To those whom I love most,
I can't wait to explain how this week has been flooded with miracles! (Speaking of flooding, Vicenza got flooded this past week! Our river was 17 feet higher than it usually is! we're talking POURING. we were drenched, Sorella Beutler and I had so much fun sprinting and dodging the rain, it was a good time;)
MIRACOLO 1: Elder Nelson is coming to our stake on June 9th!!! Yes, the heart surgeon apostle whom we all love and adore is coming to the Venezia Stake! We have so many less-actives and investigators to take! We're all so pumped!
MIRACOLO 2: A dear member found out that I play the ukulele and unbeknownst to me, they got me one! It was such a surprise, and suchhhh a gift. Those who know me, know just how much I LOVE to play the ukulele; so this was a little tender mercy. Well, the best part is, I've started to teach Sorella Beauty how to play and we've been coming up with finding work ideas and how to use it! Talk about tracting! I can't wait to play around streets and centro, and find people with it, and bring them to Christ! This dear uke doesn't know what it's in for, other than the most fulfilling work on Earth-- MISSIONARY WORK! Beauty and I are PUMPEDDDD. Also, at our district meeting we were able to be graced by the musical talents of Anziano Burr (who has a cd on iTunes) and Anziano Burton (who was on American Idol and went to Hollywood)-- mercy, these men are great. Then the brilliant idea dawned on us to have a zone missionary music night. It'll be June 8 and we'll invite all of our investigators, members, less-actives, new-converts and all of their friends! The zone is so stoked! The uke will even make an appearance that night! We're hoping (fingers crossed and maybe strings pulled) that since Elder Nelson will already be in Italy that night, that he'd be able to come?! we'll see! Regardless, we're so thrilled to be able to use the gift and power of music to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, Anz. Burton and I have already started collaborating and arranging some harmonies and songs!
MIRACOLO 3: This one might seem small but still wondrous, the Arbogasts are arguably the most generous, thoughtful, and loving individuals I've ever met. To say they're our grandparents would be understating our relationship with them-- we LOVE THEM. This week they showed up with two brand new boxes of Master Crumble (cereal from the gods. I literally don't know how I went 19 years without this puppy, I can down a box in 3.2 seconds), a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper because they found out (randomly) that I love it, and canned corn, because at our lunch with them last week, I ate about 8 servings of it. They're so darn thoughtful to notice the little things we like, and they sure spoil us. Having them here is a constant reminder of the Lord's love for us and just how much He's aware of us because they listen to the Spirit so well.
MIRACOLO 4: I had the privilege of going to a new missionary training this past week. We met as two zones, where I got to see Anziano Axson, which was like seeing a member of my family! (I've been missing my MTC district!) I also got to see President and Sister Wolfgramm which was WONDERFUL. I absolutely sustain and adore them and know that they are called of the Lord and the things they teach us are inspired. While we were there, I learned that our goals reflect our desire (as stated in PMG) and that there are blessings to be given to us that are solely waiting in reserve for us to exercise our faith and ask for them. When we elevate our attitude and our efforts, we put ourselves in positions where the Lord can show us miracles. Being rejuvenated and spiritually electrified at this training was a miracle in itself!
MIRACOLO 5: It would be putting it lightly to say that having Sorella Beutler (I call her Beuts or Beauty) as a companion is a miracle, because I don't know how I landed her when pretty sure every other Sorella in the mission is praying to have her as a companion! Seriously, I'm told ALLLLL the time, "Sorella Baer! You don't know how lucky you are to have Sorella Beutler, I wanted her!" Well, folks, I can tell you, that I know how lucky I am. Everyday, I realize more and more of the blessing she is to me. Sorella Amber Beutler is absolutely phenomenal. She's diligent and kind, loves openly and easily, compliments and affirms, is hilarious and laughs often, is so talented and warm, and carries the most powerful spirit with her always. She testifies boldly and delivers everything she says with love and tenderness. She's one of the strongest individuals I've ever met, and I will herald her name into the eternities, for teaching me so much. I couldn't be here in Vicenza without my Beuts. We love each other, and I thank the Lord daily for the miracle I've been granted of my companion.
e MIRACOLO 6: (BACKGROUND) yesterday while I was out on a giro with Sorella Bush. (oh we were on splits) we ran into a woman who was DRIPPING with worldliness. As we talked, I felt of her spirit screaming to be taken care of, yet masked in artificial and temporary sources of satisfaction. Seeing her like this broke my heart. She had no desire to change. We testified of the inexplicable, lasting joy we can receive from the Gospel, but she wasn't that interested. After we returned home, I found my miracle, in Jacob 5, and it is THIS that I want to testify of today.
As the Lord is laboring in the vineyard, He is then led to weep as He asks, "What more could I have done in my vineyard?" Our sweet Savior is so saddened to see His different trees that He's nourished, digged and pruned still bring forth bad fruit. But then the servant says, "Spare it a little longer."
Brothers and sisters, family and friends, oh how we have the need to spare it a little longer. We can't be giving up on people, the Lord isn't. We have the miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which includes every individual no matter what their circumstance is, no matter the choices they've made or the sins they've committed. No sin or trial puts us outside the extension of His outstretched arms. We need to have patience and forgiveness, understanding and love with the different people in our lives. We are here to judge less and love more. The Lord would interract with and love all. After I read Jacob 5, my heart still hurt a bit for this woman, but my hope, faith and understanding of the infinitely PERFECT Atonement of Jesus Christ was re-established.
I have such a testimony that the Lord wants us ALL back. It is then our duty and privilege to do all we can to seek out those individuals that need nourishing, digging and pruning. We must LABOR diligently for them and their souls-- in this, we receive blessings and joy. I'm so grateful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary of Jesus Christ, where I bear witness of Him, as I bear His name on my chest, because I have been able to feel of the deep love He has for EACH of His children, and it is this blessing that I cherish the most from my mission.
Yes, this is hard. I do struggle. But I treasure the time I have each night to plead unto the Lord for these people. To feel of His love and desires for them. To feel how proud He is of them. I feel His love for them and for me so abundantly as I pray. I think my nightly prayer time is my favorite time of day because I can speak so honestly and openly with Him who knows me best. I love this work, and after teaching lessons and seeing miracles this week, I know that He is behind it all.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Con tutto del mio amore,
p.s. I love you.