Hello tout le monde,
Today I am on a exchange with Elder Waite, who arrived in Cameroon about a week and a half ago. He is from Fredonia, Arizona, which is very near the Utah border. We actually started the exchange yesterday, but Elder Tingey and Elder Kabwika are in Ekounou, the other side of Yaoundé, and we’ll switch back this evening when they come into town.
So for the zone leader stuff, its kind of tiring. We will be having April’s zone conference on the 13th, and (with the help of the Thompsons) I’ve started to plan it. We will be learning about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. And you get asked lots of questions and people want you to make decisions, and you are supposed to deal with problems and such. So just gives me a bit more to do. And I did my first baptismal interviews on Sunday, which was a cool experience. Sunday I spent 10 straight hours at Church. I imagine it is was Dad must have felt like.
The Longla family is doing really well. On Tuesday we had a lesson with the kids, and their mother was outside preparing food. They had asked a question about celestial marriage, and then we sang “Families can be together forever”. When we were singing, their mother stopped and came in and listened, and she said she liked that song very much. We’ve been talking about the temple a lot with them, which seems to be the thing that will get this whole family in the Church together. Their father really wants to get baptized now, and also wants to send his parents' and grandparents' names into the temple so that someone can perform their baptisms and ordinances on their behalf.
And one of their sons, Rigobert, asked us a very unique question on Tuesday, and neither Elder Tingey nor I had the answer to it. His question was, "What is our faith and abundant life in a pluralistic world?" He had written it out exactly like that on their chalk board before we came. He said he read “pluralistic world” somewhere in the Bible, and will find us the exact verse next time. And enlightenment on this subject would be useful.
Last Friday we went au village to go au champ-ing. The village was called Aka. It was actually outside of the Yaoundé city limits, we had to ask the Thompsons for permission, and they said ok. We went with Soeur Philomen, who should be baptized soon and is being taught by Elder Nsimba and Elder Prince. Her mother lives at Aka, and we all went to go plant cassava. It was really nice and peaceful out there. But our service had a big impact on Soeur Philomen’s husband, Frère Oscar, who has known about the Church since 1993, but never got baptized. Elder Nsimba told us that the next day they met with Frère Oscar, and he said he wanted to be baptized and live the commandments and come to church with his family.
Soeur Christine and her kids came to Church on Sunday. Her new child is 2 months old today, and she and her 2 older children are getting ready for the 16 of April. I hope so bad that she keeps coming to church and gets baptized, because she has been an investigator since before I got here, which means 8 months-ish. And with her mother passing away and having her new baby, she had lots of trials, and it would be wonderful if she got through it all and was baptized.
We also started teaching an old investigator again, Frère Ghislain. He is the son of the member from France who came to the viewing of General Conference last fall with another one of his sons. We hadn’t seen them in almost 3 months, but apparently Ghislain came to the church looking for us, and one of the branch presidency members of the other branch told me he came. He already recognizes something different about this Church and our message, and I hope this time we progress more.
And la Soeur Nina, daughter of Soeur Salomé accepted our baptismal invitation this week, but she did not say if it would be in April. And we also set a baptismal date for the 16th of April for the niece of a member we reactivated recently, Frère Ndzana. She has been coming with her uncle to church the past few months, but because of school and other things, we could never catch her at the house. But now they are having what we call spring break, which is 2 weeks for them. We saw her yesterday, and got her a Book of Mormon, and at the end of the lesson she asked her uncle in pas-toi when we are going to baptize her.
And I saw earlier this week the gas price, and if I remember correctly it was 520 francs for 1 liter of gas. So Scott can convert that to compare with the gas price over there.
Je vous aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
p.s. Have you decided if I’m flying home to Salt Lake City or to Richmond yet?
Darn it, the crtl+F isn't working like on the other computers, so if I miss a question, sorry.
(Are the YW and YM programs functioning in the branch?) The programs like YM and YW function ok, but not all the way yet. The problem is getting people to activities not on Sunday. They don't have mutual or whatever like they do chez nous, at least not in Cameroon. Maybe in Kinshasa and places with stakes they do. But its hard to get people to come to church during the week.
(Are other churches able to have youth programs?) And I don't really know about other churches. I heard they have like a primary on Sunday and stuff, they have lots of prayer meetings or deliverances during the week.
(What do you like about being Zone Leader? What don't you like?) Things I like being about zone leader... I don't know. I don't think there is stuff that I don't like, I'm learning a lot and how to handle different situation and what not. I haven't not liked anything yet.
(Did you get the package yet? What do you want for your birthday?) Didn't get the package yet, maybe its in Douala, though. And for my birthday, I don't know. I don't think there is anything that could get sent in a package that I really need or want. I'll think.
- Elder Eric Palmer
I know what chouette is and means, (cool) but have never heard anyone say it outside of the MTC. Maybe they say it in France, though.
(Will you get to watch General Conference this weekend?) We will be going to the Thompsons Saturday and Sunday evening to watch a session of conference each night. Saturday morning session starts here at 17h00. Then probably a month later we will have the DVDs and watch all the sessions one weekend at the chapel. I just barely finished reading the last conference Liahona, which we got 4 months after conference had finished. For some reason it is a pain in the kaboose to get Liahonas here.
Je t'aime et bonne chance au 10k. (Good luck in the 10k Monument Avenue 10K this weekend.))
- Elder Eric Palmer