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!