Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 50 (Do I Submit Willingly to the Lord?)

Wow ............ this was the craziest week ever! I have never had so much to do in the week for other people and basically have no time to work in my own area. It is a miracle that the Hermanas Lideres baptize every month!  So let me give you the details of my week.

Monday: Well I arrived at my new house and put everything in its place. We went to Reunion de Distrito. We had a surprise party for Hna Martinez (my old companion) because now she is home in Salvador!! I couldn't believe that she was going home!! That means that I'm getting old in the mission! No!!!!  We ate a delicious chocoflan cake. No me diga. I have to learn to make that at home.....sooooooo good!

That night the Hermanas couldn't make it home to their ranchitos in time. So they had to stay in our house. It was a mini sleepover on the hard tile floor. but it was nice to spend some time with some of my old companions (Hna Martinez, Hna Santiesteban).

In the morning all six of us ate breakfast and then they left for their ranchitos. Tuesday we had the Despedida meal de Hna Martinez. It was muy rico! It was a consume de chiva (goat) with the family Maldonado. So good! Strange....but good :). Chiva tastes really different from vaca. Then the rest of the day was basically spent in saying goodbye to people she loves. We only worked in our area for about 1 hour.

Wednesday: In the morning we dropped off our beloved friend (after we went on an adventure to the Eiffel tower of course) at the office. We then went to la comida and worked in our area for about 3 hours after which we had to go teach a class.  Then it was time to go home. We worked on some projects to redecorate our home.......It is going to look increible y genial! I will have to send a picture when it is done.

Thursday: In the morning we had a meeting with the asistentes, hermanas lideres y lideres de zona. It was a good meeting where we talked about the problems in the mission and how we can fix them. Then in the afternoon we had another meeting with the zone leaders to make plans for a capacitacion that we are going to have Friday (The next day-we are so prepared.) We talked it over, divided the topics and went to go make our Powerpoints. That was our whoooooole day. We did basically nothing in our area.

Friday:........da da da......the first zone conference of Hermana Lider Hermana Lutze!!! Ahhh! I didn't know what I was going to do or what was going to happen. However it went really well. I think. We gave our part of the capacitacion and I think it impacted them well. We had to talk to them about some hard things (rule breaking stuff) and about gossip and such. Plancha.....bien bien planchadas. But I think it went well and that we will see more righteousness in our zona. I think they felt the spirit and that is what is important. Then we went to la comida. We worked in our area for about 4 hours and then went to coorelacion misional and home.

Saturday: We actually worked in our area all day!!! It was a miracle!! We found some amazing people that I think are going to get baptized!!

The bad part of the day was that we came home to find that there was no potable water. Nada! We had no water to use the bathroom, to wash hands or dishes. Nada! So they had trucks passing by with water and of course we didn't have buckets!! So we had to call members and ask for buckets as fast as we could!! We filled six buckets. I hope it will be enough for the next three days.

Sunday I took an amazing bucket shower in the morning-freezing, refreshing. It was definitely a new experience. At least I now know I can do it if necessary. We have church at 12 here (killer really) and after church we went to eat and to preach. We found two women who I think for certain are going to be baptized!! They are so interested in the gospel!! Yay!!

Monday: Took another bucket shower. Delightful! and we worked on our house decorating some more.

That is my week. It felt like a month but also went by really fast. So strange the mission.

I have been thinking about the Article of Faith 13. "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Our capacitacion was on "Representatives of Christ" and asking the question if we are truly representatives of Christ. Often we say many things but are we actually these people? Do we do the things we say we should do? Everyone talks about how a disciple of Christ should be or what we should do but do we just talk or do we act?  For this reason I like the 13th Article of Faith because it explains a lot of what we should be and do. It says we should be honest true chaste benevolent virtuous and in doing good to all men. How many of us actually live every one of those attributes? And do we believe all things that we have been taught by our leaders, that we have been counseled by the prophets and apostles to do? Do we hope all things? Do we have a strong hope of things to come- a hope of eternal life? Do we endure all the trials given us and do we hope to be able to endure all things that will come? I think this is one of the most important things. Do we actually hope that we we will be able to endure all things? Do we have the desire to be so strong that we can overcome whatever comes our way?  Do we have the desire to be able to resist all temptation? Do we ask God to give us mountains to climb? Are we willing to submit to the will of our Heavenly Father? These are all questions we have to ask and attributes we must develop. Something that has really grabbed my attention this week is how Christ was led - willing to suffer for our sins and to die for us on the cross. He never complained, never fought back or argued, and submitted willingly to all things. We must do the same - submit willingly to all things that God would see fit to place upon us, stand firm and exercise our faith as President Uchtdorf has explained. I know this life is not easy. But I know that we can become better and stronger as we willingly submit to the Lord and let Him help us, lead us and guide us. I know without this submission, we will not make it very far.

I invite you all to answer these questions that I have asked and to study the 13th Article of Faith. Look at your lives and look for ways to submit yourselves more fully to the will of the Father.

I love you all!

Con Amor,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week 50

Querida Hermana  Lutze,

Life has been the usual crazy this week. I worked 40+ hours due to two conferences. The one was held at Thanksgiving Point. I thought of you as I passed the Museum of Natural Curiosity. :) The other conference was a trauma conference held in Park City. You dad came up and we spent Friday night in Park City. We ate dinner at the Loco Lizard with some of my co-workers and their spouses. I've been busy with church meetings-Presidency meeting and then helping with the food for the General Women's Meeting Saturday evening. I hope you were able to listen. Sister Oscarson and President Uchtdorf gave amazing talks! I know I'll refer to his talk on faith for years to come. 

Hannah is working hard in school. Joshua's farewell was today. She came over for that and I think some of her roommates are coming over for Conference weekend. Her friend Natalie's farewell was today as well. Natalie and Jakob are busy with school and other activities. Jakob's team continues to win. They have three games left. Two this week and one the following Saturday while Dad and I are in Cedar City. As of right now Rose is coming to stay with them. We shall see.

I enjoyed my religion class on Thursday. We talked about Matthew 14:24-33. Truly the Lord is a 4th watch God-meaning sometimes He expects us to walk in faith and may not help us until the 4th watch. But He will help us. He invites us to come to Him. He's always there waiting for us to come but we must act. When we act we show our conversion! We know something, we feel something and then we do something about it! This in turn increases our testimony! Truly Jesus Christ is a God of mercy! When Christ said to Peter "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" He was not rebuking Peter. He was asking Peter to tell him about his fears! When we take our fears to the Lord it is then that He can help us. It is then that we recognize our dependence on Him and His Atonement. Through the Atonement we are cleansed, we are healed, we are restored, we are identified, we are strengthened, and we are ultimately transformed.

I love you!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 49 (The Refiner's Fire)

Hola family!

Well it has been another crazy week!! It is blazing hot here in the desert. Who would have thought that, right? However, una Hermana told us that it is just the refiner's fire to help us get really good blessings and husbands in the future. The hotter the fire the better! ;) I hope she's right. Well, let's see what happened this week:

Monday we had an Actividad de Zona! Yay, however, it wasn't very well organized, so it wasn't as fun as it should have been. We played hockey again and my team won so that is all that counts ;) Then we only got to watch 30 minutes of the Jungle Book (The new one that I didn't know about because I live in the mission bubble.) It looked so good and it was torture that I didn't get to finish it. So, I will have to wait another 7 months to finish it. Then we went to our house and found out that Hna. Maldonado forgot the keys in the church!! We tried in vain to break into our own house. ;) We finally just went to the internet to write and then went shamefully to our Reunion de Distrito without our scriptures and notebooks. What a missionary nightmare ;) but the good news is that we found the keys.

Tuesday we had capacitacion con Presidente. It was great as usual. We also found 5 poor abandoned puppies. Someone in the nighttime threw them over the fence, so that we would take them into our homes and love them. Well their tactic worked because before the week was over there was not one puppy left. They were so cute but so traumatized. So sad.  The rest of the day was normal.

Wednesday la verdad no me recuerdo bien.

Thursday we had to come home early because it was the day of El Grito. This is their way of celebrating their Independence Day. It involves a lot of shooting pistols into the air and for that reason we were not in the street, so that we didn't accidentally die like the invisible man from the three amigos. ;)

Friday I woke up and I was sick, very very sick. I couldn't even get out of bed sick.

Saturday was better. They left me with a member so my companions could go visit. I basically slept all day.

Sunday was even better until the evening when we received the dreaded call for our CAMBIOS. Well Hna Fuentes went to another area in Torreon, Hna Maldonado is going to train a newbie in Hacienda and  I............to my great astonishment and surprise was told that I was to go to Filadelfia to be Hermana Lider!? What!? All the world told me I was going to train a new missionary and to hear this news, Hna Maldonado and I were so shocked! We were so shocked we didn't even know what to do!? So here I am in another new area in Gomez Palacios thinking what in the world am I going to do as Hermana Lider? Lots of pressure, lots of responsibility. But I believe it will be a great experience! :)

Well this week I have really learned that we need to pass through our experiences and hardships in life without murmuring. If we are obedient to the Lord and do what He asks, everything will be okay and hardships are not a punishment. In fact, it just means God knows your ready for the next level and wants to make you great and powerful. However, if we are not obeying the commandments of God, we very well could be receiving those hardships for our lack of obedience. I have learned that complaining doesn't make it any better! You can only be patient and positive and trust in the Lord. Animo! Sometimes I ask why did God send me to the desert. He knows how I hate the heat or why this or why that. But then una hermana said something profound (which I mentioned earlier) that these afflictions are only the refiner's fire and will bring the greatest treasures you could ever imagine. All these things that we pass through, if we will only bear them well, or resist the refiner's flame, we can reveal the great treasures waiting for us beneath. If we don't resist, if we don't wait out our trials, then we will be cast off as the chaff, as the part of the impure metal that the Lord doesn't want.  We have to hold out to the end and always keep our baptismal covenants if we want to uncover the precious future that the Lord has in store for us. So now I try to thank Him for the heat, thank Him for all the sweating, thank Him for the 90 degrees at night that makes it hard to sleep,  thank Him that I have this opportunity to stand side by side with the Savior-a small moment in time to suffer these small afflictions and to be refined into a better, purer more worthy servant of the Lord. I invite you all to look up the video called "Missionary Work and the Atonement."


It's beautiful and really tells us why we should keep going a pesar que todo lo que pasa en la vida. I invite you to all walk faithfully through the refiner's fire so you can take out the bad, keep the good and find more good. This life is about progress and it is a process. So look at your life and start refining.

Well, Love you all! Have a great week!

Con Amor,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week 49

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Como estas? Estas una mama neuvamente? Quien es tu bebe? 

Everything is crazy busy here. I just got back from a 4 day trip with Papa to the Grand Canyon. We had a nice time. I was so glad Papa enjoyed it. We went to the Glen Canyon Dam and took a tour to see how it holds back all that water for Lake Powell. We went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon one day and the South Rim the next. We did some walking and lots of driving. Dad and I were the only ones it seemed that spoke English. We were surrounded by tourists from all over the world. I think I hear at least ten different languages this weekend. We drove about 1000 miles in 4 days and I drove most of it so I'm really tired. 

Hannah went to her first BYU football game... waited in line, painted her face, and had a blast even though they lost 14-17 to UCLA. She did some speed dating this past week as well. You'll have to have her tell you about...

Natalie is busy with school and now Driver's Ed. She was an 'extra' in a film produced by T. C. Christensen the same that did Cokeville Miracle. We'll see if any shots of her make it into the film... :) She had fun.

Jakob continues to play well in his soccer games and work hard in school. He scored a goal in each of his games this week. 

Dad gave a talk today which I missed. I'm sure he did a great job. He played Mr. Mom while I was gone. It sounds like we're being asked to help with Trek again. We'll know more this week or next. 

Joshua's farewell is next Sunday and Dylan leaves the MTC this week I believe. You'll have to write him and Yosh!

Papa and I attended a ward in Page AZ today. One of the speakers talked about not putting off until tomorrow what can be done today in serving others. I had the impression during the meeting to say something nice to the lady in front of us about her family but I pushed it away and thought she would think I was strange for saying something. As we walked out to the car, the Lord showed me that I had put off something I should have done and that whenever we have thoughts that are good like that they are promptings from the Holy Ghost and we should follow them. I'm going to try harder to do that.

Love you!



Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 48 (Are You a Pharisee?)

Dear family and friends,

Hola nuevamente! Ya paso una otra semana!  I can't believe it! Well, what is the news. Every day my Spanish is better, but every day my English is worse......and everyone wants me to teach them English. Ya no me recuerdo! Torreon is an OVEN just like everyone said. I have never sweat so much in one week in all my life!! Not even at soccer camp! We literally walk around town with our umbrellas, so we aren't fried to death everyday because the sun is so hot here! I have never dreamed so much of the ocean, pools, lakes and Seven Peaks. But it's all good. At least the people here accept to listen to us. They are actually a little more open than the people I encountered in Durango which is surprising.

Well, Monday I arrived in blazing hot Torreon. I arrived alone. The workers took out my luggage and quickly recognized that I am a missionary. They now know all the missionaries ;) So they helped me with my luggage. I found some elders in the centro camionera, however, my companion was not there. I waited another hour in the station for them to arrive. Then we went to our house and I slept for about 20 minutes and then we left the house to go work. That was my day. I was exhausted! I'm starting to feel like a grandma in the mission.:) The missionary age is like dog years for every human year there are about 100 mission years. I am about to complete 1100 years. You are all invited to my fiesta. There will be tacos and a piƱata ;).

Tuesday we had our Zone Conference. It was fun to meet my Zone. Many of them I already know which is good.The rest of the day was normal. That night I went to the funniest Consejo de Barrio (Ward Council) that I have ever been to! They all tell such great jokes! My favorite was this one....'How do you make Jesus laugh?.........You tell him your life plans!! I was dieing. I hope you understand and find it funny too because it is so true in life.

Wednesday also good. Slowly adjusting to the heat here. Let's just say that I LOVE COLD SHOWERS now. I didn't before, but now I love them especially at night! Today we found a woman who I think has a lot of potential! She was walking home from work and we contacted her. As we talked, she started to cry and express her sorrow. The mission is hard, but it is in these moments that I feel like I really know why I am here. I feel like I am doing my part and that the Lord is guiding me.

Thursday a member took us to a home of a family. We talked with the family and they seemed excited to learn of the gospel and to be baptized! I hope all goes well with them. We also talked with a member abuelita. It was so funny because we asked who she would like to say the prayer. She then pointed at me and said, "Ella la bonita" or "her because she is pretty!!" My companions busted up laughing!The truth is that I am not prettier than my companions. They are actually very pretty but it's because they like that I am guerra. ;) And the kids still love me ;).

Friday Well the most exciting part was that a woman forgot her card in the store, so we ran to return it to her and then she and her husband bought us ice cream  to reward us. Que rico :)

Saturday we did splits so we had un chorro de numeros! I love those days when we can cover more ground and find more people!

Domingo, well I gave another talk on my first Sunday and the sad part is that the family of Benjamin told us he is going to go with los cristianos but we will see what we can do to help him see the truth.

This week I learned to love people at a new level. I learned that we can't judge and that we really need to put ourselves in their place and say what we feel like the Savior or our Heavenly Father would say to them. Sometimes we put people down when in reality we should build them up. It says in the scriptures that if we deny Christ, He will deny us. He tells us that we have to take up our cross and follow Him. We have to lose our life in order to find it, but too many of us are only searching for our life. If we want Christ to testify for us, to be our advocate, then we have to be witnesses of Him. We have to represent Him. We have to watch and examine everything we do and ask like we did in Primary, 'What would Jesus do?'. Too many of us are Pharisees. We live the law more than we love the people. I have seen too many Pharisees in the mission. I have come to realize how cruel we can be to one another. We have to support and uplift. We have to love in order to have retention in our wards. We must have sincere preoccupation for one another. It is only then that we can truly be spiritual sons and daughters of Christ! We all have something to change.  We can all have more love in our lives for the people around us. I invite you to have a more pure love for the people in your lives, so that Christ can be at your side to testify and protect you in the last days. So that you can be his sons and daughters.

Have a great week!!

I love you all!!

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week 48

Querida Hermana Lutze,

So you're in a new area with a new companion? Who is your new companion to help you learn the area before you become a Mami again? :) 

Well the Utes just beat BYU 20-19. What a game! I can hear the cul-de-sac celebrating as I'm writing this e-mail. On a brighter note in sports, Jakob scored 4 goals in his soccer game tonight! He was the garbage man-cleaning up on the backside on most of them. He had an assist on one of their other goals. He actually told Dad he likes school this year. I'm happy to hear that!

Natalie started her two weeks of meals for the family. Once she completes this project she should be close to receiving her YW's medallion. She seems to be enjoying school as well.

Hannah is singing a solo tomorrow in her ward. She's had to overcome lots of setbacks this week to pull it off. She seems to be handling school, work, and volunteering. We'll keep praying for her.

I've been busy with all of the above. Work is its usual busy. We have 4 more nurses starting in the next few weeks. I leave this week on a little trip with Grandpa to see the Grand Canyon. We leave Thursday and come back on Sunday. 

Our institute class has started again. I love it. We talked about Elizabeth and Zacharias. They waited with faith, obedience, kept their covenants... The waiting is the trial right? What do we do when we're waiting or in the middle of a trial? Do we complain and doubt like Laman and Lemuel or do we keep doing what we know to be right?

I love you!



P. S. I was talking to Brother Brockbank today while we were cleaning the church and he thought you'd only been out for 6 months. I said, "No, it will be a year next month." He couldn't believe it. He said he hopes it goes that fast for them. Did we tell you Taylor is in Portugal? She left in June.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 47 (LOVE is Spelled TIME)

Dear family and friends,

Time just flies here. You don't even realize it!

Lunes 29 de Agosto: Today we went to Centro again with members and ate at an Asian Buffet! Oh so good! However, I still miss Chinese food at home. Dad, we have to go to the Chinese buffet again when I get back! Mi antojo! Then we searched for things in Centro.

We had Stake Conference over the weekend. We didn't go Saturday night but we did go Sunday. It was a great conference! One of the Seventy spoke and gave an excellent talk about the family and matrimonio (marriage). At the end I will tell you what he said. 

Next Monday: Today I went with some members to visit Parque Guadiana. It is a very big and beautiful park. I liked it a lot. We took tons of pictures! After the park, we went to Wings Army. It is basically the same as Buffalo Wild Wings, but without the crazy hot wings competition. It was really good! :)

The rest of the week has been normal. We are working hard to put Baptismal dates to our investigators. We put two this week and after church we still had one. It is our Testigo de Jehovah! He has a date for Octubre! I sure hope he gets baptized. It has been one of my goals to baptize a Testigo. We also learned why Durango is so Catholic. First, it is one of the initial settlements of the Spaniards when they came to Las Americas and forced the Catholic religion on the indigenous people. Second, there is a hill in our area that is called Cerro de Guadalupe and apparently on this hill is where Victoria Guadalupe saw la Virgen and therefore she became the Virgen Guadalupe. There is a very very strong Catholic culture here. It makes it hard for us to help them leave their traditions. But it has been a good week. Sorry, I don't remember more of the details, but I didn't have access to my agenda all week so I didn't take notes. Life has been good with Hna Reyes and the Family Montoya. I love this family so much! 

Monday: Well I had a surprise! I was moved to Torreon (my first time in Torreon). I am in El Barrio Hacienda. And apparently I will be training someone new in this area. I have literally 2 weeks to learn this new area!! Ah!! But it will all be fine. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about marriage and el sacerdocio (the priesthood) because of what la Setenta (Seventy) talked about. He spoke about how marriage has to be equal. In marriage we have to be happy by making the other person happy. If we are concerned about their happiness we will make ourselves happy. We must strive to be the kind of person that we want. I can't expect my husband to be spiritual if I am not spiritual or to exercise if I don't exercise. We have to better ourselves and then we will be more prepared to find the person that is willing to progress along with us. We also have an investigator with lots of marriage problems. I am learning so much from him as well. I've learned that marriage has to always be novios. (We should continue to date when married.) Matrimonios (marriages) need their space and time. Love is spelled TIME. Maybe it doesn't matter what you do together but it does matter that you have time for one another and that your time builds your relationship and confidence in one another. I have learned so much of what a marriage should and should not have here in the mission. I realized this week what a truly great blessing the priesthood is in a family and how essential it is that there is a worthy priesthood holder to bless and protect the home. I invite all to better and strengthen their relationship with their wife or husband. To the men, I invite you to always, always be ready and worthy to use your priesthood authority. It will always be needed.

I love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week 47

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Hope to hear from you this week. It sounds like you had to run off to have some fun last Monday. This past week was busy as usual. I went through the temple with John, Michele, John's parents, and dad as Yosh received his endowments. He chose the Provo City Center Temple. I love the temple so much. I think of it in terms of the three 'Ps' in which I feel Heavenly Father's love for me through knowing the plan which brings me peace and power! Dylan spent the night with us on Tuesday before entering the MTC on Wednesday. We had a great time together. The Millers came over to visit. Dylan and Joshua will be great missionaries. I just saw Jaden Howell's first letter this week and he is doing well in the MTC.

Hannah is making the adjustment to college life-learning time management-work, volunteering, studies, meal preparation, and laundry. :) She's attended a volleyball game, soccer game, and a foam party so far! She was asked to sing a solo next Sunday in church!!! She sat down unknowingly next to Matt Osborne in the library this week. Once she figured out it was him she still didn't say Hi!!! Gotta break this girl of her shyness!

Natalie is busy with school, piano, and guitar. She's begging me now to take violin. She went to the Skyridge Football game Friday night with friends. She loved the student section. She's continuing to practice her driving! She is improving. She starts Driver's Education in a week. She wrote you a cute handwritten letter that I still need to send.

Jakob is busy with school and soccer. I'd like to say piano as well but he doesn't practice much and he missed his lesson this week. They played in the Mayor's Cup this weekend. They tied the first game, won the second and lost the third. 

I'm teaching today in Relief Society on the book Daughters in My Kingdom. Have you read it? I attached to this e-mail all my quotes from the book that I love. We come from an incredible heritage. I hope we are all living up to our privilege to belong to the greatest organization of women to ever exist on the earth.

Te amo muchisimo!