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

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

November 22, 2010

Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone! (November 26) This year best birthday email goes to... Jackson! -his sneak attack on dad's age sealed the deal.
Things are still going good here. Unfortuneately I havent gotten the package yet but my fingers are crossed that I'll get it before Friday. I planning on taking my district out for pizza next monday to celebrate so can you guys make sure i have money in my account? Thanks!

Doesnt look like anything special will be happening for thanksgiving though. Sadly this year there are not any americans in the ward to invite us over. No biggie, i'll eat more than my share of rice and tomatoe sauce to compensate.
Theres another Harry Potter movie?! I swear thats like the third one thats come out since i started my mission.

Hmmm...I think i could end up staying here until the end of January. Actually for the moment I think thats what i see happening. Whatever happens, I probably only have one area left after this one (maybe two if I'm lucky).

So the campaigns for the elections started again last saturday. The current President (Gbagbo Laurent) against the challenger (Allassane Ouattera). As far as I can tell, it should be a pretty even race. It sounds like all the non ivoriens will end up having to return to quarantine this week- tomorrow we are having mission conference so they will give us the details then. But things are still quiet, if it werent for the stickers, t shirts, and billboards everywhere you wouldnt even know there was an election going on.

We went to Grand Bassam (the city on the beach, about a 45 min bus ride away) two more times this week to do interviews. Baptismal interviews are always very rewarding to do. I love talking to baptismal canidates bear their testimonies and express their committment to follow Jesus Christ. Each one is always a unique experience that strengthens my testimony.

The music here is pretty much the same. In well developed wards they have choirs that sing the hymns very well. At church we only sing hymns but at activities sometimes the choir will sing traditional/gospel type music clapping and dancing and everything which is cool to see.

The young mens programs does not really exist yet in our ward. I dont think they ever meet during the week except rarely for special activities. Like last monday we played against them in soccer. Our ward doesnt really have to many young men yet so i guess thats kind of the problem.

The work is still going well. We added two more baptismal dates this week our zone is also going to baptize like fifteen people this saturday also (like a first for the zone of Koumassi) so i'm excited. I only hope that i wont spend too much time away.
Yesterday there was Stake Conference for all of west Africa. It was a projection that we watched at the stake center led by Elder Oaks. It was pretty cool, I ended up giving up my seat to a member (there are nine wards in the stake so it was pretty full) but what i saw was good- one speaker talked about the importance of smiling. Very important, especially for missionaries.

Well, i probably had other things i was going to say but my mind just went blank. Sorry! Have a good week and you will all be in my prayers! Thanks for the pictures too! They made me smile! Love you all!

Elder Bertoch

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