A Wonderful 18 months

5 December 2016

Thank you, Mom, for so much!

Confession, I totally have the days counting down on the bottom of the pages in my planner. I don’t feel guilty. Because the closer I get to the end, the more plentiful and intensely I feel the gratitude for this wonderful beyond wonderful 18 months. Thanks to a merciful Father in Heaven (and family on earth), I have been so incredibly blessed. It brings love to my heart, throat and eyes every time I even begin to think about it.

Also, for the record: I began writing you a letter a day before “Jesus Honored His Parents and so Can You” day, but alas, it remains unfinished on my desk.

Truth be told, I sit down at the computer every week and never know what in the world I am going to write. Some Mondays I am more successful than others at masking the aimlessness. Today… I don’t know. All I can think to say at the moment is how honored I have been this week to receive unexpected and unsolicited (did I use that properly?) guidance and wisdom from more sources than I can count. The synchronicities this time through the Book of Mormon have been even more aligned than last time. I love eyes to see how all things come together. I hope this is a skill I can continue to develop. I just finished Helaman and I am currently in 3 Nephi. Obviously the societal struggle depicted throughout these chapters are an uncanny match for those that are occurring once again in the modern world, but aside from the wisdom God was trying to teach us by sharing those things, I am so happy to be reading about the birth of Christ at this time of year that was so long-ago designated to celebrate it.

People shared testimonies and Merry Christmases all throughout sacrament meeting yesterday. I hope soon you can experience a Makawao testimony meeting for yourself. Everyone deserves to feel the physical and spiritual upcountry atmosphere; it has caused my heart to leap boundlessly so many times. My gratitude for the ability that has come to me to recognize these kinds of things is inexpressible.

I saw many miracles this week. One being our friend Jerry (side note, I find such happiness in being friends and learning from old guys. I am realizing more and more that the easiest of all friendships throughout my mission have been of this sort.) A complete turn around. Three weeks ago we could not get a word in edgewise. And his ideas were out there. Two weeks ago we could not get a word in edgewise, his personal opinions still slightly extreme. But last week he began to read the Book of Mormon. And even though his first words to us once stepping onto his porch were, “I didn’t understand anything I read!” He listened to us and stayed focused and peaceful for the entire visit. A beautiful experience and quiet testimony of the reality of the book’s power. Things are clicking into place. He even called us to confirm his ride to church before we called HIM to confirm. I am so thankful!

I will do what I can to finish my letter to you, adding in the bits that fit from this past week. I love you! See you in about 11 days more. 🙂


p.s. Thanks for approving the boots. I’ll go take a look!

Oh yes, poinsettias are bushes here. And yes, I will never settle for anything but raw milk ever again. Can we please get a cow for Christmas?



This one is Peter. He’s Catholic and a well thought out one. He explained the Immaculate Conception and it made so much more sense to me. I’ll explain in a few days if you are curious.


One thought on “A Wonderful 18 months

  1. Sister Carlsen, I am happy you will soon be home. They will miss you as you finish your mission. That seems to be a fast 18 months. I hope I don’t offend you by that statement. I know when Janet and Rich finished their three years as MP in Korea she hated that her friends and aquaintances at home said how quickly the time had passed. Janet would say under her breath, “well it wasn’t quick for me.” They were in Korea nine months before we got there and nine months after we left.

    I have enjoyed reading your letters and seeing your growth through your mission. It has been a good thing for you. Now you are ready to go on to college and learn in a different way. I wish we were free to drive to Pocatello for your homecoming Sacrament meeting. However, we have two big Christmas things that weekend. The whole family is going to Hale Theater for “Christmas Carol” on Friday and Saturday we have tickets to the Kurt Bestor concert. We will be thinking of you and your family. Have a safe trip home!!
    Love You,
    Great Aunt Cenia


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