Tuesday, August 27, 2013

 I figure it has been awhile since you got pictures, so here you go!

Parseltongue is a dialect of Malagasy.

Mocellin and I parting ways as he transferred down to Antsirabe last month.

Yvette's daugther. She is sooo funny.

Birthday breakfast.

Teddy and I, my Mahajanga pal.

Elder Aloi, the night before we moved.

A mission changes people.

I went back a few months to pull out this picture; Mahajanga.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hey Mom!
haha, 'the magic of counting' haha. I appreciate you not giving me the number, but it's all right though now. Elder Aloi just typed something on his email about how many days I have left and he made sure that I saw it, haha. That little goof ball. It's okay though. I'm not trunky, haha. I'll be honest though, when I saw that '30' there on his screen... wow. It really hit me how completely quick that will come. Seriously. Thrity days is nothing. It's like on 'Supersize Me.' That was a good thirty days of eating just straight McDonalds. Now I am starting my 'Supersize Me' of sorts, only I won't be physically eating anything for a month, but rather feasting on this great place I have been able to serve for this past while. Hopefully I'll be able to keep running this next month so I won't really be supersized by the time I get home. 
We've been doing good this past week though. We have been wearing our house in well, and that is to say that we've gotten all moved in and comfortable now. We spent a good part of the morning today cleaning and tiding up the place. I said it this morning and I will say it again, I am slightly looking forward to the time I don't have to share a house with six guys. Maybe I will have to anyway at college or whatever, so it's fine, but really though. It is a bit annoying sometimes living with so many dudes. Guys aren't really the cleanest specimens on this planet. It really is fun though, so I can't say I don't like it, but there are just some of those days where it gets really annoying mess-wise.
Thank you for the picture by the way, haha. It was like seeing myself lying in my own bed in a month, but not. Weiiird. Twilight zone even. I even zoomed in to that little tiny picture to show a couple of missionaries what I looked like at Graduation. Missionaries and members here are always way surprised when they see pictures of me with long hair. It's the funniest. They always ask me too how long it took me to grow it out, which I never quite know what to say to quite honestly. I just tell them that I didn't really get a hair cut in high school, which is more or less true. Some people are fans of it, some aren't... I guess some things never change! They always ask me if I will grow it out that long again, and to that I also have no idea what to tell them.
I will be growing my beard out. Sometime. It is too thick now not to. There is still some bare patches inbetween my moustache and my chin, but that's okay. That is what we call a Jack Sparrow beard. 
Enough about beards though. The work here is going pretty well. We are finally starting to be less depended on here in the office with the Clowards getting cozy in their office chairs, and now we are back out working and preaching hard again. It's fun. Even though going out and contacting can seem intimidating sometimes, it is honestly way fun to me for some reason. The people here are just so easy to talk to. You can just astonish just about anyone being white and speaking malagasy. That can be dangerous too when talking about preaching the gospel, for a lot of people will want to just talk to you and try to learn english. Not that that is such a huge concern, but when really just wanting to bring souls to Christ, it can be a bit hard. Especially when they let you in the house and start taking the discussions, but their real motive is really just to learn English. Elder Fox and I got caught on that hardcore with this kid named Benjamin in Mahajanga. He was a way nice, cool guy, but he just wanted to learn English. We found some pretty promising people yesterday though. One is actually the sister-in-law to one of the members in our ward, and we just happened to run into her at a little epicerie yesterday (we weren't buying anything, we just woo'd them to speak to us with our Malagasy).
Long story short though, it is going pretty good here. It is a bit over-whelming at times that I will only be here for *gulp* thirty more days. And by overwhelming I just mean, well, a lot of mixed feelings! The second half of a mission goes by a lot faster than the first. A million times faster. I'm pretty sure I already told you this once, but I honestly cannot fathom that nearly a year has passed since I first went to Mahajanga. That doesn't even seem possible.
I feel blessed like crazy to have the opportunity to serve here. I still have a month left to serve and I am happy to do it, the good and the bad.
My tapa-bolana companion Elder Lambson told me in an email I got today:

"Live it up, cause you'll be missing it for the rest of your life afterwards :)"
Oh yeah. Isn't that the truth!
Okay, next week!

ELder BErgera

Monday, August 12, 2013

So my homecoming talk will be September 22nd, eh? That sounds great! Do you know what the topic is? I'm glad it'll be nice and quick, right in the thick of all the excitement of the week. What time does our church start now? According to my calculations... 11:00? I need to know so I can start telling all my RM buds when they need to come and everything. It's good to hear too that I already have a nice bed and everything set up for when I get home too. It's alright though, even if the whole email was pretty much just talking about the future, it's okay. I know you are excited and I would have to lie to say if I wasn't too. You're right though, for I do have 39 days left on this beautiful island here (you probably don't have to be so specific on your countdown next time, haha).
We've had a pretty good week this week though. Just another crazy week of mission transfers. Us office elders are pretty much on top of all the transportation that happens during these transfers, and I am happy to say that we got everyone where they needed to go. Only one Elder had to wait a day or two for his forgotten luggage, but that's only a technicality. We even got to drop of a Malagasy elder at the airport his past week. He is from Fort Dauphin, the southern tip of Madagascar, and is now currently serving in Cape Town, South Africa. These weeks truly are crazy though, absolutely full of a whole different type of missionary work. Usually we don't get a whole bunch of time to go out teaching and stuff on these weeks, but that's just all for the work. 
We have been working with the new office couple very well though. The Clowards are from Provo, and Sister Cloward has been telling me that the Payson temple is looking pretty great. She also told me something like they have the Tabernacle Temple up on stilts or something so they can go about building in a basement. Sounds pretty crazy!
This past week we also saw a good group of missionaries go home. Elder Bates, one of those Elders, said he is going to come down from his hometown in Canada to come to my homecoming. That means next month you all might be able to meet a Canadian! Cool.
Now we are just going into yet another busy week here in the office. Days are still just going by as fast as lightening, and I guess that's just how it is! I think one really important thing I have learned here working in the office is how much you really can get done in a day, and on top of that, how fast days really do go by. 'Tis good.
Anyways though, I am doing well. We moved into a new house this past week. Our new house is nice, though it has a bunch of little problems that need to be fixed. That just comes with new houses though, so it is not a big deal. I'm currently living with Elder Payne, an Elder from Orem, Utah who has been here three months, and he was showing me some pictures this morning of the 4th of July Hot Air Balloons. I forgot about those. Those are nice.
Anyways again, I am doing well. Thank you for the email again and I will try my hardest to 'make the most of the little moments' this next month as you said.
I love you and YOU don't forget to bless your food too!

Elder Austin Bergera/Space-man