Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 63 (Christmas means "Mas" Christ)

Dear family and friends,

Monday I already told you what we did this day, I think? 

Tuesday we had a normal day in the field.

Wednesday we spent all morning practicing for the choir. Then una Hermana came to do our make-up and hair and get us ready for the show! That night our choir performed in the plaza and considering that only about 10 of the 60 could sing, it actually went really well!  The crowd liked our singing, the tamales and the hot chocolate!  It was a great day!

Thursday was our activity with Presidente. Three zones of missionaries went to the ice skating rink and went ice skating. It was sooooo funny to see all the missionaries on ice trying not to fall. Many held onto the rail for dear life! Jajaja! After that we watched "Civil War" which was awesome!! Great movie!  At the end of the day we ate, took out a PiƱata and performed in the talent show! Our talent was the best! 

Friday was the Posada de Barrio with carne asada and cebolla asadas. We brought our investigator Josefina and when she greeted Elder Larson she actually kissed his cheek!! But, I think you can get away with that if you are a grandma! :)

Saturday we had a wonderful comida with the Marquez Familia and then in the night time we went to the Maldonados house with the Elders for Christmas Eve dinner. We made tamales!! Yay! I was finding my inner Mexican!! They were soooo good! We also played a game of Uno Extreme!! So much fun! I won, of course, thanks to my mom who gave me the trait of winning at cards! 

Sunday I went to church and then I talked with my family!!! Yay!!!!

I hope that you all remembered Christ a little more this year. Remember that Christmas is "Mas Christ." "Mas" in Spanish means "more." We can enjoy the gifts but we can never forget the greatest gift that we have ever received or will ever receive. We have to always remember that without this gift we could never return to our Heavenly Father. We could never be clean. We could never forget our past and start over. We could never have our family forever. We could never heal or progress spiritually. Without Jesus Christ we are nothing. Without Him we could never become anything more. We would be stuck eternally where we are now and never have eternal happiness. We must remember him EVERY DAY, not only on Sundays and not only on Christmas. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you were able to focus a little more on Christ this year!

I love you all!!

Hermana Lutze!

Hermana Lutze finding her "inner Mexican" by making Tamales on Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Feliz Navidad

Hermana Lutze and the zone sang Christmas songs in the plaza on December 21st. Thanks to the Maldonado familia we have pictures and video of the event.

Hermana Pira and Hermana Lutze

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 62 (Herding Cats!)

Dear family and friends,

Monday was crazy!! Basically every missionary in the mission had Cambios because 14 Elders and 2 Hermanas arrived! I also got my new companion! She is Hermana Pira! She is from Columbia and she is genial! She is so much fun and laughs a lot which I love! On another note, Hermana Jimenez had the celular today. And que creen! We got in a taxi at the Central Camionera (because we went to go pick up Hermana Santiesteban) and the taxi driver was trying to cheat us out of our money, but we refused to be cheated so he was angry with us. Then when Hna Jimenez got out, she forgot the phone in the taxi! Ah! So we went to look for it. We found the man, found the taxi, but not the phone. :( So we were six hermanas - Hna Jimenez, Hna Mejia, Hna Santiesteban, Hna Lopez, Hna Lutze and Hna Pira without a phone which made everything exciting! ;) We also went to our first practice of the Missionary Christmas Choir. We will be singing Wednesday in the Plaza Mayor! It's going to turn out so good!! I'm excited! Later that night the six of us had a blast together because almost all of them were my companions at one point and I love them so much! It made me so sad to think they were going, but it's okay, because I know that they have marvelous adventures ahead of them!  

Tuesday morning we went to the office to help the Asistentes plan how the choir is going to sing all the songs and hymns on Wednesday, December 21st. They thought that we were just going to sing it....Hahaha! But, very quickly they saw that was boring, so they brought in the best music people and we started planning. I think it will turn out pretty good, but it will be hard considering we only have one week to practice!!!?? The rest of the day was normal and that night we went to the Despedida meal de Hna Jimenez. We ate carne asada with espagueti verde and agua de jamaica! !Que rico!

Wednesday was a normal day. I never remember what happens on Miercoles;)

Thursday we practiced our songs again in the morning and they are coming along, little by little. We had a little time to visit and then we went to Coorelacion Misional which is always great especially with a little pan and te de canela!

Friday was a great day! We were able to visit lots of people, find a whole bunch of new investigators and we also attended Sociedad de Socorro! We did facials! It was so fun to be there with all the hermanas! 

Saturday, que creen, we practiced again! Poco a poco the missionaries are learning the songs. But sometimes, as dad says, it's like herding cats and with 60 missionaries it is like herding 60 wild cats. ;) That evening we found lots of great new people to teach. Now we just need to give them all seguimiento - mucho seguimiento. A funny story - we went to visit our investigator Tomas and Hna Isabel was with us. He asked if we wanted refresco and my companion said yes so he brought the refresco and guess what? It was Coca! The very drink that we can't drink in the mission! So guess who got to drink our coke!? Ding ding ding!!! Hna Isabel!!! Jajajaj! It was so funny because we were pouring all our drink into her cup and  telling her to drink faster!!! 

Domingo, well we had four investigators in church!! Yay!! We are still working with Josefina and Tomas and Hna Lety to be baptized!! We are hoping they will be baptized very soon!!! And, after church, guess what....we went to practice our songs again!! 

Monday we are buying our stuff for the choir performance on Wednesday and in the evening we are going to practice again! Yippee!!

I have been thinking and learning a lot about pride from myself and from other people. I have come to realize many times in the mission that I have pride in different forms. I am learning and understanding more completely that pride is our natural man and I can now truly say and testify that we need to get rid of our natural man or woman if we want to be truly happy in this life. We need to learn to be humble. We have to be more preoccupied about WHAT is right and not WHO. We need to understand that we are not going to be the best at everything and that we can't compare ourselves to others. Salvation is individual. We have to be more preoccupied about what we are doing and how we are improving and progressing. We must be more concerned about doing the will of the Father than the will of our family, friends and acquaintances. The only way that we can be truly humble and get rid of our natural man is to submit our will completely to our Heavenly Father. That doesn't mean we give Him the wheel and say drive my life. It means that we are going to search for what God wants of us and we are going to try to do and be what He wants. We are going to always be anxiously engaged in a good cause and have no desire to do evil only to do good. The only way to kill the natural man is to replace it with something else - something better. Change is the only way to become what the Lord wants of us and I know that sometimes this change is hard but I also know that it is worth it. Change helps us become the Gods and Goddesses that God wants us to be - giving us everlasting happiness and everlasting dominion over all things. But, it starts with each of us stripping ourselves of our pride and submitting to the will of the Father. 

Well, that is my spiritual food for thought. 

I love you all so much!!!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Week 62

Querida Hermana Lutze,

We pray daily for your success that you will learn what you need to and touch the lives of those you've been sent to influence. :)

Life here is the usual busy... We did take the kids out on 'dates' Friday night. Dad took Jakob to see the new movie "Rogue One" and then out to eat at Costa Vida while I took Hannah and Natalie out to Zupas and then to see "Sully." We all had a good time.

Hannah finished finals and has been working a little more while Natalie and Jakob are finishing up items at school and continue with their other activities. We attended Natalie's guitar recital on Saturday. She did a great job. They all did. I reorganized the food storage later that day... Yippee! I was missing you-my greater helper and organizer. Natalie stayed as far away as possible. Dad and Jakob did help some. (Hannah's off the hook. She was at work.)

We're looking forward to speaking with you next week. Do you know a time yet?

My thought for the week revolves around miracles. What miracles have you seen on your mission and in your life? I think that's an excellent question to focus on this week prior to the celebration on Sunday of the greatest miracle of all-our Savior. In the Bible Dictionary we read, "Miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power. Some lower law was in each case superseded by the action of a higher. Miracles were and are a response to faith and its best encouragement. They were never wrought without prayer, felt need, and faith." Think of a recent miracle you witnessed and I'm sure you will see that prayer, a felt need, and faith were involved. A few thoughts to ponder this week... Do I limit God's ability to work in my life? I should expect miracles. I should expect His help because His will for us is always good! This is where obedience plays a role. We must be obedient so we can get close enough to Him to recognize and receive that miracle. Our work is to pray in faith and believe in Him. The belief we need to have is that His will is always good for us! In the Miracle of the Feeding of the 5000 we see that we must bring what we have and it will be made enough through the Savior. He will make it more. Gratitude is also an important part of a miracle. We must thank God always when we see His hand in our lives. Are you not willing to do more for someone that has thanked you versus the person that never says those words to you? I'm certain He feels the same way.

I love you! Merry Christmas!



Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 61 (Are You Still in Awe of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?)

Dear family and friends,

Ahhhhhhh time is going faster I swear!! Wasn't it just yesterday that I emailed you all? I don't even remember what day it is or the date.....nada! Let's see what I can remember from my week.

Monday, I already told you about our adventures in Centro.

Tuesday We had a Zone Conference and it was sooooo good! We talked about charity and being true disciples of Christ. It went so long! We were there from 10 until 5! But it's because everyone had such good comments! (Even the Elderes were crying ;) Mission Accomplished :) And then we went to our comida (which was now dinner). 

Wednesday was another great normal day! 

Thursday Planeamiento de Exito, We taught our investigators and we went to our awesome Coorelacion Misional where we had pancakes with Nutella and Jam de Fresa! Yum!

Friday (no me diga) Well,  the asistants and the zone liders called and told us that everyone had to go to the mission offices to be vaccinated for the Flu. (****cough****) because some people haven't been obedient and haven't received the vaccine. So we went to the Offices and waited to be vaccinated. When our turn arrived we entered the room looking for the doctor or nurse and who did we find..............Presidente Ramos injecting all the missionaries one by one!! jajajajajaja! We asked him where he learned to inject and he told us "In the University with Rats"!!! That did not make me feel better! Jajaja but we received the vacuna and now I am protected. Yay! 

Saturday we went to visit those who we wanted to attend church. We will see how many go on Sunday because we didn't find some of them.

Sunday only 2 investigators went to church. One was Josefina!! Yay!! She is so linda!! And the other was Alejandro. It was his first time and I think he liked it!! Then, in the night time, we had our District meeting (because Monday is Day of the Virgin Guadalupe so we can't be outside too long and especially not at night) and we had the good-bye party with Hna Jimenez (my companion) and Elder Caixba! It was a great party! We made our own scriptures for them and we gave them "new companions" (stuffed animals) and we ate cake! Yay Sunday!

Sorry I don't remember much of what happened this week.  Our time was limited in our area for many reasons. But it was a good week and I know that this week will be even better!! 

Something I really liked in the Zone Conference was our discussion about Elder Uchtdorf's talk on how we need to keep feeling. We need to keep being amazed at the Gospel and not take it for granted. I think that sometimes, as members, we take the gospel, the light we have, the blessings for granted. However, we can't permit this casual attitude to enter into our hearts, our minds and our lives. We can't take these things for granted. We must always be grateful  and in awe of what we have right in front of us. We have a knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ unlike any other religion. We have a relationship that can be more personal than in any other place. We have a prophet that guides and leads us - helping us stay on the path and protect our families. We have temples where we can receive all the blessings of  eternity and literally return with our families to our Heavenly Father to enjoy everlasting peace and happiness. We are literally children of God and can become like Him, having the same happiness, the same power, the same blessings. We have what we need in this life to be successful, to be happy to receive all the blessings of our Heavenly Father but if we take it for granted we will lose the opportunity to have joy in those blessings and to eventually receive a fullness of joy! We have to keep feeling. We have to keep being amazed at the great glory and mercy and love that our Heavenly Father has for each one of us. If you feel tired or bored of the Gospel, if you feel like it is an everyday thing, I invite you to  try and see the marvelous things that God has given you and the marvelous sacrifices that He has made for you. Look for His hand in your life. 

I invite you all to write 5 blessings down every day and I promise you that the joy you  felt in the past because of the Gospel will return. And if the joy never left, it will only increase. I love you all! I know this church is true, I know God lives and I know that He does perform miracles for us in our lives. We just have to open our eyes. ​

Here is the video we watched. It's in Spanish so if you understand great! If not,.....well still watch it and you will feel the spirit. :)

Hna. Lutze's companion Hna. Jimenez returned home after serving an honorable mission. Hna. Lutze's new companion is Hna. Pira.

Love you all!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Week 61

Querida Hermana Lutze,

We hope you've had a fantastic week. I can't believe Christmas will be here in two weeks. Do you think you'll call us in the afternoon?

We've had another busy week as usual. I visited with Tricia and Suzy on Tuesday. It's been almost a year since the three of us have gotten together. They can't believe you'll be home in April. I know you'll work hard to the end. The last four to six months of my mission were the best! I attended the last few ward RS activities this week. We try to attend their Christmas dinner, cookie exchange... whatever they choose to do. It's always fun to visit with the sisters. Sister Crandall and I helped with the food for a Zone Conference on Wednesday. So much fun to be with the missionaries! They sang us their mission song and it made us cry! :) Dad and I went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert on Friday with the Crandalls. Rolando Villazon from Mexico City was the featured performer. We decided to stay in Salt Lake. We ate at PF Changs before the concert and then walked to and from our hotel to the Conference Center. It was a very nice evening. We attended the Ward Christmas Party last night. They did the Polar Express theme. Everyone could wear PJs if they wanted and we had breakfast for dinner. 

Hannah has started finals, Natalie is very busy with school and finished up Driver's Ed this week - road. She has to take the on-line test and then she will be ready to get her license in January. Yikes! Jakob is busy with school, indoor soccer, and basketball. He's playing with Ben again on a Rec team.

My thought for the week is around the scripture 2 Nephi 6:13, "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 what it means to wait for him... What do we do while we wait? If we are truly His people then we will wait for him. I think this ties perfectly into the Parable of the Ten Virgins. This is why we cannot share our oil. The oil is our testimony that is built drop by drop with the fundamental practices of scripture study, prayer, church and temple attendance, etc. We are building our testimony while we wait! This thought of waiting also ties in with the story found in Mark 6 in which the Lord came to the disciples on the water in the 4th watch and he found them   "toiling in rowing." Will we still be found working hard in the 4th watch or will we have given up or slackened off?

Have a great week!



Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 60 (Suffer Long, Seek Not Your Own, and Bear All Things)

Dear family and friends,

It was a great week this week as usual!

So Monday, as I already told you we went Black Friday shopping at Cuidado con el Perro and I found some great stuff! Everything is so cheap here. I love it!!

Tuesday was our activity with the members entitled "Finding the Chosen Ones" and sadly no one came. However, it's okay because we went to work and found some pretty good investigators that I think will progress with some work :)

Wednesday was a normal day. Really what more can I say :)

Thursday I went for an adventure to immigration 2 months AFTER my visa expired ;) The rest of the day was good. I ate A LOT of food, but I mean A LOT. It's a miracle I'm not engordando here!!

Friday was Consejo de Lideres and it was amazing as usual!! Presidente gave his great presentation. Then we had a gift exchange!! I received Minion Figurines from Elder Huber and I gave a tie and socks to an Elder Arteaga. It was so much fun!!  Then we ate Carne Asada!! Sooooo good! The cake and everything was soooo delicious. 

Saturday we visited the ten people that we wanted to attend church. It was a great day because the young women accompanied us all day!! Yay! Go young women! 

Sunday we had 5 people attend church with us! Yay! That is actually very good! Soon we are going to baptize Josefina, and then Thomas and we hope for one more in December and we have another date for January. Yay! 

Today I went to the Pista de Hielo!! It's free and open on Lunes!! Yay!! We went ice skating with the Hermanas and it was blast! We also went to look for our gifts for the gift exchange on Martes with the Zone.  I had the strangest experience. Today a man got all up in my face and said "Guerrita como apestoso queso!!" and he left. jajajajjajajajaj! He just said "White girl who is like stinky cheese!!" jajajajajaj! I'm sure he meant it as an insult but I was there with Hna Holman and explained what he said and we just DIED of laughter!!!! It was such a strange thing to say! I think he doesn't like Trump too much. 

Well, all in all a good week! This week I learned more about Charity. In Moroni 7:45 we read, "And charity suffereth long... seeketh not her own... beareth all things..." It does not mean we must suffer everything (experience it) to have charity. It means that we must sacrifice ourselves for the other person. If we truly love someone we are going to be willing to sacrifice what we want, sacrifice our time, everything for that person to have success - to grow, to be better. So this week, I have been trying to sacrifice myself more for the people around me - for the missionaries and for my companion. And I have to say it is hard but it is working! I invite you to try it - sacrifice yourselves. Because he who loses his life in the service of God and others will obtain his life in the life to come. And he won't obtain the same life. He will obtain a life that God has prepared for him - a perfect life of happiness, blessings and peace. 

I love you all so much!! But I've gots to go!!!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week 60

Querida Hermana Lutze,

We pray that all is going well for you! I can't believe Christmas is just three weeks away! Life is the usual busy here. We put the smaller flocked tree upstairs this year since the big tree is so heavy and difficult for dad to get down right now. I love it! I went easy on the Christmas decorations so it only took me about 6 hours. :) We did some shopping yesterday as well to donate items to the Road to Home which helps families that can't purchase Christmas. They come to a certain location and they are able to pick out gifts for their family members. They helped over 2000 people last year. I went to a nice RS dinner on Thursday with the 30th ward and had a great visit with Kathy that I visit teach. Dad and I will be attending the Mormon Tabernacle choir next Friday and spending the night in Salt Lake. :)

I just asked if everyone had written you and Jakob said, "What's the point? Can she still read English?" Ha! Ha! 

I've been thinking this week about a couple of things... One is the Parable of the Ten Virgins. I always think of it in conjunction with the Second Coming but I thought of it the other day in terms of when we have trials in life we also need to have oil in our lamps that only we can put there... Scripture study, prayers, temple and church attendance, etc. I was pondering this morning Ether 12:27 about our weaknesses and thinking of humility in relationship to them. The Spirit said, "When you are humble that is when you are the most useful to me!" That is so true! When we are willing to serve however He commands that is when we become the most useful!

Have a great week! I'm assuming it is a little cooler there now. :)

Love you!