Sunday, October 30, 2011

Some pics...

Austin at the Provo Temple with his friend Elder Eric Johansen (who is going to Samoa).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thank you for the laundry bags! I actually got a little hamper thing from this kid last week who was leaving and didn't have room for it. I can be quite resourceful when I need to be. And the game you were thinking of was quidditch, best wizarding sport in the world. That's pretty crazy about Ghadifi! He was just hanging out in a ditch? He shouldn't be playing ditch games in the middle of a war! What a goof ball. And that's pretty cool with Abby being able to wave and all, it's crazy! You better tell me once she is able to walk!
This week has been pretty good, and looking back on it, has gone by pretty fast! A LOOOT easier than the first week, that's for sure! I think once you get into the grove of it all, and find your place amongst all of it, you're good to go! I just hope that theology will last the duriation of my time here. Seeing all the new kids sure was fun, though I didn't haze them as I would've wanted. It didn't seem right. Here I am, an Elder for a week, trying to taunt newbies? Yeah, I should've. We get in a new load tomorrow, so we'll just see what happens. haha nah, I'll probably just say 'welcome' in malagasy and freak them out by making them hear a language they've never heard before. That's what happended to me.
Malagasy is coming along, slowly. I know how to say things now, which is good. The trouble is, when we have to teach our progressing investigators, I know what I want to say and how I can help the guy, but I just don't know how to say it! It's tough! I figure that will just come with time and practice as well. The language actually makes a lot of sense, the way the words are created and formed to make verbs and such. So really, I don't have it all too bad. Just lots and lots of practice.
I've come to the conclusion that p-day is basically the best day ever and that no day on the outside can come close to how great it feels to have a p-day as a missionary. The smell of fresh clean clothes, wearing jeans, writing letters, temple sessions. The best.
Last tuesday night, guess who came to speak at the devotional??? Richard G. Scott! We got to listen to an apostle speak; up close too! We got the word early, so we were sure to be in the line real quick. You see, apostle gossip spreads quietly and surreptitiously around here, and all you can do is hope you can receive the message in time. And we got it in time!! The rumor is that he usually stays and shakes EVERY missionaries hand, but he told us he couldn't stay and do that this time, which was all good. He's an important man! He raised his arm in the arm and made a shaking motion saying "consider yourselves virtually shook." haha
Well, time keeps ticking and I keep learning here at the mtc. Tomorrow I will start my third week here, and will thus be closer to entering the actual mission field. All the English elders who entered the same day we did will be leaving next week, which is pretty sad because we grown pretty close to a group of them who live in our hall and are in our branch. One of the kids, Elder Cox, is super cool. We have beat box sessions sometimes and it's super fun. Everyone loves it.
Plus, that means chase will be leaving too. I see him every now and again, and I usually see Eric pretty often. It's nice seeing them! Blake Meservy will be here before too long! ahahaa I can't wait! I hope I'll see him around!
Well, take it easy! I hope you have a good week!
Okay, Veloma is pronounced vel-o-ma and misoatra means thank you! me-so-cha

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hello Family!
I am still alive, and doing well!
They say that if you can survive until your first Sunday, that you can make it the whole time. Let's hope that's true. haha I think that was the hardest part though, the first couple of days, just trying to get used to it all and also the idea of not going home for two years. I'm all good now though. Once you get into the thick of things, you're fine.
It's weird, we we've only been here for a week, and we've already changed our Zone Leaders. They were the ones who basically showed us Malagasy's around, and now their gone. They are going to Singapore and they left Monday morning. So we've already gone through a big change, which is good cause now I feel experienced, in a way.Tomorrow is Wednesday, so all the newbies are coming in! I'm super excited about that, and have been all week long. I'm going to be the one they look up to and think 'Wow... he's so experienced and smart.' Yup. That'll be me. We'll be hazing the newbies all day long, throwing our spare bananas at them, tossing them from Elder to Elder. YES.
My companion in the MTC is Elder Fox. He's a pretty cool guy. haha on the first day we had a big orientation meeting with all the arriving elders, and they asked everybody which country they where from by saying 'would the elders from .... please stand.' They eventually did all the states and, of course, Utah had a big turnout. Elder fox is from Nebraska, but they never called nebraska. Poor Elder Fox.. he never got to stand up.
We've been learning Malagasy pretty hardcore since we got here. I can now pray completely in Malagasy, if I wanted to, and I usually want to. It's hard though, for sure. Learning a new language isn't easy, but hey, i'll be here for 9 weeks so I'm not really worried about it at all. Since the second day we've been here we've been teaching an investigator in Malagasy, which is crazy, but pretty cool too. The first time we taught, we really didn't know what to do. Our lesson was all scattered and such. Yesterday though, we taught our 3rd, and I feel like it went by well! I've still got plenty to learn about teaching though. I guess that the biggest part I'm worried about.
Like I was saying earlier, we've already had to say bye to elders we've just started to get along with. Yesterday we had an Elder temporaraly join our district for the day. His entire district left on Monday morning, and he didn't leave until today, so he hung out with us all day. He was this asian kid who was crazy smart, seriously. He was fluent in 6 languages! English being his 3rd language, behind Mandrian and Togolac (the language Wes learned, I don't know how to spell it). Really though, he was crazy. And we would laugh at everything! haha all the time, it was the best! I wish he would've just been transfered to our mission. He was super fun to hang around with. I'll upload a picture of him if I ever figure out how.. Maybe I'll just print them off and send them home. Anyway.. I'll figure all that out eventually.
And about all the rumors about the MTC food here.. uh.. yeah. I've got the gassy bloats.
I said I'd send home malagasy phrases, so I'll send this one for this week:
Tiako anao = I love you. Really, it translates to 'I loved you,' but my teacher said that what they use, so there you go.
Well, I miss you all! And I think about you a lot! but not too much. I'm super excited to get out into the field! If Jeff Tribett is reading this, I think I get what you mean now. And I'll be here 3x as long as you were.
Oh yeah, I see Eric all the time. We've had some pretty good chats since we've been here, and we got to sit next to each other at the temple today. I've got a crazy story about that, but I'll tell you later; my time is almost up. I saw chase the first day, and I ate lunch with him, but I haven't seen him much since. He only has two more weeks here, dang!
Okay, thank you for all you do! I got pretty tired of finding all those notes the first day, but when I find them now, I smile. hesitantly.
Veloma!! (goodbye)
Austin Bergera

Monday, October 17, 2011

And he writes!

On Friday we got our first letter from Elder Bergera, he writes...

"Dear Family,

Guess what!? They're letting us send a letter off on the second day! My normal p-day will be tuesday (I think), so get used to that.

When they said you'll be working all day, they weren't kidding! haha my host kept telling me that a week here feels like 2 days.

My first companion is Elder Fox from Nebraska! haha they did this orientation meeting where they asked people to stand as they called different countries/states, and they forgot Nebraska. Poor Elder Fox didn't get to stand. Utah had plenty of Elders though.

I saw Eric for about three seconds by my Malagasy room. He just gave me a hand shake-hug and kept going. I saw Chase during lunch and we sat next to each other. We got to talk for the duration of lunch, which was nice! His companion is from Virginia, just a couple of white boys headed to Zimbabwe!

Right after I showed up here and went through all the necessary things, my host brought me to my class room, but upon arrival we couldn't find my teacher, so I helped him host another new kid. Turns out the new kid was from Salem (I'm not super familiar with him, but I recognized him). Anyway, I got to feel like an old pro showing this kid what to do. It felt good!

(Brittany) I shared that quote ("There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during this mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, 'No one understands. No one knows.' No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did." ~ Elder David A. Bednar) that you gave me with my roommates cause it fit perfectly with something we needed earlier. One Elder (Elder Landon) took it and borrowed it so he could write it down. So, just know your quote got appreciated!

Anyway, thank you all for your letters and your great support you have shown.

My toe already feels better, so let's hope that it heals.

By the way, those little notes have not gone unnoticed. I notice each one. Each one.

Okay, that all for now.

Austin Bergera."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Drop Off...

We dropped Austin off at the MTC today. It's still pretty surreal and just hard to imagine that I wont see him again for 2 years. I still remember my mom bringing him home from the hospital, lol. The last 19 years went by in the blink of an eye, and now my baby brother is a missionary. Just can't explain how proud of him I am.

Austin skateboarding his last time for two years!

We had a small lunch for Austin at Los Hermanos before we dropped him off. The food was good and the company was great but we were all a little anxious about dropping Austin off. This is all new to my family and we've got the first-timers jitters I guess. Excited and nervous and just everything all mixed into one.

Abby is sure gonna miss her uncle!

Austin says goodbye to his brother-in-law Matt

After lunch we had a few minutes to kill so we went to the Provo Temple and took a few photos...

Well whether we all liked it or not it was time to drop Austin off. We went over to the MTC and said our goodbyes, of course we all had to give Austin one last hug which was far too bitter-sweet.

So very, very proud of him and just can't wait for him to get back home!! We love ya so much Elder Austin James Bergera, onward ever onward!

A little introduction of sorts...

Austin Bergera...that is Elder Austin Bergera, is my brother. I've seen him almost every day of his life (give or take a day or two) for over 19 years. Today at approximately 12:40pm was the last time I will see him for two years...kind of sucks. On the plus side though he is serving the Lord and I honestly couldn't be prouder of him! Yup my brother is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and is devoting two years of his life to serve the people of Madagascar...what could be cooler then that?! (I think it kind of out weighs the whole rotten part about not being able to see him for so long.) Before Elder Bergera left he asked me to whip up a little blog for family and friends to stay caught up on how he is doing. Being the devoted and loving sister I am I couldn't say how do you say no to someone who looks so dashing in a suit? So I put together this little site and promise to update it with photos, letters, and anything else I can think of for all the fans of my brother out there (and I know there is a lot!) So bookmark it or save it as your home page, whatever you do please make sure to check on it often. To quote one of Austin's favorite quotes,
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." ~ Thoreau
That pretty much sums Austin up, we love ya bro!