Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 11 (Thank You Bishop Sanchez!)

Hello once again family and friends! 

Can you believe that Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is upon us!? It is time to make those New Year resolutions once again. I have definitely learned the value of setting goals while I have been here. We must prayerfully ponder on how we can improve and then make goals that will help us achieve those improvements. I know that if we make the goals, make the plans, and pray that ANYTHING is possible!


Today all the missionaries gathered at the offices to practice our play. Missionaries are so funny and creative! We also planned the grand finale. Once again, when we came to the part of Mary for the finale, everyone automatically started saying "Hermana Lutze! Hermana Lutze!" I don't even know who these people are!? This is what happens when you are the only white blonde girl in the vicinity. You get picked to do everything and stick out like a sore thumb. So now I am officially the Mary of the grand finale. After our practice, a family, whose nephew collected clothes for the missionaries, brought them in for us. Christmas was here early. It was so nice and thoughtful! As missionaries we will always accept new clothes! We need to do that at home. 


We tried to teach but Hermana was so sick it wasn't going well. Eventually we called the Bishop. He and his family took us to a doctor. It turns out that she had Strep throat (I totally called it!) The doctor prescribed her a billion pills! I have never seen so many pills! It was ridiculous! I'm pretty sure it was just so she would have to pay more money. She also had to buy an injection and Hna Sanchez (Bishop's wife)gave it to her. (They give injections at home here.) We stayed home for the night and Hermana Rubina slept. I was so grateful to Bishop Sanchez because he drove us, found the doctor, and paid for it. Without him, I don't know what we would have done! He really taught me what it means to consecrate all that we have to the Lord. We need to each have an eternal perspective in life so that when we are called upon to help our brothers and sisters we will be prepared to willingly sacrifice whatever is required.


Today we traveled to a church in San Pedro and watched Avengers 2! Awesome!...except it was in Spanish... and I don't yet understand Spanish movies very well. So I just laughed when I remembered it was funny or when everyone else was laughing!;) After the movie we had a piñata! It was so fun to watch the Elders swinging madly at the air! They were so energetic and enthusiastic to break that piñata! Oh and did you know there is a piñata song!? I will have to write it down and teach you all when I return. After the pinata we ate dinner. Then we went to the park-Bosque Urbano and the Planetarium. Ultimately we ended up at the amphitheater to perform our play! It was awesome! Ours was definitely the funniest and produced the most laughter!  After the play various people performed talents. They are so gifted! Watching them helped me realize what it means  to use it or lose it. We need to use our talents to help, uplift and bless others because if we don't, what was the point of having that talent? There is no point in only using our talents for ourselves. Oh, I ate some strange desserts today. One was a cream mixture with pineapple, pears, and carrots? The other was a chocolate cake with some kind of fruit in the middle? They were not my favorites.


We had previously bought gifts for our investigators and today we wrapped them! Actually, I wrapped them while Hna Rubina rested some more. That evening we went to the house of Hermana Lourdes and ate dinner with them. We had carne asada, cebollas (onions), grilled peppers filled with cheese, tortillas and guacamole! Delicious! Everyone was saying the guacamole was spicy and burning their mouths. Then they asked if I was having the same problem. I told them that I was fine. I have now passed the Native Mexican Guacamole test! (Thanks Grandma for making salsa so hot that it kills small children.) We gave them our gifts and then went home.


Christmas! Well, it didn't really feel like Christmas. It was sunny and 70 or 80 degrees. We had an Actividad Deportiva. We played different sports. Sadly the sisters cannot play contact sports with the elders so all we played was volleyball or kickball. Not quite as fun as soccer. Then in the evening I got to talk to my family! Best part of the day! Being away from them I have really learned how much I truly love them and am so grateful that I can be with them for eternity! I could never ask for a better gift from the Lord! 


This was a mostly normal day of teaching with a few weird moments. We were teaching Maria when her drunk brother walked in. We ended up teaching them both, but let me just say it is HARD teaching someone that is drunk! He asked the strangest questions and constantly interrupted us! Don't drink totally not worth it to be that annoying and dumb. We also went to see our progressing investigator Mario. (The one we found smoking last week.) He doesn't know how to read so he is learning with the Book of Mormon. When we came to visit him today, he had all these doubts and questions about Habakkuk in the Bible. These questions came because he had watched a movie with this person's name. I was confused. ;) We had to explain that movies are not doctrine and are for entertainment and do not always have truth in them.


We taught more people today and  really saw some miracles. We visited with Pati who is a recent convert and menos activo. We were teaching her and then had the opportunity to teach her husband who is not a member. We were able to address some of his fears and doubts and now he wants to learn more! This will be so good for Pati to have more support in her religion.

We also taught Omar and Marcia again. Today their son had a rocking horse. He got on it, clicked his tongue, put on his cowboy hat and said 'Yee-haaaw!' He's so adorable! We brought up baptism which opened a whole slew of questions and doubts. However, with the help of the spirit we were able to answer their questions and give them the commitment to pray to our Heavenly Father for an answer. They need to feel the spirit and obtain their own answers of whether or not this is the truth. I am praying they get their answers.

Well, that is all for this week!

I did come up with a new acronym this week. I.L.L. Infectious Love of Life! Friends and Family, life is good. There are bad things that happen, but still, life is good! We have so many blessings especially as members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints! We need to take this life and enjoy it! This is our time of probation! We only get one, don't waste it. Also, our love should be infectious! We are members of the church that has the restored gospel and has everything we need to return to our Heavenly Father!! WE need to share this joy with everyone around us! If we have an Infectious Love of Life then everything will seem a little brighter and go a little smoother. Our trials and troubles will not seem so great especially since this ILL comes from our Savior Jesus Christ! When we are yoked with him, everything is possible!! Spread the ILLness! ;)

Love you all! Hope you are all still becoming and failing forward! The only thing that can stop you is yourself! 


Hermana Lutze

P.S. It is freezing here! Day and Night! This wind started blowing and now I feel like I am in Estonia with Kyle! Brrr! I thought I was in Mexico!?

P.P.S We were at a house this week that had cockroaches EVERYWHERE. One of them jumped on my coat. It was a miracle I didn't scream and freak out. My companion saved me.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week 11

Hermana Lutze,

We loved talking with you on Friday. You look and sound great! I could feel the love you have for Hermana Rubina and that she has for you! What you have to share with the people of Mexico is so very precious! I'm so astounded when I think about the precious gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we have in our lives. I truly stand all amazed!

I worked on Monday and Tuesday and Hannah went with Liz on both days to see what trauma PAs do. She also spent some time with Michael who is with Life Flight. I think she really wants to be a flight nurse. She has great passion for it. We shall see. We took Papa out to eat at the Outback Steakhouse for his birthday and had a very nice time together.

Natalie played a great deal of piano and guitar this week. I love listening to her play. She got her own guitar yesterday with dad. She and Hannah actually went and bought their own Christmas presents for everyone this week. Wow! I wasn't surprised that Hannah did but that Natalie did.

Jakob played lots of video games, spent time with Christopher, and the Weight cousins. 

We went to Kaye's party on Tuesday where you saw that dad was a hit as Elvis and we went to The North Pole at Seven Peaks on Wednesday and waited in long lines to ride sleds and take a boat ride. 

I've enjoyed our time at home most... peaceful and relaxing... just spending time together. We, of course, miss you, but know you are involved in a very important work.

We went to Papa's ward today. I really enjoyed Relief Society. Sister Eddington is from Uruguay and taught a lesson about the 3 new apostles. She related some facts and what they each spoke about in their first addresses as apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. She talked about the importance of the enabling power of the Atonement to help them and us in our callings to be what he needs us to be. I've been studying about this a great deal in the last few months for our Stake Women's Conference in February. This morning I was reading in Alma chapter 17 and 18 about Ammon's personal ministry. We can really compare this to our personal ministry in life.

17 v 2-3 we must wax strong in the knowledge of the truth, be women of sound understanding, and search the scriptures diligently, and give ourselves to much prayer and fasting in order to receive the spirit of revelation then we will teach with power and authority (This is not only important on the mission but also important as a wife and mother. We need to be women like this so we know what our personal ministry is and can do it)

v 9 We must be instruments in the hand of God to bring our brothers and sisters to the knowledge of the truth (whether that is as a missionary, a wife, a mother, or in a particular calling. As I mentioned previously the church is only one generation away from apostasy. Each person is an important link whether they are the first, the middle or the last)

v 10-11 The Lord will comfort us as we go forth in our personal ministry and yet he does require us to be patient in long-suffering and afflictions so that we can be a good example (We often don't realize how much other people are watching us and basing their decisions off of what they see us do. I was about to quit choir this year when Tasha showed up for one of her personal progress goals. I couldn't quit. She doesn't know that her one action affected my decision to stay.)

v 13 they separated themselves, trusting they would meet again at the close of the harvest (This happens on a mission but this also happened when we came to this earth and accepted whatever responsibilities the Lord would have us complete and we went our separate ways) for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken (We have also undertaken a great work. Your work right now is a mission. My work is as a wife and mother and in my current calling. President Lyman was very direct in letting each of us in the Presidency know that we were there for a very specific reason. We each have important talents to share.)

v 29 We see how Ammon won the hearts of his fellow servants so they would believe his words (We, too, can win the hearts of those around us by our faithful service to them. Service or charity never faileth.)

18 v 3 ...because of his expertness and great strength... (What are your strengths? What is your expertise? Do we see it in ourselves? Do others see it in us?)

v 10 "Surely there has not been any servant among all my servants that has been so faithful as this man; for even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them." (Can the Lord say this about us?) 

v 35 "And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God." (Finally if we keep the Sabbath Day holy and renew our covenants each week we will have His Spirit to be with us and we will have the knowledge and power according to our faith and desires to be what Christ needs us to be. He will help us know what that is and that we are on the right path.)

I love you and I'm praying for you!



Friday, December 25, 2015

The Best Christmas Present Ever

We were able to spend one hour with Rachael today via Skype. What an incredible Christmas present! I'm so grateful for our eternal family! There were tears along the way as we talked and then at the end as we sang "Silent Night" together. Singing this song was not only emotional because we were together but also because it was the song we sang last year at Mom's grave on Christmas Eve. For us, it brought generations together, especially since Dad was with us tonight as we talked to Rachael.

We can see and hear each other!

Talking to Hermana Rubina. We showed them all the snow!

Our 2015 Family Christmas Picture!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 10 (The Child Whisperer)

Dear family and friends,

So another week has gone by and I can't believe that this week is Christmas! 


Today we found one of our investigators, Mario, about to smoke a cigarette. So, unfortunately we had to move his baptismal date. However, it is good that we know now, so that we can help him stop before he is baptized. We taught him about repentance. He was so humble and accepting of our message. He seemed ready for real change in his life, with a heart prepared to change, so he can be baptized. Today, I also began to question myself again as to why I wasn't understanding the people perfectly and wasn't fluent yet! Then I remembered that I have only been out for less than a month in the mission field. OK, so I'm still working on being patient with myself. We were able to get our less active, Lupita, to accompany us on our visits. She shared her testimony and I could literally see her growing! I think it really helped her to see how everyone else has problems too and that she does have a testimony of this gospel. We need to share our testimonies to grow our testimonies.


One thing that I love about the mission is that every day I am learning and growing. My passion for learning is increasing quickly here and I love it! Today we ate lunch with the Family Barron and talked about how we are constantly being prepared by the Lord for our future and we don't even know it - our future families, callings, trials, mountains, etc. We are being prepared and nothing is an accident in our lives. We are all here for a reason. I am here for a reason. However, I don't know what that is; but I am here for a reason and to learn something. It is interesting to me how many of our investigators don't know why they let us visit them. They tell us that most of the time they reject people like us, but for some reason they let us in! Whether it is the right timing or something about us I don't know, but it is interesting how the Lord works and touches hearts.


So everyday we teach recent converts, menos activos, as well as investigators. It is concerning to see how many of these people were not taught all of the lessons which has played a part in their inactivity. Many of them are not doing  everything they are supposed to because they don't fully understand the 'why.'  This is another reason why the ward is important - to help them understand, learn, and stay strong in the gospel. We are a family and we need to support each other. 

It appears that I have inherited my father's gift with children! I am the child whisperer! :) All the kids love me here! Maybe it's because I look weird and talk funny but hey, I will take it. I have so much fun with some of these cute kids! One of my favorite families we are teaching is Omar y Marcia with their two kids! Their 2 year old son loves animals and they had him make the animals sounds of a donkey, monkey, dog, etc. It was the cutest thing ever! Thanks dad for rubbing off on me! We also saw Mario again today and he seemed happy! It's amazing to see the change in him because of repentance!! He is more dedicated than ever to change and be baptized!


It was freezing today! No one said it would be this cold! They all said it would be blazing hot!? I am so confused.


We practiced our play which was hilarious as always! On a sad note, we had to drop one of our investigators.  She was not progressing and not ready to do the things we asked of her. This life and this gospel are all about acting! We cannot stand idly by and hope to make it to heaven. We need to be actively doing things to improve and become like our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ! 

Just so you know, it is official, I can no longer speak English, but I can't speak Spanish either. I tried to talk to someone in the street in English because they wanted me to and...let's just say I could not do it. I kept switching back to Spanish! Oh dear, my life is going to be interesting when I return.


Sunday was good as always. We did see 'una lucha' (fight) on the way to church. Good old Mexico! Church is very different here. The kids are so loud (screaming included) and the parents don't take them out. They are just a lot more laid back in many ways. We had our Mission Coordination meeting. This is always a blast! The Elders are so much more fun than the Hermanas! They are just more easy going. The Hermanas are more uptight. Luckily Hermana Rubina isn't too uptight; so we have fun too!

A fun fact-everyone here asks me if I dye my hair and then they tell me they want my hair. Now I'm worried someone is going to come, chop it off and steal it!

I am now officially part of the Mexican society! I have been given a street name! I am La Gringa or La Guera! (Both are slang for white or American girl.) That is what everyone calls me on the street as they pass. Next thing you know I will be running my own mob of missionaries!

Family your scary experience with the truck and almost being T-boned is my worst nightmare! Please be careful! I have to tell you (not knowing any of this until today) that since Friday, I have been thinking of you and praying for your safety more than usual. I guess that was why. I love you all! I can't wait to talk to you on Friday! Love you!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week 10

Hermana Lutze,

We love you and we are so grateful for your missionary service to the Lord. Your package was signed for at the mission office by Latcia on Friday. You should receive it this week. :)

Life here is busy... Of course! I spent about 5 hours this last week shoveling snow. Yes, we received about 1.5-2 feet of snow. It's snowing right now as I'm typing this e-mail. Dad's had a cold and is trying to have a voice for all of his singing so I did the majority of the shoveling. Yes, he's impersonating Elvis at Kaye's party on Tuesday. He even bought a wig!

The choir sang today in our Ward Christmas program among other musical numbers. The Spirit is always so strong when we sing of Christ. I'm so grateful for being able to not only bear testimony through word but through music of my Savior Jesus Christ.

Hannah got her wisdom teeth out on Friday. She only had two wisdom teeth which was good news to us. However, she looks like a chipmunk. The poor girl feels awful. It will pass quickly. We got some good video on her but not quite as funny as yours. They wouldn't let us take any pictures or videos in the office so we had to wait until we were out in the car. Of course, some of the anesthesia had worn off by that point. She did go see Star Wars that night with Yosh and all his friends and then went Jazz Bear shopping the next morning.

We made our pretzels yesterday. I wish we could send you some but Mexico does not allow any homemade treats to enter the country. You probably won't miss them that much anyway since they are covered in caramel. They are especially good this year. :)

Natalie played in her guitar sing along Friday night. They don't call it the "r" word-a recital. We all sang along as the guitar students played! We plan on having her play for our Christmas Eve program. If you remember, ask her to play something when you call. She's sad right now because her music teacher at school is being really mean to her. Dad and I will be setting up an appointment after the Christmas break to speak with her so please keep Natalie in your prayers.

Jakob was set apart last Sunday as the 2nd counselor in the Deacon's Quorum. I love watching him be so responsible!!! We took him, Matt, Jack, and Ben to a BYU Men's basketball game Friday evening. I want to bear testimony that what President Lyman said in your blessing about protecting us while you are gone is true. We were driving down the 'big dip' on 12th east when a huge truck suddenly slid down one of the driveways on the right directly in front of us and made a quick turn to go the other direction almost rolling the truck. Rachael if we had been seconds earlier coming down the dip we would have been T-boned and seriously injured or even killed.

Emily's class was great as usual... We talked about Gideon and how he defeated the Midianites with 300 men. In Judges 7:16 we learn that their only weapons were a trumpet, a lamp, and an empty pitcher. Huh? Each man stood in his place (v.21) around the camp holding these three things and the Midianites, ran, cried, and fled. Rachael these each represent an important item that we need to defeat Satan. The trumpet represents prayer, the lamp - oil and flame which is our testimony and the Spirit, and the empty pitcher which would be filled with the living water represents the scriptures. I keep having it impressed upon my mind that these fundamental practices are the iron rod and we must cling to them in the last days. They are the oil in our lamps that we must have to be ready to meet the Bridegroom when he calls us to the marriage supper. We can't let go. It truly takes constant effort and faithfulness on our part not to fall.

We also spent some time in the following scriptures thinking about Christ...
  • Isaiah 7:14 (Immanuel-God is with us, Hermana Lutze write down in your journal the times he has been with you)
  • Micah 5:1-2 (Bethlehem-if there had been no birth in Bethlehem there would be no... EVERYTHING! What happened that night was not just the birth of the Christ child but set in motion everything for all blessings!)
  • Numbers 24:17 (Star-see Revelations 22:16 Christmas is the bright and morning star... stars give direction and light... this is why the Savior must be our rock)
  • Jeremiah 23:5 (Prosper-When has the Lord prospered you? What has He orchestrated in your life this year?)
  • Exodus 15:2 (Song-What are your favorite hymns that testify of Christ?)
  • Isaiah 9:6 (Wonderful-He is a God of wonders, a God of miracles Counselor-We should seek counsel from Him, Mighty God-He fights for us, Everlasting Father-constantly with us from the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, Prince of Peace-He comforts us
From Gene R. Cook, "May I suggest seven scriptural performances that, if humbly employed, will immediately invite the Spirit into your heart and the hearts of others."
  • Prayer
  • Scriptures
  • Testimony
  • Music
  • Expression of Love
  • Expression of Gratitude
  • Sharing of spiritual experiences

Hermana Lutze, think of all the times you've felt the spirit in your life. I bet that in most of them one of these seven performances was involved. I know if you use this with your investigators you will have great success!

Finally remember who we are fighting against in Ephesians 6:12 we read, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." In fact, in Revelation 12: 17 we read, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman and, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." So since it is a war, how do we overcome Satan and his followers? The key is taught by John in Revelation 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony..." Hermana Lutze, we overcome Satan through our use of the Atonement and its powers that we've talked about previously and the word of our testimony. I find this phrase interesting because Jesus Christ is known as 'the word' so the word of our testimony is bearing our testimony of Jesus Christ. I want to bear my testimony this Christmas season of our Savior Jesus Christ. He truly is the reason we have to rejoice, the reason we have every blessing, the reason we have faith, hope, and charity. I love you!



Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 9 (Do We COME unto Christ when We are Hungry and Thirsty?)

Dear family and friends, 

Well, I can't believe I am actually writing again, oddly enough? I think that time is slowly starting to speed up. Today is my 2 month mark and I'm a 2 month old baby missionary! 


We attended our Zone Conference which was good! We talked about faith, seeds and investigators. I think you can piece the rest of that discussion together! What really touched me the most was when Elder Kemp stood up and began to talk and then cry because of the great love he has for his investigators. He talked about how they are our BROTHERS AND SISTERS and we are here to help them return to our Heavenly Father!  He spoke of the great joy we can feel when we help them and watch them grow and progress. I am so glad he talked about our brothers and sisters because it really helped me remember my purpose for being here and why I really wanted to serve a mission in the first place (because sometimes I really ask myself that). I wanted to serve because I have a desire to help others and to experience that great everlasting love which is charity in my life. I wanted to feel the great everlasting joy that the Sons of Mosiah felt as they served and loved and baptized their brethren the Lamanites to the point that they desired that none of their brethren should perish in this wilderness. In addition, I have made the decision to be happy. I will be happy no matter my circumstances or how bad or crazy things may get. I may not be happy every second of every day, but my personality will be happy. Ser Feliz! This is actually one decision that we can surprisingly make in our lives. Personally, I suggest you all make it, but that is just me.


Last week Papa emailed me and told me about the cockroaches he had in his apartment on his mission! Well, tonight I was about to go to bed when I saw a cockroach on our wall above our beds! It was huge! I totally screamed and then made my companera kill it ;). Ew, so gross. Luckily, I haven't found any more. Thanks for cursing me Papa. ;)


We went on Intercambios. I got to re-enter civilization for 24 hours! It was insane! I didn't know what to do with myself there were so many people!  On the way to the city of Torreon, I passed through 'Paris'' and I also went off-roading in a public transportation bus. Good times, good times! The city of Torreon is actually kind of pretty. However, the people there are not very nice. They avoid the missionaries like the plague and only talk to us when they want to argue with us. And of course, there was more staring at the white girl in Mexico.


Still on Intercambios until 4. We saw and taught people. A large number of people were preparing for the "Reliquia" which is a Catholic celebration of the Virgen Maria Guadalupe. I don't know when Mary got a Mexican last name, but hey, it is also the Catholics in Mexico who light off fireworks all day. Afterwards, I returned home to my castle (my house is like a castle and even has a witch for a weather vane). In the evening we taught Free English classes with our district! So much fun! For once I had the upper hand in the language category! ;) I also found out that Geydi got permission from her parents to be baptized!


We practiced our play in the morning. It was so stinking funny! Later, I learned the true meaning of keeping our baptismal covenants and comforting those in need of comfort. These people have such huge life changing problems that I often don't have anyway of really helping. Sometimes all I can do is hug them, comfort them and cry with them. Sometimes that is our whole lesson. 

Esmeralda was baptized today. I am so excited for her and Emanuel, her boyfriend, to get married in the temple in a year! She has such a sweet spirit! Oh and in our pictures, I had to stand on the ground and my companion and Esmeralda stood on a step to be the same height as me. That is how short everyone is here!;)  On another note, our mission leader forgot to fill the font, so before the baptism he had buckets and was running water to the font! It was so funny! After the baptism we watched the cultural event for the Tijuana temple dedication. It was so cool! Then we locked ourselves in our house to protect ourselves from the crazy people celebrating the Virgen Maria Guadalupe.


Tijuana temple dedication! What a beautiful temple! I want to go to it one day! President Uchtdorf performed the dedication and there were some pretty good laughs during the whole thing!


I got my arm workout in for the day with my wash. (We are not allowed to have the members do our wash.) We then went shopping and even had a mini camping trip in our kitchen as I roasted my hot dog over our stove! Pretty good day if you ask me!


Mom: In Argentina we clapped instead of knocking on doors. What do you do? Hermana Lutze: We bang on their gates outside their house with our rings or a coin to get their attention.

Mom: Where's your companion from and what is she like? Hermana Lutze: Hermana Rubina is from Peru. She is super super short but super nice and a great trainer. She works hard.

Mom: Do you eat with members or do you cook your own food? Hermana Lutze: We don't eat dinner at members' homes. We eat La comida (they have four meals in Mexico) which is at about 2. The food is soooooo good here! I love it! Hannah would love all the rice they eat here and she would love all the soccer courts everywhere. 

Mom: I shared the goals I had when I left the MTC. Hermana Lutze: Oddly enough my goals are very similar to yours. Like mother like daughter

Mom: What is your area like? Hermana Lutze: My ward covers a very large area. There are 6 missionaries in the ward and we all have different areas. The church is not that big here.

Papa: Do people believe you when you tell them you're a quarter Mexican? Hermana Lutze: No Papa, people do not believe me when I say I am a quarter Mexican.

Last Thought

I have been thinking again about the in between (middle) moments and how sometimes we are in the desert in our lives and we feel like we are going to die of thirst and hunger. We feel like it will never end and there is no point; but I can truly testify that as we COME to our Savior, willingly and in humility that He will help us! In John 7:37 we read, "... If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." I know that we can truly be filled when we rely on our Savior! 

1 Nephi 21:10 "They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them."

Alma 32:42 "And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst."

3 Nephi 12:6 "And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost."

3 Nephi 20:8 "And he said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled."

Love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 9

Hermana Lutze,

Time is really speeding up for me... I don't know about you but I can't believe you've already been out for over two months. Wow! We got a good laugh out of your letter last week. Of course, you're the only American sister missionary in your mission. That's the way we Lutzes do things! I'm glad to hear that the language is improving and that you are working on your patience with yourself. In Argentina, they also kiss each other on the cheeks and I really felt out of place when I returned home. I felt like Americans were very cold after living in Argentina for so long. We would also clap at the doors instead of knocking. What do you do there?

I also remember washing our clothes by hand in some areas. It takes a lot of time. We eventually had a member that we paid and she did our wash for us. :) How's your companion? Where's she from? How's the food? Do you eat at members' homes or do you make all of your own food?

Life here is the usual pre-Christmas busy! All the decorations are up. I'm loving my Liz Lemon Swindle pictures that I bought for the tree. (I'm sure you remember carrying the box around.) They've really helped me focus on Christ this Christmas season. The presents are all wrapped and under the tree. We are sending you a package that I hope will be to you early next week. Please be looking for it. :) I went to two Ward RS dinners this week. Other than that it's just work and getting everyone to their activities. Dad and I did go see a movie Friday night-Bridge of Spies. It was really good.

Having you out on your mission has really made me think about my mission, to the point that I pulled out my journals to put all those memories back in my head. I've been reading about my time in the MTC and read what my goals were when I left and I thought I would share them with you. I was wondering if you had some similar goals for your mission.

  • Have charity towards all men
  • Do not judge rashly
  • Meaningful prayers and really listen for an answer
  • Bold in my thoughts and actions
  • Endure to the end

My favorite MTC teacher, Hermana Fisher, gave us the following 8 suggestions (OK there are more than 8. It's more like 8 paragraphs. :)) before we left:

  • Be patient with the mission. You have to learn everything little by little. Study the language and scriptures daily. Remember your part is to learn, to have faith, and to go out. 
  • Be prepared to sacrifice. Don't ever think it will be easy. Keep your mind on your goals and you can do anything the Lord asks. We can't imagine the sacrifices he will ask. I must remember my temple covenants everyday . I promised the Lord that I would sacrifice. Sacrifice is a way that the Lord tests our obedience We need to sacrifice our whole soul. We are obedient to the commandments through sacrifice. There are different forms of sacrifice. We must be diligent to the end. He forgives all of our sins through sacrifice. D&C 132:36-37, 50 Through sacrifice we feel good and fulfilled. We receive many blessings after sacrifice. We need to be willing everyday in all ways to sacrifice and through his help we can do it all. D&C 97:8-9
  • Enjoy every moment as you have it. Don't ever think of life behind you or your life ahead because when the moment is gone it's gone. You can achieve anything in this world as long as you don't care who gets the credit. Be careful with your time because it goes quickly
  • Learn to love your companion. It doesn't matter if she is different or not. Find things about them to love and SHOW IT! We've really missed something if we don't love our companions. We need to forget the bad and compliment them. At least give them credit for being there. We already have the common ground of the gospel. I must make myself the type of companion that I would want.
  • Love everyone else with all of your heart. The more you love them today, the more you'll love them tomorrow. 
  • Work until the very last day with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. so you can go home feeling good. 
  • Remember trials only last a moment. (In rereading my journal I've realized that you don't remember them. They are overcome by the good things.)
  • Have a good attitude. If you don't feel like doing or saying the right thing then do it anyway and you'll feel it later. 
Emily's class was good as usual. We're in Judges right now. I've listed below a few take-aways for me.

Judges 3 Faith is never a thing of the past. You must work at it constantly! In Judges we see the children of Israel in the constant cycle of apostasy > bondage > repentance > deliverance. Sounds like the people from the Book of Mormon as well. :) 

We must always be the generation that stands strong. We are the link from the previous generation and to the generation that will follow you. Judges 2:2-3 and 10. The Church is always one generation away from extinction. That will never happen collectively but it does happen individually. Look at Grandma and her siblings. The difference in their lives, their children's lives, and their grandchildren's lives based on the path they each chose to take.

Often our journey is to go with someone-meaning we are there to just love and support them while the Lord does His work with them. Deborah did this in Judges 4: 4-9. Think of someone in your life that you've been asked to "go with."

I love you and I'm grateful for you and your strength!



Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 8 (Who Should Play the Virgin Mary?)

Dear family,

So this week was a little better. I am starting to improve with the language and I am trying to be more patient with myself. I keep forgetting that this is a process and not a ready-to-go, instantaneous, great missionary thing. 

Monday - We washed our clothes by hand. That was interesting!

Tuesday - taught and contacted

Wednesday - the same, but had a movie night and invited everyone we met on the streets. We watched The Other Side of Heaven. I would have enjoyed it more if I could have understood it. :)

Thursday - What a surprise! We taught people!

Friday -  Ta-ta-taught people! We also had a zone meeting. We found out that each district has a part in a play we will perform in a park to meet new investigators during the Christmas season. When we broke off into our districts, Elder Hostetter (District Leader) said, "OK, now who is going to be the beautiful, fair, virgin Mary. Everyone turned and stared at me ..... oh, dear. :) It was unanimous. I am now Mary in our play! This is what happens when you are the only fair woman in the country!  If I haven't told you yet, I am the only American sister missionary in my mission. So I am literally the only female white person within a thousand miles! I have to laugh because people always stop and stare at me like I am the elusive snow leopard or something! They also say weird things to me and sometimes whistle. However, it is nice when your investigators actually remember you because they remember there was an 'Americana.'

Saturday - One day I will be a pro teacher because all I do is teach people! :) However, today we went to what is called a Fayuca! It is a giant swap meet/garage sale/Swiss days! Everyone brings items to sell and then they sell for hours! We set up a missionary booth and showed the new Christmas video as a way to make contacts! I am not that good at contacting yet because I never know what to say. I just don't know Spanish well enough to start conversing-mostly because the people here are hard to understand. They mumble and slur their words a lot!

Sunday - Good as usual! We had 5 investigators attend church with us!

So, I spoke too soon when I said it was hot. Now it is hot in the sunlight and freezing in the shade. At night it is very cold. Our house does not have heat, so we use a space heater and blankets! 

It's been another week of cookie-cutter houses and questionable couches (No idea what is under the sheets?!). In one house I saw a giant rat and the people here still use donkeys and carts. 'La nieve' is not snow, but ice cream and apparently it is bad to cross your legs. So, I always look like I am fidgeting because I have to remind myself not to cross my legs all the time! 

It is amazing how the Lord works out here in the mission field. I've already seen so many miracles. We are meeting many people who are prepared to hear our lessons. For example, our investigator Yesica had already been studying the Book of Mormon on her own, prayed about it and received an answer. She just needed us to find her to really help her on her way to baptism! Sadly, she moved out of our area this week. We had to pass her off to other missionaries. She was our good friend and we cried when we said good-bye. We also have a number of young investigators. Two of those are Angel and Geydi (13 and 15). They have amazingly strong testimonies! They were two of the five that attended church with us! Angel has a baptismal date set; Geydi not yet. We are teaching some other incredible people as well.

We are seriously blessed to live in the US. Our house is like a mansion in comparison to the homes here! We are living the most blessed lives ever. I am never complaining about anything ever again. I will especially not take our washing machine for granted! 

By the way the kids here are super cute and adorable!

Now I want to tell you something really important-our secret weapon! With our lessons we always try to bring members with us. I will tell you that having a member in our lesson makes a world of difference! They seriously help so much! They are able to relate to our investigators much better and be their friend! The investigators talk more when there is a member present. So, if you have the opportunity to help out in this way do it! Members are seriously, in many ways, so much more important to missionary work than we are! The members are the ones that will help the new members endure to the end and give them a ward family. Missionaries can't always be there but members can! You have no idea what a great influence you have on investigators and other members of the church! So, always find ways to help and support each other! WE are all working towards the same goal!

Love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week 8

Dear Hermana Lutze,

Today I'm fasting and praying for your success as a missionary. You definitely left the CCM at a difficult time. Transitioning away from the friends you've made and being in a new place for the holidays can make you feel home sick. I just laughed as I read your letter last week. I thought for a minute that you were describing Argentina! Your descriptions brought back many memories... Any raw sewage running down the street yet? Hannah thought you were describing Peru.

How's your district? Your zone?  Your mission president? Your companion? Tell us more!

How are your investigators? Any stories from this last week?

I've been busy with work and end of year Relief Society meetings. We attended three wards this week and took turns bearing our testimony of Christ. It was my turn on Thursday. I bore testimony of the Living Christ and the importance of the daily use of the Atonement. Elder Boyd K. Packer taught, “The Atonement is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life.” I know that you will use all of the powers of the Atonement on your mission and throughout your life. A few of those powers are the Cleansing, Healing, Restoring, Identifying, Strengthening, and Transforming power. You will use the strengthening and transforming power the very most on your mission. It is through His grace (strength) that we can become perfect (complete/whole). As you've mentioned in your previous letters, He will make up the difference as you give your perfect effort. 

Dad and I were in the temple Friday evening and I had a few moments to read in the Celestial room. I opened the D&C to section 133 and thought of you as I read verses 57-63... "And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fullness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity- to prepare the weak for those things which are coming on the earth, and for the Lord's errand in the day when the weak shall confound the wise, and the little one become a strong nation, and two shall put their tens of thousands to flight. And by the weak things of the earth the Lord shall thresh the nations by the power of his Spirit. And for this cause these commandments were given; they were commanded to be kept from the world in the day that they were given, but now are to go forth unto all flesh-and this according to the mind and will of the Lord, who ruleth over all flesh. And unto him that repenteth and sanctifieth himself before the Lord shall be given eternal life. And upon them that hearken not to the voice of the Lord shall be fulfilled that which was written by the prophet Moses, that they should be cut off from among the people."

Hermana Lutze, you will reason in plainness and simplicity with those that you teach by His Spirit. The gospel is to prepare us for those things that are coming on the earth. You will have investigators that repent and are sanctified and will receive eternal life and you will have investigators that are cut off because they choose not to listen. Ultimately it is their choice. These verses also apply to members not just non-members. We can choose to listen to and follow the prophet and the apostles and eventually achieve eternal life or we can choose not to listen and obey and we will be cut off. We are seeing this sifting process right now in the church. We can never let go of the iron rod which is the fundamental practices of prayer, scripture study, church and temple attendance. These things are the oil in our lamps so that we will be ready when the Bridegroom comes.

In Emily's class this week we talked about the battle of Jericho and how there were no physical weapons used to bring the walls of Jericho down. The walls were brought down on the seventh day through faith and obedience-spiritual weapons. I liken this to the Sabbath Day and how we bring down the walls of Babylon (the world) through our Sabbath Day observance when we keep the Sabbath day holy through our faith and obedience.

Something to ponder this week... What promises from the Lord are you trusting in? When Emily asked this I thought immediately of my patriarchal blessing. Hermana Lutze what promises are in your blessing that you are trusting in as you serve the Lord? Our actions change depending on the promises that we trust in. If we trust in promises made by the world we are building on the sand but if we trust in the promises made by our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ we are building on the rock. What about the promise on the plaque that I sent with you?

We then read the stories of Achan (Joshua 7:10-15) and Caleb (Joshua 14:7-14.) Achan took the accursed thing while Caleb wholly followed the Lord. As you serve your mission and wholly forsake the world and wholly follow the Lord you will gain great power! 1 John 2: 15-17 emphasizes this teaching.

The last thought I want to share is on the sacrament and this scripture in Joshua 24:22, "And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses." 

Elder Tad R. Callister taught, “During the sacrament we become witnesses against ourselves.” He continues, “The sacrament is a time to meaningfully reflect upon the life of the Savior, to examine and match our own life against his perfect example, and then to resolve to narrow the gap” (p. 292)
In his book, Elder Callister likens the Sacrament to a weekly memorial service. The Sacrament table is also an altar where the bread is broken, or cut; where we make a covenant, and lay down our sacrifice to the Lord. He quotes Brigham Young who said, “Is this custom [the sacrament] necessary? Yes; because we are so liable to forget” (pg. 286). Wasn’t that the downfall of the Israelites? Those “dummies” would always forget, even after seeing so many miracles! I can be dumb like that too."
So, if we are truly spiritual beings, but we feed only on temporal porridge, our soul is starving toward spiritual death. The true feast only comes at the sacrament table, our personal altar of sacrifice.
Elder Callister says, “Some come to the banquet table each week with pitchers, ready to catch and drink every drop of eternal life that is offered. Others come with cups—and still others with yet smaller receptacles”
We are charged to choose the gospel of obedience, staying free from sin at all times. We are also charged to serve, to be compassionate, to remember, and to represent Jesus Christ always (Mosiah 18: 9-10). What an absolute privilege! For us, the great sacrifice is the world. We must sacrifice the things of the world (as well as the god of the world), in order to choose Father, remember Christ, and be redeemed. Our step-by-step guide is to repent, pray, and listen to the Holy Ghost, who testifies of the only way, the truth, and the light. Jesus Christ sacrificed His will to do the will of His father and we must too.

I love you Hermana Lutze!



P. S. Are you allowed to help people anonymously with money, etc. during the Christmas season? The family wants to send money to you and Kyle to help in your areas instead of Christmas gifts this year.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 7 (Spiders and Dogs Anyone?)

Dearest Family, 

Well, to say the least, this week has been really HARD. I feel home sick a lot and at times scared when I am around certain people. The weather is HOT here! It is like Utah summer weather in November! Hopefully, I will be in Durango for the summer. It is much cooler.

I live in a cute little house with my Hermana. However, it is so infested with spiders! Everywhere! Dead and alive. But, today we cleaned our house so it is much better now. I should have taken a picture to show you how big some of the spiders were!! Anyways, I survived the spiders. On another note, you can't flush the toilet paper here so you have to throw it away, kind of gross. And, we wash everything by hand which takes forever.

We have a pretty big area to cover. It takes at least an hour to walk from one end to the other. Our area is comprised of eight colonies and too many dogs to count. I have never seen so many dogs in my life! They just run around free. So, my dear siblings, if you want a dog, just come to Mexico and you can find any dog you want.:) The houses here are the tiniest things. They are all cookie-cutter houses like back home with the exception of no yard and the water is on top of the house. Each home is made of cement with only two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and living area. The people are so poor they barely have furniture and food and yet they have their TVs with Dish. Of course!! Why not!!? It is the strangest thing! These houses are the saddest things I have ever seen. Don't get me wrong, there are some nice houses too, but most of the them are dirty, run-down, and falling apart. However, even though they have so little, it amazes me how much they are willing to share with each other.

There are soccer/basketball courts everywhere! I wish we had these in the US! They would be so awesome! I will have to take a picture. There are always children playing outside and these tiny kids go to bed later than I do! It is so very different here from the US.

Let's see, oh I rode in my first taxi on my first day here. We also ride the bus. That is an adventure! The bus drives around and all you have to do is wave, it stops, you hop on, and then it keeps going! It's like the fairy godmother of transportation! Then, since the roads are terrible, it is the bumpiest ride ever and you have to hold on for dear life! When you see where you want to get off you stand up and they stop for you! It is so nice!

Another interesting thing... I get kissed and hugged a lot! That is basically how they greet and say goodbye here so yah ..... lots of love and kissing. Don't worry, I've got the motion down pat now ;).

As for the actual missionary work, I think it has been going pretty well. Each day we try to contact 30 people. We got 7 of our investigators to come to church with us!! I think most of them will be baptized. My Spanish is getting better. It is so hard to understand what they are saying though. Poco a Poco!

Today, I was reading in Jacob 5 about the olive trees. I found it interesting that the master planted some of his good branches in poor plots of ground. This wasn't so they would die; it was to help them grow and become strengthened. It was to help them bring forth good fruit. I am in the desert, Hopefully I can thrive and bring forth good fruit because these are the last days and we need to be prepared and strengthened! I liked what mom said about the in between moments. Everyone knows about the beginning and the end but no one talks about the middle-the actual journey. The middle moment or the journey is the part that is the hardest.  That is where the stretching and growing takes place .The middle is where we show our strength! The middle is where we find out what we are made of. Will we thrive or will we crumble? That all depends on us and how we depend on the Lord.

Love you all! I hope you are all safe and well!


Hermana Lutze

Everyone I am sorry I didn't respond to your emails. I don't have time. I need to go to a meeting.

My New Address:

Hermana Rachael Lutze
Mision Mexico Torreon
Calle Ernesto Bredee #301
Col. Ampliacion Los Angeles
C.P. 27140 Torreon Coahuila

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week 7

Dear Hermana Lutze,

We pray that all is well with you in your first area of Gomez Palacio and with your new companion Hermana Rubina. We'd love to hear more about your area and your companion?!!! What is your new address? I have people asking. While I'm asking questions... Did they reimburse you for the money you paid for your luggage? Monica Wood-How much does she owe you for the text book? I heard from her via your phone just as you left and haven't heard anything else. I want to touch base with her again.

We missed you during our Thanksgiving festivities. The kids and I went to Heber on Wednesday and spent time with Papa, Stephanie, Marissa, and the little kids. We watched two chick flicks in honor of Grandma and enjoyed the beautiful snow falling outside. We drove back to Lehi on Thanksgiving morning to celebrate with the Russells and Fuhrimans. We ate all the usual turkey, stuffing, potatoes, jello salad, rolls. We ended up with 15 pies and 23 people. Sonia made a key lime pie and it was the favorite. We've met Karen's fiance Joseph. He seems really nice and fits in well with the family. Michelle and Jon stayed in Cleveland but will be out for Christmas. Friday we went to see The Hunger Games (Hannah put it on the list for you :) and then to the Church History Museum. They've redone the exhibit. I was so impressed and wanted to spend more time reading ... We saw the clothes that Hyrum Smith was in when he was murdered plus many other artifacts. That's what I enjoyed the most. We'll have to go when you return home. We then walked Temple Square and enjoyed the lights. IT was COLD! 

Hermana Lutze spend some time this coming week pondering Joshua 1:5-9. The Lord tells Joshua three times to be strong and of a good courage. What is 'good' courage? I felt this on my mission. I knew as I was exactly obedient that I could count on the Lord. He would not fail me nor forsake me. He was with me wherever I went. This didn't mean that it wasn't hard but I had confidence that He was there to strengthen me!

Joshua 3:2-8, 17 This is a story about a middle moment. Middle moments (wilderness moments) are those hard times between the beginning and the end. (We don't always see middle moments in the scriptures)

A few things we can learn...

1 v. 3 They made the decision and went. v.4 We must be in the right place to start-meaning to know the way through the guidance we receive in the temple, from the prophet and apostles, from the Lord
2 v. 5 Sanctify or set apart (meaning give your all-the PERFECT EFFORT you were talking about)
3 v. 5 Tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you... learn to wait in the Lord's way for those wonders to occur (like a waiter in a restaurant-they wait on others and SERVE them while waiting) vs eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die (not serving and thinking only of themselves)
4 v. 7 Prepare us prior to magnifying us (The Lord has been preparing you for your mission. This comes before He magnifies us)
5 v. 8 We must stand still in these middle moments(When we stand still then we can be taught what the Lord wants to teach us.)

v. 17 Stood FIRM on dry ground... This is right after the water receded... We too can stand firm on dry ground when our foundation is on the Rock of our Redeemer

Joshua 4:3-7

I love this story about the 12 stones. The Lord had the children of Israel do this for a sign among them so that when their children in the future saw the stones (large stones carried on their shoulders) they would be able to tell their children of how they crossed the river Jordan on dry ground.

What are your 12 stones this year when you have seen the hand of the Lord? What will you tell your children about those stones?

Hermana Lutze, we can do hard things and Christ will come again. How will you do things differently today because of this knowledge?

The Lord is aware of you and He knows your possibilities.

I love you and pray for your growth and success!