July 2012- January 2014

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So as you can tell, I am emailing you a little late. I think Lubbock might have more spontaneous weather than Utah. Yesterday, there I was standing outside without a jacket when we receive a sever blizzard warning. That’s right folks, a blizzard in west Texas. I thought it was a joke….. but sure enough we woke up the next day to a blizzard. Our cars were parked so we couldn’t leave the house. In Utah, It would have been manageable. But our Mission President didn’t trust the Texan drivers in snow…. And I’ll admit. Neither do I. Luckily it was Pday so we didn’t miss out on too much (except emailing you!) But it was really frustrating because we had a really awesome lesson scheduled and we couldn’t go. But don’t you worry; we are seeing them later today. It is with that girl I told you about in a past email. She has known the church is true for over a year now, and she just celebrated her birthday so now she can meet with us. and her mother can’t stop her. I am so excited; I will definitely let you know how her lesson goes next week. Any who for the rest of Pday, we just wrote letters, cleaned, and ate something called monkey bread. So delicious…. You should make it!
This past week has been awesome. We have really worked hard. I’m really happy to be serving with my companion. I have already learned a lot in the short time that we have spent together. This past week we have seen a lot of effort put in by the members. They are really great about sharing the gospel and introducing us to their friends.

This past week, we were teaching a new friend about the restoration. As we were teaching him, a roommate came home and sat in the lesson to listen. We continued on with our lesson and their third roommate came home. By the end of the lesson, we had a full house! That’s the great thing about serving with young single adults. They seem more open minded and they even encourage their friends to learn more.

We have been really focusing on helping the ward missionaries to fulfill their calling. It has made me reflect on how I handled my callings in the past. And I am ashamed to say that I did not give my full attention to what I was asked to do. Just as a missionary is assigned to a specific area for a reason, I know that the callings we receive in the church are divinely inspired. God gives us a portion of his children for the perfecting of the saints. I would like to encourage you in whatever God has asked you to do in His church to reevaluate your responsibilities and find ways to do your calling more effectively
I love y’all so much! Thanks for your support and examples!
Love, Sister Luke

West Texan Blizzards aren't for sissy's. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I have good news to report! I am staying here in Lubbock in the College Park Ward! I am so thrilled to stay! I feel like there is a lot that I can learn from serving here. My new companion is actually serving in a different ward here in Lubbock so she doesn’t even have to travel! I’m really excited to serve with her; I hear she is a fantastic missionary.
This week had its peaks and lows, like usual. We haven’t been able to get in contact with one of our friends again. This makes me really sad, because we had such a great lesson with her and I know she felt the spirit. Hopefully we can talk with her again.
But….. There is always something good that happens! One of the people we briefly met like a month ago contacted us. Apparently his phone busted and he lost our number. Well, he wanted to meet with us again! So he came to a baptism yesterday, and then stake conference on Sunday! He’s a pretty neat kid. We have an appointment with him on Wednesday.
One of our main focuses is helping the recent converts stay. Trying to motivate the ward missionaries to do their callings and really fellowship those who are new.
I don’t have a lot of time today! Sorry! This email is kinda lame.... But I am happy and working hard!

Love, Sister Luke

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I survived another week in Lubbock, Texas. So this week I had some pretty neat experiences, then some sour ones. But it’s a new week! To finish the rest of P-day, we went to this park and climbed some metal horses. I have heard all the missionaries talk about it so I was expecting something really awesome. But I soon came to realize that it was just one of those things that only missionaries think is cool because there isn’t much else you can do in Lubbock. But nonetheless, we climbed them! I was slightly terrified because I was on the tallest one. And everyone just stood around laughing. But I did it. And I have the pictures to prove it. We also went to a little place called ransom canyon. Basically a baby Utah.
This week I did exchanges with another sister missionary! She is really an awesome missionary from Indiana and she is a convert. We went out to work in Levelland and had some really neat experiences. We met a girl who is thrilled to learn about the Gospel. My companion and I went back to meet with her on Friday and she is working on preparing herself for baptism! We also met with our other friends while we were out there. And our Bishop came with us. He was a great help for them! He was a convert and can relate to a lot of things they are going through. We made some headway with them, I’m really hoping they progress. One of them really ponders on the things we talk about after we leave, the spirit works on him. He had a hard time with the priesthood and why it was necessary. Later, he texts us and tells us that he has thought more about it and the priesthood is a good concept. “How do I be a part of it?” “Well…. You have to be baptized.” “Ah….. I see what you plan is!” haha He gets this idea that all we are here to do is baptize him. But he really does recognize truth.
So this week we get transfer calls. I know for sure there will be some change. But I just don’t know how much will change! I’ll let you know next Monday!
I love you!
Love, Sister Luke
I celebrated my 7 eleven day! 7 months down, 11 to go!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So good to hear from you this week! 

This week went by in a blur. Our friend's baptism went well. She is such a sweet girl who has experienced a lot for being so young. The opportunity to have a new beginning was such a blessing in her life. She is an amazing girl! I’m so grateful I got to teach her, in turn I learned so much! She has so much to offer in this ward and I can’t wait to see her continue to grow in the gospel.

We got to see both of our other friends this week. One is struggling with the commitment that the church entails. He’s never been a part of a church and I think that really intimidates him. The other shares the gospel with all of his friends but has stopped coming to church and reading. We are trying to find out what is going on with him. He is super busy. We are meeting with both of them this week so hopefully we can make some headway with both! They are both really awesome, good kids! I know it is going to work out.

We met with a person who requested a “bible study” on Mormon.org. He told us that he wanted to bring a couple friends also. We thought, “Perfect!” more people to share the gospel with! Well, turns out his friend was a minister for the students here on campus. Well…. In moments like that I’m usually shaking in my boots. But I felt really peaceful and calm in the situation. The guy that we were teaching wanted biblical proof on every concept we talked about, and refused to come to church because we didn’t ‘convince’ him. The lesson didn’t necessarily go well, but I definitely felt the truth of our message as we were teaching it. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost to be with me in those situations to give me the confidence I need.

Oh I want to tell you about one more person I met this week! She investigated the church about a year ago and wanted to get baptized. Her mother told her that she couldn’t get baptized as long as she was under 18. She would sneak out to go to early morning seminary and her mom put an end to that. Well, her birthday is coming up and she is still determined as ever. She is trying to arrange places that she can stay after she is baptized because she is pretty sure her mother will kick her out.  So you’ll probably hear more about her. Hopefully I’m still around to work with her! I have so much respect for this girl!

Thanks for your support. I’m still happy and well here in Texas! Things are going great! 
Love, Sister Luke

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,
So it seems like Utah is getting all of the poor weather, and we are left with all the good. Freezing rain sounds exciting! I remember when there were freezing rains in Logan. Campus was like an ice skating rink! Apparently Lubbock gets freezing rain in the winter but I haven’t seen it yet. This week has been BEAUTIFUL! I keep asking my companion “Is this seriously January?” because the weather is like early April or late March weather. I have had no need to wear a coat or even a cardigan. I think it is a blessing that I was sent to a place that isn’t anywhere close to mountains because I would be way too tempted to “go finding while we hike” or “teach a lesson up the canyon.”
This week we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and to try to find people to teach on campus. I’ll be honest, wasn’t the most fruitful activity we could have done. It really consisted of Sister Lao and me walking around awkwardly smiling at people…. Once they saw our name tags, they avoided eye contact. We would just giggle to ourselves because we felt so weird….. Didn’t help our image. Then we just looked insane. By the end of that hour and a half, we were invited to support the wake board team as they go to nationals, live in the dorms, got free coupon books, and join the polo team (believe it or not, I’m considering it when I get home. ha) A student even coaches us on how to approach people on campus. We were able to invite some people to church also. Weird experience…. But I’m glad we had it!
IMG_0006[1].JPGThis week we have been pretty busy! We have had a lot of lessons. Our friend preparing for baptism is still solid! So excited for baptism. Whenever we talk about it she glows! Lessons go really well with her. She has a lot of faith and readily bears her testimony. Before we even teach her a specific principle, she already commits to live it a couple days before. It is so thrilling to see her get to this point. The ward has been awesome with her and really welcomes her in. I love this ward. Stop me if a gush…. But they are really sensitive to others needs. Whether they are fellowshipping someone who isn’t a member or someone who doesn’t come to church as often, they are like family. It is so cool to see.
We met with another friend this week also. He really has a desire to learn. And he sincerely puts in the work. When we saw him on Saturday, he had read out of the Book of Mormon and like the first 10 chapters of the Gospel Principles book. He pretty much taught the Plan of Salvation to himself, and loved it. As we ask him what he believes, we find that his beliefs fall in line with the things that we teach. He told us that he feels like he is meeting with us for a reason. That he needs to know this information for the future.  And turns out he is on an intramural basketball team with one of our members. I’m telling you, God cares about the detail of our lives and puts people in our lives for a reason.
One of our members brought their friends to church on Sunday. It’s this cute girl. It was ward conference on Sunday so we had some pretty amazing meetings. In Relief Society the stake R.S. President asked what everyone was feeling up to that point. This girl raised her hand and said how welcomed and loved she felt. It was awesome. Hence why the College Park Ward is pretty great.
I realized last night as I was writing in my journal how quickly people come in and out of my life. Especially as a missionary. These relationships can just be “there” or I can really have them mean something when I put effort into it. And they are strengthened when I look beyond myself and focus on others. That is the beauty of the gospel; it teaches us to focus on others.  When we are converted, strengthen our brethren!  I am so grateful for the people that I have met, and continue to meet. I feel so blessed to have these experiences to help my testimony grow. I love y’all! And love to hear from you! Have a splendid week. And be safe with all that crazy weather!
Love, Sister Luke


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hi y’all!
ISo…. Remember that new car we got just last Monday? Funny story. On Tuesday, my companion wasn’t feeling well (turns out she had the flu…..) and we stayed inside. Well, that morning our manager came and knocked on our door and asked us if we could move our car because there was this ginormous moving truck just inches from our front bumper…… but honestly, there wasn’t any place to move, they blocked us completely in. Any who, they ended up crushing our front bumper.  You can imagine our vehicle coordinators surprise when we called him and said, “So Elder Kelly, remember that new car we got yesterday? It’s broken.” Yeah, trouble seems to find us…. Even when we are parked.
So because Sister Lao was sick this week, we only got to work a couple days. But we had some good experiences in a short amount of time. We went out to teach our friends that live in the small town this week. They completely dived right in to the Book of Mormon. Which confirmed that they are really sincere about learning more.  They had so many questions about the things that they read and it was hard to keep up with them. But one of them came to church yesterday and loved it! He told us that he plans on coming back next week.
We also finally met with our other friend. We haven’t been able to meet with her since we set her baptismal date and we still have things to teach her before then so we thought the date should be postponed. We were worried that she wasn’t interested anymore, but when we met with her it was the complete opposite. She told us that last week she wasn’t able to go to church and she didn’t read much of the Book of Mormon and she noticed that she was missing something. She told us that she had intention of letting this happen again. When we told her that she probably wouldn’t be able to be prepared for the baptism in January,  but we could do February 19th. She asked if we could work towards February 2nd! She really is ready, and I’m so happy to be here to see her accept the gospel. I’m starting to become that creepy missionary who lays up half the night thinking about the people I am teaching and how they can progress. Something is wrong with me.
I love y'all! thanks for your love and support!
Love, Sister Luke