Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 59 (We are Created Perfectly Imperfect!)

Dear family and friends,

Wow, I can't believe that it is almost Christmas! Time is going by so fast! This week was another great one!

Monday I already told you what happened! We had another great time in Centro and went "Black Friday" shopping! ;)

Tuesday we had a great Capacitacion de Zona otra vez. We taught them with lots of videos to keep their attention ;) Many of them thanked us, entonces, I think that they felt the spirit and that is always our goal.

Wednesday we went to visit las hermanas en Bermejillo and find our baptism miracles to complete our goal of 10 baptisms for the zone. Sadly we didn't find anyone that could be baptized in November. However, we did find some other good people with some real potential.

Thursday we had Junta con los Asistentes. It was a great meeting. I hope we found some fantastic ideas to help our zone work at top notch performance. That took our entire day and that night we had Corelacion Misional with Hermano Maldonado.

Friday was planeamiento and we visited our investigators. In the noche we had an actividad de Barrio. It was a great activity with the BEST Discada that I have ever eaten in all my time in the mission! Sooooo good. I have to get that recipe for las fiestas en casa! ;)

Saturday in the morning we made the journey to Sam's Club (and it was quite the journey). We finally arrived and selected our cake for Joseph! Yay! Then we went back home and went on splits in order to visit all of our investigators. Then we ran off to the baptism of Joseph!! Yay! Se bautizó! It was a great baptism! He has so much potential to do great things in the church one day! I can't wait to see him grow and change in his faith!

Sunday Joseph was confirmed! Yay! Baptism completed. Sadly only two of our investigators came to church. However, they are the two with baptismal dates, so it's okay! We will work with the others to come to church soon.

Well, I want you all to look up a video entitled "The Butterfly Circus." This video is amazing! I know that all of us were created perfectly imperfect. We have defects and problems so that we can overcome them, so that we can be strong. The greater the challenge, the greater the triumph! I know that each and every one of us is a child of God and that He loves us. He wants to help us! He wants us to become great and to be a light to those around us - to be an example to inspire and lift up the hands that hang down!! Never believe what others think. Always believe in what your Heavenly Father knows you can be! I love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Here's the link to "The Butterfly Circus." It's about 20 minutes and well worth your time. :)


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 59

Querida Hermana Lutze,

We're so grateful this Thanksgiving season for your service to the Lord. We will be in Colorado over Christmas so you should be able to say Hi to Mama Carol and Papa Fred as well. :) Bob and Alexandra had their baby on November 22nd. They named her Amber Samara Lutze. Ryan and Sharon's new baby, Karden, was born on Grandma's birthday-November 21st.

We spent most of the week with family. Wednesday we met up with the Cronins, Weights and Millers at Seven Peaks. We played laser tag a couple of times. The kids played arcade games and climbed the rock wall as well. Thursday we spent with the Russells and Fuhrimans. We only had 14 pies this year- disappointing but still delicious. Sonia's key lime pie and my coconut were both a huge hit. (Hannah saved a piece of key lime in the freezer for you.) Everyone did the polar bear plunge into the pool between dinner and pies. I was very glad to video the whole thing and not be jumping in. Brrr! If you're allowed to watch a youtube video here's the link: 


We went up Friday to Papa's to spend time with the Weights and Cronins. We went to see the new movie Fantastic Beasts. You'll definitely have to watch it when you get home. We're making a list for you. The kids went to the temple on Saturday and then Marissa and Hannah spent the rest of the weekend with us. They watched Unitards Saturday night. Now it's back to work and school!!! There's lots to be done this week.

I'm slowly reading all of the conference talks. I just read "Be Ambitious for Christ" and thought of you. He remarked, "I am proud not only of Elder Cowan but also of all the missionaries throughout the world who serve willingly without murmuring or complaining. Thank you, elders and sisters, for your faith, your focus, and your strong ambition for Christ." I also read "For Our Spiritual Development and Learning" this week. He quoted President Uchtdorf, "When... missionaries have faith in Jesus Christ, he said, "they will trust the Lord enough to follow hIs commandments-even when they do not completely understand the reasons for them. Their faith will be manifest through diligence and through work." Of course I also thought about you as read this statement.

Keep up the hard work until the end and you will be greatly rewarded. 



Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 58 (What Does the Sacrament Mean to You?)

Dear family and friends,

I can't believe it's Monday!! It's crazy!! Time is going by way too fast! All the people I thought would never leave the mission are now going home in December! Ah! Now I'm the viejita in the mission! ;). I thought this day would never come, but it has come and faster than I ever thought it would.

Let's take a look at my week. 

Monday was a great day as usual. We had a fantastic Reunion de Distrito and that is about it.

Tuesday I left my area to start my 48 hours of Intercambios! Woo hard core! ;) I went with Hermana Hernandez a Sarabia. I slept on the worst bed I've ever seen. It was like a hammock ;) Hermana Santiesteban warned me her bed was terrible, but I didn't think it would be that, bad but it was ;) She is working on changing it. It was a great intercambio!! We had some amazing miracles happen! People accepted baptismal dates and members visiting their families gave us references de oro! I hope they have so much success in their area!

Wednesday I finished my intercambio with Hermana Hernandez and we met up with our compañeras and with las hermanas de Alamos. Then I went with Hermana Palacios a Alamos for intercambio 2! It was so much fun to be in my old area again! We found some great people, taught them, and had a blast working together! I ate the biggest burrito I have ever seen in me life! It was more than a foot long and filled with so many wonderful guisos! Great day!

Thursday I got to say goodbye to Hermana Dobali. She is leaving Mexico to go live in Las Vegas. So I can  now visit her more easily once I am in casa ;). She is an amazing person and a great example to me in so many ways! I finally returned to my area and felt like I now have no idea what is going on, but that is what companions are for-to guide you along. ;)

Friday we spent the day working on a great capacitacion to help our zone work more efficiently and to baptize every month so we can reach the baptism goal for our zone. We are working so hard to reach our goal!! We will do our part and then it is up to the missionaries to apply what we teach and suggest.

Saturday was a great day! We passed by all our investigators that we want to go to church tomorrow and they said they are going to come! Yay! We also went to the baptism of Lizeth (de los Lideres de Zona).  All in all great day.

Sunday we went for our investigators and 5 of them came. Yay!!! Joseph will be baptized next week. Thomas will be baptized the first week of December! (He is our miracle!! He didn't believe in God, but now he believes in God and believes that this truly is the true church of God! Yay!!) We also have a couple of other people who could be baptize in December!! Yay!! I'm dreaming of a white Christmas! ;) 

Monday  Today has also been great! We cleaned the house because the Hermanas are coming to sleep over and we went to Centro! We went "Buen Fin" shopping (It's their version of black Friday in which they just raise the price a couple weeks before and drop it again so it really isn't a bargain ;) ) We bought some more stuff and ate pizza and had a blast with Yaqui, Nadia y Jenni!

This week I have been thinking a lot about the sacrament. Sometimes I wonder if we really understand the significance of the little piece of pan and the little cup of water. Sometimes we are like the child from last week who asked "What other food are they going to give?" looking at it as only food - a little refreshment in Sacrament meeting. Do we look at the Sacrament for what it really is -the great atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior? We are so blessed with the opportunity to have that time to remember the Savior, His great sacrifice and obedience. The bread which represents his body helps us remember that he gave His life to save us, to teach us and show us the way. Everything He did was to glorify the Father and to bring salvation unto us. The water which represents his blood was shed for us to help us remember the suffering He went through for our sins, our mistakes, our, pride, our natural man. Remember that His love was so great for each and every one of us that He was willing to give every drop of blood if it were necessary. Remember that even though He knew this would be the most agonizing thing He would ever do, He submitted to the will of the Father without complaint, without doubt, only filled with faith, hope and charity for us. Every time we participate in the Sacrament we are pushing the restart button on our lives, if we have repented of what we have done. Every week we can be better, more holy, more pure, more fit for His kingdom. As members of the church we can't take this ordinance for granted. We have to partake of it every week and PREPARE to partake of it every week. We can't make ourselves dirty saying, later I will just take the Sacrament and be clean again.....it doesn't work like that. WE have to make the changes in our lives and the Lord will erase the wrong doing in our lives. He will stand as our advocate before the Father. We have to do as Christ says and take up our cross and follow Him. Salvation is not a cheap or easy experience. It will take work, faith, diligence, and hope. But, if each week we are improving that is all the Savior asks. He wants us to use His sacrifice in our lives - to help us reach salvation. 

I invite you all to think more about the great sacrifice that Christ performed for us. To really try to comprehend it and when you comprehend it that is when you will truly start to LOVE the Savior and create an everlasting relationship with Him.

I love you all so much!!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week 58

Querida Hermana Lutze,

We hope you've had a great week serving the Lord. I've been busy with work and my calling this week among other things. We had our first snowstorm of the season on Tuesday. The wreath on the front door ended up over against the fence by the garden. That's how windy it was! :) I was surprised to find it. I thought it had blown down the street and was gone forever. We're gearing up for Thanksgiving this week. The Cronins came into town today and the Weights will be here Tuesday or Wednesday. Sonia and I went to a workshop Thursday evening on anxiety and depression. It was really good. I wore your brown boots! I love borrowing from my kids! Thanks! 

Hannah is busy as every with school. She won't have much of a break over Thanksgiving. Natalie, under much duress, went to Young Women's in Excellence on Tuesday. She participated in a dance with the other Mia Maids and was quite good. She told Dad that she was actually glad she went. Of course she'll never admit that to me. ;) Jakob has been gone all day to Space Camp at Renaissance. I'm excited to hear how it went. He was supposed to stay until 3 and asked if he could stay for the second one so he and Ben must be enjoying it.

The New Testament class on Thursday was good and thought provoking as usual. We talked about the importance of humility, gratitude, and generosity. I'd never thought about how great it is to have Thanksgiving before Christmas because it prepares us to be grateful for the Savior. We read the parable in Luke 14 beginning in verse 7 about how those invited to a wedding chose the chief rooms... We talked about how humility isn't thinking less of ourselves but thinking less about ourselves. We should always go to the lowest room because then we will see people differently. We must remember that we can learn from anyone! When we go to the lowest rooms there is always the possibility we will be invited to a higher room while if we go to the highest room first we might be asked to go to a lower room. How embarrassing and awkward that would be!

I love you and hope you have a great week!



Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 57 (Don't Be Stagnant Water!)

Dear family and friends,

Wow, another week is gone by like the wind. I can't believe that it is almost Christmas! This year has gone by so fast!

So this week was amazing!

Monday as I told you last week, we had our Actividad de Zona! It was so much fun!! Missionary activities are the best! And I'm not just saying that because I planned it (although that does help a bit). That night we ate Sushi with the Hermanas in the Ranchitos. They spent the night so they could go to the Capacitacion the next day. The sushi was delicious!! Of course they always find a way to make the food spicy, so it was more like Mexican Sushi ;). 

Tuesday we held our capacitacion with our Zone - teaching them what we learned in Consejo de Lideres. It went really well. I think they felt the Spirit and learned what they needed to learn. 

Miercoles I don't even know what we did this day. I know that we left the house and talked to strangers and preached the gospel but that is about it.

Thursday we had another Capacitacion but this time with Presidente. The title was "Sed de Buen Animo, es un hombre de Fe". It was AMAZING! It was a great capacitacion about being positive and of good courage. It was very inspired. He explained that if we don't believe in a better world or (he gave the example not us) if you don't believe you can get married and have a good relationship, you are a man (or woman) without faith. With faith there is no fear only trust, with faith there is no doubt only hope. We all have to truly learn to be of good courage if we are going to endure to the end in this world that is ripening in wickedness each day. 

We also got lost on the buses. One of our companions told us what bus we could take home and it took us to the end of civilization. Then the driver told us that this was the end of the line and we had to get off!? So we were stranded in the hills, who knows where, very, very far from home. It was quite the adventure, but all good missionaries know how to ask strangers for directions and that is what we did. We arrived home about 2 1/2 hours later than we planned ;) 

Friday was another great day! We went to see Escarlet and she is still thrilled to be learning of the gospel. She is trying so hard to do everything right for sus hijos. She is sooo going to get baptized in Diciembre! We also met her brother this day and he has a lot of questions about the restoration! I hope we can baptize him as well. Then we felt like we should go visit Thomas, even though he usually doesn't arrive until Saturday. We went and he was there! We talked and he said that he was praying we would come because is is going to leave Saturday in the morning! Woohoo! Prayer answered. Check.  He is still firm in his desire to be baptized! He will be baptized on 26 of November. After that we visited a contacto ... Susana. She is from Oaxaca and lives with her 3 kids. The only problem is that she only speaks Triqui and a little bit of Spanish! Jajaja! So I guess I will have to learn Triqui to talk with her ;) Her kids help us translate. She is a very good investigator. I hope we can help her learn the gospel and receive this joy and blessing in her life. 

Saturday we went on splits for part of the morning. However, my morning was spent using my first aid skills to help a woman that was having sporadic epilepsy attacks. They were trying to put pencils in her mouth to keep her from biting her tongue........uh no. We helped her until the Red Cross came and then we slipped out of sight unseen and unheard of again ;). After that adventure, the day was a normal day. We went  to prepare our investigators for church the next day.

Sunday well the day arrived, game day. We went for our investigators and almost all of them came!! Yay!! We had 6 investigators at church! We would have had 8 but Thomas and Escarlet couldn't come. It was still a great day!! We have 4 baptismal dates! 2 for Nov and 2 for Dec! We hope to have 3 for December! The rest of the day was normal. Sundays are one of my least favorite days to proselyte because not many accept us and the people we find are almost all drunk. However, we did find some good people that could progress! 

Monday It was a good Monday! We studied and went to a member's house to make crepes. Then for la comida we made Gorditas! (I got to make gorditas and flour tortillas!!) Yay!! I am now Pura Mexicana! ;)

Something that I really liked from the last capacitacion was an example that Presidente gave. In our mission, when it rains, it floods and the water has no where to go so there is a lot of stagnant water in the streets. No me diga - this water starts to grow every bacteria known to man and starts to stink really, really bad. Whereas a river doesn't have that problem because it is continually moving. In life we have to be continually moving, continually changing and progressing. If not we are like the stagnant water and we will begin to "rot" or become spiritually weak and regress in our progress. It is interesting to see how water - a substance that heals, a substance that is good for our body can become something harmful. In our lives, if we are not progressing, we are becoming stagnant and harmful to ourselves. Maybe we are praying, but not praying sincerely or with great thought and faith. Or we are reading the scriptures but not taking the time to actually study the scriptures. We have to be constantly changing and moving forward towards our goals and our Heavenly Father so that we can receive our blessings and happiness. We can't stay where we are and think we are fine and we certainly can't return to where we have come from. So I invite you all to keep changing, keep growing because what doesn't grow, dies. Look at your lives and look for ways to grow and be better and be closer to your Heavenly Father. 

Love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Week 57

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Espero que tenia una semana buena! Life here is the usual crazy! I was involved in some important meetings at work for nurse workflow in the new building. That took up a good part of my week. 

Hannah had an appt with the pulmonologist this week... still trying to figure out her breathing and chest pain. She had a CT angio of her chest on Friday and some blood drawn. We'll see what that shows. The next step will be an echo of her heart and checking out her gallbladder. We hope to get some answers this week or next. She scored a 93 on her Human Development exam. I was so happy for her. I fasted for her last Sunday and put her name on the prayer roll at the temple on Friday while we were there. 

Natalie played for the YW and YM today in Sacrament meeting while they sang for the ward. She did a fantastic job. She's so AWESOME! She has YW in Excellence this coming week. 

Jakob sang in the choir, attended soccer practice this week and worked hard in school. 

Dad and I went to some other MD appts since we've hit our deductible for the year. He went to see Dr. Hoopes about his ankles. Dr. Hoopes told him that looking at the x-rays of his ankles he expected to see him come in the office in a wheelchair. Apparently Dad has almost no cartilage in his ankles. We are going to try some orthotics to help slow down the friction in the joint and push surgery off. Dad will eventually need his ankles fused. I went to the dermatologist to have some warts on my hands and feet removed and a lesion behind my knee. So much fun!!!! :)

A couple of things I've been thinking about this week...

I've been reading conference talks and I love Elder Hales talk "Come, Follow Me" by Practicing Christian Love and Service. The part that struck me the most was this "Remember, God's power to influence us righteously is His love. "We love him, because he first loved us." This is so true for us as well. We have the most influence over others through love!

The other thought I've been ponder is ministering to the 'one'! A sister in the 43rd ward shared a story about her mom who was expecting and couldn't pick up her two year old. They were flying home and were delayed unexpectedly in an airport. President Kimball (whom she did not know by sight back then) came along and saw the distress she was in. He picked up the two year old (soaked in urine) and held her until she fell asleep (He was in a suit) and then got them both on the next flight out. Here's a prophet of God showing how to minister to the 'one' by listening to the promptings of the spirit and then acting on them.

I hope you have a fantastic week!



Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 56 (Hope for a Better World)

Dear family and friends,

Well, this week went by soooooo soooooo fast!! We didn't even have time to do anything!

Monday was my birthday! Yay!!!! We went to Centro to work out all the Cambios and then mi hermana y yo and other hermanas went to eat Sushi! So good!! Later in Reunion de Distrito my companion had a surprise party waiting for me. We ate lots of cake and took scary pictures ;) After the reunion we went to another member's house and ate more cake. And then we went to the Family Maldonado's house and ate MORE cake! No me diga! It was a miracle I didn't gain 10 pounds that night! But it was truly a great night! I'm so grateful to these wonderful members that think of the missionaries so much :). 

Tuesday we didn't do much. We went to Centro to check out Playeras for the Actividad de Zona.

Wednesday we went back to centro in the morning to actually buy the Playeras. They are sweet! They are orange and grey and black and from Bayern Munech! In the afternoon we worked a lot.

Thursday we gave a capacitacion to our lideres de zona. Then we went to give service to the family Maldonado who are changing homes (basically my first service project in the mission because no one lets us help them here). There new house is awesome!! I can't wait for Navidad y Nuevo Año! :) 

Friday we had Consejo de Lideres! It was the most amazing consejo!! The spirit was so strong and it was truly what I needed in that moment! I wish I could share everything we learned but that would take hours. I truly know that our mission president, his wife and the assistants really do receive revelation for us. After the consejo, we ate dinner, of course. We had the most delicious Tacos al pastor con salsa verde y verdura!!! Tan tan tan rico!! I have to learn to make this food. It's so good!

Saturday  we searched for all our investigators to go to church with us. By the end of the day, we had five that said they were going to attend church with us. We will see how it goes!! 

Sunday only one investigator arrived. It was sad. However, our fechas for Noviembre are still fine and the person that went to church with us will be for Diciembre!! Yay! No me diga! It was so funny-our investigator has two kids and after they had passed the sacrament, they asked what other food they were going to give us!! They asked if they were now going to give them milk!!!jajajajajajajaja!!!! It was the cutest thing I have ever heard!!!!! I was trying so hard not to laugh during the sacrament!!! 

Monday  we had another awesome actividad de zona!! We played more games such as kick the can, capture the flag and more minute to win it games and basketball. I think they had a fun time - la verdad :) 

Something that I really liked about the Consejo de Lideres was the attribute that Hna Ramos spoke about - Esperanza. She talked about how you can't have hope without faith. We first have to show our faith by actions and that is when we can have this hope for things to come. One of the greatest problems here in Mexico and probably in the lives of all is hope. Here many don't believe that they can be successful, that they can get out of impoverishment, that they can change their lives, change their families. They just conform to how their life is and that is it.  But that is not what God wants. He knows our lives are hard, but he doesn't want us to just accept it. He wants us to have faith, and hope - a hope of a better world! He wants us to act to achieve our dreams. He expects us to take our life and make it better, to have a vision of where we want to go and get their by faith. We were born to act and not to be acted upon. We must control the circumstances and not let the circumstances control us. Hope is an attribute that is so very important for  all of us.

Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

This is one of my favorite scriptures! It says that we can have this hope of a better world and this hope cometh from our faith and gives us an anchor so that we will not be tossed upon the waves, that we may be steadfast and immovable. And this anchor SHOULD lead us to be always abounding in good works, always doing the will of our Heavenly Father so we can make this hope, this better world, this dream a reality. We can all have the world that we dream of if we are willing to trust God, do what He asks, work, and have this hope. 

My invitation this week is that you can all meditate on what your dream and vision for your life is, make a plan, and work for your better world that God has waiting for you all!!

I love you all so much!!

Con amor!

Hermana Lutze

Hermana Lutze's Minion Pinata (Happy Birthday!)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Week 56

Querida Hermana Lutze,

It was so great to hear you speaking Spanish and teasing your companion! We enjoyed watching the videos that Hermano Maldonado sent us. I hope you had a very Happy Birthday! Did you get your presents?

This week has been the usual busy...I charged on Wednesday and taught Blended Learning on Thursday and finished the week with a conference on Friday. I definitely had overtime! I went out with Lisa for her birthday on your birthday. We went to Kneader's. 

Aubrey had her baby on your birthday at about the same time you were born! I was able to hold Kate on Wednesday! She's so stinkin' cute! I can't wait to be a Grandma! However, I can wait until the time is right. ;)

Hannah came home again this weekend. She's been studying most of today for her two tests this week.

Natalie's busy with school and seminary. She's still hanging in there with guitar and piano.

Jakob went Trick or Treating on Monday. I told him this was his last year. He went with Matt and they were only out for just over 2 hours. I thought they would stay out longer. He starts indoor practice this next week. He still seems to love this soccer team.

I loved both of President Uchtdorf's talks this year. The following is a quote from his Saturday morning talk "O How Great the Plan of Our God!" "But I have confidence that we will not only be satisfied with the judgment of God; we will also be astonished and overwhelmed by His infinite grace,mercy, generosity, and love for us, His children. If our desires and works are good, if we have faith in a living God, then we can look forward to what Moroni called "the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge... Does it not fill us with unspeakable joy to know of the glorious future that is prepared for all who wait upon the Lord?"

I'm so grateful you have this opportunity to share the 'good news' - the joy of the gospel with the people of Mexico!

Love you!