Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Homecoming Talk

My dear brothers and sisters it’s good to see your beautiful faces again. I just got back from serving a mission in the Mexico Torreon Mission, so if my English is really bad, you will all just have to use the gift of tongues to understand me. 

I hope I can speak with the spirit so we can all be uplifted. In the mission, we have a missionary purpose that every missionary comes to learn. The Lord has said that we are to: Invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. This missionary purpose applies not only to missionaries and non-members but to us as well.  The first part says we must invite others to come unto Christ.

The first person we have to invite to come unto Christ is ourselves. But what does it mean to come unto Christ. It means that we are going to work on becoming his True Disciples. I love what Matthew tells us that we have to do to become true disciples of Jesus Christ. He says:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples if any man will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. And now for a man to take up his cross is to deny himself all ungodliness and every worldly lust and keep my commandments. Break now my commandments for to save you lives. For whosoever will save his life in this world shall lose it in the world to come. And whosoever will lose his life in this world for my sake shall find it in the world to come. Therefore, forsake the world and save your souls for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

A true disciple is one who is willing to follow the path of Christ, who is willing to take up his cross or in other words to live the life he lived, to walk the way he walked. They are the people that live in the world, but are not part of the world. They are the people that keep his commandments and try to always do the will of God in their lives. This is not something that is easy to achieve, nor is it something that you can achieve in one day. It is a life-long process. However, it is a process that we have control over.

This process or pathway is exactly what is described in the missionary purpose. Invite others to come unto Christ, .........by helping them receive the restored gospel, through FAITH, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM, and ENDURING to the END. This is they pathway that our Heavenly Father and Christ have given us. And I testify, just as Nephi does, that this is the way and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now behold this is the doctrine of Christ and the only and true doctrine of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost which is one God without end amen. This is the only path that we can take to reach eternal happiness, to have eternal families and to have eternal progress. It is the way prepared and we have to decide to take it or leave it, there is no other secret entrance into the kingdom of God, his kingdom is more secure than fort Knox.   However I feel so blessed to know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who sent his son to show us the way. Our job then becomes to follow him out of love. And it is very important to remember that only through the restored church of Jesus Christ can we find the truths and covenants necessary to get us on the path. That is why it is so important that we accept the restored gospel of Christ so we can receive our blessings here on earth and in the eternities. And I know that this path brings the greatest joy and greatest blessings, because I have seen how it has worked so many miracles in the lives of the people in Mexico. I have seen how the gospel of Christ has the power to bring people from the gall of bitterness to the state of peace and happiness. It’s not magic, it’s just the power of Christ working in their lives and it can work in the lives of every one of us. It doesn’t matter what condition or circumstances we are in, we must all come unto Christ and start from where we are and the gospel of Christ will work miracles in our lives and help us to align our lives with Christ.

The first step we have to take is to have faith in our savior Jesus Christ. Faith is not just to believe that he exists, it is to act and obey our heavenly father.  Faith is an action word. If we have faith in him, we will show it with our actions, because actions speak louder than words. And if we act in faith I know that God will work miracles in our lives because he has promised it. The prophet Mormon said Behold I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth. However the key is that we have to act and doubt nothing. I know that when we do that, we will be able to receive whatever we ask.

Rooster Experience

Now when our faith has begun to grow through doing small and simple things, it plants in us a desire to be better and to become like our savior Jesus Christ. This feeling helps us to repent and change our way of being. I have come to learn that repentance is not just to clean my sins, repentance is a change. A change of mind, heart, and being that brings a new attitude toward God, oneself and life in general. This change is essential in our lives and it’s important that we do it daily. This change should come a love for our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the desire to be like them. However permanent change is only made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  When Christ atoned for us he not only atoned for our sins, he atoned for everything we would ever experience in our lives. The Prophet Alma tells us that he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people and he will take upon him death that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people and he will take upon him their infirmities that his bowels may be filled with mercy according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. He knows what we are going through because he has experienced it. He knows how you feel, he knows what it’s like and for that reason he knows exactly how to help us but only if we come unto him, repent and let him fully into our lives. When Nephi and Lehi were teaching the Nephites they taught them the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them IN their sins, but to redeem them FROM their sins.  They explain that we can only be helped with these things if we are willing to go through the work required to have a true and sincere repentance or change. Really I have seen the power of repentance in my life and the lives of others. When I arrived to the mission I began to recognize my faults and weaknesses because of my faith and desire to be like my savior. At times it was overwhelming how much I knew I had to change. One of the biggest things that I had to change was my pride. I never felt like I was a prideful person but when I got to the mission, God showed me differently. He taught me a new type of humility. And I was only able to make this change through repentance, through changing my attitude and the way I look at people and at life. I also saw the effects of repentance in one of my investigators. He had a big problem with the Law of Chastity. And at first he didn’t share this part of his life with us. But as time went on he confessed to us his problems and began to change. I have never seen such joy in someone’s face. The relief and peace that were evident in his face testified of the great power of repentance which enables the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our lives. There is no other way to receive peace and happiness in this life, only through repentance.

Baptism

Then once we have gained more faith in our savior and repented of past sins and we are repenting daily, we must make our fist covenant with God which is baptism. Nephi teaches us that baptism is the key to enter into the pathway to enter in the Kingdom of our father. It is what permits us to be clean of our sins and receive forgiveness. Repentance is the change, but Baptism is the cleansing. This ordinance is not a one time deal. Our baptismal covenant is something that should effect our day to day lives and decisions. And every week we have the amazing opportunity to renew this covenant by partaking of the Sacrament. We have the opportunity to be clean every single week. God promises us if we make this covenant with him and keep it that we will always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission our sins and we shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created us, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. And receive the gift of the holy ghost which is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us in this life. I know that these promises are true because of the great joy in the eyes of my investigators when they left the waters of the baptismal font. The great joy that can be seen on their face knowing that they are clean and one step closer to God is an indescribable sight. The people really are born again really do start a new life of happiness and peace.

After the baptism by water comes the baptism by fire which is the receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. The holy ghost is the greatest gift that God could give us. Because as God said to Ezekiel I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. Just imagine! We have a God to be with us always! To guide us to teach us to comfort us. He will be our companion in this life to guide us on this straight and narrow path so we can be part of the Kingdom of God. He will never lead us astray and will permit us to follow the will of God and the path that he has laid before us. I know that if we are worthy he will never abandon us and will guide us in many things, there were many times when the Holy Ghost guided us to the words to touch the hearts of the people, warned of dangers and guided us in every aspect of the mission work. So I know that he can guide us in every aspect of our day to day life as well. But we have to learn to listen and obey the promptings of the Holy Ghost if we want his continuing guidance.

However, I repeat the words of Nephi, My beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay? For ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus sith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. We cant stop where we are, we cant be satisfied with what we have achieved, we have to continue in this path until we can reach this eternal life which is the greatest gift of God. We have to press forward doing good works and coming closer to Christ. There was a recent convert that taught me this lesson. He was baptized and later on he broke his leg. He went through surgery, but it didn’t go well. His foot got infected and now it has to be amputated. However, even though he is passing through all these things, he still attends church with his crutches diligently. He talks about the gospel with everyone he is happy and positive and filled with faith that everything will turn out and that God will provide for him. He is faithfully enduring to the end.

Jorge and how he followed this path. Come the deepest parts.

Brothers and sisters. We have all started on this path of faith repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We are all at different stages, and points on this journey. However I testify that this is the only way to return with our Heavenly Father and have success in this life because when we follow this  path we will be continually coming unto Christ and receiving his guidance and power in our lives. Thomas S. Monson taught “We need not visit the Holy Land to feel him close to us. We need not walk by the shores of Galilee or among the Judean hills to walk where Jesus walked. In a very real sense, all can walk where Jesus walked when with his words on our lips, his spirit in our hearts and his teachings in our lives, we journey through mortality.



Everyone can and needs to come unto Christ even more in their lives. As members we have the sacred responsibility to be those people that Invite others to come unto Christ, because we know that we are in this correct straight and narrow path. I challenge you all look for the people in need of following this path more faithfully in their lives or the people that do not even know that this path exists. Share it with your neighbors, friends, family, people you meet in the grocery store, everyone, because everyone must follow this path to come to eternal happiness. Testimony. Amen!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 79 (I KNOW!)

Queridos,

Wow, the time has flown by and now my time has come to an end. I can't believe that I am saying that. Sometimes I feel like I don't know what to do next because I never thought this far  in my life ;). However, I had an interview with Presidente last Thursday and he cleared up what I have to do ;).

Monday was a great day!! We passed the day with Hna Holman and Hna Pira. We went to the zoo and it was closed. However, when you know how to speak English and you are blonde you can get into anywhere ;) We asked some workers if they would let us enter. They asked their boss, let us in, and took us on a special tour!! It was so great and so much fun!! I will show you my pictures when I get back! We also ate Gringas and walked around the stores. It was a fun relaxing day!!

Martes was normal

Miercoles we had an incredible lesson with David. You have to know that it was good because we were all crying in the end. David is an amazing person. He felt recently that there was no point in living and fighting anymore, but with this lesson we gave him such great hope and he really felt like he had a reason to live now. He is changing so much!!

Thursday I had my interview with Presidente with all of the Zone and let's just say he gave me direction in my life by telling me that I have to go home and get married. JaJaJa! He only talked to me about marriage. That's how you know he cares. :)

Viernes was a rough day because it is Viernes Santo here and EVERYTHING closes! There were no people in the streets!! They were all in the Catholic Church but we can't contact there so we had to look really hard to find people to talk to. However, we did find some new, powerful investigators even though it was a difficult day. I completed 18 meses this day!! Woo hoo!!

Saturday we had another powerful lesson with David!! We talked about repentance. We can see how the light is slowly coming back into his face and eyes!! I love how the gospel heals us!! I love the gospel!! We also found an amazing person that wants to be baptized! His name is Gerardo. He expressed to us his great desire to give up drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. He really wants to change his life!! I think he will progress nicely with Hna Parra. 

Sunday was a very sad and happy Sunday. It was so sad saying goodbye to all the members because they become your family in the mission. There were lots of tears involved, but it's OK because that is what the plan of salvation is for-families and adopted family. It was a wonderful day!!

Well, many things have changed in my life, I have changed, my family has changed, my circumstances have changed, but I know that it is all for the better. I can't believe that 18 months of my life have just flown by! I know that these 18 months are the best 18 months for my life (I can't say of my life, because I hope to continue to have amazing experiences and enjoy life). I know that these 18 months are going to influence me for the rest of my life! I'm so grateful that God gave me the opportunity and the honor to serve Him and His children and the opportunity to build His kingdom here on earth. I hope that every young man and young woman serves a mission. They are going to be so prepared for life and are going to be greatly blessed in so many ways. I know because I have seen the blessings in my own life and especially in the lives of my family. If you feel like you don't want to go or that it's not important, or that you don't need to go, I invite you to pray and ask your Heavenly Father. Be willing to receive an answer from Him and follow that answer! I know this will change your life forever because it has changed my life. 

I know that God lives. I know that He loves us perfectly. I know that His plan for us is perfect. I know that we don't always understand His plan, but that is where the faith comes in and we have to just trust that God knows what He is doing. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is the perfect example for us. We must follow that example as perfectly as we can. That is why we are called Saints because we are people trying to become Saintly (or pure and perfect). I know that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us so that we can be clean, so that we can be forgiven, so that we can overcome our difficulties, so that we can overcome our weaknesses, so that we can be strengthened and become something powerful beyond our imagination. I know that on the third day he was resurrected so that everyone of us can live again and have the opportunity to live again  with our families! I know that families are forever, but only if we are willing to work and fight and obey in order to have this family forever. I know that this blessing of an eternal family is only possible through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I know that Christ established His church on the earth, His church was lost, but later restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith. There is no doubt in my mind that he really did go to that grove of trees, knelt down and prayed vocally to our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really did appear to him! I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a great instrument in the hands of God to bring the fullness of the gospel to the earth again, so that we may partake of the everlasting happiness and blessings that God has in store for us! I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of God on the earth and that he really does speak for God. I know that if we follow his words we will ALWAYS be guided and protected. I know that this is the path that God has put on the earth and I know that we must follow it with all our heart, might, mind and strength, keep our covenants and endure to the end always! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know that a man really comes closer to God by following its precepts more than any other book on the earth. It is the most perfect book that God has given us. I know that it holds the answers to all our questions! I know that God has amazing things prepared for us!! I know that if we put in all our effort and do our very best, God will make up the rest!! I know that there is no other way to heaven or to eternal happiness. We can only go through our Savior and His gospel to obtain these great gifts! I know that we must share this knowledge and joy with everyone we know and love! We cannot keep such great gifts to ourselves!! 

I know God hears and answers prayers and I know that God can do all things and work miracles in our lives and the lives of others, but only if we have faith and show our faith in God! I know that all these things are true and I pray that we can all strive to live them in our lives and work with all our effort to reach the Celestial Kingdom. I share all these things and come to an end of my writings and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

This mission has changed my life and I now know that I am a woman of great faith instead of the woman of little faith that I was before. I hope to continue to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring about His great purposes in this world. 

I love you all! I can't wait to see each of you!!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

Sea Mormon Sea Feliz!!! Spread the Happiness!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Week 79

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I can't believe I'm writing my very last letter to you!!! Nor that I'm saying that we will see you Thursday. Honestly, it feels like we were just at the airport dropping you off!!! This past week was full of work at work and at home. I'm still trying to recover the yard from the winter-cleaning up leaves, trimming plants and bushes. Papa and I went to hear Dad sing with the Millennial Choir on Friday. They were incredible. I have to say I felt the Spirit stronger listening to them than I do with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. My favorite songs were "How Great Thou Art", "Be Still My Soul", "Come, Come Ye Saints", and "Love at Home." I love music. There's such a powerful spirit of testimony through song. I hope you can involve yourself in some way with music when you return home! Hannah is finishing up this semester and we meet with the Accessibility office on Wednesday to see what help we can get her next fall. Natalie participated in her guitar concert on Friday. I'm sure it was great. Unfortunately I was up at Dad's concert and didn't get to hear them. She's quite good on the piano and the guitar. Jakob's busy  playing soccer and some reffing of soccer. We enjoyed coloring Easter eggs yesterday and Easter egg hunts. We even had one for the adults this year. It was really fun! Natalie, Amanda, and Michelle hid the eggs for us! I was released today from my calling. We will see what my future holds. I was sustained just before you left and released just before you returned home. :) I'm really sad. I loved this calling! Thursday we will pick you up and go out to dinner and you will be released by President Christofferson that evening at 7:00. 

My last spiritual thought to you surrounds the concept of enduring well! In the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." I know you can say all of that about your mission. Congratulations for returning with honor! It's an incredible feeling to know that you served with all of your heart, might, mind, and strength. There are such great promises for enduring patiently with faith to the end. A review of the scriptures in relation to the word 'endure' is instructive...We are promised eternal life, we will be saved, crowned with glory, receive glorious revelations, inherit the kingdom of God, and will in nowise be cast out. I love James 5:11, "Behold, we count them happy which endure." I know I felt that way as I returned home after serving an honorable mission.

I love you! We'll see you Thursday!

Love,

Mom

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 78 (The Rooster in the Tree)

Queridos,

Monday we had a blast with Hna Holman and Hna Pira! We ate crepes and walked around the city! It was a fun and beautiful day!

Tuesday we had an awesome capacitacion de Zona! However, it was very very very long!! We were there from 10 until 5. Presidente taught us some great things that are going to help us be expert teachers!! It's a whole new way of reading and presenting scriptures!

Wednesday was awesome!! We found a new family to teach!! We found a lovely old couple that want to be together forever! AND we got a rooster out of a tree with prayer! I will tell you all about it at the end.

Thursday we had another great day! The Lord is truly blessing us with great days! We found two new families and one of these families is amazing!! They really want to find the truth and they want the best for their two little girls! Obviously the best is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

Friday we went and saw David again. (I don't know if you remember him?) The point is that he began to drink again. We went and saw him and he was so sad and devastated, but now he really wants to listen to us and really wants to be baptized!! It's amazing how the Lord works!! He humbled David enough to really give us the opportunity to help him!  

Saturday was awesome and interesting! We taught two young women and we found out that they are Lesbian (Actually we already knew! We just didn't tell them). It was so interesting to relate the gospel to the struggles of these two girls. I hope we can help them obtain the happiness that God wants for each and every one of us :). 

Sunday was great as well!! David went to church and also one of the new families! (Elena y Diego) They felt really good in church! It was a great day!

Well, now for the story about the rooster. So we went to visit one of our investigators-Fransisca. She has a rooster that she sold to a young boy. However, when she sold her rooster it flew up on a house and wouldn't come down! (I think he knew what was  going on!) It had been up there for 3 days now! So at first we tried to get it down. We threw rocks and it eventually got off the roof!!! Yes!! ...................but then it flew up in the treee!!!!! No......................... So we told her, "Look, we are going to say a prayer and teach you and when we finish, the rooster will come down. She didn't believe us. She thought we were crazy, but she let us teach her. We said a prayer to start and I have NEVER in my life prayed for a rooster to come down, but there is a first for everything! I prayed with all my might and faith. Then we taught her and as we were saying the closing prayer, all I could think was "Oh Heavenly Father, I know you have power over all things. Please do this tiny thing for us. Please bring down this rooster!" and the very moment that my companion said Amen,..........................the rooster came flying down!!! So we chased it and caught it and gave it to the young boy!! It was so funny and such an amazing experience!! 

I truly know that prayer with faith brings miracles!! I know God listens to us and answers our prayers! I know that when we are obedient, we have the power to call down upon us whatever blessing we may need from God.... We can even make a rooster come down from a tree. I know that if you will pray with sincerity and act in faith, doubting nothing and obeying everything, God will always give you what you need! 

So how many people do you need to get a rooster down from a tree? Only two missionaries with the prayer of faith and the will of God on their side ;).

I love you all so much!! I hope you can all pray more fervently and obey more perfectly to receive all the answers to your prayers!!

Love you all so much! See you soon!

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week 78

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I know you're working hard to the end and you are blessing lives because of it. This past week was Spring break for the kids. Natalie enjoyed her time reading and visiting with friends. She also took the ACT on Saturday for the first time. Jakob spent the week with Christopher here at our house while the Russells were in St. George. They had a great time together-cooking, doing jobs, playing video games, watching movies, and swimming. Hannah and I went to her neuropsych appointment and learned where we need to go from here for help. We have a plan! I also spent a lot of time with her and Natalie shopping... getting ready for our cruise! Dad and I went on a date Friday night to see a play at the Off Broadway Theater. We saw Cutie and the Beast. It was really funny! We went to dinner afterwards! I've also spent a ton of time in the yard this week and have at least two more days out there before spring clean up is complete. It snowed a couple of inches last night!!! Wild Utah spring weather is here! The Russells are coming over today to help celebrate Dad's 53rd birthday! 

I've been thinking about ancestors this week especially on Dad's side and felt impressed that I should pray to find them. So yesterday I was with Natalie at DI and Manuela, a lady that works there, mouthed to me 'cute hair' and waved me over. We discussed hair for awhile and as she spoke I could tell she was from another country. I guessed Germany and was right. I then told her Dad's family is from Prussia (Poland). She then told me to pray to find his ancestors! (It was surreal to meet a German woman and have her tell me to pray to find Dad's ancestors on the same day I'd been thinking that very thing.) She said when they've accepted the gospel they will find you to have their ordinances done. At the end of our conversation she asked if I needed a hug. She stood and gave me the best hug. I LOVE how the gospel makes us immediate sisters! Now there is someone that is leading out in Christ-like love!

I love you! Make the most of your last days in the mission!

Love,

Mom

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 77 (Prayer and Service)


Queridos,

Well another great week has gone by so fast!! I can't believe it! Time flies when you are working hard and having fun!! 

Monday we went to Centro again to eat more crepes and  just spend time together!

Tuesday was really, really windy!! We were covered in dirt!! I had a wonderful exfoliant facial mask of dirt. I've heard it's really healthy for your skin along with the sun ;). We found some amazing new investigators! The hard part is getting them to progress ;). But we are still working on it!

Wednesday was a great day!! We worked with Rosa and Julio to start their negocio so they can get married! We went and visited our wonder child Valery who I hope will be baptized at the end of April! She really wants to be baptized!

Thursday we had a great lesson with una Hermana that I really hope progresses!! She is very open. I love how the Lord works. He always guides us to someone  that could accept and then guides us to someone that really wants to hear the gospel. This Hermana is incredible, however, her daughter is passing though many problems and she is the real chosen one in this home. The Lord works in mysterious ways!

Friday was a good day as well! We helped with the negocio de Julio y Rosa. We found a wonderful new investigator that has so many great questions! We taught Hermano Juan. He is the Catholic husband of a member. However, slowly but surely, he is starting to see the truth! I hope  he can accept the truth in his life and live in peace and happiness with his family!

Saturday and Sunday were amazing for the Conferencia General!! All the talks were so amazing! We really must learn to love our Heavenly Father and obey him for love and love to obey. We have a lot of hard things that are going to come, so we really need to be prepared!

Sunday we had quite the adventure! We stepped out our door and we shut it. When we went to put the key in to lock it............it didn't go in!! We couldn't lock or unlock our door!! And we couldn't attend to it until the night time. We went with our Mission Leader and called a cerrajero and he had to take the lock out and put in a new one! When he took the lock out he laughed because it was filled with Kola Loca! Or super glue! We couldn't believe it! Who would be so bad to put super glue in our key hole!? It was quite the adventure and now looking back it is funny :)

This week I came to a great realization! I was reading in  Alma 34

18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.

19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer untohim.

20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all yourhousehold, both morning, mid-day, and evening.

22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.

23 Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.

24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.

26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in yourclosets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let yourhearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continuallyfor your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who arearound you.

28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.

I love this part that tells us that we can and should pray for every aspect of our lives. However, I especially love verse 28. It tells us that if we do not serve others our prayers are in vain. I learned this day that in order to have my prayers answered, I have to be the answer to someone else's prayer. So, if I want lots of answers to my prayers, I have to serve many and be the answer to the prayers of many! We don't gain anything for doing nothing. We have to act and serve and love our neighbor - the members and the non members. I invite you all to meditate on this passage this week and look for how you can be the answer to the prayer of someone else. I invite you all to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, as was mentioned in General Conference, to help you know who to serve, when to serve and how to serve. I promise you that as you seek to fulfill your part that God will do the rest. I promise that you will feel more joy and purpose in your life and you will be able to receive the blessings that you are asking for from God.

Well, I love you all!! Hope you are all well! And see you soon!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Week 77

Querida Hermana Lutze,

So little time and so much to do!!!! I'm sure you're feeling that way right now. There wasn't enough time in the day for me at the end of my mission. I hope this finds you well! Life here is the usual crazy. I've been working hard in the yard and on  the itinerary for our trip in June. We really enjoyed General Conference this weekend. Marissa and Hannah came over Saturday morning and watched with us. We did Pizzart for lunch. Pretty cool pizza art! Dad's always so creative! Kylie, Hannah's roommate came over between sessions and Mandy, Hannah's other roommate, came over after the 2nd session. They all helped in the yard for a little bit and then I took them all out for dinner at Zupa's while Dad and Jakob attended the Priesthood session. Sunday we still had Mandy and Kylie with us. Amanda left to attend the afternoon session with her parents at Temple Square and then brought them by on their way home to meet us. It was fun to meet her family. They ended up having dinner with us-an extra five people and we still had lots of leftovers. It felt a little like feeding the 5000 with leftovers!!!! 

We had a great Presidency meeting on Wednesday. It's really fun to realize after the fact that you've been receiving personal revelation during the week. I had been really impressed with two scriptures that unknowingly went perfectly with a scripture that I'd sent to Lorrie a month or so ago. We are meeting with the RS presidents shortly and talking to them about teaching. Lorrie had already planned on using Mosiah 23:18-nourish pertaining to righteousness. The two additional scriptures I found were Helaman 11:23 - true points of doctrine due to personal revelation and Helaman 13:29-will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? It's our choice-do we listen to the prophet and apostles and receive true doctrine because they receive revelation or do we choose to follow foolish and blind guides-whatever or whomever those are... In addition two portions of Handbook 2 were given to me through the Spirit - 9.1.2 in which we are told as RS leaders to look after the spiritual welfare and salvation of all the female members of the Church and in 3.2.1 we learn that when we are converted and growing spiritually we then help others become converted and grow spiritually. As leaders we must prepare spiritually in order to receive the revelation we need in our callings. I'm so grateful for this personal revelation that I was given! 

General Conference was so uplifting! We'll see you in a couple of weeks! I can't believe I'm saying that!

Love,

Mom

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 76 (More Holiness Give Me)

Querida familia y amigos,

Wow another week down!! Time is flying by so fast!!

Monday was fantastic!! We went with Hna Holman and Hna Lopez (my guerrita friends) to Bebeleche (interactive museum) and ate delicious crepes! It was a blast! Missionaries really are like children!!

Tuesday was awesome because we went on splits with our Hermanas Lideres so we could look for our new investigators! We got a lot of work done in little time! We walked and taught the gospel to everyone in sight.

Wednesday was also great, but I don't remember much of what happened this day. :)

Thursday was an incredible day of planning! Sadly nuestros investigadores hid from us but we found other great people to teach.

Friday was a hard day! We had a lot of appointments, but none of them were there!! So we walked in the hot sun all day!! Woo!! It helped me work on my tan ;) I think I am the most tan out of all my family! (Don't tell Natalie and Hannah;) ) However, we did see miracles this day. It was so hot, we were baking in the streets!  But, we pushed on with faith and found a wonderful family that wants to learn how they can become an eternal family! Yay!! I hope they can learn the gospel and accept it in their lives and become this eternal family!! (It pays off to keep the faith and to work with diligence!)

Saturday we visited our investigators to encourage them to go to church and we watched the General Women's Conference! I loved it!

Sunday we obtained two new investigators who look like they are going to be poderosos because they attended church with us. Yay!

I loved what Sister McConkie taught in the General Women's Conference about being holy. I love that we can become pure and holy through our Savior's sacrifice! Only through Him can we truly be clean and only through Him can we truly change. We have to make lasting changes to become holy because it is a way of living. Everything that the Savior taught us is a way of living that we must learn in order to enter into the Kingdom of God. I love the hymn "More Holiness Give Me." I invite you all to read that hymn and meditate on your life. Ask yourself how you can be more holy, how you can be more fit for the kingdom of God!

Love you all!!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 76

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I hope this finds you well. This week has been the usual busy. Hannah enjoyed her Ward activity in Salt Lake, Natalie is busy with friends and school while Jakob started outdoor soccer again and reffing to earn money for his mission. Dad and I went to the temple on Friday and Zupas afterwards. Natalie and I enjoyed Womens Conference together. I loved all the speakers and their topics. President Eyring's comment "Remembering is one of the most precious gifts" really stood out to me because I'd been pondering that word this week. I was reading in Helaman 5 - in the first 14 verses the word remember is mentioned 15 times. I've thought about the importance of remembering over the years and that is why I have a personal revelation or spiritual experience journal to help me remember the spiritual when times are hard, to help me stand,  and to help me stay strong against the winds of adversity. I love you! I love that you have honorably fufilled your mission scripture Alma 29:9!

Love,

Mom

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 75 (Are You His Friend?)

Queridos,

Another great, sunny week has gone by here in Durango! Monday we went to Centro and ate crepes!! They were so good!! Then we had a really fun Noche de Hogar with Rosa, Julio and Carmen.

Martes I officially completed 17 months in the mission!! Ah!! Soy viejita! I can't believe that so much time has passed by!  This day was good. We found some great people to teach!

Miercoles was a really rough day. I think it was a trial of our faith, patience and animo. Let's just say that everything kind of blew up this day. All of our appointments and baptismal dates were put in danger. However, we can't lose our animo, faith and hope. We just have to keep working! Remember 1 Cor 15:58!

Jueves was another great day filled with service to the Lord and the people of Mexico!

Viernes we had a conference with Presidente de Mission and it was great! At the end I gave my last testimony........:'( We will just say that I cried ;). Soy una llorona. The rest of the day was great!

Sabado we visited our investigators who we want to attend church. We also had a ward activity that was attended by Rosa, Julio, and their family! It was super fun! We  played volleyball and ate yummy food!

Sunday Julio and Rosa couldn't attend church for health problems. However we did have miracles happen and new people came to church! We obtained two new investigators to teach!! Yay!

I have been thinking about what it means to be a friend to Christ. He said this about friends:

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Christ says that if we want to be his friend, we have to be willing to lay down our life for him and for others. He says that we are His friends when we obey Him and live His standards. He promises His friends that He will reveal unto them all the mysteries of God. What an incredible benefit to being friends with Christ! I know I'm not a perfect friend, however, I'm trying to be a truer friend each day! I encourage you all to study how you can be friends with Christ and what you need to do to make your relationship with Him stronger - what needs to change, what needs to be taken out, what needs to be added in...

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week 75

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I hope this e-mail finds you well. We signed your contracts this week for Liberty Square. Hannah told me you are excited about this location. She's been down in St. George this weekend with her roommates. So that's been a nice change for them. Natalie and Jakob played in their piano recital on Saturday. Natalie is done after this year while Jakob will keep going on the piano. Jakob had two soccer games too. They lost the first and won the second. Jakob scored 4 of their 8 goals. He was on fire. It was really fun to watch them win their last game. I think they've only won two of their indoor games. I went with Hannah to see Dr. Pertab for her neuropsych testing on Tuesday. (She liked him better than Dr. Sieber.) We meet again with him on April 4th for the recommendations from the testing. I've been trying to work in the yard in between all my other obligations. I've now pruned 8 of our 35 trees. It's been so warm that they are really starting to bud out and bloom. 

Wednesday night for our RS celebration of 175 years, Sister Emily Watts came and spoke to us. She's such a great speaker and writer. She asked us jokingly, "Did you get the life you wanted?" We all have many things in our lives that don't go as planned. She recommended a book that I want to purchase entitled "The Uses of Adversity." In it the author reminds us that the gospel is not insurance against pain but the resource when we have pain! Heavenly Father knows what is best for us. He can see the big picture. She emphasized that we are doing it right! I know this was an answer to my prayers because I often feel like I'm not doing it right! 

On another note for my scripture study this week, I've been thinking about the importance of love-truly things fall into place when we focus first on love. I contrasted that with the story of Teancum and how he acted in anger "exceeding" anger when he killed Ammoron and he in turn was killed. We must remember to not act in anger. When we act in anger we do not have the spirit with us to help us make correct choices. Why did Teancum live after killing Amalickiah but not after killing Ammoron? I believe the difference was that he acted in "exceeding" anger the second time.

I love you!

Love,

Mom

P. S. There's an extra 275 in your checking account that Hannah will use to pay your deposit, so don't be surprised when you see so much money in your account.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 74 (God is Still a God of Miracles!)

Querida familia y amigos,

It was another fantastic week in the mission. As always it had its ups and downs. However, overall it was a good week!

This week a miracle happened! 

Monday was a good chill day. We got our housework done, cooked delicious food, relaxed and went to preach in the nighttime. It was a sad night because we thought we had two appointments with two escogidos!......................However, one had given us a false direccion (address) and the other didn't want anything to do with us! It was kind of a sad night but it's all good because the week progressed.

Martes is when the miracles began to happen. This day we had another incredible Capacitacion de Zona. We talked about many great things that are going to help our investigators so much.  Then we went to go and visit our investigators in the evening. While we were walking towards our appointment, a thought came to our minds to visit Carmen to see if we could catch her husband before he runs off. We arrived at her house and her husband was there!! (first miracle) Then we asked to talk to him and this time he sat down and actually talked with us and didn't run away (second miracle)! And then his friend called from outside and he escaped us (oh no), but wait, he came back (third miracle)!! And then we talked and he accepted a baptismal date!! (4th miracle) We couldn't believe it!!! One of the biggest miracles just happened!! This man has not wanted anything to do with us and now he has accepted a baptismal date and prayed on bended knee with us!! There is now hope for everyone! I hope this man can progress. He has a bad history but can have the amazing future that is waiting for him!

Wednesday we had an appointment with Marco but we arrived at their house and he wasn't there. However, we did find his son Marco Jr. He also has a terrible past! He has passed through more things than most 30 year old men and he is 17. We have tried to talk to him and teach him in the past but he has always rejected us. However, this night was different. We talked and he asked if we could visit him!! You should have seen how yo y Hna Parra scrambled for our agendas!! Another miracle!! All our prayers and fasts are finally paying off!

Thursday we saw Marco Jr. and you would not believe how much he cried. He really wants to repent and be clean. He really wants a new life. It broke my heart to see his pain and anguish. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted!! Another miracle!!

Friday was great as well! We had an activity about Historia Familiar (Family History). It was Dia de Discubrimiento Familiar (Day of Family Discovery) and the people presented talents that reminded them of their antepasados (ancestors) and that their antepasados did in the past. It was a great activity. Very beautiful and spiritual! We had a lot of investigators that loved it!

Saturday another miracle happened!! We were in the Comida when the secretario sent a message of a family that we had to visit! 2 Escogidos! So we went to go look for them. We found them and they accepted a fecha (date)! Yay!! We have so many wonderful people in enseƱanza (teaching) (another miracle!) It's like the movie of 17 Milagros (miracles)!

Sunday was the day that we lacked miracles. Sadly because of sickness and vicios (vices), our investigators did not attend church. However I know the following week is going to be amazing and that they are all going to attend church!! We're going for 12 in church!!

I just want to share these verses in Mormon 9 this week.

15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.

 16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?

 17 Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?

 18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.

 19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

 20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

 22 For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;

 23 And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned;

 24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

 25 And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

 26 And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny his sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.

 27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

I have come to truly know that God is a God of miracles!! There is nothing that He cannot do. And He does still continue to work among the children of men. I know that He can work miracles in each and every one of our lives if we only DOUBT NOT AND BE BELIEVING. I love this gospel and I know that it is capable of bringing all the blessings and miracles that we need in this life. My invitation to you all is to study Mormon 9 and look for the miracles that God and wrought in your lives. Ask and pray for the miracles that you need while waiting with patience, acting with all diligence and confidence in God that He will fulfill His promise in this chapter. I promise you all that these miracles will come. God has not stopped working in our lives! We only have to keep increasing our faith in Him! Take a moment and listen to this Primary song!! It is beautiful and will help you have a marvelous day!! I love you all!! Be miracle workers!!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ2djzQ9J64

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week 74

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I hope you've enjoyed another fantastic week in the mission. How's everyone progressing?! Life here is the usual crazy! I did have time to take Sonia out for her birthday on Tuesday. We enjoyed a delicious meal at Molly's in Provo. We'll have to go when you get back. We enjoyed Ben's 14th birthday on Sunday and we were able to meet Ammon. We all really like him. We shall see. Hannah has nailed down housing for the two of you at Liberty Square. The apartments look nice and they are close to campus. I attended the temple on Friday and took a family name! :) I also worked in the yard. It's time to prune, aerate, fertilize, and much, much more! Natalie and Jakob are busy with school and their usual activities. Jakob certified as a soccer ref this year and will start this next weekend. :) I hope the parents and players are nice to him.

I've been thinking about obedience this week. We had a lesson last Sunday for Trek on obedience. We must learn to obey like the Savior.  He obeyed immediately, cheerfully and without complaint, and completely. I love the promise in D&C 130:20-21. We all need blessings. We talked about the obedience of our pioneer ancestors and how they often had to bury people along the way. Dad compared it to our lives and how we must bury things along the way... pride, anger, worldly items, etc in order to return to our Heavenly Father. If you think about it, we eventually have to give up everything to return to Him. Grandma didn't take anything with her when she died with the exception of what she had become.

Have a great week!

Love,

Mom

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 73 (Let Christ be your Architect!)

Querida familia y amigos,

Well another great week in the mission! There is no where better than the mission! However, I can feel the end nearing. And it doesn't help that my sister now has a countdown and is informing me of every day and minute that I have left in the mission! ;).

Well, Monday was good. I got to go to Centro with my companion and buy cool things from Mexico ;). I must reach my 50 pound limit ;)

We are continuing to find many new investigators and we are working hard in finding the chosen ones and putting baptismal dates with various people. Our goal each week is to have more people in church and I think it is going well! Sunday we had 9 people in church and they all have potential to be baptized!! We are still working with Julio and his family and Sunday they ALL went to church!! I hope that this family can all be baptized together! I love the gospel and the power that it has to change the lives of everyone and free them from the grasp of Satan! Sorry this is so short but this is basically what happened this week :)

Yesterday in Relief Society the Hermana gave a really good lesson about allowing Christ be the architect in your life. It was interesting because if you take a look at the work of an architect you start to realize that there are many details they have to remember - to put in the gas, water, lighting, rooms, doors, bathrooms, etc. There is a lot to plan! If we only  rely on our own knowledge to plan our lives, we are going to end up with a really crazy life.  Just like we would end up building a really strange home if we designed our own home without the help of an architect. That is why we must rely on Christ and let him be the architect of our lives and our happily ever after because He will plan it perfectly. However, we have to be willing to ask Him to tell us what we need to change and better in our lives, so that we can become the masterpiece that He has in mind. We have to understand that it will require cutting, soldering, hammering, etc. It will require lots of work and  change. However,  in the end we will see the great temple that He has built for us. In this life we are building our mansion in the Kingdom of our Father. If we want Christ to prepare a place for us and build our mansion, we have to be willing to do all that He asks us to do and change and be because He is the master architect. He knows what he is doing. I invite you all to kneel down and ask God this night what it is that He would have you change or do in your lives. Ask that He give you a vision of what He wants you to be and start to make these changes.  Ask and you shall receive. Don't fear to ask. Just be ready to do and become!

I love you all! Let Christ be your architect!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

Companeras de Hermana Lutze

I thought I was going to finish the training of Hna Montoya as well, but it didn't turn out that way. Who knows what presidente knows?!

1 CCM - Hna Knudsen y Hna Robertson
2 Alamos 1 - Hna Rubina and later Hna Gomez
3 Guadalupe - Hna Santiesteban later I was in a threesome with Hna Martinez and then Hna Santiesteban left
4 Guadalupe - Hna Valle
5 Guadalupe - Hna Lopez
6 Estacion - Hna Montoya (mi bebe primera)
7 Estacion -  Hna Reyes
8 Hacienda - Hna Maldonado and Hna Fuentes
9 Filidelfia - Hna Jimenez (Hermana Lider)
10 Filidelfia - Hna Pira (Hermana Lider)
11 Barrio Central - Hna Cortes
12 Barrio Central - Hna Parra (mi bebe segunda)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week 73

Querida Hermana Lutze,

Another week has flown by... I've been busy at work, in the temple, and with the kids. I went up to see Papa on Friday and stayed the night with him. Sister Crandall showed me a new app last Sunday called "Take a Name." It searches your family tree for missing ordinances. It found in about 2 hours and 20,000 names 20 people that need some or all of their temple ordinances done. How cool is that? I printed the cards last night so we can start working on them. :) I love family history! Dad decided to build additional shelves in the food storage room yesterday and he's been busy with the choir. Hannah is doing better with her depression and anxiety. I'm so grateful for the friendship she's developed with Kylie. They do so much together. She's been busy with petitions, accessibility items, and housing. Natalie and I went out for a late lunch on Friday. We enjoyed our time together. The way to her heart is through food and shopping. Jakob's been busy with basketball and soccer. He's really such a good athlete. I hope he's able to play some high school sport. He's fun to watch! I'm still working on trip details and just finished everyone's taxes. While I was up at Papa's and doing my scripture study, I was pondering what you sent last week in your e-mail regarding John 15. I had these thoughts come to my mind...

As we abide in His love we will serve those around us because of our obedience and be clean through that service and then our joy will be full!!! This is how we survive spiritually!! We survive through our service to others. The most difficult and yet rewarding times in my life were my service as a missionary and as RS president.

Substitute the word fruit with the word love and reread verses 1-11... It's awesome! The fruit is what Lehi partook of that gave him such great joy that he wanted to share it with his family! He partook of the love of God or His Atonement. Even during trials we can feel that love if we go to Him!

Last-remember that the first 5 commandments pertain to loving God and the last 5 commandments to loving our neighbor. When we are selfish we are breaking one of the ten commandments!

Two talks from last conference relate so well to these verses... President Nelson's "Joy and Spiritual Survival" and Elder Christofferson's "Abide in His Love." I hope you have time to reread these!

Te quiero!

Mom

Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 72 (Really, It's All About Missionary Work!)

Querida familia y amigos,

Wow this week has been so amazing!! We have seen so many miracles!! The mission is the best! It isn't always sunshine and rainbows but it has it's great blessings!

Monday was so much fun!!! We cooked all day long! This is my first house with an oven, so we had to take advantage. We made lasagna and brownies. Then we shared our brownies with the District, so we could have a few 'brownie points' :) It's true what they say - the fastest way to an elder's heart is his stomach.

Tuesday was a great day! Every day we find new investigators. The hard part is getting them to accept a baptismal date and getting them to church! Today we had an amazing experience. We arrived to visit Julio and Rosa and Julio opened the door. He looked terrible. We didn't know what had happened.  He looked as if he was in shock and ready to cry. We talked and he told us how his wife was drugged on Crystal Meth right now. He had no hope left in his life. We talked with him and promised him that the gospel would change his life forever. He looked at us as if we were his last hope. We talked and made an appointment with them for the following day.

Wednesday was a powerful day!! We invited 5 people to be baptized and they accepted!!! We are finding so many chosen people!! These new key indicators. We also had another powerful lesson with Rosa and Julio. We talked about La Fe y La Familia. We set goals of what they want to become, what they have to change and what  they are going to do to change. They were so inspired and ready for change! We all felt the spirit so strong! This family is so special and they have such a big desire to change!

Thursday was a normal day with little miracles of being well received :)

Friday, no me diga! Everyone we talked to lived outside of our area!!! I couldn't believe it! That is one of the bad things about working in the city. But we found some great references for other areas!  :) We had another great lesson with Rosa and Julio on repentance and they told us that they have been reading and praying in Family! Also Julio confessed that if he hadn't felt the spirit so strongly in one of our first lessons when we kneeled down and prayed together, he would have now said no to us!! God is truly working miracles in this family!

Saturday we went to see all our fechas. At the end of the day we had 10 baptismal dates in total. That is insane!!  Also, we had a lovely lesson with Rosa and Julio. There whole family was there and we had the opportunity to teach all of them! And their kids accepted a baptismal date as well! Now it is their whole family!! We are saving the family!!!

Then arrived, Sunday, the moment of truth. We actually had a lot of success! Julio and his family went to church! And Leslie as well! We had 7 in church and we had 4 with a baptismal date! Day of miracles!! Also, Julio and Rosa received many answers this day! Julio knew many members and  the Bishop gave him a job to do in his house while he still looks for work. The Bishop also invited them to a Noche de Hogar! Also, the night before, Julio almost had an Incident (he has a sickness) and Rosa saw that he was getting worse so she started to pray in her heart with all her faith just like we taught her and he relaxed and got better! God does work miracles in the lives of people!!  This family has received so many answers from God and every time we see them they are happier!! These are the miracles that happen in the lives of people that accept the gospel. Every family has the potential to change if they are only willing to change and accept God and His plan in their lives.

Today in our distirct meeting I read something very interesting. John 15

 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Christ tells us that if we bring forth fruit unto Him, he will purify us. He will make us clean. If we want to be clean from sin and guilt, we have to participate in missionary work. Missionary work isn't just bringing people to the church, it is also working with less active members and recent converts, magnifying our callings and strengthening the saints wherever we are. And if we want to bring forth fruit we have to abide in Christ, abide in His teachings, in His lifestyle, in His attributes, so we can have an everlasting effect on the lives of others. So, I invite you all to work ACTIVELY in missionary work. That is the work of the Church, it is ALL missionary work. There are so many people that we need to help, strengthen and change their lives. We must be the instruments of this change because no one else can or will do it but us.

I love you all so much!!

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Week 72

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I don't know about you but this month of February has flown by... Yikes! We enjoyed our weekend with the Weights even though the weather was rainy and cold. :( I worked Tuesday-Thursday at work. Friday I plowed through our taxes. They are close to being done now. We went to see a movie on Saturday - Moana! Loved it! I love the message of the film. We must believe in ourselves and the difference we can make. Friday was an amazing day of tender mercies. I met up with one of companions from my mission for lunch. We visited for over 2 hours! I love Krisse. That evening I attended the viewing for Suzanne Hyte (my MTC companion's sister) who passed away on our unit last Thursday. It's such a small world. It was so good to see Alisa again. She served in Argentina as well - just a different mission. And then that night I attended the temple with your Dad and the name I was given was from Argentina. I've never had a name to do from Argentina in all the years since I've been home from my mission. I felt like the Lord was reminding me of the service I gave all those years ago to the people of Argentina. It was really special to do the work for her - Maria de Rosario Lynch Zavaleta.

Our Ward Conferences started today. I love the topic this year. We are speaking about Joy and Spiritual Survival (President Nelson's talk last October). President Lyman talked about a few things I wanted to share with you.

Be Intentional (focus on Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation)

Do everything in your power to have the spirit with you - scripture study, prayer, temple attendance, keeping the Sabbath Day holy

Avoid anything that impedes joy

Sister Dalton spoke of how when she was the General YWs president that she basically avoided the things of the world during that time so she would have the spirit with her
Be like Lamoni's father who said that he would give away all that he has to know Him

Look for joy daily

When we are looking for it we will notice it more readily... 

Then in RS he taught about choice

2 Nephi 2:16, 2:26 and 10:23  We are free to choose

He emphasized the importance of upgrading our spirituality in three areas Forgiveness, Focus and Faith

Forgiveness-We must choose to be like Pahoran when he wrote to Moroni and said "It mattereth not!"
Focus-What do we spend our time focusing on? Good, better, and best
Faith-Be true to the faith we already have and build upon it

We can choose to focus on Christ and find joy. The Lord needs us to upgrade in all of these areas so we can help Him in the work.

Have a great week!

Love,

Mom

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 71 (Be Different from the World!)

Querida familia y amigos,

I feel like so much has happened this week but I can't even remember everything that happened this week!! Haha! This is what happens when you get old in the mission, you start to forget things.

Monday we went for a nice stroll around Centro and had an awesome lesson with David! He is our super poderoso investigador!

Tuesday was super poderoso tambien! We invited 3 people to be baptized and only 1 accepted but this hermana who accepted has a lot of potential to progress! She really wants to change her life and prepare herself to return to her Heavenly Father! It was so great to feel the Spirit guiding our footsteps and  guiding our words today. The spirit is the most important thing in the mission! (and in life)

Wednesday was an awesome day!! We found so many great new investigators! We are working hard to give them all follow up and invite them to be baptized. We are trying to speed up the mission work here! We had another powerful lesson with David!

Thursday was a normal day of work work work.

Friday we found even more escogidos and we began working on making sure that our investigators were going to attend church with us. Then we found even more great new investigators! 

Saturday was awesome because we were so efficient with our time and in our lessons! And all our investigators with a baptismal date said they were going to go to church with us on Sunday.  Yay!

Well, Sunday arrived and guess what!..........nobody came. It was a very sad day. It's very sad in the mission when people don't use their agency wisely. But it's okay, we will start again this week and we will help every one of them come!

I found an awesome scripture in John 15 this week.

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Sometimes we don't like the fact that we are different - that the world doesn't like the way we act and live. However, Christ tells us that if the world hates us that is perfect! It means we are learning to live apart from the world. We should never try to fit into the world. We should only strive to live as the Savior and if that means we have to have a very different lifestyle than that of the world then that is OK because it means we have been chosen for greater things in this world and in the world to come.

Well I've got to go! I love you all so much! Be different from the World!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 71

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I hope all is going well. We're in St. George this weekend and the weather isn't any better than at home. :( We went DI shopping of course and out to eat with Brent Amy and Papa at a Peruvian chicken restaurant and saw a movie La La Land. This week I finished up booking the excursions for our trip and now it's time to work on taxes. Work has been busy as usual... We had an interesting day at church yesterday... there were so many people in Sacrament that we were sitting up on the stage and they needed extra deacons to pass the Sacrament. Jakob immediately went to help. Then a lady passed out during the Sacrament and they had to carry her out. One we'll always remember!

So last Sunday we met with the 23rd Ward prior to their Ward Conference and had an inspired discussion about the role of women.  During this discussion Roxanne mentioned an incredible talk by Sheri Dew given at BYU I last May on personal revelation and being a seeker of truth instead of a doubter. It goes perfectly with the YM YW theme this year. I hope you have time to read it. 

Here's the link:

http://www.byui.edu/devotionals/sheri-dew

Love you!

Mom

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 70 (We are Here to Learn Heaven!)

Querida familia y amigos,

This week has been amazing!! So many miracles happened in the mission and in the lives of the people here!

Monday we had a zone activity. We played sports and it was fun as usual! (We'll just say that  I had the bad luck of Hannah today ;) )

Tuesday we had a wonderful Capacitacion de Zona!! It was all about agency.

Wednesday was a great day!! We found some incredible new investigators who I know are going to progress!! It was a fun day because we had intercambios with our Hermana Lideres. It was fun to talk with Hermana Velazquez for a bit and the people we taught were great! We found one woman who truly wants to change her life and come closer to God. She is so open and willing to learn! I think she will progress nicely! We also taught a woman that has passed through a lot of problems. She is very negative and sad, but I am praying that with the gospel we can give her hope and happiness in her life.

Thursday was a great day filled with the spirit. I really felt like the spirit was guiding us to the people who need to hear the gospel.

Friday we had capacitacion con Presidente de la mision! It was so great!! He always gives the best presentations and we always learn so much!! Afterwards we didn't do much but we had an amazing lesson with our new investigator David! No me diga he is so prepared to here the gospel!! He is going to progress so much!! He has a baptismal date for the 11 de March!! He has already suffered and changed so much!! Hace poco (A little while ago) he was involved in drugs and alcohol. He has really changed his life around and I know that he is going to make even more changes in his life!

Saturday we found some more awesome investigators! We have found so many amazing people to teach this week!! I can see that all our hard work is paying off!! God is truly blessing us in many ways!!

Sunday Carmen and David went to church with us!! It was great! They both have baptismal dates for March!! We are praying for miracles to happen here! In the evening we found a new family! They just barely moved to these apartments and we just happened to find them this day. We could see in their eyes that they need help and to change their lives. We shared the gospel with them and they felt the spirit so strongly that they accepted to be baptized that very day!! Our first visit and they accepted!!! These people are so very special!! They are people that are truly prepared by the Lord to hear our message! Those are the people we are looking for here!

Well this week I have learned a lot about agency. Our agency is so important in this life! In this life there are three spirits - the spirit of God, the spirit of man and the spirit of the devil. The spirit of God and of the devil are both trying to influence and control the spirit of man. Even so, I love knowing that our spirit has the opportunity to decide which side we choose. Many say that their circumstances determine their decisions and happiness or that Satan tempts and controls us, but that is not true. We control our decisions and our happiness. No one has power over us UNLESS we give them that power.  So we can choose to be eternally happy or eternally miserable! We are not beings of circumstance and that is why it is so important to have self discipline.  We must learn to let our pure spirit control our carnal bodies. I have always loved what Brad Wilcox said in his talk about grace. He said that we are not here to earn heaven. We are here to learn heaven. This is so true!! We are here to learn to live the  laws of the Celestial Kingdom. We don't earn it with our deeds. We have to be fit for this kingdom. We have to have the discipline and live our lives in the manera (way) required of God. 

Well, I love you all so much! I invite you to learn heaven - to learn to love and live the laws of God!

Love,

Hermana Lutze

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Week 70

Querida Hermana Lutze,

I hope this past week has brought great success to you and your hijita! We sent your scholarship information in and I understand that you and Hannah are working on housing for next year. 

It's been another busy week. Work has been a little stressful with our first simulation of the year. You never know how it's going to go but it went well. :) I also cared for a patient-my first one since last June. It was like riding a bike and the new charting went better than I expected.

Dad tried out for and made the Millennial Choir. Of course... He has such an incredible voice. They asked where he got his training... and they are always surprised when he tells them he didn't. :)

Hannah's slowly working on managing her health issues and school. She played in her intramural game on Friday and scored three goals. I'm so grateful for something positive in her life.

Natalie's been sick this week and is now getting better.

Jakob played basketball and soccer this week. They lost the BB game. He scored though, had some great blocks and a couple of steals. They won their soccer game. He scored two of the three goals and assisted on the other. I love watching him play indoors. He has such quick reflexes and makes good decisions.

I attended the temple on Friday and really enjoyed the peace and comfort I felt. I received answers to my prayers.

Saturday we attended Brian's baptism. The spirit was so strong. Christopher baptized Brian. The bishop gave some excellent remarks at the end. He spoke of how some do not need baptism like Brian but that the Lord is very pleased with Brian's desire to follow His Savior and to be baptized. He spoke of how the room was full because of how Brian has touched their lives. He spoke so highly of the Russells and how they have cared for Brian over the years. He had all the deacons come up with Brian. They are his friends. He spoke of how Brian is the same on the inside spiritually even though he's different on the outside physically. It was just a really special day.

After our Sunday school lesson last week on receiving personal revelation I looked up this talk by Elder Scott. It's excellent. I hope you get a chance to read it. 

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1989/10/learning-to-recognize-answers-to-prayer?lang=eng

Have a great week!

Love, 

Mom