Alright first things first. My year mark was last Thursday. I entered the MTC on June 20th 2012. It was a Wednesday if you want to look on a calendar. I have it written in my journal, I can send you a picture if you want. My call should be at home too, it has the date on it. I am officially chastised. And he was right. That is ok it is two days closer getting him home.
First of all, I finally got my package! It was unopened and undisturbed so good job! Yahoo! I killed a tube of the thin mints that night and the other one I am afraid to open; lest I eat them too quickly. Maybe tonight. Summer sausage is great too, only about half of it disappeared that day. Thanks for the shirt, the ensign, and the camel haha I was pretty confused when I got the camel because the papers came out last. I like it though, it sits with my Captain Americas.
Second of all, we had a baptism on Saturday! Pictures are up. We had two investigators and three member kids get baptized. Since none of the member kids' Dads are around anymore they asked me to baptize them. One of the kids was so short he was literally neck deep in the font. I was afraid I would have to hold him up in the air and then baptize him like that, but he made it. He is the shortest one in the group picture, and the only one with no font picture. Camera freaked out I guess when he was doing it so yeah. I baptized one investigator and the other one got baptized by her son, who was the first member of his now all member family. He is a great kid too, young mens president.
Third interesting thing is Independence Day. June 26th. There really was nothing that interesting, they had a big concert with fireworks not far from our house but I was tired and irritated so I slept through those. The only thing really different is that everywhere was full of drunk people and way too loud music. Malagasy people do not understand the concept of too loud. I have seriously been to concerts not as loud as their parties. But we did have lunch and dinner with some members. Lunch was amazing, super good and a lot of food too. Dinner we had pig feet. It was pretty weird. Mostly just really fatty. Just tasted like pork though so no big deal there.
Fourth and basically final interesting thing is that I was asked to bless a home last week. We taught one of our investigators in his new house, which is really just a room of his families house, and he asked me if I could say a prayer and bless their house. I don't know where he heard about that or if he just thought it was a good idea but it was cool. I felt really special haha
Had another translating packed Sunday. Literally four and a half straight hours of back and forth for Elder and Sister Todd. All three hours of church, assorted conversations, and a branch council meeting where Elder Todd did a lot of intelligent person talking and fried me for good. But translating is pretty good for language learning, so I don't complain.
So we were promised the truck last transfer, so we should have been driving. But we got a call that said we weren't getting the truck, so they were giving us the new bikes that were coming instead. Then on Friday morning the bikes came up and we got a call telling us that we weren't getting those either. So after a lot of flip-flopping decisions and getting our hopes up and then having them smashed we are back doing exactly what we were doing before. Not any worse, but a lot of up and downs for Elder Galbreath's hope.
1) I can see on a map where you are. I don't understand all that I see. Tell me about the general area. It isn't rainforest, is it desert?
It"s not really either. Definitely not rainforest though haha I guess you could say it is desert-ish. There are a lot of rice paddys and corn fields. Here in Antsirabe it is a lot more developed than other places in Mada so there is a lot of places that used to be something that are roads now or soccer fields or schools. So it's good. I don't really know how I would describe it though. It's not dry. It's not too wet. There are banana trees, rice paddies, pine trees, and some trees that have no english name because they don't exist outside of Mada. So I don't know I guess.
2) I hope that winter isn't hurting you too much.
Not too terrible. I am getting used to it. And now I know you guys didn't send a sweater so I am gonna be looking for a heavier sweater today. I am triple layering most nights now, plus a hat and scarf. I lost my gloves though.
3) I LOVED your suit!! The red lining is outstanding!!
Thanks, I felt inspired when I found that material. I am gonna be working on the cowboy suit next.
4) Anything else that is unique to your current area?
We used to have the biggest dairy in Mada here, but it shut down when the new Pres took over because the old one owned it. Lots of cows, but nothing too unique.
Bill and Julie had another grandbaby. Eli Kavaakaukahe. How is that for a name. The middle names means Chief who rows his own boat. The Dad is hawaiian. So you should find a few really good Mada names for when you have kids. So we can't pronounce it and can call them Bud.
As for Malagasy names for babies, I have been on the lookout. Hery means strength but everyone would just call him Harry Potter. Tantely means honey or bee, same word. I like that one. There are more but I'll just give you those for now.
Spiritual thought for the day is Proverbs 15:20.
Love you very much
Walking a mile in anothers shoes can be hard when there is a huge size difference.
They were drying a bear on the fence. Paper says "save me" in Malagasy. I added the paper.