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

Monday, June 3, 2013

No shoes, no shirt, hypothermia

I think that is a Chesney song, but I don't know for sure so forgive me if that is a poorly referenced lyric and a slid in joke about how FREAKING COLD it is here. (the forcast has been in the low 60's high 50's, hard when you have no body insulation) I wore a sweater vest and a sweater under my suit yesterday to church and still had my hands in my stocking hat the whole time. I was good though and didn't wear my hat inside. I also bought some lined leather gloves this morning. I think they were too expensive but it will save my hands on the bike rides home every night, and in the long run 6 bucks is really not that much. 

So, I made a long list of interesting things to tell you this week, but I will go questions first so I get everything covered. You are going to be the story email today so make sure to forward this to Mom when you get it. 

Did you eat locust? You were going to but never have mentioned whether or not you have had the chance.
I have not, I keep asking people for it but no one ever comes through. 
You might be surprised at who looks forward to your blog letters.  Tell me something that you would like to share with your non-member friend who are reading this.
Talk to the missionaries haha or at least read the bible. Seriously though, read the bible cover to cover. Start at the New Testament though, it's a lot easier to get through. I got to Psalm number 42 and gave up on the Old Testament. Use a notebook, or just highlight in the bible scriptures that you find that you like, or have some meaning to you. Then most of all, pray about it. James 1:5 says if you lack wisdom, ask of God. Everyone just takes for granted that the bible is true, which it is I agree wholeheartedly but few people have ever actually prayed about it. 
Fat Albert or Weird Harold?
Fat Albert, mostly because I don't know who Weird Harold is.....
Mario or Luigi?
Luigi, taller and rocks the green. Equally big moustache, not as famous but does all the same stuff. 
Rice or beans?  Follow up to that one, Is the rice you are eating a long, medium or short grain? Is it white or brown?
I am gonna have to go with rice as a stand alone, although the two together has become one of my favorite foods here. The rice I am eating I think is short or medium but I don't really know, and it is white or they have red rice here that is way good. It's called malagasy rice but I don't know if they have it other places. It's way good though. 
How many times a week do you visit the same person?  Just once a week or more.
Usually twice a week, but our program is filling up so we only get to a lot of people once. It also depends where they live, if they are progressing, work schedule, stuff like that. 
Any other good food?
Had some anana and voanzo on Thursday night, that was way good. Basically leaves and crushed peanuts, cooked in oil and with a little seasoning on it. Delicious. 
How is Elder Kumar, does he have a first name?
Yeah, Elder. No his gentile name is Rajesh. He is good, we get along great and we are just working hard out here. Pounding out times. 
Tell me a story of something that influenced Elder Galbreath this week.
Um, I don't know. We had a guy that lives pretty far from town and we contacted on the street come to church yesterday, just goes to show you can't be lazy in missionary work. Those are two factors I usually discount for diligence, far away and street contact. But he is diligent, so I have to be too haha

Alright story time. I'll start at Tuesday and work my way down. 

So Tuesday morning we went to Andranomanelatra and had splits again. I went with the Relief Society President and the Young Women President, and the Elders quorum president, and we went looking for less active members. We literally walked all over that place. We walked about half an hour, then had a good talk with some members for about half an hour, then walked another twenty or twenty five minutes, then had another half hour lesson, and continued like that from about 11 to roughly Four thirty. Pretty fun stuff, but we found a lot of members who are not coming to church, so we are trying to get them excited again. 

Then Wednesday nothing interesting happened.

Thursday we had Zone meeting, and we are really close to becoming a stake here! We just have to get the attendance up in all the branches and we are golden. Then that night we had a party (basically dinner and conversation) with a family in the branch that has been baptized for five years that day! Way cool, it was four siblings that got baptized that day. One is on a mission in Cape Town right now, one is just waiting for July to roll around so she can go to Manchester for her mission, one is preparing for his mission and helps us all the time, and the youngest is fifteen and a girl so she can't really help us that much or put in her papers yet but she is really diligent and comes to church all the time. All from investigators who learned for two years. So that was cool, I made brownies and used my leftover birthday frosting for it and it was styling. Pictures ho avy. 

Friday was a pretty good day. Had interviews with President Adams, he said if I didn't shape up and start working he was gonna send me to the congo. Just kidding. He said he was glad I am progressing as a missionary and he is glad that I am having the experiences now that will be what I remember fondly for the rest of my life. He also told me he is going to try and split Andranomanelatra as soon as he has enough missionaries to do so. So that is good. Then we spent a fair amount of time trying to find this guys house, named Rifen (french name) who is smart and married and all those great things, and when we finally found his house he is right in the middle of the other area. So that kind of sucked. But it will be good for the Ambohimena elders. 

Saturday was interesting. We had another Mormon Helping Hands activity, cleaned up a road in town. Lots of garbage on the path, overgrown trees, brush everywhere, just a mess. So we went in and hacked and picked and cleaned and four hours later we had a very nice little path. So it was cool to see the fruits of our labors that fast. However, during the activity I was using my hand scythe to clean up some brush on the edge of a ditch and didn't see a cactus. I basically punched it in the face. But I had three big thorns and a bunch of little ones stuck in my hand. It hurt pretty bad, and I had to have some girls from the ward pull them out because they had nails and I couldn't grab the small ones. So fun stuff there. Then in the afternoon I went out with a member and taught some people that had set up times with us. So we went to the first place, and nobody showed up. Went to the second place, same story. Third place, same deal but we went and found him because we know where he hangs out. Fourth place, nobody home at all. So we did a little tracting, then went and met up with two really diligent members who were going to talk to some investigators who are too embarrassed to come to church. They were going to help them get over it, but we got to their house and nobody was home, and nothing was in the house. We asked around and found out that they had moved. So that is cool, we will be searching for them. Then we went to a part member family who we are teaching, and the daughter that is learning said she is going to go to Tana for school for two months, but she isn't sure when she is leaving. So we will teach her until she leaves and then come back two months later. So we taught and had a pretty good lesson about the restoration and the priesthood. She seems to get more interested every week, but she hasn't come to church yet so we will see. Anyway, after that lesson we had dinner at the district president's house, and the member who was in the lesson, Sr. Emma, said that I use a lot of charm when I teach. She said it's good though, and not like flirting or anything so I guess we are all in the clear there. I thought it was funny though because there is no word for charm in Malagasy, or at least she didn't use it, and the french word is charme, so she said "Elder Galbref, mampiasa charm be rehefa mampianatra ianao" pretty funny stuff. 

Then Sunday we had church, and as I mentioned before it was freezing. However, our branch presidency was all there and sitting down five minutes before, and we started on time, and applied everything we have been trying to get done. It was great! I was pretty happy. Then in priesthood we had two potential melchizedek priesthood holders at church and the elders quorum president thanked me in front of everyone for doing good work and being a good missionary. Good little ego boost for a very cold missionary. 

Then this morning Elder Kumar is taking an english proficiency test at the Todd's house, and if he passes he gets a certificate that will let him go to BYU and he will be the first missionary in Madagascar to take the test, and then to pass it also. So I am here with a member, he is just taking a nap on the couch in here haha 

Well that's my week in a nutshell. And it was a good one. We taught 39 lessons this week, and that was with two hard days of dropped times. Hopefully next week we can break 40. 

So, the concert sounds fun. Gotta love teenagers right? No you don't, not at all. Floor booth is always fun, Dad doesn't sound like he enjoyed it that much but Wyatt certainly did haha I'm glad Kimmy is still doing the concert thing and you get to talk to her, tell her I say hi next time. The ladies's comment is a really weird one to us, but it is one that is heard a lot. Not here, everyone goes to church, but in America. I think you handled it well. I think the best talk I heard about that was John Bytheway, fences or guiderails? I relate it to driving when I hear it. I don't want to follow the rules, I want to drive 95 on the left side of the road while texting and eating a McChicken (side note, I really miss McDonalds) Who are you to take away my freedom and not let me make my decisions? Well, in reality I am gonna be able to make a lot more decisions following the law than I am in a coma on a hospital bed. You can make a lot more decisions as a christian kid than you can as a hooked on drugs and cigarettes 25 year old with two kids and no husband. Guidelines, not a cage. However, there are some people that take it too far. It is entirely possible to take religious rules too far and it becomes a cage where you are sheltered and never see anything and then at 21 when you move out all the real world stuff hits you in the face and you can't cope. In the world, not of the world. That means you can't pull your kids out of the world. But you already know this stuff I am sure. Just wait a year, I will rail all the anti-religion people at every concert haha. 

Plan of Salvation lesson sounds awesome haha bilingual lessons are fun. Plan of Happiness does sound kind of Primary-ish but at the same time it is a very apt description of what it is. Those are the two things it gives us, salvation and happiness. 

Well I think that's it for today. I am gonna go talk to the suit guy this week or next I think and see about the long jacket. Then I have to find good material, I might have to get some sent up from Tana. Options are scarce here in the bay. 
Yep, sorry the internet is being super weird this week, so no pictures. Next week though I will flood you guys. Or try to at least. 

I love you, the church is true. 

Elder Galbreath

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