For this email, I thought that I'd share 6 things that I've learned as a missionary to celebrate the 6 months I've been missionary:
1) How to communicate. Bless my dear companions' hearts. I've learned the importance of communicating constructively and warmly. Ancora (More), I'm not huge into talking about how I'm feeling all the time, but I'm getting there. Missions are great marriage prep, because they teach you just how necessary good communication is! I'm so blessed to have learned this lesson as His full-time representative!
2) I've learned how to be creative, to work with what you've got! Be it a low stocked kitchen cupboard, few skirts and dresses that you have worn everyday for 6 months, a low budget-- as missionaries, you learn how to be creative and how to make really good meals with few ingredients, cute oufits out of stuff you already had, make cute notes and presents for investigators and members, it's great! You really don't need a lot to make stuff not only work, but look really nice!
3) How to trust. In a companion. In members. In a mission president. Sopratutto (Above), trust in the Lord. Trusting your companion is one of the best things you can do for your companionship. I'm so grateful for the companions I've had and as I've learned to trust them more and more I've been able to realize just how incredible and capable they are!
As we trust members, we have faith in their capacities and their desire for our success as well-- miracles happen!
And, here's an interesting thought I had recently: At the beginning of my mission I felt like a pawn in a game of chess, at any moment I could be moved to any other location on the board (for my intents and purposes, my game board is the Northern Half of Italy). And literally, a mission is like that. You could be picked up and placed in another spot to fulfill some other purpose at ANY time. It was a bit overwhelming, and nerve wracking. But then, I realized I'm a pawn in a game of chess, with the BEST CHESSMASTER. I have no need to fear, no need to doubt because the Lord Himself is the one moving me. He already knows all of the moves of His opponent, the adversary, so He places us, His missionaries, to fulfill His specific purposes, so we can combat that force. ISN'T THAT ENLIGHTENING?!
I have full trust in President Dibb because I know with a certainty he is a man led by and called of God. As we have trust in our companions, ourselves, our members, our mission leaders and the Lord, we can go forward in our missions boldly and successfully and become the missionaries we were created and designed to become.
|Sorella Baer in her red slippers (shoes), following the cobblestone road|
4) I've learned how to pray. I'd never prayed before as I pray now. I learned specifically and especially in the MTC the power and sweetness of prayer. My nightly prayer time is my favorite time of the entire day. When I can just open my heart to Him who knows me best. My relationship with my Heavenly Father has grown so much as I've learned better how to better utilize this gift, resource, and divine assistance of prayer.
5) I've learned the magnitude of the Atonement and how better to use it. Brothers and sisters, fam, friends, and folks, as His set apart, full-time representative, I can bear a witness, that with all that I am, I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that He lives. That He stands at the head of the church. My only purpose is to invite others to come unto Him. His message, our message applies to us as well. I have strengthened my relationship with my personal Savior. As Elder Holland puts it, ''Each of us needs to take a few steps into the Garden,.'' As I've been tried and tested, stretched and strengthened on my mission, I've come to know just how infinite and sweet the grace of Christ truly is. His Atonement is for all. His arms are outstretched STILL. He is anxiously awaiting our turning to Him. I love repenting. It's not easy at times, but the feeling of the nearness of the Savior and realizing the richness of His love for us is so beautiful of an experience. I can't sum up on paper or through email, my testimony of my Savior and His Atonement, but after 6 months of being a missionary, I know now better than before I was set apart how to apply the Atonement and bring myself closer to the Lord.
6) Lastly, I've learned of the many many blessings we receive because of this the true, restored, gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church on earth. I desire for all to taste of the sweetness of this gospel! It blesses and strengthens families, it grants us peace and answers, and it offers us the sweet truth of salvation! This gospel is so important!
I've loved these past 6 months! I've learned, grown, and changed so much!
The work here in Como is blossoming! I'm so grateful for the miracles I'm fortunate enough to witness! I love our members and investigators with all of my heart!
Con tutto del mio amore,
p.s. I love you.
p.s.s. I ate anchovies this week... #thethingswedoforthemish