Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Weekly Email # 56 - Elder Gabby

Greetings from Elder Galb........ Well..... Okay, I guess it's not Galbraith.

It has been brought to my attention that there is some difficulty with
saying my last name. Mostly everyone that I have introduced myself to
in my past few areas always say, "Hm.. Is it GalBreath or GalbRAIth or
Galsbreath or....?" I didn't realize how insurmountably impossible it
is to say my name. And it's not just members, it's investigators too!
I didn't realize how universal of a problem this was. Haha

Well let's bring it back a little bit. A recent convert named Jim
Marquis (Hey Jim. Look! You made it onto the weekly email! I'm so
proud of you!) drove Elder Hatch and I back to Zanesville from our
recent transfer meeting four weeks ago. Jim is awesome. He's Elders
Quorum Secretary after only being a member for 9 ish months and has
really grabbed a hold of the Gospel. Anyways, he asks me the
traditional question

"So what's your last name, Elder?"
"It is Galbraith. Elder Galbraith"
(Long Pause) Jim looks at my comp and my comp starts laughing
"You know I am never going to remember that. Lets call you.... (8 second pause)

So I'm thinking, okay, that's fine, if he wants to. Haha it wouldn't
be the first time someone called me this name. (Shoutout Bry and Don).
Fast forward to yesterday to Elders Quorum in the third hour. Jim is
teaching a great lesson and I forget the rest of the context of the
situation, but I just remember him saying, "No. His name is Elder
Gabby. That is how he is known to EVERYONE!" Well everyone in Elders
Quorum really enjoyed that, especially Brother Morgan, who said, "I
like that!" Haha so I guess it's official. It's Elder Gabby! :)

Investigator Update: We learned a lot from our investigators this
week. As we have been teaching them, we have neglected the fact how
investigators always feel awkward when they are invited to attend a
congregation that they don't know a single person. So our goal this
week is to get more member present lessons and do some chapel tours to
help them get comfortable! Bryan and Whitney I am excited about. Bryan
said yes to being baptized, now the key thing will be getting Whitney
to open up about how she feels and helping her feel the Spirit. With
their crazy work schedules, however, it's going to be more difficult
than usual.

I've been enjoying my mission time more and more, especially when I
have fellowship with another great Ward who is willing to help out
with any type of missionary work possible. Hopefully this will
continue as we try and get some people with baptismal dates soon!

Sorry haven't had much time to do a sufficient amount of time
emailing. I'm sorry to those who write and haven't got a response
back. I look forward to replying back ASAP. Next week is transfers so
expect an email from me on Wednesday! Love you all! Thank you for your
uplifting words and pictures! Talk about motivation! :) Here is some

Elder Gabby

Brother Stouts' Gourd room!

Up close pictures of the Gourds. 
The pictures don't do them justice, but know that they are awesome! 
He buys the Gourds and imports them from India!
 (I might have that wrong) 
then, he bedazzles them and they look freaking fantastic!

 Us having a deep doctrine discussion after a deliciously filling meal!

Fancy Recliner/Massage chair that Brother Williams got for his wife. 
After eating dinner, I couldn't resist asking if I could.... "Test it out".
Hahaha it passed. 
With an A+ :)

Hot. Hot. HOT!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Weekly Email # 55 - Started from the Bottom....We're getting there.


Let's jump right into it. We've started to get somewhere with our investigators. A few of them seem to be actually trying now to keep their commitments and there has been a lot of progression made these past few days!

Elder Hatch and I have figured out some more beneficial ways of doing the work here in Zanesville so hopefully it will continue to grow. I want more people to teach!

We don't have anyone with a baptismal date yet. Just the fact that some are reading the Book of Mormon and reading the pamphlets we give them is a good first step in the right direction. I'll tell you about one family.

Brian and Whitney were tracked into by Elder Hatch and his former companion. They are an awesome couple who we actually had to drop about a week ago because they got into a fight and separated. We thought Brian was out of the picture because he moved out, so we went
over to see Whitney and talk to her. Well, Brian answered the door and said he had to leave for a few days because things got difficult. So now he's back in the investigator pool! Haha they're awesome and we hope to make progress with them.

Cool quote about change and stuff! It's been very applicable these past few weeks!

"Sometimes we assume we know how God will judge us. But He reminds us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). He is the perfect judge, and He judges with a perfect understanding of our situation. Think of it this way: If you try to jump as high as you can right now, you can probably jump pretty high. But if you try it again while holding 20 pounds of weight, you won’t be able to jump as high. Does that mean you aren’t as good now as you were before? No. You didn’t change; your circumstances did. Sometimes we have to deal with heavy things. God knows what you’re capable of, but He also understands better than you do what your
limitations are. He will judge with that understanding in mind. He just wants us to do the best we can with what we have. President Thomas S. Monson has said, “Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final”"
- Elder Hallstrom

I don't have any more time, so I'll send pics. Talk to you all next Monday!

Love you all! Appreciate all you do for me!

Elder Galbraith

Drive home from the Mission Activity!
 Elder Wardle, me, Elder Hatch
and Elder Reusch the driver.

Cool Catholic Church. You see a lot of those in Zanesville.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Weekly Email # 54 - Rain Rain Go Away


Ever since last P-day, five out of the past seven days have been very
muggy and rainy! There is continuous fog when it gets towards the
evening time, so your windshield wipers need to be going 24/7, not
just from the infinite amount of rain but from the humidity fogging up
the windshield. Haha I guess these wipers show a double purpose out
here in Ohio. It doesn't help that Zanesville is basically on sea
level and right by the Great Lakes. (I can't imagine how Elder
Brockbank is doing since he's way more north than me! Shout out,

Some cool things coming up! We have exchanges with the Zone Leaders,
Zone Conferences and a Mission Activity all happening within the
coming week and I'm excited! It's always nice to have a change of pace
out in the field and to receive as much training as we have gone
through, recently. So that reminds me, since the Mission Activity will
be next Tuesday, that means our P-Day will be in conjunction with that
day. That means I won't have much time, if at all, to send individual
emails. I'll be lucky if I get my weekly email done haha since we'll
be at this mission activity for 6 of our 8 P-Day hours.

It's been a rather slow week in the work. The investigators we have
been working with have become stagnant, so we've been probing them to
experience the joys of the Gospel! Problem with probing though. They
haven't learned much from it all so it's time to "bring the the Holy
Ghost UNTO the hearts of the people" as David A Bednar said. Not only
that, but our Area is south Zanesville which consists of hoodlums,
major ghettos, quite a bit of poverty and much more. There hasn't been
much success from the recent missionaries that have been here so it's
time to start dunking some people!

It's been said that "Jesus chooses workers and Satan chooses idlers."
That's definitely evident, especially when investigators are fence
walking between talking about changing and actually making those
changes. There's a lot of people I've met that talk about this great
need for change in the world. We need to change our political views,
we need better leaders, we need this, we need that and it's really
frustrating to listen to, honestly. Haha I find myself praying for
patience in lessons with investigators because they spend such a long
time venting about how life sucks, yet they don't see how they can
make a difference. Of course, that's what get missionaries excited is
because we know the Gospel can improve their life so much, if they
would only heed to the promptings of the spirit. Agency is annoying
sometimes. Haha but it's all good. There's my vent session for the
week :)

One thing I've forgotten to mention! We recently got dropped by, who
we think is, Kevin Martin's grandma! Who is Kevin Martin, you ask? And
why am I so excited about getting dropped by someone? Well for anyone
that is avid watcher of the NBA knows Kevin Martin plays professional
basketball! (For the Spurs, I think. Thanks for the update Graham.
Haha) Kevin is from Zanesville and has a house a few miles away from
our apartment! Elder Hatch told me he and his former companion and
past missionaries have visited Kevin's home, but of course, it's
gated. We will definitely be visiting there soon. Haha

Anyways, back to his Grandma! Elder Hatch expressed his skepticism
about teaching her the Gospel because he's tried multiple times
already. So we pulled up to her home and she was just sitting on her
front porch. As we approached, I said hello to her and she said, "Now
you stop right there. There's no point in talking to me. I'm good with
where I'm at. Thank you, have a blessed day." Now of course, I was
very disappointed by this result and I really wanted to ask if she was
truly Kevin Martin's grandma, but I couldn't muster up the courage.
Haha but to boost my self confidence, I'm just going to blindly
believe she's related to Kevin. Don't judge. Haha

Boyd K. Packer mentioned this in a talk that I read recently and I
whole heartedly agree. "  A  prime  attribute  of  a  good  leader  is
to  be  a  good  follower." I hope to be a continuous good leader by
being the best follower of Jesus Christ that I can be. Hope you all
have a great week! Just one picture this week. Will try to get more in
the future!

Elder Galbraith

Shout out to Shannon Gill for making me some Filipino food! Chicken
Adobo and Pansit! Yum yum!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Weekly Email # 53 - Finding Success First. Getting Unexpected Disappointment Later.

Hola, Hola!

This past week was a very interesting. We started the week off with a bang and found quite a few new investigators! I was really pumped for the future appointments we had with all of them, since our current pool of people at the time was unfortunately lacking. But this past weekend however, yielded no success. After having all of those appointments be canceled, we realized that we would have no one at church this Sunday and have no progressing investigators. That stands true as of today, so we'll be back on our feet this week! This P-Day was well needed and I'm motivated to get some people to talk to about Jesus!

During my tenure as a missionary, a lot of the investigators I've talked to over the past year have a common quality, in that they all see things in a worldly perspective. No matter how deeply into religion they are, they always make time for their worldly appetites, desires, and addictions. Whenever they weren't talking to us about the Gospel, they were always using their time with social media, video games, partying, friends, you name it. And I look back at my life before the mission and think, wow, if I didn't have the Gospel in my life, I would be one of the laziest bums on the face of this planet. (I think my mom would still be inclined to say I'm a lazy bum regardless. I choose to neither confirm or deny that :) ) Being a Mormon does a lot for us! We are more motivated to live a healthy lifestyle, to be more social and more loving, and pushes us to get out of our comfort zone. I'm grateful for that.

Recently, the Great Ohio Columbus Mission came together to listen to President Daines instruct us on the importance of the Safeguards we use for our technology. Basically it was a two hour meeting about iPads. But President took it a step further and showed us the consequences of being a slave to technology, rather than being its master. It was a powerful meeting and made me reflect on how much I used technology back at home. Self-Control is something I lacked a lot and would just mindlessly browse stupid things just to find the next thing to post on Twitter.

I don't say this to brag, (okay, maybe a little) but President also mentioned that out of 418 missions, 87 of those are using iPads. And there are multiple that are using Facebook. I had a good laugh when President Daines says he hopes that we never get Facebook, it's just a lot more issues (he wanted to say crap) we have to deal with. So we should treasure the opportunity we have to have iPads, and don't worry, I'm doing so!

This goes along well with  what Neal A Maxwell said. Said he, ""Each day we decide the degree of our discipleship." So I'd invite you, as I'm currently trying to do too, to limit your use of technology and use it for good and righteous purposes. That's gonna be hard for me, but I've seen the blessings that come when Heavenly Father advocates us to be more self reliant and more in control and we do just that.

Your reading assignment, should you choose to accept it, comes from Elder Condie who's main topic and name of the talk is, "Having a Mighty Change of Heart". It's awesome and I hope you like it too!

A Mighty Change of Heart

Gotta go. Love you all! Have a splendid week!

Elder Galbraith

P.S. - I burned my shirt. It was really cool. Mom you should post the video when you get it because everyone should see how cool it looked. Cool. See you. (video file is too large to email so you get a picture instead).

Here's another cool quote I decided to put in just cuz.

“How can a man have too much religion? It is the one thing that availeth. A man is but a beast as he lives from day to day, eating and drinking, breathing and sleeping. It is only when he raises himself, and concerns himself with the immortal spirit within him, that he becomes in [very] truth a man. Bethink ye how sad a thing it would be that the blood of the Redeemer should be spilled to no purpose." - A. Conan Doyle

Elder Hatch took me to see a view of Zanesville and it looks really cool! Zanesville is "famous" for its Y bridge, which is on the left hand side of these pictures. So that means they're Cougar fans, right? No?..... Alright then.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Weekly Email # 52 - A Year Down, One To Go

Whoh. A year. 365 days. I know this is totally cliche but time really does fly, huh? It's weird to think I am on the descend now.

An update on the work! I thought the Mount Vernon Ward was big. Zanesville is one of the biggest Ward boundaries in the mission! It takes us 53 minutes to get to a "neighboring" town called
McConnelsville and that's not even the Boundary line! But I'm excited for this change! We have a full time car again and this time, I am the designated driver! I get to drive through ghettos, country, and
downtown Zanesville! Woohoo!

My current address is:
1201 Colony Dr Apt 42
Zanesville, Ohio 43701

Oh and I'm SENIOR COMPANION! Woot woot! Haha oh man. I'm too optimistic sometimes. After a year, I get to live and breath the senior companion life. My new companions name is Elder Hatch! He is Ukrainian and just got done being trained by his Canadian companion that just went home. So that's also another first for me; I'll be follow up training him! He's a great guy with an awesome accent!

Things are changing quite a bit right now. All of the friends I've created over these past several months are going home in these next couple transfers if they haven't gone home already.  There are a lot of new faces around here and in 6 months, the sisters I came out with are going home. That's absolutely crazy. The missionary life is never dull because of the continuous change.

And leaving Mt. Vernon was very hard. I created a lot of friendships with those wonderful people and had quite a bit of success there.

To go along with all the other changes, I got a new companion, new responsibilities which include being designated driver, senior companion, and follow up training my new comp.

To be honest with you when I found out all of this was taking place, I was very nervous. And I kept getting frustrated. Elder Hatch, since he's learning English and he is only a 3 month old missionary, it can be hard to communicate with him at times and it's lead to several arguments. I was putting all this depression and all this anger on myself, and I ended up emailing president saying that I'm just having
a really hard time right now. He called me up actually last night and we had a pretty long one on one discussion about everything that's going on. He then talked to Elder Hatch privately and hung up. I was then able to discuss with Hatch how I felt so frustrated at that time and we both walked away with better understanding of each other. I'm grateful for an caring mission President who's willing to listen to my struggles and give me thoughtful advice. I've also come to lean on the Lord more and more and He's been helping me out so much.

It's totally true that we learn the most when we go through our toughest trials. Though I'm still nervous to be senior companion, I'm excited for the future opportunities that lie in wait for me.

I arrived here on Thursday and Elder Hatch told me they had a few investigators but had to drop a lot of their previous ones. We're teaching a recent convert he baptized but other than that we are kinda
starting from square one. I'm excited for these next 5 weeks!

A cool scripture I've been implementing in my own life is John 9:4-5

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the
night cometh, when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

It gives me that motivation to continuously be that light that people need to make changes in their lives so they can accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think about the many attributes I've cultivated out here in the field. I've gained such a great testimony that if you are willing to dedicate your time and your life to Christlike things, then the blessings will infinitely flow to you. So do it! Bring yourself closer to Christ.

I'm going to leave you with a story that left a permanent impression on me and I hope to do as Harold B Lee did at the end.

“As I awoke that Christmas morning, I said in my heart, ‘God grant
that I will never let another year pass but that I, as a leader, will
truly know my people. I will know their needs. I will be conscious of
those who need my leadership most.'"

“The first Christmas after I became stake president, our little girls
got some dolls and other nice things on Christmas morning, and they
immediately dressed and went over to their little friend’s home to
show her what Santa Claus had brought them. In a few moments they came
back, crying. ‘What in the world is the matter?’ we asked. ‘Donna Mae
didn’t have any Christmas. Santa Claus didn’t come.’ And then
belatedly we realized that the father had been out of work, and there
was no money for Christmas. So we brought the little ones of that
family in and divided our Christmas with them, but it was too late. We
sat down to Christmas dinner with heavy hearts.
               “I resolved then that before another Christmas came, we
would be certain that every family in our stake had the same kind of
Christmas and the same kind of Christmas dinner that we would have.
               “The bishops of our stake, under the direction of the
stake presidency, made a survey of the stake membership, and we were
startled to discover that 4,800 of our members were either wholly or
partially dependent--the heads of families did not have steady
employment. There were no government make-work projects in those days.
We had only ourselves to whom we could look. We were also told that we
couldn’t expect much help from the general funds of the Church.
               “We knew that we had about one thousand children under
ten years of age for whom, without someone to help them, there would
be no Christmas, so we started to prepare. We found a second floor
over an old store on Pierpont Street. We gathered toys, some of which
were broken, and for a month or two before Christmas parents came to
help us. Many arrived early or stayed late to make something special
for their own little ones. That was the spirit of Christmas
giving--one had only to step inside the door of that workshop to see
and feel it. Our goal was to see that none of the children would be
without a Christmas. We would see that there was Christmas dinner in
all the homes of the 4,800 who, without help, would otherwise not have
Christmas dinner.
               “At that time I was one of the city commissioners. The
night before Christmas Eve, we had had a heavy snowstorm, and I had
been out all night with the crews getting the streets cleared, knowing
that I would be blamed if any of my men fell down on the job. I had
then gone home to change my clothes to go to the office.
               “As I started back to town, I saw a little boy on the
roadside, hitchhiking. He stood in the biting cold with no coat, no
gloves, no overshoes. I stopped and asked where he was going.
               “‘I’m going uptown to a free picture show,’ he said.
               “I told him I was also going uptown and that he could
ride with me.
               “‘Son,’ I said, ‘are you ready for Christmas?’
               “‘Oh, golly, mister,’ he replied, ‘we aren’t going to
have any Christmas at our home. Daddy died three months ago and left
Mama and me and a little brother and sister.
               “Three children, all under twelve!
               “I turned up the heat in my car and said, ‘Now, son,
give me your name and address. Somebody will come to your home--you
won’t be forgotten. And you have a good time; it’s Christmas Eve!’
               “That night I asked each bishop to go with his delivery
men and see that each family was cared for, and to report back to me.
While waiting for the last bishop to report, I suddenly, painfully,
remembered something. In my haste to see that all my duties at work
and my responsibilities in the Church had been taken care of, I had
forgotten the little boy and the promise I had made.
               “When the last bishop reported, I asked, ‘Bishop, have
you enough left to visit one more family?’
               “‘Yes, we have,’ he replied.
               “I told him the story about the little boy and gave him
the address. Later he called to say that that family too had received
some well-filled baskets. Christmas Eve was over at last, and I went
to bed.
               “As I awoke that Christmas morning, I said in my heart,
‘God grant that I will never let another year pass but that I, as a
leader, will truly know my people. I will know their needs. I will be
conscious of those who need my leadership most.'" -Harold B Lee

Love you all! Haven't gotten any Zanesville Pics, but I have some more Mt. Vernon pictures I wanted to share. They are always going to be family to me.

Your year old servant,
Elder Galbraith

The Pioneer activity at the Hansen Farm.

Me, Brother Troyer, and R.T. Troyer

Mt. Vernon/Knox County Fair

Me and the awesome Troyer family

Saying goodbye to Don at transfers! oh and Elder Rasmussen tried photo bombing.

Brian Gaumer and I. The most reliable member missionary anyone can ask for!