Thursday, April 10, 2014

Exchanges lead to Miracles, Great Food, and Baptisms!

Wow.  Where does the time go?  I feel like the family just dropped me off at the MTC!
I'll probably send a confused statement about the time moving fast home like, every week.  Everyone who's ever been a missionary will understand.
So, this past week, we had some serious worries about our investigators,  our potentials, and about some of the less-active members of the branch.  Elder Peterson and I weren't sure how to go about reviving our near dead pool of people to teach.  People were bailing on appointments, we couldn't set up times to meet with a lot of people, and for SOME reason, everyone is getting sick and going to the hospital (more about that later).
BAM.  The Zone-leaders came to the rescue.  They had anticipated to come up to Lutsk to do the Baptismal interview with our 13 year old investigator, but were dissapointed when he got SICK and we had to push the interview with the Branch President a day later... which ended up causing them to come only for Exchanges, and not to actually do their interview, which they had planned in the first place.
This meant that we had a lot of great time to go finding, visiting less-actives, and calling up old potentials who had stopped coming because of various reasons.  Elder Vernon and Elder Jolstead had both served in Lutsk before this time, and so they had a connection with just about everyone!  
Elder Jolstead and I visited an Elderly Woman in our branch who is WAY over the top awesome.  A lot of missionaries are a little hesitant to visit her, because she can be a bit over-bearing.  She has at least 1 picture of EVERY MISSIONARY WHO HAS EVER SERVED IN THIS CITY SINCE SHE WAS BAPTIZED!  She's incredibly friendly though.  She ended up coming to church on sunday! 
Elder Vernon and I went to this resturaunt near the Castle here in Lutsk.  I ATE RED BORSCSH for my very first time.  It was amazing.  If I could eat that stuff every day of my life until I die, I would be a happy man.  A VERY happy man.  I also had this really funny drink called Oozvar.  It's basically smoked fruit water.  They smoke fruit, and then boil it.  Then you drink that water.  It's oddly delicious.
Elder Vernon also makes friends every where he goes... and thus, called up all of the people with whom he was associated with in Lutsk.  We had a lot of awesome people to talk to that day, and re-established contact with all of them!  We've got people coming back to english practice now, back to church, and investigators from the stranges places...

for example --
Going back to the Sick and in the hospital;
We had been working with this man who we nick-named Deep Purple (because he loves the band.)  
He didn't really have an interest in the Book of Mormon, and basically liked to hang out with us because we're americans.  We don't visit him often, but we learned that he was sick and in the hospital.  So, on exchanges, Elder Peterson and Vernon went to go and visit him.  When they got to his room, he was just chattin' away with his roomate, talking about his "American friends" and "the weird book they gave me that I'll probably never read".  Sure enough, his roomate, who had been working in Odessa but had to come back to Lutsk for health reasons, had a Book of Mormon of his own.  He had already BEEN reading it.  We've been meeting with this man now, and have set a tenative baptism date with him, we're just waiting for him to get a testimony through prayer.  He sets up appointments to meet with us, and loves to talk about The Book of Mormon with us!  Things are looking up in Lutsk.
And then, KER-POW!  Our 13 year-old investigator was baptized on Saturday.  He's is absolutely awesome.  He's already invited a friend to his baptism, and to church to see him recieve the Gift of the Holy Ghost.    So great!

 Lutsk, oh how I love you and the people here!
All and all, things are going great here.
Thank you for all of your concern, support, and help!
I love you all!

Elder LeBaron

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