"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, 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