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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


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. 


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