Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Here we meet again,
So this week has actually been a way cool week. Well, I shouldn't say 'cool' in that sense because really it has been probably one of the hottest weeks of my life temperture wise, but still. You know what I mean. 
But yeah, it's way hot up here. I don't really know what in °F it would be. I have no idea. I can't really remember too well all that stuff. What I do know though is that a lot of the houses here have metal roofs that do NOT cool down very well. Many a times this past week I have sat in the houses of investigators with sweat trickling down my face, and I just wipe it off and keep going. I've started to carry around a 1.5L bottle with me as I go around throughout the day, and even now I think I need more. It's good though. I love it so much up here. It feels like I am actually on an island now, you know? With big old coconut trees and sand and things. It's good. I really am loving it.
I am trying to pick up on the dialect as well. We worked with a branch missionary yesterday, and as we were walking around he taught me some of the Sakalava words. Sakalava is the tribe/dialect up here. They can all speak Merina though, like I think I said last week. So a missionary could really work here with just speaking the official language, but I think it's fun to learn the dialect. It's like you are learning a language within a language. A dream within a dream. Things are getting deep. Inception. No but seriously though, just for an example: Banana: Merina (official) - Akondro, Sakalava - Kida. Isn't that fun? "Ohatr'inona ny kida?" "Six Cent (that's french)." "Ataovy." A classic conversation.
Another fun thing about this week happened last saturday. We had a baptism last saturday, and Majunga is one of the last places here in Madagascar that still does ocean baptisms, so you know. It was at the ocean. Even cooler news: I did some baptism interviews last friday, and after we had finished up one little family, the Elder I was with asked them who they wanted to do their baptisms. The mother of the family chose me to do hers! Oh bless you maman'ny hiasana. Bless you! So, long story short, I baptized her last saturday. In the ocean. With waves, and sand, and shells, and boats, and all that cool oceany stuff you always dream about. I was there, baptising in it. Just an incredible blessing.
Enough about me though. These people up here are way cool. The little girls don't wear shirts until they are about 10 I guess. Everyone still thinks were are french. All in all though, things are good.
Things are good.
We have one branch up here, and there are four missionaries. The branch president is way cool. A way solid guy. I met him yesterday at church and he just really seems to know what he is doing. The english class up here has some really good english speakers in it which sure impressed me. 
it's like I said though, things are just good.
I think that's about all I have for this week though, for we are about to leave the cyber soon. 
I'll catch you all next week!

Elder "I just started my third journal" Bergera

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hello Earthlings,
So yeah, I'd love to tell you all the cool new stuff I have been doing in my new area. All the cool coast things (yes, I am on the beach), and all the cool everythings, but I can't yet. Well I could tell you the little bit I have seen this morning, but that's about it. You see.. okay actually, we'll start on Friday night.
Last Friday night (not Katy Perry though), my new companion and Elder Marsh's new companion came down from mahajanga to attend the zone conference that would be happening that saturday. they came to the house, and we started the transfer right there. My new companion Elder Kovacs (who is, to answer your question, American) and I went out, caught a taxi, and after a bit of a journey went to the assistance's house to spend the night. The assistances have a nice house. The next morning we went to the office for the Zone Conference. Elder Cook, a regional Seventy for this area came down to Madagascar and attended our zone conference. Well, i guess he did a lot more than just attend it, but you know what I mean. He gave a really good talk about obedience and about sticking to the principles in Preach My Gospel. All in all, way good. Just a real motivator. It really gets your gears all back in order, if you know what I am saying. Elder Cook is a real smiley guy to, haha. I think that's his favorite thing to do. One of the most memorable things he said was "I love this book!" He said, referring to Preach My Gospel, "hahahahaha!" I wish I could be half as optimistic as this guy, haha. 
Following the zone conference I went on splits with a few elders and helped them work in their area, for I no longer have an area in Tana. This all went and according to plan. In the evening we returned to the Assistance's house for one more night.
The next morning we were at the bus station at 7:30 a.m. ready to go. We sat in the bus for about an hour waiting for everyone to get in and ready to go, then at 9 we finally took off. 
Twelve hours later we got to Mahajanga. Yeah, that was a long ride. I don't know exactly how long it would take to go 500km in America, but here its twelve hours. The whole ride was pretty much big snake bends the whole time. I must say though, I felt way blessed cause I really didn't even get car sick that entire time. And truth be told, the first nine hours weren't even bad. Yeah, we crossed some pretty sketchy bridges, but they were cool. I mean it's cool to not know if a bridge will hold out or not, right? Or to hear the metal plates holding the bridge together move and pop. These things are cool. Once the sun went down though, that's went the going got tough. I don't know why, it's as if my sanity were tied to the sun, and once it faded, so did I. But, as all things do, the journey ended. We pulled up to our house at about 9 p.m. and that was that. Now we are here. It is a lot hotter here though. I haven't even been here a day and I can already tell you that. 
Another thing worth noting is that they speak a bit of a different dialect here. I can tell that their conversations are different, and maybe one day they will make more sense to me, but as for now I just hear it. It's not too hard though, really, just different.
One the bus ride here though, I sat next to a lady and I didn't know what she was. she wore a thing on her head you know, like a shawl thing, and when she spoke on the phone I had no idea what it the world language it was. Maybe hebrew or jewish. Are those still living languages? She was pretty white, whiter than malgasies, but not cacausian. She spoke malagasy, but you could tell it was not her first or second language. Nothing more really to say about her, but she was cool and noteworthy anyway. She gave us some orange slices too, which was nice. Oh yeah, and she kept falling asleep and bobbing her head around, then the driver would do a sudden brake press, then she'd hit her head on the sit infront of her. I felt bad, but I didn't know what to do, so I let her sleep on. Elder Marsh actually did that in a bus once, super hard. I laughed a lot that time, but I didn't dare laugh at the lady. 
A cool thing about being on the beach is that we can walk around in sandles on p-days, which is way cool. I feel cool. And the sweat on my forehead feels cool too, haha.
Anyway, I think that about does it for this time. The heat is calling me.
I love you all so very much. Even though I am a lot further from the office now, don't cease to send me letters, haha. It's a cool things to do. You want to be cool, right?
Okay, thank you all for your support and prayers.
Elder IceBerg

p.s. I actually couldn't see those pumpkins you were talking about in those pictures. i believe that calls for more?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hey Mom,

I am stuck at a computer that I can't get to change into an english keyboard again.. it's way annoying to have to press the delete button all the time for when I forget about the key changes. I'm a lot better at it than I used to be, so its okay.
So about the transfer news....
Yes! I will be getting transferred! we got the news last night, and now i am way excited because i am going to a way sweet place. I will be going to a province called Mahajanga/Majunga (depending on the french or malgasy spelling), which is up on the northern part of the island. its the northern most part a missionary can go so far, and it is apparently the hottest place on the island as well. and we are now entering into summer. I am way mega excited though, way ready to sweat my head off. Its the one place that i actually really wanted to go to; and now im going! i am not too stoked for the 14 hour bus ride, but oh well. that is certainly a small price to pay for a super cool area. I should be up and all settled in by next week.
though I must admit I will be sad to leave ol' Elder Marsh here in Tana. and it is way nice to be able to go to the office every pday and look for the sweets.... again though; it's a small price to pay. 
I have seen a lot of good success here in my current area of sabotsy namehana. it's a small little branch, but I have really enjoyed my time here. 
all this moving around really just makes me think.. it's so crazy how fast a mission goes.. it really is! i mean I definitely dont feel as though i have been in my second area as long as i was in my first, but now here we go. I have been, and longer; and now I am already moving. Time is so precious, you know? (and it's too bad i have to waste it pressing backspace) but seriously, every day counts, you know? even if it feels like thats "just another day." but that day matters though! 
It's good. c'est bon for sure.
You asked if they had malagasy scriptures in large print: i guess. I mean, they are pretty large print to begin with. Just the standard copy, so I mean yeah. they are larger than the normal english script; which is good.
To answer a different question: malagasy missionaries can go to any number of the mtcs in africa. Ghana, South africa.. i have a feeling there is another one too in there but I might be wrong.

anyway though, i really dont know what to say anymore. this french keyboard thing keeps distracting my brain and then I lose tract of what I want to say. 
ya'll can be expecting postcards soon, i think. they should be getting close!
I love you all!

E. Austin Boston