"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, 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.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dear Sisters and Elders,

“Do you want to feel the love of God more powerfully in your life? Do you want to have the heavens opened to you daily? Remember that Elder Kikuchi taught us that if we follow a pattern set by the Prophet Joseph Smith when he went to a grove of trees early one morning, we can have the windows-even the gates of heaven opened to us.” Elder Kikuchi Opening the Heavens August Liahona 2009

Elder Kikuchi asked us to:

· Rise from our beds early—a few minutes before 6:30 AM

· Have a drink of water

· Exercise

· Wash , and make ourselves clean

· Dress for the day

· Go to a quiet place inside our apartments.

· Kneel, subdue our spirits before Heavenly Father, and call upon Him. Talk with Him in reverent , mighty prayer.

· Wait for His holy inspiration, pondering the scriptures or a recent general conference talk and think about the specific problems we face.

He promised us that if we did this and immersed ourselves in the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, and our studies, we would experience feelings of joy and strength beyond measure. He promised us that if we are obedient to our perfect mornings, our baptisms would double by Christmas. I feel a key part of our perfect mornings is having our own Sacred Grove experience every day.

Elder Kikuchi said that he knew from personal experience the spiritual power that can flow into our lives if we follow this practice. We will feel the love of God and a cleansing, purifying regeneration of our spirits. We will experience moments of revelation, when the Spirit whispers to our spirits what you need to do to be a better father, mother, son, daughter, missionary and a better disciple of Jesus Christ.

I also know that the adversary is not happy with this tremendous progress and faith. He will seek to distract, discourage and make us complacent. He will subtly argue that you can’t keep up this pace, that the weather is too hot and humid to labor all day and into the night. You need revelation and inspiration from your perfect mornings and Sacred Grove experiences to invigorate you. That revelation will not remain with you unless you qualify for it by practicing your perfect mornings every day. You qualify for it by being exactly obedient and having a passion and urgency for the work.

Thank you for continually striving to be exactly obedient to your perfect mornings. Thank you for stretching, both spiritually and physically, to improve your service. Thank you for believing that the days of miracles have not ceased. Thank you for expecting miracles in your own area. Thank you for your depth of commitment. Thank you for the privilege of partaking in this hard, demanding, invigorating and miraculous journey together. With all of my heart I believe in you. I truly do.


President Summerhays

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hey family!

It's been a good week here in Citrus Ridge! A lot of good stuff is going on, and we're hoping that it keeps getting better.

On Monday's we've started having lessons with the Jewell family. They're a really nice family, and recently had an 18 yr old guy named Josh move in. He isn't a member of the church, but one of the stipulations of him moving in was that he had to attend church with them. He's been for the last two weeks, and we'll be going over tonight to teach a lesson to the family. He's had a bit of a rough upbringing, but we're really hoping that we'll get to consistently teach him about the gospel. It's funny how we can tract for hours and hours, and then suddenly someone to teach just falls into your lap. Ha I'm definitely not complaining though.

So I think it was about two weeks ago now, but we decided to go through the area book and try to check up on some of the people in there that had been taught before. One of the individuals that we tried to visit was named Fillis. Well when we went to visit her a Hispanic man named Pat opened the door. Apparently the missionaries had written down the address incorrectly, but it definitely wasn't an accident that we got to talk to Pat. He invited us right in and allowed us to share some points of the restoration. He was really interested and invited us back. On Thursday we went back to his house and this time his wife Joselyn was home. It's pretty interesting to talk to people about religion. It's such a touchy subject with most people, especially those that have a strong belief in something, and so there's that slight tension when you begin talking. But before we began we had a prayer and invited the spirit to be present at the lesson. They had a lot of questions about what we believe and I think that deep down their goal is to convert us, ha but at the same time it was a really good discussion that we were able to have. They're really spiritual people, and they kept saying that we met them for a reason. Hopefully good things come from visiting with them.

We had an awesome mission conference this week with Elder Kikichi from the Seventy. At the beginning of the meeting we all lined up and got to introduce ourselves to him and tell him where we're from. When it was my turn he lit up when I said St. Anthony, Idaho. He immediately asked me if I knew the Law family. I told him that I did, and he just smiled and nodded his head. As the meeting progressed throughout the rest of the morning and into the afternoon he was able to share his conversion story with us. Apparently a Delmont Law from St. Anthony knocked on his door when he was a young man and was able to teach him. Pretty crazy to hear connections like that. His conference was awesome though. He really pushed the idea of exact obedience in the mornings. He made a promise to us that if we as a mission are exactly obedient in the mornings then the amount of baptisms per month will double by Christmas. Quite the promise, but I know that he's right. Also they've increased the standard of people contacted (like through tracting for example) to 125 people per week. We don't really have many people that we're consistently teaching right now, so that means a lot of finding is going on here. Ha we had about 143 this week (Tyler, I'm sure you guys accomplish that in about a day ha). But through more contacting there's a greater chance that we'll find more people to teach so it's worth it. On Tuesday we were trying to follow up with some people that had met with missionaries in the past, but had stopped for some reason or another. No one was answering their doors, so we finally decided to park the car in front of one of the houses and just go tracting. After about an hour or so we were headed back to the car and from a distance I could see a piece of paper stuck under the windshield wiper. I immediately assumed that it was a ticket and my stomach dropped...finally we got close enough and I could see some handwriting on it. When I pulled it off the car I read in big black letters "Elder welcome to park here anytime! God Bless". And then on the back it went on to inform us that missionaries always seems to show up when they're going through tough times in their lives...it was pretty cool to read that. No matter what we decide to do or where we go the Lord always seems to place us where people need us.

Happy Birthday to Grandpa and Jase this past week (there's probably been a lot of birthdays that I can't remember...ha just know that I love you)! Have an awesome week and know that I'm praying for you all, and I'm grateful for the prayers you've been sending my way as well.


Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hey Family!!
This has turned out to be a really good week. Well a lot of our investigators have really seemed to struggle progressing lately, so the start of the week was really easy to plan for us....lots and lots of tracting. But the good thing about tracting I guess is the few nice people you meet, and then the crazy stories. My favorite places to go are the rural little roads that people wouldn't normally think about. Fortunately they have quite a few of those here. Well we talked to an old baptist lady named Emily that wanted to argue a bit, but overall she was really nice. Then we talked to a crazy lady. Actually it was more of a one sided conversation...her yelling at us. She was shaking her wooden spoon at us while informing us that no she didn't want to hear about our church and she never will! Ha I just smiled and said, "Okay, you have a good evening!" which probably only ended up aggravating her worse.
We did have a couple of great visits with people this week, though. The Montgomery's are an older part member couple that are in our ward. Bro. Montgomery isn't a member, but he absolutely loves family history, and is actually over that for our ward. Well we went to visit them, and I decided to pick his brain on the subject a little bit. He was more then happy to help me out. We looked at the Kunz line (he was really impressed with all the work that's already been done), and it was pretty amazing. He has a membership with some of the genealogy websites and he was able to pull up a picture of the actual handwritten census of Samuel Kunz, James H. Kunz, and Merle Kunz. It was pretty incredible to see. Another part member family that we visited is the Bish family. Well once again the wife is a member, but the husband isn't. Bro. Bish is really into theme park stuff, and he's decided that I'm a pretty good audience to show his toys off to. Ha when we went to see them he tossed me a box of the Bertie Bott's Every Flavored Beans from the Harry Potter Theme Park and told me they were mine to keep. We got to talk to him about the kind of stuff for a while, and then normally when things get spiritual he suddenly disappears. Well this time we were able to talk about testimony meeting and then he stayed for the prayer as well. Hopefully things are able to progress with him.
Well this week we were able to set a baptismal date! Yeah, I was pretty dang excited. Tracie Vaughan is the investigator that has been meeting with the Orlando missionaries. She's successfully quite smoking and coffee, and right now we're just waiting for her to buy a marriage license. Her boyfriend is from Kenya, and they have a really cute little baby. Tracie's mom is a member, and she was there for the lesson that we were able to have with her. We were teaching the Law of Tithing which was a bit hard for Tracie to swallow because things are a little tough for them financially. Well I asked Tracie's mom if there have been times when she's seen the blessings from paying tithing. He mom was able to share her testimony of tithing, and Tracie promised that it's something that she'll honestly try hard to work towards. It is a tough concept sometimes, but I know that the Lord has promised us blessing when we do it.
Thanks for all that you do! I love you guys so much and I'll keep you posted on all that goes on here in Florida.

Elder Kade Bartschi

So these pictures are of Bro. Staber (ward mission leader) cutting my hair this morning. Haha he's a hilarious guy. And then the other one is of the Bertie Bott's every flavor beans from the harry potter theme park that a non member gave me. Ha his wife is a member and so is his daughter, and he really likes me. Consequently he gives me things I guess haha. I'm a big fan.
So I hope you like these pictures. On Friday night we went to the Burgoyne's house (they live in the country) and while we were getting ready to eat, Ross (the kid in the white shirt...he kinda looks like Cody), came in and yelled "There's a snake in the backyard!". Well we went out and looked and it was a cottonmouth. A shovel and a .22 later this is what was left of him.