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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Benvenuti a Como!

Once upon a time, I lived in the prettiest place on Earth. Literally, mercy alive, Como is BREATHTAKING. I'll get to this bangin' city in a sec.

My last day in Vicenza, my beloved Vicenza, Beuts and I had a final p-day and lunch with Maria and Lisa. Oh, my, saying good-bye to them - hardest thing ever. And peacin' out my city, the Arbogasts, and my beautiful Beutler=soooo hard. Now I realize what all of the missionaries were talking about when they said that transfers and changing cities is rough. But the Lord blesses us and how grateful I am that we worship a God of compensation.

Sunday, I received the BEST birthday present ever.... you ready for it?...... KELUM GOT THE PRIESTHOOD!!! When I found out, my whole darn heart was just so glad.

Allora, I'm all over the place! Ok, COMO: yes, it looks in person exactly how it looks in the pictures. We had no time to take any pictures of the city this week, so I'm really sorry-- next week. Our bus ride home from the church is BEAUTIFUL. Our church is up on the mountain, so when we come home, we can see all of Como and the lake and it's just... mercy... too much. Our area is HUGE and it includes part of  Switzerland. So yup, we HAVE to go up there often. Half of our ward lives in Switzerland, it's unreal.

Saturday night, my friends, I experienced propria Italiana cultura (their Italian culture) for real. We're talkin, walking in centro. Cobble stone streets. Accordian music. Walking on the boardwalk next to the lake. All of the Italian families out talking and eating. It was HEAVEN. It was one of those moments where the Spirit bore witness to me that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

Our work here? Let's say this, we're turning Como upside down! Sorella Hallum my new comp, said that they have only had an investigator in church once in the past three months. Well, this past Sunday, we had TWO! I don't know what happened to the sugarcoat-y Kelsey Baer, but Sorella Baer is just plain bold these days. When we invite people to church, we promise them the blessings, establish expectations, and wrap it all up in the love the Lord has for them. It's my FAVORITE THING TO DO. One of these two, Ileana, is my homegirl. She's 22. Italian. and the dearest thing to happen to me recently. We both met her for the first time on Friday and she is honestly one of the most prepared, elect individuals I've ever met. She has every desire to understand the principles of the gospel. She keeps her commitments, and she took notes in every class on Sunday. Needless to say, the ward ADORES her. I adore her. We just love each other! We look forward to setting a baptismal date with her tomorrow!!

And then there's Nazzareno. We set a bap date with him yesterday! and surprisingly so! We were just talking about the scriptures, and then my bold, preach-my-gospel missionary of a companion, asked him if he woud be baptized when he came to know that our message was true. He was a bit caught off guard. But we promised that if he has the desire to know, he WILL know. We showed him the font (yup, we have a beautiful font in our church!) and set the date! He said that this will be something good for him to commit himself too. I absolutely love to promise people blessings! You'd best believes I was blessin' him right up!

Sorella Hallum and I are really excited about our potentials and about taking care of the investigators we have, getting them to progress. I've also really been feeling about using our members more. Making them feel important and needed, because I've gained such a testimony of the 'marriage' between member and missionary and the miracles that can happen.

Another miracle: I live with my soul sisters. Sorella McCann and Sorella Carter. They're the other sorelle in our apartment and they're over the other ward in Como. Sorella Carter is hilarious and like a mix of Alex Staib (Rahn) and Liz Hinatsu. And then there's Sorella McCann, who's literally Kelsey Baer 2.0. I swear we're the same person. She went to BYU, too, we have like 914 mutual friends. She reminds me a ton of Alli Olsen and Gabi Butler. Needless to say, the four of us sure enjoy our time together! We came home after church on Sunday, and Sorella McCann and Sorella Carter had decorated our apt with birthday stuff and made a cake for me! Bless their hearts!

Anyway folks. The mission is good. The mission is hard. But oh, so good. The work is beautiful. One of the greatest blessings I claim as a missionary is the love we are endowed with for the people in which we serve and meet. This love is real. It's lasting. It absolutely occupies my whole heart-- I don't know how there's more space in my li'l heart to love more people, but there's always more space! I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!

I invite you all to realize the love you have for others and then thank the Lord for this gift of charity and the love we're given. It is His love and absolutely a gift. Jesus, my Lord and Savior lives. He's why I'm here. Follow His example, and you have the promised blessing of exaltation with those whom you love.

 My heart is so full of love for you all. I feel so fortunate to know those whom I do.

Be good to each other, won't ya?

Con tutto del mio amore,
Sorella Baer

p.s. I love you.

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