Mission Address

You can write to Luke at the following address:
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Luke A. Powell
Hawaii Honolulu Mission
1500 South Beretania St. Suite #416
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Luke climbs a coconut tree

Aloha ohana!
Man sounds like things are still just plugging away as normal as can be back in good old Az!! That's cool to hear about Hannah and Ben's missions!! How much longer does Hannah have?? And I don't know if I mentioned but I just watched my last ward send off one of their missionaries to the South Dakota Rapid City mission so I'm curious if he's going to get re-assigned to Nebraska as well. That would be cool! I'll have to ask around! Anyway, apparently we all have a lot of connections to that part of the US! haha! And you should ask the Elders and find out if they know where Elder Mahlandt, Elder Reaves and Elder Francis are or what happened to them!! I think Elder Francis might actually be home?! Man, that's crazy that it's almost been a year since my mini-mission!!
Anyway, as for us out here in good old Ka'u things are just about at normal as always! .....so in other words not normal at all! haha! But hey what better place for me to be than somewhere for not normal people because well... I'm not too normal myself! hahaha! But in all honesty this really has been a great week. Just doing what we always do, a couple lessons with our "investigators" (families that happen to have a non-member in the home) and then our normal 12-15 home teaching visits :P haha! but it is great! For the most part the people here in Ka'u are just like the people around the entire rest of the Hawaii, super warm and friendly and welcoming! We actually have this little swap meet we've been going to with like 9-10 tents set up each week and just kind of getting to know some of the community (it honestly is a good chunk of them there which just goes to show you how small it is! haha) And the best part of that is there is this really nice Mexican Lady (who most recently came from Arizona but was born and raised in Mexico) that makes SUPER good Tacos!! So that is always a highlight of the week! :) hahaha! Also we are seeing at least a little bit of excitement on the ward level. We just got a new Bishopric when I got here and because the church doesn't want Bishop's wives being RS presidents at the same time they just called a new RS presidency too! It's funny cause our whole bishopric are all former bishops and the bishop himself is on his third time as bishop.. when your activity pool is about 30-40 people on a good week I guess your choices are limited :P haha! But they are all great men and I'm sure will do great things! 
The ocean down at south point and all around the island is seriously SO incredibly clear and blue it's just beautiful!!

Anyway, I am sincerely praying that this new ward set up works well because we also found out that after this transfer President will probably be closing down this area or at least merge it with the neighboring area (which would make those poor missionaries area over 120miles long!) But long story short it looks like I will be doing yet another one transfer area which kind of really stinks because you don't have nearly enough time to get to know the ward or the area or anything but it's ok, President is in desperate need of missionaries in other places because with the age-change swell going down we will be dropping from over 200missionaries to only about 170 in the coming months! So that will be crazy!!!
But again no matter what, I am sure that the work will keep on hastening and everything will work out just like it's supposed to! (or at least very close to that! haha) Just keep praying for the amazing saints of Hawaii, I know I will be! Anyway, I hope you all have a great week and remember that I am praying for you constantly and I love you all so much! Mahalo nui loa for all that you do!! Stay strong, carry on and don't forget to be awesome!!! :D :D :D
Ofa atu!
-Elder Powell
p.s. just thought I'd include some pictures of me getting into my Polynesian side climbing a coconut tree (which is MUCH harder than a pine tree on the mainland! :P haha!) and enjoying the view from the south tip of Big Island which also happens to be the furthest south point of Hawaii AND the United States! (Alabama ain't got nuttin' on Ka'u!)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blizzard in Hawaii

 Oh, how I love that word! Even just the word family makes me smile! :) Anyway, I'm very glad to hear that all of the family has been doing great and having lots of fun! I know I'm not there in person but still even just knowing that you are all having fun together makes me smile out here! :) haha! Well hello to all of the family and a GIANT mahalo to each of you for all that you do! :)

 Anyway, sorry for such odd e-mails the past few weeks but, well, honestly there's not really any better way to describe these last few weeks than as just odd! For example! Believe it or not we were the only state this weekend in the entire U.S. that had a full-fledged BLIZZARD WARNING!!!!! A blizzard!! In Hawaii!!! I mean sure it wasn't actually down where people live, it was up on top of Mauna Kea but still it made for some pretty good snow and sledding conditions today for our district p-day activity! :) haha! Anyway, that was a blast!!! (even when you factor in the scraped up arms, frozen toes and incredibly sun burnt face! hahaha)

As for the rest of this week it has also been an odd one when it comes to missionary work. We had another exchange so on basically the most eventful day EVER in Ka'u (one of the slowest areas in the entire mission!) I was up in Keeau and Waikahe for one of their SLOWEST days ever (which is normally one of the fastest areas in the mission!) haha! so apparently the Lord just knows that I am a little slow and kept me away from anything exciting happening in Ka'u like cutting down trees and teaching crazy lessons! but even then we still managed to put up our fair share of craziness all the other days with running back and forth from Hilo (an hour and a half drive) three different times this week! We had our interviews with President that he does with every zone every three months so that is always great to see President and Sister Warner! :) The only sad side to it all is that he will possibly be closing this area soon because it is so slow and we are losing a lot of missionaries as the swell dies down after the age change and everything evens out again. So, unfortunately I don't know that I will be here much longer but no matter what happens I am very glad I got to be here when I did and meet the people that I did! :)

 Anyway, I gotta get going (the work just never stops! haha) but I love you all SO much and pray for you daily!!! Thank you for all of your support and your e-mails! I do enjoy them very much and just apologize that I am not the fastest at responding but I promise I'll get to them as soon as I have a little extra time! But again they are read, appreciated and you are all loved so much!! :) Thank you again, aloha nui loa, and don't forget to be awesome!! Have a great week!!

Ofa atu
-Elder Powell

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

High on the mountain top (literally and figuratively)

Aloha again from little old Na'alehu! I'm glad to hear that everything is going well back in AZ (and in Price) and just wish I could be even more a part of it (but not as much as I want to be out here serving the Lord so don't worry about that! :) haha) Anyway, that is too bad to hear about Tanya, I will never forget all the times we went out back with her little rusted knifes and tools and dug out weeds for hours! I also remember one time going to bring her this cookie we were told to share in primary and she was not only very puzzled but very determined to pay us for it! haha! But if my childhood memory serves me right we got away with no compensation except for a sincere (yet still puzzled) wrinkly old smile. :) Anyway, I am sorry to hear she passed and yet sure that she will be taken very good care of by loving missionaries, members and even primary children on the other side of the vail. :) As for Grandma she definitely does have all of my love and prayers being sent her way and I will try and piece together something special to send her physically but at the rate things have been getting done around here I may end up giving it to her in person after my mission! :P haha!, 

As for our side of the Ocean we have been spending a lot of time quite literally high on the mountain tops! haha! Our week here in Hawaii started with a trip up to the top of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain IN THE WORLD!!!! That's right! Take that Everest!!! .......well ok so maybe Everest is a little higher elevation but Mauna Kea is still the tallest!! .....it's just mostly underwater. haha! Anyway, while it isn't the highest elevation in the world, it is definitely the highest here in Hawaii and is in fact so high that if you go at the right time of year it bears an awful lot of resemblance to the ice-planet of Hoth! So yeah, we went sledding in Hawaii! :) haha

Anyway, we also got to go to a spiritual mountain top this morning when we traveled to the Kona Hawaii temple! I've now been to both Temples here in Hawaii and both of them are just amazing! This one however is one of the MANY "cookie cutter" temples if you will, that good old Gordon B. Hinckley pumped out while he was President of the church and is therefore tied with dozens of other temples as the 5th smallest temple in the world! And it is very noticeable! If you want another fun little google earth experience just look up the Kona Hawaii temple from the top and then scroll down a tiny bit and check out the stake center right next to it almost double its size! haha! But never the less it was great to be able to go and do some initiatories for those who can't do it for themselves (we didn't make it to the session but the initiatories were great! :))

Anyway, as for the rest of the actual missionary work that was happening in between all of that, it's still hard to say what exactly is going on down here in Ka'u because... well I don't even know what's going on! haha! The people here are just as unique as ever and I'm still just about as lost among the deserts of lava rock as ever! But it's looking up! I'm slowly getting a handle on the area and the culture and everything and trying what I can to get to know and get along with my comp the members and everyone else here, but no matter what it's still a bit of a culture shock going from a zone with 92% membership to one where we have on a good week 30 people total at church! This week was a special treat because we had a few stake members and one family visiting from the main land that bumped our numbers all the way up to a whopping 40 but all in all it is a good ward and I enjoyed being able to talk as well as my companion and our stake high councilman on Faith! (if you are interested I based most of my talk off of a story Bro. Hank Smith told in one of his devotionals about a man walking a tight rope over Niagara Falls and how being a believer involves not just saying it but doing it and so forth. It's a really good and entertaining talk! I would highly recommend any of his talks!)
Well anyway, I should probably wrap up now, sorry it's so long and probably mostly information you guys don't care about or things you could have just looked up on Wikipedia but, well, that's about all my fried brain could manage to get out today! haha! Sorry! But in all seriousness, I do love you guys all very much and appreciate all that you do and are continuing to do! I hope and pray that you have a great and blessed week and look forward to hopefully being able to talk a little more next week about actual miracles and missionary work and not just random facts about dormant volcano's I happen to be living close to! haha! But until then, have a great week, keep on pressing forward, stay strong, carry on, and as always, don't forget to be awesome! :)
Ofa atu!!

-Elder Powell

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The forgotten (but still beautiful) wastelands of Hawaii

Our tiny group of Elders in Laie zone that tried to stay afloat among all the sisters!
Aloha from Big Island!!! Man, I cannot believe it has only been a week since I last wrote to you! It feels like it has been ages!! Honestly SO much has happened in this last week I don't even know where to begin! Well first off I guess I should say that I am glad to hear everything is going well back home! Be sure to tell Joe to break a leg this week with his performances and if possible to definitely get a copy of the show cause I wanna see it when I get back! :) But anyway, also I'm glad that everyone else is doing great at doing what they are great at! You are all just great people and I am grateful for that every day! :) haha

saying goodbye to our fellow missionaries in the Hauula wards the Borsellas
 the two Elders who are replacing us in Hauula, Elder Hobbes and Elder Melvin 
WELCOME to the thriving metropolis of Na'alehu and Ocean View!!
 So as for my updates, to anyone who thinks about Hawaii and thinks it's all just beaches and sunshine and very rich, or thinks of a tiny little island where you can walk from shore to shore, I say, send them to Ka'u! It is CRAZY down here! Fun fact, we are not only the largest area in the mission but we are the most remote as well! We cover quite literally the entire bottom part of big island! We are approximately an hour and 10mins from the nearest missionaries in either direction and an hour and a half from the nearest city and that from the middle of our area. Just going from one end to the other of our area is over an hour drive in and of itself! Anyway, so not only are we
completely isolated but we're also basically in the middle of nowhere! If you ever want a good laugh look on google maps for Na'alehu, HI... that's where we live! haha! the tiny building behind the church on the main road there. Anyway, so our area includes that town as well as the thriving metropolis of Pahala and the ridiculously spread out houses of Ocean View. The latter of the two being a community literally build on nothing but a dessert of volcanic rock! As for the people here, they are well.... they are their own people! Definitely a lot of fun stories to leave here with! Perhaps my favorite so far being one of our members houses with perhaps the world’s largest collection of bears. She is a great lady and over all the 2,000+ stuffed, porcelain, gummy, toy, and all kine bears are actually just rather impressive, however being there I am reminded just a little too much of our wonderful stay in Independence MO at the Serendipity bed and breakfast. haha! Anyway, it really is a great place though! :) It will just take some MAJOR adjusting to! :P

And while we're on the topic of thriving metropolises, I'm sure you'll be interested to know that my new companion, Elder Sellers, comes straight out of the of Hanksville Utah! haha! Population 215! (Well 214 I guess now that he's out here in Hawaii! haha) Also, he is interested to know if we are related to any of the Alvey's out there. I guess they're parents are Powell's from Price? Anyway, he's a good guy! Been out for a long time, really hard worker and just a tough cookie! In fact he's actually studying and training to apply to West Point and eventually join the green berets after the mission... so as you might imagine it's just another great match up for the skinny little nerd from Tempe! haha! But really though he's a good guy and we get along well! :) Anyway, as for what exactly is happening here with regards to mission work, you'll have to give me a couple more weeks before I can really give you a good update on that! :P haha Mostly all we do out here is... well... drive! Unless we're visiting one of the four people we visit with in Na'alehu it's about 20-30 minutes to either Pahala or Ocean View and then lots of drive time in either of those areas! haha! But it's great! We actually do have two investigators that are potentially going to get baptized very soon! They are kids of a less active lady that wants to get them baptized so we'll see how all of that works out! 

Anyway, I guess that's about all of my update for this week!  I've gotta get going soon, we're gonna do a little shopping while we're up here in Hilo (since we don't normally make this drive almost ever. :P haha) and then I'm not too sure what we're going to do after that but I will be sure to let you all know next week about our many adventures here in the forgotten (but still beautiful) wastelands of Hawaii!! Have an amazing week! I love you all and pray for you constantly! Stay strong, carry on, and don't forget to be awesome!! :D

-Elder Powell

some special effects fun with Elder Hatch! :)