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, July 28, 2011

Eric's email of July 25th, 2011

         Charles (young man from Bastos 2) and Elder Palmer walking 
in Emana village.  Picture by Elder Tingey.

             I’ll be glad to not have on official p-day after my mission.  They are always rushed and give me a headache.  I didn’t have time to go to the marché to go souvenir shopping.  We’re gonna do it next week.  And, if anyone has any ideas of stuff they would want or what I could get, you can tell me.

This is a marché
            So, on Saturday we had a baptism!  Frère Maurice got baptized.  One of his daughters attended his baptism, and then his wife came to Church on Sunday.  But I almost had a heart attack at Church, because Maurice didn’t get there until the opening hymn was being sung.  Afterwards he explained to me, and it turns out that they got in the taxi to come to Church, and while they were in the taxi, they realized they forgot their money.  He said thankfully they had a nice chauffeur, but it still took them a long time to fix that and get to Church.  I was just glad he came to get confirmed.  And, again this Sunday his wife and that daughter came to Church all together!  And we are (finally!) going to their house on Tuesday to meet the whole family.

 Elder Palmer, Maurice's daughter Grace,  
Frère Maurice, Elder Wagman
             Also, lots of members of Bastos 2 went to the temple in Nigeria this week.  The Thompsons went with them, so I bet there will be more pictures and stories on their blog soon.  But the members got home, according to several reports, between 1AM and 4 AM.  And their church starts at 9, but they all came.  From behind the piano, I saw some people laughing during the last talk.  I think its because the branch presidency was falling asleep.  But I just had an awesome feeling during Bastos 2.  I’m very excited for their testimony meeting next week.
            With the new transfer, we also fixed our sectors, so that Elder Wagman and I are only Bastos 2, Elder Tingey and Elder Hansen are only Bastos 1.  Even though they have a lot more people to see, and have a nearly impossible job, it makes our life easier now, and will make theirs easier at some point in the future.  But I will miss those quartiers and some of those people.  I’ll have to visit them before I leave.

Elder Wagman & Elder Palmer
        Having p-day on Monday is different, but kind of nice.  The week still went by really fast, but I couldn’t really tell the difference between Tuesday or Saturday.
            With the new sectors, we have had some time now to find new people.  I’ve realized that here it is really easy to find people and even start teaching them.  But it is really difficult to help them progress.  So, we have already lots of new people, but now the hard part is next.
            We have made progress with Frère Jean-Paul and his huge family.  We have a baptism date with his wife and 2 more of his kids.  And nearly the entire family was at church on Sunday, a total of 12 came.  So yeah, there’s even more than that.
            Um, I’m trying to think of other things… I have another chord to connect my camera, so I’m going to try to send pictures again.  Also, for the marathon training, Elder Hansen and I decided that on my last p-day, since there is a 6 mile run on the program, we are going to wake up and run to the other missionary apartement.  And when we get there they will have breakfast waiting for us.  I’m pretty sure it will be 6 miles.

Je vous aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eric's email of July 14th 2011

So last p-day’s 4th of July party (that took place on the 7th of July) was nice.  We went to the Thompson's in the evening, and ate Americans’ favorite food: Mexican food!   I also came in half way a game of Quiddler.  I took over for Elder Hansen, who wasn’t enjoying the game very much.  He was already very behind, and there were only 2 hands left, so I still lost miserably.  But I will be expecting to have a Quiddler throw down, especially with Grandma Carlene.
            Then on Saturday we got to meet Président and Soeur Jameson!  Sister Jamerson reminds me of Sister Willis.  Not just because they have similar hairstyles, but their comportement too, which is a good thing.  And I think you’ve read the little biography thing when they got called on a mission, so I won't repeat those details.  We just had a little meeting on Saturday morning from 9 to 11 to get to know them.  I opened it and then bore my testimony and turned the time over to them.  President Jameson told us how when he was on his mission, that when the mission president got changed in the middle of it, some missionaries were wondering what would happen and if things would change and etc.  So, he compared it to when Josué (Joshua) replaced Moses.  Not to put him on the same plane as them or whatever, but we read some verses at the end of Deuteronomy and at the beginning of Josué.  We read the phrase “fortifie-toi” and “prends courage”(be strong and of good courage) about half a dozen time.  Well, I don’t think I’m explaining this as good as President Jameson did, so the point of the story is this: it’s a new era, but don’t freak out and just keep working.  Yeah.
            Also, I got my exit interview.  President Jameson isn’t sure that he will be coming back before I go, so we did it after the meeting on Saturday.  Basically, we talked about how my testimony has grown on my mission, a bit about the Atonement and the Doctrine of Christ, and marriage (oh la vache!). (holy cow)  But not very much about that last one.  He basically told me, that it’s not a race, but also don’t put it off because it’s very important.  And, I got a new temple recommend!  And its in French, so that’s cool.  He also explained to me, that when he was a stake president, he got a letter in the mail, informing him that he would be released in a couple months.  So, with the knowledge that the end was coming, he still had to “sprint across the finish line”, comme on le dit souvent.  (as the saying goes) So, even though I’ve had my release interview, I still got lots of time to do lots of work.
            Also, a funny thing happened to Elder Wagman that Saturday afternoon.  I don’t know if he will share this in his email.  He was a good sport about it though.  We were walking in Manguier, which is a very muddy quartier.  It was after it had rained.  So it was even more muddy and slippery than usual, and at one point, there was a river flowing through the quarter, where there hadn’t been one last time I was there.  The water was going down slowly, but most of the path was covered in water.  But we still wanted to get to our rendezvous on time.  So, Elder Wagman went for it, only seeing pieces of land every once in a while.  What we didn’t know, was that to the left was a very sudden slope.  As Elder Wagman was walking, he stepped a little bit too far to the left, lost his footing, and fell about stomach deep into the muddy water.  So, we got to the next piece of visible dry-ish ground, waited there a little bit, some guy led us a different way to where we wanted to go, then we found our way back to our rendezvous with Frère Patrice (who is doing his final exams at Université de Soie this week), and then he got him some soap to kind of wash his shirt.  So that was a funny and educating experience.
            Bastos 2 has also started up the choir again.  And of course, I’m playing piano.  I don’t know what they are going to do for piano players when I leave.  On Sunday they sang, “Oui, Je Crois en Christ” or “I Believe in Christ” with all 4 parts.  This Sunday we are supposed to sing “Si l’Envie Nous Prend de Blamer” or “Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy”.  We need to find some easy hymns to do.  Or if you know any hymn arrangements that has an easy singing part, that could help us.  I don’t know how to lead a choir.
            Oh, and we also got transfer news on Monday, and guess what!  No changes in Yaoundé!  So, I’ll be finishing with Elder Wagman, and 9 transfers in Bastos!  But, we will make the complete transition into Bastos 2, and starting from next week, those other quartiers of Bastos 1 we will give to Elder Tingey and Elder Hansen.
            Also, we may or may not have a baptism on Saturday.  Soeur Marie-Sylvie is ready, but we are just waiting for her husband to come and talk to the branch president.  He gave his OK for her to be baptized, but he wants to come talk to one of the responsables first, which is normal.  And Frère Maurice, is the maybe.  President Jameson told us that when he was in Lubumbashi, several times he found that the father would come into the Church, and say that his family would follow him later.  So, he encouraged us as companions to read the Family: Proclamation to the World brochure together (which we finished in our comp study today), and focus more on the family.  So, that is basically the situation with Frère Maurice.  His baptism had been planned for this Saturday, and we didn’t get a rendezvous at his house with his family until this Friday.  So, Elder Thompson basically told us to follow the Spirit.  And, Elder Wagman and I were planning on doing splits that day.  So, its kind of complicated, and we’ll see what happens.
            Last thing I have time to write about, is Frère Jean de Dieu.  He came to Church for the first time on Sunday last weekend, even in a white shirt and tie!  He told us he loved the classes and such.  On Tuesday we talked about the rest of the 1st lesson, he told us about dreams he has had, and the common thing he learns in every dream, is that he should read the Book of Mormon more and more!  So I would say those are good dreams.  He absorbs everything we teach, and accepted the baptismal invitation for August 6th, horray!  He’s the man, because even though he his having family and financial problems, he said “je n’aime pas me plaindre."  (I don't like to complain)  I would say he has a bit of room to complain and be down, but he isn’t.  He told us its even hard to find food sometimes right now, and he has to look for a new place to live, but he smiles and laughs during our rendezvous, and told us he can’t go back because of how marvelous this message he has found is.
Je vous aime,
-         Elder Eric Palmer
p.s.  I have one question, because there is a member here who goes to Angola sometimes.  Where is Elder Leake?  Because I think Angola is in the Mozambique mission.
Oh, and one more thing.  From now one, p-day is Monday.  So the next time Elder Wagman and I will do internet is not this Monday, but the next one.
To Mark:
Yeah, last week I realized I forgot to report on running.  So the week before, we ran on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings.  This week so far on Monday and Wednesday, and we played a bit of basketball this morning.  We keep missing Tuesday, because Monday my alarm resets because I have to take the "puce" (I have no idea) out of the phone and put in another one to send a text message to the assistants to send in the weekly numbers, and when I put the old one in it resets the alarm and everything, and I forget.  But I had one question.  Are there going to be any hills in this marathon or training?  Because here, we rarely run on flat ground, up and down, up and down.  I hope I don't get shin splints.  At the end there is a big up.  Its hard.  And I think our run right now is a bit over 2 miles.

Je n' ai mange aucun moule ici.  Je crois qu'ils existent, la plupart de la nourriture européenne est ici, mais nous n'en mangeons pas.

Last words of wisdom... did I already say read the Book of Mormon a lot?

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
To Anne:
(It is Youth conference this weekend-next year will probably be Trek-do you want to help?)  VERY YES!!!! I would want to help with trek next year.  I was actually talking about that with the others here the other day.

(What is the translation of song "Se Pa Pou Dat)  I have no idea what that song is about, its not in French.  (It is his favorite Cameroonian pop song)
That scripture would be like Cameroon, just leaving out a few other details.  (Mosiah 18-waters of Mormon)

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Eric's email of July 7th, 2011

If time goes by this fast after my mission too, I’ll be a grandpa in the rest home in no time.
            Had another pretty good week.  We now have 3 baptismal candidates.  The first one is Soeur Marie-Sylvie.  She’s the one that I thought has been ready for baptism for at least a month.  But like she said, she would tell us when she would be ready for baptism.  She’s getting ready for the 16th of July.  Elder Tingey is going to interview her on Sunday.  She is basically, legit.  And she is turning into a coordonnée machine.  Oh, and yesterday morning we also helped her wash oranges that she sells.  Interesting fact, she buys oranges that come from Nigeria, because a huge bag of them is 13000 francs, whereas the same huge bag of oranges from Cameroon are 20000 francs.  Allegedly, the oranges they grow in Cameroon are grown in some kind of fancy pants way.
            The other one getting ready for the 16th of July is Frère Morris.  He is a reading machine.  He has gotten through Jacob 5 now, not an easy one.  We are still working on getting to his house, but he said that his kids are going to start coming to Church.  And now I am very convinced that he has a legit testimony of the Restoration, to go along with his in depth understanding of everything we have taught him.
            The other one is Frère Remi.  He has a date for the 6th of August.  But, Elder Wagman and I haven’t even taught him yet.  He is the younger brother of Sister Bala, of Bastos 2.  He has been coming for about a month now, but he lived really far away, at a place called Nkol-Bisson.  Elder Tingey and Hansen have taught him a few times, and they taught him again on Sunday after church.  So they set a baptismal date with him, but found out that he is know living with the Bala family, which is in our sector.  We are going to see him of Saturday.  So I’ll tell you more about him next time.
            This evening we are all going over to the Thompsons for a 4th of July party thing.  Elder Tingey also thinks we are going to get transfer news, but I don’t think so.  I seriously can’t believe how fast this transfer went.  Oh, and also if I can’t still get this computer to send pictures, I’ll send some chez les Thompson. (No pictures)
            And on Saturday morning at 9 AM, we have having a short meeting with the new Président and Soeur Jameson!  And also, Elder Thompson has also informed me that I will also get my release interview this weekend, because right now President Jameson doesn’t plan on coming back before I go.  That was a surprise.  So I’ll also tell you about that next week.
            Elder Wagman and I will be going on splits again tomorrow.  One of us will work with Pierre Bissalla again, and the other will work with Brice Makanda.  And Bastos 2 has also started up choir again.  So in order for us to be able to be there for that, I got them to do splits with us once a week.  I think it is a fair trade.  I’m playing the piano of course.
            Elder Wagman and I have also narrowed down our teaching pool a little bit.  Just because our sector was so big and we had too many people to handle, we had to make some decisions.  So we have more focus now on those people who are progressing more than others.  Our new ami de l’Eglise Hervé came to church on Sunday, as well as Frère Victore, coordonnée from Frère Jean-Paul.  Oh, and we also noticed something really weird.  So our sector right now covers Bastos 2 and part of Bastos 1.  In Bastos 2, we have 8 investigators that our male, and zero that are women (except for a couple, but we haven’t seen them recently because they don’t really seem to care).  In Bastos 1, we have 9 investigators that are female, and 2 legitimate male investigators.  So the point is, it seems like in Bastos 2 we only teach men, in Bastos 1 we only teach women.  I don’t know why, but I thought that was interesting.
            Well that’s about it.  Oh, and I heard Elder Wilkins, (Eric's MTC Companion) who is in Pointe-Noire, finally got his flight plans.
Je vous aime bien,
- Elder Eric Palmer
(Our stake youth conference is next week and we are having a missionary theme.  Mark asked Eric what the youth need to know before their mission)  Yeah, Mom told me about that mission president thing.  The best thing I would tell them, is to read the whole Book of Mormon before their mission, and to study Preach My Gospel.  It would stink to do missionary work without the Book of Mormon.

(Mark wanted ti wish the Thompson's a "Happy Canada Day" and to find out if they watch one of our favorite TV shows from Canada, Corner Gas?)  I didn't see your Canada email til now.  But Elder Thompson asked me on Sunday (jokingly... I think...), "What's wrong with your dad?"  Basically, he was surprised that you watch Corner Gas.  So, that might answer your question.

Yes, we are to study our foreign language if we have one every day of our mission jusqu'à la fin. (To the end.)  And yes, I think I have improved from 6 months ago.  Recently, because I spent a day with Elder Thompson, I think I'm sounding better too.  He told me that the main improvement I could make is pronouncing "u", and make sure it doesn't sound like "ou".  He told me also that there is barely a difference between "u" and the "u" with a teepee accent.  I don't feel like figuring out how to type that letter right now.

ENREGISTRE MES COURS LE ONZE JUILLET!!!!!!! (Eric is reminding his father to register Eric for fall classes.)   I'm not sure if that is the most correct word.

Oh, and I also found out the name and artist of 1 of my 2 favorite African songs.  The artist is named "Alain Cave", and his song is called something like "Se Pa Pou Dat".  They guy who wrote it said he wasn't completely sure on the song name.  But you can look that up if you want.  He is a Cameroonian.  (We cannot figure out what this song means.)

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer
(Have you heard from Spencer in New Zealand?  What are his plans after his mission?)  I haven't heard from Elder Aldridge in a while, he stopped emailing me cuz he said it was the mission rule.  I did send him a letter in the mail a couple of months ago, I hope it got to him.  I don't know how many letters have been sent from Cameroon to New Zealand.  So I don't know anything about him right now.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Eric's Email of June 30, 2011

Well, if I can't get my darn camera to get pictures on this computer this time, I don't know what to do.  I plugged the camera in with a USB thing and its not recognizing.

So, you may have gotten an email from the Thompson's yesterday.  So, I type my email 1 and a half times, the computers died on us twice, and eventually couldn't even stay on for more than 2 seconds.  Basically, I was in the process of telling you about Tuesday, which was one of the most unique days of my mission.  Elder Thompson was my comp that day because Elder Wagman was malade. (sick)  It was sweet, because I got driven around all day.

I think we had a total of 7 rendezvous that day.  2 members were very ravi-ed to have Elder Thompson in their home.  A new person showed up to the church, and it was basically a perfect lesson that they should've filmed for "The District" movies.  Too bad most of my lessons are like that.  Also had some not good lessons that day, including one with a former catholic who turned not-christian and didn't want to listen.  One of those wanting to die moments.  Um, Elder Thompson has an awesome accent.

Like you know, the Headlees went home.  We are now under the jurisdiction of the Jamesons.  I think we are supposed to see them next weekend.  Oh, and Elder Acorda (previous companion) goes home soon, but hopefully we'll go down to Douala for President Jameson, and I could see him before he goes home, as well and Elder Mbuyi (know him from Pointe-Noire) and people in Douala one more time.

Um, what else can I tell you really quick.  So today was good.  Recently we've been getting Bonabéri style numbers.  Not quite as much as there, that means lots of lessons.  But we are getting more recently.  We saw recent convert, Soeur Nina today.  She is getting ready to teach the lesson to la Societé de Secours on Sunday, her first time to do her calling as a teacher.  And its ironic, because her lesson is in the book "La Sainte des Derniers Jours", Ch. 33, which is called "Se Préparer à Enseigner".  So the first thing she will teach is how to prepare to teach.  Weird.

Oh, and just so Dad knows, Elder Hansen and I have been running.  (In training for the 1/2 marathon) We went every day since Monday except Thursday.  Elder Hansen guesses that it could be 2 miles.  And we added a little bit on the end, so I think that is a safe guess.  Today, I actually didn't want to die at the end, which was nice.  Elder Hansen did cross country in high school, and he said he never ran the length of a half marathon.  Hmmm.

Well, that's about it.  I've never had Na'an (Indian bread-we love it at home) according to my knowledge.  I'll keep trying with pictures, sorry.  (Do you have enough contacts/solution for the rest of your mission?)  Contacts and all that will be fine.  Did we buy my 6 months extra of contacts, because I'm going to have a whole box of each left over?  (Do you remember the flash flood in Star Vally-it is very wet there again this year) Yes I remember that flash flood.  That was a long time ago.  Are you sure I was only 6.  When did they move into that cabin, because I still remember the mushroom cabin. (Island Park, Id)  Oh, and the  baptism will be on the 16th instead of the 2nd, we are planning on having Marie-Sylvie and Maurice.

Je t'aime,
- Elder Eric Palmer