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

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!!


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!


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