Sister Falco is a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Zambia Lusaka Mission. She will train at the South Africa MTC and arrive in Zambia on June 10th.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

Hi Family and Friends!!!

Today will be a shorter email because we went to a wildlife reserve and Malawi park!! Here are some highlights from my week.

The members here in Malawi humble me so much!! They are so great!! There are so many who really put their whole hearts into their callings. They have such strong testimonies and really do know the Church is true. They are willing to give everything it takes to follow the Savior. I love it. I love being able to serve with these people. I love learning from them and look up to them so much. And so many of the missionaries I serve with have the coolest stories and are so willing to serve the Lord.

Peter!! He is AWESOME!! I haven't talked about him much… but he will be baptized soon! I have faith. His wife is a pastor and he said he has to talk to her before he commits. He is ready and the fact that he is a Catholic and his wife is a pastor to a different church, I’m thinking she will say its okay. He is going on a trip to visit her because they live in separate places right now. He is a good husband. Normally in this culture, the wife follows the husband but in this case, he needs to check with her.  I’ll keep you posted.

We also found a young boy who is 12 and wants to be baptized. All the kids in his family are already members. So that’s exciting! Enoch is his name! We are teaching another girl named Anita!! She is from Ntsiliza!! She has been searching for the true church and is willing to be baptized!! I feel like September will be a good month!

I have a strong testimony that the spirit really can speak through you. We were teaching a family who have a lot of concerns about the church. They believe our church belittles women because of the priesthood and they were asking about sealings. They had a particular question and I answered with my testimony on something I had no knowledge about. It was super sweet. I just opened my mouth and the words came out and then after I thought, "What did I just testify about?” I went home and studied it and it was true! It was about the scattering and gathering of Israel and the Abrahamic covenant! Pretty cool.
I guess this will be all for now!

The Church is true! Make it a priority

Sister Falco

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Service in Malawi 

August 18, 2014

Note: Mom's been out of town so this is coming a little late...Enjoy!!

Hey Friends and Family :)

My mission has been good so far!! I love learning and growing. I feel like on a mission you learn a lot about the Savior and you understand more about the atonement. I always knew the Gospel was true before my mission but now I feel like I understand it a lot more. I remember coming on a mission scared that I would change but now I am scared I will change back to who I was before my mission.

This week has had its up and downs. We taught a lot of lessons. We met with Anita only once because my companion got sick. But her lesson was great! We taught her about the Restoration. It was actually a very sweet experience. We watched the movie with Vincent interpreting. (It’s best to watch the movie so the people who don't speak English have a visual.) I got to hold the movie so could see the people who were watching. I loved seeing Anita watch with real intent. And I loved watching how all these people started gathering in her house to watch. It was awesome. I don’t know--super sweet experience. She didn't come to church so hopefully there is a legitimate excuse and that she will continue learning.

We met with this guy named Peter!! He speaks and reads English and is from Ntsiliza—great guy. He is super interested in the Book of Mormon and he honestly has a great desire to learn. The Elders contacted him and gave him a Book of Mormon so he had tons of questions! And he came to Church!! woot woot :)

We met this great guy named Richard! He studied in Italy. He’s very kind and very willing to learn. He says he followed American politics and he heard about the Mormons from Mitt Romney! So that’s kind of cool!! But he’s very well educated! He let us know, "I’m a stone Catholic. So if you guys try to tell me that the Catholic religion is wrong, I will defend my church." We gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to read it and will meeting with him again this week.

Love and Ken: They have been good! They answer our calls but their dad is in Blantyre so we haven't met with him yet!!

Emmette: He’s hilarious. He was a little tipsy but he was willing to meet. Funny things he said during the lesson: "Sister Falco, have you ever smoked weed?” “No, why?” “Because during the last lesson when you started laughing so hard, I thought maybe you were a little loopy."  We told him, “You’ve got to stop drinking, Emmette.”  His reply, "STOP? What? No, No, No. I can't do that. Take less? I can do that." You have an addiction Emmette.” "No I don’t. I can go a whole week without drinking alcohol." We challenged him to be sober the next time we saw him. He agreed but told us to call him the night before. We talked about Christ. This lesson was actually really really good. He told us about his anger and how much he hated everyone and everything that has every happened in his life. He says that he consistently prays to his Mom (who has passed away) and then to the "big guy upstairs." We also talked about faith. He says he doesn't have any. As we continued talking, we found out that he loves Bible movies and said, “but I can never watch when Jesus Christ was crucified.” He’s a good guy with a good heart. I’ve grown to love and really care about him. We challenged him to pray at the end of the lesson and thank our Heavenly Father for FIVE things he was grateful for. He came up with three, and said, “THAT WAS GOOD!! I did good didn't I!”  

Our goal this week was to maintain progressing investigators. We just can't seem to do it. Everyone who comes to church once stops progressing. It’s so frustrating! But you learn more and more about the Savior and the need to rely on Him. I have to remember the yoke analogy that Dad shared. (It’s so funny I used that analogy literally yesterday with Emmmette). When you rely on the Savior, you move forward and you are comforted even when people reject you or stop progressing. When you rely on the Savior you realize that you aren't alone. You feel his comfort. You can have trials and discouragements but by the end of the day you can still be happy, if you rely on the Lord. And I can honestly say that everyday by the end of the day I am happy. I truly am so happy to be serving the Lord. It’s the best decision I have ever made. I have learned so much and I hope to learn more. I love the people here in Malawi. They are the best. It’s literally the biggest privilege to serve a mission. I wish I could describe it. You don't really understand what its like to be a missionary until you are one. Missions are sweet.

Love you all…Sister Falco

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 11, 2014

Hi everyone! Here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Today was a great day!!!!! The highlight was teaching this woman who has been contacted by many missionaries but never listened. She saw us teaching Brian outside the Mlamble Lodge. She came over and poured her heart out to us. All these people have passed away in her life and she’s addicted to smoking. It was cool to see how the Lord prepares people. She lives in Zimbabwe but it’s in Malawi when she finally talks to missionaries, and she is the one who invited herself to listen to us. So sweet!!!

The low today was that the two people who were supposed to be baptized on Sunday texted us and told us that they got in a fight with their dad because he wouldn't let them join the Church. He’s about to become a pastor.  They are 25 and live in his house and he will kick them out if they get baptized. We are planning to meet with them soon and talk about it face to face. They are great! It’s all good! Mission is sweet. Even when things like this happen, it can be discouraging but to be honest it wasn't. I read the text and was like immediately comforted by the spirit. It was pretty cool. I have never felt this happy in my life. It’s not just happiness but it’s pure joy every day. I have felt joy before, but it’s so awesome to have it with me consistently. Even when things go wrong, the Lord really does comfort you.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Satan is real!!! :) I only say this because we went to the village and there was this group of people dressed like the KKK. They are called Gulwamkules and they are scary!! They cover themselves with masks and walk around and run after children but the children love it. It’s part of the culture. These Gulwamkules go around whacking people until they give them money! It’s crazy!!!! Each village has them but they are a little different depending on the village. This group comes out when they are struggling financially and need money, but in my companion’s old area, they came out when there was a death. I was so scared to pass them but I did it, it just took me a long time to get up the courage. They would come up to us and say stuff but the crowd protected us and said, “Don't do anything--they are visitor!” It was crazy!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

We met with Love (one of the two who canceled on her baptism) and took her for ice cream. She told us the story. Her mom was okay with them getting baptized but their Dad is stubborn and needs to become a pastor for work. We asked her if we could meet with him and she was pretty excited. We tried to on Sunday but it didn’t work out. We’ll keep trying.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Had a great meeting with Ruthy! She’s a great woman. She poured out her heart to us as well. She has been depressed for a long time. She says every time she starts praying she just ends up crying. At the end of the lesson she personally thanked me. "Sister Falco, thanks for stopping and talking to me. Thanks for noticing that I need help.” It was a sweet experience. She can't come to church because she lives with her father-in-law who is a strong Anglican but we hope to make it happen one day.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

We got to do Operation Smile again!! It was such a sweet experience. We got to see the after effects on many of the children. So cool! I fell in love with medical work today. I want to be a nurse. We met with a doctor who is a Mormon and my companion asked him if we could observe a surgery. He agreed so we got to watch them do surgery on someone’s lips. When we went into the room, it felt just like in the movies!  When he started pulling up the lip, I started to feel really hot and then I fainted! It was super embarrassing, but one of the young doctors said that she had fainted during medical school too and that it was okay and pretty normal. She said the perfect thing because I might have assumed that I couldn't go into nursing but she said she got over it and is fine now. Sounds like I’ll be okay!

The cool part of this story is that the lip surgery we observed was the last surgery for that area. The 16-year old boy had heard about the opportunity on the radio and walked two days just to get a smile and be accepted more in his community. Operation Smile had already packed up all their stuff but when he showed up, but they decided to operate on him. They unpacked everything just for this guy. Operation Smile is the COOLEST company!! If you ever have extra cash, you should donate to this company.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday was awesome!! We got invited to lunch by one of our investigators. She is pretty well off and it was like a  family reunion with everyone there!! There were South Koreans, Australians and Englanders. So fun! We also got teach a man today who is related to the President of Malawi!! Pretty cool!!

It’s been an awesome week! I love being a missionary!!

Love you all!

Sister Falco

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

Monday - July 28, 2014
What a great day! My comp and I decided to go out to our area early because all we had to do today was email and buy food and my comp was out of money. (Tell Dad I’m putting her on a budget! haha). We went to Ntsiliza and taught George and Jennifer!! It was cool. George’s dad used to think the Church was satanic but he let us in and even stayed and listened to the lesson. I wish I could speak their language! George told us that he didn't come to Church because he is really struggling trying to decide if the Sabbath is on Saturday and Sunday. He’s so genuine. I love it. We then took a taxi home and went to area 9 and taught Love and Ken the Plan of Salvation. When we go there, they had the Liahona open from Church and were reading it so that was great.

Tuesday - July 29, 2014 -TWO MONTHS on my mission...crazy!
We saw Brian and taught him the Word of Wisdom. We then saw Catherine who had told us she was interested in learning about the Plan of Salvation and Baptisms for the Dead. (They had talked about it in Church.) Catherine’s lessons are always so spiritual and she is super prepared for baptism. (Read later…she’s actually not, but this is what I have written down.) We then saw the Ugandan family! Charlotte is now acting like a real investigator and FINALLY reading the Book of Mormon on her own!

Wednesday - July 30, 2014
Today was great! We went to Ntsiliza. We saw Alice…just kidding--fall through. We saw Sis Thomas…just kidding--another fall through. We saw Crissy…just kidding--fall through. No one was home for their appointments!  But it’s fine. But we did see Jennifer and taught the Plan of Salvation but she didn't come to church again! We need her to be serious!! SHES A MIRACLE WOMAN WHO ISN'T PROGRESSING AT ALL.

We did see George and taught him about the Sabbath and the importance of the Sacrament. He liked the lesson and I learned a lot. (I didn't know that the Sabbath used to be on Saturday.)

We had the Devo (devotional) at the Mwales!! So many members came! Like everyone!!! It was AWESOME!!!!!...but they came an hour late. Haha! The branch is being strengthened—we had so many people at Church!! It was a miracle!!! The Devos that each companionship is doing is strengthening the branch a ton!!

Thursday - July 31,2014

"Mormon Not for Me". Anyone who knows The District knows that line… and anyone who's served a mission. And, it happened three times today. But it was still a great day. We met two investigators!! New ones!!! Emmette’s parents asked us to stop coming to teach him which is sad because his life is destroyed because of his addictions. My companion and I felt like we were making progress with him and know the Gospel will be such a  strength to him. We met with Tongwe, and she said at the gate that she was busy and that “Mormon Not for Me”. We also got a text from Catherine who we thought was so ready for baptism and she said she is not interested in meeting with us anymore. We tried calling her and then texted her but no response. It’s a bummer for sure but something that’s just part of being a missionary.

Friday - Aug 1, 2014
We met this guy who calls himself "Prophet Elijah”. He honestly seems pretty interested but he definitely believes he’s a prophet. SO we will see. We then went and talked with Alenah and Austin. Good people!! Allenah had asked for another one of our booklets and LOVED learning about it. She even took notes! She has tons of potential. Her brother, Austin, wasn't really paying attention but still it was awesome!!

We then met with Brother Mkwandawiri and taught him about prophets. We committed him to read this really good talk I found for him on Monday. It’s by James E. Faust and is on the Restoration and the Reformers. We also gave him a Liahona and had him read a talk by our current prophet, President Monson.

We met with a new investigator and the fist thing she said was, I want to meet with you because my son isn’t a believer anymore. What a great lady. I love that these Malawians are so centered on Christ! She said she found Christ in 2004 and she dropped her partying and drinking. It’s great to see someone who has changed their life.
Saturday – August 2, 2014
We worked with this organization called Operation Smile--COOLEST COMPANY EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It made me want to become a surgeon! For sure, I’ll stick to being a nurse!! Look up the company and donate!! There are more than 60 volunteers who come to help kids who have cleft lips and other facial deformities. Tell Jeff to do it in the summer! He would love it!! Life changing for these kids!! I will send some pictures hopefully today in pouch mail. Many of these kids have been made fun of their whole lives. One lady told me, “My daughter will be able to go to school now. Everyday she would come home and cry because the kids would make fun of her.” Many of the kids are completely segregated from towns because of the belief that they are cursed with this from the devil. Sister Erickson was there! (Mission President’s wife) I hope to do something like this one day.

We had interviews with President Erickson. HES THE COOLEST GUY EVER!!!!! HE IS THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF CHARITY!!!!!!! I LOVE HIM!!!!!! I have gained so much respect for that man!! He’s so good and has such a great vision for our mission! He talked to me and told me some things that were definitely inspired because without it, he wouldn’t know them.

Sunday - August 3, 2014
Fast Sunday!! It was a great day to be in Malawi!! We taught Love and Ken and we ran into this lady who knew all about the church and was interested to learn more!! Missions are great!!

Answers to Questions
The weather is GREAT!! It’s getting hotter and we’re told it will get really hot in October. Every Malawian is telling me about it! So that will be an adventure.

We work in both rich and poor areas. The poorer area is SUPER humble and they are willing to meet with you whenever and even when they are less active they are willing to meet with you and love having you there. And when you ask them to be better they really try to do it. But they are also very carefree and are always late to everything. Those who aren’t so poor will welcome you in and are SUPER kind. They are usually not really interested in the Gospel but want to have foreigners as friends. In the richer area where we work, most go to school out of the country in the UK. Another challenge we have is getting inside the gates of the homes. They have garden boys or guards who always answer the door and NEVER let you in. They call out, "the missionaries are here" and, of course, the boss isn't going to come out. They all know the Bible super well. And many people are Pentecostal believing that you are saved by grace.

My companion is GREAT!! She’s from South Africa--super spunky and outgoing and a hard worker!!

We don't really get fed a lot except when we are in Ntsiliza but we only work there one day a week and even then, we don't get fed that often. The food they eat in the village is called Sima—which is Poshu and beans, which we ate in Uganda!! It’s good but we seldom eat it because we go to an American shopping place and buy meat and food and do our own cooking.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sister Missionaries in Malawi

These Sisters all live in the same apartment! Fun Times!!

Pictures sent July 28, 2014...Yeah!!

July 21st and 28th, 2014 Email Highights

Carly mentioned that she would LOVE to receive letters! She can take more time reading them and enjoy them longer. If you’d like to send a letter, her current address is:

Sister Carly Falco
Lilongwe Mission
Flat 10-558
Private Bag B 317
Lilongwe Malawi

Here are some highlights from Carly’s last two emails:

July 21st, 2014

We had a district meeting. The message was “to see others as they may become”. I tried to apply this throughout the whole day! It was actually the coolest day ever. Every person I met I felt instant love. Whether it was contacting or teaching. It was awesome!!! My goal is to learn to apply this everyday of my life! It made mission a whole new experience.

We taught Brenda and her entire family. She told us she wanted to find another church when she realized the church she was attending wasn't true so she became  a Pentecostal. She’s a great lady!! And, I just love her Dad. He’s so funny!! He makes everything a joke. Like the first time he met us. "Oh you guys are missionaries?? Well you are at the wrong place, because I worship Satan." (joking) Or what do you do for a living? "Oh, you know, sell drugs, drink alcohol, the usual." (joking) He’s an Azungo or white person!! Well he’s 1/8 black and his wife his half black, half white!! They are a great family! I love the hospitality here! I want to be more like this in my life!
We finally committed Mkandawiri to pray. It was actually a pretty hard lesson. He told us that he’s afraid to find out if it is true because he knows that he will have to act on it if the answer is yes. So that’s why he has avoided praying. Man he’s the best though! PRAY for him. Even fast for him
Grace: She’s a great great great lady!!!! She said she prayed about baptism and felt that it was right. But then said, “if your heart is with Christ then you don't need to be baptized.” We will see what happens with her.
We are setting up a devotional on Wednesdays so that we can get the less-actives to start coming to church and participating more!! So please pray for our ward to be strengthened!!
The Malawian culture makes it hard to do missionary work. The woman follows her husband’s religion and because as missionaries we need to be in at 6 pm, it’s hard to teach any husbands because of their work schedule.
NATHAN was baptized!! He’s the Elder’s investigator I’ve gotten to know him well! What a great guy!! The baptism was the best!!
July 28th, 2014
We met with Jennifer (the lady who had the dream about the tree of life and baptism by immersion). We asked her why she hadn't been coming to church and she told us that she was scared about the language barrier. She had another dream that told her to look up some verse in the bible about Moses and how he was nervous because of his stutter. This lady has some incredible dreams! She didn't come to church though this Sunday but we'll keep working with her.

We had a devotional with the members in Ntsiliza. WE NEED A CHICHEWA BOOK OF MORMON. THE MEMBERS WOULD PROGRESS LIKE CRAZY!!!!!!  But it’s okay.  It will happen when the time is right.

We taught this guy named Brian. He’s a new investigator. When we met him he wasn't high or anything but he told us that he was a “Rastor”. I had no idea what that was and neither did Sister Quay. We later found out that his religion (Rastafari) uses weed to meditate. We seem to find all the people who have addictions! Oh well. He seemed to enjoy our lesson.
Mkwandawiri is so close to knowing the Church is true. If he doesn’t get baptized, I’m going to be sad. I’ve grown to really care about him. We want him to pray specifically if the Church is true. And he did say that if he finds out through prayer that the Church is true, he’ll leave the CCAP (his Church that he is an Elder in).
BRIAN, CATHERINE, LOVE, KEN, and GIFT came to church!! Gift is a friend of Nathan who was baptized last Sunday. So happy to have investigators come!!
THE CHURCH IS THE BEST!!! The prophets are so good. I loved watching a talk from conference this week as we prepared for an investigator. And I admire Joseph Smith so much!! I can't believe how much faith he had.
Well, I love you all!! Send me pictures in the mail rather than in the email!! It’s fun to have them all week :) Thanks for everything! You guys are great!! Tell Jeff to ROCK medical school :) Keep living the Gospel. It’s simple and straightforward.

Love you!…Sister Falco

How they baptize in Africa...