Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week 42

Querida Hermana Lutze,

We were glad to find out that you were OK last week. I finally sent an e-mail to the office on Tuesday and they responded within the hour that they had heard from your companion's parents on Monday and so they investigated as to why you had not written and found out the internet cafe where you send your e-mails had no service? 

Ian Hullinger spoke today in church. I can't believe he's already done with two years. Stephanie was here last week. I spent Thursday and Friday up at the house. Thursday we took the kids to the Train. Hannah and Jakob were with me. Dad and Natalie came up that night and we had Smores. Then Hannah went back with Dad and the other two stayed. We went bowling on Friday and out to eat at Kneaders. I beat N and J at bowling by one pin. Papa seems really lonely right now. Other than that the week was full of soccer practice, piano and guitar lessons, volunteering, and work. Hannah finished her last shift at MBK today. She's relieved to only have one job to keep track of at this point. They are all at a Stake Fireside currently where the wives of the Stake Presidency are speaking to the youth. The Weights are coming up today and will be here the entire week. We have a lot planned. We'll see what we actually do. ;) 

My thought for the week is from Elder Holland in relation to 1 Nephi 4: 10-13. I still remember to this day an investigator and his family that were completely stuck on the fact that Nephi killed Laban. This is what Elder Holland had to say on the topic:

"But there it is, squarely on page eight, where even the most casual reader will see it-and must deal with it. It is not intended that either Nephi or we be spared the struggle of this account. I believe this story was placed in the very opening verses of a 531 page book and then told in painfully specific detail in order to focus every reader of that record on the absolutely fundamental gospel issue of obedience and submission to the communicated will of the Lord. If Nephi cannot yield to this terribly painful command, if he cannot bring himself to obey, then it is entirely probable that he can never succeed or survive in the tasks that lie ahead." On Earth as it is in Heaven p. 129

I had never thought of it in this way! 

I love you!


P. S. Did Hermana Montoya receive her package yet? Have you heard?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 41

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Hola!!! Another week of pure craziness... 

Hannah's in crazy work mode right now until August 1st when she quits at MKB. We've found her a few more things for her apartment and she got together with Sharee to make some plans.  She also spent time with her old soccer team and most are attending BYU so they are already planning an intramural team. :) 

Natalie went to girls' camp and loved it as much as she loves church activities. She was set apart as the Mia Maid class president last Sunday. Ruth has been in town and so they've spent a lot of time together. She went with her to see the Mormon Tabernacle Pioneer Day Concert on Friday. 

Jakob is busy with lots and lots of soccer. He's starting to get in better shape. He went to the temple all by himself on Friday. I dropped him off and he called me when he was done. I was so proud of him. I hope to have him and Natalie go once a week during the school year. 

I, of course, worked this week. We went up as a Presidency to Girls' Camp and visited with the leaders and the girls. Dad and I attended the temple on Thursday. I worked in the yard most of Saturday. Dad painted the family room yesterday. The room looks so much better! Stephanie came in town last night and is staying through next Saturday. We'll go up later in the week to spend time with her and the two youngest kids. The older kids are at home working. Brent Amy and kids will be out next Monday! Like I said a crazy busy summer. School starts two weeks after the Weights leave!!!!

I've planned a little trip with Papa to the Grand Canyon in September and Dad and I are meeting up with Brent and Amy in Cedar City for the Shakespeare Festival in October. Although we're not seeing any Shakespeare plays?!  We got the last available seats together for one of the shows. :)

I've been thinking about your last e-mail and the need to change, to become and I was reading in Alma 34:34-35 "...that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world" meaning we must have a a spirit that has been changed in this life through our faith, patience, and diligence (Alma 32:41) with ourselves and others... Ultimately this is what it means to endure to the end... we must make sure our spirit is where it needs to be by the time we die. We are chosen meaning we obtain eternal life because of our faith (1 Nephi 1:20) "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." Why faith? It is the first principle of the gospel and the power by which everything is done. If you haven't read Joseph Smith's Lectures on Faith, I highly recommend it.

I love you!



Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 40 (Am I a Consecrated Missionary?)

Dear family and friends,

"Woooooooo I'm half way theeeeere, Woooooooooooo-ooooooooooohhhh, livin' on a prayer. Take my hand and we'll make it I swear. Woooooo-oooooooh Livin' on a prayer!"

I hope you all recognize this song and if not go and search for it because it's fabulous. I chose this as my theme song today because guess what!!!..........I'm half way done!!! I can't even believe it! I feel like it was just yesterday that I got off the plane and I was with my Entrenadora Hna. Rubina!! It is so crazy how fast the time goes by!! It is flying by!! And I'm not ready to go home yet! I still have so much to do in Mexico! I feel like I need to stay for 14 years like the sons of Mosiah!

Monday: Normal P-day. We shopped, we cleaned, we ate. We went to Reunion de Distrito.

Tuesday: Today we found some amazing people with a lot of potential to be baptized!! We found a woman who has been attending church in another ward with her husband for some time now. Also found a man and his wife who just had a baby who have a lot of potential. Then later in the day we went to visit one of our contacts Diana. She is a joven and accepted a baptismal date!! She has so much potential! Hope we can work hard with these people!!

Wednesday: Normal day. Y quien sabe que realmente paso ese dia.:)

Thursday: Still working hard with Hermano Jorge and he is progressing so well! He hasn't smoked for 6 days now!! Woo hoo!! We also had a Noche de Hogar with the Family Flores (miembros). It was fun to play Uno with them. Uno is a lot funnier when you play it in Spanish ;).  This day it rained the most beautiful rain!! It was sunny and raining and there was a giant rainbow!!

Friday: We had a surprise capacitacion de Zona. But it was another great capacitacion!! Very inspired!! It was definitely for me!! We talked about having buen animo or un atitud positiva en toda las cosas and how we have to change our character not our behavior. It was so good! After the conference I went with Hna Garcia to her area in intercambios. We had some good times! At one point it started pouring just as we entered in a house to teach. Then, once we left, the rain just disappeared. I was so happy to be dry until a rude car drove by and intentionally drove through a giant puddle to splash me!!! Oh I was so wet after that! ya.....karma I guess ;) (dear family and cousins, you now have your revenge for when we went to Universal and you went on the water ride about 8 times trying to get me wet ;) )

Saturday: We had Entrevistas con Presidente! These are always the best! You get to hang out with all your missionary friends and have an amazing spiritual experience with Presidente. It's a good day. :) Today we also found out that one of the people that accompanies us in our visits has decided to serve a mission! So excited for her!!

Sunday: Normal Sunday. However we did make a pact with the Elderes. We promised to give them our YSA Men and they planned to give us their YSA Women. We gave them 3 and they gave us 2. It was a pretty good deal ;) It is sometimes really hard to work with members here so sometimes we steal them from other wards ;)

Monday: Hna Montoya left for Gomez Palacios );. It is sad. Se fue mi bebe. I will be receiving a new companion, Hna Reyes (from my generation).

Something that I learned and loved this week is found in the talk "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" or "Llegar a Ser Un Misionero Consagrado" by Tad R. Callister. It talks in there about a young rebellious elder who meets with his mission president and that is when he learns that his mission president doesn't want him to change his behavior. He wants him to change his Naturaleza (character). This really blew my mind and made me really think. I realized in this moment that we are not here to just obey the rules and be good little missionaries or obey the commandments and be good little children. We are her to actually change who we are. We are here to have a change of heart a change of being. If we can't live and love the rules here we can't go to the Celestial Kingdom and live with our Heavenly Father. We actually have to change our character so it is in harmony with the laws of God and the Celestial Kingdom. It isn't enough to just say that we obey. They have to be part of us.We can't just change the behavior. We have to change the character and be more like Christ every day. I came to realize just how important it is to change our character and develop Christ-like attributes in our lives. It is going to take some shaping and molding and it will probably be painful and frustrating and uncomfortable. But my mom once told me that if we want to be in the Celestial Kingdom, we have to be prepared to make changes. We have to be prepared because right now WE ARE NOT PERFECT. However, WE CAN BECOME PERFECT. And we can only become perfect if we change ourselves, change who we really are and become what God wants us to be. We have to be willing to be shaped and molded into something Celestial. Something worthy to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Well, I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!


Hermana Lutze :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 40

Querida Hermana Lutze,

OK life is starting to normalize a little... It was crazy before we left and while we were gone. Sorry our e-mails were a little sporadic! We had a fun trip and wished that you could have been with us. However, we're so proud of you and the lives you are touching! You are truly spreading the light of the gospel just like the lighthouses that we saw along the Oregon Coast. While in Port Angeles, Washington for church last Sunday, we sang hymn 335 "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy." I've never sung this song before and the words were powerful! I think because of where we had been and a couple of books that I've been reading-"Salt to the Sea" and "Finest Hours" the words had great meaning. "Brightly beams our Father's mercy From his lighthouse ever more, But to us he gives the keeping Of the lights along the shore." You are a lighthouse to those around you! They see your light and they are drawn to it as is evidenced by the stories that you share. I also like verse 3 "Trim your feeble lamp, my brother; Some poor sailor, tempest tossed, Trying now to make the harbor, In the darkness may be lost" with the chorus, "Let the lower lights be burning; Send a gleam across the wave. Some poor fainting, struggling seaman. You may rescue, you may save." We never know for good or bad how our actions will touch others. Life is too short and we must always try to make our actions a 'light' for others. While hiking the "Boy Scout Tree" trail in the Redwoods I thought about some other things... The roots on the path were causing us to trip if we didn't look down and focus on them. This can be compared to Satan's snares. We must always be looking for them-ever on guard. At the same time, if we are always looking down then we are missing the beauty that is above. So we must stop and look... this can be compared to scripture study, prayer, church and temple attendance... the fundamental practices in the church. We must be persistent and consistent with these or they can quickly go by the way and be forgotten. These practices are what bring the Spirit into our lives which in turn softens our hearts allowing us to continue to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Highlights of the Trip
Redwood Forest-great hikes, incredible trees
Oregon Coast-incredible lighthouses and tide pools!
Kayaking in Humboldt Bay
Sand Dunes-riding a razor
Olympic National Forest (We must return! Hannah is going to marry a neurosurgeon so she can have a house on Lake Crescent. :))
Seattle-Chihuly Garden and Glass - incredible artwork of glass

We ate some good food-Italian, Mexican, and seafood... a little bit of everything! :) I'm sure the Mexican wasn't quite as good as what you're eating down there BUT it was the best food we had on the entire trip. I definitely go back to the Puerto Vallarta!

Keep fighting for the right. I have to say that the thing that was the most distressing to me on our trip was the number of people with tatoos and piercings! I was disgusted. We've also seen our fair share of Gay and Lesbian couples. It's sad when you see two girls or guys together and you wonder... It can't just be two friends together anymore. :(

We love you!!!! We're so glad you're on the path of righteousness and not the one that rocks!!!



Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 39 (Is Christ at the Center of My Life?)

Dear family and friends,

Well another week has flown by here in Durango! And basically all week it has been raining in the night! You would think that would make it nice and cool and refreshing, but no. It makes it even hotter, more humid and their are billions of flies and mosquitoes that now want to eat me alive! ;) We are also in the hills, so every time it rains, there is a lot of thunder and lightning and it is sooooo loud! We are so close to the clouds here. It is the loudest thunderstorms I have ever heard!

My week...

Monday: It was a blast! We had an Actividad de Zona. We did a relay race. We played the balloon toss one on one and the pair that lost got a water balloon popped over their head. Of course the Elders made it so all the Hermanas lost at least once, so we were ALL soaking wet! But it was so much fun!! It feels great when it is so hot here! Then we watched the new Star Wars! It was an awesome movie! Hope I can watch it when I come home too, so that I can understand it a little better. I liked it. I felt like they were trying to keep it like the old movies. That was our P-day.

Tuesday: We had a Capacitacion de Zona. This capacitacion was amazing!! Truly amazing! My favorite part was at the end. They had us do a practice with "members" and it turns out the members had to count how many times the missionaries mentioned Jesus Christ. We were surprised when we heard numbers such as 1, 2, 4. In this moment I truly learned that this is not my gospel. It is His gospel and everything should be focusing on Christ-all our words, our thoughts. There should not be a single lesson where we do not mention Jesus Christ. I realized that if we want to make true disciples out of people we have to always say His name. We have to help them make Christ the center of their lives like the scripture says in 2 Nephi 25:26 "and we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." How can we be representatives of Christ if we never say his name? How can they know that we are disciples of Christ if we do not follow in his footsteps and rejoice at his love for us and praise his name? To be true disciples of Christ everything we do and say and think should center on Christ and what he would do say and think. We talked about how we should testify boldly and clearly and simply just like the prophets and apostles. It was a great capacitacion.

Wednesday: A miracle happened this day. There is a family in which all the sons are members, but the wives are not members. and the wives have made them fall away from the church. There is one wife, Cristiana, and all the family has told us that she is very Cristiana and is not going to change or like us in her house. But we went to visit her daughter and found the mom as well. After we taught her daughter we talked with the mom. We talked with her and she actually accepted to listen to us!! She accepted to learn more about what we believe, and look for true happiness! Miracles do happen once in a while. Just goes to show that we can't judge and we just have to keep trying with all our friends and family.

Thursday: Not much happened but we ate the most amazing food! It's called Pastel Azteca!! Sooo good! I love the food here!

Friday: We had the most amazing lesson in the morning. We went to visit a contact all the way in Luz y Esperanza (area that is far away). We began to talk with the husband and wife. We invited them to be baptized and the husband automatically said no, that he was going to remain Catholic. We shared our testimonies how we learned in the capacitacion Tuesday and we could see that the husband could feel the truth and power of our words, but he still refused! However, the wife accepted to listen to us. I hope we can have so much success with her and her children-that we can change their tradition to real faith.

Saturday: Normal day

Sunday: Well, only Jorge came to church this day. It was kind of sad, but so great for him! This man has changed so dramatically in only a week! He suffers from all sorts of addictions and he started to read the Book of Mormon. He doesn't grab everything it says, but he feels so different when he reads it. He truly has a testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon! He is growing so fast and it is amazing to see his transformation! He is so happy. He smiles now. He has less fear to go out in the world! The gospel of Jesus Christ truly heals us physically and espiritually!!

Well, this week I saw what happens to a family when the children are given everything-don't want for anything or have to work for anything. And let's just say it is not good. I love and appreciate my parents so much for teaching me the value of hard work. They taught me how to work hard. I'm so grateful they told me to get a job and that they didn't just give me money whenever I wanted. That they taught me to be self sufficient, to manage my money, to pay my tithing. They have taught me to work hard so that I can do all things for myself. I don't have to rely on others. I can solve my problems and live my life free. I know that this is something very important that we have to teach our kids. They need to learn to work in their job, in the house, in the yard. They need to learn to manage money and be self sufficient. They need to be prepared. As parents you can't be there ALL the time. It's impossible. As kids we need to learn to fly so one day we can leave the nest. It doesn't help us if you give us everything. Also, set the rules in your house. The kids should never have permission to hit you, to say rude things, to be disrespectful, to not help in the house. Sometimes, as the parents, you think if you punish us or discipline us we are going to hate you. Maybe for a moment, we think we hate you, but as kids we will ALWAYS LOVE OUR PARENTS. But it is your responsibility to teach us the right path, to teach us the skills. You are the ones that mold us. Instruye un niño en su camino y cuando el es viejo no se apartarà. Don't be afraid to teach your kids what is right and wrong, what is acceptable and not acceptable, what their responsibilities are and what you expect of them. MY mom always had high expectations, but expectations that were achievable. This made me have success in all aspects of my life and I am continuing to see the fruit. Thank you Mom and Dad! I love you! Hope I can do as good a job as you two one day!

Love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 38 (Hard versus Complicated)

Dear family and friends,

Well I can't believe that it is already July! How crazy is that! Sorry family, that means your summer is almost halfway over, but it also means that I am almost at the halfway point on the mission! I can't believe that! It feels just like yesterday that I arrived in the mission field. Well it is still really hot, but luckily here in Durango, it usually rains a lot in July so it makes it a little cooler in the evenings. I am praying that I stay in Durango for all of summer. Also Happy Fourth of July everyone! 4th of July is not exciting here. I have to say I miss all the food, fun and fireworks that we have in Utah.

My week,

I feel like I did everything and did nothing all at the same time.

Monday - I actually had a tiny bit of time to sleep which was a miracle in itself!

Tuesday - Nothing really exciting or out of the ordinary. Just the usual for a missionary

Wednesday - Same as Tuesday

Thursday - Today was great! We contacted a woman that is actually a member of a family in the church. She said that she would like to listen to us. So we talked with her and set a baptismal date. Boom, day started out good. Later we met a man cleaning his car. At first he wasn't interested, however, the more we talked with him the more we learned about him. We talked to him about repentance and I wish you could have seen his joy as he learned how he could repent and be free of sin, guilt and burden. His whole world changed! We also set a baptismal date with him. The day got even better. That night we encountered another man who was really down and depressed and we talked with him and he accepted to listen so we will have to see if we can help him be happy, gain back his family and live happily ever after with them. 😊 Really, I like being a spiritual doctor. It is really preparing me to be a medical doctor as well.

Friday - We went to Luz y Esperanza, (the sketchy part of town). There we encountered a man who is "ateo" or atheist. But as we talked I could clearly tell that he believed in God. It's just that he was so confused and tired of so many religions. As we talked with him he changed, he had a desire to learn more about us and to have the testimony and vigor that we have for our religion. Sadly he doesn't live here but hopefully he is on the "path of righteousness" and not the "path that rocks." Many people say they are atheist and it's not true. They are just confused in life and need direction. We also went to visit Jorge (the man that said he would be baptized while talking in the street). We visited him and he accepted another baptismal date and to go to church this Sunday! Yaya!

Saturday - normal day. It's raining here and it's glorious!

Sunday - We passed for some of our investigators. arrived at church and at the end of the day we had 5 investigators at church and 3 have baptismal dates! Woohoo! Progress! Two are from the Familia Martinez Flores (Manuela y Laura) This week, Hna Manuela gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon! So we are going to work really hard with her and her daughter! (Laura and I are totally best friends. We have many of the same hobbies 😉) The other baptism is Jorge! He went even though he has a fear of people. The other person was Martin. He is a blind old man, but he has a special spirit. I hope we can put a baptismal date this week!

All in all a pretty good week...

Well, in honor of the 4th of July, I just want to say how grateful I am to live in the United States. It is NOT a perfect country, however, it is a country that was led by God in its creation. From the pilgrims to the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, to present day. We can see how God has really helped move things along to create this amazing free country where we are free to worship, free to live our religion. If it wasn't for the development of this country the Restoration never would have taken place. Really we have so much to be grateful for as Americans. We live in a country with so many privileges where there is an abundance of jobs and food and all that we need to live comfortably. My dad always says our lives are complicated but not truly hard. I have seen what hard looks like here in Mexico. Hard is when there are hundreds of men without jobs because they can't find one. Hard is when you have to work two jobs just to barely scrape by, hard is when you are doing all you can and you still don't have enough to eat. I have seen hard. We just complicate our lives with many things to do. I hope you all really appreciate the fact that we live in such an amazing country. Never take it for granted.

Well, I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July and a wonderful week!


Hermana Lutze