"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, July 19, 2010

Here is a letter sent home from Kade, he received this from President Summerhays.

I thought that this was pretty comforting.

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I pray you will all see His hand in this transfer. He pays attention to the details of your life’s experiences. Be grateful for His orchestration of your present circumstance by making your area and companionship prosper.

I want to thank so many of you who are giving your very best in His service. I am inspired by the desire and effort that you are giving to fulfill your purpose to:

Invite others 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.

I find myself reciting this purpose many times throughout the day, and I have felt deeply that it is His purpose. As I prayed and fasted during the transfer process, a thought came into my mind that we must focus as a mission on the SMALL AND SIMPLE THINGS.
In response to this prompting, our focus for the next 6 weeks will be on obedience to the Preach My Gospel Refinement List.

"When the Lord commands, faithful obedience regardless of the apparent size of the task, will bring the Lord’s guidance, assistance, and peace." Elder Bruce A. Carlson Ensign May 2010, pg70

Elder David A. Bednar counsels us that “Obedience opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost”

I believe in your capacity to be valiant, courageous and obedient. Please do not settle for anything less from you or your companion.
I love you!

President Summerhays
Hey my family!!

I have so much to tell you all....now where to start?? Ha well first off I'll tell you about Saturday! I was so excited about Sarah and Maddison (9 and 8 yr old sisters) getting baptized that I completely forgot that transfer calls were that day. Well at about 7:45 our phone goes off and I see that it's from President. Still I don't remember that it's transfers, but rather I think that he's calling to congratulate us on the two baptisms we have planned for that day. He asks to be put on speaker phone and wants Elder Johnson in the room as well. Ha and still I have no idea why he's calling...I'm not exactly the brightest kid in the world. Well, once he starts talking about how we've been doing so well as a companionship I realize what today is...and I know that President doesn't personally call all the missionaries. First, he tells Elder Johnson that he's done a great job with me and is going to have him train again in Palm Harbor. I was really bummed about that because I was positive that we'd be staying together for another transfer. Then he starts giving me my assignment...I'll be going to Venice, which is in the Bradenton South Zone, to be a co-senior companion with a kid named Elder Nielson. I didn't even know what to say. We both thanked President and hung up the phone, and then the reality started to set in. Co-senior after 6 weeks? I immediately became apprehensive about the situation and figured that either my new comp is a disobedient missionary or he hasn't been out much longer then me. Well after some detective work I found out that Elder Nielson has been out for over a year. Haha but I've decided that it's not something I need to worry about. The assignment has been inspired, and it's not up to me to question the decision, but it is up to me to make the best of it and work hard. So that's what I'll be doing this next transfer.

The rest of Saturday was a lot of fun though! Elder Johnson baptized Sarah, and I was able to baptize her younger sister Maddison. It was an awesome experience to be able to perform that ordinance for someone. Madd was so excited to get to do it, and told everyone at the service that I was baptizing her because we both have brown hair and Elder Johnson is baptizing Sarah because they have blond hair. Whatever works, right? I could really feel the Spirit and felt so small thinking that I was being used to help this girl start a life on the right path. Well, Derek didn't end up getting baptized, but we're hoping that he takes care of it this coming week. Last Tuesday he asked if he could do it in the Gulf, and so I'm sad that I won't get to be there for that. I've been with him since lesson one, and now it's like I'm missing out on the finishing touches. He'll be an awesome addition to any ward that he ends up in though. It was crazy saying good-bye to my Palm Harbor ward! Even though I've only been here for 6 weeks I already feel like they're close friends. They were all really surprised that I was being transferred and kept telling me that I'll be back before the end of my mission. Hopefully I am, because I'd love to be back here.

We had an awesome spiritual experience this week. Elder Johnson and I were up tracting in the ghetto-ish part of our area, when we came across two guys working on a car in the driveway. While we were talking to them this lady came busting out of the house, and you could just see the attitude that she was bringing with her. "Just give us the book and leave" is what she kept telling us. Ha well we decided to be persistent and kept trying to talk to this lady. Honestly, she let us have it. "You wanna pray with me?? How about you pray that my car will start working so that I can go to work and have money to feed my little kids! How bout you pray that people like me, who do good things for others get some blessings. It's my turn to be blessed!" And it basically went like that for about fifteen minutes, while she was sobbing. I was wide eyed and speechless. She told us to go home and figure out why she has to suffer while people that wrong others live successful lives, and then come back and talk with her the next day. Well we went home that night and decided to put something together for Ms. Lashonda Johnson. Elder Johnson had the idea that we needed to sing to her...I looked at him like he'd lost his mind. Can you imagine two white kids standing in this lady's front yard of dirt and weeds, in the ghetto, in the middle of the afternoon just singing I Know That My Redeemer Lives to a lady? Well I hope you can, because we actually did it. And it worked. Immediately she started to cry, and we were able to use some versus that applied directly to her. While we were looking up hymns I decided to use the scripture reference to Be Still My Soul. It was Psalms 37:3-9 (I think), and it was honestly a scripture that looked like it had been written for her. She absolutely loved it, and we've been back almost every day now reading her a scripture. It's so evident that the Lord is able to guide us to people who need to hear what we have to say. I love knowing that it's not just me out here trying to decide what to do, but the Spirit is directing us.

Well I love you all so much!! I got Braydn's package, and the letters you all sent. Thanks for everything, and know that I'm praying for you all. Oh, and I got the picture book from Wal-Mart that you sent...is that the one from Lyndsey that you were talking about?

Love you all,

The first 2 pictures are at Clearwater Beach...Don't the empty nets look lonely?This is all the missionaries in the zone...This is all the Elder's from Idaho
These are the Ellison sisters that we baptised (it was so cool, Ma.)
This is the Comini family. I'm pretty sure the Mom is going to be baptised soon. I hope to be able to go back and see it.And these are just from the last couple days. Ha, the license plate was at a gift shop and then there's a lots of little things for the tourists in the area. Tell Braydy I''ll try and get some more bands to send home. Ha she mentioned it a bunch of times in her letter. But thanks for the little package! I was really excited to get it.

Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hello my great family!!

Things are moving right along in the Palm Harbor area! We have 3 baptismal dates set for Saturday! Now the trick will be seeing if they actually go through...but we're praying and working hard, so I'm hoping that they do. But about the letters...I think having the holiday on Monday really screwed Dear Elder up or something because I ended up getting three letters from you on Tuesday ha so I'm sorry for complaining. But I am glad that it lit a fire under my siblings! Ha what can I say? I love hearing from you all. Tell Brock not to worry about it! I would have loved seeing him, but it's okay. At least he has a taste of the humidity! And the lightening storms here are crazy. It really stormed here the first part of last week, but now the sun is back. I've gotten a little careless with wearing sunscreen, but I haven't been burned yet! Ha Elder Johnson on the other hand still gets a little fried. Luckily I do have a little of my Mom's talent to turn brown. E. Johnson's mom's email address is suzannejohnson@qwestoffice.net. Ha he said that she's going to cry if she get's an email from you and I told him that you'll probably cry writing it so it's fair. So did you all like the silly bands?? Ha I didn't realize they'd weigh the package down like that.

So transfers are next Tuesday, and I can't believe that it's already been six weeks here...I'm finally starting to really get to know the area and ward and now I don't want to get shipped off. I'm really hoping that E. Johnson and I get to stay in the area, but I know that if I do move it's where I'm supposed to go. So just some stories about the people that we're working with...Derek has a tentative date set for Saturday! He moves in two weeks for Med School, so we're really praying that this goes through. It would be hard to have him move after working with him since my very first day here. He has such a solid understanding of the gospel, and when I asked him about baptism he told us that it's something that he knows he needs to do, and it's something he wants to do as well. Every time we talk to him it helps my testimony grow. Now, I don't know if I've ever told you about Cheryl Comini before...If I have then you're going to get to hear about her again! Ha she's been having the missionaries over for quite some time, and when I showed up she was basically done with all of the lessons. Her husband is a member and so is his family, and they basically all live in the Palm Harbor area. They have three younger kids so sometimes their house is crazy, but they all love having us over. Ha when we walk in they all yell "it's the church boys!!". She's one of my favorite people to visit because it really feels like home over at her house. Well she's recently given up coffee and last night she asked us what else she needed to do to get baptized! She really shys away from setting dates, but it's on her mind. Last night we watched The Testament with her, and it was an awesome spiritual experience. When Christ comes to visit the people in the American continent I knew that everyone in the room could feel the spirit. I looked over at her, and she was on the verge of tears. It's a pretty choice experience when you know that an investigator knows it's true.

So I do have an embarrassing experience for you all to laugh at (I don't know why, but I can see Heidi really appreciating this one haha. Probably because she likes making fun of me in general ha)...Well we were biking over to visit Nanoshka (the 14 yr old girl that we're working with). We were right next to a really busy street called Tampa Rd, where tons of cars are flying by in both directions. I wasn't paying attention (of course) and started to drift really close to the railing on the side of the sidewalk away from the road. I got closer and closer to it until I suddenly snapped out of Kade Land and realized that I was in trouble. I had enough time to say "oh no...". Haha well my handlebar was in the railing and right at the point the railing stopped...and so did my bike. I, on the other hand, did not. I did a front flip/180 roll off the front of my bike and onto the sidewalk. I sat there for a second and realized that I wasn't hurt at all, but knew that that HAD to have been hilarious to the people who just saw that. Haha I started laughing really hard and looked up to see Elder Johnson looking down at me with huge eyes. I was expecting him to start laughing, but I think he was worried that his trainee had just broken his arms or something. Right then a lady in a mini-van swerved over to the sidewalk and asked if I was okay. I informed them all that I was fine, just really embarrassed. Haha and don't worry, I really am fine. I just have a little scab on my arm to remind me not to be an idiot anymore. So if anything, I hopefully made someones day if they were lucky enough to see the missionary crash on his bike.

Haha I love you all! Have a good week, and know that I'm praying for all of you. And mama, could you send me some more Tetracycline (the pills)? I haven't been paying very close attention to that and I ran out yesterday...I know, not too smart on my part.

I love you!

Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, July 5, 2010

This is President Summerhays first e-mail message to the Elders and Sisters in the Tampa, Florida, Mission. Kade had his first interview with Pres. Summerhays and his wife last week.

Dear Sisters and Elders,
I LOVE YOU! I find myself with many opportunities to impact the pattern of your mission and therefore the pattern of your life. I feel a responsibility to see that you set a pattern of excellence here; knowing that the very pattern you establish here will likely be the pattern you continue in the years ahead. Happy spirit now, happy spirit after your mission; excellent now, excellence after your mission; mediocre now, and unfortunately, mediocre after your mission. There is a quote that says, “few if any missionaries ever rise in their entire lives above the pattern they establish for themselves in the mission field.” The pattern of excellence is full of attributes such as faith, hope, charity, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, obedience and the happy spirit of love. These attributes will absolutely guarantee one a blessed and happy life. But if one cannot give to the Lord the best that is in you here, you will not likely ever give the Lord your best. And if you do not give to Him your best, then it is you that He cannot bless with the best that He and He alone can offer. There is no other guarantee available, but His, that will deliver happiness, prosperity and Love. His excellence is the only way that we can be saved from the depressing bondage of mediocrity. This is our chance. Now is the time. Today is the day. Rise up! Get up! Get out! Give this work all your heart, might, mind, and strength today and every day. If you will do that today then you can do it tomorrow. Decide today to be men and women of excellence. Do not let fear, doubt and discouragement be your mentors and counselors. Get His Spirit and keep it and you will be men and women of excellence. I LOVE YOU. I have been serving with you for only one week and already I love serving with you. As I have looked into your eyes and journeyed down into your hearts, I have seen in many of you the excellence of which I speak. As I continue this coming week to look into the eyes and hearts of the rest of the incredible missionaries of the Florida Tampa Mission, the Best Mission in the Church, I am confident I will see much of the same. His excellence is the way.
With Love,

President Summerhays
Hey my awesome family!
Wow, everyone sounds so busy! Life doesn't ever seem to slow down, and that certainly applies to missionary life as well. So first off I'll answer some questions...Elder Johnson and I are the only ones that live in our apartment. Of the apartments in our zone, ours is by FAR the most ghetto. For example, this morning while I was taking a shower a cockroach decided to jump on in with me...I didn't enjoy the company. I wasn't planning on emailing today because the library was closed, but we got some time to jump onto the computers at the front office of some other elder's apartment complex. Sorry if this letter is kind of short.
Nanny, I agree with you about Derek. We keep bringing up the subject of baptism, but he is still unsure about taking that step. He's devouring what we teach him and have him read, but it seems that he hasn't quite made the jump between it being interesting, to him really believing it. We pray for him quite a bit, and hopefully he starts to gain a more solid testimony. Now I have a funny/awkward story for you...There is a woman named Linda Morrison that we're teaching (I can't remember if I told you about her already). She's 62 and has been really interested in the church. It seems that whenever we're actually teaching her she loves what we have to say, but when we leave she suddenly has really random, crazy questions about the church. We're afraid that someone was slipping her anti mormon material when we were away. But anyways, we were teaching her one night in the hallway of her apartment complex because we can't be alone with a girl in the home. She was so appreciative and excited about what we were teaching that she REALLY wanted to give us hugs. We told her that that's breaking the rules (thank heavens) and so she grabbed my hand and elder Johnson's hand. She told us how much she loved us and while she was going about this verbally, she was rubbing our hands. Wow...it was SO awkward. Then she asks, "Are you allowed to have relationships on your mission?", to which i quickly and loudly responded "Nope!". Then she asks if we have girlfriends. Elder Johnson says that he does, and she immediatly drops his hand. Then she turns on me and asks the same question...I felt awful lying to someone so I said, "No, but I will when I get back" haha. She looks at me really close and says "With Angel Eyes like that you won't have any trouble finding someone."...Needless to say, my new nickname is Angle Eyes. Haha it was so very awkward. Elder Johnson said that in a situation like that it's okay to lie to people. Oh and to make a long story short she dropped us a few days later. We found a note on her door that said her "spiritual advisor" had told her to not continue talking to us. That's mission life though, right?? The fourth went well though! I missed my family, but we got invited over the the Bishop's house for dinner. Wow, and I can't believe I almost forgot to write about this. My mission President is AWESOME! I met him and Sister Summerhayes on Wednesday morning. We had a short interview with both of them, and I can say without a doubt that they are meant to be here. When he talks to you, you can just feel how much he loves and appreciates you. It was an amazing experience to be able to sit and talk to him. And he told us that if we have a legitimate investigator that wants to meet him he'd be happy to give them a few tips on their golf swing. Haha
Mom, I'm so glad you bore your testimony. Ha I can image the experience it was to get up to the podium and back, but I'm sure it was worth it. I'm glad you got my pictures too! I'm always worried that my stuff won't make it home. I'm going to try and attach a couple of pictures onto this email so we'll see how that goes. And tell Brock that that would be awesome if I saw him! Have him run it by the Pres, but the ward I'm in is the Palm Harbor ward (there's only one). I love you all, and I'm so grateful for this gospel. It's hard being away from home at times, but I know without a doubt that this is the Lord's work. Every time I read the Book of Mormon my testimony of it grows stronger. Keep working hard in all you do, and know that you have a brother/son/nephew/grandson/friend in Florida that's praying for you.

Love ya all,
Elder Kade Bartschi

The lush, green, tropical views of Florida!
This was the first day tracting and biking in the rain. It was fun then...but not so fun each day afterwards!
The beautiful skyline from our ghetto apartment. Looking outside makes it feel "not so ghetto"!


Elder Bartschi and MTC companion Elder Mat Marshall, from Porland, OR.
Provo, UT Temple
Elder Thompson & Elder Atkinson from St. Anthony, ID
Welcome to Florida! Elder Bartschi and mission companion Elder Maxwell Johnson, from Salt Lake City, UT.