July 2012- January 2014

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hi ya’ll!
Sorry for the late email! We went to Palo Duro Canyon this morning for some mountain biking. I don’t think it will ever get old. I love going there because it gives me a hint of home. I love it. It makes me so excited for backpacking and the outdoors! This week I celebrated my 3 month mark. Isn’t that nuts? It doesn’t feel like I’ve been out that long. I suppose time flies when you’re working hard and having fun! This week was fabulous, but long. And I know exactly why. My companion and I abstaining from all sweets, this includes ice cream, desserts, and candy. I have never gone on a diet so this has truly tried my will power. I know what ya’ll are thinking…. No Texas barbecue hasn’t made me gain 30 pounds… We actually made a pact with one of our investigators that if he would quit drinking alcohol, coffee and tea for a week we would give up something very near and dear to our hearts. I tell you what, I’m addicted and I didn’t even realize it. Going through this has made me realize a couple things. It’s a lot easier to give up something for someone else. I really care about our investigator and I know that the life style he is living right now does not bring everlasting happiness. We just thought if he could just experience life not doing those things that would destroy his body; he would recognize the blessings. But every time I felt tempted to eat a cookie or a bite of ice cream, I thought of our friend and just couldn’t let him down. Something else I learned was that not only are we asking him to give up something, we are asking to change his whole life. This includes family traditions, social groups, and other activities. Not only would he have to tell his friends he didn’t drink, he would have to tell his own family. I’ve also realized that we didn’t teach him as well as we could have. In preach my gospel it says that true doctrine understood changes attitude or behavior quicker than the study of that attitude or behavior. (Don’t quote me on that….. I am pulling this from my memory.) But our investigator gave in and bought some beer. It was really heart breaking to hear this, and hence why we need to reteach the word of wisdom.
We had two awesome lessons with our friend this week. We watched the restoration movie (I tell you I’m going to have it memorized by the time I get home.) and talked about Joseph Smith. This has been a stumbling block for my friend. Our friend had watched a special on the presidential candidates and their religious beliefs. It was obviously aimed at making the Mormons look like a bunch of “brainwashed members of a cult”.  An ex-member claimed that our church is all about money and fame. We showed the restoration video and explained that if Joseph was focused on money and fame, he definitely wouldn’t have died for this great cause. We said that “by the fruits ye shall know them” and if I’m being brainwashed to serve, love, and obey the commandments then I say bring it on. BRAINWASH ME! I’d love to become a better person through the gospel. Our friend loved the movie and is now studying Joseph Smith History.
Simply put, General Conference was amazing! The rumors are true, it’s a hundred times better on your mission. We watched it at the stake center which I surprisingly loved! (But I’m not going to lie; I missed watching it at home having contests with Brandon to see how many M&M’s we could catch in our mouths.) How about them 18 and 19 year olds eh? That is amazing news. It really inspired me to be a better missionary. So much work to be done, they are calling in the younger troops! But that makes me a grandma in the mission. One of the themes that I noticed in General conference was becoming truly converted. If you sincerely love God then you are going to serve his children. Elder Hollands talk was amazing and made me really reflect on why I am out here on a mission. I think some of my motivations have been purely selfish. It really gave me a lot to think about. I want my intentions to be purely focused on the fact that I love my Heavenly Father. I love the blessing of the atonement in my life and I want to see others find that joy.
Love Y’all
Sister Luke

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