I cannot begin to tell you all how I feel right now. I've been in Italy for exactly six weeks. It's so strange, because on the one hand it feels like Sorella Baer, District 33C, and I just got off the plane yesterday and on the other, well, it feels like I've been here forever. I'm starting to realize how truly precious time really is. It moves so quickly, and there's never anything we can do to get it back.
This week I witnessed a truly incredible miracle. My heart has been so full since Sunday, and I'm so grateful to the Lord. A little over a month ago I met a wonderful woman, named Beatrice, on the bus. She was very interested in the church and had actually met with the missionaries many years ago. She gave us her phone number and asked us to call her Friday at 2 because she wouldn't be working. We saw her again the next day, a Thursday. She reminded us to call her and told us how excited she was to meet with us. Friday came and we called; there was never any answer. We didn't know if we had written the number down wrong or if she had just changed her mind. For a month I have prayed for this woman and daily I have begged the Lord to help one of the many missionaries in our area find her. This Sunday I turned around and saw her sitting next to Anziano Scalese! I started crying right there in Sacrament meeting. Later I was talking to Anziano Scalese, and he told me that he and Anziano Young and felt prompted to stop at a park this last week. They knew there was a person there they needed to find. They found her! They taught her a brief lesson on the restoration, and she set a baptismal date with them. I cannot even express the gratitude in my heart right now. Thank goodness for Anziani who are worthy and prepared to receive and follow inspiration. I'm especially grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who answers our prayers. Things like this wouldn't happen if he wasn't there or if he didn't care. The Church is true!
Another miracle this week might not seem so important to all of you. Believe me, it is. On Thursday I received my permesso! It's my permit to live in Italy. It took me less then two weeks after my appointment at the questura to receive this wonderful little card. Here's the deal. My companion received hers yesterday, but she had to wait seven months. My appointment Thursday lasted less than ten minutes. Also, the man who works at the questura is the coolest ever! Basically we just spent those ten minutes laughing at each other. I am so grateful for this little miracle, because now I don't have to worry about anything. I'm legal! Yay!
We taught 13 lessons last week! This beats our previous record of 9! Hopefully this week we'll be able to make 15. "What are you thinking? 15 lessons." That's our goal from the assistants; we're going to do it!
Fun fact for all of you. I know some of you are more than aware that people are just fascinated with my hair. I don't quite understand, but I'm used to it. From a young age, I've had complete and total strangers walk up to me and just start touching my hair. Do I like it? Not so much, but I'm not too fussed. Well, Friday night we were teaching English course, the class had ended, and we were just sitting around talking waiting for the fireside to start. I was sitting and talking to Anziano Garner, and this sweet woman walks over to us and starts talking. Then she starts to pet me. I am not joking, this happened. She stood next to us and pet my head for at least five minutes, maybe more. I have never had such a hard time not laughing. I thought poor Anziano Garner was going to explode; his face was so red. So the next time you feel bad for yourself for any reason, just remember, it could be worse. You could be confused with a poodle.
Monday was the first day of transfer calls. I have never laughed so hard, so often, at a person who was stressed. Oh my poor companion. The office called us twice for other things, and each time she started shaking; she physically could not answer to phone, so she threw it at me. She literally threw it at me. All day she was freaked out. At night she made me call Anziano Young and see what was going on. He wouldn't tell me; all he did was laugh creepily, so that was awkward. My companion wasn't satisfied, so she wrestled the phone away from me and called him back. It's official; we're staying together for one more transfer!
We're losing some really incredible missionaries this transfer. Anziano Scalese, Anziano Angel, Anziano Pitt, and Sorella Bunker are all going home. I love these people so much! I don't know how I'm going to handle saying goodbye to them. They have all taught me so much and all shared so much experience with me. I'm very grateful for them and want all the best for them as they return home.
I greatly appreciate you all. I don't think I could be able to do this without all of your support. Thank you so much for all the letters and emails you send. I received a package of stationary from my mom two weeks ago, and I've almost used all of it catching up to your letters. I'm very sorry, but soon your letters will start being on graph paper again, because that's all I can find in Italy. I love you all!