Monday, May 5, 2014

The Unexpected Guests

Hello family and friends!
I've had a pretty cool week, and I really wanted to tell ya'll about it!
The over-arching theme was self improvement, and learning new skills.

So, last week, right after our exchanges with the other Elder's in the area, Elder Peterson and I were walking home. KER-POW! WE got a call from Elder Lippert.  He's one of the Assistants to the President, and usually is working in the Mission Office.  
He told me that He and Elder Terri wanted to come up to Lutsk for exchanges!  Whoo! 
We had exchanges AGAIN on Tuesday and Wednesday!  
I learned a whole lot while being out with either of these two Elder's.  First and foremost -- 2 years is way to long to go without a sense of humor, so you'd better keep it up.  I laughed harder than I have in a long time.  
Besides that little tid-bit, I learned a lot about what is really expected out of missionaries in the long run.  It can be hard to see the big picture of missionary work when you've been contacting on the same streets, working in the same church building, and talking with the same members without seeing a whole lot of success.  It's very possible to get complacent with the work.  
Working hard isn't enough sometimes.  Sometimes, you have to expect more, and strive further than you ever have in order to see miracles.  Believe it or not, you can even get into a rut of working hard.  
You know what you do when you get into a rut of working hard?  
You find a way to work hard, in a more effective way!
That's the big thing I learned from that exchange --> Always try to improve yourself!
It's hard, but it's worth it.
Our district meeting on Tuesday was even bigger than we had imagined it would be...
Not only were the Assistants in our district for exchanges, but the Zone Leaders had come into Lutsk to have a meeting with us and talk about making goals and working on new skills (the theme strikes again!).  
This made our meeting go from having the usual 6 people to having 10 missionaries. 
 I've never been so aware of how much I still have to learn.  These people are incredible!!
I love the people who I work with!
We went to visit a member who is a former Boxer.  Judging by his age, I think that would actually make him a Boxer who competed during the S.S.S.R.  
The plan was to go over there and to learn Ukrainian; Have a conversation with him, read with him, and ask questions.
I learned some crazy stuff -- Aka, lots of slang and less than mission appropriate words that I don't remember now.  He's hilarious though.  Did you know that a jaw can also be referred to as your "Bread Slicer" out here?  Interesting...

Soon, it will be transfers, and I will be done with my training!  That's pretty cool!
We're having a massive conference in L'viv next Sunday with all of the members from Western Ukraine.  It's gonna be big.
Right after that -- BAM mission conference with one of the members of the area presidency.  And then, I get a new companion.  
It's going to be such a big week next week, that I'm actually not going to get to email until Wednesday (so you know).
I love you all!
I've got a prayer in my heart for everyone back home and those serving all over the place
(Go team Kingdom of God).
Elder LeBaron

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