Mission Address

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Luke A. Powell
Hawaii Honolulu Mission
1500 South Beretania St. Suite #416
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fun and exhausting - Don't stop going

Aloha Family!

Sounds like a fun if not exhausting week! As you might have guessed our week here has been equally fun and exhausting for different but still good reasons. :) Anyway, that's fun to hear about everything that has been going on. Getting the piano tuned reminded me. I had a rather awkward experience at church yesterday. So I was supposed to sing next week because 5th Sunday is missionary Sunday, and I wanted to do my Shepard will Supply My Need and I had everything set and delivered the music to the lady who was going to accompany me and she started out great and was very excited.. and then she got to the last two pages and just stopped and stared at it for a little while and gave up. :P haha! It was alright, I just felt bad because I had told her that it was pretty easy song but I guess I'm used to having either Dad, Liz or Shryock accompany me and well.... not everyone can play the piano or sight-read quite like Dad, Liz and Shryock. :P hahaha! anyway, it was sufficiently awkward so we're looking at maybe pushing it back a couple weeks and or just doing a different song :P haha!

Honestly though aside from that I unfortunately don't have too much to report on. This last week has been... well disappointing. Not bad but just.. well we didn't make a lot of progress with anyone. OH! wait no. That's a lie! We did have one SUPER awesome lesson with this LA sister just in her door step! It was super spiritual and well yeah it went great and while she couldn't make it to church that week because she was already scheduled to work (she works at a hospital so she has crazy hours) she was very sincere about reading and praying and we're going back later this week to check up on her so that was nice! :) but yeah aside from that it was a little slow.

Oh we did have one other pretty exciting experience a couple that recently moved into our ward got their family sealed on Saturday! I guess the wife was a convert so they had to wait a little while before they could all go to the temple but they're a SUPER awesome family! And they had a great reception after that we got to attend with lots of food which is always good! :) haha

I think about all of you guys every night and you're in my prayers I love you all just as I am already coming to love the people out here! It has not been easy adjusting and in fact I'm still not even close to being fully adjusted to missionary life but I am working my way there and I have to tell you the best way to do it for anyone who may just struggling to adjust to anything is to just jump in head first and don't stop going! I was listening to a Rob Gardner song Brian sent me while I was in Yuma and there's a line in there that says "how long can flowing waters remain impure" and well it just really stuck out to me especially when it comes to consecrating myself to missionary work and everything but I think it applies to all of us that if we first stop dumping crap into our lives and then we keep moving forward (like the Robinsons :) haha) that eventually those things will work their way completely out of our lives! Anyway, it was just kind of a cool line to a good song. "My kindness shall not depart from thee" if you want to look it up. great song! :) anyway, we're heading out to china mans hat for a zone activity now so I've gotta go but I'll talk to you all next week! :) Keep on working hard, praying often, and of course don't forget to be awesome! :)

-Elder Powell


Dreams, Laie Temple, Working Hard

Aloha Ohana,

WHOOOO!!!!!!! BEN!!!! YEAH!!!!!! :D :D THAT'S SO EXCITING!!!!! Man, I was just e-mailing Brian about that and thinking, it's so crazy that just a little over a year ago the three of us were all in a hotel room in Texas just messing around when we found out that he was a member and now here he is getting ready to leave on his mission!!!! Holy 6x10^^23(ly) that's awesome!! I'm not going to lie I started tearing up pretty bad when I read that I was so incredibly happy (but then I figured it would look rather strange to start bawling in the library so I held it in a bit :P haha) But honestly I am so incredibly excited for him! You should tell him to e-mail me so I can talk to him directly! Man, he's going to be a GREAT missionary! :) (oh also speaking of people to e-mail can you please tell Haley and Jessie and Tessa to e-mail me? thanks! :))

Anyway, as for news here in Hawaii.... nothing too great unfortunately. Of course I will try and focus on the positive... but first I'm going to get the sad stuff out of the way real fast. So after another amazing lesson with S. last Monday we tried to set up another visit with him and even went over a few times and he either cancelled on us or turned us away four different times and he still isn't coming to church and last we talked he said he "wants a few days to work some things out before we come back or even contact him" so.. yeah that's been incredibly depressing... it's looking a lot like a repeat of what kind of happened with C. back in Yuma. BUT we're not dropping him yet and we will still be doing our best and praying for him so hopefully things work out in the end!! :D

Anyway, other not so fun stuff.... I also got tricked into eating a Hawaiian pepper whole.... that was not fun.... AT ALL! ......actually it was pretty darn hilarious for everyone else so I suppose that's a good enough transition into the positive!! :) haha!

So while we are losing a lot of our progress in some area (I blame Satan) we have also picked it up in some others! We found a name of a former investigator in our area book from years ago and while he has since moved out his little brother was actually home and we came in and talked with him and taught him the first lesson and he was super excited about everything and it went great! He's already committed to read the Book of Mormon and to be baptized (although he doesn't have a date yet) but he's still pretty solid! He also really wanted to come to church but his mom wouldn't let him because "she needed help doing the laundry since she hurt her foot" so... hopefully the mom isn't too much of an issue (although she did seem significantly less excited about seeing us than he was) BUT I'm also excited because he plays football and is pretty good friends with one of the sons of this other less active family that we have been working with so hopefully they can kind of help each other in coming to church and young mens and everything and then just maybe that will be the push the parents on both sides need to start coming to church and taking lessons as well! :) anyway, a missionary can dream can't he? :) haha! (speaking of which it's ridiculous how many dreams I have about doing missionary work or sometimes I'll have dreams about just walking... all day... and then I wake up and walk... all day!! haha! yeah dreams are weird things..) 

ANYWAY, off of that strange tangent! We also had a really cool devotional the other day at the Laie visitors center (oh but another side note before I get to that... the Laie Temple is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! WOW!!! Seriously probably the most amazing thing I have ever seen!! Sorry but we might all have to buy plane tickets back out here for my wedding because I want to get sealed there!! It is just SO BEAUTIFUL!!! :)) ANYWAY, so the devo at the VC. It was by Vai Sikahema, a name which I assume you'd recognize? But yeah, miracle bowl, BYU football, NFL, NBC broadcaster, covers the Olympics for them and best of all, and Return Missionary and current Stake president out in Philadelphia! :) haha! but yeah it was awesome! (Although he did talk quite a bit about getting married when we're back home which I feel is still a bit of a ways out for me.. haha!) but still it was great over all! :) It was also really cool to get to see a lot of my friends from my MTC district that I haven't seen since transfers! :) Speaking of which Saturday was my official one month mark!! whoo!! Also the members are still awesome! :) anyway, yeah so still a lot of exciting things going on! :)

Well I've probably rambled on for long enough! Thank you so much for your continued prayers in my behalf and in behalf of all the missionaries. They are felt and frankly I would not still be out here if it weren't for them! It's HARD WORK!!! I mean REALLY HARD!!! But the only days so far that I've ever gone to bed regretting things are when I knew I could have done more or worked harder or talked to more people. I just wish I could say I was the best missionary or the one with the most faith or power or testimony or anything, but frankly as much as I like to think I am, I'm pretty darn worthless on my own... but of course Heavenly Father watching out for me like he does, knew I was feeling particularly worthless this last week and so I when I was feeling almost at my worst for the week I was reading in Alma and came to Alma 26:12 and well needless to say it hit me pretty hard. And while the week sure didn't get any easier, some how I still got through it and some how I am still here and I don't know how but no matter what, somehow I will stay out here until my work is done!! If Ammon and his brothers could baptize thousands of the Lamanites I can get at least one! And even if I don't, well Mormon has something to say about that in Moroni 9:6! :) haha!

anyway, I need to head out soon, we've got work to do! :) So until next week, thank you so much for all your continued prayers and support! know that I am praying for all of you and think about you every day (but not too much don't worry ;) haha) anyway, keep on working hard, Joe, listen to Mom and Dad they know what they're talking about, and as always, don't forget to be awesome!! :)

Aloha O'e!
-Elder Powell

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hurricanes, WALKING and Prayers

Aloha Family!

That's exciting to hear all the updates! As for us. We're hanging in! As I'm sure you've heard We just recently went through TWO GIANT hurricanes here!!!! We're currently working on re-building houses and collecting fruit to try and survive. I actually almost died of starvation but thankfully a local minister who had been a bit of trouble before had a change of heart and gave me a jar of jam and I survived off of that and some bugs and.......Oh wait no... that's not my story... sorry. Yeah, they were both duds. :P haha! The first one hit on Friday and honestly I've seen MUCH bigger rain storms in Arizona alone! it was nothing, we just stayed in side and studied for a few hours than went out in the afternoon and kept doing what we do every day. Walking! :) haha! As for the second one it never even hit us! although I almost wish it did. We could have used the rain and cloud cover because it was HOT!! I'm still adjusting to the humidity and especially a couple days this last week have just been awful! Well... awful that is for Hawaii's standards. I guess it's still been pretty nice compared to Tempe. But anyway, enough about the lack of seasons over here! This week was pretty eventful as well aside from all the people frantically buying large cases of water, flashlights and boxes upon boxes of chocolate covered macadamia nuts in preparation for the storms that never hit.
As you might imagine the vast majority of our time has been spent exactly how it was spent last week. WALKING! haha! I wish I would have brought a pedometer or something cause we seriously walk a minimum of about 10 miles a DAY! and that's rounding down! It's rough. But it's all good! It's been nice getting to talk to people on the street (although with the whole hurricane scare the only people on the streets for the most part this weekend where the crazy homeless folk that live under the bridge by our pad, but they're still fun to talk to! :) haha). 
But enough blabbering. So this week we made a lot of visits to less-actives and such as usual but, probably the most exciting part was when we met S. :) So last Monday after p-day was over we were just visiting families in one of the many apartment complexes in our area and we were talking to this one member family and asked if they had any referrals and they did! They gave us two names, one was not interested at all but were still friendly, but the other we went by and visited that same night was S. He's a single father with kids. Anyway, we went over to his apartment and the door was open and well long story short he was VERY prepared by the Lord for us to meet him!! haha! The second he saw us it was like his face just lit up! He smiled and called us in and asked us what church we were from and all this stuff and he was just super excited about everything we had to say! We ended up teaching him a bit about the restoration and Book of Mormon and he was just super excited! He had been through some really rough stuff in his life and had been looking to change for quite a while but didn't know where to go or what to do and then we knocked on his door! :) Anyway, since then we've taught him two more lessons and he is making sure his oldest  (who is 10) is at all of them and wants his other kids there too but they're kind of harder to handle since they're quite a bit younger so they kind of just run around. Anyway, we're meeting with him again tonight and hope to put him on date to be baptized and also will hopefully get his oldest son on date as well! :) I'm super excited and so is he!

Well sorry if this e-mail was a little all over the place. I honestly haven't been feeling too well recently. I think it's a combination of all the walking, sun exposure, lack of a/c and humidity that's just totally draining me every day! :P That being said, it has only made my testimony stronger that Heavenly Father is watching out for us and that he has heard all of your prayers in our behalf and that he will not ask us to do anything we cannot do, because if I was trying to do everything we do in one day or one week by myself... well let's just say I would have been on a plane home a long time ago!! So thank you again for everything you do to support me out here! Thank you for your love and prayers and know that they are felt and that they do make a difference! Also know that I am praying for each of you every day and night!! Also thank you to all the family and members of the Relief Society for the notes!! I know it seems small and yet I cannot even begin express how incredibly important that was to me when it showed up. It had been a particularly rough day and I came home rather discouraged when our landlady handed me those two envelopes and well it turned everything around for me that week! :) I love you all! Hope you have a great week and of course don't forget to be awesome! :)


-Elder Powell

Monday, August 4, 2014

Paradise, rain, connections

Kamusta po?

Sorry for the extended absence but as you might imagine when we got here Monday they didn't quite let us go off and have p-day :P haha! but week one has gone by now and I get to have my first p-day here in Hawaii! :D Whoohoo! Anyway, Thank you for the updates. That is very sad to hear about Sis. Romney. Please give the family my love and let them know I will be praying for them!

As for my updates… First off I had a revelation since I've been here and it's huge! After having been to "Adam-onhi-ahman" and now being here in Hawaii I've decided that the Garden of Eden was most definitely NOT in Missouri at all! It was here in Kaneohe Hawaii and the tree of knowledge of good and evil had Lilikoi on it! Because those most definitely are most desirable and delicious to the taste!!! hahaha! anyway, yeah if paradise were anywhere it would have been here! :)

Luke in front of the mission home (The Groberg's former home)
So anyway! Enough of my ridiculousness and back to general updates on everything that you guys have asking about! :) I got here monday and we spent the first few nights in the mission home which was really cool!! That home has such a cool spirit to it! I mean whoever lived there before must have been one SUPER AWESOME family! :) haha! So then after some orientation stuff we all got to open our own little "mission calls" from President telling us where and with who we'll be serving. I am serving right now in Kaneohe on the windward side of O'ahu in a small little area. :) Being the windward side of the island it rains literally at least once a day which is cool because it makes everything over here SUPER green!! but it's also a little inconvenient since we're in a walking only area. But on the bright side when it's raining we get soaked by the rain so nobody can tell how much we're sweating from the ridiculous humidity that also comes with being on the windward side of the island! haha! 

Luke meeting his first companion, Elder Basag
As for my companion. His name is Elder Basag. He's from straight out of the Philippines! (So be sure to let Paul know so he can tell Joseph next time they're together! :) haha) He's a pretty cool guy! He actually kind of reminds me of Ben Lopez in a lot of ways :P haha! (OH!!! BY THE WAY DID BEN GET HIS CALL YET?! WHERE IS HE GOING?!?! GUAHH!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR HIM! :D :D) But yeah, Elder Basag is cool! :) He's been trying to teach me Tagalog and I've been trying to teach him how to solve a Rubiks cube and I believe we are both sufficiently fascinated and frustrated so we'll see where things stand in a few weeks :P haha! He also made me try Balut! (I'll let you guys look that one up, or ask Joseph about it.) It wasn't terrible actually! It was mostly just disgusting thinking about it before and after eating it… and during eating it… but it didn't taste too bad! :) haha!

As for the work here in Kaneohe. It's been a little slow so far. Everyone here is SUPER nice. I mean the Aloha spirit is very real! We only have two real investigators, one is an old Hawaiian guy who's very catholic and flat out told us he doesn't want to change religions but is interested to hear what we have to say, and the other is a 9 year old kid who's being adopted by a member family but he can't get baptized until the adoption is final anyway so that will be a few months down the road still. We also just got a new family to start teaching which is WAY cool! We were just walking down the street and they were outside and we started talking to them and taught them a whole lesson and are going back today. They seem to be pretty interested but they do have just a few little issues…. just small things… like chain smoking, believing Christ was imperfect, and a general knowledge of anti-mormon material… but they're still very sincere in their desire to learn… so yeah that will be interesting! haha! As for the rest of our time it's spent almost entirely on working with less-actives. The ward we cover is actually pretty big… but at church yesterday there were MAYBE a little over a hundred people there and that includes a ton of family that was visiting for a baby blessing… so yeah there are A LOT of less-actives. But they're all still SUPER nice! In fact we've gotten more food from the less-active members than the active members so far! And since it's disrespectful to say no to anything we have a TON of food!! hahaha! But yeah they're all really cool people! :)

Oh I've also made a couple connections since we've been out here! Of course there's all the people that knew Elder Ormiston (who by the way I BARELY missed!! We were literally in the same room at one time but there were a ton of missionaries and it was hectic so I never actually got to see him! super sad!) but I also was talking with an Elder Moffitt (not Adam) who went to Mesa high and so he knew a lot of my friends from there! In fact apparently he was in Beauty and the Beast with Brie's older sister, they were the salt and pepper shakers :) haha! anyway, but he also knew someone from some ward he served in who apparently used to be "best friends with Elder Groberg's kids back when they were living here". Sorry I don't remember the name but it was still a pretty cool connection! :) There was also a family in our ward who I guess knew someone that said they used to nanny the younger Groberg kids back when you were here and wrote a book about it or something! haha! I also had accidentally let it slip with Elder Basag who my grandpa was and now he makes sure that EVERY SINGLE PERSON we talk to knows that my Grandpa is Kolipoki! :P haha! But it was funny because he was telling it to some other Elders in our District and he brings up "The Other Side of Heaven" and Elder Hathaway goes "oh yeah I know that movie! My second cousin was in it!" …..I'll let you guys figure that one out! hahaha! We also were talking with this LA family that we visit, the Si'ilata's and Bro. Si'ilata said that he served his mission in Samoa and just so happened to serve with a certain 7 foot Canadian that I know pretty well! haha! So yeah please let President Toone know that I met one of the missionaries he serve with in Samoa! :)
Well anyway, I've rambled on for much too long. But we're still just waiting for our laundry. Anyway, I'll talk to you guys soon! thank you so much for your love and support! I know you guys are praying for me and know that I am praying for you as well! I love and miss you all and will be sure to keep you updated on everything! :) But until then, Aloha Oe! Don't forget to be awesome! :)

-Elder Powell