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

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

Hello everyone!

Glad to hear that you are all keeping busy! Birthday parties, nine mile runs, trips to St George, going to the NCAA tournament, sounds awesome. Just sad I'm missing all the fun haha! But I'm where i need to be, thats for sure.

Thanks for all the pictures too! It was great seeing everyone! Except you mom! I need pîctures with you in them too!!!

Haha my health has been just fine. I've been in pretty good shape lately, even in this sweltering heat. The Herrs told us one day when they came to visit us last week that it was 95 degrees out with like 90% humidity. Needless to say, I drink a lot of water.

So this week went by pretty well too. My companion is great, very charitable, and reminds me a lot of my trainer. We have been trying to work lately on finding new ways to find new investigators. We have decided to start and english class that we have gotten all of the members excited about, we'll be doing that this wednesday. We've also been working a lot with members, encouraging them to introduce them to our friends. Its been paying off and we've been recieving a lot of help from the members here. They are just awesome.

Yesterday, was kind of a disappointing sunday. People that needed to come to church didnt make it. But we'll keep on working with them. We have some great investigators, one of them, Moses, broke up with his girlfriend last week because she wasnt encouraging his decision to keep the law of chastity. Another one, Roi, is going to start closing his shop on sundays to keep the sabbath day holy. The faith people have here and the changes they make in their lives are just amazing. If only they would come to church too.

Got word that President is planning his next trip out here in April (if the airports open up again). Sounds like that might be the last time I get to see him before I head home. Thats too bad. I'm really going to miss President. As time starts winding I keep realizing more and more how much Im going to miss all of the people here. Africans are just so cool.

Anyway, nothing too exciting this week! Sorry! I love you all and I know that this church is true. I have a burning testimony of Gods love for each one of His children. Have a good week!

Elder Bertoch
March 7, 2011


First off, I was glad to hear you had good weeks! Glad you had a good birthday dad! And congratulations on becoming a deacon, Jack, thats awesome!

So my new companion got here on Tuesday. His name is Elder Tshiyoyo. Hes 23 and a very nice guy. Whats funny about him is that he was baptized in August 2009...while i was on my mission in Togo the first time. Im serving with a missionary that was baptized two months into my mission! That made me feel old. He still needs help getting the doctine down but hes a willing learner and very easy to be with.

Sounds like the non ivorians went through a lot to get out of the Ivory Coast. They got stopped several times and finally where threatend and robbed by rebels armed with knives. One of them broke Elder Tshibasu's badge in half and they kept saying they were going to burn the van they were driving in. Luckily they got out of there, drove all the way from Abidjan to Lome. The Mission President and his wife and the ivorian missionaries are still over there. Keep them in your prayers.

Things are still going well in my area. We have five baptismal dates set for the 19th so we'll try to get as many possibe to go through. We had a big breakthrough yesterday at church- Beni, the young men's presidents cousin finally came. He really is an awesome guy, had a great time at church so he'll be baptized the 19th. Before it was always hard for him to go to church because he has a crazy work schedule- he goes to work mon-sat from 7am- 6pm, comes home and eats, and then goes back from 8pm to 3am. Sleeps for a few hours and then goes back at 7. Insane. But he says he needs the money. He says he might have found a new job though so thank goodness.

Nathalie is doing a lot better too. At church sunday, we fixed a pretty definitive baptismal date for the 27th (a sunday). Another reason she had been hesitating is that she is kinda dating the district clerk and she doesnt want people to think that she is getting baptized for him. But we talked about it and her testimony and she feels more comfortable now. I really like her, shes one of those investigators where you cant help but become really good friends with.

Other than that nothing too exciting happened this week. Just getting ready for our next baptisms on the 19th. Praying that everything goes ok. Well thanks for all of the emails!


Elder Bertoch
February 28, 2011

Christmas at the Herrs (Missionary Couple)

Monique's baptism

The water they have to baptize in. Yuk!

Hey again!

So first I'll answer your questions:

We are flying into Ghana and I'm not sure how long our layover will be but I'm pretty sure we wont get to go to the temple.

I'm not sure where we are staying the Amsterdam, the couple didnt know. They said we might just sleep in the airport.

It looks like I'll be splitting up with everyone in Amsterdam. Elder Starita and Elder Zuffelt and Elder Cunningham fly into Portland and then Idaho/Utah. I'll be going to Detroit by myself.

Haha I join Elder Starita's work out on the roof every once in a while but I'm not as consistant as him. And as for the pictures, I'll try to send some more today.

That's cool about housing. I should be fine there. I'm sure its better than the apartments I've had for the last two years :). So, that should work very well. And, ya, I'll probably stay for spring and summer next year too.

Also, thanks so much for the pictures! I loved seeing you guys! A ten mile run, Dad?! Aren't you supposed to be turning 52 this week?!

So this week went very well. The dad and his two kids got baptized on saturday. That was a very emotional baptism for me, I loved watching his face light up as he smiled watching his two kids get baptized. And them him hugging them both while all three of them were still wet afterwards. Really it was priceless and one of the best moments of my mission. We also baptized another investigator, Michel, whos really good too. All in all it was good to see four more people join Gods Kingdom.

Also, good/bad news with Nathalie for this week.The good news is that she has buckled down and decided to be baptized in March. The bad news is that she has to do it against the wishes of her parents. I mean, shes 27 so shes not really a minor but she is really close to her family so that makes me feel bad. We'll keep working with her and keep trying to get in contact with her parents.

Elder Bush and I have been working super well together too lately. Seriously, I love this guy. So humble and charitable. Which makes the next sentence kinda stink. He was transferred yesterday. Things have gotten a lot worse in Abidjan again so all the Non ivorian african missionaries that are still there are being evacuated and joining us in Togo or Benin. My new companion is a new Congolese, so i'll be training again. Togo has now gotten split into two zones and there are now two new branches. I'm still living with Elder Starita and Elder Shaffer who both will also be training new africans. Should be interesting.

And that is so awesome about BYU! I wish i was there and could see them!

Well that is about it for this week! I'm glad to hear you had a good birthday Jack! We celebrated it over here by baptizing four people! And, Dad, Happy Birthday!!!! I hope you have a good day! I love you all!!!!