To Whomever is Actually reading this, Aloha xo

22 February 2016

Hi Mom, concerning your discovery… I assumed as much.

Sister Biggs, from Nebraska. Been out a transfer longer than I have. Very well spoken and bold. It’s nice. 🙂

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I’m on this new diet now called The Word of Wisdom. I think it’s pretty snazzy. The way it works is I eat fruits and vegetables and quinoa all day long and then at dinner I just do my signature eat-slowly move. I’ve made it about 30 hours so far and I have to say, I’m fairly impressed with myself.

There are Brookeos in the fridge.

Also Greek God’s Honey Yogurt, so that was slightly rough this morning. Sister Biggs, however, is a total gem and genuinely supports me in this. She keeps me honest and I love her for that and for other things, too.

This week was, like yours, enlightening, to say the least. And I’ll agree, Enlightenment is not always the most pleasant of things. Thankfully, there are all different kinds of enlightening, really. And ultimately they are all good in one way or another. It just takes time to realize and accept that. One of those enlightening experiences occurred on Wednesday or Thursday. I don’t remember. But I wrote you about it so you should be co-enlightened with me in a few days or so. My apologies.

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Another enlightening thing though. I’ve been noticing lately plenty of comforting and beautiful things all coming back to one very perfect thing. The thing: God works always in patterns. The first one is pretty basic and I feel like I should be embarrassed that I had never before paid enough attention to see how noticeably meaningful it is. Since it’s obviously gospel related I would assume it to be no surprise I am talking of dispensations. But more specifically the way prophets are called. I decided recently to actually study the Bible prophets, get to know more than their names and two other things about them so naturally I started with Moses. (Side note. Who on earth had enough time to journal THAT MUCH of someone’s life?). He’s very very cool. Sorry this was a lame paragraph. What can I say, I’m a missionary!

Moving on, this morning in studies I was reading Matthew 13, which is about a bajillion good things. Then I got to the part where it offers the meaning of the parable of the wheat and the tares and says the angels are the reapers so I started wondering what exactly defines an angel. Interesting stuff, but what I want to hop to is that one time I was pondering with you about what it means to say the righteous will be preserved from the destruction preparatory to the Second Coming. I stand by what I said that it seems somewhat unrealistic to expect that there won’t be a few of us taken out by collateral damage. I also don’t think any of us will be condemned for what may appear to be a lack of faith, in fact I think that God is counting on those kind of saints to make his job more easily possible. But then I was thinking about Moses and the plagues and I realized that I’m starting to have enough faith to believe that God really can preserve us in every way. It’d be a great comfort to me if y’all could let me know that you’re going to be preserved in every way right along with me 😉 Jokes, I should stop typing.

Another story. At the Kaneohe 4th ward Christmas party, before we got switched again, I got a potted poinsettia. Sister Smith and I almost killed it. Then we nursed it back to life. Then she transplanted it to a bigger container and stuck it outside and we almost killed it again. Like, really dead. So I’m in the process of nursing it back to life and Sister Biggs has been making fun of me for being so attached. It’s probably the truth, though. It’s doing very well at the moment. I haven’t been talking to it, but I do go check the leaves quite a bit.

Anyway, when we sang a hymn about the mountains and read some scriptures about God’s creations before companion study today, I just felt so grateful and my heart was so full and happy I could hardly stand it. Then my hyperactive head of course took a totally unexpected turn and wondered, since we know that God created things spiritually before they are created physically, if some thing like, say, an iPhone, was brought into existence the same way? Yes, again I am embarrassed at my lack of thinking. But then in an effort to justify myself I discovered that God’s pattern for creation is present in every creation whether by Him or by something else. It has to be made in the mind before it can be made tangible. I’m so grateful for patterns because that truly is what my testimony is established on. The Gospel is so scientifically sound in that way. I read in the Howard W. Hunter Book this past week that nothing has proved so consistently to produce miracles as does prayer. A bad paraphrasing, but you get the gist. It’s simply true.

Other Carlsen moment of the week:  “Sister Biggs, you make me look skinny in this picture!”

I wish I had the picture so I could explain myself. She was standing halfway in front of me, that’s why. I am just exceedingly grateful that Sister Biggs is an obviously skinny thing because it made recovering quite seamless.

Another moment that was funny but not my own, Sister Gamil whilst asking how much bedding she should pack for exchanges, “Is it a skinny pamphlet?”

Talk about a missionary-kine Freudian slip. 😉

More things:

  1. Brother Patrick Skonecki and his Doctor Who Shirt. Someday I will write a book about that man, and you can hold me to it.
  1. Uncle Alan Yugawa. My favorite person. One of them, I mean. I asked him to make Sister Smith’s mom’s shrimp and grits recipe. I don’t know why, because rarely do I like shrimp. And Sister Biggs has never liked grits. But let me tell you, he is just the best cook! And the way he so comfortably sat in the middle of the circle for Ward council (the only chair was the one across from bishop at his desk. Shoots I want to hug him! He’s just so indescribably Uncle Alan.
  1. We met a guy named Liam out tracting at about 8:30 pm one night. We almost didn’t knock the door. The bumper stickers on the car had us assuming that they would be pretty anti-Mormon because they appeared to be very pro-preserve Hawaii and a lot of people blame the loss of culture on the church. But as soon as Sister Biggs and I said that out loud we felt too guilty, so just to be sure we went to knock on the gate. Liam is of Irish heritage, teaches Gardening and Hawaiian studies in Pearl City, and loves to learn. He’s very spiritual but not religious. Not to mention excessively kind and all in all a completely lovely human being. I am so looking forward to meeting him again tonight!
  1. Bishop Carlile and Aunty Gloria. I just cannot say enough about them. Basically, I think I could place their names into Alma 26:16, stand up in front of any congregation, recite it, and mean it with my whole heart.

I love you a lot. I’m glad you’re doing well. Don’t forget your prayers. Emma’s room looks awesome, by the way. Also, please remind me to read “All the Light We Cannot See” as soon as I get home. It’s been on my list, but since I never actually wrote that list down I’ll probably have forgotten by then.

Sorry for my brain. And that I didn’t take many pictures this week.

–Sister Carlsen.

Editor’s note–And the fourth note arrived two days after the first three looking rather crunched. Of course it came with a note saying WE CARE and apologies from the USPS for mistreatment of my mail.

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