I'm super clueless.
Sometimes, I think that I've been on a mission, just so that Heavenly Father can show me how much I don't know. It's a HUGE blessing. If you'd like Him to fix your pride, just send papers to Salt Lake.
I've been out long enough that I understand what it feels like to have the spirit with oneself in missionary work, and what it feels like to try and do it all by oneself. Though, The problem that exists here is universal. We all understand that we have specific duties to perform in order to be worthy of the gifts of the spirit (i.e. comfort, empathy, empowerment through the atonement...), but we sometime just are too lazy to dig in and get our hands dirty.
This week was a great opportunity for me to realize what it means to cast out your fears and distractions, and just "dig in and get your hands dirty". In order to really do this work, you've got to be willing to make mistakes, look dumb, repent, change, and be humbled.
A couple of lessons throughout the week have led me to believe that I haven't been a bold enough person throughout the course of my mission. Finding lots of investigators and inviting them all to be baptized and planning everything and this... and that... and business; that's actually very easy.
What's not easy? Taking hold of the gospel with your whole heart, loving it, taking hold of a person, loving them, and helping that person to really grasp hold of the reason for your hope. It amazes me how much more personal missionary work is than any other work. This is truly the Lord's work, because you learn to love in a very real way.
We have one young man who says he wants to be baptized, and we'll be setting some solid plans with him this next sunday.
We have another member referral that we're exerting a lot of effort for to help him get himself on track for baptism.
I'm more tired than I've ever been on my mission ever before. It's awesome. I hope that we accomplish a lot of incredible things in L'viv! The plans need to be set in place, and we've got to account for all of our resources... it's just difficult to find a peaceful moment to think sometimes because of random special assignments and unexpected speed-bumps.
It'll all get solved though. This is God's work, and He helps all of those who want to give it their all.
Okay, on a more INDEPENDENCE DAY note:
We went to family night with the Clinger family. Yup, they're americans. It was so weird going to a house where kids were speaking, and I understood everything they were saying. I forgot what american kids are like. It was so much fun!
We ate burgers... american style burgers. That's the best burger I've had in... we'll, in Ukraine.
They're family is super cool. Brother Clinger used to be a pole-vaulter, so we had all sorts of fun stories to tell. His wife is super spunky and funny. They're just the coolest. We had 3 Ukrainian missionaries there, and then me. I was the only american missionary! It was insane. They didn't understand any of the references or informal words that the family used, and I was sitting there, thinking, "U.S.A! U.S.A!". I love Ukraine, but I also love my home country. Needless to say, that was the most trunky hour of my entire mission.
I think I'm okay now, though. Don't panic.
Anyway, I love you all a TON. So much, that it doesn't fit on a bun.
Take care of yourselves.
See you when we see you.
-- Elder LeBaron
ps. Congrats Zack on getting home! I don't think you'll actually get this email.... but whatever.
Pictures: Elder Salamatin, Me, Branch President Roman Lisniy, and Sasha ( from Uzhorod )
Apparently, we can't take a normal picture without someone trying to tickle me.
-- Старійшина ЛеБерон