Rachael's Mission

Mexico Torreon Mission October 2015 - April 2017

Rachael's Picture

Rachael's Picture

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!



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!


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:


Love you!


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!


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. 


Have a great week!



Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 69 (Jesus Christ is Praying for You!)

Dear family and friends,

Well another glorious week in the mission has passed by! Right now it is winter time (technically) however it is 78 degrees outside!!! It's crazy here! I must say desert life allows for a lot of reflection time. 

Monday was a great P day as always! I washed, cleaned the house, bought food, and ate a Gringa! So delicious! (It's like a quesadilla with a lot of meat!) Then in the night time we hopped on a bus that was supposedly going to the Central Camionera where we were going to meet las hermanas to have intercambios. However.........that bus did NOT go to the Central Camionera!! It took us to who knows where- a place where all the streets were dirt!! Jajaja! We rode the bus for 1 1/2 hours!! It was quite the journey! However my hija did get the scenic tour of Durango ;) Let's just say that we didn't have intercambios this day.

Tuesday we were still encontrando amazing people!! I hope that some of them will start to progress! I also discovered that Hermana Parra sings very beautifully! So we like to share our talents and sing to them!! You can feel the spirit so strongly and they love it!! I hope we can touch a lot of hearts in that way!!

Wednesday we talked with a young man who is only 17 years old and has a lot of problems. It was so sad to hear how down he was in life and how he thinks that that is just how life is. It made me feel so grateful to have been born into a wonderful family with parents who love me and care for me and taught me what is right and what is wrong, what brings happiness and what brings sorrow. It made me realize just how important parents are in our lives.

Thursday was a great day! I don't remember much, just that it was good.

Friday, mi hija completed one month in the mission!!! Yay!! We talked with one of the eternal investigators in the ward and he really wants to be baptized and has a testimony that is so strong about Jose Smith. He just has to quit smoking!! I hope that we can make this miracle happen in his life!!!

Saturday was a great day!!! We found some incredible new investigators that want to go to church! Yay!! We need more time to visit so many people!

Sunday we had 3 in church! Fernando, Ilian and David. They are all potential baptisms!! David is the son of the Familia AvendaƱo and he went to church with them. I hope we can help him join the church as well! We also went in search of a reference and we found someone else. This someone else is amazing! She is an abuelita that is so tierna. She has so much faith in Jesus Christ and she accepted to be baptized. Yay! We just need her to recover from her fall a little more so that we can help her be baptized!

This week I have been thinking a lot about this poor young man. I have come to realize how much our actions can affect the lives of others! We have to remember that our choices not only affect our life but the lives of all those around us as well! We must be aware of what we do and act in a way that our life can bless the lives of others. I was reading in a chapter towards the end of a book written by M. Russell Ballard that talks about living a quality life. He talks about how a quality life is a life that goes about doing good, a life that brings joy to everyone around them, a life that shares the gospel and brings light into the darkest lives. Those are the lives that we should be living. We cannot be saved if we only worry about saving ourselves. It is not enough. We have to save ourselves and everyone around us. Christ tells us in Lucas 22:32, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

Jesus Christ is praying for us, he is guiding us, and helping us to be converted, but not so that we can only reach the goal and reach it alone. He is helping us, so that we can then help others - to strengthen their faith, their relationship with God, and help them to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We have to help ALL people with EACH phase of this life.  So my invitation is to strengthen your personal faith first and then go to work to help those around you. Look for the less active, strengthen and perfect the active, and convert those who are not members. We have a lot of work to do.

I hope you can all look for the people that need your strength in their lives - help guide and strengthen them.

I love you all so much!! Look for the miracles in your lives this week!!


Hermana Lutze

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week 69

Querida Hermana Lutze,

So I found out we can send in your essays a little later, please review what Dad has worked on and let me know today if it's OK.... and I will submit this week!

Life's been busy as usual. I took Hannah to the concussion clinic at TOSH to see Dr. Sieber. What we discovered is that she's never recovered from her concussion that occurred almost two years ago and it's affecting her performance in college. Last semester was so hard on her brain that that's why she feels like she's in a 'fog' still and can't get out of it. We're working to reduce her workload and work towards her recovery. She may just have to attend part time for awhile. We'll see as we go forward. They should be calling this week to schedule a full day of testing to see where her specific issues are occurring so we can get help. I have a feeling the accommodations office at BYU and I will get to know each other very well. Natalie and I went shopping for her birthday on Friday. She found some cute clothes at Ross. Jakob and I went out for ice cream that evening. We had a fun date together. I watched his soccer game on Saturday. He scored their only two goals. He has some awesome moves. We just need to increase his speed-maybe you can work with him on that this Spring when you're home. He needs to run two miles in under 12 minutes. He had an awesome kick of the ball over his head to score but the keep got to it. :) Hannah helped Dad pull off my 50th birthday party. They have pictures of me all over the family room plus crutches, denture cream, prune juice, and Assurance pads. They even brought down Grandma's wheel chair and walker. I wore a robe and a crown that said Over the Hill. :) We went to Texas Roadhouse that evening after eating cake and ice cream... And yes it was two cakes with 50 candles plus cupcakes with tombstones marking some of the years that have gone by... Sonia did the decorating. 

I've learned this week the importance of being worthy of personal revelation and to keep seeking answers. The answers for Hannah's issues have come line upon line and I've felt led from one answer to the next. We must remember that the Lord knows all and that when we let Him be in charge it really will all work out. I've learned again how much He loves us and wants to help us during our trials but we must come to Him. We often move away from Him during the difficult times instead of coming closer to Him so He can help us.