Sister Karitea


17 October 2016

Hi Mom,

I met with our new move in, Brother Loren Adams this week. He read my palm at my request. I think it’s just like anything else, it can be a good experience if understood and looked upon with the spirit and taken with a grain of salt.

Anyway, my experience was totally great. It wasn’t at all telling me what I will do or should do, but rather what I am, what I have already experienced, and what I can and have potential to do and become. I thought it was really neat.

Now on to stuff that might help you worry about me a little less.

Everyone we’ve been meeting has been so nice to us lately! Sister Karitea just has that charm, I guess. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on English with her. I really think this is one of the reasons we are companions not that other companions wouldn’t do the same; I know they do what they can. But truly I am so excited to help her! It helps me to learn so much more about our language as well. And then again, I begin to overthink some moments and wonder how on earth it’s possible that anyone understands anything at all?

The district meeting this week was easily one of my favorite district meetings of the mission. We spoke about the power of prayer and one Elder made the comment that made my life. We’d read the verse in Doctrine and Covenants that talks about studying things out before taking it to God, if it’s wrong He’ll cause a stupor of thought, if it’s right He’ll cause a burning in the bosom.

Honestly, I still don’t know that I have ever felt the burning in the bosom in response to a question that I have asked God. More honestly, rarely have I ever prayed to officially ask a question to God. You can bet our discussion ended with some references to common sense, which I KNOW can also come from God. And you can also bet that I did feel so spiritual and enlightened through the whole thing. It was such a relief to unearth the sure and natural testimony that has for years been developing inside my heart as we each helped one another to better grasp these divine kinds of things.

Did I tell you when Sister Modolon and I performed at Alfred’s baptism that he clapped at our finish? We were in the chapel. I’ve always dreamed of doing that! It was so sweet. I said, “Thank you.” And he responded with an audible, “You’re Welcome.” I am so blessed to know him.


Alfred’s baptism

We talked to David on Saturday. Actually his logic kind of annoyed me this time around. Of course I really love him. And I totally ate up all of the stuff he taught me about the Micronesian Islands and the tunnels from WWII. I appreciate that he felt it was worthwhile to confide in me and try to discuss his recent ponderings on Mormon temples. A true compliment. However, he is too logical and it has reached a point nearing “try too hard to be a devil’s advocate” level. He found it troubling that we found it necessary to build up such beautiful, yet worldly, structures in the name of the Lord. He mentioned all the money that must go into building and maintaining. I am a logical person. He keeps choosing to resist the natural ways of understanding and justifying, and it really has taught me a wonderful lesson. I want to be like David in many ways, but not at all in this way. PRAY FOR HIM. He’s a good guy. Another comforting thought! I know now that I can tell and accept when the talking is not productive.

I don’t think I told you this, but our neighbor has the sweetest dog, Pearl. And the landlady has a hilarious cat. I thought of it just now because Uncle Don who I just saw and heard about two minutes ago, talking to Pearl (medium sized black lab), “Come on now, go pee. You’re not the only one.” 😉  I can’t wait for you to come try out Maui, Mom. There are so many people here for you really. They will love you and you will know that you have never been the only one. I have loved so much the people and places everywhere I have been, but Maui is different. It is neat to see how different places attract different kinds of people, and trust me, we are the Upcountry Maui kind. Well, there’s a lot of different kinds here . . . We’re the moderate ones.

I finally cleaned out the loft of our house. There’s an extra desk up here and I’m using the stepping stool as a chair. It’s a nice little nook. I’m going to miss jalousies (glass louvered windows) a lot, that’s for sure.

Time management. This is not something you can force someone to learn. I think it comes with experience and wisdom. I really hope my mission has helped me in this respect. No way of knowing until I’m back in the alternate environment.

I have grown a lot over the past months in my ability to understand myself, this is certain.


Sister Carlsen

To answer your curiosity: here in upcountry, you can definitely feel fall. The wet wind really gets to you, and 75 degrees is absolutely freezing. Sometimes the misty rain looks like snow, and even smells like it, too. The main difference? I think the main difference is that in Hawaii we have to rake (sweep) our leaves bi-weekly instead of only around October. 😉

Editor’s note: this is Aubrey’s third companion in a row who is learning English as a second language. 


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