Monday, May 30, 2011


Dear Family,
Aloha, It sounds like things are going good. Sounds like you're pretty dedicated to working out momma, keep it up, that's way awesome. At this rate I won't recognize you when I get home. Sounds like lil Sarah had a crazy week, with herbabysitting experience and all, you're getting so old Sarah, stop sounding so mature in your letters it's freakin me out. Glad to hear everything is bueno.
Highlight of the week, Erbin got baptized in Saturday! Ayy-OH. He's tobacco free and the newest member of the Memphis 1st Ward :) The best part was, it was Elder Jones' first baptism! Super awesome. He loved it, and then I confirmed Erbin yesterday in church. When you get a baptism you know it's a good week. I'm so proud of Erbin for making it this far, he had a lot of persecution from his uncle and the people around him, but he pushed through, sacrificed, and overcame. He's a great guy and he'll make a great preisthood holder.
Aside from Erbin it was a rough week for missionary work, Wednesday another tornado came through the area and we got trapped in the Frayser House for a while, President sent out a mission-wide text saying no walking or biking, and we had actually walked to our area that day, so we weren't allowed to teach without the car. It was so lame... I hate not being able to do missionary work during the day, nothing feels worse than wasting time. Elder Jones took a nap, and actually made my own cut-outs for the plan of salvation, cuz Elder Hardy took ours with him, and I decided I'd rather make my own vs. having to wait for the media orders to get in.
Speaking of Elder Hardy, boy do I miss that guy. I hear he's doing pretty well over in Maple Street, but our District isn't the same without him. I would actually love to serve another transfer with him, he needs a little encouragement from time to time, but he's a great missionary. He's willing to work, and his heart is in the right place. Your success as a missionary all comes down to your commitment. Your commitment to find, teach, and obey with exactness. That's all it takes to be a good missionary. So many missionaries think you have to be an amazing teacher, but in all honesty that's not true at all. That's why I love Elder Hardy, he knew he didn't have the best teaching skills, but that wouldn't stop him from giving 100% of what he did have to a lesson.
The ALRM (Arkansas Little Rock Mission) is a great mission though, President said we're tearing it up. Apparently we're the 3rd highest baptizing mission, per missionary, in North America, idk how many missions are in North America, but that sounds pretty good doesn't it? This is a hard working mission, and I love it. We're getting a new mission President next transfer though, which is super weird, I'm honestly a little nervous about it. I feel like no one could replace President Drewes, but I'm sure things will be fine, God knows what he's doing.
I've been focusing a lot on the Jackson family this transfer. They're a less active, recent convert family in the ward. There's Ronnie and Keisha, and they're 4 kids - Ke'ron, Ke'Onna, KaMiaya, and KaXavier. and Keisha's mom Michelle lives with them, and Keisha's brother Big Mike. They've been having a lot of struggles recently... we go over nearly every night and read a chapter of the Book Of Mormon with them, and then go around in a circle and talk about what we personally learned from the chapter and how we can apply it, it's really good. They've been coming to church more recently now, like once a month. I love them so much, they're great people, but they have their fair share of problems. Their marriage isn't going so great, they don't talk, or spend any time together, they don't even sleep in the same room. They've been married for about 3 years now. Ronnie doesn't have a job, and I think part of that is because of his background. I know he's been in and out of jail. Keisha doesn't work either. They both live off of food stamps, and in section 8 housing, and Michelle is living there and she's an alcoholic. I almost feel like as a missionary, in this situation, I don't know what to do. We've been working on getting Ronnie a job, he's applied all over the place. It's hard enough as is, and he's obviously not the 1st pick. Keisha goes out clubbing all the time, and neither of them trust the other in any way. Their kids are the glue that's holding them together. We sat down and made goals together. We read "a proclamation to the world" with them. We got them to pray as a family, and as a couple, every night. They're making progress, but it's hard to watch them struggle. Ronnie left church yesterday determined to walk the 20 miles home because him and Keisha had a fight in church, of all places. I saw him leaving, so I grabbed Elder Fry, and we picked him up and took him home, I had a good talk with him. He keeps telling me they got married too young and they should just get a divorce, and I keep convincing him to bear with patience, and that things will get better. I'm praying for guidance, as to what I need to do, and what my role is in this situation as their missionary. I've decided what it comes down to is that I know nothing about being married, I'm just a 19 year old kid. So, This is what I came up with... Mom and Dad, if you could give me some advice as to how I can help them... Maybe, if you could find the time, you could each write letters, Dad you could write a letter to Ronnie, and Mom you could write a letter to Keisha. I know you don't know them at all, and they're both A LOT different then the two of you, but you both know about marriage, and I'm sure you've had your fair share of challenges and struggles. If you could give them some simple advice on how to have a happier marriage through living the gospel, and how you've found that in your own lives, I think that would give them some hope. You could really touch their lives. I know me being on a mission isn't just a great experience for me, but for the whole family, and I know you guys would do anything for me, so I'm asking for a little help. I would appreciate that soooo much. You don't have to be in a rush to write them, and they don't need to be novels, just heart felt and directed by the spirit. I think that would really help them, so please think about it.
Aside from that, everyone in our area is doing pretty good, and I feel like I'm learning and growing a lot as a missionary. Elder Badger is freaking out because I'm getting closer and closer to my 6 month mark, and he's my mission daddy, so that means he's getting way old. He feels like he'll be transfered outta hear in 3 weeks. Which makes sense because he's been in Frayser 6 transfers... If he does leave the ward that'll be so weird. He's been right there my whole mission, he's like my best friend out here, I don't know what I'll do without him. We'll see if he really does leave or not.
Thank you So much for the package! I appreciate it, it saved my life, especially the extra cash. You guys are the best. I love you! I have to get going. Have an amazing week, and keep Ronnie and Keisha in your prayers.
Elder LeBaron

Monday, May 23, 2011


Dear Family,

What it do? (as the kids say these days) Sounds like everything is pretty gucci back home. Gucci means good around here, and that's pronounced Goo- Chi. like Gucci Mayne, the rappa. Sarah got braces! that's pretty exciting, send me some pictures sometime haha. Don't worry Sarah, they'll only hurt all the time, until you get them off.

Mom is livin the unemployed life now, that's cool, now you'll have time to send me that package ;) haha, don't worry I've only been checking the mail everyday, but I do that regardless. Just giving you a hard time, but please do send it this week, I want to give CTR rings to these 3 kids I'm teaching. Dad, your letters make me laugh, I can just imagine you saying some of those things sarcastically, like you always do. O....K. haha.

Anyway, onto this week. This week was way gucci. I got my new companion, and guess what? He's just a little greeny like me. He's been out 3 months. So I am officially a senior companion now, at 5 months, and I'm his follow-up trainer. I think it was Brother Moore or someone at my farewell, and they bet that I would go senior comp at 4 or 5 months, I can't remember exactly, but it happened. Pretty crazy... I found out from President Drewes I'm the youngest senior comp in the mish. I'm honestly way happy I got a greeny, because they're humble, and they're willing to work hard, they just pretty much follow your example, so it's cool. I was kinda stressing about it at first, because I don't want to screw the kid up, but now I'm just excited to tear it up this transfer, If I work hard and let the Lord lead our companionship things will work out for the best.

His name is Elder Jones. He's from Salem (sp?) Oregon, he grew up in the church, he's super tall, 6"4 to be exact, so we're both two tall white towers walking around in the Ghetto, he's real skinny though, weighin in at like 150, so he's what mom would call a bean pole. Btw I'm at 196 right now. Hopefully I'll hit 2 hundo soon, I'm working on it. Don't worry ladies, it's all pure muscle. Elder Jones is a cool guy though. He needs to be motivated when it comes to getting out of bed in the morning, but if that's the hardest thing for him, we're gonna have a great transfer.

At transfers we we're walking out and President just smiled at me and told me to keep baptizing, so I guess that was the advice I got for being senior comp. I think it's pretty good advice. Elder Jones hasn't had a baptism yet, so I need to make sure I get him in the water this transfer. He needs to get that fire you get from your first baptism, it's all the more motivation to get your next one.

It's been hott here in Tennessee. Like scorching, plus a lot of humidity. So we're sweaty all the day long. You honestly feel like you went swimming or something, because you're drenched. Its awesome knocking on doors covered in sweat. Livin' the dream. You get to feel the nice AC for a second, until the shut the door on you.

Erbin is doing alright. He hasn't had a cigarette in 3 days now, which is awesome. His Uncle took his Book Of Mormon from him I guess, and told him that we worship Joseph Smith and not Jesus Christ. I don't understand some people, did he not read the bold letters on the cover that say Another Testament Of JESUS CHRIST. Come on bro. but Erbin says he knows that it's true and that he still wants to get baptized, we're just not allowed to come over and teach him anymore. So we'll have to call him and meet him at secret locations now, which is okay, but I want to get him baptized as soon as possible, especially now that's he's already dealing with some persecution. So please pray for him, hopefully he'll get baptized this Saturday.

Kierra, another girl Elder Badger and I taught in Frayser got baptized last Saturday! It was way awesome. She was always so solid, but she was living with her boyfriend, but she finally decided to kick him out. She said she's finally ready to turn her life around. I guess she was planning her baptism for a good 3 weeks, she just told Elder Badger to keep it a secret from me because she wanted to surprise me haha. She's so awesome. I'm so proud of her.

Star-neesha, who I baptized the begining of last transfer, moved from Frayser to Raleigh, so now I can go visit her again. I was happy about that, she's awesome, and now Elder Jones and I can work on getting her daughter baptized as well.

Things are going good here. We met this cool guy that looked like Lil' Wayne and he fed us some watermelon, he said he admired us for walking around in the heat and spreading the good word. We had a really cool first lesson with him, and come to find out, he's a way spiritual guy, hopefully things will progress with him this week. His name is Devin. He also told us if we have any problems in the neighborhood to let him know and he said he'll "take care of it", I thought that was funny. He's a nice guy.

I'm pretty much out of time, but I love you guys, you're in my prayers, thanks for your letters and your support! Sorry if it's a little short, I don't like this library, it only gives you an hour on the computer, and I have to read all the emails, then write one, and then write a president letter, so much to do so little time. but I love you all.


Elder Justin LeBaron

Monday, May 16, 2011


Hey Family,
I wonder how you all are doing since nobody from my immediate family wrote me this week. Thats okay though, I bet your sending them at this very moment while I'm writing this email. Kelsey told me about Ben and Dakota's farewell. Sounds like they did awesome and that they're pumped. I'm really excited for them, the mission is the best thing ever. They're gonna tear it up.
This week was an emotional one for Elder Hardy, he's pretty scared to leave, he hates transfers, and getting a new companion, and he just doesn't like change, so it's been one of our harder weeks together. He's been in the Memphis 1st Ward his whole mission, so he's been saying a lot of goodbyes, and because he's leaving, people have actually been feeding us, that was pretty cool. Sure enough he received a phone call this morning saying to pack his things and that he was being transfered. I wonder who my new companion will be. Elder Badger always tells me to expect the worst, lol, that way I wont be caught off gaurd. Haha, but he also told me things couldn't get much worse so I dont need to worry, haha. He loves Elder Hardy, he served with him before he served with me, but it's pretty well known around the mission that Elder Hardy one of the harder missionaries to serve with, and I could serve with that man 4 transfers if I had to, so I'm not too concerned about transfers. but you know me, I pretty much just go with the flow. Come what may and love it! So I'm sure my new companion will be a little stud. I'm guessing he's gonna be younger than me, mission age, but we'll see. That reminds me, I officially turned 5 months yesterday! Happy Birthday to me, one more month and I get to burn a tie, and I'll be at my 1/4 mark. Pretty crazy stuff.
Mom, you don't need to worry about the flooding. I'm a really good swimmer. Also, the flooding isn't bad in the Raleigh/Frayser area. I hear the Mississippi River crested and now the water level is receding again, but then again you'd probably know better than me, you can watch the news. I also heard that the Mississippi is usually about a half a mile wide, but with the flooding it's gotten up to nearly 3 miles wide, pretty gnarley huh.
So i'm guessing most of you have also heard, but yesterday at Stake Conference I ran into some familiar faces, JD and Monique Derr. It was reallly wierd to see people I knew from my past life, before I was reborn into the world as a missionary, haha. It was way cool though. I had no idea they were in my stake until Stevey told me on Mothers Day. When Elder Hardy and I were driving to the Stake Center I was telling him that we might see my brothers in-laws, and then it ended up happening. Mo was really cool and said she'd feed me and my comp dinner somtime, and she said we could bring over investigators for member present lessons or whatever we needed, and so now I have her number if I ever need anything. It was way sweet. Elder Badger had the hotts for her, he asked me if she was single, lol, that silly guy.
We have one investigator, Erbin, who is looking really good for baptism, except for his smoking problem. He's commited to stop, but then he smoked the very next day. We're gonna have to go through the stop-smoking program with his this week. If he stays clean this whole week he'll probably be baptized on the 21st. If he relapses again we'll have to push it back to the 28th. He'll be baptized this month though, He's a stud.
We have a lot of other investigators who we can never seem to get a hold of or catch at home, but that isn't out of the regular.
I've noticed that certain southern words that I used to seem really wierd aren't seeming so wierd anymore. I don't know how it happened, but I started using the word Ya'll like it's normal or something. The other day I caught myself asking Kiesha and her kids "Are Ya'll fittin' to leave?" Then I was like, what the heck just came out of my mouth. So I just wanted to brace all of my loved ones back home, I might come home with a wierd vocabulary. Then again I also use a lot of ghetto words like Flojjin and junt and shoknowhatosay, and "you so green" which directly translated in ghetto means, "you're mean". haha.
Nothing too crazy has been going on this week. Elder Peay went AP and Elder Adams is getting transfered, and Elder Hardy is leaving, so we're going to have 3 new missionaries in the ward, so that'll be exciting, transfers officially happen Wednesday morning.
Alright, well I know this letter is a little short, please forgive me mother, we're in a little bit of a hurry. I love you guys. Thanks for all your constant support.
-Elder LeBaron

Monday, May 9, 2011


Dear Family,
It was so nice to talk to you all yesterday. I love all of you so much. It sounds like things back home are going just fine. Happy Mothers Day again mom, It was probably one of MY best Mothers Day's as well; one where I truly realized how greatful I am for the mother that I have always had. I couldn't have grown up in a better home, we have always been so blessed, and being out here has really opened my eyes to that. I love you mom, you raised some good kids ;) you mean the world to me. I think I'll always be a momma's boy.
This past week was awesome, if I do say so myself. Elder Hardy and I are striving to do our best to carry out the Lords work here in Raleigh, and I feel like he has been trusting us with more responsibilities and teaching opportunities. I was able to baptize Shemeika on Saturday, and that was really awesome. It sounds like she's becomming friends with a lot of my family and loved ones over Facebook lol. I know Mom has sent her a few messages, and Sister Boyd has as well, that crazy woman. Shemeika is awesome though, I was so proud of her on Saturday. She had a few things she had to overcome to prepare for baptism, and I think she's already seeing the blessings from her obedience and her sacrifice.
We had some really cool lessons this week. We got a refferal from a pass along card on Wednesday, so we went and delivered the Jesus Christ DvD this guy ordered, and we were able to teach him the 1st lesson outside in his front yard. His name is Erbin, and he's a really great guy. I think he's around 23. We got close to the end of the lesson and we were talking about the Holy Ghost, and about how he can receive a spiritual witness that our message is true, and I asked him about how he felt when I was describing the 1st vision to him. He got really emotional and said he almost started crying when we told him Joseph Smiths vision. We continued talking about how soft and subtle the spirit is, but how strong it can burn inside of you. We asked him to set a goal to follow Jesus Christ's example by commiting to the covenant of baptism, and when we started talking about baptism he just burst into tears. He started talking about how he wants to get back into church and turn his life around. The spirit was so strong. I was so greatful for Erbin, we haven't had a lot of luck finding new investigators recently, he came just in time. He came to church yesterday and loved it. So pray that things will continue to go well with him and the decisions he's making.
I told my family this yesterday, but Elder Hardy found out from President that he'll be getting transfered to Little Rock next week. He's really nervous about it, but I think it'll be really good for him. He's been in the Memphis 1st ward all 10 months of his mission. 6 in Frayser and then 4 in Raleigh, so this'll be something new that'll help him grow. I've learned so much from serving with Elder Hardy, I'm glad President put us together, that man is truly inspired. I was reading over my Patriarchal Blessing a few days ago, and I'm already seeing some of the things it talked about, dealing with my mission, happening. and it is giving me a lot of helpful guidance, it's really cool how things like that work out.
After calls yesterday I was talking to my trainer, Elder Badger, and we have both been going through struggles with our companions this transfer so we like to vent to eachother when we have the chance. He told me about how he was talking to his older brother on the phone yesterday, who's a RM, and his brother gave him a lot of helpful advice that he in turn gave to me. He was talking about how there are so many different types of missionaries, those that work really hard, or those that are just great at the social aspect, those that are really spiritual, and you hear this a thousand times out here, but a mission is what you make of it, and even if you're out here everyday busting your tail, working as hard as you can, getting to the point where your legs want to collapse, and then you go knock some more doors, you could still end up getting on that plane in 2 years, and be unsure of your answer when you ask yourself if you did everything you could out here. Elder Holland talks about how you cant waste a day, or an hour, or even a minute out here. He tells missionaries to have no regrets. President Kimball talked about a vision he had, of having a 19 or 20 year old body again, and running from house to house preaching the gospel, until he got so tired he'd have to crawl, and then eventually drag himself from house to house, crying repentance. Its an interesting thing to think about, and I often take time just to ponder and see where I'm at as a missionary, and ask myself if i'm doing everything I can out here. There is no greater work than this. Elder Holland said that there is nothing casual about this work. Elder Badger is a great missionary, I love talking to him because he inspires me, and all the other missionaries around him. It's easy to see why he is a zone leader, leaders are meant to inspire and uplift. His brother talked to him about how half way through his own mission he started to realize that he wasn't getting what he wanted out of his mission, sure he was working hard, busting his tail from 10-9 everyday, but he wasn't seeing these miracles he heard about from all these old timers telling mission stories, he wanted to know where those were, and he knew he could give more. He didn't want to just be a 10-9 missionary. Why not a 2 year missionary. You shouldn't be just enduring your mission, but serving it. There's a lot he talked about and a lot of thoughts in my head.... now I'm just rambling. Anyway. I've just been realizing what I can change and how I can be better, and how greatful I am to be out here, for what it has already done and will continue to do for my life and the lives of those around me. A mission in itself is a miracle...
I'm running out of time so I have to go, I love you all, have a great week! I'll talk to you soon.
- Elder Justin LeBaron

Monday, May 2, 2011


Dear Familia,
Thank you for all your letters. I didn't get a letter from you again today momma, but I bet it just didn't go through for some wierd reason like last time. My email is trippy. It's okay though, because I get to talk to you in like 6 days anyways. Are you excited?? Me too. I think I'll try to call pretty early so I can talk to Stephen, because he has to bounce at like 10, right? Over here in Tennessee we're an hour ahead, if I remember correctly... The only problem we're facing is that Elder Hardy and I have to go start waking people up and giving rides to church at around 8:30, and then we'll be busy up until church ends and we get everyone home. So if I'm gonna talk to Stevo I'll have to call early, so it'll be like 6:30 or 7 Colorado time. So I think this is the plan... I'm gonna call around 6:30 your time, make sure I talk to Stephen, and whoever else in the morning, go to church, and then call again after church and spend time talking to everyone else. I hear it's cool if I do that. Elder Hardy is planning on using the phone from like 6-9 p.m. I guess, lol. So don't worry, I'll make sure I talk to everyone. It'll be good.
Alright, so since I don't watch the news I don't know if the crazy weather we've been having has been on there, but dad mentioned the tornadoes in his letter so i'm guessing you've heard about it. We've been having crazy crazy storms all week. I think the tornado sirens have gone off at least once every day, and get this! Elder Hardy is not only terrified of tornadoes, but also of heavy rain, and lighting, and pretty much just storm clouds. So he's been having a rough week of overcoming his fears. I've slept in the closet with him a few times because he gets scared, but I'll usually just wait until he falls asleep and then I'll go sleep in my bed.
These storms are crazy though! The sky literally turns this dark shade of green and then it starts to rain like you've never seen before, if you step out into it you automatically get soaked, it's nuts, and the tornado sirens just make it almost creepy. The tornadoes aren't the craziest part though, the flash floods are whats up. Yesterday I was with Elder Peay trying to get an investigator to church, and we were driving through the rain storm and there were parts where the road would dip down, and the water eould literally be coming over the top of the hood for a second. It was insane. We're safe though don't worry.
Missionary work has been slow this week due to the insane weather, but we've been able to do a lot of service. Yesterday Elder Hardy, Elder Peay, Elder Fry and I, all dug this huge trench for Brother Ausburn to keep the water from flooding his house for the 2nd time. It was cool, cuz we didn't have time to go change because the tornado/rainstorm was coming in 45 min, and so we just went and dug this massive trench in the mud in our suit pants and white shirts. Don't worry we took off our shoes first. Honestly it was awesome. Elder Fry has a picture, I'll try to get it.
We wanted to watch our trench in action and see if it kept the water out, but after the sirens started going off Brother Ausburn told us we needed to go get someplace safe... plus Elder Hardy was freaking out. So we went and took cover in the Frayser house. It was a fun day though.
I think it was Wednesday that President sent out a mass text to the mission saying all missionaries in the whole mission had to be inside and safe and take cover by 6 pm, and that we weren't allowed to go out and teach unless we we're using a car. no biking or walking. We were on our bikes when we got that text, at like 5 pm, but we were right next to the Frayser house, so we got inside and had a sleep over with the Frayser elders that night. So this weeks been pretty exciting.
Aside from all that craziness, we've been working with Shamika a lot this week. She's quit smoking now, and she's way excited for her baptism on Saturday! Yeaah Buddy. She's a way cool girl, she's Big Man's older sister. We're reading through the Book of Mormon with Big Man and Shamika together and they're loving it. They are way solid. Things are looking gooood.
Elder Hardy was greatful for the things he got in the package the Boyd's sent me. Except for the chalk, lol. He was like, what in the heck? why'd your girlfriend send me chalk?? It made me laugh pretty hard. I really think he enjoyed just getting something though, his parents didn't send him an easter package, I think Elder Hardy just needs some lovin. So if anyone sends me another package while I'm with him, feel free to put some stuff in there for him, I think it would really make his day.
Also, thank you so much for the package familia, I got it a little late but I still got it. For future reference, try not to send packages via UPS, because they require a signature, and missionaries are gone from 10:00 - 9:00 everyday, so they never catch us, lol. They left a notice on the door, and I just left them a sticky note asking them to give it to the neighbors and have them sign for it, so either way it all worked out. Thank you for sending my favorite cereal and some food! If you haven't noticed I've been spending a little more money from home lately, I was dumb this past month with budgeting my money, but don't worry I have 20 more chances to figure out how to live of off 125 dollas. I should been more than good this month, especially since both of my loving grandparents sent me a little cash. Thank you grandparents!
I've been thinking lately, and I think it'd be way awesome if I had some magic tricks I could do for little kids. We see lots and lots of herds of those little black buggers running around, and the parents love it when we entertain thier kids, and it's a good way to break the ice and get in to teach families. SO, if you guys ever have time and see some cool magic tricks that you could send me, that would be perfect, and some cheap little CTR rings, those are awesome, kids love them.
Elder Peay has some cool little books, like "Missionary Object Lessons" and some other Missionary help books. He told me his parents sent them from an LDS book store, so if you ever see anything helpful like that, it'd make a good present for me okay ;) lol. Just some ideas.
I love all of you very much.
Here in Tennessee and Arkansas the casualties haven't been too bad, I think 7 people died here, but I hear over 200 died in Alabama from these storms coming through, So just remember to keep those who have been effected in your prayers!
-Elder LeBaron
p.s. Stephen, Thank you for your email. I really enjoyed your story, sometimes we don't even realize the impact we have on others! That's honestly so awesome. Love you and I'll send you a letter soon. I'm looking forward to talking with you this week.