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.

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

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