Hey there family and friends!
Wow, it seems as though I've been gone from you all for weeks now. It hasn't even been a week yet though, has it? Time makes no sense to me anymore... but it seems to have such a greater importance. I've never been more grateful for just 10 minutes to sit down in my entire life. I love that. It means I'm always "abounding in good works".
I'm in a trio right now with Elder Ferbey and Elder Newton. We're the only Ukrainian language missionaries currently at the MTC. A District of 3, a zone of just over 10, most of the which are actually speaking Russian. We had another Russian zone here with us, but they left last night. My last zone leader was an AUSTRALIAN! He was weird. Strangest sense of humor from any culture I have ever encountered. Hearing Russian being spoken by everyone around me, even during sacrament meeting; That can get really confusing. Ukrainian is a really tough language! So many words that sound NOTHING like English words. We've already taught 3 lessons in our native language. That's actually not true; we've ACTED OUT 1 lesson now and thrown in some random vocabulary just enough to confuse our "investigator", Natasha. The second lesson, we actually had some phrases we had memorized to throw out, and helped her read some verses... BUT, our 3rd lesson, we actually were able to understand things she said to us! Our teacher, Brat (brother) Adams is awesome. This is going to be a difficult 9 weeks... but completely worth it. Look out L'viv, you've got some missionaries who are PUMPED to give you the Restored Gospel!
Food: Incredible. Jeff, you were right about the Chocolate milk. A-yup. Also tried out that wrap bar thingy. Delicious. I've never had the problem of having TOO MUCH food and TOO LITTLE time to eat it. It's a good problem.
Companions: Weird. And Awesome.
Elder Ferbey is from Edmonton, Alberta (or some town just outside of it... it has a big name, so he just told me to remember edmonton), and He's your stereotypical Canadian. He want's his parents to send him maple syrup for Christmas. HA! Also, for those who know him; ELDER FERBEY LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE BRENNER SWENSON. To the T. He talks like him... he walks like him. He dresses like Brenner, and even has the same haircut (he fears the MTC Barbershop. haha!) Fact.
Elder Newton is... well, he's got a lot to talk about. He's from Redland California. Basically, imagine a grown up Chunk (from the Goonies), and you've got Elder Newton. He's hilarious though. Sometimes, focusing is not his strong-point, but there is NEVER a dull moment when Elder Newton is around.
Oh! And guess what? Day 2 out here, President Cranny made me district leader. Of three people. Yeah. It's kind of weird. But it's also entails a WHOLE LOT of meetings. Meetings up to my ears! woo-wee. They're good though, because I'm starting to learn how to really love the people I'm serving with and for. Not to mention the love I have for my Heavenly Father for giving me the chance to be out here, working my buns off! These next 2 years are going to be INCREDIBLE. To say the least.
Much love family and friends! I hope you are all well, and that you aren't shy to send me a letter or two! I would love to receive letters. Send them to this address;
Elder Jonathan Curtis LeBaron
2007 N 900 E Unit 46
Provo UT 84602
We check our mail box daily. I can read handwritten letters every night, but I only get email time once a week. This is also the address to which you can send packages or whatever!
I love you all! I really do hope everything is going alright back home. Let me know how it's going.
Ready for a Ukrainian Lesson?
Elder = (Star-ee-she-nah)
[insert cyrillic spelling that I'm too lazy to find here] or