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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 6, 2010 (Labor Day)

Yay! We got some pictures! His big problem this week is that they have so many investigators that they don't have time to contact new ones. Not a bad problem to have.


Sorry if this is a little short, but i used a lot of time working on pictures!

Ok, so things are going extremely well still! This might be the happiest time since I started my mission! Saturday we baptized two investigators, charlie and joceline which was nice. I got to baptize them and also helped baptize a one legged man whos in a different ward. It was pretty nice. We have already set eight baptismal dates for the month and we're planning on adding like three more this week. Really, i love the work here.

Yep Im still with Elder Starita. Elder Cunningham is in our zone too so the fearsome threesome is together again. They are the only americans i ever see plus elder Jerman who is assistant. P days we dont do too much, maybe family home evening the night but during the day we just clean and buy food for the week. Nothing exciting at all. CDI is a lot cooler than Benin and Togo I think, or maybe this year its not as hot anywhere.

As far as packages go, im doing fine! Just let me know when you start getting the bday one put together and i might have some requests.

Any cool stories this week? Umm, i dont think anything too exciting happened. We are still really seeing the fruits of our tracting and have so many progressing investigators we dont have time to contact new ones anymore. A good sign i think. There are still signs in CDI that the church is young just little weird things that still happen, like at baptisms they call the people that baptize "John the Baptist" which i find kinda creepy.

Thats not surprising that Bro Wright is an awesome WML. I wish we had him here! I hope i get a calling like that when i get back, maybe i could be his ward missionary.

Well thats all i got! I love you all! Enjoy the pictures!

Elder Bertoch

Marie Joseph (notice we're wet from filling up the font with rain water)

Font filled with rain water

Charlie and Joceline and my new companion Elder Aiba

Sam and the ward missionary

A fish for dinner

What was left of that fish head

Elder and Sister Baily
This was at the going away party for the senior couple in the Ivory Coast
Sam is dressed as Sister Baily

View from our apartment in Abidjan

Another view from our apartment in Abidjan

Ward building in Abidjan

August 30, 2010

Well, Sam's already got a new companion and he may be sending pictures next week, so stay tuned. We received another update on Elder Leavitt and it turns out he needs a knee replacement, so they will have to be released as missionaries. They were hoping to be reassigned, but the recovery for the knee will take too long.

Hey everyone!

Another good week gone by! Me and Elder Boty worked and set a lot of baptismal dates so now we have about seven fixed for the moment. Two SHOULD get baptized this week and the other five later this month. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

Other than that nothing too exciting happened this week. I had fun working hard and me and Elder Boty have really started to work well together. Which is actually too bad because he just got transferred today. This area was actually pretty hard for him because he grew up here until about 2007. So everyday we would run into his old friends or teachers or cousins or something. But now hes in a different zone. My new companion's name is Elder Aiba. Hes also Ivorien. I can tell already that he is a really good missionary. Hes been on his mission for about 11 months. In his old area he was district leader too. I actually have a pretty strong feeling that he is here to replace me, a lot of missionaries finish their missions this month (including Elder Bowman) so i wouldnt be surprised if I get transferred in about three weeks but we'll see. I'll enjoy it here while i can- the ward here is very focused on missionary work and there are at least three new investigators at church that they have invited every week and the bishop is very focused on missionary work too.

I love being a missionary still! And not to brag or anything, but since my year mark i've gotten pretty good at writing in my journal.

Thats too bad about the Leavitts! Hopefull i will see them again one day, i need to thank them again. Apparently they came on their missions just to take care of me and elder starita and geisler and as soon as we left they did too!

Hmm, i guess i've kinda been slacking on the pictures lately. I'll see what i can do next week.

Ok well I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Bertoch
August 23, 2010

Great story about having to fill the font with rain water because the water was cut. It must have been some rain storm to collect that much rain. God always provides a way. Sam also mentions Elder and Sister Leavitt, the senior couple in Benin, who are having to return to the states early to get Elder Leavitt's knee repaired. He was robbed and pushed to the ground in March and his knee has never been the same since.

Hey everyone!

Things are still going splendidly here. Zone conference was pretty good. Elder Sitati talked a lot about planning. After that we had to hurry back to the ward for our baptism (us and elder starita and his comp). Me and my comp had a baptism and elder starita and elder myinguila baptized a couple that finally got married after being investigators for a year. When we got to the baptism though, there was no water in the font. We asked why nobody had filled it up and they said that the water was cut. So we had no idea how we were going to do the baptism that was in an hour. Just then, it started pouring rain. So, naturally, my district and i started collecting all of the rain water in buckets and then throwing the water into the font. We did that for about thirty minutes until the rain stopped. Now we were soaking wet but there was at least some water in the font (a little less than knee level). So we decided to go ahead and do the baptism. Basically the canidates had to lay down on the bottom of the font to be completely immersed but after multiple tries for each person, everyone got baptized haha. It was quite the experience but showed that when God wants someone to be baptized, he will even provide the water.

We still working really hard here. We have at least five people that will get baptized next month so things are really moving. I still really love it. We had another good lesson with the Diomandés this week. We got the first counselor in the ward to write his testimony and put a picture of his family in the book and then we presented it to the Diomandés. They were very happy to recieve it. We talked to them about marriage too and they said that they are planning their wedding for December. That is so awesome (even if i probably will not be there).

I got your packages this week! Thank you so much! The white shirts are perfect, i wore one to church yesterday! Now i can throw away a lot of my old shirts.

That is way sad about the Leavitts! They were so awesome, i got here and really started missing them. That will be a big loss for the mission.

O well that is all i got this week! I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Bertoch