Blowhole Zone

15 August 2016

Aloha ohana!

Man oh man I really love you all. For real I have so much to brag about thanks to you guys.

One of my recent realizations: I have not played my ukulele since coming to Maui. I never did let it interfere with the missionary schedule or any sort of proselyting time, but still I do believe I could have been justifiably referred to as an ukuholic. Sure at the end of some days I look up to it over on the top shelf, but it has remained fairly untouched since I left Kanehome.

To me this is yet another testament to the miracles of Makawao. Since that unregrettable impulse buy back in November, playing the ukulele has paid for itself time and time over as one of the greatest therapists I could ever ask for (that and the plants). Yes, the work has challenges everywhere. But this place has helped me stay productively distracted with enough good things that I haven’t had time for any kind of refuge. I really love it.

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This week Sister Modolon and I were privileged to experience a lot. Happy and difficult, but as I see it, in one way or another every bit was good. I recognized on several occasions great opposition, though not in the most usual of ways. Rather than working to prevent others’ testimonies from forming, the forces were harder at work trying to shake our testimonies. Many in this area, and in previous areas as well, are very well studied. You’d be surprised how often we come across people who have read through the entire Book of Mormon and other church documents simply for analytical and literary purposes. They know a lot. Sometimes we can hold our own (only silently of course, out loud for the most part does little good). Other times we simply stand and wish that we had iPads so we could type something in the search bar at LDS.org. Not for their benefit. They don’t usually want answers but for ours.

I will be honest and say there were things said to us this week that threw me a little further than I’ve been thrown before, that backed me right up to that wall of faith closer just a little more closely than is comfortable. But I am grateful for it because always the answers come to me in a calmer, clearer setting and I know, though not always in the same moment that I speak it that the testimony I left them, when I felt perhaps a little weaker than I showed, was a true testimony.

I’m not as deep as some of you all. I have some catching up to do before I can say that I’m not the biggest fan of Captain Moroni. I think he’s way cool. But I do have faith regardless, that everything I know and have yet to know regarding this Gospel and this church, is true. The experiments haven’t failed me yet, that’s for certain.

Much love,

Sister Carlsen

Life on Maui

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