Enduring Through Hard Moments

25 October 2016

Dear Mom. Life back home sounds awesome. I got your letter already! Thanks. šŸ˜‰

A video:

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-09-016-flecks-of-gold?lang=eng

This week was a week of wisdom gaining. I have become fairly practiced at enduring through hard moments long enough to get to the next good moment, but there was one time this week that felt a little more difficult than I like.

I have been praying to find a convert that will affect generations to come, and patiently waiting while working my best to be worthy of making it possible. Saturday we talked to soooooo many people. And more than once I felt the confirmation that we were in the right place. Lots of stories I could tell but do not have time to.

Regardless, it still seemed that no matter what we did or said, the people were unwilling to budge and continued rejecting us. Sister Karitea and I of course made efforts to at least attempt to remain light-hearted and hopeful. It worked well. Then we went up some road to try to meet a less active we have never contacted before. In my head I kept thinking their house was #88, but it wasn’t. So after knocking the correct door and discovering that the family did not live there, we decided to try knocking the home we’d thought we were originally looking for.

A blonde, 12-year old girl answered the door and immediately my hope felt much less forced than before. She and her family had literally arrived on Maui the night before, moving in from the mainland. It was so picture perfect and I was so grateful. We talked with her for a minute, asked if her mother was home, waited a while longer, talking more. She was so sweet! Then her mother, who was on the phone, came around the corner and promptly told us they weren’t interested and were too busy anyway, closing the door before we had the opportunity to say much else.

For sure this is not the first time I have experienced this, but at this moment, when I was already close to feeling done, it really broke my heart. I got teary as we walked back to the car, I think because I KNOW that God wanted them to have what we have to offer and He was hopeful, as were we, that they might be ready.

It’s hard for me, upon observing so much hardheartedness, not to become hardened myself. And for a small moment I had the question in my head, “Why would God bother to send me here if there are not people who are ready for us?”

I know also, and have all along, that the greatest product of the mission will likely be myself, but it is frustrating for me to imagine at times that this could be the only fruit. I want to give more than I receive; funny since this is clearly not how Heavenly Father works.

Going on however, as soon as I have these kinds of thoughts, no matter the time of day, I eventually realize how blind and stubbornly ungrateful I can be on occasion. I may not have found some family with seven kids, dripping in gold, already jumping into the font and wishing they didn’t have to wait for a year until they could be sealed as a family, butĀ to choose not to see the many flecks of gold I have grazed upon throughout these past months is shameful. I have been so blessed, andĀ I have faith that the individuals who I have helped, even if it only seemed a little thing or that my efforts and love towards them came to naught, will continue to influence generations on the other side of the veil someday,Ā and future generations of my own family, too. I have no doubt that bothĀ they and I will be grateful that I, and many other missionaries, with and without name tags, endured through the less hopeful moments.

President Bekker at the end of our Mission Leadership Council showed ā€œFlecks of Goldā€ to us on a whim yesterday. I worked through the sad moment in my mind and with the spirit just fine, but was a much-needed assurance for me from God. Our missionĀ PresidentĀ is so incredibly humble and inspired. I really love him, more than I can express!

Love you too much also,

Sister Carlsen

Upcountry is perfect with Sister Karitea
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