Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Monday, October 31, 2016

Feliz Cumpleanos Hermana Lutze!

The Maldonado family asked if we would like to send a video to Hermana Lutze for her birthday. We sent this Saturday evening:

Below is the conversation after she watched our video.

Familia  Maldonado:

  • Ella esta muy feliz de verles.
  • Mas tarde le mando mas fotos y video.

Familia Lutze: Muy bien. Muchas gracias!

Familia  Maldonado: La manda un saludo. Ella esta muy feliz!

Familia  Maldonado: 

  • Buenas noches
  • Hna Lutze vio su video. Lloro fue la emocion de verlos, especialment a si papa. Ella creia que el video habia sido antes del infarto de su papa. Le explique que lo habian mandado el sabado por la noche y al ver a su papa cantando le dio much gusto.
  • Quiere le envie ese video?

Familia Lutze: Si por favor!

Familia Maldonado: 

  • La vera llorar pero despues nos dijo era de gusto al ver a su papa bien
  • Estoy editando el video que es muy grande

Primera parte

Va la segunda

Familia Maldonado:

  • Tuve que editar porque era muy grande. Va en dos partes.
  • La veran llorar pero fue de alegria sobre todo vera su papi bien.
  • Nos hizo llorar a todos
  • Tiene un espiritu grandioso
  • Felicidades familia

Familia Lutze: Gracias! Estamos agradecidos por su familia y como se cuida a los misioneros!

Familia Maldonado:

  • Es una bendicion tener Angeles como la Hna. Lutze en casa
  • Los felicito familia Lutze, tienen un Angel de un corazon gigante sirviendo en tierras Lamanitas 
  • No les conocernos pero les amamos como hermanos hijos del mismo Dios!

Familia Lutze: Nos sentimos de la misma manera! Gracias por compartir su cumpleanos con nosostros! Fue la mejor parte de nuestra semana!

Familia Maldonado:

  • Un abrazo fraternal
  • Nuetras oraciones especialment por su esposo

Week 55 (Happy Birthday Hermana Lutze!)

Dear family and friends,

Well this week was alright. We were a little short on time with some cosillas that we had to do, but over all it was a good week. 

Martes we had another awesome capacitacion!! We made another inspiring video for our Zone! They loved it!  That evening las hermanas de los ranchitos stayed because the next day we had interviews with Presidente. So, we, of course, took advantage of the opportunity and went on divisions! Great day! Then, of course, we had a mini fiesta con las hermanas. What do you expect to happen when you have 6 hermanas in your home? ;)

Miercoles we had our interviews with Presidente. They were great as usual and mine was a direct, clear and powerful interview as always. I think I set a new record of 3 minutes. Good long day.

Jueves, well we had planeamiento. Yay! At first I didn't like planeamiento semanal, but with time in the mission, I now see how important and useful it is and now I love it! We also found an amazing investigator who already wants to go to church and be baptized!!! Wow!! That never happens! Hurry prepare the baptismal font!!

Viernes we met with the Lideres de Zona to plan our capacitacion for the Lideres de Distrito. We talked with them about how we can improve as liders and it was a good chat. Then in the afternoon we had a great lesson with Karina!! She just felt tingles and goosebumps all over when we taught her about the restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith!! I think another baptism soon!! Yaya! Then we went to the actividad for Relief Society with Caro and mutual with Joseph.  It was a good day!

Sabado was another great day!! We visited with our investigators and recent converts with the best part of this day being the food!! We had a carne asado!! O yah.....they know how to do a good barbecue! We had carne asada, salchichas, and quesadillas with guacamole and salsa. All the good stuff!! Today we also had a crazy man attack us verbally. He started out with " Jesus is love. He loves everyone." and then he began to say "The Mormons are liars and are wrong. They are the worst. There are no prophets in modern day. Joseph Smith is a fool." I almost turned to him to ask "And where is the love of Christ? How is it that you show the love of Christ by attacking us?" But it wasn't even worth it. My companion just replied, "No, no, Mormons are the best!" ;). Oh these people that don't even understand what they are doing. I sure hope they accept the gospel before it is too late and we are all in el juicio. 

Sunday was mas o menos. Sadly el chamoco intervened in the lives of our investigators and they couldn't attend church. Only one came. However, this one investigator is the chosen one for November! We were sitting in church with him when suddenly he turned to us and said. I AM going to be baptized in your church. However I want you to explain to me my responsibilities and commitments that I will have as a member. :) Wow!!! He has always said that he will probably get baptized but never really accepted his baptismal date. He was working on his answer. He said he just needs to be 51% sure and he will be baptized. Today we gained that 1% !!!!! Woo hoo!!! He is going to be baptized!!! It is a miracle!!! He is our investigator that didn't believe in God and now believes in God!!! Yay!!!!!  

Well, I'm sorry I don't have more time to write a big spiritual thought. I only want to testify to you today that specific prayers, obedience and fasting bring miracles. Not only in my mission but in my family. And I know that I am not here to just bless the lives of these people but also my life, the life of my family, and my future family. So onward and upward for the next 6 months. Here we go!!

I love you all so much!!! Cuidense!! 


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week 55

Querida Hermana Lutze,

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS! We hope you have a wonderful birthday! We love you! (It's nice that it fell on P-Day!)

I just want you to know how grateful we are as a family for your faithful and diligent service as a missionary for your Savior Jesus Christ. How did everything go on Tuesday? I hope you've had a great week. It was an unusually crazy week that I'll tell you more about when you get on tomorrow. Bottom line we received so many tender mercies last week! 

Hannah is working hard in school. We saw her and Marissa again this weekend. They came over Friday night and stayed until late Saturday. Guess whose wash I did when she came home? Sound familiar? Natalie finished range this week and has road left before getting her driver's license in January. Jakob got his braces off on Tuesday. He looks great and of course had a grin from ear to ear. He's the only one going trick or treating tomorrow and it will be his last year. 

I've thought a lot this week about the service others render to us... I was reminded that we just need to act... not ask what we can do for them but just do! I had a flat tire among other issues this week. I called Michelle Howell and asked if Trent could come over and put the spare on while I was gone. She not only offered that but took the car down and picked it up when they finished putting a new tire on. I'll have to show you what was in the tire. It's really an unbelievable story in an incredibly difficult week. I decided to keep it to remind me of the way I want to serve others! In order to serve others in this way we must have the spirit with us to guide us and direct us to what is truly important-to be His hands. 

I love you!

Have a great week!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 54 (Humility-What is Right Not Who!)

Well this week was genial! It went by so fast!

Monday was a normal P-day - clean the house, kill the cucarachas, wash my clothes the old fashioned way, stare at a computer for an hour and  a half, go to the coolest meeting ever and then finish it with a missionary "sleepover" where we actually just sleep and we don't even stay up late. ;) Mondays are always good and productive. That is what I like about them!

Tuesday In the morning we prepared for our capacitation that we are giving next Tuesday. And let me just say that it is going to be awesome! Then in the evening we started our grand service project! We (hermanas lideres and lideres de zona) are going to go to all the areas of  the missionaries in our zone and bring them a poster and little gift and work in their areas to try to animarles (motivate them) and help them feel our love for them! Today we went to the Ranchitos (Bermejillo y Cuauhtemoc). They were so happy to see us! They liked their little gifts and poster! It was nothing big, la verdad, but it is really the thought that counts and that we were there in person. We stayed with them and went to go sing to their investigators. It was a great day of service!

Wednesday we worked some more on the capacitation. Then in the evening we got to work in our area! Yay! We  made some good contacts and found some new investigators! One is a young woman who has a problem cutting herself because her parents don't pay attention to her. I hope her mom lets her listen to us because, la verdad, she needs help from her Heavenly Father.  Overall it was a dia tranquilo.

Thursday we had a Junta con los asistentes. It was actually a very good, productive meeting. We talked about what problems we are facing in our zones and this time we actually came up with SOLUTIONS and not just a bunch of scriptures to plancharles. and for that reason I liked it because I think we came up with some good ideas that are going to help us a lot in our zones. Then we all ate pizza together!! Yay!!! It was a good start of the day! Then we returned to our area and worked a little, until it started to storm really bad. So we went to the church to work on the capacitation some more with the Lideres de Zona. Oh, and by the way, the people say that as of this day, it will start to be cold. Ya empieza el frio.

Friday Well it's true, it's starting to get colder here! But colder here is like 70s and 80s. I will not complain because it feels so good in comparison to the 90s! The morning was again spent on the capacitation. No me diga! This capacitation is taking forever to make. However, it will be truly amazing once it is finished!! In the evening we went to pick up Joseph and his family so that he could go to mutual and his mom to Relief Society. They had a great time at the activities! We are working really hard so that Joseph can be baptized. (his mom is member). We are trying to help him have good friends at church so that he likes going to church and activities ;). We played a little with the Jovenes and then we went to correlacion misional.

Saturday we finally finished the capacitation!! Yaya!  We went to la comida and then visited all the people we need to attend church on Sunday. We found Thomas and he accepted a baptismal date! Also, Joseph and his mom and brother are going to go with us as well! It's going to be a good Sunday!

Sunday Thomas and Joseph both went to church!! Yay!! That made the whole day wonderful! After church, I ate my first brownie in over a year! Wow, it was amazing! I'm going to have to eat more brownies in about 6 months. Then we ate an amazing comida de pollo verde! So good So good! Afterwards, we had to run off to go and visit more missionaries with the elders (good thing they have a good bus system here because the areas are far, far away). It was a great finish to the week! 

Monday, well today I cleaned.........a lot. We deep cleaned our house because the hermanas are going to basically live with us for 3 days because of meetings and interviews and such. So now the house is really, really clean and beautiful! I think it is actually the cleanest house in all the mission ;). Hopefully that will help with the cucarachas. There are a lot here!! Each night I have to kill about 4 or 5! So, I am now practically a professional cucaracha killer ;)

This week I have learned a lot about "if you want to be the greatest in the kingdom you have to be the servant" and submitting to the will of others. As an Hermana lider, I see now how we have to serve and not try to make ourselves better than those we serve because we want to be the type of lider that inspires, encourages and elevates the level of performance. To do that you have to make everyone be better than yourself and the way to do that is to serve them, help them, and nourish them. I am learning to love on a whole new level. I have learned to submit. There are just some things in life that aren't worth fighting over. With my companion I am learning to just let her do things her way because those things are not going to change our eternal destiny. So I try to love and help her in any way I can. We have to remember that this is not a popularity contest. We are not here to gain position for popularity or prestige. We have to remember that we are not even here to do our will or the will of others. We are only here to do the will of our Heavenly Father.  Therefore, when we work with other people, other members, etc. we have to learn to work together and get things done. We can't afford to be divided. We have to learn to accept others and be united in purpose. It's true we are not going to get along with everyone on the planet or everyone in our ward or seminary, etc. But we can learn to be kind and courteous and to be united in purpose. I have learned that we can't live in conflict. because the spirit of contention is not of God. If we make an error we need to be humble enough to accept it, ask forgiveness, and change. I have also learned this week to humble myself, even if I am correct on the matter, I have learned to humble myself and ask forgiveness on my part. To be humble so we can work for what is really important in this life.  

Well, this is my invitation to you all, that you can be humble in all aspects and situations. Even if you are correct or think your way is better, be humble. Humility is when we worry about what is right and not who is right. It is hard, but it is what helps us move on in life and live happily in every type of relationship.

I love you all!!! 


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week 54

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Yo espero que todo anda bien alli en Mexico! Life here is the usual busy, crazy of course. I kept working all week even though I was really sick. I started getting sick over a week ago on Saturday and feeling better on Wednesday afternoon. I think I had a short version of the flu. The kids were on Fall Break this week. They have tomorrow off as well.

Hannah and Marissa came over Friday night and stayed until late Saturday night. We had fun carving pumpkins and watching movies. Hannah is really having a hard time in school and not getting awesome grades. We just keep encouraging her to work hard and do her very best. She is adjusting well to the social. I'm so glad she had a date last weekend. She will be singing again with the choir for the young single adult fireside coming up in December I believe. She's excited about that. 

Natalie and Jakob are working hard in school and enjoying their break this weekend. I took them up to Heber Friday. We went bowling with Papa. He just watched us. Natalie beat us in both games. She even got a turkey - 3 strikes in a row in the last game. We then spent time at Papa's with the Millers and finished the evening with a visit to the Train for dinner. Coming home we were so protected... We'd just left Heber driving on the straight, fast portion towards Midway when a deer came across the road from left to right. I missed hitting him by inches going 70 miles per hour. Blessings! What's weird is that he was so fast I didn't see him cross in front of me until he was on my right front bumper. Yikes!

We attended Stake Conference last night and this morning. It was all excellent! Last night we had a discussion about loving those around us and not judging them - less actives, early return missionaries, single church members, LGBTQ, really anyone and everyone right... We need to assume everyone has good attentions and they are doing their best. This morning we heard on the topic of coming unto Christ. I really enjoyed President Lyman's talk. He spoke of three enablers of hope.

Perspective - We need to remember Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts... We must seek God's perspective on our lives to gain His view. Doing the fundamental practices consistently helps us to gain His perspective and brings us peace.

Focus - Our focus must be on Christ! Remember faith in Christ and doubt cannot exist at the same time. When we learn to control our thoughts we will learn to master ourselves.

Grace - We must have daily application of the Atonement! It is only through the enabling power of the Atonement (being yoked to the Savior) that we can pull the hard loads of life! The Lord loves us and hasn't left us alone. We are His work and His glory!

I love you! I hope you have a great week! We sent something from Mexico City on Wednesday for your birthday! So let me know when you receive it. There should be two items! :)



Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 53 (Do I Lead with Love?)

Dear family and friends,

Another week has flown by and I'm sure these 6 months remaining will fly by as well! There is so much to do, learn. and change. I just hope I have enough time to do it all!

My week was pretty good. 

Monday Today was fabulous!! We went to eat with Presidente and Hermana Ramos in their house (muy nice).  It was quite the adventure because Hna Jimenez and I had to find buses that would take us to Torreon and then from Torreon to Hacienda where we were going to meet up with Hna Moronta, Hna Vazquez and Hna Ramos. It was a miracle that we arrived! But, we got to the meeting point unscathed ;) Then Hna Ramos took us to the office. And that is where I met up with my two old companions from Estacion (they are now companions) and let's just say Hna Reyes almost killed me from  her excitement of seeing me. ;) Luckily I have strong bones and a soccer stance at all times ;). Then we all went to the Mission home. There we ate some delicious Mole. Mole from the DF and pollo encacahuatado (basically mole but with peanut butter). They were both delicious! After that we took some great pictures on the playground and by the famous "river" Nazas. (It is more of a dry dirt river than a water river.) That was basically P-day :)

Tuesday We had our Capacitacion de Zona which was awesome! But really, really long (6/7 hours). And at the end I went with Hna Santiesteban (Yay!) to Cuauhtemoc (ranchito) in an intercambio. We had so much fun! And in the night time we went to the Ferria where the ward had a booth set up that was so cute! You could take your picture in a frame that said "Families are Eternal" and other frames and then they print the picture right there and then! It was so cute! We got a lot of referencias! So much fun! Then we went home and "slept". No, I couldn't sleep I wanted to talk to one of my best friends in the mission! It was so good to spend time with her!

Wednesday It was a normal day to say the least. And that is all I remember :)

Thursday In the morning we made surprise visits to the Hermanas to do their inventarios. Wow! It was surprising to see their houses when it is not an intercambio with one of us. Some of them were still very clean and organized. Some of them were a disaster. So we helped them do a bit of cleaning this morning ;) I realized in that moment that how my house is here in the mission is how my house is going to be in the future. So all you missionaries I hope you practice keeping your houses clean. 

Friday The day I left my home one year ago!? Wow!!! I cant believe it!! I now have a year in the mission!!! Crazy! It doesn't feel like a year of my life has passed away!? But the date says that it has passed! Now only 6 months to go!! Woo hoo!! Today was a good day. It was really hot but we found some good people to teach. I hope that some baptisms will be coming soon.

Saturday We did our last inventario!! Woo hoo! They take forever and we have to go so far to their house to do them. We have easily spent over 500 pesos in transportation just doing these inventarios. However, they are now done and we just have to submit them. This day was actually funny because a couple miracles happened. We hopped on a bus to go back to our area and we decided to go on an adventure and see if this bus could actually take us to our area. So we kept going and going and going and then it passed by the very end of our area! Yes! So we hopped off and started walking and then a member with a taxi gave us a lift to our comida and the comida was the healthiest comida that I have eaten in a while! It is the little things that make life great! ;)  The rest of the day was great as well. We talked to some very confused people that don't want anything to do with the gospel. We talked to people that only want to fight with us over doctrine. I have to say I'm very good at winning the battles in Spanish ;). Then in the night we went to help the Elderes with their baptism because their was no water. You kinda need water to baptize someone. We ended up going to another capilla but it all turned out well. 

Sunday  We went to church, ate yummy food and went to go teach those who would accept to listen on a Sunday afternoon (the weekends are always the hardest with so many fiestas and everyone is drinking.....a lot).

This week I have been thinking about being a leader and all that it requires. Something I liked a lot about the Capacitacion with Presidente is that he said we have to be leaders that are loved and not feared, respected and not scorned. We have to learn to be leaders so that one day we can be leaders in our home. I think that is so true. In life we have to be respected because we are loved and not because we are feared. Love gains the respect and loyalty that lasts forever. It's the type of respect our children have for us. And as leaders we always have to lead with righteousness and sometimes make the hard decisions. At times we may be hated and people may say mean things or gossip, but in the end they will be grateful that we decided to lead in that way. I also really like a scripture I was reading the other day. In English it basically says that the proud will be humbled and the humble will be lifted up and blessed. If we want to rise, if we want to be better, if we want to be of more use in the hands of God, we have to be humble. We cannot seek after position in the kingdom of God. It is not the Game of Thrones here. We are here to serve. Let him that is greatest among you be your servant. We can't seek to be president or bishop or any other calling. We must learn to be humble, have a desire to serve and that all the glory is for God. In our callings, we have to magnify them and magnify them for God, magnify them to build up the kingdom of God and be willing to accept whatever calling may come our way. We can't say "I want a calling, just not that calling that you are giving me."  God needs people who have the ambition for Christ and want to serve how, where, and in what they may. We need people who are ready to work and willing to grow because they are the army of God. They are the true and faithful and chosen people of God.

So I invite you all to work on being beloved leaders in all that you do, in school, at work, at home, in the street, and to learn to be humble and willing to serve so that God can build you up and make you into what you were always meant to be.

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

Con amor,

Hermana Lutze!

P.S. I'll see you in 6 months!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Week 53

Querida Hermana Lutze,

NO PUEDO CREERLO! Has alcanzado un ano! It's gone by so quickly for me... I can't believe you'll be home in six months. I'm sure you feel like you just want time to slow down and it keeps speeding up. I know that's how I felt as my mission came closer to its end. I remember crying when I had to remove my missionary badge!

Life here is crazy as usual. We spent a ton of time in the yard this week... pruning, cleaning, mowing twice to cut the grass shorter, and cleaning up the divots after they aerated. Work is always busy... The kids have fall break this weekend. I hope to spend some time up at Papa's. I think Marissa and Hannah are coming out to the house as well so we'll spend some time with them. I enjoyed the temple on Thursday while Natalie was volunteering. I love the promises made to us in the initiatory. BYU won their game on Friday in double OT 28 - 21. Such an exciting game and yes Hannah didn't have a voice at the end.

Hannah's busy with school and stressing over her grades. I just keep trying to build her confidence. She did go on a blind group date on Saturday and had a blast. I'm so happy for her. I'm sure she'll share the details with you.

Natalie is happy to have a phone now. She's finishing up the Book of Mormon and her Personal Progress will be complete. Hallelujah! She just finished driver's ed and can't wait to get her license. 

Jakob is taking a break for a couple of weeks from soccer. They will move up to Group A play this next year. They only have Premiere D1 and D2 above them. I hope they move up to D2 after spring. We shall see. 

Three things from my week...

First I'm always amazed at how the Lord works. He knows the big picture and we sometimes forget that! We get caught up in details that aren't so important. So I learned from Sister Miller that Kim Butterfield had surgery recently so I felt I should take something to her. I was going to do it right after my next two errands but felt prompted to go now. I thought OK he knows she's home... She wasn't there and so I left what I'd brought on the doorstep with a note. Mmm? Why did I have that prompting? Fifteen minutes later I was in Smith's and happened to run into Carolina and her mom Viviana that I visit teach. They've been extremely hard to find and I knew the Lord had adjusted my schedule so that we could meet in the store. The Lord knows the big picture.

President Skousen gave an awesome talk today in relation to the Good Samaritan and loving those around us - less active, same gender attraction, singles, and early returned missionaries. It really should be published. It was that good! I'd never thought of the Parable of the Good Samaritan as Christ and we are the innkeeper. He turns the injured, the sick, etc to us the innkeepers to care for. If you haven't thought of it in this way take a moment to reread it thinking of Him as the Good Samaritan and you as the Innkeeper.

Lastly, Elder Jaden Howell wrote this week and related what Elder Bednar had taught to them in their Tuesday devotional. Elder Bednar said he takes notes on Conference on one sheet of paper. (What?!) For each talk he writes three things... the doctrine, the invitation, and the blessings promised. My invitation to you this week is to do this with one of the recent talks. We did this for FHE tonight and it works so well!!!

Te amo muchisimo!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 52 (Do You Trust the Lord Completely?)

Dear family and friends,

Well, well, here we meet again. The weeks are so strange because every day feels like four days (morning, before la comida, after la comida, home in casa) but every week feels like just one day that just flew by!! I'm pretty sure that my time is now speeding up!  So crazy that I almost have a year now!

Well, let's see what happened in my week...

Monday It was our awesome Actividad de Zona! Hna Jimenez and I were in charge of the activity and the Elders of the movie. (They decided who got what, of course!) However, our activity turned out awesome! We ate breakfast and then divided them into teams. Their first task was to go on a wild treasure hunt (goose chase) which then led them behind the church. There they found a bunch of minute-to-win-it games. First, they had a competition to see who ate the watermelon without hands the fastest. The team participant who won first went to the next game. And the teams that lost had to do it again. The next game was "pescar las  llaves" which is incredibly hard and hilarious! They had to fish the keys. The next game they had to sort skittles into the correct cups in less than a minute (harder than you think). Then they had to run off to the zapatazo. They had to kick their shoe onto a table (also harder than you think). Next, they had a bowl of cotton and with vaseline on their nose they had to move all the cotton to the other bowl. It was hilarious!! And the last challenge was to look for their strip of paper in a bowl of flour with their face. They then had to run and find the playera of that person's name. So much fun! I feel a little evil ;) Like an evil mastermind. But the point is that my team won ;). After that we played basketball and soccer and then watched the Croods. No me diga. That movie is about mil veces funnier in the mission and with the missionaries!!! We were dying of laughter!! That was our awesome activity. 

Tuesday I had my first Intercambios in my area (despues de 2 semanas) and it actually went surprisingly well considering that I don't know my area. We walked a little lost, but not too lost. and besides when you are walking lost it is the time when you can always find the best people right!?............Although, I found someone a little too good. We talked to a  group of people sitting in front of their store and one of them began to talk to me in English and started to ask me if......I wanted to marry him.......uh........uh......uh........NO! No me diga! I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I didn't know if he was speaking English or Spanish or if I was understanding correctly!? Just when I started to think that nobody would ask that question for a long time, that the first time someone would ask me that would actually be the person that I did want to marry. He stole my "first time to be asked to get married" moment in life ;). It really surprised me and he really insisted, so I invited him to go to church with us. If he arrives, well, then we can teach him the gospel, so he can find his real true love ;). Life of "la guerra."

Wednesday Well another great day of work. My companion returned with me and then we got to work! It was great because we found new investigators in one day! (That is rare here!) So it was an awesome day. 

Jueves They told us out of no where that we have to get the inventarios to them Lunes!!!????? Ma!!!!???? So we had to run off to Los Ranchitos. We went to Bermejillo and Cuauhtemoc to do their inventarios. They live about an hour away which meant one hour in a taxi with no air conditioning. It was a marvelous ride! But it was fun to see more of Gomez Palacio. Then we returned to our area to eat around 330 or 4 (We were in Los Ranchos for about 6 hours!) Then we had to prepare a video for the zone and that was pretty much our day. 

Friday was my first Consejo de Lideres and it was AMAZING! The zone conferences are even better when you recieve them directly from Presidente. I felt like I learned so much! Now I just hope I can help the missionaries learn a lot as well. Afterwards we ate lunch/linner. It was sopes bien bien ricas with a salsa tan tan tan tan rica!! with a dessert of Chocoflan tan tan tan rica! I have a lot of learning to do when I get home. And that was the awesome day with the Hermanas Lideres and Lideres de Zona de Torreon y Gomez Palacio.

Saturday was a normal day. But we found some great nuevos and we had a great member to accompany us. 

Then in the night time we had our baptism!!! Woo hoo!! We baptized a boy of 10 years whose name is Irving. and let's just say that this was the strangest baptism I have EVER been to in my entire life. He was a little TOO excited to get in the water. So excited that he jumped in and started to swim!!! Que oso!!! I couldn't believe my eyes!! They baptized him but he was still being wild! So we had to talk to him about the importance and sacred nature of this ordinance and we had to baptize him again. It's a miracle my nerves survived that day ;) But the point is that he got baptized.....Woo hoo! 

Sunday was a normal day. I always love going to church. However, the proselyting after church is always terrible because everyone is going to their church or they are partying or they are drunk or on drugs or they just straight up don't want to talk to you. So ya, Domingos are rough, but they pass quickly.

Well that was my week and it was quite the week to say the least. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about the Second Coming of Christ, probably because I just arrived in Matthew 24 which is all about the end of the world. I have come to realize that we are really going to have to be firm in the faith and in the testimony of Jesus Christ like so many said in Conference. We are going to have to be stronger, more filled with the spirit, and more obedient than ever in our lives. We have to be prepared for this day and the day of preparation is HOY. We have to know Christ as if He lived in our very home or was part of our own family. We have to know Him and learn to truly trust in Him 100%. I often think of the "Trust Game" where you have to fall back straight as a board. There are 3 types of people. The people that won't fall back, the people that start to fall back and then get scared and take a step back to catch themselves and the people that fall back, completely trusting. We have to find out which of these three we are. Do we not trust at all, trust a little, but only what we can see or do we trust COMPLETELY in the Lord? And I know that for what is coming we need to learn to trust completely in the Lord. We have to know Him, trust Him, and follow Him. If we don't, the day will come when the world is in chaos and our trials are bigger than we ever imagined and if in this moment we don't trust in the Lord, we will not be counted among the noble and great ones. We will not be counted among the elect. This is why we are always teaching of the small and simple things that we must be doing. A relationship grows through small and simple things. Our friendships grow because we spend time and talk with that person and have great experiences with that person. Our matrimony grows because we give them attention, we show them our love, we serve them. It is the same with the Lord. If we want a good relationship, we must serve Him, we must give Him time and respect. We have to talk to him often, We have to love Him and have spiritual experiences with Him.  

This is my invitation to you all this week. Analyze your relationship status with Jesus Christ and your Heavenly Father and find ways to improve it, to make it stronger, so you can be prepared for what lies ahead.

I love you all!! 


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Week 52

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Gracias por las fotos de tu actividad de Zona! I knew you were in charge when I saw the fun 'minute to win it' games. :) Life here is busy as usual. We have some sad and yet happy news... Mama Belen passed away peacefully on Tuesday. I'm happy for her but sad for Bertha. She'll be all alone now. Dad and I were supposed to be in Cedar City over the weekend so he left Wednesday night for the Friday funeral while I left Friday morning with Natalie for Cedar City. We met up with Brent and Amy for our first play at 2:00 - Murder by Two. It was a 90 minute play by two people solving a murder. It was hilarious! The two guys were amazingly talented on the piano and the one guy played about seven different people often switching from one character to the next with no pause! He was incredible! We ate dinner that night at Brody's - a delicious Mexican restaurant. Brent, Amy, and I ate a dish that was a boiling pot of chicken, steak, and shrimp with onions, cacti, and zucchini in a yummy sauce. You ate it like fajitas. The next day I drove Natalie to St. George to spend time with cousins. Then Brent, Amy and I went up to Cedar Breaks. We hiked Crystal Springs and took some gorgeous pictures of the fall colors!!! We then met up with Dad at the hotel. He had made it back from the funeral. We all went out for sushi! It was delicious! We ate six rolls between the four of us. We then went to our other play - "the Cocoanuts." It was also funny and very well done. It was a Groucho Marx play, if you know who that it is.

Hannah's busy with school and is so happy that Marissa is finally back up here. By the way the family is all safe but the Cronins still don't have power from Hurricane Matthew and I'm not sure the Weights have gone back yet to their house. They were part of a mandatory evacuation.

Natalie is enjoying life with a phone now. She's working hard in school and finishing up driver's education. She has road and range in a couple of weeks. 

Jakob is working hard in school as well. He played in his last game on Saturday and scored the only goal for their team. It ended up in tie. I'm sad I missed his last game. He stayed with Howells for two nights since our plans got all messed up.

I've been thinking a lot about the words of Isaiah quoted by Jacob this week. In 2 Nephi 6:13 we read, "Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet; and the people of the Lord shall not be ashamed. For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah." I've been pondering on what it means to 'wait' since I want to be one of His people! Am I waiting for Him? What does it mean to wait for Him? I think it means to come to Him, to be still and know that I am God, to never deny the Christ, to endure to the end, to develop Christ-like attributes while we wait and to not become part of the world.

I love you and pray for your success!



Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 51 (General Conference - Listen, Comprehend, and Act)

Dear family and friends,

Well, la verdad, I can't even remember what happened this week. It passed by so fast with so much to do!

Tuesday morning we were told that we were to prepare our Actividad de Zona for this coming Monday!? So we spent the morning organizing.  The afternoon was normal except for our encounter with the poor man whose wife came at him with  a machete. No me diga! His hand was literally sliced open and you could see everything including the muscle! So cool! I hope we get the opportunity to teach him :).

Wednesday was my first Intercambio! Woohoo! It went really well I think! We worked hard. We talked in the night about some things and I think I was able to give her some advice and words of wisdom to help her be even more amazing! This is what I like about being an Hermana Lider.  I have the opportunity to influence the lives of others - to uplift, to inspire.

Thursday we were still in intercambios and we tried to get as much work done as possible!

Friday morning we planned Las Playeras for the activity and again tried to do as much work as possible in our area!

Saturday was Conference!!!! Yay!!!! I can't believe it! What an amazing conference! I have never been so impacted by so many talks! Normally there are a couple that don't interest me as much, but this time, every talk was so good and direct that I loved every single one!! After conference we bought the stuff for the Zone activity and spent all afternoon and evening preparing the activities.

Sunday was another amazing day of Conference with another round of incredible talks! We had lunch with la familia Maldonado. Hna Moguel (x misionera de la mision) returned for a reunion! It was so fun to see her!  Later that afternoon. we tried to get a little more work done in our area. We finally got the signature to baptize our investigator! Yay! That night we finished preparing!! Crazy day!!

Well, rapido, I just want to testify to each of you that every single word that was said in this conference is true and is of God. Our leaders have been called of God to guide and direct us. And we, as the people being guided, have the solemn responsibility to listen, comprehend, and ACT. We must apply what we have learned so that we can be blessed and prepared for the future. I hope you all paid attention to how much they talked about prayer, personal revelation, repentance, obedience to the commandments, and staying true and faithful to the gospel as we go through trials. I know that many things are going to change very fast in this life. I know that we have a lot of hard times ahead and very soon. The end is nearing and our leaders are preparing us so that when the Savior comes we won't be the wicked that are cast out and burned, but the righteous who are saved. We all need to improve and step up our membership in the church. I encourage you all to re-read the conference messages. Take notes on how our leaders want us to change and prepare and then set goals in your life to make those changes. We have to act now before it is too late. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet now in day. I know that he and his apostles and other servants speak on behalf of God.  I know that if we follow their counsel we will NEVER be led astray. However, we have to hold on to our faith and fight the good fight.

I love you all so much!! Hope you have a wonderful week!!

Con amor,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Week 51

Querida Hermana Lutze,

This week was busy with work at work and work at home. It's that time of year where I need two of me-one to do the yard and one to do everything else. Hannah's been really sad this past week. She hasn't done as well as she hoped on her exams. Please pray for her that she will have what she needs to get into the nursing program. She's been pretty distraught. BYU finally won another football game on Friday in the last 2 seconds of the game. :) Natalie got her phone this week... she's pretty much done with Personal Progress. She just needs to finish the Book of Mormon. Jakob's team won and tied in their two soccer games this week. He has one more this Saturday but Dad and I will be in Cedar City with Brent and Amy to see a couple of plays. (However Mama Belen isn't doing well... We received a call yesterday so Dad may end up out their in the next few weeks for a funeral.She's home on hospice.) We were called last Sunday to go on Trek again. :) You and Hannah will get to stay with Jakob while we go with Natalie. 

Conference was so incredible this weekend! I loved it! I attended the temple on Friday. I desperately needed the peace and comfort the temple brings. I love the clarity I feel after I've been in the temple. It truly puts everything in its proper perspective. It's amazing to me how you often think you don't have time but when you make time for the temple the Lord proves you wrong time and time again. I was able to do initiatories and a session in three hours and then went on to do everything on my list and a million things that weren't on my list. 

I've been thinking about Nehemiah vs. Lehonti. If you'll remember Nehemiah told those that were trying to distract him that he was doing a great work (rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem) and that he could not come down while Lehonti eventually gave in and did come down and then he was poisoned by degrees. That's so like Satan... He gets us to slowly decrease our obedience to the fundamental practices in life like scripture study, prayer, church and temple attendance. He poisons us by degrees until we harden our hearts and are eventually past feeling without even knowing it. I've also been thinking a lot about the command of Jesus Christ to Peter "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." How do we know when we're converted? In my mind we know we are converted when we do... We don't just know and feel something but we are propelled to action. This shows our conversion which in turn strengthens our faith continuing in an upward cycle. The same could be said for downward cycles as well. Finally I've been thinking about the words of Christ to his disciples when some of them walked no more with him. He turned to the twelve and asked "Will ye also go away?"  I loved Elder Ballard's talk on this today and relating it to church members that are losing their testimonies and leaving the church. It's imperative that we hold onto the iron rod! I love most how Peter responds to him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. This brings me back again to conversion. To believe is a testimony but to be sure is to be truly converted. We are up and doing!

Te amo muchisimo!

Con amor,