Thanksgiving in Upcountry

28 November 2016

Dear Mom,

  1. Thank you for the kind encouragement. Note, there’s a reason I didn’t put anything explicitly “missionary” in the blog name. My plans are to perpetuate it for many years to come.
  1. Oh man. I’m not going to sleep at all that entire weekend, that much is certain. Can you find out more information on the talk for me? ie, how long, what topics… etc. I’m not going to have much (any) time to prepare when I get home, that’s why.
  1. I’m grateful you didn’t go Black Friday shopping.
  1. I’m positive that the tree is totally awesome.
  1. A moment of selfishness, can I have some money to buy some special made-on-Maui boots to bring home with me? I think the brand name is Olukai, if I’m not wrong. Not sure if there’s anything online about them or not, but you can look.
  1. Alfred has become my source of car music. He has a whole series of classical CDs organized by composer. I have been so excited! My companion? She is so kind to me:)
  1. I met someone this week. Peter, who’s mother’s maiden name is CARLSEN. Yes, I did ask him four times if it was spelled S-E-N. I’ll let you know how this saga unfolds.
  1. Every time I am with the ward members of Makawao I cannot help but become anxious with excitement for the day when you all come here to visit. Mom, I don’t joke. This is where our family will effortlessly fit.img_1740
  1. Also I have been feeling another kind of anxiety. It’s like being in the third grade all over again, or the week leading up to our ballet performances. Thankfully I have gained the wisdom to know when I am actually sick and when it’s simply in my head. I don’t lie when I say I am sooooooooooooo looking forward to it. But coming home, even when it’s not consciously in my thoughts, is also scaring me sick. Change is so exciting…
  1. I saw Foster yesterday! I have been so sad that we have not been able to make contact. For nearly 3 months I did not get to see his face. That surprise at the Takitaki’s home for dinner last night was such a blessing. I really love him.
  1. Need ideas for life-lasting memorabilia for me to bring home to people. Only two pdays left!
  1. I will sing.

Wow, who would ever have thought I would say something like that… I have changed so much, yeah?

Oh man, it has been so cold. I am praying so fervently that the lack of humidity in Idaho will be some sort of helpful in the transition from upcountry Maui kind cold, to northwestern Mainland kine cold.

Thanksgiving day. the pictures of yours back home appears to me to be so dreamy! And while part of me wishes I didn’t have to admire from afar, our Thanksgiving Day was too full of everything blessed for me to complain in any justifiable way. So instead, I simply say that I look forward to being with you for next year’s Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving was a don’t-go-knocking-on-anyone’s-door-unless-they-invited-you day. We had a few people who mentioned we were welcome to join, but not enough to fill the day, so my rebel side was gladly anticipating free time to nap and go to the church to practice piano, since my left hand (aka Elder Dorrough) got transferred to O’ahu last week. So we woke up, spent a while at the upcountry turkey bowl. Played soccer on the sidelines instead of making the teams even bigger than they already were. Did the fastest and most productive week plan session in the history of missionary work. And off we went to Thanksgiving #1 with the Ganialongos. It was awesome: Good potatoes, (and choke) less active and part member families. The time blew past. SO we stopped in for a quick hello at the Pages and then the Eyres across the street, got a miracle hug from Po, their youngest daughter (still have yet to get a high five from Ezra), watched them dig up the imu (underground oven) to retrieve their turkeys (Brother Eyre’s was from FoodLand, which is really a funny thing you should ask me about when I get home).

And dinner at the Savous, was totally divine, mostly the testimonies that were shared after the food. I love that family more than words.

By the end of all the festivities, there was literally no time left and the best part about it was that I was so grateful that there was no time left because the very moment I began looking forward to doing selfish things when we’d planned our day the night previous, I felt guilty. But not quite enough for me to change our plans. In other words, not having the option to use extra time for our own purposes was such a tender mercy. God is good.

Something else I that has come to the forefront of my mind this week is the sheer brilliance of this established religious organization which we have come to term “the church.” It is so perfect. For example, simply by paying tithing we can be obedient to about 7 different commandments given to us by our Heavenly Father, commandments which, if we are disobedient to, cause the downfall and destruction of entire peoples. The latter portion of the Book of Mormon is so prophetic and full of warnings and wisdom, every time I read it I am totally amazed. Other brilliant things: Callings and missions. I have no time to expound, but I’m sure you can understand where I might go with it.

From the start, the Church has been as complete as we, during any given time, needed it to be. The struggle, however, is in properly executing all of these things in the way that they were intended 100% of the time. Like home teaching.

Anyway, speaking of, y’all better be making plans for how to execute the amazing advent calendar for this year’s Christmas initiative. Shoots, this video is so perfectly subtle, yet I still get chicken skin every time I watch it. Without fail. Share it with everyone! We are human, after all, but the Church is brilliant and true. #LIGHTtheWORLD

Love you:)

Sister Carlsen




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