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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Work around it, Back and Forth, New WML

Aloha ohana!!

Man, this week has just been nuts!! We have been all over the place!! And as a result I have a lot to report on in very little time! So I think I will just jump right into it! :)

We started out our week pretty well with a fun and very delicious dinner at a part-member family’s house that we have been working with for a long time. It was good although the football they had on in the back ground and refused to turn off was a little obnoxious and distracting. (I feel very bad for missionaries in other places like Texas or anywhere else where football is taken even half as seriously as it is out here in Hawaii... it is very distracting and disruptive for both members/nonmembers and missionaries a like!) Anyway, unfortunately it appears that the NFL isn't going to stop broadcasting their games on Sunday and Monday nights so I'm just trying to learn to deal with it and work around it..

Tuesday we had a VERY successful day! We taught quite a few of our most progressing families/individuals. Especially W! He is getting really close!! He has almost set a date for his baptism MULTIPLE times now (including at a GREAT dinner/lesson we had with him at our Bishops house last night) But alas he is still moving at the pace that most 70 year olds tend to move at, not to mention the added bonus of being a local born and raised in Kekaha and all the "laid-back-ness" that that seems to entail. Anyway, he will get there! We are shooting for before the end of the year which likely means I will not be here for it unfortunately but as long as it happens that is all that is important! :)

Other than that Wednesday and Thursday were practically completely shot. We spent most of the whole day either in service (which is always a ton of fun!) or traveling to and from Kekaha to other places on the island. We must have racked up over 200miles in just those two days alone as we traveled back and forth and back and forth. First for service, then to shower and change, then to take the car in to get new tires (which were VERY much needed seeing as we were to the point of driving on our spare!) then back because the tire place was closed, then back to Lihue for a baptismal interview (which was a very spiritual experience and always one I feel privileged to participate in!) then spent the night because we still needed to get new tires then finally BACK for the last time to Kekaha just in time for our Book of Mormon study class! It was a lot of driving and VERY exhausting.

But the week wasn't about to slow down for us any time soon! The hectic-ness continued on as we helped to set up and then participated in our wards Halloween party! :) It was different, instead of doing a "trunk-or-treat" like I am used to, they just had a few different auxiliaries set up little things in the classrooms around the church and then the kids went door to door getting candy that way. The kids however couldn't have ALL the fun! So after a delicious dinner of kalua pork we had a lot of fun activities including (and probably every ones favorite) a "rift-off". Basically it's the same as the well loved choir games where you divide up into teams and they give you a word like "rose" or "happy" or "fire" and you have to come up with and sing a portion of any song with that word in it! It was a lot of fun and I must say the Priesthood men swept all the other teams off the board!! (Although to be fair we had an advantage in age ranging everywhere from 70's to 20's... :)).

Finally the last big news for this week was on Sunday when we got a new Ward Mission Leader! So maybe that's not the biggest news but it was just kind of shocking for all of us (especially Elder Luke and myself) because he is actually still technically a "recent-convert"! He actually only got baptized a little earlier this year and just barely got his Melchezidek Priesthood a month or two ago! But we visit with him already pretty frequently and already talk a lot about missionary work so I have no doubt at all that he will be a GREAT ward mission leader!! :) I am very excited to work with him and hopefully will have the chance to do so, but I'm not sure. We have transfers coming up this next week so we will find out on Saturday if anything will be changing for us here in Kekaha. I hope we're staying together but we'll see.. There is a HUGE group of greenie's coming out (around 26 or so... one of the largest groups since, well... my group or 24!) so there will be a LOT of changes this transfer throughout the whole mission! But that is all in the future so I will let you know more about that sometime in the future instead of wasting time speculating on things of little significance. :)

Well, I hope you all have a FANTASTIC WEEK!!! Thank you for the update! I am glad to hear that all the family is still alive and doing well! I pray that you all continue to do well or at least make well what you can and have patience and strength through the rest! I love you and will talk to you again soon!!! :)

Aloha nui loa!
-Elder Powell

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Make use of what is there, Miracle from the market, I "Noah" guy

Aloha my dear family!!! :)

One thing I have come to learn out here pretty fast, especially in an area like Kekaha, there is not much and what there is there is not much off, so you have to really just learn to make use of what is there. So yeah. Anyway, with that rather seemingly pointless introduction! This week has been great in a lot of ways and tough in others! We are still trying to find new people to teach which, well... hasn't worked out the best, BUT Elder Stulce (one of the missionaries from the Kalaheo ward, the one next to us) and I were on exchanges and just walking around Waimea trying to talk to people and we ended up finding a whole family of members who about a year ago moved over to Hawaii and are super nice and just way cool people and really like the missionaries... but they haven't been active for what sounded like MANY years, so we just didn't have any of their records or anything. So yeah! That was a miracle without a doubt!!!!

Another awesome miracle from this last week was going to our Thursday night Book of Mormon class and meeting a lady who a lot of our members work with and they invited out to class with them! That is actually a cool story! So there's this place in Waimea called Ishihara Market (really cool place with some pretty great poke) and we have these three VERY strong and missionary minded members who all work there and it's great too because two of them are VERY recent converts (like less than a year) and the other just barely started to get active again in church (also less than a year) so they are totally in a mission mindset (talk about Lehi's dream coming true!) and because all three are now SUPER strong and have been doing an incredible job at setting an example for their co-workers we've actually gotten a couple new/potential investigators including this new Lady who came into class this last week. She just lost her husband and so while she is already religious she was still open enough to accept the invitation to come out and I think it went well, I hope she wasn't too overwhelmed but I guess I'll let you know in the coming week. Anyway, so long story short with all of that and a couple other stories, there are a few new possibilities popping up all over the place for new investigators/less-actives for us to teach which is WAY exciting!! :)

the "spouting hole" in Poipu
Other than that, a "new" highlight of the week was helping a few VERY flustered and scared older ladies on vacation from Canada whose service on their only phone went out just one day into their trip! So I was literally in the middle of e-mailing you when they came in making a little more of a ruckus than I think the librarians appreciated :) haha, and asked them for help but they weren't sure what to do so I just motioned for them to come and let them use my computer to talk with their service people, turns out that all they had to do was turn their phone off and back on (amazing how often that works... haha!) and while it was really a small deal and nothing big came of it, it was cool to at least be able to leave a good impression of missionaries on them while they were over here in Hawaii and hopefully when they run into them back in Canada they will be more willing to talk with them there like I suggested they do. :) So yeah, RJ, if you find and start teaching two ladies over there who just recently went on vacation to Hawaii... you're welcome! ;) hahaha!

Anyway, sorry this week is really just a big "stream of consciousness" kind of letter. There has been a ton of little things like blown out tires and dropped/new investigators and crazy lessons and long exchanges and some very late nights so I'm just about completely burnt out for the week... but hey, that's what mission life is I guess. Anyway, if I missed anything or if you have any other questions I will be sure to try to answer them next week! Thank you! Hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you so much and of course will keep on praying for you! Stay strong and carry on! Even among the "floods" that life so often throws at us! And hey if you need someone else to come and help out with any future flooding problems, well, I "Noah" guy who's an expert with that kind of stuff! :) haha! Have a great week! Don't forget to be awesome!!

Aloha nui loa!!!
-Elder Powell

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Exhausted beyond belief, Juicing the Scriptures, PROFOUND blessings


I'm sure what you really want to hear is all about what is happening for the saints out here in Kekaha and how we are holding up as well. Well, I'll start by assuring you that just the fact that I am here today and capable of e-mailing you is a sign of a good week! There are some days where I'm not sure I could ever get out of my bed again. I've been just about exhausted beyond belief but all in all I am alive and doing well! :)

Some of the major events this week that have contributed to our overall exhaustion include first, a very fun and spiritual Zone Conference (a perfect follow up to a marvelous General Conference only a few days prior). Also preparing for and giving a fun lesson/activity at our Thursday Night Book of Mormon Class/Ward Family Home Evening. As well, this week we had an increased number of service hours. I was also able to conduct a baptismal interview for a really amazing individual that our Zone Leaders have been teaching up in Lihue. And finally, just yesterday got to witness the unending blessings that come from Fasting and Prayer.

 So yeah, zone conference was great! It is always a blessing to hear from President Warner and his assistants. Not surprisingly they talked a LOT about the Sabbath-day. I guess I never realized just how important and symbolic the Sabbath-day really is but also how incredibly disregarded it is by society in this day and age. It is a little disheartening, but hey, that's what we're here to do I guess! :) haha! Anyway, yeah, it was really a fun conference! It was especially fun to be told 30 minutes before the meeting started that they needed a special musical number and that I was being "volun-told" to do it! Haha! So another missionary and I put together a little Duet of "Lead Kindly Light" with my vocals and his violin. It actually turned out pretty good. I wish I had a copy of it to send you, but I'll just have to sing for you when I get home! :)

Class this Thursday was fun too! I lead a little activity/lesson on "Juicing the Scriptures". Where we first had people come up and with their bare hands try and squeeze as much juice out of an orange as possible into a bowl, (an activity/object lesson I actually picked up from Bro. Eaves one year in seminary! Thank you Bro. Eaves!) :) and then we talked about how to get the most out of your scripture study. A little anagram I used was "S.Q.U.I.R.T" because that's what oranges do when you juice them! :) haha! S for Story, what is the context of the scripture. Q for Questions, learning to asking and find answers to specific and inspired questions you might have. U for Underline, or any other form of marking and saving important scriptures so you can find them for later use and reference. I for LIken (I know I cheated a bit on that one), being able to apply the scriptures into your own life. R for Resources, using all of your resources including the foot notes, topical guide, bible dictionary, conference talks, maps, missionaries, manuals and everything else we have been given for just that purpose! And finally T for Teach/testify, truly the greatest way of learning and getting and anything from your scriptures is to teach others and testify, and as we do so the spirit is able to teach and testify to our own soul and our own understanding things that we never would have known otherwise. Anyway, yeah there's a little family night lesson if anyone wants to steal it! ;) haha! The most important thing though is just CONSISTENCY!!! Reading at least a little bit from the Book of Mormon, "every day, every day, every day!" :)

 We also had a chance to do a little more service this week than average. First at the flower garden we help with every week out in Kalaheo (I think she took a picture and was going to send it to you, did you happen to get that?) and then also just weed whacking and raking up some VERY overgrown grass at one of our members houses here in Kekaha. It's always a blessing to be able to just get out of our proselyting cloths and get our hands dirty, our necks a little burnt and our hearts and souls revitalized through service! :)

And lastly and really quick, I just wanted to bear testimony of the strength that comes from Fasting and praying when done together! It is such a small and simple thing and yet it brings PROFOUND blessings to both the one fasting, and the ones being fasted for! I hope you all know that I am praying for you as well and I wish you the best in the coming week! Again, I cannot even begin to express my deepest love for you Mom. Likewise I love each and every one of you back home and look forward to the day we will be together again, but until that day, there is work to be done here and we've been called to do it!! Hope you all have a FANTASTIC week! Stay strong, carry on, and don't forget to be awesome!!!!!

Ofa lahi atu!
-Elder Powell

p.s. Our island really is beautiful and I feel so blessed to be here! :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ponderizing, Planing, Preparing, Progressing, Pushing and Pidgin'ing


Oh how I love hearing from each and every one of you this time of the week! It is really refreshing to know that I have a family, kind and dear, who loves me and helps me along the way! It is so heart breaking to see so many families that do not have that same support or structure and the effect that come because of that. But anyway, that is not the purpose of my writing today. I am writing because I know that you all want to hear about everything going on for us over here in Kekaha! Well sad to say there is not too much to report but I am sure I will find plenty of things to talk about in much more detail that needed. As many like to point out, I am never short of things to say! ;) haha!

 First off, man mom, you beat me!! I was going to challenge (or I suppose reiterate the challenge given by Elder Durrant) you all to ponderize a scripture with me every week at least until the end of the year to start but I think I might try and carry it on through the end of my mission and maybe beyond!! :) Anyway, my chosen scripture for the week comes from Jacob 4:10 (I was going to do Jacob 4:6-7 which are also a great ones, but this one just stuck out to me a bit more :) haha) "Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works." Anyway, a ton of insights already are flowing through my mind but I think I'll think on it more and maybe talk about it next week, see how the "applying" part went like you were talking about, the action step!

Speaking of which, Elder Luke and I have done a lot of planning and preparing (or as much as we could stand to do... you can only sit at a desk for so long before you start to go crazy) and now I'm hoping to really kick into action a lot of the plans and visions we have for these people over here in Kekaha. It is interesting because we have been talking about "Hope" as a mission this transfer (we focus on different Christ like attributes each transfer) and really I think that is one thing we need over here (also that is one of the many topics I noticed reiterated a TON during conference which was kinda cool!) Truly nothing happens in the work unless you believe it will happen! Just like Christ did not see the immediate effects of his sacrifice in many ways, yet he hoped for those things that he knew, through the grace and love of God, surely must come. So yeah, we haven't really seen any major changes or differences in the area too much, but we are hopeful and know that great things are about to happen over here in Kekaha! :)
W is progressing along very well and while he does still have his little apprehensions and is still trying to fight against a ton of rust that seems to have built up in his life over years of just sitting, he wants to change and to progress and the wheels are already starting to turn and I'm sure from here on out he will just keep on picking up momentum! :) Likewise we are trying to teach and testify to as many people as possible, both members and non-members, so hopefully we can find a couple new referrals in the coming week!

Anyway, Elder Luke is doing great too. As we've both noted, it is very fun to be able to talk about so many past missionaries and areas and experiences that we had together over in Kane'ohe and other places that we crossed paths. It is weird being one of the "older" missionaries now... although I still have a very long way to go and much time ahead of me!! But anyway, other than that we are still just trying to push this area out of the rut it seems to have hit and bring about the change in peoples life that we know, and they know, that they want and need. Although I suppose in the end it is really up to them and up to the spirit. Anyway, yeah, that's about all the ramblings I could come up with for this last week! We had to sleep on the floor at another missionary's pad because conference was VERY early (with the time change it is at 6:00 am) and they weren't showing it at are chapel and we are quite a ways from the other chapel that was so we just slept at the missionary's pad closes to that chapel and anyway, let's just say it wasn't the most sleep filled night for either of us so we're both a little brain dead.

Sorry if things are a little all over the place. I know I apologize for that a lot but anyway... yeah. I LOVE YOU ALL!! THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING!!! Be sure to keep on studying and seeking out the words of the prophets both ancient and modern and applying them in your life! I can promise you great blessings as you do so because I have seen that in my own life and in the life of SO many around me!! Faafetai lava and aloha au ia oe!!

-Elder Powell

p.s. No I have not learned any new words in Hawaiian unfortunately... Although I did learn that apparently there are two major dialects! There is the traditional Hawaiian (the kind you would see in text books and cultural performances and so forth) and Ni'ihau hawaiian (the kind that the Hawaiians born and raised on Ni'ihau learn to speak on that island.) But yeah, they are rather different. Still similar enough to understand each other but at the same time are different enough if you tried to talk one with another it would leave them looking more lost and confused than one haole who come for check out one local brudda and no can get da kine. (while I am not learning much Hawaiian my pidgin is gettin pretty good! :) haha)

Also a MAJOR congrats to Abbi on her engagement!!! That took me by pretty big surprise seeing as nobody bothered to tell me that she DIDN'T go on her mission after all...... But either way, it was a very pleasant surprise!! :) How are all my other cousin missionaries/RM's doing?! I know Kyle just got home and Brett is wrapping things up pretty soon I believe, but yeah I never really hear from them. Jake is home I'm sure but what about Ben and Joey and any others? It is incredible how 'out of the loop' the mission makes you feel! haha! but that's ok! right now I am in a pretty amazing "loop" of people both in Kekaha and all around the Hawaii Honolulu mission!! :) 
why did the chicken cross the road? .....................To make it to Sacrament meeting! :)