Monday, June 24, 2013

Hey Mom!
Yeah, haha, I thought you might like that news. It's pretty close huh? I know I still have a lot of work to do here though, and I am glad for it. We are having a busy schedule this week already actually, haha. We will be doing a lot of driving back and forth, taking missionaries to bus stations that will take them to their new areas. Driving stick shift has gotten loads easier for me, though it still has its annoying times here and there. I honestly don't see the 'fun' in driving stick, but I haven't driven automatic in a long while, so maybe I am having a lot of fun anyway and I just don't realize it! Wooo!
As for what I will need in my room... well a closet and a mattress sounds pretty good to me. that's all i really would 'require.' You can leave the computer there too, along with the desk. That's all I can think of now. I will tell you more later about my actual 'plans,' but for now I honestly don't have much time.
Right now we are about to go and make brownies to bring to an investigators house for Family Home Evening. They call brownies here 'mofo kadradraka' meaning 'cockroach bread' haha steming from an old missionary joke that we make the brownies using crush up cockroaches, haha.

I haven't received the package yet, but they are going tomorrow to pick up packages, so let's cross our fingers!
Okay, sorry that this letter is super short. I anticipated having a lot more time than i actually do now, but it's okay because you are still smiling from ear to ear because of the good news right? Right!
Okay, I love you! Thank you for all you do!
Elder Bergera

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dear Sister Bergera,
This letter is to inform you that your son Elder Austin J. Bergera will be leaving from his mission in the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission on 18 September 2013. You should receive an email with his travel itinerary soon from Church travel. We have appreciated your sons dedicated service to the Lord here in Madagascar.
Now go buy our Disneyland tickets!

Sincerely yours,

Elder Bergera
The Fresh Prince of Madagascar
Madagascar Mission Office

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reny ô!

I will be keeping my eyes peeled for that package. I am in the office all the time now days anyway, so that should honestly be pretty easy, haha.
Speaking of that, the work in the office is going pretty well actually. There sure are a lot of things to remember but we still have two more weeks until the current office couple leaves so I am not too worried about anything. I wil just have to take some really nice notes before they leave. I am in charge of make sure the mission presidents flights to all the different areas get taken care of, so I better not mess up, haha. Don't worry, I will learn my duties thoroughly. I think one of the best things about being here in the office is just getting to know the whole mission well. Not that we get to talk to ALL of the missionaries all the time or anything, but you always need to have a good knowledge of everything going on in the mission. I've always liked knowing who is where and who the new missionaries coming in are, and this is the perfect setting for that. I would say that's the best part actually, just being aware. You asked about the worst part too, and I would honestly say that it is just that we don't have a whole lot of time to work. I mean to go out and to teach. Going out and teaching cool Malagasy families is by far my favorite part of being here. People are so grateful for coming and teaching you, and they thank you for the big 'sacrifice' we make. I don't really see it so much as a sacrifice as much as a privilege, haha. I mean, not all the lessons all the time are awesome. There are plenty of awkward lessons. On top of all those awkward lessons though, there are many people wanting and praying for you to visit, and when you do, it's awesome. The hospitality of the people here what makes the work here so fun. Here in the office though, we don't get a whole lot of time to go out and work. We still have about three hours every night, but those hours go by in an instant. We are still getting work done though, and I am super glad to be able to be here in the office and serve in this way. It's a whole new ballgame.
We actually had a baptism this past Saturday with a girl named Sariaka. I am pretty sure I have mentioned her before, and she finally got baptized this past week. She's only nine (turning ten on the 26th), but she really is super smart. We used the church's baptism font to hold it, and I am still getting over the fact that we actually have a font here. I've never had one in any other area. The water was a bit green though... I'm not sure what that was about. And oh boy was it cold! I haven't mentioned too much about this yet, but winter is coming back. I haven't NOT worked with a sweater on in weeks. There have been plenty of hot afternoons, but once that sun goes down it gets cold again. You could tell the water in the baptism font had been sitting under the COLD ground, but Sariaka didn't complain about it at all, so I figured I wouldn't, haha. I wasn't the one getting dunked, haha. Her dad even came to the baptism, whom I had never seen before. All in all it was a very nice day.
My toenail is in very good shape by the way. Absolutely no problems anymore. You can even see a little tiny stub of toenail growing back in, and it's looking good! There is still a bit of scab tissue over a good part of the nail, but it doesn't hurt or anything anymore. Nothing bad happened when I submerged it underwater for the baptism, so hey, I can't complain.
Yeah though, you probably won't need to worry to much about sending me a package after my birthday, haha. I think I'll make it.
Everything is going well though. 
The streets are getting rowdy with laser pointers and fire crackers as the Malagasy Indepedance Day draws near on the 26th of this month. That's a pretty big day for us too. We have a couple and 10 missionaries leaving (one being my trainer Elder Watts, and another being my two week companion Elder Lambson) and another 15 coming in that day. It'll be a nice day, haha.
Well, I think that's about all I have in me for the week.

Look on the bright side!

Elder Bergera

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Thank you for that great last letter! Just reading your description of how Cody's farewell all went made me feel like I was really there. I guess that's why your a writer! Thank you so much though, really. It's like you said, "I was there to represent you, so I hope you feel the love I have for you in doing that, and like you were a part of things." I thank you so much Mom for being there for me! I really do feel like I was there now, and there is nothing else I could ask for. I am really glad the funeral was able to go well and that they were able to get his body there and the funeral was able to be held in such a respectful manner. I appreciate you taking the time to do all that for me. When me and the other dudesters get back, we'll have to go and visit him and pay our respects our own way. 

I am really excited for that package to come and to get all those things you talked about. One more thing I was thinking about that would be nice to get in package is maybe some stickers I could give to kids. You have indeed been doing well to supply me with stickers, and maybe just add some more because kids love to get stickers. We've been working well with this one recently activated family lately and every time we go there they ask for a sticker, so I let them all pick one sticker and they put it on their hand. What they do with it after, well, heavens knows. It's been fun though.

With that same family as well we found out that their nine (almost ten) year old daughter hadn't been baptized, so we've also been teaching her with them these last few weeks and helping her prepare for baptism. Her name is Sariaka and she is suuuper cute, haha. It's way crazy too because I am pretty sure I wasn't as smart as she is when I was that young. I'll be baptizing her this Saturday (June 8th). We should have another couple maybe getting baptized a week from then too, but it all depends on the husbands commitment with the word of wisdom. We worked with him a lot throughout the month of May to help him, and we'll see if he can stick to it. I am really excited to see what happens with him. His name is Mo and his wife is Zoeline, so if you wanted to pray for them I won't stop you.

One more "couple" we have been working with (I use the quotation marks because I am not sure if they are for sure 'a thing' or what the deal is, haha) came to church for the first time yesterday. The man is a mid-twenty year old, and the son of a super active recent convert. His parents were baptized May 2012, so I don't know if they necessarily count as 'recent convert status' or what, but that's still pretty recent if you ask me. Anyway, their son who hadn't really shown a whole bunch of interest in the church before has been really showing a lot of interest lately. We have been teaching him with a 'friend who is a girl' for a good couple of weeks now. He always asks super deep questions, but not deep like dumb pointless deep (who created God?), but actually really good, interesting questions. We even taught them on Saturday night and we invited him to church. He straight up told us that he won't be able to come but maybe next time. Lo and behold look who walks into sacrament meeting! Esperan is his name and Tatiana is the girl. They are super cool. He was all smiles once the priesthood quorum got out, and I don't think it was because church got out, haha. 

We are going to be starting our 'office training' tomorrow, which I am actually pretty excited about. I will be in charge of booking flights and things, and so it is likely that I may be ordering my very own flight plans, haha (still no official news as to when that will be though). I did notice an Elder Morley coming from Spanish Fork though, so that's cool. He'll be getting here on September 18th, so I may or may not be here. They also have three french missionaries coming that day. Just so you know, haha. 

My toe is doing great though, so don't worry about me. It's still a little sensitive, and I don't really expect that to go away real soon, but it's not too bad. Pushing the backside of your toe feels all weird when you don't have a toenail. It feels.. unnatural. It's okay though. This is how we grow; through awkward, unnatural situations. My stomach is a-ok now though. Absolutely no problems there. And yes, we had refrigerated the roast over night, but I think we figured the problem might have been we just stuck the slow cooker pot into fridge with the lid on, and maybe that lid kept the heat in and heated the meat just long enough to spoil a bit. Who knows. That's all we could figure out and I'll buy it. 

Everything else is going well though. Just the thing about us taking over the office is the biggest gossip around these parts. I would tell you all my office duties, but hey, that's official hogwarts business. 

I am really excited for the pictures you are sending in the package. I love pictures. This little piece broke on my camera so I haven't been taking a huge amount of pictures lately, but it's all right. 

Jason's mustache is a beautiful stallion.

Thank you for everything.

Elder Bergera 

Okay, there are three:
One is me with a green moth buddy we found.
One is my toenail. Nice!
One is a picture that one kid in our english class found on facebook and printed off. This nearly flattered me but mostly just creeped me out to tell you the truth. The picture really shows off my 'bad-boy' days though.