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

Friday, August 20, 2010

August 2, 2010

Hey Family!

So the transfer went fine! I'm here safe and sound in "Yup City" living the life in the heart of Abidjan. I'll give you a list of first impressions:

My Companion- Elder Boty. Ivorian. Short guy but a hard worker (so we'll get along fine), has been on his mission for almost a year, likes to laugh and talk fast. Dont really have any problems with him.

My Appartment- On the fourth story of a building. We never have running water because there is not enough pressure to get it up there. Bucket showers. Other than that its not too bad, we cleaned it pretty well today too. All four of us (Me, Boty, Starita and his comp from congo) were all just transferred here so nobody really knows their areas yet mais ca va aller.

My Ward- Such a relief. All the pressure of being in a small branch is gone. Nobody even pays us much attention, except if they are introducing one of their friends to us (a common occurence). The Bishop is awesome and very invested in missionary work. A great source of joy in my life right now.

My area- Dont know it too well yet. I'm actually taking over for Elder Zufelt who was in my zone at the MTC. He has three people with baptismal dates for August and we also had eight people at church so things seem to be going well here. The members give many contacts too. I worked a little bit with our DMP and a ward missionary so we're starting to get things down.

So anyway i love the Ivory Coast. The people here are just so stinking nice and welcoming. I didnt realize how cold the Beninese were until we did some tracting here. The following happened like almost every time:

knock at the door

us-We say something to the effect of- Hello monsieur we are missionaries for the church and we have a message.

them-Come in, sit down.

-We sit down

them-Would you like water?

us-No thank you.

them-And the news? (an ivorian greeting)

Us- the news is good. Our message is simple. God loves us...

Wow, it makes missionary work so much easier. Finding investigators is really not hard at all. And everyone speaks french. So awesome

SO this week is pretty much packed for us. Tomorrow we have zone conference, wednesday and saturday mornings we are practicing a sketch with the zone to perform at the Baily's goodbye party (they are leaving in a week, their replacements the Googlers or smthg like that will be here soon), and friday morning i have a leaders meeting with the zone. It will be hard to fit all of our rendez vous in.

Ok so on to your questions

The plane ride was fine. I was next to Elder Tshibasu. At the airport President was there to pick us up in the mission van. We went to the bureau and got matched up with our comps and headed out.

Nope, i havent gotten the packages yet. I told the Leavitts and they said theyd send them to me

I love Elder Canon! He was in my zone in the MTC but i havent seen him since ive gotten here. I hope that i'll see him soon.

Well one missionary went home for worthiness issues, the other two went home because while they were his companion they knew what was going on and didnt do anything.

Have fun at the wedding, let me know how it goes!

I love being a missionary! Getting here has just boosted me full of energy! I dont want a waste a second, there is just not enough time! I know that Heavenly Father loves us and listens to our prayers. I think it is here on my mission that i have learned the difference between just saying a prayer and really praying. I have really grown to love my Heavenly Father and open up to Him. Sometimes if i feel like i am having a conversation with him, telling him how im feeling and why, where i need to be blessed, asking for forgiveness and help etc. The biggest blessing of my mission might be the how much closer i feel to Him. I have prayed for and felt his love on many an occasion.

I love you all! Thank you so much for writing! Talk to you next week!

Elder Bertoch

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