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 misiĆ³n 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