Tuesday, April 30, 2013

All righty, first and foremost I guess I should tell you that I spelled Elder Lambson's name wrong, for it is an 'a' and not an 'o.' I really jumped to conclusions on that one. Anyways, to clear up any confusion though, that's they way you spell his name. Some Malagasies who are better at English call him 'lamb son' in malgasy. Laughs all around. Nah, he's a way good guy though. I really like my new companion. I don't remember if I told you this at all last week, but his mission will be ending in June, which is coming pretty close. He's doing way goood though to stay working hard and doing good. I am honestly really impressed. We haven't been working a full week together yet and I can already tell that this transfer is going to be a good one. I am also living with my trainer again, which has been super fun so far. Good ol' Elder Watts. He'll be also be going home in June. They go home june 26th actually, to be exact. That's the big Malgasy independence day, if you all remember you major Malagasy holidays like you should. Remember:
June 26th - Malagasy Independence Day
March 8th - Women's Day
May 1st - Labor Day
We've got all the holidays you need down here in Madagascar. 
Anyways though, our house is just full of great elders right now and everything is going well. 
My companion is from Provo though, as you were wondering. Pretty close to home! He's a good guy though. He is happy to be back here in Madagascar where the people are a bit more inclined to listen to our teachings than how they were in Mauritius. Not really that they don't listen, for apparantely they listen more than how the missionary work goes in Reunion, but here in Madagascar the work just goes super well. There is a pretty solid foundation in some of these older wards here in Antananarivo. Especially here in Betongolo. I have been loving serving here in Betongolo so far and I seriously hope that I will be able to be here for longer. I wouldn't be too surprised honestly if I were here until the end, haha. It's not too impossible. 
I will most definitely be needing one copy of the conference Liahona, thank you. They always take forever to get the liahonas here to the mission office. We just recently got the February issue.. haha, so yeah. I would very much appreciate if you wouldn't mind sending me an issue. Thank you ny mialoha. 
Thank you for the encouragement for the May 25th baptisms. I will invite anyone who would want to to pray for Lala and Tatiana, the two who will get baptised on that day, that they may be able to catch that day. Lala just has a bit of a problem with cigarettes still, but we are working with him on it. It should be a real good time. I am really looking forward to it. 
I am really glad you like the letter though. I would sure hope so!

That's all I have time for now though!

Secretly and Sincerely,

Elder Bergera

ps Blake goes home in November, if I am not mistakes, just to answer your question. Eric, Chase and I all in October, and Wyatt in December!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hey Mom!
Okay, thank you for the list of colors. It will come in handy. For what?? Oh, I don't know..
Yeah I heard about all the bombs and the factory explosion. It's pretty crazy! It's kind of weird how fast news travels around the world too. They told us at the office meeting we attended early last week. I don't really know of the specifics (obviously), but it is just one of those randoms acts of terror that remind us of how fragile this life is. Even the random guy who cut my hair is a rickety wooden shack this morning had heard about it, and we talked about it for a little bit. 
And how about that little earthquake! I feel like Chelsie is always the one to feel those things.. That big one is sure coming one of these days! It is twenty thousand years overdue you know!
I don't really know what else to talk about that though.
In other news, we have a transfer coming in hot here up in Betongolo. My current companion, Elder Mocellin, is being transferred to an area called Ankorandrano, which is here in Antananarivo still. That means I will be getting a new companion! My new companion is Elder Lambsen. Elder Lambsen will be finishing his mission up in June, so it looks like I will be his last companion and I will be here a good while. Honestly I wouldn't mind if I just stayed here til the end, but I guess we'll see, haha. I am excited for my new companion though, he seems like a really good guy. He's been serving in Maritius (that's a whole different island country here within 
 the mission boundaries) for nearly a year now. I will miss ol' Elder Mocellin. He cracks me up, but sometimes he drives me nuts lol jk ;)
We said goodbye to my driving school teacher today. Elder Barclay, the AP (assistant to the president), is leaving to go back to Reunion today, and then after two more days he will be heading on a long plane ride home! He's finished! I'll miss that kid, for he taught me the way of the clutch well, but he said he'll come to my homecoming so it's all right. I guess that's coming up fairly soon now right? haha, I don't want to think about that yet.
Conference went really well. Every time someone started to say a prayer though, I always expected the translaters voice to come on and translate the prayer into Malagasy. Then I got slightly weirded out everytime it didn't, haha. I really really enjoyed conference though. I especially liked the one you told me about a few weeks ago; D. Todd Christofferson's 'Jean Valjean' reference. Waaay cool. It was only a matter of time before that was brought to a conference session anyway, and now the time is right. I would say my absolute favorite absolute classic would be President Monson's talk in the priesthood sesson. Booooom, the spirit. That's what it felt like.
Funny story: I ordered a little plaque off the side of the road at a odd street vendor. I ordered one that read 'Tsy Kivy' which means 'not frustrated/ not discouraged.' I thought it was simple and kind of cool. So I ordered one. Well we just went to pick it up and it was really crappily made. They have some nice sample ones hanging on the wall, but the one they made me was all messily painted and a bit of an eyesore. I was 'kivy.' The lady saw that and she said she'll try to make me a new one, so we'll see what happens. I guess if i want to by a 'tsy kivy' sign I shouldn't be so easily kivy, but hey, I want quality, you know? The guys were really nice about it, and I don't know if it was cause I am a vazaha or what, but hopefully it'll get all sorted out, haha.
Things are going really well for one of our investigator families. Lala and Tatiana are one middle aged couple we are really working with. Tatiana (the mom) and all their kids are really diligent and always come to church, but just these last few months Lala, the husband, has been showing an interest. We've set a baptism date with them for May 25th, so any added prayers on their behalf would be greatly appreciated. We are hoping that this great family can finally be baptized together!
I'd say that's about all I have to say though. I'll try to add some nice pictures for all of you view pleasure.
My companion is seen feeding the sheep.

Elder Mocellin loves scarfs.

Elder Barclay's last night.

Booof. .

This girl just jumped around my neck.

Elder Mocellin and I in Antananarivo.

This is Lala and Tatiana (and their kids Tania, and Sitraka)

Eating rice.

Taxi daze.

And that's all he wrote.

Elder Bergera

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Okay, so I literally have about four minutes to write this letter, so I don't know how much I will be able to get acrossed.
I just barely sent out a written letter to you so hopefully you will get that before mothers day. That at least was the hope in writing it and getting it out at this time. Just let me know what happens. I already told you that I got the package though, right? I loved it. I am putting those shoe insoles to good use and I swear those cadburry chocolate easter eggs were the best chocolate ever. Kind of a weird chocolate. Like, not an everyday type of chocolate you know? Very good. Thank you for that as well. I have been eating those little heart candies little by little; carefully observing what they say before eating each one. The one I ate last night said 'Fax Me' which I thought was totally appropriate for this century. It took me back to my days of faxing all those ladies back in the day. Wow. Those really were the days.
Okay sorry, I am wasting all my time being weird (lol though). We had an awesome ward activity on Saturday here in the Betongolo Ward. All the members are going out on trying to get new investigators and we had 39 investigators at our activity. It turned out super great. Now the only trouble is trying to get in contact with them all again and get some progress going. Definitely nice.
I am really looking forward to conference this weekend though. It's kind of been on the highlighted mode of my mind. Yessss.
Hey mom, can you perhaps send me a list of all the different colors you and your sisters are? I cant remember all of them. Not for any reason though. Just curious. :3
okay, that'll be it for this round
I'll catch you on the upper crest
Elder 'Slitherscales and Ratted Tails' Bergera
ps. I hit my 'chick mish' haha. Cool.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ho an' izay mety ho voakasik' izao:
Well I am glad you all are getting some nice rain. The rainy season is coming to a good close here, finally. Nah, it went by super quick this year actually. I am glad it is finishing up though. Being in Mahajanga while it rained a ton wasn't too bad honestly, but having to cram in a already waaay to full bus after being soaking wet is not my idea of a good time. It didn't even rain once this week though, so things are all good. The weather has just been moving back to the weird 'vadibadika' days, or, that is to say the weather consitantly changes from hot midday temperatures to chilly cold nights. It's way weird, but I don't mind it too much. 
This week has gone by pretty fast, just like all the others I suppose. We taught a way cool guy yesterday though. We tracted into late into last week, and only just yesterday were we finally able to get a good time with him. His name is Lanto and he is a fairly young father. His third child is just on the way. His work has something to do with America, but i honestly can't really remember what. He has one daughter who kept speaking french to us, which I thought was a bit annoying at first just cause everyone does that to us. At least my companion can understand (usually), but turns out that this girl only speaks French at school (it's one of those nicer schools) and so she just honestly isn't used to speaking Malagasy. I thought that was pretty funny, even though I honestly think that's one of the saddest parts about this country. At lot of the culture is lost in the 'higher class' things. There still are a ton of rich Malagasies, but yeah. This guy is way cool though. He told us that he watched a documentary once about the church and he asked us about Polygamy. My companion is a boss and explained the whole thing really well. I just think it was cool to teach a guy who has that much access media to find out about something like that. He was super nice about the whole thing too. He didn't scream it at us or anything, he just simply asked us what that was about. We invited him to a ward activity we've been planning these passed few weeks and he seemed really interested the go. the entire activity is based on the Restoration, so if he comes it could really make for an awesome time. 
Hey I just want you all to know that i have been typing this whole thing with the french keyboard. I have a new technic to typing. I will switch off from typing on the English keyboard setting to using the french keyboard setting. This way I can now say that I can not only speak two languages, but I can also type two different language settings fluently. It's a really useful skill that a lot of the big paying jobs look out for in an employée, so i am really glad I have been able to pick it up on my mission so far. Yeah okay fine I made that whole thing up, but maybe when I get home I will switch the home keyboard to the french one and that way only I will be able to effectively write with it. Yessss...
No but in all honesty things are going well. I am glad you at least got to catch a bit of conference. We here in the Indian Ocean are still patiently waiting for it. If what you said about one of the talks having a Les Miserables quote infused in there is true then woah buddy! We are in for a great conference!
That weekend will be a pretty big one. We'll be having yet another transfer than weekend and my companion has been here a good six months, so we can all expect a change happening over here in Betongolo.
Time is just a flyin' here on the mish. 
I'll be honest. Le stomach of mine is a bit on gnar-gnar level two mode. I fear we may be diving head first into level three mode here quick, but it's all good. Sometimes it's like playing door-door on a goofball night. You think you've swindled all the monsters in their individual swinging doors, but little do you know you're moving on to the next level where the monsters learn own whole new bag of tricks. Whoops!
When is mothers day? I'm about 100% sure I want to skype on that day. It should be pretty easy considering my position, but we'll see. That's coming up way quick though. I wouldn't even expect it!
Okay, that'll be it for now.
Seven days;
Elder Antonio Bernadino

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Don't worry Mother, I had (and still AM having! haha... yes. Easter Monday) a very hoppy easter. My companion thinks the name 'Easter' is stupid. He doesn't understand why the holiday would be called something that is 'more east,' but whatevs. It is called Pâques in French, and in Malagasy they just take all the french names and gasy-fy it, so it's Paka, or Paska. I don't know why they put an 's' in it sometimes. We honestly really didn't do anythings all too special for the holiday. The big party town for this holiday is in Antsirabe, and I am not there this year. Last year, sure thing, but I am older and wiser. I can't be apart of such parties anymore. I am a dignified office elder. It's been a pretty good couple of days though. We ate a nice meal with some of our investigators yesterday, and I have been paying for it this morning with frequent bathroom visits, but that's just all part of the fun. The meal was actually pretty good though. Joelyn, the wife, made some nice curry chicken with rice. Elder Mocellin made a pear cake which we shared with them. All in all it was a very nice meal. I can't really think of anything else we specifically did for the holiday though. We just worked hard and tried to teach people about Christ. I guess that's all we need to do.
We are planning a really nice activity with our ward here in Betongolo for the 13th of April. We are focusing on the members and trying to help them all have their own missionary experiences. That's the real key, you know. If missionarries are the only ones doing this work, we are just a bunch of lone wolves in the forest. Pointless. We need the members to take the recent converts and investigators. They must take them and nourish them; to love them. It's a big world out there.
You were in a ranting rampage rejecting passing through Salem during the last weekend of March due to the color festival (which I am stoked on because I'm not going to miss another again). You asked how to say 'no' in Malagasy, to which I reply 'tsia.' That is how you say it.
Tsia. (ts-ee-uh)
You asked me why the color festival is so popular. It's just the thrill of everything. I don't really know what that means, but that's just what it is.
Everything here in Madagascar is going well though. 
Here is a message from my ol MTC companion and Mahajanga bro Elder Fox:
Hello Elder Bergeras Family. this is elder fox, your son is doing great. he is having a fun time in this wild place. this is a english keyboard and i am used to using a french one. so thats fun. thanks for making a awesome kid and companion. okay i think thats all but have a fun day. ta ta for now

So there you go. There is a message from the great Elder Fox. I seem like I can't just get away from this kid my entire mission. Although we aren't in the same house this time, we are in the same district anyway. I love this kid so much. 

I am sending a picture I took from the window of a bus we rode last week. So there you go.

Peace y'alls.

Elder Bergera