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!