Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Help others understand the nature of the being who created us

Emma could use some prayers this week, she's feeling the weight of the world a little right now.  Thanks for all the interest, support, and love!!

Hi favorites - 
Another week has come and gone in Palmas ! love my companion a lot, seriously. It was a rough week, our baptism fell through YESTERDAY AFTERNOON. But we had stake conference and we brought some really solid new people! A super weird time this week - I taught a LOT in English! We ate with a few American families and shared the message at the end in English, we randomly street - contacted like three people who spoke English, the English ward mission leader wants us to teach a few families in their ward boundaries, and we have a new investigator we found who's from Colorado and we taught him three times in English this week! not sure why this is happening, but it's definitely a super different experience. Our American investigator is name Manuel and he knows English better than Spanish, he's been living in mexico 2 years. he loves talking to us and has the greatest desire I've ever seen to turn his life around. he always tells us how good he feels when he's with us, and he feels were are the answer to his prayers. We had some really good deep discussions this week, and he's preparing for baptism. he wants to go to every activity the church has available, he even wants to come with us or the elders to our lessons throughout the day when he doesn't have work! we're excited. it's going to take time because he has a few problems with the word of wisdom, but willpower he has, and will=way. We're teaching a lot of families a the moment, and we're going to try to do lots of FHE this week. I think the hardest, well one hard thing about being a missionary is being consistently diligent. Week after week, day after day, trying hard to give our all and be perfectly obedient down to the minute - our human bodies get tire, our minds fail us, things that aren't in our control affect what happens... and in the word of salvation, our day-to-day work is so critical, and the pressure is SO MUCH. So many heart-wrenching things i hear and see everyday, so many disappointments, failures happen every hour - but also SO many miracles. The emotions of the mission are crazy, just crazy. I do admit that after we got home and planned last night I finally broke down a bit. The emotional, physical, spiritual tiredness just caught up to me in some crazy wave. So much sadness in the world, so much blindness, a realization of my endless imperfections and what felt like, in the moment, a total inability to complete the purposes for which I've been sent here, the quota of a baptism a week and all of our other 10 goals that need to be completed exactly as well. Well, you know there are so many times where I literally walk around feeling like I'm carrying the burdens of so many on my back, and it's scary that everything that happens depends on His will, my worthiness, and their agency. What I had to do in this moment was remember my times of success and happiness and all the things I've been able to accomplish only through His power. There have been lots of times where I've truly felt like an instrument in His hands, where I really did not feel at all like Emma, but like HERMANA LESUEUR, representing Christ and my family doing things and saying words that seriously just were my own at all. But sometimes I fall, feel frantic, and I forget who I'm working for. Sometimes I just feel so human and so weak, and last night was one of those times. My faith is being tried left and right, but this refiner's fire is the most amazing thing I've EVER lived. I'm just SO grateful, so grateful. I know who He is, who I am, and why I'm here - when it comes down to it, to help others understand the nature of the being who created us. 
He loves us. I love YOU. 
Beeeeeeg Keeeeees, Leeeeetle Keeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Fake it til you make it

So, guess what? My first week as a trainer was literally the greatest week in the entire world! We worked so dang hard, and I learned so dang much...AND WE BAPTIZED! Yesterday, Max's mom Aida got baptized, and we couldn't be psyched-er. It was Hermana Hardy's first baptism in her mission, and I am so happy that in our first week together it happened! We did lots and lots of finding, I tried so hard to put to use every little thing I've learned in my mission to be a good example for my companion. That meant FAKING IT UNTIL I MADE IT. I focused a lot on gaining the confidence of every person we met, so I basically tried to make every one of the people we contacted laugh once, and it was super fun. Since the beginning of the week, I felt like we were going to baptize Aida (the mom), but the problem was, after our first lesson with her at the beginning of the week she pretty much had NO time. And she was VERY clear that she didn't want pressure at ALL or she would say no. So, we did a lot of praying and fasting, and ended up planning a lesson for her that didn't end up happening until SATURDAY NIGHT! 
Her concern was primarily her husband. When I started planning her lesson, I was trying hard to think of a way that we could invite her without being super forceful. So, I thought of the thing she definitely already had going for her - faith. A lot of faith. But not enough to cast out fear, fear of the unknown and the future. So, I remembered the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. Elder Bednar gave a talk awhile ago that talked about how the people had to show their faith by starting to run into the water before the Lord parted the sea. What faith they had! Their commandment was "start to run," and run they did. We shared that story with Aida, followed by the famous scripture in Nephi, where he didn't know what was going to happen, but he draws his strength from the story OF Moses and the Red Sea and "nevertheless, I went forth." In my planning, I drew a chart of "spiritual progression" - basically the process in which we gain courage. I can't remember exactly how it goes, but it starts with a spiritual confirmation - a feeling. Thus, we have an ASSURANCE that something is a certain way. Then, we act. Then, we see evidences of the truth. Then, we have more assurance, and we become more courageous. Then, we act. Then we see evidences... etc etc. I think it would be better if I had the chart, but basically that was the theme of the first part of the lesson - that we trust our spiritual confirmations, impressions, before we trust what the world says. And when we do this, ONLY AFTER WE DEMONSTRATE OUR FAITH, we see the physical evidences that it is truth. For example, we explained, the promise to us as missionaries speaking another language is that if we OPEN OUR MOUTHS they will be FILLED. But first we have to act. I explained that I only experienced the gift of tongues after I became willing to open my mouth, and it WAS filled. Also we explained that, as Elder Holland says (more or less), "some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come 'til heaven - but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they COME." Of course, all this in reference to the situation with her husband, faith that one day he will come around but in this moment what he needs is her example. Well, in THIS moment we invited her to baptism. She said, "not tomorrow, but I'll get baptized someday." We explained that if she knows it's right right now, there's no need to wait. Well, even Max looked at her and asked her straight-up WHY she didn't want to do it. She literally had no answer. I felt like, I don't even know why, in this moment we needed to sing "Come Come Ye Saints" - the thing is, in Spanish the title of this hymn reads something like "Everything's Okay." We sang, she loved it but still had no words in her mouth. I asked her to pray to ask Heavenly Father if tomorrow was right. She did, and we all were just bawling our eyes out during the prayer. She finished and still had no answer. She asked me to say a prayer. So I did. And I received some very very strong words, I could feel the Spirit truly just speaking through me. Well, I finished, and she said she would get baptized. In the morning, she had her baptismal interview, after Max's confirmation. She told us "I should have done this last week." She was SO ready and SO prepared. We made a nice program with all the songs she loves and the speakers she wanted in just a few hours, and the ward showed up at five to watch her get baptized. PS, she definitely wanted "come come ye saints" as the closing hymn. I had a fun day playing the piano for all of sacrament meeting AND relief society AND the baptism, haha, mom THANK YOU FOR MY PIANO LESSONS. Anywho, it was just such a great experience, now son and mom are baptized and I have no doubt they will be so strong in the church. Now we begin to work even harder to baptize the dad! 
I still LOVE my companion just so super much, she's cute and funny and her Spanish is already great - I learn from her every day. She is willing to work hard and walk fast all day, even though it's frustrating and hard. I am SO excited for what we'll accomplish this transfer. Mary is scheduled to get baptized next week, so pray for her please! 
My companion and I were talking about our mission today, The Great Mission. How sometimes we get tired and frustrated with the rules and just want to rest for a few minutes, but honestly how lucky are we to get to be here? It's a busy busy mission, but what we do with just one day here is pretty awesome. It's because of the rules and the lack of down-time that we have success, and I'm learning what I'm capable of! I love this mission, I love Mexico. I love my Heavenly Father and I know that He loves me. I'm so excited to see what these next five weeks bring us! Thanks for all your words, sorry I didn't have too much time to respond to individuals today! You're all the greatest.
Beeeeeeg Keeeeees, Leeeeeeeetle Keeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

Max's mom Aida's baptism- Hermanas Hardy and LeSueur

Max was so happy to watch his mom get baptized

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chosen People Ready and Waiting

Hey fam!  
So, transfers happened! Totally unexpected...I'm staying in Palmas with a new companion! Her name is Hermana Hardy, and she only has one transfer here in Mexico. I'm her "step-mom," aka her trainer, part II. She's from Washington, and the cutest person in the whole entire world! She also went to BYU, she's a music major. She was there the same two semesters that I was, plus one more after. I seriously just already love her so so much and I know we'll have such a good time together! A little scary to make the change from senior comp to trainer, but I know I'll learn so much from it!  
We had an awesome awesome baptism yesterday, Max...the cousin of recent converts Familia Franchini. He's been listening to us along with his parents, and I have never seen someone so psyched to get baptized. He's eleven years old, and has been coming to church with his cousins even when his mom doesn't come. But, she had such a spiritual experience yesterday with her son's baptism, and we're expecting to baptize her very soon as well! The dad was there as well in his suit, and he seemed to be very impressed with the service and I know that he can see how much his son loves the church. This kid is so cute. When we teach him he always comes up with funny metaphors and examples to explain things and he is the MOST excited to serve a mission! His mom is named Aida and his dad Jose Angel, we're going to work so hard to get this family fully immersed in the Gospel. The service was so great, President came with his wife and just about the whole ward. We had the Young Men sing a musical number since Max will become a Young Man in August. Also, the Deacon's President spoke and his uncle, the AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME Hermano Franchini, and his primary teacher and he got a welcome from the stake presidency and the primary president. I love seeing the whole Familia Franchini there and just so happy that their cousin wanted to get baptized. And to think that all of these people are coming to know the Gospel through one simple contact in the street! Max loves Elder Goodrich, so that's who baptized him. Pray for Aida and Jose! We know this is their time, and it's exciting, but we're going to have to work hard regardless!  
I'm honestly super excited to have another cambio here in Palmas. Yes, sometimes it's frustrating to walk the same streets day after day, but I KNOW there are chosen people still out there in our little pueblo who are READY AND WAITING. What an exciting thought that is! I will be reaching my nine-month mark here in a few weeks, and that's incredible. The mission truly is short, huh? I'm watching right now lots of sisters go home, when I got here they had about the same amount of time that I have now. It's time to get to WORK! I love you all, and I LOVE this church. It's HIS church, it really is.  
Oh, I forgot to mention... right now I'm in the terminal waiting for a third companion...she's only going to be with us about a week, but her name is Hermana Lagunas and she's waiting for her visa to go serve in Puerta Rica. So we'll be a trio for a bit! Whoooo!  
Hope you all have a good week, love you so much!  
Beeeeg Keeeeees, Leeeeeeeetle Keeeees,  
Hermana LeSueur  

Cute Max's baptism- President and Sister Whitehead

Franchini Family

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Live up to our name

So happy you're all having fun over in Arizona! It would be a lie if I said that I didn't miss that place a LOT, but it's hot and sunny here too, and we are constantly drinking freshly-squeezed orange juice, so almost the same right? 
It's been a pretty tough week - The "Holy Week." EVERYONE left on vacation! There are some pretty interesting traditions for Holy Week, and one day we saw about 3 different processions with someone dressed like Jesus carrying a cross with a huge parade of people following behind singing and wearing red. Mary went to visit her mom, Humberto went to visit his dad, Alexia and Moroni went on vacation, Max and Aida had visitors from Chihuahua and haven't been home all week, and our new people Renata and Diaow left on vacation as well. Never have I seen San Isidro so deserted, even at night! Everything was closed down except for the chicken stands, because the meat fast the Catholics do during Holy Week doesn't include chicken... We had a list of about 15 people who we were planning on bringing to conference at the beginning of the week, but as you can imagine we were a bit disappointed. What I DID love this week was this: I wrote down a number of questions to answer during conference, questions for ME and MY LIFE. What I received during conference (first session especially) were answers for my INVESTIGATORS. I started writing the names of my investigators next to certain points and talks, they seemed as if they were meant just for them. I was a bit bummed because I only got to watch one session in English, and we had technical problems and missed half of Holland and Uchtdorf's talks. But, in a month I'll get to read them all in the Liahona, and I am SO excited!! The night before conference I literally felt like it was Christmas Eve, and that is no joke...the prospect of hearing from our living prophet, what he knows we need to hear...so exciting! Here were some of my favorite points:
"Love comes from you, marriage from above."
Help them hear the music - have personal spiritual experiences - a lasting conversion
The thing I AM and the thing I'm BECOMING - this is what matters
"Compared to me, the two of you aren't all that different."
Latter-day Sinners
Latter-day Quitters
Latter-day Hypocrites
The service that counts most is usually only recognized by God alone. 
Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
Don't let something you don't understand unravel everything you do know.
HIS words are the IMPORTANT words. Everything else is just WORDS.
Ordinances and Covenants = strength and stability
Godly Fear: Awe and Anticipation
Worldly Fear: Alarm and Anxiety
Be sensitive enough to recognize and give thanks for every miracle.
We had interviews with President this week, they helped a lot and I know President loves me and has a lot of confidence in me and my ability to direct Palmas 2. It was a very needed interview! Also, MOMMA I got my package in time, thank you so much! My dress was PERFECT and doesn't even need to be shortened! We took lots of pictures yesterday with the camera of my companion, we'll try to send them before 6. PS, my companion now wants to come to the US only to buy Pez, haha...she loves that thing...
Well, exactly 8 months since I stepped into the MTC and got the name badge I'm wearing right now. One week from now and I could possibly be in another area!
Just a little reminder that God loves you: 
Yesterday started out good, an awesome Christ-centered personal/companion study, taking pictures with the stuff from my package... but soon, I got extremely discouraged, rejection after rejection, people forgetting their commitments... especially know how special and important going to conference is. For the first time, I inched closer and closer to wanting to just give up on completing our daily and weekly goals, to be totally honest. After the second session, I really just felt that my efforts were coming to nothing, that every person was just going to reject us or lie to us, so why try? Awful, awful, destructive pessimism. Well, my district leader called us and said that the zone wanted us all to do area switches within our districts for a night. Honestly, in this moment I didn't know how I was going to do it - area switches are a lot of pressure! I just said a little prayer and vowed to try hard. I forced myself to begin talking to everyone I saw again in the Elders' area, forcing a smile and forcing my heavy legs to walk faster. Heavenly Father placed in our path a guy named Saul who immediately accepted all of our invitations and gave us his number and direction and is coming on Sunday, and later a family of 7 who all accepted our invitation to church, then we had a great lesson about Jesus Christ and HOPE. I went home that night excited about the work once again, confident that God hadn't forgotten me. We only worked there about an hour and a half, but it was needed. Just like we see over and over again in the Book of Mormon, the Lord doesn't take away our burdens...he helps us have a better attitude in the midst of them.
I've been watching the church vid "Finding Faith in Christ" lately, we've showed it to a few people and sometimes we watch it before bed. Yesterday meant something different for me. For me, it was truly the day in which the mouthpiece of God spoke to us and a day to rejoice that we'll all live forever because the only perfect person who ever lived loved us, His imperfect brothers and sisters, enough to DIE. It's something I've always heard and believed, but never understood. And I still don't. I don't think any of us do. But for what I've lived on my mission thus far, I stand a lot more amazed this year than any of the years past. Sometimes I feel as if the mission is a whole lot of "cliche" phrases I always let slip in one ear and out the other taking on real meaning. I love reading Preach My Gospel for that reason. I want to challenge you guys - my fam especially - to use Preach My Gospel in FHE! Read, discuss, and practice! 
I'm so grateful for this Easter weekend, and that #BecauseHeLives I too shall live. 
Love you all, HAPPY EASTER!
Beeeeg Keeeeees, Leeeeeetle Keeeeeees
Hermana LeSueur

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