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


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

This one is to her Dad:
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:

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,


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


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!
Hermana LeSueur