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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The call to serve is rarely comfortable or convenient


Howzit!? Man, sounds again like you guys have just had a great week!! This week has been pretty good for us out here too! It's.......

so I SINCERELY apologize... I started writing my e-mail to all of you for this week and I got well ^^that far and then realized we had to leave. We got called kinda last minute to go pick up the zone leaders from the airport (they had flown to Oahu for the day for MLC) and it's an hour drive from Kekaha to Lihue where the airport is so yeah we just got back from that and now it is late and we are completely out of time to do... well... anything... I am sorry.. but I promise I will write much more to you all next week and that I will give you all sorts of fun updates because there have definitely been a lot of fun things happening out here on Kaua'i! Anyway, for now just know that I love you all and am continually praying for you as I know you are for me! I cannot thank you enough for that either. I know your prayers and heard and they are felt on our behalf. Mahalo nui loa and aloha au ia oe!!

-Elder Powell

p.s. lesson for this week’s e-mail... the call to serve is rarely comfortable or convenient but it is ALWAYS worth it! :)

p.p.s. here are some pictures from p-day last week that I promised at Waimea Valley -"the Grand Canyon of the Pacific". I don't know, it's definitely not quite as big as the one we have back in good old AZ but it is definitely pretty darn breathtaking!!! :)

The minority by a long shot, study group, back in a desert on the Garden Island

Aloha Ohana!

And a very special ni hao to you from us here in Kekaha! It's crazy to think that it hasn't even been a full week since I landed here on this island and yet I'm sure it is going to just start flying by now that I said that. haha! Anyway, it is interesting that you would start your e-mail off with a comment about translation because that basically sums up my entire week so far here in Kekaha! It has just been a different kind of translation than I believe you are talking about. I think I mentioned before in my last e-mail that this area would be different from the "main-land" ward I was in back in Mililani but well... let's just say even I underestimated just HOW different it really would be! Sure enough I am the minority here... by a long shot!! haha! This ward is probably the most Hawaiian and just purely local ward I have ever seen! I'm sure it has a lot to do with being the closest area on any of the islands to Ni'ihau but even then it's just a very small, very old and VERY local community! Which is also funny because I've also seen probably the most tourists driving through here on a daily basis because the entrance to Waimea Canyon is right in our area (which is beautiful by the way!!!)

Anyway, all that being said I am doing everything I can to blend in at least a little bit with the community but well... let's just say having a pure Chinese companion and walking around in a white shirt and tie sure isn't helping this hauli boy to fit in very well.. but thankfully I don't have to try too hard anyway because even though I may look like I don't fit in, one of the major advantages to being in such a local area is that the Aloha spirit is still VERY much alive!!! The people here are seriously just so warm and welcoming and loving and talkative and such that it actually caught me off guard at first and I didn't even know how to respond to it! But I'm quickly adjusting and feel very at home here.

Well enough about the area I'm sure you are wondering more about why I am here in Kekaha and how the work is going! and actually it is probably the best ward I have ever been in work wise! As I might have mentioned before the people here along with being very friendly and outgoing are also VERY missionary minded! One of my first experiences was on Thursday night when we went to the church for a "Book of Mormon" study group. It was amazing! Almost all of the ward attends and there are also multiple non-members who are in regular attendance as well as the 6 or 7 recent converts who were almost all baptized at least in part because of that very class! It really is an awesome idea and when done right and generated with enough member enthusiasm it has been a really non-threatening and exciting way for the ward and others to learn together from the most important book on the earth at this time!

Anyway, we are also (aside from just the class) teaching a few people. None of them are progressing towards baptism quite yet but we have MULTIPLE who are just one week or one lesson away from being on track for baptism within the next month or two at the most! Most of them have long Hawaiian names that I'm sure you would all have a fun time trying to figure out how to pronounce but for now I'll just mention one because, well he's a cool guy to talk about! His name is K. He was born on Ni'ihau and most of his family still lives there! He's practically 100% Hawaiian and even though he was technically raised from elementary school up over here in Kekaha he still speaks better Hawaiian than he does English (although you'd think his first language was actually Pidgin it's so heavy! haha!) Anyway, he really is a cool guy and hopefully I will be sending you much more about him and the many other people we are working with here in Kekaha!

I am glad to hear that you are all having what sounds to be a great time back in Arizona (I'm starting to get a feel for what it's like to be back in a desert unfortunately... that is probably the only down side to being in Kekaha is it is the only really dry and hot part of what is otherwise known as "the Garden Island". Our area is well... a lot like Arizona.. the yards are half grass, half dirt! haha!) and I hope you have a great time in the coming week. Be sure to send all my warmest love and regards to all the family you have visited with and will be visiting with the coming days and weeks! I love each and every one of you and am praying for you and know that you are praying for me!! Have a wonderful day and don't forget to be awesome!!!

Aloha nui loa!
-Elder Powell

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Getting Transferred! Being Exiled and The Death Star Approach

My dear ohana!!!

 Thank you so much for everything you do and for all of your prayers on my behalf. I could definitely use them as I frantically try and wrap things up here in this area and prepare myself for my coming area!! oh, sorry did I forget to mention that I am getting transferred!? haha! sorry I wish I had a wittier way of going about that but as mentioned before we are rather frantically trying to cram in WAY too many things over the next two days and it hasn't left me with much time at all to e-mail this week. Anyway, I will tell you though that I will probably be sending home a box of random papers and other stuff to you folks to hold onto for me so that I can stay under my weight limit when I pack my bags to fly over to Kaua'i!!!! That's right! Our mission president called us just this last Saturday and told Elder Baker that he would be staying here and gaining a new ward (so he will now cover Mililani 1st and 2nd ward) and that he will be the new District Leader here AND he told me that I would be flying out Wednesday morning to go to the Kekaha ward on Kaua'i and that I would be the district leader over there too!!! After a year I'm apparently finally trusted enough to have some kind of leadership position! haha! Just kidding, :) honestly it has been kind of nice just sitting in the back ground and doing my own thing with my companion and just not having a lot of attention for it, but that being said, even as a district leader I'm almost definitely not going to be getting much attention over there either! haha!

Remember how when I went to Ka'u on big island it was so large and so country and so far away from everyone else that it basically felt like being exiled to the farthest tip of Hawaii?? Well now I'm going to the other farthest tip on Hawaii possible just on the other end! haha It's not quite as much of an exile seeing that we are only a half hour away from the nearest missionaries as opposed to 2 hours... but it's also a much smaller island. Anyway, from the sounds of it, it really is a great ward full of a lot of very missionary minded old Hawaiian folks so I am excited to be able to be a part of that! Honestly I just feel fortunate to have to opportunity to go over to that island in general! There are only 10 missionaries total on the whole island and only 4 in my district! So district meetings will just be me, my companion and one other companionship. Also, while I'm talking about my companion, I found out my companion will be Elder Chen. He's a super cool guy from (believe it or not) mainland China! So his English isn't very good... at all... but having been companions now with a Filipino and a Samoan I think I'm starting to get pretty good with the whole interpretation of tongues thing! :) I actually spent a little time around Elder Chen back when I was in La'ie zone so it's nice to already have some idea of who he is but still I'm excited to get to know him better and the area better and report on all of that to you folks of course!

Anyway, sorry this e-mail isn't super long and sorry if it's a little jumbled, these have been some crazy last couple of days. But I really do appreciate all that you do and all that you are. I am praying for you each and every day. I love you and will talk to you more soon! stay strong, carry on and don't forget to be awesome!! :)

-Elder Powell

p.s. I totally forgot to tell you about the exciting news that is still happening here in Mililani!! So W is still progressing and still a little frustrated that he can't seem to find his answer but he'll get there, I am sure. Anyway, aside from him coming to church again this week for probably the 5th or 6th week in a row now!! (he's starting to become a regular!) We also had an older less-active couple who we have been working with now for months and months finally pull through on their commitment to come to church and they came and stayed all three hours and probably the greatest words I've heard in a long time, as they began to walk out of the building and they turned and smiled at my companion and said with a smile of their faces "well, we'll see you here next week!:" :) I love being able to see the actual fruits of your labors like that! but either way, whether you see the fruits or not, the labor is ALWAYS worth it! :)

p.p.s. here are some pictures from a district egg drop we did for fun in a district meeting last week with nothing but an egg ten straws and some tape. :) ....needless to say the "death star" approach didn't work.... in fact, nobodies eggs survived.. it was a little messy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Individually and in our own time, Taking off the tie, Pokeball heaven

Aloha Ohana!!

I'm so glad to hear that everything is going well back home and that you are all finding ways to stay busy and also to have what sounds like a LOT of fun! :) as for us here our "fun" is well rather limited to what we do every day but honestly it can be EXTREMELY fun if you just make it! :) sure there are parts of it that get a little mundane and hard to stay motivated about such as tracting and street contacting but we have had a few things this week that I wouldn't hesitate to say were extremely fun!! :)

First, off, W is still progressing REALLY well! It is super fun to see someone who started out (at least from my limited perspective) as introverted and slightly cynical to building a level of trust and friendship where he is happy, interactive and feels welcomed at church! He's been to church probably five or six times now and is really progressing as far as lessons go as well. We're still just trying hard to help him find that answer and witness from the Holy Ghost that he so desperately is searching for. But I'm sure it will come sooner or later! That is just how the Holy Ghost works, individually and in our own time, when we're ready. :) Anyway, whether or not I will be here to see the fruits of that labor I am not sure, transfers are coming up next week and I have been getting the feeling that my time here in Mililani is quickly coming to an end, but I guess we will see! Anyway, I still have a little while either way so I'll just wait and let you know what's happening next week! :)

 However that leads me perfectly into my next fun thing that happened this week. With summer coming to an end we are seeing a lot of moving in and out among the many military families in the ward boundaries and one in specific who will be actually getting out of the military and heading back to the mainland to settle down in Utah (having never even been through there before let alone lived there). So while it is definitely NOT fun to see them go, it was lots of fun to help them (and some of the other members) with all kinds of service including setting up and helping man a garage sale, move washers and dryers, and entirely moving another family in the ward into their old house. All of that, plus another service project for an older less-active couple who have been making an effort recently to get active again, really filled up our week with lots of opportunities for service which really was such a blessing! It always feels good to just be able to take the white shirt and tie off and get your hands dirty and just be able to help out others in all sorts of different ways and actually see the fruits of your labors! :) So yeah, that has been extra fun! :)

Anyway, other fun events of this week are small and simple and not of enough significance to make it into this e-mail because we are short on time but needless to say the Lord provides us all with countless tender mercies each and every day, and if we are just humble enough to recognize them and thank him for them and find ways to share them with others He will continue to pour them out, each and every day, little by little, until our cup truly does run over and we don't have room enough to receive them!

Well I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all and am praying for you every day and night! Mahalo nui loa for all you do and Aloha au ia oe!! :)

-Elder Powell :)

This is our impromptu plan of salvation diagram draw and taught in under 10 minutes because we were short on time and late for another appointment! (and I know what you're thinking... yes... the spirit world is supposed to look like a Pokeball :) haha)