"Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question - Unto what were ye ordained? To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth."
-D&C 50:13-14

Monday, December 27, 2010

President Summerhays' Letter

December 27 2010

Dear Sisters and Elders,

Thank you so much for all of your Christmas President’s letters. They were so uplifting and full of the Christmas Spirit. I am overwhelmed by the beauty and the sincerity of your service. Thank you so much.

Well, Christmas is past and we begin looking to the New Year and thinking about resolutions –about throwing away the bad and starting anew with the good and better things. At this time of year, I wish to warn you of something that will destroy your motivation and effectiveness as a representative of Jesus Christ. The adversary is very crafty in his use of this specific temptation. He makes this temptation look innocent. He can convince you that it is not evil. But, I repeat, yielding to this temptation will destroy your motivation and effectiveness as a representative of Jesus Christ. This destroyer of motivation and effectiveness is called: “distraction”. A distraction is anything that diverts our attention from your purpose of Finding, Teaching, Baptizing and Retaining those individuals that the Lord has prepared to receive His Gospel in your area. When you accepted your call to serve you agreed to: “devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs.” You have committed to serve Him with “all your heart, might, mind and strength.” Your consecration of all your heart, might, mind and strength insures that you will receive the Promise of: “more happiness than you have ever experienced.” I ask you the question: “Are you enjoying more happiness than you have ever experienced?” Could your mind and attention be distracted from Finding, Teaching, Baptizing and Retaining? I loved his sentence from a former General Conference: “…a distraction does not have to be evil to be effective.” The adversary knows that if He can distract your attention from your purpose, he can cause the Spirit to withdraw and you will be left dull, listless and without motivation. You will wonder why you are not motivated and happy when you have done nothing evil. Remember: “..A distraction does not have to be evil to be effective.” In a prior letter I quoted from President Eyring and I desire to say it again. “We are to act in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful. The pattern is simple but not easy to follow. We are so easily distracted…sitting down to rest can be more attractive than making appointments to visit those who need our priesthood service. When I find myself drawn away from my priesthood duties by other interests and when my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry: “Remember Him.” Elders and Sisters I hope you are “remembering Him” by memorizing and internalizing, “Remember This” found on the back page of Preach My Gospel. This will be our Rallying cry and our Title of Liberty for the New Year. Elders and Sisters I warn you to keep your thoughts, hearts and actions centered on your mission because distraction will destroy your motivation, your effectiveness and your happiness as a Representative of Jesus Christ. Please devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord. I promise as you do this: more happiness than you have ever experienced.” I love you and I believe in you. We can do it. We will do it!

President Summerhays
Hey my family!

It was great talking to all of you on Saturday! I'm a pretty big fan of being able to skype home. It was also nice to see that you're all just as I remember you haha. Maybe a few small changes here and there, but definitely the same people.

The week of Christmas....a completely different time of year when you're on a mission. It took me a while to figure out that even though it didn't quite look like Christmas, it would still be coming. But I don't think I've ever really focused on the real meaning of it all as much. A lot of the people that we've been working with canceled on us this last week due to the Holidays, but we still had some awesome experiences. The first of which was with Alex. We're were a little out of order as far as teaching the lessons go, but we were able to teach him the Restoration of the Gospel this week. Some people are blessed with the ability to accept and understand things easily, and he's definitely one of them. When we shared the first vision with him, he honestly didn't even question it. He shared some miraculous experiences that have happened in his life and made it so that he knows for sure that God cares and loves him as well as the rest of His children. When we started teaching him about the Book of Mormon he got a really big smile on his face, and I asked him what he was feeling. At first he wouldn't try and describe it to me because he felt dumb, but then he let us know that when we were talking about the book he had the strongest impression that he had to have a copy and to read it. He said that he's had that feeling a few times in his life, and whenever he feels that way it always works out for his benefit. After our lesson we couldn't give him the book fast enough. Alex isn't sure if he's going to move to Texas or not right now, but hopefully we have more opportunity to work with him. I know that he's been prepared to hear this message, and whether he accepts it here or in Texas I'm excited for him.

We had a good lesson this week with Frank Jones as well. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation, and he really enjoyed it. He likes to understand all the little details as well, which means he asks a lot of good questions. His Dad recently passed away, and I think that what we covered with him really made sense. He's been listening to the Book of Mormon on his phone as well as reading it, and he said that he's praying about all of it. Frank is really open to all of this being true, and I know that as he continues to learn more he'll come to know that it is.

Christmas was a lot of fun though. On Christmas Eve we went over to Bro. Staber's and he made us Manhattan and New England style clam chowder. It was awesome, and we got to open our pajama pants (thanks Mom)! Then on Christmas morning we went back over there and opened our packages from home. Thanks so much for taking care of me! All of it was awesome and I really appreciate you guys. I saw that pictures that Dad sent, and it looks like you all had a great time. I love you all and hope that the start of the New Year is fun!

Love you all!

Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hello my family!!

We had a really great week here in Citrus Ridge! No, we don't have snow like you do back home, but the leaves are starting to change colors and fall off the trees! Yep, Florida is about 3 months behind you. But we did have a lot of really good teaching experiences this week!

Our first official lesson with Frank took place this week. For a quick refresher (I know that I talk about a lot of different people), Frank's dad was a member of the church and when he passed away the church really stepped in and took care of his family. His dad never shared much with him, and so he's very curious and willing to learn. Well his lesson came at the perfect time....We were out tracting right before that, and ran into a VERY unpleasant man. He really disliked what we stand for and let us know it....over and over again. I'd never ran into somebody that negative before. By the time we pulled away from the door, E. Larson and I just felt awful. Fortunately Frank's lesson was right after that, and when we bore our testimonies to Frank it was just as much for us as it was for him. We taught about the restoration, and he soaked up what we were teaching. He promised to start reading the Book of Mormon and he even one upped us by downloading the audio version to his phone. Ha which I'm certainly not going to complain about. We have a return appointment with him on Tuesday and hope it stays this positive.

Another great experience was with Alex. He's living with a family that just moved into the ward. Kind of a confusing background, but I'll try and explain it: The Macias family is from Africa, and they moved to Spain, then Nevada, and now to Florida. Alex is a cousin of the family and is from Africa as well. He's looking for answers to religious questions that he has, and when we offered to meet with him, he took us up on it. Well we normally teach about the restoration first, but right when we sat down he asked us "Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?"....Well that sounds like some question the Plan of Salvation can answer. Now Alex has some conflicting beliefs going on....he was raised in Africa which means he has his tribal beliefs instilled in him, and then there were catholic missionaries that visited him there, and so he has that going on as well. And then he decided to try being Muslim for a while. Ha but when we were answering his questions he kept shaking his head and saying "That makes so much sense". He said that he'd asked lots of people these questions before and no one had been able to give him a satisfying answer. I'm so grateful for the gospel! It answers the "questions of the soul", and helps you feel at peace, and that's what Alex expressed as well. He wasn't able to make it to church on Sunday, but we'll be seeing him again this week.

Now on Sunday we didn't have the turn out we were expecting....we were hoping for Alex and Frank to show up and were disappointed when neither of them did. But we were able to spot a family that we didn't recognize....which means we quickly introduced ourselves. I'll make a long story short (sorry, I have to go), but it turns out that they're a family from Columbia that are going to be visiting for the next 5 weeks. They're staying in the same neighborhood as a member of the bishopric and due to some circumstances were invited to go to church on Sunday. Well they decided to attend and loved it. We taught them during the second hour with some help from a few members that worked as translators. They are planning on being back next Sunday and they took a couple copies of the Book of Mormon with them.

Well I can't believe it's the week of Christmas already! I'm looking forward to talking to you all, and will probably be calling around 12 here (10 am back home). I'm especially grateful for all of you this time of year. Know that I love you all! Thanks for everything.

Love ya!

Elder Kade Bartschi

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hello my Family!!

So it sounds like nothing has been slowing down at all back home. Especially with Ty going home on Wednesday! I've enjoyed having us both out here serving together. Well it's been a really good week here in Winter Haven/Citrus Ridge. I was on an exchange for the first part of the week in Winter Haven with Elder Savage, one of our zone leaders. That's the first exchange I've been on where I've left my area. Ha I felt so useless as far as trying to figure out what to do, but we had a lot of fun. There were some great people that we were able to talk to, and of course I was able to make a connection from home...We were talking to a lady in their ward and were trying to encourage her to make it back to church. Anyways we were talking about her conversion story and mentioned that her missionary had been from Idaho...well of course I asked where in Idaho, and it turns out that he's from Ashton! Which of course means that we are guaranteed to know similar people. Ha so she texts him (his name is Tyler Cude), and it turns out that he fills our propane tank. Small world? I think so.

Also this week we had our Christmas Conference. It was a really great program. Sister Summerhays had called a couple of weeks ago and asked E. Larson and I to sing Silent Night with another elder, and we were accompanied by E. Marshall (MTC comp) on the guitar. It was a little thrown together but I think it went over pretty well haha. There were a bunch of other musical numbers, and President and his wife got to talk to us for a while. So while I was gone in Winter Haven some really neat things happened. E. Larson tracted into Frank Jones. His dad was a member of the church, but he hadn't raised Frank that way. The dad got really sick and passed away a few years ago and the family was really hurting financially, so they weren't sure what they were going to do. Well sitting on top of his Dad's dresser was a pass-along card from the church. Frank called the number and he said the the help was amazing. They completely took care of the funeral and put together a very nice service. He's always wondered what it is that the church believes, and he accepted the invitation to begin taking the discussions! I got to meet him for a few minutes on Thursday night, and he's really an awesome guy. We stopped by Joan and her families home on Friday night and got to share a message with them before they took off for Virginia for the next couple weeks. They had Christmas cards all ready for E. Larson and I, which was really cool. We gave them the Joy to the World DVD and promised to see them when they get back.

Sunday was great as well. Jonathan has been really sick the last couple of weeks, but we finally got him confirmed yesterday! We gave him the option of having the Bishop doing it, or anyone else with the Melchizedek Priesthood. He pointed at me and said, "I want you to do it"....I was really nervous and asked him about three times if he'd rather have the Bishop do it, but he wasn't changing his mind. Ha I was a little stressed beforehand, but it was a really neat experience. Knowing that Jonathan has been baptized and now has the gift of the Holy Ghost is an awesome thought. He made E. Larson and I promise that we'll come back and visit him after our missions.

Well I love you all so much! I really appreciate all you do, and hope you have a great week!


Elder Kade Bartschi

President Summerhays' Letter

December 12

Dear Sisters and Elders,

It was wonderful last week to be with you at our Christmas Zone Conferences. I have always said this is the best mission in the church and that we have the very best missionaries, but I was impressed with the talents you shared and the testimonies you bore. Most of you are obedient and diligent and are serving the Lord the best you can. Many of you commented that you love hearing how your fellow missionaries are doing. So, here is another excerpt from a fellow missionary:

This week I’ve really caught hold of why I’ve changed so much...or at least a reason. Think with me for a sec...When you take away unlimited phone and car use, TV, radio, favorite songs, video games, friends, clothes, work, and school....what do you have? How much are you worth? More importantly...would you be happy? Right now...I have pretty much nothing...and I've never been happier in my entire life. As a matter a fact, I feel like I could fly. It's interesting to think about I think. It really changed me. What are my priorities in life? Anyway....that's my little spiel.

I desire that all of my missionaries feel this change of heart . As you do, you will be filled with the right spirit and you will be happy and successful. Here is a little gift for you to help you get this change of heart and to continue your perfect mornings. It is a 12 Days of Christmas Companion Study exercise. If you like it you can print it off and enjoy:

December 14
Scripture: 3 Nephi 17:12, 21, and 24, Christmas could hardly be Christmas without children. They are so much of the magic in the season. The Savior loved children. In both the new world and the old, he called the little ones to him. Song: I Think When I Read That Sweet Story (Children’s Songbook 56) or As I Have Loved You (Hymn 308) Assignment: Pray for each child that you are teaching. Discuss ways you can be a blessing to the children of your current investigators. (Can you improve the way you are teaching to help each child?) Discuss ways you can be a blessing to the children in your branch/ward. (Can you volunteer to do a sharing time in Primary or help with Primary Activity Day?)
December 15
Scripture: John 14:15; Matthew 7:12; Mark 10:43-44 and John 13:34-35, Turmoil and strife, combat and competition—our world is full of the consequences of man. But the Savior told us how to try to succeed, through peace on earth and good will toward men. Song: Our Savior’s Love (Hymn 113) Assignment: Today tell someone that you love them. Sincerely express your love for the Savior in your prayers.
December 16
Scripture: Matthew 18:21-22; Matthew 6:14-15; 3 Nephi 12:44, Jesus came to lift our burdens. One of the heaviest burdens we carry is that of hate. In teaching us to forgive, the Lord set us free. Song: Did You Think to Pray (Hymn 140) Assignment: Try to forgive someone who has wronged you. If appropriate, discuss the situation with your companion and get his/her ideas for ways you can go to that person and be reconciled. (You may want to write a letter next P-day to ask for forgiveness.)
December 17
Scripture: 3 Nephi 18:1,3,5,7,9-11, Have you ever wished you could be baptized again and start over fresh: When we repent of our sins and partake of the sacrament worthily, we renew our covenants and are clean. Song: While of These Emblems We Partake (Hymn 173) Assignment: Discuss with your companion your feelings about the cleansing power of the sacrament. As you partake of the sacrament this week, make a special effort to think about the Savior and your covenants.
December 18
Scripture: Matthew 8:23-26, We all have storms in our lives—storms of fear, anger and regret—storms at home, school and work. The Master’s hand can calm all our tempers. Song: Master the Tempest is Raging (Hymn 105) Assignment: Think back to the last time you lost your temper. Discuss ways you might have handled the situation differently. Today, be a calming influence on those around you--try extra hard to control your temper.
December 19
Scripture: Matthew 25:39; D&C 19:16-19, The greatest victory of all time was not won on a battlefield but in a quiet hillside garden. We cannot fully understand the cost of that triumph, but as Christmas draws hear, we should at least try. Song: How Great Thou Art (Hymn 86) Assignment: Accept the gift of forgiveness. Think about one of your weaknesses. Pray about that weakness and ask for help in repenting of it.
December 20
Scripture: Matthew 27:28-30; Luke 23:33-34 and Mark 15:29-32, Some things are very painful to think about. To see our Savior mocked and murdered is one such thing. And yet, through the scriptures, we should visit Calvary from time to time. We must never forget Jesus died so we might live and live more abundantly. Song: There is a Green Hill Far Away (Hymn 194) Assignment: Read the scriptures above and then share your testimony of these events with your companion. Write your feelings in your journal.
December 21
Scripture: Matthew 28:1-6; Isaiah 25:8, The morning of Christ’s resurrection was the brightest morning in all history—a time of transcendent joy following the gloom of the crucifixion. The worlds of the angel still echo down the centuries undiminished, “He is Risen!” Those words proclaimed the supremacy of life over death. As we celebrate Christmas, we also celebrate the free gift of immortality for all mankind. Song: He Is Risen (Hymn 199) Assignment: Study the accounts of the Resurrection. (See Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24, John 20 and 3 Nephi 11) Discuss these scriptures with your companion and then record your feelings in your journal.
December 22
Scripture: John 6:35; John 10:14; John 11:25; John 8:12, As the holidays get busier and busier, we become involved in so many things. Even as missionaries, our calendars fill up with branch/ward activities, dinner appointments, sending Christmas cards, etc. It’s easy to become focused on material things. Instead, let us remember where our lives ought to be centered. Song: Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful (Hymn 202) Assignment: As you walk home tonight, pause and look at any Christmas lights you might see. Discuss ways you can become more a more faithful missionaries and also on ways you can focus on the true meaning of Christmas this year.
December 23
Scripture: D&C 76:19-20, 22-24, Jesus is no mere figure from the past, captive in the pages of scripture. He lives today! He holds the universe to its course, and guides the work of his servants on the earth. Song: Once in Royal David’s City (Hymn 205) Assignment: Go caroling to several of your investigators homes. Bring the joy of the season to others and you share a few Christmas songs. Think about adding a few different hymns that tell some of the aspects of Christ’s ministry. (As I Have Loved You, Come Follow Me, etc.)
December 24
Scripture: Matthew 24:27, 29-30, 36, 42, Jesus came to Bethlehem a humble babe, born in poverty. But he has promised to return to earth in majesty. Then heaven and earth will be reconciled and the King of Kings shall reign. Song: Away in the Manger (Hymn 206) and When He Comes Again (Children’s Songbook p. 82) or Redeemer of Israel (Hymn 6) Assignment: Try to live this day as if it is the day of Christ’s second coming. Discuss with your companion what you would want to do to prepare for it.
December 25
Scripture: 1 Nephi 11:14-15, 18-21; Luke 1:30-32, 34-35 and 38; Luke 2:1, 3-16 Jesus was born in the meridian of time, thus giving an ideal vantage point from which to look both backward and forward. For the last 12 days you have stood, as it were, in Bethlehem, gazing in both directions. You have seen him minister, suffer, die and rise again. You have watched him return triumphant in the clouds of heaven. Now, you are ready to focus with greater joy on that moment when heaven came down to earth. Song: Joy to the World (Hymn 201) AND Silent Night (Hymn 204) Assignment: Consider what gift you could give the Savior and determine to give it all year long. Write it in your journal and refer to it often. Bear your testimony about the Savior to as many people as you can today!
Open this gift for you:
In your scriptures, turn to the Topical Guide and look under Jesus Christ. You will have 18 ½ pages of references! Christmas may pass, but you can go right on reading about the Savior’s life and mission. In fact, what you received during these past 12 days has only been a small taste of the scriptural feast available. The suggested assignment for the rest of our life is to read and enjoy the word of God as found in the scriptures. Give yourself a gift that fills every day of your life with the real spirit of Christmas! It will help you be happy and successful. That is my heartfelt desire for you. I love you and I believe in you.

President Summerhays

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hello my family!
Well it sounds like things are going well back at home. You're all busy and getting things done. Things are going well here as well! It's been a little discouraging because we haven't been able to meet with some of our investigators that we would like to, but hopefully that changes. It seems like Luis has fallen off the face of the earth. He was really progressing and attending church, and then suddenly he's not returning phone calls or coming to church. We're not sure what happened there, and it can be a little frustrating. But on the plus side, Joan and her grand kids are doing really well! We had our Christmas social at church on Saturday and we had called Joan to invite her. I wasn't banking on them showing up, and it seems that whenever I feel that way they do. Ha maybe I should just always plan on them not being there. Well anyways, they showed up and our ward was awesome. Immediately the Relief Society president grabbed Joan and insisted that she come sit with her, and the kids came and sat by E. Larson and I. Joan really hit it off with a couple of ladies in the ward, and we were actually some of the last ones to leave the party because they were all talking so long. Ha but that's the way we'd like it to happen. All of the ladies asked Joan if she'd be to church the next day, and she let them know that she'd really try. Well fortunately it worked out again, and they were there yesterday! Karys and Kelsey were able to go to Young Women's and they really liked it, and Khyser went to Primary. He feels a little old to be in there, but I felt that same way at his age. Ha I remember being mortified at the idea of singing in the Primary Program when I was 11. Ha but we're planning on meeting with them this week and hopefully are able to teach the Plan of Salvation.
Another great story from Sunday...We were walking down the hall after sacrament when a member in the bishopric flagged us down. He was talking to a guy that wanted to talk to us....Al is his name and this is pretty crazy, but he had been shopping in a local grocery store and found a Book of Mormon in there. Don't ask me how or why there would be one laying around in there, but he took it home and started reading it. He's read through 1 Nephi and let me know the the "Isaiah chapters were really tough" but he's on his way to finishing 2 nephi right now. Oh and did I mention that he's been listening to D&C on audio tapes in his car? Ha I was pretty floored as he was telling us all this. He's still very apprehensive about it all, but he attended a great fast and testimony meeting and told us that he had a really good feeling during the meeting. Al wasn't about to tell us where he lived just yet, but he took our phone number and let us know that he'll be in contact. It was a lot of fun having them all at church and it probably looked like were were running all over the place trying to play host, but that's because we were. Ha but I'd much rather have it like that.
I love you all and hope things are going well back home! I'm really grateful for all of you this holiday season. I also feel so fortunate for the message of the restored gospel that I get to share with others. It has made all the difference in my life, and I know that it does the same for everyone that accepts it. I'm grateful that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us all so much that he sent his son to suffer for us so that each and every one of us has the opportunity to make it back and live with him again. But not just as individuals, but we can be there as families. I love this gospel and all of you as well. Have a great week!

Elder Kade Bartschi

Here's a couple pictures from off-roading last p-day, our Christmas tree that we have, and then Holy Cow Rd. Haha I was laughing so hard and we had to snag some pictures of it. Oh and just so you know, I'll be home for Christmas is playing....again....ha

President Summerhays' Letter

December 5, 2010 Dear Sisters and Elders,

I desire your happiness now and forever. The lessons you learn while serving a mission will help you be happy. Let me share an excerpt from a letter from one of your fellow missionaries.

“On another note, I have learned a lot of life skills and treasures this week that will stay with me forever.. This week I had some amazing learning activities. I have been yelled at, rejected, and had doors slammed in my face all week. Its soooo good. I love it. I realized that people reject and accuse me because I stand for something. I have a standard. I have never felt better. Obviously I want everybody to meet with us and accept the gospel. But the rejection is great. Never let an experience go by without learning from it. I have learned how to learn, if that makes sense. The only way we can change is by applying what we learn. If we learn more, there will be more to apply. Change is the best part of being alive. I can’t believe I was afraid of it.”

President Hinckley has admonished us that we need to Stand for Something. Do we stand for the Savior as His representatives? This Christmas season let us stand for our Savior Jesus Christ. President Howard W. Hunter once gave us some advice on how to do that. He said:

This Christmas we must know Christ

Better than we know Him;

We must remember Him more often than we remember Him;

We must serve Him more valiantly

Than we serve Him.

I pray that we might treat each other with

More kindness, more courtesy,

And more humility, more patience and Forgiveness.

These are simple gifts we can give to our Savior. Can you think of others? I would love to hear about them. This Christmas season, let us as consecrated missionaries focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us offer our whole souls as an offering to him. Let us learn to love the work even when we are yelled at, rejected, and when we have doors slammed in our faces. If this becomes our attitude, we will know Christ, we will remember Him and we will serve Him more valiantly. If we learn this here, we will be happy and successful now and in the future.

I love you and I believe in you. You are the best!

President Summerhays

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear "Frozen in Fremont County",

Just so you know, I'm wearing shorts and flip-flips right now...haha I had to drop that in there. Anyways, Happy late Thanksgiving! It sounds like you all had a great time in Portland over the week. The drive didn't make me too jealous, and neither did skipping dinner at either of our Grandma's, but other then those minor details I'm sure you had a blast.
Now it was pretty odd spending Thanksgiving away from the family, but the members definitely did their part to help me eat away the pain...which in turn brought on a lot of pain. Haha Bro. Staber went all out--egg soufle for breakfast, and then gma Kunz's rolls, apple crist, turkey, etc.. It was awesome. Didn't taste quite like home, but it was pretty dang close. We spent a lot of the day there putting decorations on his tree and then stuff out faces as well. After that we visited another awesome family in the ward, the Ellison's. They fed us a little as well, but I ate very slowly and sparingly. Following that we went over to Bro. Wentzel's (he's in the bishopric) to watch our designated one movie on Thanksgiving. Ha we ended up watching Toy Story 3 because I hadn't seen it yet. It was a funny movie, and Bro. Wentzel has a pretty sweet viewing set up. All in all it was a really great day. Other then that, last week was a bit on the slow side. Everyone was so busy with family and preparations that we got stuck on the back-burner with our investigators. It seemed like just about everyone cancelled on us, which was a bummer. We're really hoping that this week is a lot more eventful.
But, guess what? Jonathan Turner was BAPTIZED yesterday! Ha we were nervous that he wouldn't be over his flu yet, but fortunately it all worked out. We've been trying hard to stay in contact with him, and when I had called earlier this week I asked him if he was still planning on getting baptized he said "Well, YEAH" as if it was an extremely stupid question. If only all of our investigators would respond like that...haha so except for the fact that I forgot to turn on the font until about 45 minutes before, it all turned out really well...it took some forceful baptizing on E. Larson's part, but he got the job done. Jonathan was really excited about getting baptized, and the program was really nice for him. His grandma came along with his little brother, but his Mom didn't show up...I felt bad about that, but I was so proud of him for making this decision. He's such a good kid, and he really wants to do what's right. He'll be confirmed on Sunday, and so we have that to look forward to as well.
Also this week we had a lesson with Joan and her family. I needed a haircut and so did E. Larson, so we turned it into a teaching opportunity as well. We got to teach her and her grandkids about the restorations of the gospel. They really seemed to soak it in, and the kids had really good questions as well. Joan participated really well, and we were able to leave a Book of Mormon with her. We're praying that she takes some time to read it and feel of the Spirit that will come when she does. They didn't show up to church on Sunday, but we're planning on seeing them again soon.
I love you all! Thanks for all the letters and support.

Love from the Sunshine state,
Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, November 22, 2010

President Summerhays' Letter

22 November 2010

Dear Sisters and Elders,

During this Thanksgiving season, I feel to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for the opportunity to serve with the best missionaries in the best mission of the church. Thank you-all of you. You have added so much to my life.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love the turkey, the stuffing, the veggies, the potatoes, the pies, the pies, the pies. I love the rich fall colors and our family traditions. We always start the day by running in an “Earn Your Turkey 5K” race. It gets easier every year for Sister Summerhays and I to win our age group-no one else our age is running. Our family always wins the “most family members participating” prize. They even have a division for 1 year olds-I smile when I think of those parents dragging their crying babies to the finish line. We then gather for our Thanksgiving meal. There are always quite a few of us, but everyone pitches in. We usually have a dessert contest in the evening with everyone competing-even our little ones. We have our family turkey bowl with the kids against the dads. They think they are going to win this year without Granny and Grandpa playing. We watch football and then have a Thanksgiving testimony meeting. It seems like we are up all night as we awake early for Black Friday. One thing I like about Thanksgiving is it is hard to be greedy. With all of the holidays focusing on buying and selling, Thanksgiving is still about people and not about things.

Our Thanksgiving story could be like many of yours. But, here we are-serving together our Savior Jesus Christ in the Florida Tampa Mission with all of our hearts, might, mind and strength. In fact, I remember being set apart as you have been set apart to have the power to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. Together we have been recommended as those worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the Restored Gospel. We are official representatives of the Church.

I have gratitude for the opportunity to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I have gratitude to serve with my sweet companion, Sister Summerhays. I have gratitude to serve with the Sisters and Elders and the missionary couples of the Florida Tampa Mission. I have gratitude for our family who is serving valiantly at home. I have gratitude that I made promises to live by in the Florida Tampa Mission. I have gratitude that I will be accountable to the Lord and to the leaders of the church for how well I honor those promises. I have gratitude and I would rather be here serving our Savior with you than anywhere else on earth. These are just a few of the blessings that I am grateful for this time of year. And I pray that we will all follow the prophet Thomas S. Monson when he told us in conference, “A grateful heart…comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives.” The Savior is the way. “Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His words. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude.” Nov. 2010 Ensign. P. 90.

As always, I express my deep desire for you to be happy here and in your future lives. Developing the gift of gratitude will help you be happy. I love you and I believe in you.

President Summerhays

6 Months!

These are the pictures of me burning the tie! It's a missionary tradition that every 6 months you burn something. Preferably that something won't get you thrown in jail for burning.
Hey Family!
It's been a pretty eventful week here in Citrus Ridge. We were able to meet with most of our investigators, and it's been a lot of fun to see them progress. But first off, congrats on making it to the tournament, Britt! Portland will be a fun place to spend Thanksgiving, but I'm pretty sure it won't be as warm as Florida. Just in case you were wondering haha.
Anyways, we've been working really closely with Jonathon Turner this week as we've been preparing him for baptism. He's really smart and always blows me away with how much he retains from what we teach. He's been excited for his baptism all week and when he was getting interviewed on Friday, most of the time the missionary who was interviewing him didn't have time to get through the question before Jonathon started answering it. Ha but unfortunately he came down with a bad case of the flu on Saturday night that carried into Sunday, so his baptism will be postponed until this coming Sunday. And since we got transfer calls this Saturday and found out that we'll both be staying , I'm not too bummed about it. I especially didn't want to leave this area so close to the holidays, so I'm pretty happy about making another round in Citrus Ridge. They also asked me to be district leader as well, so I guess I'll be trying my hand at that. I'm not quite sure what that entails, so hopefully I don't mess it up too badly.
We had a lesson with Luis on Tuesday of this week as well. He's extremely busy, like always, but we had a great lesson talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can always really feel the spirit during his lessons and when we approach the subject of baptism with him this week he told us that he wants to go through with it! He's not ready to set a specific date yet, but I'm really excited about the progess that he's been making. He's promised to read the parts of the Book of Mormon that we've left him, and we'll be following up with him tomorrow.
Another great lesson that we had this week was with a lady named Alexandra. She is friends with a member of our ward, Sis. Romo, and we were able to teach about the Holy Ghost while she was there. Alexandra had awesome questions, and at one point even teared up. She's probably in her 20s and is currently looking for the right church for her. We'll be meeting with her on Tuesday as well and I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes.
Well I love you all so much! Let me know how your Thanksgiving goes, and I assure you I'll be well fed here. Probably too well, but that's okay ha.

Love, Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hey Family!!

Sorry I don't have too much time this week! Yeah I know, I'm starting to sound like Tyler...haha but speaking of Ty, I'm not getting his letters again. Eric, could you help me out with that? But things have been really good here this week!

On Wednesday we had zone conference, which was great. President Summerhays is a really inspired man, and it's a lot of fun hearing what he has to say. After conference we stopped by a guy we had seen about 5 weeks ago. We were tracting and ran into this guy named Kelly. He was awesome and left him with a Book of Mormon. Well we followed up with him on Wednesday, and he invited us back later that night so that we could meet with his wife as well. We grabbed Bro. Staber pretty short notice and had him go over there with us. I was a bit intimidated because his wife is currently getting her master's degree in Theology, but she was extremely nice. She's had friends that were Mormon before, but she was really open to hearing what we had to say. Finally at one point she turned to Bro. Staber and asked him to share his conversion story with her. All I could do was smile when she asked that, because he has a pretty awesome one. Was 18, had never gone to church before, his grandma joined the church, the missionaries challenged him to read the BoM and taught him how to pray, he did and got his answer. After he finished he pointed out the fact that the Spirit was there, and she smiled and said "Yeah, I know. I can really feel it.". It was an awesome experience and we got a return appointment with them for Wednesday.

Jonathon has continued to progress towards baptism. We had two lessons with him last week and plan on doing the same thing this week. He'll get baptized on Sunday and we're really excited for him. He's pretty stoked about it. Also, remember the lady that we tracted into and I had cut my hair?? Well she and her grand kids all walked into church this Sunday!! Haha I was really surprised but excited. They came and sat by us, and by the end of sacrament the kids were begging Joan (their grandma) to let them stay for the rest of it. She consented, and they had a great time. The ward was also pretty excited to see an entire family show up. We scheduled an appointment to teach them on Friday. Luis' wife had her baby this week and everything went really well! The baby was 9 pounds which I'm pretty sure is about half the size of his Mom. Ha she's a tiny Peruvian lady, so I'm sure she's happy to be through with that experience. Ha but the ward has been really great about making sure they have lots of stuff for the baby. It's almost overwhelmed Luis to see all the kindness. We'll be meeting with him on Tuesday and hopefully extending a commitment to be baptized.

Well I love you guys so much!! Thanks for all you do for me! Which reminds me, thanks for those business cards, Ma! They're awesome.


Elder Kade Bartschi

President Summerhays' Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

Every week is a good week when I get to spend time with the Missionaries of the Florida Tampa Mission- the best mission in the church! I enjoyed being with you for zone conference. As always, the strength of your love and faithfulness lifts me and energizes me.

We have been studying the Fourth watch. The Savior, in Galilee, fed five thousand from five loaves and 2 fishes. He then sent his disciples ahead of Him to cross the Sea of Galilee in a ship which is soon tossed with the waves in a contrary wind. He did not come to them in the first, second, or third watch of the night. They are left to struggle. I am sure, with all their might, against the storm tossed sea -strengthening their muscles, hearts and wills until they have done all they can do. Then in the early morning, during the fourth and last watch He comes walking across the turbulent waters; first to build and strengthen their faith and then to calm the wind and sea. The end result of this experience is a group of disciples who are tired but strong in body and spirit. They also know that He will come to strengthen them in difficult circumstances after they do all in their own power. They are becoming disciples of courage who, in the not too distant future, will stand strong and faithful in the face of difficult circumstances to build up the early Church of Jesus Christ. They will exhibit great power and perform many mighty miracles in their future ministry. They will be men of courage and strength. In Mathew’s Gospel this is the first time that they expressed their belief that Jesus was the Son of God! “of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

Henry Eyring, the father of President Henry B. Eyring, was a wonderful man and scientist. He was a wise and good saint. He was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his contributions to science. At the end of his life, he was stricken with prostate cancer, which migrated to the bone. He was in severe pain and suffered much prior to his death. He spoke with his friend saying, “Why do I have to suffer so? Why is this so hard? “ Then he slipped into unconsciousness. He later awakened and spoke again to his friend saying: “I now know why I must suffer: GOD NEEDS MEN OF COURAGE!”

I am reminded at this time that the kingdom of God would also need to come forth in these latter days in the midst of turbulent times -Out of obscurity and out of darkness and shine to all the nations. God needs men and women of courage; men and women of faith, strength and valiance; men and women who would stay true, obedient, diligent, happy and optimistic in rough times; men and women who knew how to obtain His strength to accomplish great things in the midst of difficult circumstances. He needs to be able to count on the men and women of the Florida Tampa Mission to build the Kingdom now and for all of their lives. I have a firm testimony of these truths for those missionaries that are striving for this excellence. I know the end result will be men and women of courage and strength now and always.

I love and believe in you and pray that as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, you will plant your roots deep in the fertile soil of the Florida Tampa Mission and bring many unto Christ.

President Summerhays

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hello my family!

This has been a really good past week, and Sunday was a great finish to it. I can't remember who said this, but Sunday is like the "game day" for missionaries. You see if all the work you've done that week has been enough to get people to come to church. Ha and even though some of the people didn't come that we were expecting, there were others that we hadn't even been counted on showing up. But anyways, thanks for the updates throughout the week. I really enjoy your letters. Britta, congrats on the win against Sac State! Not a bad way to finish the volleyball career in Reed Gym. Ha but Grandma does have a point, there will be plenty of bleacher sitting time waiting for me at home.

So we had some really great experiences this past week. On Wednesday evening we were out tracting in a pretty big housing complex when we ran into a girl that was about 15. She was really nice and we told her about the youth group they hold at the church and let her with some information. Well about 10 minutes later we got a call from her older sister, Ellie. She told us that she's really like to attend it sometime, so we told her that it's normally on Wednesdays at 7. She said, "Perfect, well we'll come tonight!". It was 6 at this point and we were pretty floored. I'd never seen someone that motivated to just come and show up. We immediately called the YW leader and gave her a heads up and then let some of the youth know what was going on. And sure enough at 7, in walked Ellie and Julianne. They ended up loving the whole thing, and Ellie let me know that she's been praying for a youth group to attend so when she and her sister got the invite to ours she knew it was an answer to her prayers. They weren't able to come to church on Sunday, but they should be back on Wednesday night. Ha it was pretty much one of those golden experiences that just seem to come together perfectly. Definitely not a coincidence. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Also this past week we had another lesson with Luis. He's been really tough to get a hold of, but we finally got over there on Saturday and got to talk about the Plan of Salvation. I always knew he was pretty smart because of the questions he asks during the lessons, but I was able to understand even more after this last visit. So Luis grew up in Peru, got a scholarship and attended college in Russia where he was able to learn Russian and English, and that's where he got his electrical engineering degree. It was pretty amazing to hear all of that. Florida truly is a melting pot of people with backgrounds that are just about as varied as you could imagine. He soaks in what we teach him and we keep reminding him of Moroni's promise; that if he keeps praying and reading that he'll come to know for himself that what he's learning is truth. He really wants it to be true, and I know that as he keeps learning more that he'll come to know for himself.

Another cool experience was with Jonathon Turner. His grandma is a convert to the church, and we've recently started teaching him. Well on Saturday we covered the importance of baptism, and he immediately said "Well I want to be baptized!". Haha I was kind of caught off guard and said, "well....uh....that's definitely something we could arrange". We talked to his Mom and grandma about it, and they said that if it's something that he really wants to do then that would be great. Currently his date is set for Nov. 21st (the last Sunday of the transfer), and so we'll be teaching him the rest of the lessons these next couple weeks. He's 9 and can sometimes be a little....distracted....ha but at the same time he takes in a lot more then I sometimes think. We really had to start at the beginning with teaching him, covering who God and Jesus Christ are, but he was able to understand basically all of it.

Well, I love you guys so much! Have an awesome week, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Love your brother from the same mother (I think that one is thanks to Braydn for coming up with it haha),

Elder Kade Bartschi
Dear Sisters and Elders,
I love you! That love is deep, and profound and unexplainable. It is good to serve with you in the Florida Tampa Mission.
I recall reading a small book last summer. It is simply called “212 the Extra degree” by S.L. Parker. Here are a few ideas that I can remember from when I read this small and simple book.
At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water comes steam. And with steam, you can power an engine. One extra degree of temperature to water means the difference between something that is simply very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine. What would one extra degree in our work accomplish? It reminds us that small and simple things can make a difference.
We have been working on our Perfect Mornings. What is one thing we could do just one degree better? I am often asked by missionaries, “How can I make my study more meaningful? An answer to that question will have a powerful effect on the happiness of your life and those you love now and will yet love. Effective study will change your life and the lives of those you serve. Remember, “True doctrine understood and applied will change behavior.” Daily meaningful study of the gospel delivers that power, or that steam in your life that can be found nowhere else. It is the power of the Holy Ghost. When we study effectively we are taught by the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will give you in that mornings’ study sufficient nourishment and direction for an inspiring day. The Holy Ghost will properly feed your mind and the spirit will show you things that you should do. As you are nourished in the morning by the Word, you will be taught those things that, if used will bless someone else that day. Your sincere study will provide that steam needed to have the Holy Ghost teach you.
President Eyring, Elder Bednar and Elder Holland have all promised that something you are taught by the Holy Ghost in your morning study will be a source of strength and encouragement to someone you find and teach during that day. I echo that promise. President David O McKay taught us to “remember that the little things are parts of the great. It is through the influence of little things that I can become what I desire.” One degree is the difference between hot water and power. Preach My Gospel says, “Your calling gives you authority, keeping your covenants gives you power.”p.11
You are trying to set the pattern for your life. It is taught here. Are you going to try? Not only should you ask Him for help, you should tell Him what you are going to do. Then get off of your knees and do it and see His hand. Add just one degree to any of your efforts and you will bring the power from heaven for your engine. I am grateful for the privilege of serving with you. I believe in you!

President Summerhays

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hello my family!

Okay, so here's the week in a nutshell:Tracting and inviting people to the ward Halloween party, and then seeing how many people decided to show up. It was actually a really productive week though. We had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators named Luis. His wife is a member of the church and has been wanting him to learn more about it for a while now. And it seems like now is the time in his life when he's ready for it. He's had a recent scare concerning his citizenship in the U.S., and suddenly he wants to learn as much as he can. We were able to teach him on Wednesday, and the spirit was really strong during the lesson. I asked him if he was able to feel the spirit while we talked about the gospel and he said that he definitely could. Well, since we know that the spirit only testifies of truth, what does that mean?? Haha he said that he wants to read some of the Book of Mormon before he jumps into anything, which is a perfect response. We have another lesson with him on Tuesday, which I'm really looking forward to, and we'll see if he's been able to keep the reading commitment we left him. He showed up to church on Sunday so that was a big step in the right direction. Also we were able to give a tour of a church to a really nice lady named Suzanne. We tracted into her a few weeks ago, and she told us a little bit about her friends that are members of the church. She's been extremely busy because she's in the process of moving, but she was able to squeeze us in for a little bit and come to the church to check things out. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel and after we shared the first vision with her and asked if she'd ever heard that before. She looked at me and said "Have you ever heard of the Hill Cummorah Pageant?" Haha apparently she went to that when she used to live in New York and forgot to mention that to us. I think she really enjoyed herself, and we'll be following up with her this week.

Our Halloween social turned out to be a huge success! I'm not even sure how many people were there that aren't members of the church...I'd guess around 20. Ha we didn't even have much time to eat because we were all over the place checking on how people were enjoying themselves, and spreading the word to the members that they need to go meet them. We tracted into a family of about five girls that were getting taken care of by their grandma. We told them about the social, and guess what? They all showed up and they brought their neighbor! Ha it was really awesome. It seemed like just about all of them were able to find someone there that they knew as well. It was definitely a blessing to see so many people there that were enjoying themselves. A common thing that we're starting to hear among ward members is "Good things are happening here in Citrus Ridge" and it's definitely true. I really enjoy the people that we're working with, and the work is progressing.

I'm so proud of you, Whit and Braydn!! Congrats on the state finish! I love you guys and can't wait to hear from you all. Have a good week!

Love your "Elda Bro" (thanks for the nickname haha),

Elder Kade Bartschi


These are just some cool pictures I've taken within that last week. Ha it's been a fun week.
Ha brother staber insisted on us carving pumpkins....that was my creation in about 5 minutes. Considering the time it could have been worse.

Monday, October 25, 2010

President Summerhays' Letter

24 October 2010

Dear Sisters and Elders,

It has been a fabulous week, visiting with so many of you. I look forward to next week and the opportunity to visit with the rest of you. You are truly the cream of the crop and I am so blessed to serve with you. You lift me with your enthusiasm and love for your missionary service. I see the light in most of your eyes.

The tool for the harvest in this dispensation is the Book of Mormon. Without the Book of Mormon there is no missionary work. It should be the center, the key stone, the arch, the epicenter, the quarter back, and the heart of our coming and goings. There is no other book on the earth that will bring the spirit into your life as strongly and as quickly as the Book of Mormon. The missionary who does not read/study the Book of Mormon daily cannot be the instrument that the Lord wants him to be!!!

You can be perfect in scripture study as a missionary. A returned missionary wrote, ‘I can honestly say that I never missed one day of studying the scriptures on my mission (and I cannot think of any companion that missed a day either), frankly I cannot see anyway this could happen other than deliberate disobedience.”

Another missionary shared with me the quote from Elder Packer in Preach My Gospel, “In a world ever more dangerous…the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ has the nourishing power to heal starving spirits of the world.” When he read the word, “starving” he recognized that he needed to feast upon the words of Christ-especially the Book of Mormon.

And yet , another missionary shared, “I have found that when I have studied the Book of Mormon daily, the Holy Ghost ‘shows me all things I should do.’ We are to teach people, not lessons. When I encounter an investigator that is struggling with smoking, I cannot use the same lesson I used for another investigator who struggled with smoking. I need to know what the Spirit wants me to teach each individual. When I read the Book of Mormon, my understanding is increased and the right words at the right time are brought to my heart and mind to share.”

Elder Bednar in his conference talk,”Watching With All Perserverence,” stated, “regular reading of and talking about the Book of Mormon, invite the power to resist temptation and to produce feelings of love within our families (missionaries) . And discussions about the doctrines and principles in the Book of Mormon provide opportunities for parents (missionaries) to observe their children (investigators), to listen to them, to learn from them, and to teach them.”

When we are immersed in the Book of Mormon, we are immersed in the Holy Ghost. The Lord can then work miracles through us because we are being “shown” His will in all things and when we follow the promptings of the Spirit, the Lord’s wok is accomplished in the manner that He would have it done.

As I will always say, your happiness now and in the future is my deep desire. Making perfect scripture study part of your perfect mornings will help you be happy. I love you and I believe in you with all of my heart.

President Summerhays
Florida Tampa Mission
Hey Family!

It sounds like you all had a great week at home! Congrats on the district championship win, Whit and Brayd, and it was great hearing about Britta as well. And Blake.....I'm sure things are going well for you too haha. Wrestling practice, maybe?

Anyways, it's been a good week here as well. We were able to have some really solid lessons with people, with some return appointments (that's always helpful). There's a guy named Luis that we've been trying to contact for about a month. His wife is a member of the church, and we had met him once before. He wasn't answering our phone calls anymore, and so we decided to stop by and try to visit him. Well we caught him right on his way out and he invited us to come back the next morning. We showed up the next day, and he really poured out some of his struggles to us. He has to go meet with the immigration board on Thursday to find out if they'll be sending him back to Peru or not. He has a job here along with a wife and kid. The poor guy is on the verge of losing his mind it seems, and the only thing we could do is reassure him that everything will work out. We shared some scriptures with him, and it really seemed to calm him down. After that he asked us if we could come back and pray with him on Wednesday (the day before he finds out), and then he'd like to start "seriously" taking the lessons. Luis is a really great guy, and I'm praying that this will just be a wake up call for him.

Also this week we were able to to get three of the less active people we've been working with to church! We've been teaching Bro. Termini for over the past month, and he showed up to church! We were really excited to see him there because he's been telling us for weeks and weeks that he'd show up soon. His goal is to baptize his daughter in May, and coming to church was definitely a good first step. Also, one of the families in our ward brought their friend for the second week in a row. She's 9 and her name is Kiara. Apparently she loved it last week, so this week she woke herself up, got dressed, and over to their house on her own in time to ride with the family to come to church. I was a little nervous this week because we were asked to speak in sacrament meeting this week as well. I spoke on convert conversion, and I really didn't want to say something dumb that would turn away any of the people checking out the church. Unfortunately the people who said they'd come weren't able to, but I think that the talk went pretty well.

E. Larson and I have really been doing well together though! A lot of good work has been taking place, which is evident by the fact that we got kicked out of two neighborhoods, and threatened to get kicked out of two more. Ha I've never seen people that forceful or mean about us tracting, so I told E. Larson it must be his charm on people. But despite that we were able to pick up a couple of new investigators this last week as well. One is the grandson of a member, and we're pretty excited to work with him. We had a short lesson with him on saturday and he payed attention really well. That's a big plus seeing as how he's a 9 yr old little boy with lots of energy.

The ward Halloween activity is coming up on Saturday, so we're hoping that we'll be able to get a couple of investigators there to meet some members. We really do have a good ward, and so I know that if the people we're teaching would just meet some of the members they'd enjoy themselves.

I love you guys and can't wait to hear how everything goes this week!

Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010

Hey Family!
Well like always, this has been a crazy week, but this time it had a few more twists. I was pretty dang anxious to meet my new companion on Tuesday, but it turns out that I had no reason to be nervous. His name is Elder Ryan Larson and he's from Spokane, Washington. He went to a year at BYU before coming out here, so we're the same age. E. Larson is really smart and loves to work hard. That's a pretty good combination. He was able to participate in a mini mission (his senior year he served with a missionary in Spokane for about a week), so he's really been able to hit the ground running. Ha it's made my job pretty easy. But we've been able to get a lot of good work done! His first night here we were able to have a lesson with Elvis and that was a lot of fun. Teaching him is always such an awesome experience, and I'm glad E. Larson was able to experience that on his first day. We were also able to have a lesson with Marinette. I don't know if I've ever told you about her before...ha so if I have this will be a refresher. She's a Haitian lady that met with the missionaries a couple of years ago, and we've regained contact with her. Now you have to understand, Haitians are...a lot of fun to work with. Ha they're hard to describe...imagine Jamaican, but with a bit more of a french accent to it. Actually, funny story about her: One of the first times I called her I got her voicemail, and her greeting goes like this, "In da name of Jesus Chriss, God bless you for calling me today" haha I just about had tears in my eyes when I heard it. But our lesson with her was actually pretty productive! She was asking some questions about prophets and also about some of the set up of the church. Tell Uncle Kirk I'd like him here to help translate what she's saying (she'd much rather be speaking French). She also promised us that she'd be to church on Sunday...not quite sure what happened there, but we'll be checking in on here again soon.
Now we did have a bit of a downturn....remember Gina, the lady that I was really excited about teaching? Well we had a scheduled appointment with her on Thursday, and since our area is so big we had to plan our entire day to be down in that area to save miles. So we end up tracting for quite a while, and then when 7 rolls around we headed on over. She's the only house down this little country lane, and when we get to the end I see that her gate is chained and locked shut....I was a little thrown off, and then I saw an envelope addressed to me taped to the outside of the gate....I jumped out and opened it and read basically along the lines of "I can't see myself ever getting baptized into the Mormon church, and I don't want to waste your time anymore"....ugh, I was really disappointed. Occasionally I would like to take away people's agency, but I guess that might not be a very Christ-like attribute....it is really frustrating, but there's not much we could do.
So there's another guy that we've been teaching as well. He's an older Italian man named Mario. It's pretty appropriate to hear that he used to run a pizza shop. Haha anyways, his sister in Italy is a member of the church and we've been trying to convince him that the church isn't just for rich people. Well we stopped by on Thursday night and offered to watch Finding Faith in Christ with him. He LOVES talking about Christ, so we figured that would be a good idea. He lives in a really small trailer, and when his DVD player wouldn't work on his living room TV we resorted to the only other option: sitting on his bed in his tiny room where I could probably have laid down and touched all four walls. It was really great though, and we even put the language setting on Italian so that he could enjoy it more. Ha it would have been a sight to see. The whole time he'd sit there and repeat whatever Christ would say in Italian and then nod his head. After it was over he was very intent on us watching some of his "Jesus movies', but we had to go. Ha but while we were about to walk out the door he said, "you guys are my best friends". That was pretty cool to hear. You get to meet some amazing people while on your mission.
So last but not least, you'll never guess who decided to make her merry way to the Citrus Ward building....none other then my dear Aunt Heidi! Haha wow, talk about a crazy experience. It was really cool to see her, though. Haha it was like meshing two separate worlds together. I didn't quite know how to react. But I was reminded of how much I love my family, and how lucky we are to have each other. One of the reasons why I love the gospel is because I know that without it we wouldn't be as close as we are. Well I love you all so very much! Congrats on the wins Britt, Whit, and Braydy! I'm so proud of you guys, and can't wait to hear how things continue to go!
Love you!
Elder Kade Bartschi

A Visit from Heidi and Treats from Grandma.

Tampa city skyline (pretty awesome)

Me with the Halloween package that Gma sent me (it's awesome!)

Me with Heidi.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fun Disney Pictures

Hey my family!

Well this has been a pretty great week! We've been able to see some progress with the investigators that we're working with and also with some of the less active families that we've been teaching. I'm not sure if you use Elder Perry's Top 20 program back home, but basically what the ward does is select about 10-15 families that they'd like us as the missionaries to focus on and to teach. Well we have consistent visits with about 5 of the ones on that list and it's been a pretty awesome experience. Remember Elvis, the fire dancer at Disney? We're still teaching him, and he's doing extremely well. He was able to get his hands on his patriarchal blessing and his journals from his mission, and he's flying through it all. Ha it makes teaching him pretty simple but rewarding because every time we talk to him you can see it all coming back to him. Other then that we've been holding FHE with the Jewell family. Sis. Jewell is a single sister that has a bunch of her family that lives with her. They love having us over, and at one point we were thinking that we might have to stop going because the guy that was living there moved out (which just left sister Jewell, her two daughters and 12 yr old son, and then her older daughter's three young kids). Kind of confusing, I know haha. Well that evening the Relief Society president called us and asked us to "find a way to make it work" because Sis. Jewell really wants us teaching in their home. They're a really awesome family, and I was more then happy to find a way to make it work ha.
Other then that we were able to have another lesson with Gina Sastre this week! I never realized what an extremely smart lady she is. She's taken special courses and received certificates because of her extensive reading and analyzing of the Bible, particularly the book of Revelations. It can be a little intimidating talking to her sometimes, but she has a real thirst for knowledge. She pulled out the Book of Mormon/D&C/Pearl of Great Price that she had gotten 5 yrs ago from her first missionaries. The entire thing is covered by post-it notes and high lighting. She was amazed by how little she remembered from it, and finally declared that she would be reading it again, but this time it would be with an open mind looking for truth rather then just reading it to read. That was music to my ears. I know that she's so ready for the gospel to be in her life, and she's taking the right steps to learn more. She also told us that she'll be attending church with us next Sunday! Ha this lady is really awesome. We'll have another lesson with her on Thursday night.
Well we found out about transfers! Ha it's pretty funny to see all the drama that transfers create in the mission. Missionaries are calling each other the night before we official find out to see if anyone has heard any hints as to what might be going on, and then once we do know what's going on I'm sure the minutes used on our phones goes through the roof. I'm sure the mission office couples just shake their heads when they see the giant spike in phone calls. Anyways, I found out that I'll be training a new missionary next transfer! Haha honestly, my stomach did a back flip when I found out, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea. I don't really feel like I know enough, but if nothing else it will push me and help me grow.

Well I love you all so much! Thanks for all the letters and support! Have an awesome week and know that I'm thinking about you all!


Elder Kade Bartschi

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pictures with the Lakeland Zone

Beautiful Florida.

Me with the zone leaders (Elder Terry who is going home this week, and then E. Johnson)

Lakeland Zone with Elder and Sister Summerhays.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hello my family!!

Well this week turned out to be quite awesome, and conference only added to it. We've currently been struggling in this area trying to find some consistent investigators; consequently tracting and I have become close friends. Ha but guess what? It's really been paying off. This week we had not 1, not 2, but 7 NEW investigators! Definitely one of the biggest testimony building weeks for me. At times I've wondered if all the "elect" they talk about have already been found, but apparently the field is still white. Ha so I'll tell you all about it from the beginning.

On Tuesday we were on our way to a lunch appointment when we decided to visit Yvette. Sister Warren is a member of our ward and had told us that she had a friend she'd like us to visit. It was in the middle of the day and we were certain that she wouldn't be home, but we decided that we might as well try. Well she was home, and when she saw that we were "Chris' friends" she invited us right in. She has lived most of her life away from God, and is currently in the process of trying to find ways to learn more about Christ. She's honestly on fire to learn as much as she can about the scriptures, and we were able to watch the Restoration with her. She really enjoyed it and loved that we were "Young men spreading the word of God" haha. When we were leaving we went to shake her hand and she just gave us both big hugs. She told us that she was going to try and watch some of conference online, so we'll be visiting her again this week.

Another amazing visit was with Gina Sastre. She's on some old teaching records from 2005, and so it felt like a far-fetched chance, but we stopped by last week to see if she even lives there. Well she did, surprisingly, and invited us back a couple of days later. We went back over on Thursday, and talk about being blown away! This lady is insanely smart, she lives by herself, took all of the discussions five years ago, has been baptized into just about every christian (and non christian for that matter) church, but couldn't bring herself to take the plunge. She told us all about the missionaries that she had in '05, and she absolutely adored them. Even today she's friends with one of them on Facebook. She told us that she's done so much religious research that she feels spiritually burned out. It's hard for her to make up her mind about any of the religions anymore because she's able to see it from all sides. Haha it was pretty funny talking to her and hearing that. But something that was pretty great was when she told us that "when I talk to you, it feels like there's a light that comes with you. I haven't felt that since the other missionaries were here. I'm not sure if it's your message, or maybe just the training that they put you through, but you definitely have it". For someone so religiously educated, there seems like a simple answer to that confusion...haha so we're going to try and help her find that answer for herself.

Now about two weeks ago we were tracting and ran into Joan. She's in her early 60's and is trying to raise three granchildren, ages 12, 11, and 10. We were talking to her and she told me that she used to cut hair, but her health got bad and so she's been unable to work. Well I told her that I'd need a haircut soon, and she got really excited and gave me her number. In case you're wondering, Yes, I did shamelessly go to her for a haircut in order to have a teaching opportunity with her. But guess what? It paid off! Haha not only did I get a good haircut, but her grand kids ended up loving us! They're all very smart kids and were asking pretty deep questions about religion. They don't currently attend a church, but sounded interested in learning more. After my haircut was done we were probably there for an hour talking about church and fielding questions that they had. When we had to go one of the grandkids (their names are Karys, Kelsey, and Khyser) said "No, I want you guys to stay!" haha music to a missionary's ears. We promised to visit them again this week to pick up some business cards from Joan, and to teach a short lesson. It was a pretty awesome experience.

Conference was the cherry on top of the week. It was great to receive guidance from the leaders of our church. I loved how they stressed the importance of having a prophet and listening and applying his guidance. That's something I'm really going to focus on doing. Have an "attitude of gratitude". Catchy? Yes. Something I can work on? You know it. Ha well my time is about up, so know that I love you all! Thanks so much for all you do, and I'll keep praying for you!

Love you all,

Elder Kade Bartschi
Dear Sisters and Elders,

General Conference as always was so uplifting. I, with you, once more received a witness of the reality and the blessings of being a member of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that we are led by prophets, seers and revelators. It is an enormous privilege to serve with you at this time.

Last week I promised you that If you would listen attentively to conference and write down the things you received, you would find a hidden gem just for you. Did you find it? If not, as you make conference your walk and talk for the next 6 months, it will be there.

The hidden gem for me was to simplify. I want to live a consecrated and simplified life! I also loved when we were admonished to not “beat ourselves up”. That is something I have often heard Sister Summerhays tell you missionaries. Wasn’t it great to hear Elder Scott pound on Satan? He said pointing, “Satan’s destiny is fixed. He has no power.” Before I was a missionary, I was a Pro. I have often taught that to be successful, we need to go with the PROS- pray, read, obey and serve. So I loved when Elder Scott said we should “pray, read, obey and serve.” Elder Perry reminded us of the great privilege it is to have the priesthood, and that the Lord needs YOU to declare the Gospel to the world.

President Uchdorf taught us that “Pride is a deadly cancer. Don’t inhale it.” President Eyring talked about reading the scriptures. He told us that the revelatory process happens as we ponder them.

Obviously these are just a few of the gems we heard at conference. I would love to hear some of your favorites. And I, with President Monson, quote from Robert Frost, “I have miles to go before I sleep. ..and I have promises to keep.” Let us all press on in this great work. Let us continue our faithful commitment to perfect mornings. Let us have faith in the promises from our leaders, and strive to keep the promises we have made. Your present and future happiness is my deepest desire. Following our Prophet will provide that happiness. I love you and I believe in you.

President Summerhays

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hello Family!

Well it's been another good week here in Citrus Ridge. By the way, Citrus Ridge isn't actually a town, just what the ward is called. Our area covers Davenport, Champions Gate, a little bit of Kissimmee, and some of Polk City. Pretty big area, just not very densely populated haha.

A lot of tracting was the routine again this week, but we had some pretty awesome experiences. That's one thing that I really like about tracting is seeing the huge range of people that are out there. We met an older retired man named Wayne, and he invited us right in. He lives by himself and was probably just looking for someone to talk to, and fortunately for him, that's what we're good at. Ha he told us that he sits in a religious chat room for hours and hours a day, so he was pretty interested in talking to us. He asked a lot of questions and we gave him really straight forward answers. He really liked talking to us and told us that he has a Book of Mormon and he'll start reading it. Before we left he was laughing and told us that "I'll have some great things to say about your church in the chat room today. I just can't wait to see what the response is!" haha. It was pretty funny. Besides Wayne, we met an older couple. Their names are Chris and Irene Pajoni (like "Poor Johnny" is what they said haha). Chris is in his eighties and he's been a Freemason since he was in his twenties. I asked him about it and he was more then happy to give me the run down. Pretty neat to hear about, and they sound like they've lead awesome lives. Their daughter is the vice president of UPS in California and is a multi-millionaire. Haha everyone has a story and I love hearing about it. They were extremely nice though and Irene promised to attend church with us in a couple of weeks. After we had shared a scripture and prayed with them it really started to pour outside. We'd parked just a couple housed down so we assure them that we'd be fine running back to our car. They weren't about to let us leave in that though, and absolutely insisted that he would drive us. Haha so we got in the car and Chris drove us down three houses to our car. Pretty awesome people.

So there's this couple that we've been meeting with for the last couple of weeks. Originally we had been looking for a former investigator that previous missionaries had written down, but they had written the address down wrong. We ended up talking to this guy named Pat for about an hour, and he was pretty interested in hearing what we had to say. The next time we came back his wife, Jocely, was there as well. One of her best friends is LDS and she actually knew a bit about the church. They want evidence from the Bible for everything that we tell them, but they're really inquisitive/nice about it. Ha well we visited them on Thursday again and shared the First Vision experience with them. It was a pretty big pill for Pat to swallow, but "for the sake of learning more" he let it pass. Ha but while we were there Jocely made us tacos and we were able to have dinner with them. Dinner and a lesson with investigators? That's the way to do things I've decided. Now if we only had more investigators....haha but that's what we're slowly but surely working on. There's a few members of the ward that have friends that are interested in learning more about the church. We're really praying that we'll have opportunities to teach them a little bit. It's all about patience and timing and so that's what I'm trying to remember.

Have a good week and know that I'm praying for you all! I love you guys and look forward to hearing about this coming week!

Love you all,

Elder Kade Bartschia

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello family!

This has been a pretty good week here in Citrus Ridge. We've gone tracting a lot, and we've been seeing a lot of good stuff happen. The funny thing is that it hasn't necessarily been from the tracting, but I know that it's blessings from trying to talk to people. If that didn't make much sense (it does in my head, but that's not saying much) hopefully I can explain.

So I'll give you the bad news first and then the good news. You don't really get an option. Ha but our investigator with a baptismal date, Tracie, informed us at our lesson last week that she's going to be moving...this week. They apparently got into a fight with their landlord because he wasn't fixing stuff so they stopped paying rent (not a good idea in case you were wondering). It went to court and since they lost they had to relocate. The best deal they could find is in the Orlando area. It's kind of a bummer, but it was fun to work with her while we could. She's at the point that I know she'll get baptized soon.

We had some pretty neat experiences this week from tracting though. A lot of communities in this area are gated, so when we were driving on Friday we saw a bus dropping kids off at a housing complex and they had opened the gates to let the kids in....so we just kind of followed them right in. Haha what ever it takes, right? Well while we were knocking we talked to a really nice guy named Etonne. I'm not sure if he's from Haiti or something, but he was extremely nice and accepted the offer to have us come back and have a bible study with him. He told us that he's always more then happy to increase his knowledge. I think it'll be a great teaching opportunity. Also in that neighborhood we talked to a Muslim man named Teddi. He's from a British controlled island off of India I think, and was really nice. He invited us right in and gave us water and talked to us about his religion. It was really interesting to hear about his religion, and apparently he liked my curiosity because before we left he told me that the Spirit had prompted him to give me a Quor'an. It was a copy that he's had for years and is really marked up. He was really sincere about it and told me how important it was to him so I happily accepted. I tried to give him a Book of Mormon and he already had a copy. He wants us to stop by again and hopefully I can talk to him a little about "my book" instead of his haha.

Those were definitely some great experiences, but we've been seeing some blessing from the ward members as well. One family has talked to us about possibly teaching their friend and his son, there's a non member living with the family that we're going to have a FHE lesson with tonight, we just got a referral from the bishop of a couple that read the Book of Mormon and live in our area, and a new family moved in and the husband isn't a member but the wife wants us to possibly work with him. And all of that are opportunities that have come to us within the last week or so. I know that the Lord is blessing this area and it's pretty exciting to be apart of this work. Pray that we'll be able to work with these people! It would be an awesome experience to be able to teach some if not all of them.

I love you guys and appreciate all of your support! Know that I'm praying for all of you!


Elder Kade Bartschi

This is a huge orange field that we were riding by last monday when brother sensor took us off roading! Ha it was pretty dang cool.