That subject line was a quote from our dear ward missionary, Lisa. She's 18, basically our sister and comes teaching with us. She's the CHILLEST. We love each other, per esempio (for example), Monday, she wore an Edward Scissorhands shirt. She's lovely, and she was telling us about Cinderella and how she ''adores gus-Gus.'' Maybe it was one of those 'had to be there moments' but her accent, and enthusiasm, and how she said 'Gus-Gus'. Mercy, I was ROLLINGGGG.
COMUNQUE (However): Can we believe that we're already at week 5?! That transfer week is NEXT week. We'll see what happens! Beuts and I are pretty convinced, we're staying together, but vediamo (we'll see)!
This past week, was just, one of them weeks. Seriously, every .2 seconds I was raising my eyebrows and shaking my head in awe that something that obscure happened YET again.
Let's take a walk down memory lane for a minute. I ripped my skirt right in half getting on a train home from Verona. Like absolutely in half. That darn giant leap from the platform to the train. Then the next day, in Venice (more to come later) I sat down to take a picture, and unbeknownst to me, I sat on fresh bird poop. And yes, I chose to wear a black skirt that day. Those poor Venetians, and thousands of tourists who had to see that big spot on my skirt all day. The next day, I dropped my ring behind the washer. No fear ,folks, I could just bend down and get it. But lo and behold, I greatly overestimated the space I had between my face and the corner of our bathroom cabinet. One bloody face later, and I've learned my lesson. THEN. I decide for the first time this transfer to dry my clothes on the rack outside our apt. My ONE white shirt that was out there, consequently enough-- bird poop on it. FOLKS WHAT IS MY DEAL?! Mom, I literally couldn't believe it. Every darn thing. To be honest though, each time, I'd just crack up. I mean, it was humorous. The amount of times I laughed this week hopefully ensured that I'll live a long life.
A COUPLE OF HIGHLIGHTS:
-when the oldest woman in our Italian branch whipped out her magnifying glass to read a scripture in Relief Society
-when Sorella Beutler leaned over to me on the train and said ''Oh no.'' I asked what was wrong, and she then proceeded to tell me that as we were in a hurry that morning, she had made oatmeal that was too hot. So she put it in the freezer to cool it down before we left. And there it remained. Until we got home that night. Bowl, oatmeal, spoon and all-- frozen. It was AWESOME.
-when Beuts and I taught the Italian primary class the ASL for ''I am a Child of God''. Goodness, it was difficult, singing in Italian, signing in ASL. But it was so cute. We had 4 little, rowdy Italian ragazzi (boys), they were so dear. We loved it.
And now for our Venice chapter! It was INCREDIBLE! Literally, JUST like the pictures. Beuts and I were so stoked. Well, actually, initially we had serious paura (fear) of the rain. Because here in Vicenza it was pouring. We're thinking, ''It best not be rainin' on our Venice day!'' All of the other missionaries in our zone were planning on going too that day, but peaced out as soon as they saw the rain. Steadfast we stood, and as we pulled up to bella Venezia, blue skies and 75 degree weather was ours for the enjoying. From gondolieri singing to a sinfully delicious lasagna lunch under a lantern-lit awning, Beuts and I lived the Venetian dream. It was arguably one of the most defining days in my life. I joke, but it sincerely was the world's best! We took a water taxi to San Marco and with the wind blowing in our hair, we saw Venice by water, and then by walking down the little alleyways. Mercy, that city is romantic. Beuts and I were like... ''We're so grateful to have each other!'' She's great. We loved that WHOLE day. Despite the bird poop. and frozen oatmeal. I hope the pictures adequately portray just how beautiful it was!
Also, this week-- we traveled ALL over the place. We spent a day in Verona, a day in Venenzia, and a day in Bergamo! Oh, my goodness, Bergamo. As soon as we got off the train, I felt of the Baer legacy there. My dear big bro, Anziano Baer served in Bergamo and I was STOKED to finally do a blitz in an area where he had served! I was with Sorella Hanson, she's the smartest and greatest. She told me that we had an appointment with a less active that no one knew and that a member would be joining us. This member was just off his mission from London, and loved to go teach with the missionaries! As we met up with this member, I learned that his name is Mikhail Botta and that he's the bishop's son. I didn't think too much about it until I decided to take a shot in the dark. I said, ''Mikhail, do you know an Anziano Baer?'' His jaw drops. His eyebrows raised high. He then proceeded to tell me that Anziano Baer ate at his house often back when Mikhail was 14 or 15. He said that my dear bro was a great missionary! It was NUTS. I know that it wasn't by chance that he happened to come with us while I was on a blitz there, and that we met. I had a little taste of home, feeling the Baer legacy. Mercy, it was the world's best. It made me realize how grateful I am for the example of diligence my brother gave me. I couldn't be luckier to serve in the exact same mission as one of my heroes, and to be reminded of him, his goodness and his service OFTEN. I love it!
And for a parting thought, I want to talk a bit about grace. On the plane ride over from Chicago to Frankfurt, Anziano Lemmo, Sorella Bollwinkel and I decided to read the Book of Mormon together starting at the beginning for examples of grace. I have LOVED learning more and more about the beautiful grace of our Savior. Anziano Lemmo shared this scripture with me in 1 Corinthians 15:10 which says that 'I am who I am because of the grace of God.' How beautiful of a statement that is!!! As defined in the bible dictionary, grace is the enabling power from Jesus Christ that allows us to obtain blessings in this life and to gain eternal life and exaltation. It is only through the grace of Christ that we can do the things we need to. As a missionary, it is only through the beautiful grace that I can get up every morning, that I can open my mouth, speak this language and with courage and optimism share the gospel. We need this grace to be worthy of every blessing-- and the magnificent part of it all, is that His grace is sufficient for each of us, to 'heal us' as it says in 3 Nephi 17. We all are blessed by this grace.
May we realize this blessing. Utilize it. Rely on the Atonement. And strive each day to be empowered by grace to do more than we ever thought possible. Because with Him, we can.
I love this gospel with all of my heart. I have the remarkable privilege each day to bear with gladness and delight a message of hope and love to these people here. What joy fills my heart!
I love you all. I appreciate all of the support, and I pray that you all feel of my prayers in your behalf!
Con tutto del mio amore,
p.s. I love you.
p.s.s. Mama, I'm the RS pianist in our Italian Branch.
p.s.s.s. THIS WEEKEND IS THE MISSIONARY CONCERT AND ELDER NELSON! I'm so stoked! Even the uke will be makin' an appearance at the concert!