Monday, November 28, 2011


What up, what up?
How ya'll doin? sounds like you had a fun trip to good ole Utah. I hope the turkey was tasty. Elder Graham and I had some turkey too. We actually went over to this nice old ladies home and ate with her family. She's 83, so she's getting up there. There was turkey, the ham, the potatoes- the works. The cool thing was, we brought our investigator Houston, he's an older guy, I think he's in his 70's, but he looks and acts like he's closer to 50. His family actually live in Utah, so he didn't have anyone to celebrate trukey day with, so I was glad Sister Colewell said it was cool if we brought him along. He really seemed to enjoy it, and said that the discussion answered some of his questions. Houston is legit. Or as Elder Graham would say with his jamaican accent- YouStin!
Elder Graham cracks me up. His accent is cool. "You think she enjoyed our me-tin (meeting)"?" or, every morning he'll ask me, "Did you have nice rest?" I guess in Jamacia they don't use the word sleep, they just say rest. He pronounces my name more like Ell-la labarin. I think the L in Elder and in LeBaron just throws him off and his tongue gets confused. He has taught me some Jamacian though.
"Wha a gwan my yute? " Which means, "whats going on, my yute?" yute is like bro or dude in jamacia.  He's cool. He's too charitable. He's like the nicest man I've ever met. He does my diches for me before I can even finish eating, or he'll make my bed, and he gave me like 5 tie's already. I learned not to compliment his ties, because if you tell him he's wearing a nice tie you'll find it hanging in your closet the next day. Elder Graham is legit.
To sum up the week, we baptized Rochelle Saturday. Yeah Buddy! and I confirmed her in church yesterday. She's awesome, and the Little Rock ward is awesome, I'm so happy I'm in a ward that is functioning properly and knows how to coordinate with the full time missionaries. Rochelle already has hometeachers, and tons of fellowshippers, a permanent ride to church. She's set in stone. Sister Lewis took her to a relief society activity. It's the best transition I've ever seen with any of my recent converts. It's so good. She makes a wonderful addition to the ward, lol. She's a big woman, and she's way loud, and loves to talk, and sing, and she's just so alive. I love her.
We're coming up to the close of the month of November. Our Zone is sitting on 9 baptisms 8 confirmations right now... which is an improvement, but it's bitter sweet. Like my good friend Dustin Taylor always used to say, almost only counts in horseshoes and hand granades. We got closer to hitting our goal this month, but we still didn't hit it. I was dissappointed. Not discouraged, just disappointed. This Zone has so many stud missionaries, and yet only 4 companionships baptized in our zone. thats 33% of the missionaries. Which President said is actually a common statistic for every mission, 33% of the missionaries get like 90% of the baptisms. Our goal is to get everyone baptizing. We have 12 companionships, so our goal was 12, and we're gonna keep it at 12 for December as well. We want every missionary to realize this is a team effort, all for 1 and 1 for all. It's great that some missionaries are baptizing, but if every missionary isn't baptizing then we're not working at our full potential. I've come to realize that one of my biggest weaknesses as a Zone Leader is critisizing. If I see a problem with a companionship or District, I point it out and tell them to fix it... We have Conference Calls every Monday morning where we talk to the District Leaders about how the mission and more specifically the Zone is doing, and I look at the numbers and want to just call people to repentance and tell them to grow a pair and go get it done, I see that even some of the District Leaders are turning in numbers that are less than praise worthy, and I wanna call them out, but I'm thankful Elder Graham keeps me in line. It's all about being a Shepherd and not a Sheep Herder. When you push people, there's gonna be resistance, when you lead people, they just follow. I'm learning a lot this transfer. I just feel like leading takes so much longer than pushing, when are they gonna start following? I need some more patience.
Thanksgiving was great though. I love southern cookin', When I come home Christmas Day 2012, I want to have some Sweet Potatoe Pie, Fried Ocra, Biscuits fresh out the oven, Greens, Deep Fried Cat-fish, Hush Puppies, and then pour gravy all over it. With a big glass of red kool-aid, Idk if the kool-aid is southern or just ghetto. Then dad will have to learn how to do some Memphis Style BBQin'. cuz that's where it's at. With some Corky's BBQ Sauce.
So my official humpday of the mish is in 17 days. That means I get to burn a shirt. To inform ya'll, my camera is kinda jacked up. I'm not sure how it got that way, but ne way, I was talkin to Elder Carson this morning on the phone, and I mentioned my jacked up camera, and he told me he found a camera on the side of the street, that works perfectly. It even comes with a case. So he said I can have it as a Christmas present, so I'll take some pictures of the Holidays and me lighting a shirt on fire for you guys. Speaking of things that are broken, my bike is in bad shape, but we found out there's a guy in the ward that's way good with bikes and he's gonna take a look at mine. I can still ride it, the brakes are just broken, lol. When I was with Elder Kowalk, I would just stick my shoe on the top of the back tire to slow it down, it works pretty effectively. But I should be getting that all fixed up here pretty soon, so no worries.
Two of our investigators are getting married on the 11th of Dec, and then we'll have their baptism on the 17th, so that's exciting. They are super solid. Hopefully we'll be able to get Houston baptized this month, he has a super strong testimony, and tells us he's received countless witnesses from the holy spirit that the LDS church is true, but he say's he doesn't want to get baptized yet. He feels the Lord wants him to wait and learn more first, which is okay, it's a longer process for some people, I just hope it happens next month.
I love you all. I appreciate your emails. Keep it real. Hang Loose. Have a nice week. Spread some Holiday Cheer.
Elder LeBaron

Monday, November 21, 2011


Aloha Colorado,

  Oh how I miss those mountains. Sounds like everything is going well back home, and sounds like ya'll are excited for the holidays.  This time of the year is always my favorite. Everyone has the spirit of love and thanksgiving in their hearts. I think we'll get in a lot more doors from now until Christmas.

   Let me tell you about the wonderful week Elder Graham Slam and I had. Tuesday we went up to Montecello to see Elder Carson's District Meeting, and give a little instruction. Elder Carson's a funny guy, I love him. He got in the mission a transfer after I did, and served in Frayser when I was in Raleigh, so I know him really well. He gave a really good District Meeting on commitments and using the Book Of Mormon more in teaching. I definately received some personal revelation and was spiritually edified. Then we went out with them the rest of the day and blitzed Monticello. I went with Elder Stewart, who's still being trained, and he's awesome. He definately came out on his mission with a purpose. I enjpyed teaching with him for a day. Monticello has been having a dry spell for some time now, and they didn't have many investigators, so we decided to spend most of the day finding, and try to up their teaching pool. The Lord definately granted us miracles. We found 5 new investigators and set 2 new baptismal dates, and we found this in-active member who's crippled, who desperately wanted to get in contact with the church, he just didn't know how to find it. Then we set a Teaching In-Home Commitment with a solid member family in the branch. It was awesome. Miracles always happen on exchanges.

  Wednesday we brought the Monticello Elders back to Little Rock with us, so Elder Carson could attend a Leadership Training Meeting with us. The meeting was really good. President really focused on TIHC's, and using members homes at every possible opportunity for a teaching environment, which is actually what Elder Graham and I have been trying to focus on in our Zone. Elder Badger talked about retaining recent converts by doing everything you can to get them to the temple to do baptisms for the dead within the first 3 months. Then President talked about how we need to expand our vision. President Petersen is a very succesful businessman. He's the CEO of Petersen Incorporated, you can check out to see what they're all about. But he said that he was in some kind of meeting where he was being counseled on how to help his business, and he was told to imagine his business 10 x larger, making 10 x the amount of money, figure out what it would take, and to make a 3-year plan on how to accomplish it. 3 years later that goal was accomplished, his company started out in a garage, and now it's signing 30 million dollar contracts and things like that. Often times we hold ourselves back because we think things are immpossible. We need to expand our vision. The only things in our lives that are impossible are the things we wont try, because of our lack of faith or confidence. It was pretty awesome, and way inspiring.

  Friday we went on exchanges with Little Rock. Elder Hardy (my 2nd comp) went to Maple Street with Elder Graham, and I went to Little Rock with Elder Warner, and we had an awesome day. It was a lot like our day in Monticello. We set 2 dates, had 5 new investigators, set a TIHC, AND we taught this lady from SryiLanca (sp?) or some place that sounds like that. She was cool. Oh, I almost forgot. So it was like 8 at night and Elder Warner and I were walking back to the apartment, when we notice that these 3 guys behind us have been following us for like 5 min. So we start taking some different turns down different streets to take another route home, to see if they were really following us, and sure enough they wouldn't get off our tails. They were probably 30 feet or so behind us. Now, whenever someone is following you it's pretty sketchy, when it happens in the Ghetto at night, it's super sketch. I have no doubt in my mind their intension was to jump us. So... they had been following us for like 15 min, and they were getting a little closer, and we were coming up on this bridge, where there's no street lights, and its just super dark, and there's no where to turn. We looked at eachother and kinda just knew we were both thinkin, whatever happens happens. Elder Warner has only been out 3 weeks. So I wanted to say something comforting, so I just told him not to worry and that God would protect us, but it's kinda ironic that this guy we talked to earlier in the day told us a story about how he had been jumped a couple years ago in this area and he got beat with bricks by like 4 guys that stole his wallet. So I was just thinkin, man, I hope they don't have bricks. Anyway, I said a pretty sincere prayer in my heart that we would be protected. About 30 seconds after that the spanish missionaries drove across the bridge and saw us, and pulled over and gave us a ride home. It was crazy. I know my prayer was answered.

   Saturday we met with Rochelle, and took a member out with us to follow-up with some people. Rochelle is awesome. She's getting baptized Saturday. She's the one that loves to sing, I think I mentioned her in my last email. We have her baptismal suit ready for her, we're making the program today, she's really excited for it, everything is going smoothly.

Yesterday was awwweeesoommmee. Elder Graham and I had 9 investigators to church, I think that's a personal record on my mish. We had a good week. Our Zone is sitting at 6 baptisms for the month so far... which isn't amazing, but they already beat last months total, so hey, that's improvement. We're thinkin our zone will probably end the month at 10, and the mission will hit around 45, which is really good, but our goal is 57. We need to go pray for more miracles. I don't want to be close to President when we don't hit the mission goal... again. He gets pretty disappointed, lol. but never discouraged. He just makes sure we keep our commitments.

I love you family. I miss you. I hope the holidays treat you well. When you're going around the table saying what you're thankful for, just know that I'm thankful for you.


-Elder LeBaron

Monday, November 14, 2011


I really appreciate the emails.
It's funny reading Sarah's emails. It just takes me back to my days in Middle School. Except she's the girl in the front of the class answering all the questions, and I was the kid in the back of the class sleeping, or eating a burrito, one of the two. lol. I'm proud of you Sarah, you're making some awesome habits, you're gonna be the smartest kid in our family. I don't know how much that's saying, me and steve didn't put up much of a fight. (jk Stevo, I know you're smart) but seriously.
Man, knowing the hollidays are coming up soon makes me nervous, for 2 reasons. I hear being away from home this time of year is tough, but I'm tough, so that's not really an issue. The other reason is, Christmas is around the corner, and that means I'm half-way :/ whattt thee freaaak. I know I know, don't think about it too much. I hear the downhill goes faster than the uphill, and Elder Badger just reminded me this morning that he only has 5 months left... When that man goes home... I dont even know. The mission is madness.
So I should probably infrom ya'll with the good news. Elder Graham and I were able to see one of our investigators get baptized yesterday! Elder Graham got in the water and baptized Charles Redman. He's been investigating for about 3 months now, and when Elder Graham found him he was an alcoholic. He's been telling us this past week that the alcohol wasn't the hard habit to kick though, it was the cigarettes. Charles is awesome though. He's crippled (can't really use his legs, he gets around in a wheelchair) He's an older gentlemen in his 50's, he's retired military, he was in the Navy back in the day, loves to laugh, just an awesome guy. He's been through a lot in his life though. Let me tell you the craziest thing about this man, we were filling out his baptismal record, and we found out that brotha has 28 children! Charles wasn't playin' around when it came to makin children. He told us how 2 of his kids were born on the same day, in the same hospital, from 2 different women... and he thought it was the funniest story. lol. That man's crazy. But he sincerely loves his savior and is doing all he can to change his life and get on the right path. Yesterday was a goood day. The only sad thing is, that was the only baptism in our Zone this week... This Zone hasn't been doin' so hot the last few months. Last month there were 5 baptisms in the LRZ, but 54 as a whole mission. Our zone is 1/4 of the mission.... so we for sure need to pick up our slack. Elder Graham and I threw down at Zone Meeting. and by threw down I mean we had a really spiritual meeting. It was good. We drilled member work pretty hard. I truly and honestly believe if this zone started using more of the member resources we have we could easily be the top baptizing zone in the mission. We've been working with the District Leaders to really instill this throughout the Zone. We saw a huge increase in member present lessons this past week which was awesome. I guess we're still in the sowing stage right now, I'm excited for the reaping.
I'm really glad you guys sent me that object lesson book. It's come in handy for District Meetings and Zone Meetings. I used one in Zone Meeting this past week. We were talking about overcoming FEAR, and so I asked everyone in the zone to name some of the fears they have as missionaries, and so everyone started listing some fears, like fear of rejection, scared to talk to everyone, fear of looking stupid, scared to be bold- all kinds of things, and for every fear I blew a little air into a balloon. It didn't take long for that balloon to look like it was ready to burst. lol, I saw some Elders sitting right in front of me who were getting ready to plug their ears. After it was full of air we talked about how the balloon shows us exactly what fear is (just a bunch of hot air) we let fear hold us back but there's no substance to fear. Then I took out a pen and popped the balloon. It was Legit. It echoed and everyone was dead silent. It was sweet... So thanks for that book. It definately spices up meetings.
The Baptism and Zone Meeting were sweet, and the rest of the week was also really good. We found this lady named Rochelle, who was taught by some missionaries in the past, but somehow lost contact with them, and she is just golden. We set a date for her to be baptized on the 26th. She looooves to sing, so we got her to go to choir practice after church yesterday, and she just lit up, it was awesome. and we set up a dinner appointment with the choir director, and we're bringin Rochelle. It's gonna be perfect. I'm so excited for her.
Jerry is still in the same situation. He loves to vent when we're with him, so it's hard to do a lot of teaching, because he always has a lot on his mind and a lot he wants to talk to us about, but we were able to kinda throw an over-view of the Plan Of Salvation into our conversation yesterday and it really helped open up his eyes to why we go through trials in life. I compared life to the refiners fire that is always mentioned in the scriptures, and I think he started to understand the idea of eternal progression. He is sooo awesome, and such a great guy. I just wish we could get that man to commit. I think it might take him a while to complete his investigation. He has a golden heart though.
Well.... I'm gonna wrap this up because I still have to email president. You asked what I might want or need for Christmas. What I desperately need... is a GPS. Especially now that I'm a ZL we have to travel a lot for exchanges and baptismal intervies, and I think I'm becomming notorious for that fact that I always get lost. I get blamed because I seem to always be the designated driver, but my companion never seems to know where he's going either. lol. but if there is one thing that I want or need, it's a GPS. I know dad is good with online bargaining, so maybe he could find a gently used one.
I was thinking about Christmas, and something interesting about my companion. Elder Graham doesn't have family back home. He's 26, he didn't meet his mother until he was 17 and he's not close to her at all, and I'm pretty sure he never knew his Father, and the only people that write him are his ward from back home. So he's probably not going to get a package for christmas. It would mean a lot to me if you guys could put something together for him, just so he knows someone's thinking about him.... know that's me assuming we'll stay companions together through transfers, but I guess I'll let you know when it gets closer. Transfers are one the 15th, so like a week and a half before Christmas.
Well. I love you guys so much. Mom, thanks for your email. You guys tell me you're proud of me too much, it makes me tear up in the library, I bet the dude on Farmville next to me is wondering what's wrong with me. Have a good week. I'll talk to you guys too soon. Love you
Elder LeBaron

Monday, November 7, 2011


Dearest Family,
   It's good to hear from you. This past week was really pretty crazy. I'm exhausted, but I feel good knowing Elder Graham and I killed it this week... Let me tell you about it.
   I am in Little Rock now, but I feel like I'm in Frayser again. The Zone Leaders were suppossed to open up a new area this transfer, so I heard, but President decided to keep us in Maple St. So I'm in the Ghetto of Little Rock. Yeah Budddy. I was so worried that I wouldn't be teaching black people this transfer, but there isn't a white person to be found. I even have a black companion again. Let me tell you about him. His name is Elder Graham, he's 26 years old, born and raised in Jamaica (sp?). Yeah mon. He's pretty legit. So now I'm the only missionary thats served with both of the black elders in the mission, I take pride in that. I love Elder Graham, he's way chill (we're both very similar in that aspect) and he's super spiritual and has a lot of desire for this work. He's been on his mission for about 16 months now. He's only been a Zone Leader for 1 transfer, so we're both kinda new at it, and learning together.
   I think this area is more ghetto than the area's in memphis I was in. It's super super ghetto. We were tracting a street 2 days ago, and it was probably around 5, and we talked to this Lady for a couple minutes on the door step, she was really involved in her own religion, she was actually female pastor, but as we were getting ready to leave she said "The sun's gonna go down soon, and you guys don't wanna be in this neighborhood after it gets dark... especially you!" - as she pointed at me. lol... It's interesting being the minority, but for some reason I don't mind it.
  On Thursday, we drove down to North Little Rock for Zone Leader Council, which was sweet. There's 4 Zones in this mission, Little Rock (MyZone), North Little Rock, Memphis, and Memphis East. So there's only 8 Zone Leaders, it was pretty cool to have a meeting with President and the other Leaders since it was a lot more personal than a huge zone conference. President Petersen is an amazing man. He is so spiritual, it's really incredible. We talked about how to elevate the mission. This past month we hit our goal as a mission. The goal was 50 baptisms, and we acheived 54. Which is awesome. That's the best month we've had since I've been on my mission. If we could do that consistently we would baptize 600 in a year. The zone I got transfered into however, is not doing so hot. We only had 5 baptisms in October, and there are 28 missionaries in our zone, so between 14 companionships we only baptized 5. That's rough! Elder Graham and I have discussed a lot about what we could do to inspire and elevate, and what problems and difficulties might be holding us back. We have some stud missionaries in this Zone, and the work in these area's couldn't be more ready to harvest, so Idk, we're having Zone Meeting this Thursday, and hopefully we'll be able to help increase the level of work on this side of the mission. After Zone Leader Council Pres took all the Zone Leaders and AP's out to eat at this chinese resturaunt, so that was pretty legit.
  Elder Graham and I are trying to set the standard for the Zone, so we have really been busting our butts this week, and then we get home and plan and then waiting to make sure everyone is in and safe and calling the AP's at night. I'm tired... lol. It's good though. There's a talk by Elder Holland that says we need to work so hard on our missions that by the time we come home they need to carry us off the plane, there should be an ambulance to take us from the airport. Leave it all on the field... So I'm definately not going to slow down. I only have 13 and 1/2 more months. There's no time to waste. I can't believe how fast it's going. It makes me tear up thinking about it... Honestly I'm reaching a point where thinking about going home scares me a little. I heard about missionaries I knew that got really nervous and worried because they didn't want to leave the mission, but their time came. Now I'm starting to understand what they mean, I'm not even half way done and I'm concerned. I just tell myself every morning - "I'm gonna be a missionary forever" - I think I've convinced myself, because going home doesn't seem real. I feel like I'm going to be wearing this tag for eternity, and I'm okay with that... I'm content... I have a purpose. I witness miracles. I see lives change. I've watch grown men break down in tears, because the spirit pierced their soul... and that pierces my soul... 
   Never in my life, have I been so stressed, so exhausted, so worn-out, or so happy. These feelings that touch my soul are real. The love of Christ can be seen all over this earth, and it has the power to make the most stubborn, hard-hearted, and sorrowful people find peace. I wish I had the zeal that Paul had for this work... or Ammon, or Aaron, or Alma the younger.
   So many people are lost, and seeking for answers. Elder Graham and I taught a man yesterday Jerry. Jerry is 50 years old, he's been through 2 divorces, his twin brother was murdered, his mom has passed on, and he doesn't know his father...  and he has no one. He's alone. He's been to about 30 different churches in his lifetime, but can't find one where he feels God's love. He wants to know why he's here. He wants to know why he had to stay here and his brother had to leave. He wakes up every morning mad. Mad at God, mad at life, mad that his brother died, mad that he has no one. He's so miserable, so all he knows to do is to drink. He drinks until it doesn't hurt anymore, and then he goes to sleep. and when he wakes up again, he's mad.
   We had a very spiritual lesson with him yesterday, and he wants us to come over tonight... but his story tears me apart inside. There are so many people who need God, but they don't know how to get to him. How many people do we walk by everyday who are searching for answers, who feel trapt in a bad marriage, or are struggling to raise their teen-age sons as a single mom, or who just feel lost and alone... If we don't open our mouths, how selfish are we. We could be the answer to their prayers, but sometimes we just dont feel up to it...
Sorry I'm on my soapbox, or whatever people say.  I know this is short but I need to get going. but here's my new address -- 
2504 Maple St.
Little Rock, AR
David, I did get your last dearElder. I really appreciate those when you send them. and bro. Congrats on losing almost 30 pounds, you are a beast. I'm not gonna recognize you when I see you again.
Much love to everyone back home.
-Elder LeBaron