Monday, October 31, 2011


Aloha familia.

    Dude Sarah, I like the pictures, your farmers tan is ridiculous. lol. Thank you for your e-mails, I really appreciate them. Mom, it sounds like you're still staying strong with working out. Keep it up!! You talking about your goals made me think of this book I'm reading, its called "LEADERSHIP" it's by an apostle from way back in the day, but there's a whole chapter devoted to goals, and goal setting, and accomplishing them. It talks about how powerful the mind is, and how our mind set and our attitude can change everything about our lives. Everyone in this world has an idea of the person they want to be, or an accomplishment they want to acheive, but often times it just fades away as a dream that seems immpossible to reach. Thats what the natural man will tell you and thats what satan tries to get you to believe. What we need to realize is there's no limits to our righteous desires, at all. We our the offspring of God and were made in his image, we have the capability to become all that he is, like it says in the scriptures. We have every power and capability to acheive any goal we have on this earth. Impossible really is nothing. In this book he talks about the CAN DO inside of us. The power and discipline we have over our minds and our bodies to acheive. Most people don't intend to be late for meetings, they just end up running behind. Usually there isn't detramental consequences for being a few minutes late to anything, it's the norm, mormon standard time, lol. But if someone was going on a trip they wouldn't dare miss catching a flight, they would almost always get there with plenty of time, because they know there will be no refunds or re-scheduling. It's the CAN DO inside of us that makes us catch a flight, but often times we don't have that same CAN DO for making it in time for Sacrament or other meetings, or some of our smaller goals and intensions in this life, and because of that we miss the mark of obtaining our full potential. When we look at our goals as something that we HAVE TO do, where we cut off the idea of retreat, or making our goals optional, then we would never miss the mark, just like we would never miss a plane. It's given me a new prespective of goals and self-mastery. So I just wanted to say good job moma, keep up the CAN DO attitude. Impossible is just some imaginary boundry we put in our minds. We constantly need to tear it down.

   This week has been crazy madness my friends. We moved into the new apartment in East Memphis, and it's sick, as in awesome. The walls are clean. The carpet looks like it's never been walked on. It's a brand spankin new missionary apartment. It's been nice living there the past 3 days. It was really fun moving too, we got to throw stuff off balconies and things, that's always cool.

   This morning has been the craziest morning of my life though. We figured Elder Kowalk was getting transfered outsta here because I'm done training him now, so as usual the AP's called this morning and told him to pack his stuff. Then I get out of the shower and the phone rings, and I see that it's President. So I answer, and he tells me I need to pack my stuff too, he said he was planning on leaving me in Memphis East, but last night he woke up, and had the impression that I was needed as a Zone Leader in Arkansas. So that blew my mind this morning. I was so surprised that I kinda zoned out after he said that and forgot I was still on the phone with him, lol. He said I'm gonna be opening a new area with another Zone Leader on the other side of the river. So that was madness. I was planning on giving you guys my address today so you could send me stuff if you want, but I'm gonna have to wait another week since I'll be moving again. The best option would honestly be to send stuff to the mission home, because I'm gonna be on that side of the river in two days anyway.
   I don't know how I feel about going to Arkansas, or being made Zone Leader, I was only a District Leader for one transfer, but I know the Lord calls us in our weakness. He takes raw materials and refines them into his ultimate design, so I know It'll all be bueno.
   We've just been working with other missionaries right now since we haven't officially had an area this week. Raleigh is being closed and Memphis East is being open and we've just been in the middle of the transition, and but both of us are being transfered somewhere else, so it's been kinda crazy.
   I was in Memphis 2nd Ward yesterday, and we had a really great church service, I really enjoyed it. It was the primary program, and the week before we saw the Memphis 1st ward primary program, so we've just been watching little kids sing and say funny stuff. It's been good.
   I hope I enjoy Arkansas, but then again it's just everything I make of it so I know it'll be good if I want it to be. I kinda have those butterflies you get in your stomache the night before a big day, like Christmas or going to Disney Land or something. I've never been too far into that side of the mission, and I know that in like 8 days I'll have to give a Zone Meeting with whoever my Zone Leader companion is, to missionaries I've never met. This is exciting, lol.

Well. Happy Halloween, have some fun for me. Carve some pumpkins, eat some candy, and watch some freaky movies. I enjoy this time of the year, I'm excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I hear missionaries are like celebrities on those days, depending on the ward. I hope I get fed like 5 times in one day, and if not, I can always eat some delicious ramen. haha. I've been buying a lot of tuna lately, cuz its way good for you and way cheap. AND, believe it or not, tuna mixed in mac-n-cheese is pretty good. I recommend it.

Family, Friends, and anyone else who could possibly read this. I love you all. Thank you for your support. You make the world go round.

ps. Keep your eyes peeled for anything that could be useful in a teaching situation. I like to try new ideas. Another elder I went on exchanges with has this legit dvd of what he called "Mormon Messages", it's like parts of conference talks with videos and music put to it. They are super legit. If you find anything about those, I definately wanna get my hands on those. Or if you have any inspirational church dvd's or talks on CD's or anything like that. I'd love some more of that stuff, for training meetings and teaching situations and things. AND if you ever find a little inspirational qoute book, those are helpful too, lots of missionaries have LDS qoute books, from apostles and leaders and just famous smart people. So all of these things are things that I would be able to use.

Alright, now I'm really gonna get going and email president. I love love love ya. Talk to you in a week and let you know how Arkansas is. Have a great week, and remember- CAN DO.

peace love and much happiness

-Elder Justin LeBaron

Monday, October 24, 2011


Aloha family,
   Sarah! Good job, sounds like you're doing awesome in school, i bet your glad I showed you the example of what not to do, lol. Keep it up! It makes me happy to hear that you're getting in good habits so young.
   Mom, I love you, keep working hard in the gym, haha, it reall does make me happy to hear the whole family is trying to be more healthy. A healthy family is a happy family, right?
   Thanks for the E-mail Dad, sometimes I hit some rough patches out here in the mission field, I do find it really helpful to hear mission stories and experiences from others who have previously served. Since both my parents have, I could learn a lot from you. I've been trying to ask RM's that are in my ward out here and any I run into, because their answers always interest and motivate me, and also give me idea's as a District Leader on how to help my District, But, I know, just like Alma tells us, that by small and simple things great things are brought to pass. I've been asking other people that have served , what worked in their mission, how they found success, what changed their mission around. President Garrett, in our stake presidency out here has told us that in his mission, what really turned everything around was praying for your companion during lessons. He said their mission president set an expectation, where just like it says in Preach My Gospel (even though this was way before PMG was even thought about) That during every lesson, when your companion was teaching, you would face him, listen, and fervently pray in your heart that the words he's saying will touch the investigator, and that he will be led by the spirit. President Garrett said this worked miracles in his mission, they went from baptizing on average 1.8 people per missionary to baptizing 10 or 12. I know that many blessings we can and will receive from heaven are conditional on whether or not we pray for them, prayer is the key to unlocking them, but when he told me that story I thought that was amazing, that truly is a miracle.
    So Mom and Dad, and Grandpa, and anyone else who reads this and wants to email me back. What worked on your mission? How did you find success? What do you remember that had a big impact on you? What miracles did you see? I wanna know. I need all the help I can get, and there's no time to waste.
   This past week the office Elder called and kinda surprised me. They told me to get all the stuff in our apartment ready to move and pack up our suitcases because we'll be moving Wednesday. So Raleigh is getting closed in 2 days. Transfers aren't even until the 2nd, but they said this was most convenient for them. So I have been going around with Elder Kowalk trying to say goodbye to everyone that I've come to love and care about here in Raleigh. Since I really haven't moved my whole mission it's a little exciting, but at the same time it's kinda sad. I'm going to miss the Memphis 1st ward, but I'm really not going far. I'll only be like 30 minutes away from Raleigh.
   I went on exchanges like crazy this week. I think I only got to work my area 2 days. I went to West Memphis to work with Elder Bigelow for a day, lol, and I honestly loved that, he reminded me a lot of Elder Hardy, he's super socially akward in the best way, he cracks me up. I had a lot of fun with him. Then the Zone Leaders asked if I could exchange with them while doing a double exchange with Jonesboro so that they could still have 1 ZL in Frayser. So I went up to Jonesboro over in Arkansas with Elder Gerber, and worked with another District Leader over there named Elder Dispain, it was interesting. He's getting ready to go home in like 9 days, so its always interesting talking to missionaries that are on the end of their rope like that. and we had this really big training meeting that was kinda like a miny Zone Conference, so I stayed really busy this week, I was in and out of a lot of different area's.
   Then Friday I spent most of the day in Midtown and Frayser doing baptismal interviews for my District. Oh, and guess what? We had 6 baptisms Saturday as a District! It was awesome. The only thing that would have made it better is if Crystal and Dennis got baptized, It was frustrating because I was gone in other area's all week so I couldn't be here to prepare them for Saturday, and when Friday rolled around Elder Lester interviewed them and I guess they both decided they wanted to wait another 2 weeks. I'm not even going to be here in 2 weeks, so I'm a little upset I have to leave before they get baptized, but the Zone Leaders are suppossed to take over and work with them after we leave. I'm sure I'll be able to come down for the baptism though.
    So yeah, if anyone wants to send me a letter or a package, please don't send it this week, wait until I get my new address. OR If you want to send something now, send it to the mission home and they'll give it to me in like 9 days at transfers. So send it to the little rock address.
   I'm short on time, but I love you all. have an awesome week. Keep on keepin' on.
Elder LeBaron-

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Lol... Well. Thank you for the e-mails. I really enjoyed reading about how my brother almost died. Bro-ski, you gotta be freaking careful. I don't want to hear about any more deaths, you're suppossed to look before you drive through an intersection. You need to be alive when I get home so I can make fun of you for that. I'm glad you were protected, and I'm sorry your ear got jacked up. Too bad you wrecked the big bad Green Wagon, Sarah will never get her turn to drive that bad boy, guess you'll have to try and find another one Dad. I don't want her to miss out, I had some good memories with that car... Like that stop sign I took out, or that median I drove over, and the multiple curbs I hit. Not to mention how cool I always felt pullin up to high school in that bad boy, nothing says swagger more than a wagon. Those were the days.
   Well, Not too much has happened this week. I went on exchanges with Midtown, we did a lot of tracting, we found 5 new investigators, so that was awesome, but overall it was a rough week. I think my son is a little discouraged. This next week should be really good though, Crystal and Dennis are both looking good for baptism, and should be getting baptized on Oct 22nd. That should be way cool. 
  To answer your question Mom, transfers are in 3 weeks, and yeah... since they're closing Raleigh I will for sure be moving. I'm not moving far though. President told me I'm going to the Memphis 2nd Ward. I was way glad to hear that I was staying in Memphis. wooot.  
   Me and my new companion will actually be sharing an apartment with the Zone Leaders in the other Memphis Zone, so that will be cool. It's always fun being around other missionaries. I hear Memphis 2nd ward is a lot like Memphis 1st, so I should feel right at home, and my MTC comp Elder Emery is training his new missionary in that ward, so I'll get to serve around him, I'm excited for that. It will be werid leaving Raleigh though, I'll have been here for 7 1/2 months at the end of this transfer so it pretty much feels like home to me. I think I'm ready for new surroundings, and to see more of the mission.
   I've been studying a lot about Faith the past few days. I've been thinking a lot about how so many returned missionaries talk about all these miracles they saw while they were on their missions. My mission has been a great experience up to this point, but I want to see more miracles. I want to experience things that will change who I am and who I ever will be for the rest of my life. I don't feel like I'm getting the results I want, and I'm getting a little frustrated, I don't know exactly what it is. I was reading through Ether chapter 12 the other day, and throughout the whole first half of the chapter he continually says something like, "and by their faith - this happened, and because they had so much faith- these miracles were wrought." and it links miracles directly to faith. Which I guess might be a common understanding, but it reminded me how there are certain laws that God follows, like how faith always precedes miracles, and how obediece always precedes blessings just like it talks about in D&C 131. If I want too see more miracles, and help my district to see more miracles, I need to increase my faith. In the Bible Dictionary it says something like "Miracles don't increase your faith, faith is increased by obedience". Obedience is something that is always drilled into our heads as missionaries, and it's like there are so many rules it's nearly impossible to follow all of them, without giving up things that are difficult to give up. Sacrificing 2 years is hard. Sacrificing writing letters to family members and friends through-out the week, just to be more obedient to the white handbook is even harder, sacrifcing the little free-time you get at night to make sure you write in your journal and say your prayers and plan for the next day and fill out the area book, and just everyything. It is hard... A mission is hard. and I get a little frustrated, just because I don't feel like I've ever been one to follow the rules. I always looked for ways to get around rules growing up, and when everyone is telling me to do one thing, I just instinctivly want to do the opposite. Now my life is about rules. I'm learning a lot of self discipline, and focusing on how everytime I sacrifice, it will increase my faith. I want to learn more self discipline, just like President Erying talked about in preisthood session. I want my faith to be stronger than it ever has been, and the only way that can happen is through my actions. If I can show God how much this means to me, he will show me miracles, and make me an instrument in his hand. I have a lot I need to work on. Thank goodness the atonement is real.
Sorry I've just been writing my stream of thought. I love all you guys. Dad. Happy Birthday! what are you like 25 now? Keep working out those arms so we can have that arm wrestling competition we talked about. Love you all. take care.
-Elder LeBaron

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Hey family,
   I'm really pressed for time this week so it'll be a little short. This week just blew by. It's insane, I feel like I didn't have enough time to do anything.
   Tuesday after Zone Meeting I went on exchanges with Elder Wawro in Frayser. It was good to be workin my old area for a day. We had an awesome lesson with this lady named Lillian, who we committed to stop smoking, it was really spiritual, we were all tearing up through it. She wants to quit so bad, but she keeps giving in. I hate cigarettes. I want to burn down all the tobbacco companies. It ruins lives. Her daughter has serious lung problems just from all the second hand smoke she's been breathing growing up. She can hardly breathe at all. Elder Wawro gave Lillian an awesome blessing and we set a baptismal date for this weekend, but she ended up smoking about 3 cigarettes every day after that visit, so they had to push it back. The rest of the day was just fall through appointments and finding.
  Wednesday we got to see Crystal and Dennis, they're looking awesome for baptism on the 22nd. Then we went and gave Star's daughter Mari a blessing. We did some finding, and had a good lesson with the Jacksons.
  Thursday and Friday was super busy. Thursday we had to drive down to West Memphis so I could do some baptismal interviews, and Friday we were in Midtown so I could do some more baptismal interviews, I think I did 8 total. Then we went down to Dyersburg with the AP's to help them with a few things. 
  Saturday was the baptism for April, Kierra, and Erica, all from the Midtown elders,and I got to interview all of them and they are awesome. That was a cool night. Afterwards we went to the stake center to help Brother Presley with his little Elvis concert, lol. That was fun. It was like 30 single adults sitting at a table watching brother presley put on a show, and he's a great guy and he gives it his all, but he's really hard of hearing, so he can't exatly hear his own voice, he's a little tone deaf. I was entertained though. We were in charge of the lights and the fog machine, haha.
   It was a good night though, me and Elder Kowalk took a few pictures, I'm gonna attach the one of us in front of the temple.
   Like I said, this week has just blown by, but I guess it's because I did work in 3 other areas. Something crazy I found out - President called me and told me he's been thinking about closing Raleigh and moving me over to the Memphis 2nd Ward to open a new area. I guess Elder Badger and President talked a lot about how having 4 set of missionaries in the Memphis 1st ward made it hard for the members to supprt the missionaries in their efforts and how Raleigh was probably the hardest area in the ward to work fr different reasons. So the ZL's in Frayser are going to cover our Recent Converts and I'm going over to Memphis 2nd and opening a new area next transfer. and word on the street is I might be training again because of the huge amount of missionaries we have coming into the mission next transfer. Idk, we'll see what happens. I most likely wil hop zones. I am excited though, cuz my MTC comp Elder Emery is in the Memphis 2nd ward, so I'd get to work closely with him.
  I gotta bounce. but I love ya'll. keep it real. and please do send me some of your world famous grape juice, it wouldn't feel like the holidays without it.
   Stephen, you're a bum for not writing, but I still love you. Alyssa, happy belated birthday! now neither of us are teen-agers. It's madness. Sarah- kick butt at Districts, show em what you're made of! and ne one else who wants a shout-out, word up gangsta.
Elder LeBaron--

Monday, October 3, 2011


   How ya'll doin? Sounds like er'thang is pretty good back home. Things are pretty good here in Tennessee as well. The work has been kinda slow, but the Lord has been opening doors this past week, and I'm so excited for this up-comming week. It's gonna be awesome.
  I'm glad to hear you all enjoyed conference. I did too. I felt the same way, it was wierd just knowing everyone back home was watching the same thing I was at the same time. I felt connected to ya. I gotta say, my favorite talk was President Eyring during preisthood session. I looked back at my notes and like half of them were from that talk. He's a stud. I love how he talked about how power and strength comes from working past the point where others would stop or take a break, and how the Lord will give you strength beyond your own capabilities.
   Something that just popped in my head, I'm sure in my emails you notice I say stud a lot. Well I say it all the time when I'm teaching and I talk about Ammon or Alma or Helaman, or anyone who is worthy to be called a stud, and I noticed a few months ago that almost everytime I say it the people I'm teaching giggle or laugh. So I finally just asked why they laughed whenever I said stud, and they told me that when you say the word "stud" in the ghetto, it means lesbian. So I was like what??? blown away. I thought a stud was like a male horse. I don't know where ghetto people get all this crazy slang. So I try not to call people studs anymore when I teach, lol. But ya'll know what I mean when I say it, so I can use it in my emails.
   My first District Meeting went pretty good. I was getting a lot of comments and questions, and everyone was participating, so i think that means it went good. We talked a lot about FEAR, and how that can hinder us as missionaries, sometimes more than anything else. So we talked about ways to eliminate it and to be more bold and fearless. I used an object lesson from that book you guys sent me, so thank you! It was pretty legit. We also really focused on Inspiring vs. critisizing. Which is a huge lesson I've learned on my mission. If you want to help someone improve, critisism does nothing, if anything in most situations it makes the victim not want to change and pushes them further down. When you critisize it is often a form of pride, where you put yourself on a higher level than someone else, and tell them what they lack. When you inspire, you show humility, and patience, and love. Christ showed us how to inspire. He humbly, quietly, and confidently led the way by his perfect example. He never pointed out sinners, or told them they weren't good enough. I love the scripture in 3 Ne, where Christ asks the question "What manner of men ought ye to be?" and he answered it "even as I am". There can be no better leader than a man who shows the way by his own thoughts and actions.
   After District Meeting I went on exchanges with Elder Owen, the Elder from England. That was really fun, lol, I just love hearing him talk. We ended up teaching a family the Plan Of Salvation and setting a baptismal date with them, so that was awesome. Midtown is doing well. Elder Petersen is his trainer, and he's one of my very best friends I've made on the mission. He's a lot like me, just really short. lol.
   The rest of the week kinda flew by. We had baptismal dates with Crystal and Dennis, and they were looking so solid, but out of no where they decided to move up to Arkansas. We'll refer them to the missionaries there, but I was bummed we don't get to work with them anymore.
   We have a few awesome refferals we need to follow up with tonight and tommorrow, and it should be sweeet.
   My whole District is doing awesome. We set a goal for the month of October to baptize 10 people together as a District. So that's 2 per companionship. We have 17 dates all together, and the month just started so it's looking good.
   Elder Kowalk and I just recently started working with Mary's son, John. Mary is the Sudan lady Elder Jones and I baptized. So I'm way excited for him. He came to conference with Mary yesterday, and he said he loved it! We're meeting with him again on Wednesday. I can't wait for that.
   Oh, something uncool that I just thought about. The AP's came up with this thing called the "Car Fast", where we get to park the cars for however many companionships in our zone go over on miles. So we're all allotted around 1000 miles a month, which tends to disappear pretty quick, and we have like 13 cars in our Zone, so we could possibly bike for 13 days straight, not including our bike week. So that sucks. lol. President is going to have a conference call tonight with all the mission leadership and tell us every companionship that went over,and how many days each zone has to bike. So we'll find out tonight. From the information I've gathered it should be only like 5 days.
   Well, I love you all. There was a few other things I was gonna mention but I can't remember em, so I guess they weren't that important. Have a good week. Hear from ya next week. Keep on keepin' on.
Elder LeBaron