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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Manahoana fianakaviana, salama ve?

Hello hello. I would ask if mom was on her way to work already but apparently she is moving around in the world so you're all probably still in bed. (Nope still up early) Except Dad maybe, but I'm really not sure how the time change works so whatever. Anyway, thank you (misoatra) for making your fantanina (must be questions) easy to find in the letters this time haha

The letter home about the language:
I have not written/sent that yet. My desire to write letters went way down haha so I am going to write you guys a couple of big fat letters today full of more boring information than you could possibly want to know. If he only knew how much we want to know.

Have I seen Thomas or anyone else:
I saw Thomas on his first day but I haven't seen him since, he is in a different residence hall and on a completely different schedule than I am so the odds are pretty slim but I am keeping my eyes open. I saw Elder Alvarado the other day though, he is in the room right by the vending machine on the bottom floor so I saw him on Hot Pocket Wednesday for a couple weeks. By the way, the vending machine funds come from the six dollars a week the MTC gives me, His first allowance! We were not allowance giving parents not my personal money.

My favorite activity last week:
Um, I played basketball yesterday for the first time in a long time and that was a lot of fun. I wore my new shoes (thank you so much! They are perfect, but for future reference I wear a twelve. They work good because I can lace them tight enough my feet don't slide but I don't need a 13. I know, I let down the family by not getting to a 13) Ok when did that happen? He has shared shoes with Grant and Wyatt forever. Mom of the year award lost again for not knowing his size. I swear we had bought him 13’s before.

How is the language going?
Hmm. Well, it's pretty rough. We are completely off notes in our lessons now so we can only teach using the words in our heads, pretty frustrating really. It's crazy hard but I am getting it, I just need to have patience. What else is new right? I am glad he recognizes areas he needs to work on.

Am I liking being a ZL?
I am actually, I really like walking the new missionaries around from our zone and showing them the ropes a little bit, and it makes it easier to be a friend because they know who I am. One of the new Elders going to New York City North nicknamed Elder Mitchel and I Phineas and Ferb. I'm Ferb. Bad part of not having TV, I have no idea who those are. Guess I should look them up.

Have I connected with anyone here:
Elder Eppich is pretty cool, we seem to have a similar thought process a lot of the time.

Something I learned about Madagascar:
Um, they circumcise their kids at like eight years old.

Anything else I need:
Cholula! They have it here for breakfast but it is always empty and the food is so bland it's not even funny in the mornings. Also send a sunrise/sunset picture. I don't know of anything else right now. Another package will be going out. I am going to send an extra for Madagascar.

Tell you a story.
Alright. So we are teaching an "investigator" named Miandry. He is a little slow to understand what we are teaching. We taught him how to pray and had him say the closing prayer and he said dear heavenly father and then proceeded to thank Jesus for things and ask Jesus for things and close in the name of Jesus Christ. So close, and yet so far. These are role playing investigators if you did not know that already. Based on people the “actors” have taught.

In other news, we got Taco Bell yesterday. There is an elder going to Malaysia who has a bulged disc or something like that and he is going to physical therapy in Salt Lake. His parents get to take him there and everything, so it's pretty cool. He should be ok in a couple weeks according to the doctor so that's good. Anyway last night he comes in with his backpack on and smiles at us and everything, and then he pulls a 12 pack of Doritos Locos Tacos out of his backpack and gives them to us. Stellar. I have never before in my life referred to Taco Bell as "real food" but last night it was perfect. I kept all the hot sauce too haha That is a little scary that Taco Bell is real food.
Dad, you are spot on with the temptation increasing when we leave the home thing. I'm on a mission, so it's not exactly the same, but I can testify that Satan doesn't let up because we are having a rough time. Heavenly Father won't give us any more than we can handle, but he trusts us a lot haha so sometimes, a lot of the time even, it seems like more than we can do to keep our head above water. Satan wants us to be miserable, and just like a linebacker takes advantage of a hole in the offensive line to hurt the QB, Satan will take advantage of any holes in our defense to hurt us. Look at Joseph Smith. He literally saw God and Jesus Christ. If Satan ever had a reason to give up that was it. But he did everything to bring him down. Joseph Smith buried I think six children, and was married to his wife for only 17 years. Thank heaven for eternity. This is what a parent loves to hear. The growth in their knowledge of their Heavenly Fathers love and of his plan for us is amazing.

Well I am running out of time but I want to say a couple more things real quick. First, Vaughn J. Featherstone spoke to us at a fireside last week or the week before, and it was amazing. He said "a bell's not a bell until you ring it. A song's not a song until you sing it. A testimony isn't a testimony until you share it. Knowledge isn't knowledge until you use it." Wow. He also told us that even though we have never been to our mission before, the Holy Ghost has. He is preparing the way for us.
Check out the rendition of Have I Done Any Good? by Alex Boye and Carmen Rasmussen Herbert. It's sick. Need to look that up.

I love you all so much. Thank you for the packages and ugly ties, they are great. Pictures will be mailed out this week, promise. I am trying to be patient and wait but it is so hard!!!!
Love, Elder Galbreath (the fifth) I am so grateful for the 4 that preceded him and the examples they have been. You know who you are (LOL).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good morning fianakaviana!

So, I still can't find your questions so if you could make sure and number them so they are impossibly easy to find I would appreciate it.

Well, I'm a month in to the MTC. 23 to go! The language is progressing, but it kind of stalled out lately so that's been frustrating. I think I might start making progress again in the next couple of days so that will be nice. We have another new teacher, his name is Brother Pixton. He doesn't speak Malagasy but he is a really good teacher for the doctrinal aspect of the MTC and that way Brother Sender (or Rahalay Pandefa) can focus on the language with us. It's a nice balance. Brother Sell is gone this week too with his family, going to the Grand Tetons. I don't even know what a teton is. This is me shaking my head in shame. But whatever, he will be back in a week. Then Brother Sender is leaving for a while to go home and see his family in Ohio. His mom had a baby while he was on his mission, crazy. Her name is whoops.

We had a really sweet fireside last Tuesday. Vaughn J Featherstone (who looks crazy familiar by the way) of the Emeritus Seventy came and spoke. He had just had a surgery on his knee so he had to use a chair about halfway through his talk, but man! He was so good. So interesting, and so smart! I forgot my notes in the residence but I am planning on writing a letter and sending a couple things home with it. It’s a good thing I am not holding my breath, he said that last week. No pictures though, because you keep asking for them haha Maybe he is not so funny.

Tell Wyatt it would be sweet if he ever wrote me a letter, and that I am praying for his finger but I definitely want a picture of it. Maybe when it heals he will have a sweet scar he can freak opposing linemen out with. Yeah, that sounds good.

I seriously miss sunrises. I have told you about it before. If you wanted to take a picture of the sunrise and send it to me with the time that it was taken I would not object. It's almost five thirty here and still pitch black. In the middle of the summer! How do they live like this? Ugh. All that farm work spoiled him seeing amazing sunsets over here.

I got two sweet care packages this week, one from Mom and one from Megan. Thank you so much! One thing though, we aren't allowed to chew gum here so I don't need any more of that. The shorts have been such a blessing.

My knees have been really sore after soccer lately, so I don't know what is going on with that. It's pretty rough terrain and my shoes are very broken in, so that might be it. Can you guess what I am sending in the next package? It's definitely not the amount of times I fall every game. MTC soccer is very competitive and physical soccer. No slide tackling allowed though, so I have only obliterated one guy. Season ender. He was European though so whatever. Not sure what that means but I hope he is OK.

Each week I am more and more grateful I am not learning French. I know it's like a romance language and whatever else but I can't stand it. Also there about a million sister missionaries learning french and I don't think I need to deal with that. Apparently from another letter they are really cute.

We got 31 new missionaries this week, 8 going to Las Vegas West and the rest going to Singapore Malasia. Super intense! The Malays are learning the language crazy fast, they are already mostly off notes for their lessons and it's been exactly three days since they started learning. It's super awesome. We are getting I think 8 more elders this week, going to New York City North English speaking.

The Rochies and Spokaners left yesterday, so keep an eye out for them. Elder Church got a picture with me for evidence and they know to watch for you guys in Mo-town. I don't know if they will remember the Ritzville part but if they see them just remind them they are related to their amazing favorite ZL. (zone leader)

I am sure there is more I want to tell you, but I forgot my planner with all my letter notes in it so I guess this will have to do for now. Pioneer day is today, so that should be interesting. I guess it's like a second fourth of July around here, all the shops close and people do fireworks and everything. Crazy Utah mormons for you. The temple opens back up tomorrow, so we will be able to go next p-day. So excited! I miss going to that place.

Thank you for giving me Christians address, I'm gonna write him today and say what's crackin. I may or may not actually say those words, but whatever.

I have felt the spirit so much stronger as I have been focusing on other people in my prayers lately and I know that this is part of forgetting myself and going to work.

I love you so much you guys. It's almost silly. I am so happy I have you guys.

Love you all.

Elder Galbreath

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bleh (that's what he titled it)

It's six in the morning. I hate having to get up this early to do laundry because the machines are full all day unless we get up too early to be alive. Good thing he had training with early morning seminary. Alright so here are the questions I could find from the dear elders I remembered to bring with me this morning.
P-Days are going good so far, lots of letter writing. We usually go to the temple on Tuesdays but the temple is closed right now until the 24th so we will be able to go the Tuesday after that. It opens on a Wednesday too, so we will miss it by one day.
I'm so excited for Thomas and Conner! I saw Elder Alvarado the other day, he is on the first floor of our residence hall.
The turtle sticker thing is pretty sweet I won't lie. I put a cool turtle on my side mirror to remind me of him, looking for a moose for Wyatt. My clothes are staying pretty white too.
Alright so the next care package should include more gym shorts and shirts. I have 3 shorts and 3 shirts to exercise in and at the end of the week they smell super bad. I would appreciate some more of those. Also ugly ties would be appreciated, we do ugly tie Mondays and I have to do the same two on a rotation. Uglier the better. OK everyone, any help out there? I am gonna send you some note cards in a letter with some vocab and the alphabet and letter combos on it.
I am sending you guys letters as often as I can but I don't like writing two letters before I get one back. He must mean you other guys. Also it takes me about four days of writing to get a good letter done. Tell Wyatt that I am writing him too. I sent him a letter to scout camp, I hope it makes it up there, (it did) his address in the dear elder he sent me wasn't very clear. I got a letter from him though so now I have a return address.
I got a letter from Elder Plate too, but the return address was in Mandarin so I can't write him back. Also can I have Elder Manly's address? I want to write him some time.
I miss my puppy! Thanks for giving me an update on them in the letter it was good to hear they haven't changed. Air Odin! The soccer dog haha
Well, things are going on at about the same rate out here in the valley. I am not digging being in a valley though. The sun comes up at like nine and goes down at like six thirty behind the mountains. Super depressing. I miss the farm life. YE HAW! I wear my plaid shirt and jeans every P-day because it reminds me of when I worked all the time haha now I just work with my brain. Not as much fun I'll tell you right now. I have gained a half a pound since I have been here so that is good. Bulking up for Mada. A half pound in 3 weeks?? Really? I can do that in a few hours. Love that boy’s metabolism.
I have heard so many awesome things about that place I can't even remember them all right now. There are a lot of ticks there though. The people are crazy nice! I guess a lot of the time they will let you in just because you are white. And he is a tall handsome white boy. He should be talking a lot! The biggest problem I guess is getting them to keep commitments, because they will agree to anything because you are white. We made it our goal as a district to reactivate and baptize enough people to get a temple announced before we leave Madagascar. Keep that in your prayers please.
I met three missionaries going to the Spokane Washington mission! They are in my zone. I told them it was the second best mission in the world behind Madagascar. Elder Church, Elder Figgins, and Elder Tingey. Alright we will watch for these guys. They are pretty cool guys. I guess there was a fourth but after the first day he decided he couldn't handle the mission so he threw his bags over the fence, jumped over and took off. Right in the middle of the night. So that's interesting. Sad, I hope he is well.
Well, I'm almost out of time. I love all of you guys so much! Tell the Ritzville family to write me! OK Galbreath’s you are in the hot seat!! Elder Moulton described mail time as Christmas twice a day but Santa comes less than half the time. Think about it.
I love you guys.
Elder Galbreath.
Oh! Favorite scripture right now is all of 2 Timothy chapter 1 I think, it might be wrong. Bye!
If he is talking about 2 Timothy I love verse 7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Our missionaries will definitely be using those three things.
Special thanks to Elder Moulton's Mom who is allowing me to steal pictures of Garrett from her blog.  Someday he will send me some.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ny fiangonani Jesoa Kristy (The Church of Jesus Christ)

Manahoana fianakaviana! (Hello family)

Dad and mom both asked questions this week so here goes.
1. Have you written others?
I have been able to write people yeah, it just takes like three or four days to get one written and the mail system is slow so you guys will get letters I promise.  You just have to wait. I have a feeling Wyatt's letters to scout camp will take about two years to get there. So there is hope for those that have not received a personal letter!
2. Are you still liking the other boys?
    More or less. Being cooped up with the same nine guys forever isn't really my idea of a good time, but it's not too bad.  There are some really cool guys here, Elder Jensen and I have talked a lot lately because my companion goes off with his companion and he is really cool. He does mountain biking and rock climbing a lot. I think he is going to be one of the guys I stay in touch with post mission.
2A. Any pictures?
      Lots of pictures. The only way to get them home is in the mail though so I'm going to send it in a little bit. The computers here won't accept any card readers of any kind so the one you sent me won't even do any good.
3. Tell me something in Malagasy. When he sends some I will post them.
   They will say my name normal, but the title of the email means the church of Jesus Christ. It's really weird to pronounce things though. To say hello you say mah-nah-oh-na with a long a sound for the mah and nah. Stress the oh sound.
4. A scripture that has spoken to me.
   Um, D&C 121 is cool, I think its verse 16 maybe?  It says something like “thine afflictions will be as a small moment”.  D&C 121:7  My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
5. Are you eating and gained weight?
   I am definitely eating, I don't know if I have gained any weight but I was 179 the first gym day so I will check on that later.
6 Sorry this was a personal question. It falls under the TMI category.
7. What will they call Conner’s group?
   We will most likely call them the Lithuanians. Not too inventive but it's already made up for us.
8. Are there any pictures I would like?
   Um, not that I can think of, I'll keep you posted though.
9. Anything else I need.
   If you wanted to come do my laundry for me I wouldn't object, but other than that I am pretty good. As much as I would like to, I am afraid I will have to pass.

Dad's questions next.
1. Did I get the shot I need?
   No I haven't gotten that yet but they scheduled me to get the one I need the last Thursday I am here so it will be done.
2. Scripture from me.
   See above, but if you can't find it do D&C 4:5-6 And faith, hope, charity, and love with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.  Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
3. Do I know of my visa/passport stuff?
   I can only assume it is here and on the right track because they haven't said otherwise.
4. You want to hear more about the other people.
   They are a bunch of other LDS teenagers who have attitudes and personalities of their own just like I do, but honestly I don't get enough time to tell you guys everything I want to so I will tell you about them in a letter. No one else drums or shoots like we do, a couple guys shoot their dads guns at barrels in a canyon but seriously how lame is that? For those that don’t know we do something called Cowboy Action Shooting (SASS) you can look it up on youtube.

I did get the package from you guys and thank you so much for that! I just wanted the sour gummy worms because they are good tasting candy haha and the whoppers are a blessing. The pillowcase made me cry for a second, thanks for that. The drumsticks are nice to have, and even though I don't get much time to use them they are nice to have when I can. I do not play the "air mail" game haha that is Elder Moulton's thing.
I did take my camera charger, haven't had to use it yet though. I'm glad Dad got the first bite of the potato salad, that is good. I'm sorry Mom isn't a very good son for BBQing and hooking up trailers and whatnot, but she is a way better cook than the rest of us so it all evens out. Got to love that boy! It makes me laugh that Mom spelled both Sydnee and Riannes name wrong in the letter though haha. Sorry Sydnee and Rianne I will do better next time.

The language is coming along pretty well, I'm having a rough time memorizing stuff but I can pronounce most words I find and recognize the ones I know now so that's good. We are teaching investigators a lot now.

Ok two quick stories because I am almost out of time. On Sunday Elder Mitchell and I were called as Zone Leaders. OK yes that made us happy to hear. Pleased not proud. Here that basically means four extra meetings on Sundays and one during the week, but it's still a lot of responsibility. So we are working through that.

Also we taught a legit Malagasy woman the other day. She speaks English too and she is already a member but it was still pretty nerve racking because we only got one planner page of notes. About the size of a 3X5 notecard. We were getting to know her and I tried to ask if she had a husband, but I messed up. I accidentally said an o where an a should have been so instead of saying (roughly translated) "do you have a husband?" I said "Do you have an (vulgar word for butt)?" She laughed so hard she almost fell out of her chair. Super embarrassing but I'm over it. Now I'm that missionary though. That just makes for better stories.

I hate this timed email thing and I hate how slow mail is. I love you and I love the Lord, and the Bokin'i Mormon is the true word of Andriamanitra! Love you all.
Elder Galbreath.

This is the pillowcase i sent him of his younger cousins.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Got Milk???

A couple things, one I didn’t know we knew people by the name of Sells, can anyone shed light on that one? Second I have not gotten a letter yet so something to look forward to.  I also just happen to have sent a package this morning that included 3 bags of sour gummy worms (yeah Mom!).  Sorry about the fart humor, my family gets that part.(he is also not the only elder to mention it so the food much reek havoc on those boys)  I guess they can‘t be serious all the time.  I also hope his PS means he is taking photos and videos. Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Well no one asked me any questions this week so I am just going to freestyle through this one.
Well, this week was a crazy one. I played mostly soccer due to the lack of people wanting to play volleyball. 1 on 0 isn't much fun after a few minutes of service aces. We have been pounding on this language and I am starting to get it a little better, I can read in it mostly but I don't understand what I am reading. I can just pronounce the words.
We taught Tojo (our investigator) a couple more times and I think it went pretty well because on Wednesday he showed up to our class and he was our teacher. His real name is Brother Sell and he is way cool. He just got off his mission three months ago and he is a really cool guy. Not related to the Sells in Washington though. Last Tuesday night we had a devotional and ten of the twelve apostles were there, and I got to sit by Richard G. Scott's daughter and great-grandson. He was really little, and very cute. He was a baby. L. Tom Perry spoke and he did an awesome job. I told mom about it in her letter so you guys can get the info from her. This Sunday was probably the best fireside I have ever attended in my life. A guy named Ted Gibbons gave a monologue from the point of view of Willard Richards, who was there with Joseph Smith through the last month or so of his life. He talked about the martyr in Carthage jail, and he was so good. So emotional, and so deep. I felt my testimony growing stronger with every word he spoke. Then after he was done speaking we sang praise to the man. If you have never heard 2,000 emotional missionaries sing all the verses of that song you are missing out. That was one of if not the most powerful thing I have ever heard. We all stood up and everything. It was literally epic. After that we watched a movie in the gym on the projector screens, and we saw Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. That was awesome. If you have ever seen the movie then you know kind of what I mean. There is a part where he stands up in jail and rebukes the guards who were talking about murdering all the people at Hahns mill, and it was pin drop silent in that gym. I got chills.

We had a workshop the other day where we talked about the tips on teaching section of Preach my Gospel and we had the opportunity to teach an "investigator" who was actually another missionary in the room who was Buddhist and thus didn't believe in God or Jesus Christ about the Restoration. The guy I taught was going to Mongolia so he knew quite a bit about the Buddhist belief system. That was rough. I had no idea where to start with that lesson, but once we got into it and I worked in the scriptures it went fairly well. It was definitely weird though, because I am used to everyone at least knowing about God.

Tell Wyatt and everyone that I am writing letters, but snail mail is crazy slow so it takes a while. If anyone reading this on the blog wants to send me letters or packages of cookies or sour gummy worms I would let you. It's nice to hear from the outside world, even if nothing great and wonderful is happening. Dear Elder is great because it gets here so much faster.

I heard from just about everyone that John was called as Branch President. Gee, didn't see that one coming (ha ha) make sure he knows that I will keep him in my prayers and I think he will do a great job.

Wyatt tells me I'm still the favorite cousin, which I am ok with (ha ha) although I don't see it lasting much longer. I don't know if the Ritzville family reads this but I want everyone to know that I think about you guys all the time while I'm out here and I hope you guys are doing great!

I am loving life so far, although it's all really hectic and consistently harder to get out of bed each morning that goes by. 10:30 to 6:30 isn't bad if you sleep well the whole time but it is so not comfortable on those things. I finally started sleeping all the way through the night just because I am so mentally worn out.

Tell Conner and Thomas and anyone else learning a language to bring lots of blank flashcards and a spiral notebook for grammar, I had to buy some here. You take so many notes in this place, it's crazy. Also I found Conner's classroom, it's almost directly above the Malagasy one! So all of our farts will go right into their room, maybe. let's hope not. The food here is still giving everyone the farts all the time, and I had stir fry today so tonight should be interesting. The egg rolls were delicious though.

One last thing before I go. On Sunday at dinner Elder Smithson told me he could drink and keep down more milk than I could. As you know I don't take well to challenges, especially when I know I can win (which is always). So Nine glasses later and he still didn't give up, so after ten I was willing to call it a tie because we were both about to die. He drank an eleventh. He spewed almost instantly all over the table and tray, and I am pretty sure at least six glasses of milk and one bowl of ice cream (bottomless ice cream on Wednesdays and Sundays, should make Conner pretty happy) came back up. I held all ten of mine down, just puked a little bit of mashed potato up about an hour later.

That's my exciting week at the MTC, love you all!
Elder Galbreath
P.S. What video did you put up? I didn't send you anything.