Mission Address

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cottage meeting, Keep on digging

Dear Family!

Aloha from the islands of Hawaii! Mahalo nui loa for all of your kind thoughts and your e-mails, they are much appreciated! Sorry if I'm a little brief with my responses but unfortunately as always we seem to be rushed on time when it comes to e-mailing on p-day. But I am so glad to hear that your week has been a blessed one as well! :) We definitely always enjoy feeling the blessings of the Lord that come from doing his work! Of those blessing this past week I guess I would just like to highlight a few of them.

So for starters, kind of working my way backwards, yesterday we had a GREAT cottage meeting! I don't know if I've ever explained to you kind of what those are but basically we just have a little fireside for recent converts and/or recently reactivated members where they just kind of tell their stories and share their testimonies and people can bring friends and family and it's just always a great time, but this month's was especially great because it was almost entire dominated by the Mililani 1st ward!! We actually provided BOTH of the speakers from our pool of recent converts including Codey  and Jeff and that was great but beyond even that we also had our progressing investigator W show up and one of our "progressing" less-actives come too as well as Jeff and Codey's families (who are made up of almost entirely less-actives or non-members) and to top it all I got to lead the music for the meeting which is always fun to do! :) who would have thought it'd be so much fun to just wave your arm around at people and try and get them singing! :) hahaha!

Anyway, a quick word on W. So we've been teaching W for a while now and there were multiple time when we almost dropped him just because, well honestly because we weren't being patient enough. But anyway, just as the Lord does with so many things in life, he made us wait until we were just about at our wits end and almost out of lessons until all of a sudden he sure enough worked a miracle in our lives and in his! For whatever reason W started to really progress just incredibly fast!! He already has finished the ENTIRE Book of Mormon, has come to church 3 weeks in a row now, is praying really hard and seeking an answer to his questions and studies for literally hours every week between lessons from LDS.org and mormon.org!! Anyway, the problem though, is he just doesn't feel like he has gotten his answer yet, he said he just keeps on getting the impressions to "keep on digging, don't give up yet" which is certainly a great answer but it has just been a little disheartening to him as well as us because he wants to know but just can't seems to figure it out yet for himself.. anyway, we'll see what the coming weeks holds in store, I hope and pray I will see it happen but am not too sure with transfers coming up in just a few weeks here again. But regardless I'm sure in the end everything will work out! The Lord definitely knows his children and he loves them and wants the best for them! I know that! 

As well I love you all so much a miss you like crazy! Know that I am praying for you always and trust that the Lord will take care of you until we meet again! Have a fantastic week! Don't forget to be awesome! :)

Aloha nui loa!
-Elder (Luke) Powell

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nice and Normal, Enabling Power, One Year Mark

Since we didn't have any new fun photos of Luke to share this week, here is a photo of Luke's Grandpa Powell when he was a young man. Apparently Luke's propensity to hang out in trees is genetic. 
Aloha ohana!!!

Glad to hear everything is nice and normal (well relatively) back home! :) honestly "normal" is something that I've never been very familiar with although I do wonder sometimes what it would be like! :P haha Anyway, as for our week it was actually a pretty good week. Still a little slow when it comes to teaching lessons and everything…but it was interesting how over and over throughout the week almost all of our messages and studies even seemed to be about the Enabling Power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ!! Truly incredible stuff!!! (I think my favorite talk I read on that was called "In the Strength of the Lord by Elder David A. Bednar at a BYU devotional a couple years back.) Anyway, that has really been helping me a ton (obviously, that's kinda what it's there to do. haha) and it's almost become a theme for us as a companionship hopefully at least for the rest of the transfer!

Other than that though highlights of the week first and foremost included some great lessons ranging from less-actives who have sincerely tried but struggled with overcoming past grudges and mistakes of others for multiple years now to strengthening a young single father of two who has had his own battles with addictions in the past that even lost him his children for a while but he is now doing INCREDIBLY well and getting his life not only more situated physically and financially but also spiritually so as to be able to provide even more so for his kids in all of those aspects!

Of course we also had a big celebration this past week on the 16th for reaching our official one year mark on the mission!! It's crazy to think that exactly 1 year ago last Thursday Elder Baker and I entered the MTC fresh and not too sure what lay ahead and now here we are again together with some faded suits, worn out shoes and a whole lot more experiences under our belts with many more to come as well! it's been super fun being with someone I came out with! Just as it was with Elder Rentmeister and Elder Griffin before! Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if it happened again in the future... I'm starting to realize we had a pretty huge group that came out our time with about 18 Elders and 4 Sisters compared to the 1 or 2 new Elders and 3 or 4 Sisters we have been getting the last quite a few transfers :P but anyway, it's been a good year! :)

That being said I know there is a lot more I want to say and a lot more I probably should say, especially some kind of motivational spiritual awesome statement that you could then print off and hang on the wall or quote in your next talk/testimony at church but... well... I don't have anything right now and I don't really have the time to think of any either.. so it suffices me to say that, the Atonement is very real and very powerful and when both its cleansing and enabling effects are put to use even less than ordinary men and woman to do extraordinary things no matter how impossible the odds may seem. (there that was kinda of insightful! haha) Anyway, I love you all, I miss you like crazy and pray for you every day but I know I'll see you soon enough! In fact I should see you approximately this exact time next year! so yeah, hopefully the weather that year is a little cooler and a little more humid than it seems now, otherwise I might just shrivel up when I step off the plane! haha
Well have a fantastic week! Aloha au ia oe!

-Elder Powell

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A lot of resting, Jenga with dishes


Aloha!!!!!!! Thanks for the e-mail! I really appreciate it! I'm glad to know that at least Joe is staying busy with all sorts of crazy high adventure trips and such! I mean it sounds like all of you have pretty full schedules for sure but that five day backpacking trip just sounded EXTRA awesome! :) haha! Also speaking of extra awesome, I'm sad I missed the revival of "The Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe!!" did they stay true to the original story and set and everything? I'm sure it's going to be up for multiple Tony's in the coming ceremony for best off-Broadway revival! How was "little piggy #2"? I mean I know it's hard to beat the originals but I'm sure they found someone pretty great to fill that role being as it is probably one of THE MOST important ones in the whole show! ;) haha! Anyway, that really does sound fun as does everything you guys have been partaking in over the last few weeks! As for our week here, well it's probably going to be a pretty short e-mail.. for two reasons, one we don't have much time, but two we really don't have a lot to report on.

So this last week after e-mailing all of you we had a nice dinner with some members and then soon after were on our way back towards our pad.... little did we know we wouldn't be leaving it again until Sunday!! Both of us had been feeling crummy for a little while (pretty much just exhaustion) but my companion has type one diabetes and hence forth he also has a really weak immune system ... But he's doing a lot better now!! Anyway, really that is about the only thing to update you on. We just spent our days playing the uke, reading scriptures, watching church videos and of course, a lot of resting. Although I suppose one MAJOR awesome and exciting note to kind of end on is that J got confirmed!! Of course that was just awesome!!! He is really incredibly solid and will be a great asset to the ward that he moved into.

Well sorry again this week was so short but I gotta get going here pretty soon. Thank you again though for all that you do and all that you are! I love you and am praying for you as always!!! Have a great week and of course, don't forget to be awesome!!! :D :D

Ofa lahi atu!
-Elder Powell

p.s. that's so exciting for Joey!!! He's definitely gonna have a well... interesting time over there! haha! Nah, the Marshall Islands are way cool! Obviously we have a TON of Marshellese people over here in Hawaii and they seriously are just the most humble and receptive people ever! I'm sure he'll find lots of success and have lots of great experiences over there! send all of my love and aloha to him and all the family! :)

p.p.s. the only picture I really have to send from this last week is our odd little game of jenga we play whenever we do dishes and have to stack them on the drying rack... hahaha! sorry it's kinda a weird picture to send home, but yeah... that's all I got for this week! haha! love you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Balut, Baptism, Bellows Air Force base

Aloha ohana!!

 Thank you so much for the e-mails as well as all the extra little boost of strength and encouragement sent throughout the week via you prayers and thoughts on my behalf. They are felt and frankly I think they are the only thing keeping me alive out here half the time! haha! Anyway, that being said I'm glad you all sound like you had an amazing (or at least eventful week!) Glad everything went well with picking up Joe, travelling to Utah and celebrating the many exciting events involved in this last week with so many exciting and awesome people! Be sure to tell all the family I say hi and that I love them and will be back there to celebrate with them soon enough! :)

As for my letter home this week I have decided to send the letter "B" ......that is all. Hope you enjoyed that letter and I will talk to you next week! :)

-Elder Powell

...........just kidding! well kind of... I will write more but overall this week really was one that could probably be best described as a "B" week. "B" for Baptism, Balut, Bellows Air Force base, Beautiful fireworks, and Burning fevers.... I guess some of those were a bit of a stretch... but anyway, let me explain a little more one day at a time.

So first we started the week with trying to wrap everything up before transfers which took place this last Wednesday. Even though Elder Baker and I are staying together and staying in this area, transfer week is still always one filled with a lot of running around saying hi and bye to people, signing journals, trading pictures, and in this specific instance celebrating at a member's house with some fresh Balut!! (see picture) This time it was significantly harder to choke down than the last one I had approximately one year ago in Kane'ohe with my trainer Elder Basag, but I still got it down without too much difficulty so yeah, that was fun! It was especially fun to watch all the other missionaries try it for the first time and watch their disgusted faces as they got past the initial shock only to bite down and feel the crunch of a beak of pull a feather out of their teeth! haha! 

 Anyway, then on Wednesday (the actual day of transfers) we spent most of the day driving back and forth from town. First we drove with some other missionaries so that they wouldn't be alone between dropping his companion off at the airport and picking up his new one. Then we drove back to Mililani so we could do our studies and meet with a few people before driving back to town for my dentist appointment (thankfully all of that is finally taken care of! ....and now my companion has to go in pretty soon.... haha!) But the BEST part of Wednesday by FAR was getting a call from our ward mission leader saying that J wanted to get baptized as soon as possible!!! So of course without any hesitation we set up his interview times got things squared away with the bishop and other members of the ward and set everything up so that he could be baptized yesterday!!!!! It was so awesome!!!!

Anyway, as further proof that the Lord's hand truly was in J's baptism it is fun to note that we had originally set his baptismal date for July 4th and for whatever reason we kept it as that even knowing that things were getting more and more complicated every day and things probably we not going to work themselves out to reach that date. So finally as we were reporting out numbers last Sunday we decided we had better drop his date because things were still up in the air and probably weren't going to settle in one week.... BUT THE DID!! AND HE MADE IT ALMOST EXACTLY ON THE DATE PERVIOUSLY PLANNED (well plus one day but that was just human error on a few things) and yeah it was just super awesome and a super spiritual service and now we're working towards J and her baptismal date and honestly things are looking pretty good for that as well! But we'll keep you updated on all of that!

 :) Anyway, sorry I spent way too much time on all of that and other stuff and now I'm almost out of time so I'll hurry through the rest of this week. Thursday we had service in the morning with a rather interesting less-member of the ward.... how do you help people who genuinely think they are active but don't show up to church, read their scriptures, etc... It's an odd situation that missionaries have apparently been trying to figure out for years now... so yeah. And then Friday we got to go down to Bellows Air Force base to meet up with the rest of our ward who had been camping there all week and had a nice pot-luck dinner and played Frisbee for a little while. There was actually a very good turnout which was great for most of the ward (but not so great for those of us left back in Mililani all week who had to try and work with what little of the ward was left here :P haha).

And finally Saturday was filled with preparations for J's baptism, celebrating the 4th with other missionaries (since the mission president had up stop proselyting early that day for the holiday) and watching fireworks (from a rather significant distance) over Pearl Harbor. Anyway, so yeah a very eventful week that will hopefully be followed up by another eventful week hopefully with a little more missionary related events mixed into the other excitement. :) Well I've gotta run but I love you all and I'm trying to do everything I can to make you proud and to live up to the standard of excellence that all of you have set before me. I am grateful for your example you have set and continue to set and know that I am praying for all of you every day! Have a fantastic week and a fantastic rest of your summer vacation. Aloha au ia oe!! :)

-Elder Powell

p.s. If I ever forget to explain something in an e-mail or if you have specific questions about things just let me know cause most of the time I just get lost in my own train of thought and I'm sure I miss things from week to week... 

Trying to catch up as the Lord hastens his work

Aloha ohana!!!

This week is going to be a pretty short e-mail. I haven't been feeling too well and honestly I don't have tons to report on anyway. This week was pretty much just another week full of cancelled appointments, a lot of knocked doors and some slowly progressing investigators (but progressing none the less!! so that's good!) Anyway, so J and J are doing well. He is moving out tomorrow and will be getting baptized as soon as possible after!!!!! Although I'm not sure if we will get to be a part of his baptism since he's moving out of zone but either way that will be happen soon so that's super exciting!! :D Also J and all of her family she is living with have to move and they will probably be moving out of the ward boundaries so we might not be teaching her anymore either... so basically our two most solid investigators are making some MAJOR progress... their progress just happens to be out of our area of influence. :P

Anyway, the other big news this week (that didn't end up even being that big) is TRANSFERS!!!!!!!! I'm getting transferred toooooo........... wait for IIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTT!!!!!!!!! ............................Mililani 1st ward!!! ...oh wait... just kidding, I'm already here! :) haha! Yeah, sorry that was kind of cheesey but I'm pretty sure none of you are lactose intolerant so yeah... :) anyway, yeah we found out that Elder Baker and I are staying together for at least one more transfer so that should be way fun!! I'm mostly just excited for this coming week cause we get to go to the ward camp potluck!!! Unfortunately we can't camp out with them all week (ward camps over here are a HUGE deal apparently!! I mean seriously, they've been talking about this thing basically since I got here!) but we did get permission to attend the dinner on Friday night and we have TONS of less-active members that are going to be there as well as a couple investigators even!! So yeah that will be really exciting! 

Anyway, the only other news that goes along with that is that we may or may not also be getting transferred from four wheels to two... we have a car right now but might be losing it for a nice set of pedal bikes.... just in time for summer!! Whoohoo!! haha! but in all actuality we will be fine either way. The area is really not that big at all, it's maybe a tiny bit bigger than my first area in Kane'ohe and we did fine there even without bikes, but me may keep our car too, not sure. Anyway, I'll let you all know if anything else exciting happens this week with transfers! :)

Well that ended up being a little longer than I expected anyway! haha! So yeah, that's my weekly update, hope you all feel sufficiently up to date and if not... don't worry cause I still feel like I'm not even up to date with my own life half the time! haha! Days and weeks are starting to blur together now as my official year mark draws nearer and nearer and I still feel like I'm just trying to catch up with the Lord as he hastens his work and asks up to keep pace. Sometimes mortality and the weaknesses that come with it are the biggest stumbling block for all of us on our path back to Heavenly Father...... sorry... I just re-read that and realized it sounded way more depressing than it was supposed to. Nothing is really wrong over here, just fatuige :P hahaha!

To end on a happier note I got to conduct the music at a fireside last night and it was super fun to just be able to conduct music again and just really sing out loud! I feel like we hardly even have time to do that anymore! haha! So yeah, music is fantastic!! :) And on that note (pun intended!) I better get going. But I hope you all have a great week! I love you all so very much and am praying for you always! thank you for everything you do and everything you are! Keep on keeping on, til dis life is all pau and even then dis life is small kine compared to da real kine stuff afta dis life so stay for realz and live aloha every day!! haha! Kia kaha my family and Aloha nui loa!!! :)

-Elder Powell

[Note from Me - Luke's mom]
One of my bosses sent me this. Small world - especially in the church.

Sister Powell,

I had the pleasure of spending the evening with your son in Hawaii.  What a fine young man.  He is serving in Mililani where my parents are serving and they both commented on what a fine Elder he is.  He has very much impressed them.  He conducted the music and a choir for a missionary cottage meeting.  Did a wonderful job.

You can be very proud of your fine son.

Mike Petramalo

Michael D. Petramalo
Assistant to the Area Director
Seminaries and Institutes of Religion
U.S. Phoenix Valley