Keep converting yourself

29 August 2016

Aloha Family,

This week went by far too fast. So fast that I’m kind of confused, honestly. It’s probably because we drove out to and through Haiku about 40 times. I’m exaggerating, but only a little. The best Fish taco place is there, I will take you all one day.

Makawao ward area really is a dream. If you’ll remember back to the time I opened my mission call, I was pretty real, yeah? I was genuinely, however superficially, sad that I was going to a warm place. Of course eventually it all settled in and I was happy to imagine myself walking down some dirt road, with normal kine houses of course, no grass huts, but still picking avocados on my left and papayas on my right.

Then, WAIPAHU. For lots of reasons that was a culture shock or two. The best kind. I still and always will get homesick for that place.

Kaneohe was closer. A very moderate, comfortable home in every way, that place is family to me.

And Makawao is getting there. Many pieces of Makawao ward were love at first sight. The winding roads through Haiku took some getting used to, but now I know how they go and it kind of irks me that the tiwi reads the speed limit as 20 miles per hour instead of what it really is, 30. There are plenty dirt roads, shoots they are just as fun to walk as they are to drive. Some places don’t even have cell phone service. Haliimaile is the sweetest farming community. Fields of sugar cane for days, it is quite beautiful and I am so sad their finishing the crop after this year. Paia really is hippie town, it’s hecka cool, and the heart of Makawao is so ripe and ready for harvest. It is so wonderful here. The area isn’t hot all the time. I get to wear sweaters even more often. There is rain, lots of it, daily. I get to pet goats every week. And the clouds are incredibly diverse. As are the people, who, with a few colorful exceptions, are extra kind-hearted. I have so much to learn from so many. The sky is different every day, but always very divine. It is more like the middle of nowhere, which I love a lot. I feel like God has been easing me back into the calm of Idaho. No rush, of course. He is so good. And it is not only because I do get to walk up unpaved roads and bring home bags of fruit every other day. Yes that is my dream come true, but reality became better.

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Whenever I stop and remember and think about the fact that I’m really a missionary, it is still surreal. I see pictures with the name tag, and in my head I think shoots, This is cool, but what is cooler is the feeling that I get between my heart and my chin. I’m not a perfect person, and I’m not a perfect missionary. I know it, every one else knows it, God knows it. And I am so grateful that He is merciful enough to let me participate in this cause anyway. I’m working on reminding myself more often who I am, and who we all are, and can become because of who God is and who Christ is, and because of everything they do for us.

So many stories of people and I would love to tell you all of them, but we who are mortal remain slaves to what mankind has labeled TIME.

Keep converting yourself,

Love, Sister Carlsen

PS Watch the “falling plates” video. I think you can google it. Some people are so inspired. http://www.fallingplates.com

I’m sure there is a gospel lesson is this.

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