Goodbye Waipahu

14 December 2015

I don’t know why, but for some reason this week I was just not feeling the whole journal thing. So now my mind is blank. Jokes, it’s not blank. It’s only spinning a little bit.

Sooo many things have happened in the last week I don’t even know where to begin, but I guess the logistics come first:

  • No more Aniani
  • No more Pupuole
  • No more Leonui
  • No more Lakeview circle
  • No more Haleiwa
  • No more Samoan food
  • No more Kyla and Toby (the dogs)
  • No more Sister Maher
  • No more friends
  • No more anything I love

Basically I’m pretty much never going to be happy again . . . . Not true I know. But leaving is definitely doing a number on me. The worst part of it is that they’re white washing my ward. I’m fine leaving, but I currently have a hard time understanding why and accepting that Sister Maher has to go, too. I went through a lot of different emotions upon finding out that the rumor was true. Most require repenting. But all of it stems from anxiety for the people I have come to know and love so well. I don’t want any of them to be forgotten. It’s scary because I know that in reality it is bordering inevitable. But I trust God. And I have experienced just how mindful He is of each and every one of us. (Although sometimes I wish though that I could more easily see how He’s using me for the benefit of the people I meet rather than the other way around…)

Anyway, Waipahu gave me everything I needed to keep on surviving. My only hope is that I made even a fraction of that kind of difference here, too. Goodbyes have been mostly bitter, but also sweet, because leaving here means I’m that much closer to see you all back home once again. But just like I hated to imagine it would, somewhere along the way Waipahu became home, too. Ouch.

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Looking back on it, I can see how God has been providing perfect little goodbyes all week long, it’s just that I was still stuck in the denial stage of the grieving process. The first one came Tuesday evening.

After we’d eaten dinner (well, used the dinner hour to clean the pad for inspections) and done all that we needed to do, we had a very limited amount of useful time left in the day so we kept on bouncing back and forth between going to see people and staying behind to prepare the area book in case of a whitewash, but it ended with us deciding to go and find some lessons. We’d planned to see our friend David, because it’s been a while since we’d been able to catch him at home, and I knew that if we were going to get lucky then it’d have to be late in the evening anyway, so it made sense. Construction made the roads super sketchy. 86% of them closed off for rail construction… so exciting. And we jokes much of the way that God just wanted us to go home, but we kept on. I had the thought to stop by the MaSun family’s place. We did. They were getting ready for bed, no surprise, so it wasn’t the best moment. After, we left to try to head to David’s. Lights and intersections and everything… I’ve never seen street situations made more complicated than this. I told Sister Maher, either God is telling us to be done, or Satan is.

Eventually we got there. David wasn’t home, but the crazies gave us plenty hugs. We talked with Heman (pronounced He-Man) for a few minutes, killing time, when lo and behold, David walked up the stairs. I loved that miracle.

We caught up, apologized for not having seen him in a few weeks and told him that there was possibility I might be leaving. Then it got real. I think more for me than for anyone else. I felt so much spirit and love for him. I knew I cared for David, just like all of the other people, but for some reason I’d convinced myself it wouldn’t hurt so hard. We shared scripture. He’s not progressing now, but I have faith for the future. I don’t know that I’ve ever testified as genuinely and as unscripted as I did then. I think because part of me knew it was a sort of ending.

I was so close to crying and then he said, “Sister Carlsen, you pray.” Very funny David.

Anyway, my new companion is Sister Smith.

A different Sister Smith, but still funny, yeah? I’m headed to Kaneohe side of Oahu and my new roomie and I will be a Sister Trainer out there. Yay.

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Packing up is like… so fun. Saying goodbye to everyone is like… even more fun. And going to bed at night the past week has been like… impossible.

It was the weirdest thing. Friday night, the day before we even heard official transfer news I laid in bed, not writing in my journal, just trying to fall asleep. Except every time I got close my brain would start to go into overdrive and I’d get some unshakable urge to go out and work. No matter that it’s 11 pm, it’s cool! Ugh, it was so annoying. I am feeling so jealous of the Elders right now. But also not jealous, too because since we’ve been taking care of the Fuimaono’s dogs all week they decided that the rule about not stepping foot inside our pad doesn’t apply any more. At first we tried to fight it, but they’re kind of cute, so it just didn’t work out.

Long story short, the new missionaries might have to deal with some dogs on couches. Whoops.

Fa Soifua lo’u aiga, alofa tele atu!

Sister Carlsen

One more funny. In Relief Society on Sunday the president was joking, but also not, about me marrying a Samoan boy because, you know, I like to speak the language and such. Awwwwwkward.

But yeah. I’ll add it to the list of possiblities;).

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Temple Day
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