Monday, January 26, 2015


Hello from Palmas!
Crazy, AWESOME week! We did so much this week, we were both so excited to find people that we basically contacted the whole world! We passed up every one of our goals by a mile, in every category, and I was so psyched. Hermana Bravo is this cute little Hermanita de Guatemala, super funny little voice and accent that is sometimes a bit hard for me to understand because I'm used to NORTH MEXICANA, loud and fast and clear! She's probably one of the most Christ-like people I've known in my life. Her dad died when she was small and her mom abandoned her. Her uncle and aunt raised her, in the church, but were dead set-against her serving a mission, almost to the point where they didn't go to her farewell and refused to send her anything. They're coming around, though. She's already planning on extending her mission! She just loves the Gospel and loves to serve and is SO excited and sweet. I can't even explain. I met a family that she baptized this last Sunday, in fact we visited them a lot to prepare them for their confirmation which happened YESTERDAY. This family is the BEST! We have a Family Home Evening tonight with them, to help them get going. They're super strong, super funny, and already completely immersed in everything MORMON. Familia Franchini. Love them so much. We have some super strong investigators, both that Hermana Bravo already had and nuevos that we found this week. We contacted a FAMILY of a mom and two daughters on the street that came to church yesterday, Hilaria, Carla, and Nicole! They're super great. Also, we have a baptism date for a teenager named Saul, and we taught him a lot this week. We have a few more we're expecting to definitely baptize this change, people we've met that are already so prepared! A fun little miracle, we went looking for Hilaria one day when we had an appointment, and were super bummed to discover that apparently lied to us. We started walking to another appointment, and passed her on the street! Turns out she didn't lie, she lives in an apartment with a weird direction. We set up another appointment and returned a few days later. Guess what? She didn't give us the specific number of her room. We set out to find it, because she was super golden (despite the fact that she didn't give us the number, haha), and we started knocking on a few doors. We got pretty down, and I asked my companion if we were going to keep looking or continue on to our next investigator in the plans. "Vamos a continuar," she said. "Vamos a continuar buscando, o vamos a buscar la proxima casa?" I asked. "Vamos a continuar con firmeza en Cristo," she said. And so we started to climb the stairs to keep knocking, and we ran into HILARIA and her DAUGHTER and her HUSBAND! And they were at church on Sunday. Boom. Also, there was a little red-headed boy that refused to shake my hand the other day because I had my hair in a braid and he thought I was Elsa from Frozen and was going to turn him into ice. My nickname in the MTC was "Hermana Elsa," and some girls in my other area said I looked like her too, so I'm feeling pretty good about that! Jejeje definitely one of my favorite parts of the week. I was truly so content in the work this week. We definitely wore ourselves out, and I loved every second. I was telling Kate today that THIS is that true, COMPLETE joy that we feel when we are truly trying to make Christ the center of our lives! I have definitely made such a huge change in my definition of "happiness," and that's just one of the things I will carry with me throughout my life. I love you all, the church is TRUE, have such a good week!
Beeeeeg Keeeeees, Leeeeeeetle Keeees
Hermana LeSueur
ps, momma can you send me an electronic version of the living Christ in English please? thank you so much! 
Emma and her adorable little companion
Hermanas LeSueur and Bravo

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Emma was transferred to a new area and new companion!  She is excited for new adventures and getting out of her comfort zone. Her new apartment has a washer and dryer which she is thrilled about, as she has been washing her clothes by hand until now.  She loved her last area Lomas Verdes with all her heart and the people became family- but she is always up to push and stretch herself.  Though change is hard for her, she is always up to a challenge.  Thanks again for caring about Emma and your prayers for the missionaries mean so much.

So HEY from PALMAS! It's not TOO TOO far from Lomas Verdes, and my companion is pretty new in the mission too. She's named Hermana Bravo, and she's from Guatemala. Her accent is pretty different from Hermana Salinas and Hermana Mercado, both from north Mexico, but I'm getting used to it! Part of my area is like Santa Cruz, and the other part is city-city. I was expecting "deep pueblo" this time around, so I was surprised. What's funny is we live right by the offices of the mission and our district consists of President Whitehead's secretaries! My ward is supposed to be super super awesome, and Hermana Whitehead comes with us every Sunday apparently. Hermana Bravo and I are really excited to get working, she's had lots of success here in the last 12 weeks, and is going to start showing me around later today. Super sad leaving Lomas Verdes, which truly became my home in the 4 1/2 months I was there. We visited everyone yesterday, and I left letters for all the families that I love so so much. I was SERIOUSLY SO BLESSED to have been "born" in Lomas Verdes. The sweetest people in the world, and made me feel at home even before I could speak to slash understand them. Also, we baptized Enrique yesterday! He has completely changed since I first knew him. He went from someone who wanted to challenge EVERYTHING to someone who's willing to obey, wants to become immersed completely in the church, and smiles all the time! Definitely saw about 5 definite miracles throughout the course of his conversion. And Dominica...breaks my heart a little bit, but at the same time I know one of the things the mission teaches you is patience and being okay with the Lord's timing. Dominica wants to be baptized. I know it, she knows it. Her dad knows it too. We taught her twice this week in a park because he heard her say that baptism was a possibility and decided he won't tolerate us in his house anymore. She said it's destroying her family. She said if she gets baptized, she won't be able to continue coming to church because her dad won't let her leave and she doesn't want to completely go against his wishes. She's lived with her parents 27 years, and I can understand that it's scary. What's good is that she understands that once she's baptized, she is committed to trying her best to obey every commandment. She has the desire to be a GOOD member, not a one-Sunday thing. I was sad that she wasn't baptized yesterday, but I feel at peace knowing that she WILL be baptized. She said so herself, that once things are a bit better with her family, once she can figure something out, she will. 
Change is hard, but it's necessary to learn and progress. I left behind people who I'm sure are going to get baptized with Hermana Mercado in this next six weeks - the dad of a formerly less-active family, Carlos (of the OTHER anti-Mormon family) - and others who were just starting to progress. But I'm so grateful that I was able to be a part of these peoples' lives for a bit. To hear Jose bless the sacrament yesterday, to hear Maria talk about how she's now grateful for her health trials because they make her stronger, there is truly nothing better. Jessica is getting a calling and becoming stronger and stronger, Luz is visibly happier every time I see her, Mario has been doing lots of missionary work, working with us to contact people. I even have been talking to a guy from Chicago, who lives near Enrique and came to church yesterday. He asked question after question after question and it was pretty fun to speak to him in English a bit! All in all, sad, but I need to move on and focus completely on helping the people of Palmas. I love the mission, I love you all! Have a great week!
Beeeeg Keeees, Leeetle Keeees,
Hermana LeSueur

Enrique's Baptism- such a happy day!

Emma's new companion, Hermana Bravo, from Guatemala- for the first time in her life she feels a little tall!

Favorite Family in Lomas Verdes

Lomas Verdes Hermanas

Lomas Verdes Zone

Emma has sure loved Sister Mercado!

She seems to be a lot colder than I thought she would be- she is always wearing her raincoat.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Signs. And a little allergic reaction.

WHAT a week!
We decided a few weeks ago that we couldn't keep visiting Dominica. We've treated all of her doubts, individually, several times...we've prayed for her and with her and she's been Reading and praying personally. She's recognized many answers to her prayers, but for her they're simply not enough to make her SURE that it's necessary to join the church, that she needs more than her personal perception and relationship with God. I have taught her, studied for her, prayed for her, fasted for her, and developed a deep love for her in these 4 months. I've always felt this understanding with Dominica. I've often thought, crazy as it sounds, that if I hadn't been born into the church, my journey to find the truth would be similar to hers. We think alike. I always understand what she's trying to say. From the very beginning, I could understand her - even when I couldn't understand her words. As a small part of her conversión process, I've lived what might've been. As I've grown and learned with her, I lived my own conversión from the beginning and felt my testimony strengthen immensely. You could say that I needed her conversión for my own true conversión. Dominica ultimately thanked us for what we've done for her and her relationship with God, I appreciate it, but I don't really need this. So, we left her. With a Libro de Mormon, every lesson taught, every pamphlet, every different approach we could think of tried. And she was silent for about 3 weeks. After battling problem after problem with Enrique, we decided to leave him, too. As Miley says, "there's always gonna be another mountain, I'm always gonna wanna make it move..." With Enrique, mountain after mountain after mountain...he didn't want to accept ANY commandment without a huge fight. So we left him, too. He refused to come to church because of experiences he's had with certain members, and plenty of other reasons.
Early this week, our Ward misión leader called and said that Dominica was doing everything in her power to contact us, but because our cell phone doesn't let us call anyone beside our leaders, and we use pay phones, she couldn't get Ahold of us. She finally found Hermano Rodrigo in Facebook. She felt our absence in her life, and she wanted to talk. We met with her, and she finally told us that she was starting to feel that baptism was a possibility. To hear these words from Dominica was unreal. Our next lesson, her dad got angry and wouldn't let us meet in her house. We had a member with us, and we went to her house. Dominica now has a tentative baptismal date for the 17th at the same time as...
We still had an appointment with Enrique after he sent us that nasty text. We went, not expecting much. We encouraged him to pray, and ask to know if the church was true. The next time we visited, he told us that he prayed and asked for a SIGN telling him so. I didn't know how to feel about that - our answers come in many different forms, I wasn't sure if his way of seeking his was right. We dived into a lesson on the way the Spirit Works, and how he needs to study and pray and pay close attention to how he feels, and his ANSWER will come. Later that day, we saw him randomly in another part of Santa Cruz. He called out, "I still haven't seen the sign!" A few days later, in the morning before our pivotal appointment with Dominica, I got the random idea to go see him, told my companion that maybe we should check if he's good to go for church on Sunday. But honestly, I didn't know why I wanted to go see him...he doesn't like us to show up unannounced, and I felt confident in his slow-but-sure progress. Well, we showed up at his door, and there he was with a super surprised look on his face. He had been sitting there Reading his Gospel Principles book, which he got back in his Canada days, in the section about AGENCY. He said that, this morning, he had felt like he was at a crossroads. He couldn't sleep the whole night before. And we showed up, and now he KNEW that he needed to get baptized. He's willing to sacrifice. All of his problems with certain commandments, the people of the church, the fact that he won't marry his Catholic girlfriend, that he's afraid of what people will think when they find out he's Mormon...he's accepted it. He knows it's true. And he's getting baptized on the 17th of January, a day before I leave this área.
Lomas Verdes was good to me in my second-to-last week. Jose finally received the priesthood yesterday. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. Maria and Jose are extremely strong in the church, already. They are both ready for callings, and Jose will bless the sacrament in my last Sunday here (18th). I watched their conversión process from the beginning, the very beginning. And on Sunday, I watched Jose receive this special authority, because he's worthy and because he's READY TO SERVE.
What else, what else? I may or may not be allergic to octopus, so I've got that going for me. We ate at Hermano Hugo's house yesterday, for my companion's birthday. I ate everything they gave me, and left the house with my voice ten times lower because of my tightening throat and my skin hot and itchy and swelling up under my eyes and in my ears. I thought I was just being dumb, the only food I'm allergic to is hazelnuts and I asked them if the cake had hazelnuts. So we went to our next appointment, with Familia Cuevas (my favorite family in the entire world) who wanted to see us on Hermana Mercado's birthday. I wasn't better by the time we got there, I was a lot worse! My whole body was itchy and red, but I could breathe so it wasn't all that scary. Familia Cuevas was a Little freaked out, and rushed me back to Hermano Hugo's, because he's a doctor. He ran out and got me medicine, and they gave me a shot. I was back to normal in about fifteen minutes! Turns out I ate octopus at some point, and I think that was it. I was a Little nervous, but how lucky am I that Hermano Hugo was close and ready! Lomas Verdes has the best people in the world, I'm 100% convinced. I'm in the process of writing all of my family here Little notes, and it's taking quite some time! There really aren't words to describe my gratitude.
Oh, the power of prayer. The power of the scriptures.  The power and wisdom of God. The power of the priesthood. The power that each one of us has. The power of our KNOWLEDGE. You guys, I love being a missionary. How lucky I am that I can continue to be one my whole life? I love you all, I know the church is true without a doubt. It's confirmed each and every day, in just about a billion different ways. I love it, I love you ALL.
Beeeeg Keeees, Leeeetle Keeeees
Hermana LeSueur 

Hermana Mercado's Bday celebration.. pre-allergic reaction to Octopus...

Sergio loves Emma and her companion so much that he cries whenever her remembers that they will be transferred soon.  He drew this picture of Emma playing the piano and Hermana Mercado singing

Monday, January 5, 2015

Seventeen Miracles

Amazing letter from Emma this week- her way with words is a real gift!  
Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts, we love our girl so much and couldn't be prouder of all she is doing.

Fam LeSueur,
Gearing up for the YEAR of my life that I will spend completely serving - 2015! Just think, I'm going to spend all of 2015 in Mexico, teaching and growing. I wish I could have adequately described to you guys what I've learned, how my life has changed. The difference, right now, the Gospel is my life - and I hope it will be forever more. The hour (personal) we have to study each morning is so precious, the change that we have to sit and learn and grow every week in church is something I truly look forward to. When you don't have the option of escaping to your cell phone, your bed, your music in your ear buds, when you're forced to be 100% part of, PRESENT, in the world around you, every second of every day, constantly aware of who you pass on the street and their needs, you learn so much. About others, about yourself. I have learned what can be done with just one day. I have learned that I can make it through ANY day. I have learned that every DAY we have countless opportunities to grow and progress. In a day, we can survive, or we can live. I have simply survived so many days of my life. Setting aside my any fear of being awkward, thoughts of what I look or sound like, etc... I have come to know what true success feels like. I have had DAYS, complete and full. Opportunities for service, they're everywhere. As a representative of Jesus Christ - a paper I carry with me every day endorsed by a prophet of the Lord, a name tag identifying exactly what I am for everyone to see - my moments of selfishness, sadness, doubt, are immediately turned around when I walk up to someone and begin talking. There is a power in this calling. I feel it. My instincts have shifted - as a girl who, quite honestly, wants to wear a sweatshirt every day, do my job quickly and quietly and retreat back to my house, it's a little crazy that what I'm doing is exactly the opposite. What's happening is that I'm truly converting to this Gospel. I'm becoming a true, active disciple of Jesus Christ. I'm learning of the responsibilities that we each have as members. I'm learning that putting God first guides every moment of your life. I'm discovering what I do need and what I don't need to be happy. What I need is my knowledge of the truth, and a few tools to help me continue to grow in it. Because, honestly and truly, this isn't just a Gospel of "good things to come." It's a Gospel of "all is well, all is well" right NOW. Since New Year's is a dangerous time to be on the streets as missionaries, President authorized another zone meeting and small activity - watching 17 Miracles. In a way, I'm being asked to pull the "sick wagon" on the way to Zion for a bit. I'm carrying a lot of people on my back, with Hermana Mercado - this whole area of Lomas Verdes 2. In our wagon, we have the sick happily riding along until they're ready to walk on their own and even help us pull. We have those riding grudgingly, not willing to admit they feel better in the wagon, headed in one sure direction, the handcart tracks in front, than on foot - following various footprints in various directions, the snow deep.We have those once-faithful saints in our wagon, who sat down to rest in the snow and started to freeze to death. This week, we've had some people jump out of the wagon and attempt to find help elsewhere, following these same footsteps that lead to places of quick, easy, and TEMPORARY help - a semi-warm cave, for example. The road to Zion is a rough one - for them and for us. We know the countless stories of pioneers looking back to see who is pushing their handcart - no one, of course. I look back each day - everyday, when I do things that make me scared or uncomfortable, things that push me physically, mentally, and spiritually - I plow ahead and I do these things, things I would have never had the courage to do 6 months ago, and I look back to see Jesus Christ, pushing my wagon with all His strength. And I realize that, without Him, I would barely be moving. The wheels might be moving, but I wouldn't be going anywhere. 
That being said, whether I'm moving or not - people are going to jump out of the wagon. This week was a little discouraging. We taught Enrique some of the commandments one morning, and after a struggle he accepted them and agreed to live them. That night, he sent us a really random text saying he doesn't want anything to do with the church. We called him, we still have an appointment with him, but a definite shocker and of course oh-so-sad. Carolina didn't show up to church, so we're going to have to push back her baptismal date. On the bright side, we started teaching two really golden "nuevos," Daniel and Belen. Daniel is a supposed Athiest who showed up to church after we contacted him in the street, now he's had a few lessons and is, by himself, asking about baptism. Belen is also a street contact, super open, wants to learn. We're working with the members more, and this week we're focusing on more effective street contacting (we can't knock on doors here in Mexico). 
I want to give a big shout-out to MOMMA TRACI LESUEUR for the 2015 calendar that was in the bottom of my Christmas package! I got to show off my beautiful Utah home to my companion, she loved it. It must have taken forever putting the dates and stickers on there! Thank you so SO much, Momma. Thank you all, for everything. I feel so much support and love. I'm so grateful to be doing what I'm doing, and I consider myself to be the luckiest in the world. LOVE YOU!
Beeeg Keeees, Leeeeetle Keeeees,
Hermana LeSueur

So grateful for families that had Hermanas LeSueur and Mercado in their homes and made their holidays bright!

Zone Activity- 17 Miracles Movie