Monday, December 29, 2014

DAD?! MOM?! YOU'RE THE BEST FAMILY EVER!!

Dear Daddy, Momma, Kitty, Sammy, and Goosey,
I CAN'T BELIEVE I TALKED TO YOU CARA A CARA ESTA SEMANA! Hahaha I also can't believe you taped it...when you asked me to speak Spanish I got all nervous and it was awful, how about let's not show anyone that part? Haha. I'm a Little mad right now because I wrote a big letter to you guys that I was going to just type right up, and I forgot the notebook I wrote it in in the house. I'll send it over next week! I won't lie, I've been so super excited to get on here and email you, right after I got off of Skype I started looking forward to it... I felt so bad I just cried the whole time! I got really worried that you all thought that I was miserable and oh-so homesick, that I made you worry for me! Of course, I didn't want to cry, but seeing all the faces and hearing all the voices I love more than anything in the world all at the same time was overwhelming! I couldn't stop! I want you all to know that I am so super happy here, for real! They take such good care of me here, I can't even explain. I'm truly converting to this work, and I just love it so much. More of my thought-thoughts on the mish in general next week :) Ps, your Christmas Eve letters were the greatest in the world. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL OF THE PACKAGE, THE LETTERS, EVERYTHING.
On Christmas, we went out and tried to contact people in the Street. There weren't too many to be found, but when we did have the chance to contact it was a super cool experience. To be able to say "Somos representantes de Jesucristo, y HOY estamos celebrando Su nacimiento" was so sweet. We felt like we should visit a single, older lady in the Ward, and turned out she was all alone - her daughter was working. Super glad we heeded that prompting. We couldn't exactly hand out all of our "He is the Gift" cards, because everyone was in their house pretty much the whole day of Christmas, but this hermana wanted tons to give out to people at work! So we gave her lots of them, and I'm 100% confident she'll hand them all out, because she's a definite "member missionary." To be honest, before my misión, I didn't realize that a large part of the missionary's job is to build the Ward. I'm loving trying to help strengthen the testimonies of members, menos activos, and non-member family-members alike.
This week was a bit difficult in general, I really don't like when we have Little breaks from the work for a few reasons: it's harder to complete our goals for the week, and when we're not serving it's easier to fall into thinking about home. I will admit I had a Little homesickness relapse, and that wasn't too fun. People are on vacation, and almost every scheduled lesson we had planned with new people (Street contacts), this week and last week, fell through. BUT. Saturday, we both felt prompted to visit Enrique again. And guess what? He's getting baptized, on January 11, with our other investigator Carolina. He had quite a few spiritual experiences in the past week, all pointing to Jesús Christ and baptism. He's not quite there as far as 'loving the ward' goes, but now he knows without a doubt that he wants to follow the example of Jesús Christ and be an active member of this Church. I'm seriously psyched. Other significant things this week - we are going to begin teaching the dad of a family in the Ward who hasn't accepted the missionaries in the past. This is pretty huge! This family has been going through a rough time - about a month ago, the 20-year-old son found out he had a brain tumor. We knew the family before, had visited them, and this was super sad for everyone to hear. He had a few surgeries, all went well, and he's back at home recovering, just like that. His brother, who's 15, is one of our "less-actives" that we're working on, and their dad isn't a member. Sincé this experience, they've been Reading the Book of Mormon as a family and they've all been at church every week. We visited them on the 27th, and the dad was there and wanting to talk about THE TEMPLE. We eased into a Little lesson on eternal families, and he was extremely interested. He Works a lot, but we're going to try to work around his Schedule and bring this family together for eternity. We're so happy, seriously. We found another family in the Ward also, inactive mom, non-member kids and husband. Super nice, super cool, and super open. I'm sad that it looks like I have only a few weeks left in this área, but I'm honestly way excited that I'll get to experience a whole new group of people, different scenery, etc. But, for now, I'm going to work like I'm NEVER going to leave Lomas Verdes. I love it here. I love you guys, more than any words I could ever say or write. MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS, MY LESUEURS. I'll see ya in a bit.
Beeeeeg Keeeees, Leeeeeetle Keeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Em in her Christmas Eve Jammies-- Kate and Lucy had the same ones at home to keep the tradition alive!

The same Advent Christmas Tree with pockets that I took on my mission.  We filled it with little fun and  practical trinkets for Emma and her companion for each day of December- they loved it!  


Monday, December 22, 2014

Tidings (of great joy)

Hi everyone and Merry Christmas!!  Emma was sick last week, and oh so casually mentioned for the first time the BLACK MOLD that has been all over her walls and ceiling for THE LAST FOUR MONTHS may have been making her sick, haha so the first part of the letter is her trying to call off the dogs since I was not very happy to hear that she's been breathing in mold for the last four months! haha :)
Thanks again for all your support, it means so much to us.



My sweet, sweet, familia y amigos,
First of ALL, Momma, I wasn't sure if it was a big deal, I thought maybe it was just dirty and humid, I wasn't sure if it was mold! It's accumulating more for sure, but we've been only studying and keeping our things in that room and sleeping upstairs, where it is much better. I think I got sick from it, but I slept upstairs the whole week and have been totally fine. If I just keep all my food in the fridge, nothing happens to it! I didn't want to bug anyone about it, because a lot of the Ward members know what the room is like and didn't seem all that worried. But yeah, I only have FOUR MORE WEEKS in Lomas Verdes, and I only need to sleep upstairs and all will be well! They asked to talked to me when they called, and I told them that the walls and ceilings are black, but we've moved upstairs so they dropped it. Anywho, I know I have only four more weeks here because, this morning, Hermana Mercado and I went with President Whitehead to the MTC for Hermana Mercado to visit her brother who just entered! President is the best, seriously. Afterward, he took us to McDonald's, so that was a fun Little piece of home! He mentioned more than once that he doesn't know yet where I'll be going, but I'll definitely be leaving, and Hermana Mercado will be staying in LV to train a newbie. I've gotta start writing some good-bye notes to my familia here in Lomas Verdes! I've definitely built myself a Little family here, and it'll be hard to leave that behind. So many wonderful, wonderful people I admire so much. Jose and Maria gave us new planners and cute scarves for Christmas when we went to visit them to review the Priesthood with Jose. They are truly the best, they want us to be with them on Christmas! Mario got confirmed yesterday, he's ready for a calling. He told us that he watched us pass every day for a month in Santa Cruz, and always felt like he should talk to us. He was familiar with the church, but not familiar enough to recognize us as missionaries. Finally, he called us over and found out what we stood for, and came to church a few hours later. He's so excited to continue to grow in his knowledge of the Gospel. I'm not sure if I've mentioned Carolina...I believe I have...but she has a baptismal date for the second week of January, and she absolutely loves coming to church. Jessica continues to amaze me. She's an active, active believer. She's willing to answer questions, share her testimony, in any given moment. She wants so bad for her dad to join, and she's working to get him to have family home evenings with her and her brother. She gave me a letter of thanks yesterday that was incredibly sweet. Of course, I don't deserve any of the thanks, but it reminded me that we do play a part in changing peoples' lives, and THAT is the purpose of my daily work. Luz is a Little hard right now, because she depends on the family she lives with to get to church, and they are BUSY. We're definitely working on it, we're heading out to visit her when the clock strikes 6. It's hard because she doesn't live in our área, and it's always a big chunk of our night to get over there.
Enrique. Enrique, Enrique, Enrique. I'm not sure if I ever told you all about Dominica, but we had to drop her as an investigator, at least for a bit. Our lessons with her are always charged with the Spirit - she has a close relationship with God, and wants so badly to do what's right. She's scared to get baptized. She's scared of her parents, she's scared that maybe organized religión is wrong altogether. I think she's scared her relationship with God will somehow change, or be less personal, if she joins the church. We have taught and taught and cried and testified and she has felt it - but she just won't accept right now. We're going to pick back up with her in a bit. Dropping an investigator is one of the saddest things in the world. Back to Enrique - we had to drop him as well. He has a problem with every person in the church. He is easily offended, and didn' t like the curious questions that Jose and Maria asked him or the way that another recent convert told him that her life was completely different since she got baptized, thinking she was being dramatic. After a few tough lessons, he understood baptism and admitted he wanted it and knew it was necessary. Then, the problem became that he didn't want to lose his Catholic girlfriend and "I haven't met even one person I like in this Ward." He won't come, he just can't understand that we are imperfect people that are lucky enough to have a knowledge of the truth - we attend church to worship, remember, learn, and progress. He really, really wants to continue meeting with us, and I hope to meet with him again before I leave Lomas Verdes. Connie is changing - the doctor thought she had cáncer for awhile, and even though she's since been told that she doesn't, she's changing because of this experience. She came to church yesterday. She's admitted that she does want to be baptized, which is HUGE - before, she never even let us get close to the subject - but she feels that she can't do it at this point in her life, in opposition with her husband and tied down with a lot of other stressful things. We're focusing on her, though, and I'm so happy she's starting to open up more than just her home and her bag of cookies for us. Another pretty prominent investigator right now is named Ruben, I contacted him in the Street, and he told us that his grandma is Mormon. Our first meeting, he was super interested in El Libro de Mormon, and was thrilled when I pulled one out for him to have. He's a disciplined guy, a very complex guy, 25 years old. Five months ago, he quit tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. He has a true desire to change, and he's been looking for that one thing to guide his life. I'm so excited to keep on teaching him.
This whole month, we have shared the "He is the Gift" cards with every single Street contact, investigator, and member we have met with. On Wednesday, after we talk with our families (fam - I'll be calling dad's account sometime in between 11:00 and 1:30, most likely 12) and eat our mid-day comida, we will set out to share the last of the 500 cards Hermana Mercado and I were given. 3:00-9:00 on Christmas Day, we will work as full-time missionaries, representing Jesús Christ as we go about sharing the good tidings of great joy, that:
There lived a man named Jesús. He was born quietly in a stable to his mother, Mary. Everywhere he went, in everything he did, he brought a light to those around him. He enlightened their minds with his simple but profound words, He lifted the flap of the tent of the leper, letting in the light and teaching his beloved brother to walk in it. People knew He was not an ordinary man. For this, He was killed. For fear, He was killed. But, the King of all the Earth knew this would happen. And He knew why. He accepted it long before any of us were born. Because, through His example we would learn what to strive for in life, and through His death we would receive salvation according to the desires of our hearts. He is my "light which shineth in darkness," and I love Him. He loves me. Merry, Merry Christmas, and Feliz Navidad, to all of my wonderful family and friends, wherever you may be. Les amo muchísimo, mas que puedo expresar. Les doy gracias por su apoyo, por sus palabras que he recibido cada día de este mes. Love you, love you, love you.
Beeeeg Keeeees Leeeeetle Keeeees,
Hermana LeSueur

Emma's absolute favorite family, Jose' and Maria.  They have become soo close!  They gave her a scarf and planner for Christmas and invited her to spend Christmas day with them.  I am so grateful for kind people taking care of and loving my girl while we are apart.  

The cutest scarf they gave her

Monday, December 15, 2014

Training Wheels

...GONE!
My first week SIN ENTRENADORA has come and gone. Also, probably the weirdest week of my misión thus far... My pride did me wrong this week, and I ended up completely bed-ridden on Saturday. Monday I started feeling way sick but tried to ignore it, Tuesday I got worse but wouldn't admit it to myself, Wednesday my voice reached the Morgan Freeman range from an intense sore throat, Thursday I got all stuffed up and achy, Friday I ended up with a way bad fever during our last lesson of the day, and then during the night I woke up with a worse fever/chills and a way fun cough and couldn't sleep for some six hours! Saturday in the morning I truly couldn't move, but we had to go to the baptismal interview of the guy we BAPTIZED YESTERDAY (more on that to come) and then to eat with the member because Hermana Mercado said we couldn't cancel with them. THEN I went home to rest because I was pretty much dying. Moral of the story, I didn't listen to my comp when I was told to take it easy early on so I wouldn't get worse, but I didn't want to seem wimpy, and I got a lot worse than I would have! Ah, the things "The Gran Misión" will do to you. But, being sick has definitely brought us closer together. Mexico and I, that is. Being home during the day in bed was really really weird, because we're never never there unless it's morning or night, and we generally are go-go-going all throughout the day. I guess I shouldn't call this week 'weird,' but definitely SURPRISING...we baptized! Someone new! His name is Mario Centurión, and he contacted us. He had been going to the church with an old girlfriend for about four years, and wanted to know where our building was here. Because he had four years of asistencias, he came to the Lomas Verdes Ward twice (last week and this week) and received the lessons from us and was able to be baptized! Crazy crazy stuff! Obviously I was really bummed I wasn't feelin too hot this week, but a way cool experience nonetheless. I want to give another public shout out to my awesome Ward for the sweet Christmas package, the shirt with your signatures is my favorite! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I got another package without a name, from the Holmbergs I think? It's super super awesome, I love all of the cool Little things in there, and I'm going to use the "Plan of Salvation" bookmark next time I need to teach it! The compass necklace will replace my YW medallion that unfortunately is nowhere to be found (it fell off somewhere in the streets), so I'm super happy about that! I want to say thanks to everyone that wrote a letter for my "letter advent" that my family put together, I wake up so excited every day! Your words always stay with me throughout the day, and all I can say is I am so so SO lucky to have all of you in my life, I seriously have the greatest examples all around me. THANK YOU, EVERYONE! It's absolutely crazy to think that I am going to be away from my fam this Christmas, but I'm walking with my brother Jesús Christ each and every day. With every person we've contacted this month, we've talked about the importance of Christmas, the fact that Jesús Christ is the GIFT. I don't know what the phrase is in English, but here the video/theme for this Christmas is "El es la dadiva." I've been Reading the Bible a bit more lately, the life of Jesús. I've probably said it before, but I feel so lucky to be a authorized representative of Jesús Christ in a time when everyone is celebrating Him. I love Him. He gave everything, for me. For you. We give our thanks by sharing this knowledge we have. Please, please, please...look for the people who need a lift! This is such a special time, and everyone can feel it. People are more receptive right now. Take the opportunity to share the Gospel principles you know and love! Help those who maybe don't have a family to spend the holidays with to understand that they are part of a grand eternal family, and they are NEVER EVER EVER ALONE. Give the gift of HOPE, cliché as that might sound! I love you all so much. Thank you thank you thank you, for your endless love and support. I love the church, I love this work. I love you.
Hermanas LeSueur and Mercado- elf hats from her Advent Calendar


Mario's baptism... Emma was deathly ill this day 

Emma, Sister Mercado, and Mario at his baptism
¡Feliz Navidad!
Beeeg Keees Leeeetle Keeees
Hermana LeSueur

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week 19: So much happiness in Lomas Verdes

Emma wrote lots of individual emails again this week.  LOVE how she sounds and that she's loving her area and her companion so much!  I'm hoping the sunny weather helps her not to be too homesick for Christmas.  Her letter advent seems to be a big hit, so thanks those that wrote letters for her!!

LUCY:

hello baby luvvv!!! I am LOVING my advent, i imagine you guys up there opening it every morning with me! today i got some awesome socks, which is so perfect because the mornings are FREEEEZING cold! I've gotten lights, some ornaments...i love it tons! i love you my baby, sososososososososo much!

TRACI:

MOMMA! I'm here in Lomas Verdes for another 6 weeks with Hermana Mercado! I'm so excited, we have another sure baptism, a guy named Mario, and then there's Enrique. I'm so pumped to keep working with them! The only sad thing is that an Elder in my district is leaving. I didn't think I would be sad, but I've been with him every day for three months so when the time actually came it was super sad. Elder White, from Arizona. He's been just as homesick as me, and we've definitely had little cry fests about it while our companions talk hahaha. He's really cool, going to BYU after and then is gonna be a dentist. I was telling Sam talking to this Elder reminds me of Sammy because he was the quarterback in high school and he kinda has that "quarterback"y look to him haha. Anyway, super sad, but our district leader is still ELDER NEWMAN, the most interesting man in the world. No way to possibly explain Elder Newman. I guess I'll just send you our last pictures as a district: 
Momma, thank you so so SO much for the package! The letters are by far my favorite part, but the stuff you sent (especially the lights) have made our little room so cheery! I love it all so much! Thank you thank you thank you, to you, to GRAMMY, to the rest of the fam and all the people that wrote me letters! So much happiness! My misión is becoming more and more...well, better! We're super lucky to have the success we're having in this área, because like i was telling dad it's known as the hardest área in the misión, baptism-wise. I'm so grateful to still be here! AHHH every week I think of so many things i need to tell you and when it comes down to it I can't remember! But thank you mommy, for every Little thing. I love you more than any words.
Love love love,

Hermana Emmie

SCOTT:


¡Estoy muy feliz, muy cansada, un poquito enferma ahorita pero muy agradecida que estoy aquí en Lomas Verdes todavía! ¿¿Como esta mi padrecito?? Are we gonna speak in Spanish when I Skype in a few weeks???  I don't know where I'm going to Skype or how, but I'm sososososo happy that I'm here and still with Hermana Mercado! She's no longer my trainer, so that's fun. I'm so super happy that President let us stay - I Heard that when that happens it's because he has a lot of trust in your companionship. Lomas Verdes (the zone) ALWAYS comes in last place in baptisms, ALWAYS. Sincé Mexico Mexico City West was created, Lomas Verdes gained a reputation of being an awesome place to live, but "just be prepared to baptize no one." But, we had 12 baptisms in total this month (as a zone), and Hermana Mercado and I were 3 of them. President wrote me today and said that he's thrilled that our zone is turning Lomas Verdes around and that our companionship is very powerful, Hermana Mercado and I. Nice to hear. We work really well together, and I really do like teaching with her. I rarely need any more money than what they give us through the misión credit card we all have, they give us money for transports and for everything else and it is plenty! I've used the debit only a few times, for some groceries. All is good, the members here are AWESOME, my bffs, and there's a doctor in the Ward that invites the missionaries to Chile's some p-days. plus we eat in his house once a week. so many cool people, the members take such good care of us it's insane. I love it, I love you!

KATE:

My kit, i think about that all the time... like i'm never going to leave any of you guys ever again when i get back jejeje. my kitty kit, I'm so happy you had a good week! i did too! the misión is actual becoming real, if that makes sense at all. I'm so excited to hear all about your cool patriarchal blessing. God is definitely real, He is definitely listening, and He's always watching and hoping that we'll follow the example He has so graciously provided for us. I'm so grateful to BE HERE! Life is just better when you're serving. That's all there is to it! Love you so much my sweet kitty bird.


Hermanas LeSueur & Mercado, Luz, Elders Newman & White

Looks like the Holy Ghost is between these two companionships haha! 


Monday, December 1, 2014

Pantsuits, Turkey Spam, and lovin mish life

Emma asked me to post her emails this week as she didn't have time for her group email.
Thanks so much for all your prayers and support!!
Love,
Traci



DADDY! Yeah, I was thinking about telling you guys maybe email is best. Tomorrow is zone conference though, and I'll be getting all the month's dear elders and a package I received but didn't know to pick up! I got my thanksgiving one and another one from USSynthetic that I assumed was from Lisa or Troy or maybe somehow grandma pam...Then when we got back from the misión home they texted us and said that I missed a package! So I’ll get that tomorrow, super excited. Dad, seriously, like the work is so good right now! We keep getting contacted by people who are interested, and more people than we ever expected have showed up at church every week, and we have lots and lots of future baptisms! For this, I hope that I’ll be in lomas verdes for six weeks more! But I can't be completely sure... Hermana Mercado is the best, seriously, we just laugh and laugh all day and I’m not scared out of my mind and sad all the time anymore. I'm settling into my new life, it's just a bit hard to think that in a few weeks I’ll be leaving here and will have to settle in somewhere else! But the initial shock of MEXICO has almost worn off, so the second time around should be better. After this next six weeks, I will be 1/3 done with my misión. So that's super insane. I made all the stuff that mom sent for thanksgiving, and I loved it so much! The Spam turkey was way good! We had a family home evening yesterday with our recent converts, the elders and us, and it was so cool to hear their testimonies. They're already thinking about calling Jose as a Ward missionary, according to my misión leader haha. My misión president is great, and so is Hermana Whitehead. It's comforting that their Spanish isn't that awesome either, they have Utah accents, they're both funny, my interview with President was good. Daddy, I have so LITTLE time left in my misión, for real! It's true it goes by so fast for the misiónary. True, my first cambio was super slow but if the rest go by as fast as this one did...I’ll be home in no time, and will be left to simply reflect on what I did to fill these eighteen months. Insane. I love you so so so sososososo much, daddio. Le amo mucho MUCHO! Hope my Spanish doesn't disappoint when we skype in a few weeks! Haha, you guys need an account, PS!
Love you love you
Hermana Emmy Em
SAMMY:
Bud! What in the world, I hope you broke your wrist at the very end of the game! There's an Elder in my district that we eat lunch with every day named Elder Clay White and he was the quarterback in high school and right now he's collecting these funny little football helmets that come in packages of pan dulce, and I always think of you when he brings them out! You know what, its super cool to be a missionary at Christmas! Because, right now, I am really representing Jesús Christ, and I will get to do this on a day when everyone's celebrating His birth! Super super cool. I get my package tomorrow, so so so excited! Also, the weather is freezing and WET in the mornings and at night, but during the day it's hot! So that's kinda weird. Haha, but nowhere near as cold as it is in DRAPER! Buddy, I want to hear about everything that's happening with you! Tell me everything kay?
Love you!
Hermana Emmy LEswer
LUC: My goosey moosey! I miss you so super much my girly baby! I want to cuddle with you so so so much! And play American girl dolls and watch pillow talk and jump on the tramp and go to Chick-fil-a! I I'm so sososo SO excited to see your sweet face and hear your cutest voice and talk about ALL the cool stuff you're doing in just a few weeks! I have so many pictures of my baby goose near my bed so I can imagine I’m having a sleepover with you when I go to sleep at night. I miss you my lovey! My companion is super nice and super funny, she reminds me of Ally our cousin! We have a lot of fun together, and we've baptized three people together! It's so so so exciting! Mexico is a crazy place, but its fun and I want so badly for you guys to come visit all my áreas after my misión! I love you baby girly girl!
Hermana LeSueureueuer
MOMMY:
Hey momma dearie! I don't have time to send a group message today, but you can pass along the info si quiere! We baptized Luz yesterday, so cool to see her whole demeanor change. She has this confidence that's completely different and new, and I love that that is what the góspel has done for her. we went to go teach the girlfriend of the ex-missionary this week - turns out he's from UTAH, his girlfriend wasn't there, but we taught another one of his friends and she already wants to be baptized! A guy ran up to us the other day and said he's a friend of a guy in the Ward and wants to hear the lessons. So that's super super cool. Dominica officially said she doesn't want to get baptized, but is really grateful we've helped her feel closer to Dios. Still, I don’t want to drop her... we might have to :( seriously the worst. But, yeah, Jose and Maria were confirmed, Jose has his White shirts and ties and suits all ready to go and Maria is way into pantsuits... they're the best. Truly. the Work is going really really well, we're gaining new people every day and I hope and pray I get to continue in this area for six more weeks because I have grown so so attached to our investigators, and I have such high hopes for so many! We have been led to so many people who are already so prepared to receive the góspel, all we have to do is invite! I'm more comfortable in my new life, I laugh and make quesadillas with Hermana Mercado and we are just so funny all day every day. haha. I fail every day, my Spanish still isn't that great, and every time they make me do a practice in front of the zone I end up almost in tears with embarrassment. But I’m learning. Momma, THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE! Seriously, nothing makes me happier than seeing your handwriting. Seriously almost better than the food was your little note! haha. I love you so so so much. We don't have a baptism Scheduled for this Sunday, but we're working on it, and I hope and pray that Dominica accepts the góspel!!! Love you so ossoososos much mommy!
Love,
Hermana Emmy
KATE:
My week was good! Baptism and two confirmations, whoooooooohooooooo. Nothing better than
that. srsly. Life is pretty crazy and sometimes I want to curl up in The middle of
the rainy Street and sleep forever, but it's for the best cause in The world
that I walk and talk and embarrass myself all day every day. hahah. I Gotta go my
kit, but I’m so excited to talk to you so soon!
Love youuuu
Emmy Hermana
Happy Thanksgiving from Mexico!!!

She apparently loved her Turkey Spam that I sent haha!


Luz's baptism!! They were so thrilled



Jose' and Maria's baptism-- Emma just LOVES this family!! 





Monday, November 24, 2014

Such bravery, and such faith

Mi Familia y Amigos y FELLOW MISSIONARIES!
¿Qué tal? This was a week of miracles, en serio. Yes, Jose and Maria were baptized yesterday and it was so incredible. As always, there simply aren't words to describe the feeling of watching someone you love, who you've taught and prayed about for weeks, enter the waters of baptism. What's better is they are completely willing and ready to IMMERSE themselves in the church. They are planning a temple trip to buy their own set of scriptures in the vis center there ASAP, and want to buy the hugest mural of the Sermon on the Mount for their house (they looked at all the pictures in the capilla and really liked that one). Jose's sister was really upset that he wanted to be baptized, but he still invited her and she CAME and seemed really pleasantly surprised. At a Noche de Hogar last week, they shared with us some ways their lives are different these days. Maria told us how they went to a restaurant, and their friends wanted to know why they wouldn't drink, and she said "Because we're becoming Mormons!" We're working really hard to set them up with other older couples in the Ward, which was the goal with the Noche de Hogar, but didn't exactly work out that way...only one guy from the Ward showed up, then it was the Elders and the guy who gave us the reference from the Ward and his girlfriend. So, we're working this week on helping them find a place in the Ward. Not hard, Jose talks with EVERYONE, and is psyched out of his mind to get a calling! We helped him get the LDS Library or whatever it's called on his phone, and showed him how to watch videos and read out of D&C and such. They have all the books and manuals they need, and being in their house is just the happiest feeling. The spirit is so strong. They were SO prepared, and SO willing. I am just so super grateful I got the opportunity to watch their conversión process. Jessica is doing so well, she is happier every time I see her and is becoming more integrated in the Ward. She's started working, so it's difficult to find time to meet with her in the week, but we're going to do all we can to have a Noche de Hogar with her this week. In Gospel Doctrine last week she was just so awesome, raising her hand to answer questions and sharing her experiencias that she had with 'las misioneras.' I love her lots.
We have two investigators that have families who are anti-Mormon, and we can't really meet in their houses: Dominica and a nuevo, Carlos. It's a really crazy situation with both, we meet around the corner from both of their houses. He's 33 and she's 27, but their families are very, very strict, to say the least. What's so cool is they both have said they just feel something and they know that they need to listen, despite all the crazy things that have happened or might happen as a result. Such bravery, and such FAITH.
We're baptizing Luz next week! We visited her this week, and she was having second thoughts. My awesome companion launched right in to a powerful lesson on the Expiación, and I did my best to add. I'm happy to say that Luz is excited, our relationship with her is better, and yesterday at church she made friends with the Bishop's daughter, which is KEY.
Speaking of church yesterday, WOW! All I can say is that the Lord pretty much handed the missionaries of Lomas Verdes about 6 months worth of work - we knew Carlos was coming, and Luz and Jose and Maria, but then a random Street contact named Daniel showed up and the girlfriend of an RM who lives in our boundaries and two random other people who were invited by a member and live nearby. We were obviously so excited, and this week we get to start teaching them!
At this point it's looking really likely that things will stay pretty much the same next transfer. It's pretty normal that President Whitehead will keep new missionaries in the same área for quite some time, and I think I'll even have Hermana Mercado again, along with the rest of my district. I'm real happy about this, but if it doesn't work out that way...ADVENTURE! I'm so close to the point where I'll be without a 'trainer,' and I'm honestly psyched but obviously a bit nervous.
I understand why people call their misión 'the Best Two Years' (slash 18 Months). As I have more experiences here, my desire to continue in the work the rest of my life grows. There are SO many ways to share the Gospel, and I can continue to play a part in and watch the baptisms of converts throughout my life if I'll only remain constantly aware of the needs of those around me and continually 'treasure up' the lessons learned in my misión.
I love this church. I know it's true. I love every part of it. I know every part of it is true. I love Joseph Smith. I know his account of the First Vision is true. I love the Book of Mormon. I know it's true. It's all true, okay? I love you guys. Have such a good week!
Beeeeg Keeees, Leeeeeel Keeeees,
Hermana LeSueur
We are laughing at her only table in the apartment:  toilet paper, cereal, flowers, family picture... she eats cereal for dinner every night and the flowers are from the flower guy that is kind of in love with she and her companion haha!

Their "desk" which is a folding table 

Emma's "kitchen" a.k.a mini-fridge and microwave 

The town she lives in

Monday, November 17, 2014

Understanding


Emma wrote several shorter letters this week that I wanted to include-- she's just so cute!  

This one is to her Dad:
MY DADDY, MY DADDY, MY DADDY LESUEUR.
I'm sitting here in this weird little 'internet cafe' that's most definitely not a cafe. It's a lot of weird random computers that range from about 20-10 years old and this keyboard is STICKY! Today is a holiday, but Hermana Mercado doesn't know what it's for...our usual computer place was closed, so here we are in Santa Cruz del Monte (Via Lopez Mateos), which is where we spend most all day every day. It's the humblest part of my area, the most people outside and willing to listen. The guy who runs this place I think is watching Seventh Heaven, that one show that Mom used to watch. This is the street (Santa Cruz del Monte) where I've met some of the craziest people of my entire life! Hahaha, well, I always love when you describe everything you're doing to me, so I thought I'd do the same. 
DADDY. Happy, happy, happy, happy, birthday! You know what an example I consider you to be, at least I sure hope you do. I give myself 'Daddy LeSueur' pep-talks quite a bit, when I need to whip myself into shape, when it's the end of the day and I need to push it just a little bit more. I continually think, 'what would daddy tell me to do right now?' I imagine I'm in my room downstairs and you come in and we talk through everything. I am SO lucky to have a Dad like that, for real. The hardest worker, the funniest, the funnest, the WISEST. I am so extremely eternally grateful for your testimony, the faith that you so obviously have. I love you, my Daddy. More than any words, more than any recorded piano songs, could ever say. THANK YOU, for giving me absolutely everything. 
I love you, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Hermana Emmy Girl
We got a little email from Emma's mission mom !  It was so nice to hear from her:

I would like to tell you that your daughter is amazing.  She works hard and is diligent and loving.  Her Spanish is great.  We're so pleased to have Hermana LeSueur in our mission. I talked to her a few days ago and she was bubbly, happy and excited to do the Lord's work here in Mexico. 

Her cute email to me this week:


I love you so much, my sweet Momma! Oh my goodness, Having Hermana Mercado is making all of the difference. I didn't get a chance to tell you, but the week that you prayed for me to find joy in the journey, I finally had a few moments of smiling and laughing with Hermana Mercado. She's strict, but so kind, and she likes to be with me! She's super sweet and has lots of confidence in me. She's told me a few times that she thinks I'll be training soon! Let's hope not, haha, but it's sweet of her to say. She's kind of an Ally our cousin type of person. She likes the same things, her way of speaking and such. It's fun. I seriously love her. I've learned that I don't have to completely stop being myself, and I don't need to feel guilty if I enjoy something that doesn't have to do with the missionary work such as eating a quesadilla at night . Tehehe. My bed is just fine, a bunk bed and I'm on the top. I have a thick blanket and my sheet. It's very damp all the time. I have only drawers. I love love love my peacoat, it's perfect! I think rain boots might be a little difficult to walk a ton in, though I'd like them. Oh momma, my legs are getting SO buff. I swear I walk more here in a day then I ever did in a day of trek, haha! Hermana Mercado is the speediest speed walker I've ever seen, and I literally have to jog alongside her sometimes hahaha. Okay, I'm going to go write my big email and Sam and Luce, but I love you so sos os os sosososososo much. Ps, I'll either be getting home 20 of December 2015, 27 of January, or late February. Just so ya know:) 
Love love love,
Hermana Emmie Baby (As Luce likes to say these days)

And her "big email" as she calls it:


Guys. 
Here's the stats:
10 Athiests contacted
3 random people in the street who have thought I was German based on the way I speak Spanish and my face...
3 Cokes offered to me, per day
1 very angry American woman ('NO. SOY. TU. HERMANA.')
1 Person who thinks I look and sound RUSSIAN (Hermana Mercado)
3 BFFs who love us way too much (our street policeman, the flower shop guy, and the taco guy)
1 dead dog in a box that we pass every day
1 very confused contact (I thought he said 'President Monson,' when he really said 'siempre hermosa.' Classic me.)
2 really really golden investigators
1 Grandpa Chip-twin, who also happens to be one of my golden investigators
2 Christian Holmberg fans - little tweens in the ward that looked me up on Instagram and found Christian and are now in love
1 life changed with the discovery that corn tortilla quesadillas con queso Oaxaco are the BEST IN THE WORLD
1 dog that tries to kill me every day
1 hot dog quesadilla eaten

So many more, but I have literally two minutes!
Okay, so seriously. I've said it before and I'll say it again. HOW LUCKY AM I?!! You guys, Jose and Maria are getting baptized this Sunday, and it's unreal how much I love these two people. Jose is seriously my Grandpa Chip, exactly! Their house has the most special spirit, they're so willing to follow every single commandment, they're just the greatest I could cry. 
SO many things that happened this week! I only have time to say that I love the mission, seriously. I can't believe I get this year and half to do nothing but share the truth with the world. I live in the world of Nacho Libre, and I couldn't be happier. I miss you all so much, love you, and thanks for your support!!
Beeeeg Keeees, Leeeetle Keees,
Hermana LeSueur


Not going to lie- we are hoping for the December 20, 2015 release date!!!  Then she wouldn't have to miss 2 Christmases..... we got her Christmas package together and it made me so happy to prepare it and fill it will lots of fun and meaningful things- but it broke my heart at the same time to imagine Christmas without our sentimental, Christmas-loving girl.  

Throw-back family picture right before Emma left..We miss her!!

Her Nacho Libre Corn-on-a-stick



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Look for the lonely people



Fam n Friends!
HEY! So, this week we have three baptism dates! Jose, Maria, and Luz. I am so excited for them. They make me so happy, and I see the gospel working wonders in their lives. We're getting really close to baptism with Dominica and actually, pretty close with Connie Ceja! Which is crazy! She has said multiple times she's NEVER getting baptized. Dominica has a lot of doubts about the Book of Mormon, but she's continuing to pray and is opening her heart a lot more than she was. For that I'm super grateful. We're getting busier, and I love that I'm now at the point where I can walk down the street and people yell out "Hermana LeSooorrr!" Hahaha, I guess you could say I'm officially settled. It's crazy I'll be leaving my first area in just four short weeks, and I'll have just about 14 months left in my mission! I want to give a big shout-out to my AWESOME WARD for the super sweet Christmas package I received! It came at just the PERFECT time, and the t-shirt is the absolute greatest! Your words of encouragement lift me up, big-time! I don't have any time left, but I love you all so much, remember to look for the lonely people and do what you can to help spread the word that we're never alone!
The church is 100 percent true, and we're ALL in this work of salvation TOGETHER!
Beeeeg Keees, Lil Keeeees,
Hermana LeSueur

Here is just a little part of her letter to me, I thought it had some good stuff 


I'm going to be in a different area for Christmas, most likely! But I'll have a few weeks of December here. We eat with members every day! They don't eat dinner here, so we have our big meal at 2:00 with various members, every day. 
About the safety thing, gosh momma, me neither! I have only been nervous that ONE time. Hermana Mercado says that I'm fearless, which is a funny word to hear to describe me. But, honestly, I'm making myself do 500 things that scare me, every day, and I guess my "brave face" is pretty convincing! 
TREK. I can't wait to hear about that! I sing "Onward, CHristian Soldiers" in my head every day while I walk, and it makes me think of pioneers. Sometimes, I feel a bit like one! Ahhhh, i can't wait to hear about all the fun things you plan and do! Momma, I love you SO SOSOSOSOSOS much. Just fourteen months from now I can tell you in person!
Love my mommy so so much,


Emmy

Em, her companion Sis Mercado and a Sis from her district.  

Hermanas LeSueur and Mercado

She finally got the Ward's Package!  Thanks so much

Signed shirt from the ward

Emma's zone

Mexican ding-dong for her three month-iversary


Monday, November 3, 2014

GOD IS REAL



Hey guys!
Another week in Lomas Verdes 2! Hermana Mercado is super awesome, VERY motivated and VERY disciplined. The Lord helped me a lot this week to find my way around and be the leader in most things, since Hermana Mercado doesn't know the area (which is HUGE) or the people! It was an awesome experience, stressful for sure, but it was cool to get a chance to try being the 'momma' for a bit and discover that I really have learned a lot! I love to teach, I really do. I play an equal role in the lessons these days, and it's such a good feeling. We have some golden investigators, Jose and Maria, and they are SO ready to be baptized it's crazy. They came to church yesterday along with their daughter and abuela. Jessica was also confirmed yesterday, by her brother who's a convert of a year, and she brought her dad and grandparents and boyfriend so that was super exciting. We got a 15-year-old less-active to come as well, and we were way excited! We're really close to setting a baptism date with Dominica, she's still not sure, but she's concentrating on the Book of Mormon this week and things are going super well. We have a new investigator, Luz, who works at the house of one of the members. She's in the area of the Elders, but wanted the Hermanas, so we get to teach her! She's really really cute, 22 years old, and already knows a lot because she lives with the member family. We taught Antonio (Jessica's dad) this week, and honestly he has a lot of doubts and questions, but both of his kids are recent converts and I can see how Jessica's baptism affected him. Hermana Mercado and I left our lesson with him (which started as a follow-up lesson with Jessica) and we were both just like "He already believes. He just doesn't want to admit it." He's being real stubborn, but I have high hopes. We're working on Familia Romero and Familia Ceja as well, and I'm excited for this week! We made appointments with lots of street contacts that we're going to visit this week, and I hope they turn out as well. 
Halloween was a little crazy, I kinda wish they would have let us go home a bit early that day because the streets were insane and very drunk. But we made it home fine, of course, and didn't run into anything too scary. A super nice gate-guard felt the need to warn us that he saw lots of guys going around robbing people at gun-point, so be careful - which only resulted in me feeling nervous to walk the streets in the dark for the first time since I've been here... But Halloween and Day of the Dead have both passed, and all is well! I saved a little of the "Booberries" that Momma Trace sent me in my package for Halloween night, and they were way stale but it was way fun. Hermana Mercado really is the best, and I feel way comfortable teaching with her. I felt the lessons this week were much more like conversations, and I was able to communicate things the way I wanted to. I wrote in my journal one night, "I CAUGHT THE WAVE!" like in that one missionary talk - that is, I think I'm getting it! It's been a week of lots of revelation, and I have learned so much about myself, about God, about my relationship with Him... I'm learning what it means to give of my whole self to something. I'm learning the things He needs me to know to accomplish the purposes for which I've been sent. Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me. 
Everybody: GOD IS REAL. He loves us so very very much, with a perfect love that's occasionally hard to understand but that's because we're all imperfect. I have seen what the Gospel does for people. Jessica makes me want to cry every time I'm with her. She always talks about feeling feelings she had never felt before, a happiness she had never felt before. I can't even believe how lucky I am to get to do this all day, every day. Seriously. This church is true, every single part, every principle. We have the truth, all of it, and because we have it we have a responsibility to share it. SHARE IT! Love you all so much, thanks for your words this week!
BEEEEG KEEEES, LIL KEEES,
Hermana LeSueur

Monday, October 27, 2014

Very. Very thankful

¡Hola my loves!
So, we baptized Jessica yesterday! So crazy to think of the first time we visited her, she didn't have much interest. And she has turned into this great spiritual giant - I can see her serving a mission! She is SO sweet, during our last lesson she prayed that we would find others, to change their lives and make them happy like we have done for her. Gosh, I love her. She understands so well the great significance of baptism. SO, so exciting. With my new companion, Hermana Mercado (de Mexico also, another only-Spanish-speaker!), we'll of course continue to visit her and our plan is to baptize her dad this week! He has all the asistencias he needs, now he just needs a few more lessons! Brings me to my new companion - Hermana Mercado is 19 also, and really new in the mission. It's really early for her to be training already, but she's proven to be a super solid missionary in the last two cambios and President Whitehead thought she was ready! She's way great, and super motivated. We're going to be super busy, I can tell! I don't have much time left, but I love you all so much - thanks for the kind words this week! This church is TRUE, Heavenly Father loves each one of you, and He wants you back to live with Him forever and ever and ever. 
Beeeg Keees Leeeeeetle Keeees, 
Hermana LeSueur

Family that feeds Emma each week

Emma's district

Jessica, Hermana Salinas's last baptism, Hermana LeSueur's first

Jessica, Hermana LeSueur, Hermana Salinas

Monday, October 20, 2014

Work.

Hermana LeSueur and a sister from her zone

Em and her companion Sis Salinas


SWEET FAM,
It's my last P-day of my first cambio in Mexico! Next week, I should have my new companion and will be just starting my third. I'm almost 3 months in, isn't that crazy? 
Hermana Salinas is currently enjoying her last P-day of her MISSION, so that's a little crazy. We're excited for our baptism on Sunday, a perfect way to end her mission and begin mine. Dominica came to church yesterday, which was GREAT. Also, fun surprise...she speaks ENGLISH! Jajaja. 
We met all of our goals this week, baptisms aside...but now that we've broken in the new area, I have high hopes for my next six weeks! My Spanish is definitely progressing, when I feel like I don't understand anything or am not contributing as much as I should be I just look back at my first week here, even my first week at the MTC, and I feel a lot better. Teaching is such a cool experience, because I feel as if I learn so many new things every day as well. This next week is pretty packed, we have lots of lessons scheduled that I'm really excited about, especially with Angeles and a few new families we found. I think one of the coolest things I've learned in this six weeks is how to VERY quickly sum up our message to contacts on the street. There's a lot of ways to do this, and you have to change it based on who you're talking to. It's hard, but seriously every person has a need that can be filled with a principle of the Gospel, and if you ask the right questions you can figure it out in a minute or so. Thank you all so much for your prayers, the first cambio is always a struggle and I've definitely had my moments of panic! 
Alma 58:11
Si, y sucedio que el Señor nuestro Dios nos consolo con la seguridad de que nos libraria; si, de tal modo que hablo paz a nuestras almas, y nos concedio una gran fe, e hizo que en el pusieramos la esperanza de nuestra liberacion.
In my roughest moment thus far, this was the answer to my prayers. One of those overwhelming moments when you just KNOW that God is real. That He loves you. And I truly felt a peace come over me that I hadn't felt since I arrived in Mexico. I KNEW that He has sent me here for a reason, and He has full confidence in me. Just a wonderful moment from this week, I considered it a turning-point. I love you all so much, make sure to share the Gospel with those around you this week! 
Beeeeg Keeeeees Leeeeetle Keeeees,
Hermana LeSueur
Sisters in her Zone
Her first authentic enchilada
Emma LOVES Hermana Toone from the MTC








Monday, October 13, 2014

Xactness, Willpower

¡Hola, my lovies!
This one is going to cover this and last week, since last week I got caught up in answering back some emails and didn't get to the mass email! First of all, Momma, Dear Elder is the best because there's no chance that it will get lost and it will get to me the fastest - we get our Dear Elders every time we meet as a district, zone, etc... So, this last week, I got my Dear Elders at two different times! Also, THANK YOU MOMMA LESUEUR AND FAM for the sweet SWEET Halloween package! Hermana Salinas is using the computer that I need to use to send pictures, so I hope I get to send some today, but if I don't... the lights are up, on top of the fridge, and the pumpkin on the microwave! I'm so sad I don't have a way to make the cookies, we only have our little one-room that has a fridge and microwave...it's kind of our own little house back there, we go around to get to it and we're never in the member's house... she's a pretty cranky lady, jajaja... I'm going to try to muster up the courage to ask her to use her oven next P-day! Hermana Salinas advised me against it, haha. But just having all that stuff in the room makes me SO happy. 
Wow, where to begin? Since I last wrote a formal email, we have gained lots of awesome new investigators, many have come to church, and one is getting baptized in a few weeks. We struggled for a bit, re-opening this area and starting from pretty much nothin', but I have a notebook full of names, directions, phone numbers...in two weeks, with my second trainer, I will have to know my way around perfectly, because she will be completely new to the area! 
It's pretty well-known here when you don't get a baptism every week - at a New Missionaries Training, President Whitehead definitely announced that Hermana Salinas and I are the only sisters of this new ´generation´ to not have a baptism yet (a chapel-ful of people - yikes!), but I think he understands that I'm doing the best I can to figure everything out - he did tell everyone that we have a new area and such. Isn't that crazy? We ARE the top-baptizing mission in Mexico, a baptism a week is not only expected...it happens! I participate as much as I possibly can in every lesson, and I am proud to say that going up to talk to someone new doesn't scare me! I can honestly say I'm pushing myself really really hard, to learn the language, to learn how to teach, to learn how to work with members, to learn how to live in a different country so far away from anything familiar, and I think he can see that. On the 27th, our investigator Jessica will qualify for baptism. She's seventeen, and super cute. She's way nice about my awkward attempts at casual conversation (not the easiest - I'm a lot better with Gospel topics, jeje), she always does her reading, she always understands it, I always feel the Spirit during our time with her. Fingers crossed everything stays great, I can't wait to see her in white! She will be Hermana Salinas' last baptism, and my first! I have high hopes for a few of our other progressing investigators as well, such as Connie and Valeria Seja, Familia Romero, Dominica... I have a great relationship with Connie and Valeria, last time we had a lesson I wound up helping Valeria (the daughter) with her piano homework! Familia Romero was a reference from a ward member, and they've already been to church a few times... when we went to their house for the first lesson, they were there sitting and waiting for us, which is really unusual! Mexico is VERY lax about being on time, about following any type of schedule. I would say our second lesson with Isabel Romero was the first time where I felt like I wasn't struggling so hard to push the words out, like I was comfortable enough to explain slowly and clearly and according to her needs. Such an awesome feeling. I'm progressing! More importantly, she is! 
I wish I could adequately sum up my experience here thus far. I've passed my two-month mark, people! I have learned so many lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It's pretty incredible how much my life has changed in a matter of weeks. I walk the streets of Mexico and greet everyone I see without fear, I ride the various modes of public transportation with confidence (most of which feel like a ride at Lagoon)... I've finally had the 'corn on a stick,' pictures to come - a guy gave it to me for free after Hermana Salinas bought one, haha...
I look around me all the time and am just like, "I LIVE here!" Like I said, we're in a pretty wealthy area, but there are also some very very poor parts as well. We actually spend most of our time in those parts - so many sweet families, and they give so many references. Some don't have a roof, some have hanging sheets instead of walls. 
I've had my share of crazy experiences... we've been given questionable suckers, we've been given flowers on two occasions... the first, I walked up and tried to start talking to a guy, and he just wouldn't have it. He started babbling and finally was like "HERE TAKE THESE FLOWERS AND GO AWAY!" and we're like, "No, thanks..." and he literally just shoved them at us and told us to keep walking. Jajaja, it made NO sense. The second time, we were talking to our BFF the Flower Shop Guy, and he told us to pick a flower. So that was super sweet. We have another BFF on Cruz de Cristo, who tried to get us to take a picture with him since I'm blonde hahaha and Hermana Salinas told him that he'd have to give us free tacos for that to happen... the offer still stands... 
You know, I've learned something about language... it doesn't matter all that much. The other day, during a lesson with Connie, I bore testimony that it is possible for ALL people to know of the truth of the BoM, if they'll only read and pray. My grammar was awful, but it was one of those moments where I just felt so strongly that she understand this concept. She sat for a second, and I was feeling pretty badly about the language, but then she was just like, to the member we had with us, "I can just feel the PASSION of these missionaries. I want to know something this strongly." Goodness, this work is EXCITING! I love it so very, very much. How glorious it is to spend my days sharing with others what will make them happy in this life, and how they can live with their Padre Celestial in the next. I love you all, so much. Thank you for your prayers, for your support! Until next week!
Beeeg Keeees, Leeeetle Keees,
Hermana LeSueur

Monday, October 6, 2014

Special K and Janice Kapp Perry

SWEET FAMILIA!
So, I went home from the Internet paper shop place last p-day and started writing a letter to you all, but then i realized that the odds of you getting it are pretty slim...so I'll type it here, with some more deets afterward that are more recent!
I'm back at the casa after writing email and shopping, i have about an hour and forty minutes left of p-day! Today, i woke up, did study till eleven, cleaned the casa while HS accidentally fell asleep, jeje, washed my clothes in the bottom of the shower, washed the dishes, organized my desk, went and bought more cereal, then went to this funny paper shop where they have computers to write you. P-days are busy days, but unlike last week i have time to write a letter! i hope it makes it to you, odds are it won't...You guys, I just have so much going on! I don't know where to start. I'm glad when i talked to you on the phone i was pretty out of it and sleep-deprived because i think that helped me not to break down sobbing! oh, FAM, i'm not gonna lie, i cry a bit these days jaja. It just kind of helps. sometimes you just cry for a few minutes then you feel all better the rest of the day! Haha, it sounds pathetic, but i just decided to let it happen for a bit until i finally find myself able to completely immerse myself in the work, which is slowly happening! I'm trying so hard to push all my thoughts of home away, but occasionally they just come flooding in. I'm working hard to, well, work HARD to distract myself! I have your last Dear Elders sitting here along with the printouts of today's emails. Before i get there...what details have i not mentioned yet?
Lomas Verdes is a reallly nice area, our little apartment is in the back of a house belonging to Hermana Gloria. It's a little one-room without carpet, and a teeny bathroom that doesn't quite work. I think it's perfect. we have bunk beds, I'm on the top. I'm using my bedbug covers, momma! this bed had a thick blanket sitting on it when we got here, and between that and my sheet I'm just fine at night! HS and i bought big jugs of clean water last p-day, i use that to take my vitamins and brush my teeth. the water here doesn't get my hair clean...no matter how thoroughly i wash it with the head and shoulders for greasy hair it's like i have this thick grease permanently at my roots...sick i know haha...i wear headband most of the time. Hermana SAlinas is about to finish her mission, but she wants to stay! She's really patient with me, she knows how slowly she needs to speak for me to understand and what words to use. i know it's frustrating for her, too. I'm her first English-speaking companion. she was really shy when she first came out, she told me she didn't dare to contact for two weeks! she's way cute, sometimes bummed, ...mostly because we don't have solid investigators...we're basically opening this area, it's been closed for a few years...right now we're focusing a lot on member references. HS is really strict about somethings, like she wont let me wear a few of my dresses, but on others like being places on time she doesn't care all that much, which is frustrating. I was real excited to have such a structured schedule, and we hardly follow it! But i guess i don't know how mission life works yet...but yeah i want to be efficient and get places, but I'm also never 100% sure whats going on or where we're going or why...I'm a bit powerless, sometimes I'll be stressed about getting somewhere then later I'll find It it was just a tentative plan. But at the same time, punctuality isn´t a big deal for anyone in Mexico, I've realized! The bottom line is, the days are pretty frustrating in some regards. most of the time I'm just blindly following hermana s and trying to survive! but we work hard, we walk fast, we're always busy, besides at lunch! I'm trying to learn where things are and how to communicate my ideas to her, but thus far following in her footsteps is what i do. it's not like me to be late for things or miss things, and i hate to say it's out of my hands but at least up to this point I'd say it has been besides that thought, i  really love her and I'm grateful she's my trainer. she loves the 'together forever' Janice Kapp Perry music and watches it constantly, has been active in the church about 5 years and her parents are divorced. There's no time built into our schedule for dinner, so we eat at the casa at nine. i eat cereal! so much! Special K! As far as the food with the members goes, I've had some super delish stuff and also some super yucky stuff. Some of the members are extremely wealthy, and others are very poor. I had flower soup once, with like dandelions, some yucky chicken bone soup, ad this Velveeta-meat thing! But I'm really grateful for the food, some strange things but mostly delicious!
Dadd, my daddy!hAHAH, i had a feeling you'd try to look up lomas verdes...our turf is periferica to madin. thanks so much for the prayers, my daddy. i appreciate them more than you know. in response to a few of your questions...we go to concordia at least once a week to eat at a certain member's house, I'm not sure why i like it so much! it's just a crazy little neighborhood. i sleep actually just fine...a day of walking will do that to ya. our apartment is very...damp. my blankets feel wet every night, jaja, and i wake up with a layer of condensation over everything...church is a little scary, as missionaries you greet and talk to everyone, but it's good for me! i bore my testimony last week! our ward is really great and give lots of references. the proposal count is zero, but my comp and i have gotten some flowers from some chicos and a guy wanted to take a picture with us because I'm blonde.
AHHJJJJ MY TIME IS UP!!!! I HAVE TO GO AND I DIDN'T EVEN GET INTO THIS WEEK!
My Precious momma, my precious momma, i read your letters when i feel discouraged or sad and need some motivating. i carry your words and advice with me wherever i go. they echo in my head every day. at this point, your letters have done nothing but remind me that I've done hard things in the past and i can do hard things now, that i have such little time to be here, that life is continuing as normal back home. reading letters reminds me of who i am, because most of the time i feel like a completely different person, in a different country wearing different clothes not looking quite like myself and speaking a different language, not quite able to say all of the things i would normally... the letter remind me who i am and why i chose to be here, take me back tot he root of my decision. remind me that there's an end to thins and in a few short months I'll be back home wishing it were possible to wear the tag once again. ooh, mommy, thank you for your thoughts. 
I'M OUT OF TIME!
But know that this week we found LOTS of investigators, i feel so much better about so many things, we had two investigators come to conference...I'm TEACHING!!!! Love you all more than any words can describe.