July 2012- January 2014

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hi y’all, (secretly hope I come back with a Texan accent)
        This week my friend got baptized, we played basketball and Frisbee in
the morning for our work out time with the elders in our area, went to
the “Discovery Center” for a stake party/ missionary effort, and a
whole lot more. But let’s be honest, it wasn’t even that great of a
        Yes folks my friend was baptized and confirmed this weekend. This was the VERY first person I taught ever as a missionary. My friend is just so faithful; all we had to do as missionaries was to ask about being baptized. Seriously, my friend was a member of our church long before the baptism. I want to be like my friend someday. I just really want y’all to meet. I want you to
meet everyone I have met here. There are some really amazing people
down here in Texas! Including the missionaries I work with. I love
them all, especially my companion. I don’t think I have talked much about her, but there is no doubt that she was meant to be my trainer. I have learned a lot being with her.  Sorry back to the baptism. I was so happy for my friend. THRILLED! But there was that little selfish part of me that was disappointed that we won’t see my friend like everyday anymore. But I definitely plan to keep in contact.
        Twice or three times a week, we meet up with the other missionaries
in Amarillo to play sports for our work out time! Can you believe it,
I actually love it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the most
coordinated person ever (opposite of my companion)….  But I actually
enjoy it! I still cringe when we are standing in a line up and people
are picking teams, and as usual, I’m picked last. Haha I sound like
such a dork. One morning when we played basketball, the elders put
my companion and I on different teams, I think their purpose behind
that was so that we can guard each other and the Elders can play their
        We had the opportunity to go to the Discovery Center with the stake.
It’s like the children’s museum in SLC. It was a lot of fun AND they
had real homemade Texas Brisket. I was ecstatic when I heard that! But
the catch was my companion and I were sitting at the “More
Information” table all night. By the time we snuck away, the food was
ALL GONE! I was heartbroken. (Never thought I would be so devastated
over food…. Texas has changed me.) A member saw our disappointment,
and took us the HUD’s, a burger joint. It was good, but it didn’t
satisfy my longing for brisket. Well, I know the Lord provides because
on Sunday night we ate with some members. And would you believe it, they served BRISKET!!!! YUM….. it was worth the wait (and weight….).
        We had an amazing lesson with another friend. After we did some service, (picking up branches in this friends backyard from a super bad storm last Monday night, potentially tornado status……….. ok maybe a little exaggeration) we gave this friends grandchild a children’s Book of Mormon. We read the first couple stories, and by the end, this friend was explaining the stories to the grandchild. 
        Last night, my companion and I met some fellas in our apartments.
They are about our age and one of them is going to school to be a
Minister/ Pastor for another church. We set up a gospel study with
them every week so we can teach them about our church and they can
teach us about theirs. I think I’m going to be using the scriptures 2 Nephi 31:3 (for the lord delights in plainness) and 1 Nephi 11:17 ( For I do not know the meaning of all things, but that God loves us) A LOT in our little gospel studies. But I sincerely mean this. I notice that we can get so caught up in deep doctrine that the plain and precious things are lost. People are praised for their vast knowledge of the gospel, and Bible but we forget that Christ taught us simply. Following him should not be confusing. All we need to know is that we are loved of God.
        So as missionaries we knock doors (surprise, surprise). Well this is
the one thing that intimidates me…. A lot. And it seems that every time that my companion tells me, “Alright Sister, you got this next one.” The door is slammed. Ha not so good for my self confidence. I get nervous to talk about the gospel to strangers sometimes. But then I realize that I need not fear. I have the greatest message! That Christ lives and loves us. He has prepared a way for us to return to him through his Atonement. In Preach My Gospel it says “As your understanding of the Atonement increases, so does your desire to share it.” I love that I can find peace and rest through the Atonement of Christ. “Restoring what you cannot restore, healing what you cannot
heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very 
purpose of the Atonement of Christ.” President Boyd K Packer.  I know that through the atonement, my weaknesses can become strengths. Thank you all for your love and prayers! Know that I pray for my family and friends at home!
Sister Luke

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hi Y’all,

So this was again, another amazing week. ( Are you going to get tired
of me saying that?) But it truly was. I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences. I actually just got done mountain biking at a National Park! Can you believe it? There ARE natural wonders out here in the flat plains of Texas! It’s called Palo Duro Canyon and it looks like southern Utah. Ah it made me home sick for sure! I really wish we went backpacking before we left.  Well I’m happy to report no injuries (I was a little nervous). I’m surprised, I think I actually like mountain biking. I can’t wait to get back to Utah and try out some trails. We met up with our whole area so there were a ton of us! There
is a view that you can climb up to, and the view is amazing! It’s
called lighthouse rock. Google it.

This week was combined zone conference, and would you guess it? Elder
Paul E. Johnson, a General Authority came! He’s main responsibilities
are to oversee all of the church education. So I’d say he’s got something pretty valuable to say. One of the things I admired about him the most was even though he never said it, you could tell that he really loved and appreciated us. He challenged us to be more sincere in our lessons and help our investigators learn on a spiritual level, not just give them the facts. Find where your investigator is spiritually, take them by the hand and lead them to Gethsemane, and the Sacred Grove.  It was amazing. Afterwards, my companion and I had the rare opportunity to interview with Elder Johnson. I guess General Authorities have to leave pretty quickly after the conference. But he chose one district to interview and it was ours. I’m not going to lie,
I was a little nervous. But it ended up being one of the best moments  of my life. I could just really tell how much he cares. He asked if there were anything he could improve for the next zone conference (for the people in the southern part of our mission). I was completely shocked. How could a General Authority ask advice from me, a brand new missionary who doesn’t even have a clue what I am doing here? His humility humbled me. I learned so much about Christ like attributes from this remarkable man.

We had a fantastic lesson on the Book of Mormon last week. I think we really inspired them to make it apart of their everyday life and they have all seen the blessings it brings.My companion and I taught some really great lessons this week, the one that stands out is one with our friend who has attended MANY congregations.  He was interested in learning more about our church because he has heard a lot of rumors about our church. He told us honestly, I don’t even get why they send you to the “panhandle” because there are so many people here that are anti-mormon. I said that it’s all worth it when you meet someone that is truly ready to hear the gospel. We explained how we view the Godhead (I never thought that was such a unique characteristic about out church). He totally agreed with us. As we were leaving, we said, “well, you now have two Mormon friends.” And he said, “Yeah, and maybe I’ll be someones Mormon friend someday.”  Oh man! It was amazing.

I can testify to y’all that this work brings me so much happiness. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Yup, even when that door is slammed after some blow to our church is said. It’s worth it to find that person who has been thirsting for the Gospel. I’m so blessed to have this opportunity to be on the Lords errand.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Howdy Y’all,
Oh man, I can’t believe it’s that time again to report to you the
happenings of this past week. Time really does fly. Well this week has
been great, just like the ones in the past.

Texas Life
This week I have come to a realization just how many BIG and NASTY
bugs are here. My number one hatred has to be cockroaches. They are
filthy little creatures that come out at night. I’ve seen some just
dead in peoples driveways and secretly pray that the person doesn’t
answer the door. I’m sorry to say that, I need to get a better
attitude. I also mentioned the Cicadas. We actually saw one the other
day, they are terrifying also. You should look them up. And there are
these baby ants that crawl up your legs and bite you to death!

P-day fun:
Guess what we did for a lot of p-day today? Shopping at thrift stores neat huh? I found a skirt for three dollars. I guess I get to keep my old addictions on the mission too!I had a fun first pday in the mission. We went to the top of the tallest building in Amarillo. We had to be sneaky about it. But it turned out to be a whole lot of fun. We hung out with the other sisters a lot. Which is fun because they have all been out for a while and are old pros at mission life. I just learn from them all. 

My very best day this week was when my companion and I decided that
were weren’t using our time as wisely as we should. So on Saturday we
recommitted ourselves and worked our tails off. We found 5 new
investigators that day. I love when you receive direct blessing from
the Lord! That day, we had a bunch of appointments and knocked a lot
of doors. And before I realized it, I was in a skirt with a chain saw
in my hand helping cut down a tree.
I’m still amazed at how versatile missionary work is. 

Later, we met a guy just coming into his house and we were
knocking at the apartment next-door. He has lived a rough life and
told us that it isn’t by accident that we caught him at that moment;
he has been looking for a church for a while now. Neat huh. The Lord
puts us exactly where we need to be, right when he needs us.

On Sunday, We met the other sisters at the hospital we sung songs all
around the hospital. It was fun. People know us there now, and
compliment us. Thankfully, I’ve got a talented companion!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wow, I can’t believe another week has past. It went by in a blur.
Sorry a letter is going in the mail today. It contains information
like how much I loved that package you sent. The blanket was
absolutely beautiful. Now it makes sense why Jane found an amazing
deal on “sheets” and you asked me what some of my favorite colors
were. So on P day, I only have an hour to email so I think if you want to send me emails, I’ll just print them off and read them later and write you a letter in response. But I always like getting things in
the mail. So it’s really whatever you want or have time for. I know
life is so busy. Speaking of busy, how is Grand Kids Camp preparation coming along? David and Goliath sounds like it will be so fun. And are you doing anything fun for Grandpa’s Birthday. And Denise. Has she come to town yet? I remember going to pick her up from the airport and she looked like mom’s twin. That was crazy. Jer and Trena, How is the house coming along? I hope it’s more than just a hole in the ground now. And to my two new mothers, I hope all is well with those precious little babies! This week has been just as busy as the first.

Texas Life
It is Hot. That’s all you need to know. Some days as we are knocking
doors we look absolutely miserable and people will tell us that they
really admire our willingness to get out in the heat, but alas, they
are happy with their religion. But I think my body will adjust to the
heat. (Hopefully) One day Sister Crane and I had to sit in the car
with our arms up to dry out our armpits just before an appointment.
(Ok, maybe that was too much information.)
I love Bike Days. President requires us to get out on our bikes
at least once a week. But I want more. Biking with a skirt isn’t nearly
as hard as would have imagined! And bike shorts help!
Sometimes in Amarillo I feel like I haven’t left Utah because Churches
dot every corner of this city. But the difference is that they are all not LDS church s. They range from Hillside Christian, Baptist, Church of Science, and Cowboy Church. I am definitely in the Bible belt. My comp and I like to play this game where we make up names of churches to see if they exist. Turns out there are 209 different churches listed in the phone book. And those are the ones just listed. Crazy.

This past Saturday, We had a baptism! .
On Friday, it was the day of service! We helped a member tear up his bathroom. So fun. We got to take sludge hammers to the tile in his bathroom. It was epic. We worked with the sisters in the other district.
We all need a friend in the gospel. It is essential to missionary work.
Thanks for your prayers! I pray for ya’ll every day. I love and miss
you all. I still hate that I can’t call when I’ve had a bad day, or
when something fantastic happens. I’ll admit, Missionary work is hard.
But Salvation isn’t easy. So here we go another week!

Sister Laura Luke