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