Monday, August 17, 2015

(Mission) Home alone.

This week was way weird.
I felt like a homeless person.

So, we had the saddest, coolest, most spiritual thing happen.  4 of our best missionaries went home.  I got to go to the departure dinner  The dinner was awesome, and then we watched this slideshow that me made in the office of pictures from their missions.  I didn't cry.  Miracle.
Then, we listened to all of their testimonies -- Let me tell you -- Those are 4 young people whose mission changed their lives!  I was really touched (still didn't cry).  

Then, we went to bed... and I got up at 3 in the morning to go with my companion, Elder Salamatin, to the airport.  Sister Shylina also was there, and it hit me like a wall that they were going home.  They walked through the terminal... and I realized that I may never see those to beloved Ukrainians ever again.  That's my brother and sister.  I still didn't cry, but I really wanted to.

Got home... didn't sleep... I was with the office couple, because my companion was now gone.
We ate breakfast together (they're super generous, and fed me food!)
Then, we went to the office to wait for the other 2 elders to send them off as well.  
Elder Asay and Elder Mollinet are like my big brothers -- they've been watching out for me my entire mission....
and the same thing happened.. one more time.  It was like being at a funeral.  But, this time it was a little less painful, because I knew I was going to see them when I got back... but still sad. 

Well... then we were on to our next project:  Get the 2 new missionaries coming in from the Spain MTC.  2 new Ukrainians!
Well... my job was then to get with president and got pick them up at 10:20pm or so...

So Elder Plaster (Senior Elder in the office) took me over to the Mission Home.  Poor guy was huffing and puffing, because he was trying to keep up with me (should've slowed down... it's just natural), and tell me stories from his mission (which were AWESOME!)

When we got upstairs, Sister Rizley met us at the door, and ushered me in... and informed me that I would be staying on the 2nd floor, in a back room with a bed, and that I was to stay there until I was summoned.  Obviously, she didn't say it like that at all, but that was what I gathered from the way I was sat down and the door was closed.  Maybe President wasn't home yet... I'm still unsure.

But... then I was the most alone that I've ever been for the past 20 months...

The flight for the new missionaries was delayed around 4 times.
We ended up finally going to the airport at 3 am.

I slept a total of 4 hours over the course of those 3 days between the getting up in the middle of the night, and the crazy noises and people talking really loud.  Somehow, through it all, we managed to find 3 new investigators who are really cool, and teach our english class, have lessons, and I finally got my new companion, Elder Tykhomyrov.  

So... I was a missionary hobo for a few days.

Now things are going really well.
It's weird right now, because Elder Podvodov got his wisdom teeth removed last week, and so we've been taking shifts to watch him...
I somehow haven't gotten stuck in the apartment to nanny him though... so I've been kinda lucky -- even though I love the kid.

I'm happy to be out here in the field!
This is the best place on earth!!

I just want to bear my testimony that I know that this Church is true!
I wouldn't have stayed out here for this long if I didn't know that by now.  This has been a very trying experience, but I'm more happy now than I ever was before.  I'm sad to know that I only have 4 months left... but I'm also happy because, hey, I've STILL GOT 4 MONTHS!  YEAH!

The Lord blesses us for the desires of our hearts and for our good efforts.  I know that if we will dedicate ourselves to God, He will never lead us away from that which will ultimately make us the happiest!  And that happiness lasts forever!

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

Elder LeBaron

​-- Pictures:  Elder Podvodov's ice packs for his face... in socks.  
                    The departed.
​                      My mugshot for government documents in ukraine!

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