Sunday, May 9, 2010
Anyways just wanted to make a small post and say I am back.
If you guys want to ask me about mission or what I did or something, ask me and I'll talk to you about it the best I can.
-Braden Karl LeSueur
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Ok guys! Well I haven't left on the plane just yet....but I will be gone as of 2:35 pm Utah Time from the Salt Lake City Airport to my mission! Thanks for everything and it has been fun! I get to Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday to go to the MTC there. Please write me at my current e-mail address of firstname.lastname@example.org. Chances are I'll have to change it out there so keep this and I'll send it out. If you wanna e-mail me to have me put you on my e-mail list...please do that now so then I can just easily do it out there in Johannesburg or wherever I get to sit down to a computer!
Again thanks for everything and if I can post on here while I am out there in Africa.....I'll try and do that so you guys can hear all the awesome stories I have had and everything.
Good luck with life and wish me good luck out there too!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Once a missionary has arrived we request there be no contact made by family or friends except by mail. The MTC Postal address is:
South Africa Mission Training Centre
P.O. Box 6228
So if people wanna talk to me......write me...again I'll be at the MTC for 19 days and I don't know how long it takes for mail to get out to South Africa so.....And again...please keep my current e-mail address of email@example.com
I heard from a parent of a kid I knew in High School who is out on the same mission that you do have to change your e-mail to be under the church's system when you get there....so I'll change it and the first chance I get....I'll e-mail my Missionary E-Mail Address to everyone through my Hotmail address. So keep tabs on your e-mail and you should all hear from me soon or something.
Oh and if you do want me to write to you....please e-mail me or write to me on here between now and Monday your e-mail addresses....Please keep in touch because I want to keep in touch while even on my mission so then I know what is going on back in the USA....so please write and I'll write back any chance I get which will probably be every monday.
Thanks and I'll see you all in 2 years!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
In the words of a Missionary (My farewell talk to anyone that wants to read it!) (Day: The End is around the Corner!)
My talk was about the little article that Elder Nelson wrote in this month’s Ensign. He titled in Faith in Jesus Christ. Before I start though I just wanted to say, I’m going to try and be pretty quick about this because it’s Fast Sunday and I personally think it would be really weird to be the only person that gets a chance to say anything today as far as a testimony or anything, so hopefully I can be quick enough that the messege is understood and the spirit is felt but also that others will also come up and say stuff so that the spirit will grow more. So from the Title of Faith in Jesus Christ you can tell that it is mostly about Faith. Faith I actually think is an interesting thing, you all probably sang the song about how Faith is like a little seed, and if it is planted it’ll grow and become a tree. You all sang this when we were little just like I did, well hopefully not really like I did since I was pretty rowdy when I was little….but you know what I mean. But the point of the song was that you have the faith that everything you are doing is right, what you believe is right and so because of that a seed is planted in your heart which is your testimony or your belief; and if you keep doing what is right it’ll grow and become a tree and it’ll bring forth good fruit which others can/will partake of and it’ll benefit them also. So faith is a cool thing that we all function on; for example, we have faith that the sun will come up, we have faith that the car will start, we have faith that we can make it to school on time, we have faith that it’ll soon be 80 degrees here and the Snow will go away for good. We all live on faith.
Anyways so I guess it would help to understand the word faith if we Break It Down! So to start I went to Dictionary.com just to see what they say Faith means or is and everything and this is what I found are the definitions of Faith:
1. Confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. Belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. Belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. Belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. A system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
Then just to give the other side of the coin…I looked up Faith in the Bible Dictionary:
Faith is to hope for things which are not, seen but which are true, and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone. The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character, possessing in their fullness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation.
Then it goes on with some more interesting stuff but I think a lot of good stuff was said already so I’ll move on.
A little quick story/experience I had a few years back to relate to Faith and everything and just to kind of show a way faith works and helps. I only ended up going to EFY once. Our group one day was hanging out and we had done a little lesson about something, I forget what now; but after we were done they told us to go find a little secluded spot to ourselves and to pray for any little questions you might have and see if you get an answer, or something to that effect because the lesson, I do remember, had something to do with finding answers. Anyways when they told us to do that I went and climbed up a tree since I figured it was a good spot and I loved being in a tree. So I went there and the little thing I’ve always had that I was hoping to get an answer to is even though I know everything is right and true and I have faith in it, I’ve had a little dark thought in the back of my mind that would come and say “Is it!? Is it really!?” and it would kind of make me question things. So I asked for help and just proof that this was real or that I knew it is all true even from the beginning and everything and to help get rid of this dark thought. And from that I was led to Alma 32: 18 but I wanna read 17 and 18:
17. “Yeah, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.”
18. “Now I ask, is that faith? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it.”
So for me when I just read verse 18 I sat there and realized that I really have known for a long time that it is true so I don’t need to really think about it or see if I believe it because I know it. And since then I’ve always loved this scripture and it has been a big help.
I think Faith is a great thing in life. Faith is everything to us. Faith is not only the thing that helps us go on in life, but is also what makes the church go and function in certain ways. Faith is the thing that converts. Faith is what helps make the church grow along with commandments and guidance. Faith is probably one thing that helped all the prophets do what they do and needed to do to keep going, like Hinckley. Faith is also what might help my family know I am safe and doing the right thing and will be home in 2 years. Faith is what is going to be taking me out to Cape Town, South Africa to preach to people and receive the little spiritual experiences I’ll have out there. Faith is what is going to help a family come together and be baptized. Faith is what we always hear about from the apostles, prophets, missionaries, and Average Joes of the Church because of what it does and how helpful and great it is to all of us. Faith is what we read about in the scriptures:
“Faith without works is dead.”
“Oh ye of little faith”
“Faith is things hoped for which are not seen.”
“By faith men become sons of God.”
And a load of other scriptures.
I wish I could stand here and say I know that God is there and everything but I haven’t seen him so I can’t. What I can do is have faith he is there and thus know he is there based off of the faith and feelings of the Spirit and all the experiences I have heard and gone through in my life…thus far.
So do I really know if God is there, since I haven’t seen him….no. But do I believe he is there and thus know it from my faith and from the spirit!? Yes!
Before I finish up I wanna bring up one more point, I was searching around for more material that could be helpful in this talk on lds.org and I found some interesting stuff in the Gospel Topic section or whatever it is called on faith which I though related really well to a bunch of the stuff I said just a second ago. The first one they called Faith in Jesus Christ. What this Faith in Christ section or point said was:
In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His will.
Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him—trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. It means believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. Because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties. He has "overcome the world" and prepared the way for us to receive eternal life. He is always ready to help us as we remember His plea: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”
Then they had another section called Living in Faith which said:
Faith is much more than passive belief. We express our faith through action—by the way we live.
The Savior promised, “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me”. Faith in Jesus Christ can motivate us to follow His perfect example. Our faith can lead us to do good works, obey the commandments, and repent of our sins. Our faith can help us overcome temptation. Alma counseled his son Helaman, “Teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Lord will work mighty miracles in our life according to our faith. Faith in Jesus Christ helps us receive spiritual and physical healing through His Atonement. When times of trial come, faith can give us strength to press forward and face our hardships with courage. Even when the future seems uncertain, our faith in the Savior can give us peace.
So I told you earlier in my talk that we all live off of Faith and I think that is so cool especially since we practice it every day also with sin. I mean like we sin and then we have faith that we can be forgiven, depending on how big it is, through Jesus and the Atonement and because of that faith, we come here every week to take the sacrament to partake of the atonement Jesus established through his actions and everything. And the little paragraph above just proved that point even more, to all of us…I think. Anyways so to kind of relate to all of that, one of my favorite movies has a line that I think is a really good way to explain the atonement and how it works and also kind of the faith in the Atonement. It’s from the movie Batman: Begins. At the beginning of the movie it shows Bruce Wayne as a kid hanging out with a friend of his named Rachel. Well they are fighting over an arrowhead and who found it and thus who is the owner of it. Well Bruce takes it and runs and hides over a well. Later on he falls through it and down to the bottom of the well. Then it shows his Dad come and gets him from out of the well. And as they are walking you hear Alfred the Butler go: Took quite a fall, didn't we, Master Bruce? Then Bruce’s dad says: And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.
So from that, I started to imagine the way it looks for us all striving to get to heaven. And I came to this where we’re climbing up a fairly steep mountain and each step we take is us doing everything right so that we can go to the kingdom of God. So we are climbing and climbing and climbing to get to the Kingdom of God and if we sin we trip or fall a little and then Jesus comes down and looks at us and says the same line “And why do we fall?” And he reaches out his hand to help us up and then finishes with: “So we can learn to pick ourselves up!” And then we keep going up the mountain. So we have the atonement to help when we sin and the faith that Jesus will help us get up and to keep going after he helps us up from our little set back.
The other thing I got a kick out of the Living by Faith thing because not only did I think it helped some of my points but I think it is a great little missionary thing. It’s a nice little boost/motivation and this gets me excited to go out and preach and serve!
Anyways I wanna bear my testimony and wrap everything up; I know this church is true because of my faith and experiences. I know God is there and Jesus is his Son and our Savior from my faith and knowledge and scripture studying and reading and other little evidence I have received. I know Gordon B. Hinckley was the Prophet of God and that I know, even though it might be hard to live up to Hinckley’s charm and sense of humor, that Thomas S. Monson is the one that is supposed to be the next Prophet of this church and I know he will be just as good as any of the other Prophets and I can’t wait to watch him and see what he does. I know the Book of Mormon is true, otherwise I don’t think I’d be standing here giving this talk, be in these kinds of clothes, or be heading out to South Africa to do all the stuff I’m going to do out there. I am so happy for everyone that came out here today. I was telling my friends to come if they could because the more people that came today to hear my talk, the more excited I’d be from everyone coming, and the more I’d want to get on that plane in a little over a week and not look back. If you wanna know if I am really feeling that right now, ask me after sacrament and I’ll let you know.
Anyways, I love my family, and it’s funny how I’ve just barely realized that I never really have said that to my brothers and sisters or anyone else expect my parents, but I have to have faith that they all knew that I loved them…I think that is just a natural family thing. But I love my siblings, they have been there for me and helped me out in different ways, from going on missions, to hanging out with me, to the endless embarrassing stories that I hate to hear every Sunday but also love to laugh about with them because we all enjoy the laugh, to my ups and downs I had in the past. I honestly believe that family is the only way to get through life…and my family was the bomb at doing that for me way back when but then still is the bomb at it even to this day! I love my parents even when I do get in disagreements with them and see things differently than they do and I think this will be really hard to leave them here and go to Africa for the whole 2 years but I am happy to do it. I wanna go pick up that accent anyways because of how cool it sounds! Anyways again I thank you for letting me give this talk and change up this month’s Fast Sunday for the ward a little bit. Hopefully now there will be other people that will come up and give testimonies. And like I said, hopefully the spirit was felt and helped out everyone here, today in some way, then will continue on and grow even more through everyone else that comes up to bare their testimonies.
Anyways thanks again and I love you all, even if I don’t show it, and yes even when I get made fun of about the Lakers or whatever people love to bring up that bugs me, I still love you all! And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Ok so, you must all be pretty confused by the title. It's ok, it doesn't make much sense anyways but I do have a story which might help you a little understand what I mean by it.
Ok so Saturday I'm over at my parents house watching Pearl Harbor with my cousin Kurt and his buddies who are my buddies too (Kurt said he wanted to watch Pearl Harbor because he never saw it...so don't ask me about that one). Well in the middle of the movie, Dad came in and said I was going with Bryan to Nogales, AZ on Monday and I was going to work. See somehow luck worked out that my class on Wednesday got cancelled because our teacher was gone and Thursday got cancelled because it was Spring Break at UVSC that I was free after Monday. So I went to work. So we fly to Tucson, get picked up, go to the Hotel, throw our stuff in our room, go to a good Mexican Restuarant where I ate some realy hot and spicy Tortilla Soup and part of a Chimichunga (would have eaten the whole thing if I didn't fill up on chips and Soup) and then we went to work.
The week I happen to choose to go happens to be the week we do Check Stands. In the past it hasn't really been that bad, but then again I can't remember now if I have ever really done check stands or if it was more of fixing them after they were really done weeks earlier but still I think to myself "at least it isn't bathrooms."
After the week was done....I really wish we had done bathrooms.
So we drive and we go and first we take down the old power poles, then the tile guys come in and scrape the old tile. At first I am sent in to help with that, which I don't enjoy doing because it has never been fun to do in the past, but I did it for a few minutes and then my dad called me out of that to help him run around and do other stuff. So after just little things and the tile getting done real slow and I guess in the wrong direction or something, we get in and do the power poles for the registers and everything and end up having a real long night. We got done at 8:30 am on Tuesday. I had woken up at like 7:45 am on Monday to get ready for my class in SLC, so I pulled a whole 24 hour day and then some, which I was actually excited to have done.
So we go back to the hotel and I sleep and I slept till like 6:00 or so and it was great! So after that we get up and get ready and go back to work. First we go eat at Home Town Buffet and Dad tells us the night is going to be better and everything, which it was for the most part. Bryan and I, if I remember right, took all the old power poles out to the trash that night and my shoulders hurt so bad after that. But we did the same thing and did about 14 check stands that night when the night before we probably did like 6. I was made the errand boy and had to go fetch all the tools and everything and my feet hurt so bad when the night was over from going back and forth, what seemed like, every 3 minutes. But we got done at like 6:30 or so and went home and slept.
At about 3:00 on Wednesday my brothers called me and woke me up about going over the border into Mexico that day. So I was like "Yeah, sure! Sounds cool!" So we ran over the border and walked around the other half of Nogales that is actually over the border and into Mexico a bit. We walked around and my brothers (who went to Mexico and Guatemala on their Mormon missions) would talk to the locals about where to find a good taco joint. We found on later on and they made some tacos, that to me looked like the Carbons at Del Taco, and gave us some glass bottle Cokes, which my brother told me to wipe off the top of the bottle because sometimes they re-use the bottles, and then we ate. THE TACOS DONE THERE ARE SO FRICKEN GOOD! I realize that actual Mexican food in Mexico is expected to be good but I mean this was GOOD, GOOD! I ate about 3 of those things in about 2 minutes. They were awesome.
Anyways so Mexico itself is actually a pretty cool place. Now grant it, down there it really does feel like a 3rd World Country because of the way all the stores and everything looks and is set up. Then you have the street sellers trying to make you buy something, and even when you tell them no...they still keep going and won't leave you alone till you are out of the store's area. The people were cool and the Latinas down there were WAY CUTE! (Yeah I know I am going to be leaving on my mission soon and I can't be thinking about that but the face that it is still a month away makes me want to do it more since I have to give that up for 2 years!) I didn't get any souveniors but I did get pictures and videos with my digital camera and everything. There is a wall on the border and there are crosses on the wall at some spots which my brothers and I were guessing that is all the people that have tried to jump the wooden fence over to get in. There were a lot of crosses. But yeah, Mexico was cool!
Anyways so we go back to the hotel and chill for a little while and then go back to work that night to finish up check stands. That night...was as bad at the first night. Kept getting yelled at for parts and other little things and just ran around, had to carry more power poles out to the trash which my shoulders were still pretty tender from the night before and all this other stuff. But we did it and got done by 7 am. Now this is the funny part. So we are taking all the tools out and everything and I am talking to my dad about how hard the week has been and how after the first night I actually was ready to just leave right there and go home because of how bad it seemed and everything. And out of all the years of working WATG and being the errand boy and helping out here and there and all the other hard stuff I've been through and done like Bathrooms and all that, I have never hit that point but it was bad, and so I was telling my dad how bad it was that night too and how all the same stuff was there about wanting to leave. Well he yells to my brothers, in a joking way, about all the stuff I said to him, and he yelled this as they were coming to the bin to drop off the lift and tools. They all laughed and everything and started talking about like how hard it would be on my mission. How I would be walking 15 miles a day and wanting a break but my companion will be saying "Nope! We can't stop!" and I'll hate life and all that.
Well I wasn't mad for them to say that because I know they knew what I would be going through since they all went before me and everything. But I am a believer that whatever happens walking, biking, or driving that it'll work out for the best. I still think that if I do have to walk a lot that my feet will take longer to hurt because I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and all that. So anyways I let this all sink in as they yelled it and just was like "Yeah! Ok! I believe you!" and all this other stuff. And they kept going and going and going and then finally I said "But wait....let's think about this, besides right now, when have I complained at all about how bad this week was!?" And they were all like "Uh!" and I was like "Exactly, because I know how to suck it up now and just work with it till it is really over or I see a spot that I can actually take a breather because nothing is going on that needs my help and all that." It was super funny.
Anyways that day my brother and my uncle both took off and so that left me, my dad, and my other brother to finish up the little things. That night was fun. First we went back to the Mexican place that we went to on Monday and I had some tacos there that were good but not as good as the ones in Mexico. Then we went to work, and that night I got to do some little things that was actually like work and helpful for WATG and wasn't me getting tools, which I have been hoping to be doing more of for the last few years now, because getting tools, by yourself even, kind of sucks. So I did a little thing and then I went back to getting tools and supplies again which was annoying especially with the fact that I said earlier of like every 3 minutes having to run out to the bin to get material. I started thinking out it would be nicer or better if I just went and got things all at once instead of every 3 minutes because then I could be standing around more and being more helpful or be told to do some little job like I did this day. I figure if it could work out that way then I would be a little less distracted when walking through electronics to get to the Bin and I saw 40 copies of like Smash Brothers Brawl (which was a bummer to look at since I had no way of getting a copy...at least not till I get back from my mission) and all this other stuff. But then I think more importantly, if it worked ou that way....I wouldn't want to sit down and read magazines because my feet are so tired and I don't want to be on them or anything. So....but that was just my thought process.
Anyways after that my brother and I ended up back at the apartment around 2:30 and then we slept and woke up at about 7:00 to go to the Pheniox airport to catch a flight back to Utah at like 10:00.
My brother went to Northern California and my dad and I went to Utah. Ended up riding 1st Class and I have to say now "From that cool experience I will never look at Couch the same way ever again." But I'll be able to handle that fact.
So that was my Best, Worst Week EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Wish me luck!
Oh yeah and don't forget my farewell is March 30th up in Highland....so everyone that can come, please come. More people that come, the more support I feel like I have from people coming and then the more excited I will be to leave on my mission.