Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Salutations Daholo!

So here I sit, typing a letter in a cyber in downtown Analamahitsy as I slowly watch my few final hours of teenagerhood flee from before my eyes. I try to reach out. I try to call them back. Am I ready to be.. to be.. twenty? Unsurety fills me as I look to the faces of all those around me. All these.. adults. How did this happen? Could three years have already past since I prepared my young, innocent, long-haired self for my last year of high school? And seven since I entered into the 'crazy years' of life? Time is a beast. An unrelentless animal tearing away at my clock. So what now? I will blink and I'll be turning Twenty One. Okay, I can handle that. Then what? Doubled. Fourty. Time keeps going and flowing without a freckle of space showing. And yet, here I sit in this cyber. Downtown Analamahitsy. And it just keeps going.

Well I hope you all liked the intro to my upcoming book; 'Time Warriors II, Lazer Crusaders meet the Crunch Lady' coming to shelves October 2013. 
Okay, I'll quit being so weird. But seriously though, my birthday tomorrow! I've sort of been counting down the whole month. Maybe I should be like the other missionaries who forget about their birthdays and it goes by without them noticing. And maybe I could. But I could never forget about Harry Potter's birthday. Not in a thousand years, and the just happens to be the same day.. so therefore I didn't forget.
Anyway.. so how have things been this past week? 
Back on Saturday, while Marsh and I were waiting for a bus to take us back home, he said to me pointing to an area between two buildings, "I think I am going to go stand over here." "Okay" I replied, finding nothing immediately strange about that. As I watched him stand over there, I looked with amazement to see a quite spectacular fountain of vomit shoot out of his mouth. So yeah, he's been sick the last few days. He's better now though. We lead the culprit back to the pizza we ate for lunch on Saturday. I, too, at pizza, but did not get any similar affects from it. I guess that's just the luck of the draw.
Another point of interest of what happen this past week, one Elder who I have been living with these past three month, Elder Horsley, took of on a plane on thursday. He finished his mission! Anyway, there is one point in our area that is really good for watching planes take off from the airport. So we had just happened to be going there on Thursday at three, so we saw his plane take off from the airport. It was a pretty cool experience to see that happen. It was a neat experience. 
Anway though, I don't have too much to say this week. I added some pictures, so I hope you enjoy those. 
Hopefully that package will get here soon!
Try to think of some questions that I can answer next week, haha. I think I like replying to those more than trying to think of what to say. 
Oh yeah, I don't know where Kong Yen and his wife were yesterday, but they didn't come to church. I need to find them. They are still up for the 18th for their Baptism Date which I am still excited for. They are way cool. They got a new gate built by their house, so you know things are going well with them.
Anyway, I love you all long time!

Elder Bergera the Kong Yen finder.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What up in the hood?
Yeah, sorry about not writing to you last week Brittany, things just get mad busy sometimes and computer time disappears in seconds I swear. I will try to write you all now, even if it only a sentence or two, okay? haha and no, I haven't gotten the package yet, but It may or may not be at the office right now. I usually don't go until after I email. but I will thank you all before hand!
I really don't know what to tell you all this week though.. it's been a good week. 
Oh yeah, guess what? We got Kong Yen and his wife Etienne a baptism date for the 18th of August. That was the first date that sounded best for them, so it's good. I am really excited for it! We have about 10 people who have set a baptism date for that date, and I am praying that all of them will stay diligent for that date. That's just the problem here. I am sure there could be tons and tons of baptisms every week, but I just really want to make sure that the people I baptize are going to stay, you know? Just really finding and teaching diligent people. We've had kind of a miracle lately too. We teach this one family, and they have been fairly diligent. The mom comes to church pretty well, but the dad is sick ridden in bed (i wish the miracle was about him suddenly getting great health, but it's not.. yet), anyway, they have one daughter who was always kind of wishy-washy in lessons. Halfway there, halfway not. Aina is her name. Last sunday though, she came to church. She sure surprised me! And then yesterday she came again, and she's talked about how much she wants to be baptized now. I couldn't believe it! I love things like this, just seeing the change the gospel brings. Did I bring it to her? No way! There's no way I could change someone like this, only the holy ghost in someones life could bring that change; I just offer it to them. If they take it, sweet! And seeing people who accept it against your expectation is humbling. 
I would send pictures today, but everytime I plug a usb into this computer, it shuts down. Next week?
Next week.
An elder in our house goes home this week, so now his companion (Elder Morgan, from my mtc group) has a mini. That means he has a member who is preparing for his misson work with him for the time being. This mini missionary will be living in our house until at least August 22nd when the next transfers happen (transfer news last night, no changes here :D). It's way cool though, cause now he can help us make some way good malagasy food. Yesterday we had mankahazo and coco. Mankahazo is the roof of this tree, and when cooked with coconut, it is waaay good. I didn't really like it the first time, but I like it a lot now. And also, the other day he cooked tsaramaso (a type of bean) in a coconut sauce for the loaka of our rice, and had an excellent dinner. 
So I have been eating too well. 
So yeah, you know how it is. I am just keeping it easy. I have a goal to read the entire entiriety of scriptures. So far I have finished the book of mormon and a good chunk of the new testatment. I should be finished by the middle of August with the new testament. Then I'll be in a one-way battle with the old testament. Oh boy.
Well, I will try to send you some pictures next week. 
Thank you for your email and love and all of the goods!
I love you all!
My postcard offer still stands! and I was thinking about that actually, you could probably just send those pouch right? I don't know that address.. I don't remember it, but if it works than that just got about 60 cents cheaper! all the better! Do it! haha i'm so lame.
Eny ary.
Elder Iceberg

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yay Johnny!

All right, so this week I had an idea. 
It's basically just a scam to get mail, but that's okay. Okay, I am doing an official postcard trade-off, which means for everyone that sends me a postcard from Utah/America, I will send you one from Madagascar! It's a deal! Yeah! Do it! Genuine Malagasy Pictures! haha, I just basically want postcards.. so.. yeah. That's the news for the week.

Elder Austin Bergera
Madagascar Antananarivo Mission
BP 5094
Antananarivo 101

^ I'll just put that there.^

Anyway, scam over. 
So how are you all doing? I'm doing good. This week has been a good one for sure. The pizza place buy our house moved locations... to be even closer to the house! haha, so it's pretty sweet. Also, Casa Pizza started making even more things than just pizza. They have one thing called.. well I don't remember.. it was french, but pretty much it is a ball of rice and loaka (the stuff they put on rice) and then deep fried into a ball of deep fried rice ball. It's sort of like America meets Madagascar in the culinary perspective. I'll try to take a picture of this little piece of wonder soon.
Other than that.. let's see.. Well I gave a talk in church yesterday! It was my first time giving a talk in Malagasy, so that sure was something. I really enjoyed it though, and it didn't seem too difficult. Like, it just felt like i was teaching a lesson at an investigators house, but just to a really big family, haha. Now, as far as how well I did? I'm not sure, but they seemed to understand it, haha. Fr. Fetra even quoted something I said in his priesthood quorum lesson, so I suppose that is a good sign. For some reason branch I am in now likes to have missionaries talk a lot more than my first branch did. It seems like about once a month now, but Marsh and I have already decided that next month will be Marsh's turn. It'll be good for him.
Sorry, no new pictures this week. I slacked pretty hard in picture taking this week, but don't worry. I am going into this week with a fresh new commitment to take as many pictures as I can. 
Kong Yen hasn't been baptized yet. He had to go out pretty far away recently to go do rice stuff, I am not exactly sure. Whether it was actually working the rice or what, I am not sure. But he should be back this week, and we'll give him baptism date for sure. I have also set up a time this week to go work with a lady to has been a member in our area for a really long time. Now really long here in Madagascar basically means 10 years or over. If you find people who were members back in the 90's... dang. That's pretty good. The church is still way new here. One thing our new President Adams said is that we are like the Pioneers of missionary work here in the country. It's just way new still, and one day he thinks it'll be as big as Brazil. But yeah, I am were with a member and I am going to start trying to visit a lot of less actives. Cause we have to support the members that we have before we try to get new ones! It's good though. It's way good. 
Today we are going to try and go to the 'Croc Guy.' The Croc guy is a guy who will actually bind books in crocodile skin. I ordered a mini book of mormon through the office, and once it gets here I will take it to this guy and get that baby croc skinned. It should be pretty cool. Other than that though, I don't expect this p-day too be super duper uper guper exciting. I need to buy new pants though, like jean pants, cause this one has a big rip down the crotch, haha. I have been wearing them for about a month like this, which sounds bad, but that really actually means like 4 days (mondays). So yeah, I'll go buy some more pants. 
Oh yeah, you asked what you will call us teenagers once we come back, for we will no longer be teenagers. We already had that covered. You can call us 'The Treefort Gang.'
So.. .other than all those things I don't really know what else to talk about. Things are still good. I still haven't lost a lot of weight like I thought I would. I am getting close to filling up my second journal (which leaves two to go, haha thanks Brittany), and my hair is still short!
Well I will catch you all next week! Transfers are next week, but I imagine I'll be staying here for a while longer.

I love y'all.
Elder 'Tapioca Puddin' Bergera

PS Marsh and I have been making some sweet tapioca pudding lately.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I went to a Lemur Park this morning! I attached some pictures for your viewing pleasure. That park was actually technically in my area I think, but it took about a 45 minute bus ride to get to anyway. It was actually really cool, way in they middle of nowhere. I liked this park a lot better than they zoo we went to last week. Yeah, the zoo had a lot bigger variety of different things, but this little park just had free roaming lemurs hanging around. I just bought a kilo of bananas before hand, and we went down to the park, paid 10,000Ar, and walked in to see a tree full of lemurs! They jumped down off of the tree, and if you have ever seen lemurs when they travel on the ground, they are soooo funnny! They just bounce sideways in whatever direction they are going, haha. They are soo cool. We tried super hard to get them to crawl all over us and on our heads in a goofy fashion, but they resisted. They would come down really close and party though. I would just put a piece in my hand, then they would grab my hand with their funny human-like hands then pop that banana in their mouth. I seriously think that Lemurs are my favorite animals now. Their poof balls funny selves are just too cool not to love. 
And that was pretty much our p-day today. At least the exciting part. 
Oh wait! Actually, while we were walking down the street in downtown Tana after eating lunch, we saw some kids riding skateboards. Because of that tech deck you sent me, a lot of these other Elders know that I really like to skate. So while we were walking by, one of the Elders I was with asked if it was okay for us to try it out. They said yeah, so I hopped on, haha. I didn't really do anything super cool, just a few pop-shuvs and what not, but man.. it felt good! haha, and I am pretty sure all the kids thought that I was cool. Maybe. I was sort of worried before that I had lost my entire ability to skate, but I don't think it is ALL gone yet, haha, so that's comforting. Seeing skateboards here sure is rare though, I think that was probably the... third time I have seen one. I don't think I could handle seeing them all the time though, haha. I have gotten really trunky every time I see them, haha.
Other than that though, not too much is going on. I am really hoping for a baptism soon though. I don't know why, but it seems like the area I am in now just moves slower than my last one, but it's all good. I have a super cool investigator named Kong Yen, I don't know if I have told you about him or not, but he is super cool anyway. He just makes me super stoked to just be able to teach him, that is how cool he is; him and his wife Etienne. I tried to give him a bap date a week ago, but he says he is just really worried about entering into the church and not knowing everything. I let him know that it is okay to still not know EVERYTHING and be baptized, but that baptism is a convenant we make with God to show we are ready to obey him. In our last time he gave us a coconut, and right now he is out in the country taking care of rice, but he should be back soon and I will definitely get a date for him. I am really stoked on him and his wife. We actually got him as a referral from a member from my previous area, Antsirabe. That's when missionary work is the best: Referrals!
Oh yeah, my new mission President is from California, and his wife is from Switzerland, and apparently she is fluent in Swiss! Which I am somewhat interested to hear. 
While working with a member this week, we went to a time, but the people weren't home, so we went and talked to a man who we saw on the path up to the house. We set up a time to come back, and on the next day, we came back. As we were teaching him, we found out that he is from a place called 'Diego' which is waaaay up on the north point of the island. This also explained why I had an especially hard time understanding him, for he spoke a different dialect. I assume he has grown accustomed to the main dialect us missionaries learn, 'Merina,' for I could understand him all right. He's cool though, and I am really excited to see how the lessons will go. 
Anyway, I think that's about it today. Not too much going on besides that, haha.
Have a great 10th - 16th of July!

Elder Gidro
"The Lemur King"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

hEy mOmmMMMmm, 

Okay, so the three pictures in a really quick, non-descriptive manner:
1 - The departing Pres. Donnelly with the new incoming Pres. Adams
2 - Me with a (cooler in real life) tree
3 - An old fasana, aka tomb, in the cool zoo we went to today

So yeah, that's about it! We went to a zoo today in hopes that we would be able to get some lemurs to crawl all up on us, but all the lemurs in this zoo were in cages.. so next week we will try to go to a different park that apparently has free-roam lemurs. Coolstuff.
Things with Marsh have been going well. I have really liked training so far. Yeah, it pretty much makes me do all the talking for now, but ol' Marsh is already improving on the language which is way cool. And now, he has already been on the mission longer than the Mission President!! haha. He's just got the whole 'new missonary' view at it all, like it'll never end, but I keep telling him that my last eight months have gone by really fast, for they feel like they have! I always felt like i wasn't ready to train, but when it came, I found out I was ready, haha. It's good. Life goes fast out here, and before you know it one-third of your mission is already done! But yeah, he is way cool. I lucked out by getting a cool kid. 
But yeah, we went to a Zoo today, which I really enjoyed. They had a few crocodiles, but nothing close to what the crocodile farm had. This park basically just had a large amount of cranes that pooped on trees. You would've thought they painted the trees white. Speaking of crocodiles, I am going to try to get a miniture book of mormon binded in crocodile skin. It should be pretty cool. 
Anyway, it's 5:30 right now, the sun has set, and I need to get on my way. 
Thank you for all your love!
You da best!

I'll see you in half a fortnight.

"Under my Elder Bergera-era-era-eh-eh-eh"

Post Script: Oh yeah, I was thinking, if you ever did want to give me a birthday present for my birthday, I have thought of a few things which would be of great worth to me. G-2 pen refills, warheads (cause malgasy kids are fun to see eating warheads, haha. Marsh came with some and we gave them to some kids during our English class, haha. way funny), jellybellies (I thought about those the other day, and I don't know why buy they sounded soooo goood), and those Gellin' Dr. Scholls things (My shoes have been keeping pretty decent condition, all except for the inside soul. I don't know why, but it's been getting all gnar'd up. I guess I am just a hard walker. My belly's getting bigger... buy my legs are ripped up.) Also, and this is just a whatever thing, but I have heard a thing called 'perfect pushups' which caught my attention... so.. you know... if at all possible.. haha. I just want to try to work out more, cause I don't know why but I am gaining weight. I am about... 98% sure. But I want to get better at workout out, so.. yeah.