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, May 31, 2016

VERY exciting news, Powerful Priesthood Keys, I have a LOT to learn

Aloha ohana!!

There is VERY exciting news of what happened for us over here in Kane'ohe this week. Actually I should say what happened in La'ie this week! It was awesome!!!! :) I wanted to build more suspense before jumping right into the "big news", but I just can't hold it back, I am so excited about this!!! :) So, approximately one year ago I was serving over on the island of Kaua'i in Kekaha and while I was there we worked a lot with one of the recent converts in the ward. He was making a ton of progress in the ward and in the gospel! He was always at church, actively participated in the gospel principles lesson, took a very vocal part in our Thursday night Book of Mormon study class and even got to the point where they extended him the calling of Ward Mission Leader, the calling he still holds and still magnifies beyond belief! 

Anyway, so yeah, long story short he is a GREAT guy and REALLY solid convert! So, this last week marked his one year anniversary of being an official member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as such he got the special opportunity to go to the temple and get his endowments and be sealed to his wife and we got to go with him! It was super exciting! It was me and my companion, Elder Luke (my companion from when I was on Kaua'i) and his current companion, Elder Gale (one of the elders who baptized him) and his current companion, and the family. But to top it all off and make it EXTRA exciting, Elder Gerber and his parents flew over to Hawaii for the week to be there for the session and sealing!!! He was also one of the missionaries that was there for Anthony's baptism over a year ago now. So yeah! It was a SUPER cool and a SUPER spiritual experience!!

Anyway, so that was the big news... honestly other than that I can't think of anything else major to report on, probably because everything else seems to pale in comparison to that! But I will try to make the rest of the week sound even half as cool! :) haha! So, while eventually we did have to make our way back to this side of the island, we would not be away from blessed La'ie for very long as we got invited to go with a part-member family to the Visitor’s center on Saturday! It went well and the family said they were really impressed with a lot of what they heard! So yeah! Progress there too! :)

Other kind of small news from this week. Bishop P asked me if I could sing a musical number at church for the youth and so of course I said I would love to, to which he replied "great! We’ll have a combined third hour block THIS SUNDAY!" haha! I was a little taken aback but was able to miraculously pull off a sort of impromptu musical number with two INCREDIBLY talented sisters in our ward who accompanied me on the piano and violin as I sang Rob Gardner's version of "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" it went pretty good and bishop said he'll probably have me sing it again in sacrament meeting sometime... so yeah, that will be fun! :)

 We also had a couple of pretty good visits this past week including one where our bishop, following a prompting from the spirit said "elders do you mind if we stop by this recent convert family before we go home" (he was driving us back home after church) and of course we said ok and so we pull up and he goes in while we kind of hang out outside and talk to some of the kids, and he goes to talk with the father who, following the wife and kids baptisms, kind of just petered out and hadn't come to church for quite a few weeks. Anyway, really long story short, Bishop was incredible and sincere and loving as always and talked with the father and left with a firm commitment from him to start coming to church and working through some other personal problems so that one year from now he can ordain his son to the office of a teacher and hopefully take his family to the temple!! So yeah! SUPER cool to see how in-tune with the spirit he is and how powerful the priesthood keys that he has can be! Bishop is such an awesome man!! :)

Oh! So one more kind of funny story from this past week that shows I still have a LOT to learn out here on the mission and that even missionaries need to be taught things sometimes! So we were going around just kind of greeting people at church and talking story and just sort of waiting for sacrament meeting to start, and so I go up to greet this older gentleman in our ward who always sits right up front in the first row on the far right, every single week! He is always there with his wife and just kind of sits there silently with a sort of smile and happy look on his face. He's about 90+ years old and can't see well at all and so as I go up to greet him and say hi he says "Is this Elder Kirkham or Elder Powell" I told him "This is Elder Powell." to which he said "oh, well how are you doing today Elder Powell." and I replied that I was doing well and asked how we was and he said in effect the same answer and then, without really thinking about what I was saying I responded "well thank you for coming today Brother Andrus."

All of a sudden his face changed a bit, he got serious and looking towards my general direction with his foggy eyes said with a bit of humor, "Well, thank you, but I sure didn't come here for you. I came here to worship my God and partake of the holy Sacrament. Still I suppose you can treat me like an investigator if you would like too." and by this point he was sort of chuckling. It's a good thing his eyes weren't too good because he would have probably started laughing out loud if he saw my face. I felt... well... I felt silly that's for sure! Haha! I mean, here I am greeting people as if it is some sort of social club and in one sentence he flips me straight, reminds me of the purpose of Sabbath-day services and sends me on my way! :P haha! Never underestimate the wisdom of those older than you! And DEFINITELY never underestimate their wit either! haha!

Anyway, I hope that you all had a great Sabbath-day yesterday and that you are having a wonderful memorial day today as well. I hope we can all find ways to make the Sabbath more meaningful for each of us and that we will also all find ways to go to the temple more frequently in the coming weeks and months! I know I'm super excited to go to the new Phoenix temple someday as well as plenty of others all over the world! What a blessing it is to live in a day and age where they are so accessible!! :) Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! Be sure to send all of my love and aloha to everyone back home as well as the rest of the family in general! Mahalo nui for all the gifts and wishes again on my behalf for my 21st birthday! It was a good one for sure! :) Mahalo and ALOOHHHAAA!!!

-Elder Powell

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Persecution and Success, Learn new things from different people

Aloha Ohana!!

Thank you SO much for all of the wonderful birthday wishes and kind thoughts! Sorry I don't have too much time to respond today. It's funny, with the days of my mission coming to a close I've never had more to report on, more to respond to, or more to talk about in general, but at the same time it feels like I've never been more rushed and more unable to send anything!! Speaking of which, I only have about five minutes left until I get booted off this computer so I've gotta send a SUPER quick update!!

This week was pretty darn good! We have really been working hard to find new people to teach from ANY source possible but we seem to keep running into empty doors and/or angry people who aren't too happy to see us for some reason or another... so that's always fun! haha! Cool story though! Not once but TWICE this week while we were tracting/street contacting, we ran into a few people who basically yelled at us, were very rude and one even threatened to call the cops next time she sees us (even though that was our first time EVER meeting her!) BUT what was cool is that BOTH times after we were faced with some pretty tough rejection, only two doors later we met some SUPER cool people who were more or less interested in at least talking with us and getting to know a little bit more about the church!! so yeah! that was cool! Persecution is always greatest right before success! :) haha!

Other than that, big moments from this past week included getting a new Stake Presidency here in Kane'ohe!! We had Elder Wild (an area seventy) and Elder Foster (one of the general authority seventies) come to participate in that and it was a very exciting ordeal for everyone in attendance! I especially appreciated the closing hymn at the Saturday night session where Elder Foster had us all sing a specially written hymn for our stake about family history work to the tune of one of Beethoven's symphonies.

We also had our quarterly interviews with the mission president and it was very odd because not only was this my last "regularly scheduled" interview of my mission, but it was my last one ever with President Warner! So President and Sister Warner are leaving literally about three weeks before I do! It will be a strange transition come July, but I'm excited to get to experience at least a little bit of different leadership, you can always learn new things from different people! So yeah! that will be fun! Anyway, I've really gotta run, but I love you all SO much and will keep on praying for you in the week to come! Again thank you so much for all the wonderful e-mails and cards on my behalf! If I can find or make the time to respond to them than I absolutely will!! But until then, have a WONDERFUL week, stay strong and don't forget to be awesome!!! :D

Aloha au ia oe!
-Elder Powell

Friday, May 20, 2016

Round the Corner, Significant Lessons, More than a few Service Opportunities

May 16, 2016
Aloha ohana!!

Sounds like a pretty eventful week back home! I guess it always gets that way right on the brink of summertime. It's funny because it doesn't even feel like summer out here. I mean besides the fact that the weather pretty much never changes all year (which is FANTASTIC!) :) we just don't really get a summer break anyway. Haha! It's fun because life has really come to be measured not by school years or even calendar years or anything like that but more so by areas and companions and transfers and occasionally significant month marks.

So, as I round the corner (today actually) of 22 months on the mission I've come to find myself wondering if there is anything else to life or any other way to truly live! I've come to the conclusion that sure there probably are different ways to live life but I can't, at least for now, imagine any better way to live life! It's funny, I'm reminded of a time when we were doing a hike over in Pearl City palisades and someone we were talking to was asking us about all the rules we keep and the schedule and the work load and just everything and finally she stopped and asked "and you actually enjoy doing this?!" and I was SO proud to be able to look her in the eyes and say "Yes! Yes I do!" :) Anyway! Enough random ramblings about just being a missionary. I'm sure you're all much more interesting in what I have been DOING as a missionary over this past week! So I'll let you know!! :)

This week started out kind of slow. Whenever we go to the Temple it kind of throws everything off because p-day is Tuesday and Monday is a full-pros day which is hard because normally we never go see people on Mondays and so when we do we have practically no set appointments and nothing to do and then Tuesday (when we usually do have at least a few people to see) we are up in Laie or trying to cram in some shopping and laundry and it just kinda throws everything off a little. But it's alright, we managed well enough, got back on track by Wednesday and had quite a few lessons this week (at least compared to our past weeks in this specific area, definitely still not a ton of work over all compared to other areas I've served in but hey, that's alright! It's just in a growing stage! haha!)

A few at least fairly significant lessons included two this last week with one of our progressing investigators, T! She is doing wonderful and the ward is being SUPER supportive and fellowshipping her so well and I don't even think they realize it! haha! They're just humble and awesome like that! :) Anyway, we haven't set her with a baptism date yet like we wanted to, but it's ok because we haven't had any lessons yet that weren't super spiritual where we all left having been edified (which is always a sign of a good lesson; see D&C 50:17- 22) so I'm sure that soon enough we'll be able to extend that commitment when she is ready and I'm hoping to be able to see her take that step in her life before the end of July!! :) Anyway, if the Lord wills it so than I am SURE it can be! :)

Other than her, we don't have any other really progressing investigators. We have this one family we're still trying to work with and they came to church this week which was super awesome! But they will probably take a little longer to come around than I have left on my mission so I'm a little sad about that, but I'm happy that they will someday enter the waters of baptism when THEY are ready and not just when I am ready for them. :P haha!

So other cool stuff this week! Just like last week we had more than a few service opportunities which is always a blessing! There are SO many service opportunities out here in this zone and a lot of them are actual great community service, not just like mowing a members yard for them and stuff like that :P haha! Speaking of mowing yards though! We did a huge project basically just over-hauling and cutting down the rather tall grass in this one auntie's yard. She is the one I mentioned before that is VERY into musical theater. She is a sweet Catholic lady and is currently housing the sister missionaries in a small room upstairs. Even though she is very adamant about not ever joining the church, it is wonderful to see how members here have come together to help her anyway, not because they just want to baptize her but because they sincerely just want to help her and take care of her and that they do!! :)

Anyway, we also had a HUGE service project over at the post office this past week helping out with the annual Hawaii Food Bank- Food Drive! Basically we just had donations from all over this side of the island coming and we had to sort through, pack and move literally HUNDREDS of boxes or canned goods and non-perishable dry foods and jars or peanut butter or jellies and all sorts of other stuff! It was super fun and we had a TON of good opportunities to talk with people about the church and missionary life and all of that stuff!! It's funny how when we're not dressed up in our regular shirt and tie that people actually treat us and talk to us like real human beings :P haha! Anyway, I could probably go on but I gotta be heading out here pretty soon so I will wrap up.

If you are going to send letters or anything from now until the end of my mission the best way to do it would be directly, at least until they finally switch our addresses back. haha! 
So my new address here is:  

Elder Luke Powell
47-600 Hui Kelu St
Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744

Aloha nui loa!!
-Elder Powell

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Perks of rain

Aloha ohana!!!
So so so sorry I completely ran out of time this week to really e-mail you anything. You know how it goes whenever we go to the temple, there's just no time to do anything else the rest of the day! But we just are finishing our ward activity night over here so we were able to sneak into the clerk's office for a few minutes and send a quick little update. As you pointed out in your e-mail, there really is nothing too crazy to report on since we just talked on Sunday. This week is looking like another week just chock full of community service so that will be fun!! :) But anyway, know that I love you all, I miss you like crazy and I wish you the best of luck with all that you have ahead of you for this week! Aloha au ia oe!! :)

-Elder Powell

p.s. one major perks of the rain over here is it brings countless waterfalls cascading down the sides of the Ko'olau mountains! I love it!! However, I'm not too fond of doing hours worth of service in the rain... :P haha!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

a TOTALLY different direction, More time to focus on each individual

Aloha ohana!!!
Thank you so much for your update as well as for all of your prayers and thoughts on my behalf! You are just the greatest!! :) I love you guys!! Anyway, that's cool to hear all of your stories too. Mom, I sure can relate to that lesson story. It's awesome to see how when we really prepare and even over plan at times, then we just get up there and the spirit takes you a TOTALLY different direction, but it always just works out so perfectly. Whereas when you just go up and tell yourself "eh, I'll just wing it and follow the spirit." It never works out and your stumbling through points and at a loss of words and, yeah, it's just kind of funny how the spirit works with our willingness to at least prepare something, even if what we prepared isn't what we end up sharing! :) Well anyway, long tangent over. I suppose you want to know what's been going on for us over here in the promised land of Kane'ohe this past week! haha!

Saying goodbye to all the youth back in the Marshallese branch was tough, but they're great people and I know they're still in good hands!! :)

a finally farewell to Elder Teerlink
So for starters we taught some really cool lessons to the very few people we have to teach. That was, I think, one of the toughest transitions coming from the Marshallese branch. Over there we just has SOO much work that we were CONSTANTLY busy and trying to cram in stuff and people even when we didn't have the time too! Whereas over here it's like we just kind of see the same people and plan for the same stuff and I think we kill the most of our time just sitting around at bus stops because even the buses over here seem to run on "Hawaiian time"... so that's always fun! haha! But it's been good to get out of a car and kind of slow things down in some ways. Gives you more time to focus on each individual person I guess! Still I know for sure that there is a LOT of potential for this area and right now the ward trust levels are just through the roof so I'm excited to try to keep the pace up and hopefully get things just flying over here so whoever comes in after I finish my mission will be able to hopefully reap some of those rewards and keep the hastening of the work over here going! :)

Speaking of lessons though and the few people we do teach. Among those few people I feel like we have two REALLY solid and cool investigators! One is a young lady who is really good friend with some of the members up in Kahalu'u ward (the ward right above us) and after church one day she just walked right up to the elders (this was the week before I got here) and basically said to them "I want to learn more." So of course we were more than happy to oblige her request! haha! We've already taught her one lesson and are going back to teach the second this week and she comes to all three hours of church every week and we're just super excited for her! She's awesome!! :) Her name is T by the way if you wanna be sure to keep her and her family in your prayers, I'm sure even with the golden investigators we can use all the help we can get! haha!

the famous "pink building" back in Waipahu
We also have another guy who I guess the elders tracted into, again right before I got here, and right when he saw them he was like "hey, that's cool you guys are doing this. My girlfriend here is actually about to leave on her mission in just a few weeks!" and so automatically we were just like "GUAHH!! THIS GUY IS GOLDEN!!" anyway! so I went with Elder Kirkham to make a follow-up visit this past week and he said his girl is officially in the MTC and they are still writing, but also that he has a ton of questions and would love to start taking lessons pretty much so we got a return appointment set up for this coming week! Again, we're just through the roof excited about this guy!!! :D Anyway, so yeah, lots of cool stuff already happening for us out here and guaranteed there's much more in store! This is only the start! :) haha!

I wake up every morning, walk outside, and see THIS!!!! :)
I love you all! And wish you the best with the coming week! Keep on keeping on and don't forget to be awesome!!! :)

Aloha nui loa!
-Elder Powell

p.s. also.... I am so grateful to all of the loyal friends that e-mail me so much. I still love you all to pieces... but in an effort to kind of help me stay focused and really centered on my purpose I've decided to kind of do an "e-mail fast" so starting next week I'm just going to be writing back to direct family members for the rest of the month of May. That being said, of course I'd be MORE than happy to RECEIVE any e-mails or letters up until that point! But I just probably won't be responding until June-ish... sorry but again I LOVE YOU all so much!! Of course still if you need anything just let me know and I will definitely make an exception and respond ASAP!!!!!! 
Mahalo nui loa! 
Pictures from a hike we did my last week in Waipahu

Some of the local graffiti

Pictures from our "p-day activity" today with one of our members!! ......it was pretty fun! :) Of course we didn't get to drive it, but Bro. G made sure to take us all on a nice little "spin around the block" haha! It was SWEET!! :)