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