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 CUMPLEAƑOS!
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