Answer to Prayer: Luke’s Story

Luke Cobia became interested in Humanitarian XP when he heard about the amazing experiences his cousin had on a trip. He wanted to visit a foreign country and serve people in need, so he started looking for trips to join in January. Since registration had passed, Luke was placed on many different waitlists and was miraculously assigned to go to Zimbabwe. He told us, “The main reason I wanted to go was to have an awesome experience serving people… I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to actually go there and so I was super, super excited about that.”

Luke explained that this trip was his first international experience and wasn’t sure what to expect, but quickly came to love Zimbabwe and its culture. “People are always talking about culture shock but I didn’t end up getting culture shock until I got back into the US. I felt like Zimbabwe’s culture fit me so naturally… it felt so natural to go there and just serve.”

Humanitarian XP has had a lasting impact on Luke in many different ways, from personal spirituality to family life. “I’m putting a lot more sincere effort and really trying to get the most out of what I read and study in the scriptures. Before the trip, I was doing it but I wasn’t getting a lot out of it. Now I’m getting a lot more and I’m able to really make these gospel connections between what I’m reading and my life so that has been really really helpful.” Another realization that Luke had while on his trip was that President Nelson’s call to help “gather Israel” is serious and important. “I realized just how important we are as youth to help gather Israel… that is one of the biggest if not the biggest thing we’re supposed to do right now. And I was able to help gain a testimony of that because of the trip and all of the different talks in the journal that they give.” 

Aside from spiritual growth and scripture study, Luke talked about how moving it was to see how the people in Zimbabwe live and how blessed he is. “I gained a lot of perspective while I was in Zimbabwe just how blessed and fortunate I am to be in the place where I am right now in my life… it really made me a lot more grateful for what I have.” He also had talks with his trip leaders that helped him set aside his pride and form healthier relationships with his siblings, which he noted has significantly improved his home life. 

The most powerful experience of his trip happened at the worksite with one of his trip leaders, Mariah. Luke explained that he had been praying for answers to a question he had about his patriarchal blessing ever since he received it almost three years ago. Without going into too much detail, he recounted the experience saying, “I was having a nice one-on-one talk with Mariah and we were in the middle of working at the worksite and she kind of stopped. In the middle of our conversation she kind of looked at me funny and was like, ‘I don’t know why I have this feeling to say this—I have no idea why.’ And she told me this stuff about spiritual gifts… it was like a line by line, word for word answer to a question I had about my patriarchal blessing ever since I got it almost three years ago now. I’m going to remember that experience for the rest of my life.”