Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hello Mamako, How are all of the sunrises and sunsets up there in the northern hemsiphere? They are doing pretty well down here. We ate a ton of voanjobory last night, and now I can feel the affects taking over my stomach. It is all well though. All is quiet on the malagasy front. No, I guess not really, it actually quite a noisy place, but it is good. Just the way I like it. To answer your question about rainbows, yes. I have seen rainbows here. Surprisingly enough, no, they do not actually have lemurs jumping around on them like I once thought. Nor do they have leprechauns with gold pots waiting at the end. Instead, there are 4' 6" old malagasy grandma bebes with little scraggly beards waiting with a pot of fresh voamagna (sweet potatoes, for all you vazahas) just for the first lucky finder. It's quite delightful, actually. Okay, yeah, no, but seriously. Things are going well. We are planning for another baptism this weekend, and the lady who will be baptized actually quite fits my description I just gave in my 'rainbow segment.' She's awfully nice though. She's just a little old lady who just wants to pray and come to church. Her memory isn't the best, so you just kind of have to take it as it comes. She always points to her eyes and apologizes that she can't read as much as she'd like, for the letters are too small. She always points to me and says "You, hehehehe. You. You. You." she says, cackling all the while, "you're the one who will baptize me." So I am the one who will baptize her. It'll be fun! And we are actually moving church buildings, here in Sabotsy Namehana. We will be moving to an opener, larger building (hopefully, for I have not seen it yet). This'll be our first baptism here in the new building, so we'll tell you how it goes. The new building is so far tucked back either, so we probably won't have to leave our house at 7:30-45ish to get to church for sure by 9:00. Buses are mad crazy on sundays, so we must plan for these things. In order to do the baptismal interview, we have to go on splits with the zone leaders. Usually we'd just go to the district leader, but that's me, so we have to go higher up this time. The funny thing is that one of the zone leaders was my trainer, Elder Watts. So this thursday I will be working with Elder Watts again, haha. I am pretty excited about it actually. It'll take me back a good 7-8 months time. Woooo. So September is coming this week, eh? The only month I haven't served in yet. Bring it on. Oh yeah, and you can keep sending me pictures of funny things. I like funny things. So any other questions? Comments? Concerns? No? Okay, next week it is. There should actually be transfer news again on Sunday, so I'll let you know how that goes. It was a quick one, eh? haha, it's because we have some Malagasy elders coming in. Anyways, I'll catch ya'll on the flip side. Elmer Bergera

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

There were no swear words, trust me.
Thank you for all the addresses too! I'll be filling up that address book you sent me in the mtc. It's coming in handy.
Thank you sooooooo much for the birthday package! I love it! I have been doing perfect pushups all week, for sure. I am loving it all so much. And I figured out that I absolutely love Jelly Bellies. They are sooo good. What other candy can you get that you can try a rootbeer one minute, then have some carmel popcorn in there the next? Oh wait, there are no others! Jellybellies 4 lyfe! and those warheads and poprocks are way good too. We had a malagasy mini-missionary try some and his reaction to both were very amusing. 
Wait, so in that mission week thing, did you already count sunday or not? I assume so...
Your postcard is getting sent out today.
The baptisms went really well. We had three planned but only two worked out, but the two were Kong Yen and Etienne so absolutely no complaints there. I freaking love them so much, they are so cool. I baptized Kong Yen and Marsh baptized Etienne. The water was way cold, and actually the weather has been pretty cold lately, but we prayed a lot that we could have good weather in hopes that the Malgasys wouldn't die from the cold, and it worked pretty well! The water was way cold, yeah, but the sun was out and shining all right, contrary to the majority of the week. Blessings there for sure. As far as the confirming, Marsh and I both stood in the circle, but the Branch President and a member did the confirming. Hearing Kong Yen bear is testimony gave me one of the best feelings. He's so cool. They really want to go to the temple too, of course after their year is up.
So yeah.. I am not going to lie. My baptism pants are getting pretty tight, haha. It's good though, I guess. At least I am not starving. But it's like I said though, I am pushing those perfect pushups hard, and I am hoping my next area will be a beach side province where I can sweat my ''rice belly'' off, haha. It's all good though. I figure that as long as I can bust out loads of pushups I am probably doing all right. 
I attached a bunch of pictures, but now that I think about it I can't remember what they were. 
I know that one of them is of the baptism. You can see Kong Yen and Etienne in their white bap clothes, as well as me in my bursting bap pants and good ol' Elder Marsh too. Another one is of me posing. And one with Marsh and a cow in a soon-to-be ricefield.
I really can't remember what the others were though.
I am sure you'll be able to figure it out.
Oh yeah, no I am not getting transferred yet. Which is good, cause Bebe Jacquilene wants me to baptize her. You'll find out more about her later. More around September 1st-ish. 
I loved getting little emails from Johnny, Jason, and Kamry, ahahaha. They are so cool.

Anyway, I think that about does it for this week.
Maztoa Daholo!

Elder "Spunkin' Around the Dunk Bunk"

Monday, August 13, 2012

De Ahoana Izy Mtsam!!

I really don't know what to say this week!
Kong Yen and his wife Etienne will be getting baptized this weekend, which I am really stoked for. We aren't sure yet who will be doing their baptisms, but we will find out this wednesday. I am really excited for it, haha. Also, we had 12 investigators to church yesterday! I felt really good about that. Things in this area are surely picking up. I don't know how much longer I will be in this area, for I have been here for four months, and that's about getting to the point of packing up, but who knows! I'll tell you who knows. I will know on Sunday night, haha. 
Okay, so I literally got a call one minute ago from and Elder at the office who told me that I have a package! Yeah! It made it! So to answer your question about when you should send a christmas one.. haha I don't know. What ever you feel like would be a good time, is a good time, haha. I am not picky. If you happened to send it early, I would wait until christmas to open it. I can do that. 
Dang.. is Christmas really coming up already? I guess I am getting close to my 'second' stage of my mission. my second christmas... hm. I like the sound of that. 
I thank you before hand for the package.
Also, I have thinking that I would like to start sending out more postcards. Even if my postcard scam hasn't really showned much success yet.. haha. So, do you want to start sending me address? Just addresses of tons of people. In the ward, or in the family, or whatever. I realized yesterday when I started filling out postcards that I don't have that many address. Also, I found a place to buy postcards for 500Ar (roughly 25¢). So it's all pretty sweet. Anyway, addresses would be very appreciated. 
I sincerely honestly do not know what to say today. Life has been going well. This week passed by in a second, I swear. Somedays I feel like I wake up, walk out the door, and half a second I it is night and I am walking right back in. It's just way crazy.
We found a really cool guy named James this past week. We found him while we were eating a picnic lunch at our favorite Sunday picnic spot (our area is too far away from our house to go back and eat on sundays, so we just picnic). We scheduled a time with him, and then, following our weekly schedule, we taught him. He's from an area close to a place called 'Fianarantsoa' which actually has four missionaries. It's a good 10 hour drive south from Antananarivo. They speak a dialect called Betsileo, which is mostly the same as what we missionaries learn (Merina), but they sound all southerny, haha. I mean, not like georgia southern, but malagasy southern. They have different words they use too, but I think they can understand Merina for the most part. The people on the coast speak way cool dialects. They sound all crazy and coast-like. I haven't really had to learn a dialect yet, but perhaps one day. I love this language so much.
I think that'll about do it today though. 
I want to go get my package, haha.
Thank you for the letter and love and all the goodies.
I love you all!

Elder Faly

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thank you very much for eating those sugar cookies on my behalf. I feel like sugar cookies are being spiritually transformed to my virtual tastebuds. They taste great.
So yeah, I am a big 20 year old now. All the little kids on the missionary playground will have to look out for me now.
Okay, so here's the news:
I haven't gotten the birthday package yet. I'll be going to the office later today, and it may or may not be there. Usually they pick up packages once every two or so weeks, and the picked them up last week, so let's shoot for next time? Yeah, sounds good to me. I will just thank you in advance for it though. Thank you! I am really excited to do some perfect pushups, for that's the only thing I really know is in there, but I am excited to do all the other things in there too. 
I bought myself some new deodorant and shaving cream for my birthday. Happy birthday to me.
Okay, so here's the other news:
I have found Kong Yen! Apparently he had some difficulties last Sunday and was unable to come to church, BUT he came yesterday! It was a really good day yesterday too! We had 10 investigators at church, which was really good to see. I haven't seen that much in this area since I have been here, so that was good. Anyway, yeah, Kong Yen and his wife Etienne are doing really well. They are still shooting for baptism next saturday, which I am stoked for. We had one other girl, AinĂ , going to be baptized on that date too, but I don't know if that one will workout or not. Well see. I'll let you know. She is the daughter of some pretty cool investagors. Her father is actually bedridden from a stroke or something, and I have been trying to work with the office to get him a wheelchair but haven't found much success yet. Her mother comes to church sometimes, but she is sometimes difficult too. Two times ago we came and she was drunk, and then the last time we came we asked if she had any Word of Wisdom problems and she replied she didn't.. so the going is a little tough for them. Another thing is that they aren't legally married yet, and in order to be married here they have to have a paper from their home towns, which in this case is quite far away and they haven't gotten it yet. I've got hopes for them all, but there certainly are some roadblocks for this family right now.
Anyways, yes, Kong Yen, cool as ever. I actually have a picture in my Malagasy Book of Mormon that I use to mark my personal reading (1 Nephi 18, I am just darting through it, I know haha. I've actually been focusing on it pretty good these last few days. I've read one chapter a night this past week, so I am really trying to get through it. I read it with my dictionary close at hand, and it's actually been going well! I can understand a lot of what is going on, but every so often a new word will come up and confuse me, haha.). Okay, back to the story. The picture is one that Brittany sent me of all you guys sitting on the front steps. Just a little family picture I carry around. Anyway, so I showed this to Kong Yen our last time, and he says I look a lot like Chelsie, haha. Etienne said "and this one (pointing to Chelsie) looks a lot like you, except a girl" haha! So there you go! He actually served us some tea after this too, but don't worry, it's this natural stuff actually made from Soybean, or 'Soja' as they call it here. I really did like it a lot. E. Marsh and I thing that we'll go buy some one of these days and make it at our house. It really was good. Oh yeah, and he does actually have some kids. He has one son who's about 30-ish and used to come to our English class a lot. He's way cool, but I haven't taught him anything about he gospel yet. I want to though. Apparently he has other kids too, but I haven't met any of the other ones yet.
Okay, here is the answers to your questions:
Analamahitsy is actually just an area in North Antananarivo. Sort of like a 'sub-town' within this large town. Analamahitsy actually has two missionaries of their own, and us workers in Sabotsy Namehana live with them, and we actually live in Analamahitsy too, so on p-days we usually don't even go into our area in the daytime because there really isn't any point to go. And no, I haven't changed areas or anything. Still just trucking along here in the Sab-Nam. 
Here are some answers/additions to your titles of my pictures: 1. Both. 2. No, yeah, this was definitely a picture of E. Marsh 'tossing his cookies.' 3. Yeah you basically got this one covered. 4. This is a big stack of bricks! They have a big brick making area in my area, and they love to make bricks. I'll try to catch another picture that shows truly how many bricks are in what we call 'Brick World.'  Foundation of the Madagascar Temple....haha I wish.
I am living with one elder who actually gets his family to tell him all about the olympics and stuff, so I am all covered in that sense. E. Marsh is all bummed cause he just realized that I will be home for the next olympics, and he won't.. haha. It's okay Marsh! Rah Rah Roo!
Okay, I think that will about do it for now. Thank you for all the birthday greeting and support!
I love you all!

Elder 'Only 141 More Days Until Christmas' Bergera