Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 - I ate pig skin!

Have you ever seen a full blown pig cooked up and chopped into pieces? The Heaene family FEASTED this Christmas, and yes... The pig was included in the meal. My Zone Leaders were there, and Elder Tipene cut up the whole pig, taking the nasty fat off and cut the meat into pieces. I have never seen anything quite like it. They thought I was so weird for never having tried it. He made me try the cheek meat and the skin. Not too bad, I have to say.

I'm not sure all I ate on Christmas night, but it was different, to say the least. They are a beautiful family. We skyped at their house and other than a lunch appointment, we were there all day! Christmas ended with everyone sitting around singing songs and telling stories. It was a beautiful day.

My beautiful family, I LOVED seeing all your beautiful faces. 40 minutes is just not enough time. I want to hear how Christmas actually went!! The snow looks beautiful. And I need to hear what you all got from Santa!! Sorry for talking so much on Skype!! (; HAHA.

I don't have much time, so I'll just tell you about yesterday.

I was bummed because nobody came to church that we committed. People should just tell us no, instead of leaving us hanging like that. It was so sad. My first flat out rejection.
Then, a lovely lady we taught during the week called and told us she didn't want us to come over anymore. I loved being in her home, and could feel the spirit so strong when we taught, but she doesn't want us to teach anymore. So here I am feeling sorry for myself. We had church in the morning so we had to do our studies in the evening. I said lots of prayers and read from the Book of Mormon and the New Testament for a while and felt better.

We had an appointment up the road with a family we met mid week. Beautiful African family with 4 kids. We went over there, but mom wasn't home. We tried again an hour later, still wasn't home. It was frustrating because we paused our studies each time to go, and she still wasn't home. We tried that night, and SHE WAS HOME!!

They invited us in and we talked while the kids ate.
They have been married over 20 years and are happy with their lives and children even though they didn't know eachother until the day they got married! The kids are so sweet, and very smart!

After dinner, they gathered around and I lead out the Restoration of the Gospel. We taught for about 45 minutes. The kids' eyes were glued as we talked about prophets, and testified of Christ. We explained about revelation, the priesthood, and made all sorts of analogies to help them all understand. They took turns reading scriptures and talking about what they meant.

We told them that our purpose as missionaries is to teach people so that they can come closer to Jesus Christ, and as we do this, our families and our lives are blessed. We told the about the blessing of baptism and how that is the first step in making promises with God, and what a blessing it is that we have the authority to baptized again on the earth, exactly like it was in Jesus Christ's time.

We asked them if they have a desire to be baptized, like Jesus Christ was. They said yes. Mom, Dad, and all four kids. Even their cousins. We can't baptize the cousins, because they don't live here and they need their parents permission first, but all 8 of the kids and the parents all said they would like to. We asked them to prepare to be baptized January 31st, and they agreed. Unfortunately the youngest is too young to be baptized (she will be devastated).

We are still working with the family, but the feeling in that room was incredible. I know that being baptised and internalizing the commitment they are going to make in January will bless each of their lives and their family as a whole. I know we met them for a reason. I can't wait to help them along their journey!

There was a miracle around the corner, literally... And I am so blessed to be a part of this work.
Nothing can top that feeling, I am convinced.

We SHARED the miracle to President Lindsay, the assistants (who cheered and clapped and did the haka for 2 minutes straight when we told them), and our zone and district leaders!

It's a great day to be a missionary in Western Australia!!

I can't wait for mothers day (five months)! I pray for my family every night! And my friends.

Make SURE you post on my Facebook to my college and high school friends to "Be safe and make good choices on new years eve. Even though I am across the world, I will know....."

I know the gospel message is one that will bless countless lives.
That's why I am here. I know it, I live it, I love it, and I teach it!

xoxoxo Love, Sister Falter

PS. Still no kangaroos. I'm starting to think people were lying to me....

Rockingham/Bunbury/Albany/Geraldton Christmas Photo sent from Sister Lindsday

And this sweet note from Sister Lindsay...
Dear Elders and Sisters,
It was wonderful to be together in the mission home for Christmas.  Thank you for sharing your talents!  There was a wonderful spirit with your zones and it meant a lot to me.  Thank you for your devoted missionary service. I pray for your safety, obedience, and success every day.
Sister Lindsay

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 22, 2014 Letter & Photos from Pres. & Sis. Lindsay

Dear Brother and Sister Falter ,

We are happy to inform you that your daughter, Sister Brooklyn Falter, arrived here in the Australia Perth Mission, and we thank you for sending her to us.  We are glad to have her here, and have confidence that she is going to be a fine missionary.
Her companion in the Kwinana Area, Sister Iosua-Fiu, is a strong and faithful missionary who will play a vital role in the adjustments and training process your daughter will go through.  We encourage you to continue to pray for her success and happiness and to write letters of encouragement and support.

It is our privilege to have Sister Falter serve with us.  It is a great trust that you and Heavenly Father have placed in us to assist her in realizing her full potential as a servant of God.  We will assist in every opportunity to help her to grow in the gospel, to bless others and to invite all to come unto Christ.  She will truly be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.
Should you change address or contact details during the term of yourdaughter’s mission please notify the mission office promptly.
May the Lord bless you to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from having a daughter serving in this sacred responsibility.
President and Sister Lindsay
Australia Perth Mission                                                     

December 22, 2014 - Driving on the "wrong" side of the road and swear words...

Hey Family and Friends!!

Turns out I drive better on the opposite side of the road. Sister Iusua-Fiu (pronounced you-sue-a-few) probably wouldn't think so but I do!

I am alive. I am still white (no burn) but apparently this is the BEGINNING of summer. The hottest month is February so I am in for a treat.
This last week has been so crazy. I arrived at the mission home without luggage on Wednesday. I went home to my flat (little house) on Thursday with no luggage. My luggage was returned to me on Friday afternoon and I got the car keys and my driving test on Saturday.

It's honestly a miracle I am alive. The roads are so confusing. President told me that I have to drive but only when my jetlag was behind me and I felt ready. (President and Sister Lindsay are angels. I love them so much!! Also the AP's are wonderful).

Missionary work had a late start for our companionship. We got home hours later than everyone else and we were doubled into our area. That means we had to clean, unpack (several times because our luggage came late) and PLAN PLAN PLAN! We were on bikes for the first bit and it was so fun for me!

Did I mention Au is GORGEOUS? I live in a part that is a little more green than most of WA. It's an hour south of Perth. Every night, the sky is lit with the sunset. There are hills everywhere, so when you get to the top you can see Kilo's (that's hard to get used to) of green tree tops. The sky turns all colors and within minutes, all you see is stars. It is beautiful. I absolutely love it here.
We didn't know members, or anyone in the area so we planned for the week and called around the ward. We got a chance to meet with some ladies in the ward on Friday. And on Sunday we met bishop and the rest of the ward. Lots of names and faces I need to learn.

The ward is beautiful. The people are beautiful. It's
weird to here people refer to the church in the United States. It's like they look up to how we operate, but they are doing a fine job. The spirit was strong, and they are so focused on missionary work. Miracles are going to happen, I know it!!

We went carolling one of the nights and saw a miracle. We were walking around a shopping center, out in the parking lot. We didn't know where to head to next, so we were just walking. There was someone riding towards us on a bike, so we called to her last second "Can we sing you a song". She stopped abruptly and said "Yes please. You are a miracle, I didn't realize you were missionaries. I just got some bad news. Really bad news. And I just need some comfort. I've never met people like you who sing in supermarkets but I know God sent you here to me today"

We sang for her, a few songs (2 Elders and 4 Sisters) and prayed for her. We gave her a He is the Gift card and she invited herself to church (; She said she was worried she would be unable to ride home, but now she knew she could calm her thoughts and relax knowing that God loved her and was looking out for her in her moment of anxiety and worry.

We sang to everyone that night. Julia was also a gift to us. She told us to always remember, even though people wont always accept our message, that there are people like her that we need to touch, and we will as long as we keep going.

Singing was fun, but that miracle stuck with me the rest of the night.

My companion is from the East Coast of AU, but she is Samoan. She is gorgeous inside and out. She just got done training another sis, so she's an expert on American drivers and everything else. I love studies with her. She has very good insight about the doctrine of Christ and we are constantly focusing on the people we can help and serve with our message.

I am so impressionable. I haven't started talking LIKE the Aussies but I definitely am starting to pick up some words. They say "True", "All Good!" "Ay" and "Azzz" all the time. azz is like an emphasis. "how are you?" "Good Azzz"

Another thing to get used to is Damn and Hell are not bad words here. It's one thing to hear it from someone random, but another to hear it from your zone leaders and trainer. It's so funny because she always forgets I'm American and says it. I really hope I don't pick up that habit but most of the Americans I have met here have! HAHA.

Sister Iosua-Fui told me mom is going to HATE her for corrupting my ears. But it's just the norm here. Love it!

In Alma 17:31-33, Ammon gives us some really good advise. Good advise for missionaries and all of God's children. He says to be of good cheer. I says that when people are lost, and looking for Christ, don't worry. Go gather the people, and bring them with you to church. Let them come unto Christ, and encircle them with love and charity so they will never be lost again.

I hope we can all do that this Christmas. That's what we are trying to do, is to encircle our members in love.
I am loving it here so much. Everything about it.
I am happy and healthy.
I am excited to Skype on Christmas (I hope you'll all be awake)

Before I go,

(Note from Mom: This is a Christmas tradition, we tell each person why we love them.)
Reasons Why I Love You:
Mom: She spoils me. She is the best emotional and spiritual support to me. I am so grateful for your thoughtful letters. I am thankful for your example of tirelessly magnifying your calling.
Dad: Thank you for financially supporting me on my mission. It is the greatest blessing to be allowed to come here and serve. In Alma 7;11-12, Jesus suffered so he could know how to succor His people. You served a mission for the Lord, but I am grateful for your service. You gave me the most comfort and advice before I came out here. Thank you. Also for your fathers blessing. That has brought me great comfort the last few weeks.
Luke: For years you have been someone I can talk to about just about anything. I miss those talks. Thank you, and for your support.
Kylee: You're like a sister and a mom to me at the same time. You are able to be my best friend and nurture and comfort me. Thank you for that. You are an example of selfless service.
Brody. I miss your snuggles. You always make me laugh. Love you Brod
Piper: She is a perfect angel
PJ: You give the most comforting advice, and have helped me several times through the last few months.
Lauren: You always doll me up - makeup and hair! I absolutely LOVE that. You are my best friend and I've learned so much from our talks and watching the way you prioritize your life, putting the most important things first. Thank you.
Duke: You're cuter than shaddow
Austin: You are my best example of who I want to become and how to get there. You work hard at your weaknesses and are such a wonderful brother. 
Adam: You comfort me in bed... JK I love ya bud. You look adorable in your braces, but most of all I love how humble you are. You are so humble when it comes to musical talents and how cute you are.
Emmalee: I LOVE your letters. Your sweet love and hugs. You are so kind and thoughtful, so sweet to friends. Thanks baby
Shadow: I don't love you but get better soon
Yanni: You are a huge support to me, on my mission and everything else. You are close to the spirit which I admire and have great faith
I love you all. Merry Christmas. See ya soon!
Ether 12:4

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2015 Sister Falter's MTC pictures

Sister Falter sent her memory card home so here are a bunch of MTC pictures that haven't been seen yet.