Mission Address

You can write to Luke at the following address:
(regular US postage rates apply)

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One endless paradox, That one act of kindness, Bonus Photos

Aloha Ohana!!!
and a very special AAALLLLOOOOOOHHAAAAAAAA to little Mabel Powell!!!!!!! WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!!!!!!!!  and congratulations Sam and Elise!! She looks beautiful!! :) I'm super excited to have a brand new little niece even though I probably won't be able to see her in person until she's a little over a year old, but all of my love and aloha is extended to her even from the these little islands I call home! :) (also I had to re-read that name probably 8 or 9 times before my brain registered that it was Mabel Helen and not Mary Helen Powell! haha! But either way a beautiful name for a beautiful girl!!)

That's awesome about Adam! I didn't know he got back already! man it's crazy to think that time actually keeps on moving! Honestly sometimes it feels like time is just at a standstill out here, like we're all just stuck in some crazy inception kine limbo where everything changes but nothing does all at the same time and it's just one endless paradox!! ........well that was supposed to sounds a lot more deep and profound than it probably did, but either way I'm sure I could send it in the Doctor Who and they could make some sort of sub-par story line out of it for a filler episode in the middle of season 12.... ANYWAY, yeah back from that tangent.

Honestly this week we don't have a ton to report on missionary work wise, just another one filled with cancelled appointments, portugee (pidgin for very talkative) members, and hot sticky days! BUT I do have some of probably the most exciting news that I've had in quite a while too!! J IS GOING TO GET BAPTIZED IN LESS THAN A MONTH!!!!!! WHOO HOO!! I know it's still a lot up in the air so I'm not too sure about all of that but just the fact that it is definitely happening and probably pretty soon is just so incredibly exciting I don't really have much else to say about it than WHOOHOO!!!!!! :D hahaha! Anyway, we also have been seeing quite a bit of success with MULTIPLE less-active families that we have been working with so that is SUPER exciting! :))

Anyway, sorry I would write more but we're a little pressed for time and I am extremely pressed for energy and attention right now because of a lot of other crazy things that have been going on this week, but anyway, I will definitely keep you up to date on everything that is going on and know that while things are a little slow and difficult at times that just like the Prophets have promised, the field is in fact white and ready to harvest and that there are people out there who need this gospel in their lives, in fact they are all around us! Everywhere we go! I genuinely believe that if we could see exactly how many people we pass each and every day that are prepared at least some way or another for this gospel that we would just be AMAZED and probably couldn't even comprehend it, and yet it's true, they are out there, they are everywhere and they are just waiting for that one act of kindness, or that one invitation or even just that one little smile from someone they know to reassure them that they are cared about and even more importantly that they do have a Heavenly Father who knows them and cares about them because in this day and age especially Satan will do ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING to counter that very basic and yet most important of all truths, that Heavenly Father is in fact our father and just like any and all of the great fathers whom we honored this last Sabbath-day, he loves us and he wants what is best for us and HE WILL NOT LEAD US ASTRAY!!!! I know that!!

Anyway, thank you everyone for all that you do. Truly Heavenly Father does know me and knows what I need and that is why he gave me all of you, because I am positive that without your love and support and prayers I would not be the man I am today and I could not do everything I have to do from day to day so thank you again for that! If there is anything I can do for each of you PLEASE let me know and I will go to whatever lengths necessary to do it! I love you all soo much and am praying for you always!! Have an amazing week! Stay strong, carry on, and don't forget to be awesome!!!

Aloha nui loa!!!!
-Elder Powell

p.s. So a quick side note but fun note! This p-day we got to go on base with one of our members who is a pilot for the Army and he showed us all around the hangers and let us climb around the black hawks and ask him all kinds of questions and it was just super cool! So yeah, here are a couple pictures of that! :) haha! A very special thanks to Bro. Thorley who besides being an awesome member and missionary is also just an awesome guy outside of church and let us play around on his 13 million dollar equipment! :)


Luke's Grandpa Powell on his mission in Brazil

Luke on his mission in Hawaii - photo is a tribute to his Grandpa Powell

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Walk the Walk, We are NOT the teachers

Aloha Ohana!!!!

HAPPY MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!! So, this week in Mililani! Well I guess one reason I don't have quite as much to say about this week is because last week was so jam packed with awesome things that we ended up only having a chance to e-mail on Wednesday so it hasn't been that long, but still this week also seemed to be jam packed with quite a few odd things to report on. Most all of the day Friday was spent at the Dentist's office while I got a filling fixed and teeth cleaned (only to find out that apparently the assistant found another cavity on like the back of my back molar even after the actual dentist with the dozen x-rays they took said that I didn't have any.... I guess even with daily brushing and flossing the universe just couldn't fathom a trip to the dentist for me without them finding a new cavity).

After that we spent basically the entire rest of the time we didn't spend in the dentist's office, in traffic on the way back to Mililani. Word to the wise if you are ever visiting out here in the future and want to go to Mililani from Honolulu.... NEVER miss the turn off on the freeway!! You will end up in Pearl City and once you get there, there is no going back!!! We spent almost two hours just trying to get back on the freeway!!! Anyway, so yeah that was a long and kind of frustrating day sitting in traffic with a half numb face for almost 3 hours total.... but eventually we did get back and we had a good dinner and basketball night with pretty much entirely non-members. So that was cool! Actually I'd say it was extra cool because I didn't make a complete fool of myself too many times on the basketball court!! :) haha!

And then the other probably biggest thing this past week was that we had stake conference!! It was SUPER good! They talked a lot in the adult session on making the Sabbath-day more of a spiritual experience both in and out of church and then in the general session on Sunday about not just being a believer in Christ but a disciple of Christ, or in other words, not just talking the talk but walking the walk!! It was SUPER good! Probably the coolest part though was when the Stake President started to bare his testimony and went off on some tangent about literally EXACTLY what our less-active members we were sitting next to needed and honestly us too!! The spirit is just INCREDIBLE!! It truly is!! :) Anyway, but stepping back a bit, a little background on the fact that we were indeed sitting next to a few less-active members in stake conference!

So their story starts out a few weeks ago when we were just doing what we normally do and trying to meet and share messages with the less-active members in the ward (because like most places here in Hawaii that is the majority of the work). Anyway, we knocked on the door of this one family and Bro. W just let us right in and started talking to us like we had been coming over there for ages even though apparently missionaries hadn't been by for months!!! So anyway, we went by a couple times and every time it was the same, a LOT of listening and quietly nodding our heads and occasionally tossing in a comment or question here and there and then watching as normally well over an hour sometimes longer flies by without them seeming to take even a breath between sentences! This continued on for a couple visits and then finally just a little while ago we were talking with them (well relatively) and after a rather lengthy story about the latest work troubles Sis. W stopped and said "so what time is church again?" and they committed themselves to be there!

However, unfortunately two weeks went by and they never did make it, but with each missed Sunday we also got a call from Bro. W explaining why he wasn't there and inviting us to keep stopping by. Probably one of the most touching things actually to ever happen on my mission was during Elders Quorum when for the second week he had missed out on church and called to apologize and he told us "please don't give up on us!" And we didn't, we never planned on it but it was still hard. Anyway, long story short, this week we had a great lesson with them. It was funny because Sis. W started the visit with talking all about how she thought "he should go to church" and "he needed it" but that she wasn't ready and wasn't going to be there but that we will "definitely see him there at church on Sunday" but then after a lot of then venting and just letting out anger or malice that in some cases had been building up for YEARS and a lot of sharing our own stories and stories from the scriptures and so forth in a quiet moment when the Spirit was perhaps the strongest, Sis. W just stopped and said, "well, I guess you'll see me at church on Sunday!" haha! It was so incredible!! I LOVE lessons like that where the spirit teaches everyone including us! It is always a good reminder to me that we are NOT the teachers! The Spirit does the real teaching and when everyone is in tune with the Spirit is can flow freely and teach everyone whatever it is they need to hear.

hike to Makapu'u Light house
 Anyway, along with that I just wanted to close by say thank you so much for everything you do and that I am more sorry than I could ever even begin to express for all the different ways I have wronged people, ruined relationships, broken trust, lost friends, abandoned family and every other mistake I have and continue to make. I am definitely VERY far from perfect and when I think of everything I have done in this life I can truly sympathize with Nephi when he said "my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities... Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted" and in whom I continue to trust and because of him, well because of him I am out my mission in the first place! Anyway, to anyone who may have felt they wronged me in anyway, know that I forgive you and that you don't need to dwell on it! I'm trying by best to not dwell on my mistakes because they are MANY! But just know that I love you all and I am praying for you constantly!!! I wish you all the best this week and look forward to hearing more from you in the coming week!! Mahalo nui loa and Aloha au ia oe!!! :)

-Elder Powell

Bonus photo and note from Luke's mom -

This just in...A photo of Luke with some members of the Moody family who were good friends of ours (the Grobergs) when we lived in Hawaii many years ago. I've been hoping he would get to meet some of the good folks of the Kahala Ward sometime. Thanks Jane for passing it on.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Reality of Agency and Opposition

Dear family,

This has been quite the week! I have so much to tell you guys about and I want to be able to write a lot more and I may have a chance to later in the week but, as so often is the case as we try and live the law of consecration and sacrifice, the Lord requires of us that which is truly the greatest sacrifice and of the most importance to us. And thus was the case this week. We had our temple trip this morning which took the entire morning and right after that we had to rush to a lesson with some of our investigators which ended up being over 2 1/2 hours and one thing after another led to having literally no time left to e-mail. I am sorry but at least for now that is all I have time to say! BUT things will work out! :) Anyway, just know that I love you all and am praying for you! I am VERY appreciative of all the birthday wishes and gifts even though I am undeserving of them and of such amazing family! Anyway, I've really gotta run! Have a great day!!!!! Aloha nui loa!!

-Elder Powell
our zone at the temple 


So sorry about any confusion with the e-mailing this week. As I mentioned briefly above yesterday was a CRAZY day! So technically yesterday was our p-day but even though it was a "p-day" we had pretty much more teaching appointments that a normal proselyting day! haha So anyway, we talked with the Zone Leaders and they said we could take some time today to catch up on a lot of the "preparing" parts of our "preparation day" including e-mailing home! :) Thus, I am writing again! haha! So anyway, moving right along into this last week for us here in Mililani!

As I mentioned in my last short e-mail it was a bit of a crazy and trying week for us. Overall it was actually a rather average week for Mililani but I suppose in comparison to last week which was just jam packed with miracle after miracle and all sorts of progress, this week was a kind of wakeup call back to the reality of agency and opposition. That there is opposition in ALL things and that, unfortunately, people sometimes do use their agency for not always the best choices. Not necessarily bad choices but just not the best. I guess I'll summarize all the negative things that happened this week real quick into a couple sentences and then move on because there's no reason to dwell on them! They're already in the past!

So basically we had one of our investigators with just incredible potential to get baptized, drop us over text. And then we had two other extremely solid investigators each do a little "research" of their own online and of course found a lot of anti-Mormon material that we are now trying to explain and dispel. (I've found it's extremely difficult to explain to someone a quote pulled out of context from the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price when they don't even have a testimony of the restoration or prophets! That is why everything must be done in order and why understanding comes line upon line!) Anyway, we found out another of our investigators that had tons of potential to get baptized really soon has a smoking problem and picked up two jobs which has her working now not only on Sundays but 7 days a week so we can't even hardly have lessons! Anyway, all of that isn't really a major problem in the long run, it's just going to slow down her progress a lot, but hopefully it won't stop it completely! :) Anyway, we also just had a lot of investigators cancel appointments but I mean that happens every week so that wasn't really anything too crazy.

So yeah, that all just kind of happened all at once which was rough, but again, there is opposition in all things and just like last week was a little slower of a week we're looking forward now to weeks 4,5,&6 of the transfer, all of which have TONS of potential to just be INCREDIBLE weeks!!!! I'm also really hoping to stay at least one more transfer beyond this one so that I can hopefully see some of the many fruits that are just in the process of ripening and will probably be harvested very soon, but regardless I'm sure that this area has a lot of great things in store for whoever is here in the coming months and I'm just glad I got to be a part of it! :)

So yeah, onto a few really cool things that happened this week!!!! As I have also mentioned before we got the chance to go up to La'ie this week and attend a session in the Temple there which was GREAT (especially fitting cause our lesson in Elder's Quorum this last week was on Temples! :) haha!) and definitely I encourage EVERYBODY to do whatever you need to to hold and use a Temple Recommend! It is not some secret society that only certain people can go in to!! EVERYONE HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO HOLD AND USE A TEMPLE RECOMMEND AND TO PARTAKE IN THE BLESSINGS THAT ARE IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD... EVERYONE!!! However, obviously such a sacred edifice also requires that to enter in you are holding yourself to the highest standard of worthiness! Nevertheless, I repeat that EVERYONE has the opportunity to partake in the blessings there in!! If you may be wondering "how can I do this?" Simple, ASK THE MISSIONARIES!!! THEY CAN HELP YOU!! :) I don't know of a single missionary (or member for that matter) in the world that wouldn’t rejoice in answering someone who sincerely asks "how can I get to the temple?"

the famous Poni'olo (cowboy) burger from Seven Brothers up in La'ie!
Anyway, back from that little tangent there... haha! Other than that this week’s highlights are not much more than any other given week here in Mililani, a lot of knocking doors, talking to strangers and antagonizing dogs. :) Haha! But again there is a lot of exciting things in store for the coming weeks and the coming transfers!! Stay tuned because this is just act one! act 2 starts in just one month!!!!! CRAZY!!!!! :D haha! Anyway, I'm glad to hear over this past year that I have been away that while a lot has changed all of you are still well and safe and that you are continuing to do great things and be such a great support and help to me out here! When I meet and hear a lot of peoples stories I am often just fathomed by how truly blessed we are in the world and how truly blessed I am especially to have such incredible family and friends that surround me every day, out here in Hawaii and back home and across the globe now! Anyway, I truly do love you all and to anyone who feels they are lost or don't have friends and family to rely on, you are always more than welcome here with us!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK! Safe travels Paul and Joe (I am incredibly jealous of the awesome adventure it sounds like you are about to have!), best of luck to everyone, remember you are in my thoughts and prayers always! Mahalo nui loa ohana, aloha au ia oe!!! :)

-Elder Powell

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

God is a God of Miracles



Shalom my ohana!

I felt a traditional Hawaiian-Hebrew greeting was fitting for this week's e-mail considering the many significant events this week that have left me walking the halls of our small apartment here in Mililani singing "Wonder of wonders, Miracle of Miracles!" :) Truly God is a God of miracles and that never changes!! (See Mormon 9) But anyway, before I get too far into all of that a few quick notes on your e-mail to me. First off, JOE!!! STOP IT!!! YOU CAN'T KEEP GROWING! You're getting too big! Now you can drive, and date and do all that crazy stuff!! I mean just two more years and you could be on a mission yourself!!! That's crazy!!!!!!! Holy banana batman, you're just a super awesome kid! Haha! definitely never stop being a kid! (although at least a little maturity is greatly appreciated in certain situations ;) haha!) As for everyone else, congrats on everything (Brian, and Eric, and Tom, and everyone else mentioned about, and best of luck Jim you are in my prayers for sure!). And thank you so much Katie for that beautiful video of a beautiful home with many beautiful memories there.

Anyway, as for us out here in Mililani, as I mentioned before this has been quite the eventful week! For starters we found ourselves getting well over the 10 service hours a week we are supposed to get which was odd considering we normally don't even get one a week in this area! But all of them were great and honestly it was just great to be able to get out of our normal missionary attire and work up a sweat! first we helped a family load their giant storage unit that is getting shipped back to the mainland where they are moving, and then did some major house cleaning for the same family (they were a great family and will be extremely missed but the dad is actually in a care home of some sort in St. George so who knows maybe he's playing Rook with Grandma Powell as we speak! haha) We also helped this less-active member put in a "sun-setter" on his back patio and he actually wants to come back to church but his wife is a very devout Pentecostal and I guess it would cause some major tensions between them so that's a rough situation but we have many more service projects lined up with him so we'll see how well Ammon's method really works! haha!

And then we also helped another mostly-active family move houses just to another place in the ward but that was quite the process, we were the only ones who could stay the whole time and were there for nearly 5 hours going back and forth between the two houses. Anyway, it was rough but the payoff was worth it when we got some fresh lychee (that I got to climb the tree to get which was a treat in and of itself for me!) and the Dad came to church after apparently not coming or wanting to meet with the missionaries for a significant amount of time! So that was a wonderful blessing! I guess the Ammon approach really does work! haha! Anyway, aside from a few other very small service projects for some members of the ward we spent the rest of our week reaping in miracles in our more traditional missionary attire.

While there is always plenty of miracles day to day and week to week two specific miracles this past week I feel are worth mentioning in a little more detail. First we recently started visiting with a nice older couple in our ward and while practically nobody in the ward seems to know who they are or why they are less-active they welcome us in every time and start talking with us as if we had been going over there for YEARS (which from the sounds of it missionaries probably have been). But anyway, they both are prone to get a little portugee (very talkative) and this visit proved no different, we just kind of nodded our heads and chimed in little comments here and there about their family, their house, their work and so forth and then right as our allotted time came close to an end to be able to visit with them Sis. W stopped practically mid-sentence and looked at us and said, "So what time is church anyway?" Needless to say Elder Baker and I were both a bit taken a back but we promptly informed both of them about the location and time of church and they committed themselves to be there! Anyway, while they didn't make it this week after all he did call me and explained his situation and if there is one thing this couple is it is honest and sincere! Almost always if they don't like you or they don't want to do something they will just tell you up front! So while it was sad that this week fell through the sincerity in his voice when he committed to come to church next week and his asking us to keep coming over gave both of us a lot of hope and faith that they are ready to finally start their journey into re-activity! :D

The second great miracle this week was C. So Elder Griffin and I a couple weeks ago were just walking back to our car and saw some people outside cleaning up their yard and garage a bit and we ran up and offered to help out a bit and while they politely said "no" we did share a tiny bit of our message with one of them (C) and she asked us to come back at a specific date and time and even gave us her phone number in case we needed to contact her that way (which never happens!). Anyway, so we tried on that date and didn't find her home and so we tried again the same time the next week and same story and so finally Elder Baker and I (Elder Griffen had left the area soon after the initial contact, sorry I forgot to specify that) went by one last time and while she was a little busy she was home and came out and started to talk and basically in her own words (almost, I don't have the best memory :P haha!) she said "My mom is a Mormon, my dad is Atheist, we are nothing, and I've tried the JW's, didn't like it, I've tried the general Christian church, didn't like it, and I've decided I want to be a Mormon and I want to raise my kids Mormon! When can I get baptized?" ........again, I am paraphrasing a little bit but really not all that much! hahaha! So of course we tried to slow her down a little bit a walk through the steps and everything she has to go through before the actual baptism part, but anyway, we are going to start teaching her this week hopefully and from the sounds of it she will probably be getting baptized as soon as possible!! So yeah! Definitely a miracle!!!! So I will keep you updated on her and everyone else here too. :)

Anyway, I have probably gone well over my time allotment now and have to go to dinner soon anyway, but I love you all so much and am praying for you always! Thank you for all that you are and do! have a great week and don't forget to be awesome! :D 

Aloha nui loa!
-Elder Powell :)

Also my home address here is:
95-717 Lanikuhana Ave. P-207
Mililani, HI 96789

p.s. sorry again not a lot of pictures! but we did take a little trip up to Haleiwa this morning so it was nice to be able to see the ocean again! haha!