In the MTC - Sam is kneeling down in front on the left pointing to the Ivory Coast in West Africa

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 7, 2009

In this e-mail Sam mentions a missionary, Elder Kumbongo, who served in his mission and was released a month before Sam arrived. He is from Congo and he was accepted to BYU for the January 2010 semester, but needs help to pay for his flight to the States. His tuition has already been taken care of. This missionary converted a whole congregation of The Church of Christ. I guess he was pretty amazing.

The story from the Leavitts (the senior missionary couple) that he mentions: While driving at night (it's very dark there, no street or headlights), they came across a woman lying in the road who had been hit more than once. The missionaries that were with them wanted to get out and help the woman, but the couple wouldn't let them because of the high threat of AIDS. They parked their car in front of the woman, so no one else would hit her, and help came for her shortly thereafter.

Finally, Sam was able to get more pictures to us, which are posted after his e-mail. He didn't not send any explanation, so any captions are me guessing.

Hey there everyone! It was great hearing from you all again, comme d'habitude. So we had some big transfers over here in Togo this past week but nothing that affected me too much. Elder Bowman did get transferred which was too bad but he'd been here along time and he was ready to go. So we have a new Elder in the appartment, Elder Djoman, he's from Cote D'Ivoire and he's really cool, we get a long great already. It will really be good for us to have a french speaker in the appartment, when we were all american we had a hard time always speaking french but that should get better now. Elder Skousen our zone leader left to Cote Divoire too so it was sad to see him go too but his replacement Elder Kouassi is a way good missionary too. I now over my 4 month mark in Hedzranawoe too so I wouldn't be surprised if I left soon also.

But me and Elder Halterman are still having a great time for now. We ended up with 6 canidates ready to be baptized this saturday and some others ready for the saturday after that. We are just praying now that the interviews will go well but I dont think there should be any problems. They are all really good investigators who have been coming to church every week. We're baptizing the kids in one family (Brigette 17, David 12, and Larissa 9) who come every week with a member. Their mom wanted to be baptized too but the 1 hr+ walk to church from where they live is too much for her to make it so we're praying for her too. The sacrafice some of the members make to come to church sometimes is really inspiring and makes me realize how lucky I was growing up.

Thats really cool about Elder Kumbongo! I never actually met him or anything, he finished about a month before I got here, but I heard he was a really good missionary, in fact, he was Elder Djoman's trainer. That would be great if you helped him get to BYU, I had actually heard that he got accepted! Thats awesome! (Although the part about the arranged marriage with the sister missionary is a little weird haha)

Haha ya I took out some money this last week. We ate out to celebrate thanksgiving/my bday again, and then to say goodbye to Elder Bowman. I wont let it become a habit tho haha.

Wow I haven't heard that story from the Leavitts but thats crazy. We really dont see them that often at all, about 5 min once every two weeks to give us our money (unless there is a problem). They really work hard, its hard to be a senior couple here.

Haha are there mosquitoes here?? Dang they are all over the place. If it wasnt for my doxy i'm sure I would have gotten malaria a hundred times by now haha. But nothing too bad. The heat is getting up there tho. I dont know about the other days but I heard today was 96° F so its getting pretty hot. I'm getting extremely thankful for the air conditioning haha.

Also do you think you could forward me the Leavitt's journal? I think that would be very interesting to read if I had the time.

I think I will just end with my testimony that I know without a doubt that this is the true church of Jesus Christ restored on the earth today. I know with all my heart that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that with the Lord's help, there is nothing I cannot do for him in this work. I feel his love and support every day and I can't help but smile. I'm extremely happy and would not be anywhere else.

Ok, well I think thats all I got! Talk to you next week!


Elder Bertoch

PS Great job, Jack!

The four roommates: Sam, Elder Halterman, Elder Bowman (who was transferred this week), and Elder Carver
Sam and Elder Halterman (his companion)

In case it can't be read very well - that is Sam's tag

I believe the missionary in front is Sam's former companion, Elder Kouakou

Sam with his mission president and his wife.

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