"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, April 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Whit!!

Happy Birthday Whit!

Ha I feel like I've been writing "happy birthday" pretty frequently. Britt, Braydy, Dad, Whit, and I seem to fall right in a row. I'm glad you were able to spend it in Reno though! That tournament is a blast to go to, and it's pretty handy being able to celebrate birthdays there.

Well we've had an awesome week here! Most of that is due to working with Mike. It's crazy to think of how quickly things can progress and change in a week. We had two lessons with Mike this week, and the first one was on Tuesday. Since the first lesson we had with him with a little jumbled, we thought it would be best to go back over some of the things we had taught. So we recapped some principles and then watched "The Restoration". Well about five minutes into it the disc started stalling and skipping pretty badly. Fortunately, we had another copy and so we stuck that one in. About ten minutes into this one we realized it was the DVD player that was ruined, not the disc. I just kept praying the entire time that "I don't care if it skips at this part, but PLEASE don't let it skip during the First Vision". Of course, everything went fine until the first vision. Haha at that point the player absolutely freaked out. Miraculously the subtitles kicked on so you could at least read what was happening.

Mike was still really nice after the lesson and when we asked him about Joseph Smith, he told us "well I don't see why it couldn't happen". We challenged him to ready 3 Nephi 11 and he said he'd do it. Also we scheduled another lesson for Thursday of the same week. This time we taught the Plan of Salvation and it went really well. The longer Elder Moffett and I are together the smoother our teaching goes. E. Moffett also has a cool visual for this lesson that really helps things. Now Mike is really easy to read when he's confused because he'll squint his eyes and furrow his eyebrows. So when he does that we continue to teach and explain until that look goes away haha. It's a pretty fool-proof method. Anyways, the Spirit was really strong during the lesson especially when we were testifying of the atonement. Mike is really motivated to change his life around and this is exactly what he's looking for. At the end of the lesson we asked him what he's been feeling and thinking when he reads the Book of Mormon and when we teach. He expressed that he feels a peace and calm that he's never had so consistently before in his life. We knew then to ask him if he would be willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God? He thought for a second and then said with a smile that he'd like that. We set the date for May 1st. Following that he told us that he had to reset his password at work this week....can you guess what he set it to? "Heavenly Father Confirm the Book of Mormon". I'm telling ya, at that point I got goosebumps and knew that he was somebody that had been prepared to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. This Sunday was Stake Conference which was pretty cool. I've served in 3 of the 6 wards (Gulfport, Palm Harbor, and Seminole) in the stake so I saw a lot of people that I knew. It was really cool to see a lot of the people that I've been able to visit with and get to know. Mike came on Sunday and asked us if it would be possible to move his date. His wife isn't interested at all in learning about the church, but she'll be out of town that weekend and he'd really like for her to be there for it. We asked him when would be better and he said he'd like for it to be on Mother's Day. The priesthood in the ward is singing a song for the women then and he said that he wants his wife to be there for that as well. From the sounds of things that will work out perfectly.

We have a lesson tonight with Paige, and hopefully we'll be setting a date with her as well. She's decided on a college, St. Leo's in Zephyr Hills, and so hopefully with that not stressing her out she'll be ready to think about this. We're praying that it work out.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for all you do, and I'll keep you posted on everything happening here!

Love you guys!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

18 April 2011

Dear Sisters and Elders,

It is a privilege to be under call from a prophet to serve in this day. I love being immersed with you in this greatest of all causes at the greatest time in our earth’s history. I pray that you will always remember who we are serving, why we are serving and how we must serve.

God is a God of promises. Some come in our Patriarchal blessings, some are written in the scriptures and some are written in our hearts. Some we don’t even know yet. Every promise and every dream that is right will be yours if you consecrate and sacrifice your time, talents and hearts in this ministry. For the sake of the work and for those you serve, don’t waste time. We need to have a sense of pace and urgency in our work. I hope you are enjoying your reading of the Book of Mormon and looking for His promises to us. Many of you have shared some of those promises with me:

If you keep the commandments, you will prosper in the land.

His arms are stretched out still

If you hold on to the rod of iron, you will be protected from the fiery darts of the adversary.

During this Easter season, it is particularly nice to read the promises of the prophets when they teach of our Savior. ‘all those who have hearkened unto their words (prophets) and believed that the Lord would redeem his people...For these are they whose sins he has borne; these are they for whom he has died, to redeem them from their transgressions…. Behold the bands of death will be broken…..he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead ….for all those what have believed in their (prophets) words, or all those that have kept the commandments….

I bear testimony that He will keep His promises for God can not lie. I know that He is the living Christ and we can grow closer to Him through our study of the Book of Mormon.

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows….He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…and with His stripes we are healed. I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands. I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in his bosom. The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.

The words which praise Him anciently continue to praise Him today. I testify now that He will continue to pour out His spirit upon each of you who fully embrace the culture of our mission and this cause- to find, teach and baptize. Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for your labor. Thank you for your love. Thank you for remembering. I love you.

President Summerhays

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