"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, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Braydn!

Wow, it's already the last day of February and Braydy is turning 15. It's crazy how time flies like that. Well the snow and the cold will be melting off pretty soon there and the humidity and heat is thinking of cranking back up here. It's already back up into the 80's. Ha but I'm not complaining: that will happen in July and August.

We had a good week here in Seminole. Our investigator pool is a bit on the shallow side, but there's a lot of less active members that we've been working with and we also had a few lessons with Paige this week. On Monday we went to a little group FHE that the Johnson family in the ward does. Sis. Typner was a less active member for a long time until her brother that lives with her got interested in the church. Elder Moffett and Gallagher taught and baptized him; consequently, Patty has decided that she wants to get back into church as well. Anyways, she went to the FHE and Sis. Johnson did a great job at preparing the lesson. The spirit was really strong and she taught about "Becoming"--the constant process that we're going through to become what we're meant to be. Pretty awesome.

Some other less active families that we met up with are the Jordans, an older retired couple from Illinois, and the Sennetts. Some of my favorite things to listen to are conversion stories. A lot of the members in the Seminole ward, or actually most of Florida in general, weren't raised in the church. Also, when people talk about their conversion story they automatically feel the spirit. I love the scripture in D&C 6:22-23, because it reminds all of us to reflect on that witness that the church is true.

Our lessons with Paige went really well this week. She is really genuine, and has told us that she'd like to get baptized, but there's some family issues that we dont' know about. She lives with the Klemm family, who are really strong members. Well Paige told us this last week that she'll be going up to Massachusetts this week to visit her family and hopefully resolve some things. We're really praying that they are receptive to the idea of her joining the church. She'll get back next Sunday, so we'll meet with her a few more times before she leaves. Last time we went over we discussed Alma 7 and the power of the Atonement. She's doing her best to repent and become ready to get baptized and I'm excited for her.

Well Elder Larson and I got some great news early last week. Frank Jones has decided to get baptized! While I was in Citrus Ridge, Elder Larson and I were able to teach him the first 3 lessons, so we both jumped at the chance to get back over to the middle of the state for the baptism We were able to find a member of the ward to take us, so E. Larson came down from Palm Harbor and we took off on Saturday afternoon. It was about an hour and I half drive, so not bad at all. Not many members showed up, but a bunch of missionaries in that area came over for it, so it was pretty fun. The spirit was really strong during the service, and it was awesome to be apart of. Elder Larson baptized him, and I got to be a witness for it. During some of the last talks they told Frank, "You're now the cleanest person in the room", and that was incredible to hear. This step he's taken will change the rest of his life.

Well I love you all so much! Have an awesome week, and have a great birthday Braydn!

Love you guys,

Elder Kade Bartschi

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hello my family!

It sounds like you all had a good week topped off with a trip to Vegas! Not a bad way to spend President's Day. Ha well this has been a good week. It feels like last Monday was a lot longer then a week ago, but I guess when you change areas that happens.

So on Tuesday morning Bro. Hui helped me pack all my stuff in his car and we took off for Seminole. It's only about 30 minutes north of Gulfport so it's not too big of a transition distance-wise, but I was surprised with how much of a difference there is with the people. Ha Seminole has a lot of older retired white people. Especially this time of year. I miss my Marquesha's and Brooklyn's, but they'll be well taken care of.

The first couple days I was in a tri-panionship. Elder Gallagher has been the zone leader in the Seminole area for the last 6 months, but a few weeks ago he tore his acl playing basketball. It required surgery so he found out a couple weeks ago that they were sending him home. His flight didn't leave until Saturday, so E. Gallagher, Moffett and I were together for a few days. It was actually really fun being with both of them and I was able to learn a lot. Both of them are really great teachers so I was fortunate to observe them. One investigator that we are currently teaching is Paige Wilson. She's 18 and is living with a family in the ward and has been attending church with them for the last couple months. We were able to meet with her a few times this past week, and it was awesome each time. They've been working on building her faith in God, and when we had a lesson with her on Sunday she told us that she knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. She has some family issues right now, but she told us that being baptized is her goal. Also she met with the Bishop this past week so that she could apply for BYU-I. Ha so who know, you just might get to meet her.

We also did something really fun this week. In our missionary planner it has idea for finding people to teach. One of them is to have a free car wash and offer people tours of the church while we wash their car. Not a bad idea, eh? So on Friday Elder Moffett and I made phone calls around the ward and got everything prepared and also got the rest of the zone excited about it. A lot of the zone was able to come and we all met at the Seminole church on Saturday morning. A couple of the missionaries stood on the side of the road with "Free Car Wash" signs and the rest of us were armed with sponges, hoses, and towels. Ha it wasn't quite as successful as we had hoped (only 1 person actually consented to getting shown around the church), but we had a lot of fun and left a good impression with people.

There's also a couple less active families that we're currently working with. I still haven't met all of them, but I think there will be a lot here for us to do. Have a great week and know that I'll be praying for you!

Love you all,

Your Favorite Floridian (I hope)


Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dear Sisters and Elders,
I have been thinking a lot about remembering. President Kimball once said that the word, remember, was the most important word in the dictionary. I believe this is so. As we remember Him by our ‘Remember This’, I would hope that we would pause each day and think about how we have seen His hand in our work each day.
President Eyring taught, “When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: ‘Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?’ As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.”
As I cast my mind over our days, I see the evidence of what God has done for me. I see His hand in the small and simple things. I see His hand every morning as He wakes me up. I see his Hand as I kneel in prayer and a name comes to mind who needs a prayer. I see His hand in allowing me just enough time to get enough exercise to help energize me for the day. I see His hand in the discovery of Gospel Principles in individual and companionship study. I especially see His hand in our safety as we drive many miles which allows us to arrive on time for a special baptism of a family of three. I see His hand as I read the letters of the diligent, hard working missionaries of the Florida Tampa Mission. Many of those letters cause tears to flow as I feel of your heartfelt determination to fulfill your purpose.
My prayer is that you will see His hand in your life, especially in the small and simple things. Find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness and write them down so you won’t forget. The Holy Ghost will help you see what God has done for you. You will find that He loves us and blesses us more than we have recognized. If we will develop the pattern of remembering Him as we serve Him here, we will establish a pattern of remembering Him throughout our lives and serve Him forever. That is my desire.
‘Remember this’ Ask referrals from everyone! I Love you and pray for you.
President Summerhays J

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!
Well this is the last week I'll be emailing you from Gulfport (or at least for now)! Ha we found out about transfers on Saturday, and this is what happened. So since our first day serving together I've been telling Elder Ames that he's going to be training a new missionary next transfer. So when the phone rang at 7:45 on Saturday morning and it said President Summerhays on the caller ID, we were both thinking that I had been right. Well....I was wrong. Really wrong. President informed us that he'd like me to be a zone leader in St. Petersburg, and Elder Ames would become the district leader and stay in Gulfport. Ha neither of us saw that coming, but we were pretty excited about it. We'll be in the same zone, and get to work with each other still. I feel a bit inadequate, but I know it's going to make me grow a lot.
So other then that, we've had a pretty good week here. Our most consistent lessons were with some of the less active members of the ward. Last week we got a referral from one of the branch members for Patricia Reynolds. She joined the church a couple of years ago, but she hasn't attended in quite a while. She doesn't feel like she knows much about the church and is a little lost, so we started right at the beginning. We taught the first lesson and she was able to refresh her memory, and feel the Spirit that comes when you discuss the Restoration. Our branch does a FHE on Monday nights where they study scriptures, and she committed to attending that.
We're just about done teaching Ben Sandrowitz the lessons as well. He was the less active member that we contacted my first week here, and he's attended every Sunday since then except for one. Ha some people simply need the invitation to come back. The branch president suggested that we review the discussions, so we've been doing that on a weekly basis. I'm bummed that I won't get to finish teaching those to him, but he's doing really well. It's amazing to see the difference in a person's life when they go from being less active to full activity. Ben is in the middle of a divorce right now, and we've been consistently talking about getting him to to marry in the temple the next time around. It's definitely a goal that he has for himself.
We had a couple of good lessons with Marquesha this week. We showed her the Prophet of the Restoration DVD and she really enjoyed it. At the end of the movie she kept telling us that she couldn't believe that that actually happened. She wasn't able to attend church with us this Sunday, but we're hoping that she continues to do well. I'm sure Elder Ames and his new comp will take care of her.
Well I love you all! So I hear that bkb is over, but I know that's not going to slow anyone down. Have a great week!


Elder Kade Bartschi
Dear Sisters and Elders,

The transfer board has the Lord’s hand and His spirit in it. As you pray, ask for confirmation from the Lord that His will has been done. As I looked into the faces of each one of you, I felt the love of our Savior and our Father in Heaven working through you. I pray you will feel their love in that same way.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Preach My Gospel with you. I have seen many things within those pages that I haven’t seen before, and I have been reminded of some things that I have loved before. I would like to share some of the gems that I have picked up along the way.

Page xi: Preach My Gospel is for the full-time missionaries of the Church. However the principles and doctrines taught herein are also applicable to ward missionaries and leaders as they seek to build the Lord’s kingdom. Frequent study of this manual will enable them to fulfill their responsibilities as member missionaries and will foster unity with full-time missionaries. This is very effective for member work. Please teach the members from Preach My Gospel!

Page 4: You have been set apart for your sacred calling with the promise that the spirit will be given as you meet the requirements set by the Lord. Enjoying the gifts of the spirit should be one of your earnest desires. Please continue to get the spirit and keep it.

Page 4: Honor Christ’s name by your actions.

Page 11: you can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the spirit working through you. Again, please get the spirit and keep it.

Page 11: you are successful when you are obedient, live righteously, and do your best in helping others live the gospel. Please be obedient.

Page 2: As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ will increase.

I love reading Preach My Gospel with you. I would love to hear about your favorite gems. You are some of the best young men and women born into mortality. A mission is a near perfect environment for your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to grow and mature and for this spiritual knowledge to blossom into spiritual power. As this spiritual knowledge is deeply implanted in your soul and matured throughout your life, it will flow to your children and grandchildren and generations to come. This is one of your greatest responsibilities as a missionary, and it is one of my greatest desires as your Mission President that you internalize this here so you can be the best husband, father, wife and mother and member of the church in your future.

I pray that you will see His hand in your daily life and acknowledge it. I love you and I continue to pray for you. I have hope for your beautiful future. Happy Valentine’s Day.

President Summerhays

Florida Tampa Mission

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hello my family!
It's good to hear that all is well back home! I loved the pictures of the bkb games and the baby blessing. Also, seeing everyone bundled up and the mounds of snow piled around just about made me miss the cold. The other night we we walking along the sidewalk on the way back to our apartment and it was starting to rain. If you looked at the rain just right as it was illuminated by the streetlight, it almost looked like snow! Haha you get a pretty good imagination when you're surrounded by sand a palm trees.
So we've had a pretty good week in Gulfport! We had one of my favorite P-Days on Monday that I need to tell you about. There's an older snowbird couple from Michigan that we spent the day with. Bro. and Sis. Hui (hoy like soy ha) are both from Hong Kong, and they live in a condo on one of the islands right off of the St. Pete peninsula. There is a dock behind the condo that goes out into a little bay that we were able to fish off of. The weather was absolutely perfect, and the fish were biting like crazy. Or surprisingly for me they were haha. I think E. Ames caught like 3 fish, and I honestly caught over 20. I'm not quite sure how that worked out, but I'll just say it's thanks to Grandpa Bartschi. Ha originally we hadn't planned to stay for more then a couple hours, but it was a blast so we stayed the entire day. The water was blue, and at one point we even saw a dolphin surface. Ha I'll send you some pictures of it.
We had some pretty good teaching opportunities this week as well. On Wednesday we had an appointment with Amelia Barnes. She's 19 and was baptized in August, but ever since then she's been inactive. She kind of fell through the cracks because all of the members in the branch thought she was going to be attending the single adult branch. Anyways we've been reteaching her the lessons, and on Wednesday we had the Sister missionaries go over there with us (one of which is Sister Remington from Rexburg). Amelia has been thinking about serving a mission in the future and wanted to ask them some questions. The sisters were really powerful and were able to really bring the Spirit into the lesson. After they'd finished with the Q&A we began teaching her the Plan of Salvation. At this point Amelia's cousin showed up and her mom was in the other room. Neither of them are members of the church, but I could tell that as we were discussing it, it really caught their attention. After about 30 minutes of teaching, the cousin and brother were sitting on the couch behind us, completely focused on the lesson. Slowly Sedale (her cousin) began asking questions, and by the time we were finished he was sitting at the table with us and could explain the 3 kingdoms better then Amelia could haha. Amelia's mom was also participating by the end of the lesson, and when we talked about coming back tonight for another lesson Sedale told us that he'll definitely be there.
We had a good lesson with Michael this week as well. He's in his 50's, and was a guy that E. Ames and I had tracted into about 3-4 weeks ago. He's a bit random and out there, but he's a really nice guy. We discussed the restoration of the gospel with him, and he didn't have any issues with it. We had invited him to come to church with us on Sunday and he said he'd try to make it, but unfortunately he didn't show up. We'll be following up with him this week.
So on Saturday night we were coming back from tracting and decided to stop by Marquesha's. We hadn't been able to get into contact with her all week, so we weren't too hopeful that we'd be able to catch her home. Fortunately we were wrong. Ha she invited us in and we were able to talk with her about the church a little bit. She just got a job at the St. Pete newspaper, so that's what's been keeping her really busy. We had a great time talking to her, and then we brought up the possibility of going to church with us. She said that she'd need a ride and so we assured her we'd have one for her. It took her a little while to warm up to the idea, but eventually she agreed. So yesterday after our PEC meeting brother Hui took us to go pick her up. We knocked on her apartment door and she opened it standing in her pj's and rubbing her eyes....not a good sign. We asked her if she was still planning on coming to church with us and she mumbled something about needing to go get dressed. Ha so we stood there at her doorstep as she got ready, but it was worth it because we got her to church! Because the branch is tiny, everyone notices when someone new shows up. The members were really warm and welcoming towards her, and I know that she had a good time. She dozed a bit in a few of the meetings, which probably wasn't a bad thing. Ha some of the members are a little loopy, but she took it all in stride. During sacrament meeting she leaned over to E. Ames and said, "Well aren't you going to go up there and talk??" since it was testimony meeting. She was teasing, but he went up there and did a great job to finish off the meeting. A lot of the members asked her to come back next Sunday, and she really sounded like she'd do that.
Oh and I forgot to mention last week, but I spoke in church last Sunday! It was on "Obedience", and I based it off of this quote that a missionary had used in one of our meetings a couple months ago: "The price of discipleship is obedience". I think it went fairly well, and it's amazing to see how much easier it's gotten for me to talk in the time I've been out here. It's been a really big blessing.
I hope you all have a great week! I love you and pray that you continue to do well. When we obey we place our lives in the Lord's hands, and he can do a lot more with us then we can do on our own.

Elder Kade Bartschi

That's Lake Maggorie which we bike by all the time,
Some pictures of the view from the Hui's apartment
Our fishing adventuresAmes and I acting like we belong in gulfport, epic-ly looking off into the distance on a sketchy dock on Lake Maggorie, And some ALLIGATORS! Ha i finally found some that I could take a picture of. There's the one on the grass, and then if you look close there's another one with its head poking out of the water