"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."

Monday, October 15, 2012

2012 October 15th email

What is up, family?  Before I start, let me give a shoutout to Dave, who is getting married.  Congratulations Dave.

So, yeah, (Elder) Knight's tag is just a little bit different, and that's because it has been Albanized.  I soon will also have an Albanized name tag as well, and if I serve in Macedonia or Montenegro, I'll probably get name tags in Macedonian or Serbian as well, which would be pretty cool.  So I think it's called a syflaqe, otherwise I don't really know how to spell it, but it's meat with lettuce and fries all wrapped in like pita bread or something, it's pretty good, so maybe google syflaqe and add 'albania' and maybe you'll find it.

 I don't know if the Boydells have a blog, I'll ask them if they have one tomorrow during district meeting.  Yeah, I can tell you now that World of Coke doesn't have Fanta exotic, because Fanta Exotic is illegal in the United States because it's too good.  (Favorite soda)

So, does that mean Jake plans on going on a mission at age 18?  Congrats to Courtney (Carter) for getting her mission call, (to Tahiti).  Yeah, I think I remember Gabbi and Tess telling me something about doing something international, so that's pretty cool, I think a few other friends from BYU told me they're trying to do something like that too, so that's pretty cool.  So, did Brother McKeon move back to Virginia?  I remember when I was a midget when he was my Young Men's President for like 6 months, and that was 8 years ago, that's kinda weird.  I don't think I ever really affiliated with the Whitley's when I was in Young Men's, but the name is familiar.  (Former ward members who visited Innsbrook ward on Sunday)

(Mom's questions)  Yeah, so about the Mercedez, they sure look like shiny new cars.  Yeah, a lot of people smoke here.  Yeah, the ceiling is low, and the zone leaders in my district that picked that house are basically midgets, so they saw no problem.  Yeah, we have no issue with water temperature, I usually have hot water, but the water pressure is very inconsistent, but what can you do?  We usually have around 50 members in sacrament meeting.  Most of the members are the only members in their family, but there is one family that I think has 6 kids, the most I have seen so far. 

Yeah, I think the language is coming along, hopefully.  The members are pretty nice about it, but it can be frustrating when you're the only missionary that can't understand.  The thing is, when teaching, I understand what (Elder) Knight is saying, but the natives, I just slap myself in the head.  But I think I understand people a lot better, and I think I know all the grammar principles I need to know, I just need to master using them.  And them comes the slang that people say usually that I have had to learn, and that's getting better as well, so avash avash.

So, dad, if you were able to explain the Pearl of Great Price in one or two sentences, could you do that for me?

Alright, dad's questions:

1:  The MTC does kinda seem forever away, I can't believe I'm approaching 2 weeks in the field already, it's kinda weird.  Yeah I was going to have you send these emails to my MTC teachers, but I can do that myself.

2:  Yeah, each companionship has a cell phone, and I won't get the privilege of using it until about a month when I understand Albanian a lot better, so (Elder) Knight uses it most of the time.  For internet access we go to an internet cafe.

3:  Transportation?  We walk.  Yeah.

4:  Breakfast, I had corn flakes.  Lunch, well yesterday we ate at the Boydells, as we do every Sunday, and honestly we don't really have dinner, we just stay working until 9, return, and eat what we got in the fridge.

So the Jazz are doing alright in pre-season, eh?  What's the starting five?  Please tell me Favors is starting, otherwise Corbin is ruining the future of our team.  But whatever.  I guess with the old refs back the Cards are playing like they usually are, at least the Skins won.  And the Nats got upset, eh?  Figures.  I guess this is what I get for now being a fan of the Lakers, Yankees, or Patriots....

So Eric, you play both JV and Varsity?  Not bad for someone who didn't play a lick of high school soccer.  Do you think that if I try out post-mish I can make the team?  I'm just kidding, don't get mad.  By the way, another Elder in my district, Elder Kay, his brother also served in DRC Kinsasha,(same mission as Eric) but he came home just before you left, April 2009, so you never knew him.  Still, though, it's weird.

Jake, you're more interesting than you think.  When do you turn 16 again?  Look out.

Andrea, I'm glad you love everything that you do in life.  Keep that happy attitude going and love cotillion.  (Sarcasm)

And today, for P-day, our district actually went to Macedonia today, which was pretty fun.  Macedonia is definitely not like Albania, the people of Macedonia actually check your passport before we went into Macedonia.  It was fun though, I bought a Macedonian flag.  I made it a goal to get all 4 flags of my mission before I go home, so yeah, it was a ton of fun.  That's why you got this email a lot later today than last week, because I just got back from it.

Ok, so I think that's about it for this week.  I want to send pictures, but I think I need to use a flashdrive on these computers, so I might have to mail you an SD card, so I'll get to that soon.  Ok,  love you all, stay awesome, and I can't wait to hear from you next week.

Monday, October 8, 2012

2012 October 8th email


Alright, before I start anything, let me apologize about the
jacked up phone calls that came about while I was in Vienna.  I don't
know what happened, but the phone just stopped working, I
could hear you but you couldn't hear me.  Why does that always happen
with me?!  So, Eric, we were talking about what you did your first day
in the Congo, you were talking about Castaway, and that's when it
stopped working.  So, I hung up and tried again to call Eric a few
times, didn't work, so then I thought I'd call mom to see if that
would work.  It didn't. So, I just had to wait it out until now to
let you know that I am alive, which I  am, and things are good,
so yeah you know that.

Alright, so, Albania is straight up the [poorest] place I have ever
been to.  And I love it!  Seriously, I don't have to worry at all
about being robbed or anything, and these people are so nice.  But
yeah, things are so far so good.  The apartment which I live in is good,
except the ceiling is really small, (I think he means low) I've already
hit my head like 3 times already.  My trainer's name is Elder Knight,
from Texas, he's pretty cool, he's been in Albania for 6 months, and
has the language down really well, which I don't.  My first area is
called Elbasan.  In our first day we were in Tirana, and while doing
interviews with President  Ford, we went out with experienced Elders
and did street contacting and tracting.  Man, the people here are so nice!
Yeah, they rejected us, but they are a lot nicer to us than people in Virginia
are to us.  But yeah, in our first day in Elbasan we went tracting, and we got
into one woman's house, her name is Leila (I think), and she's been
taught before, and we taught about the Restoration, gave her a Book of
Mormon, and we're working on a return appointment sometime this week.
We are also working with this woman named Mirella, who met with the
previous missionaries before us for quite a bit, and I think she wants
to get baptized, but she can't come to church because of work, but she's
really nice, and her daughter came yesterday to church, and we're
meeting with her tomorrow I think.  We also taught a lesson to this
guy named Eris, he's a friend of a member named Mundi who's been
trying to quit smoking, so we taught him about the Atonement, and
I think we'll meet with him again this week.

So, first Sunday at church was cool.  I had to go up to bear my
testimony, which was in broken Albanian because I am the Fringo
(greenie) and my Albanian stinks compared to the remaining elders in my
district.  So the other Elders I am with are Elders Kay and Lewis,
they're zone leaders and both have about 6 months left, and a senior
couple called the Boydells, who are British as well, and are
hilarious.  We have lunch at their house every Sunday after church,
and they cook some good stuff.

So, I haven't tried too many Albanian foods yet, but the one I have
tried is called Syflaqa (I think that's how you spell it),(I cannot find 
this anywhere, will have to ask him about it again.) and that is
like a salad with french fries wrapped around in a thick tortilla, and
it's really good.  They also have Fanta Exotic, which just might be
the greatest thing ever, and it's so dang sugary, and it's not in the
United States.  There is this one drink that every new guy has to try
because it's awful (kind of like that snail on a stick thing Eric ate)
called dhall, where it's just a mix of water, plain yogurt, and I
think salt.  Albanians love it, but Americans hate it, for good reason
because it sounds disgusting, but my MTC teacher, Bro. Hoxha, said it
makes his mouth water whenever we talk about it.  I was going
to ask you to send this email to my MTC teachers because I have their
emails and they wanted to see my first email, so I won't forget that
next week.

So, I actually saw two sessions of conference, so I am aware of the
fact that guys can go on missions at age 18 and girls can at 19, which
is awesome!  Now Gabbi, Tess and Ha Young can all get ready
to go on missions, someone tell them to get on that.  Also I have
a friend from BYU who really wants to go on a mission, so I am really
excited for her if she's gonna plan on going on a mission soon!

So, yeah, I feel like I had something else I need to say, but I
forgot.  What's up in the sports world?  Are the Jazz champion
favorites yet?  Have the Cardinals started losing since the NFL got
good refs again?  Nats champs yet?  How's school for everyone?  Eric,
are you engaged yet?

Ok, I think that's about it.  My P-day is Monday now, like the rest of
the field missionaries in the world, and you'll probably get my emails
before you wake up, so make sure to write Sunday nights!  Miss yall!

Ju dua,

Elder Palmer

(We had sent emails, he didn't see them before he wrote the above
 email.  This is his response to our emails...)

Ok, so I got your emails while writing my first one.  Dad, I'll start
with your questions.

As I said, after the plane we got picked up by President Ford and the
assistants and went to the mission home in Tirana, did President
interviews, went street contacting with experienced Elders and then
came back, had a testimony meeting, ate food, went to a hotel and
passed out.  The next day we went back to the mission home and got
assigned our trainers and areas and went our way.

Elder Knight is from Texas, loves football and basketball, has been
out for 6 months, yeah.  He likes the Suns and the Patriots and the
Rangers, he just likes sports, and were getting along just fine, and
we're having fun.

The language, yeah, I can't understand most of what the people
are saying.  Members are nice to me about it right now, for the most
part.  They say I speak it well, which is good and all, but I kinda
need to understand it if I want to communicate, but, avash avash.
(Slowly, slowly)

Elbasan is cool, but both Elder Knight and I are new to the area,
so we don't know squat really, everyone except one of the zone
leaders isn't familiar with the area.

Ok, I think I got everything answered.  So, I remember what I was
gonna say that I forgot.  So, I don't know if Eric had this, don't
think so, but there's a new training program, which for the first 3
months means more study time, which means more time inside than out
working, which kinda stinks sometimes cuz we feel useless, but we're
ok, we're not trying to waste any time.  Also, we have 2 hours for
lunch because there's "Siesta" time everyday, so they suggest not
waste that time outside.  But, life's good so far.

Jake, remember that going at 18 is only an option, so it's up to you.
I am too hyped that sisters can go at 19, I was talking with the other
Elders, we think the field is gonna explode with them now, which will
be sick.

Andrea, nice job at dance and at becoming section leader, (jazz band)
way to keep the Palmer name a good one!

Mom, thanks for the scripture, I actually think of that one a few
times a day for some reason. (Moses 1:39)

So, right now I am in Mosiah 29 in the Book of Mormon.  I feel really
good now that I know what exactly happened in Mosiah, because if you
told me to tell you a story from Mosiah before the mission, I wouldn't
have known one.  But yeah, avash avash, I am no longer kot
(worthless) when it comes to knowing stories out of the scriptures.

Oh yeah, something else about the members in church.  There's a 17
year old girl named Arrjeta who is a seminary teacher.  She's 17.
That's legit.

Ok, I think that's everything I got for this week, I love you all, and
I'll see you next week.

Elder Palmer

Oh, yeah, another thing, for being the poorest country in Europe, I
have never seen so many Mercedes Benz in one city.  That's all I gotta
say about that.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

2012 October 5th-email from President Ford

Elder Scott Palmer and his trainer, Elder Knight

5 October, 2012
 Dear Brother and Sister Palmer,
 Your son (Scott) arrived in Tirana on Wednesday after a long flight from Salt Lake City and the Missionary Training Center.  Sister Ford and I are delighted to have him as one of our missionaries serving in the Adriatic South Mission. We look forward to getting to know him well. We know he will be a great asset to the mission. He is assigned to serve with Elder Knight  in the Elbasan Branch.
We have attached some pictures of him with his companion, Pres and Sister Ford and his missionary group. The group picture includes from left to right: Sister Ford, Elders Wagstaff, Tanner, Pierce, Finklea, Hanks, Palmer, Sister Hoover, Elder Hoxha and President Ford.
Thank you for preparing your son so well for this experience of serving the Lord and sharing the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people here in the Adriatic South Mission.
 Since mail is such an important part of missionary life we encourage you to write each week.
 If you have questions or concerns about your son please contact us.
President Andrew Ford

 President and Sister Ford with Elders Palmer and Knight

 President and Sister Ford with the new missionaries in the
Adriatic South Mission on October 4th, 2012:
Sister Ford, Elders Wagstaff, Tanner, Pierce, Finklea, Hanks, Palmer, 
Sister Hoover, Elder Hoxha and President Ford