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

Monday, August 27, 2012

First P-day in Mada!

Well he is so good that he wrote 3 separate emails to Grant, Wyatt and me.  So here is a quick compilation of them all.
First mine.
Hey mom! Before I start I will warn you that I am typing on a French keyboard so the letters are all in the wrong place, I can't find the period either. Aha! Found it. You have to capitalize to make a period.
Anyway. We have all the time in the world to email, although we have been asked to keep it to about an hour.

1Tell us about London and Johannesberg, what did you do with all that time?    London airport was the worst. No fast food anywhere. Terrible. I slept a lot during that time, and had a hamburger and chipos, which are actually fries. Silly brits. Johannesberg was pretty cool, they took my gorilla tape though. They said it wasnt allowed because I could tape someone’s mouth with it. Surprisingly they let me keep my pen, although I could totally stab someone with it. We talked to a guy that was headed home in both airports, one from France and one from the Joberg mission. Super legit.

Besides beautiful tell us something about Madagascar. Madagascar is filthy, and loud. There are no rules for cars so as long as it runs people drive it. Rattling, squeaking, smoking cars everywhere. And forget about rules of the road. Drive around someone in your way, cows on the road, taxis stop right in the lane. But no one gets mad. Super weird, that's just how they drive here.

What do you think if your companion?  My companion is pretty cool, really nice, very helpful, and very Scottish. I only understand about 60% of what he says, between the accent and calling pants trousers and whatnot.  And he is going home in January! So we are going suit shopping today.

Tell us about your house.   Our house. In the middle of our street. Our house.  haha our house is drafty, I always am wearing a sweater and pants. Hopefully that gets better once summer comes. No, I am not mistaken, seasons are backwards, just like everything else. The stove only half works, the two burners in front don't turn on at all. The back two are alright,
at least they light up.

Are you understanding anything?  Not a dang thing.  haha I am understanding a little bit, but not much of anything really. They talk so fast and run their words together so bad. It's a little silly. Also they use French words on and off in their conversation, and about 90% of their numbers are in French.  Silly. I do understand that every single person says I am super tall. Malagasy
people are short, like your height is the tallest person mom. Lava be! That means really tall. My companion goes "It means loveable" haha but I already knew it.

What does your p-day involve?  Email time? can you sent photos?  P day is for cleaning, and then shopping, going to the office, and whatever else we need to do. We have laundry in the house so we don't have to do that on p day.

Tell us about your first investigator visit First investigator, I don't know her name haha but she told me. The lesson was going pretty well I think, she was asking questions and looked satisfied with the answers, and then the baby cried and she started breast feeding it. Yep, right in the middle of the lesson. Turns out all the women do that. Doesn't matter when. Even in church.

Luke is huge! Walking around, riding geese and whatnot. What a champ. Tell the families I send my love but letters are 1.50 per so those will be a little slower than they were in the MTC, not to mention how much slower they will be from the future. It's 10:15 now. I love you so much! Thanks for the email, it was really great to read.

Dads. Bon Jour faza! haha I spent nine weeks learning Malagasy and I get here and that's what everyone says to me. A mix between French and good old fashioned racism. Yay!

There are 84 missionaries here right now including us, and a lot of areas haha one companionship per area so 42 areas. Nine cities, most of the areas are in Tana.

I love hearing about the stories from the Ritzville clan haha the RV story made me laugh pretty hard. I can seriously envision that whole scene.
The kids were very anxious to claim their beds while Grant and Daniel were setting it up in the dark.
I did not understand a single word at church on Sunday, but I bore my testimony in Malagasy so that was a cool experience. The members speak a lot of French. I don't know french. Plus the acoustics were really bad in that  room and people like to talk all at once so I was lucky to even understand enough of what they were saying to write down the malagasy word. Crazy. I definitely know what you mean about the new language between the mtc and here, but I got to bear testimony about the WOW at one point and I did pretty well on that, and we taught a first to a lady named Rosa too. She is so cool! I am so excited for her, we contacted her my first day at her bar/restaurant thing and she
seems excited. I really hope it goes well, we are teaching her this Wednesday I believe. Keep her in your prayers!

Well, I have to go now, sorry you got the short stick today and the last email, I will rotate that in the future. I love you so much! You can read everyone else’s emails so you get my week, I think I covered everything in the emails. Oh! Except that the way to get to peoples house is almost exactly like in the incredible hulk when they are running through the city. Legit.

Thing I will never forget about Mada: Women breastfeeding and all the american music. Love you! Tiako ianao!
Wyatts.  First of all, you slept in whose truck?
Madagascar is awesome! I'm not understanding much of what people say except "Elder vaovao"-new elder "Elder Galbref"-how they say my name, no th sound in Malagasy and "lava be!"-really tall. I get that one a lot. Also, all the little kids say "bon jour faza!" which is just a rascist term for white people because they think you are French. Their face when you respond in Malagasy is priceless. So shocked. This city was built for about 500,000 people that are about 5 foot 6, so as one of two million people living here and being 6 foot 5 or so I don't really fit anywhere. But it's all good because I am doing the lords work! And I'm getting good at ducking haha.  We taught some ladies in a house I literally could not stand up straight in.

Definitely everything I hoped for, and once I can understand people it will be even better! I have seen a turtle, but it was dark and we were in a hurry so no pictures.

Well, I am glad you are enjoying my truck, and bumping that gospel talk everywhere haha don't blow my speakers though. If you can find it, listen to a talk called "The Character of Christ" by David A. Bednar. So legit. It might be an MTC exclusive though, so I don't know.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Itaosy, South Antananarivo, Madagascar

Elder Galbreath is assigned to the Itaosy area of Madagascar.  He will be serving with Elder John McLaughlin from Fife Scotland.  So excited for him.  It sounds as if he will be housing with Elder
Walker and whomever his companion will be.  Thanks to Elder Walkers blog I know a little about Elder McLaughlin and have even seen a photo of him.  Technology is great.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Made it! Finally in Madagascar.

I made it. Finally. YAHOO!!! It is so amazing here! The driving is crazy here though, no street signs or stop lights anywhere. I am so excited to get to work though, it will be amazing. 

I just lost my whole email. Bleh. Alright, well here is the RD version. Don’t know what RD means.

I didn't get charged anything extra for bags, but I bought Wyatt a sick tunic at the South Africa airport. It's orange. I'll send it home soon. He does love his brother. I'll say Hi to Elder Walker and Elder George for Mom and maybe Walker will be my trainer :-) I follow their blogs and talk of them to him.  I hope he does meet them, Sis George helped me a lot with what to send him with.  

Sorry the cards didn't work, but they don't expire for 36 months after the last reload or activation. I love you guys so much! His in US calling cards worked so we spoke in Salt Lake and Chicago but not the international one.  They didn’t tell us he needed some special code. To quote Garrett “Bleh”.

I have to go now, but I did make it and I am so excited! Madagascar is so beautiful! 

Love, Elder Galbreath ny fahadimy

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Andana mandeha!

Hey hey hey! the heading means get out of here, it's the rude form but I don't know the polite way of saying I'm peacing out. Maybe just Fiadanana! That means peace. I don't think it translates the same though.

Alright, so I got all the letters and I am able to email because we are leaving Monday morning so this is my last one from the MTC. Finally!  He is very excited to go to Mada.
He finally answers some questions from past letters. 
Did I get the Cholula?
   I did. Thank you so much! Life savers. It was even in one piece and everything! Glass bottle, I was worried.
Did I get a new oil vial?
   I did. They had them in the bookstore for super cheap so I got an all metal one that seals really tight and some oil. We had to consecrate it ourselves but that was actually a cool experience. So I'm set there.
Did I find a converter?
   I did. They had them in the bookstore, it was two bucks. Pretty sick deal. We didn't get one because we weren't sure which one it was, and we figured I could buy one in country. We can't, but Brother Sender told us which one we needed so I'm good. Thank you Bro. Sender!!
Did I see Conner?
   I did. A few times actually, neither of us have had our cameras yet though haha so I will track him down in the next couple days with my camera in hand. The new one.  He had better get a picture with him or Conner’s Mom and I will be angry.
Did we get to host?
   I did. (hehe every answer) It was a lot of fun actually, I really enjoyed it. I get a little emotional every time though, but it's good :-) I have met a lot of people going to California Riverside, that's where John went isn't it? If not then delete that part haha  So glad he had the experience to host the incoming missionaries.  John did serve in CA and went to college at UC Riverside.
What kind of games?
   Pretty dumb ones haha although I guess the game with the flour in a cup is pretty big over there, where you pack the flour and put a penny on top of the flour? If you have no idea what I am talking about ask Bro Reagan, we played it for mutual one time. The dumb ones are still pretty fun though.
Did my haircut turn out ok?
   It did. I like it, but it is so short haha I just was tired of having to style it. The lady was not very good though. Very aggressive haircutting style, pushing my head all over the place. If anyone reading this is related to the hair cutting lady, sorry.  Also, this was the conversation we had
I sit down.
her "How do you want it?"
me "As short as possible please."
her "Alright. Where are you going?"
me "Madagascar *big smile*"
her "Cool"
And that was it. Awkward. But she did vacuum my head at the end of it so that was pretty legit. He would love the vacuuming part.
Different camera ve?
   Ve just implies that it's a yes or no question. Pretty sick. But anyway yes I got the new camera, and I forgot to send the old one home today with all the letters and the Ferb pez dispenser (which I love and Elder Higbee just thought was the greatest thing ever since he came up with calling me that) so I guess I am taking it with me. I sent him a lot of extra Pez candies.  Hoping he could share with the children of Madagascar.  Not sure if they have Pez over there.
What did I think of Mada music?
   Some of it is really cool, it's like tribal mariachi music almost. Pretty repetitive sometimes, but so is American music. There is a rapper/singer guy there called Y Zit. Pronounced ee zeet but you see what I saw haha I guess he is a pretty big deal there though, like a Malagasy Usher. Ok now that is funny!
Devotionals lately?
   Yeah, we have one every week and a fireside every Sunday night. Pretty good usually but sometimes it's more like nap time for 2000 missionaries in suits.
Sunday services?
   We have breakfast, sacrament, then a couple hours of study time, then priesthood, lunch, then an hour of study time, then district meeting, then a temple walk, dinner, and the fireside. When I was a zone leader it was like this though, meeting during breakfast so no food, sacrament, meetings, priesthood, lunch, meetings, district meeting, temple walk, meeting, dinner, fireside, meeting. Sucked.
I will try to do better with translating the headings from now on. Thank you!
Speak your language day helping ve?
   Not really. It would help if I knew more conversational Malagasy but I don't know much, just doctrinal stuff. So it's mostly just a frustrating day but I am ok with it, and since every day will be like that starting Wednesday(!) I am getting better at it. Please continue to pray for his language abilities.
The real soccer ball is awesome, especially since it glows! It even glows green!  Figured that out the night I got it when I shut the lights in our room off haha the pump is sweet too, Elder Austin is going to borrow it when we get there to pump his back up. OK I have to admit I got the idea to send him one when I read Elder Austin’s blog and saw he took one.
I haven't had a chance to write Holly yet, will you send me her address? I want to write a bunch of letters while I am on the plane and she is definitely someone I wanted to be able to send it too.

Thank you for the calling cards from Shelly, but seriously I have more than enough minutes. I have forty dollars of minutes to call you four times. That is many minutes. It's ok though because they don't expire so I can keep them and call you on the way home :-) which will be cool. OK I admit I have been worried that he would run out of minutes. I WANT MY PHONE CALLS!!! Thank you to my good friend Shelly who has delivery connections in the MTC.  I did find out that plane tickets to Madagascar are only two thousand dollars if you go the way we are going. Look at flights to South Africa and then a separate flight to Mada. I guess that's what the church does. Still a lot, but less than six thousand like originally. We talked about picking him up until we looked up tickets and they were $3000 each!!
Also, thank you Dad for telling Mom not to come down here and break the rules. Busted again, I did throw out the idea that we could just happen to be at the airport that day.  See that is why he is going so far away.  He has a Mom with no self-control.  Thank you for not making me a hypocrite. I have been the stickler on rules here, just the important ones but I'm the guy that no one likes now so that's great. I am happy and sad about that. So happy he is following the rules.  Sad some of the other boys are not happy with him.  I will admit I did not expect him to say that. That is more Wyatt’s thing.
Well, the time has come. I'm moving on to Mada, and I could not be more excited. It's a little intimidating, but I am so excited and ready to be there even if I'm not fully prepared. Know what I mean? I just know that it will be the best two years of my life, even though that is super cliché. I know that the lord wants me to go to Madagascar and teach the Gasy people. I have so much faith in this calling, partially because I have to. OK this is a well pleased parent moment.  So great to read things like this. And I know how he feels, we are so excited but intimidated for him too.

One more thing, don't send me any more letters to the MTC. Anything you sent Saturday or send Sunday through Dear Elder I won't get either.

Love you all.
Elder Galbreath ny fahadimy (the fifth)

A last shout out to the other Mada Mom’s.  I know you understand exactly how we are feeling right now.  Thank you for the support and kind words. They made it through the MTC, now on to bigger and better things.

Everyone else please pray for a safe and uneventful flight for our missionaries.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Hey hey family.
 First off sorry that this email is later in the day than usual, I wanted to tell you everything and I forgot my travel plans this morning. (I admit we were worried it did not come until 5:00pm when it has been here by 6 in the morning before)

Alright so first things first.
We fly out of the Salt Lake City Airport at 11:05 AM on August 20th and land in the Chicago/O'Hare Illinois airport at 3:05 PM on August 20th. We leave Chicago at 8:35 PM on the 20th and land in London 10:00 am on the 21st. We leave London at 7:10 PM (yes, 9 hours in the London airport) on the 21st and land at 7:00 AM on the 22nd in Johannesberg. We fly out of J-berg on the 22nd at 10:00 am and land in the big old country of Madagascar at 2:10 PM on the 22nd. Without the time differences that is 33.5 hours on a plane. HOLY COW that’s a long time! In case you were wondering, our mission is the farthest mission from church headquarters. Fun! We are leaving the MTC at 8 on Monday morning. I will most likely call you from Salt Lake, definitely from Chicago, and definitely from London and J-berg if I can. Not sure how the call thing works still but I will call you. Send me a Dear Elder and tell me who to call which time, Hello, call Mom each time! all the landing/takeoff times are on local time so take that into account and check it out on your fancy iPhone with google and yahoo search and whatnot. I miss Google searching stuff. I am so out of the loop here.
                                                                          Exercising his spiritual muscles.
So, I just realized that I forgot all the letters I was going to answer questions out of. Crud. Um, yeah. 
                                                                                          His Breakfast!
Anyway. Life is going on slowly but surely. Nothing new is happening really, I'm just really excited to get to Madagascar and understand little to nothing that anyone says haha. We did get a new teacher this week though, and he actually speaks Malagasy haha not like Bro Pixton. His name is Brother (Rahalay) Burton. He is really cool, he taught here this spring but he took the summer off to be an EFY counselor in Provo. He's back now though haha and he is really cool, very interactive lessons which is a big help for nailing down the difficult grammer stuff we have left to learn at this point. Stuff like circumstantial sentences and complex sentences. Weird stuff.

So, I finished the Book of Mormon this week! Pretty intense. I'm gonna try and read it all on the travel time to Mada. I think I can do it. So pleased with him, I bet he can do it.
Alright, sorry this letter sucked this week. I will write you a letter about the devotional tonight when I get a new notepad, mine is out of paper. I love you guys all so much, and I love what my mission will be in a week.

Elder Galbreath ny fahadimy
                      Since his letter was short I have supplemented pictures he finally sent.
                                                Laundry and email time!
                                             He of course found some fake glasses to play with.
                                                              Boys love to make blanket forts!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Salama ve?

Good morning family. Before I dive into my weekly letter I am gonna (going to, I leave these in so he can see how much he uses this) write some small ones.

Dear Mom,

What the heck? I know you have been told not to write too many letters, but I feel like one a week wouldn't be excessive. I love you, but I was seriously waiting every day for one.

Love, Garrett In my defense I wrote him one, and was working a lot, home only a few hours to sleep.

Dear Wyatt,

Did you get my letters? I sent you at least two. I got a letter back from you but I haven't heard from either of the ones I sent. I mailed them both to Camp Fife and haven't heard from you in a solid four weeks. I know you went on a date with Rebecca Waites (nope he just got home from working scout camp three days ago so I know you have free time. Unless you are going on a date every night and all day, in which case you're a champ and don't worry about letters to me.

Love, Garrett

Also, no one responded to my email this week in their letters, did you get it? Yes we got it.

Alright now that that is out of the way. Thank you Dad Megan and Sydnee for writing me letters this week. I appreciate it.

Dad. The teaching experience is pretty similar week to week here, just like everything else. Basically I just want to get out of this place and go to Madagascar already. Less than two weeks! In two weeks I will be on a plane actually so it depends how you look at it. We taught Tojo (toot-zoo) yesterday and it went really well. We had a great balance to our lesson and he said he didn't have any problem with obeying the word of wisdom (phew!) I have been having problems teaching lessons lately because of my lack of language skills, but it went really well yesterday so I was pretty happy about that. We taught Claudia in TRC (a thing where we teach volunteers who speak Malagasy) and she thought I didn't prepare because I had no idea what about two thirds of the words were and could understand very little of what she said. So that was comforting. Not.

Tell people I am doing fine and can't wait to get to Madagascar to start working.

Going back to your farming roots eh? Grant has driven tractor for his Dad, something he has not done for years! Auto steer is a wonderful thing. When I drove for Dan I had to coil pack so speed was an issue and it was a double track with those two handles you pull on to turn, so that sucked. I have no idea what anything he just said means. But it sounds like you did a good job if he wants you to come back. Galbreath farmers don't hire crap helpers.

Thank you for the sunrise! I haven't seen one of those in a month and a half haha but I miss them. I guess sunrises are pretty sweet in Madagascar over the ocean but I have only heard about them from Orem and Provo people who, according to my observations and what they consider a sweet sunrise here, have absolutely never seen a good sunrise. I'll believe it until I see otherwise though.

A couple things I found out this week.

1. The mail system sucks in Mada. It sometimes will take weeks or even months to get your mail once it gets to Madagascar. The post office doesn't do much so it goes to the mission home and they take it to you when they are gonna be in your area anyway. It's not bad in the capitol but any of the provinces it's terrible. Same with packages, so send as many letters as possible before I leave.

2. It takes about three months Brother Sell said for some letters to get to the states around Christmas time so you'll have to be patient then, but it stays constant to get there.

3. Every area uses a different dialect, which is essentially a new language based on Malagasy. The one we are learning is Merina, which is the one they learn in school and is the "official'' dialect so everyone understands it, it's just almost impossible to understand everyone else at first when you go to a new area. Great! Wasn't having enough issues with one language. Please keep praying that he will understand and communicate the language

Dad, I am technically off notes for teaching but don't feel like I'm doing any better than you. First, it's a real alphabet not some tiny pictures that are supposed to mean a word. I seriously feel bad for the Asian language people. Second, my lessons are so simple I seriously could not have taught them to the primary kids, they would have fallen asleep. "God is our father in heaven. The Plan of Salvation is true. If we do the plan of salvation we can live with God."

The food here is getting progressively worse, although yesterday for lunch we had a chicken stacker, which is basically the kfc bowls but on a plate, and chicken and sausage gumbo! That was delicious. And, all you can drink milk every meal. I should start weaning myself off it but I'm not going to. Wish there was a way to send him milk when in Mada! I guess the Coca-Cola in Madagascar makes American soda look like a chump. They use the Vanilla form Mada, and apparently it's the best thing ever. The vanilla ice cream blows us out of the water too, basically vanilla anything there is amazing.

One more interesting thing and then I have to go. Apparently if a Malagasy steals from a Malagasy and gets caught they beat him within an inch of his life with whatever is laying around and then take him to the police. If a Malagasy steals from a white guy and gets caught they call them a bad boy and send them away. I don't want to know what they would do if they caught a white guy stealing from a Malagasy, but I don't intend to find out.  Good idea.

Love you all, even though no one wrote me letters this week. I am trying to make up for my evil ways and have sent 2 letters and a package so far this week.  I know he misses everyone which is why he is so testy sometimes.  Good thing we love him so much.

 Elder Galbreath (the fifth)