Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

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!



Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 6 (Adios CCM y Hola Torreon)

Hi Mom, family, and the rest of the world,

So I did not even go to bed Sunday night and arrived at the reception area by 2 am. We boarded the bus at 2:30 and headed for the airport. We got our tickets (which took forever) and then walked to our terminal. We waited less than 40 minutes, boarded the plane, and flew away. I slept most of the way on the plane. I did wake up just before we landed. It was so weird to see Torreon for the first time! It is much drier than Utah! There are lots of cool mountains but literally NOTHING grows on them. I don't know how people even live here? We found our suitcases and drove to the mission office. That is where I am right now. So we will see how this goes. I found out that my first area will be Gomez Palacio and my first companion will be Hermana Rubina. I will email you later once more has actually occurred.

Love you all! I heard you got my special surprise on Sunday!


Hermana Lutze

P. S. I already miss my district from the CCM.

Well, I have officially left the bubble of the CCM! It is weird. I don't know how to interact with the wild animals anymore! ;) Now my P-days will be on Monday like normal people. We had an AWESOME fiesta on Saturday night and a great goodbye on Sunday night. Of course lots of crying was involved. And then I left my district for the great unknown. I have met my new companion, Hermana Rubina and I have been to my new house which is actually kind of cool. I will take pictures and email them to you next week. 

I can already tell that I am going to have to rely on the Lord much more if I am going to make it. On Sunday we talked about how when we humble ourselves we are not weak but strong. We are turning our lives over to God and letting him do His will in our lives! It is extremely hard, but great power can come from it. I am going to have to work on that. I'm going to need it here.

I'm glad you all got my notes and gifts and that they surprised you! Hopefully that tides you over until Christmas! I love you all so much! I wish I could hug you!


Hermana Lutze

District 6 C

We're on our way!

Our Zone Elders!

Sister Call with the Lutzes in Lehi

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 6

Hermana Lutze,

We love you and we're praying for your success multiple times each day. Think of this when times get hard. I know you CAN do this and you will be a very effective missionary. (I know from personal experience that Satan works hardest on you before great things are about to happen. He wants you to fall so they won't happen.) You're about to enter another difficult period of a mission-transitioning from the CCM to the mission field. There's a fear of the unknown. I remember being frustrated, scared, and lonely but ultimately I felt the love of my Savior and His encouragement that I could do it. Once again Emily taught a great lesson on Tuesday. She's been visiting various colleges with Garrett Bolles and noticing some of their mission statements - Embrace the Grind, Finish the Drill, Win the Day Take care of each other. We then looked for a few mission statements or meaningful phrases in Deuteronomy on ways that we rise up and move forward. 

  • Stand Thou Here by Me Deuteronomy 5:31-33 (think of this in relation to the answer you received in serving a mission)
  • Ye were the Fewest and Ye were Chosen Deuteronomy 7:6-9 (This is speaking of you. We are chosen because we are the fewest and He will make us the mightiest if we rely on Him)
  • Rejoice in every good thing Deuteronomy 26:11 and 28:1-14 (Look at these great blessings)
  • Be strong and of good courage Deuteronomy 1:38, 3:28, 31:3 and 6-8, 31:14, 31:23 (Mantle changing from Moses to Joshua-You are now going out to replace a missionary in Torreon and the mantle will be on you to do the work. You've been set apart for this. The Lord is pleased with your efforts and so you should be as well.)
  • Let it suffice thee Deuteronomy 3:24-29, 31:2-3 and 34:1-12
  • God's will for us is good always Deuteronomy 10:12
  • Take your journey Deuteronomy 2:3-7 and 13, 24 (v. 3 change the words to Ye have compassed the CCM long enough... It's time to move forward even though you don't feel ready. This allows the Lord to show you His power and to put your trust in Him.)
  • Especially the Day Deuteronomy 4:9-12 and 20 (Remember what you are doing now will affect your children some day)
  • The Great Things Deuteronomy 4:32-35 and 39 and 1 Nephi 18:3 (The Lord has shown Moses and Nephi and their people great things... What great things does He have to show you?)
  • These Words Shall Be in Your Heart Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and 11:13-21 (When we have His words always in our hearts only then can our hearts remain soft and not become hardened)
We had an incredible presidency meeting on Tuesday. The Spirit was so strong and I was so grateful that we were being guided. You could feel it! And we just met with President Lyman. It was incredible to see how he brought up the very paragraph in Handbook 1 that we talked about in our Presidency meeting. I love knowing that our Presidency is receiving the same inspiration that he is receiving. It shows that we are on the correct path that Heavenly Father would like us to pursue as a Presidency. 

I've spent most of my week in Simulation and learning how to be a facilitator. I really enjoyed the three day class. We had our work party last night... cute pictures of you on the screen. :) 

Hannah really likes her Senior pictures. They turned out cute. I hope she finishes her college applications today.

Natalie is still working on all her music and actually spending a little time with friends. Please pray for her that she will soften her heart in regards to Personal Progress. This is still a constant battle. :(

Jakob enjoyed his camp out last night but he got really cold.

We love you! We know you have the strength and courage within you to do this! I know there are certain investigators waiting for you and what you can share with them.



P. S. We had Christmas today!!!! Sister Call gave us your gifts and we love them. I will cherish most the letter from you. (At first I didn't think I had a letter and I was so sad, but then Natalie found it.) Please learn from my mistakes. I've really tried hard not to be that way in the last few years but I'm still working on it and have relapses every once in awhile. I, too, enjoyed our time together in the temples. We'll definitely have to find more time to spend together when you return. If Hannah decides to serve a mission then it would be fun to take another trip like that with her. Should we include Dad as well? :) I'm proud of your hard work to pay for your mission. You are truly amazing!!! And yes you are smart, beautiful, funny, happy, kind, etc... Sometimes we have a hard time seeing ourselves... This is because we are too busy comparing ourselves to others and looking at what we lack instead of remembering what we are and can become! Sister Call couldn't stop talking about how incredible you are and what a great missionary you will be! She kept commenting on the light you carry with you. I know this too be true. You radiate light Rachael and those you meet will notice it! They will recognize that there is something different about you and because of that they will be drawn to find out what you have that gives you that light.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Week 5 (A Momentary Missionary Meltdown)

This week was a little crazy and bumpy.

Wednesday: If you remember we found out that Hermana Smith (name changed) would be leaving. Everyone was very sad. After receiving this news, we left for dinner and stopped to talk to someone. Meanwhile, the Elders shut the door and turned off the lights. We happened to turn around, looked inside the room, and saw the Elders kneeling in a circle and praying. We immediately teared up when we discovered that the Elders had fasted all day for Hermana Smith. They fasted despite the fact that it was P-Day and had played basketball for three hours. It was the most touching thing I've ever seen a group of Elders do. We all need to be more kind and thoughtful in our lives. Everyone needs help at some point.

Thursday: Hermana Smith left today. She bore her testimony to us for our morning Devotional. The waterworks started all over again! Next, Hermana Knudsen and I were supposed to teach the Book of Mormon class but Hermano Sanchez forgot to tell us! So, we literally prepared a lesson in ten minutes on Alma 34. I encourage you to read and study this chapter because it is amazing! By the end of our lesson almost everyone was crying. I'm not sure if it was just that good or the fact that Hermana Smith was leaving had affected our emotions. Hopefully a mixture of both! :) The time came to say goodbye to Hermana Smith. She said goodbye to the Elders in the classroom and then we walked with her to get her luggage and then to the reception area. There were more tears as she left and we went off to lunch. Everyone at lunch came to give us hugs which made us feel better but then the crying started all over again. My eyes were red all day! That night, Herman Robertson, Knudsen and I taught our first lesson together. It was different and hard to get a good balance, but better than I expected. I'm so grateful that the four of us were all such good friends, so it was easy to bring Hermana Robertson into our companionship. We love her so much!

Friday: A blur...

Saturday: I must have had my memories erased because I don't really remember this day either. However, I do remember we received a letter from Hermana Smith. The reason she went home was related to what she had done with her boyfriend. She told us that she arrived home to find out that he had a new girlfriend. She's finding out all sorts of things about him that she never knew. She almost stayed home and married him! What a close call! It is so important that we really know the true character of whoever we are dating or marrying. It is hard, but essential. A temple sealing is the way that we can one day reach exaltation and who we choose will affect our potential. I believe it was a blessing in disguise that she went home and now knows what kind of person he is. She deserves much better! We are all hopeful that she will come back out and finish her mission!

Sunday: Well, like I've said before, Sundays are always the best! One of the highlights was our district meeting. President and Hermana Harsten came to our meeting with their grandson. (He is here with them because he doesn't want to serve a mission. They are hoping he will see how great it is by being here.) We had an amazing discussion about the Holy Ghost. We talked about how the Sons of Mosiah prayed for only a PORTION of the Spirit and how our PORTION has increased as we have been here! Can you imagine what you could do with the FULLNESS of the Spirit? We also talked about when we look back in our lives we can see the small chains that Satan slowly puts around us to drag us down. It is so essential that we have the spirit with us at all times so that we can see these chains and quickly free ourselves of them.

Monday: We played kickball today. There are only two sports elders and sisters are allowed to play together and this is one of them! We had a blast! The rest of the day was the usual... study, talk, laugh, teach. We did have a cake for Hermana Robertson's birthday!

Tuesday: Pizza day! This is always a joyous time! We love pizza day here at the CCM. Today was my last pizza day and I'm sad.

So, on Monday, I had a bit of a meltdown. I will be honest. A mission is NOT EASY! If anyone has said it is all sunshine and roses they are lying or not doing it right. I was stressed about leaving and teaching. I was doubting myself and my abilities. I know none of it is true but that is how Satan works. He finds the tiniest opening and he takes it! He is after all of us and will do anything in his power to drag us down! He will fill our heads with troubling thoughts, doubts, and negative ideas about ourselves. He knows us. He was our brother. He knows our weaknesses and uses them to bring us down. However, we have power over Satan. The only time he has power is when we give it to him. Otherwise he is powerless. To be honest I'm not a perfect missionary-not in the least. But that is why Heavenly Father sends such young missionaries because we are humble . We are not all knowing or eloquent. But we can bear testimony of what we do know. The simple truths that are engraved in our hearts. We are not here to be perfect but to give a perfect effort and to BECOME PERFECTED through our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement. In the temple, they never expect us to be perfect; they only expect us to be faithful. When we are faithful, we will give a perfect effort. I know that I will not be perfect on my mission, but I can sure give a perfect effort and I know that Christ's grace will make up for the rest. Something else I've realized since I've been here... I am closer to Christ and have therefore begun to see myself through His eyes. Before I came here, I would have very negative thoughts about myself such as, "You are ugly, or fat, or not spiritual enough for a mission or not good enough or smart enough." These thoughts would drag me down and I would try to get rid of them but it was hard. They were like flies that would never leave me alone! As I've been here, I have begun to see more through His eyes (Listen to Prince of Egypt-Heaven's Eyes) I have started to see that I am a beautiful person, I am smart, I am funny. I do have the capacity to be a great missionary and I CAN make a difference here! It is amazing to see the difference in my mental thoughts! I know this is how God sees me! He loves me! We need to look at ourselves not through the eyes of the world but through the eyes of our loving Heavenly Father!

I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful week! Give your PERFECT effort!


Hermana Lutze

Studying at the CCM

Doodling in the CCM

Hermanas Knudsen, Robertson, and Lutze

Happy Birthday Hermana Robertson

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 5

Dear Hermana Lutze,

I cannot believe you've been out a month already and by the time you receive this... 5 weeks. One more week and you'll be leaving the CCM. Do you have your travel plans yet? Make sure you pack well like we did last time splitting items up between your luggage and keeping your shoes with you. Please remember to be careful in the airports-keep everything right with you. We'll be anxiously waiting to hear from you and know of your safe arrival in Torreon!

Besides work this week I made it to Emily's class, the temple, and two Relief Society meetings (Lehi 26th and Lehi 43rd Wards). Hannah is working on her college applications, Natalie and Jakob are busy with their various activities. Natalie sang in the choir concert tonight at the Junior High. She also got a 22 out of 25 on the pre PLAN test they now give in 9th grade. Wow! Jakob finished up his Animation MB yesterday and is one requirement away for his Communications MB. He's working on about 6 others right now. 

I've sent two articles ahead that I really like. The first one is "The Purifying Power of the Atonement" given by Bruce R. McConkie. This was his last talk and testimony of Christ in General Conference. He passed away just a couple of weeks later. I kept this talk with me on my mission. The other talk was given by F. Enzio Busche of the Seventy and is entitled "Unleashing the Dormant Spirit." I thought you would like it since you are already discovering the companionship of the spirit is the key to missionary success. Elder Busche was part of Hitler's Youth Program and eventually converted to the gospel.

Speaking of missionary success our RS lesson today was on missionary work. I was really touched by this lesson because President Benson signed my missionary papers.Truly the world is hungry for the truth but they don't know where to find it. This reminds me of the scripture in 2 Timothy 3:7 "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." As a missionary you are to help them find this truth. President Benson said, "The gospel is the only answer to the problems of the world, my brethren and sisters. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unit men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family." He goes on to say that "... the Book of Mormon is the greatest tool which God has given us to convert the world. If we are to have the harvest of souls, we must use the instrument which God has designed for the task-the Book of Mormon. We need missionaries who have a burning testimony of its divinity, and who by the Spirit can challenge their investigators to read and ponder its pages, knowing with complete assurance that the Lord will manifest the truth of it to them by the power of the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon is the great standard we are to use in our missionary work. It shows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, it contains the words of Christ, and its great mission is to bring men to Christ. All other things are secondary. The golden question of the Book of Mormon is "Do you want to learn more of Christ?" The Book of Mormon is the great finder of the golden contact. It does not contain things which are "pleasing unto the world, " and so the worldly are not interested in it. It is a great sieve." He ends with listing 4 requirements to be successful in missionary work-obtain the Spirit (which you talked about in your last letter), acquire humility, love the people, and work diligently. "One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people, and he will be happy.... work, work, work-there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work."

In Emily's class this week we talked about our own wilderness or middle moments when we sometimes wonder if the Lord is there. If He's helping us? (Remember these are the times when He is carrying us.) We talked about the importance of continuing to do the small things while we are waiting for the help or answers that we need. The small things are the oil in our lamps. Remember David... He was sent the lion and the bear first in order to prepare for the Goliath that would come. We must also allow the Lord to lead us into places we don't understand. We must fight our own lions and bears in order to be ready for our Goliaths. Do we move forward in life with courage or fear?

While I was in the temple this week, I was reading in Deuteronomy and came across this scripture that I love now... "And now, Israel, (Hermana Lutze) what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in ALL his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart and with ALL thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statues, which I command thee this day for thy good." Deuteronomy 10:12 Everything He does and desires for us is for our good. We just often have a difficult time seeing it that way.

Finally, at the Lehi 43rd RS evening I was especially touched by the speaker. She talked about Christ and finding joy in this life. She spoke of doing three things each day-Tell yourself positive affirmations, Ask yourself "What went well?" and Mindfulness-examples, stop to smell a rose, really think about how a hug feels, etc. These are all ways we can stay positive even when things get hard.

I love you and I am so happy you made the decision to serve a mission!



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 4 (The POWER of the ATONEMENT)

So this week has been just as good as the rest! I have learned more about the gospel, Spanish, and myself. It is amazing that I have only been here one month and have already learned and changed so much!

FRIDAY: We just studied and taught and spoke Spanish like good little missionaries. I spent the entire day with my best friends! It is amazing that my district can be so close when we have only known each other for about one month! I wish that people could always get along like this. The world would  be so much happier if we could just love each other and accept each other for who we are! This is what I feel Heaven would be like! Everyone would love everyone, no one would feel left out or sad, everyone would have a friend to talk to and everyone could be themselves!

SATURDAY: This day was awesome! We played games as we studied Spanish! We had a competition and whoever won the round picked the punishment for the other team! It was Hermanas vs. Elders, so obviously the Hermanas won. We made the Elders do clapping push-ups! Then we made them run to a far away tree and back. That was HILARIOUS in their suits! Later in the day we played Pato, Pato, Ganso (Duck, Duck, Goose). It was really hard to stand up and run in a skirt, but worth it to watch the very competitive Elders hold on to each other in order to get to the spot first! We have the most fun out of everyone here at the CCM and yet learn so much! We taught volunteers again in TRC. There were not enough people so we actually 'skyped' someone. The rest of the day was normal studying, planning, and teaching.

SUNDAY: Sundays at the CCM are the absolute best! We learn so much and feel so spiritually uplifted! In Relief Society, we watched the #BecauseHeLives video. I love this video because it increases my love for the Savior and everything He did for me! We then talked more about Christ and I loved it. It really strengthened my testimony! My love has grown for Him, more than I ever thought possible. Then we had what would be similar to Sunday School. We talked about repentance and how if we need to repent of anything, we should feel comfortable enough to go to the mission president and confess. Later in the evening we attended a class with President Tenario (CCM President). He taught on the topic of specific prayer. His lesson made me think about my prayers. I need to be more specific in what I am grateful for and what I need in my life. That way I am pondering in my life what I need, or what needs to change. Also, by having specific prayers, we will be able to recognize the hand of the Lord more often and more easily in our life. I really liked his lesson and I am trying to apply it to my life and come closer to my Heavenly Father. After dinner we watched the movie "The Testaments." It was a great movie! It showed parts of the life of the Savior and His coming, but all from the Nephite point of view! It was way cool because I had never seen it from their point of view. After the movie we played Scripture Roulette. I found so many new scriptures that I was not familiar with!

MONDAY: So the day was going along as usual la, la, la.... studying....reading....Spanish. Eventually we got to our additional study time. Hermano Sanchez was meeting one on one with members of our district. I was about to begin my own study when I received the biggest and clearest impression I've ever felt in my life. It was strange! Someone was literally speaking to me in the room. I was prompted to go to Elder Jenkins and help him with his Spanish. At first I was unsure; I didn't know if he was going to reject my help because he is stubborn. But, I took courage and went over and asked him if he would let me help him memorize the Baptismal Question. He said, "Yes!" and we worked on it for the next half hour. By the end of the time he had the whole thing memorized in Spanish! Hermano Sanchez tested him on it and he said it perfectly again! Hermano Sanchez hugged him; he was so happy! Hermano Sanchez then came and talked to me and thanked me for helping him. He had tried to help him earlier and it hadn't worked, so I guess I really got through to him. I was so grateful I listened to the Spirit and acted on it. (Thanks Uncle John! :)) I am hoping that Elder Jenkins will continue to accept my help to improve his Spanish. He is struggling to understand the language and it makes him depressed when he doesn't get it.

TUESDAY: Normal day of studying and reading. We did attend an evening devotional, after which we were supposed to return to our room for a discussion. However, the Elders had the opportunity to give their first blessing to Elder Davey. Then, Hermana Smith (name changed) started crying and asked to also have a blessing. It is amazing to me that these 18 year old boys can stand there and be worthy of their priesthood and give such incredible blessings. They literally spoke by the power of God. The Spirit was so strong! It was an incredible experience. Hermana Smith said she had been meeting with the President regarding some sins she needed to confess. She related to us how she felt so clean now but that she might be sent home. This brought us in to a big testimony meeting on the Atonement. I can't say everything that was said nor explain how powerful the Spirit was in that room, but let me just say that I know that the Atonement is real. I know that it changes lives. I know that through the Atonement we can be forgiven of ANYTHING. It may take some time and effort, but our sins can be forgiven and Heavenly Father remembers them no more. It is amazing that we can be forgiven and feel such great peace again!

That night we went home and talked more about the Atonement and its power. 2 Nephi 9 is an amazing chapter about Christ's INFINITE ATONEMENT. I hope you will each study this chapter. Come to know, not believe, but know that through the Atonement we can be clean again. Through the Atonement we can change and be better. Through the Atonement we can find comfort and know that our Savior has experienced it all. He knows EXACTLY what we are feeling. We just need to have the strength and courage to COME unto CHRIST. His arms are open, but we are the ones that have to take the steps to come unto Him and be healed by His love, grace, and Atonement. Please don't wait to repent. We don't have to carry that huge weight upon our shoulders. It has already been carried and paid for. So come unto Christ and repent be healed in His loving arms. No sin is too big and there is no point of no return. We can ALWAYS come back. I know I am never perfect but every time I use the Atonement I come a little closer to becoming like Him and becoming perfected through Him.

I love you all! I hope you are having an amazing week! I hope you are all striving to BECOME and are FAILING FORWARD!


Hermana Lutze

P.S. So today we found if Hermana Smith can stay. The First Presidency received her case and made their decision. President Call informed us that she has to go home. There were lots of tears. Everyone is sad she has to go. She would have been a great missionary. Hopefully, she will come back out.

But this is why it is important to get EVERYTHING resolved before the mission. No matter how embarrassing! You will feel so free when you do. God loves you, but He needs WORTHY missionaries. The best thing you can be is a worthy missionary because only then can you preach with the Spirit and with POWER.


Elders Casey and McLaughlin

Hermanas Olsen Lutze and Robertson

Hermanas Shumway Lutze and Briggs

Hermanas Robertson, Peterson, Lutze, and Knudsen

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Week 4

Hermana Lutze,

I cannot believe you've been gone a month already. It probably seems fast to you and yet at the same time forever... I remember having those feelings! :) I hope you received the previous letters that I sent by e-mail and the attachments. They should have been delivered on Monday. We enjoyed your e-mail as usual. Have you figured out what's wrong with your camera or the computer? I hope you haven't been suffering from diarrhea. Remember it's one Cipro and one twelve hours later at the first sign of diarrhea and then take the Immodium. :) I'm so glad you liked the donuts. They looked delicious! I love how creative your district is in finding fun along the way... homemade balls out of paper and tape, Pringle lid Frisbees... Awesome! 

I enjoyed your comments about being Called to SERVE not just to teach, preach, etc. This is so true! You will discover, as you already have a little bit, that as you serve those you are teaching you truly learn to love them and to see them as Heavenly Father sees them. The Fail Forward or Becoming was also great to read about. Even if we are baby stepping in the right direction we're still moving, still trying and Heavenly Father and His Son are pleased with us. And yes you will want to be someone different, better when you come home, otherwise the time on your mission was not well spent. Emily read a scripture in her class this week that's been on my mind ... John 6:67-69. This occurred after some followers of Christ upon hearing Christ speak of the sacrament and His ascension quit following after Him. "Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to who shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." Rachael we must not only believe but then we must act and then we become sure. Serving a mission is action and a way to "be sure." We will all need this kind of testimony in these last days to "stand" like I talked about in my last e-mail. 

Brother Carroll in his gospel doctrine class today mentioned the importance of music in bearing our testimony to others. In Colossians 3:16 we read, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." As you know, music is a powerful way for us to convey our feelings to others and for them to feel the Spirit. Always recognize the power of music on your mission.

Elder Craig B. Terry of the Seventy came to our Sacrament Meeting today (perk for living in Utah and yes they are just jealous) and bore testimony of keeping the Sabbath Day holy. He talked about how the twelve had been attending the temple for months before the April General Conference to know the will of Heavenly Father and His Son... keeping the Sabbath Day holy came from that. As Elder Terry spoke about the Sabbath Day he also talked about the importance of the sacrament. He said this is the only ordinance in the church that we are able to do more than once for ourselves... weekly right and then I thought it is also the only ordinance in the church that we never do for someone that is dead. Thinking of the Sacrament in this way really makes it personal and so very important. I know you've heard me talk about this before... I truly missed partaking of the Sacrament when I worked on Sundays and it was such a blessing when it became available to us. I cherish the sacrament and have been thinking of Neill F. Marriot's talk, "Yielding Our Hearts to God." She said, "During the sacrament, which I call the heart of the Sabbath, I have found that after I pray for forgiveness of sins, it is instructive for me to ask Heavenly Father, "Father, is there more?" When we are yielded and still, our minds can be directed to something more we may need to change-something that is limiting our capacity to receive spiritual guidance or even healing and help." I hope you will use the Sacrament on your mission as a time to help you "Become" what Heavenly Father knows you can become.

Hannah's soccer banquet was on Wednesday and very enjoyable and short! :) She finds out her last ACT score on Tuesday. I'm praying that she improved it. I spent time with Papa at his house this weekend. He really enjoys your letters and told me that you call him your Platinum Papa. :)

We love you and believe in you and know that you are about a great work like Nehemiah. Do you  remember his story in the Old Testament? He was sent to rebuild the walls and gates around Jerusalem and there were three in particular that made fun of him "...they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do?" Nehemiah responded, "The God of heaven he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build." Then in 6:1 we read, "Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein... That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. And I sent messenger unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down; why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. Unlike Lehonti in the Book of Mormon (Alma 47) who did come down eventually Nehemiah never did come down and kept working. These are the stories I thought of as I read what you wrote about not changing the way you are to please other people!

I love you!


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 3 (Called to SERVE)

Dear family and friends,

I can't believe another week has gone by already!! It feels like just yesterday that I was emailing!

Here are the events of this week's adventure:

It was just a normal day of studying, eating food, laughing, etc. Nothing exciting happened that day. We came, we ate, we left. That's our lot in life, it's not much, but it's our life! ;)
Apparently the "squirts" (aka diarrhea) have been going around our district. Those poor people!! But I almost feel more sorry for their companions!! They are the ones who have to accompany them to the bathroom every 15 minutes!! I have to say that it's different having someone attached to me 24/7. Someone that has to go where I go. Sometimes it feels weird dragging them to the bathroom when they don't have to go or you forget something and they have to go all the way back with you!!

On this day I received a special surprise from my family-a dozen donuts and they were all Halloween donuts!! They were so cute!! It made my entire day!! And they were sooooo delicious!! My mother knows me well because she sent my favorite donuts! I also received the email with their birthday wishes!! I love that and read it often :). This totally made me cry though. It is like an emotional roller coaster here!
My Birthday!! Although, I will be honest, it wasn't my best birthday because it was the exact same as every other day and nothing happened. My Hermana did by me a Twix for my birthday which was so nice!  Also, today, for the first time, we had something called TRC. I have NO idea what it stands for. However, it is where they have volunteers come in and we talk to them, get to know them and essentially try to uplift and strengthen them. It was odd because we had no idea what we were doing.
Hermano Sanchez, my teacher, was telling us how excited he was to go 'trick or treating' tonight!! I was so jealous!! They totally let adults dress up and go 'trick or treating' here!! The US really needs to adopt this policy!! I want to go 'trick or treating' until I'm 102! I love Halloween! Oh and because they have Dia de los Muertos here, they 'trick or treat' for three days straight!! So awesome! Again, adoption of this policy is REQUIRED! It would be the best thing ever!!

By the way, I met David Archuleta's sister here. We are now friends and I am "totally" famous  by association;). Actually it was sooooo funny to hear all the Latinos go crazy over her!! All you can here is "Hermana Archuleta? Es la verdad?!"and little squeals. So stinking funny! The Latinos are so enthusiastic :). 

Now for the part that probably stunk the most on my birthday. The next day was fast Sunday, so we didn't get dinner or breakfast. So.....no birthday dinner for me. But maybe that was a good thing after all the donuts I ate.
Sundays are always awesome here!! We have wonderful lessons and devotionals!! It would take way too long for me to write everything I've learned. We watched an old devotional of Elder Holland speaking. Needless to say......it was awesome!! So inspiring! One thing I learned that I love was that we are Called to SERVE. I am not called to teach, or talk, or even share the gospel. I am here to serve the people in whatever aspect that may be. Hopefully, that does include teaching them the gospel because that is what I have been doing 24/7 for the past 3 weeks, but no matter what, we are here to SERVE.
 Monday Tuesday and Wednesday
All were essentially the same. We studied and goofed off. My district has been struggling  to actually study during study time this week. We definitely need to be better because we are not here for just our own conversion, but we are here for our future investigators. It is not fair to them if we are not as prepared as we possibly can be. So we need to be better. Part of the distraction is that we made a ball out of tape and paper and we play pig and horse in class. We try to study and quiz as we do it. I am actually pretty good at this game. Thank you cousins who played basketball with me!;) Also, we somehow found out that the lids to Pringle cans can be used as frisbees!! There you go world, boredom is now cured forever!! Pringle lids are so much fun to fling around the classroom. 
We went to immigration to finalize our Visas. It was fun driving through this crazy city! On the way home we took the scenic route!! It was so awesome!! So many amazing, beautiful old buildings!! I loved it!! Hopefully, you will get the picture I sent. (Rachael's camera wouldn't upload this week.) It was funny because all of us were stared at......a lot. We stick out like sore thumbs here.

Something I learned this week that is very important in life is....FAIL FORWARD. We need to be always trying to do our best, and if we fail, oh well, at least we were trying to move forward!! That is something very important here at the CCM. We are not perfect at Spanish or teaching or the gospel for that matter!! However, if we don't at least try to do our best, we will never grow. Don't be so afraid of perfection that you never grow. There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone. It is very uncomfortable to be growing so fast. However the feeling of success in the end is so worth it!! As I was thinking of 'Fail Forward' and 'Becoming', I realized that I don't want to come home the same or to the same life. At first I wanted my life to just go on pause while I left, but now I want to return home changed, refined, better than I was before. I want to return and start a life that was even better than the one before the mission!! I know I can do that as I continue to grow. But if I come back the same, what a waste of valuable time and effort. If I come back the same I would not have strengthened my relationship with God which would be disappointing for Him and for me.

So while I've been here, people tease the people from Utah. They think we are 'Molly Mormons', that we have never experienced real life, just live in our bubble, and nothing bad happens. They think in some ways that we are less and that our testimony must not be as strong. It is very annoying and even hurts that they think that. They make fun of the things we are not familiar with and the fact that I don't say bad words. At first I was sad but as I talked to Hermano Sanchez, he helped me come to some huge realizations. First, so what if I am from Utah! We all go through hard things and we all have lessons to learn! Second, I would never change the way I act or speak just to please others or be funny to fit in. Third, I would not trade my wonderful relationship that I have created with God and Jesus Christ for anything!! They are so much more important than anything anyone can say to me. Fourth, these people are probably just saying those things because they are jealous of what I have. Hermano Sanchez says there are three things a missionary needs to be successful. First, know the language (check, well enough), second, well prepared lessons and third, a good knowledge and love of the gospel. He said I am doing wonderful on all of them! He said I have no reason to be sad at this and to just focus on the eternal perspective. Others can say what they want but I will not change who I am and can become just to please them.

I love you all!! I love receiving all your emails!!


Hermana Lutze

P.S. It is really cloudy here with some sunny days. It is always in the 60s or 70s. Loving it! :)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

Halloween Cookies

Birthday "Halloween" Donuts

Hermanas Peterson, Robertson, and Knudsen

El Comedor

I found the last remaining Blockbuster on the planet!

Hermana Peterson and Robertson with Hermana Knudsen and Lutze

Katniss from The Hunger Games

Or is this Katniss Everdeen?

These are all pictures from our trip to the immigration office!