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, February 10, 2011

Eric's email of february 10th, 2011

So we are doing internet a bit earlier today because we have some early rendezvous, and we also officially split our sector with Elder Nsimba and Elder Prince.  Before, when we first put in a 2nd companionship in Bastos 1, they didn't really split it, except for 2 quartiers that are far away.  And we found out that we were teaching some people in the same places, so to be more efficient and save transport money we made an official line on our map of Yaoundé to split our sectors.  I don't know why they didn't do that in the first place.  So today I am also with Elder Nsimba, and Elder Tingey is with Elder Prince so we can show each other the amis de l’Eglise that live in quartiers that are getting switched.
                With Blaise, we have been talking a lot about the temple.  He wishes that there was one in Cameroon, but luckily the one in Nigeria isn't that far, so he's already preparing to get his temple recommend next year January.   And also his mother, Victorine, was very happy when she found out she could be baptized for her family members that have passed away without being baptized.
                Saturday we also had the baptismal service for la Souer Marina!  She is the daughter of la Souer Odette who has been coming back to church just this year.  Elder Tingey baptized her, everything went smoothly.  Except when we did her paper, we found out that she wasn't 10 like we had been told, but was only 8, as in within the past 2 months she just turned 8.  So she wasn't counted as a convert baptism, but I’m glad that we weren't preparing a 7 year old for baptism.
                We also had dinner with President and Sister Headlee Saturday night.  He came up that day, and left Sunday at 13h00.  So we just saw him at dinner, which was at this chinese restaurant near our apartement.  And it wasn't like Panda Express, but real, never-before-seen chinese food.  It was mostly good, but there were some weird things.
                Frère Jacques is progressing a lot as well.  Last Sunday he was the star of sacrament meeting.  He blessed the sacrament, got a calling as a teacher in Sunday School, and also bore his testimony.  I especially liked his testimony, because it was short and simple, and said he knows that both the Church and the Book of Mormon are true.
                We also committed the Longla family (Blaise’s family) to start doing daily family prayer and scripture study.  About half of them have been reading the Book of Mormon by themselves, so to get everyone involved we talked about the blessings of reading it together.  I think right now that everyone likes the missionaries and the Church, but not everyone has completely felt from the Spirit that it is the true Church.  And that will start with a testimony of the Book of Mormon, so what better thing to do than read it as a family ?
                With our sector split, we have been able to do a lot less traveling, and on Tuesday we even spent the whole day in Emana and surrounding quartiers.  Emana is seriously the hottest, dustiest place I've ever been, and I thought it was going to be a long, long day, but it actually was a very spiritual and effective one, especially 2 rendezvous.
                The first one was with Sister Nicoline.  We started the lesson with her and her friend, Glory, and within about 10 minutes 5 other people joined us.  And we talked about the apostasy and restoration, because Nicoline had a question about re-baptism, and it almost turned into a train wreck.  Some people where not happy when we said the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only one with the Priesthood.  But then, in an amazing turn of events, Nicoline said we are not here to argue, but bore testimony on how she has been happier and a better Christian ever since she started coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon, and then one other friend, Josie, who is an investigator of the elders in Bastos 2 who was present, explained and bore testimony about the Book of Mormon in pigion english.  Enfin, (finally) we ended up giving out 3 Books of Mormon and every commandment brochure we had, and we still owe some people tomorrow when we go again.  So that was pretty amazing.
                The other really good lesson was with la Soeur Melanie, who came to church for the 2nd time on Sunday, but has been having problems reading the Book of Mormon.  But on Tuesday, she finally read the whole chapter Elder Tingey had given her, and had about 10 questions to ask us.  For her, its been good to see a change, because at first she was very skeptical and unsure about what she said.  But when she asked us all her questions about baptism and such last time, I felt like she has started to trust us more, and more importantly believe the Book of Mormon is true.
                We also had our zone conference yesterday, and we watched clips from « The District 2 ».  I never got to see the first one in the MTC for some reason, so I’ll probably rent it from Blockbuster when I’m home.  But it was really educational and really interesting.  It was educational, mostly because I learned this time about the importance of listening to amis rather than just talking to them, and saw examples of good (and not so good) ways to extend baptism and reading the Book of Mormon commitments.  And it was interesting mainly to see missionaries in the USA and what its like.
                We also got the Liahonas of November, December, and January at zone conference that President had brought up from Kinshasa.  So now 4 months after conference I get to read what happened and what was said, yay!
                And I also got 2 packages last week, one from you guys and one from the Young Women's, and I also got a card from Hayound, so tell everyone thanks for me s’il vous plait.
                Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer   
      To   Mom:
(Have you been to Mount Febe before and have you visited the hotel there?) So the first time that I went with Elder Acorda, we spent probably 25 to 30 minutes to walk up there.  But last time we just took a taxi.  And we've never been in the hotel, its expensive  and I don't have anything to do there, but it is definitely the best hotel in town, probably in the country.

  Eric meditating upon scripture on Mount Fébé

(How are all the new elders-have any of them served in Younde before?)  The new missionaries are doing good, its all their first time in Yaoundé.  Elder Prince, the brand spankin' new missionary, was glad when he found that we live in an apartement and not a shack.

(With all of your translating, how is your French?  Is Cameroon French different than Congo French?)  I think my French is getting better, including my accent.  I don't know if I said this already, but one time a taxi man said I sound like a black man when I speak French, not a French person.  So at least its not an American accent.  Cameroonian French is different than Congo French, partly because they say "ça" a whole lot, while French people and even Congo people don't say it as much.  The only Canadian elder I knew that knew anything about French before his mission was Elder Ternieden, but he didn't say it was too different.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

     To Dad
     (What’s the record for a missionary staying in one area?)  So to answer the transfer question, 4 transfers is a long time, especially from what I have heard about missionaries in other missions.  But here I know 2 missionaries who recently went home, and they both did 8 transfers in 1 sector.  So 8 times 6 weeks = 48 weeks.  Holy cow, that is pretty much 1 year.  I'm going to do at least 5 transfers times 6 weeks = 30 weeks, which is over half a year, which is long enough.

(I haven’t asked about weather in awhile… what’s it like these days? North of the equator, so it is “winter,” correct?)  Right now it is starting rainy season.  People told me that would start in March, but it came early this year I guess.  I like rainy season, especially the beginning, because it doesn't rain constantly, but it is a lot cooler in general.  That whole winer/fall/spring/summer doesn't exist here.

(Update me on the pair of shoes that hadn’t ever been shined… is that still the case? If so, are they even wearable at this point?)  So I actually have shined those pair of shoes twice now myself, and they are very wearable.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

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