Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fun in Frankivs'k!

Hey everybody!

Everything is going just dandy here in Ivano Frankivs'k!  It's your standard week for a Ukrainian missionary -- working your guts out to just set up an appointment.  Luckily, we've still had a pretty productive week, and I'm looking at some pretty hopeful prospects for the future of our area.  I think that there is a whole lot of good about to come on it's way!
As for our investigators, nobody is really progressing right now.... and I think it has to do a lot with how difficult it is to get a meeting with them.  I'd like to tell you a pretty funny story about us finally (sort of...) getting an appointment with our investigator from Nigeria, Alex.
So, Alex's son turned 1 year old this week, and we sort of called to set up an appointment on that day.  My companion, out of the blue, offers for us to bake a cake for him and bring it over.  That means that Elder LeBaron will be baking a cake, and his companion will wash the dishes... Anyway -- cake gets made.  We take said cake across the city to our friend for his sons 1st birthday part.  We get there, and we have both forgotten which apartment number he lives in.  Luckily, his other friend from Nigeria walks up, and gets us inside the door to the stairwell.  We get walking... get to the door.... knock.... and there is Alex's mother in law, staring pretty dumb-founded at the two Missionaries.  Then, in the most hoodlum way a black man can convey in Ukrainian, he says to her, "Naw, they with us".  
Next thing I know, we're just two little american boys sitting in an apartment sitting next to a really cool Muslim guy from... somewhere, a couple of Nigerians,  lots of Ukrainians, and a few Russians... all celebrating a little kids birthday party.  It's another one of those moments where I just kind of looked around and thought, "How... did I get here?" 

That seems to happen a lot on this mission.

I also forgot to mention that this week is Transfers.  I am staying here!  WHOOO!!! Unfortunately, Elder Stout is heading to Uzhorod (Furthest west you can get in our mission).  I was kind of chuckling to myself when he got the call, because Elder Stout is a pretty strict guy with not much slack to spare, and Uzhorod is known for being a bit more lax part of our mission. He's going to be District Leader there!  It'll be good for that part of the mission.  Not considering fully what that meant, Elder Stout then hands me the phone....
"Uh, Hi president!"
"Hello Elder LeBaron!  I've got some things for you to do..."

I'm training a great new elder from Kiev.  I sure hope that he speaks English!  We'll see.
I'm also picking up Elder Stout's job, and I'm district leader here.
Starting Wednesday.

Heavenly Father heard all of those times I said, "Man, I'm glad I'm not in charge of that!  Someone will figure that mess out", and he laughed.  And then he dropped a bucket of cold water on my head to get me up and moving a bit quicker.  Ahhh.... Fatherly Love.  The only kind of love that really helps us grow.

It'll all be good! Heavenly Father runs this work.  I'm sure glad that he does, because it operates entirely on His miracles, and on our faith in Him, and our willingness to get out and work.

I'd like to say that I know that He answers our prayers.  I know that it's true.  I've seen countless silent prayers be answered in the most gentle and clear ways.  I've seen open vocal prayers be answered in ways that only became visible until after I made it through the hardest times.  Prayers work, and Heavenly Father is listening.  I can guarantee it, and you can confirm it with your own experience.  Pray, and put your faith in Him.  He's ready to help and bless us.  I know it!

I love you all very much!
I'm going to be praying for you all!

Elder LeBaron

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