Monday, October 6, 2014

What happened in 1914...

Hey everybody!  Boy, am I excited to talk about this week!

Okay, so, really, a whole lot of new stuff concerning our having new investigators or baptismal dates or you know, the really important things didn't change.  That's a pretty big bummer.  BUT, they will change soon!  We've gotten some pretty big promises from high up places that big things are on their way, and we've just got to give everything we've got in order to see those blessings.  

The cool things that have been happening -- FIRST!!!  WE'RE GETTING A NEW BRANCH PRESIDENT HERE IN IVANO-FRANKIVSK!!! FINALLY!!!!!  Our last branch president left on call to serve in the Ukrainain Military in the east... so the branch has been really struggling.  President Lattin picked the strongest member in our branch, Brother Bantsov, to be president.  I'm so EXCITED!!! YES!  Order and sanity return to the branch! :D

Next, We've been prepping for some pretty big and exciting changes to come.  The first one is with our English Classes! In the past, our english class worked like this; "Who wants to learn from Americans!  YAY! EVERYBODY!  Okay, and now we're going to have a spiritual thought and a prayer! YAY! Who wants to learn more about this stuff?!" *Crickets*....   
So basically, we're taking a new approach to this:  We're just doing straight up Gospel Discussions in English.  I thought, at first, that this was a TERRIBLE idea.  I was all, "IT'S A TRAP!"  But now, I realize that we're finally just being honest with people about what we're here to do.  We're finally going to be fulfilling our missionary purpose every Friday night at 7:00pm, and I can look forward to that EVERY WEEK.  Hot dog.  Sign me up.  Plus, plenty of people around here want to talk about God -- and plenty of people want to learn English.  We're just giving them both.  BAM

Also, President Lattin has been having us work a lot on improving on a specific 19 categories of missionary work.  We are working to become an entirely consecrated mission.  All of our missionaries have agreed that that's what we need to do if we want to start seeing miracles around here.  I've been trying to pull the "What lack I yet" card on myself for the past couple of weeks.  It's kind of painful to dig out your weaknesses one by one and say, "I'm going to change this... completely.  No matter what it takes, I will [for example] talk to every single person that I possibly can, and never forget to ask them if they know anyone else who might be interested".  Okay, that's a real life example from my work right now.  I'm all for this program that President Lattin is running with us, and the program was inspired by President Klebingat -- so you know it's gonna be bringing us some serious miracles out here.
Whoever said that Eastern European missions don't baptize hasn't read the scriptures well enough, because there isn't a single verse that says "Every man who thrusteth in his sickle -- Except for in Ukraine -- will reap a reward".  BOO ON THAT!  I wanna help people! 
Said more shortly, we're working hard to become consecrated missionaries, and there is even more hard work ahead of us... and that makes me smile!

God's kingdom is a kingdom of progress, order, and of course -- JOY!  I'm definitely finding all of these things out here in the field!

Okay -- Now for the title of the email

So, I mentioned how we're trying to talk to every single person -- right?
Well, late one evening, we were walking home, and I saw a man coming down the street.  I decided that I would give him one of our AWESOME pamphlets that talks about families and Jesus.  How could that go wrong?  Well, at first, it worked better than I thought, because it INSTANTLY Stopped him, and he was excited to know who we were, what we were doing here, and where our church was.  Suddenly, things went a little.... not in the direction I was hoping.
"I, myself, am a Jehovah's Witness!"  
"Oh! Great!  So you have a pretty strong faith in God, and in the Bible!  WE actually also have this other book about Christ, call the Book of Mo-"
"I've read the Bible MANY MANY TIMES!  Tell me boys, WHO is Satan!?"
"Uh...  Well, he's a son of God who wanted God's power... [missionary monologue] we was cast out of heaven."
"And where did he go?  Hmmmmm?"
"To earth."
"Exactly.  Now.. when?"
"[Insert long, correct missionary explanation here]"
Um... what?

I still don't know what even caused him to think that.  Aparrantly, if you search really closely though, you can find a verse all about it -- with a specifice date-- in the Bible ;)  Reading challenge of the week folks.  Someone let me know what happened in 1914 please, my history is a bit corrupted since hearing so much about the U.S.S.R......

Well, we're gonna still be out and about making all sorts of new friends!  Who knows, I'll probably have a lot of fun new stories for you next week :)

I love you all a whole lot!  
I hope that you have a great week, and that my lengthy email didn't bore you all too much....
Okay, talk to you next week!

Elder LeBaron

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