Monday, December 28, 2015

As Always, Perseverance Paid Off

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

Emma's companion, Sis Dagua, from Columbia

Monday, December 21, 2015

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

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

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning

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

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

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Without Hesitation

Hey ooootaw heeeeey!

As always, it's been a week of pure living, laughing, loving, and trying to give a mano to my fellow sistas of Zion. It's the most juanderful time of the yearcito: bird poop / wet paint is falling, the street mechanics are singing their Julion Alvarez "carols" just a little bit louder, and the spirit of giving (your nearest white/blonde girl an awkward shout-out slash whistle in the street) is in the air. It's Christmas time in Mehi Co(TM), and most of the time I look out my window and sing "do they know it's Christmas time at all?" But don't you worry your pretty little minds, the ErickSwerve apartment is as kozy Christmas as can be, the Jen/Trace decor is going strong, and our continuous singing of the Mariah Carey version of O Holy Night is slowly preparing us for a LeSwerickson family talent show in December 2016. And now the news you've all been waiting for - we DO get to go to the ward Christmas dinner tomorrow since we're bring my fave family of investigators: Joel, Norma, and Armando (celebrity couple Christmas-themed nickname: Noel). We went to the temple to see the temple square-esque lights there on Saturday because President Whitewonderland gave us the green light: we went with our mission leader and investigators and we didn't stay long. But it was the BEeeeesT. If you haven't watched the 2 new Christmas vids of the choich, stop reading this email STAT and go watch. We have new "Ha Nacido Un Salvador" cards and they're already working miracles. A lot happened this week, but my favorite miracle was one of those "last door of the night" stories. On Sunday we had finished working and were just getting home, literally outside the door, when I realized we needed 2 more street contacts. We had just a few minutes left, of course we want to just say "we'll do 2 more tomorrow and all will be okay" but we left to go find two more people. We half-heartedly went to go look for someone to contact, found a few old ladies, decided to walk down a sketchier street near our house and honestly it's not a great idea to contact the men, especially at night, but there was a guy walking towards us and my companion is like "are you going to contact him?" and I'm like, without hesitation, "yes." I did, he accepted an appointment, we have been back with him twice now and he's one of the most golden investigators I've ever had. He accepted a baptismal date (Jan 3) in about two seconds and always says with tears in his eyes that he just feels such a huge change in his life since we met him a few days ago, that he can't stop thinking about the things we've taught him - he basically invited HIMSELF to baptism. I can't even explain it, but just to show you how incredible his situation is, he lives with his brother, they both went to church a long time ago, and when we walked into their house there were two pictures from the Restoration pamphlet plastered onto a board hung up on their wall. We're like "are you members?" and they're like, no a long time ago the missionaries gave us this pamphlet and we loved it and so we cut out the pictures and have had them hung up here. Their names are Ulysses (the one in the street) and his brother Victor. I always feel the Spirit so strong in lessons with them, it's so cool how prepared Ulysses is. He's so sensitive to the Spirit. Anywho, the baptism of Familia de Leon is Saturday at 12, we're so excited and are handing out invitations to their baptism currently. It'll be so awesome. Joel says he keeps dreaming about the church, he wants to be baptized the soonest possible so they can go to church as official members. They're planning another family trip to the temple on Saturday. I've seen such a great change in this family in the last 5 weeks. They're so much kinder and gentler and I now feel the Spirit walking into their house. Please pray that all goes well!
I know that Jesus Christ came with the intention of saving me. If I accept Him, if I do all in my power, I will be saved - that is, live with Him and God forever. I know it. I love this season. I love you all. And I like you a loooooot.
Beeeeg keeeees leeeetle keeeees
Hermana LeSueur

16 month Ding-Dong Celebration

Monday, November 30, 2015

She seriously never doubted

So hi. Hoppy Thanksgiving last week! Literally did not do anything out of the ordinary to celebrate Thanksgiving, but we did happen to eat some of the best enchiladas of my mission. PS, enchiladas here are literally just some chicken wrapped in tortillas with salsa poured on top. Super easy. I asked the lady who made them if she could make some turkey juans but she wasn't feelin it. But super happy that you all had such a gr8 Thanksgiving and even though the shrine to me was semi against the first few commandments it did make me grin/giggle. Man I love you guys.
Joel already considers himself to be a member. He's the biggest macho guy, but told us that he for some reason wanted to cry when he came to church last week. We explained that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth.
Armando, his 9-year-old son, had a little confrontation at school when he told his friends he was going to get baptized. They started attacking him about it, but Armando remembered what we had taught about the Book of Mormon, testified, and basically taught the whole first lesson to all of them. So cool. That kid is so smart, he remembers EVERYTHING. Can't believe we just met this family three weeks ago. We're going to the Visitor's Center at the temple on Saturday with them.
Maria Leonor had a hard week resisting some old habits, but she stayed super strong and got baptized yesterday! I love her so much. She was just so ready to accept the Gospel, she seriously never doubted and I'm happy to see her starting to integrate herself into the Relief Society. We had a really cool violin musical number and some really good talks planned, and everything went super well. Baptisms in this ward are almost always awesome.
We did companion exchanges with Hermana Alvarez and her mission "daughter" this week, Hermana Alvarez goes home in 2 weeks and is going pretty crazy. I got to be with her "daughter" though and it was fun- but it made me miss training a lot.
We had to drop that lady Irma, but her son Jared still came to church and wants to learn more. The problem is, what's stopping him from getting baptized is his Catholic girlfriend who he wants to marry. Sad. We'll keep working on it.
I can't remember if I mentioned Guillermo and Magdalena. Magdalena is super interested in the Book of Mormon and has already had some spiritual experiences with it. They're going to have to get married if they're going to get baptized, though.
Bummer of the week: Maria Fernanda didn't show up. We went by for her, and her cousins were over and she said she couldn't leave. We're going to have to postpone her baptism 'til the 12th, but that's okay. We still have some miracles waiting for us for this Sunday. Just gotta find them.
I started writing my own Living Christ this week. I have to get down something in words to describe how my mission has changed my perception of Him. I was thinking a lot this week about how I've changed. As much as I've changed in some little things and habits, as much as I've learned, the biggest change has been my relationship with Jesus Christ, my understanding of the Gospel and how I can and need to apply it every day of my life. I'm so grateful for the Christmas season that's starting and for the fact that everyone will be thinking about Christ just a bit more. I have absolutely no words to describe how differently I think about the babe in the manger this year. I know I was a missionary last year, but this year is even more different and even more special. I know it is meant to be that I'm here 'til the very very end. I need this Christmas.
I love you guys. So, so, so much. See ya in a bit.
Beeeeeeg keeeeeees leeeeeetle keeeeeees,
Hermana LeSueur

Maria's baptism

Decorating with the same tree that my brothers and I took on our missions

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Atonement gives me hope everyday

How are you?
Life in Claveria is still good, the LeSwericksons are still going strong...we're about to the halfway point of this transfer, a little closer to knowing where I'll be slash who I'll be with as I go through my last transfer. The promise that if we work hard to help the other Hermanas in the zones we're in charge of our area will be okay is definitely real. That family I told you about last week, La Familia de Leon, has accepted the 13th of December as their baptismal date and they are so excited. We've been going to all of our lessons with them with different families of members and they've made so many friends in the ward. During relief society, the mom Norma volunteered to bring food to the ward Christmas dinner and she's all pumped. The dad, Joel, has said multiple times that we knocked on their door right in the moment of their lives when they as a family had been talking about finding a church so they could unite themselves as a family. Every doctrinal point we cover coincides with what he has always believed to be truth, but couldn't find it in his other church. The 9 year old son Armando is the cutest and told me as we walked hand-in-hand to the English class on Wednesday that he'd done what we asked him to do: pray to know if Joseph Smith restored Christ's church. He said he felt "yes" in his heart. Plus, as a bonus he said he found 20 pesos right after that, so that just confirmed everything haha. We will be baptizing Maria Leonor on Sunday the 29th, Maria Fernanda on the 16th, and the Familial de Leon on the 13th. Please keep these people in your prayers. They're all so prepared and I have no doubt that they're converting to Christ and it's their time to join the perfect church He's placed here for our earthly progression and as a source of His holy power. We had a few more miracles as well. There is a guy named Fermanado who has a baptismal record in our area book, but he never got confirmed. We'd been looking for him for the last few months and had actually given up on him because we were told he'd moved. Well, he found US last week in the street and was like "hey, I need to get confirmed" and we're like "who are you?" and he's like "Fernando, last name last name".Anywho, the thing is that after a year of being baptized and not getting confirmed you have to get baptized. So we're going to baptize him soon if all goes well! I think I already talked about the 9-year-old daughter of the less active that we randomly found named Mia Abril. We taught her the Gospel this week but we're taking it slow. She's a sensitive soul and her aunt has her going to the catholic church right now. All in all, we're working a lot better with the members these days and I feel like they'ore getting a lot more excited to share the Gospel. We actually planned a ward missionary activity that we had on Thursday where we taught the members how to share a Book of Mormon, start conversations about the gospel with random people, teach the restoration, and how to introduce the gospel to close family members and friends. The ward got way into it and they loved especially how we have them a list of basic question that the book ofMormon answers and where.
We had companion exchanges this week, really fun, and my last official zone conference with president! Whooooooooo can't believe this stuff. Also, definitely forgot thanksgiving haha! No one talks about it here.
It's too hard to even explain, but here goes: I am more grateful than ever this thanksgiving for Jesus Christ. I just can't even start to tell you all how much knowing about how to utilize the atonement gives me hope every day. Every day I realize more imperfections and bad habits and things I need to change, and little by little he is helping me make them better. I know that the awful guilt we have when we sin can be squashed by living the Gospel. I'm so grateful for His love, and I love Him so very much. I love you all more than anything!
Beeeeeeg KEeeeees Leeeeeetle KEeeees
Hermana LeSueur

P.S. Emma was in a small earthquake in Mexico City today, she saw and felt things moving but luckily no one was hurt and nothing damaged that she saw...!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We are in the Truth

Hey guys!
Weeeeeeeeell twas a good week. We found a new family and their names are Joel, Norma, and Armando. They liked church and we have a Hamily Fome Evening (how Sam used to say "Family Home Evening" when he was little) with them tonight with the mission leader! We had the baptismal interview with Maria Leonor and she's's just that she last-minute had to go to some party in Toluca and we're going to have to push her date back because she didn't come to church yesterday. Way bummer. But, total miracle, that cute 16-year-old we're teaching, Maria Fernanda, showed up alone to church. She loves it, and she'll be baptized with the permission of her aunt (who came to church once with us) on the 6th of December. We had fun doing companion exchanges this week, and my companion went to the area of Roma with one of my "step-daughters" of this mission Hermana Garber! We get to talk to her every night, and also to my MTC companion Hermana Heinz! She's going home after this transfer. Crazy. Oh, also Tania was confirmed and we're having a FHE with her on Tuesday. She's so cute and is opening up to us a lot more.
The situation of Maria Fernanda is so sad. Her parents abandoned her with her aunt, and her aunt gets so angry at every little thing she does. She keeps asking us how she can make it so her aunt loves her and is happy with her. She made friends with some other Young Women at church, and I think a little LDS friend group is just what she needs. She is so sweet, and she loves the church already. We're so excited for her, please pray that everything goes well with her and Maria Leonor and this new family!
I love you all. I had so many confirmations this week that we are in the truth. There is this family of recent converts that we talked to this week and they were saying how they just feel so lucky to have found the complete truth and how it makes them so sad to see so many people who have no idea that the perfect Church of Jesus Christ exists. The two teenagers of the family are leaving on missions soon. So cool. I couldn't help but cry a little bit thinking that my second-to-last transfer has started and I'm going to be leaving this incredible time of my life soon. I love the church. I love my Father. I'm so grateful for all He's given me.
Beeeeg Keeeeees Leeeeetle Keeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mexico will forever be a part of me

Halloween Tag

Hey famslice!
SOOOOOO whoooooooo! Hermana Erickshlop and I are staying together, and we get to be Sister Training Leaders here. It was totally unexpected because president never makes a set of companions STL's at the same time, and he also never changes the STL area. But we're excited, super excited, because we get to be over lots of different hermanas from a few different zones, not just ours! It was a surprise, but a way good one!! It's actually really, really crazy because usually when you're going to be a Sister Training Leader you get called to one of the areas that's designated for the sister training leaders, number one. number two. When it's your first time they usually put you with someone else that has already done it so they can teach and train you. So, usually when it's your first time being a training leader you're training leader #2 and you're in one of the special training leader areas. but, they called us and told us they're turning our area into the new training leader area, and that we're going to both be sister training leaders for the first time together! So i'm the sister training leader #1 and i've never done it before! a little nervous. it means we go to all the hermana's areas once a week to work with them in their areas, we talk to all the hermanas every night before we go to bed, we give reports to all the zone leaders, we go to special trainings once a month, we speak at all the zone meetings and give a special hermanas training before them... but yet, surprisingly, i've always heard it's harder to train than be sister training leader. so i guess i got the harder calling behind me :) hahah, it'll be fun! we're excited, but nervous. i just can't believe president sent us in together, we're just so happy that we get to do it together.
We found some new awesome people this week, please keep especially in your prayers along with the list last week IRMA, JARED, and FABIAN. Fabian's another miracle, could be getting baptized this week because he went to church a ton of times in the US. Someone in Tania's family died and she had to leave in an emergency so she couldn't get confirmed yesterday, way sad, but they called us today and made an appointment for tomorrow. My companion got stomach sick this week, which is THE worst when you're walking through the streets of Mexico with all the crazy smells that happen every 5 seconds... but we still had a great week and she was strong and we pulled off a great Sunday. We had to drop a few of the people who came to church last week, though, because some already decided to jump off the ole handcart. but that's okay. the mission is a big process of finding tons of people and narrowing the list down to the people that are ready and willing right now to accept.
I started thinking a little about the funny little habits i'll have for pretty much ever after my mission, haha, like eating salsa on EVERYTHING. Pretty much everything tastes bland to me without spicy salsa, even like pizza and stuff. And just little phrases I say and my way of speaking have changed, little things I've picked up. Mexico will forever be a part of me, haha. I bought a sweet classic Mexican lady apron and some sweet pottery so I'm feeling ready to jump into my Utah life without losing my Mexi roots. I love this place. I've said it a billion times. I'll miss it a ton. As always, excited to make the most of what i have left and so so excited to work in this calling with Hermana Erickson. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God through His chosen servants on this continent. I love you all more than anything and I'm so happy to hear about all the awesome things you're doing to help others receive this super important message!
Beeeeeg keeeeeees leeeeeeetle keeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Her apron and bowl

outside their apartment

Day of the Dead pen

Shopping for pottery

Fruit Stand

Meixican Apron

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

She felt something different inside

Yay for cotton candy and the cutest sister missionaries ever

Such a good week in Claveria! We found tons of new people and they literally all came to church! The ward was psyched out of its mind when we gave a list to the bishop of all of their names and they all stood up during sacrament. Please pray that Claudia, Maria Fernanda, Blanca, Guillermo, Magdalena, and Gonzalo come back next week! Maria Leonor is still working towards baptism on the 8th, but we're not sure if her smoking habit is really getting extinguished (hehe). But we BAPTIZED TANIA YESTERDAY! Just like our other baptisms this transfer, it was a straight-up miracle - her dad literally contacted US in the street like a week and a half ago and she's now baptized! She accepted the date literally on Friday night, and she accepted immediately. She said she felt something DIFFERENT inside when she heard the first vision. She's 20 and she wants to go to the Y. She's SO cute. And her dad's been less active for awhile where he used to live, they just moved here, and after an interview with the bishop he was able to baptize his daughter! So we have an awesome less-active reactivating as well. Also, we had more less-active people come back this week, including a cute family who hasn't come in like 3 months so that was super fun to see. The mission leader came up to us ward missionaries to thank us for our work and to let us know how happy the ward is right now. This area is "hot" and I'm so excited to see what happens this week! TOMORROW I HAVE THREE MONTHS LEFT IN MY MISSION WHAT IN THE WORLD. I love you all, AND EVERYONE TELL TRACE HAPPY BIRTHDAY OR FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!
Beeeeeg Keeeeeees Leeeeeeetle Keeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

A little bit of Emma's birthday note to me, which I LOVED:

It's a little funny, but I think this year I've had a tiny taste of being a mom, just being so invested in the spiritual, emotional, even physical well-being of the "infant members" and investigators I've had the privilege to help receive the restored Gospel. You see them growing and maturing and they worry you so much - you feel responsible for their happiness in a lot of ways, and you just hope that when you're not there they'll continue in what they do when you ARE there. It's a big load to carry!

Everyone had "Day of the Dead" displays like this

Tania's baptism by her cute dad

Monday, October 26, 2015

We take our weaknesses to the Lord, He makes up the difference

Sounds like our girl will be coming home on Feb.3rd!!!

Dearest Utah,

I seriously truly can't believe that October's almost over. September and October blew by as fast and as furious as a flying corn on a stick (aka helote), the unfortunate difference being a sad lack of mayonnaise and lime, which isn't quite so common here in my lil slice of paradise CLAVERIA 2. I'm over it, though - tamale sandwiches and tacos al pastor are way better in the DF. The "Series of Unfortunate Events" vibe has pretty much lifted and I like it here even more. I like it a LOOOTTT. Lots of hidden gems. A few dark horses. Tons of sweet spirits (in the least Sons-of-Provo-y way possible).

Fun facts of the LeSwerickson's week in general:

*for the third time in my mission a little kid took and drank my water bottle during sacrament meeting
*we committed three different Marias to church this week. classic.
*we needed to drop Alberto as an investigator - the eccentric one with a baptismal date - so we had to have that talk with him, but somehow the hardest thing to break to him was the fact that we weren't going to be able to eat breakfast with him Monday morning. That got him sniffling.
*a lady who had been drinking a lot kept inviting us to this bar that's literally 10 steps away from our front door and was really really sad after we said no. but my companion got her name and address anyway. jeje.
*to celebrate Hermana Erickson's 9 month mark we had a 10 minute picnic on the roof of our building with a real pretty view of...the bar. jeje.
*the "sisterhood of the ring" just keeps getting more intense. This week, we involved peanut butter, soy sauce, an engagement ring box, and more sweet props.
*we're now teaching English class, Wednesdays at 7 in Calzada Camerones on the corner with Yuca. Be there.
*Mexico is collectively letting out a huge sigh of relief for the hurricane that never was. Thank goodness!

Enimia was confirmed a member of the church, Salvador is still pending. He's going to be living most of the time with his daughter now, so i guess every other week he can come with us.
A miracle found us this week. A less-active guy who just moved here found us in the street and said he wanted us to come talk to his 20 year-old daughter Tania, who's not a member. They only had time for one lesson this week, on Saturday, but we focused on the Book of Mormon. She said she wouldn't be able to come to church because of some tests she had, but her dad said he would. Well, we kept praying for her, but sacrament came around and we didn't see the dad. After sacrament we were running around trying to get everyone else all situated and we ran into Roberto and Tania! They had accidentally gone to the other ward which also starts at 8 and is in a different chapel in the same building we're in. They came with us to the class of gospel principles - which was PACKED ps! with investigators, less actives we've been working with, recent exciting - and afterward her dad told our mission leader that he thinks that Tania's time has finally come to be baptized. He told us that after we left their house on Saturday,he felt something different in their home. He asked her if she felt it and she said "yes," like a calm
and happy feeling but powerful at the same time. Even though she had tons of homework, he said she read the Book of Mormon most of the night, "preparing for church" she said. Also we thought she'd been to church only once before, but the dad says he's actually been about 10 times! She was talking to her dad a little about being baptized already. If all goes as planned, this week she'll be baptized. Another significant investigator is Mario, a guy who was super interested in Christ's visit to the Americas and really really liked church. He stayed way longer than he originally said he was going to. Actually, the same thing happened with Maria Leonor, another investigator who is the cousin of Salvador and has a baptismal date for the 8th. She came even though she felt way sick and told us she would leave after the first hour but before we knew it she was commenting and taking notes and just loving life for a whole hour more. She's a cute little grandma. This might be my cambio of baptizing old people I'm thinkin.
We found an active member named Mari Elena who goes to a different ward even though she's in our boundaries, and because of that, the missionaries haven't' visited her in about 5 years. We had a regular lesson, she told us about her awesome conversion and later re-activation and she drove us to the church for our English class. Saying bye, she suddenly started crying and saying that we had no idea what the visit meant to her. The same thing happened with this other member we found in the street named Liliana, and we're helping her get up the courage to share the gospel wiht her new boyfriend. The funny thing is, we aren't finding these forgotten members by the church lists or things like that, just in the street or by some other random way that just has to us being in the right place at the right time. Lots of that happened this week.
We had some cool experiences saying specific prayers this week. We talked a ton about the Book of Mormon and the Sacrament this week. I was thinking about how we can let the ordinance of the sacrament, followed by baptism, seriously change our natures. I'm sure I've said it before, but God has given us the perfect system of progression within His church. Every week, we are preparing ourselves for baptism - renewal of our baptism, that is. That means week by week we strengthen our faith with the word of God, the Sunday classes, etc., we truly repent, but also we take our WEAKNESSES to the Lord on Sunday, an offering to Him, being able to honestly say that we did what we could with them. During the Sacrament, He makes up the difference. He promises us the strength needed to make sure the changes we tried so hard to make that week will be more like "cement" than "paint." Doing good works in the week but not going to church to complete that ordinance is like making the wood frame of a staircase leading to the Celestial Kingdom but not filling it in with that solid cement. I guess what I'm trying to say is: without the sacrament it's harder to keep building upward. We NEED the Sacrament to make lasting changes in our nature. It's not just a pretty, ceremonial thing we do. It's an ordinance. It's what fills in the framework we built throughout the week. The atonement doesn't just erase sins, it helps us slowly overcome our weakness and become better, as obvious as that sounds. Although all too often we become comfortable in our weaknesses and accept them as "just who I am." Weaknesses are meant to be overcome, because in the process of changing our deepest habits we gain godly qualities - especially humility. When I am weak, I am strong - like the Bible says. We become strong through our weaknesses as we use the sacrament fully as the wonderful tool it's meant to be. As the way to be cleansed of specific sins but also to slowly change facets of our character, so-called unbreakable habits and such. I know these are things you all know, haha. My mission is just a huge process of realizing what all the little things I've heard all my life actually mean. I love it. I love you guys. Every one.
Beeeeeeg Keeeeeees Leeeeeetle Keeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Their bathroom....

Their fashionably mixed-patterned room

Her little desk

Toluca Zone

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

God doesn't call perfection, He calls potential

Hey Family LeSueur!

So we had another awesome week, and Hermana Erickson and I had another miracle baptism! Enimia wasn't really progressing, but as she started reading the Book of Mormon something changed, and she accepted YESTERDAY as her date! This is the first time in my mission I've baptized a former Jehovah's Witness, and her son (who is still Jehovah's Witness) was really, really against her baptism- and from the second she said yes he was just yelling at her all the time and calling her a traitor. It was hard but she stuck it a out, and her baptism yesterday was super beautiful. We had a little miscommunication about filling up the font, and her water ended up being pretty cold... but she said that when she came up out of the water she couldn't feel it at all. She was so happy. She's been going through a lot of things, and the second she decided to be baptized I started seeing such a light in her eyes, a difference in her attitude. I'm so happy for her. Salvador is doing great, and his cousin came to church with us yesterday! He's psyched as can be with his new Gospel Principles book and is lovin life. We had a great week and we found lots more people who have already been to church a few times and are totally willing to start up listening again. Like every week, we had some rough times listening to people who just are so close to something so great but for some reason or another just won't open their hearts. It's such a heart-wrenching thing, that kind of situation, and you go home just so emotionally drained after something like that. Something small but cool this week was Saturday, running into this less-active guy on the street who basically started ripping on leadership in the church and a few other problems that were causing him to distance himself. As answers to his doubts just flowed into our minds, I realized/remembered so many things. Just like Elder Hales said, God doesn't call perfection. He calls potential. And sometimes that potential is not realized. Not even close. Or maybe something awful happens. But that doesn't mean a mistake was made in the calling, at all. Heavenly Father can't touch our agency, but He does know our character and exactly how we need to grow and the fact that we all have strong points that He'll put to good use in a certain calling. There's a lot more to it, but that's the basic idea. Also, our unworthy participation in sacred ordinances might make it look from the outside like everything's okay, but salvation is individual and it is our duty to prepare ourselves best we can to do things like take the sacrament or go to the temple, and we have to be completely honest with ourselves and Heavenly Father's worthy servants who help us. If not, we simply cannot receive the promised blessings, the ultimate blessing at the end of it all being eternal life. We definitely can't look at others and try to judge their worthiness either. I don't know, I've explained these things to people before but this time the same message reached my heart a bit more.

Also, this week I got that dreaded call...telling me that February 3 I will be going home, to the Salt Lake airport, and they asked me at what time of day I wanted my flight. I said "WUTEVVS" and the elder told me they'll get my ticket bought! Crazy. Let's see, what else... oh yeah, today this awesome member that's not actually from our ward but knows Hermana Erickson got us permission from the assistants to go take us back to my old area of Palmas but to do some sweet things, and we went to this museum called Soumaya (dad if you wanna look it up it's in this place called Polanco). I realized I've never really used my P-days to do things like sightseeing, I usually just eat and read if I have time, but today was super cool and needed. Super nice lady.

Guys, I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I say it's TRUE I mean that it is the church God has established. If you want to know all of the classic points of view we encounter every day, just go take a look at the last talk by D. Todd Christofferson about WHY THE CHURCH. In fact, PLEASE go read it. It's something I didn't understand before my mission, to be completely honest. It makes all the logical sense in the world, yes, but what I've seen this week is that that answer straight from God is the most important evidence there is...and forgetting that answer is almost impossible. I watched a video of Francesco Di Francesca, the preacher who found the Book of Mormon without a cover, read it and received an answer, and then gave up EVERYTHING to find the church it came from. I talked to that less-active guy in the street, and realized that for all of his concerns, he has continued going for more than 20 years for his experience with the Book of Mormon, which has always ultimately transcended every other little problem. I saw Enimia withstand the harsh opposition of her family for days on end for her loyalty to what she FEELS is true. THIS IS REAL. This is salvation. I'm the most imperfect person and missionary, I have so far to go, and I owe Him so so much more than 3 1/2 months more of full-time service. But I'll take it. And I'll do my best to use it well.

I love you all a lot.

Beeeeeeeg Keeeeeees Leeeeeeetle Keeeeeeees

Hermana LeSueur

Apartment in Claveria

Enimia's Baptism

Hermana Erickson's grandpa found out that Emma and Hailey are actually distant cousins!!! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

We're trying to get to the heart of WHY we do what we do

Family/ home slices of toast...
I wish you all the very happiest Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving... I hope you're all enjoying it to the FULLEST as Hermana LeSwerickson and I are. Special thanks to Momma LeSuarez for the calendar you sent me last Christmas, making sure the 12th of October didn't go un-celebrated :) As more than just sistas in Zion - cousins from a distance, as we say - my companion and I used our collective Eagle Powers/almost-twin-telepathy and had a serious MIRACLE this week. A lot of 'em, actually. But here's the thing: I got here 2 weeks ago, right? This area has apparently been "dead" for more than 4 months. That is, without a single baptism. And in the months before that, I guess there was just one - and the convert moved. So basically I don't know any recent converts in the area, and getting here, there wasn't an investigator pool, people who were coming to church, etc. Kinda scary. Like "we're going to have to start from Square 1 here." Which is what we've been doing, and we've miraculously been finding people who have already been to church in the past! So, for example we found a family in which the 15-year-old is an inactive member who the ward doesn't know is living here and her parents have gone a million times but never got baptized! Also, we found a family who is related to a few ward members who also has been a few times but has never taken the lessons! And then there are other people like Enimia, who has been to church lots of times and just never got baptized. And then there's a 72-year-old man named Salvador. Five times to church is what a person needs here in Mexico to get baptized. We found him, an old old investigator, he had been to church 4 times. We taught him on Wednesday, set a baptismal date for the 11th of October (yesterday), and he accepted immediately. So. WE HAD A MIRACLE BAPTISM YESTERDAY! Salvador found his Salvador, and was baptized at 4:30 in a sweet program our awesome mission leader threw together. Obviously there was a lot more preparation that went into it all, but there it is. Claveria has its head back in the game and its heart in as well :) We have these families that can get baptized in this cambio and lots of other new people who are accepting. It was a cool week all-around, a LOT of personal progression and learning discipline, and we had some sweet experiences, for example yesterday we prayed after the baptism to thank the Lord and ask for His help in completing our weekly goals and then literally we stopped praying, got up, and found in-a-row and one-by-one 3 different inactive members in the street that we had never met, and we were able to complete our "lessons to less-actives" goal for the week in literally a few minutes. Little little things like that in the mission are so motivating. I'll get into some "life lessons learned" of the week in a second, but first some general responses to this/last week's emails...
Dad's on the Jef Holms hair train and Hermana Erickson and I and I'm sure the whole family are proud. as. can. be.
The must-see movies for YOU guys when I get home are:
Together Forever
The Restoration
Finding Faith in Christ.
(Too good not to share)
I was telling everyone Elder Renlund was definitely going to be one of my new favorites... his talk last session was so good
My lack of iPhone has made it impossible to Ponderize(TM)
haha juuuuust kiddin
Hermana Erickson and I are both psyched the U is #5 in the nation becuase turns out we're both U fans at heart
Other important facts:
Hermana Hailey (oops tehe) and I found a ring in the dirt the other day and we switch off wearing it every day but the rule is we have to present it to the other person every morning in a creative way. Way funny.
I got kissed this week. By a dog. A big dog named Beethoven. Well, at least that's the name I instinctively yelled when he jumped on me and started licking my mouth...
2 little kids on 2 separate occasions this week came up to us and set up appointments in their houses and we're like "sweet" until we shoed up and both times they just needed to record themselves having an interview session with someone that speaks English for school. But, we go lessons with members present, 10 references, and quesadillas out of it so NOT TOO SHAB. Also we're hoping the videos will somehow make us Internet famous and that hope keeps me going when I feel like I can't go no mo.
Okay, more details on everything next week! My camera isn't working in this computer, so next week you'll get some pictures I promise!
More than anything I've been focused on goal-making this week. We've been analyzing our behavior and obedience and such, but more than anything we're trying to get to the heart of WHY we do what we do. We must do it for love, plain and simple. The talk The Fourth Missionary explains, along with the Book of Mormon, that our acts mean nothing if we do them grudgingly. The mission can only change us if we learn how to completely give our heart, our desires, everything to the Lord. En eso estoy, and so excited for the months I have left! I love you all so much, kay?
Beeeeeeg Keeeeeeees Leeeeeeetle Keeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur
So happy Emma's companion Sister Erickson's mom sent me some pictures this week!!! Salvador's baptism

Monday, October 5, 2015

It was His voice that we heard

Hey United States of America! I have muy poco tiempo to write right now, so "bear with me." *fake laugh*
I love my new area and companion and we're finding lots of people and I kinda feel like I'm in the movie a Series of Unfortunate Events not because there are lots of unfortunate events but because the houses look like the houses in that movie. It's a really pretty area, but definitely taking some getting-used-to. Very appropriately, we are teaching a guy who semi has the style of the Volturi in Twilight, and he should be getting baptized around Halloween! He's super eccentric, but probably the nicest guy I've ever met and he's a painter! He bought us gorditas this morning, and while we ate he gave us a run-down of what he learned in conference, which was a LOT. Really sweet. All-around, we're trying to get this area on its feet. This area hasn't seen success in quite some time like I said before, so we're starting from scratch and so far we've seen some good results. A lady named Anemia has a baptismal date for the 18th, and we have a lot more possibles!
So. Conference. What we have just heard is what God needs us to hear, clearly, out loud. RIGHT NOW. It was His voice that we heard. Maybe some of them were things the Spirit has been trying to whisper to us for a time and we haven't been listening. These are not just inspired men who know how to write pretty words with some smart counsels. They are chosen men, visionary men. God's spokesmen have spoken loudly and clearly and they have given us specific instruction as to how to reach that eternal life. We just can't take conference lightly! I promise all of you there is SOMETHING in that conference that will immediately and completely change your life when really applied. As candidates for eternal life, we cannot become complacent or content with where we're at. The fact that we were baptized and continue going to church alone is not enough. I think of the talk by Elder Maynes and my favorite personal example of his important point, you've all heard it already: is our membership in the church, our faith in Christ and the sacred promises we made, a ROOM in the house of our life? Or is it the base? I've said it before and I'll say it again: it CAN'T be on the same level as all of those other aspects of our lives. It can't just be another PART of who we are. It needs to be who we are, plain and simple. It needs to be the base that holds up all those other rooms. In other words, our membership in Christ's church and our general belief in Christ need to govern every decision and action in every aspect of everything we do. Maybe it sounds overboard - it does - but literally EVERY little decision needs to be made with God's will in mind. We think, will making this choice help me complete the goals for which God has send me out in the world today to complete? I guess we need to start by knowing what these goals are - I can promise that they will ALWAYS be based on service to others. Like in the mission, where we have goals of numbers and such, if we're simply focused on serving others and being like Christ, the numbers fall into place by themselves. It's the same - the mundane things we need to have done every day fall into place as we focus continually on the most important things - service to our fellow man and being like Christ in general. These are all things that I've been learning over time in the mission. Anywhoo, I loved conference and I got all the answers I needed and they are men called of God. 
I love you all so much! Thank you for your words and examples! 
Beeeeeg keeeeeees Leeeeeetle keeeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Ada and George Baptism her last week in Toluca

Suarez Family- very special family to Emma in her last area Toluca

Monday, September 28, 2015

Perfect faith and knowledge is not necessary

Well, I got transferred, yes I did! I am super excited because I'm here with Hermana Erickson from Arizona and we are pretty much twins. From how we look to how many sisters and brothers we have and how old they are and just the fact that we both have been in BYU and know lots of the same people and we think all the same things are funny... I'm way happy! I'm in the DF again, in a part called Camerones, and my area is Claveria. I can't believe I spent 4 1/2 months in Morelos, and I loved it so much. For sure my favorite area. It was so so hard to say goodbye, I cried lots yesterday haha especially saying bye to the Martinez Family. But we'll be seeing them soon, in Utah! I got so close to so many members and investigators alike and made so many close relationships. It was such a good day yesterday. Stressful, but so good. Rossy got too nervous and didn't get baptized but came to church with her mom and son, Saturday night we had a really good talk and she cried and she expressed her appreciation for us being there for her at a rough time of her life. She made me a bracelet and her son gave me this really funny stuffed Mexican guy that has a machete and a bottle of beer in his hands, haha. It was hard to say bye to her, but she will for sure be getting baptized in a week or two. I loved looking around me on Sunday and seeing the fruits of our labors - Domingo, content as ever and progressing toward the priesthood, Hermana Blanca, the lady we helped completely re-activate, the Familia Duran, another family we re-activated, the Familia Suarez, the family I found in the street 4 1/2 months ago that are now pretty much the most active, knowledgeable non-members around (argggg), Ada and Jorge - the couple we BAPTIZED yesterday at 7. Yep, that's right - they got baptized yesterday! They have plans to move to Utah so their future kids can go to BYU and they want to serve a mission as an older couple. It was such a happy day. Pictures to come. We had a stake baptism service, in the zone there were like 10 baptisms or something like that. Of course, something ALWAYS has to happen before an awesome baptism - Ada found some dumb information via internet about 3 hours before the time of the baptism. We had tons of people praying for them and we were able to help her minimize her doubts and remember why she wanted to get baptized in the first place. With Jorge, her husband, the trick was helping him to recognize that perfect faith and knowledge is not necessary before baptism - he is one of those people who has to let that desire to believe work in him. I'm so glad he acted on that desire, because the promise is that with action his faith will grow. They're such a cute couple and it was also hard to leave them. Citlali is also doing well, she got her first hymnbook and moved with her family and now lives closer to the church building. Toni is still struggling, but I know that Hermana Harmon (the Hermana that's now with Hermana Travassos) is the person who can help. Gabi is also doing great, we ate with them last Monday and she is the cutest. I know that there are lots of people who will be getting baptized in Morelos in the next few weeks and months, and even though I won't be there my happiness is the same. 
I met so many angels in Morelos. Just as Heavenly Father sent an angel to help Jesus in Gethsemane instead of taking away his trial, in the mission he always sends me angels instead of taking away the thing that's hard. The Familia Martinez/Maldonado has been a family of angels for me, along with the family of the bishop, various other ward members and investigators. There aren't words to express my gratitude. I'm so happy to have the chance to be here in Claveria, and even though changing areas is still hard, I know I'm here for a reason. This area has apparently been passing through a rough patch for a bit, and I'm excited to get out there and inviting everyone to conference. Last conference I was thinking "wow, next conference I'll be in the end of my mission!" Thank goodness - I'm here and I still don't feel like I'm in the end. Which is such a good thing. I'm so incredibly excited to hear the words of the Lord's chosen servants. The light these men carry with them is VISIBLE, and it's so obvious that they KNOW with all of their hearts that the great plan of salvation we teach is real. Find someone to invite to watch conference this week! Pay attention to the small details, don't busy yourself writing down every single word they say - remember that these are men who converse with God. Look for the difference in their faces, in their smiles. It exists. I love you guys, have a great week there at home and I'll do my best to have some success here in my first week in Claveria!
Beeeeeeeg Keeeeeees Leeeeeeetle Keeeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Who I was then and who I am now

Dear Utah,
Writing a bit late today, we had to got to the mission offices this morning so I could renew my visa! Pretty loco I've lived here that long. On the 15th, I mad it to a year in Mexico, which was honestly crazier for me than making it to a year in the mission in general. It was also Mexico's Independence Day, which was fun because SURPRISE! They let us go to a bit of the ward party! I was assuming that we wouldn't be allowed, but the ward members said they weren't going to be able to feed us if we weren't in the party, so we got to go eat there and then leave. So fun. Ada and her husband Jorge (as shown in the picture) came and brought tostadas, that was fun. Ada also bought us some super cute handmade shirts from Merida. We had another trip to the DF this week, for the training of the new missionaries. The only other new hermana had already left for her actual mission, so Hermana Travassos and I were literally the only hermanas there, which was pretty weird, especially when President split us up between trainers and new missionaries and I was literally without companion for awhile. But it was so fun to be at President's house again, eat hamburgers, and think a little bit about all that's happened since MY OWN new missionary training. There's just such a huge contrast between who I was then and who I am now, I teared up talking to Hermana Whitehead about it. 
Rossy (Rosie - she likes to spell it like Rossy) is a little nervous about Sunday, her baptismal date, but she's progressing and and her family is supporting her a ton - I think I mentioned that her parents are also listening and coming to church, Rosillo and Gregorio. Her grandma even showed up yesterday to church! Ada had her baptismal interview yesterday and is really excited for her baptism Sunday, we're trying to figure out still if it's possible that she gets baptized with her husband. As for Vanessa, the 4th baptismal date we've had planned for the 27th, we finally found out the reason she's been really hard to contact - a crazy young adult in the ward has been flirting with her and making her really uncomfortable apparently. It's rough because before we found that out she had sent us a long but vague message saying that she isn't ready and basically doesn't want more. ]We tried to contact her for some details such as if she do9esn't want to learn anymore or if she just doesn't want to get baptized this Sunday, but she just hasn't been answering. Not too much you can do in that situation but respect what they've decided, even though it's hard because she's a reference from the bishop and he says she's still willing so we should keep trying. All in all, I know that my last week in morelos will be awesome. We'll baptize Rossy and Ada at least, and they're both adorable and will be part of my life forever. They are both leaving a party-lifestyle behind and they both have really strong testimonies of the restoration already. I love them, I love being here, I love my companion, and no I don't want to leave. But President dropped the bomb when we were at his house that YES, I'm headed off to what will most likely be my last area. Still, I'm doing all in my power to leave the area full of possible baptisms for the next cambio, let's see what my hija can do with her madrastra.
My conviction grows stronger every day that this is the true church. It's almost like, with a stronger testimony comes more grief and hard times because your heart seriously just aches when people don't understand. But at the same time, my joy is more full every day as I understand better and better why it is that God has placed His church here. Thank you all for everything you do, as always, I feel like the luckiest in the world. 
Beeeeeeeg Keeeeeees Leeeeeeetle Keeeeeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Mexican Independence Day!!

Add caption

Hermana LeSueur loves her cutest greenie!

Monday, September 14, 2015

It's just about being BRAVE

My sweet and cute family that I love and like,


So what happened is that at the temple dedication in the morning Hermana Titi told me, "at dinner we have some news about your family" and then when I got there she was like "your family sent you a little note..." and then they came out with like 4 grocery bags of pure American dulces and letters and shoes and clothes and I just freaked out and then they showed me pictures of you all together and oh man it was just the best day of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all of that. I feel like the luckiest in the whole world! 

The Martinez Family is very special to me, they're so Christlike and they're all such awesome examples here in the area. Yes, momma, I'm already wearing one of the sweaters and I'm so excited to have some tights! They're so expensive here! 

It was a good week here in Morelos, a few health issues with the two of us, but a good week all-around because we got to go to the temple dedication! well, the chapel to see the video :) but it was the most relaxing sunday i've had in a year because obviously we couldn't take investigators so we couldn't commit people to church all week. but, we found some great new people who will come next week! 

I got my package at Zone Conference, THANK YOU SO MUCH for that as well! i LOVED seeing your handwriting, like always, and it made me so happy. Man, I'm so spoiled it's a little ridiculous :)

Ada and Josue will be getting baptized together on the 27th, they're a married couple in their mid-twenties, super funny and stylin and really into it all. We're so excited. i'll take pictures of them this week! They're reading the book of mormon together and watching all the little videos and everything's going great. Rosie is also ready for the 27th, pray that things keep going so great! She knows it's true, now it's just about being BRAVE. Vanessa is having a few doubts, she's shying away from the church a bit and it doesn't help that we didn't have meetings yesterday. But i know that with lots of prayer and fasting she'll start to progress again. Apart, we found a family this week thats super cute with two little girls, let's hope they show up! 

I hate thinking that my days in Morelos might be ending, but I know that we'll go out with a bang! the 27th is a big baptism day in the zone, and we're going to baptize in one big group at the same time so it'll be fun. It'll be called "the snowstorm of Toluca" haha. Things are great in Morelos, the members are so so awesome as you've seen first-hand, and I'm so lucky i've had the chance to be here! 

I finally started getting that dreaded stomach sickness of Mexico missionaries haha along with the fever and aches and chills and all that, but I'm all good now! I've learned how to deal with mission sickness by now, how to kill it early in the process :) my companion got sick with allergies, she ahs REALLY bad allergies, it's sad because Ada has a dog that makes her eyes swell up really big. 

yes, it all fits and i love the shoes so much! They are SO nice and cute too! 

also, about the cookies... titi gave me the cookies and i immediately said, "Hermana, i think my mom meant these for you guys! I know my mom, and she wants to you to have them." And she was like "no, they're for you!" and we fought a little bit haha until oli got your message that they really are for the family, but they STILL wouldn't accept both plates! just one. i felt so bad. but don't worry, i knew they were for the martinez family immediately :)

That grandma is named Sonny, she is SO cute I love her so much! also, i've never once spoken english in their house, so funny to hear that they all speak english super well! i feel so connected to you guys through them. it's so fun because every week they eat as a big family, cousins and aunts and uncles, and it feels lke our house on sundays. i've gotten so lucky on my mission to find so many amazing families who help me feel at home. 

LOVE YOU MY FAMILY AND MY LITTLE BROTHER AND SISSIES! you are the best, i hear Sam and Luc are growing up SOOO much! have a good week, you're in every one of my prayers!


Emma, Sis Travassos

Emma, Citlali

Emma got her surprise package at Martinez's house

More package surprises 

She LOVES Citlali

One of her old companions, Sis Garber

Her Zone

More American goods from home

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

He didn't even feel the rain

Dear Family del Sur (literally how our name is pronounced here ps)
All of the little seeds we've planted here have suddenly sprouted up and are growing way fast! Just might be due to the crazy amount of AGUA the heavens have been dumping on us... gaping holes in the "durable" shoes I bought a whole 4 weeks ago wouldn't bug me if every street we had to cross wasn't a rushing river, haha. It's really funn, suddenly realize, "Hey, here I am in the cold pouring rain with about three miles left to walk in 15 minutes. How come I'm so happy?" Hahaha. Our recent convert Domingo told us yesterday, between comments about discovering that bugs have faces too and Obama is the greatest there is, that in the rain the other day he saw a guy with no coat and decided to give his coat to him, and when he walked away he felt such a great warmth and satisfaction that he didn't even feel the rain, even when it started coming down harder. I testify that any physical discomfort of the mission fades away if we're lost in the work. In a more general sense, really our circumstances should never have any affect on our happiness if we're doing all in our power to follow Jesus Christ. There is just no amount of pouring rain, no temperature too freezing, no sun too blazing, no hail too big, no amount of pain in your feet or head, no backpack too heavy, that can't be overcome or ignored completely through what the Holy Ghost brings us as we serve. The Holy Ghost is stronger than ALL that. In a similar way, the evidence that the Holy Ghost gives us is infinitely stronger than anything we could ever see with our eyes. We could be standing in front of Jesus Christ himself, looking right at the marks in His hands, and still not be any closer to knowing that He exists and died for us if we don't allow the Spirit to enter our hearts. It's a matter of being humble. The "happiness" matter aside, my body definitely has taken quite the hit in the almost-year I've been in Mexico, jeje. It's super sweet though because I feel kinda like I have robot legs or something. I can be walking or I can be sitting and it's almost the same feeling! Even though we walk probably 7 or 8 hours per day, I end up more exhausted in my mind than in my body usually. Fun fact for ya: somewhere along the road I think I permanently lost some of my toenails to the Mexico streets...they just kinda faded away and aren't really growing back... #WhatILeftinMexico. I also think it's time to finally come clean about what happened to me 4 months ago: I accidentally burnt off my eyelashes and eyebrows and hairline turning on the water heater. More on the "Parable of the Burnt Eyelashes" will come later (in 4 months), but until then, there's at least one more addition to my new favorite hashtag, #WhatILeftinMexico. But don't worry mom. The rainy Toluca weather has also provided the perfect environment for fast hair-growth...water, sun, the nourishment of the word of God have all handed me a hefty little hair-garden.
So 13 months have come and gone and I have some new additions to my list of "Mexico Is" (please excuse me if there are repeats)
Mexico Is:
doors without knobs. Tapping on windows. Candles, always lit, in front of the virgin. Long braids. Nylons and black leather shoes. Hand-juice-squeezers. 2-pocket aprons. Street-herb-vendors. The guy that walks around yelling "GAAAAAAAAAS" at 8 in the morning. Brutally honest people. Calling your kids slash family members "fatty" as an affectionate and very common nickname. House numbers that make no sense at all (#5 followed by #3006 would be normal). The honk/stare tactic of every taxi driver. Calling KFC "Kentoooooky." Pemex jumpsuits. Tipping every grocery store bagger. People adding "ation" to the end of every word and then laughing hysterically because apparently that makes everything sound like English. Meat that's green, on purpose. "Fue Asi." Julion Alvarez. Bonafont. Big men on little girl bikes. Mopping your porch and the street in front of your house, always. Random fireworks all throughout the day. The sound of a million dogs fighting at night. 
I love Mexico.
In other news, my bishop is still probably the funniest person I've ever met. He either answers the phone every time saying "Kentucky Fried Chicken," "Hello Kitty," or "HOW ARE YOUUU" and when I didn't recognize his voice one time and asked who it was and he said "Batman." The best. 
In other other news, my companion is suuuper funny and her favorite place in the world is Korea. At home she only watches Korean soap operas, listens to "K-Pop" Korean music (like in that episode of the Bach where they went to Korea with Juan Pablo), and wants to marry a Korean guy more than anything. Sometimes when she thinks I'm not listening she sings her K-Pop songs really quietly, which means she's singing in English with a Korean accent. The best.
As far as the work here in Morelos, IT WAS SUCH A GOOD GOOD WEEK. We have seen like three straight miracles in these last few weeks, and in the weeks that come we have 3 for-sure baptisms planned and 5 hopefuls. We contacted a reference named Rosie who had been listening to some missionaries in Arizona, accepted baptism in two seconds, and came to church with her son and her parents, Rosillo and Gregorio, who are also interested. Rosie will be getting baptized on the 27th. Also, our investigator Ada woke up at five with her husband on Saturday to go to the temple open-house and came yesterday with him. She's supposed to get baptized on the 19th, but if her husband wants to get baptized with her she'll have to wait fo the 27th as well. Vanessa also came and we had an awesome lesson with her, her baptismal date is officially the 27th but we'll see where we're at when the 20th comes around, that's a strong possibility. Also, an old investigator Alicia randomly texted me that she had gone to the temple with her family and loved it and so she'll be progressing again soon! Also, we've been teaching the husband of a member who told us "I've never told my wife or any other missionaries that have come teaching me this before, but I think I'm going to join the church. Not right now, in this moment, but soon." So that's some major progress because he's super closed. He came to church too. We found lots of new families as well this week, like Carmen's family and Magdelena's family and people that really have some potential to progress fast. I'm so happy. I'm so happy that Hermana Travassos is so happy. I love this church, and I feel as if this week my testimony progressed a lot. I just know without a single doubt that this IS the church of Jesus Christ, and THIS is the way to happiness. Us four missionaries in the ward bore our testimonies yesterday and it was such a good meeting, I loved hearing the testimony of a new missionary (Hermana Travassos) and a missionary about to bo home (Elder Evelyn). I'm so excited for all these new people and I KNOW that there are lots more out there waiting. I have at least three weeks left in Morelos, gotta make the most of it. I love you guys. So muuuch. t
Beeeeeeg Keeeeees Leeeeeetle Keeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Citlali, Sis Travassos, Emma

Emma's whole mission when Elder Christofferson visited

Suarez Family at Mexico City Temple open house

MTC batch at 13 months