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