Fa’afetai Giving

30 November 2015

Happy belated Mahalogiving.

More like Fa’afetaigiving. You know, since… yeah, Samoan.

First things first: Next week p-day is Tuesday because Temple day. Also, I have to get retested for TB tomorrow. I love shots.

Anyway, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving! I could probably tell you about the days leading up to it but… Nothing out of the ordinary really happened. We went on exchanges on Tuesday. I stayed in Waipahu. We met an awesome potential named Jake. I found out that Sister Jolley has loved every moment of her mission. That made me feel like a slightly bad person.

Wednesday we taught Lila the Plan of Salvation. Committed her to a date:) Then we accidentally broke white handbook by going into a home with a guy and only our Ward Mission Leader. Whoops. At least the door was open… Then we had a giant lunch with our WML. That was good. And then I remembered that it was Thanksgiving Eve and I felt kind of like I’d made a mistake. Later though I forgot all about it because for some reason instead of sitting at the lazy light (it takes like 15 minutes to change to green, I swear…) waiting to turn into Aniani Place, Sister Maher and I decided to try to visit a LA (less active) we hadn’t yet met while we still had the Ewa Sisters’ GPS.


Meet Lila. Scheduled for baptism December 19th! In other words I might not be there . . . (Photo sent 11/29 via text to a very happy missionary mom!)

The LA sister has moved. Instead we met a Filipino lady. And that’s a really funny story I’m not going to tell. BUT Across the street there was a really beautiful Samoan girl holding a baby. We knew she was Samoan because of the tattoos. It’s the only way. So we started over to talk to her, and guess what? She’s golden! Maybe. I dunno. But I love her a lot. And there were lots of coincidences happening. I guess her boyfriend (he joined us midway through the conversation) is a member and all week long he’s been talking about going back to church. Plus, when she was at school in ARIZONA (Sis Maher’s home state) her coach invited her to church and gave her Book of Mormon and… just. Yay. Miracles.

At ward night they had the best Young Women in Excellence ever. I love you guys, but they win. Of course all of the elders showed up at the end for food. Elder Lee Chip Sao gave me some good laughs with his FOB-ness, and I played catch with Tui and his mint for about 20 minutes. That was the best thing ever. Like, I didn’t even get bored at all.

Thursday we went over to the Lauano’s home in Mililani. So beautiful! We had mussels, chop suey with corned beef, ham, stuffing with corned beef, taro, some lamb and eggplant stuffs, potato salad with crab, deviled eggs with crab, poke, grape soda, rice. Honestly I think I ate less on Thanksgiving than on a lot of the other normal days. We played games with their family and had a talent show. Played uke.


Then we left to the Fuimaono’s and had Sister Burgess’s infamous pumpkin crunch. Let me tell you, that stuff? Heavenly. Then we did some stuff and went to the stake center to practice with the zone for the musical fireside that’s coming up. Things happened and we ended up playing a gig for the Marshallese party. It was probably the best thing of my life. Plus they had mashed potatoes and turkey.

Friday we saw a dead cat in Pupuole. It kinda looked petrified. Harry Potter style. Other than that though? It was a pretty awesome day. We made 3 people cry. Impressive, yeah? It might be a record, but that’s not the point. There are lots of points but basically what it comes down to is I don’t want to leave Waipahu right before Christmas. Ick.

Saturday we saw a car that had a Honey Baby license plate. Nearly put a stop to traffic trying to snap a picture before it turned off the road. Was it worth it though? Um, yes. I’d never heard the song before the mish, but now.. yeah. The elders play it a lot. I got the hiccups then. For the rest of the day we ate dessert. No jokes. Everyone gave us dessert. I’m 98% certain I have diabetes now.


Sunday, like always was the day of miracles. I love Sundays. A lot of our LAs are changing to actives. Practically a missionary’s dream come true. And we had 4 investigators there. What?! We have never even had more than 2. I really don’t understand. I just love God. That’s all.

Abigail came again, too. Alone. I love that sweet girl. She passed me her notebook and told me to write something. I definitely considered being a smart aleck; she deserves it. But instead I was real. I told her how proud I was and how I knew it wasn’t easy coming to church without her mum and dad, but also that I knew it was the place she needed to be. I told her about the time she almost made me cry because of how sincerely she helped Honesty to pray. Other stuff, too. I know she’s only 9, but to me it only makes it an even greater witness that the Gospel changes people. She’s so different from the girl I met that one day how ever many months ago. Anyone can see it. She’s always been special.

So, she was writing in my journal (Yes, my journal journal) at the same time. She said she might not be able to come to church next week because it’s her dad’s turn. But also thought that she would try to come. And since 80% of the time she’s a little punk;) “I love you, I always did.”

I was about a millimeter away from crying. Ugh. I hate thinking of leaving these people.. Especially when there’s no guarantee that they’re going to be taken care of if we leave. I know I’m not here to do everything on my own, and there are other people who will be there to step in, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.

My favorite person, Sam (Tui’s dad) called before church. He’s such a dork, that guy. 🙂 I keep praying we’ll get him soon. Probably helps that everyone else in the ward is praying for the same thing!

Today we all went on a hike at 6 a.m. Then the elders locked everyone’s keys in the trunk of the sisters’ car. We still had ours. But since we’d carpooled to the trailhead we were stuck there, too. For 2 and a half hours. Can I say best p-day ever? We were all starving!


Just. Ya know. Breaking into a car.

Anyway, I love the Book of Mormon still. Prayer is my best friend. Also Sister Maher is my best friend. No worrying though, you all back home will always be my soul mates. 🙂 Thank you, my family, for being perfect. 🙂 Enjoy the cold for me!


Sister Carlsen


Editor’s note–Samoan tatau/tattoo. The following link is quite informative.





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