Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016 - Short and Sweet?!

SOOOOO I am really lame this week. I took up all my time responding to you all individually so I don't have much time now. 

Highlight of my week: 

RAIN AND STORMS. Thunder and lightning. 
I love sleeping with blankets. :D TENDER MERCIES FALLING FROM THE SKYYY

Hearing Ni pray. She's been practicing so much on her own, you can tell she really means the words she says. You don't have to have a full understanding of the Gospel to be converted. She's beautiful. I am so grateful to be an instrument in helping teach those who don't know Christ. It really strengthens my testimony. 

Interview with President Fife -- He is amazing. I know he's called and set apart for each of us individually, and the way he leads the mission is so inspiring. He practices everything he teaches us. I hope to be like him someday. 

Exchanges with Sister Ahlstrom. She's the best thing ever. She's SOOO funny!!! She's from Sweden. Very sassy. I was worried to be her companion for the day but we got along SO well. It was one of my favorite exchanges ever because I learned how important it was to receive correction and act upon it. She's really good at giving constructive criticism where it's due and I can already see an improvement in just a week!! 

I've been studying prayers of prophets and apostles and missionaries of the scriptures, as well as Christ's prayer. My favorites are probably 2 Nephi 4 and 3 Nephi 19. I've been trying to pray like them, and like the Bible Dictionary explains. It makes all the difference. I feel like my personal relationship with Heavenly Father has been strengthened and I've been able to turn to Him more naturally and a lot more frequently, just because of my inspiring studies. I love the gospel.
Hope you're all well. 
I love you. 

Sister Falter

Monday, January 25, 2016

January 25, 2016 - Baptism...please don't kill him!

We had a beautiful week. 

I realize that the more gratitude I express, the more happy I am. 
This morning I was just so overwhelmed in my study with gratitude for 
the restoration. I wasn't even studying about the priesthood or joseph smith, 
but EVERY blessing we have, of the constant companionship of the spirit, 
of the scriptures and materials that we study the Doctrine of Christ from,
it all comes from the restoration of the gospel. I have a testimony of Joseph Smith and of the Gospel. I know it was restored so that we can find true happiness. Protection. Peace. 

This week we saw miracles, and I am so grateful for the spirit and that we were able to be instruments. We had a mini mission session this week with two sisters. (Young women who are preparing for missions get to spend the week practicing and learning as though they were missionaries.) My mini sister knows all my companions previously, and are good friends with them all. It was so good. It felt normal. She's amazing. So confident in teaching, and talking with people. Sister Bisogno's mini missionary was Sister Allen and she was also so beautiful and fun! We just had such a good time going on splits and teaching the gospel. missionary this week, Sister Finau. She's just beautiful. She's from NZ and she's half Tongan. She  We found new investigators and met some amazing people! 

We taught some inspired lessons and I felt so much more love for the people. What's amazing about Sister Finau is that she loves everyone. She's blessed with that gift. She has no expectations of anyone but herself, and chooses to just love and serve. It's beautiful. She helped me recognize that when you love with that much sincerity, miracles happen in their lives, and you teach with greater spiritual power. Because that power is the love of God. When she left it was like a piece of me left haha. #myonlymissiondaughter

Most of it was dedicated to preparing for Adnan's baptism. 
Lots of teaching and reminding and calling and preparing and confirming and ....
yes, well the day of the baptism was really hectic but the service was beautiful. His testimony was beautiful. He struggled through the week with temptation and anxiety but when he was baptized, it was almost as if it fled from him and he's been so happy ever since. I can't wait to come back to see them sealed in a year. It was so beautiful and my love for that family is so big!! 

I don't have much time left. But this week was beautiful. Our friend Ni has accepted to be baptized in march, so we're going to be helping her prepare for that date! 

I had to say goodbye to sister Nansen yesterday. I didn't realize I wouldn't see her again, so I started crying. So hard. It was embarrassing but honestly it was so sad. I love her so much. She's my best friend here. I told her I'll name my firstborn child after her. "Sapioamoa" hahahaha. 22 missionaries going home and heaps of my best friends. Crazy.  

That's all for the week.
Thank you for your prayers and example. I love you all. 
Sister Falter

ps the reason for the subject line is that the brother that baptized him did a really beautiful job dunking him under the water but in the process of making sure he was fully immersed in the water, he kept him under for 5000 years. HAHAH. He came up with a very shocked look on his face, and was trying to catch his breath. HAHA. so funny. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016 - Come Home Early and PUFFY lips!

I love these glasses! Me and Sister B.
Note to self, if you're not sure, don't ask if they're from England, the typical Irishman wont like it. #accidentallyoffended 

So I went to the Doctor. I was diagnosed with lots of fancy things- one of which is a throat infection and sticky fluid buildup behind my ear resulting in lots of pain and discomfort. So I was put on these nose sprays and antibiotics and an antihistamine. So here i am taking my meds trying to finally get better after the constant cycle of infections. I woke up on the third day of my antibiotics and could barely open my eyes. I go to the mirror and MY FACE WAS COMPLETELY SWOLEN! I have never experienced it before so I thought I was just fat, but the more I observed, the more I realized my lips had never been so big, and I couldn't fully open my eyes. My cheeks looked like a chipmunk. 

 So I had MLC (leadership meeting at the mission home) so I just decided to ask sister fife about it there. When I finally got around to it, we called the DR and she said to STOP TAKING the drugs, and just take the antihistamine. She was very dramatic because I'm foreign. So I did just that but now I have to go BACK to the doctor (which takes an hour of our precious time to drive to) to get more drugs. HAHAHA. Only me. So inconvenient. I think I'm just going to stick to yoli, though. I feel fine. My face is finally back to normal today!! Blessings!
I feel it could have been a lot worse than it was, so I am sure I was being protected. If i hadn't talked to sister Fife, I probably wouldn't have realized I was having an allergic reation and continued to take the medicine. LOLOL. So thankful, honestly. 
Sister Collins zoned my feet and I think it helped.

Now for the story you've all been waiting for...

Adnan. He is the coolest guy ever. He moved into the ward 3 weeks ago. Him and his wife (who is a returning member). On the first day they were here, when Adnan was introducing himself in priesthood, he announced his baptism for the 27th of January. So we started teaching him. And he came to us last week and asked to move his date up. He wanted it to happen the next week (yesterday) but we compromised for the 23rd of January. 

This is also when I had puffy lips. and Sister Bisogno's 1 year mark. I pretended like I forgot and surprised her in the car... was testing her to see how long she'd go before she told me... HAHAHA love this girl. classic Adam/Lauren face
His story: His biggest obstacle was smoking. He's been smoking since he was a teenager, so for years he's been addicted. He had a pretty good understanding of the basic principles of the gospel, but the first lesson we taught him, when we started meeting with him was the Word of Wisdom. I've always known this commandment is important physically but i never truly understood what it meant for us spiritually, or at least I'd never seen a transformation. We have this amazing quit smoking program that we can use to help people quit in 7 days. It's a change of lifestyle and takes strong commitment, but helps to form good habits of prayer, scripture study, and healthy eating. We taught the Word of Wisdom, and he committed there and then to quit. He was ready to make the change. 2 years of being taught by missionaries and for some reason NOW he's ready. He quit cold for 2 days before we introduced the program. It was a rough week for them because both of them were quitting together, but he made it 7 days. The physical change is amazing, their eyes are brighter, they look a lot healthier and happier. The physical change even after 48 hours was obvious, but it's amazing to see how they have progressed spiritually. Adnan has progressed spiritually more in the last 2 weeks than almost 2 years! He has made dramatic changes, and has a gift of being able to recognize the subtle promptings of the Holy Spirit. His desire to do what is good and right has been strengthened a hundred fold and the relationship between him and his wife has been strengthened so much. They have goals together. Temple goals, and career goals and spiritual goals. It's so lovely to see how the gospel, and keeping the commandments has completely changed their lives into something natural to something wonderful and spectacular. In relief society we were told of the story in Matthew 14, when Peter walks on water. We closed our eyes as Sister Meurs recounted the beautiful telling of the story, as found in the scriptures. I felt like I was Peter, catching the vision of Christ and jumping out of the boat. I wonder if he felt the coolness of the ocean as he stepped. It made me think about the natural frame that we are in, about mortality. We all sink. That's actually the natural thing to do. We can tread for a while but in storms like the ones described in the scripture or in stories, any one of us would drown. We live in a natural world where we sink. We sink on stormy nights, when the world caves in and the adversary drags us down. The only way to ever rise above is to look to Christ. Doubt not, Fear not. It's a process but in the process we learn. He's there to catch us and to pull us out. To embrace us warmly and to comfort us when we believe all is lost. 

I've felt that. Sometimes I feel that I am too far gone, I've sunk too far down, but the only one stopping me from rising out of the water is me. My pride and my self pity. He's standing there waiting for me to make the effort. He'll never leave, and the hardest part is up to Him. To rise above is easy when we're committed to look to Christ in Faith.

The Sisters in my Zone!
So we are having a 7 week transfer next transfer because the MTC is changing it's cycle so that missionaries get a bit more training (really good!!!). But that means my date of release is 7 days later. The problem is my visa may or may not expire on the 15th of June (mom do you know for sure??). In that case I MAY be coming home a transfer early. Which is totally not okay and gives me great amounts of anxiety. That would be the second week of April. I'm going into the office today so we'll find out for sure if my visa expires. LOTS of missionaries are having a similar issue because of the extra week so president MIGHT let us stay and do 2 transfers that transfer so we can come home just a week or two early (pray for this pls) but we'll have to see. I know what ever happens is what needs to happen and I'm actually not sure if it will even effect me but it's just a heads up - especially to Austin and Dad because you might just get to stay in DR hahaha.

Also if I get home a bit early I might be able to greet Karli at the airport but who knows...? :D 

I'm so happy. There are so many blessings happening back home, and I am so thankful to hear all about the miracles and tender mercies of the Lord. 

LOVE, Sister Falter
PS) What's Emmie's new email address??

MOM...I am so happy you were able to serve as SYW president. The growth that you felt really influenced us and our family. Specifically me. I loved hearing the way you felt about your calling and the young women, the way you received revelation and how you put christ like attributes at the top of your priorities when hard times arose. That's so amazing. You've left a legacy and I'm sure The Lord has great things for you in store, yet! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 14, 2015 - The best part of Christmas...


The earth looks a lot different over here, from the pictures I keep receiving but the holiday sales are the same, the colors are just as bright, the Christmas trees are covered in gold and red ornaments and the Christmas Hymns are sung just as loud. But the best part is the presents. Just kidding (;  The best part is the PRESENCE of the spirit in greater abundance as the world turns it's eyes and it's mind and heart to the Savior, the LIGHT of the world. 

The best way to celebrate Christ is to know Him, and serve Him, and give him our time, our gifts, our voices, everything. Like the wise men and the shepherds. IN relief society, we talked about the three stages of Christmas Celebration:
     1. santa, elves, baking, presents
     2. Christ's birth 
     3. Christ's LIFE, His Mission

We all want to be at stage 3, where we truly celebrate Him. His birth was a beautiful scene to reflect on and to remember, but His life, His mission, His love causes us to change and repent. Causes us to serve and get out of ourselves. I love Christ, and Heavenly Father. So thankful for that beautiful Christmas scene and for His life, which makes me better, which keeps me happy. 

I'm loving the area and my companion. We laughed a lot this week. mom will tell you why... TOOO TIRED TO FUNCTION. Gotta do what you gotta do though. Pray for us.

PS.Trying not to let Austin's fame go to my head... haha 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 23, 2015 - Dum-Dum-da-dummmmm *I can hear the bells*

Melissa is getting married. Can you believe that?! 
Every one of you, give her big hugs for me I can not believe I'm not there to catch the bouquet and hold her dress when she has to pee. 
honestly so happy for my best friend in the whole wide world. <3 

RIP Sally. you were a great car. Thanks for always taking me places and jammin on roadtrips. xxx

Mom sent me a quote I LOVE. Doesn't apply to me rn because life seems too good to be true but I feel the truth of what is said and have experienced this before.

 "Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Prov. 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."

 In companionship study this morning we were talking about this. It's how we respond to opposition that shows how true our repentance is, and how sincere our heart is. We may feel weak, but we are strong, because it is our actions that determine our true discipleship, because it requires faith, and strengthens our determination to hope to receive the blessings. 

How is the city?
GORGEOUS ITS SO GOOD TO BE BACK. Sunsets by the beach. Long walks on the........... cemented pathway 100 feet from the sand.... CITY LIGHTS just coming on right when it's time to go back to the flat (; hahaha 
HONESTLY I love it here. The people are different. the feeling is different. Everything still closes at 5 on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays but it feels more like home. I love everywhere I go for different reasons. But happy I get to experience this area for longer. 

How is my comp?
Amazing. Sister Bisogno. 
Mum is half New Zealand, half Irish.
Dad is half Italian half Portuguese.
Born in south Africa, grew up in NZ.
She's a year older, and has been out a transfer shorter. 
we think alike, and it's awesome. :D :D Love her. 
idk what president was thinking putting us together. 
too much fun (: 

How is the area/ward?
So good. Most of the Americans have moved back home since last I was here but my favourite families are still AMAZINGGGG as always. 

Do I get to have thanksgiving this week?
thanksgiving? yes, 

dinner? no. lets not talk about it though

What do I want for Christmas?
your testimonies (; SEND THEM hehehe
also I would LOVE if you sent a little note to my previous companion pumping her up for her last transfer (Sapi Nansen) and something for SIster Bisogno. That's all thank you fam <3

Obedience and Diligence brings blessings, especially when you  get thrown into a new situation with NO map book, NO investigators, and NO idea what you're doing. 
It's my first time being a senior companion, everyone. Pray for me. 
But I have felt the spirit SO STRONGLY this week. Mostly because I'm letting HIM 
"lead me guide me walk beside me [and] help me find the way". 

My district leader is Elder Morris from Utah and his comp is Elder Roldan from the Philippines. 

Love you all. 
I was showing sis B all my photos and just crying bc I am so blessed.

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015 - TRANSFERS - lots of exclamation points and ALL CAPS. :)

I AM GETTING TRANSFERRED. It's actually too good to be true. EVERYTHING I wanted. I'm getting doubled in (YAY)I'm going BACK to doubleview ward in the city (YAYYY)to baptize HEAPS of people there. 
(Note: Sister Falter has been in Byford for 7.5 months!)

And I'm with SISTER BISOGNO, MY FAVORITE PERSON EVER!!!!!!!!!!!! We both kinda hinted to president ages a go but he rebuked us and told us to go read PRAYER in the bible dictionary but then OUR PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED!!!
Literally. I was SCREAMING when I found out. I'm still a Sister Training Leader (STL) but with the fresh area, it'll be good. 

Going to miss it here. so so much but it'll be good for me. I LOVE THE MEMBERS here. They feel like family. (Probs because they are- all of us are sons and daughters of Heavenly Father...- but still). Heaps of letters and thank you cards to write these amazing people who made such an impact on my life. 

Mostly I'm going to miss my companion. Literally been crying and screaming and laughing nonstop since we got the call. Barely slept last night, both of us. I've just learned so much from sister Nansen. She is my best friend over these ways and it's been amazing to experience growth together and individually. We have experienced so much craziness and challenges and honestly she's been the biggest blessing through it all. If her name wasn't Samoan Aussie I'd name my firstborn after her. I love her. That's all. 

On to the important stuff. There was a crazy lightning and thunderstorm here. CRAZY. It' was amazing. So here we were, taking videos in our car on our street when we saw some members come out of their house. So we went over to talk to them, and they said it was safe to come out of the car. SO we parked the car and watched the lights with them until it started getting a bit close. They invited us it (it was lateish and they were in their night clothes) and told us about the terrorist attacks in Paris that morning. Sitting in their comfortable home hearing the news with the lightening and thunder and rain surrounding us felt surreal. I felt so far away. I considered all the events and felt so hopeless and scared. I knew I could find comfort in the Book of  Mormon so as I sat and pondered the scriptures one of my favorite scriptures in Moroni 9 came into my mind. Mormon to his son Moroni, in a letter, wrote about evil and wicked people. HE wrote about all the scary and horrible things that were happening to innocent people. Thing's he could not control. Moroni felt like I did. Then, His father says:

25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.
 26 And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.
The Book of Mormon is written for our day. We can find comfort and counsel in it's words. As I shared this passage the spirit of Hope filled the room and I wasn't afraid. Okay, maybe a bit afraid of the lightning, even that passed. 

I fasted on Sunday for the people in Paris, for transfers and Yanni's Patriarchal blessing. It felt so good to fast by myself, for myself, and mostly to just express my gratitude. 

On Saturday we were on bikes (because we had no reason to use the car) and it was 39.4 C. IT WAS SO HOT I HAVE NEVER SWEAT SO MUCH IN MY LIFE but I didn't even care and we were just talking to everyone. 

We had some cool experiences and miracles this week as well, but I'll save that for a later time. 

LOVE YOU ALL. been singing christmas songs all week. decorated a memebers christmas tree yesterdayI LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR. 

Enjoy the ugly swearers, boots, wool socks, gmas cookies, snow, leaves, or even chill breeeze.

Enjoy it for the both of us. xxxxxx LOVES!
Sister Falter

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015 - "This week we were KISSin."

I love the church. Because the Prophets and Apostles help us understand and maintain and clarify the law of the Lord. The Lord has always helped us understand his doctrine, never left us questioning and apostatizing, when we are willing to receive His light and knowledge. That's pretty cool, I think.


I was reading over the conference talks that mum sent, especially the General Priesthood Session. I loved the talk on FAITH from Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I actually was lolling when I read it because he is so bold and I could hear his voice in my head as I read the words. If you haven't read it, I'd suggest picking it up.

IT'S SO EASY to be skeptical, to be cynical, but the way of The Lord is a journey that requires faith, and hope. Desire and LOVE.

I agree with what him and all the other Apostles and Prophets have said. I am thankful to live in a world of continued revelation. <3

This week we were KISSin.
don't worry everyone, it stands for: Keep It Simple Silly.

Well the week started with one of my rare but famous mental breakdowns. that was fun. but then we had to do some organizing and a bit of praying and it ended up being a revelatory experience for my companion (shes so patient) and I. YAY...


I love the Lord because he is SOOO patient with our faults but the spirit helps us be happy and hopeful. Helps us recognize positive growth and the potential of others. :D We taught so many people this week and our beautiful family came to church. YAYAYAY. We saw some awesome members and I just felt like a missionary. We testified everywhere we went and I just felt so good. Missionary work is so natural when you're happy and when you have awesome experiences living the gospel daily.

Mum was teaching me about gratitude this week. I think it's true, the more you think about your life and blessings, the more you're filled with the spirit, the more enlightenment and light you receive and the happier you are. It helps you to be positive, it helps to increase your hope and faith. The week wasn't perfect, but it felt so good because of our attitude, and because of our attitude, we saw more success. I'm thankful for you. I'm thankful for the experiences I've had before my mission and for all the memories I have. I'm thankful for my testimony and my knowledge of my saviour. I'm thankful I chose to serve, and the more I give, the more I receive back from Him. His promises are ALWAYS fulfilled!!!!

Another highlight of my week was getting an email from Bryden. Someone give him a hug for me please. Packages from Grandma and Yanni consisting of lollies and Halloween socks and all sorts. (: Letters from Barbi and Mum!

THE BOOK OF MORMON makes me happy.
PROPHETS lead us safely.

Love, Sister Falter
aka brownie earthquake
aka mini pancakes
aka runt of the family

ps. I'm going to make yous some mean feeds when I get home.... #islandcompanions

Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Only $13 for a box but oh, so worth it!