Friday, February 19, 2016

The Best Day Ever!!!!! Our girl came home to us safe and sound! What an amazing 18 months this has been. Thanks again for all the support and love!

Monday, January 25, 2016


Well, here it is. Emma's final email. We can't believe the end of her mission is really almost here! We can't thank you all enough for being interested in Emma's mission and asking to be included in her weekly emails. Your support and prayers have meant more to all of us than you will ever know. We have felt your prayers and know Emma has felt them too. Thanks, too, for writing to her and letting her know you were thinking of her. You all contributed to her amazing mission experience. We know our testimonies have been continually strengthened through reading Emma's words, and we hope you felt uplifted by her letters as well.
She will fly in on Feb. 3!
You are all invited to her Homecoming on Feb. 28th at 9:00am, and to a brunch at our house afterward.
Thanks again for everything, its been an amazing 18 months!!!
Love to all!!!

Dear home:
Remember Irving? He's the son of ULISES, the man we found in the street after leaving our house to do two more street contacts. Well, all of that came to a fruit yesterday: Irving Bucio was baptized, and he's one of the best converts I've had the opportunity to teach. We had an awesome zone baptism, and something I love is that our ward mission leader is pretty much Irving's new BFF and so he baptized him and Irving, a "tough guy" 29-year-old was crying on and off throughout the whole thing. It was so, so awesome because I know that the process of erasing his past and stopping doing a lot of things that are habits for him was very very hard, so arriving at his baptism after about 2 months of watching his progress was so awesome. Carmen is doing well, and will be baptized on my last Sunday in the field. She has been experiencing trials as her nephew has been trying to convince her not to get baptized. She's the sweetest 60-year-old lady with such a sweet spirit that literally cried to us "I REPENT. I'VE REPENTED. I'M READY TO TURN TO JESUS CHRIST." She is always studying what we give her and loves everything about the church, she's says she's never felt this way before. To help her ignore the criticism of her nephew, I wrote down a simple phrase on a card we gave her. It says: "Yo sigo a Jesucristo. Voy a ver la luz." That means, "I follow Jesus Christ. I will see the light." I told her to repeat it, in her head every time Satan tried to tell her not to do follow through with it. She's been doing it, and it's made everything so much easier. The phrase made sense because we had shared with her the full story of the first vision and how Joseph Smith had to go through some darkness in order to reach that brilliant LIGHT right above his head. We had a great experience this week as we arrived at their house to teach Carmen and her nephew, we decided to read a chapter in the book of Mormon. I gave Carmen the list of "questions of the soul" (i don't know what that's called in English, haha, it's something in Preach my Gospel) and asked her to choose one that corresponded with a chapter of the Book of Mormon. She chose a question that, at the beginning, didn't make too much sense based on her situation, but we read the chapter and verse after verse after verse it ATTACKED every single doubt and problem with her and her nephew. It was crazy, I was literally laughing at how perfect it all was. I love how in the mission things like that literally happen every day. I wish I could share it ALL.
It's the last time I'll be writing you from the field. Still, I feel... normal. As a missionary, real life seems so far away sometimes you wonder if it actually still exists. Still, this last week has been anything but normal. There are no words to describe this last week. None. I understand what Preach My Gospel means when it says in a quote by Boyd K. Packer, "I have learned that strong, impressive spiritual experiences do not come to us very frequently. And when they do, they are generally for our own edification, instruction, or correction... resist the temptation to talk freely about these experiences." Just know that this past week has been one of my most faith-building experiences of my entire life. I've been required to put all my trust in the Lord. I won't say it's been my final test of the mission - I'm stil in it - but it has required me to put into practice everything I've learned. The conclusions I've once again come to in the past week: the Comforter is real and speaks peace to my soul very literally when I need it most. God hears us. My mission has changed me in an important way: I better understand what my relationship is to the Father and the Son and what it feels like to completely rely on them. I know what praying with all your energy of heart means. I know my Heavenly Father and I know that He's perfectly perfect in every way and He will forever and always give us exactly what we need. For love. I know Jesus Christ has felt every one of my pains and afflictions and that all of my most difficult, heart-wrenching most unbearable moments of my life add up to be a ridiculously small part of what Jesus went through. I don't understand how He did what He did but I know that He did it. How? Because a phrase we hear often, "the healing power of the Atonement," is something real that I've experienced without a doubt, and learned that it's applicable in ANY kind of difficult situation. Faith is a confidence in the feelings Heavenly Father sends us through the Holy Ghost. Trusting in something that can't be seen with the human eye but letting it move you to do something about it that CAN be seen with the human eye. For all I've come to know and understand about the logics of the church, why God's kingdom is here on the Earth, what characteristics it has and why, what the men we call prophets have said and done, demonstrating their authority through a number of very tangible evidences, understanding every day a little bit more the perfect organization it is, an organization so flawless it could only come from the infinite intelligence of a flawless being - an organization so perfect that no number of flawed, and even extremely-flawed members can take it down. Understanding with my brain the logic of the church (See "WHy the Church" by Elder Christofferson) is something I've focused on a little too much out here. The answers have always come, the conclusions I've always been pointed to have always satisfied me. I'm beyond-convinced with my mind. But that's not why I'm still here in Mexico, starting my last week of a full-time mission. Perfect, logical sense, based on a basic belief in a supreme being, would not be enough to keep me walking and talking and dodging and hurting and smiling all day, every day, saying many of the same words, talking about the same basic concepts for 18 months. I promise you that I'm still here because I am a convert to Jesus Christ, and as a consequence, a member of His perfect church. Because to be able to enjoy the fullness of spiritual healing, we have to know exactly how to apply the Atonement. God has taught us how, there's only one COMPLETE way, and it's through the principles and ordinances that His son established and later restored. I KNOW, and that is to say I have a full confidence in what I've felt, that TRUE HAPPINESS IS FOUND HERE, THAT A FULLNESS OF SPIRITUAL HEALING IS ONLY FOUND HERE. AND THAT ANYONE WHO REALLY TRULY WANTS TO KNOW ALL OF THIS WILL BE ABLE TO, putting into practice a little bit of the super unpopular principle of faith. A quote from the recent general conference: "...let me be clear: There is nothing noble or impressive about being cynical. Skepticism is easy - anyone can do it. It is the faithful life that requires moral strength and courage. Those who hold fast to faith are far more impressive than those who give in to doubt when mysterious questions or concerns arise." please read "be not afraid, only believe" by president uchtdorf. A source of strength for all of us missionaries is the connection Elder Holland made long ago between missionary work and the Atonement. He made it very clear that being a true, active disciple of Christ will never be easy, or anything near it. And that is the beautiful part of this whole thing. We are in training to become like God is and have all that He has. I'm not on the sidelines anymore, hoping the coach won't see me and call me in, content with being, well, CONTENT. As funny as it might sound, 18 months ago I raised my hand and said "Here I am, send me" aka "send me in, coach" and I began the process of understanding, FINALLY, the scripture "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy." Aren't we really here to learn happiness? In my pessimistic mind before I honestly ignored that scripture because based on what I had understood of the Plan of Salvation, "men are that they might be tested and tried and faced with death and hardship and weakness and every type of affliction." because, as I understood it, THAT is what's require of a future God. I always thought, "we're not here to waste time and have fun. This is a concentrated, short period of pressure - boot camp." Truly living the Gospel brings joy. And if we don'´t figure it out in the time we're given, it's not as if it'll be magically given to us after we die. Where we end up depends on how joyful we learned to be despite everything this world is. Because, regardless of circumstance, the most joy that can be found in this world comes ONLY by living/renewing/completing the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Degrees of glory - degrees of how well you learned your divine duty/potential - to have joy. There's so much more to be said and explained on the subject, but just know that my perspective of the plan of Salvation has changed completely. I am, that I might have joy. I am, NOW, a recognizer of who I am, where I am. I am, today, finishing an 18-month mission for the Earth's only perfect and complete school of divine truths, FULL OF JOY. I am Hermana Emma LeSueur, and I am a Mormon. And I Mexican't Stop, Juan't Stop being one. Ever.
I love you guys. See ya in a bit.
Beeeeeeg keeeeees, leeeeeetle keeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Monday, January 11, 2016

I want to change

Emma and her 'Bachelor' obession!! Some things never change haha

Hola LeSweats,

Considering the fact that apparently last week was the Bach premiere night, it's super appropriate to fill my email with Bach analogies right? Jesus used parables so we would better understand... I'll do the same for the whole LeSwerve household.
The Sean/Catherine-style success story is obviously the Familia de Leon. "After the Final Rose" (the Final Rose being their baptism and yesterday's sacrament meeting being AFTER) shows us their relationship (with the church) has done nothing but grow. As they've gotten to know each other without the constant supervision of the Bach camera crew (aka started doing things on their own without our constant nagging, teehee), they've realized that this really IS what they've always wanted slash needed. Their wedding is planned for DECEMBER OF 2017 in the DF Temple. The big shocker of yesterday's After the Final Rose: Joel not only passed the sacrament for the first time, but it was also revealed that he will the new 2nd counselor in the Young Men's presidency of the ward! Suffice to say, BachNation (Hermana Dagua and I) is going crazy.
The new season has started, and there've already been some shockers. An early front runner - Jazmin - went home by her own decision. Buuuut some crowd favorites from seasons-past randomly showed up in their own private limo and quickly made it to the top - some converts of about 10 months, Hermano y Hermana Estrada, finally got their non-member kids who refused to get baptized to come to church, 2 for the first time! They have 4 kids that could get baptized this transfer, and we had a little council with the parents yesterday to make a plan. The two other shockers of the week: turns out one of them already had a boyfriend, who showed up on the set to ruin it all. AKA... Reyna, the awesome lady that contacted us in the street a few weeks ago, gave us some sad news during an appointment this week: her husband does not agree with her investigating the church, and can't fathom why she would ever want to even think about changing from being Catholic. Basically, he told her he doesn't want her to change and stop drinking and partying and start wearing skirts. She cried as she told us how much she really did want to look into the church, how she felt when she was there, but how she doesn't want to create a new problem with her husband since they just barely got over some serious marital problems. It was so sad. I could just see the desire in her eyes as she said "I want to change, I want to change." We ultimately said, "Hermana, if on Sunday you have prayed and made the decision to continue with us, we'll see you in church." She said she would see us there. Yesterday, however, she didn't show. I guess her family situation got to her. Jazmin called us and made a billion excuses for why she couldn't come, so she's out of the picture for this transfer. Another contestant is in the "should I stay or should I go" phase... remember a past relationship from before the show is ruining it for her. In other words... Maria Fernanda is feeling the pressure from her Aunt Blanca and is now doubting her ability to change and her worthiness to be baptized. It is so sad. She was actually on the brink of getting baptized yesterday, her aunt had told us that if Maria Fernanda was really confident in her decision she would sign the parental consent. Basically, at the last second Aunt Blanca's doubts and constant criticism got to her and it was Maria Fernanda's decision to wait 'til next week to be baptized. Familia Estrada has made some waves in BachNation, but the crowd favorites of the season have remained: Jesus, Carmen, and Lorena. Carmen and Lorena are SURE of their feelings, and everyone's confident they're there for the Right Reasons(TM). Jesus is the controversial one, playing hard-to-get, but he's definitely in it to win it. There were some awesome 1-on-1 dates this week with the 3 of them and they all opened up. There were some tears shed by us and Carmen as she talked about her life and her fears. My favorite part was when she said "There are lots of churches in the world. But this one (pointing to her Book of Mormon) is the right one." Lorena has a new BFF in the Bachelor Mansion (Hermana Jesy, her neighbor we brought to the lesson) and came to her 1-on-1 (sacrament) sick but determined to make it work. Sickness is all over Claveria right now! Mine already came and went, now my companion is all fever-y. But all in all, we're having a good time and we're seeing miracles. It's been an area of miracles, honestly. We're seeing a ton of less-actives re-activating completely, which makes me so happy because seeing a less-active you helped re-activate get a calling or get the priesthood is the best. Please pray for Lorena and her baptismal date of the 31st, Jesus and Carmen for the 24th, and Guillermo and Magdalena and Maria Fernanda for the 17th. I love you all so much, can't believe I'll only be writing you three more times after today! Thanks for all you do for me.
Beeeeeeg keeeeees leeeeetle keeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I will stay strong til the last day

How are you guys? It's been a week of lots of "lasts"... my last Fast Sunday testimony in church, my last testimony in Mission Leadership Training, my last Zone Meeting testimony, my last talk in Zone Meeting... I'm not gonna say I'm actually a little happy that a few of those things are over... but I'm not NOT gonna say it. :) But really, it's been a really strange week. A good juan, but things are getting so real. When my zone was singing "God be with you til we meet again" to my companion and i we both felt like it wasn't REALLY us that were leaving. These last few months have flown by.
Carmen is progressing super nicely, she already laminated the covers of her book of mormon and got a lady from the ward to give her a hymn book haha. She's really excited for her baptism the 24th. Can't remember if I mentioned Lorena, but she was this really awesome miracle that came to church with her mom after she found us in the street on like thursday (i think?). All so exciting!. Some great news of the week: Guillermo and Magdalena are getting married, and their baptism is scheduled for the 17th! We're going to go see them today so we can get their papers together. But they definitely have the desire to do it and where there's a will there's a way. Maria Fernanda is still struggling, her aunt still isn't budging. But it's all good. We're working on it. Jazmin isn't as strong as she was before, she didn't come to church but it's still possible that she gets baptized on the 31st. So we'll see what happens there.
This week we're going to work on Rosaura and Dulce and Reyna and Danaris and continue working with the people that have baptismal dates. Something I loved this week was the focus on repentance that we had in our meetings. My companion and I were talking about it, and if someone doesn't really understand repentance, what difference does the Gospel actually make in their life? Baptizing someone who doesn't't understand that concept, who hasn't learned that repentance is available... i was reading Moroni 8 and it's really like baptizing a little baby. Daily repentance and the cleanliness we feel taking the sacrament is what being a member of the church should do for us, more than anything else. the church isn't here to create unnecessary busy-ness, the programs are there to enrich and assist us in our primary goal: daily repentance and progression. I love this church. I understand so much more why it's here and who directs it. I have 4 weeks left to be a missionary full-time, and i will stay strong til the last day. But I also couldn't be more excited to see you all and start to apply all of this stuff at home. I love you!
Beeeeeg keeeeees leeeeeetle keeeees
Hermana LeSueur
Last Zone Meeting

Her two favorites, Mexico and 'Merica

Monday, December 28, 2015

As Always, Perseverance Paid Off

I'm so happy I got to see you on Friday! I might be coming home in 5 weeks, but it was still so fun to get to talk to you from the mission field one last time. I hope all your Christmases were good. Christmas in the mission is super fun, but really stressful as far as the work goes. The goals remain the same even though we had 3 half-days of work. Fun fact for ya: "home for Christmas" doesn't exist in Mexico. It's vacation time, and everyone leaves! I've never seen the streets so deserted! That, plus the many investigators and recent converts and members who randomly left made for a few frustrating days. But, as always, perseverance paid off and we were shown some miracles. After a fairly disappointing sacrament meeting showing, we left to look for the people who didn't come to see if they could make it to the 12 o clock ward. We didn't have any luck until we were walking away from Maria Fernanda's house and we heard a quiet voice say "do you have a pamphlet?" We turned around and this little old lady was standing about 10 steps behind us. .She repeated herself and of course we sprung into action introducing ourselves and inviting her to the 12 o clock church. She was like, idk I have to wait for my nephew slash I' a little busy and we're like HE CAN COME TOO and in that moment I flagged down a taxi, we waited for her 50-year-old nephew, and the four of us went to the Elder's ward (where the Elders made us sing a spur-of-the-moment musical number in Sacrament meeting). Anyway, the lady's name is Carmen and her nephew is Jesus and she asked us for a Book of Mormon after the meeting. I don't know if I mentioned that this is pretty much the same thing that happened with Reina last week? Anyway, despite the relatively slow week we actually do have a great investigator pool going! I don't know if I talked about Jazmin, but she came to church for the first time yesterday and loved it and is getting baptized the 24th, aka a week before I finish my mission... can't remember if I talked about Rosaura either, but she's a mom of 3 and is awesome and agreed to get baptized and her daughter Dulce is also interested. Reina and her daughter Danaris are golden but Reina's sister-in-law who lived with them randomly died on Saturday and they've obviously been unavailable since then. Maria Fernanda is supposed to get baptized this Sunday, but her aunt is stil not allowing it. But Marfer is so cute and was telling us all about how she prayed and got her answer about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon... did I already tell you about that too? Anywho, she prayed and book fell open to a scripture that really touched her heart. That's the gist of it :) Please please pray that the heart of her aunt Blanca will be softened so her niece can get baptized on the 3rd!
We had a fun zone conference this week, and then a zone activity. The zone activity was way funny because the zone leaders didn't go to get the food early enough and we ended up not eating, and one of the hermana's locked an elder's shoe in the sacrament closet so trying to open that took us about 2 hours. But it was fun and I taught the Latinas how to play 4 Square, and it was funny because I started getting all competitive but no one else did... haha but it was one of my favorite Christmases of my life, I can say that truly. Thank you all for your Christmas wishes and for supporting me so much in the last year. Christ lives, He saved us from death. I love you guys.
Beeeeeeg keeeeeees Leeeeeeetle keeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Emma's companion, Sis Dagua, from Columbia

Monday, December 21, 2015

What can I give Him? I will give Him my Heart

Hey sweet spirits!
Another year, another FELIZ NAVIDAD! I honestly feel like it's such a blessing to have had a Christmas at the beginning of my mission and at the end. I feel like last year Jesus came in and said "Okay, you have a whole year to walk in my shoes. Let's see what you can learn." And now He's back to check in, haha. I can truly say that - I HOPE that - Christmas will never be the same for me again. Since I was little, I've loved Christmas more than anything in the world. I would put black paper on my windows to make it dark in my room and plug in Christmas lights and listen to Christmas music - when it was nowhere near Christmastime! I am the strict tradition-follower, and I would pretty much lose it if we didn't do one little tiny family Christmas tradition one year. I love the fact that this Christmas and the last, Christmas have been so very very different but I've loved them so much. There's no snow, temple square, family parties... rather it's been a time to truly, really reflect on Christ. I've been thinking a lot about the line of the song "What can I give him? I will give my heart." I LOVE that so much more these days, because as I've explained time and time again, one great thing I've learned in my mission is what a Christ-centered life is actually, what it ACTUALLY feels like to give Him your heart. It means He affects everything you do, every decision you make. I won't go into all the details. But I do know that this Christmas the love I feel for Him is greater, I feel as if I know Him a lot more personally, and I'm so grateful for the year I've had to walk in His shoes. Thanks to all of you that have sent me sweet Christmas notes, and special shout-out to MOMMA LESUEUR for the awesome package! I've been giving things away, as you requested, and it's been super super fun. Thanks momma, thanks dadda, thank you all. I love you so, so much.
It was a good week, we had some great miracles as far as finding new people - a few examples, turns out Ulysses' son, Irvin, is super great and is going to get baptized. We had a lady contact us in the street after church and she came to the next service, that was cool. Lots of other stuff like that but my favorite part of the week has been watching the Familia de Leon grow in the church. With only a week as members, they are already so integrated and I'm pretty positive they'll be getting callings super soon. 9-year-old Armando is already talking about his mission, and literally that's his only motivation to do his homework right now haha...we told him you have to finish high school to go on your mission!
My companion is really cute, Hermana Dagua from Colombia, she's finishing her mission with me here. She's a convert of 4 years and the only member in her family, so brave and so cool that she's here and has had such an awesome mission. She's a great example and I'm learning a ton from her. We work well together and we're both content to be finishing out these last 6 weeks here in Claveria 2. Sadly, a lot of the people I've baptized here are out of town for the holidays right now, but in January we're going to focus on getting them all super integrated and good to go. 1 month and a half left. Can hardly believe it, it is so super surreal. But it has to happen sometime, doesn't it? I love you all, I love this church and the fact that here we have the ability to know and do the will of the Lord. Merry Christmas, from Mexico City!
Beeeeeeg keeeeees, leeeeeetle keeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning

Today's letter: Short and sweet, just like Emma!!
She is sprinting to the finish line, no time to waste

Familia de Leon Baptism- don't you just love all their faces?!

The best Christmas present of my whole entire life: the Familia de Leon got baptized on Saturday, confirmed right after, got their temple recommends after that, and entered the temple re-dedication on Sunday! They were so very very happy. One thing I've been loving lately: the song The Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning. It's been the favorite of the Familia de Leon since the beginning - we sang it at almost every lesson, at their baptism, and then at the end of the dedication as always. Such a cool moment. They're more pumped than ever to go through the temple in a year.
The LeSwericksons are no mo. I am staying in Claveria to finish my misiĆ³n as sister training leader with Hermana Dagua from Colombia, super excited, but super sad that my sweet cousin is going to Lerma (by Toluca). We had an awesome last week, though, and I'm really happy I get to finish here. There's still a lot to do!
I feel like I have no time today, sorry, but just know I love you all so much and I'm so excited that Christmas is just around the corner! Share the new Christmas video all you can, I'll be doing it all day every day over here! I know the Church is true, I love It with all my heart.
I love you guys!
Beeeeeg Keeeeees Leeeeeetle Keeeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur