Elder Holland . . . .

1 February 2016

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the emails! I was a little concerned after last week’s absence, but since I’ve been pretty obedient lately I didn’t fret too much over it.

This week was sketch because of transfers. So many sad goodbyes. But also hellos. Brief ones though. I bugged my Waipahu elders Tuesday night to check Tammy’s for panipopo to bring to me at transfer meeting. I think I’m having some kind of withdrawals. Tammy’s wasn’t open as early as they needed to be, so that was sad, but I got over it quickly the moment I laid eyes on those friends of mine. Elder Livaie, Sister Maher, Elder Lee Chip Sao . . . others, too, but really mostly those. The whole no hugging rule is obviously a little more relaxed in Hawai’i. If it happens, it happens, yeah?


Hi and Bye to my buds, Elder Lee Chip Sao and Sister Smith Jr.


Unfortunately, however, we’re all reasonable enough not to push it that far.

I also saw Sister Smith Sr. on Saturday for Elder Holland’s visit! She’d flown in from Maui with her companion because they’re SisterTrainingLeaders, too. That was . . A reallllllly good hug. Almost made up for the hugs I didn’t get on Wednesday. That goof ball hasn’t changed in personality one bit, thank goodness!

Shaking Elder Holland’s hand, though. That definitely made up for the lack of hugs from my buds. I had this fear that when he shook my hand and looked into my eyes, he would see something I didn’t even know was there and I would be sent home from my mission for a reason I couldn’t find. Silly maybe, but you know me, and it was a real concern. So I sat praying and praying and praying as we waited for him to come in. Alone in the place my mind goes the moment I shut my eyes–over the months and days it’s somehow become a sort of aimless focus. Depending on how tired I am, there are days when it’s more aimless than others, but this day I was good. Good and needy because we’d been about a bazillion places only a few hours prior with what seemed to be very little success. I hate how when that happens I automatically assume it’s because I’m doing something wrong. I don’t know how long I sat there, hunched in my own lap, but eventually I heard his voice outside. My eyes flipped open and I saw Sister Warner looking at me praying and I knew that I was okay. He entered the chapel only a few minutes later.

By no means am I a perfect missionary. And I don’t know that I ever want to be. But I do want to be the kind who, knowing full well it is, as far as I know, unachievable, continues to try.

Elder Holland is, to sum it up, A good good man.

And I actually got to shake his hand again Sunday afternoon on his way out of conference. Shoots I’m a lucky girl.

I shouldn’t say though that Saturday morning was fruitless. There was what I thought at the time, great success. Uncle Louis is a gem. He’s stopped being so stubborn, just little by little with each additional visit. We go because his youngest daughter Jussell hasn’t yet been baptized and really wants to be. I’ve had more than a few candid moments as a missionary. This was a good one though. I thought we’d already done everything we could’ve, the ward too. But things happened and Sister Biggs and I told him how it really is and he told us in return many things that allowed us to feel what he needs. We left confident he’d finally bring himself and Jussell to conference. Even gave us his real phone number. But he didn’t answer Sunday morning. Twice. That dear uncle of mine, pray for him.

Other important things:

  • James is getting baptized Saturday morning!
  • The Skoneckis allll came to conference. Oiawei, I love that family! Pat is just an imagination brought to life. That man is truly the best unique guy there ever will be.
  • Sister Biggs is a really good missionary, she will work wonders with me!
  • I’m really going to miss living in a four (wo)man pad.IMG_0469
  • This I already miss: Going to get Jack in the Box milkshakes at the end of the day with the 3rd love of my mission life, Sister Smith Jr. It’s for the best.
  • I’m hungry so I’m going to go get a soup bowl from MJ Cafe. The place.

Read your scriptures, they’re good.

–Sister Carlsen

p.s. Petty favors aside, thank you for being the best person in my entire life, Mom. I really do mean it.

3 Nephi 17 especially 5-9

5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.

6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.

7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.





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