Sunday, June 4, 2017

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON - 5/30 - Hey guys! I'm still alive!

Hey guys! I'm still alive!
President decided it was a good idea for us to work on Memorial Day, because maybe more families would be home. So P-day is today. Sorry if I worried anybody!
Plummer is quite the experience. At least we have one solid investigator (I'll get to that later), and President Clark (from the mission presidency) is in our branch. But otherwise.... I still feel pretty lost here. Let me paint you a picture of Plummer for a moment.
80% of our area is Indian Reservation
When we walk, it feels like we're walking through a desert... but there's like forest everywhere outside of town so I can't explain why.
Every road is a dirt road, paved or not.
All the ward members live 10 miles apart from each other.
There's one fast food place, and one blinking traffic light for the nearest 30 miles.
There's not a single street lamp.
Our area is at least 60 miles North to South, and probably about 20 across, covering part of Coeur d'Alene, all the way down to DeSmet.
There's one town prostitute, who we met, and at least 2 town drunks. One of which we've also met now.
Doesn't it sound like an adventure? We're actually coming to love it. Oh! Speaking of which! I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Latu, she's from Salt Lake City, and she's Tongan. She's super cool, and I'm excited to get to know her better. She has really good ideas and insights, and I think this area is going to do really well with her here. :)
The only really hard thing though, is that we swept out a really good set of elders. Everybody here still talks about them, and how they used to rap and play the Ukulele for everyone. But.... we can't do that, and we don't have a ukulele.... so we're like the lame girl versions of them. Haha Anastasia (our investigator) has a daughter who came up to her and said we look just like Elder Tonga and Elder Williams, except girls. We got a good laugh out of that.
Anastasia though! She's incredible. Even in the week I've been here, I've learned so much from her and her experience with the elders. I'm so grateful she had such a good set of elders who found her. She's getting baptized this Thursday! And we couldn't be more excited about it. Praying that all goes well, fingers crossed!
We do a lot of service here too, which is cool. We're basically Ammon among the Lamanites, just trying to build trust and friendship with the people here. Everybody already seems to know exactly who we are, so we're going to start making them like us.... haha. It's going to be fun.
Anyways.... we're kind of emailing from the library, and it's weird because there's a 30 minute time limit.... and only one computer available. So I'm going to have to send some pictures and email everyone back later. But I love you all! And I hope that all is well and you're all loving your summer :).
Sister Johnson :)

Here are a couple pictures!

This is my new trainee, Sister Latu! She rocks :). We're going to have a good transfer together. She's really good at connecting with people, and I'm excited to learn a lot from her. 

The one with the kids is at Anastasia's house :) They're absolutely adorable people, all of them. 

ELDER MATT LEBARON - 5/29 - Killing comps, and transfer calls

Hello friends and family!

This week has flown by! honestly the last 6 weeks have flown by so fast! it seems like the faster transfer that I have had during my mission. I have loved being with my Filipino companion Elder Ela, and also Elder Cottle, it has been one of the best companionships yet! Elder Ela went to the office today he's going back to the Philippines , it was super sad, I hate transfers, when you're moved or other people move or go home it really messes me up for a little bit. something that I don't think I have gotten used to yet, or ever will be on the mission is the constant change that happens, always having to be on your toes, not sure if you will go or leave, or if one of your comps is leaving. so much change. but you know what they say, when there is change there is growth, so bring it on. 

Something that I was not expecting was the transfer call that I received on Saturday. to my surprise I was transferred back to the east part of the mission, in La Verne the ward that I am currently covering is called the Heritage ward. I pretty much went from the farthest west you can go in the mission to the farthest east. I was super disappointed to leave my comp and my new area, I was just starting to get comfortable, and boom I'm gone. I am super grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Filipino ward it is a place where a lot of missionaries want to go, it is so cool, there are so many cool things that you get to do, so many cool places you get to go, and so many cool people you get to meet. I was hoping that I would stay at least 3 transfers here, but I have received another call in the east. I will do the best I know how with this new area, the work of the lord continues, but something good is that I have a pretty cool companion who I think I will get along with really well. 

It's hard to think about all the things that we did this week, but we worked hard! we visited so many people, we talked to a ton of people on the streets, and you best believe that we tracted out several neighborhoods. there was a lot of good things happening this week, even if the fruits of our labor hasn't shown yet. It was funny, I think I had the funnest time tracting this week, something i normally hate. It's Cali, I know how people are here especially in L.A and Glendale, same rejections, same responses, but I had such a fire burning inside me, I loved telling people about the restored gospel even though they slammed the door or brushed us off, because i realized something, God loves all his Children, and one of the ways that he shows his love is giving us the ability to choose. so every time you see us knocking your door down, or handing you a pass along card, it shows how much God loves them, that he sent missionaries to give them another opportunity to accept the restored church on the earth today. Even though that tracting event was pretty brutal, I couldn't help but feel successful, and the feeling of peace came over me knowing that I did my best to help those people come closer to their savior, Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for moments like that. missions are hard, they are frustrating, and often times I wonder If I can keep going. But I am reminded again and again of the amazing work that I am doing, the lives that I am touching, and the person I am becoming. I can't help but be grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to serve. for him to make me into the best man that I can be. I love being a missionary, and for all the amazing experiences that I have had. I look forward to the many more that I will have on this adventure. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful week, and more importantly I hope you are enjoying your memorial day! glad we could both have the same day off for once. haha

Elder LeBaron
614 West Foothill Blvd, Arcadia, California, 91006

ELDER MATTHEW LEBARON - 5/22 - Food Food Food

Hey everyone! Its been another week, and I hope you're as excited as I
am about another addition to the LeBaron weekly!

So first things first, I ate so much food this week it's not even
funny. I'm so sick of food. This area is going to kill me. The members
here will feed us lunches pretty frequently, and sometimes even
breakfast, I didn't know that such a blessing could be such a curse. I
feel like I have no control over what is going in my body, and it
sucks because I had this system down in my last area, I was able to
recover from my first area Glendora and lose some weight. I gained 20
pounds in Glendora, what the freak man. White wards are the worst.
Luckily I was able to lose that but now my only hope is to some how
maintain in this area. Yeah right, I'm going to get fat, but its all
good I got a year to look good before I'm home, so no worries my

We had exchanges this week, and we were with a chinese elder. He's
super funny. It's always the best to be with people that are from a
different culture and see how they are adjusting the American way of
life. The strangest things came out of that guys mouth, but I love
him. When people are still learning english they will say some of the
most innapropriate things. Like dude, where did you hear that? You
can't say stuff like that! Haha. I got to drive again, and that was
super fun, I forogt how much I love driving. Something that has been a
challenge for me is that I still try and drive the automatic car like
its a manual, let me tell you something, it is essential that you have
one foot for the gas and the brake when driving an automatic car.
Elder Cheng fell asleep in the back while we got stuck in L.A traffic
for an hour. Don't worry I got a picture to share. Our boy died back

We meet the strangest people, there is a member in one of the
surrounding wards who invited us in and he offered us a tie from his
collection, after he spotted us out on the streets while we were
tracting, He then proceeded to tell us his whole life story. He told
us that he he use to do make up for porn stars but stopped before he
was baptized, i just hear the craziest things come out of peoples
mouths, especially from the members around here, super cool comversion
story. All I know is that this church really is made for everyone, no
matter where youve been or what youve done there is salvation for
everyone ( it rhymes, so it has to be true)

I wanted to share with you my testimony of the Book of Mormon, I feel
like it has grown so much this week. I seriously love that book, it
seems to be so clear to me when I read it now, and the principles it
talks about seem so obvious. This past week I have felt the holy ghost
testify to me again and again of it's truthfulness. It testifys of our
Heavenly Father and the never ending love he has for us, it testifys
of the truthfulness of the gospel, it is another witness to everything
the bible teaches, it testifies that Joseph Smith restored the true
church once again on the earth, with all the same preisthood
authority, and power given by Jesus Christ, most importantly it
testifys that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and there in no
name given under heaven that men can be saved. I know this church is
true. I have never been able to say that with such fervency in my
heart, and soul. This is the true church of Jesus Christ. I am so
lucky to be born in the church, and I want to share the good news with
everyone I come in contact with. As members of  this wonderful church
we have the obligation to share this message with everyone, a full
time missionary or not. Please share it with someone this week, take
every opportunity you have to  express gratitude for all our Heavenly
Father has done for you, through action and word. There is no greater
joy than this.

Elder LeBaron
614 west foothill blvd, Arcadia, California

SISTER SARAH JOHNSON - 5/22 - Hey guys!

So.... I'm feeling really lazy,... and also didn't leave myself a ton of time to write a group email. So I'll send lots of pictures at least. Haha
This week was pretty good! The golden companionship is about to break up though. We got our transfer calls this week, and Sister Mitchell will be staying in just the Potlatch branch! (Elders will be taking over the YSA ward). And I will be banished to Plummer, ID to boot elders out, and to train a new sister! So it'll definitely make for fantastic adventure stories, I'm sure! Plummer is part of the Coeur d'Alene stake, so I'll get to see CDA a little bit sometimes I think. 
Also this week I worked at the food bank and the horse farm for my last time ever. It was sad! But the food bank gave us these wonton wrappers they had.... so i decided against my better judgement, and sister Mitchell and I deep fried wontons on Wednesday night. And guess what? I didn't light the oil on fire this time! (Ta would be so proud of me ;) ). And then we made dessert wontons at like 10 that night, which wasn't very good for us physically... but man was it good soul food. So we had the Pullman sisters over for wontons on Thursday night too :). 

Oh! Thursday we got to have a zone conference down in Lewiston with a general authority named Elder Golden! He and his wife are from South Africa, and they are absolutely the coolest! They gave us a really good training just on how to be better and how to rely on the Lord. I felt so empowered to go and work harder :). It was a really cool training. We had heard that Elder Golden would be doing interviews with us in randomly selected apartments throughout the mission, so we've been deep cleaning our apartments for like 3 weeks. But they announced that Elder Golden would be doing the interviews there at the stake center instead. And we believed them. Until at 8 when we got a text from Sister Dymock asking if the Goldens could come and check our apartment. Ha! So we did the dishes from our wonton adventure so fast, and hurried and straightened out everything in our 3 minute warning. The Goldens were so nice, and the Dymocks were so nice too. They even checked our fridge to see what we eat (thank goodness we had some vegetables in there...), and checked our boards and our maps. Sister Golden even commented on how clean our walls were. It was rather terrifying to have a general authority and the mission president in our apartment.... but I think we passed the test, so we're alright! (Also we got a selfie with them, best picture ever!)

 Oh I also included some horse farm pictures for your enjoyment. It was really gross this time, because we had to shovel a lot of really gross horse crap. It was gross. 

 Also had my last lesson with Isabeau! She's doing so great, I'm excited for her to keep meeting with the missionaries. Sis Martin took a picture of Sister Mitchell and I to put on her "missionary wall" at home. Isabeau wouldn't get in it... but it's ok! 

Saw Dawn and Jim and the Vandeheys for the last time too... I'll send pictures with them in another email, this one won't let me add anymore >.< 
Anyways.... that was pretty much it. I'm excited that Sister Mitchell will probably be able to keep teaching Jake. And Sister McFaul is going to do so much good for the Potlatch branch! Off I go into a new chapter of my mission :) It's going to be awesome.
I love you all! 
Sister Johnson 

Oh! We also got to go out to the Pullman Elder's house, and take pictures on their roof. It's a fantastic view of Pullman :) 

Also a picture of our Potlatch Ward Mission Leader, but he had knee surgery so he's on a couch. We love them so much though!

Also Jim :)) Jim is the best. 

And Dawn! Who is also the best! She had never taken a "selfie" before, haha so we showed her how :). 

There you guys go! All the pictures, yay!