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Friday, April 26, 2013

Vita e Bella! April 25, 2013

ONLY 5 DAYS 'TIL ITALY!!! (said in the Grinch-countdown-to-Christmas-voice!)

Well my dear folks, fam, and friends-- here's to the last MTC email!

I figure I'll start out I'll share some wondrous/humorous things that happened and then take us home with spiritual insights from the week and MTC in general!

1) Karma stinks. I slammed the back of my head on the bookshelf, yes, the very bookshelf in fact that my sweet companion whacked hers on. Darn that thing. But hey, now I'm sportin' this goose egg on the back of my head... I take it as my MTC souvenir. We laughed though--It's actually a running joke that we're all going to chip in and buy a helmet for Sorella Ervin because my sweet companion, darn it, can't keep her head off hard objects! Please bless Italy is chocked full of fluffy pillow-like things for her.

2) Another HILARIOUS companion story. Prolly the funniest one yet. I don't know what I did in the Premortal Existence to deserve my companion who makes me laugh so hard constantly, but I'm sure glad I did it! OK. PICTURE THIS: it's late at night (not too late... I'm obedient...) You and Sorella Bollwinkel are up talking about deep, doctrinal, inspirational stuff. All of your other roommates are fast asleep but the light's still on. You see your sweet companion, Sorella Ervin, out cold on her bed. But you notice that her leg is hanging off the edge. You're scared that if she continues to kick that leg around in her sleep, she'll have so much momentum that she'll just propel herself right off the bed! Well, folks, that's exactly what happened. Sorella Bollwinkel says, "Baerster, can I share something special with you?" then BAM. You hear commotion-- your companion torpedos/dive rolls right out of bed (fully asleep, mind you) and wakes up to the sensation of slamming into the the floor. Like, she totes did a 360 in the air. it. was. awesome. I've never been so proud of her. I rushed over and made sure she was ok, but mercy, WAS I LAUGHING! We all laugh about it! Sorella Ervin was BUSTING up, too! Whenever there's a quiet moment, I just replay the memory in my mind, and I'm in all sorts of glee. World'

3) Just a small funny little moment: we're teaching the Gospel of Christ as a class to our teacher, Fratello Weller. Anziani Axson and Lemmo were talking about Enduring to the End (Perservando Sino alle Fine). Anz. Axson testified of how members needs to feel welcome and to make friends. He didn't know how to say "friendship" in Italian, so he just said, "Amici-ship..." Maybe this is one of those "had to be there" moments, regardless. It was awesome.

4) Another that made me smile? We were working on TALL as a district. (TALL is this online computer program that we do.) I'm just minding my own bizz, listening, and speaking Italian into the little headset. Out of the blue, I hear Anz. Lemmo say, "I'm a rebel, Dottie!" Where the crumb have I been?! ANZIANO LEMMO CAN QUOTE PEE-WEE HERMAN AND I JUST FOUND THIS OUT?! Needless to say, we've been quoting Pee-Wee ever since. Although it took us 5 weeks to find yet another random, yet incredible movie we both love, I sure am appreciative!

And now for the two spiritual things that have been weighing on my mind this entire week:

The first one has to do with baptism: While teaching our investigator Salvatore about the Gospel of Christ, I felt prompted to share the experience of my own baptism. I found myself reflecting on one of the most special and significant moments of my life. I don't know how I was able to share this thought with our investigator, other than that the Lord filled my mouth with the very words in the very moment I needed them.
I shared how I remember being 8 years old and being relatively scared to be baptized-- I understood how big of a decision it was. The only thing that brought me comfort was knowing that my big brother, Devin, would be baptizing me. I remember us practicing where I would put my hands, and how I would be dipped into the water. He was only 16, I was only 8. But we were ready.
I remember vividly being in the white jumpsuit and heading down the steps into the font, and I saw my dear brother and hero already in the water with his hand extended. I was instantly filled with comfort and peace because I knew who was leading me and who I was following. My big brother and best friend was there waiting for me, and because I trusted him, I knew that my decision to be baptized was right.

After, I shared this experience with my investigator, I then shared a portion of 2 Nephi 31:13 which says, "[you will be] following your Lord, and your Savior down into the water."I testified to Salvatore that we have no need to fear of baptism because our loving Older Brother Jesus Christ is already into the water with His hand extended. We can have comfort and peace because we know who's leading us into the waters of baptism and who we're following. He's our Big Brother and we can trust Him into the waters of baptism.
--Anyway, this was just the sweetest, most profound, most special parallel for me to draw as it made me reflect on my relationship with Dev and how tender the experience of my baptism is for me and also how involved our Elder Brother Jesus Christ is with our decision to be baptized.
"[His] hands are outstretched still."

The second insight I had is regarding the love of God. One of our teachers asked us about the different ways in which we feel the love of God. Answers such as: reading the scriptures, through prayer, through feeling the Spirit were shared. It then dawned on me that a significant way that I feel the love of God is through His children. This is what I wrote in my journal about it: "I've realized that I so often feel His love through others. I have such a testimony of the goodness of mankind. Through a kind word, piece of good news, good deed, or compliment, we can feel of the love of God for us. And naturally so because every good things comes from Him. This makes me think of then the privilege that I have to be a vehicle of His love for any certain person. And that I can show them how apparent His love and mercy has been in their own life and how familiar the feeling is. I want everyone I meet to leave feeling the Lord's love for them."

Friends and family, brothers and sisters, I testify, and feel to do so, of the Lord's love for us. of the Lord's CONSTANT love for us. It surrounds us. It encompasses us. I recommend reading "The Love of God" by President Uchtdorf, it beautifully teaches and testifies of the prevalence of His love-- I keep this talk in my bag with me at all times to read and remind myself of His love for me:) I challenge each of us to look outside of ourselves. To notice love and brotherly kindness in all aspects of our lives, be it: the man that helps the woman lift her stroller onto the bus, the teen who held the door for you, the individuals that smile and whistle "just because"--these are examples of the light of Christ, and further, His love. We can then, realize that we are endowed with the same. We have the same privilege and duty to share this light, to spread abroad this message of goodness and kindness with all we come in contact with! May we desire to be loving, to be happy. Because we then can be the answer to someone's prayer to feel the Lord's love that day.

I have a testimony of missionary work. That this is His work and His glory. He's behind everything that I do. I couldn't feel more fortunate to have the companion, district, mission call, MTC experience and opportunity to go to Italy than I do. The Lord's blessed me. He's blessed us all, and if we pray to have eyes to see His tender mercies in our lives, I know that He will open them up to our understanding and recognition.

I love this gospel and will declare of its truthfulness for the rest of my life. It's a message of joy and gladness, and that's exactly how I feel.
Nel nome di Gesu Cristo, amen.

Tutto il mio amore,
Sorella Baer

p.s. I love you.
p.s.s. Hermana Israelsen shared with me this quote: "You are called to serve in the language in which you can testify most powerfully." WHAT A MAGNIFICENT QUOTE! I know that my testimony in Italian is not perfect, not even kinda. But oh, how I love Italian. I feel like this language is what I was born to speak, it's coming. Naturally. So to all of you- receiving mission calls and who are getting ready to go-- remember this! The Lord knows what He's doing, the language you're called to, is FOR YOU! love you all!

The last week at the MTC - Happy & Sad Times

Thursday, April 18, 2013

La Settimana Cinque-- buon giorno mia famiglia! (Week 5 - Good Morning, My Family!)

Goodness how time is flying. I can't even BELIEVE that I only have 11 more days here! The MTC seriously just keeps getting better and better and betterrrrrrrrrr. I got to host the new missionaries yesterday-- and I was so stoked to share my joy of the MTC with brand new freshies! I love these people here so much. Mom, I'm meeting like a good 35 people a day to add to a pool of the incredible people that I adore. My dear district- hot dang. Please bless we somehow reunite in Italy because I truly can't imagine saying good-bye to the very individuals I spend 16 hours a straight with every day. We sure love each other and I look forward to their company every day. I couldn't be happier or more grateful. Mercy, how I love my dear district.

Now for my wondrously uplifting week, where do I start!? How about with my SUNDAY OF DREAMS!? Picture this: Mary Ellen Edmunds bearing her testimony like it's her birthday and making me laugh so hard I cried. God bless that dear woman. And please bless I can see her again someday and tell her that she's my kindred spirit. She had the exact same sense of humor as me and had the sweetest testimony of missionary work and the power of sister missionaries.

This whole past week I've been personally studying "repentance". Unbeknownst to me, our Sunday talks topic was repentance. I've never before experienced or appreciated so much the Sacrament as I did on Sunday. My heart was filled with the sweet, peaceful, grace-filled love of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I can't adequately put into words just what I felt, but through sincere study and prayer of a better understanding of the Atonement, I testify that we each can receive that. My understanding of repentance has been sweetened. And my understanding of the infinite mercy of Christ has been deepened.

And to top off the Sabbath with a devotional by Greg Droubay (perhaps Bishop Droubay's brother? Totes looked like his twin...) He spoke about the differing media campaigns the church has. When he showed all of the church's advertisements and campaigns in London, oh my. How it made me miss it. He showed pictures of train stations and locations I remember enjoying. Mmmmmmm. Reminiscing:) Glad to see the sweet English folk are getting a taste of Mormon media efforts!

Fast forward to Monday. I'm starving. So all day I'm stoked for this one creamsicle. Yes, the delicious orange cream ones. I was just picturing it all day during class. It's finally meal time. I eat my expected healthy stuff (yes Mama, indeed) and then I book it to the ice cream bar freezer. I grab one. Rip open the wrapper. And immediately stuff that sucker in my mouth. As I bit down, I noticed that my lips were not moving. Rather, my sweet little lips seemed to be stuck to that darn creamsicle. For about 15 seconds, I walk around the cafeteria with this stupid bright orange thing stuck to my mouth until I decide to end my humiliation (joke.) So I rip the creamsicle out of my mouth. Hmm. My mouth is numb. And I seem to have lip residue on my popsicle. Yes, folks, both my top and bottom lips were ripped off and were now on an inedible, yet ridiculously anticipated popsicle. Then my mouth bled for a straight 15 minutes. My district's cracking up. And I didn't even get to eat the darn thing. So, ladies and gents, don't get too hasty. Nobody appreciates those seemingly hilarious "A Christmas Story" moments.

And then the highlight of the week? When our sweet Elder Scott came to the MTC for a devotional. Just upon his entrance, a significant spirit entered the room. His every word resonated deep within me as he testified of the sacred personal experience of prayer. I didn't stop crying the entire time. It was probably the only time in history that I'll ever cry more than Sorella Ervin. Elder Scott's message I felt, was just for me. He taught me to find a quiet place. To plead. To open my heart to Him who knows me best. My every concern, worry, thought, funny moment, interesting fact, fear, secret-- lay it on His altar. He doesn't care that my thoughts may be clumsily expressed. I need to pray with an absolute knowledge that He's listening. I need to ask in faith. And then move forward. We can not passively wait for an answer. To have faith means to ACT. Sometimes, His withholding of an answer is simply an evidence of His trust in me. Then He answers me in quiet moments through promptings. Oh how Elder Scott's message buoyed up us missionaries. Even after he left, the same spirit resided. I thought to myself, "I can't even explain how excited I am to talk to my family in 13 days. But oh, how I cherish the time I get to talk to my Heavenly Father tonight." And I sincerely have never prayed before as I did Tuesday night. What a sacred, beautifully personal, experience prayer can be for us. I plead that we all can plead before our Creator, our Father, the Almighty Maker of world's without number. For He's commanded us to do the very thing that can bring us more peace and consolation. Simply put, our sweet Father wants to hear from us. My sweet Father wants to hear from His little girl.

After the devotional, we always have a district devotional review. This time we had the three elders in our zone going to Romania join us. They're like our adopted children. Our little district is our saving grace, our family here:) And our testimony meeting that night was one of the most special moments we've shared yet.


-Fratello Mortensen. About 5'4 Inspector Gadget (Matthew Broderick twin) Italian teacher who's the dearest, spryest little guy. He taught our class yesterday and the whole time I was just so stoked about life because he's arguably the world's best person.

-FOUR SQUARE. The big four squizz-are. Our first couple days here it was like Sorella Bollwinkel, Anziano Lemmo and I. Then we got it to be cool. And needless to say, there's like a solid 25 random homies who play with us at gym time and they're the TOPS. We're all going to way different countries but we all love each other. I have this really solid punch-hit down, and nobody has hopes of returning that sucker to my square!

-I see Hermana Jorgensen and Sister Suttner OFTEN. It's so incredible to see my dear friends here and realize they're experiencing the same things I am:) couldn't be more grateful

-P-DAY temple trips. The sweet, quiet, STILLNESS of the temple is something I long for all week long. I absolutely love it. And then I get a bit teary-eyed when I think that after next week, the next time I'll be in a temple will be in the Rome temple with my beloved family in 2014. :) If that's not a taste of what the Celestial Kingdom will be like, I don't know what is.

My friends and family, I do miss y'all and think of our good times often. I pray for you all daily and am grateful for the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. I send my love and prayers. And leave with you my testimony that there's no more fulfilling work than that of bringing people to Christ. I'm bringing myself closer and closer to my Savior and I can't explain of the sweetness that I feel. I feel so fortunate to be a full-time representative of Him who will come again. I testify that He stands as the head of this church- a church that will continue to grow and roll forward until He comes again and leads this church from on Earth.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tutto il mio amore,
Sorella Baer
p.s. I love you.

oh and p.p.s. BE GOOD TO EACH OTHER.
Sorella Baer

Monday, April 15, 2013

Love This...

"I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?"
—Jeffrey R. Holland, "Missionary Work and the Atonement", Ensign, Liahona, March 2001

Going Full Circle

Maybe you noticed that one of Kelsey's teachers is Fratello Boynton. He is the son of Devin's mission president! How cool is that?

Gallery Update

(April 11, 2013) Vi voglio bene, la mia famiglia e i miei amici! (I love you, my family and my friends!)

WEEK THREE. DONE. #overhalfwaydonewiththemtc what.the.what

To those who are dearest to me,

How do I sum up a week full of the Spirit, laughter, personal insight and revelation and the Spirit?

I'll save my Conference insights for the end to take us home in an uplifting way :-)

- my comp was bending down to pick something up and TOTES nailed her head on a bookshelf. Like way hard. Now trust me, I'm not heartless. Yes, I laughed. Naturally. I had a flashback to all of those little kids that hit their heads on the church pews as they lean back. But fear not, I took care of her, we got her ice, meds--you know the works. Been there, done that. But in down moments, I just look back on her whacking her dear, opera-singing, curly-haired head on this wooden bookshelf, and I'm just a bit uplifted.

-so my compie and I are teaching Peters, our sweet Nigerian investigator. I asked him if he would pray for us to feel of the Lord's love for him. I meant to ask, "Is it ok if we pray on our knees?" so I said, "Va bene se sulle nostre gnocchi?" which translates to, "Is it ok it's on our gnocchi?"-- yes. like the pasta. Booooo. The words for knees in Italian is "gnocchia" so. needless to say, I slipped up and asked him if he could pray on his gnocchi. He looked confused and asked why we'd pray on his pasta... good times... good times...

-Anziano Lemmo, Sorella Bollwinkel, Sorella Ervin, Anziano Robertson and I had a Disney Channel Original Movie trip down memory lane. We got to a solid list of like 20, which included quotes and theme songs. It was like Aubrey was in the room with me. It made me miss her A TON but I know there's nothing better either of us could be doing, and I take sincere comfort in knowing that my dear sister is cracking her companion up with DCOM quotes in Portugal:)

Alright, now Gen. Conf. La Conferenza Generale. One of the most incredible experiences to have it HERE (in the MTC). When President Monson announced the number of full-time missionaries, I instantly started thinking that without the Baer sisters out serving that number would've been two less, without our district: ten less, without the Italian zone here: fifty less.

A talk that specifically touched me and was a direct answer to a specific question was that of President Eyring. He testified of the trust we can have in our Savior that He will take care of those we're concerned about while we serve others. I draw so much comfort in the promise President Eyring gave that the Lord knows His children and according to His timing, will bring them back into the fold. We can't give up on people. No matter how many prayers in their behalf we've given that seem to be useless. No matter how many times they've disappointed us or slipped up on commitments. We can have such joy in the fact that the Lord knows them, He has EACH of His children numbered, and He wants them ALL back. We do our part, He fills in the rest. We must love. We must serve. We must have faith and specifially hope, in the redeeming power of our Savior and His INFINITE Atonement that those who we love and have fallen away, will in due time, come back home.

Another recurring message that stood out to me was that of the goodness of mankind. Oh, how this affected me. The Spirit kept reminding me of this significant truth throughout Conference- that we can have hope in the future because of the goodness of humanity. That man is innately good. That people are innately good and desire to love, serve and cherish. We must meet people and look at people with through the lens of a hopeful, faith-filled, disciple of Christ and recognize where they came from and whose they are. We must treat all with love and kindness because it's not only just what they deserve, but it's also exactly what they need and long for. Each spirit longs for warmth and uplifting and we can be the person who provides it. When we're worthy of the Spirit, the Lord will have absolute faith in our ability to respond to promptings to reach out to someone. He will not hold back promptings when we're worthy. We then can have the privilege of being an instrument in the Lord's hand to spread His light and love with those around us. How great is our calling. Not just as missionaries. As sons and daughters of God, we ALL, be it hometeacher, lunch lady, bishop, neighbor, best friend, coworker, sibling, colleague, acquaintance, and even parent-- we can be that person. To be an answer to someone else's prayer. Prove the fact that humanity is full of light and goodness.

The feeling was indescribable as testimonies were born about the exciting time that we're in. Undoubtedly, the Lord is hastening His work. He has absolute confidence in 19 year old girls and 18 year old boys. He loves His people from all over the world, as evident in the 58 new missions opened. And this weekend especially, I felt of the sweet mercy and love our Savior has for the Italians. They're so valiant, they're getting a temple, and I can't think of anything I look forward to more than sharing what's most precious to me with people who will be most precious to me as well. I picture them in white already, and I get teary eyed. I feel such a connection with people I'm 18 days away from meeting (who's counting, really?) I feel so fortunate to be a part of an Italian Baer legacy (that's spreading to Portugal too:) Bring on the pasta, loud voices, talking with hands, BEAUTIFUL language, cobble-stone streets and gelato. Sorella Baer can't wait!

I have an absolute testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Savior's restored gospel on earth today. I know that we have the fullness of the gospel here. It is my joy and delight to share this message of gladness with not only the people of Italy but with the people I'll encounter for the rest of my life. What a beautiful message we have the PRIVILEGE of sharing! It's a happy one!

I love to teach. I love to teach in Italian. As soon as testimony is born, be it by the investigator, my companion or myself, the Spirit confirms to me of the truth. I have such a love for this gospel and the beautiful truth that I can be with my family forever. This doctrine is certainly my favorite in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know how I got so fortunate with the family I've been gifted. But it's their name and the Savior's name, I bear on a black tag above my heart, everyday, all day. I have absolute faith that the service we render as missionaries, blesses our families immensely.

Io so che Gesu Cristo e il mio Redentore. Io so che tramite l'Espiazione di Gesu Cristo abbiamo il privilegio ad essere con le nostre famiglie per sempre. Perche ho questa conoscenza, sono felice! Nel nome di Gesu Cristo, amen. (I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we have the privilege to be with our families forever. I have this knowledge, I'm happy! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.)

Tutto il mio amore,
Sorella Baer

p.s. I love you.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sorella Baer's Mission Farewell Talk, February 24, 2013

If you missed attending Sorella Baer's Plan of Happiness talk, you can listen to it here. It is a sweet, articulate message about something she believes in. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Italy-Milan Mission Blog Mission Blog

This will take you directly to the Italy-Milan Mission blog, maintained by the mission office. You'll see Sorella Baer's arrival in Italy around May 1, 2013 posted at the mission blog.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Week 2 Pictures

Sorella Baer with her compie, Sorella Ervin

The District's Sorelle

Hooray! Sorella Baer found her Sister Charity Suttner two doors down!

Breaking it down at the temple.

Sorella's got friends all over the place and they keep finding her!

Ciao Alle Settimane Due! (Hello To Two Weeks!)

Hello, dearly beloved family and friends of mine, week two down the hatch, and I couldn't be happier to share my joy with y'all!

What a wondrously splendid week this was! I'll start out with the most important things I learned and then take us home with some quality moments:)

I think ultimately what I learned is that I need to give everything I have, am and want to the Lord. This work is so rewarding, but it's also soooo hard. I have to hand over my every language struggle and problem to the Lord. Each day He's shaving off more and more of my rough edges as the Master refines me into what He wants and needs me to be. It's in His hands I want to be molded. I'm tasting of the sweetness of the Atonement more than ever because I'm relying on Him for absolutely everything.

I want this joy and refinement for all, be it my family, the Italians, my friends, my future family, Michael Jackson's kids:)-- we must declare this joy to ALL and let ALL take delight in the good news of the gospel! We've found it! Have we no better reason to rejoice?! There's a part in my PMG that testifies that as we come to know of the Savior and the Atonement more and more, our desire to share the gospel increases-- HOLY. THAT IS DOCTRINE. I love what I'm learning, the humility I'm attaining, the people I'm meeting and loving, and the work that I'm exhausting myself with. I've never been so tired, but I've never been so happy, nor felt so fulfilled. I need to remind myself daily to rise up to the call I've been extended, to elevate my language, thoughts, actions and desires to that of a disciple of Christ. I cannot and will not be casual about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There's no time for that. I must be anxiously engaged in good works because that's what I've been called to:) My heart is full and my smile gets bigger every day.

I realized I never told y'all but last week Sister Charity Suttner got here! And lo and behold, the tender mercies of the Lord-- our bedrooms are literally two doors away from each other. We have gym, meals and p-days with each other-- my entire district adores her and I can't even describe what it's like seeing her all the time!

ANDDDDD, Hermana Jorgensen got here YESTERDAY! I finally was able to see her for like .4 millisecs at lunch today and it was the world's best! She's in a trio and she looked good and beautiful as always. :)

Now for the fun stuff:) (For my dear Irma Abes, your advice to post-it each day in my planner about what happened, WORLD'S BEST ADVICE, because now I have all of these swell stories to share!)

1. Probably the funniest moment thus far at the MTC: Sorella Bollwinkel and I were lifting (yes, mom, like weights, my triceps are like MEGA-AWES right now) in the gym and there's this crazy awesome elder next to us. He's doing some weird air bending stuff and crawling on the floor. Like crayyyy, Mom. So naturally, I'm interested. I went up to this fellow red-headed homie and ask, "So...uh... can I ask what you're doing? I'm really interested... I've never seen this before." Then he proceeded to tell me that it was some internet thing he learned... then he literally said (AND THIS WHOLE STORY IS TRUE, SO BE PREPARED),
"Iron wrist," then he smacked his wrists together, 
"Iron legs," and he smacked his legs together, 
"IRON FISTTTT!!!!" and then this dear gingery elder punched the daylights out of a metal wall. Like, he just turned around and nailed the sharp metal wall behind us.

Bollwinkel and I were all, "uhhhh... sweet..." his dear knuckles started to bleed, but was he deterred? NO! he sat cross-legged as he meditated and took soothing breaths. WORLD'S BEST KID. Our whole zone now says, "IRON FIST" whenever they see Bollwinkel and I because of this story.

2. Devin- sidenote. Pres. Boynton's son, who served in Romania, comes into our class like three times a week. We chat, he's awesome, anyway, just thought you'd want to know, his dad's doing great. :)

3. Sister Shirley Davis, your dear package was lovely! Those Cadbury eggs lasted like .2 milliseconds in our district-- Happy Easter to us!

4. On Easter, we had Elder Causse come-- it was INCREDIBLE. Sherri Dew spoke at our Sunday devotional, love her. I want to be able to be as powerful and clear as a public speaker as she is. She's literally The Woman. And then we wrapped up Easter Sunday watching Elder Bednar's "Character of Christ"-- literally - mind.blown. I've never been so affected by a message before. I can't really explain it, but I mean every word when I say that I walked out after watching that a different daughter, missionary, friend and disciple of Christ.

5. I have a dear friend from Norway named Sister Rapp. On Monday she flew to Greece:( I'll miss her dearly but she'll be preaching the Grecians with the best of 'em!

6. On April Fool's Day, Sorelle Ervin, Bollwinkel, Pace and I had quite the swell idea. Mom and Dad's Easter package came on April Fool's so we didn't really know what to do with all of the Easter eggs. So we decided to hide them in the district's room next to ours. But instead of putting the candy inside, we filled them with the following words "APRIL FOOLS!" Bahahahaha! We thought we were hilarious and sly. Not really, it's actually kind of lame now that I reflect on it... hahaha ....whooops. Needless to say, the other district came into our room and was all, "SORELLA BAER! We know it was you! We were all stoked for some candy, when we found all of these Easter eggs, and oh, so great our disappointment!" I played it off like it wasn't me, and they have no idea. So. Challenge. Accepted.

7. TRC-- teaching Italian members. Basically the best thing. They definitely speak wayyyy fast. But Sorella Ervin and I had a wondrous time speaking with some dear Italian, saucy women. :)

8. After the divozionale (devotional) on Tuesday, we had a district devotional/testimony meeting. Oh my. Spirit so strong. Our district is literally one of my finest blessings here and I thank the Lord daily for the phenomenal people I spend 16 hours a day with. They're hilarious, different, and so uplifting.

9. Mom, I cleaned crusty toilets for a service project. So be proud. It wasn't that bad, all is well:)

10. Yesterday was arguably one of the best days yet. Sorella Ervin and I taught our new investigator, Salvatore. Guess how long our lesson was? 40 minutes. Oh my, oh my, oh my. 40 minutes of straight-up Italian. We were off-book the whole time. It was incredible. I love testifying in Italian. My language is simple and not flowery at all, but that allows the Spirit to reach the investigator. I felt the Spirit so strongly as I recounted the First Vision. Sorella Ervin extended the hard invitation to baptism (just a straight up, "will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?") and Salvatore was all, "... yeah." WE. WERE. STUNNED. We definitely weren't prepared for that answer! A bit caught off guard, I testified to him that Heavenly Father was proud of him and loved him incredibly. And that through prayer and the Savior, he would be ready to be baptized in 3 weeks! So tanto auguri, Salvatore! I LOVE ITALIAN. this language is beautiful. and to any who might disagree-- it IS the language of love. It's doctrine. Pretty sure it says so somewhere in, like, Psalms or something. :) jk

11. Last night, Anziano Lemmo crooned for us. This kid, is straight up, Frank Sinatra in the Italian flesh. He's SOOOO talented. And literally a professional crooner. Like, it's his job. Uhm, yeah, one of the best moments yet. I miss music sooooo. But, it's all good. I boogie and disco fingers, when it's appropriate. :)

Anyhoots, my dear family and friends, this work is so good. I'm so, so, so content right now. I love how it feels when I know that Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost is literally filling my mouth with Italian words, so that I can say and testify of what He needs me to. Our Savior is so willing to help us, we just have to ask. He's waiting. So reach out to Him.

Ho una testimonianza che questa chiesa e la chiesa vera sulla terra oggi! E perche ho questa conoscenza, sono felice! (I have a testimony that this church is the true church on the earth today! And because I have this knowledge, I'm happy!)

Tutto il mio amore,
Sorella Baer

p.s. I love you.