July 2012- January 2014

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hi there family!
We had our Christmas conference yesterday so our Pday was pushed back to today! At Christmas Conference, I received your packages! Our Christmas conference was awesome and went by too quickly in my opinion. It was fun to see the missionaries that are back in Amarillo (they drove in for the conference).
So this past week has been a whirl wind! I can’t believe I’ve been here for a week already! When we got off the bus in Lubbock, we were greeted by the Assistants to the President. Their area is also college park. I guess because of their responsibilities (they have to travel all over the mission, and the mission is HUGE so they are gone a lot), they haven’t been able to give the ward enough attention. So that’s where we come in. The Assistants told us that we are basically opening up a new area. They didn’t really have much information for us, so we are starting from scratch. On our first day, we went to the institute building and we saw a handful of people there. They were really excited to have sisters in their ward and a lot of people have told us that they really want to come out and teach with us. It really means a lot when people are excited to see you and to see missionary work get done again. After the institute building, we went on campus to go email our mission president and I had a ridiculous smile on my face the whole time. I just loved being back on a college campus, in an awesome ward that is totally focused on missionary work. It definitely made it easier to leave Amarillo. We actually live 20 minutes’ drive from campus, which isn’t the most ideal. But technically, we cover the whole city of Lubbock, so it doesn’t matter where we live. We have this monster of a truck to drive around. My companion and I look absolutely ridiculous in it. We feel like we are going to run over small cars in it.
IMG_0103[1].JPGThere are some really great perks to living in Lubbock over the Holidays.  Every year, the stake puts together this huge, and when I say huge, I mean HUGE nativity exhibit. Members put in ridiculous amounts of time in this. There are about 350 people on a committee to put this all together. They plan this a year in advance, and were up till 3 a.m. last week setting up. Out of control. They have members of all faiths coming in to preform, like a Baptist choir, and Methodist pianists. The Nativity goes on for four nights and then concludes with the Christmas devotional. Pretty neat. Since we live in Lubbock, we were allowed to come and see it. And They had a missionary room where a set of missionaries stayed in case any member not of our faith had questions. They asked my companion and I to participate in this. Unfortunately, no awesome stories with that. We just sat in a room for hours and hours. Ha but we read a good deal of Genesis. Another perk is that we get to be

close to the mission home. I love that. It just gives me a little taste of home whenever I’m there. This morning all the missionaries in Lubbock helped decorate the mission home. It was so much fun!
The ward here is so awesome. We meet in the stake center and the chapel was pretty much full. A member walked up to me and said “Sister Luke, I was supposed to look out for you. My aunt is Kaye  and she told me you were coming to this mission.” And then he asked me how I knew Chelsea Kasen. I was completely shocked that someone knew who I was. And I had to have him reiterate what he said. Small world, right? When I was leaving, and everyone was telling me that I needed to look out for this person in this city, I thought, “yeah right, like I’ll ever meet them….” But happens!
Now I may be making it sound like butterflies and rainbows here in Lubbock but there is a catch. It’s a student ward, and the holidays are coming up…. So after this week (finals week), our ward and the student population in Lubbock is reduced to half. I am hoping and praying that we can stay busy and find some people to teach. Because when you aren’t busy as a missionary and constantly feeling like you aren't fulfilling your purpose, it’s the pits.
I better go. But I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary. I feel my testimony strengthened every time I pray, study, and teach. Through the experiences I am having, I am creating firm foundation for the rest of my life. I love this gospel and day by day, my gratitude for my Savior increases. I love y’all! Have a splendid week!

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