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

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 1, 2010

Elder Halterman was Sam's companion in Togo and Elder Carter was one of his roommates. I have since read that both of them are being transferred to Benin, but I don't know which one will be Sam's roommate. Elder Ghisquiere is from France, so Sam has been speaking only French lately. This will give him the opportunity to speak some English now and again.

Hey family!
Especially loved your letters this week, thank you very much! Very encouraging, you always know just what to write. This week was a little tougher but nothing Elder Bertoch can't handle. We've still been working hard and we were blessed to have 6 investigators at church on sunday. This week it has gotten HOT. I thought it was hot before but i think i tanned another four shades this week. We walk a lot under the sun but when its worse is during our appointments. We'll get there and go inside their little room and it will be like a hot box haha, just traps the heat. I think I sweat half my body weight in water every appt haha (dont worry i drink plenty of water). My companion is actually taking it worse- hes not used to different climates than Congo and I guess its not quite as hot there so hes always sweating right with me haha.
Yesterday we found out that Elder Ghisquiere is being transferred to Togo. Either Elder Halterman or Carver will come here to replace him. That would be really cool to see Elder Halterman again, we became pretty good friends. But I'll sure miss Elder Ghisquiere, he is a really good missionary, learned a lot from him in the last 6 weeks. He helped me become a better missionary and is a really good guy (for a frenchy).
Thanks so much for the package! I loved everything inside! The chocolate was melted but there wasnt a mess and I just stuck it in the freezer and it was all good! We all ate it as a district and they loved it! The soups are all awesome too! So far we have eaten the mac and cheese, cheesy potato, and the chinese one and they have been delicious!
Haha voodoo is all around here in Benin but so far we've been able to avoid it for the most part. When ever the voodoo people come out and do demonstrations a big crowd always gathers so whenever we see a big crowd we know not to get close. I've see one voodoo guy with a stick but we got around him with out any trouble. All the missionaries (especially the Africans) have stories about the things the voodoo witch doctors can do, like magic wise but I'm not really scared of them. I actually think it would be cool to meet one (but I'll be smart).
This week our investigator Victorine will be baptized. Shes was a little tough but now shes very excited. She's really great- shes smart, well off, she reads the book of mormon and gospel principles, and participates in Relief Society every week. She'll make a great Relief Society President in a year.
I love being a missionary. Thats a fact that never changes. The opportunity to talk to God's children about the gospel everyday is invaluable. I savor every chance I have to testify of our Savior Jesus Christ and of the restoration. Its hard to believe that it has already been 9 months since I started. I will cherish every moment and will not waste a second.
Ok well thats all I got i think. Love you all! Je vous parlerai encore la semaine prochaine! Que Dieu vous benisse!
Elder Bertoch
PS Also, i have repented and am now using myldsmail again so go ahead and email me here!
PPS Sounds like you had a great birthday, Jack! I'm sorry I missed it but we'll party it up when i get back! Love ya!

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