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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BASK in the Gospel and the Story of an Ant

June 29, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I am in the great Zambia LUSAKA!!! I am so excited. It’s the best!! Everything is so nice starting with the computer I’m on! I love being in Zambia. I guess that’s what you get when you come from the poorest country in Africa (Malawi) and then move to another poor country but not the poorest (Zambia)!! Haha I’m still getting to know my new area. I’m not sure what to think. I feel like the members don’t really trust us, but they will soon! J We had a baptism. It was the STAKE president’s nephew. HEY did I mention that I am serving in A WARD and A STAKE, which is pretty cool here in Africa!!!

I have been studying a lot this week. I love this Gospel. It’s the best!!! So I was reading in Preach my Gospel about faith and charity and have been reminded that charity requires work. Alma 32, the famous faith chapter, gives you a new perspective if you replace the word “faith” with “charity” (or love). You should try it!! CHARITY IS SO SWEET!!! I think so often we think we have charity because of how we feel for others.  But if we don’t really do anything about that love, it’s just a nice feeling.

“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of “charity”, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to “love”, let this desire work in you, even until ye “love” in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

“Now, we will compare “love” unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your “hatred/selfishness/pride”, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this “love” is a good seed, or that “charity” is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. Now behold, would not this increase your “charity”.

It goes on to say how we need to nourish this seed and that to me means we have to get out there and serve and life and support those we have these feelings of love for.

I love the scriptures! I love how it’s helped me to see that my love for all mankind has “enlarged” and been “enlightened” and “deepened”. And it has become “delicious to me”. I still need to improve for sure with charity but I’m grateful I’ve had a chance on my mission to discover and grow in charity.

I have been “basking” in the Gospel these days. Basking is a word my Mission President uses.) It’s helped me to realize the importance of my worth. I have been pondering on the idea of my potential. Our potential to become like the Savior and Heavenly Father… And this potential is not just MINE… but the potential of everyone I come in contact with. I love the idea, that everyone I come in contact with has the potential to become like our Father in Heaven. Once we understand our worth, we understand the worth of others and it’s nearly impossible to look at someone with the intent to hurt or belittle or to think they are less than us. I feel like this love for all mankind is the most delicious thing that I have ever experienced. I am so grateful for it.

So one night this week, the electricity was out hahaha and I was still up outside on the couch with a candle on the floor writing in my journal and I saw something interesting. There was an ant and he was going around in circles around the candle--just around the edges where it gets dark. The candlelight made a circle of light on the floor and the ant was so determined to walk in circles within the light. I decided to move the candle to see if the ant would follow the light…and it did! And I was watching this ant go around and around, I started to wonder if we are like this ant. The ant has the potential to EXPLORE this whole house; there is food in the kitchen that this little ant could eat but he stayed where the light was. As people, we have the potential to become like our Father in Heaven, but we stay where it’s comfortable, in a tiny amount of light. Sometimes, living a consecrated life is hard and even scary because we have to go into the “dark” where it’s not comfortable. Working to reach our potential can be scary because we have to go where we can’t really see. The second part of this is realizing that when we widen our circle, making it more light, it’s not as scary to change and become who our Father in Heaven wants us to be. We widen our circle by brightening our testimony, understanding the Gospel and making changes one step at a time.

Well that’s all for this week. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!!!! BASK IN THE GOSPEL!!

Sister Falco
My companion!! She was the best! Although I was only with her for a few weeks, she taught me so, so much. She taught me how to love, how to laugh and how to cry. Haha we went through some embarrassing times together but we were able to laugh it off. And the embarrassing moments brought us so much closer and made me love her. She is the perfect balance of kindness and boldness. She is the best!!!!! I love her!!

These pictures are all from good old Blantyre!! Saying goodbye to the best!! 

Baptism in Lusaka--Stake President's nephew!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Transferred to Zambia!

June 22, 2015

Dear Family & Friends…

I guess Malawi doesn’t last forever after all; I have been transferred to THE GREAT!!! Zambia Lusaka. Honestly I am pretty bummed, I have fallen in love with the people in this area and had accepted that this area would be my last area, and then the Zone Leaders called. And the area is just starting to be on fire so I am way bummed, but its okay. I am stocked to be going to the Great ZAMBIA!!! I have been there several times because of Mission Leader Councils and it is like America! Huge shopping malls, etc. so I am stoked, I will not lie.

The zone leaders have truly saved me this week. I’ll tell you the full story when I get home but I was in an accident and hit a car. I wanted to take care of it all by myself but everyone was gathering around and yelling at us. I wanted to handle by myself but I knew I needed to call the Zone Leaders. They showed up immediately. They were so nice, but honestly, I was humiliated. I have put the zone leaders through so much since I’ve been in Blantyre (8 weeks)--not just this, but other things. When the showed up… I started crying (and you know me, I don’t cry very easily). They handled me and the whole situation so well. They didn’t even make me talk. They saved us! The next day we had to go do a police report and it was then that I accepted the reality of my mistake. I realized that this applies to the Gospel. Many times when we sin, we want to deny what we’ve done and don’t really want to face our Father in Heaven. I definitely did not want the Zone Leaders’ help. But when I accepted the mistake I made, I was able to more easily see how kind and incredible it was to have their help. I felt so much love for them--not in a likey, likey way--but in a charity way. Once we truly accept the Savior and acknowledge our mistakes, it makes it easier to love Him and also to love those around us.

One of the major things I have learned on my mission is charity. My patriarchal blessing mentions it.  I feel like it has always been somewhat of a strength in my life, but on mission it has grown to a whole new level. I never realized that the kind of love I feel for the people here was even possible.  And not just for the people here on my mission, but for the human race. I have deepened my love for everyone. I truly do love every person in this world. I don’t even know how to explain it. I remember though before my mission haha I would be studying at the library and when I needed a break I would just people watch. I remember specific moments when I would be looking at someone and feel love for them and want to know their story and their life and I never had the courage to go and talk to them. I remember these moments so vividly in the library. Maybe I wasn’t listening to the spirit… maybe I was supposed to go and talk to them. But I know when I felt this way towards someone it was a unique experience and I remember I really would love them. Maybe I sound like a weirdo but it’s true so I have to accept it. But on mission, my capacity to love has enlarged or increased and the love I feel for people is deeper than ever before. I am truly grateful for this. I think it's a result of really trying to consecrate myself, to let myself get lost in the Lords’ way--not just the Lord’s work, but the Lord’s way…trying my best to do the right thing. I’ve also tried hard to trust the Lord 100% which kind of goes back to the car example--accepting that I am not perfect and accepting that the Lord needs to help me A LOT. I hope that I will continue to develop this charity. I am truly grateful for it. It’s a gift I hope I never lose and that I’ll continue to grow in my ability to have charity for all.

I Love you ALL!!!! THE MISSION IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME!! I am forever grateful to be a missionary!!

Love….Sister Falco

Photos: Goodbyes in Blantyre

 With Elder and Sister Beal....Sister Falco looks cold and has a hand-me-down coat on!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Great Week

June 15, 2015

Hey Family and Friends,

Mission is the best!!! I am so grateful for everything!! It’s the best!!!!!!! We have had a great week!! I am not really sure what to say except that this branch is the celestial branch. I have never met such devoted members and such good, good people.  It makes it impossible not to give your heart to them. I have never seen a branch functioning so well. It’s not perfect but the members are true Latter-Day Saints. The people have their struggles--everyone has a family member who struggles with drinking. But they still come to church and they still are trying their best to improve. That’s why I love this branch because it’s full of people who haven’t given up yet. 

“The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls. We feel as if we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins (or effects of sin) behind our backs.” – Joseph Smith. He is THE BEST!!

Another quote I really like is  “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on earth.” I love this quote! It helps me to see why doing the little things is so important. Scripture study and Sabbath day, and meaningful prayer is needed or we will be easily misled and fall into the traps of Satan.

So the Fellium family is A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!! I am so grateful to have been teaching them!! Sister Fellium has been coming to church and is so ready for baptism. She invited her son and he’s been coming, too. We met the Dad while watching the Restoration film in their home. The next time we saw him was on Saturday and he was drunk but guess what, HE CAME TO CHURCH!!! It was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love Sister Fellium. She is always taking notes on how to be a better mom and she really wants her husband to be a member and her whole family. We were talking to her one day and said, "You are the best, Sister Fellium. Thanks SOOO much for introducing us to your family." And she said, "Its what I’ve always wanted--my family to be religious." She will be baptized probably on the 28th. Her son will shortly follow and then her husband will follow eventually, can't wait. She has always told us these sad stories of her husband having a drinking problem and we met him when he was drunk and I was scared he was going to be embarrassed and not come to church, but he came. It was a miracle. I AM SO GRATEFUL to be a missionary. It’s the best!!!!!!!!!! Moments like these make me never want to come home. I will try my best to never take any day for granted, and to truly consecrate myself. I don't really know why the Lord has blessed me with these prime people. A dead area, alive again, and only through the Lord was it possible. I can't take credit. I truly am doing nothing; the Lord is hastening the work and I am so blessed to be a missionary.

We are also teaching Evans--he talks and talks!!  He is the best investigator I have ever met. He is like my Dad away from home, and Ian is like my grandpa away from home, (I sent you a picture of them) and we also have some cute teenagers who are coming to church. We also are teaching Monson... One of THE BEST investigators!!! EVER!!!!!!! He is so deep. We call him the rough diamond, because you wouldn't expect him to love the Gospel the way he does. He will be baptized soon!!!!!!! He wants to badly but he has his struggles; his story is hard. I wish I could just give these people money and take away their burdens. But I guess the Gospel takes away the most important burden. I love being a missionary. It’s the best experience ever!!

Have a good week. Mission is the best. The church is true!!
Sister Falco

 Sisters in their mission car...a truck!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Busy Week with Zone & District Conference

June 8, 2015

Hey Family and Friends,

I hope that all is well!!! Mission is the best!! We had a sweet Zone Conference. It was a great experience. The focus was on the Sabbath day. My companion and I had to present and it went well!! Preparing for zone conference made me learn so much this week!

I have not always understood the parable of the five talents, two talents and the one talent like I do after my study this week.  I’ve also been studying the concept “grace to grace” and it made me realize how important it is to be progressing—in fact, it’s a requirement to enter into our Father’s Kingdom. I hope that I will be able to let go of who I was, whatever I am holding onto and become exactly who my Father In Heaven wants me to be as a missionary. Being a missionary is literally the best decision I have ever made.

We also had a zone activity. It was way fun!! Best zone ever!!We went to the Zoomba Plateau. And, we also had District Conference. It is cool to see how the church is growing here. I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt like it gave me a vision of the church and how established it is becoming here in Malawi and that made me so happy!!

Well I love being a missionary; I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Love you,
Sister Falco

 Laughing missionaries!

 Zoomba Plateau with my companion!

Mission is the hardest thing you will ever love!

June 1, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I love you all so very much!! I am so grateful to be a missionary!! It’s THE best!!! Literally THE best!!! I won't lie… I’m a pretty strong person; I don't really get homesick that easily. But still mission hasn't been the easiest. Mission is the "hardest" thing you will ever love. 

I don't know what else to write, I left my study journal and today has been crazy haha. Been running around all day so my brain is kind of scattered. We had baptisms in Ndirande!!! THE BEST!!!!!!!!!! I am so grateful to be apart of the celestial branch! haha I have never met a branch that is so involved. We have this sweet guy named Praise who just welcomes our recent converts like no one’s business. He finds them and sits with them during the meetings. This branch is the best!! I have never seen any thing like it. These people understand the gospel!!

Oh sad story, we met a former investigator from a year ago who visited the church once. He told us that his wife was traumatized at church. So we went and.. It took a while to figure out his concern but we just were quiet and did active listening. And he said he didn't like the church because there was NO LOVE. It is so sad. I wanted to die. And he is starting his own church and teaching the “Gospel of Love”. We as members of the church of Jesus Christ need to step it up and need to show more love to people. Ndirande is the best and most loving branch now so it’s possible to change!!

Someone asked me this question: What’s my favorite moment on mission? My answer…
It’s all the best. I don't know what my favorite part is. I love every moment. I love the hard moments. The moments when you feel like you can't do it or you feel like you are the worst missionary and you feel like you are so inadequate and then…when you pray, you feel Heavenly Father’s love. I love those moments. Those are the best moments I hope to never forget. The success is great, seeing investigator progress is great, seeing wards and branches participate is great. And they are all the best. But there is nothing like feeling Heavenly Father’s love when you know and feel you are inadequate, when you make mistakes and feel like Peter as he weeps after he denies Christ. I love being a missionary and all the things I’m learning. 

Sister Falco

 Baptisms in Ndirande Branch

 For all those people who think Africa is just villages! hahaha

 Ndirande Branch...the Celestial Branch!

 Our One Year Photo--Sister Dlamini is THE BEST!!

 The Girls' Baptism...cute, cute!!

 The one and only SUSAN!! Branch missionary who always works with us. She is THE BEST!!

 The view was doesn't do it justice!