Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week 46

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I've been thinking about Presidente's message and reading in 1 Nephi. Laman and Lemuel were definitely skiers while Nephi was a scuba diver. You can see how Nephi sought to know the truth for himself. In 1 Nephi 15: 8-11 he asks his brothers if they have inquired of the Lord. The condition of our hearts is so important and determines whether we are skiers, snorkelers, or scuba divers. On another note  I love 1 Nephi 14:14 and I'm reminded of you and all righteous members of the church when I read it. We are armed with righteousness and with the power of God!

This week was officially the first week of school. I, of course, bought more school supplies and signed numerous disclosure documents! :) I took back the house on Saturday-deep cleaning the basement and the upstairs. Natalie has the entire upstairs to herself! Wow! Dylan comes out on Tuesday and goes into the MTC on Wednesday. Yosh goes to the temple on Tuesday. He chose the Provo City Center Temple. It's such a beautiful temple!

Hannah is all moved in. We took a few more groceries to her yesterday. I have to say finding a place to put them was interesting. We had to be creative. She attended freshmen orientation and is getting to know her roommates. She's working on Thursdays and some weekends and volunteering in the morning on Tuesdays in the OR.

Natalie has headed straight into lots of homework. She has a fairly heavy load this year. They tried to kick her out of US History which is now a junior or senior class but she wouldn't let them. I find it ironic that Mr. Meek was the one trying to get her out when he's the one that actually helped me get her in earlier in the summer due to her busy schedule her junior year. We were trying to find some balance.

Jakob is busy as well and seems to really like junior high. He eats school lunch every day and loves it! He hasn't found many of his friends yet to sit with at lunch which worries me a little. His new soccer team won their first game yesterday. It was a nice feeling to actually win a game since last year was such a disaster!

I hope you're doing well. Dad told me you're feeling tired? I'm so happy for your baptism of Hno. Jorge! He's come such a long way! Positive change in people is always so amazing! The Lord truly works miracles! I'm glad you were able to find some pants and play a joke on the Elders.

You have been getting my letters right? Keep up the hard work of being an instrument in the hands of God. I was praying this week to feel more needed or useful in the Church. My current calling doesn't lend itself too much to this... A few days later within a 24 hour period I was asked to help with the Beehive lesson today, substitute in Primary today and next week, and teach the RS lesson next Sunday! ; I had already accepted the assignment in the Beehives and had to turn down the Primary so I will be teaching RS next Sunday. Dad said to me "what were you thinking? That's like asking Curt if he has more work for you to do!" :) I feel this need to feel useful stems from our natural tendencies as women to have charity for others. We want to serve those around us. This is how we feel validated! I'm so grateful to be a member of Relief Society. It is a powerful organization for good!

I love you so much!



P. S. Hannah told me last night that effective immediately all future applicants for the nursing program must defer after at least one semester in the program. They can no longer defer upon acceptance like you were able to do.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 45 (Are You a Skier, Snorkeler, or Scuba Diver?)

Hello Family and Friends! I can't believe I'm on the downhill! I have so much I want to do, to change and to become still! I only hope I have enough time to do the work I need to do and to become the person that God hopes I can become here on the mission.

Well let's take a look at my week.

Monday we bought pants!! Yay! However, it took hours to find a pair of pants that were straight and weren't tight and hugging our legs. Let's just say modern fashion is not missionary standard. But, we finally found some pants and they are a lifesaver here! Now my legs are not being eaten by mosquitoes every day! And when it rains and it is cold here. Pants are A LOT warmer than skirts. Then we played a prank on the Elders. When it was time to go to District meeting, we dressed in our pants with our suit jacket and a white blouse. We borrowed a tie from Hno. Montoya. We dressed as Elderas! It was so funny to see the Elders' faces when they saw us enter dressed as Elders ;). The people always call us Elderas here so we only made it a reality ;)! It was a great meeting.

Tuesday was an exciting day as well. We have started to go to colonies farther and farther away from our house. So today we were in Mendez Arceo. We had some great lessons, but with some hard people and sadly they didn't accept us. Then we went to help a member in her home because she has epilepsy. While we were there we saw her grape vines and  grapefruit tree in front.......and being poor missionaries........we took advantage of the situation! We picked so many grapes and grapefruits! We had 2 bags each weighing about 5 kilos or 10 pounds! Then we put the fruit to good use and contacted people using grapes;). In Mexico you have to get creative especially in this mission.

Wednesday we again went to other far away colonies. There was one in particular where no one was in the street, so we decided to actually knock doors. At first, it felt weird because in Mexico you don't knock too many doors or at least not in this mission. Normally we find people in the street. However we knocked all the doors and introduced ourselves or sometimes looked  for the nonexistent Melisa. ;) A great blessing from visiting this colony is that a member that makes pan dulce lives here and whenever we go to his panaderĂ­a he always gives it to us free! :) His pan is soooooo good! So it's a good thing we don't go to that colony every day or else I would eat all the bread in the panaderia!

Thursday we had our intercambios. I went to the area of the Hermanas Lideres. And no me diga, everything was mud! All the streets were mud or puddles of mud! We got so dirty but it was so much fun!

Friday we had capacitacion con Presidente. It was really good! First we talked about personal safety, because I'll be honest it's not exactly safe here. The only reason I feel calm and at peace is probably because I'm a missionary. But it was a good chat about what we can do to always stay safe. Then we got to the good stuff. We talked about our personal study of the scriptures. It was a great lesson that was so good for me!  Then after that we had to go prep for our Actividad de Barrio. We had a Noche de Hogar and it went really well! Especially since this ward hasn't had an activity for months now! We are working really hard to excite and reactivate el barrio.

Saturday Hno Jorge had his Entrevista Bautismal con Presidente. He passed! Presidente said we could baptize him. (We weren't sure if we could or not)! Yay! However there was so much stress involved! We literally planned Hno Jorge's whole baptism in 2 hours! Nothing went according to plan, however it all went well and Hno Jorge was baptized!! Presidente actually said that Jorge is an example to all because no one has really suffered as much as him and his story and his change is an example to everyone! Wow! I can truly testify that the gospel changes lives and truly has the power to heal all wounds and cure all illnesses. Maybe I haven't baptized many people, but I have felt so honored to help some of the most lost and down hearted people on the earth and of this mission. ( I always find the hard cases.) I have seen Hermano Jorge go from a sad, empty, lifeless zombie to someone that now feels, smiles, laughs, is happy, and has more self esteem and self confidence. It's as if he was revived. He has a new life and new purpose. I love the gospel and the true power it has to change lives. No other gospel or church can facilitate such great change in a person.

Sunday Hermano Jorge was confirmed! I almost cried as I imagined the angels in heaven singing praises for their brother who has come home-who has returned to his Heavenly Father. 

Well my spiritual thought is about Hno Jorge and his miracle conversion (He is now in Ether 9, by the way, of the Book of Mormon) and I also wanted to talk about what we learned about scripture study. Presidente related it to the water sports of skiing, snorkeling and scuba diving. All three are in water, but in each one we see different things. In skiing, we only see above the water or what's on top. This would be to only read the scriptures and nothing more-read only to read. And this maybe is a good start, but we can't stay above the water. We have to delve in. This is where snorkeling comes in. In snorkeling you can see the part above the water and then go deeper and see so many gorgeous things below the water in the middle. This is when we read the scriptures, but also study and search them. We ask questions, try to understand who is talking and to whom, what is happening, why, and what principle is being taught. This gives us a great understanding of the scriptures and is even better than just staying above the water. However, it still isn't enough or the extent of what we could have. This is where scuba diving comes in. In scuba diving you can see everything above, in the middle and at the bottom. This comes when we read, study and APPLY the scriptures in our lives. A true understanding of the scriptures will really bless our lives and give us an unbreakable testimony. In Jacob 4:6 we read, "Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea." True (scuba diving) scripture study gives us wisdom. Wisdom is different than knowledge. Wisdom is something we know from experience and can share to help others. Knowledge sometimes we share just to share, but wisdom is what we need if we are going to be able to help our family, our friends, our neighbors, the members, our visiting teaching and home teaching assignments. Wisdom gives us the power to be instruments in the hands of God and truly bless the lives of others. But this wisdom only comes when we scuba dive, when we truly delve into the scriptures and apply them to our lives. If we stay above the water we are missing all that we could experience and enjoy. Really we need to become masters of the water, masters of the scriptures, so that when Satan comes along to try our faith, he only comes to find an armor and barrier impenetrable. This is my invitation to you all. That you become masters of the scriptures. That you all become wise so that when  you are called to battle you are prepared and strong. I know that it is with the simple things that we become strong, stronger than we ever imagined possible.

Well I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!

Con Mucho Amor!

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week 45

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Espero que todo anda bien en Mexico? Gracias por tus cuentas de fe y animo. We're doing well. I spent all week at Education Week and experienced many mind blowing moments. Attending classes about Isaiah, symbols of the gospel, teaching... I come away realizing how much I don't know and that I still have to learn. What an incredible week of spiritual highs. It's all true! Elder Holland spoke at the devotional about the importance of religion in the world. We need to people to have religion even if it's not our religion because it is through religion that we are a moral people. We are seeing the world decline morally because they no longer have any religion in their lives. He was excellent as usual. I hope to type up my notes this year. I saw Rose Thursday afternoon. She's apparently been trying to send you a package and it keeps coming back to her. She's experiencing some of my same frustrations. She said to tell you Hello and that she loves you.

Hannah moved into her dorm room at Heritage Halls last night. The house is feeling more empty all the time. She's in a great location better than Marissa. She has quick access to her bike and a straight shot to work. She is on the first floor right next to the exit door out of the building to where it's most convenient to pick her up. :) We moved her in and helped her unpack and were done in about 2 hours. I think she will enjoy the two roommates I've met so far... Megan and Sharee. She's nervous but I know she'll do well.

Natalie is getting closer to finishing her personal progress. She' s 70% completed. She has 10 experiences left and 3 projects. Two of the three projects she's very close to completing. She starts at Skyridge tomorrow. The first day of school EVER at Skyridge!

Jakob enjoyed his first day of 7th grade on Friday. They are doing the "houses" out of Harry Potter but not using those names. I cannot remember the name of his house but the house theme is all about confidence. I'm excited to see this new idea in action. 

Ty Porter spoke today in church. I was in tears. The humility in his message and seeing how much he's changed was amazing!!! He said something which I learned on my mission but I liked the way that he said it. Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles. I truly saw this in action as we chose to be exactly obedient to the mission rules we saw miracles. I enjoyed what you wrote last week on sacrifice and trusting completely in the Lord.

I love you!



Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 44 (Come Out of the Bubble!)

Dear family and friends,

Monday: We went to a plot of land owned by a member here in Durango to see if we could have an activity out there. While we were there we explored and played around. I found where all the frogs were hiding and I got frogs! Now we have pet frogs - Peter, Freddy, Unicornia, and Dragona. It is very interesting trying to feed them! We have to catch flies in the bathroom and then try to put them in with the frogs without the frogs or flies escaping. It is definitely a two woman job! ;) But it is really fun to have pet frogs. I think soon they will have a new home. I also caught a giant lizard! Let's just say it was a fun day in the wild Durango!

Tuesday: We had Capacitacion. It was a very interesting capacitacion. They talked about technology including its correct use and integrity. Apparently, we will be getting ipads soon. It will be nice to have access to so many resources!! Then in the afternoon, my companion felt sick so I went with a member and she stayed with a member. My day was fine until I ran into 2 cristianas. I started talking with them and everything was OK until they became angry. They said we don't need a church and that the people are the church. One of them shared that she could put her hands on the heads of people and heal them and that she has received the Holy Ghost and therefore has this power........mmmmmmm no. Lo siento hermana. She did not like me and the fact that she did not have this power and authority. It was quite the experience. I stayed calm while she ranted on. It was nice to be a defender of the faith. :)

Wednesday: Normal day.

Thursday: Today was a day of a lot of rejection. The people in Durango are very cold and unwelcoming. We receive a lot of rejection here. We get about 2 addresses for every 10 people we contact and that is on a good day. But it's all good. We are looking for the few and chosen.

Friday: We had another crazy lesson with Jose Manuel. The whole time we talked about the Jehovah Witnesses. We had to prove to him why Jehovah is Jesus Christ. It is hard to teach a lawyer. No me diga! The missionaries won the debate! ;) You can't beat God's Team.

Saturday: We found a new investigator who has a lot of potential! He was confused about Jehovah and Jesucristo, even though he is Catholic? However, we read a scripture and just like that, "Oh, Jehovah is Jesucristo. Now I understand" ......oh thank you, thank you!! He was so much more humble and easy to teach than many others!! He has so many good questions of the soul! I hope he can progress!

Sunday: We took the sacrament to Viki again. She is so sweet and prepared. Viki's baptism will be the 26th and Jorge had his entrevista! Yay! So many good things happening here!

I really liked what we learned about INTEGRITY this week in the capacitacion and the use of computers. I learned that integrity is basically to be a person that others can confide in and rely on. We really have to ask ourselves if we can be depended on? Can others rely on us to do what we say we are going to do? Are we going to be punctual? Will we be true and devoted to what we say?  Am I someone that the Lord can depend on? Integrity really plays an important part in all that we do. In school, work, family, friends. If we can't be a person that can be depended on then of what use are we? For the Lord, well, really of no use. If we want to be of use, if we want to help others, if we want to do things in this world, we have to be people with INTEGRITY so we can fulfill our role.

They talked about cellphones, tablets and such. The truth is this - sometimes we live IN our phones or tablet or computer and forget to live the real life. We spend hours on a device but what have we achieved or learned? In church are we on our phones during the sacrament? While people are teaching or sharing comments? When we do that we miss out on all the things we could be learning. When we get on our phones, we put ourselves in a bubble where the good cannot enter, but the bad can. Satan is the one who wants to distract us from what is really important and put us in a bubble of isolation. That is exactly where he wants us and he wants us to feel alone. During church, scriptures on the phone are OK, games and texting and such, not so much. Can we not give our Heavenly Father 3 little hours of our time each week without distractions? He is trying to teach and tell us things but if we enter the bubble, the message cannot enter.

So this week I invite each of you to look at your life and how you can have more integrity. How can you be relied on more, take more time for yourself, do something good and spend less time on your phones and devices. I challenge each of you to spend more time with God and less time with the smart phone. Great changes will come about if we can all make this change. And if you are going to use devices make sure it is always for an uplifting purpose. (family movie night, Mario Kart racing competition, Rock band rock off, etc....you get the idea) I promise you will find more purpose and joy in your lives if you live your life and not the life of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Week 44

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Te amo! I hope this finds you well both physically and spiritually! We love you and are praying for your success! This week was just as crazy as any other. I spent a great deal of time shopping with the girls to get them ready for school. Hannah had absolutely no clothes or shoes... and Natalie needed a few things. Jakob is done and ready.  He gets his braces off in two months. 

We went to see the new high school on Saturday. Wow! Hannah was jealous. We saw Abbie there and she's doing well at BYU-I. She told me she loves getting your letters! I love Abbie! She's been a good friend over the years. :) We spent quite a bit of time at the Murray Max Tournament this week. Jakob's team won their first two games but lost to Impact in the final so they took second place. Jaden Howell spoke today in church. He leaves next week and Ty Porter just returned. He will speak next Sunday. 

Work has been crazy lately. I charged Wednesday-never ate and never peed. We just kept getting admits and of course lots of help was needed. I'm attending Education Week this week so I'll go to work before and after I go to class. I'm excited to learn new things!

Our lesson today in Relief Society was from Teachings of the Presidents. President Hunter on Hastening Family History and Temple Work. The following is what stood out to me:

"Doing work for others is accomplished in two steps: first, by family history research to ascertain our progenitors,; and second, by performing the temple ordinances to give them the same opportunities afforded to the living. Yet there are many members of the church who have only limited access to the temples. They do the best they can. They pursue family history research and have the temple ordinance work done by others. Conversely, there are some members who engage in temple work but fail to do family history research on their own family lines. Although they perform a divine service in assisting others, they lose a blessing by not seeking their own kindred dead as divinely directed by latter-day prophets. I recall an experience of a few years ago that is analogous to this condition. At the close of a fast and testimony meeting, the bishop remarked, "We have had a spiritual experience today listening to the testimonies borne by each other. this is because we have come fasting according to the law of the Lord. But let us never forget that the law consists of two parts: that we fast by abstaining from food and drink and that we contribute what we have thereby saved to the bishop's storehouse for the benefit of those who are less fortunate." Then he added, "I hope no one of us will leave today with only half a blessing." I have learned that those who engage in family history research and then perform the temple ordinance work for those whose names they have found will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing." I feel like I'm only receiving half a blessing right now and hope to focus on dad's genealogy this year.

Love you!



Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 43 (Do You Trust Jesus Christ Completely?)

Hola mi familia! Espero que toda anda bien! 

Well I'm still in Durango and Estacion-land of the hills and rocks and mine. I actually like the hills. You can take some really cool pictures on top of them! You also meet some very interesting people! This area is always an adventure! I'm still here with Hna Reyes! Woohoo! And, we still have our 2 baptisms for August! However our baptisms for September keep falling. These people like to party and not go to church. Work in Progress. 

Well I'm not even sure what to write. The week just goes by so fast, like a blur really!

Monday: We went to Paseo del Viejo Oeste!!! It was a blast! It was so much fun to go and take lots of pictures! However, I don't really recommend the show. It was a bit sensual y diabolico you could say. We started watching the shows. The first one was good, and western. Then the Indians arrived who started dancing like strippers, so we left and went to take pictures. When we came back there was another show, but this time they had the men dress like girls and they looked ridiculous! There was a Peppa Pig (famous cartoon character in Mexico). Oh dear, this place is better for just taking pictures, I think. But I did buy some cool things!

Tuesday: We had a surprise Women's Conference. It was a capacitacion for sola Hermanas. It was a good time spent with the Hermanas de Durango.  

Wednesday: My companion has been sick in her stomach and intestines so we went to see the doctor. Basically all day was spent with the doctor and getting the medications and such. My companion is suffering from bacteria and amoebas that are eating her intestines.......sounds lovely right? ;) I am praying I don't suffer from the same or worse. 

Thursday and Friday: These were normal days. It has been really hot this week. It's a miracle I'm not red as a tomato.

Saturday: We had another amazing capacitacion con Hermanas y Hna Ramos. We talked about what we are doing well, what we are doing wrong, what we thought the mission would be like, how it actually is, trials people have faced in going on the mission. It was really interesting to listen to everyone's experiences. We then wrote on a piece of paper what we no longer wanted to do or be and tore it up and put it in a box. Really I think we should have burned them, but we were in the chapel so not a good idea. 

Sunday: Well, Jorge and Viki went to church. However Miki, Kevin, and Lizbeth did not. We're going to have to look for another tactic with them. However this Sunday was very special. We took the sacrament to Hna Viki (Abuelita who is 82 years old and has dialysis Thursday and Sunday). She reminds me so much of Grandma it's scary. :) We went to her house with a bunch of members and gave her the sacrament, sang her a hymn and gave her a blessing of health. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful service that we could provide for Hna Viki. The spirit was there and it was so great for her to get to know other members of the church.

This week I really liked learning about all the sacrifices that many of the Hermanas have had to face. Not because I like to hear of their suffering but because it always amazes me how strong so many of them are. I don't know if I could have gone on the mission if I had had the same trials. I would like to think that I would but I don't know. I really didn't sacrifice anything to go on the mission. Maybe I sacrificed my time, my effort, my money. But these sisters have sacrificed families, friends, careers, jobs, school. I have really come to admire them for their intense desire to serve. I have come to realize more and more on the mission that life is sacrifice, but we have to decide what we are going to sacrifice and for what cause. God has told us that we must first seek the Kingdom of God and after we have obtained a hope in Christ we shall obtain riches if we seek them. And we will only seek them for the intent to do good, to help those in need and bring relief to those who are suffering. Jesus Christ also told his disciples that they should give up family, friends, riches, homes, clothing, careers, everything to follow Him. We must have our priorities set. We have to decide if we are really willing to give up everything to be with God-to do His will. Will we be like the young man who asks the Savior "What lack I yet?" and then cannot sacrifice what the Savior asks us to sacrifice or will we humbly ask and humbly follow? What are we willing to sacrifice and for what? Sometimes, as members, we sacrifice Sundays, church attendance, scripture study and prayer for things such as sleeping, watching movies, reading other books, saying we don't have time, taking the weekends to go to the lake with the boat. Sometimes we sacrifice the wrong things for the wrong reasons and justify it. We can't sacrifice the things that God expects of us. That is when we sacrifice to Mammon, to the world.  God actually expects us to sacrifice TIME to go to church, to magnify our calling, to study the scriptures, to visit the sick and needy, to do our visiting teaching. He expects us to sacrifice our TALENTS to help others, sacrifice friends that are a bad influence, jobs that keep us from keeping the Sabbath Day holy, even our reputations in order to stand for what is right. There are millions of ways that we can sacrifice things in our lives. But we have to be aware of what we sacrifice and for what reason. and be sure that we are not sacrificing the wrong things for the wrong reasons. I know that with sacrifices for the right reasons, come many blessings. I just want to say to all the youth, you WILL NEVER regret the decision to go on a mission. You will never lose time or an opportunity or your future husband/wife or a career. For putting God first, He will bless you more than you know. He will arrange your life more perfectly than you ever could. But the key is we must TRUST in the Lord. Many say they trust the Lord and know that He exists. But do we really trust IN the Lord? Do our actions really show that we confide completely in Him? It is like the trust game where people fall back and the other person catches them. Some can't trust and step back and some trust completely and fall directly back. We have to be the people that fall directly back and trust that the Lord will catch us. If we do what He asks, He will fulfill His part of the deal. We have to learn to trust completely and only then will we fully live the law of sacrifice. 

Well, I love you all! 

Have an amazing week!! Hope you all have adventures and I hope to hear of your adventures!

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Week 43

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I hope all is going well in Mexico! Summer is quickly slipping away. The kids go back to school in two weeks! Yikes! I have a lot to do in 2 weeks. We've played hard all summer. Jakob is ready but I still need to buy clothes for Natalie and Hannah. There are fees to pay, back to school nights and scheduling issues to resolve. :) 

Brent and Amy were in town this week so the kids played all week. Monday was Space Camp with pizza afterwards, Tuesday was Thanksgiving Point (2 Tuesday) Our family and the Miller boys saw Star Trek that night. Definitely on the movie list for you to watch when you get home. We paid 5 dollars to see it in DBox. :) Wednesday was the temple and Seven Peaks. I took Jakob and Natalie up Thursday evening. We went bowling on Friday after Natalie dislocated her knee again. :( We also got milkshakes at the Train. Saturday we did a little hiking and a picnic in the canyon. It's finally starting to cool down here. 

I've signed up for education week. We'll see how much I get to attend. There's so much I want to learn. 

Thought for the week... I've been reading a book entitled "Sacramental Reflections" that I love. It was written by Truman G. Madsen. He talks about how little we know from the Bible of what happened on the night the Savior introduced the sacrament to his apostles. However we know through the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine Covenants more specifics. I love this quote by B. H. Roberts about the sacramental prayers "This is the only church in all the world that has a god-given prayer of consecration on the emblems of Christ's body and blood. It came from Jesus Christ, the highest spiritual authority. The Lord has spoken and the matter is ended." We also know through modern scripture that He knelt when the prayer was said that night. It's so amazing to me what we know but we don't realize we know it because of the restoration of the gospel. It's hard for us to separate our knowledge.

I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement for each of us. I love you and pray for you!



Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 42 (Soy Un Representante de Jesu Cristo)

Dear family and friends,

Sorry I didn't write last week. We went to Centro and once we started buying, we just couldn't stop! ;) So many great things to buy in Centro. Let's just say that I now have a purse that has a saddle on top and it is darling! Let me know family if there is anything special that you want from Mexico! They literally have everything from leather to T-shirts to ponchos, to chess sets, etc! I'm still looking for Christmas stuff mom, but it's still a little early and hard to find something that isn't Catholic with the Virgen Guadalupe.

Well, I really can't remember what has happened these two weeks-lots of stuff and funny stories that I now can't remember. I am still in Estacion working with Hermana Reyes. And let's just say that it has rained here......a lot!! Almost every day in the evening it has rained! And not like "chispe chispe"(drizzling). I'm talking about full on thunder and lightning storms with so much rain that the streets become rivers and we are soaking wet no matter what we do! It is awesome!! We get so wet! But then I remember that I only have 3 pairs of shoes. so I have to trade off wearing them so they have time to dry. We are wet basically every day.

We have 2 Bautismal dates for August!! Woohoo! Jorge (who is my escogido investigador de oro) and Virginia (who is my abuelita investigadora de oro). She has 82 years and wants to be baptized!! Yay! Jorge is amazing! He has had problems with everything in the Word of Wisdom. Now we are just fighting with his smoking addiction that he's had since he was 12. But we are winning the battle!! Also, he is reading the Book of Mormon and he can really feel the power in it! He has had the book for about a month and is now in Alma 62! He is going to read the entire Book of Mormon before he is even baptized! Oro Oro Oro Oro Oro Oro! And Virginia is so sweet! She has never been baptized and wants to be baptized so she can enter into God's kingdom. She is very receptive. She wants to do everything right. It was so cute the other day. We explained the Word of Wisdom and she told us "I knew it was bad I just never had anyone to explain to me why. But now I know and I'm not going to drink anymore coffee and I'm not going to let my husband drink it either!" She is so ready to be Mormon. We are also working with 2 other people for baptisms in September! In the mission, you really have to plan ahead since our investigators must attend church five times before they can be baptized! The baptizing process is slow here.

I had the craziest lesson of my entire mission the other day! We had a man contact us that wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon. Of course we were excited!! Investigador de oro! We arrived and started to read the introduction......lo normal. However, he began to ask questions about everything! We got to the second paragraph where it talks about the Jaredites and Lamanites and Nephites! And we literally talked about the Jaredites for an hour!! I have never had a person ask about the Jaredites. He wanted to know if we had proof of their existence. How did we know, where is the science, how did they arrive, what route did they take, what were they like physically and what were their characteristics!! Everything!! No me diga! This man wanted to know details that I think we don't even have!! We literally touched every topic of the gospel (turns out he was reading "Mormones al Descubierto" which is a book about Mormons that contains a tiny drop of truth and a whole bucketful of lies. We talked about the restoration, the plan of salvation, spirit world, reinos de gloria, fe, the Word of Wisdom, and the family. He even wanted to know about baptisms for the dead!! No me diga! We didn't explain everything because that would be impossible, but we ended up giving him every pamphlet that we have!! My companion told him "Now please, STOP reading that other book of lies!" Hopefully we can clarify everything and he can be baptized. It also turns out that he is a lawyer. Once we knew that everything made so much more sense as to why he wanted so much evidence as to the existence of Jaredites. This lesson was genial, fun experience ;)

Well, now for the spiritual side of things, I have learned this week just how important our example is to the rest of the world and also how gossip can so easily destroy us. We were teaching a family that had two people with potential to be baptized. However, the mother began listening to her friend (who isn't Mormon) and the gossip she had about Mormons. Apparently, as missionaries, we enter into the homes of families and steal their husbands! Muahahaha! Especially las Guerritas! That is what her friend told her and I'm sure other things as well. It has totally destroyed our relationship with them. Now they don't want us to teach them and they treat us coldly. Her daughter wants to continue to learn but the mom has forbidden it. All for a tiny rumor that is not in the least true! (Actually I don't know why it's a problem if we steal her husband because she doesn't even like her husband, but......oh well. You'd think she'd be even happier to see us ;) )   But really, I can see time and time again how it destroys our lives. We CANNOT permit gossip to travel in the church about members, leaders or families. Nada! It destroys lives. Even if the gossip is true, it inhibits these people from changing. It blocks their path of repentance. We have to uplift and make it so that every word that leaves our lips edifies and uplifts. We must be lifting the downtrodden instead of putting them down farther.  I have had investigators who know Mormons and now don't want to be Mormons. They see us with our short skirts and immodest clothes, our faces caked with make-up, someone says bad words - it can be anything. The fact is that the people watch the Mormons more than any other religious group! There is a light about us, but that light can bring to light the good we do or the bad we do. As members we have taken upon ourselves the name of Christ, we have promised to be a witness at all times, in all things and in all places, but do we actually do it? We have to learn to be witnesses! We have to learn to be examples for the world at all times, in all things, and in all places! We can't be Sunday Mormons. We can't be Mormons only when it suits us. We can't be critical or judgmental Mormons that have years in the church. We have to be true disciples of Christ. We are never going to be perfect, but we can be better everyday. We need to learn to live this lifestyle because it is the lifestyle of Christ and of the Celestial Kingdom. I invite you all to look at your lives and see where you are lacking, see what you are doing wrong and how you are not representing Jesus Christ in your life, How you can be better? Set goals, make plans and Just Do It.  We must change so that one day when we are before the judgement seat we can say that we really were His representatives here on earth. That we are witnesses at all times, in all things, and in all places.

Well,  I love you all and I have to go! I'm going to the Viejo Oeste!


Hermana Lutze