Mission Address

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

No language barrier, Daddy you have to take me in there!

the north shore of Kaua'i 
 I am not happy to report that I have spent the vast majority of this last weekend (including all of today) with  mild but still rather obstinate and irksome cold symptoms. However, I am happy to report that in spite of this illness we saw a lot of really incredible miracles this last week as well. The week started out a little slow as we tried to "rally up our forces" at the start of the new transfer. For some reason transfer weeks always seem to be extra difficult even for companionship's like our own who are not affected directly by actual transferring missionaries. Anyway, we were able to push through it all to have one of the most successful weeks to date in the last 3 months I have been in this area. The majority of the week was filled with some of your more "average" missionary days (long hours, cancelled appointments, awkward contacting with people on the street, and a few lessons here and there.) but then come Sunday everything changed and really for the better! In one day we were able to get three lessons, (two with a member present and one just with ourselves and the investigator) and set FOUR different people with a baptismal date!!

the north shore of Kaua'i 
So first I'll tell you about J. J was born and raised on Ni'ihau (along with half of our area) but he especially being a little older doesn't just have a thick pidgin accent like so many of the younger generation that came from Ni'ihau. He hardly speaks English at all! I mean he does, but it is spoken and understood slowly and with a bit of difficulty. That being said, no language barrier has ever been known to stop the work of the Lord from progressing. So we taught him the first lesson, about the Restoration and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, etc. and then left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon in Hawaiian. To be honest we didn't expect much since he is actually an "assistant pastor" at the Hawaiian Christian church over in Waimea, BUT after reading from and praying about the Book of Mormon, he felt strongly that it was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet!! Anyway, we have been back to see him a few times since then and this last Sunday just invited him to be baptized by someone holding the proper Priesthood authority and he said YES!! We’re still a little hesitant for sure since he is some heavily involved in his other church. But we have high hopes that one day (even if it is not on the date we set or even with the two of us) he will come to truly understand just how significant that answer is that he got about the Book of Mormon and it's divinity.

But onto the other three investigators we taught and committed this last week. It all started when our Elder Quorum president came up to us a couple of weeks ago after a Ward Council meeting and said "hey, I'm expecting a family to show up that I invited to church this week. They come from a pretty tough background and so don't overwhelm them but if you see them just say hi and welcome and so forth". So we did. They were very nice and cordial and seemed to enjoy themselves as they stayed actually for all three hours of church! We didn't see them or the member that brought them however at church the next week and so we were a little saddened but stuff like that happens all the time so it was to be expected I suppose. However, what we thought was a lack of desire to come to church that week actually ended up to be the EXACT opposite.

a cool little cave (that only goes about 40 feet in the mountain face)
As it turns out, the member that had invited them in the first place also ended up taking them with him and his family on a trip out to Utah to visit some family and sites and so forth. This trip of course was highlighted with a visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake. They enjoyed themselves very much as they viewed the different facilities over there but then almost out of nowhere, the non-member family’s 5 year old daughter tugged on her father’s arm and pointing towards the Salt Lake Temple said "Daddy, you have to take me in there!" Of course a little taken a back and unsure of what to say the father tried to explain that they couldn't go inside the temple because of what kind of building it really was but, the little girl insistent on the matter looked again at her father and said "Daddy, I want to go in the Temple." Now unsure of what to say or how to respond the father looked up at his member friend who simple enough said "you better listen to your daughter". And thus began their journey. Later that day they were walking again past the temple doors and this time the member who had brought them felt the strongest prompting from the spirit to "take them inside the foyer". A little caught off guard he shrugged it off reasoning that he was in his street cloths and surely not appropriate to enter the temple. But the Spirit, being as persistent as it is urged him again to "take them inside the foyer". So not ignoring the same prompting twice, he looked at them and asked if they would like to go into the temple foyer. He explained that they could not go through the whole thing but they could at least stand inside the lobby. They accepted and after explaining briefly to the temple workers at the front desk the family came inside just the front lobby and IMMEDIATELY were just overwhelmed by the spirit! Anyway, to make an already long story short, they left that trip knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that that was where they needed to be, with their family.

Jumping ahead a little bit they returned from their trip and we received the exciting report of the incredible experiences they had had from our member. However, he assured us that they wouldn't be coming to church this week because the father had just had surgery to remove gall stones only 2 days before. Then, not five minute after explaining that "they would not be there", the family walked in, ten minutes early for sacrament meeting that day! The husband was clearly in a lot of pain and clutching his abdomen but they stayed for all of sacrament meeting and their 5 year old daughter was even given an impromptu part and was able to participate in the Primary Program that was put on that day!

So yeah, those are just a few of the really incredible miracles that have been surrounding this family. The most recent miracle being the lessons we had with them this last Sunday during the second and third block of church where we invited and they accepted a baptismal date for the 12th of December.  The mother, the father and their son and then their 5 year old daughter. So yeah the oldest three have all individually accepted that date and we are VERY excited to work towards it with them!

A pretty decent north shore Kaua'i surfer. (don't worry these pictures were taken VERY zoomed and cropped in from a safe distance away from the actual beach. :P haha)
ANYWAY, that is probably all MUCH more information than you ever wanted or needed, but the whole experience was just too exciting not to share it. Honestly there are even MORE stories that I wanted to share that I guess I'll just have to save for another week. Anyway, Thank you again for all that you do and for all of your support on our behalf, the Luke's here in Kekaha very much appreciate it! :) I hope you all know that I love you and will continue to pray for you that your health holds up at least a little better than mine has this past weekend, but even if it doesn't, don't let that stop you from seeing the miracles of the Lord's hand in this work! Truly those miracles are everywhere if we just look for them. Mahalo nui loa and ALOOOHHHAAAAA!!!!!

-Elder Powell
AWESOME artwork at "bubba's burgers" in Hanale'i! :) haha

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