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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Miray fety sambatra!

That's what they say, for Happy New Year but it really goes with any holiday. It's kind of weird. Same thing at Christmas. 

Christmas call was great! I was pretty upset at the beginning when it wasn't working We could tell he was upset and prayed quickly for it to work so we could hear him happy but I got over it when it started working. It was so nice to see you guys! Everyone is looking good, Wyatt is huge as ever, Dad's moustache is huge, and you haven't aged at all. He is such a good son! Pretty standard stuff. I am sweaty at all times and dirty most of the time. But I dressed up for you guys, all new clothes.  We commented on how white his shirt was and he did admit he had not worn it in Madagascar yet. Haha on mother’s day I will wear standard proselyting clothes. It will be magnificent. Also thanks for putting up with my weird malagasy missionary humor. It’s the same weird humor but don’t tell him that.

Elder McLaughlin's parents called our phone about five minutes after lunch when they finally got out of bed. They slept in until like nine thirty their time. So yeah, they skyped and all is well and he will see them next week. His companion goes home on the 9th.

Washing clothes, I think I figured out the fomba (the way, or tradition). I let them soak in soapy water for all day while I work and when I get home I scrub them with more soap and get the tons of dirt out of them. Then I rinse and ring out and dry. I don't think I can get away with the grape stomp, I told him to soak them in the tub the stomp on them. especially when it rains. I am pretty muddy.  Guess he did not figure it out to clean up first, oh well.  But thank you for the advice! I might try the grape stomp tactic on my g's actually. Hmm... 

Zoe is not 5 yet. No way. I literally remember when she was born. That's not ok, tell her to stop getting older. She is a pretty small kid though for sure. Their house sounds nice, it sounds pretty funky. I think I will like it. 

Thank you so much for the pictures! Even if they are all just of Wyatt in his pajamas haha but I can't watch the videos today, the internet is too slow in this cyber. I am working on putting up the pictures from our Christmas, and the video of me and Elder McLaughlin opening our pajamas, but it's taking a while. I might only get the video up today. We will be going to a good cyber next Monday though so I will get the rest up then. 

So the story of a missionary in Mada between Christmas and New Years is one of lazy members, busy Bishops, and lemurs. Yes, lemurs. However, that was today so that is last. Alright so Wednesday and Tuesday Elder McLaughlin was sick, so no teaching for us. Then Thursday we were supposed to meet a member in the morning who was going to take us to another area to see his brother or something, so we left early and waited for him and he never showed up. So we went to his house and his wife said he had gone to 67ha, which is a ghetto with a lot of shopping, like LA. So he was going to call us when he was back. He never called. So we went back home and ate lunch, then went to the edge of our area to meet up with another member who was going to show us a contact he found. He never showed up either. So we did some contacting, to no avail, and then went to have our Bishop meeting. He wasn't at the church and when we called him he said he was in Ivato, an area on the other side of Tana. So he couldn't do it either. So we decided to go try and find an address of a contact from the open house, or varavara misokatra. Bad idea. Addresses here are just plain ridiculous. We literally spent an hour walking through a ghetto with a million kids following us and old ladies trying to tell us where the house is. We never found it. 

I just found out this cyber closes in fifteen minutes. So, you might be the only one that gets an email this week. I am loved and special today!  Good thing I share.

Alright so today me and Elder Austin, McLaughlin and Mitchell went to a super sick lemur park! It is literally just an open area that lemurs know they can get food in. They have brown lemurs, black and white lemurs, and they eat right out of your hand. It was so cool! And one bit me too, didn't break skin either. So sick story, and no disease. 

I'm sorry everybody, but no lemur pictures, this cyber blows. I also have to go, I love you all so much!!!!!

Love you tons, 
Elder Galbreath

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!!


I hope you have a merry Christmas, what are your plans.
We are going to have christmas morning at home, open presents and whatnot. Then we are going to have lunch with the zone at the church and watch Legacy. Well, they will I am gonna sit there and doodle probably. Then in the afternoon evening we are visiting people and just making sure everyone can feel the love on Christmas. It will be magnificent. 
I hope you have gotten your packages from the family.  
I have gotten all the ones that I know are coming except for the one from Grandma G, but there are packages in the office today so I might have that one tonight. Probably not though, but that is ok because then once I get it I won't have to wait to open it haha 
After my family left Angela and her family dropped by and stayed for 2 hours then I had to run to Walmart because Grandma just texted and asked for peppermint ice cream.  Guess what no peppermint ice cream in moses lake.
Bummer, there is none here either. Life is hard. 
46 1/2 more hours now
You're sick. It's p-day, and I have to wait two full days to talk to you guys. Longest days ever. 

I liked that talk a lot, the Uchtdorf one. I thought it was really cool, and it really reinforced to me the importance of family and being with them. Great thing to be thinking about when I am literally as far away as I can be from my family. But I am doing what the Lord wants me to do so I can't feel bad for that. I think you did a wonderful job making time for me and Wyatt and Mom. I know it was a lot harder when we were younger and you were working at Basin especially, but we still went hunting pretty often and I never felt like my Dad wasn't home often enough. I definitely have been thinking about what kind of Dad I am gonna be, not often but every now and then. I decided that I just hope I can keep my priorities straight. I have a tremendous work drive, get stuff done and move on to the next thing. I get that from you and Grandpa no doubt. It is definitely not a bad thing, but it gets hard to keep under control when it's not the time to just move on. Like talking to people in the street when we are already late to the next time. But I manage. 

Food at Thyssens sounds amazing. I was going to make the house campers on Christmas morning, actually I was dead set on it, planning on buying good cheese and everything. Then Our district leader called and we are doing Christmas breakfast as a zone. I will make it another day. Maybe dinner tonight actually. I don't know, we will see. Maybe I will make it and eat it all myself. I dunno. I realized that I am definitely a small group guy. 
The chiller thing sounds like an adventure. Glad you kept it under control, guess that's why they pay you the big bucks. I'm feeling nicknamey (probably not a real word) today, so I'm gonna say you're the mahay guy. The means like skilled or talented. 

Mom should have put the picture you asked about in your photobucket account.
Thank you! That one is going in my BiM (Book of Mormon) for sure. 

Does your companion go home this week or in a few?  I know that Elder George(?) goes home at the end of the week or something like that.
Yeah Elder George goes home on the 27th but my comp goes home on Jan 9th. Elder George, Procknell, and Collins are leaving early for military and BYU.  

Grandma wants to know if you got her letter?  I don't know if it was a Dear Elder letter or if she sent it herself from the post office.  
I can't remember. I got a dear elder from Grandma G so if that is who you mean then yes I did. She told me that she got released as RS president and Aunt Cami is the new one. Galbreaths are just all over the place there. 
I love you a ton, I'll tell you my cool stories about life and Mada on Wednesday. 

P.S. You better not cry when we skype. I had the tissues just in case but I did not cry!
Oh man, I am so excited to talk to you guys. It doesn't really feel like Christmas here yet, maybe it will tomorrow, and it probably will on Wednesday morning! I love you so much. 

Love, Elder Galbreath
video

Monday, December 17, 2012

It's raining and hot


The snow sounds miserable.
Gun shopping sounds fun! Surprised you didn't get anything or even mention a wishlist, although that probably happened. You still haven't sent me that picture of "mom's" new steel challenge rifle. 

Wyatt is a baller. He is so cool, reminds me of two of me. He is getting big. Super big. I'm a little scared for when I get home. I am glad all the old ladies love him, that means he is doing stuff right. And he is working hard, that is always a good thing to hear.

I still am not sure about what days this cyber is gonna be open so I will email you with that this week sometime. I promise! AAAHHHH! Still don’t know when we get to talk to him.

I love you too Dad, sorry stuff is crazy at work. 

All right so just a little news I found out. Choose the right in Malagasy is not Safidy ny Marina, which is not an ok abbreviation, but it is actually Fidio Ny Tsara. Much better. So I will be getting a ring made for that once I get home. Malagasies are not that mahay at carving to do it. I love you Dad. Have you found that picture of me and mom yet? I love you. I should email Mom now, I wasted a lot of time trying to get skype to work today. 
Thank you for the pictures! I miss that big lug (Shadrach). He got a new collar too I see, looking sharp. Very well trained too I might add. He knows how to get stuff done. Want water? Lay in the hallway. Bedtime? Garrett's room. Lay on the clothes. 

That's so crazy! Literally everyone from our group of friends is gone now, either married or going on a mission. Nuts. 
Also I decided I want your mini cooper when I get home. We will see about that! Just my random post mission thought of the week. 

I love you! Aza maditra! (Don't be naughty)
Elder Galbreath

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ho Ho Ho


Just question and answer time this week.

Is the rice in Mada sticky like the rice from Korea?
Not at all, it's way loose. They have this stuff called "vary gasy" which is just malagasy rice. It's red, pretty weird but there is definitely more flavor to it, adds a nice touch to the food.

Are you cooking it on the stove?
Yeah, when we make it at home. Pot and water, yay for Africa!

Have you done the finger trick to judge the amount of water needed?
I haven't actually, I have yet to be the one to cook the rice, does the finger thing work with stove rice too?

Is your bed reasonably comfortable? Just a curiosity, not like I can send you a new one.
It's not bad, it's just straight foam. I have doubled up mattresses too so that is a little softer. Decent support, nothing to desire but it works.

You are about 6 months in or so. How are the clothes holding up? You haven't said much about laundry, are you having it done on a rock by a little old lady or is that not allowed?
My clothes are holding up pretty well. We have laundry machines in the house but the dryer is toast right now so we are hang drying all our clothes inside (which sucks, worst thing ever. They dry stiff as a board) And this morning the washing machine was acting weird so that might be toast too actually. Fun fun. No little old ladies though, we can't give them our garments and they are really hard on the clothes they wash too so I'm not sure what we are gonna do.

Mom forgot to ask which stocking was yours?
The boring black one. Just a proselyting sock.

Loving the pictures that you are posting to Photobucket. Trying to find a good one of Bubba. Haven't forgotten.
Sweet thank you! If you could find the one of me and mom in NY, we are on like an elevator or something I think, mom should know but if you could put that one on there I would appreciate it. I love seeing the pictures from home too, pictures of stuff you guys are doing is always appreciated. Shooting, lounging, whatever.

I will for sure be sending pictures of him in his Christmas pj's. We expect the same from you.
Oh for sure. I noticed I have some in there, and my comp too so we will be doing pictures of that. I also have decided I will be on ornament duty for my first Christmas once I get home so expect that.

Christmas call is as follows. We are allowed to Skype on the 24, 25, and 26 of December. Now remember I am 11 hours head so essentially I can call you on your day before Christmas Eve night, Christmas Eve morning, Christmas Eve night, Christmas morning, Christmas night, or the morning after Christmas. Now Christmas morning and Christmas Eve night would be ideal but it is going to be hard to find a good cyber open on Christmas day here so I don't know if that will work. My day after Christmas morning is your Christmas night, so that might be the best. We are going to talk to the cyber in Itaosy to see when they are open, because that is the best one. So we still don’t know when we are going to talk to him.

In other news, on Christmas our movie options are Legacy (crappy quality pioneer movie, or I think 17 Miracles. That one isn't bad but it's not exactly a Disney movie you know? I don't know how I feel about that. But anyway, Christmas is still Christmas.

Have you received any more packages?
Not yet, I guess they move pretty slow in December so we will see.

 Maybe you could form a band and sing us some carols.
Videos take a long time to load, but I am working on it. I love you, be patient with me there is a lot going on.

Have you heard anything about Christmas calls home? When can you do them. Where will you do them? How long can we talk?
I told Dad basically what I know, but you can get the time frame from him. I will do the call frol the cyber in Itaosy probably, depending on when they are open. That is the best cyber we have found but it is closed a lot. I know they won't be open on Christmas Day though. We can talk for like an hour. Or like five, I'm not sure... But yeah, I am going to try to keep it to an hour. I love you! So much.

How are your Investigators?
Victor did come to church again! Victor is becoming more diligent. So we will see. Renee is stellar, diligent and interested and reading the book of Mormon and just being awesome. Olga was supposed to be baptized Saturday but Thursday me and Elder Hansen went to do the baptism interview and she was sick, like really sick. She couldn't even sit up. So me and Elder Hansen gave her a blessing, Hansen anointed her with oil and I gave her a blessing. Pretty freaky, and probably really butchered. But, it got the point across. We stopped by the next day to see if she was doing any better and she was feeling better but she was still sick. She told us that her husband was coming back though! So that was interesting. He is really good at English, his name is Simeon. He has lived in London, Paris, Norway, Holland, Sweden, and a bunch of other places in Europe. He said that he felt really bad because his wife got sick and he wasn't there to take care of her. So according to him "God changed [his] heart" So they are going to get Vita Soratra again and we are teaching him and they can get baptized together in a couple months. Kind of a bummer she has to wait but it's better that they do it together anyway. I guess that's what you get for eating bad rice. Blessing in disguise say what?

Anywho, I love you mom! If you could find that picture of me and you in New York on the elevator of the rock that would be cool, just stick it on the photobucket so I can print it out. I like that picture.

I love you so much, and we are two weeks from Christmas. Woo Hoo!!

Love,

Elder Galbreath (I tried to type Garrett but it felt weird)

 

 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Yo family


 Yo, I'm going through a Sylvestor Stallone thing right now. Don't worry about it. My shrink told me something I think I mistranslated. No worries.

So, I had my first Malagasy wedding this week. It was a return missionary who mommed my trainer. So I guess it was my grandma? I don't know really. He speaks really good english too, he is an albino. Way cool guy. Anyway, so we went to the civil wedding that was supposed to start at 11 and got going at 12:30. So that was fun. But the civil wedding was pretty boring really. But after that we went to the church in Ampifeloha. If you have seen anything about the church in Mada you have seen that church. It's huge and orange and actually looks like an LDS chapel. They had a couple talks about marriage and then a big reception thing. They fed us pretty well, had some dancing (I didn't participate) and then we peaced out to go teach the gospel. The food was pretty good though. Mango juice, carrots, beets, some eggs, green beans, lots of rice and a chicken leg. The chicken leg was really meaty but it was like just boiled, so almost no flavor at all. Then it was cold too so that was no good. It sat kind of funny in my stomach but I downed a liter of coke before bed so it was all good. That is my go to solution if I eat anything sketchy, a liter of coke for a buck and just let that sit in your stomach all night. Plus if you take back five bottles you get a free coke. Gotta love glass bottle returns.

I don't know if I have told you this already or not but our ward mission leader is going to London on his mission! Super cool, his mom is way good at english too, so he has a good teacher. He goes into the Jo-berg MTC the week after Elder McLaughlin leaves Mada. So that is cool for him. Also another guy from our ward is going to Jo-berg this week for his mission. He is pretty cool too.

Most spiritual experience I have had in country so far was on Sunday. A kid named Fitahiana got ordained a deacon by his Dad and two brothers. I almost cried the spirit was so strong and I didn't even know what they were saying. It reminded me of when Wyatt wanted me to ordain him a priest. Super cool, that is probably one of my favorite memories from home. So yeah, super cool.

I don't know if I told you about Renèe already or not, but I think I have. He still hasn't had a drink, still is coming to church and staying for all three hours every week. We gave him a book of mormon last week and through some slick private eye work we found out he is actually reading from it every night! The pages are starting to get fluffy at the beginning of the book. So cool! I don't know what we did to deserve him but I hope he stays diligent. I love some of the people here so much.

Last sick story and then I gotta go. Victor is the "husband" (not legally married) of Georgette. Georgette is my favorite Mada woman ever.  Anyway, they have been learning from the missionaries for 9 years and Georgette comes to church every week and Victor has not come a single time. We want to drop them but Georgette is super diligent. This last thursday we were teaching and we had a really good lesson and I gave Victor an ultimatum. I told him that by being lazy he was keeping Georgette out of heaven, so he either needed to get married or decide if it was worth her salvation. He stood up and said "missionaries, I'll make you a deal. If I don't come to church this Sunday don't come back." So we went to church on Sunday hoping he would show up. He did! And during investigator class he stood up at one point and said "I want to bear testimony of the Holy Ghost. When I told the missionaries if I didn't come not to come back I heard the Holy Ghost say to me 'You're going to church'" Wow! Coolest thing ever! I loved it, and hopefully he will stay diligent and I can finish up 9 years of missionary work on this one couple in February. I am so excited for them.
 


I love you all, and when you go outside and see snow or shiver think of me sweating my butt off in the rain here in Mada.

Yo Adrian, I finished the letter!

Love,

Elder Galbreath

                                             Must be a good game!
                                          Cattledrive thru town.  They look scary thin.
                                           Elder Austin added a nativity set to the decorations
 

Are you eating enough during the day?
I am sure trying, I grab a lot of street food on the run, bread or composè (just shredded veggies on a sandwich) so I do pretty well. I just am going all the time, and mission work is mentally draining. Not only learning so much but worrying about the people! Every time someone doesn't come to church, or dogs us on a time I just start worrying. It wasn't bad enough when I only worried about immediate family.

I like your nickname for Wyatt although I don't know if I can find anything with a zebu on it.
No worries, I got you covered. That is everywhere here. Literally.

Do you have any questions for me??
Not really. You will be happy to know though that everyone I have shown your picture asks if you are my sister. I had to leave that one in for Grant’s sake.

In YW we talked about goal setting, long and short term. Plan, evaluate, act and report. Plan what your goal is and when you want to accomplish it. Evaluate how you are going to do it. Act on your goal. In other word just do it! Then report to someone to be accountable. Whether it’s a leader, family member or just your Heavenly Father.
They tell us as missionaries that "when performance is measured, it improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement increases dramatically." Just a good quote if you didn't have it for next time you teach that same lesson haha

What do you enjoy inside the mofo balls that you get? Meat? Vegetables?
Mofo. There's nothing in mofo balls, but there are some other things that are really good. They have these things that are little chunks of meat, two of them about the size of half a digit on your pinky finger, with a little chunk of fat between them. They are so good! And for 100 ariary too, so very cheap. We taught this lady a couple times who is way cool and really likes us but won't make time for church so we couldn't teach her anymore. She is still super cool though, and makes some way good food! She always gives me free stuff too when I get something from her. I'll buy like five of those things and she will grab five and then get like three more on there for free. So cool! And there is this thing here called maka soka, which is kind of like a mofo ball but not fluffy and a little greasier, and I eat like four or five of those with breakfast every morning. I have a big egg sandwhich, like a foot and a half long hoagie almost, with milk and eggs and seasoning salt and sweet chili sauce on the bread (so choice!) and the maka soka with peanut butter on it. So good, and so filling. I love it.

I like how you are learning about tight budgets. That will take you a long ways in life.
Yeah no kidding. I figured out that weekly budgets are the way to go with a monthly income. I have x amount per week and I set aside two thou for breakfast each day and use the rest throughout the week. If I have left over I save it for the end of the month or a rainy day if a soare cancels or something. I plan on being pretty dang poor for a while after my mission so I am getting used to being a "tsy manana" or a don't have.

You are probably tired of hearing this, but, you are a great son and I am "well-pleased" with all that you are doing.
Thanks Dad. I am pleased with you too. You're pretty cool. And your moustache is bushier in every picture I see of you, so that's nice. There is an elder here whose little brother is growing out his hair until he gets home. But his hair is way long and your moustache reminded me of that.
                                                                    Happy cracker
 

Love you!

Elder Galbreath

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!



How was thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving was pretty good, not too much special really. We taught a bunch of people, had some mofo balls (easily the greatest thing this country has to offer) and we went to a members house and they made us chicken  and potatoes. I ate potatoes until I felt like puking and then I ate three more! I almost felt like I was home again. They are a really cool family though so I was happy to be there. 
Did you eat with investigators or with the elders?
Members, see number 1
Coolest part of the week?
Probably decorating for Christmas dude! I got to wear my santa hat and pump some Nat King Cole Christmas music that one of the elders had on their iPod. It was dope. 
    Two of the Elders in his house mention Garrett’s excitement and love of Christmas.
     He is my son.



Best part of being an elder in Madagascar?
You get to tell people you went to Madagascar. The stuff is way cheap, and you get to experience diarrhea for two straight years.   
Best transformer in your opinion?
Hmm, probably gonna go with Optimus Prime. Bumblebee is a close second but well, his name is bumble bee.
Best transformer ever.
Easily the bad guy that wipes out Optimus. To be number one you beat the best. He did.
Did you set up Christmas stuff up in your apartment/living space.
Sure did! Working on pictures. 

So, the cousins sound like they are doing great haha  I got a few dear elders from Chase and Eliza . By a few I mean one every day last week from Chase and two from Eliza. Pretty dope haha. Eliza is getting pretty tall huh? She will stop growing pretty young though so you shouldn't have too much to worry about. Most girls stop growing at about 16 or 17.
Anyway, I heard you slept in and had a crappy day of hunting. Sounds like a memory to me. I hope that the pictures of Christmas are of you directly after hunting and you haven't gone back to wearing all green clothes.  Dude, you are getting huge. Dad says you are strong like bull. I am gonna go with Zebu. Those things are massive. 

Well, I sent that one before I was done. But yeah,  Zebu. Pronounced Zay-boo. Do it right.  New nickname for you (Wyatt that is). I'll get you a shirt made. No charge. I went Christmas shopping for the other Elders today, got some sick stuff for everyone. Think of something that would be the coolest in croc skin or snake skin and tell me, I can probably get it made. I found a lady that makes legit croc skin shoes. From crocodiles. Yeah. They are expensive though, like 150 dollars american. That's ridiculous amounts of money in Mada by the way. Ridiculous. Worth it though, end of my mission I am hitting her up. There is so much sick stuff here dude. And cheap! Awesome. But yeah, I gotta email everyone else too. 

McLauchlin goes home January ninth, which is the time of the next transfer. So I will be in Itaosy for approximately forever. Yay... 
I am very proud of you for wearing a UW hat.  I knew you had it in you.  Wyatt is not sure how he feels about you wearing it though.
I just think of it as a Washington hat. 
So now you can tell me about your week.
Nothing too interesting really, I will see what I can come up with though.
How are your towels working?  Have you tried the camping ones or just the regular ones. 
I'm just using the camping ones, they are working great. Dry me right off every time I use them. It's great!
How are your investigators doing?
Interesting  really. We had 12 people committed to baptism for the 8 of Dec and only one is going to make it. People here are just lazy with religion. They have told us they know it is true, they just won't come to church. It's maddening. Both the people from the last baptism haven't come to church for three weeks, hello inactive status! But, the lady that is ready is way diligent so I am excited for her! 
I know you always worry about your language skills but honestly without being too critical on yourself how are you doing?  What are you doing to be better?  
Praying a lot, we talk a lot in Malagasy, I read from the bom every day in malagasy , and write down every word I hear I don't understand. It's a lot of words. I am doing ok. I am pretty good at reading, but understanding people is still super hard so I can't teach to needs which I hate. 
I love your stories about the people in Mada.  Sorry you are so cute that the ladies find you edible.  Are the kids nicer to you now that they see you often?  The candy canes can be used to bribe them to be good. 
No way, I share the candy canes with the other missionaries.
Tell me about your Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was just a standard day but dinner was pretty good, I told Wyatt a lot about it. This member that we have dinner with fairly often is a way good cook and she made us delicious chicken and potatoes for dinner. Pretty delicious. 

Alright, well I have done basically all my Christmas shopping. So I should be good there, but I might be pulling out like 10,000 this week for food. Also the money that Elder Austin needs for stuff is like 50,000 I think so like 25 dollars. If you could just make sure that is there I would appreciate it. So would he haha. 

I love you mom. A whole bunch. Don't forget about me over here, I am gonna call you in less than a month so you better be ready! Oh believe me we are ready I love you mom. 

Big spirit hugs from the future. 
Love you
Elder Galbreath


Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving time!


 

Hello party people.

So, this week not too much interesting really and this cyber blows so no pictures. I won't be coming back to this one.

We did have a general stake conference this last weekend, and that was pretty cool. I'm sure the talks were really good, D. Todd Christopherson and President Monson both spoke so they were bound to be. However, we only got to watch it in Malagasy so I didn't get it. I'm sure it was great though.

We also started coming up with better ways to entertain ourselves. We invented new ways to play chess. We played a way where you win by killing all the opponents’ pieces, and kings move two squares instead of one. We played a game where pawns are regular, but every other piece is a knight, and you win by killing both their actual knights.  Pretty interesting.

We started teaching a new family this week too, a family with three daughters.  They are really cool, and two of the daughters even came to church after only two lessons! So awesome. They ask a ton of questions too, which is awesome because that means they are trying to understand but I get left out of most of the lesson because I don't know what they are asking or how to answer it. So that makes for some interesting lessons. But, they are learning so no complaints there.

It rained really hard all day yesterday, like to the point where my feet were wet from the soaking of my socks from my pants. Crazy. So I started stomping puddles on McLaughlin haha but it was good, our house got hit by lightning too. We weren't home but Elder Austin and Walker were so that's freaky. I guess all the lights flashed on even though none of the switches were on. Nuts! But anyway.

I bought a UW hat today.
What? Who is this boy?
I saw it on the street and couldn't resist. It's pretty cool, and I will rock while I am in Africa but I will probably leave it here haha I can't wear it in America. Like I said no pictures this week. Darn cyber. Next week though!

Happy thanksgiving everyone, remember what you are thankful for. Hold your family close, think about everyone that has sacrificed, no matter how great or small the sacrifice, so that you can have what you do. I love you all, and I think about you often. Now go eat some turkey. Next week is Christmastime!

Love,
Elder Galbreath

Q and A

I cut my fingers twice in the past week.

Nice! You should stop doing that. I only cut myself once so far here though, and it was on the handle of the gate of our own home. Just a little one though, and I drowned it in alcohol so no infection either.

Anything in particular you would like shared at the family table on Thanksgiving?
Just make sure that everyone knows how thankful I am for them, and for the opportunity I had to be raised in the church. Make sure they truly appreciate the mounds of food that is safe to eat and isn't on rice, and tell them that I love them all. I won't see them next year either, but I will be there in two, and I will have some great stories.
 

Mom keeps putting together these awesome packages. Would you like anything from Wyatt and I?
Hmm, I don't know for sure. I would take whatever you sent haha but don't feel obligated. Candy is appreciated, but not a big deal. A cake mix would be great though, I can buy everything but the mix. I don't know what else. Something manly, except for dirt. I have lots of that here. Everywhere in fact.


 Hey look!! Squirrel!
Where?!?! Crap, you got me.

So I bought a turkey and Sunday we will have our own meal so we can have leftovers. I wish I could send you a meal too.
That would be nice. We are considering buying a turkey. Guess who the most experienced animal killer is in the house too. Yep, me.  Blood and guts Galbreath. So I will be killing it if that goes down.

So speaking of Thanksgiving here are your questions of the week.

What would be your thankful thought for around the table? I will tell you mine at the end of the letter.
I told Dad a little bit but since you asked too I will think some more. I am thankful for goodhearted people, who have a sincere desire to do what is right. I am thankful for a home with electricity and a functional family. Woo Hoo he thinks we are functional!! I am thankful for a mother who would make food for me, and a father who is always there for me. I am thankful for a brother that makes good decisions, and knows what is right. I am thankful for cousins and uncles and aunts that love me and for grandparents that love me, are still sane, and still have all their teeth. I am thankful overall for our loving Heavenly Father who gave me all of these things. I am thankful for this opportunity I have to
bring others unto Christ in Madagascar, and for the wonderful people I get to meet that go without all the things I am thankful for. I love you all so much. Happy Thanksgiving.

When are transfers? Will Mclaughlan die with you?
He is probably going to die in Itaosy, but maybe not with me. Transfers are next Saturday or Sunday so I will find out what is going on for sure then.

How do you get your appointments? tracting of referrals?
A little bit of both. Lots of contacting, but referrals are ideal. Referrals want to learn. It is literally as easy as asking to get into people house and teach a time but we are trying to find people that are interested, and we are looking for people who can become church leaders. We are looking for fathers who have something going on in their lives.  It's what the church needs here. It's also the hardest people to find and teach. Literally I say hello to people that lean out their windows or just sit on their porch and they are like "come in! We need to pray" but they will rarely make the effort to come to church.

Can you wear belt buckles? You could be the Celie Booth of missionaries.
Maybe, but that's not within appropriate mission guidelines. I will last two years without being a rebel. After that though, forget about it haha.

How are your garments and white shirts holding up in the laundry?
They are good. No troubles so far.

Did you like the bacon bits? You can add them to your eggs or whatever.
I do, I haven't used them yet but I hadn't thought of the eggs thing. I'll try that in the morning. Good call mom.

And lastly ingredients. What do you have to cook with so I can send you some recipes you can use.

Hmm, I have a lot of stuff. Anything asian is gettable here, and anything fruit or vegetable is everywhere. Sugar, flour, salt, no problem.  A lot of seasoning other than that is hard to find. I don't know what else really.

Thanks mom! Love you.


Elder Galbreath

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 weeks in country, time flies.

Well, as of today I am officially done with the training program. 12 weeks in country. Nuts. Still can't speak this language. Oh well. Life goes on, that's what they tell me anyway. I haven't really noticed anything to the contrary either.
Sounds like the trap shoot was a lot of fun, and the steel challenge match went pretty well. Nice number of shooters! Hopefully with Obama we can still enjoy that hobby. Doctrine and Covenants 134 I believe. My opinion almost perfectly aligns with the churches official declaration on the government. Protect the general welfare and god given rights and then butt out.
I love you dad, thanks for helping me out. I have been pretty kivy the last little while (depressed) so that helped. I'm gonna do a little Christmas shopping today for the guys, so I will pull out about 20 bucks. Should be enough to get everyone something. Wish I could buy gifts for $20. Also President Adams is "sick of people being sick" so our allotment might go up from 365000 to 450000 which would be great because I am always fighting at the end of the month to have money. Tht would give us 100000 per week for shopping and then 50000 for incidentals, shampoo, soap, haircuts and the like. Although I found some clippers in analakely for pretty cheap so I got those and me and elder McLaughlin gave eachother haircuts this morning. Pretty dope. They aren't great, but they are about as good as the ones from the barber. And they are free. In about 10 haircuts they will have paid for themselves. So yeah, pretty sick. OK now why didn’t he send a picture of that?
So, we were waiting at a bus stop the other day for our member help to show up, so we could go teach this lady. While we were waiting, this old lady walks up. Picture in your mind a lady, about four and a half feet tall, wearing about three coats, hair in a bun on the front of her head (that is a malagasy old lady standard actually), carrying a woven bag with something in it. She is missing more than a few teeth. She walks by, stops, turns back towards us, and starts talking super loud. She was saying "he is super handsome! I like him! Hey, handsome!" and making kissy sounds. Tongue halfway out of the mouth kissy sounds. Yuck. Then I realized she was looking directly at me. Yuck again. Then she goes "I like that nose, I want to eat it!" and laughing hysterically. Oh man it was so gross, but so funny. Oh man, I am laughing just thinking about it.
We visited this new guy a few days ago, big guy, huge house,  Apparently while we were there a famous malagasy singer was sitting on the couch but I didn't know who he was so he must not be that famous haha but anyway they were eating some leaves on a branch. They told us what it was called, and gave us some. You are just supposed to chew it until the flavor is gone and then stop and spit it out. So I had a leaf and it just tasted like a leaf so when we left I spit it out. Elder McLaughlin was a champ though, and ate like 12 or 15 leaves of the stuff. Then we went to teach him again the next week and we had a member with us. They offered us some more leaves but we politely declined because they were leaves haha but after we left our member goes, do you know what that stuff is? And we were like, well no, they said it makes your back and stomach strong. He says yeah maybe, but it's a drug. A drug. Elder McLaughlin goes, well it's a crappy drug then because I chewed like a whole branch and didn't feel anything. Apparently it's a smoking drug but still. Hmmm got to be careful when at investigators houses.

One more thing; make sure Senora Leavitt reads this one. OK Angie I hope your reading. I was sitting in a time the other day, music playing super loud in the next house. I didn't really understand what it was because it was some distance away. I thought to myself, wow this old school malagasy music sounds a lot like old school mexican music. Then it got to the chorus. It was a song we learned in spanish class, called "Eres tu" pretty hilarious if you ask me haha but yeah that was pretty much everything interesting.
Last Saturday we played basketball with one of our investigators, well sort of. I went to the basketball court with Michael and Elder Walker and we did some messing around stuff, the hoop was a little shorter too so I was dunking on all the malagasy guys too. Then they cleared the court and told us they already had 5 games set up to play so we couldn't play. But whatever, it was good to hold a basketball again.

We talked about the conference talk about the T-shirt so I asked, What would your T-shirt say?
My t-shirt would say "mandeha foana, reraka foana, roa toana" it means going always, tired always, two years, but it rhymes in Malagasy haha. Yeah, either that or just the title of liberty. Not very inventive, but whatever.

Grant said "my real t-shirt would say, "My sons are the reason that I live"
Nice, your first one sounded like a missionary shirt. We have a saying here, "mandeha foana, reraka foana" it means going always, tired always. I get so exhausted here. I have gone to sleep right after nightly planning the last few nights, about an hour early. Still tired. But I'm surviving. He gets really tired when he is growing. Could be interesting.

Nice food picture, looks like meatless campers.

It is pretty much hash and eggs. There was corned beef in there. Not bad, but the potatoes here are funky sometimes. You have to find a good one to make anything with.

How is the living arrangement thing going? All settled in with the 3rd set of Elders?
Yeah, we just don't really have a living room and laundry is a pain because the power in our house is not the best so we can only run the washer or the dryer, never both. One or the other is always going. But yeah, not too bad.

When I served, we had to write a weekly letter to the president that outlined how things were going in our companionships and with our teaching. Do you have something like that?
Yeah, we email him and tell him whatever we want to tell him.

Our ward only has a 40% sacrament attendance rating and they want to improve it to 55%. I guess we need to find some inactive people and try to get them active again.
Inactive work is where it's at! People that believed at one time, and already had the lessons. It's way different, but it's good! I like it, there are lots of inactives in Madagascar too. You just have to find out why they left and what damage has been done since they left. As soon as someone has weak moment Satan sneaks in.

We are gearing up for Thanksgiving. Any ideas what you will do? Any turkeys in Mada? I found a turkey Taylor drew for you so I will send it in the next package even though it will be a little late.
I'm not sure what we will do, probably buy a turkey and kill it and eat it. We might cook it but that is a lot of work so I don't know. They do have turkey here, I'm not sure how much they are. The picture will be great! I don't care when I get it haha.

Oh How would I send you music? Do you have a cd player or do you need a mp3 player and speakers?
I wasn't sure, I am going to buy a flash drive here though and just download it onto that from the internet or there are places here that will do it for you. So yeah and then I can play that on the portable dvd player we have. It's for training videos and like the Joseph Smith story and stuff but we listen to mo-tab and stuff on it. Lots of mo-tab.

Well, the new Obama administration sounds like it is going just peachy. I would say no judging but I am judging. Righteous judgment is the way of the lord, and it is a commandment, see the JST for the "judge not that ye be not judged" scripture. We are supposed to judge. Otherwise we are the natural man. I wonder what is next, I know Obama has had his eyes on that second amendment for a while. His tax plan sounds like a great idea too, 45 percent on rich people. Robin Hood, maybe. Socialist? Definitely. Holy cow, there are so many things wrong with this guy. Everyone here is happy because he is black. They just are happy because they don't have to live under him.

So, I got the packages for Christmas! That got there so fast, 4 weeks this time. They are so great, thank you so much! The big bag of jerky is a win for sure. I like the tree, I am gonna decorate that the day after thanksgiving for sure. Makes me happy he remembered that is tree day.I like the santa hats, and I'm glad you did a Christmas eve present too. My companion will be happy for it too haha I love the cheez-its and nerds and sweet tarts too. I don't know who you are trying to kid only sending two little boxes of nerds and two little bags of cheez-its though haha but they were way good so no complaints. I definitely got everything though, and I have not opened the presents yet. Getting them this early I hope he can hold out. In future packages could you throw in a little more kool aid and a little less gravy? I have more gravy than I know what to do with right now haha that gallon bag is full to the brim of seasoning now. Kool aid would be much appreciated though. Everything is awesome though! The chicken noodle and mac and cheese is great always, I am even rationing it so it will last a while. I found ideal noodles and am altering the recipe little by little to get the most noodle soakage out of it, I always have a little cheese sauce left over that I don't know what to do with. I am finding ways though.

Love you!

Elder Galbreath

 Hey I just thought of a better t-shirt. It would say, "I love mofo balls" they are freaking brilliant. Best things ever. No kidding. Eat those with some ronono soja and you have yourself a very content Elder Galbreath. An investigator gave us that on Sunday night. Best lesson ever. They should be coming to church too next sunday. Pumped! Love you mom.

Oh, also yesterday in church I was sitting reading my scriptures and adding up numbers from the week in sacrament meeting and this nice lady behind me, a black momma if there has ever been one, fixed my collar because my tie was poking out a little. Instantly made me miss you. OK not going to lie, that made me happy. Just thought I would let you know. Also someone played "I'll be home for Christmas" in the house a few days ago and I almost freaking cried. So bad. Christmas is gonna be rough, but I get to call you! So I will be good.

Love you mom!

Garrett