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Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Month Has Passed...

Since Momma Baer last updated her Sorella Kelsey's blog. You may have been wondering what is up.   On Sunday, October 13, Papa Baer suffered the first of 3 strokes. As of today, Thursday, November 14, he is still in the ICU, currently awaiting a change in his trach and a permanent pacemaker. You can get updates on the Baer 'adventures' as well as Sorella Kelsey's posts here:
Thank you for your interest in Kels and our family, With love, Lori Baer

Friday, October 11, 2013

.......and, I'm Still Alive!

Well, folks, this week was one that I will remember for the rest of my life. We had the craziest past couple of days. (I'll save my conference love fest for the end!)
Ok. Late Saturday night-early Sunday morning, we woke up to the blastingly obnoxious carbon monoxide alarm. We ran outside, called the financial secretary for the mission as directed in our mission binder, and after an hour out on the sidewalk in robes and jammies, we got it all figured out.
Then. Late Sunday night-early Monday morning. we woke up AGAIN to the alarm. This time we knew what to do, ran out again, and this time called Sorella Dibb, as directed. Standing on the sidewalk once more in the middle of the night, she said, ''Ok, girls, run back inside, you have 30 seconds to put clothes on, and then head to the church where the office elders will pick you up.'' So, we hauled into our apt, just threw skirts on and peaced out, not knowing when we'd be back. We headed to the church where we waited for the office elders from Milano. They picked us up (one of which was my friend Anziano Dallin Richardson from high school, it was crazy!) and then said, ''for today, you four will be working in the office.'' ALL RIGHT!  Mind you, we look... great. Teeth- not brushed. Showers- not yet experienced. Makeup-not a thing. WE GOT EVACUATED, I mean, these things weren't a priority! 

So, we worked in the office all day, and my word, SHOUT OUT, to our mission office who functions as a well-oiled machine. They are hard hard working and so much fun! While we were in Milano, the fire department was at our apt, checking stuff out and they couldn't find anything. Turns out, it was just a faulty detector, meno male! President still had us four sisters stay the night in the mission home, which was a surprise because we thought that we'd be home for the night, so obvs we didn't have anything with us... but, oh, how lovely is that home! President interviewed us personally in the mission home because our interview were supposed to happen earlier that day, and we couldn't make it! Alla fine, we made it back to our apt yesterday afternoon after a couple of random crazy days! 
Yup. We're alive. breathing. Just gave the mission leaders a bit of a scare, but ALL IS WELL IN ZION!

Wanna know why?! Because conference changed my life! As every other missionary is declaring, conference is much sweeter as a missionary. I was so touched by Elder Holland's talk, and in other messages, I received specific answers to my prayers. Our investigators ADORED conference and each one felt the Spirit as our inspired leaders bore testimony of the Savior. I've never known more fully or more clearly that this is the Savior, Jesus Christ's church on the Earth today. That it is lead and guided by His worthy, chosen servants and that general conference is an incredible opportunity to feel of His love for you. I still can't wait to read the talks all over again, and to watch the Sunday afternoon session because we weren't able to!

I love this church. I love being one of 80, 000 missionaries on the Earth. I love how many talks focused on member and missionary work, and how now, in these the last days, the work needs to be driven forth by EVERY member. I testify that the Lord needs us ALL! We have all been enlisted, and we each have a sacred and specific part to play. if you want to know what yours is, pray.

Con tutto del mio amore,
Sorella Baer
p.s. I love you.
p.s.s. shout out to my Como homegirls. Sorella Hallum, my comp, is the most persistent and hard working person I know. Sorella Carter, has perfected the ''mom dance'' and has a heart to melt Antartica,  and Sorella Stephens who is my soul sister and is the funniest I know, without trying. I LOVE THESE GIRLS! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What's Good, Famski?

This week has been quite swell indeed.
I'm going to be all over the place, so just bear with me.

It's crazy cold here. We literally live right up against the Alps, and mercy, can you feel it! My teeth be a-chatterin'!

I finished the Book of Mormon again this week! This past time I had studed it with the topic of ''charity.'' (oh, and shoutout to my girl Charity, who's the first sister missionary in Georgia, and is tearing it up, and who I miss terrrrrrrribly) Having read the BOM seeking for charity and praying to apply it more and more I learned so much. That this perfect love is the most powerful and motivating factor. That it's enabling and miraculous. That it's stonger than any dark force, bad day, complaint, disappointment and even pet peeve. As we desire to develop this love more, we must pray for it as explained in Moroni 7. That we ''may be filled with this love'' that when we meet the Savior we will be as He is. oh how that is my only goal! It is a privilege and quite frankly, life is SO MUCH MORE ENRICHING AND FUN, when we try to apply this charity in our lives. Life really is richer when we're lovin' folks. I testify that the Savior, Jesus Christ, is our master example and teacher. As we look at and study His life, and then further pattern our lives after His, we really become, ''as He is.'' The Book of Mormon has the remedies for every heartache, solutions for every problem, and formulas for  every Christlike attribute.

andddddd....... Sorella Baer picked a new topic for her Book of Mormon study this week...... y'all reads??? drum roll please......
...................... submission. Mercy, I'm so excited. To better understand what it means to cheerfully submit our will to that of the Father's and become like a little child.

This week, our district leader invited us to bear testimony more often in our lessons. So Sorella Hallum and I decided to do as such.

Monday night, we had a FHE at a member's house with our soon-to-be baptized Maria Teresa! We had a lesson and then literally opened it up to be a testimony meeting. I had finished the Book of Mormon earlier that morning, and it was such a sacred experience to bear witness of something so close to my heart and on my mind. Then it was such a privilege to sit next to Sorella Hallum as she 
bore, sweet, sincere testimony. Her heart and desire are pure and as she brought the Spirit, it was so special. Her Italian was better than ever.

I really do know that TESTIMONY is the changing factor. Why wouldn't we want to bear testimony more often? To call down the powers of heaven? To invite the Holy Ghost, whose main purpose is confirm truth? FOLKS, WE MUST BEAR MORE TESTIMONY! in our homes, among our friends, at church, in our everyday lives. I bear my testimony, that as we pray for and seek specific opportunities to bear testimony, the Lord will not withhold that blessing from us. He wants His word to be heard. He will prepare us to be in the right place at the right time. Oh, how I know that to be true.

Quindi, I invite each of you to bear that testimony that you're so grateful to have. To share what you love and cherish with THOSE you love and cherish. And to invite others to find this happiness and 
joy that you have.

And to those of you who aren't members of this church, I can say with all of the sincerity of my heart 
and conviction in my soul that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the restored church of Christ on earth. That the Risen King stands at the head of His church with arms outstretched, willing and waiting to heal us. As we come unto Him, and partake of His perfect, infinite Atonement, we truly can become like Him. My testimony is my strength, my fortification and my joy.

Of this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
(sorry if that didn't make any sense. I haven't really born my testimony in English in about 6 months)

Con tutto del mio amore,
Sorella Baer
p.s. I love you.
p.s.s. GENERAL CONFERENCE IS IN LIKE .3 SECONDS!! As my dear comp says, ''it's like the superbowl for missionaries.'' I literally can't wait one ounce. PLEASE WATCH IT ALL OF Y'ALL! and you better go into conference with some questions, because I can promise you that they'll be answered!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Secret to Missionary Work

Alright. Let's be real. I didn't come up with this nor discover it. I've just been paying attention to what EVERY general authority is saying these days.

The secret to missionary work...................

wait for it.......................

buckle up.............................



And oh, my. How that is the verità.

This past week Sorella Hallum and I tried so hard to visit lots of members and to bring them with us to our lessons. We visited 5 different families and had the blessing of the strength of our members and their testimonies at our lessons with investigators!

I can say confidently that members have made my mission so far. Not just that my personal relationship with them has been so rewarding, rich and eternal, but that I've learned soooo much from them. The forza of these members is matchless. Many of them are converts themselves so their ability to relate to investigators is incredible. For missionaries to work successfully and effectively, we MUST be using our members. Ecco, why we had that huge broadcast ''The Work of Salvation'' about two months ago that touched on this very thing. There's absolute need for finding work. But there's more need to reinforce our members and find the people that are being prepared THROUGH our members. They are already sharing their standards and testimonies with their friends, we just have to ask! The work is sweeter and better when we use our members. Oh how I have a testimony of this! I'm just feeling the MEMBER and MISSIONARY FIRE! I get so stoked about coming up with ward mission plans, planning fhe's with our members, visiting members, creating new avenues for how better to utiliz this resource that we have------IT'S THE BEST!

Trust me, I know full well that I'm not some brilliant, ahead of the game missionary. loads of other people know this too, and I'm just know realizing! I remember the advice my brother Dev gave me before my mission, he said, ''Loo, if you want to be successful, use the members.'' meno male, my brother was soooooo giusto.

As we've used our beautiful members more, our investigators have been progressing. COINCIDENCE? I. think. not. (also, I'm about 83% sure I just spelled coincidence wrong. but forgive me. I don't speak English anymore. My English is SHOT)

Nazareno is progressing beautifully as he's turning to his Savior in time of need. We're trying to emphasize more and more with our investigators the role of Jesus Christ in empowering them to overcome temptation and find peace in their lives, it's only through HIM. and it's working! Nazareno brought hs 9 year old daughter to church on Sunday and it was unreal!

And our dear MariaTeresa! she's so stoked for her baptism and already picked out her baptism dress! she came to us prepared and ready for this. she's so committed and we have the privilege of meeting with her like 3 times every week! and she always comes to FHE and brings something!
SPEAKING OF FHE. this week was swell. we had so many investigators and members come (which is a miracle in itself that considering we started this puppy from the ground! but now FHE is popping and so is English class! all you have to do is treat people good, let them feel the love of the Lord for them, and promise them blessings!)This week, we played Ladroni di Gadianton (which is Gadianton Robbers, we just played Mafia but changed the name.) (aka the Baer fam game) I decided to channel Dev as I remember he played it on his mish. But instead of mafias, we had Gadianton robbers. it was the swellest. I was the mediator, and mercy, if that game wasn't hard enough explaining in English, it sure is tough in Italian. But oh, how it was a little taste of the Baer home right here in Como. tender mercy. una piccola misericordia
 I remember President Butler once told me, ''If you want to become frustrated in the work, do it your way.'' HIS way and HIS work is perfect. we have but to follow Him. As our perfect example, we can learn in the scriptures how the Savior treated investigators,members and companions. How He explained the docrines of the gospel boldly and yet with such tenderness. How He let ALL feel of His love for them constantly. If we have any question as to how to behave, we just need to look to the Perfect Example.
I feel eternally blessed that I can bear His name everyday.
Con tutto del mio amore,
Sorella Baer
p.s. I love you.

p.s.s. I've been asking random people here who their favorite musician is..... and the resounding, across the board, answer is MICHAEL JACKSON. You should see my expression as these sweet Italians say those magic words. It's the best.

p.s.s.s. Every week we go and visit this sweet member in our ward . She always just makes the best Italian food, and she's just this cute, old little Italian woman. Highlight? This week she gave a pair of italian leather heels. They're DARLIN'. (Well.... a year from now, I'll sport 'em!)

Friday, September 20, 2013


Mercy alive, Folks, che strano che ha già passato sei mesi (strange that it has already been six months)!

For this email, I thought that I'd share 6 things that I've learned as a missionary to celebrate the 6 months I've been missionary:

1) How to communicate. Bless my dear companions' hearts. I've learned the importance of communicating constructively and warmly. Ancora (More), I'm not huge into talking about how I'm feeling all the time, but I'm getting there. Missions are great marriage prep, because they teach you just how necessary good communication is! I'm so blessed to have learned this lesson as His full-time representative!

2) I've learned how to be creative, to work with what you've got! Be it a low stocked kitchen cupboard, few skirts and dresses that you have worn everyday for 6 months, a low budget-- as missionaries, you learn how to be creative and how to make really good meals with few ingredients, cute oufits out of stuff you already had, make cute notes and presents for investigators and members, it's great! You really don't need a lot to make stuff not only work, but look really nice!

3) How to trust. In a companion. In members. In a mission president. Sopratutto (Above), trust in the Lord. Trusting your companion is one of the best things you can do for your companionship. I'm so grateful for the companions I've had and as I've learned to trust them more and more I've been able to realize just how incredible and capable they are!

As we trust members, we have faith in their capacities and their desire for our success as well-- miracles happen!

And, here's an interesting thought I had recently: At the beginning of my mission I felt like a pawn in a game of chess, at any moment I could be moved  to any other location on the board (for my intents and purposes, my game board is the Northern Half of Italy). And literally, a mission is like that. You could be picked up and placed in another spot to fulfill some other purpose at ANY time. It was a bit overwhelming, and nerve wracking. But then, I realized I'm a pawn in a game of chess, with the BEST CHESSMASTER. I have no need to fear, no need to doubt because the Lord Himself is the one moving me. He already knows all of the moves of His opponent, the adversary, so He places us, His missionaries, to fulfill His specific purposes, so we can combat that force. ISN'T THAT ENLIGHTENING?!

I have full trust in President Dibb because I know with a certainty he is a man led by and called of God. As we have trust in our companions, ourselves, our members, our mission leaders and the Lord, we can go forward in our missions boldly and successfully and become the missionaries we were created and designed to become.

Sorella Baer in her red slippers (shoes), following the cobblestone road

4) I've learned how to pray. I'd never prayed before as I pray now. I learned specifically and especially in the MTC the power and sweetness of prayer. My nightly prayer time is my favorite time of the entire day. When I can just open my heart to Him who knows me best. My relationship with my Heavenly Father has grown so much as I've learned better how to better utilize this gift, resource, and divine assistance of prayer.

5) I've learned the magnitude of the Atonement and how better to use it. Brothers and sisters, fam, friends, and folks, as His set apart, full-time representative, I can bear a witness, that with all that I am, I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that He lives. That He stands at the head of the church. My only purpose is to invite others to come unto Him. His message, our message applies to us as well. I have strengthened my relationship with my personal Savior. As Elder Holland puts it, ''Each of us needs to take a few steps into the Garden,.'' As I've been tried and tested, stretched and strengthened on my mission, I've come to know just how infinite and sweet the grace of Christ truly is. His Atonement is for all. His arms are outstretched STILL. He is anxiously awaiting our turning to Him. I love repenting. It's not easy at times, but the feeling of the nearness of the Savior and realizing the richness of His love for us is so beautiful of an experience. I can't sum up on paper or through email, my testimony of my Savior and His Atonement, but after 6 months of being a missionary, I know now better than before I was set apart how to apply the Atonement and bring myself closer to the Lord.

6) Lastly, I've learned of the many many blessings we receive because of this the true, restored, gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church on earth. I desire for all to taste of the sweetness of this gospel! It blesses and strengthens families, it grants us peace and answers, and it offers us the sweet truth of salvation! This gospel is so important!

I've loved these past 6 months! I've learned, grown, and changed so much!

The work here in Como is blossoming! I'm so grateful for the miracles I'm fortunate enough to witness! I love our members and investigators with all of my heart!

Con tutto del mio amore,
Sorella Baer

p.s. I love you.
p.s.s. I ate anchovies this week... #thethingswedoforthemish

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Foto, Cartolina Perfetta (Photos, Postcard Perfect)

I found a little garden, am in love!

''Be Ye Therefore Happy''

If I were to ever make a commandment, it would be that one. "Be Ye Therefore Happy", it's good isn't it? And it's totes a theme of the week.

Before I forget, Happy 5th Anniversary to the best couple on that side of the Mississippi! Dev and Britt! I love you both SOOOO much. Ask ANYONE in the mission just how much I drop your names. It's so sweet for me to serve in the same mission as my hero and big bro, and I'm thrilled that they'll  having a baby girl in January! My first niece! I can't wait to come home to a 7 month-old baby Baer!

-and happy 31st bday dear sister of mine! Jam, Happy Birthday! Can't believe you crossed the ''30'' threshold, mercy, we're getting old in this fam!

These week I've had to remind myself often that we are here to be happy! "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy"!!! So, smile folks!

Some things that make Sorella Baer smile:

-A couple of nights ago Sorella Hallum and I had just taught a bench lesson right in front of Villa Olmo
Villa Olmo
right on the lake, and after the lesson we sat and meditated for a couple of minutes. It was about 8 o'clock at night, the lake was foggy, and the hills were lit up with the different colored houses. And I realized just how fortunate I am to be here. How much I love Italy. Those sacred, quiet, tranquil moments carried me through the week.
Foggy Lake Como

-Frozen grapes. Yup, obv's I've got 'em here too. And I've converted all of the sorelle. They all buy blueberries and grapes and pop them in the freezer.

-When Sorella Hallum drops ''stoked'' or ''obvs'' or ''totes''. Hahahaha I've ruined the English skills of ALL of my companions.

-just how nice everything is here! Everything's just classy! Even the graffiti is classier in Como! I've never seen so many nice cars. In fact, a couple of days ago, we were having kind of a giu (down) day but then, I saw a Lamborghini. Mercy alive, who are these people?! I'll tell you, they're ANGELS! Every time we're at the back of the bus, we see someone offer up their seat to an elderly person! (Which we're always doing, too!) It's so sweet to see service like that daily!

-on Sunday I got the opportunity to play the piano in the other ward's Sacrament Meeting and interpret for a couple from Maryland! I forgot how much I missed English, but it was an incredible experience for me to be able to interpret the entire meeting for them, for it proved to me how much my language capacity has grown!

-That Valeria and Chiara (our two investigators who are sisters and that I'm obsessed with!) went with the GANS (young adults) for a conference this weekend over by Venice! They've been so warmly embraced and welcomed into the young adults and the ward, it's THE MISSIONARY DREAM!

-And lastly, this work is a work of miracles! The Lord plants miracles for missionaries EVERYDAY! It's beautiful to see! In fact, about a week ago, Sorella Hallum and I felt to pass-by this one woman we had found in our area book. We called her phone and she didn't answer... a couple of days later Sorella Hallum suggested that we should try again. So we went, she didn't answer AGAIN, but I felt we should leave a note. So we left her a little friendly note and a pass along card. Yesterday, we got a call from her saying she would love to meet with us and that she adored the note! In our little lesson last night she told us that she's ready to accept the gospel and the Savior in her life. It was beautiful and we're thrilled to see her again tonight!

Alla fine, we are here to be happy, folks. May we ever be grateful for all that we have and all that we're promised insomuch as we keep the commandments and strive to be ever closer to our Savior and His already outstretched arms.

con tutto del mio amore,
Sorella Baer