Monday, September 26, 2011


    A beautiful Lake of the Woods scene

What a week! I will start off with some of the best things that happened...Elder Pacis and I set a baptismal date with our investigator Lauri! We taught her twice this past week and I may not have mentioned her before because she is brand new to our teaching pool. She is preparing for October 29th for baptism. I gave her my baptismal interview questions and we have basically taught her the message of the Restoration and lots about the Holy Ghost and how it works and how we all can feel it differently. She is very spiritual and very "in-tune" with the Holy Spirit. What I really like about teaching her is her humility to learn, and what she already knows to be true is very similar to our beliefs, but she just has different names for each thing. It is a great experience when we can relate things like that. Lauri has a son named Jay, who is either 8 or 9, and she really wants him to associate with a good crowd. So there is a lot of potential here!

More funny things...2 separate birds on 2 separate occasions flew into our studyroom window. Ridiculous! Jehovah’s Witnesses came and knocked on our door. I had never had that happen before! They gave their shpeel, saw we were missionaries, asked us where we were from and left us with a small book and pamphlet. We gave them one too. They were very nice, very cordial--as were we. It was a pleasant experience, just weird being on the other side of the door for once, and weird hearing a different message...There are so many deer in downtown Kenora that the city just passed a law that people can LEGALLY shoot a deer with a bow within city limits! There are deer everywhere! I see the issue with it, but I think it's pretty neat!

This past week has been a trying week though. Kenora continues to help me grow in MANY different ways. Growing is tough sometimes! But if taken and endured with the right mindset, it is always worth it. One of the many challenges this week included maintaining a positive attitude when everything else around me seemed to be negative. That is work! I am definitely better than I used to be. The biggest struggle is that I will be getting a new companion or companions. Yup, Elder Pacis is going home. He has struggled and struggled minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, and it has got the best of him. He will be leaving this week, President is currently working out the details and has already communicated with some church leaders back in Puyallup. He kind of gave up, and it breaks my heart. I have given him all the love, care and concern I could, but ultimately it is not my mission to serve but his, and he has decided to go home. He has been so homesick! What does this mean for me? Great question. I don't know. I am pretty sure I get to stay here in Kenora (I hope!) but will be taking on another companion for a couple of weeks or the assistants may come out for a bit...or I may go into Winnipeg for a few weeks...or...or...I really have no idea. President should be letting me know later today. Elder Pacis has a good heart, and helped me learn a lot. I feel that I am more patient and charitable after these experiences the past few weeks. I have really tried hard to reach out and help him out in ways that I could. A few scriptures come to mind: D&C 84:106 which states, "Let the strong in Spirit strengthen the weak that they too may be strong" and D&C 82:3 which says, "For unto whom much is given, much is required". I definitely have been given much and I too must give. I have felt so prompted and obligated to help him and feel I have done the best I could. I really had to push myself at times, sorry to say, but I knew it was my duty to do so. Why do I do it? Not only because of the reasons I just gave, but because it all is true. Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon and the Bible really are true and everything about the Gospel too. Considering all of this and much of the opposition I face daily, I really have learned what it means when I promised to "take the name of Christ upon me" through baptism and weekly through the sacrament. I promised to stand as a witness of Him. I promised to stand in need of those that need help, comfort those that need comfort. Man, with all of this I am starting to get a sense of what parenting must be like: you do all you can to help someone and give them all the ample opportunities to choose right, yet my efforts alone will not change someone else's will. Oh, imagine how God must feel!

The point of that last paragraph is really to show that Elder Pacis is leaving this week, and I do not know what will happen these next few weeks. The next transfer is October 15th or so, so a little ways away. We will see how everything comes along. I wonder where I will be next week? I am pretty sure that regardless of where I am the next couple of weeks, I will be back in Kenora with someone different. I love Kenora.

General Conference is this weekend! I promise I will watch all the sessions at the church! Will you? You better watch them all, whether at home or at the Stake Center. Words from a living prophet of God and his living Apostles?! Who wouldn't want to listen to that?! Ugh, I drastically underappreciated General Conference growing up...I still remember "only" wanting to "watch" it if I could play with my cars on the floormat in front of the TV. Genius, Mom and Dad, genius. I think that was one of the best ways you could have me be there for Conference and gain what I could from it. I don't think there was a better way to do it for me. Thank you. I love you for it.

I wanted to also share a spiritual experience that I had yesterday at church during fast and tesimony meeting. I was thinking about where I would be without the gospel and where I am now. I reflected on a few occasions where my testimony grew or where I began feeling that something was there, that there was something to this "church thing". I waited for my turn at the pulpit (for those of you who don't know, once a month in the Church there is what is called a "Fast and Testimony Meeting" where individuals present can share their testimony of some aspect of the gospel) and brought a Book of Mormon and held it as I shared my testimony that I can see where I would have been without the gospel. Put simply, I would not be where I am today nor even close without the gospel of Jesus Christ to anchor my soul. I shared an experience from Young Men's that I still remember. I remember being about 14 years old and having all the young men 12-18 together in that tiny room in the church back in Kirkland, near the main entrance and being crammed in there, and Bro. Arneson and Callens felt like they should have every young man share their testimony. I did not know what to say, I was 14! I remember going to the front when it was my turn and holding a Book of Mormon and saying that I did not why I felt so good about it, or when I read it, but that I did. I remember my specific words as I held that Book and said, trying to hold back tears, "there is something to this book..." Later in the testimony meeting yesterday, someone commented and said to the effect, that those leaders had no idea that Sunday that some 7 or 8 years later that I would share that experience from Young Men's that day as a missionary in Kenora, Ontario. Thank you Bro. Callens, Bro. Arneson, and Bro. Crandall for being righteous examples to me in that program. Your efforts and examples were not wasted! God bless you! I love you.

I guess I can't really share much more than that. Always remember the best part of the gospel: it's all true!

Love, Elder Galbraith

                               Serious 5 o'clock shadow (?). Oh ya, yet oh no.  

                               Still likes cars - a 1979 Chrysler 300

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