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, March 31, 2011

Eric's email of March 31st, 2011

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?
To Mom:
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.
Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
To Dad:
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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eric's email of March 24th, 2011

Bonjour.  It’s very bright today.  And hot.  It seems to be like that after a big storm, which we had last night.  And last night I fell asleep with my contacts in because I was too tired to wait for someone else to get out of the bathroom.  And this cyber café is showing Recess (an old Disney cartoon) in french.
                             Anyways, Saturday we had a baptismal service, and Rigobert, Melkior, and Queentine got baptized.  I’ll send a picture.  We also got a good turnout to the baptism, probably the best turnout I’ve seen since I’ve been here.  We even got the presidents of the Young Men and The Young Women, and the entire Longla family plus 3 other friends of theirs.  And another amie de l’Eglise showed up, la Soeur Nina.  So I was glad so many people showed up to show their support.  The only complaint we got was why they couldn’t take pictures of the baptism taking place.  Oh, and also Blaise gave a talk on baptism at the service, so that was great too.
                             Then Sunday after church, the Longlas invited the missionaries over again to celebrate the baptism.  Celebrating is something very important to them.  But this time there were a lot more people, and they had more of their friends, a couple sisters from the ward were there, including the Young Women's President, so that's good that they are getting integrated into the branch.  And this time Elder Tingey and I also provided some refreshement, we made pizza.  It received a much better reaction than what Elder Tingey told me happenned in Pointe-Noire.  Yesterday Sister Victorine, the mother, asked for the recipe for pizza.
                             We had another good lesson with the Ndiemboh family, but now its down to mostly just the father and one of the daughters that comes to each rendezvous.  But the dad is understanding the Book of Mormon amazingly well.  Last time we saw him, he had almost finished the first book of Nephi.  And he asked us some questions, and recited to us everything he had read.  He explained all that happened with Lehi and family voyaging in the desert, and he even told us the names of the places that Lehi named, like Bountiful and such.  And he does that without the book or any notes.  I definitely don't have the names of all those places memorized.  And he even told us the exact verse where he figured out why Lehi and family was eating in the desert without having to cook their meat, and everyone was healthy and everything.  Then I was looking at the book, and he wasn't, but he cited the reference for the verse where it says the Lord made their meat sweet or something so that they wouldn't have to cook it, something like 1 Nephi 17:12.  I think.
                             La Soeur Nina is also progressing very well.  She has now been to church the past 3 Sundays and attended the baptismal service.  And she lives at Messassi, which is not close to the church.  But just like her mother, Soeur Salomé, who is already a member, she comes each week without fail.  So that is a good sign.  Soeur Nina has already testified to us that the Church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true.  Yesterday we invited her to be baptized the 16th of April.  She thought for a minute, and said next rendezvous she will tell us her answer.
                             And yesterday after seeing Nina, we went and saw her mother, Soeur Salomé.  Soeur Nina is living in her mother's old house, and her mother told us she moved to Nkol-Ondom.  That is where Frère Etienne lives, out in the bush, I sent a picture of his house a week or 2 ago.  So at Messassi we take a car for 150 francs per person.  But to get to where Salomé lives now, we took the car to the end of its route, which is about twice as far as where brother Etienne lives, then we had to walk for 15 more minutes.  She actually lives in the quarter after Nkol-Ondom, which is called Lendom.  It was far.  I don't know if you tried to find a map of Yaoundé on the internet if you could find these places, but I would suggest trying it.  For reference, the missionaries and the church are in Bastos, and all these other places are on the far north boundary of Yaoundé.  I’m not even sure if Lendom is considered to be part of Yaoundé.  But despite the distance, it was beautiful and peaceful out there.  I’d want to live out there, if I could have a car.
                             And the end of yesterday we had a very interesting lesson with the Longla family (Blaise’s family).  At first it started off very boring.  Elder Tingey and I planned on talking about service in the Church, one of the 5th lesson principles.  I could tell that the family, especially Rigobert was very bored with it.   It wasn't that interesting to me, either.  But then Rigobert told us we had a question about the Aaronic Priesthood.  So then we talked about some really interesting things, and read in the Doctrine and Covenants that they got last weekend.  And we even ended up talking about the angels Gabriel and Michael, and who they were when they lived on earth.  Thank goodness for modern revelation and the Bible dictionary.  The reading assignments we left them were the books of Moses and Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price.  Its cool to discuss those kind of things, because the Word of Wisdom and the apostasy can get boring after so many times.
                             On Monday we had a soirée familiale (family night) with Soeur Agnèsse and her 2 children.  She has been a member for nearly 10 years I think, and she is originally from Rwanda.  After the lesson, we taught them the table hockey game that you play with 3 coins.  I don't really know how to explain, but the activity we wanted to do fell through.  So I remembered that game that we played in middle school a lot, and they loved it.
                             So that's about it.  A new missionary arrived yesterday, he is working in Ekounou, the other side of town, and is being trained by Elder Kabwika.  His name is Elder Waite, he is from Arizona.  I haven't met him yet, but we should see him today.  From what we’ve been told, we won't have any more new missionaries until July.
                             And enjoy conference for me, luckies.
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer
p.s.  this week Elder Nsimba also taught me the phrase « né d’un chien ! »  I wonder if Dad knows that one...
To Mom:
I did not see any of the parade for Women's Day. (See the Thompson's blog for pictures of the parade.)

And Dad told me about Scott getting into Virginia Tech, but Scott didnt tell me.  It's time to chatier (chastise) him, thats 2 or 3 weeks with no email.  I'll chatier him too.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
Still to Mom who "caught" him online....

Elder Tingey was in charge of making the pizza, but I helped.

This is being dumb, its not letting me send a picture.  I'll try in a different email.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eric' email of March 17th, 2011

Frère Etienne and me at his house.  His quartier is called "Nkol-Ndom",
something like that.  From our apartement its about 20 something minutes north,
pretty much au village.  If I were to live in Cameroon,that is the
kind of place I would like to live in.

Pday again...
                Since Saturday, We’ve had a lot of extra curricular activites.  On Tuesday we had interviews with President Headlee.  I just asked him about that college question that Dad asked me about, and some questions I had about zone leader stuff.  One quuestion was about « un rapport d’Excellence » (report of excellence) that that paper I got mentioned.  President Headlee said he had no idea what that is, so I don't have to worry about it.  He also told me to get comfortable through April and May, so we’ll see how long I stay here.
                We then had zone conference Wednesday morning.  It was the first one that I conducted, but that's about all I did.  The next one in April will be my responsibilty, though.  We learned that by May, Gabon will be okay-ed for missionaries, and about 6 months after that a senior couple and full-time missionaries should be there.  So probably after I’m gone.
                President taught us the Doctrine of Christ, I heard him give me this lesson early in my mission.  We read 2 Nephi 31, and talked about the 8 covenants from baptism to eternal marriage that we make to qualify for exaltation.  Yeah.  It probably would sound more exciting to you if you were there, especially because President Headlee never runs out of things to say and knows a whole lot of random things.
                We also watched episode 2 of the District 2.  This time, I learned how to react when someone actually accepts a baptismal invitation.  Because in the movie, 2 elders extended the invitation, the person accepted, and then the elders were a bit surprised and sat there with their mouths slightly opened, not knowing what to say.  Its not bad to have silence, but we discussed it and said we could also express what we feel and the joy that gives us, and there are also the blessings we can promise them.  So silence is good, but don't look like an idiot either.
                3 of Blaise’s younger siblings are getting ready to be baptized this Saturday : Rigobert, Melkior, and Queentine.  And Blaise is going to give one of the talks!  But on Monday evening we had a slight scare.  Daniel, the father said he was going to plead to Elder Tingey and me like Abraham pleaded to the Lord about sparing Sodom and Gommorah if he could find a few righteous people.  One of their relatives, who does not live in Yaoundé, was very happy that those children were going to be baptized, but she also wanted to be there for it so that they could celebrate together.  But she lives in Limbé, which is pretty far, and wasn’t planning on coming until July.  So some wanted to push the baptism back to July.  So after Daniel finished pleading his case, Elder Tingey and I talked a little about why baptism is important, and the blessing of the gift of the Holy Ghost and such.  There were also 2 other relatives there, from the Ndiemboh family, and they were talking in patoi  for a while.  I don't know exactly what was said, but the father, and finally the mother, were ok with the baptism happenning this weekend.   Especially the mother didn't want to do it without this other family member, but some of the children weren't very happy.  But the mother accepted when she asked if Elder Tingey and I would still be here in July, and we said we don't know, we could get transferred.  I don't know if the importance of baptism has been completely understood yet.
                Not much else really notable happened.  Later today we have a rendezvous with Soeur Melanie, who is prooving to be hard to crack.  She doesn't like it when the answer to her questions are « get baptized » or « receive the gift of the Holy Ghost » or « go to Church ».  But we have been seeing her with a member, Soeur Patricia, who is helping a lot.  But still, lots of work to do.
                Also Elder Tukuafu left yesterday, and Elder Buck came over to our apartement.  He's the one that went to SUU and lived on the same hall as me the following year.  He and Elder Tingey and I plan on starting to do some running.   Horray.  And I also need to thank Sister Warnick for her letter I got this week.  And I wonder how many times Scott has gotten marked late.  (Sister Warnick was Eric's seminary teacher and is currently Scott's seminary teacher.)  Well I can't believe its March, and that school isn't far from being out.  Don't have too much senioritis, Scott.

Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer

      To Mom:

      (How was the pig roast last week?  How long did it take to roast the pig?  Had Elder Tingey ever roasted a pig before?)  The pig roast was ok, but I did have some rumbly stomach afterwards.  I don't think I'll do that again, at least here.  It took a few hours to roast, I didn't stay the whole time.  And I think it was Elder Tingey's first time to roast one.

(Last week Eric wrote about a letter he received from Elder Lee-I thought he was referring to one of his past companions.  I wondered if he was keeping in touch with past comps who have gone home.)  That letter I got was from Elder Lee the Korean in our ward, not Elder Lee who was my companion.  But today I did get and email from Elder Ternieden, my trainer.

(How much is gas in Cameroon?)  Sorry I forgot about gas prices, but I wrote it down again.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

      To Dad:
      J'aime mieux assister à la Paroisse d'Innsbrook.  (I would rather go to the Innsbrook Ward-when he gets back.)

Je crois que mes chausseurs oranges suffiront jusqu'à la fin de ma mission.  Et sinon je trouverai quelque chose.  (I think my orange (running) shoes will last through my mission.  If not, I will get some other ones.)

Et je n'ai ni vu ni entendu dire de line de zip au Cameroun.  Et si j'en trouvais, je n'y ferais pas confiance.  (I have not seen a zip line in Cameroon.  I would not trust it if I did.)

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eric's email of March 12th, 2011

         So this week we changed p-day to Saturday, because we wanted to do a pig roast today.  So that's why I’m emailing you today instead of Thursday, but that's just for this week.  They are roasting the pig right now at the apartement building, plus they got 4 chickens.  Its a lot of work.  I’ll send a picture, plus lots of other ones, since I forgot again last week, sorry Mom.

A pig on a stick, Elder Tingey and Elder Palmer in his usual "thumbs up" pose
        Things are still going well.  We got transfer info on Wednesday.  I didn't get transferred, neither did Elder Tingey.  So we are going to do a 3rd transfer together, and this will be my sixth transfer in this sector.  But I did get called to be zone leader for Yaoundé.  So far the responsibilities that I know of are sending in numbers, some baptismal interviews, attend district meetings in the zone, and set a good example of course.  There are some other things that I forgot right now, but I’ll ask President Headlee because he is coming next week.  And it also says that the zone leaders have a meeting every first Tuesday of the month at noon with the mission president.  But, I don't think they are going to fly me down to Kinshasa for that.
                One of our new investigators is named Nina, she is the daughter of Soeur Salomé, who has been a member for about a year now.  We are still at the beginning with her, but she seems ready to do the things necessary to receive an answer to her prayers and receive the blessings of the gospel.  She has told us that she has lots of problems, but hasn't told us what they are at all, but she wants to know how to resolve them.  But the best thing here is helping families come into the Church together.  She hast kept all of her commitments so far, so its looking good.
                Another new family, which was a coordonnée from Blaise’s younger sister Blandine, is also starting to progress well.  They are from the same village as Blaise’s family, and on Wednesday we had a really great experience with them.  We were waiting for the father of the family, Daniel, to come out, because he had been resting his back that he had injured the day before lifting something heavy.  He couldn't even really sit down straight.  So Elder Tingey and I decided to teach the Restoration and such and put a special emphasis on the Priesthood.    So we taught everything and such, and we finished by reading James 5:14-15, which talks about blessing the sick.  And so after we read that, the father said, «you better not leave today without giving me one of those blessings ! »  So we did, and after the blessing they had some more questions and we probably talked for about 15 or 20 more minutes, and at the end brother Daniel gave us a testimony, as he called it.  He looked a lot more comfortable than before and said much of the pain was gone and that he felt a big difference than how he felt earlier.
                The same day, Wednesday, we had a very, very unique experience with Soeur Melanie.  When we got to her quartier, her husband was leaving, but he told us that his wife was feeling sick.  When we got there, Souer Patricia, a member, was already there talking a bit with her, but Melanie was not doing well at all.  We talked for just a little bit, but realized she wasn't in a very good state to talk that day.  So we asked if we could give her a blessing and she said yes.  So we gave her a blessing, and right after her blessing, something that I have never experienced before happened.  I’m not going to write exactly what happened in this email, its all in my journal in detail.  It was something very good.  I’ll just say now that le ministère d’anges (ministering of angels) is something real.  Now she is getting ready for baptism and I see some good things ahead.
                One of the members we are trying to reactivate, Soeur Melanie (a different Melanie of course), gave birth on Wednesday, and we saw her new daughter on Thursday.  Its her second daughter, she is named Calin, something like that.  It is pronounced Calving without the « v ».
                Three of Blaise’s younger siblings are getting baptized a week from today : Rigobert, Melchior, and Queentine.  And this time the timing worked out so that the father will get off a bit early Saturday afternoon and will have a day off on Sunday so that he can see their confirmation.  And this morning I went with Elder Prince to go learn how to make Eru.  I also learned how to spell it correctly, with a u, not an o.  Here are all the ingredients : waterleaf,(spinach) cow skin (and meat and/intestines if you choose so), eru (looks like grass), fish that has been dried and then smoked, seasoning cubes (normal flavor), onions, water, piment (also learned this week that it is not pima), shrimp (optional), salt, some shrimp flavored seasoning cube, and red oil (a lot).  Maybe you can imagine that a bit better now.  Blaise’s mom, Sister Victorine, makes the best eru I’ve eaten, so hopefully I won't mess it up too bad.  And I also learned how to make fufu.
                All right, I’m going to send some photos now.
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer

(To Mom:)

(How much is gas in Cameroon?  It is $3.31 here in VA, much more in CA where Aunt Karen lives.) 
I will look this week to see how much gas costs here.

If you haven't sent the package yet, Elder Tingey and I could each use a "Reese's FastBreak".

(What are bobos and where do you wear them?)  I think you actually spell it "Boubou", and I don't have any pictures still.  You where them when you live in Africa.  (I meant where on your body do you wear them, not in which country!)
 OK, this is a picture of some men wearing Boubous.

(Have you had Ero since you over-ate it?)  The first time I had eru since my last overdose was today, when I went and learned to make eru.

(I noticed you were wearing yellow shoes in one of your hiking pictures.  When did you get those shoes?)  Those yellow shoes are that color because of Yaoundé's red dirt.  I think they are more orange.  I bought them in Pointe-Noire for running, because the only other shoes I had were hurting.  These ones are starting to fall apart, but I think they will make it to the end of the mission.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

To Dad:

Well president will be coming next week and on Tuesday we will get interviewed.  Oh, and I completely forgot!  Maybe you already know this, but the new mission president for here got announced, it will be President Jameson.  You should be able to read about him in the Church news somewhere.

So the one thing that I am very confident and feel good about is staying in Richmond that first semester, and working and doing some J-Sarge.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eric's email of March 3rd, 2011

Well well well, another pday already.
 So this week Elder Tingey and I decided to make a more conscience effort to work with members .  Sometimes its been easy and members just happen to be there to help us.  But the past few weeks, our numbers in that section were really, um, unpleasant, and I think it was affecting the progression of some investigators.  So Monday we made a list of members to see and start working with.  And I can say that we have already seen one miracle from it.  Monday we went to visit Soeur Patricia, who has been a member for about 6 years.  And the next day we saw la Soeur Melanie with her.  And Soeur Patricia did something I think would have been impossible for Elder Tingey and me.  She invited Soeur Melanie to the activity of la Societé de Secours this Saturday, and Soeur Melanie also said yes, a real yes!
Also in relation with our working more with members, we have been getting more coordonnées.  The past few weeks we were doing a lot better on asking, but still not getting too many.  But half way through this week and we have already passed what we got the 2 past weeks combined.
Last Saturday there was another football match, Bastos vs Ekounou.  I played a bit, until I went up to head the ball, and some guy took my legs out from under me.  Ekounou won 3 to 1.  I was on the Bastos side.
Frère Jacques is progressing very nicely in the Church.  He was baptized the 5th January, and about 3 weeks ago he got a calling as a teacher in Sunday School.  He traveled to Douala the past two weeks, but was back on Sunday, and he will been teaching in Sunday School this week.  It’ll be the 10th lesson in the Nouveaux Testament, something called « prenez mon joug sur vous... », (Take my yoke upon you) something like that.  I assume you are studying the same thing in Sunday School, right?
I’m still winning the area book/asking for coordonnées challenge.
Yesterday, I overloaded my system, by eating too much ero.  So, for breakfast we didn't have anything really, except for some ero that an investigator gave Elder Tingey and I the day before.  So I had that for breakfast.  Then, I had the genius idea of going to Sister Victorine’s (Blaise’s mom) place to eat ero after district meeting.  I wanted to do that so that we could talk to her and figure out why she doesn't come to church with her kids.  I don't know what I imagined was going to happen, but it wasn't very effective.  We got stuck inside her sister’s boutique waiting for the rain to lessen, and there were 7 people squished in there, so we didn't get to talk to her that much, but she did say she will come to church Sunday.  But I ate another plate of ero there.  But then we went to see the rest of her family later in the evening, and she had left Elder Tingey and I another plate of ero to eat.  So after that lesson, we had to eat more.  We didn't even make dinner last night because we were so full.  I don't want to eat ero for the rest of the transfer, at least.  But Sister Victorine did say I could come learn how to make ero one day, maybe I’ll do it next pday.
Now I’m through Alma 28 in the Book of Mormon.  This is the 3rd time I’ve read the Book of Mormon during my mission, but this time I am understanding things that I never noticed before at all.  At when I read it, compared to maybe the Old Testament, its like night and day.  I’ve also started reading the Ancien Testament (in French) during down time, and I’m about 4/5 done with Genesis.  Its not easy.  Some really weird things are written there.  And it just blows my mind when people read the Book of Mormon and don't feel the same way about it that I do.  Incroyable.
Also, there is one other random thing I studied lately.  1 John 5:6-8.  I first noticed this when I compared King James version to my Louis Segond.  In Kings James, it talks about the 3 that bear witness in heaven, and the 3 that bear witness on Earth.  In french though, it just talks about 3 that bear witness, not specifying in heaven or on Earth.  And I’ve also looked in some other people’s Bibles, and no other ones are like King James.  Even yesterday I looked in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible and in the Good News Bible, and its like in french.  And I didn't see any Joseph Smith translation, so I don't know if that means that the King James version is correct or what.  So yeah, just some other random nugget there.
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer
Hey Dad,
(Are you getting close to another transfer day?  Do you think you’ll still be staying in Yaounde?)  Next transfer is somewhere around March 19th.  Elder Tukuafu goes home the 16th.  I imagine that by this time in 2 pdays I will know about transfers.  I can't say if I'll get transferred, but I will have done 5 transfers in one sector, which is the longest I've done anywhere, but I've heard of plenty people doing longer.  I don't know.
(Is there such a thing as daylight savings time in Cameroon?)  There is no such thing as Daylight Savings time here.
Whoops, hit the wrong button.
(When was the last time you ran and for how far?  (4.75 miles for me this morning))  Honestly, I haven't been running since the end of December.  1 reason I could blame that on no one else in my apartement who will run with me.  But I also haven't tried too much since Elder Kesler went home.  And I cant really gauge how far, but less than what you ran.

And one other question, not that I'm trunky or anything.  But you already did that research stuff for doing J-Sarg and then going to SUU in January.  What about if I were to go to BYU in January, would it be the same thing?  C'est-à-dire, would the stuff transfer the same?

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

I bet Scott is super excited for getting into BYU and how its going to be, but chatiez him for me because he didn't email me.

Yes I remember Sister Sedwick.  (The PA who cleared Eric for his mission after mono.)  And I also remember that she told me they have some friends that are or were in Cameroon.  But the city she told me they were in is in the north, unfortunately the church isn't there.

(Has Sister Theresa finished the bobos?)  No, Sister Thérèse (Theresa) hasnt finished my bobos yet.

Do I need anything...  contact solution is the only thing I'm running low on.  And I haven't found any yet, so I could us some of that.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
(Eric's email arrived very early this morning and I was able to ask a few follow up questions- Were you ok when you were tripped up at the soccer game?)  Yeah, I was ok except for my elbow was bleeding and there was a kind of bruise on my lower left back at the point of collision with the ground.  But some guy stretched me out.

(What are your plans for the day?)  Today for pday, I have on our pday list to: develop photos, write letters, shop 4 food, do internet, go to the bank, clean the apartement, teach Tim (the marine at the American embassy), play football or basketball, and I learned that the Thompsons invited us to watch a movie at the end of the day.

Voilà notre plan.  (That's our plan)

Eric's email of February 24th, 2011

Well, I just got back from the most tiring hike it seems like I’ve ever done.  This is the second consecutive pday of going hiking, and I don't really plan on doing it again en mission.  When we got back I fell asleep on the floor for about an hour.  But, its nice to see le village and things like that, its really peaceful.  Today the trail we took reminded me of being on trek.

 Look!  Eric is wearing the hat we bought for him!!!!
                Anyways, one person who is progressing really well is Rigobert, the 14 year old brother of Blaise.  Recently, our investigators have been having a hard time coming to church, and it seems like the only one who has been reliable each Sunday is Rigobert.  And for the past 3 Sundays from my knowledge, he has walked from his home to church.  I would guess that takes around 25 minutes.  Those are the kinds of sacrifices that I know people will be greatly blessed for, and it also strengthens my testimony.
                Elder Tingey and I also had an interesting lesson with Soeur Melanie.  She is having a lot put on her shoulders right now, and we are doing our best to help her help herself by practicing the Gospel.  Recently we have also been putting an even bigger accent on commitments and such, and the other day I invited her to prepare to be baptized.  It actually was a really helpful experience to her progression, but not in the way you would think.  Literally the instant I finished asking her to be baptized, she immediately said no, very firmly.  In short, though, that invitation or something made her open up and let Elder Tingey and I understand a lot more about Soeur Melanie.
                Wow, I almost forgot, Sunday morning we had a very, very unique experience.  A few new amis de l’eglise, who are friends of Soeur Melanie, invited us to their church.  We accepted for some reason.  Their church is called “La Cathedrale de la Foi”, or the cathedral of faith.  Le pasteur principal s’apelle Dr. Rev. Dieunedort.  Maybe they have a website, I don't know.  Basically it was very different from how we do church.  Drums and guitars were involved.  I had a slight headache after the service.  It made me very grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
                I think rainy season has also officially commenced.  Now every 2 out of 3 days we get rain.  I like the rainy days better than the dry ones, because the days after a big rain, il fait tellement chaud.  (It is very hot)
                Tuesday, Elder Tingey went down to Douala with a couple other missionaires and the Thompsons to get their carte de sejours, their identity thing.  But they brought back up my actual official card, so I’m legit now!  But that day I worked with Elder Nsimba.  He knows a lot.  I don't think there is a question you could ask him without getting an answer.
                Elder Tingey and I also made a new goal, to help us improve 2 things we can improve.  This goal helps us ask for more referalls, and make sure we do our area book each night.  The rule is, during the day we keep track of how many times we ask for coordonnees, and whoever has the least has to do the area book.  I've been winning so far.  Still waiting to get that golden coordonnee, but our area book is being kept up better.
                And finally, I can't believe that in a few days will be my 18th month mark.  No comment. (Grandma Carlene asked why Eric said "no comment".)   I said "no comment" I think, because if I think about it too much I'll just get trunky.  Because 6 months is not a lot of time, especially if it goes by as fast as the past 6 months.
Je vous aime,
-          Elder Eric Palmer
(Pictures of a soccer game were posted on the Thompson's blog, and Eric was in the picture.  I asked if he played.)  Well, I didn't play in that soccer game, there were a billion people there.  So Elder Prince and I went and helped the Relief Society clean the chapel.  And Cameroonians play soccer with there hands, c'est-a-dire they foul too much.  Not all, but too many.

(Are you aware of the fighting going on in Libya?)  I did hear about stuff happening in Libya and everywhere.  And on Wednesday morning, Elder Thompson told us that the church or someone sent out a warning to Cameroon for us.  We were told not to go anywhere near any big crowds, because it could be some kind of riot thing.  It was mostly going to happen in Douala, and possible downtown in Yaounde.  Elder Tingey and I have both the President's house and the main Congress building in our sector, but we didn't see anything.  But those seem like they would be places where people would do that kind of thing.  On va voir.

(Each week I remind him to take his malaria meds, vitamins and all that Mom jazz.)  And yes, I'm doing all those things, except I could probably increase my veggie intake.  I plan on making beef stew this week, I found the recipe on the back of a Western Family seasoning packet.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer