"..He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
"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."
Monday, May 16, 2011
Congrats Whit and Brayd
First off, CONGRATS WHIT!! I'm really proud of how well you did at districts. Also, it sounds like you did awesome as well Braydy. I'm excited to hear how it goes at state. I'm sure you'll all do really well.
We had a pretty good week here in Seminole. Last Sunday Melissa Lopez, a member of the spanish branch, asked us to come and meet her fiance. His name is James Blasser and it turns out that the missionaries have been teaching him off and on for the past year. He was raised Jewish, but he was converted to Christianity at 15. He has a strong testimony of Christ, and he like what the church teaches. He and Melissa are planning on getting married soon, and he'd like to get baptized before that takes place. We started teaching him this week, and things have gone really well. I was a little worried at first that he just wanted to get baptized for Melissa, but the more we teach him the more comfortable I feel about it. I'm really impressed with how much he has remembered from his past lessons, and he's been really sensitive to feeling the Spirit. He and Melissa are recovering addicts, so the Word of Wisdom is going to be a big thing for them. It's a little bit difficult because they both understand what it is, but the temptation is really strong for them. This week we taught them about the Restoration of the gospel and began teaching about the Plan of Salvation. James really caught onto the Plan of Salvation and he loves how it all fits together. As part of that lesson we talked about the Word of Wisdom as well. We weren't sure if they were going to be open with us about their past addictions, but fortunately they were. The reason why we knew about that in the first place was because it was written on his teaching record by past missionaries. James had had a problem with popping pills so we knew that if he didn't bring it up on his own we would have too. Ha that was an awkward situation I didn't want to be in, so we were praying that they'd feel comfortable enough to let us know what they needed help with. At the end of the lesson, Elder Moffett gave James a blessing and then I was able to give one to Melissa to help give them strength to make it through these trials. It was a great experience and the Spirit was really strong as we talked about relying on the Savior to make it through this. They were both at church on Sunday, and we currently have his date set for this Saturday. It's pretty tentative, but I think he could make it.
Also this week we got back into contact with Tony! He's the fiance of a lady in our ward, and we taught him....maybe my second week in Seminole. Well we were finally able to meet up with him, and it went really well. We watched The Restoration, and we all could feel the Spirit. After watching it we asked Tony how he felt about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon, and he said he felt peace and comfort about them both. We asked him what his goal was as far as the church is concerned, and he told us that he'd like to become a member at some point! We were really excited about that, and will be meeting with him again this week.
Mike is continuing to stay strong. We had a lesson with James at the church on Saturday, and while we were waiting we saw Mike's car pull up. I was a little confused until I realized that he was showing up to clean the church with the high priests. Haha I was really impressed with him, and apparently so is the ward. We were talking to Mike after church yesterday, and he told us that a member of the bishopric asked him to talk for 3 minutes in Sacrament meeting next Sunday and to share his conversion story. He's really worried about it, but I know he'll do an awesome job.
Other then that, things are still going well. Our zone got changed up quite a bit this last transfer, and it's going really well. The missionaries are working hard, and it's awesome to see the work progress.
Well I love you and have a great week! Thanks for all you do.
Elder Kade Bartschi
Dear Sisters and Elders,
As we continue on our missionary journey together, my desire for your happiness increases. I know that you are happiest here when you are teaching and baptizing. One bridge between teaching and baptizing is inviting and promising.
I recently read a parable of a renowned chef who invited guests to his home for a special evening.He prepared an elaborate meal for the occasion. On the appointed night, he invited his guests to tour his kitchen where they could smell the wonderful aromas from the meal he had prepared.He talked to them about the process of preparation.When the tour was completed, he thanked the guests for coming and escorted them out of the door of his home without a bite. David M. McConkie, Church News.
As missionaries of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are often like the chef. We will plan and prepare our lessons, but sometimes we forget to invite them to partake of the doctrine and to make commitments that will bring about repentance and strengthen their faith in our Savior. We can learn from our Savior’s example because when the Lord teaches doctrine, He always invites and He always promises blessings. The Lord promises blessings and we as missionaries are helping our investigators recognize the blessing. “The invitation to action and the promised blessings are always there with the doctrine” (Russell Osguthorpe General Sunday School President).
As we read about the Lord’s promises in the Book of Mormon, we must internalize the lessons we are teaching. We must also invite and make commitments ourselves that will bring about our repentance and strengthen our faith in the Savior.
We must learn to always recognize the blessings. We do this by pondering and reflecting on our many blessings. Each night we should consider those things that we have been able to accomplish with the Lord’s help. Next we must work at recognizing the manifestations of His hand throughout each day. As we learn to recognize the Lord’s hand in our lives each day, we will recognize the blessings we have received. As we recognize our blessings, we express gratitude to our Father in Heaven. “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things”(D&C59:7). This will always invite the spirit to be our constant companion. With the spirit, we can find, teach, invite and promise. With the spirit we will baptize.
As we continue to internalize the scriptures and read about the promises in the Book of Mormon, I know the promise can be yours found in D&C 84:85, “Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.”
I thank the Lord for each of you, and I truly believe in you.
Bryan and Jodi Bartschi Family