July 2012- January 2014

Monday, July 30, 2012

Never fear!

Family and Friends!
        Never fear! I’m  happy and alive in Amarillo, TX! My oh my, what a
week! Missionary time is so weird, it feels like it was just yesterday
that I was hoping on a plane to Texas, but at the same time…. I feel
like I’ve been here for an eternity! Boy do I have stories for ya’ll
(“you all” does not exist down here in Texas).
Landing in Texas:
        So I landed in Lubbock and who was there to meet us (Sister Peterson,
Elder Losse, and Some Spanish speaking elder, and me) but the
President and Sister Augustin and the Assistants. Sister Agustin
Greeted us with a big hug, I could tell I was going to like her
already. We got all of our luggage and Sister Peterson and I rode with
the Augustins. We got the mission home, which is a nice cozy home ( I
was expecting it to be in a building or something.) They took such
good care of us, it was so nice to be in a home again! Sister Peterson
and I spent the night there which was lovely! They took us to go get
bikes (which I absolutely love! Purple was a fantastic choice. It’s an
awesome bike!) And out for lunch the next day. It was a nice relaxing
day with good food. Then I thought “hey, I don’t know what everyone
was telling me, mission life is nice and easy.” Then I thought, “Oh
wait, this is the calm before the storm.” Ha. President is a really
great man. He has had a lot of interactions with apostles because he
is basically the church PR guy. He coached President Hinckley in his
interview with that big name reporter (forgot his name). While I was
staying with the Augustins, they told me I was going to Amarillo,
Companion and Apartment:
        My companion is Sister Crane. Funny story! I knew her my freshman
year at Utah State. We lived in the same building. She’s great.
Everyone called her Sister smiley. And it’s true! She just smiles
people right to baptism. We are close to the other sisters in our
zone, and they are awesome too! We have an awesome view of the pool .
But the Appartment is nice except the two garbage bags that are in
fact our shower curtains.
Amarillo Skies:
        So Amarillo is amazing. (Are you surprised I said that, so am I).
Everyone told me you definitely aren’t going for the scenery, but they
failed to mention that the skies are gorgeous. Sure no mountains, but
that just gives the opportunity to see more of the sky.  Part of the
reason why the sky is so beautiful is because it is in tornado alley,
I know mom your worst nightmare. The other day, Sister Crane and I
were teaching a lesson when the LOUDEST sirens I have ever heard went
off. I started to panic, when they told me they test the sirens every
month. “Nothing like the last Friday of the month to get the juices
going”.  Everywhere you go, cicadas are sounding in the trees, it
makes me feel like I’m in a tropical rainforest or something.  Oh and
remember how I thought I didn’t need to worry about finding good water
because I’m in the states for heaven sake? Well I guess the water
tastes like oil and rocks here and turns your teeth a lovely yellow
brown. We drink out of water bottles here. Everyone does.  But I
definitely know I was meant to be here because the people are so nice!
So far, I’ve only encountered 1 semi rude person. When we knock doors,
people say I may not be interested in joining a new religion, but I am
voting for a Mormon.
I can’t go into much detail about others that I have met. But just
know that they are amazing. It’s weird how I just instantly love
everyone that I come into contact here. I have really come to know the
scripture “we talk of Christ, We rejoice in Christ.” (2 Nephi 25:26)
That’s all I do here. It’s great!
Oh man, I love you all Please take care of yourself!

Ps Pictures next week!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Laura arrived in Texas on Monday July 23!  We will post her current address when we get it. Her mission president sent us the following:

  Just a short note to say Sister Luke arrived safely to the Texas Lubbock Mission.  We had orientation, dinner, pictures, more orientation, and now, she is preparing to bed down for the night at the mission home, second floor.
  Thanks for sending such a wonderful young lady.

  President and Sister Augustin, TLM 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Family and Friends!
Thank you so much for the emails, packages and letters! I loved them so much! I am absolutely thrilled to see pictures of our new little addition! But I don't even know what you guys decided her name to be, Ruby?? Whatever her name maybe, she is absolutely adorable. And sounds like you are all in for an exciting weekend in Vegas! Love it. Don't get too wild without me there to keep you under control. :) And I am so excited to hear about Maryanne, your neighbor. Dad, that story just made me so excited to help people in Lubbock. I have been sharing your missionary story with practically everyone I come in contact with. I see Elder Bracken pretty often, he looks like he is loving it! He is such an outgoing boy, no doubt that he will do such a great job. Every time I see him I have to resist the urge to run and give him a hug and call him LUKIE!!!! 
This week in the MTC has been bomb. I love my classes. My teachers are so amazing and I love to just listen to them. But this past week I have been trying to be taught by the spirit and it changes everything. Seriously, I get twice out of a lesson now. A couple days ago we talked about teaching and acting upon the spirit, you all know how I have always struggled with that. Well, we listened to a talk by Elder Bednar which completely changed my outlook on this subject. basically he said if you feel like you should do something good, it's of the spirit. It doesn't have to be this overwhelming feeling that you must do NOW. This thought was so simple but it definitely changed my outlook on this. Also in class we do a lot of role plays, which I guess they didn't do much before my district got here. But it is such a powerful way to learn how to teach. We teach our teachers as if they were investigators. This is the most stressful part of my day because this is the way the teacher assesses if you are actually learning what they have taught us. A couple of these, Sister Peterson have completely failed. Ha so they are quite the humbling experiences. But God shows us our weaknesses only to make them our strengths, right?
So embarrassing moment for the week, I was helping with an orientation for the new elders that were coming in to the MTC on Wednesday. It was me, the Zone leaders, and all of the new elders. I was a little confused why my Branch President wanted me there, because I thought I only helped if we had new sisters. Well, we were going around the room explaining our background like where we are going, where are we from, you know questions like that. Well, I was the very last and I told them a little about me, then I said "And to be honest, I'm not exactly sure why I'm here." (then I thought I would be funny) I said: " I just wanted to come and check you all out." I swear, I meant that in the most innocent way possible. Just, you know, see the new people coming in. Well, it was not taken in the innocent way I had meant it. All the elders busted out laughing, and said "ooh Sister Luke". I blushed and sat down. Now I just look like a creepy 22 year old sister praying on 19 year old boys. We have new elders and sisters coming in today so lets see if I can do a better job this time.
In the past couple days, we have had some really great devotionals! Jenny Oaks Baker came on Sunday night. She is Elder Oaks daughter and she is an amazing Violinist! It was such a good meeting. I really loved it! Also on Sunday, for sacrament meeting, they do this awful thing were everyone has to prepare a talk and then they just call two elders or sisters up on the spot. Not my idea of an enjoyable meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, I felt like my comp was going to give the talk so I told her so. And I was right, she did have to participate by saying the prayer. And then I realized that I received the revelation for the wrong person. DUNDUNDUN! It was me! ah! I think my Branch President likes to see me squirm. (just kidding I really love that man, he's amazing) So I stood and gave my 3 minute talk. And would you believe it, the time was up before I even realized it.
So I have my flight Itinerary! The flight leaves Monday morning. So, expect a call! 
Ah I love you all soooo much! Thanks for all the support and prayers. Take Care.
Love, Sister Luke

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I've been so grateful to be here.  I feel like my teachers are exactly what I need. They are so kind and patient but they teach with such power.  I've never been sitting in class and been disappointed when it is over!  I just love the spirit there.  I'm not loving the food here.  Whenever I walk into the cafeteria I am disgusted. HA  But I've been eating sack lunches and sitting outside.

My leave date is July 23rd.  That is crazy to think that they will let me loose on poor, unsuspecting non-members.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hello there family!
My it have felt like forever. But in reality, not even one week. Well Mom and Dad, thank you so much for that package! I loved it. We haven't really done much family history yet so hopefully I will need it sometime and you didn't go to all that work for nothing. And my and my companions loved the "dots" as a midnight snack last night.   
Life in the MTC was like nothing I could have anticipated. My companion is from Pleasant Grove and is 22. she just graduated college as an X-ray tech. We couldn't be more different. Which is exactly what I need! She is like a red personality that likes things to be done on time and in control. I think I'm a little more of a free spirit so she helps me focus on what is most important. AND she makes me on time. I think we all know how much I can struggle with that. And I teach her patience. ha it's a good set up we have going. So therefore, exactly what I need. I am so grateful for her spirit. I definitely learn from her a lot. We have one other companionship in our room and they are pretty great also. We all get along very well, and have gotten real close (even though it's only been 6 days). My district is great! We have 5 elders in our group all going to Tempe, Arizona. We have all gotten quite close because we are in class like 8 hours a day!
In my classes, I expected they would teach us deep doctrine knowledge. But again I was taken by surprise! They take us back to the very basics of our church and beliefs, because that is how we will have to teach those not familiar with our church. Role plays are key here. At first, they are so awkward. Because I have never been an actor but it is really effective to empathize with others and put yourself in their position. But the main thing they try to teach us is how to teach with the spirit. I have learned here that I have absolutely no convincing power. Only the spirit can reach those who we teach. This has been such a humbling experience, I have nothing except to rely on the Lord, and of course my companion. We have the opportunity to teach our teachers in a role play, I just can't help be think of Brandon every time! I want to know what it would be like to teach him!
I'm not going to lie it is a difficult adjustment! But I think I'm coming around now! Hali and Chanae help me so much! I see them quite frequently which brightens my day every time! They just encourage me so much!
 I met an Elder Starky, he is a teacher here and recognized me from the stake, he said he would tell you guys hello for me!
Man, we only have 30 minutes to email and the clock is ticking! But dear family, I want to know what is going on with you? Emily, baby??? I can't wait to see pictures. A good way to talk to me is DearElder.com, because of limited time on the emails. But I just love you all so much! Being here and talking to the other sisters make me so grateful I have the family that I do! So blessed! Take care and I Love you all so much! Auntie Kisses to the little ones!
Love, Sister Luke

Saturday, July 7, 2012

         for the


Thursday, July 5, 2012


It is official.  Laura is in the MTC!  Had some last minute delays.  Rainy day and traffic was slow. . . 1 hr late in arriving.  Did the official drop off at curbside.  Some smiles and a lot of tears.   Greeters were reassuring.  

Two old roommates already in MTC & 1st Cousin going in next week.  So there will be friendly faces.  Even though a little sad to see her go we are reassured that she will be with like minded companions and may even run into an acquaintance or two.  

Mom & Dad have been busy getting everything done and doing special activities.  Did the hike in the mountains which was fun because Laura's nieces and nephews were able to come too.  Had some of Laura's favorite meals.  Since they ride bicycles a lot in the Lubbock Texas Mission, we had to make a choice on one that would serve needs well and hopefully provide some transportation at college as well as some recreation when she gets home.  After all, with all the bike riding she is doing on the mission, Laura will undoubtedly have thighs of steel when she gets back. (Dad's not Mom's comment) Since July 4 fell on a Wed, not only did we get to spend an extra day with Laura, we were also able to have the traditional water games in the back yard . . . which of course had its share of water fights.  The nieces and nephews especially enjoyed ganging up on Aunty Laura and soaking her to the bone!  There were some tearful goodbyes and well wishes as well.  

We will be updating this blog from Laura's weekly e-mail and as all missionary parents do, we will look forward to Christmas and Mothers day phone calls.  So if you want to keep updated on Laura, we hope you will enjoy this Blog . . . We will try not to bore you too much.