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

Monday, May 27, 2013

Elder Galbreath's the name and translating is my game.

A diesel engine reference for my brain, I feel like I am running on gelled fuel right now. I am just toasted today, not sure why. 
I don't really have standard missionary work stories this week, not too much interesting there. 

However, I got humbled in Malagasy this weekend. I got a call on Friday night that Elder and Sister Todd were invited to a young women activity to do some training the next day and asked if one of us could be there to translate for them. So we called around and set up splits for Elder Kumar to go out to Andranomanelatra and I stayed in town to translate. Sister Todd did the training, about the young women values. There is no word for value in Malagasy, in case you were wondering. So they just say the colors and they know what it is. So Friday night I called around and figured out the young women values in malagasy, did a little background research on them so I could try to be prepared on what I would have to translate. Being a dude with no sisters I never cared about the yw values in America, but they are really good. I am glad you are helping the young women learn that stuff, it is really important and those things reach a lot farther than they seem. You could straight build a solid life on those seven things. But anyway, I translated the lesson, that was an hour of back and forth to fry my brain. Mostly talked about faith and the value activity experience things. I don't remember what they were called in english. Traikefa. Then that afternoon there was a leadership training meeting for the district and I translated malagasy to english for the Todds in the opening session, and then again for Sister Todd in the smaller meetings after that. But I tag teamed with a malagasy that speaks really good english in that one, so it wasn't too bad. Then I went out at night and taught a few lessons. So it was nice to only have to think in one language there. SO I was pretty fried from that, then the next day I was in Andranomanelatra for church and the Todds were there too. SO I translated for them during sacrament meeting, and priesthood meeting, and the Branch Council meeting. Lots of back and forth english to malagasy and then Malagasy to english. Elder Todd is a very intelligent man, and he really knows what he is talking about. He uses intelligent man words, and those are hard to translate into malagasy. So that was humbling, I had to do a lot of really fast rephrasing in my head. I was so fried at the end of that meeting. I'm still like hung over from that. 

I like the lesson about temple sacrifice, but I think you sacrifice more than you realize to go to the temple. Yeah it's an hour drive away and you already own all the stuff you need, but think about the worthiness aspect. Yeah it's in line with the rest of the commandments, but it is not easy. 10 percent of all your income is a lot of money. I'm glad that you guys make that sacrifice and are worthy to go to the temple. I guess what I mean here is just because you don't have to sell everything and save for years to make a week trip to the temple doesn't mean that you don't sacrifice. 

Spiritual examples. I don't really know, you guys did a pretty good job. Yeah you weren't perfect, but noone is so I can't really hold that one against you haha and you guys always taught me that faith is the foundation. No faith means no building, just build on what you have and keep going. So I think you did a good job there. I am not really sure, I guess I just looked at the leaders in church, the lessons and stuff like that, took what I wanted out of it and left the rest behind. Maybe that's why I was such a dummy in high school, but I think I am going to turn out all right. 

As for what am I going to do to set a good example, I don't really know for sure. I think sometimes the best examples are the people that just do the right thing and don't throw it in your face. I always thought grandpa was a better role model than brother so and so who called you out for drinking carbonated soda and listening to your music too loud. I always just thought that guy was a square and it made me not listen. But people like Grandpa Galbreath who just always do the right thing and don't butt in unless they need to or are asked to are inspiring. I think the difference might be what Christ talked about in Matthew 7, doing your alms before men versus doing them for God. He says "and your father, who seeth in secret, will answer you." That might be the wrong reference but the point is in there somewhere. So I guess bottom line is choose the right and don't tell everyone and their punk kids that you did it. Fly your flag, but don't rub it in anyones face. Nobody likes getting flags rubbed in their face. 

Elder Galbreath

So, business talk. There is a suit maker here in Antsirabe that, according to the missionaries, is the best on the island. I am probably going to get a suit made, just a standard business suit for church and stuff. However, because I am flashy like that I want to get something a little cooler made. Here is my thought. Cowboy style duster jacket suit. Knee length jacket. It's hard to find it without watching the movie for myself, but I thnk something like Sam Elliot's suit in Tombstone, or Wyatt Earp's from the same movie. I kind of remember Doc Holiday having a cool suit in the casino at one point, but I don't know. Idea number 2, Jim West suit. The short jacket, one button suit look. I sadly don't have the time to look up a bunch of pictures of these styles, so I am going to hope you catch the idea, and ask you to look at that in any down time you might have if you wouldn't mind I would appreciate it. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ny andro aorian'ny Pentakota dia vacance, fa manina?

Well, we are paying this guy double to keep his cyber open for us to email so if it is a little short I apologize, but apparently in Madagascar the day after Pentecost is a holiday. I don't know why. Maybe because Easter and Pentecost are on Sunday so you don't get an extra day off work, so they add the next day so they don't have to work. 

Well, questions first.

Tell me a story about Elder Galbreath and Elder Kumar.
They follow shortly.
Did you get to eat Locust?
We didn't, but hopefully this Tuesday we will. 
How is the bike holding up?
Haha, well that is in the next little bit too, but it's not holding up on its own. I mostly hold it up. 
What lesson that you teach has brought the most joy to your investigators?
I'm not sure, Malagasy people aren't real open about emotions and stuff like that. Probably the restoration though. 
Teaching what lesson brings you the most Joy?
Definitely the restoration. Getting to tell them that the same church Jesus Christ organized in his day is here again, organized by Jesus Christ himself again, through a living prophet, and that the authority to baptize for real salvation has been returned to the earth. That is why I am here, and I love teaching it. Easily my favorite lesson. I will talk to people for hours about that if they want too. If I had the time at least, sometimes we just have to spread it out a little bit. I always make sure they understand it completely before we move on. It's just so important. 

Read the body of the letter for today's secret question.
I think that is the bike question. I want to say go for it. I have a desire to bike again when I get home but I am not sure where or the type of biking so I am probably just gonna get a mountain bike and do that stuff. I want to do trail riding. Roads are for shmoes, and they have wrecked me twice so I am good without the asphalt. So bottom line is probably yes. 
Alma the Younger or Abel?
Alma the Younger all the way. Yeah he was pretty naughty when he was young but I think that can partially be attributed to teenage stupidity, and he repented. Something about being damned above Satan and having to live forever like that just makes Abel a bad choice all around. Alma the younger actually turned out to be a solid missionary too. Pretty good guy most of his life. 
Tell me Three things about your companion that would surprise me.
Um, jeez I don't know. He shaved his chest a little while ago, he is way good at Rugby, and he was the very first member of the church in his family and also the first missionary. Bonus fact is that his Dad is a pastor who recently started his own church in Fiji. 
Superman or Clark Kent?
Superman. Clark Kent is a dorky news guy. Superman, while undoubtedly the cheapest superhero ever, is infinitely cooler than a nerdy guy with glasses and a suit. 
Lone Ranger or Tonto?
That one is actually a little harder. Lone Ranger has the mystic quality, the fast draw, silver bullets (doubtlessly for killing werewolves), and the legendary horse. Not too mention he is the face and name of the show. Tonto is surprisingly helpful the whole time though, super humble, good shot, tracks like Ol' Red (country song reference for you) and he saved Lone Ranger's life. Hmm, just for me, I am gonna go for Lone Ranger. I am just flashy like that. 
So, this week was pretty rough. We got dogged a lot, didn't get to teach about a third of our investigators. Caught 27 lessons total, so not too bad but still not nearly where we should be. Member help fell through every time we were supposed to have it, and then me and Elder Kumar had a little spat over some leadership issues in the branch.  Nothing big.  Also we ate at home every night this week because somehow I spent too much on food on p-day. Noodles get a little old. But, we had some good stuff too. For instance, this guy lives a half hour out of town and he came to church yesterday, early, and stayed for all three meetings. After church I talked to him and he said he is looking forward to the next lesson and he is coming to church next week. So that's good. Also I don't know if you remember Renee from Itaosy, or if I ever mentioned Bakoly and Honore, but Elder Horne called me yesterday to tell me that they all got baptized this last Saturday! I was super happy to get that news, since I found all of them with Elder McLaughlin and taught them until I left. Way cool. 

In other news my bike sucks. I popped three tires this week, and bent two seat posts to the point of breaking, plus a third that is starting to bend today. I'm just too fat for these seat posts haha. I don't know what the deal is, just cheap equipment. 

Last bit of news for me, Mitia (my mini and ward mission leader from Itaosy) left on his mission! He is in the London MTC right now getting ready to become an english speaking missionary in downtown London England! Super cool for him, since he was starting to get depressed fighting all the paperwork stuff to go. But there is a girl in our branch here in Mahazoarivo waiting to get her Visa stuff finished so she can go to Manchester. Way cool for her. She already speaks pretty good so it will be way cool for her to be able to go. 

Spiritual thought for the day is the law of consecration. I am living it out here. Give everything to the mission and the mission gives me what I need back. Pretty rough going sometimes, as mentioned above, but I wouldn't consider giving up for a minute. I love it here, and I am learning so much. After my mission is over, when I'm "dead" I will enter into what can be considered a "state of rest" where I can sleep in on Sundays and actually enjoy the sabbath, rather than just meetings and then proselyting. But it only works if you give it 100 percent. If you try to hold back a part, you don't get the reward. It's all or nothing. So don't try to hold back from the Lord, he knows everything and you can't hide from him. People have tried. Just remember about the final judgement too, we will have a perfect knowledge of everything we did and all the things we didn't do. It's not a court case where we get to argue our side and then a jury of apostles decides where we go, it's us and Jesus Christ and both parties know exactly where we are going and why. That's my little street sermon for the week, hope you enjoy it. Sorry if I get preachy sometimes but that's what I do. 

Love you mom, I'll make sure and say a prayer or two for Big Jim, and you guys are always there anyway. I love you all,
Elder Galbreath

Monday, May 13, 2013

No email because we got to Skype!!

Here are some photo's to share!
Standing in a Guava tree.

                                                  Some Pous pous waiting for passengers.
 Locust drying on the side of the road.  They catch them, dry them, then eat them.  Free food.
 One of these things is not like the other ones, one of these things just isn't the same.                                                 Can you find Elder Galbreath?
 A bag of cooked rice to eat after the branch work project.
This is his evening attire.  It was 65 degrees, he is cold already.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nisy emergency drill tam'maraina androany

 Paperwork at work sounds fun. We do a lot of paperwork here as missionaries. Well, we are supposed to, a lot of missionaries don't. It's pretty frustrating for those of us trying to get everything going fine. But whatever, I am going to keep trucking and right now my companion is super diligent with it so it's going smooth. 

Thanks for the info about the shoe store, I appreciate it haha

I'm glad that Shadrach is still breaking all the rules haha but I will keep a prayer out for your garden. Hope your stuff turns out good. 

About the sisters, the one is black but there is another one that is white. So still be excited. Also, one of them will be here in Antsirabe. So that will be interesting. Probably the white girl will stay in Tana most or all of her mission, so the president can keep an eye on her. I doubt any of them will go farther than Fianarantsoa though. Just thoughts from the mind of Elder Galbref. 

So, tell me how your day is going.  
Pretty good. We had an "emergency drill" this morning, and we had to meet at the Todd's house (the senior couple here in Antsirabe) at eleven with our 72 hour kits we were told to put together a few weeks ago. So, me and Elder Kumar spent all morning running all over town trying to put  together our 72 hour kits. Hmmm guess they procrastinated that one.  No idea why they need it though. Got it good and got to the Todd's at five to eleven. Ao tsara. 
Any new insights into Elder K?  
Yes, he hates having his schedule interrupted. He has been in a bad mood all day because of the drill throwing off our p-day schedule haha 
How is the bug patrol going?
It is going pretty good. Cockroaches are very resilient. Permethrin and cans are our main weapons.
Any new investigators?
Yes. We are finding lots of new people all the time, especially in Andranomanelatra. I love it out there. I just wish it wasn't so far. 12 kilometers up hill to get there. 
What is the weather doing?  Still cold at 70?  Need more sweaters?  Can you get them over there?  
It is still cold, we have space heaters in the house. More sweaters wouldn't be the worst thing ever. They have them here, just a little hard to find sometimes. I will be fine probably. No worries too much but a nice quarter zip I could wear with brown blue or black pants. 
Oh yeah guess what???? 
Oh man! That is going to be so cool! 
I hope something exciting happens so I have something to tell you.  Just can't wait to see your face and hear your wonderful voice. 
I hope something cool happens too. Like Madagascar or something. I dunno. 

So, the emergency drill was basically all the interesting stuff that happened this week. I might be eating locust for lunch tomorrow, so pray that that doesn't fall through haha Other than that though, not much going on. 

I love you very much mom! I hope that all works well with the skype next week.

1) Captain Moroni or Helaman?
Moroni, no doubt. Title of Liberty, captain of the armies at like 16 I think, just awesome all around. Helaman is a great prophet and everything but Moroni is just ballin' all around. 
2) Speed or Endurance?
Endurance. Tortoise or the hair. 
3) White meat or dark?
White meat, with gravy. Although at this point anything with flavor is good. 
4) Tell me three things that you want to see on the video call next week.
Mom, Dad, and Wyatt. Other than that I don't really care. 

I'm really sorry but due to the drill that I told mom about our p-day has been cut short so I am a little low on time. I will call you next week though! I love you so much. 

Love you!
Elder Galbref