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

Monday, December 15, 2014

La de da

I did get the ensign and am thoroughly enjoying it. Thank you again from the bottom of my spirit. 

The bubonic plague is in Mada, but the meds we take for malaria prevent plague so no worries there. Doxy is a great invention. 

Concerning your talks. 
What is one or two things that you have learned that has changed you or your testimony.
I have learned a lot about the law of consecration, and really understanding what it means when it says in Luke that anyone who doesn't sacrifice all is not worthy to be called a disciple of christ. I feel like also the incredible poverty of the people here has changed me. I have been a fairly materialistic person most of my life, and I feel like since I have been here I have realized more fully that you really can lead a happy full life in a one bedroom mud hut eating rice and leaves every day, and pounding rocks together to tell stories for fun. I have also gained a huge appreciation for the scriptures, ancient and modern. I feel like I have studied more scripture in the time I have spent in Madagascar than my entire life before, and I truly can say that I love the scriptures. Even the Old Testament haha

One blessing that you feel you received either before you left or while you have been out.  
I feel that I have received the blessing of patience, and definitely have gotten more in touch with my ability to receive personal revelation for people in need. 

How is serving a blessing or how is it helping you?
I feel like serving is a blessing, but not for me. I am sacrificing so that I can receive blessings down the line. Yes it helps me grow as a person, and I feel closer to God than I ever have, but that is not why I am here. I am here to serve. I am here only because I want to serve. I don't really know a good way to express my reasons for serving a mission, the first time I didn't go for the right reasons, obviously. I came back on my mission because I love the people of Madagascar and I want every single one of them to go to the celestial kingdom. That's it. That didn't answer the question, but I feel like it is helping me in the long run because that isn't why I am here. Yep.

The christmas cookies look great. John is reverting I think to himself in college. Everyone is freaking out about how much he looks like me. I have to agree about his cookie though.

Alright so first things first Elder Arrieus is shipping out tomorrow morning. My new comp will be Elder Fox. He is from Bothell area, western Washington. Pretty cool guy. He is a way sick guy though so I am excited to finish my mission with him. Another fun transfer news is that Elder Yeagley, my only begotten son, is going to Fort Dauphin! Fort D is the sickest place in the mission, and legend for going really super well, getting ballin' missionaries, and they learn the Atandroy dialect, which is basically another language. So I am way excited for him. 

That's cool about the house thing, so you guys are 15 years out on having it payed off? That is a pretty cool deal. 

I miss guns mucho. Pat I think is a good guy to have around for that kind of stuff. 

So this week we didn't do a whole ton of stuff. Lots of goodbyes, lots of tracting (surprise surprise) and really not much interesting until Zone Conference on friday. That was incredible, I really learned a lot. We had a little slideshow on the history of the church in Madagascar. I will see if I can forward it to you. Then we talked about stats, boring stuff like that. Sister Adams gave a great lesson about gossip and judgement, had a bunch of really good insights and scriptures. Talked about judging before we know the whole story. I really liked it. President Adams talked about repentance and covenants. That man is too wise. It shouldn't be allowed. But he also talked about being converted unto the Lord. He talked about the difference between conversion and testimony, pulling heavily from Elder Bednar's talk on the same subject from fall 2012 conference. Pretty weird I saw that one here on my mission. But it was super good, I don't think I can even start to do it justice here but I took a lot of notes and I have to assume I will be giving a lot of talks when I get home so I will just use what President Adams teaches for those. I also was asked to sing at the zone conference, so me and Elder Rice and Elder Morse sang a men's choir song from the hymn book. It was cool. 

Elder Arrieus gave a way good talk on Sunday, took lots of pictures with members. We have a soiree for dinner tonight and then he is bouncing. Weird stuff. 

Alright now that the call is over, I will have stuff to talk about I promise haha but yeah I will talk to the guardian today and make positive I can get into the church, you just tell me what time I need to be on. 

Anywho. I think that is all I have got for today. I love you guys a ton. 

Elder Galbreath

The case of the missing thin mints

I need you to resolve a question for me. Did you send me one or two tubes of thin mints? I will give you the rest of the story when you answer that. Sorry, it's important.

As implied above, I got my christmas package. The tie is excellent. I am building up a decent collection of cool christmas ties. As for the rest of the package I don't know what any of it is. The candy bars are delicious, trying to make them last haha although peppermint bark would have been ideal (dad you thief). 

I do remember my skype login, and I have obtained usage of the church computer so I can actually skype whenever I want. You just tell me what the plan is and I will be there. The group thing would be sick if the time frame works out.

So this week we did a lot of tracting. One day we stopped for a coke break after three hours of tracting as is the norm, and a really cool techno song came on. Elder Arrieus says to me "This would be a great song for a raid." I thought about it and I was like????…….”I meant a rave" "Oh, yeah that too."

We were tracting and we got into this house of two old people that told us they were catholic but said we could share our message. So we get to the part about prophets. We said that since God doesn't change and he used to work through prophets that we need prophets in our day. They didn't accept that, so we showed them the scripture in Amos 3:7. They were like "I don't believe that." We asked why. This was the best part. "We don't believe that because it conflicts with what our church teaches." I think that maybe your church is the problem there. They were super sure that we were from the devil at that point. So that was that for the lesson. 

We did teach this one really cool family this week, and their house is way freaking nice. It kind of feels like an old ladies house in america. Like smaller, but way full of little porcelain figures and covered furniture.  

As for the christmas tree yes you did send it and I am trying to get it sent to me from Tana. Should be coming up this week. I also found the other one, it's in the old house I used to live in. All the decorations are gone though so I may or may not steal it back. 

The other city, Ambositra, is out of our area. It's about an hour drive from here. We used to be allowed to go there but I guess a few months ago a couple missionaries were stupid and just took a day off and went there for fun. So now we can't go there.

Anyway. I don't know what else is new. Zone conference this Friday so that should be sick. 

I love you guys a ton. 
Elder Captain America



Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving week

So first things first Thanksgiving day was excellent. Thursday mornings are usually our day for district meeting so we had a turkey bowl. Three games of six on six two hand touch football, play to 7. I was only on one winning team. But it was the last game, so I am calling it the championship. 

Then we went home and showered and got cleaned up for Thanksgiving lunch at the Tolman's house. They are the senior couple here in Antsirabe. They made pretty incredible stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and chicken cordon bleu. No turkey, but the chicken thing was super good. So we filled up on that and then went out to work. Elder Arrieus and I tracted for six hours. I am thankful I don't have to do that ever again after my mission. Then it was time for Sam's. A little background here, Sam's is a little bar and grill type place really close to our house. Sam is a french guy that lives here and runs the place, he married a malagasy. He is a way cool guy, not very good at english but he knows a little. So he tells us he is having a big Thanksgiving dinner and inviting all the Americans he knows. He says we should come, but no proselyting clothes. Well alrighty then so we go. We get there and there is old school american jazz music on the stereo, and a couple conversations in english going on. I almost passed out. There was one other American there, his name is Bob. Way cool guy. Everyone else was non-american but all but one spoke english really well. A couple south Africans, a british girl, a finnish lady, a german guy, and one french chump that didn't speak any english at all. The food was incredible. Turkey, mashed potatoes, mashed pumpkin, little baby potatoes, corn bread, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert. It was incredible. 

So a couple fun stories from our tracting time this week. 
French people here are usually very rude. The first one answered the door and then slammed it without a word. The second one I met came out and said some stuff in french and then "Get out" in very angry english. The third one said we were bothering him and told us not to come back. So whenever a white guy answers the door we just brace ourselves. Friday we were tracting and a french guy answers the door. He asks what we want, Elder Arrieus tells him we are missionaries and apologizes for interrupting him. He asks what church we are from, and says he is Atheist when Elder Arrieus tells him. Then he says he is Catholic Atheist. We were just like, what? He just laughs and says goodbye, shakes our hands and we go. Weird stuff. 

Then we are tracting our way down the path and we knock on a door. No sign, no writing, not even a doorbell. A guy answers and we see a way nice garden. We ask if he lives here and he says no, so we ask if it is a house, and he says no, it's a church. Oh, alright sorry to interrupt. So we keep going and we round the corner to see that the church we just tracted into was a Jehovah's Witness church. So that was interesting. Not many people can say they tracted a JW church. 

So I would appreciate it if you would take a peek at my bank account balance if you could. I only have a couple more souvenirs I need, but I want to make sure I am not draining my life money for when I get home. I am working on getting mom's nativity made. I want to have them add a little drummer boy in there to make it ideal, but the best wood people are in another city and we got shut down as far as permission to go there. So I might get it made here. I just have to find someone mahay enough to do it. Also a maroon suit might be in my future. 

Um yeah. I think that is all I have got, anxiously waiting on the pics of our Christmas cottage haha found a camo stocking in the house so that's all the decorations we have up right now. 

I love you guys so much, can't wait to skype on Christmas! Just let me know what time you guys want to do it and I will get available. 


Elder Galbreath 5.0

Monday, November 24, 2014

Captain America strikes again

I didn't know what else to title this email. 
                                  A guy painted this for me.

Elder Arrieus keeps singing Christmas songs and it's driving me crazy. I might kill him before he makes it home. 

Thanksgiving sounds way fun, we have some plans in place but I think I already told you about them and I will give you the story next week depending on what falls through and what doesn't. 

About the Christmas calls I am going to have the option hopefully of using the church computer, so any reasonable time should be ok. Outside of that the cyber here opens at 8:30 our time in the morning and is open relatively late. So if the church falls through that is when I am free. 

So last Monday we went out and played football. It felt so good to be American for a while. Even though I was playing defense and Elder Morley tripped as he was catching the ball and I fell over him and landed face first in the dirt. Madagascar fields are less than ideal. Pics on the bucket. Everything healed up by yesterday  though so it was good. 



This week was another exercise in persistence. It seemed like every door we had answered either wanted to bible bash or was Catholic and couldn't let us in. So that was fun. We did find one family that seems pretty cool. They have five month old twins that are super fat and adorable. Yep. 

Fun fact, I was asked to sing at the zone conference coming up by the mission president's wife. So I recruited two other elders to do it with me. We will see how it goes. 

Last night we had a huge almost sleepover BBQ thing. We went over to one of the houses here in Antsirabe and had a huge BBQ and stayed up way too late talking about anything and everything. For a while it felt like amateur sportscenter. I could be on that. So I was cooking my mediocre steaks and went to flip one of them and holy crap fire is hot and whoops down goes the steak into the fire. Well good meat is expensive here and I was hungry so down goes Elder Galbreath into the fire and pulls out a mildly ashy steak. It was basically done though. So that one tasted a little funny but the other two were way good. 

Hmm. We are going to this crazy nice field today and playing football/rugby/soccer. It is going to be way fun, I am excited. 

I love you guys a ton, hope your second thanksgiving is as good as your first haha 

Elder Galbreath
Sarodroa

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Missions are hard

Well transfers were yesterday. Surprise surprise I am staying here. We got two new zones created and a few new areas. Pretty dull week. I can tell Mom has dull weeks when she only tells me about church. When I have a dull week, it means I tried really hard to get stuff done this week and nothing worked out. It means that even though we try really hard to find families and help them to learn the gospel, they don't listen. It means that we didn't have a single investigator at church, and the less active members we have been working with didn't come either. I stayed up until 11:30 last night calling people about transfers. Missions are hard. 

I attached pictures of my ear, before and after. 



I'm sorry this email is super lame, I just don't have anything new to talk about. Found a new favorite spiritual thought, 1 Nephi 13:22. 

Sorry, it's just really difficult to stay positive when you are doing everything you are supposed to and nothing is working out. So yeah. 
Missions are hard. 

I love you guys a ton. 

Elder Galbreath 
   Still having a little fun.  I think those pants are no good anymore.

Monday, November 3, 2014

March 19th!!

I am not sure if that is the day I leave Mada or the day I get there. 

The days are getting longer here and the rain is just beginning. Going to have to start carrying my rain jacket every day. 

I am pretty far from any lemur parks. I would love to go back but I don't think I will have the opportunity to. Life goes on. 

Well this week was exciting, we went and did our zone leader thing in Ambositra and Fianarantsoa. So Tuesday morning we left at 8 and drove all morning to Ambositra. Went on splits there, nothing too exciting. I almost have all the shopping for cousins done. Tea set in the bucket is for either Zoe or Saige, whichever you think would like it more. Hand carved, fully functioning, every cup and pot is one solid piece of wood. No glue or nails involved. Pretty legit. 

Wednesday morning we left about 7 and drove to Fianarantsoa. That road is terrible. So many potholes we seriously crawled most of the way. We got there about lunch time and ate and then went out with the missionaries there. I went with Elder Garcia and Elder Glazier. They are very new still and Elder Garcia is training Elder Glazier. I expected a pretty bad day to be honest but they surprised me. Those two elders know how to work hard. They were really clear when they taught, they were bold and loving and honestly they have the best stats in the zone right now. Two home runs right there. The next day I went with Elder Lehr and his kid, Elder Mack. Another awesome day. Elder Mack is from Hawaii, via Utah. Way cool guy, a little quiet but has picked up the language really well already. 

Friday we spent all day driving home. 



Saturday we finally got some missionary work done, including teaching a less active guy named Fafa. He plays rugby on the Antsirabe team. Hence his less activeness, he is always playing rugby on Sunday. But, spoiler alert, he came to church yesterday. Awesome! I was so happy to see him there. He is a super cool guy, and his family is way diligent.  

Sundays are always difficult  and yesterday all our lessons fell through, branch council ran long, and it rained way hard. And it was fast Sunday. So it was a rough day of contacting and nobody listening. In the rain. 

Today is p-day. I went to the doctor this morning to see about getting my huge nasty cyst removed from the back of my ear. I am going back at 2 to get that done. 

That's pretty much all I have got.
I knew the hawks could do it, even if it was just the Raiders. 

Love you a ton,

Elder Galbreath

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tavoangy

Conference was awesome first off. They do translate every session into Malagasy but the only one most people show up for is Sunday morning. Very few people understand that all of conference is important. But we watched the Saturday sessions in english and they were amazing. I loved Jorg what's his name's talk, he threw down. There was a 70 in that session too that gave an amazing talk but I can't remember his name without my notes. It was awesome. I also naturally loved Jeffrey R Holland's talk. That guy could read a medical prescription and make me feel it. Henry B Eyring gave a talk in priesthood session I think it was about preparing people and it was awesome. That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Bednar's talk on Sunday was great, it kind of loses something in translation though. I rewatched it last night and even though I already knew what he was talking about I still felt like I got more out of it. 

The costume looks great, holy cow is Skylar getting big. She is so tall. 

So this week started off pretty strong last P-day. We did our thing and then went to teach this kid who is living with some members. He has learned everything already but doesn't know the church is true. I asked if he had prayed, he said no. I asked if he had read the book of mormon. He said no. How are you supposed to know it's true if you don't read and you don't pray? Do you expect angels just to show up one day and be like "Hey, that church is true go get baptized." It doesn't work like that. Ever. Yes angels visit people but not without a fair amount of faith and a lot of prayer, either by them or someone else. So we committed him to read and pray. Fast forward a little bit to Saturday night. We go back to his house. How are you feeling about everything. I don't know. Have you read the book of mormon. No. Have you prayed. No. I told him that if the Book of Mormon is true then only our church is true and only through the doctrine of our church can you be saved. If it's not, then we are just wasting our time and we won't bug you anymore. I know it's true, and here's how you can. Read the Book of Mormon, like we have been telling you to every day since we started teaching you. Think about it. Then pray, earnestly, with a real desire to know the truth, pray to Heavenly Father and ask Him if it is true. Will you read the book of Mormon every night for the next week and pray before and after you read to know if it is true? He said he will. Hopefully he does. 

Tuesday we went tracting for a long time. We found a few people that seem pretty cool, we will see how diligent they are. Yep.

Wednesday we had zone meeting because on Tuesday morning we had a Mission Leadership Conference. All the zone leaders and President Adams do a big conference skype thing and talk about mission stuff. Very not exciting. Don't wear sandals on P-day. Make sure the members know that our priesthood and the member's priesthood is the same. Blessings from missionaries are not any more powerful than blessings from the melkizedek priesthood holders in the branch. It's a weird culture here because everyone is a convert of a number of years so most people still rely on the missionaries and think that we have to do everything. Luckily we have an awesome branch presidency here, all return missionaries, so they know what's up. Fun fact, ours is the first all RM branch presidency in Madagascar. 

Thursday was Elder Arrieus' birthday. We egged and floured him real good but he was sick so we didn't go out to work except for the very last lesson of the day because they are super cool and we didn't have a phone number to cancel on them. 

Friday we went out to Sarodroa. That is a branch about an hour outside of Antsirabe and then twenty minutes through the wilderness off the main road. They have 95 percent full tithe payers and 100 percent activity rate. We don't know why everyone is so diligent out there but we love it. So we went and payed a visit and talked to the branch president for a while about the branch and how everything was going. Everything is going great, if you were wondering. 


                                      Chapel in Sarodroa

Conference weekend so not a whole lot going on those last two days. 

Question time
So the question of the day.  You made an implicating statement in your last letter that you will be home for the next general conference.  Did you receive a return date?  
...
last question.  I am putting the christmas boxes together, if I can keep Dad from eating your treats. What would make you happy to receive? What would you like to get to share?  Is there something you would like to hand out.
Good chocolate, like peppermint bark. As much as I want to like chocolate oranges I don't, so don't bother there. Christmas PJ's are necessary, but you already knew that. A nice tie would be great, thinner is better. I don't need too much really. Something I will open and go "oh man!"

I love you a ton, hope you are having a great week and don't forget to read and pray. It's important. 

Love,

Elder Galbreath 5.0

Thursday, October 23, 2014

We watch General Conference this week!

Hey Dad! You're up late tonight. I am glad the shoot went well. That 97 thing is a major bummer, hopefully you can get it ejecting right. Might be something to start working over really good before the next shoot. It seems like that is a recurring problem with those. So enlighten me, what kind of rifle do they use for wild bunch? I thought it was just a regular cowboy rifle. 

That's right, this Saturday and Sunday are general conference in Madagascar! I am pretty excited, and I have stayed away from spoilers. Except Taylor told me about one talk. It's all good though. Pretty weird that I will be home for the next one. 

Well we had interviews with President Adams on Wednesday. He is amazing. I am so lucky that they made him mission president here instead of an Apostle. We talked about how I was feeling kind of unmotivated, a little down as it were. I was just kind of having a hard time as I am sure you could tell. He expressed a lot of trust in me, and we talked for a while about the Law of Consecration and how the mission is the time to live it. You aren't required to live it in the fullest extent after the mission but living it on the mission helps you to be in the mindset of giving everything you have. That way when the call comes to serve in a calling your answer will be something along the lines of "I already said yes, and committed to yes, a long time ago." So I really liked that. He pointed out that I, maybe even more so than other missionaries, should be serving with an immense measure of gratitude. Given my unique situation, I am in an excellent position to serve with all my heart and do so in a way that expresses thanks for the opportunity to be here again. He told me again that he has a lot of trust in me and my judgement as a leader. It was very encouraging to hear all that. Then we got down to business. We talked about the zone and how it is going. We talked about a couple missionaries that got really really sick and had to leave suddenly. We talked a lot about different stats and their usefulness, just a bunch of leadership stuff that is super boring. So that was interesting, really starting to feel the weight of my zone leader-ness. Along those lines on Saturday we had a meeting with the district president and the senior couple here in Antsirabe about the district, which consists of most of the zone. They kept asking me how this branch and that branch are going and I am just like uhhhhh I dunno. So yesterday when I took stats I just talked to the missionaries and tried to get a feel for how their branches are going. Good note, in general all the branches are going smooth. Not perfect, but the leadership is working well and getting it all right. So that is a good thing. Trying to be a good zone leader out here, since this is probably my last area. It is not easy, missionary work is hard enough without also watching over 19 other missionaries. I am just glad I am not in Tana, my zone here is pretty small compared to those ones. 

So other than the leadership stuff I have been doing there hasn't been a whole lot of excitement. I did get to go out to Andranomanelatra on Tuesday and that was awesome. Saw a lot of members that weren't members when I was here, and they were all active! Well, one missed sometimes but even she goes to church most weeks. Saw my favorite people, and the best part is that every single person remembered me. All of them. There were people that I taught literally like three times and they still remembered my name. It was so awesome. I don't know why I didn't take more pictures. It was awesome. Fun story of the day was we were riding our bikes back from a members house that I baptized. Still active. So we were running a little late, and we decided to take the fast way down the mountain. As is normal, the fast way is not the safe way. So we are hauling down this hill, my planner flies out of my pocket and Elder Covey runs it over. We go a little further and my feet slip off the pedals. So I am bouncing on the seat trying to slow down and the front brakes are the only ones working so I about go over the handlebars, I manage to get my feet back on the pedals. We keep going and a little ways further I hit a soft patch of dirt and power slide like three feet until it is past and then keep going. Get to the bottom safe and sound, the member help had grabbed my planner, which is now a nice red tire design on the front. A little while later we are teaching a lesson, and I introduce myself, and the member help goes "He taught me before I got baptized." And I was like holy cow, I'm your missionary. Awesome! It is a super cool experience to be teaching investigators and you taught your companion all the lessons the first time he heard them. I felt like a little bit of a legend out there. 


There are no longer white sisters in Madagascar. The only one that was here has finished her mission just now. It wasn't pretty, but she made it. Lots of weirdos here. 
Seriously though, a little help on the kilt thing would be appreciated. Unless you are secretly making me one out of the Galbraith plaid in which case disregard. 

I love you a ton, hope you are doing awesome. If you haven't sent my christmas package yet some size 12 crocs would be super. If you have, I will try to find some. 
Yep. I think that is all I got this week. I love you a ton, and I hope you are finding a way to stay in touch with your spiritual self. I would send you the scriptures Wyatt is getting this week but they are less than uplifting. Let's see here, Isaiah 59:1-2. Very interesting. 
                                          Milk from a bag is better than in a box.

Love you a ton,

Elder Galbreath 5.0

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It won't be pretty, but I'll make it.

I have decided that this phrase, and the past tense form of it, have become the motto for my life. High school? It wasn't pretty, but I made it. Mission? Same story. It works well for me. 
Missions are hard.
Zone leader duties involve mostly being the poop catchers coming down from the APs and up from the missionaries. We take the stats for the week from everyone in our zone and then call them in to the APs. We schedule the interviews for President Adams (this Wednesday) and all the zone stuff that goes on. We spend a lot of time in meetings with the district presidency and the senior couple here trying to get everything smoothed out and problems solved. Big problem right now is that welfare got cut for the district because they were giving out too much of it and church attendance dropped in half. Weird right? So we are trying to visit a lot of less active members and see what is up and why they stopped coming to church. We have a problem here in Mada with the level of people's conversions.  I wish that people had like stat bars, health stamina conversion and patience indicators for anyone to see. Unfortunately life is not a video game. 
Beast Mode (his bike) stayed in Tamatave, we are walking missionaries. 

I am eating very well, Antsirabe is very easy on the checkbook. Plates of rice are half what they were in Tamatave. 
 Rice fields as far as the eye can see
 Kids and rice fields as far as the eye can see ;)


Well spectrum taking over Ritzville is crazy. That is going to be a crazy busy time for them. Hopefully Brian's back doesn't get too bad. Wish I could be there to help out, but given the alternate choice of being here I don't feel bad. 

So this week was interesting. We had an emergency transfer because someone went home, so a bunch of stuff got switched around. Nothing in our zone though so that's good for me. 

Last Monday we played soccer. Super exciting. We won. 

Tuesday Elder Arrieus was sick so we didn't go out to work. 

Feel free to take a break if this is too much excitement for you. 

Wednesday we taught english class. Well, I taught english class. Elder Arrieus wandered between classes, helped out in French class a little. There were about 70 people there to learn english and french. So there was one french class and three english classes of varying skill levels. I taught the best people because it's the easiest to teach. 

Thursday we went less active hunting. 
Friday was not interesting. Except for the chicken we found in our garage.

Same with Saturday. 

Seeing a pattern here? Sunday was church. Yep. 

Then we are here. Today is p-day. Glorious p-day. Tomorrow I go on a split back out to Andranomanelatra so that will be sick. 

And that's all I got this week. 

If you could do me a huge favor and find and send me pictures of a kilt pattern, or something that I could give to the tailor guy here and he would make me a dope kilt I would appreciate it. I am not counting on finding any Galbraith clan plaid here but a generic plaid will get me through. 

Love you a ton mom. 


Elder Galbreath 5.0

Monday, October 6, 2014

Here we are again!

Well, I am back. I am companions with Elder Schroedter and Elder Arrieus. I think Elder Schroedter is going to be bouncing this week though because a missionary is going home. So we think he is going to go replace him somewhere. Our house is way super nice though. I have been told it is the nicest house in the mission and I am inclined to believe it. I live with my  comps, Elder Bowler and Elder Andriamanganoro, and Elder Cartmill with Elder Rasmussen. Elder Rasmussen is really tall. Taller than me I think. Only a little. He is a ginger though so it's whatever. I get along well with Elder Arrieus Yep. 


Christmas package. As far as desires go, drink mixes are great. Good looking thinner ties are always a win. Socks. Can't go wrong with socks. Beef jerky. I don't really know what else, some good christmas music. Cd, usb, sd card, whatever format works. My comp that will be here at Christmas time is Elder Arrieus, who is about my width but he goes home the week before Christmas. So I don't really know who my comp will be or what size they will be. Sorry. Oh, peppermint bark. Good chocolate in general actually. Even like a hershey's bar. No chocolate oranges though, as much as I want to enjoy them I just don't. 

So transfers. Starting at the 0 hours of sleep I got after the call that I was coming back to Antsirabe. Went out to work on Monday, and Tuesday. Said goodbye to everyone, realized how much I actually like the people there. Then Wednesday morning bright and early I said goodbye to my only son and got on a bus to Tana. We went way too freaking fast and I threw up twice. Our driver was crazy, going like 120 kph on a super windy road and passing semi trucks and stuff. Nuts. Then we got to Tana. I was supposed to go on splits with the elders in Betongolo, but they took off without saying anything and when we tried to get ahold of them they were about to start a lesson. So I was hanging out with the APs and killing time. Talking to the new group that came in, and then it was time for them to go upstairs and have dinner with Pres Adams. Well I didn't have a companion so Elder Fox (AP)  tells me to just go with them up to eat. So I follow all of them up there, Elder Fox explains what happened to Pres Adams. He says "Well, poor Elder Galbreath is going to have to eat with us now" Oh darn. It's like if you showed up at Grandma's house and she was like, "Poor Carlyn is going to have to help us eat this (insert favorite food here). I wasn't going to object. Next day I got on a bus in the morning to Antsirabe and off we went. I was in the least comfortable seat ever. My legs were asleep before we made it out of town. So that was great. But eventually we made it. Got here, Elder Arrieus picked me up from the bus stop. That night we went back out to Andranomanelatra. I went straight to Pres Daniel's house and saw them. Oh my gosh I have never been so excited to see someone outside my immediate family. They were so excited too. The little girl ran out and jumped on me, they were all so happy to see me and I was so happy to see them. Oh man. Even just thinking about it makes me excited again. I am going on splits out there tomorrow. Pumped to see everyone again. I am not in the same area I was in before, but Antsirabe is a way small town so I see lots of people I know all the time. The district president and our branch president are both from my old branch, and my bros. I love this place. My area is less than perfect. It's not actually going very well at all. But that has never slowed me down before so why start now? I am just super excited to be back here. 


Yep. That's pretty much all I got this week. 

Love you guys a ton.

Elder Galbreath

Monday, September 29, 2014

Antsirabe!!

I'm going back to Antsirabe! Transfers came in last night, and I am bouncing. Elder Yeagley is getting his mom and I am going to be zone leader in Antsirabe. The weird part is we are going to be doing the second half of the training program with someone who did the first half with his trainer but his trainer is in the branch presidency of manandona so he doesn't really have time to do the program right. So me and Elder Arrieus are finishing his childhood. Not really sure how this is going to work with the missionary terminology/slang but we will figure it out. 

On that note what can I pray for your for this week? 
I don't know, maybe that I don't die of excitement? I am doing great.
How are you feeling?  How is your hand? 
I am feeling good. I don't think this cold will last too much longer. My hand is fine, it was a little tender for a few days but now it is good. 
Eating well?  If the food is expensive suck it up and spend the money.  You can’t have energy to serve if your body is not getting good nutrition.  
I am eating like a king. Full pigs most nights. Definitely not rice beans and instant noodles. That would be terrible. 
Did you hear about transfers?
Yes. See above.
How did the baptisms go? 
They went great! I will write more about them below. 
Am I telling you things you want to hear about?  Anything I am missing?  
Yep. Keep up the good work. Seahawks updates wouldn't be the worst. 
Don’t forget the lawn mowing question.
I don't know, probably like five or ten bucks. 
Please tell me you did not have to use that bathroom.  that is one of my nightmares.  
Just to pee. 
Did you remember your planner this week?
Yep. Not a whole lot got written down this week. Just notes on a bible bash we stumbled into. 

Alright so baptism first. It went awesome! Pics on the bucket. They were so happy. The water was super cold, but it was alright. They both asked me to baptize them too. Man, I haven't been that happy in a long long time. Their baptism just felt so good. Then Marie asked me to give her the gift of the holy Ghost. Man, I have never relied on the spirit so hard in my life. I am not bad at malagasy right, but we don't give a ton of blessings and we definitely don't do it in front of a congregation. Fortunately the power was out so no microphone, and there was only 68 people at church. So that actually sucked. But yeah. It was awesome because they got baptized and confirmed.
Tuesday we had an interesting experience. We are teaching a reactivated guy's son. He isn't baptized (hence our teaching him). So anyway his son is 10 I think, and has a few friends that come and sit in the lesson ranging from 4 to 10. They are quiet and most of them actually listen so it's alright.

So Thursday we went tracting for quite a while and this one guy invited us right in. A little weird, but he seemed interested because he was listening very intently. Then he says, "Do you pray on the Sabbath or on Sunday?" and I was like, well, the bible says the Sabbath is on Sunday so yes? I guess would be the answer to your question. Proceed to slay him about the sabbath day. Then we were trying to explain how God doesn't change so there can only be one true church and we need to try to find said church. He proceeded to explain to me how every apostle started a church and they were all true and that is why there are a lot of churches. Interesting right? So we got out of there pretty quick. 

Yep. Friday we had 13 lessons scheduled for the day. that is almost one every half an hour. Fortunately they were all brand new people that we had tracted into the day before, so six of them weren't there. It worked out well. It does feel kind of nice to have more people than we can actually teach though. 


Anyway, not a whole lot going on other than that. 

Love you a ton, 

Elder Galbreath 5.0 (now with zone leader option)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Last week till transfers

Did you have the baptisms?
Not yet, but P and M passed their interview! This Saturday is the baptism for those two. And they both asked me to baptise them so that will be fun. 
How is the food gong?  Learning to cook anything good?  
I can honestly say most of my meals come out of a box or can.  Soup is my friend.  
Rice. Rice is where it's at. I eat rice and beans legitimately two meals a day six days a week. I am following the word of wisdom's admonition to eat meat sparingly. Not by choice though. Tamatave is just way expensive. 

So lately I have been taking notes on stuff I want to write about throughout the week. It works really well if I remember to take my planner with me on p-day. I haven't remembered that yet. Seems odd right? You use that thing every day but as soon as you put on a t-shirt you forget all about it. So yeah. No promises about how good this email will be. 

Went on a split on Tuesday. That was interesting. So the district leader is in the other area and had to do our baptism interviews. I went over there and he came here with Elder Yeagley. As it happens, Elder Ratsimbarison is training right now. His kid has only been here for four weeks at the time. So not a whole lot of language ability. Doing well for where he is at but he hasn't been here very long. So we went to our first lesson and he did pretty solid, helped teach a lot of it even though it was tithing. So that was a difficult one for him. Then we went to our next lesson. They weren't there. No big deal, we will just go tracting for a while and then go to the next lesson. They weren't there either. Well this sucks, let's do a little more tracting and then go to the next lesson a little early. They are on vacation in Tana. Then we saw the seven o clock lesson family on the street and they told us they couldn't learn because he is leaving town right now. So we literally went tracting all day except one lesson that was about half an hour. Not so terrible since in my area we get a contact about every ten to fifteen minutes that wants to learn. However, Ankirihiry is a whole 'nother ball game. Their area has zero men in it. Since we are trying to build up the leadership and priesthood of the church we have been asked to focus on finding men. So we found one family that was even remotely interested and set up a return appointment. One family. In a full day of tracting. The only up side was Elder Pinson is hilarious. There was this dog giving us flack and Elder Pinson goes "Shut up dog, I will put you in a PETA commercial. Sarah McLachlan's gonna come and start singing. Arms of an angel gonna take you away." I was dying. I couldn't even breathe. So yeah. 

Thursday we had a zone meeting. That was interesting. Talked about some really boring mission stuff you don't understand or care about, just stats and the like. Then we had the lesson. Well, the thing is there are two of us here in Tamatave that are good enough at malagasy and english to be able to translate well. Elder Gaul is one, and I am the other. The problem comes in that Elder Gaul is the zone leader so he gives the lesson at the zone meetings. So I always end up translating. It's not terrific amounts of fun, and I can't take notes on the meeting. But the malagasy elders need to understand what is going on too. So Elder Gaul leads off the lesson with the story of Rip VanWinkle. I know you don't know any other languages enough to translate, but imagine that story and trying to get the message across clearly. It was not easy. Who knows the word for rust? Not me, that's for sure.  So that was interesting, plus my nose is plugged up and keeps draining into my throat and making it hard to breath, let alone talk. I did alright though, the gasy elders understood the point of the lesson. It was based on President Uchtdorf's talk from last conference about "Don't sleep through the restoration". Don't sleep through your mission. It's possible, and very easy. But you won't learn anything and you will hold other people back in the process. It's easy for me to see the extremes,  So yeah. Don't waste your time. If you aren't going to do a mission right then just stay home. Borderline ranting here, moving on. 
So we left the meeting and went to go to lunch. I was hauling on Beast Mode, racing another elder, and destroying him. I turned around to make sure I could still see him, and when I turned back around and was looking forward again, I was very very close behind a sarety. A sarety is a welded steel flatbed with a large handle. Just a big cart, moving slowly and being very very solid. so swerved as best I could but one end of my handlebars caught the handle of the cart. It bruised up my fingers pretty bad on the one hand and almost put me over my handlbars. Not sure how that didn't happen actually. 

That's all I can remember. The ocean is freaking crazy. Just blows my mind that of all the things God has created we can know so little about so many of them. The ocean is just so much water. So. Much. Water. Such a simple thing, and yet it is one of the greatest mysteries on earth. Crazy. 

Anywho. Love you a ton. 


Elder Galbreath 5.0

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Manahirana kely izany

You are right. I have been in Tamatave for a long time. It's wearing me down. Everything gets old after a while. I don't know. Just working hard, trying to do my best to find new people and get the ones we have to baptism. 

Speaking of baptism, we should have one of those next week! On the 27th there should be three people getting baptized. One of them is a guy that we tracted into literally like the second hour I was working in Morarano. His name is C. He is so cool, comes to church every week and just way excited about the gospel and baptism. He is 20, so that is way cool. We need more youth in the church. But he is way cool and I am excited for his baptism. The other people have been learning from the missionaries for a few years and just couldn't get their marriage papers done. It is really difficult sometimes to get that done here, especially if you are poor. But they finally got it done and so now there is nothing holding them back from baptism. So I am really excited for them. 

This week me and Elder Yeagley went tracting quite a bit. Actually we went tracting a lot. It wasn't tremendous amounts of fun but we found a pretty solid number of people to teach. So we have a nice full schedule this week but how many of the people will actually be there is anyone's guess. Then next week we will be tracting a lot again. Pretty fun little cycle. 

We have a member here, name is F, who is a national champ marathon runner, in the southeast regional rugby 7s team, speaks english like a champ (served in Johannesberg) and is a genius. And he plays soccer way well. He teaches math and english to kids trying to graduate. He is stud. And he is a good looking dude too. It's not really fair. Point of the story is he helps us a lot and Saturday we had a branch activity where we were going to be playing soccer against one of the other branches. It started at eight. So at seven thirty we met him at the church so he could show us where the heck we were even going. So we get there about eight, and we are the only ones there. We did some rugby passes with coconuts for a while, then just ended up sitting in the shade talking about the different parts of Madagascar. So at eight forty five someone else shows up with a ball, and at nine a few young men came so we had enough to play a little game of four on four. We did that for a while, my team lost. Then we called it a day at about ten. Nobody from the other branch even showed up. Turns out they were going on a party bus thing so they cancelled the activity on friday night. Phone trees are not a thing here so the only people that knew where the elder's quorum president and the other branch. Probably a good thing though because we didn't even have enough people to play a full game.  

Yep. Not a whole lot else to talk about this week. Gonna be going on splits this week so hopefully there will be a couple interesting stories from that. 

Love you a ton mom,

Elder Galbreath 5.0
                                            The edge of the soccer field is a dump
                                            Soccer field
                                           Garbage is everywhere.
                                         ready for soccer

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mitady ho faty ianao!

First of all thanks for the sports update, please keep those coming, at least with the Seahawks. 

Do we have pigs? I am unaware of this, do explain...

Mom's mac sounds cool. Are we becoming a mac family?  If I buy a windows phone will I be a black sheep? Can I still come to thanksgiving dinner? 

Are you pumped for the shoot? I am, and I won't even be there. 

Not a whole lot happened this week because I have been super sick. Just this nasty head cold/flu thing. Killer headache, runny nose, coughing. My body has been just sapped of any strength I had. It's been going on like this for two weeks now. I don't know what to do, I called the nurse and she told me to rest and take some tylenol. Well I took a day off finally on Saturday and I still feel like crap so that was worthless advice, and I didn't get anything done. So no more of that noise. Elder Yeagley has been way solid lately, getting really good at the language. He is just leading the lessons and we just do everything we can to work hard. My biggest expense lately has been tissues. Fun stuff right? So I have been relegated to mostly clarifying things that my comp says which are not so clear. It is not a role I am entirely happy with. But it's whatever. Training right? It's a thing. 
I love you guys so much. We tracted into this family that was pretty interested but the husband was never there so we kept trying and trying and trying and finally we caught him there and taught a lesson and they have a ton of potential. Excited to see where they are going. 

I really don't know what else to add. Sorry, just a mediocre week. I love you a ton though. 


Elder Galbreath v5.0

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Love his sense of humor.

Funny kid.

If you bought the fleece already, read this one.

I don't know where you are at right now but I am trying to catch you before the end of the night.
That fleece is bomb! Buy it! That jersey is way cool though, and the hats. Not asking for more stuff but yeah. Good batch of merch this year, I can see why you are doing so well.
I will send you another email in a minute with the weeks stories but I want to try and catch you.

If you haven't bought the fleece yet, read this one.

I don't know where you are at right now but I am trying to catch you before the end of the night.

That fleece is mediocre, don't bother. That jersey is way cool though, and the hats. Not asking for more stuff but yeah. Good batch of merch this year, I can see why you are doing so well.

I will send you another email in a minute with the weeks stories but I want to try and catch you.

Now that I am writing Wyatt every week you guys might get the same emails for a little while, until I can mazaka three emails.

Alright so this week was pretty good. I stayed home Wednesday because I was really sick and worked the rest of the week in spite of being really sick. Fun right? I was actually sick Tuesday too but the AP's were up here going on splits with us so I couldn't stay home that day. Elder Fox (from Bothel area) was with us and he is way good at Malagasy so he and Elder Yeagley handled most of the work. Actually now that I think about it Elder Yeagley did most of it. Elder Yeagley has been doing way good this last week, leading lessons and progressing like a mad dog. I wish any of our investigators would try that hard haha.

So Wednesday was no fun, but Thursday we went out and worked crazy hard. We ended up spending about an hour walking around trying to find less actives with this one kid who you could call the ring leader and not be exaggerating. Unfortunately, they were all at a soccer game so they weren't home. Or at church yesterday. So that's cool. Upside though is that while we were walking around the neighborhood there were at least thirty kids all playing a really intense game of war. Not the card game, like the ones with fake guns had those and the ones that didn't made them out wood. There were some really intense ones, and then there was also a kid who had a plank. So they were of varying intensity I guess. But there was a point where I saw four kids with a strangely detailed sand map of the neighborhood devising a plan to attack the other stronghold, and there were prisoners taken at one point. I saw a kid tied to a tree at one point actually and that was a little weird but still.

Friday morning the Rossiters came down to Tamatave. They brought a bunch of money and a plan. Also they brought two new bikes. So one of those is mine, a very nice Scott in Seahawks colors. I call it Beast Mode. It is so choice. Pics on the bucket. Expect very few Elder Galbreath vs the poopy bike stories for my duration in Tamatave. Then they set about fixing completely and replacing parts on every single bike in Tamatave. So every bike works great now. Not as good as mine, but still.

Saturday was pretty standard stuff. We got a call about half way through the day though that was alarming. The president of Madagascar had his power go out for some reason, so he got mad and threw six of the top Jirama (like the PUD, they do all the water and power for Madagascar) officers in prison. So then Jirama got mad and threatened to cut all the power and water to the whole island if he didn't let them out. So we had to top off our supplies in case that happened. So far we still have power and water so I don't know what is up with that but yeah, we are ready.

Yesterday we just taught some lessons and had dinner. Church was alright, nothing special.

This morning has been pretty chill so far. The cyber is way busy though.

I got my package, thank you so much.  ( only took three months)

Hope you guys are doing well all alone up there.

Much love,
Elder Galbreath

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lalàna ny Fiainana avy amin'ny Elder Galbreath Another life rule, with corollary.

Lalàna ny Fiainana avy amin'ny Elder Galbreath
Another life rule, with corollary.

Thou shalt share with thy neighbor that which thou hast in abundance.
.5 Thou shalt not assume to take unto thyself that which is not already in thine possesion, but shall rely upon the goodness of thy neighbor to give freely.
I think I figured out how to make life rules and why they don't come a lot as a missionary. I don't realize how strongly I feel about certain principles of life until someone breaks them. Then I am just like what the crap. Life rule.

So this week was alright. It rained every. single. day. Hard rain too. Our church attendance dropped from 110 to 115 when I got here to 78 last week and 73 this week. It rains all morning and I am pretty sure a lot of people just decide at that point that they are not coming to church so even if it doesn't rain for like two hours before our church starts nobody shows up. It's the pits. I think that before I let anyone get baptized here I am going to make sure that they have a clear and firm understanding of the importance of going to church even if it is raining and that the church is perfect and the people aren't. We have a lot of people go inactive because they get offended by something the branch president says, or a teacher. Not a problem specific to here by any stretch, I know people in Moses Lake like that. The church is perfect, look in my eyes and understand. The church. is. perfect. The people are not perfect, nor are most of us close. Yes, we shouldn't say offensive things. No we should not judge people harshly or say things out of anger or in the heat of a moment. However, we are just people. Even Moses made mistakes, and who doesn't like Moses? Even Muslims like Moses.

Thank you so much for your email. I got it on Tuesday when we went to take a survey about Preach My Gospel. I really appreciated it a lot. I mean I still appreciate it but I did then too. I feel a lot better this week, I just wish it would stop raining.

We played volleyball this morning against a bunch of Malagasy kids in a gym. Cement floor but a pretty nice gym overall. They pretty much just wiped the floor with us for about 20 minutes or so and then we were remembering how to play volleyball. I don't want to say I sparked the team into a winning streak, but I might have. They were scoring just every time. Then they were set up to spike it, right in front of me. So I jumped up, our hands hit the ball at the same time and I just demolished this kid. Not a little kid, like he was almost my height and kind of skinny but way good at volleyball. Destroyed him. Then we scored like 7 times in a row, and did really good the rest of the time we were there. Again, not saying it was me, but I am also not denying it.
The companionship is going pretty good. Elder Yeagley is making a ton of progress every day. Make me excited for Wyatt really. I am so pumped for him to make progress and see him grow from normal person to return missionary. He is going to do so good.
The rest of the week was pretty average, lots of people not home. Church yesterday was interesting. Since the teacher for Elder's Quorum didn't show up we just had a gospel discussion about 1 Nephi 3. Really interesting. Basically what I got out of it was this. Nephi decided that the scriptures and geneology were worth more than their lives and their money. Following the Lord is not easy. It's not cheap. It's stressful. Sometimes it makes you hide in caves and hit your brother with a rod. However, it works out in the end and it is so worth it.
We are still teaching the guy on the beach. Did I mention he is totally blind? I wasn't sure about that before, but he can't see anything. Not even shapes. He used to work at the port, and he would have to grind off I-beams over his head all the time and one day a bunch of sparks and dust got in his eyes and they toook him to the hospital and they couldn't do anything to help him. Bummer. But he is way good at listening and pretty smart.

The bikes are ridiculous right now. They just break all the time. So I had to buy a new axle a few days ago but now it is going good. It just sucks that they buy these really crappy bikes and then tell us to repair them. Then missionaries don't repair them because they are dumb and we get these low quality bikes that haven't been taken care of and that's how we have to get around. Not the best. Hoping I walk in my next area.

This week Elder Yeagley and I were doing a fair amount of contacting. Trying to find new people and not having a lot of luck. Then we get to this house and we are like do you want to learn and they are like no way Jose. So we start to leave and this kid comes out of a house we didn't even notice was there and says hey we want to learn. So we go to the door and see that the husband is there and they all want to learn. Mom Dad and son. So that was way cool.

On Friday I was on a split with Elder Gaul. He came to our area to do a bap interview for a girl who decided to wait now so kind of pointless. But anyway I forgot my raincoat and he doesn't have one and of course it starts raining which wasn't a huge deal. Then it really starts raining. Like romance movie final scene rain. I'm talking Sweet Home Alabama on the beach. I'm talking the very end seen of Holes when it rains at Green Lake. So then Elder Gaul (who used to work my area, about a year ago) says "We were teaching these way sick people before, I should show you where they live." So off we go. Well we end up walking up and down this main road for literally half an hour trying to find their house. We were so soaked. Just ridiculous amounts of rain. So we finally find the right gate. We go in and he explains that it is behind this house right here, we walk around the corner and we see... nothing. No house. It was literally just gone. So we just walked home. It was almost nine anyway. We got home and literally rung out my socks and clothes. It was just silly.

Tell me how things are going with your investigators.  Have you had any more success with your families?
Sort of. One of the way cool families we teach moved and we haven't found their house yet but we ran into them on the road and set up a place to meet them on Wednesday so hopefully that works out. I just wish people would come to church. It's frustrating.
mountain cabin or beach hut?
This is hard. Mountain cabin appeals to my lumberjack, gun loving, beard growing, kilt wearing scottish american roots. The beach hut appeals to my comfort factor and my love of the tropical climate. Flannel vs board shorts. A fight wouldn't even be close but a choice between the two is difficult. I might have to go with the mountain cabin. It's gun range in the back yard or learning to surf. I am gonna go with flannel shirts and kilts with a gun range in the back.
The gift of prophesy or tongues?
Prophecy. No contest. You can learn them both but prophecy is way harder. It would make decisions so much easier. Do I go to Georgia or Alaska? The Lord says this. Done.
The ability to sing any song on key or play any instrument handed to you?
I might have to go with the instrument one. Granted singing is more of a lady killer, but if I can play any instrument I can learn to be alright at singing and just play the bagpipes and ukelele like a champ.

Love you a ton Dad. I hope you have a great week at work. Congrats again on the steel challenge, two first place plaques is a big deal.

Love,
Elder Galbreath