Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Weekly Email # 73 - Christmas Hangover!

Hello everyone! To celebrate Christmas, I'm just going to bombard you
all with pictures and have a bigger description than I usually do. So
bear with me, you'll receive a few emails from me today. I guess
this will be making up all the times that I missed any of yall's
conversations!

Before I do that though, I want to say thank you to all that sent me
Christmas gifts this year! You truly #LitMyLife not just during
Christmas but the quick 16 months I've been out here. I'm grateful for
the many people that I can call friends and family in my life and you
all have helped me feel the Christmas Spirit so strongly this year.
The icing on the cake was talking to the family. How I wish I could
talk to everyone and it was so awesome to spend even a couple of
minutes talking to my peeps! Merry Christmas! Hope you have an awesome
New Years!

Enjoy!

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does
about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go."
- Elder Holland

1. MERRY CHRISTMAS YA FILTHY ANIMALS!


2. Elder Reynolds caught me with a cheese stick in my mouth. Very
hesitant to send this picture home, but I cant help it. Haha



3. Taking a picture of the big mission picture! Go the the Ohio
Columbus Facebook page and there should be more pictures on there!



4. Brought a few Elders into the pic. Elder McMullin, Elder Bangerter,
Elder Thompson, Elder Barben, Me, Elder Reynolds




5. Meeting an old friend at the Christmas Devotional!



6. On the way to the Devotional



7. Christmas Eve Cold!


8. Cool Edit!




Here comes more!

9. Video of Elder Reynolds getting dunked on. Merry Christmas to him :)

video


10. Us going to deliver some Christmas goodies!



11. Power nap before Christmas Eve dinner :)



12. Christmas Eve dinner with the Moarefdoust family! The one time we
can eat at another members house with another set of missionaries! It
was awesome! Elder Miller, Elder Bagley, Elder Me, Elder Reynolds



13. Us being nerds



14. Christmas Dinner w/ Cole and his parents, Brother and Sister Ames!
Cole has autism, like my brother Chase and so we had an awesome time
with him! He's a fun kid!



15. Whoa



16. Breakfast of Champions


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Weekly Email # 72 - Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings To Come

First off, make sure you read the subject line in a positive light,
otherwise it sounds like I'm complaining. Haha

At the beginning of the mission, I could tell you very easily and
simply that meetings made me uncomfortable and I found them very
boring. I think just recently, I've gained a love for the multiple
meetings we have every transfer. For those who may or may not know,
every transfer from now on consists of a Zone Training Meeting, a Zone
Conference, and an interview with President. EVERY TRANSFER! I was
reluctant to like it at first, but I like joining together as a
mission more, especially since it has become a rarity lately.

But this Zone Conference was great. I'm sure President Daines goal for
the meeting was to help us gain a much better understanding of the
Atonement and it definitely did. It's such a neat concept to think
about. An Advocate, a Full Redeemer, A Friend. And even better, it is
more important to apply it every day to our lives so that we can
actually experience it and gain a more full appreciation for our
Savior. This training was very timely as I've been thinking about the
who, what, when, where, and whys of Christmas.

A couple days later, Elder Reynolds and I went on exchanges the entire
day to..... THE Ohio State University! Our Zone Leaders work over
there and led the exchange as we walked around campus all day. Elder
McMullin, my temporary companion, and I had to purchase hand warmers
because with the wind chill, it hit 2 degrees on us! Yikes! Haha it
was so fun though, we talked to A TON of people and ended up having an
awesomely remarkable lesson with a funny Muslim named Zane! Sadly,
they won't meet up with him again until after Christmas Break due to
him and basically most of the students leaving campus until the new
semester starts.

As we were heading home from the university, we were playing this
missionary game where you kick a small object in between your
companions legs while your walking to score goals. So you can imagine
how seriously we took this when all four of us took a 25 minute walk
home. During the walk, Elder Bangerter scored on me from the other
side of the street, totally destroying all of my self confidence. So I
was determined to get him back. As I went to kick a piece of snow
REALLY HARD, it occurred to me too late that that patch of snow I
wanted to kick had COMPLETELY solidified to the ground. So I slipped.
On my face. I laid there in embarrassment for a few seconds. I felt
like one of the robbers from Home Alone. Haha the other Elders had a
great laugh.... those suckers.

BUT GUESS WHAT??? The SAME thing happened yesterday. Haha no joke. In
Ohio, it goes from freezing cold to warm enough to let it snow and
rain, which causes all that stuff to freeze to the ground. Going along
with that, our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Peterson, pulled up
outside our apartment to pick us up early for church so we could help
lay salt around the chapel. As we step off the sidewalk into the road,
I hit not one, but two black ice spots! I recovered from the first one
fairly nicely, but the second one crept up on me and my butt kissed
the ground VERY hard. Haha and to make matters worse, Elder Reynolds
STOOD THERE AND LAUGHED! Haha what a chump. Brother Peterson had a
good time with that. As you can see, the Ohio weather will be against
me for the next few months!

Our progress is slow with investigators. You'd hope it'd be more
fruitful during the holiday season, but it has been difficult.
Nevertheless, Christmas Miracles are just around the corner! It's
going to happen! Merry Christmas this Sunday! Crazy to think its
almost here. Going to be another awesome time Skyping the family for
the 3rd time! Love you all! Have a snowy wonderful week!

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present
and not giving it." - President Thomas S. Monson

Pics!

1. Merry Christmas! The first package came!






2. Service at Sister Danforths. Baby its cold outside!




3. This pic was right after I got pelted by a snowball. I will seek out revenge :)




4. New District!



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Weekly Email # 71 - Being in front of the camera and Patient Persistence

Holiday Greetings! 

I'm going to do a day by day analysis this week. Here it goes!

Monday - After a good relaxing P-Day, we did a long loop around the bottom part of our area and tried seeing a bunch of people in this recently found apartment complex. Its kinda neat because its right on the boundary of our area and the sisters area. That means it hasn't been visited by missionaries in a LONG TIME. Even though we had no success there today, we are excited for the future people we'll find there.

Tuesday and Wednesday - Both days are combined because we did a bunch of finding. Our bikes are still broken so we did quite a bit of contacting in the streets of Westerville. Our area stretches 7.5 miles north from where we live and about 9 blocks wide. Got a couple new people. Wednesday was also our Zone Training Meeting, where we did role plays, discussed goals and plans of action, and how to contact in the nighttime.

Thursday - This was our first REALLY cold day. We stayed near the bottom of our area because we were unable to get a ride up north. We packed warm and tried getting inside peoples warm apartments and homes. Haha the #LightTheWorld initiative helped out with that.

Friday - We weekly planned, and we talked to Jonathan, our best investigator. We had a lengthy conversation about the church and the structure. We also talked about how we can know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. Hopefully we can talk to his wife soon too about the church.

Saturday - For some reason, this days studies were my favorite in the week. I read multiple scriptures about the basics of faith. Everyone knows Alma 32 and how it is the cornerstone of explaining faith. Even though Ive read this chapter a bunch of times with investigators, this study of this chapter was greatly uplifting! Then we had our transfer cycle interview with President and we talked about how I can improve.

Sunday - It was a great Sunday! Jonathan didn't come to church, but the other Elders investigator came and he's the best. Haha he laughs like Jay-Z. If you don't know what he laughs like, I'll get a video of Elder Bagley doing an impersonation. Haha its so great. Afterwards we had studies, and contacted less actives and most of our new investigators.

Now today! Maybe I should get into a little more detail but as you do the same things over and over again, you have to find the unique things about the day that make it memorable. Oh and for Christmas packages, send it to our apartment address if you could :) thank you for your gifts already! Christmas is going to be a lot of fun! I'll leave you with some pictures. Happy Holidays! Keep Lighting the World!

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - President Thomas S. Monson

Pictures:

1. He's totally judging me.




2. Ward Coordination Meeting! With Sister Steinegal, Sister McClellan, Sister Peterson, Brother Peterson, Elder Bagley, Elder Miller, Me, and the selfie master, Elder Reynolds



3. Our weekly Kroger run! Got milk?  



4. On our way to Zone Training Meeting!


5. Choir Practice.. representing the bass section.



6. Sick Christmas tree!



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Weekly Email # 70 - Personifying Positivity and Seeking Christmas Cheer!

Happy Five-Days-Stretch-Since-Last-P-Day!

How's the Christmas Initiative going? Hope you have been able to see those awesome blessings. Its been going good for us! With Elder Young making his rather quick departure, we've continued where him and I last left off. Jonathan wasn't able to make it to church, but he's working towards getting to church this coming week. We continue to walk around since my bike is out of commission. Haha I don't mind walking around, its good to get those steps in every day :)

I got my new companion on Thursday! My 11th companions name is Elder Reynolds and he's from Salt Lake City, the Holiday area more specifically. He's been out 9 months and he's actually considered the senior companion in our companionship! Haha thats what the transfer board says at least. He doesn't want to be, so we consider both of ourselves senior companions.

Friday, we weekly planned which took up a majority of our day. Me being here for only three weeks and him only being here a day contributed to that EXTREMELY long weekly planning session. Haha but afterwards, we went to our Ward Christmas Party which was awesome! The day before, we helped set it up and it looked fantastic! The party had a jingle and mingle theme to it, because of the fact that this ward is a combination of 4 different Wards due to several Stake Boundary changes that happened about a month or so ago. After everyone ate dinner, we all received a piece of paper that instructed us to find people in the Ward that fit different qualifications and stuff! So we had to find out what the Young Women's Presidents middle name was, who's the oldest member in the Ward, etc. it was pretty fun!

Saturday, we were out and about all day sharing the Christmas video with everyone. We had some success stories and others didn't seem to have that Christmas cheer about them and made it up in their minds they weren't going to talk to us. Afterwards, we went to our weekly Ward Coordination Meeting with Brother and Sister Peterson. They are awesome! They are the ones helping me out with my broken bike situation. They're just the best. Haha

Been a busy day. So I'm going to leave you with some pics!  Elder Reynolds loves using his camera so you will see a lot of selfies in the next several weeks! Don't get sick of me, please! Hahaha love you all! Continue to have a great Holiday Season!

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM

"Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - President Thomas S. Monson

Pictures!

1. Us serving at My Very Own Blanket. We are sowing batting together.. two weeks ago, I couldn't even tell you what batting was. Haha





2. Decorating the New Albany Christmas Party!


3. Me talking on the phone with one of our investigators that TAKES FOREVER to spit his words out. So we made weird faces as he was doing so.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Weekly Email # 69 - The Physical and Spiritual Blessings of Thanksgiving

Happy Happy Holidays!

Still currently in recovery mode from the AWESOME Thanksgiving feast we had this past week. The Smiths treated us to a delicious meal and some fantastic company. Yes, some days are hard being a missionary during the Holiday season, but when you create memories such as these, you can't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to do so. I'm tempted to say there is no such thing as a bad Ward. Like seriously. EVERY ward I've been to has been awesome and so supportive and loving towards missionaries, and there is no way I will take the New Albany Ward for granted.

Transfer News : After being together for almost three weeks, Elder Young is leaving me! We will find out where he will be going tomorrow at Transfers! He is my second companion I've had in a row for only three weeks; crazy! I'm sad to see him go. We had a lot of ecstatic times for only being together for so short a time. He'll be a great missionary wherever he goes.

 I will be getting my 11th companion tomorrow! Its weird to have so many companions. I remember everyone at home telling me I would only have around 7 to 8 to 9 companions. Well.... times are changing. Haha

It is absolutely awesome to see some much hype and excitement about the Church's Christmas Initiative this year! We have begun showing the 2 and a half minute video to people and it has helped so much in our contacting approaches. Not only do I NOT get sick of listening to the video because its that great, but if someone were to hand you an iPad with a video on it, apparently, its more appealing to do that than to talk to two missionaries. Haha don't worry, they have to do that anyways after they are watching the video :) Two questions for you all. Have you gone to Mormon.org and watched the video? And if so, what are you going to do about it? This Christmas season is going to be the best one yet, so make sure you are involved in the festivities and the joy that Jesus Christ brings to everyone.

My bike broke this week. Haha the gears are totally messed up. When they broke, I sounded like a freight train all the four miles back to our apartment. So we've been walking around for about a week and have been pretty effective actually. We weren't able to get anyone to church but with the Ward Christmas Dinner this Friday and open schedules for our investigators, the hope is that as we help them, they'll realize the importance of church!

Love you all! Enjoy your first week of December! It's been quite enjoyable for us :) #50degreegoodness

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." - President Thomas S. Monson

Videos I promised last week. Haha and a few pics in this other email coming up!

1. First snow of the season!

video



2. Later that night. Elder Young is quite the jokester. Haha

video




Other Pics!
1. Us enjoying the snow!


2. Biking and Cold don't mix together. Still fun, though!



3. Happy Turkey Day1




4. Us taking a break before we finish our hike home in the cold rain!




5. The Aftermath



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Weekly Email # 68 - Happy Thanksgiving # 2

Happy Thanksgiving! Again! Another Holiday season out in the mission and its been just a solid week. We have Thanksgiving plans with members and I'm super excited for it all! And we've met a couple of solid people!

Jonathan is one of them. We tracked into him at the beginning of the week and taught him the Restoration. We talked more about what missionaries do, why we do this and we were able to testify the truthfulness of it all. He is actually a DJ in the Columbus area! He's very friendly, honest and open to listening and acting on our message. We visited him three times this week, and the last time was yesterday. There we helped him put together a newly purchased book shelf and we talked about the assignments we gave him. Some cool things he said was, "If you get me hooked, you'll get my wife hooked for sure!" Haha and the other was right after we invited him and his family to come worship with us. He said, "Bro. I just checked my schedule and next Sunday, there is NOTHING going on....... THAT DOES'NT JUST HAPPEN! BRO, YOU GUYS MUST BE JESUS PEOPLE!" Haha Jonathan is great :)

We had a warm week as it stayed in the 50's and 60's up until Friday when it hit 75! It was awesome! And then Saturday and Sunday came and we haven't seen anything higher than 29 degrees. Haha its going to be a cold winter. Everyone here says we had a mild winter last year and that we should expect to have a freaking freezing one in the coming months. Time to pull out the winter gear again!

We had Zone Conference this past Thursday which was a Spiritual Feast! Meetings always are like that, in my opinion, but one of the key things we talked about was the Christmas Initiative the Church is doing this year.

November 25th, the Church will release their Christmas video, entitled, "#LightTheWorld". The video has become one of my favorites (we got a sneak peek :) ) and we will be using it every day in our proselyting efforts. Be sure to look on https://www.mormon.org/christmas/teaser to find out more.

 I'll talk more about it in my next email because we will get more details on it soon. Please take the chance to be apart of this special Holiday Season and #LightTheWorld with your own light.

I'm thankful to be a missionary at this time. Being a missionary amplifies my feelings of gratitude because of all the things I took for granted back at home. I hope during this Holiday Season that we can not only say we are grateful for this, that and the other, but that we will show and be grateful for the Lord's bounteous blessings for us all. I know He lives and that we are members in His Church, using His Priesthood authority to "go about doing good". We should be thankful for His Atonement, for His sacrifice for us. Thank you everyone for all you do for me.

Again, have a Happy and Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"If not for you, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?"

Pictures and Video!

1. The Biking Life.



2. Selfie with a group of Elders taking a break during Zone Conference.




3. Met up with Elder Liu, my former companion! A picture of some of his companions (I better be his favorite.) In order, Elder Hildebrand, Elder Liu, Me, Elder Anfinson (he's never been Elder Liu's companion.... Elder Liu just wanted him in the picture :) ) and Elder Ball.




4. The new District! Elder Bagley, Elder Miller, Elder Young, Elder Parkinson, Me, Elder Monson, Elder Dover, Elder Hildebrand, Sister Asay, Sister McClellan




5. The Primary from my Ward back at home sent me a gift! Thank you so much! There were like 20 mini letters, they are awesome! You guys are the best!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Weekly Email # 67 - Catching Up

Hello! Lets get down to the knit and gritty. There's been quite a few changes!

I had to say goodbye to Zanesville almost a week and a half ago. It was my first Mid-Cycle transfer! Now I am in the New Albany area with my new companion, Elder Young. Elder Young just got done being trained with his trainer so I'm only his second companion! I'm still in the Columbus East stake which is awesome! I love this stake and at the end of this transfer, I'll have been in this stake for almost 11 months. New Albany is right on the North East side of the outer belt of Columbus, so now I'm back in the city. And guess what? I'M A FULL TIME BIKER! Woo..... hoo? Last Monday was the first time I biked in over a year. Haha to give you a quick update on my body, I'm sore. Like super duper ultra sore. Like most sore I've ever been in the mission. I'm sure this won't be the end of all the whining and complaining, but hey, its the best workout you can get out here!

Another thing that has been going on is the multiple stake boundary changes. Our area used to be a full time car area, until these changes. Mostly everyone is okay with the changes and we are trying our best to build up the ward and help them be okay with all of it.

Our investigator update is.... well... we don't have one. Haha we are starting with scratch since we have a new proselyting area, which makes me excited but nervous for what the future holds. We've already had some really cool experiences being out and about on our bikes and talking to people.

Man its been a crazy week. Wish I could say more but I can't even organize in my mind how to spell Ohio. Haha so you'll get more details from me next week. Until then, ta ta for now!

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"If not for you, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?"

Pictures!

1. Gary and I. Gary has been investigating for a long time in the Zanesville area and he's just one of those cool investigators you get to meet. Don't know if he'll ever be baptized, but he's pretty cool.



2. Elder Young and I on our first day biking.



3. We had a District Activity today!




4. Cane's with Elder Young, Elder Bagley, and Elder Miller.



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Weekly Email # 66 - NO WEEKLY EMAIL

Hey Mom and Dad,

Thank you both for the birthday wishes, the videos, and everything. To
get you updated, I won't be able to send a weekly email today. It just
got too hectic and busy. Let me explain a little. First off, I am no
longer in Zanesville. I got mid-cycle transferred to Westerville, a
suburb North East of Columbus. My new companions name is Elder Young,
he just got done a couple weeks ago being trained so I'm follow up
training. Also this is my first full time biking area. But that might
change soon depending on if we switch apartment locations in the near
future. But for now, we are getting on the pedals. I guess I better
pump up some tires that haven't been used in over a year :)

This change was not expected. At all.

So I am here now. My new address is
4320 Executive Pkwy Apt 223
Westerville, Ohio 43081

Right now I'm just trying to adjust and make the most out of it. Elder
Young is great, the area looks promising, but it's very difficult to
leave everything you worked towards behind in area and move to a
different area and work right away.

It's been a difficult past few days. We spent the weekend with the
Zone Leaders and I learned a lot from them, don't get me wrong. It was
just hard basically sitting in Limbo until I found out my destiny.

I'm doing my best to be positive. Going to focus on the work as much
as possible so I don't get frustrated with everything.

Also, I was not in Zanesville when your package arrived at the
doorstep, dad. So I will be retrieving it next Wednesday, the 16th, at
Zone Conference.

Love you both. Again, no weekly email today. I'm sorry. Hope you both
have an awesome week.

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"If not for you, then who? If not now, when? If not here, where?"

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Weekly Email # 65 - Zone Conference + Halloween + Good Things To Come

C Cr Crazy week this week! I'll have to do a quick day by day analysis and give you the rest next week!

Monday - We had Zone Activity! The Zone Lords (I don't call them that in person. Its one of those things you can over exaggerate.) organized a scavenger hunt for the whole zone to participate in. And we won. Cuz our pictures were just that great. Don't believe me? I'll show you.

Tuesday - We contacted a bunch of our investigators. Most appointments went well and got return appointments for the rest of the week.

Wednesday - District Meeting. It was actually one of the better ones I've participated in as we talked about each investigators concerns and how to address them.

Thursday - A total BOMB exchange with my former companion, Elder Isom, my now current Zone Leader. We were driving all throughout my area which stretches a whole area from one side to the other. We had an awesome experience with a less active which I will mention on Sunday.

Friday - Weekly Planning. Ugh. Haha I'm slowly but surely getting better at weekly planning. I'm sure Elder McCray thinks I'm the worst at it but we got through it and later, we provided service for some members and investigators.

Saturday - More contacting. Then. TRUNK-OR-TREAT later that night! The Sisters dressed up as Elders and the whole time, members were wondering why we didn't dress up as sisters.  I happily explained that my pride wouldn't allow me to do such a thing.

Sunday - Get to church. Bishop begins Sacrament meeting (again, no investigators at church. Bummer. But. That will change.) and as he begins, he says, "As you can tell, we have no speakers today. *Gestures towards the five empty seats on the podium*  Now this is what we are going to do. Let's get to know our missionaries and have them share their testimonies.  And we will also have the PRIVILEGE to hear from the leadership of our ward. I will ask every Auxiliary President to share what is going on in their separate quorums and also their testimonies. Elder Galbraith, will you start us off?"

Bam. Talk about laying down the anxiety, Bishop! Surprisingly this was only the 5th or 6th time this has happened to me, but nonetheless, I did bear my testimony and it was actually pretty good!

Also, when the Relief Society President went up to share her testimony, she shared the experience of me and Elder Isom, on our exchange, contacting that less active. She had not gotten in contact with this less active woman for over 20 YEARS and after dinner on Thursday, we were able to do so and the Relief Society President bore a powerful testimony on home teaching and visiting teaching. It was stupendous!

Gotta get running but I can't forget pics! Love you all! Still replying back to all of you.. haha be patient with me, please :)

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"The most effective missionaries always act out of love" -Elder Dallin H Oaks

Zone Activity Pictures!

Pictures! I'll include a short description of each picture and the requirement.

1. Your district must take a picture with a wildlife animal


2. Re-create the First Vision. Elder McCray modeling and who took the picture? Yours truly.



3. Elder Anfinson and I photo bombing at it's prime.



4. My fav picture. Do your best High School Musical picture!



5. A photo of the Zone. One of the best zones I've been in.


6. Hulk SMASH.



Halloween Pictures next week!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Weekly Email # 64 - Transfers, Changes and Still apologizing for Always Being Busy

Hello Everyone!

Short email today but pics included. Next week, i'll dump even more pictures. Love you all!

Oh quick update too. Haha I am staying in Zanesville for another six weeks and Elder Hatch is going to the Xenia, the opposite side of the mission. In the meantime, I picked up Elder McCray, another junior companion!

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out where one can go." -T.S. Eliot

Pics!

1. My pappy is finally going home! Me him and his other son, Elder Mayo.






2. Elder Hatch Me and the Gill family!




3. Some cool Fog


4. Man, I'm too good at this. Elder McCray dosing off and I.