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Monday, April 15, 2013

(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.

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