Ok, well today has been fun. I'm surprised that Mom guessed I would golf for my birthday. Yup, I went to the range. Budget clubs, so nothing pretty, but still fun. P-Day activity is at 10:30 and I managed to play a bit of piano before activity, then played dodgeball for an hour---SO fun---then played a game of basketball and then volleyball. Be scared Laney. Today has been good. The senior missionaries in the Office made me a "Happy Birthday" poster and Elder Skinner made a caramel ice cream pie. Oh, did I mention that I had a pleasant surprise when I came home yesterday? With the help of Sister Poulton, a senior missionary in the office, Auntie Susan left a birthday cake on my table in the Office! They left a card and I had happy butterflies in my stomach. That's the best way I know how to describe it. Thank you so much Auntie Susan! I got a cake and a pie, what's better than that?!
Thank you Mom and Dad for the pictures you sent! That was a neat little thing. How did you make it? You both look really good in it. My favorite of you 2 was on the front. Momma and Daddy Galbraith. The talk you sent to me at the same time as the card is unique. I actually had read that talk a couple of Saturdays ago to prepare myself for the sacrament the next day at church. I think that the talk really helped me to focus my mind and I think that was the same sacrament meeting that I received pertinent personal revelation. I recommend that all people read it to prepare for the sacrament. At Fast and Testimony Meeting yesterday we sang hymn #139 and the 2nd verse stuck out to me. It reads:
Thru this small sacrifice, may we
Recall that strength and life each day
Are sacred blessings sent from thee--
Fill us with gratitude, we pray
It was a small reassurance to me that through sacrifices--small or large--we can draw closer to God, and that strength and life are blessings each day. Again, the concept that the absence of "clutter", or illness or evil, whatever, can all be blessings. While waiting for the mission reports to come in Sunday night I browsed new "Life of Jesus Christ" videos on lds.org and the Mormon Messages on mormon.org. Wow. Talk about a spiritual experience. I love those! One of the Mormon Messages was especially touching. It was called "Opportunities to do Good" . It talked about a family in Seattle (!) and how neighbors and church members came together to support this family in need. I was sobbing, I will admit. I just felt the love of those people and the gratitude of the family in need for all the help they were receiving. From another Mormon Message: "hearkening to the voise of the living God will bring peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come. There are the greatest of all the gifts of God." (James E. Faust). I challenge all of you to watch at least 1 of these moving videos every day. Go to mormon.org and click on Mormon Messages on the main page.
Transfer Planning was an enjoyable experience. A lot more goes into it than I originally thought, and likely more than you realize. That's for another time. Transfer Meeting is this week and we have been preparing for it since Wednesday. Travel arrangements are simple, but so time-consuming to get perfect! I also was doing kilometer allotments and preparing for a Mission President's Counsel (?) meeting, and doing a Stake Coordination Meeting, and Zone Leader Council programs and Specialized Training programs for Manitoba and Saskatchewan and ALL of those meeting's material and programs to go with them and updating the Mission Calendar and preparing for an Office Staff Meeting, the Farewell Fireside for the departing missionaries, coming up with transfer goals and new planners, preparing the invitations to the Canada Winnipeg Mission Fireside...that covers most of it. In a couple of weeks we will be heading out to SK. There is a lot to do, to say the least. I enjoy it.
That is about all I have time for now. I'm sorry about not getting letters out to really anyone. I am running especially low on free time and with a new mission president coming in in June and a new AP coming in at the same time, I have a lot to prepare for and things don't look to be slowing down--ever. But never say never. I look forward to the challenge. Love you all!
Looks like he still has lots of energy!