Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Weekly Email # 42 - Put your Shoulder to the Wheel

Hey everyone! You looking for a good missionary quote? Here you go.

"I wish to say that none of us ever need hesitate to speak up for this
Church, for its doctrine, for its people, for its divine organization
and divinely given responsibility. It is true. It is the work of God.
The only things that can ever embarrass this work are acts of
disobedience to its doctrine and standards by those of its membership.
That places upon each of us a tremendous responsibility. This work
will be judged by what the world sees of our behavior. God give us the
will to walk with faith, the discipline to do what is right at all
times and in all circumstances, the resolution to make of our lives a
declaration of this cause before all who see us" - Gordon B Hinckley

My studies, recently, have given me the fondest appreciation for our
beloved prophets and apostles. They always advocate us to "choose the
harder right" and they foretell of the blessings that arise after
passing through our individual trials.

Neil L Anderson told us missionaries a few months ago to "always have
the Savior on [our] lips". During this past week, Elder Blanchard and
I went tracting in Fredericktown, a small town just north of Mount
Vernon. We only tracted for 15 minutes. In those 15 minutes, we
knocked on 3 doors, the first one didn't answer, but the next two did.
I knocked on one door that answered, Blanchard knocked on the other
one. When Laura, 32 year old single parent of two kids answered the
door, my mind went blank (not the first time this has happened). As we
exchanged hello's, the Spirit filled my mind with the Plan of
Salvation and I preceded to talk to Laura about being with her kids
for time and all eternity. I had the Savior on my lips and testified
of the truthfulness of our brief visit and also of Him. It was a great

Sadly, however for the third week in a row, we couldn't get any
investigators to Church. We would have four progressing investigators
if they would come worship with us, but it hasn't been working out.
Time to pull out the big guns.

Our mission just recently started up another Book of Mormon challenge,
where we as a mission read 6-7 pages a day so we can finish the Book
of Mormon together in three months.   This is my second time doing so
and I personally am going to look for any references that apply to
repentance. And I found one to share with you!

1 Nephi 11:36

36 And it came to pass that I saw and bear record, that the great and
spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the
fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake
unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations,
kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve
apostles of the Lamb.

That's scary. Hahaha I like this scripture because it shows how evil
pride is. I'm convinced pride has no good characteristics about itself
and I've personally been working on becoming more humble and of
course, less prideful.

President Ezra Taft Benson says this about pride and adds a quote.

The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects,
opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring
device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no
pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than
the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the
pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has
gone, pride has gone.”

Again, it's been another week where we have had to put our shoulder to
the wheel, but it's been very rewarding. I wish I could tell you more,
but I simply don't have enough time today.

Love you all! Have a great Memorial week/weekend!

Elder G

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Weekly Email # 41 - Conquering Roadblocks and Loving Rejection

You know that saying, "There's no comfort in the growth zone and there is no growth in the comfort zone"? 
Yep, there has been no comfort this week. Haha!

How's it going everyone? This week has been a difficult one in terms of getting over fears, growing a lot 
and dealing with things that you simply don't want to deal with. In my last email, I talked about how
much I disliked driving and how now I am the designated driver for our companionship until Elder Blanchard completes a test and our vehicle coordinator gives back his driving privileges. It's funny how these
things work.

Well this can be one of those, "I told you so" moments from my mom and dad, who have been... Encouraging me to start driving and getting comfortable with it out here. And it honestly hasn't been that bad. Truth be told I was so freaking nervous when I found out that I had to drive basically halfway across the mission to get to Zone Conference (116 miles round trip), and then travel quickly to our dinner and then to our lesson which are on opposite borders of our area. 170 mile day. No big deal.

And I have been driving ever since. I don't write this to brag, but it's good for me to reflect on it. I have prayed really hard this past week just simply because I was scared. I remember saying, "Heavenly Father, I know this is really stupid, but will you please help me feel comfortable in getting over this fear?" Ever since I said that prayer,
and the many more after that, I have never felt more relaxed, yet focused, behind the wheel. This was a confirmation to me that God cares about EVERY particular thing in our lives, regardless of how
ridiculous they may appear to be.

Investigator Update- Again, no one came to Church yesterday. I personally think we didn't do enough this week to get people to Church. But we have a few solid investigators that can be baptized and we need to help them to take the right steps. Those right steps include us teaching, the Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, Keeping
Commitments, and exercising faith. Let's just say it is going to be a busy week!

While I have been here in the Mount Vernon Ward, we have started a monthly tradition with the youth. That is, every first Wednesday of the month, the priests, teachers, and deacons come out and do missionary work with us. And every single time they have come out with us, they only remember one thing. The tracting. Haha so it doesn't
really matter if we plan lessons for them to come with us, they always remember the 10-15 minutes we spend with them doing tracting.

Elder Blanchard and I took Matthew Scoresby, a 17 year old priest that is preparing to go on a mission next year. We went to a local street, parked the car (very precisely and parallel, I might add) and started knocking doors. Due to the limited 8 minutes we had to knock, we were only able to knock on 6 doors. Every door answered, except for the one that Matthew knocked on. Haha I felt bad, because you could just tell from looking at him that he was SUPER nervous. But he probably wasn't complaining that the door he knocked didn't answer. Haha

We get to our last door and I get the great privilege of knocking on this door so that I can set an example for Matthew. A lady named Lacie answered the door and I honestly can't even tell you what went on in
the conversation. That's probably the most comfortable I've ever felt in a door knocking scenario. As I testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, you could tell that she definitely was denying the feelings that she was feeling. We spent the next 15-20 minutes at her door step just talking to her about the Gospel.

Even though we ended up dropping her just yesterday because she wasn't interested, it still was good to try and get a little bit more comfortable with tracting. Haha slowly, but surely.

It's been a hard week. But I'm grateful for the fact that I don't need to face these challenges and trials alone. If I take anything away from the mission, it'll be just that. Since I first entered the MTC, I've recognized the Lord's hand in my life so much, that it would simply be inexplicably impossible for me to deny such experiences. I
hope you all can do the same. To look for the Lord's hand in your life. It's brought me much happiness and I know it can do the same, if not, more for you.

Have a splendid week! Love you all, thanks a bunch to you lovely people!

Elder Galbraith

Me and Elder Walker (Zone Leader) went to Whits Ice Cream on exchanges!
Best Ice cream in Ohio!

 Blanchard and I making some breakfast.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Weekly Email # 40 - Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the awesome moms out there! Because of you all, all us missionaries are safe and can focus on the work out here. I'm grateful for all the moms that I have met out here for their love and friendship. And of course I can't forget my fantastic mommy. :) Thank you for all you do.

Our Skype call was the best. It was good to see all the familia and their smiling faces. I can't believe I only have two more Skype calls now. During our Skype call, we talked about driving and how since I've been out, I haven't driven yet. And anyone that knows me knows that I do not like driving. Well just a few minutes ago, Elder Blanchard got his driving privileges taken away for at least until Zone Conferences which is this Wednesday. That means.... Well... Yep. I'm driving. Hahaugh. It's a good thing I guess. Just freaking nervous, that's all. Haha

We had no investigators at Church yesterday. Three of them cancelled at the last minute because of family reasons. Hopefully they'll come this next week.

This'll be a shorter email this week. Just worn out a little bit. See you all next week! Thanks for all your encouragement. Missionary work gets hard!

Elder Galbraith

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Weekly Email # 39 - 9 months!!

Holy Moly, I'm not a greenie anymore.

Wassup! Another week in the books for Mount Vernon. And with transfers being tomorrow, it turns out I will be staying in Mount Vernon for another 6 weeks. 

I hit my nine month mark tomorrow.. I can't use the, "I'm too young for this question" response at Zone Training Meetings anymore. Haha not that I did anyways.... :) But really though, the amount of studying and knowledge I have accumulated over these last 273 days has been an eye opener.

Something that has really intrigued me is my study of modern day apostles and prophets. I didn't realized how freaking awesome Church history is. I'm hooked more than most of you are on Facebook, Netflix and Instagram combined! I love seeing how these messengers of God live their lives, especially when they were around my age. I marvel at all the stories they gather together after their periods of time on Earth. I've certainly been intrigued with President Woodruff and his journal writings. Just the fact that after joining the Church, he NEVER missed a day of writing in his journal after that. Simply amazing. I'm sure some of you have read this experience from Wilford Woodruff when he was serving as a missionary in England, but I can't help and not share it with you.

“I will here relate what took place in my own experience. I was in Staffordshire in the year 1840. I was in the town of Stanley and held a meeting in the City Hall. I had a week’s appointments out in that town. Before I rose to speak to the people, the Spirit of the Lord said to me, ‘This is the last meeting you will hold with this people for many days.’ I told the congregation when I arose what the Spirit of the Lord had manifested to me. They were as much surprised as I was. I did not know what the Lord wanted, but I saw the purpose of God afterwards. The Spirit of the Lord said to me, ‘Go south.’ I traveled eighty miles; went into the south of England. As soon as I arrived, I met John Benbow. It was clearly made manifest to me why I had been called thither. I had left a good field, where I was baptizing every night in the week. When I got to this place, I found a people--some 600 of them--who had … formed themselves into a sect called the United Brethren. I found that they were praying for light and truth and that they had gone about as far as they could go. I saw that the Lord had sent me to them. I went to work amongst them and ultimately baptized their superintendent, forty preachers and some 600 members. …
Altogether some 1800 were baptized in that field of labor. … I name these things to show how we have to be governed and led by the revelations of God day by day. Without this we can do nothing”
-Wilford Woodruff

Sweet, huh?! The mission has helped me understand a lot of the doctrine of the Church and I'm excited for the many personal studies to come!

Investigator Update - Dimito came to church this past Sunday! He enjoyed it, he was sorta quiet but said he'd like to come back with his family, which is exactly what we wanted. We are going to extend a baptismal date this week and hopefully he will continue to progress. Also, April and Vicky, two of our investigators, accepted a date for the 28th of May. They have a couple concerns that are... Well.. Concerning. Haha but we have faith they can push through them. We received a couple of referrals from other missionaries in different areas and these people they were teaching are very promising so I'm excited for the future. Plus, the Ward has expressed their support and has aided us quite a bit!

That's it for me this week! Can't wait to Skype the family!

Elder Galbraith

Sent from my iPad