Monday, June 22, 2015

Bright Week Ahead!

This is going to be the best week ever.

We've got one official week left for working in our area this transfer-- and it's THIS WEEK.  How are we going to maximize this week to do awesome things!?  Well, let me tell you right now what's going on so you can get a good picture of what's in store for us here in Chernivtsi;

1) We have a baptism planned for Saturday!  Kolya is going to be baptized!! YEAH!  He's such a great kid.  15 years old, and he's basically the man in his house.  It's going to be a huge blessing to his family when he's a priesthood holder and continues to practice the proper principles of service and teaching in the home.  I love that we get to teach the 5th lesson as missionaries now!  I get to talk about temples so much more often!  It was wonderful to share with Kolya the miracle that we have temples and the sealing power of the priesthood!  We hope that his mother will accept the lessons soon, and that his little sister sofia can grow up with the blessings of the gospel in her home as well!

2) We've got exchanges on the table for wednesday and thursday!  We're not just going to maximize our area-- we're going to work the devil out of EVERY AREA in our district!  We've got 4 good elders in this city, and 2 incredible sisters.  This is a district built for success and service, and I love each and every one of them.  We hope to have lots of meetings, find lots of new people, and have lots of fun together as a district!  This is what makes the work lots of fun!

3)  It's been raining every single day.  It's so humid.  Interesting weather makes for interesting days.  So, because of the weather, it's going to be an interesting week.  It's definitely not going to be boring! 

Next week, we're having a big Transfers/Mission Conference Palooza, and President already told me that they're going to tear me away from beautiful Chernivtsi.... *sigh*

Or, maybe they'll rethink that whole silly notion, and let me serve the last 6 months of my mission HERE.  Hey, there's a good idea!  Anyway, I know my transfer already... but I'm not going to tell anyone, not even YOU until it's for sure.  I'm going to pretend like I'm staying here!

I'm getting pretty tan.  Lots of morning service projects in big old gardens.  Weeds are evil.  Lyssa, when I get back, I'm going to have no problem with this.  When was the last time ya'll spent 3 hours hoeing up the weeds out of your big ol' corn field?  I did it on Saturday.
Then we had our 3 our sports day.  I'm starting to look like Elder Gonzalez!  (Not really.  Elder Gonzalez is turning black.)
Plus, cleaning up the church!

Maybe you haven't noticed, but I'm pretty pumped today.  Probably because it's raining really hard, and I have to be really internally motivated to get out of the comfy building that I'm in and fight through the rainstorm.  
Whatever it is, it's a gift from Heavenly Father to be in love with your life.  

I love my mission so much.
Everyone take care of yourselves!
Don't forget to say your prayers and read your scriptures every day!
Sabbath Observance every sunday!
Family home evening -- Get on it!
These little things make us close to each other, and to the Saviour. 

It'll make us happy!

Elder LeBaron

Another Week in Chernivtsi

Indeed, It has been another one of those weeks.

We're not doing a whole lot of new stuff here, but we're seeing a lot of success in our district, and things are going pretty well!  The mission is taking off.  As far as numbers go, we're reaching record highs, and we have marginally less missionaries than we've ever had before.  We found more new investigators as a mission than we actually have MISSIONARIES this last week.  Member present lessons have been soaring. 

Baptisms are on the way.  There are supposed to be at least 2 in our area this next week.
All of this is a HUGE blessing from Heavenly Father.  

The most important part?  More people are finding joy and peace through the Gospel, and that's what matters the very most.

Today, I'm actually pretty exhuasted. 
Don't know why.

We went on splits yesterday with the branch members to go and do home teaching, and it was a blast!  We had SO MANY good moments, and I got to go with Edik, one of my favorite members here in the branch.  He's our Elder's quorum president, branch clerk, and one of the leaders of the mission youth council.  He's also younger than I am!  Great guy.

We had a killer young mens activity where we played ping-pong and ate pizza and all sorts of great things.

Loved it.

I love you all a lot!
Take care of yourselves!

Elder LeBaron

There, Back Again.

We worked really hard on monday and tuesday this last week.
Then, we went to L'viv.  We rode a bus for 8 1/2 hours... and it was not my favorite thing in the whole world.  
Our conference was SWEET.
And then we came back and worked really hard again.

And the best part about all of this is that God is BLESSING US SO MUCH.  Even though I don't think I'm working hard enough,  Heavenly Father is just RAINING  down blessings.  I guess that's just part of the work.  You try your best to give 100% of what you can... and then when you finally reach it, your capacity to work is increased, and what was once 100% is now 98%.  Now you have to buck up and build yourself some more.  The Atonement is way cool like that.  It builds you and builds you, continuously.  Repentance is sweet.

Volodymyr is doing pretty well, but he really needs to get into a doctor... because every time we talk about going to the temple in Kiev, he says, "I'd love to go... I just need to be able to walk further than from my house to the church first...".  It's kind of tough when you've got serious medical issues.  He needs to exercise his faith and get into a doctor already.

Hitesh finally came to church and he loved it.  We had a lesson afterwards where we had Sister Lewis help us out (she came back to visit) and her whole family was present on the lesson.  He's a great guy, and he's very excited for his baptismal date on the 20th.

Kolya and his Sister and Mother are all coming to family night at the branch president's place with us tonight!  It's going to be a blast!   He's also progressing towards baptism, and his date is also the 20th.

It's interesting how all of this can be happening, because I feel like I'm super small in comparison to the work that I'm asked to do.  That's actually true, because God does most of the work, and I feel like the little kid who's following his Dad around while everything is getting fixed and built, and I'm just carrying the box of screws for him... and he's the one who handed me all the screws in the first place. 

Well, we just try to be the best little helpers we can!

This week was fun, and we were incredibly busy.  

Our zone surpassed all of the goals that got set for us.  Everyone was amazed, and we're all really excited for the direction that the work seems to be going in.  It's really great!

There's one city (Uzhorod), where they have almost as many baptismal dates as they have members!  (10 dates!)

In Lutsk, they found over 24 new investigators last week.  (There's only 2 companionships there) That'll keep them busy for quite a while.

It's all going very well.

I'm glad to be a part of the best mission in the world!


Talk to you all next week!
Love ya!

Pictures: Cutting grass like a real Ukrainian
Cleans mouths and hearts too.
Ran into a fence and sports day and bruised my ear.  HA.

Elder LeBaron