Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A day late . . .

Well sorry this email comes on Tuesday. I will explain that later and am eager to hear everyone's responses to it. First off, I will have to write my emailing 2 emails because a specific library card did not come through as it was supposed to so as to allow me to have longer than a 1/2 hour to write. But no biggie, just 2 emails as though 1. Ok, and since it is "Labour" Day in Canada next Monday (maybe in the states too? I don't know, I never got that down), my email will come next Tuesday as well. Deep breath, and here we go:

FYI the really INTERESTING STUFF is at the bottom, BUT...you have to read the top first. Just to let everyone know that they should keep reading after I start to ramble on because it gets crazy.

Ok, so I had the chance to write a lengthy letter to you, Mom and Dad, which will go over a few things, don't worry anyone else reading this, it is nothing secretive, I just wanted to write my parents whom I love so much. Anywho, that will go off today or tomorrow; it is right in front of me now to help me write this email.

I want to first thank Delaney for the Dear Elder I got from her. Delaney, I am excited for the possibilities you have in front of you and in the stage of life you are in. You have so much potential, and from my experience I know that the best way to reach that full potential is by living the gospel. It will bring happiness, trust me, actually, trust God that it will. Read the Book of Mormon and try your best to understand it. I know it is tough! Even the prophets find new things when they read. Think over the principles taught very carefully, like why God loves you so much, and after pondering them, pray and ask in your prayer. See what happens.

Again, thank you to everyone that has sent me things or thought or prayed about me. Thank you. I have such little time in the mission field to get back to people it may take a week or 2 to get back to people, but I will! But no-one can use the excuse "he won't get back to me". I love getting letters (granted I have only gotten 1 thus far) and I read them over and over. So, thank you again.

Nate, I did get that Dear Elder email and have been bragging to my friends for a few weeks that my buddy is going to the Philippines. I hope I spelt that right. Ya, the word for faith is like 6 or 7 syllables long and the Book of Mormon is like 700 something pages. Good luck. As for Soundgarden, it can wait 2 years, though I do sing it occassionally. To be truthfully honest, I do not know what kind of music I will listen to when I return home. Probably nowhere near as much rock as I used to, if any. I don't know, but its fun to hear about Soundgarden anyway, so keep it coming. Those 2 months will be the longest 2 months of your life, so have fun. Say hi to Nick for me in the MTC! Oh, and one of the missionaries up here plays BANG and brought it! So we play it on P-Days. Tell Devon, he will laugh. Plus, great to hear about Jared and Devon's Eagle Projects, they will probably have that double Eagle Court of Honor like you and I had.

So to Brendin and all other friends, I need you to contact me so I can say something sassy back.

Mom and Dad, I did have that Meredith DeFrancesco (pronounced Day-fran-chess-co, they are quite adamant about that and I still butchered it the first time) introduce herself to me. She is in my ward! The little Gateway ward I serve in...little, being quite pronounced there.

Hey, Mom and Dad, tell Elder Lawson that I think about him all the time and just need to find time to write him something. Make sure he knows that I look up to him so much and he is the type of missionary I want to be: always excited, energetic, happy to do the work of the Lord, and determined to serve Him. I love Elder Lawson! I miss that man. Give him my address if you could please, as I still have his.

Let me be the first to say, Happy (early) Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! That is so great that you may go camping or to Monte Cristo! Yes! I love you both.

And Dad, I still have the Monte Cristo pictures on my camera. I know I keep harping on this, but I loved that trip so much! I loved spending time with my Dad. Plus, its an interesting place to be, and with a hyperactive pre-missionary, it is a really interesting place to be.

Bro. Crandall in a senior golf tournament? Impossible, I wouldn't bill him over 30.

Tell Grandma Jeannette thank you so much for the email! I'm glad to hear from her, and as always, wish her the best.

Now, here is where it starts to get a little more interesting...

My past week...I describe this in much more detail in my letter that I will be sending, but here is basically what is in it:

I cannot get enough reading in. There just is not enough time in the day! I love learning now. Too bad I didn't love it so much 6 months ago, but I cannot get enough of it now. I am reading a bunch of stuff. I love Jesus the Christ. It is really deep and thorough, but I love that about it! Preach My Gospel is so great for studying. Then there are these 2 other books that are VERY thorough. They work so well together, and when you really search and ponder what they teach, are soooo eye opening. I think...I think they are called the...Book of Mormon and the Bible (?). You may have to check me on that, not sure. For example, I was having difficulty in accepting the fact that some of the scriptures said the Godhead was one. Even Mormon 7:7 says it. I wanted to find evidence they are separate and distinct beings from old revelations (not the PoGP and D&C). I was troubled for a while about this, then I looked at Acts 7:55-56 again, and another scripture that says that Jesus and God are one flesh, then I read Genesis 2:24 and had an Aha moment.

Next. Finish the following statement: nighty night, don't let the ____ ____ ____. Ya, I hate that saying now. If you have not guessed bed bugs, you need to consult your mother. I hate bed bugs. And I don't use that term lightly. If you have not guessed that I may have "found" some bed bugs, I don't know what to tell you other than I have found bed bugs in Canada; specifically my mattress and hundreds of these little red itchy things all over my body.

Yep, the past 3 days have been a battle over bed bugs. I was cleaning my apartment all yesterday and am taking a break to email now. Friday or so I noticed little red dots, almost like flea bites underneath my bicep (when I flexed of course). And I have a few on my upper arm. Saturday I woke up and saw that these bites were over my pects, and down my arms. I was starting to think these were not just mosquitoes. After waking up on Sunday to find hundreds of bites over my body I kind of guessed something was up. Naturally I was freaking out, but in the mission field I cannot say freaking, gosh, dang, darn, sweet, cool, anything slang, so for the record I did not just say all those words. (Yes, that is most of my vocabulary right there, so that is difficult) But I had never seen a "bed bug" before. I mean, that sort of thing only happens to kids in Africa right? WRONG. It is really bad up here in Winnipeg. So I talked to a higher-up about it, and he mentioned I look in my mattress and box spring. Well, I looked, and there they were. Gross. These little black things with their poop desecrating my box spring. They had wedged themselves in the corners so they were difficult to find unless you deliberately looked for them. So I found quite a few on the side my head is when I sleep. Gross, again. Long story short, we've been washing EVERYTHING the past few days and vacuuming EVERYTHING. Gross. I count 35 bites on my left hand as I write this and 30 on my right. I don't want to burden myself by counting my arms and neck--and face. It sufficeth to say that I have many bites on my upper body, thank goodness they weren't rude enough to go much lower. (Count Your Many Blessings, name them one by one...)

I mean, isn't your bed supposed to be a "safe" place. I thought so. But now I know that all that cleaning we do in our houses is SO worth it. I hope I am inspiring people everywhere to clean things and gross them out enough to clean everything. Do it.

The best part, is that I am handling it fairly well. Thanks to my companion, Elder Woods, I am still smiling and just trucking along. I mean, it could be worse. But seriously, it has humbled me, and is forcing me to be more patient. I am still striving to be as obedient as possible, in an attempt to bind the Lord (D&C 82:10). I mention the scripture so people don't think I am literally binding the Lord, but knowing that as I follow Him, I will be blessed, and will be essentially forced to bless me. Yes, semi-selfish, but I am slowly developing that love for others, and am beginning to serve out of that love.

It is crazy to think how much I have already grown in my 1 month (ya, 1 one month already) out. I am different. How do people grow-up without missions? I will be a man when I come back, I'm excited, ha.

Missionary work is tough, nothing like the glamor I thought it was prior to me coming out. It is hard work! For me, the physical hardship is things like the mosquitoes that torment me (and bed bugs), not so much the walking while tracting. I find missionary service much more mental. Satan does everything he possibly can to thwart the good cause. He has tried making me miss things, which I do. I do miss mountains (or hills for that matter), miss BYU, miss family and miss friends. Truth be told, I really do miss all those things and at times want to hug my mom more than anything, or see Snoqualmie Pass's green landscape, or BYU friends. But as hard as those things are, I know that missionary service is where I am and what I need to be doing. I am setting the foundation of my life. Michael, I cut out a quote from your email to me in the MTC, that mentions that. I would love to know more on that if possible.

But the things I am doing now, I know I will continue after my mission. I won't be able to live without studying something gospel related everyday. Natalie, I am studying much more than my 30 minutes per day. Much more. And these are not just on cars, rather, only the gospel. Everything ties together somehow, it works. I have pondered things and if I have questions, I seek them out and find the answer in the scriptures. Every time.

So, to wrap up, I found a way to include all of this in one email. I would love letters from everyone, but especially my brother and sister. Sometimes I just need that extra support, that one extra prayer to keep me going. No-one said this was easy and by-golly it is not. I had a man, whom I had tracted into, sit me and Elder Woods down and discuss some really weird, but good, questions. He seemed ok at first but it later was apparent he was bashing on the church. I had several topics "fall-into-place", through the Spirit, as he talked. Then I stood up, bore my testimony to him, gave him a pass-along card and told him if he had any questions to visit that website. I was pumped, and so happy I stood for Christ.

Mom, I have only had Mac M Cheese 3 times in the past 2 weeks, be proud. Dad, I have had some rice and beans. Sorry this is so long. I am quite scatter-brained as I write emails. Love you both. Love you all.

Elder Galbraith

Monday, August 23, 2010

From Winnipeg 8-23-2010 Part 2

Hey, I found another station! Haha, well instead of looking at Arthur books, I am looking at a book right next to me called The Remarkable Respiratory System, with an 8 year old playing the sax and two cartoon lungs singing. I kind of like being down here.

So I will try to answer more questions here and tell some of missionary life too. 26 minutes left.

So my ward is called the Gateway ward, and as I said, not a lot of people. So I showed up and was asked to bear my testimony about the commandments, taking about 5 minutes. I did, but I have come to realize that I am SO like Mom in that I have begun to start crying before I go up. Don't tell her I said that. But it's nothing to be ashamed about! It's the gift of tears or weeping or something. Anyway, there are....3 sets of missionaries IN MY WARD. Ya. That's why the mission is going to be reducing the 92 missionaries out now to 56 in a year. Ya, hard core cuts. But the members are really giving their all into missionary work. We really take for granted our beliefs. Please do all you can to help the missionaries! Even if it's only 1 set in our ward. Ok, back on track. Our ward is about 1/2 Phillippino, 1/3 white and the rest are a bunch of things. I have not gotten fed yet, but I hear the Phillipinos frequently serve something called Beillut, which is an underdeveloped duck, beak and all. So, naturally I'm freaking out. But I have to let Natalie know that I have tried a lot of things and I actually sorta like them! Like sour cream, perogies, some weird stuff in the salad line in the MTC that I still don't know...I even had salad dressing--twice. Ya, so Natalie, I now love more food (She thinks I am picky, which may or may not be true).

So mission life...the first day in the field was rough. Oh, I missed family, friends, BYU and mountains so badly. Not that I wanted to leave, but everything was so foreign and I knew no-one in northern Winnipeg. My first 2 appointments were to people that took the gospel as something of a joke and my first stint tracting really discouraged me. I have never felt the adversary grinding on me so much, never. It seemed he wanted to break me. It was tough. At the end of the second day I had some success though. We tracted 3 really great and interested people who we are meeting with tomorrow. I taught someone who was genuinely interested and I was just filled with great feelings! Gone was the burden on my chest. Take that Satan. I was smiling at it all. Something I have learned is that if I smile, it's really hard to be sad, so I smile much more now.

The apartment I live in is termed "the ghetto" by some, but not me. Granted everything is retro 80s (or actually 80s), and the air conditioner is sometimes taken as a hair dryer because of how loud it is, the apartment is cool. It's my pad, my spiritual party place. I have been really humbled by a number of things. One person I taught had a dream the night before we arrived of him eating a white fruit. Ya, we zipped to Lehi's dream. Miracles occur out here! I cannot describe them all,but they occur! Something else that has humbled me is my living conditions. I have never eaten off Mac and Cheese, homemade burritoes and perogies so much before. But the living quarters of the people I am around are so humble. I used to think I was humble (saying that recognizes I am not) by the "frugal" way I lived. Many of these people...well, it suffices to say that I have always had it good. Let's just say I see a lot of shopping carts in people's yards. Ya, and this is no 3rd world country. Its really humbling. Mom, remember when we went shopping in Calgary next to Grandma Jeannette's place (the Renoir) and all the shopping carts required quarters? Well I now know the reason. Think about it.

I always saw the missionaries as perfect people. Ha. I always thought they were totally grown-up. Not true. But I do feel that this experience has already been a growing experience for me. I wonder how much more growing is in it for me. Probably quite a bit. It was about 38 degrees here (Celcius), which is upper 90s I think. It's scary to think I will see temperature about 150 degrees (Fahrenheit) below this. Yes, -50 is not unheard-of. But I am excited for growth. I want to grow, that's one reason I'm hear. Ya, this is the Lord's mission and I am here to serve him, but I get something out of this too. At this point, I am being semi-selfish in why I am being obedient. I intend on binding the Lord through my obedience (DC 82:10) and forcing him to give me blessings. I am working my tail off and am exhausted when I go to bed. Until I develop a genuine love of the people (which I think is already coming) I intend on binding the Lord through my obedience. It's hard not to look past my mission; all the missionaries talk about the end of their mission as if it were tomorrow. Mom, you know that that has been something difficult for me, and its a small trial I have now. But I persevere because the work is true and God is real. Love you all, need to go. Please write. I will email again next week.

Elder Galbraith

From Winnipeg 8-23-2010 Part 1

I read your email...and I guess the first thing I should say is "Hi from Winnipeg!" Yes, I am in the northwest (ya) part of Winnipeg in a neighborhood called Jefferson. No, I am not close to Aunt Susan, they are in the very southwest corner by the look of it. She would likely have heard of Jefferson though. To answer some questions...

The wards are huge in area here. "Wards" is pushing it. Hardly (if even) about 100 active members in the ward, and about 200 inactives. So not the greatest retention. Ga! I have so much to tell you, but only 20 minutes on this computer! I will explain my situation later, but this time crunch should only occur today, being the first time I get the library card, which answers another question: I have computer access in the library and am currently typing my letter in the little kids section of the Jefferson Winnipeg library. I am using one of those old school mouses (?) designed for 3 year olds that has a big ball in the middle and 3 buttons. Enough of that though. No printer whatsoever.

I love emails, but only have so much time to read and write. So letters are better if possible becuase I can hold them in my hand and read them when I have time. Now, because I am in Winnipeg, I should get mail every week, but when I am out in the boondocks, AKA Flin Flon and co. I will only get it once a transfer. That means once every 6 weeks. But mail is still preferred if possible. It just stinks because it will cost about a buck for every letter. But I hope my friendship means more than a dollar to most. But I will do my best to get back to most people as soon as I can, just a little forewarning: don't kill me if it takes a while, because I probably have not yet got it! And then there is travel time...

Ok, now that that is out of the way, on to better things. My companion is Elder Woods, from Pima Arizona. He is a quiet guy, but he wrestled in high school. Good stuff. I like him, he is a hard worker, which is what I wanted. We will get things done. Something that is difficult for me is that in the mission field we have to be really subdued in our language (I can't even say "cool", I mean what the heck? I can't say what the heck either! Ga!). I guess its all part of the growing up process. I feel older by acting older, but I am still the same old me.

Ooh, something for Nate and Brendin: at the MTC they were serving STEAK SANDWICH! Inside joke, but I definitely ate it and loved it. Nate, keep the Soundgarden stuff coming, its just fun to hear. Dad, even with the BMW incident I still trust you and need you for car stuff. Mom, I love you. And thank you so much to everyone that emailed or wrote me in the MTC! Thanks! But I need all the support I can get out here in the field, its really not that easy. Well I need to wrap this up, I will see if I can snag another computer in my allotted time. Hope to hear from you all soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Assignment

Mom and Dad here - we had a call from Pres. Paulson this afternoon, to tell us that Elder Galbraith has been assigned to an area in Winnipeg for at least the next 6 weeks. It is in the north part of the city, just a little west of center. He is in an area that is not part of the district or zone where my sister and her family live, so will not be seeing them for a while. His companion is Elder Woods, who has been in the mission field about a year. We expect to hear from him on Monday, so will post again then.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hi from Winnipeg

So I made it to Winnipeg in one piece! Flying in I only saw brown farms--let me repeat, only brown farms. But as soon as we hit the city of Winnipeg it suddenly turned green. That's what I am talking about. But I have never seen a flatter horizon in my life--not in Kansas, not in Oklahoma. No hills, nothing. But its still cool! I was freaking out with the plane landing, I was going crazy knowing that this is where I am going to spend the next 2 years.

In future emails I will tell you specific spiritual experiences I had in the MTC, but today only one will have to suffice. On the plane ride I saw a man with a Seahawks jersey and I got all excited. I sat at the back, next to the bathroom. When he came out I quizzed him where he was from. He told me he was from Winnipeg, and had only visited Seattle, but had liked it. At this point the host lady was passing out drinks and he couldn't get by if he tried, so he sat down and we chatted for a bit. He even mentioned seeing the temple! After a minute or so, he mentioned he has a coworker who is a member and I immediately whipped out a pass-along card and told him to surprise his coworker by giving him the card and saying he talked to missionaries. I told him about mormon.org and some. Super exciting. Then he left. Good stuff. I got so excited when I realized all the implications of the visit and the prospect of him looking into the gospel. I'm a missionary!

But a side note, we 4 missionaries going to Winnipeg were sitting in the front of the airplane and were politely asked to sit in the back to "balance out the weight". The Lord works in discreet ways and I know that my experience would not have happened should we have not been asked. Good stuff.

I really enjoyed talking to you two this morning. I love you both so much. I hope you are keeping up on the blog and keeping my facebook somewhat alive. I keep hearing good things about the blog! So keep that up. Love you. Keep me updated on the car and mariners scene. Love you.

Part 2:

Ok so I am in the mission home right now and definitely will not be able to email you back to back like this again, but here we go:

I forgot to mention 2 things:

1. My P-Days will be on Mondays
2. To mail me something, the address will have to be in this special format:
Canada Winnipeg Mission
(name, so Elder Terje James Galbraith or Elder TJ Galbraith)
845 Shaftsbury Boulevard
Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M5

The mission office says to put the Canada Winnipeg mission on top!

I told immigration that my parents are both Canadian citizens and that I was not born in Canada, but the US. They went over a few things that were, quite frankly, over my head and told me that I am a Canadian citizen. They did not give me a visa. They told me to verify that one or both of my parents are citizens. They gave me a website to go to, but how would you recommend proving this? I will keep you posted.

Plus, I find out tomorrow where I am going. Tonight I teach for the first time. Cross your fingers!
Love, Elder Galbraith

Gone to Winnipeg

This morning we got a call at 5:25 am from Elder Galbraith. He was waiting in the Salt Lake airport for his flight out to Denver, then on to Winnipeg. We talked for five minutes, then his quarters ran out. He sounded excited, yet apprehensive, to be moving on. At that point, he had already been up for over four hours!

I had talked with Pres. Paulson, the mission president, on Monday morning, asking if my sister, Susan, who lives in Winnipeg quite close to the mission home, could meet Elder Galbraith at the airport. Because missionaries leave home and family and all that is familiar to serve the Lord, contact with family is discouraged (we will talk with him only on Christmas and Mothers' Day), so we were pleasantly surprised when Pres. Paulson said it would be fine for her to come. Following is an excerpt from an e-mail from Susan:

Did want to give you an update on TJ - we were able to see him for a few
moments at the airport today. We got there about 10 minutes before they
were through customs, so had a chance to visit with Pres. Paulson, his
wife, and two other elders who were there to help with the pickup.

I had just kinda stepped into the background when TJ came out from
customs, so that he could be greeted by his co-workers, and Pres.
Paulson. Once they had an opportunity to shake hands and introduce each
other, Pres. Paulson said to TJ "I think there's somebody here to greet
you - go give her a hug", so TJ headed over to us, gave me a hug, and
said hi to the boys. He said "It's so good to see a familiar face!", so
I think he was glad we were there. He said he'd been up since 2:15 his
time, so he'd had a very short night and early morning. Not sure what
time zone Provo is in, so not sure if he'd done a one hour time change,
or two hours (one hour - Dad), but either way - he was tired!

So, after we'd talked for just a minute, we rejoined the rest of the
group. I'd brought my camera, and had asked before they came through if
it would be okay if I took a couple of pictures to send you. I didn't
realize at that point that they were planning to do pictures as well, so
it all worked out great. They were doing photos of each new elder with
Pres. Paulson and his wife. So - the photos I took are attached. There
is one of TJ with Pres. Paulson and his wife, one of the 4 new arrivals,
and then one of the whole group of them (the new arrivals, Pres.
Paulson, and the other 2 elders that had come with them). So - enjoy!!

I did talk briefly with Pres. Paulson and his wife, and just mentioned
that we understood the restrictions that TJ would have, but that when he
was in Winnipeg, we'd take as much of him as was allowed! So, they know
we'd like to see him, and TJ said he'd be in touch through you, likely.
Hopefully he'll have time fairly soon to drop you a note and let you
know where he's ended up. We had maybe 10 minutes together as a group,
and then they were ready to head out, so we all left. Daniel overheard
one of the elders who was already here say to the other "Well, that
doesn't happen very often!" - so I don't think they have many greeted by

He's doing fine - Benjamin said he looked funny in a suit!! I think
Benjamin just wanted to bring him home with us and let him live in our


Susan also sent several pictures taken at the airport.

Elder Galbraith with Pres. and Sis. Paulson

Four new elders:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Week 2 in the MTC

Yo everyone!

So week 2 has been just has busy if not busier! A letter from my DAD SURE MADE IT INTERESTING. Dad I love you but was about to riot when I read the email about the BMW. For all those who do not yet know about this, let me paint the picture: I recently got a letter from my parents just about newsy things. The very last thing he writes is about cars and the last sentence reads as thus: "The BMW is new to our automotive family, a 128i, rather unexpected, but a really good deal, (and a lot of fun!)." What am I supposed to take from that other than my family had taken the liberty of buying a BMW 1 series a week after I leave. Ask my roommates, I was all hyped up after I read that. I wasn't mad, I was like "Oh come on!" and all high energy and such for about 20 minutes. But a day later I got another letter clarifying that it was my aunt's BMW, not ours. Gosh, I was relieved, don't want the poor old Taurus put out to pasture already. So, Dad, you are a punk for wording it like that, but I love you still and it makes for a funny story. First funny mission story already under my belt. Check.

So life is busy here. No time for leisure time, I mean even this email is timed. But I am gaining great joy as I live better. I spent more time in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel (PMG) and worked on patience first. Ga, the lines in the lunchroom are unreal and as many know, I love waiting. WRONG. I would just as soon sit down and eat cereal and "wait" it out, which I have done. But I am working on patience and asked the Lord, and guess what happened...my companion and I got sick. Ga. But with patience in the back of my mind, I really think I did quite well. So careful what you pray for. I am currently working on the attributes of faith and hope. They are pretty much intertwined, and thought I could do better with each. So lets see what happens this week.

Speaking of sickness, I had a nasty nose and I got the redness around my eyes again. Can someone very quickly ask Dr. Mike what to do? I think it has something to do with Utah's extremely dry air, but they were red and flaky. Mom, you know what I am talking about, it happened once in high school. (Here is the test of patience again). I tried using some dry skin lotion that seemed to make it worse, and stopped applying it and one eye got better. Its just really dry skin, and is uncomfortable, so can Dr. Mike shoot me some answers ASAP via Dear Elder PLEASE?!

So Devin and Jare-Bear are priests, eh? (Notice the Canadian word usage, its natural already) That's weird, but they are so ready. They are studs and are the next wave of young men that people will look up to; much, much better than I. To think that other kids like Scout Callens look up to me...well...gives me mixed emotions. I'm just a hyper-active 19 year old who in his past few months seemed to embrace his childhood to a new level and decided to get Nerf guns and listen to loud music. But I am extremely grateful for them to consider me someone whom they can look up to. It was always fun including Scout and Truman, who to me, go together like PB and J. I know they may disagree with that, but what the hay. Speaking of those Callens...Callens I want to hear from you! I will try to write before I head up to the Great North, but time is so constrained!

Oh ya, Mom and Dad, where the heck is my Captain Canada shirt?! This is driving me insane! AH! I got you brownies (thank you very much by the way), but was like, where is my shirt?!

Darn Mariners, why did you fire Wak? Obviously they haven't been on too long a win-streak since I left.

I want the world to know that I can still label every car in the MTC parking lot by name and brand. We will see how long this lasts.

Dad, thank you so much for going up to Monte Cristo with me. That may be my favorite hike of all time not simply because it was an old abandoned ghost town in beautiful western Washington (which does put it really high up there), but because I really enjoyed our time together. I look at the picture on my scripture case when I pick it up and just smile. I love you Dad.

So back to the MTC, things are trucking along here. I just got a hair cut and look pretty cute. My companion, Elder Mitton, and I were given the task of being Zone Leaders in the MTC for the next week. Not that that means a ton in the MTC, but we are in charge of 3 districts (about 30 missionaries) and we are having a good time. I accidentally ripped one of my pants when sitting on this obviously poorly constructed chair and have to sew that up. Natalie knows how good I am at sewing, so I have an adventure ahead.

Thanks to all who have written me! I can't believe Ashley Johnson's letter got through as addressed to Elder Teej Galbraith! Ha! I am doing my best to get back to as many people as I can! Thanks to all! I'm running out of time!


Elder Galbraith

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hand-written letter August 5, 2010

Transcribed from a hand-written letter from Elder Galbraith, continuing on from his e-mail of 8/5/2010.

I have times where I feel like looking back longingly, other times I look forward to the mission with much anxiousness. I do know that developing a love for the people is key to being excited. I do get very excited when I teach! I realize that being excited to teach is everything. I should teach like the gospel is everything to me because it is. It is such a blessing and has kept me anchored down (as far as morals go).

As I said in the e-mail, read “Preach My Gospel”! Let me say it again . . . READ “PREACH MY GOSPEL” every day in some sort. Look up scriptures, understand and apply them to your life. I feel impressed to share that by reading “Preach My Gospel” you can find answers you need, whether it be Dad’s questions with work, or anything.

Anyway, to the things you want to hear about that I neglected to include in the e-mail. I am scheduled to leave for Winnipeg on Aug. 18, a Wednesday I believe. I dunno, they don’t tell us days of the week here. Everything begins to blend together. Here in the MTC I only have 2 P-days, just today and next Thursday. I only have ½ hour e-mail time here, but I hear it’s an hour in the field. Thank goodness.

Well, I don’t feel I have lost my personality here – yet. I do know that I will be so weird around girls when I return though. Dang it.

Oh, so far as contacting me, anyone can e-mail me at Terje.Galbraith@MyLDSMail.net but I can only e-mail you [that’s Mom and Dad]. So maybe put a few points like that from this letter onto the blog. Also, e-mailing me is . . . well, I discourage it while in the MTC because it cuts down from time I could be writing. Just use DearElder.com or actual letter while I am in the MTC due to time constraints.

I am growing spiritually. Probably some mentally too. Had a humbling experience as far as obedience goes and staying with my companion. Too long to write, but I am now the most obedient elder ever. Doing my best to obtain Christ-like attributes – they go far. Also, getting to know that the Spirit oftentimes is not manifest by a tingling or warmth, but also by calm. I prayed to have a reassurance of the truth of the gospel and was not immediately given the answer. I was frustrated, but got my witness the next day. I have learned that it is a missionary’s attitude that determines success, thus my continual excitement and exuberance.

I have found that I take pride (do not know if good or bad pride here) in being a silent, behind-the-scenes leader. I am not the District Leader, thank goodness, but people have expressed their thanks in me “being there” for them and someone to talk to. So maybe share this letter with Callens – he won’t be surprised there. And tell him to write me!

I need to wrap it up here, but my companion, Elder Mitton is a musical / drama type. He loves talking, singing, and leading discussions. So that makes 2 talkers and slight disagreements in some teaching, but we work out everything very well and get along fairly well too. Anyway, love you so much!

Elder Galbraith

Oh ya, I pray on average about 20 times per day! Holy Cow!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5, 2010

Greetings from Provo! So this is my first P-Day since arrival and my first chance to write anyone since the MTC strongly discourages writing letters any day that is not P-Day. So, here I am! Well my Mach 2 has been geared to Mach 3, so you got off easy! I guess I will just quickly describe the events after "The Departure" and apologize for any spelling errors in advance due to me having to type everything within half an hour. So here we go:
Ya, the plane was late leaving but arrived on time. I ended up taking the Shuttle down to the MTC, no problems there. I was quickly dumped off and there I stood, in front of this jail-esque building. I could not decide between "Well, great..." and "here we go", but in I went. I quickly received my name tag and all the goods and was escorted off to my room then classroom. I waited for the rest of my district to arrive, then we went to classes that night. My companion's name is Elder Mitton, and he is from Saratoga Springs, right across Utah Lake.
I am always doing something! When people said I would be busy in the MTC I thought there would be momentary breaks to do things, but heck no. I am busy from 6:15 in the morning to 10:30 each night (I have to wake up early to stand in a short line for the showers, or not shower at all due to a huge line). But like I said I am always studying, praying, singing, teaching, eating, something!
The first 5 days were rough. I asked myself why I was here, what I was doing and if I even enjoyed this work. Well, after a devotional Sunday night I now ask myself "Why the heck didn't I share the gospel more?!" It took coming to the MTC and reflecting to realize that without the gospel I would be nowhere near I am right now. It has blessed my life in so many ways I cannot describe. I know this is the Restored gospel. Trust me, I know discussion 1. Also, a message to all families out there: Start using Preach My Gospel! If you find yourself saying, "we have other ways of getting the message across-" I don't want to hear it. It was written in heaven and given to us on Earth. So unless you know better than God, strip yourself of pride and start using it. I guess I am so adament about it because I did not use it near enough and people NEED to know, understand and live what is in it. So read, understand and apply what is in it! I know that I have been happier living its principles and can testify of its divinity. I promise all who read it that they too will be happier. Sorry, had to get that out of my system.
Great to hear from you Mom and Dad, Nate and Alicia. Nate, you are still a goof, so thats good. Nate keep me updated on Soundgarden while you can, and Dad, where are the car facts? Killing me. I absolutely love letters! So everyone please send a hard copy or Dear Elder!
It is kind of tough seeing Y Mount in that I am not at BYU. I miss BYU. I know I will be back in 2 years, but I already miss many friendships there. Its bittersweet, knowing I am close to where I had some of my favorite memories, but knowing that I am making very different ones now.
Here in the MTC it is a constant feeling of the Spirit. I have been pondering the statement "turning our hearts to Christ". I have come to realize that that statement is no easy task! Especially as I spend all day every day studying and practicing teaching, but still feel that I need more time. Lots of ups and downs the first few days, but I feel better now. Its exciting, really.
Oh Mom, where is my captain Canada shirt? I am eagerly waiting! Ga!
So a message for anyone wanting to contact me: DearElder.com is great, so are normal letters. I can't read emails except once a week, so those are not preferred, especially since they take away time from writing emails such as this. Thanks everyone, please write! I am eager to hear how everyone is doing!
Elder Galbraith

Monday, August 2, 2010

First Letter; updated address

Transcribed from a hand-written letter dated 7/28/2010 (the day he arrived in the MTC).

Dear Mom,

It's "Quiet Time", and I only have about 5 minutes to write, but I wanted to quickly let you know everything has gone well thus far. Upon arrival, I immediately went to classes. Very powerful stuff. As far as companions, my companion's name is Elder Mitton, a musical genius and a cello major. I also room with Elder Dunn and Elder Harston. Elder Dunn reminds me of Lloyd Christmas (played by Jim Carey) from "Dumb and Dumber" only in the way he says his words and especially in his smile. The other 3 are all from Utah. Represent Washington!

I love you Mom. I think these next few days are going to be rough, based on what others say, but I'm going to try to put a happy face on anyway. I miss people already, but what the heck, 1 of 700 something done, see you in no time. No, I know this is a good work, a tremendous work. More later, love you all.

Elder Galbraith

P.S. I can already feel the magnitude of the calling. I feel I may need all the prayers I can get. :)

Elder Terje J. Galbraith
MTC Mailbox #156
CAN-WIN 0818
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793