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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One crazy awesome family, ring of dirt, ring of sweat

Hau'oli la hanau ohana!!!

Happy family birthday!!!! Man, I'm so glad to hear that everyone back home is well and happy and grateful for your many blessings! I know I am grateful too for my many blessings, one of the greatest of those being of course all of you!! :) I am so glad that 31 years ago Mom was crazy enough to marry an even crazier Dad and they had 7 crazy kids who all together make one crazy awesome family!!! :) haha! And it sounds like you are all upholding the traditions of that crazy awesomeness even through your self proclaimed mundane lives! :) Anyway, no matter what I do love and appreciate hearing from you all every week!

As for my weekly report, I am sorry to say that I don't have much more to report on than you! It has been but another week in the mission field here in Mililani! I'm starting to get to know the ward and the area a little better which is nice! But aside from that there is unfortunately not too much work going on here. We did get to do service at Pear Harbor again which was fun! It was not so fun getting stuck in two hours of traffic on the way back, but even that was a good opportunity for my companion to nap and for me to listen to the MoTab's "Praise to the Man" cd a couple times through :P haha! See there is a positive side to everything! (One more funny side note on that. We were moving so incredibly slow because of two accidents on the H1 that the GPS I was following asked if we wanted to switch to walking mode because it thought we were on foot! hahaha!)

As for people we are teaching, we are of course VERY excited for C. this Saturday!! :D He is still very solid and everything should work out just like planned but just in case something does goes wrong we could definitely all use your prayers in his behalf! Also we have two other people that we are teaching who are just SUPER solid!! They're basically already members and they just eat up everything we say with such fervor and with a sincere desire and love for the Lord, to know his will and live his doctrine. The only problem is they have a few personal things they are working through with divorces and marriages and such and it's all really complicated with legality and technicality and such so unfortunately we're kind of stuck with just waiting for those things to work themselves out :/ BUT the second they do they are both ready to get baptized!! :D

We are tracting probably at least two hours a day and while we have found a few families with pretty good potential we are still trying to do anything and everything to increase our teaching pool with people who will actually progress because most of them are not. So any prayers on that part would also be greatly appreciated. But overall just know and take comfort in the fact that we are working hard out here and doing great!! I hope you all have a great week!!! You are all in my prayers and in my heart! Especially Grandma Powell and Grandma and Grandpa Groberg!! I love you all so much and miss you! Be sure to keep on working hard and of course don't forget to be awesome!!! :D

Ofa lahi atu!

-Elder Powell

p.s. sorry I don't have a lot of cool pictures in this area, it's not quite as exciting as the big island, in fact it looks basically just like the mainland :P haha! But here are some pictures of the ring of dirt around my feet after a service project this Saturday and a ring of sweat around my collar after ward basket ball Thursday! hahaha!! Just what you wanted pictures of I'm sure!! ;D Anyway, I'll try to remember to take more this week so I can share them with you! hopefully I'll have one of a few people dressed in white by next week!! :D :D

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Zone Conference - Up Front - You Can All See Miracles

Aloha Ohana! 

Thanks for the update on everything as well as for your many prayers and posts on my behalf! They are felt and they are loved just and each of you is loved so much! Now then, if I can bring myself to form logical sentences I will try to do so. First responding to your e-mail. Congrats Joe of your avid triathlon-ing (I could only ever bring myself to do that triathlon once!) Well hopefully you will continue to do physical things like that and you can get really strong and fit and especially good at basketball (many of your future mission companions will very much appreciate a fellow athlete... then again I suppose you will have the occasional companion who spent all their time in the music building or playing video games and watching science channel specials on the universe and they will very much appreciate your non-athleticism... but as I've found out here those ones tend to be a minority among Elders... :P haha!)

Anyway, back on topic! Congrats on your chapel cleaning, your home teaching and your full-night sleeping (assuming you are getting a full-night sleep, I know that is a rare thing for us here as I'm sure it is for especially you mom and dad as well. haha) Also a HUGE congrats to Elder Jarman!!!! I literally cannot express enough how happy I am to hear that he has chosen this path! Oh also he is going to the Kennewich Washington English speaking mission!! (Sister Shaeffer beat you to the punch on that one, sorry! haha) Anyway! off on another tangent! I'm sure you are all much more interested in what has been happening out here in Hawaii! Although your cause to be interested in that is very well justified, I am sorry to report that the outcome of this week was not all that exciting.... well I guess that's a lie, there were a few things of note.

First we got to have our Zone Conference here in Mililani on Friday and that was great of course! But what was particularly cool was we always combine for zone conference with the Kane'ohe zone!! And so while there were not really many missionaries left in that zone from when I was there, I did get to talk to Elder Smith a bit (who replaced me in the Kane'ohe 4th ward) and he told me that the work in that ward has actually majorly picked up the last few months!! although I was sad to hear that most of the people I was teaching have since been dropped, I was particularly excited to hear that one lady Elder Manning and I tracted into and never saw again before I left has actually been taking the missionary discussions and is going to church and wants to get baptized!! so that's awesome!!! :D Also since it's been almost a whole paragraph now since I've had a good side note I feel I should mention that Elder Smith happens to be from Queen Creek Arizona and was actually good friends before the mission with Hans Alverson! :)

ANYWAY! Back to Mililani!! So the other major highlight of this week I'd have to say was our lesson with C! So we have been teaching this young man named C who is a senior this year at Mililani high school and he is just the most solid golden investigator you'll ever find! Seriously, he does more scripture reading and praying than I did probably my whole senior year!!! He's just so awesome! But anyway, Elder Griffin and I were talking about how we should bring up with him the idea of going on a mission after he is baptized and such and we were kind of worried about it maybe setting him off a bit to the whole idea but then, without us asking or prompting anything out of him, he tells us "I was just praying the other night and asking God …what he wants me to do and I would do it and I thought about you guys and this little voice in my mind told me I needed to do what you guys are doing and go on a mission!" (I am paraphrasing a bit). But seriously he was just that up front and serious about it!! We never said anything to him or pushed him into it or anything but he just has such a sincere desire to follow the Savior and such a humble heart to do his will that the spirit was able to speak very clearly to him words that we could have never conveyed as well on our own. Truly the spirit is the teacher and we are just babbling 19-year-olds wandering to and fro trying and failing over and over again to do the Lords work when, as C showed perfect, the Lord is able to do his own work!! I love the Lord and I love this gospel! This is just one of the many miracles we see every week out here and I know and promise that you can all see miracles as well in your own life as you continue to trust in the Lord and follow his guidance and council and especially as you share the Gospel with others! :)

Well I figure I have rambled on for long enough and gone on one too many tangents so I guess I will leave it there. Thank you again for all that you do! I love you all and I am praying for each of you every day!! Please let me know if there is anything more that I can do for you each week!! I am more than happy to! :) haha! Have a great week! keep being awesome! :D
Aloha nui loa!!

-Elder Powell

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New area - tiny, white and solid


In case you've ever wondered this is what a pineapple plant looks like
Man, congrats Paul on the graduation and everything!!! That’s super awesome!!! Glad to hear that all of you are keeping at least a little bit my weekly commitment to not forget to be awesome! haha! I don't have a ton of time today so I'll just jump on into what's happening over here in Mililani!!

Some dinner the Otokichy family fried up for us when we went over to say bye!
So as you all know the hysteria of transfers as of late is finally coming to a close and I have settled now in Mililani 1st ward where I will be for hopefully a little longer than a month and a half :P haha! Anyway, from what I've seen so far it's a pretty cool area... definitely a LOT different than where I was on the Big Island! 

We're right in the heart of Mililani so the area is tiny, the houses are big and pretty much everyone is at least slightly rich, so again a HUGE change but it's ok I'm adjusting pretty well. I think the weirdest thing is that almost everyone over here is white!!! haha! I just got so used to seeing predominantly Polynesians and now I'm in a ward that is predominantly white and it's throwing me off a bit, I almost feel like I'm back on the mainland! haha! However … I have found at least so far that just like everywhere else over here, Mililani is very full of the spirit of Aloha! :) The ward is very solid (definitely the biggest one I've been in except maybe in Hauula but even then I think this one was a little bigger... although it was ward conference so I think that contributed... anyway, sorry I had a little ADHD moment there, but they really are a solid ward) and it's also very well organized and efficient. I figure it has a lot to do with the dynamic of the community but it's interesting because at least from what I've seen so far it seems to be run almost like a business over here. The ward council especially was very formal and stuck to the agenda and it was just kind of odd because of the stark contrast found in most wards I've been in with their very laid back local mentality. But it's a good odd! :) haha!

Elder Griffin and Elder Powell
 As for Elder Griffin and I, we are doing great! Elder Griffin is a SUPER solid missionary!! We actually came out together so that's the second time I'll have had a companion that's out the same time which is always fun! :) haha! Anyway, he's from Richfield, UT so not quite as small of a town as Elder Sellers out in Hanksville but still pretty small, anyway that being said his small town background doesn't reflect in the slightest our goals for this next transfer or so together!! We’ve actually got some really exciting plans together! 

We've already got a few progressing investigators including one with a baptismal date for May 2nd (I tried to convince them to switch it to May the 4th but no one else found my proposal quite as compelling as I did...) Anyway, so I'll let you guys know how all of that goes! :) But we’ve also just started passing out "family mission plan" to all of the active families here to hopefully start generating referrals, finding new investigators and eventually baptizing nations! :D haha! So yeah, I'll keep you guys up to date of all of that! :) But anyway, for now we've gotta get going to the store and then to our pad to do some MAJOR clean up! haha! So on that fun note, I hope you all have a GREAT week!!! I love you and am praying for you so much every single day!!! Stay strong, carry on, and don't forget to be awesome!!! :D

Aloha nui loa and ofa atu!!!
-Elder Powell

p.s. Thank you again though for all of your prayers and fasting on my behalf, I really do appreciate it and they are very much felt! Aloha au ia 'oe!!!

p.p.s. Sorry I don't really have any pictures since I got here but I do have some of the plane ride over and some of us messing around with some settings on the camera! :) hahaha!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Another Transfer, Tree Tunnels and Giant Pancakes

My dear family!!

This last week has been pretty crazy out here! Minus the obvious excitements of Easter and General Conference it has been a rather eventful week in Pahoa! First and foremost with the awesome experiences we got to have with the O. family! The one who I told you about last week with the baptism I stole from Elder Reinhold, haha! Anyway, so following the baptism the day after my emergency transfer we talked with and set an appointment to keep meeting with the family and now the girl's mother, is taking the lessons and wants to get baptized! And aside from just her they just had a TON of other family members move in to their little house (or at least in the near vicinity of it) from Guam and they are almost all members although most are only semi-active so we're gonna keep going over and teaching the kids and teaching the mom and teaching the family and if things keep going as great as they have been over there then really soon they will all be baptized and active and we will have a new GIANT and active Chuukese family in our ward! :D

This is what happens to shoes that haven't been polished in months! 
 Anyway, whatever happens though unfortunately I won't be here to see it. It truly is part of God's eternal plan that there is opposition in all things and so, just as all the excitement of the O. family as well as many other families and people I have already come to know and love in a matter of two weeks here in Pahoa sets in, I found out for sure that I will be getting uprooted yet again and transferred back to Oahu to be in the Mililani stake in the Mililani 1st ward with Elder Griffen (I actually came out with him so that will be cool!) Anyway, It's really not that bad, I mean I am very excited to go to Mililani and know many missionaries who have served there and heard a lot of great things about it so I am happy for that reason! I am just saddened that I will have to leave what has already come to feel like home here in Pahoa and all the amazing people that inhabit it! If any of them happen to be reading this, I love you and really do appreciate the time I got to spend with you even if it was short.

Anyway, it will also be quite the culture shock going from areas like Pahoa and even more so Ka'u to Mililani. After a month or so in quite literally the most spread out, country places in all of Hawaii with many of the people living in some of the most impoverished circumstances imaginable, I will be heading over to one of the busiest, crowded and wealthy communities in the entire mission!! Mililani is supposed to be filled with mainland military families and long time snowbirds or vacationers who almost all have more money than they know what to do with and who almost all will come and go and come and go, which again will be a stark contrast to the many long time locals here in Big island some of them being literal keiki o ka aina (children of the land). So I am sure come next Monday after spending half the week in Hilo and half on Oahu I will have many more exciting stories to tell!

But anyway, one thing is for sure, I have learned from these last three months with their four different areas and companions that no matter where I go or what is happening around me that the Lord is still there! I am so grateful for the knowledge that he lives and that he loves each and every one of his children! It has been a major challenge these last few months but definitely looking back I can see the Lord's hand in all of it and if nothing else was accomplished from it at least he has taught me a major lesson on patience and endurance and faith. Also over these last few weeks especially I have come to appreciate even more the words of the Prophets found both in the Scriptures and through Latter-day Prophets!

I loved all the sessions of conference and have already downloaded many to my flash drive to listen and review in the coming months until we hear from them again! I hope you all had spiritual experiences listening to the inspired messages this conference weekend! I know I am eternally grateful for it!! Just as I am eternally grateful for all of you!! I love you all so much and thank you again for everything you do and everything you are! I am praying for you always and wish you the best in the coming week!! Stay strong and don't forget to be awesome!!! :D

Aloha nui loa!!
-Elder Powell

p.s. CONGRATS ABBI!!!!! And also congrats to Regan!! that is so awesome to hear about both of them and about all the exciting news with all the family!! Be sure to send my love and Aloha to all! :)

p.p.s. I'm not sure if you noticed but I just remembered hearing that Kim B. Clark got called as a 70?! That's so awesome!! I knew the second they released him from BYU-I that he was going to be a GA! He pretty much already was there! haha!

p.p.p.s. Sorry if this weeks is a little all over the place or incoherent. As you might imagine it's been rather tolling on my mind especially to have to keep bouncing around and try and learn new areas and people and companions and so forth. 

p.p.p.p.s. I love how much joy there is here in Hawaii in all the little things, like cool tree tunnel roads and gigantic pancakes!! :) hahaha!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ET, Lava flows and green sand

 I figured this week I'd just send you guys a picture of me and my new companion at our baptism we had this last week without any explanation and just let you sit in suspense and wonder "what the heck is going on over there!?!" Enjoy! :) haha

Just kidding!!! Haha! I guess I'll write you guys a full letter with a little more explanation as to what all happened this last week but be warned this was yet another pretty INSANE week!!!! So it started out normal enough, just more "home teaching visits" to the 90% of our ward that is less-active in Ka'u, some service at people's houses, and a LOT of driving around, when right in the middle of this huge service projects mowing down these GIANT weeds that took over a one of our member's yard, I noticed we had a missed call from our zone leaders and from the mission president. So of course we stop what we are doing and call them back only to find out that the next morning I would be emergency transferred to Pahoa (still in our zone, actually in our district too!) because the Elder there needed to go to Oahu and they needed someone who could drive around the Elder staying since he's from Samoa and doesn't have an American License... soo.. long story short, I am now in the Pahoa ward with Elder Young Yen (a 3/4th full blooded Samoan that just happens to have a Chinese last name) and while his companion is in Honolulu and my old companion is now with the Elder that came from Honolulu because he is also Samoan and can't drive here. Anyway, the craziness doesn't stop there!! So I got ET-ed over here on Friday and Saturday the Pahoa Elders had a baptism set up for two little girls (Deserae and Jaylisao Otokichy.... I'm sorry I might have spelled their names wrong but you get the idea.) So technically I got my 2nd and 3rd baptism here on the mission but I also kind of cheated yet again! :P My first baptism (Rainbow) was already active for two years and I just happened to be there for her 18th birthday and my next two I transferred into literally a day before their baptism!! I didn't even teach them ANYTHING!! hahaha!! But either way it was great to get to see them be baptized and I actually got to do the confirmation for one of them yesterday at church so that was extra special! I guess I did participate at least that much so I don't feel too bad taking at least a tiny bit of credit for it! haha! So there's a little bit of explanation behind that picture I sent! :) (the girls that got baptized are the two in the middle with the Lei's on.)
So yeah, this too has been an odd week for us in Hawaii! haha! And what makes it even odder is now that I have settled into a new house with a new companion and new ward and had a baptism in the matter of three days... I will almost definitely still be getting transferred back to Oahu next week on the actual transfer day! haha! So you don't have to worry too much about past problems with the hurricane or the lava flow that is going straight through our area, (that's a real thing, I'll send a picture! haha) soon enough I'll be back in a big city, crowed with people from all over the world, sharing the Gospel and hopefully setting in this time for more than a month and a half!! (suddenly six months in one area like I had in Kane'ohe doesn't sound too bad!) So yeah, that's kind of my update out here! hopefully everything is continuing to go well for you folks back in Az!!! I sure miss it out there but I'm learning to love it even more than I already do out here which I thought would be impossible and yet it keeps happening every day! :)

Be sure to send my love and aloha to all the Groberg family living in our house, hopefully there is nothing too rancid or embarrassing left in my room! haha! And also huge congrats to Joe and Dad on tour! I know how hard that "little birds" song is both on the piano and vocally. Eric Whitacre is one crazy guy but he sure does write some incredible stuff! haha Also be sure to tell the guy who did our new pantry thank you for all that he did and mom I will be happy to re-do it when I get back if it hasn't driven you crazy after a year or so! hahaha! Anyway, I guess it's just like having a little bit of country right there in our little city house! hahaha! It would definitely fit in with most of the houses out here on Big Island! Well I gotta go but thank you again so much guys for all that you do. I really do love you so much and pray for you always! Send all of my aloha to everyone back there as well as an apology for all the people who have written or e-mailed me that I haven't gotten back too... I am still just about as scatterbrained as I was back home if not more so finding free time that happens to overlap with and the mental capacity to respond to letter back home is just about non-existent for me! :P haha! but I do appreciate them and will get back to each of you as soon as possible!!! :) Mahalo nui loa!! I love you all! Have a great week! Stay strong, carry on and don't forget to be awesome!!!!

Ofa lahi atu!!
-Elder (Luke) Powell

p.s. the beaches out here come in all sorts of different colors! haha Black sand, green sand, white sand, but they all have one thing in common! ...............we're not allowed to walk on any of them.... :P BUT we are allowed to go close enough to them to take some cool pictures of them! hahaha!! So yeah, that's just one of the many exciting scenic things we did this last week! :)

Also this is what the Lava flow looks like after it's wiped out everything in its path and cooled down a bit (don't worry, none of this stuff is still flowing it's all solid.... but the flow is still going about 200 yards further down the road! haha! Also what a real profession HAM radio operator looks like doing his thing! I'm definitely going to hang out with Bro. Rachiel if the lava burns down all other forms of communication cause this guy knows what he's doing with his HAM! :) haha