Someone who leaves their family for a short time, so that others may be with their families for ETERNITY.

Monday, March 16, 2015

It wasn't pretty but I made it!

The last remarks of a dying missionary.
Here we are. Two years of missionary service. Who would have dreamed they would go by so fast? I only wish that I had more time. I feel the true weight of my calling as a missionary, and I realize that I didn't always appreciate how important the work I am doing is. 
It hasn't been easy. In fact this has been the most emotionally, physically, and mentally taxing thing I have ever done. Elder Fox and I were having a conversation the other night about how it just feels like a dream sometimes, that we are here in pretty much the farthest corner of the earth, speaking a language most people have never heard of, walking through hills and rice patties to interrupt people in their daily lives to tell them that in 1820 a 14 year old boy prayed in a grove of trees, saw God and Jesus Christ, and proceeded to restore the gospel to the earth. Worth it. I would do this again in a heartbeat. No question in my mind. No matter how depressed and blue I have been, no matter how frustrating it is to try to teach people that won't understand, I would do it again to experience those good moments. I feel, sometimes, like Nephi. 2 Nephi 32:7 "I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance. and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, now understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them i plainness, even as plain as word can be." Unfortunately, it is time to move on. 
I know I am still a long way from being perfect. In the words of Elder Fox, "If Joseph Smith was a rough stone rolling, I'm a brick sliding." However, I am determined. I have felt the comforting hand of the Lord in my life, and I will never go back. 
I know that my Redeemer lives. I have not seen Him, nor touched the nail prints in His hands, but were I to do so I don't know if I could know any more certainly that He lives. 
I love you, and I hope you know that I wouldn't have made it here without you. I am forever grateful for that, and I hope that some day I will be able to repay you but for now my gratitude will have to suffice.
And now I, Elder Galbreath, make an end to my speaking and bid thee farewell, until I shall be brought forth triumphantly, flying through the air in a 777 and am brought forth to meet you in an airport terminal.
Elder Galbreath the fifth

Monday, February 9, 2015

This week happened

That's pretty much all I can say for it. 

Mom's questions first

Investigators are coming along. We taught this way awesome family last night named F and E, they have three kids. They are the sickest people in the world. We were teaching them about the restoration yesterday and gave them a Book of Mormon. They were legitimately flabergasted when we gave it to them. They were like "this book would cost like 50 thousand ariary probably, and you are just giving it to us for free. We are going to read this." I was like oh yeah, uh huh, go spirit, it's your birthday. So we are way pumped about them. Everyone else is kind of decent. We have a lot of people that could be incredible progressing investigators but we haven't been able to catch them in like two weeks and so it's hard to help them progress. But we are keeping our heads up and staying focussed. 

Yes I am sure I want grandpa scriptures, I like the margins to be big. I have developed a cross-reference writing habit that really helps me see connections and understand scriptures. I don't really care what color, I liked my maroon ones so I guess that's a good option. Not blue. I don't dig that. 

An iPhone is great. Something I can put the gospel library and conference talks and stuff on. 

Whichever week they want me to speak on works for me, and I don't really care where I do it. I really am pretty chill about all that. In case you didn't notice. 

Dad's questions

*means I am saying it in my "poor wyatt" voice
*I can't imagine only speaking your mission language all the time. That would just be so terrible.* At least he has an easy language. 

Well that's all for questions. 
So this week was pretty mediocre, as I am sure you could tell. We had a couple good lessons, but nothing special other than the time yesterday. Had interviews with President Adams on Saturday, he basically just told me to keep up the good work and he would talk to me about the future when I have my exit interview. Then we talked business. Not interesting to you guys. 

Purposely leaving out comments to keep you focused on my mission. 

A couple websites I have found that have good reading material on them. One is called fairmormon.org. Way good website, kind of like an anti-anti-mormon website. Another one is called mormonperspectives.com. Website where from what I can tell very intelligent mormon people write essays and commentary on life in general and subjects. Could be way off but I looked it up because an essay on it was referenced in the Liahona. By the way, have you guys read the March Ensign? Way good article by Elder Oaks. Check it out. Then read an article called "Religion is the foundation of democracy and prosperity" on that mormonperspectives site. Way good, written by Clayton Christensen. Just stay out of the comments on that site. 

We had a soiree with a member family on Saturday, and they gave us all the parts of the chicken that are not to be eaten. There was the liver, the heart, lungs, other organs, and there was also a boiled head, boiled feet, the intestines, and some stuff that was unidentifiable. So we had about a liter and a half of coke after that one. At least the broth was good. Pictures in the bucket.

The only other thing I am going to request and I am making it now because I thought of it. We need a temple session like within a week of me getting home. 

Got a package from Grandma this week. Some way nice ties, beautiful socks for the plane ride home, and a little Washington that they had to have received from a Washington wheat growers thing. 

I love you guys a ton. I am gracefully bull rushing the end of my mission head first eyes closed. 

Elder Galbreath

Last week:
I can't believe they threw into coverage with 1 yard seperating them from a second super bowl title in a row. Good call Carrol.
Alright now that that is out of the way.

Well in general this week was disappointing, I suppose it's only fitting that the Seahawks lost too. We just didn't have anything go right all day. Literally nothing happened that was a positive thing. Except maybe finding out that a bunch of members have drinking problems. So we have one entire day that we are going to be spending in one neighborhood visiting members.
Saturdays are gonna be awesome.
On the bright side we got transfer news last night and I will be staying right here to finish up my mission. I am going to spend my last six weeks with Elder Fox here in Antsirabe. I am very very happy to do that. So here
we go, last transfer. I don't think about it often. I am gonna be really really sad to leave this place.
I really don't know what else is going on this week. This coming week is gonna be sick. I can feel it.
I love you guys a ton, and I hope that you are all doing well.
Elder Galbreath (is much too close to going home)

I do have a basic wish list for when I get home. I don't know if you want to get any of this now or I can just do it when I get home. 

I need a new set of scriptures. I want a separate set, not a quad, the 2013 edition in grandpa size. Along with that I would like whatever the smallest count of those twistable colored pencils is for marking them. 

I would like a smart phone (iPhone, windows phone, whatever) with the gospel library app on it. This is probably something I can do myself, but yeah. 

That's all I have got. Just trying to stay active haha 

Elder Galbreath

Monday, January 26, 2015

Avy, ry taranak'i Jakoba, ary aoka isika handeha amin'ny fazavany Jehovah.

There is one week left in my second to last transfer as a missionary. This is weird, and I don't like it one bit. 
Well it may help your tears to know that transfers don't work like that at all here. We get a phone call Sunday night and take a bus to our new area on tuesday usually, where we meet up with our new comp and get to work. Training assignments work like that though, so maybe that's what you saw. 
Furniture shopping sounds fun. 
This week was mediocre, but it was excessively mediocre so that is something. Tuesday I was very sick. Just one of those "can't even find the strength to get out of bed except when you have to go to the bathroom every half hour or so" type things. So not too exciting. Wednesday we taught a couple interesting people. 
Thursday was district meeting, good meeting. 
Friday, it existed. 
Saturday. We had 14 lessons planned starting at nine in the morning. So off we went after playing some football for exercise in the morning, showered and dressed to our first lesson at nine in the morning. They weren't there. Nor were the next six lessons. So that was fun, got a lot of good tracting done. Spent some quality time together walking around the area. Had a way good lesson with an investigator who is struggling to find work and told us that he might not be coming to church the next day because he found a temporary job that starts on Sunday. We told him he can only get blessings if he is obedient, and basically that if he has faith and comes to church he will be better off than if he goes to work. His name is S. 
Sunday. S came to church. I cannot express in any way how happy I am that he came to church. Absolutely incredible. He will be blessed for that. The rest of Sunday was way solid, went and taught this one family that we have only taught once before and they had a bunch of questions about the restoration and the book of mormon and they really understood the message and were really interested so hopefully they stay that way. 
That's all I have got for this week, not too much interesting. A very average week. I should have a group of pics next week for you guys, this computer is being handicapped so I couldn't send any this week. 
I love you guys a ton.

Elder Galbreath

Monday, January 19, 2015

For your eyes only!

This is your personal email. I hope you enjoy it. 
That's right, coming live to you and only you is the one and only Elder Galbreath in Madagascar. For half a second I forgot I wasn't the one and only Elder Galbreath. That kid is cramping my style. 

Well the Seahawks game sounds intense, but they won and that is all that matters. Here we go back to back champs! 

Well it sounds like work is keeping you busy. I may want to go there for work, do you know what I would make as far as hourly wages go? Unfortunately that does make a huge difference at this point in my life. 

As far as the house goes it sounds pleasant enough. I have to point out that thinking I won't be married in two years isn't expressing much faith in me but that's a whole 'nother topic. 

Your souvenir advice stinks.

I have been feeling a lot healthier the last few days, and you will be proud to know that I made a meal that wasn't instant noodles for myself last night for dinner. I had what was probably a pound of spaghetti. I know, still noodles but I made the sauce from tomato paste and various seasonings. It was pretty good if I do say so myself (and I do). 

Don't worry Mom, I am not getting trunky. With how our area and branch is progressing you will be lucky if I don't "accidentally" miss my bus out of here. Yes it hits me every now and then but that just drives me to work harder. I love it here mom. 

The temple trip sounds way nice, we are working in our branch to try and get a bunch of families to the temple this year, it's a little weird to think about the hour and a half drive to the temple near us. By us I mean you guys. 

Alright story time. So me and Elder Fox were walking out to a farther part of our area the other day. We hear this little girl yelling at us from like a hundred yards away "vazah! vazah!" and we are just like whatever she was a cute little girl so we didn't pay too much attention. Then we hear footsteps. We turn around and she is sprinting full steam ahead to catch up with us. So we stop and wait for a second so she can catch up, and she gets there and goes for a dona, like knuckles or a fist bump or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Then she left. A full hundred yard sprint just to dona the white guys. Most adorable thing I saw all week. 

We went on a lot of splits this week. Tuesday we went with Mahazoarivo, I went with Elder Kelsch, way cool guy. A wrestler from Utah somewhere. So we went around and visited the people they had planned and I showed them a few less active people I had been teaching. So they were happy to see me at least and the missionaries are going to start visiting them again. 
Then Wednesday we went on splits with Manandona due to some really odd circumstances ending in only Elder Fox can drive the car until further notice (that notice came two days later) so I was cruising with Elder Christianson, way cool and great at teaching/malagasy, from Vegas. Good split, great day. We visited this member and he was like "Yeah I have two brothers that want to learn from you guys, one just got out of jail six months early right after he finished the book of mormon that I gave him." So that's cool, a guy who saw a miracle after he read and gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and I will take a rap sheet in this country if it means a man to teach. So we set up times with both of those families and are going to them tomorrow. 
Saturday we went on splits with Ambohimena South, Elder Rice and I were companions. Pretty decent day, filled with the stereotypical malagasy drama and lack of interest in listening to anything that doesn't come from their pastor. 

Yay for exercise! Keep it up, when I get home I am going to start lifting and running and playing basketball. That way when Wyatt gets home and he is all sickly and skinny from his mission I can beat him at arm-wrestling. It won't last but I can give myself an edge. Gotta look good for the wife hunt. I am going to need some Supersonics short shorts though. Haha but seriously, I need to put on some muscle I am way too skinny. 

Did nobody see that google has malagasy in google translate now? Maybe it doesn't automatically give you the option in whatever browser you use. I promise I wasn't just being annoying with that all malagasy email. 

I love you guys a ton and am praying for you guys almost as much as I am for the Seahawks to keep winning and grab that second superbowl. 

I am just having a great time and not wanting to leave at all. For real.

Elder Galbreath in the best mission in the world. 

Ambany vohitra. My favorite place in the world.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Fantastic times with Fox

I guess that makes me the hound. 

First things first, nativity obtained and it is awesome. The little drummer boy is on order from the same guy and it should be here this week. That's that. Probably won't send a picture to keep the surprise for when you get it though. Sorry. 

Also the picture thing is hard. I have been in Madagascar for a very long time and so I feel like I have seen everything worth taking a picture of. I will try to do better to make this whole new camera thing worth it. Then I will probably just sell it back to someone before I come home because I will never use it again. I will try and be better though. Promise. 

So this week was, hard. It was just a hard week. We are still both trying to recover from the sickness that has plagued us since we were first together. Also it has rained every day. I started carrying my rain coat though so it hasn't been too annoying except my shoes have deteriorated to the point of no water protection at all. So wet feet every night but that's a small price to pay for the wonderful work of a missionary in Madagascar. We are trying to work with the members more and build a relationship with them, not only to help the missionary efforts in the branch but also to help the members. There is an uncomfortably small number of truly converted members here in Madagascar. Lots of people have testimonies but as many many apostles and prophets have taught, that is not enough to get us through. We have had a lot of people falling through from the contacts we made, and a lot of people not wanting to talk to us this week. Tracting did not go so well, but we got almost 30 hours of proselyting time this week which is incredible. Proselyting time is time spent doing active missionary work. That is teaching lessons or contacting people. Travel time doesn't count, and meals and talking to people before lessons doesn't count. So the mission goal is 28 hours a week, and without going on splits pretty much nobody catches that. Except for good old Fox and the Hound. It's just nice to have a companion who actually enjoys doing missionary work and knows how to do it. An experience I have had not nearly enough times in my mission. So Elder Fox is a great companion, even if he is from the west side. We spend a fair amount of time deciding how long the dynasty of the Seahawks is going to last. We haven't pinned it yet, but they are going to win at least the next two Super Bowls. Also the Sonics are coming back. 

We started playing basketball every morning, we go out and get nice and tired and refreshed in the morning and eat a good breakfast of yogurt and bread and go out to work. I feel pretty good lately except this stupid cold. It just won't go away. Trying to stay dry and warm and blowing my nose a lot. Not too much interesting going on lately out here other than that. 

My thoughts on the house situation are that if Mom is planning on moving down to Boardman in the relatively near future get something you can both live in. If that's not the plan, just get a little man cave house. No need to break the bank on a half a week house for one person. 

Dad-my thought on the sport coat thing is that I will probably just get like one or maybe two if they are significantly cheaper than a suit, or else I am just going to get the maroon suit and call it good. I already have the material so I am still not sure. If you could put a little money in my account I would sleep better at night, but I don't think I will need it. Just a suit left for me. That should only be like 40 or 45 bucks too. Then I am pretty sure I am done unless I can track down a rugby jersey for bubba. Oh and could you send me the names of the temples that John and Dan got married in? I know you are Seattle and Grandma and Grandpa are Cardston. Then I have all the souvenirs for everybody. 

And I think that rounds out my take on the week. I love you guys a ton.

Elder Galbreath

Monday, December 15, 2014

La de da

I did get the ensign and am thoroughly enjoying it. Thank you again from the bottom of my spirit. 

The bubonic plague is in Mada, but the meds we take for malaria prevent plague so no worries there. Doxy is a great invention. 

Concerning your talks. 
What is one or two things that you have learned that has changed you or your testimony.
I have learned a lot about the law of consecration, and really understanding what it means when it says in Luke that anyone who doesn't sacrifice all is not worthy to be called a disciple of christ. I feel like also the incredible poverty of the people here has changed me. I have been a fairly materialistic person most of my life, and I feel like since I have been here I have realized more fully that you really can lead a happy full life in a one bedroom mud hut eating rice and leaves every day, and pounding rocks together to tell stories for fun. I have also gained a huge appreciation for the scriptures, ancient and modern. I feel like I have studied more scripture in the time I have spent in Madagascar than my entire life before, and I truly can say that I love the scriptures. Even the Old Testament haha

One blessing that you feel you received either before you left or while you have been out.  
I feel that I have received the blessing of patience, and definitely have gotten more in touch with my ability to receive personal revelation for people in need. 

How is serving a blessing or how is it helping you?
I feel like serving is a blessing, but not for me. I am sacrificing so that I can receive blessings down the line. Yes it helps me grow as a person, and I feel closer to God than I ever have, but that is not why I am here. I am here to serve. I am here only because I want to serve. I don't really know a good way to express my reasons for serving a mission, the first time I didn't go for the right reasons, obviously. I came back on my mission because I love the people of Madagascar and I want every single one of them to go to the celestial kingdom. That's it. That didn't answer the question, but I feel like it is helping me in the long run because that isn't why I am here. Yep.

The christmas cookies look great. John is reverting I think to himself in college. Everyone is freaking out about how much he looks like me. I have to agree about his cookie though.

Alright so first things first Elder Arrieus is shipping out tomorrow morning. My new comp will be Elder Fox. He is from Bothell area, western Washington. Pretty cool guy. He is a way sick guy though so I am excited to finish my mission with him. Another fun transfer news is that Elder Yeagley, my only begotten son, is going to Fort Dauphin! Fort D is the sickest place in the mission, and legend for going really super well, getting ballin' missionaries, and they learn the Atandroy dialect, which is basically another language. So I am way excited for him. 

That's cool about the house thing, so you guys are 15 years out on having it payed off? That is a pretty cool deal. 

I miss guns mucho. Pat I think is a good guy to have around for that kind of stuff. 

So this week we didn't do a whole ton of stuff. Lots of goodbyes, lots of tracting (surprise surprise) and really not much interesting until Zone Conference on friday. That was incredible, I really learned a lot. We had a little slideshow on the history of the church in Madagascar. I will see if I can forward it to you. Then we talked about stats, boring stuff like that. Sister Adams gave a great lesson about gossip and judgement, had a bunch of really good insights and scriptures. Talked about judging before we know the whole story. I really liked it. President Adams talked about repentance and covenants. That man is too wise. It shouldn't be allowed. But he also talked about being converted unto the Lord. He talked about the difference between conversion and testimony, pulling heavily from Elder Bednar's talk on the same subject from fall 2012 conference. Pretty weird I saw that one here on my mission. But it was super good, I don't think I can even start to do it justice here but I took a lot of notes and I have to assume I will be giving a lot of talks when I get home so I will just use what President Adams teaches for those. I also was asked to sing at the zone conference, so me and Elder Rice and Elder Morse sang a men's choir song from the hymn book. It was cool. 

Elder Arrieus gave a way good talk on Sunday, took lots of pictures with members. We have a soiree for dinner tonight and then he is bouncing. Weird stuff. 

Alright now that the call is over, I will have stuff to talk about I promise haha but yeah I will talk to the guardian today and make positive I can get into the church, you just tell me what time I need to be on. 

Anywho. I think that is all I have got for today. I love you guys a ton. 

Elder Galbreath

The case of the missing thin mints

I need you to resolve a question for me. Did you send me one or two tubes of thin mints? I will give you the rest of the story when you answer that. Sorry, it's important.

As implied above, I got my christmas package. The tie is excellent. I am building up a decent collection of cool christmas ties. As for the rest of the package I don't know what any of it is. The candy bars are delicious, trying to make them last haha although peppermint bark would have been ideal (dad you thief). 

I do remember my skype login, and I have obtained usage of the church computer so I can actually skype whenever I want. You just tell me what the plan is and I will be there. The group thing would be sick if the time frame works out.

So this week we did a lot of tracting. One day we stopped for a coke break after three hours of tracting as is the norm, and a really cool techno song came on. Elder Arrieus says to me "This would be a great song for a raid." I thought about it and I was like????…….”I meant a rave" "Oh, yeah that too."

We were tracting and we got into this house of two old people that told us they were catholic but said we could share our message. So we get to the part about prophets. We said that since God doesn't change and he used to work through prophets that we need prophets in our day. They didn't accept that, so we showed them the scripture in Amos 3:7. They were like "I don't believe that." We asked why. This was the best part. "We don't believe that because it conflicts with what our church teaches." I think that maybe your church is the problem there. They were super sure that we were from the devil at that point. So that was that for the lesson. 

We did teach this one really cool family this week, and their house is way freaking nice. It kind of feels like an old ladies house in america. Like smaller, but way full of little porcelain figures and covered furniture.  

As for the christmas tree yes you did send it and I am trying to get it sent to me from Tana. Should be coming up this week. I also found the other one, it's in the old house I used to live in. All the decorations are gone though so I may or may not steal it back. 

The other city, Ambositra, is out of our area. It's about an hour drive from here. We used to be allowed to go there but I guess a few months ago a couple missionaries were stupid and just took a day off and went there for fun. So now we can't go there.

Anyway. I don't know what else is new. Zone conference this Friday so that should be sick. 

I love you guys a ton. 
Elder Captain America