A Spiritual Journey

19 October 2015

Hi Mum.  Don’t know when I changed to “Mum” but that’s really how I’ve been saying it lately, and it feels so natural!  Hope that’s not a problem of any sort . . . anyway.  The card.  Pretty good, yeah?  I found it last Monday at Foodland around 6 a.m. before going on the hike to Manoa Falls with President.  For some reason I thought it was oh-so-funny.  Probably because I was loopy tired.  Nah, jokes.  I still think it’s pretty good! Mm, not think.  I know. 😉

The past few weeks for me have felt a little like a spiritual flatline.  That got real.  Not dead, but . . . stagnant? So far I’d say my spiritual journey over the past year or so looks like this:

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Basically I need something to stretch me a bit.  Not sure what my issue is.  Maybe it’s just that I’ve settled in. Not sure that’s how it’s supposed to be? Is it? Nah, it’s good.

So remember that time (cough. Last week) when you told me about the spider incident at church with your Young Women?  Well, I spaced this somehow while emailing but the long-awaited “Da spider 3” came out from hiding last week . . Tuesday.  We walked into the pad, flipped on the lights, searched the walls and the sink for friends. The usual. And like usual, I commented, “Still waiting for another monster. About time.” And also like usual Sister Smith was all, “Stop tempting fate” kind. We still had to do our companion study because we’d been @ zone conference all day, so we got settled in. I headed into the bedroom, Sister Smith to the fridge. Then I heard her calmly say, “Sister Carlsen,” and I was confused because she is NOT a calm person. Long story short, our companion study that day consisted of us building a spider trapping device with a stick, duct tape and a ziploc container to catch the thing because it is somehow less repulsive than smashing it. We even said a prayer. We were successful. Sister Smith screamed a lot. One of the spider’s legs got a tad chopped. But other than that, everyone was unscathed. At least 2/3 of us were. We put the spider in the freezer. Then Elder Neff said to save it for him. . . . . . And there went the trust in our friendship. . . .

Yeah. I put it on his desk when we all went to decorate their pad for the return of Elder Livaie. I never could pick it up, but I did touch it enough to spread its legs back to their full length.  I’d say it was 4 inch kind.  A tiny bit skinnier than the others though.  I’m not sure it was the same variety.  So that was Wednesday night. . . As of today, it’s still sitting there.  He’s ridiculous.

As you can see I’ve written quite a bit with this pen since I last did a number on this letter. Catch up sucks.  I think that’s why I like the lists.  It takes more tries for me to make things sound the way I want them to when I’m doing it from a more distant memory. Doesn’t come as naturally. So now I skip to now. After a list of things:

  1. When I was in Ewa on exchanges with Sister Moala the car doors randomly kept unlocking themselves while we were praying. Creepy since we’d been talking about the effects of Hawai’i’s superstitious habits the night prior.
  2. Saw Alydia from “The District” @ Waikele last week. Yup. Can you say starstruck? #MissionariesAreNerds
  3. I be praying Samoan small kind now-a-day.
  4. Probs means Ima be transferred, huh.
  5. I think being around all this pidgin will do wonders for my note taking skills when I get back home. Seriously. You should see my journal when I get tired. Proud. But not? It’s a toss up.
  6. I really miss Doctor Who lately. Weird.
  7. Sonny is sick?
  8. David is probs going to YSA.
  9. Molly and Nora pretty much have baptism dates.
  10. Language wards are hard.
  11. Little miracles are the best kind though:  Kasteno came to ask us today why we hadn’t come by his house to talk with his mum again. Um. Because no Chuukese. BUT. This morning I put a Chuukese Book of Mormon in my bag so that was good!  He is thee best kid.

Owen is a friend we see every now and again.  His dad is not interested but he said we could talk to Owen.  Yesterday he told us he’s coming to trunk or treat tomorrow and also getting his church clothes for Sunday because guess what?! His Gpa’s in our ward. Who knew?! Well actually, we did. But since we didn’t know his name it was a little tricky . . . Thankfully God is still good. Owen also walked past while we were with Abigail today.  I called him over.  Abby was being a stinker (love her) but Owen was all, “Can we pray, can we pray?”  Sure Owen.  But only because you asked.  I guess, actually, he and Kasteno might be tied for sweetest kid.  No need decide.

Abigail also had a friend (relative) over,  Her name is Honesty and she is ten. I think she’s palangi. At least, partly. But she grew up in Samoa and she’s fluent in the language. So cool. She reminded me a lot of Abigail in her ability to talk with finesse (Not at all the right word. Oh well). Abi’s is with intelligence, though.  Honesty’s is maturity.  Not that Honesty isn’t intelligent or Abigail’s not mature. Well, maybe the second is sometimes halfway true, but we all have our moments, yah?

ANYWAY, Honesty is special. I know I said Abbie (her mom always spells it differently, so that’s why) was, too. I meant it. But this is a different kind. I can’t even imagine surviving the sort of things Honesty brushed off her shoulders. Speaking like she was completely over the time.  Basically she’s been through and handled a lot. The kind no ten year old should have been through.  Abigail was being dakine the whole lesson, her prayer totally sacrilege. (Adorable, too, depending on how you look at it.) But when it came to it, like usual, Abby pulled through.

We taught Honesty to pray. Initially it was Sister Smith helping her, but for some reason it wasn’t sticking. It’s okay, because Abigail suddenly remembered how to say prayers without being a sass and somehow, at some point, it was no longer Sister Smith prompting, but Abby.  Dang. I wish you could’ve heard it. The change in atmosphere was tangible. I teared some. All I can say was it was real. I want to describe it, but unless I take a bunch of time–enough to make me feel like a sacrilege missionary–then it wouldn’t be right.

Sometimes I wish I could be a missionary all day but then come home for dinner and be done and do normal things. Yeah . . it wouldn’t be the same, I know. Still fun to dream though! It makes me excited to be a member missionary when I get back. I’m thoroughly convinced that the greatest purpose of serving full-time missions is to prepare us to be bomb when we get home. To clarify, when I say bomb I mean awesome. Not sure how or when it happened, but for some time now I’ve used “bomb” to depict way way good things and recently it’s come to my attention that maybe not everyone else does. That’s awkward.

Aight, Love you much. Alofa tele ia te ‘oe. 🙂

–Sister Carlsen–

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Editor’s note–This letter was written over several days.  The editor still struggles between handwriting and pidgin and apologizes for any errors that may result. The Halloween card was absolutely hilarious!

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