"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, March 28, 2011

Hey my family!

It sounds like this has been a pretty busy week for both of us. So first off, Dad congratulations on the new calling! I'm really excited for you, especially for who you get to work with. I just started laughing when I read Mom's letter and she said that you'll be working with Jim. That will be an awesome ward to be in. I just might go to BYU-I for a year when I get back...or at least I'll make sure and attend all your ward activities haha. I'm sorry you're trying to fight the Idaho spring for track practices right now. I remember that all too well. Tossing the shot and discus into the snow, bringing it back and drying it in a towel, and then repeating that over again. Haha but at least I wasn't running in it :)

Well for a recap of the week....We finally got to have a lesson with Paige again! If you remember, she went to Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago, and once she got back she got a job as a restaurant hostess. We're happy for her, but that means she has less time to meet. We've set up appointments and rescheduled for the past couple weeks, so when she let us know that she only had 40 minutes to meet we jumped at the chance. She's living with the Klemm's, who are members, and so we went to her house and sat down and just tried to figure out what she's been thinking. She's a pretty quiet girl to begin with, but she finally started opening up after we'd asked her a couple of questions. When we talked about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith she told us that her prayers had been answered and that she knew it was true. It was so great to hear that, and the Spirit was really strong as we promised her that as she continued to study and pray she'd feel ready to get baptized. She told us that what's holding her back is the fear that she'd fall away once she joined the church. But she did say that "I want to get married and raise a family in the church. I want to bring them every Sunday to hear the talks and to have the morals and standards that you all have". She's totally ready to be baptized, it's just going to be a matter of her feeling comfortable with it.

We also had another really cool experience this week. After trying to visit a less active lady in the ward we decided to go tracting in her neighborhood. Every once in a while you hit a street with a couple of really positive people, and fortunately this was one of them. The first were an older retired couple. Generally with older people they are either really rude and grumpy or way nice. There's isn't much in between that. I wasn't sure what to expect when we walked up and they were sitting out on their porch, but they got right up and started talking to us. Ha they brought out some chairs and had us sit with them and talk about what we were doing. They are both very devout in their religion, but they told us to stop back by anytime. Well a couple houses after theirs we ran into Patsy. She opened the door and said, "Oh, I call you brothers, right??" Haha we said "No, we're elders." "That's right!" she said. She then went on to let us know that her husband is a member of the church, and they had just moved down from Indiana. The missionaries had stopped by when they were up there, but she said that she's actually willing to learn this time. She made it sound like here husband has been getting away from religion and she was willing to find a way to make that stop. Patsy asked us to come back by when her husband was home, so we stopped by yesterday evening. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but it went really well! They invited us in, and Mark (her husband) was really great. He started talking about how he had grown up in the church and his mom was a temple worker before she had passed away. Now there's sometimes awkward tension when you're visiting someone who's less active because they know that ultimately you're there to get them back to church. Ha but fortunately we never felt that the whole time. Mark said that he'd been trying a couple of other churches with Patsy, but he knew that the "mormon church" was the only one he'd feel comfortable at. We asked Patsy about the possibility of learning more. She was a little apprehensive about it, but she accepted the Book of Mormon, and Mark was really excited about general conference this weekend. He's planning on coming, and I think that Patsy will love it.

Transfer calls were this past Saturday as well. Elder Moffett and I will be staying together in Seminole! I'm excited about that and the things we're doing here. Not a whole lot of changes are taking place in the zone either, which I'm okay with. I like the missionaries that are here.

Oh, something pretty crazy happened yesterday! So before sacrament meeting started Elder Moffett and I were standing at one set of doors greeting people. Well I was talking to one of the members, when someone walked behind them that looked really familiar. I looked up, and sure enough I knew her. Haha do you remember Amy Halling from college? She's the one that had sisters at BYU-I so Brad and I would drive her up for the weekends sometimes! Ha I guess her Dad had some business thing down in this area, so she and her family found the closest church building. It was really awesome to see her and pretty hilarious for both of us. Seminole Florida was the last place I thought I'd see her again.

Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you and pray for you all the time.


Your Floridian Missionary

Elder Kade Bartschi

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hey family!

I'm glad to hear that you all made it back from Denver. The tournament is a lot of fun to go to, but I never have been a big fan of that drive across Wyoming. I remember the year that Dad, Whit, and I went, I was driving at one point and there was ice on the road and the wind was blowing snow right across it the whole time. Ha it was a little stressful.
Well things have gone well here in Seminole this past week. We've kept busy and done some fun things. Early in the week we went up to Hudson to work with a couple of hours with the missionaries up there. Elder Moffett served there at the beginning of his mission and we got to visit some of the people that he had worked with as well. On our way back down to Seminole I decided that we had to stop by Cheryl Comini's house. She's in Palm Harbor and was the one that got baptized right after I left the area. Ha so I had to rack my brain to figure out where she lived, and after a phone call to Elder Johnson (my trainer) I was able to figure it out. Their family is so cool awesome! Haha Cheryl screamed when I got out of the car and made us come inside so we could talk. They're all active in the church still and they are doing really well. I love their family and it was so great to be able to see them all.
We also had a lesson this week with the Barron family. Their daughter is 15 and babysits the kids of the young women's president in our ward. Sister Feger (the president) is really awesome and got it all set up so that we could have dinner with them all and then talk about the church. They're a really nice family and respected what we had to say to them. The dad is pretty catholic, but he's not active in it and said that he would be willing to learn more about the church. Bailey, the daughter who babysits, has been going to young women activities for the last couple of weeks and really enjoys all of it. We talked to them about possibly teaching them and although they didn't give us a specific time they said we could drop by sometime. Bailey showed up to church this Sunday so we were excited about that.
Also this week we went on a blitz down in Gulfport. Since Elder Ames is the district leader there we went down to go tracting with them for a little while. Ha it's crazy how much of a different world it is there. There's not much diversity here in Seminole so it was pretty fun talking to a bunch of the people there. I miss people saying to us, "Preach me the word!". Haha but they are a lot more spiritual there as well. They're a lot more willing to hear what you have to say.
We had a big service project that we went to on Saturday. The stake here in St. Petersburg has organized big service activity that they do at the Veterans Hospital in our area. Lots of members throughout the stake showed up and they had us doing everything from putting mulch down in the flowerbeds to putting together PVC pipe in the greenhouse. It was a lot of fun to do, and all the missionaries in the zone showed up to help out. Oh, also, the zone leaders over in Tampa came and stayed with us on Friday night and went over on Saturday morning. One of them is Elder Daniel Cook from Shelley. Ha I finally figured out who he was when he said that he was the one with the clear plastic face mask on their basketball team because he had broken his nose. He graduated in '08, so that was a pretty cool connection to make.
We also had a pretty good Sunday. Paige has been really busy with a job that she picked up, but she was at church, Bailey showed up, and then Tony is back in town and he showed up. It was great to see them all there, and it turned out to be a good group of meetings. Also, I met someone that served in Grandma and Grandpa's mission in Oakland. Ha the Spanish branch meets at the same time as us, and their ward mission leader and I were talking and it turns out he even lived in the same complex as Gma and Gpa for a little while. Pretty cool.
The work here is continuing to progress and I know it's because the Lord is preparing the way. People are ready to hear what we have to share with them and given the chance they'll accept it. I'm grateful for this message that will bless everyone that hears it and acts on its teachings.
Have a great week and know that I love you!
Your Missionary
Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hey my family!

So first off, Happy Birthday Dad!! Only one more year till you hit the big 5-0! Haha I'm sure that's exactly what you wanted to think about, and I'm glad I could help. Maybe to make up for it I'll try and get something to send on home to ya.

Ha but we had a pretty good week here. It felt a little slow at times because Paige was gone all week, and since she's pretty much our most solid investigator, it made us realize that we need some more people to teach. We also tried to avoid teaching as many member lessons this week because it always seems like a bit of a battle trying to get out of their homes. The members here are really good here and like to talk to the missionaries. So what did that leave us with? Lots of tracting. It felt really good to get out and work though. We have to turn in numbers and update them and the status of all the investigators in the zone throughout the week, so it feels a little tedious and unproductive at times.

Well we did have some good lessons this week though! I told you last week about how a member in the ward set up an appointment with us last Sunday to teach her fiance...at least I think I told you about him. Anyways, his name is Tony and we got to teach him at the church on Wednesday. Teaching with Elder Moffett is great and we seem to feed off each other well. We asked him all about his religious background, and what made him decide to check our church out. He has a really sincere desire to learn more and to find the truth. Sherri, his fiance, has been a great example to him, and as a couple they've been reading the scriptures together and praying. He said that never in his life has he felt the promptings of the spirit so strongly as now. I had the opportunity of sharing the First Vision with him, and it seemed to go really well. Something that they've told us to do when sharing that is to slow down, look them in the eye, and speak a little quieter. Sometimes I feel a little awkward doing that, but this time I didn't focus on myself. While we taught about the Restoration he told us that he could feel the Spirit. He promised to continue reading and praying. We were both pretty excited after the lesson. Tony is leaving town next this week and we won't be able to meet with him until next week, which is a bummer, but I'm sure he'll continue to study.

Oh and I almost forgot. Elder Moffett and i gave our first training together this week. And of course, President and Sister Summerhays, as well as the AP's were there for it. Ha but I think it went well. We talked about how we can help our investigators receive revelation through the Book of Mormon. We talked about covering the introduction with your investigator and focusing on the strong promises in there. Overall it seemed to go well.

So I've been studying the New Testament in my personal study time and I've really grown to love it. There's a lot of little stories throughout it that seem to jump out at me. Probably because I've never just sat down and studied the Bible before. I'm trying to make an effort and read out of the Book of Mormon and Bible each day, and you can definitely see how they support each other and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now I've been meaning to tell you guys this for a while, but do you remember Derek? I was teaching him at the very beginning of my mission and he was the one that was really smart and had just gotten accepted to medical school? Well he got baptized a little while ago, and he's engaged to one of Elder Moffett's recent converts! They're planning on getting married in the Orlando Temple at the end of the summer. I'm so excited for them, and I love seeing how much the gospel is blessing their lives. What we teach and believe is true, and I'm so grateful for that.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Kade Bartschi

P.s. I was playing with my camera (aka dad's camera) this week and found some awesome settings! I know, it took about a year, but you'll have to check out some cool pictures I took.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hello my family!

It's good to hear that you're all doing well. I'm happy you were able to see some grass over the weekend...maybe I'll send you a handful. They have plenty here. Ha we were talking the other day about how before the mission we used to think palm tree=vacation. Now we don't look twice. I'm sure once I'm surrounded by the snow and cold I'll be missing my tropical Florida days.

Haha but it's been a good week for us! We had a couple pretty good experiences that stick out to me. We were able to have a really good lesson with Paige before she took off on Friday. We met with her on Thursday and talked about all of the things we've covered together as well as the Christ-like attribute of hope. She has been taught most of the lessons now, so when we were thinking about when we could cover with her we decided to turn to the "Christ-like attributes" section of Preach My Gospel. They have a lot of great scriptures and information in there, and the lesson seemed to him home with her. We talked to Paige about baptism and she said she's decided that's what she wants to do...but she isn't 18 yet. So we had to send her with a BCR (baptism and confirmation record) because her parents have to sign it. She's already a little stressed about this trip because she doesn't have the best relationship with her family, and that probably added a little bit more. But we promised to pray with and for her, and I think it will all work out.

We also had the opportunity of fasting twice this week. The first time was for a zone leader council that we went to in Haines City on Friday. President had kept what we were going to be doing pretty quiet so none of us really knew what to expect because generally all of the ZLC's are held in Sarasota. So on Friday morning we went to Tampa and carpooled with the office elders to Haines City (It's really close to Citrus Ridge). Well we got there and found out that President wanted to bless the mission. After a couple hours of training at the chapel, we went to the Draper's house (they're a senior couple from Canada). They live in a pretty rural area, and so we all gathered in their big backyard that's next to a lake. President then told us that Haines City is right in the center of Florida, and so they felt that it was appropriate that we bless our mission from the heart of it all. There's 9 zones in the mission, and so it was awesome to all be together while President offered a blessing on the mission. Then on Saturday we started another fast as a mission for greater unity and purpose as we help bring souls unto Christ. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but one thing that we're really focusing on as a mission is "Remember This". It's on the last page of Preach My Gospel, and it's our "Title of Liberty" for 2011. We've all been challenged to memorize it and live what it teaches. Well the fasting already seemed to yield some cool results: on Sunday, one of the members brought her boyfriend to church. They're probably both in their 30-40s, and I guess he's been to church a couple of times now. We were talking to them and the conversation went something like this...Sherri and Tony, "Hey we were wondering if we could meet you guys some time because I think Tony would like to start the discussions", us:"yeah that'd be awesome!", them:"Okay, how does wednesday, 4 pm at the church sound?" us--"that'd be perfect!".....haha I'm not going to argue when someone tells us they'd like to start the discussions and sets up a time that we can meet them at the church.

Well that's been the highlights of my week! Good luck with everything going on.

Love you all,

Elder Kade Bartschi
Dear Sisters and Elders,

I have found that it is generally true that things that make life easier and happier or better in the long run are often harder in the short run. Examples include pushing away the dessert when you want to lose a pound, getting out of bed at 6:30 AM, getting out the door at 10 or 11 AM, or nightly planning when you have worked all day and are ready to quit.

We have been focusing on revelation through goal setting and planning. Planning demonstrates to the Lord that we can be trusted. We as missionaries meet myriads of people every day. When we treat those people carefully and treat the information about them carefully, we demonstrate to the Lord that we can be trusted. There are people praying in their own way to their Heavenly Father for help. They are His sons and daughters too. God is their loving father. How disappointing, even tragic is it when through the spirit one way or another, we as missionaries come in contact with those people and their information is treated casually. How disappointing is it if we as missionaries become casual in our planning and focusing on the needs of those individuals, so that now there are new obstacles that prevent the conversion of those people.

Sisters and Elders in an effort to treat these people carefully, a great day begins with a great planning session the night before. This once again must be a spiritual process that is linked carefully and tightly to the missionary purpose. Have you ever wondered why you as missionaries, are asked to have a planning session at night from 9 to 9:30 PM? The time of the day when you are most tired. The time of the day when you are physically, emotionally and spiritually spent. You may come home on a high with a spiritual experience. You may come home after a very disappointing and discouraging day. And yet, when you are most tired and most prone to give in or give up or give out; When you go that last mile and humbly get on your knees and approach the Lord for help; when you demonstrate by your diligence that you can be trusted; you put yourself in a position where the Lord will bless you. He is bound to bless you. I am confident and feel in my heart, that the Lord is especially merciful to those missionaries. That is when the Holy Ghost often comes most powerfully. If you can get that vision in your minds and hearts, you will become revelatory planners and will work effectively all day every day.

Planning is a life skill. I pray that you will make a decision today to become master planners. That will help you be happy in the long run. That is my goal-to help you become the best missionaries now and the best fathers, mothers, husbands and wives in the future. I love you and I know you can do it. I believe in you!

President Summerhays