kapele, talked about similar things to what President Headlee said, about finding and that often times we don’t know know what effect our talking to one person could do in many years, and such things.  And Elder Tukuafu, who is zone leader, talked about how the Gospel changes lives, I remember specifically reading Alma 7:11-13.  So that was our zone conference.  They are always good, because at least I just feel remotivated to go and work hard afterwards, no matter what we talk about.
                We had another “perfect day” yesterday, which means zero rattezvous, and got 8 lessons.  Half of our lessons where with recent converts/inactives.  With those who have gone inactive, we've decided to just start reviewing the lessons, and so far it seems to be helping more than just random spiritual thoughts.  Its like those reviews remind them or wake up their testimony that they may have forgotten about a little.
                And finally, right now in my studies I’ve just finished Mosiah chapter 2.  So I read all those little Enos to Words of Mormon books.  And I continue to see a lot of things that I've never noticed before.  I’m moving really slowly, because of all of the stuff I mark and stuff, but its pretty amazing how nearly every page I can find something I could use in one of the missionary lessons.
                So I hope everyone is adjusting to school again, unless you got more snow days.  Make sure to read your scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon!
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer
Hey Dad,

Well, tell mom thanks for making me and Elder Tingey excited about some big Jazz news, because usually Mom only talks about them if something great hapenned.  Just kidding.  But that did happen.

For the priesthood line, if you find the Elder one, that would be nice to have.  Elder Tingey has a little laminated thing.  But its not a pressing need or anything, but thanks for the High Priest one!

Unfortunately no, we did not play in the real Omnisport professional stadium.  But around it, there are at least half a dozen dirt soccer fields, and a couple basketball courts.  But someone told us that tickets to soccer games are cheap, so if the occasion presents itself, we might go.

In Cameroon, we use DD/MM/YYYY, so today is 6/1/11.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
Dear Mom,

So yeah, that was me in the glasses.  They are Elder Thompson's, and I wore them because the sun was in my eyes while I was playing the piano.  And if you watch well, I was a split second behind Elder Tukuagu and everyone, because I didn't learn it very well, so Spencer (friend serving a mission in New Zealand) will have to help me learn it again.

And I haven't seen Adam yet since Elder Tingey got here.  So pray for that.

(Why are Blaise's lessons so good?)  And Blaise's lessons are good, mostly just because I feel good and so  I know the Spirit is there.  Thats pretty much the main reason why.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eric's email of January 1, 2011

                                 Elder Palmer and Elder Tingey on their apartment
                                              patio in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Well, I realized today that I do not know how to play sports anymore.  I am completely useless in basketball, I’m still ok at soccer but each time I shoot its pathetic.  But we did play football at the American embassy, and I did have 5 touchdowns, but next time I’ll probably play like garbage.
                So I’m writing you today (January 1) instead of on Thursday, because we switched our pday to today, because today is not a very effective day to work, because everyone will be partying.  People here party more on New Years Day rather than on New Years Eve.  But yesterday in the afternoon we had an activity, it was basically a talent show.  The missionaries sang a medley of "Army of Helaman" and "Called to Serve."  And at the end we did a New Zealand Hakka that Elder Tukuafu taught us.  Then I played the piano for the choir again, and also another mom and daughter who sang “Teach Me to Walk in …”, its page 195 in French.  By the end I was running out of gas, I plan on taking a break from all that piano playing for a while.
                Then we went over to the Thompsons, played some games and watched some “Mormon Messages” and such.  And we got home late, I was originally planning on going to bed early for New Years, but that didn’t happen.  But still woke up at 6:30, went and played soccer at Omnisport, and tonight we will go visit Jacques and then Blaise’s family.
                One goal I have made recently is to call my companion and other missionaries “elder” rather than “dude”.  Its hard, but I think I’m starting to make progress now.  Its like dude is just something stuck in my head that I saw for no reason sometimes. 
                On Tuesday this week, we had a “perfect day”, which is the equivalent in missionary work to a perfect game in baseball.  Kind of.  Basically it means we saw and taught all of our rendezvous and did not get any rattezvous.  It is a rare event.  And then we almost had another perfect day on Wednesday, we had taught 5 of our 6 lessons, and then a few minutes before the last one, Elder Tingey said, “It might be another perfect day again!”.  Well, then our last rendezvous ratté-ed us.  Il l’a maudit.
                Elder Tingey and I have also found lots more Anglophones, due to a line of coordonnées given to us.  We first started teaching a lady named Sister Hariette, then started teaching her with her neighbor Brother Fidelice.  Then at our 3rd rendezvous, their friend Sister Glory was there.  The next day we went and visited her, and she invited her friend Sister Nicoline.  And that night, after teaching Sisters Glory and Nicoline, we got a call from a guy named Brother Josie, who got our number from Glory.  And we have now also taught Brother Josie and his brother, Brother Elvis.  Horray coordonnées, and horray Anglophones.
                So Jacques is still progressing well.  For Christmas Elder Tingey and I gave him a white shirt and tie.  But for some reason the next day at church he didn’t wear them, even though I tied the tie for him.  A bit disappointing, but all well.  On Tuesday Elder Nsimba, our district leader, did his interview, and said he is good to go.  During his interview I tried to read Genesis on the front porch, and then a bunch of quartier kids came up and wanted to play with me, and then fight me and jump on me.  So I spent about 20 minutes fending them off, and my shirt got filthy.  But it was worth it.  Now we just need Jacques to wear his white shirt and tie tomorrow to Church.
                Blaise's family is still progressing very well also.  And we even fixed a baptismal date for Blaise, then 22e of Janvier.  I think the lessons we have with him are some of the best of my mission.  Elder Thompson even sat in on one, and told us later how impressed he was with Blaise and his progression.  I have finally also learned everyones name in the family, there is Papa Daniel and Mama Victorine, and their 6 children: Blaise, Blandine, Ghislen, Rigobert, Melchior, and Queentine.  The whole family sits in on lessons, most have already attended church, and especially Rigobert and Queentine are interested and read the Book of Mormon, and told us they will be at church on Sunday.  Its awesome teaching a complete family.
                And I would like to ask one question, that I believe I might have asked a while ago.  Could you (probably Dad) get me my Priesthood line?  I ask again, because Elder Tingey has his and pulled it out in a lesson once.
                Well, have fun going back to school, unless you have snowdays again.  Oh, and I also got a letter this week, with notes from the Hickeys, the Bertonneaus, the Hielesens, and the CTR 5s, so make sure to thank them for me.  And Sister Bertonneau asked whot kind of candy to send in a young womens package.  Tell her any candy is good, but that Starbursts and Sour Patch Kids are good too.
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer

The choir is ok, there are about 10 people from Bastos 2, and a few missionaries came in to help, mostly with the bass.

And I haven't really bought any Christmas present for myself yet, I dont know if I will.  The (Utah ) Jazz t-shirt fits very well, and some other missionaries are jelous of it.

So thanks for everything, and the prayers, especially for Jacques!

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Hey Dad,

So I haven't make any specific new years resolutions.  But I did recently make that goal to say "elder" rather than "dude".  About a month ago I made a goal to do 100 push-ups each morning, but the last 2 weeks I've slacked off bad, so I'll re-make that goal.

Vai Sikehema reminder to send me those articles.

And Ill go tell Scott to man up now. (Mark is trying to convince Scott to train for the 10K with him.)
Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer