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


Hermana LeSueur and a sister from her zone

Em and her companion Sis Salinas

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 SeƱor 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'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 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 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

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 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 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 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.
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. 
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.