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

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here's Sam's e-mail for the week. Elder Golden is a General Authority, First Quorum of the Seventy, and the First Counselor in the Africa West Area Presidency. He is South African from Johannesburg. He has had assignments all over Africa and other parts of the world. Matt is Sam's cousin from Las Vegas.

Hello again everyone!

Well it was another great week to be a missionary. It started off with me getting your package which was great, thank you very much! The cookies were a great idea and i even found the will power to share with the other missionaries! They were delicious!

So zone conference was pretty awesome. Elder Golden didnt come with anything prepared and ended up going into a lot of deep doctrine about the laws of justice and mercy. It was extremely interesting and gave me a whole new perspective about the atonement. Something I've realized on my mission is that the atonement is the whole reason I'm here. Christ sacraficed himself for everyone on this earth wheter they know it or not, whether they accept it or not. I'm here to tell them about it, to show them how to accept it- by having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost, and persevering to the end and going to the temple. That is the pathway to the Celestial Kingdom and we are here to help people find it.

After conference ended I was lucky enough to be chosen to be interviewed by Elder Golden. He thanked me for my service, gave me some great advice, and made me promise to write you and tell you that he says that i'm a very extraordinary missionary. He says hi.

Also at zone conference I finally found out that Elder Halterman and I were companionship of the month in December (we finally got the newsletter with our pictures on it). That was really cool too.

Haha training is still going well. I'm basically done training now- hes a fast learner so i dont even think of him as a new missionary too much anymore. We work very well together.

I'm pretty much used to the heat. I'll be freezing cold when I get back to the US. Its hot at night but its not bad if you have a fan blowing right on you. The other night was killer though cuz the power went out so there was no way to cool down. We were sweating like crazy and i didnt sleep much that night. Hmmm...I havent checked in a while but i would say i probably weigh around 155-160lbs. My district leader, elder ghisquiere (french) has lost 66 lbs since he started 11 months ago haha.

Ok well I think thats all I got! I love you all and am looking forward to next week! Thanks for the email also Leslie! Let me know where Matt gets his call! We'd love to have him out here in Benin!


Elder Bertoch
This a picture of the 12 missionaries in Benin, Elder and Sister Golden (on the left), the mission president in the center and Elder and Sister Leavitt (senior couple; on the right). Sam is in between Elder Golden and the mission president.

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