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

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 21, 2010

I'm glad to hear you had a good day yesterday dad! I was able to wish Elder Leavitt a good day and then couldnt remember if i told you that last week. So, HAPPY FATHERS DAY!
I'm glad you had so much fun at the reunion! North Carolina, sounds like an exciting one to miss. We better have a good one planned for when I get back! And a new TV? And another trip to the mountains?! You guys are just living the life aren't ya?
Anyway, I had a pretty eventful week this week. First, Monday night President came and did the interviews at our appartment. He was very impressed. He kept telling me in my interview how clean the appartment was and how great the spirit was and he is very proud of me. The next day at zone conference his good mood continued. He said Benin is the most obedient zone in the mission and he is extremely happy with all of us. He talked a lot about obedience and he used Alma 23 and Alma 24 to talk about the true process of conversion which was very interesting. There is also a new thing in the mission where two missionaries in each zone are recognized and given a certificate for their outstanding obedience and missionary performance. President chose me and Elder Tshibasu here in Benin which made me blush. (I kept trying to figure out a way to say that without sounding prideful, but i dont think i succeeded.) Anyyway, so now our photos are up in the mission bureau.
Then, Friday, the zone went to "super p day". All the missionaries went to Ouidah. I got friendly with some Pythons at a voodoo python temple, saw the first catholic church in Africa, learned about slavery and voodoo at a museum, ate good food, and then walked the "the trail of sorrows" to the "port of no return" that all the slaves from west africa had to walk to get on the ship that goes to America or Europe. It was all extremely interesting and I took some really good photos that maybe you'll be able to see one day in the future.
Also, Benin has gone absolutely insane. The rainy season has finally arrived and when it rains here it RAINS. Monday night it POURED rain for about 5 hours straight. Elder Geisler and Elder Yao got caught out in it and they had to wade home through water that got to knees. They got some funny pictures of less intelligent motocycle riders still trying to drive and then falling in the water haha. Then, wednesday morning we woke up at 4am to POUNDING thunder and lighting. It was super loud, like i actually had to cover my ears. The lightning would completely light up the sky too, it was pretty cool. Anyway, so now missionary work has become much more exciting. We kept to jump from stepping stone to stepping stone in our area because everything is under water.
Finally, the Leavitts did another apartment inspection this morning and we won. So now we get to pick our prize so we'll think hard about that. Apparently there is a city completely built on stilts over the water so maybe we'll see about going there.
Benin is not even in the world cup but everyone here supports whatever african country happens to be playing. Too bad none of them are good haha. I never found soccer that interesting, and i still dont.
Well, thats all i got. No word on transfers, apparently there will be a big one in the middle of August so we'll see. My last Benin visa expires at the end of August so i gotta go before then. I looooooooove my area, all my investigators and above all my branch. I have such a strong testimony of this Gospel and of the change it can bring into peoples lives. I love you all and I hope you have a great week.
Elder Bertoch

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