Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hey mom! Thank you for that letter from Jeff! it was really nice to read! do you have his email? cause even though he said he couldn't send me emails, then I think i should be able to send him one. I don't know. we'll see.
things here are going good, it's my second to last p-day here at the mtc, so nothing to complain about! except maybe this keyboard that i am using.. it's awfully sticky. so if i make any typos, you'll understand. we got up super early today to do laundry, so you'll be happy to find this letter super early in the morning! you're welcome!
thanksgiving here way sweet! Well that tuesday before, d todd christofferson came and spoke to us for the devotional! and then on thanksgiving , we had a special devotional in the morning, and guess who it was?!? Elder russel m nelson! super cool!! they were the first apostles we've seen since our first week here, but two in a week? i'm not complaining. Then they gave us a super big lunch, aka thanksgiving dinner. they had a bowl of candied yams, so I grabbed some of those, for tradition sake. I don't know if i'll be able to do that next year though, haha. Eric found me in the cafeteria and we ate thanksgiving together. i don't know where the heck blake was haha. it was nice, i'll send some pictures sometime soon before I leave. after that we made sack lunches for dinner (because we needed to use the cafeteria for our service project). The service project was pretty much make 8,000 injurty kits. so, yeah, it was my eagle scout project all over again. oh yeah, they have been setting up christmas lights around here for about a month now, and i started to get impatient and wanted to know when the heck they would be finally turning them on. then, on thanksgiving night, they turned them on! haha it's super sweet; best night ever. i'll send a picture of those too.
yeah, well I am super excited that I only have two more weeks here. I mean yeah, the mtc is pretty cool in the way that you get to meet so many people from all different parts of the world. but I think i am ready to move on. it's weird to think that eric leaves in a week, but it'll be good! finally getting out in the real world! and I think it'll be a super great way to learn the language better, being forced to use it. i'm stoked.
Oh yeah, being a zone leader is cool. we don't really have to do all that much though. the main zone leader job is welcome new missionaries, and we haven't had any for two weeks. easy stuff. oh yeah, remember when you all dropped me off, and there was that cool, experienced missionary who hosted me? well, I am going to be a host tomorrow! pretty cool huh?
i am glad that i'm 3/49ths the way done, haha, that really puts some good perspective on it haha.
and i am mega glad to hear johnny came to thanksgiving and you have seen all those other rascals! give them all noogies for me!
Rehefa hankany any madagascar aho, dia lasa tena faly aho.
I think i said that right, but maybe not haha.
elder austin james coolguynumberone bergera

Monday, November 28, 2011

Manao Ahoana!

Okay, about the package.. hm... I would think you would be okay to send it through the mail, but my teacher gave me a helpful tip! Put a picture of Jesus or Mary on the box, where you would cut it, cause he said they won't cut through those, haha. Oh yeah, and he said don't put any electronics in there or anything, cause I guess if they find big electrons they'll all fine me and stuff. So yeah. And even if it does get to me late, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER!! haha. So if that sounds good to you, then I'd say do it that way. But if you really want me to just take it, I could do that too. Whichever you are most comfortable with.
The play sounds like it was fun! Which play was it? Or maybe you already told me.. If you did, I can't remember. Anyway, that sounds fun! And I am glad you got all the flags hung up and stuff, I am sure it looks great! And thank you for the package!! I love it! right when I first got the box I smelled the reeses inside, haha. thank you! Packages are always sweet. It's good to hear you are keeping up the pez collecting in my abscense! The pez collectings spirit is alive and well! Good luck with your paper! only one more week!
The security at the mtc, well they added little scanner to each of the doors, so you have to scan your card everytime you enter. I don't think anything really happened, i think they just realized how easy it is to get in here, haha.
Well for our last three weeks, elder fox and I will be zone leaders in our branch. pretty cool stuff. Pretty much just welcome in the new missionaries in the branch and plan out our sacrament meeting and stuff. A nice gig.
On thanksgiving there is supposed to be a really great devotional, and that usually means an apostle! So i'll let you know how that goes! It'll be good.
Three more weeks.. I am so excited. Yessssssss.
Okay, the malagasy word for they day is: Mangatsika = Cold.
I love you! Stay well!
Treat johnny well! I am super stoked!

Tiako ianao
Elder Austin James Bergera

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hey mom!
I was at the temple today, getting some food after our session, and I tried to use the visa card for a $3 meal, but it was denied, so, uh, just thought I'd let you know ahah.
So that's super cool about jasons call! I'm stoked for him! I hadn't received a letter yet about his whereabouts, but now I know! yay! He's going to love it, I know he will. Missions are pretty sweet. So he leaves in exactly 3 months? Lucky guy, he gets more time to prepare than I did! And the best part about a local mission: only 3 weeks in the mtc. The mtc is sweet and all, but after being here for over 5, uhh I'm too excited to serve, rather than sit in classes all day. it's all good though! The MTC did install card readers on all the doors, so now you have to scan your card EVERYTIME you go into a building. Kind of annoying. But, oh well. It seems like they have put forth about 10 new rules since we got here, which kind of makes me wonder 'why now?' But oh well. One can not worry about such frivilous worries at a time like this.
Thats funny about Abby being able to say kitty, does she say anything else? Danielle sent me a picture of cat yesterday, and I thought "oh, you silly willy cat." I'm glad to hear all is going well for Abby and Cat! And I am glad she still kisses my poster face.
I heard some stuff about the NBA, sometime, so that's too bad. No basketball this year. I glad to see that you've been getting work though! Even if it is just small stuff here and there, it's surely better than nothing! And only one more week of school?? That's super sweet! Good luck with your paper!
I think your advice "hang in there" is sufficient! haha it's sort of hard seeing all these english districts come and and always leave so soon. but I have passed the half way mark in here! so all is well! Jeff used to always tell me that the MTC is nothing like the real mission, and I can totally see why now. And I can totally see why the real mission is sooo great. We watch some movies in here (i think they are on the church website too) called The District, and is just real life mission scenarios, and seeing changes in real people, and I always get soo stoked to see them! We teach our teachers in here, and it's helpful, but I don't think it really can compare to real life. I just want to get out there and serve! haha, less than 4 weeks. I just have to remember that.
chase has told me a little bit about teaching in zimbabwe, and it's super crazy, haha. I'll forward the letters to you, if you want.
I've heard a little bit about that football player from one of my teachers, and it's always nice to hear of another madagascar missionary.
have fun in moab!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our first day!
We were so young...

Just some guys.

This is the Malagasy District
(Randall, Landon, Ewell, Morgan, Fox, and Bergera)

Elder Fox and I

Sunday Temple Walk 11/16/11

Just Me 11/7/11

What a dork!!!

Chase's last MTC Day!

Eric, Chase, and I on Chase's last night.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Your family loves you: tianao fianakavianao... i think. Maybe i'll look back on that once I am mahay (fluent) and I'll realize how big of an idiot I am right now.. but as for now, that counts.
I'll write the ward a letter sometime, for sure, so expect that.. sometime. At least before I leave here, haha. That's super cool about Anthony getting baptised! I remember him talking to me sometimes and as your cub scout, so that's super cool that he is getting baptised.
I better get wyatts letter soon! the last letter you sent me just about killed me when you didn't say where he is going!! aaaahhh!! but dang, he has just about as much time to prepare as I did, haha. two months will go fast! and look at me now! I've almost been in here for a whole month! it has definitely felt like a month though, don't get me wrong. You always hear people say that sometimes time just flies by super fast, and maybe one day it will, but as for right now these days feel like days.
So we've learning loads of stuff, but mostly just language and teaching. Elder fox and I teach lessons in malagasy to our 'investigators' (our teachers) about 4 times a week now.. no, actually 5 i think. i don't know. maybe more. anyway, yeah, we just keep learning and learning language basics and such. once a day we do syl (speak your language) where for a whole meal time, you can only speak malagasy, which is pretty fun. not much is usually said. I have been reading those books, by the way. I like Our Search for Happiness a lot.
Okay, you don't need to send me the holiday or theme ties, I don't think I'll have much use for them here. Just the nice ones :)
Abby better get walking soon! at this rate, she'll be crawling around when I get home! haha just kidding, I'm sure she'll be walking and talking enough to creep me out (creep me out cause I am not used to it). She is over 10 months old now, huh? weird... she's getting old!
That's cool that you got to be a substitute! I never would've imagined! actually i would've, but still, it's cool!
I don't think we have any word processing programs on our computer, cause I am not a dork who writes words all day! I've got photoshop and all that GOOD stuff that actually matters and is fun. But wordy stuff? ew.. hahaha you found the wild man?? That's our first feature length film. The opening weekend turned up a pretty good attendance. I'm glad you found it, haha.
The article on the homepage of the church site? yeah, we watched it yesterday. SOOOO STOOOKED!! Aw... I can't wait until December 12! All my teachers watched it and all got super homesick for madagascar and all malahelo and such. Oh yeah, to answer your question about the departure date being 1212 or 1214 or whatever, it doesn't really matter which one you put on the envelops, i found out. It's all the same. I think we'll actually leave around the 12th or 13th though.. I'm not sure.
Well, another week has past! Tomorrow I will start my 5th week here, and all is well! And I haven't even gained more than 5 pounds!!
I love you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yeah, Tiako anao techinically means 'I loved you' but my teacher said that's really how they would commonly say it, so yeah
Yeah, i got your halloween package on time, it came on Saturday! Thank you for all the candy and sweet stuff! Last night (halloween) you'd see a couple of elders with make shift costumes on, going from room to room trick or treating. With all the candy you gave me, I decided I would go around and do some 'opposite trick or treating,' so I went from room to room and said "opposite trick or treat!" Haha most of the elders had already had a fair share of candy, so I still had quite a bit left over, but it was still fun! haha I just thought I would try to spread the festive cheer somehow.
And about painting my room pink.. that's all good, haha. I won't see it ever, so I don't mind haha. I like how cat stepped in the paint. Oh silly cat. You are so silly.
I'll try to get some photos printed soon, I keep meaning to, but I get distracted. I hope that in the mission field I can just email pictures to you, but we'll see if that will ever happen. I'm about 90% sure you can't do that here. Anyway, yeah, I'll get some photos sent sooon.
While walking to the temple today, I got my first chance to use my umbrella! The wind came down strong, so I had to hold the umbrella at an angle. My pants got soaked, but that's okay. This elder in my district loves the rain so much, he's like dying of happiness all day today. I don't really mind it, but I prefer snow over rain, i think. Maybe I'll change my mind when that comes too, haha. I'm just looking forward to seeing snow for a little bit, and then leaving all of it for a while. Though... I will see rain A TON more, like, WAAAY more, which is chill. And I'll be headed straight into rainy season!! NICE! I'll be able to use that jacket a ton!
Well tomorrow will make it three weeks, officially. Which is weird. Chase entered on the same day I did, and he left yesterday, which, also, is weird. Nine weeks is going to be looooong. But, I'm not nearly close to having the language down enough to where I feel comfortable speaking it, so I welcome these next 6 weeks in a warm embrace.
That's super funny about Abby dancing, haha, what a goof ball. She'll be 10 months in a week, right? When is she going to get walking?! hahaha
I can't wait.
Just like how chase left on monday, a neighbooring district of ours left on monday too. They were in our Branch and lived just down the hall, so we all kind of became friends with them. On sunday night, the floor usually goes to a departing district and they sing! On my first sunday night, the Malayasians left, so they sang in malaysian. These elders are all going state side, so respectively, we sang english. The best part is just the feeling of togetherness through it all, and more so with these Elders, cause it felt like we grew up with them. We endured our first days together, and now they were all going into the real world. Ahh... we sang 'Til We Meet' at the top of our lungs that night. I get goosebumps just writing about it! I loved it!
Well, that's all I have for now, Veloma!