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, June 11, 2011

Eric's email of June 9th, 2011

Well, Elder Wagman (new companion) and I were just au village.  We got a rattezvous (rendezvous that fell through), had a good chunk of time and decided to go see an investigator we hadn’t seen in a while.  Her name is Soeur Marie-Susanne, she was a coordonnée from Soeur Marie-Sylvie.  She loves the Church, and has apparently had visions that the Church is true and that she needs go get baptized there.  But she has some weird ideas, today we spent our whole time explaining the nature of our Heavenly Father.  Also on the taxi ride out, while I was on the phone with Soeur Thompson, a weirdy guy kept buggin’ Elder Wagman for some money so he could get some palm wine.  That stuff looks gross.
            So the transfer happened last Friday, but not without some confusion.  We sent 3 elders down to Douala on Thursday, and expected to get 3 that same day.  But in the afternoon, the Thompsons told us that the Douala elders wouldn’t be coming up until the next day, due to some miscommunication.  So I stayed with Elder Tingey and Elder Prince for that day.  The new ones were supposed to arrive Friday between 1 and 2, so I arranged my program, planned to teach a lesson before with Elder Thompson, get Elder Wagman and the others, then finish the day I had planned.  I should have known that something would go wrong.  Elder Wagman and co. were supposed to leave Douala at 9AM, but didn’t leave until 12:15PM.  Also, my rendezvous Elder Thompson and I had at the church turned out to be a rattezvous.  It seems that the only transfer that happens without a problem, is a transfer where no one gets moved.
            So about Elder Wagman.  He is from Athens, Georgia.  But he lived in a whole bunch of places because his dad worked in the Air Force, but then retired and moved to their homeland of Georgia and got a job at the University of Georgia.  I also learned that they have some foster children, and have taken care of many children since Elder Wagman was born.  We were in Pointe-Noire together for 1 transfer, but he lived in a different apartement so we didn’t talk too much.  He started his mission with Elder Tingey, when we got 10 missionaries in 1 transfer.  He just did 3 transfers in Bonabéri, so he told me a bit about whats happening down there.  (Eric's first area)  From what he told me, it looks like almost all of the people that were baptized when I was there are still active, and Frère Léonel (baptized my second weekend there) has the Melchezidek Priesthood.
            We had a baptism last weekend as well.  Soeur Melanie, she was pretty much taught everything before Elder Tingey and I took over.  She's the one that traveled and we lost contact for almost a month, but came back and immediately asked us about baptism.  She actually came to the last baptism in May, thinking she was going to get baptiszd.  Unfortunately she hadn’t done her interview yet.  But she was baptized and confirmed last weekend.  I blew it and didn’t tell her at the service before she left, so we had to go find her after the service on Saturday, because she had always been attending Bastos 1, but she lives in Bastos 2.  We went right after the baptism, she wasn’t there.  We went and taught the rest of our rendezvous, then came back at the end of the day, thankfully found her there, and explained to her why she should come to Bastos 2.  It ended up being an expensive error.  Then we saw her on Tuesday, and her main problem is she is looking for a new job.  He current one doesn’t pay well and just isn’t a good job, and Monday and Tuesday all day she wasn’t able to get her merchandise.  So Elder Wagman and I taught about la loi de la dîme. (the law of tithing) I hope she understood, because we drilled the blessings of that commandment into her head. In Gospel Principles in the tithing section, there is a quote by President Hinckley, which is my favourite thing to read and teach about tithing.
              We have been informed that President and Sister Headlee will be here next weekend for the last time.  Man, I can't believe they are almost done.  Zone conference will be on the 17th.  I hope they get that darn Bonabéri branch organized.
            Elder Thompsons told me he emailed Dad, right?  He told me that the mission office people say that my release date is August 31st(release date still being discussed)
            Yesterday Elder Wagman and I also had a cruddy situation turn into a good, a really good experience.  We just had had a rendezvous with an investigator, that basically, she chastised us and the Church and I didn’t even know how to answer, and I thought for a moment that was going to be the last time we stepped foot in her house.  Enfin, (however) we will go back, but I was frustrated and dépassé-ed. I think he means depressed)  Then we were supposed to get to church for our missionary coordination meeting, but on the way our DMB called and cancelled.  We had a rendezvous fixed after, but we still had an hour of time, and we literally had no one else to see in the quarter we were in, or anywhere close.  So, Elder Wagman suggested we do what a missionary does when there is nothing left, contacting.  I hadn’t done that in a while since Elder Tingey and I had been so booked, and I was still frustrated from the last rendezvous.  But we went and started contacted, and something amazing happened.  No, we didn’t find a golden investigator, we didn’t even get invited into anyone's house.  But I remember after the second house we rang the door of, I felt a lot better.  I don’t exactly know why, because contacting isn’t always the most exciting or rewarding thing we do.  But after our second house, we had had a conversation briefly about the Restoration, and the lady told me to go read some Bible scriptures when I got home, specifically Revelation 12:7 and the following verses, and 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
            Ok, well Elder Thompson just called me, and he got an email from Sister Headlee saying that my release date is August 26th, and that they have me flying home to Richmond, Virginia.  Je vais voir ce que vous m’avez écrit, d’abord. (I am going to see what you wrote to me, first.)
Je vous aime bien,
-         Elder Eric Palmer
 To Mom:
(Did you do anything special for your birthday-a treat perhaps?)  Um, for my birthday, I think the only extra was that I got Elder Wagman to buy a Sprite with our money.  And that happens from time to time, but this time I could justify it.

But these past 2 birthdays were probably the most uneventful birthdays ever.  Except Elder Tingey and Hansen bought pizza from Pizza Roma, the only pizza place in Yaoundé.  Its pretty good, kind of thin, though.  And today, Elder Tingey bought me a SpongeBob pen that lights up when you write at the supermarché.

(Did you get the package?)  Yes, I got the package.  And I think right now, I have more normal shirts that I would even need in normal life.  With all the shirts that have been sent to me, and some jerseys that I accumulated on my mission, I think I have about 20 normal shirts right now.  Too much.  But thank you for the VCU shirt, (final four) Elder Tingey was jealous.

(Does Elder Wagman speak French with a Georgia accent?)  If I remember correctly, I don't think Elder Wagman has a Georgia accent.  Things are good with him, I'm learning a lot.  It amazes me that I can always learn something new or do something a little different.  Elder Tingey and I were together forever I realized, so its weird to be with someone with a different personality.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
To Mark: 
In Cameroon, there probably is a drinking age, but no one enforces it.  Or there is none at all.  There are probably a lot of laws I don't know, by they aren't well enforced.

As for age in the branch, I was thinking about that the other day.  In Bastos one, I wouldn't be surprised if all the members of the branch presidency are older than you, I know at least 2 are.  The other branch seems to be a bit younger.  It seems people here die younger, or the ones that don't get old as can be.  (hmmmm, I wonder how old that is?)
Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

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