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, June 16, 2011

Eric's email of June 17th, 2011

Ma vie, oh ma vie.  (My life, oh my life)

                So , I understand that you have my flight plans.  That's weird.
                Elder Wagman and I are still doing good, still very busy.  But I think we are soon going to do an overhaul of our sector, if that is the right word.  We just need to change a few things in our program, and a few people we see in order to work more efficiently.
                Yesterday we did exchanges, I went and worked in Ekounou with Elder Nash, the District Leader out there.  It was my first time to work out there.  It was a pretty good day.  When it rains out there, it gets very muddy.  And I thought some of my sector was far away, but then Elder Nash took me to this quartier called Tropicana.  I have no idea how far off the map we were.  I thought Elder Wagman and I had some far away quartiers, but I’m pretty sure they beat us.  And there is another one even farther where some members live.  And also, it started raining like a monster a little bit before we were getting ready to leave.  We ended up not getting out of there until 6:30, missed our 6 o'clock rendezvous.  Took us at least half an hour to get a taxi to take us, then there was traffic, then we finally got out and had to walk about 15 more minutes home, and got back around 8 30.  Maybe its because we sat in traffic for so long, but I’m still amazed how far away that place was.
                Also, I had to save Elder Nash from getting kissed by some lady.  We were walking to our 1st rendezvous, and some lady shoved us en route and asked where we are going.  I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure she was under the influence of something.  So, we told her we had to go, then she said something that basically meant, “ok, but a kiss first”.  Then she went in for Elder Nash, and almost got him, but then I kind of grabbed her on the arm, Elder Nash started going.  Then she tried to get me, I walked away and she hit me on the back a few times, but thankfully we got away without any smooches.  That would be awkward to have an interview with President Headlee 2 days after a some random lady kissed us.
                Speaking of President, he should now be in Yaoundé.  He missed his 7 AM bus in Douala, but was supposed to leave at 12.  We are getting our last interviews and zone conference from President and Sister Headlee tomorrow, because in July we get the new President and Sister Jameson!  And today Elder Thompson told me that President Jameson is already scheduled to come here on July 9th, before this transfer ends.  2 visits from mission presidents in 1 transfer, hurray!
                Elder Wagman and I also fixed 2 baptismal dates this week!  Well, maybe 1 and 2/3.  The first was Frère Morris.  He got started with Elders Buck and Garner.  So we have learned a lot more about his life in the past few rendezvous.  He lives with his wife and 6 children, but we haven’t met any of them yet because he only likes to see us at the Church.  Before Morris was married, he lived in the United States, I forgot exactly where.  But after a few years, he went home to Cameroon for some reason, but he was very well off.  Then, I believe within the last 5-ish years, he pretty much lost everything.  He was living in Douala in a nice house, even had 2 cars.  But for some reason he lost pretty much everything, sold one car, the other got stolen, sold his house and lost his other belongings and had to move to Yaoundé, and now he is living in very humble conditions.  But, he doesn’t complain.  He reads the Book of Mormon a lot, is now about to start the book of Jacob.  He has been in a lot of churches, most recently in Douala was in a church called “le Combat Spirituel”, and said he has been baptized many times.  So he easily accepted the first invitation to get baptized.  But recently we have talked about the Priesthood and Apostasy and Restoration and now he understands a lot.  There was even another person we were teaching on Tuesday while we were waiting for him, and when Morris came, he started answering his questions perfectly.  So, now he understands a lot, especially the importance of the Priesthood.  He still doesn’t want us to come to his house yet, mainly I think because it’s a very humble home, and we are American, I’m not sure.  But, je crois que ça va aller.  (I believe we will go there.)
                The other one is Soeur Marie-Sylvie, whom I believe I have spoken much about.  She is ready for baptism.  She is more ready than some of the people that are already baptized.  But Elder Tingey and Elder Wagman saw her yesterday when I was in Ekounou.  Elder Wagman said they didn’t do a lot of talking, but they read the last 2 paragraphs of the introduction to the Book of Mormon.  He said that Marie-Sylvie did most of the talking, I’m not sure about what.  But they got to the subject of baptism, and invited her to be baptized on July 3rd (when they should have said July 2nd, but we’ll fix that later).  From what I’ve understood, she accepted, but then at the end said “je vais vous dire si je serai prête”.  (I will tell you when I am ready.) She is ready!
                Oh, and I forgot if I told you, but Soeur Nina, the recent convert and daughter of Salomé, got a calling 2 Sundays ago as a teacher in the Relief Society.
                And last Sunday the missionaries gave talks in Bastos 1.  Mine was based on the “Lift where you stand” talk by Uchtdorf from 2008, with something I found in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, in chapter 27 that I found, that I thought was important for our branch.  And since Elder Nsimba is gone, I replaced him as the last speaker when the missionaries talk, which means I have the most time.  I still had 25 minutes when it got to me, so I bet that was the longest talk I ever gave.
                And Sunday after Church, we went around with an old missionary from here that came back to do some kind of hunting thing in the south of Cameroon.  He was known as Elder Ward, so I guess I should address him now as Brother Ward.  We went to visit some of the old people he taught in Bastos 2.  His French is still pretty good.  I hope I’ll do that one day.  (I know Dad wants to do it with him!!!)
Je vous aime,
-Elder Eric Palmer
To Mark:
Yeah, 2 nights ago when Elder Thompson was taking me out to Ekounou he got a call from President Headlee, and I talked to him and he told me about my flight plans.  So yes, I've decided that I'll go home at the normal time, and yeah, I wanted to ask if there would be a way to get with Scott in early September.

And for the JSarge classes, yes, sign me up for those that we talked about.

(What are you bringing home?)  For what I'm bringing home, I have no idea yet.  I do need to do some more souvenir shopping, but I haven't thought a lot about it yet.  I do have 2 more booboos that I know that I'll be bringing home that I am waiting for Soeur Therèse to finish.  Is there anything that anyone wants?  Even ask the Dajeu family if there is something Cameroonian that they can't get that I could bring home.  Especially anything that concerns Cameroonian food.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
To Anne
(Pictures?)  So, in advance I will have to apologize.  I don't really have any excuse, but I just don't have my camera.  I already wrote it in very big letters for next Thursday.

Yes, I still have vitamins and take them nearly every day.

(Why do people walk around with their chickens?  Are they going to the butcher or are they worried that someone will steal them if they leave them at home?)  As for chickens and such, I have no idea.  There are some things that happen in this country, and I have no idea how or why.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

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