Monday, March 26, 2012

Dear Mother and whoever else who takes the time to read these,
Yay!!! An email! haha
Oh dang, it is so hot down here today. It so confusing, some days it is cooold, but today, it's hotttt. People say Utah has 'bi-polar' weather, but pffft.
About a rain coat.. well if you really wanted to send me one, that would be cool, but I think i'll live. I mean yeah, I usually get soaked every time there is a rain storm, but it's tolerable. They do have coats down here, but I haven't given them much a gander yet. They appear to basically be tarps, but I'll probably check them out one day.
Oh dang, the Festival of Colors happened? Woohoo! That's a party! And that ALSO means, that it has been one year since I cut my hair! haha, it goes fast doesn't it?
I am very excited for those cookies. Very very excited. You have no idea. Thank you so much! I will be anxiously awaiting the arrival all week. I will also look for owl-y stuff for you, I know how much you love them. It's only fair. I don't know if they have much owl-y stuff though. I don't know if they much exist here, but I'll be on the hunt nonetheless.
That is very good that you are staying busy! Way to go Mother! There is a saying that goes 'life is what happens when you are busy doing something else.' So great job on living! *high five*
So I have attached a few pictures to this email, as you might have noticed. Let us anaylize, shall we?
Picture 1 This is a picture from earlier today! We got in little car and payed 2400Ar to drive about 20km to a town called 'Betafo' (bay-taw-foo). The car is about a normal sized, eight seat station wagon, and somehow the driver piled in 14 people in there. Nice and cozy. We brought a member with us to help us find the waterfall, for he knew the way. He is already mahay at english, and he leaves to begin his mission in SLC in two weeks!! I am super excited for him. America is going to blow his mind! Anyway, yeah, the waterfall. It was sweet. And if you look closely, you will see my sweet new shirt I bought last week. You know how people send their old, unwanted clothes to Africa? Yeah. It's pretty sweet.
Okay, now Picture 2. This is a brilliant photo of me and a young Sarodroaian lass at the baptism on Saturday! We had 6 people get baptized. Five of whom were all little kids, but one was a lady I've been teaching of a couple of months. Her name is Rahalimalala, and she is way cool. The water was not very clear, as you can see, but it was plenty deep which is better than you can say about a font baptism sometimes. One of my goals was to do a river baptism, and there it is! Wahoo! Now I want to shoot for a river baptism! haha. That would be cool, right?
Photo 3 So here you see me standing next to what you would call a 'mega freaking huge cactus plant.' Antsirabe has a little plaza of sorts called The Gar, and it has all the sweet stuff. I bought some nice fancy chocolate on the gar last week, you have La Gastros Pizza, the atms are all pretty close to the gar too. That's also where the postal building is, where I mail all those nice letters. So yeah, the gar is pretty sweet. That's were these babies are.
I hope you liked the photos.
This Saturday we have a baptism coming up, which I am really excited for. One of the guys getting baptized is Luc. I can't remember if I have already told you about him or not, but he is a referrall from a member. We have been teaching him since January, and he has just totally accepted the gospel. Super cool guy. We hooked him up with a Book of Mormon in french, cause pretty much any malagasy who wants to stay connected with the world learns french, but now if he ever shares scriptures during times I have no idea what he is reading, haha. It's sweet though, and I am super excited for his baptism.
So that's about it, I would think. I am going to go make a bunch of cookies for a dinner tonight now. Okay, I know what you are thinking; 'oh he can make cookies, then why did I just send him a package full?' but don't think that. Cookies from home just have so much... love and specialness to them. Yeah? yes.
Okay. Thank you very much for all the email and love.
Until next time!
Elder Fresh Pineapple for 500Ar

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I got chelsies and brittanys letters this week, thank you! Abby is getting so big I can't even look at the pictures without getting blown away, haha.
Anyway, this week has gone by pretty quickly, nothing uber duber exciting to report. I bought a loaf of bread this morning! There is this really cool guy who makes super good bread out of his backyard garage. This guy has a nice goatee and isn't sketchy at all. He makes reallly good bread. Like you can buy bread on the street and it's all right, but it's just not super bomb. This guy's bread is amazing! And I bought a whole loaf. The first thing i did was cut two small slices and make a pb & j & banana. soooo goooood. The best part about it all is just how secret it all is. You would never know about it unless you walked into this guys gate, walked around his house, and followed the aroma of cooking bread up to a nice little vendors counter. Super secret; but us missionaries know all the secrets.
Another cool thing that happened this week was this gnarrrly storm! We were teaching our last time of the day, and then a storm hit. It totally caught me off guard cause it had actually been a good day. I could barely hear the closing prayer due to the rain and wind. The wind hit hard! I swear it was a mini cyclone, haha. You know how I told you about how my 'rain jacket,' well.. doesn't really work? Yeah, I felt the rain drip down my back in about 5 seconds of being in the showering stuff. We were kind of on a lower part of a hill, and we needed to walk up some allyway type paths to get back up to the street, but you see, the thing about rain is that it likes to come down, and the thing about water is the same. So our path basically turned into a river. So, i carried my bike up the path as the water came up to my ankles. My feet got wet. So that was fun!
Oh yeah, I won't be working the area called Sarodroa anymore. I've already told you about it, but i'll tell you again. It's a place about 50km north of here, and we went up there every wednesday and sunday. It's really just a little farm town in the middle of nowhere (a farm town here consists of growning rice, corn, and potatoes). We would usually ride a bus (a normal sized van, 5 to 6 people per row!), and the ride took 45min to 2hrs (as it did yesterday). Sometimes they stop and pick up even more people, cause people means money! That's when you have to play lap-sies with people.. Anyway, yeah. Then you tell the bus driver to stop, and you starting walking up a dirt path. You do this for about 40 minutes til you get to a large tent by a house! That tent is the church. Oh wait, actually they just upgraded! I forgot! They got rid of the tent, and now it's wooden with a metal roof. It's pretty nice now. To teach out there, well, you have to work through the dnb of the branch, cause it's not like you can go house to house. it's house, path, path, path, path, rice field path, path, house. And we have a baptism this Saturday! We will be baptising in a river! Wahoo! The investigator, Rahalamalala, said she wants me to do it to! Yeah!!
On the 31st we will have another baptism too. I am really excited for this one. We got a referral from Sisi, the girl who served in Canada, for a guy named Luc. Luc is one of those guys you would just think is way too cool. He just is. But he has been coming to Church every week and I am super excited to see him get baptized. It's really one of those times you can just tell that the Lord is already preparing people. I am super grateful to be able to be teaching him, especially right now cause NO ONE COMES TO CHURCH, haha. Except Luc, cause he is the man. The fresh prince of Antsirabe.

I included two pictures. One of Andrianjarasoa and I on top of this mountain, posing under a statue of Mary (mary not pictured).
And another of yours truly, posing in front of a traditional Malagasy rice field.

I like-like you all!
The Fresh Prince of Antsirabe
Ny Tompanareo (vahzivazhy)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The pie was very cool and huge and sweet and good. Elder Smith and I made it, cause we are sweet. I also made a spice cake (two, actually :3) for a suaree with all the members, and it turned out really good! Yeah, I can find pretty much all the basic ingredients you would need to make cookies, so I could, BUT, I think if you sent me cookies that would be quite lovely and I would thank you kindly. So, if you are worried if they would still be good or something, don't worry about that. Just send them, haha. It's definitely worth a try or two. And yes, you can send dear elder care packages to Madagascar. I was about one click away from doing it last week. The shipping is a bit pricely though.
And no, Elder Soares didn't speak malagasy. He actually speaks portuguese, but he has learned a bit of english along his way. His english is a little silly at times, but he's good. He understands enough. And yeah, there are two mission houses here in Antsirabe, so the other missionaries just split up between the two. The message is just all about the best way to do the work and stuff like that. Nothing completely riviting, but it went well nonetheless. The conference was good.
Yeah I am pretty sure the time here doesnt change at all. The sun still rises at about 5:30 and sets at 7. And nothing has really changes the past couple of days, so I would say no.
The picture I sent you is a picture of a Lake we went to today! It's called Lake Tritriva (cha-chee-va). It was soooo beautiful! Look up pictures on the internet, I bet you could find ones that looked like it did in real life. It was located about 20k outside of Antsirabe, so we rode our bikes there. It was HOT, haha. yeah yeah go to wikipedia and read about it, it's super cool. And i bought some nice rocks off malagasys for about $2.
and yeah, hopefully I'll be getting healthy from all the rice and fruit, haha. It's not as tropical as it sounds though, at least not in antsirabe, haha. There are actually a lot of corn fields, so I can relate to Blake there in Iowa, haha. Except the corn here isn't sweet corn. It's like the other type of corn. Hm. I eat a lot of pb & j's though, with banana's piled in there. You can buy big baguettes for cheap, so that's what I do haha. It's the best. A nice long pb&j, haha.
Anyway yeah, that's about it for this week. Transfers came out, but no changes for this guy. Still with ol' Andrianjarasoa.
So if you get anything out of this email, please understand that I think sending me cookies is a great idea. Okay. Thank you.
I love you all!
Elder Bergera :D

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Life here has been pretty good, not anything mega too exciting though. We were going to have three baptisms this weekend, but they all weren't quite as ready as we thought, so we'll have to hold up on that. It's been pretty rainy lately, but today looks really good. Our p-day today is cut short about six hours due to a Zone Conference. An Elder from the Seventy, Ulisses Soares, is coming here to Antsirabe to speak with us today, so that'll be cool! Elders from Ambositra and Fianarantsoa came up yesterday. The ride from Fianarantsoa is about 7or 8 hours, so they pretty much traveled all day yesterday to get here, so that's good. I think we are going to make apple pie sometime this week, which should be gooood. Apples are in season right now, so I am stoked. Oh yeah, and avacados are in season too, I'll send you a picture of one. They are massive here. Really. Avacados in Americas are like small baseballs and these are like large softball sized, even bigger even. I made a large bowl of guacamole out of just one avacado the other day. Soooo goood. Some other fruits that are in season right now are pears, passion fruits (which give you dirreah, uggggh), grapes, mangos, bananas (always, and actually smaller than american ones, but sweeter), and these weird faint-green fruits I haven't tried yet. Those are the main seasonal ones, and you can always find pineapples.
Oh yeah, I've decided that when I get home, I am going to cook a lot more. Yeah. Because you can make soo much good food in america! You don't need to worry whether your nearest store will have what you need. Yeah, I am going to cook more. I started making crepes a lot for breakfast. And I eat at cheap hotelys for lunch. Rice. Rice is good. I like rice. I am not super pro at cooking it yet though, but I am getting there.
Oh yeah, I have also filled up my first journal now too. I got a new one from an elder going home on may 10th (would you look at that?), so I am good right now. But if you ever do want to send me stuff, a journal would be super appreciated! I write every day. I am mega diligent.
Okay, well sorry but I have to cut this email kind of short, I still have to run to the market before I get all suited up.
Thank you!

p.s. I was about 2 seconds away from sending a dear elder cookie package to myself. Would that be okay? haha.