"..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 2, 2011
Good Week in Florida . . .
I'm glad you all had a great week. It sounds and looks like you had a lot of fun. We had a good week here in Seminole as well. It was definitely full of ups and downs, but overall it was good. We had some really great lessons with Mike this week. The first one was on Tuesday and we taught him about fast offerings and the ten commandments. He's been doing a lot of research on his own and reads through the gospel principles book, which means that he has a pretty good handle on everything we're teaching him. Brother Beckman was back for his lessons this week, and that really helped as well. He's a really great guy and adds a lot to our lessons. We also had a lesson with Mike on Saturday. We were trying to decide what to teach him because he's gone through just about all of the missionary lessons. We decided to watch The Testaments with him, and I'm really glad we did. He's been building his faith in the Book of Mormon and every time we talk to him he sounds like he's doing better. We watched the movie at the church, and the Spirit was so strong during the entire thing. When the movie started to do the little clips of Christ's life so you can understand the correlation between the timeline of the Book of Mormon and Bible, Mike really started to tear up. It felt so refreshing to me to watch the movie as well. When it got to the part when Christ appears and talks with, and blesses the people, there was no doubt in my mind that it was true. You could just feel so strongly that what you're watching is inspired. When we turned the lights on at the end, Mike was struggling to maintain his emotions. He was wiping tears away the whole time, and let us know that this he feel like he's gotten his answer that the Book of Mormon was true. It's such a testimony to me that it's the Spirit does the teaching. Mike is still planning on this coming Sunday for his baptism and we're really excited for him.
We also had a pretty good lesson with Patsy Heughen this week. Her husband is Mark, and he's been away from the church for a while. She came to church last Sunday and wrote down a bunch of the questions that she came up with so we weren't quite sure what to expect. Ha fortunately it wasn't too off the wall and we were able to help calm some of her concerns. They came to church again this Sunday and I think they enjoyed it. Patsy wasn't feeling well so they took off after Sacrament, but we'll be following up with them this week. They're both really great, so I hope they enjoyed it.
There was a bit of a setback with Paige this week. She texted us and let us know that she's not ready to be baptized yet and would like more time. It's kind of frustrating because I know that she's ready, but it's hard to show her that. She's in a really big transitional stage of her life, so I think that definitely is playing a part. We did find out that she'll be moving into the yw president's home this week though. That'll be good for her, and we're hoping that we help her out.
Well, I love you all so much! Sorry this email isn't too detailed, but I'll be talking to you on Sunday! Ha hopefully that will make up for it. I can't wait to see you!
Elder Kade Bartschi
Dear Sisters and Elders,
I love you. I loved being with you this last week. In my last letter I spoke of understanding the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we need to internalize it to experience a mighty change of heart. This week’s letter will focus on the grace of the Savior’s Atonement.
In Elder David A. Bednar’s first testimony as a member of the Twelve, given in October of 2004, he shared the powerful principle of grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Quoting Elder Bednar, “In the Bible Dictionary, we learn that the word grace frequently is used in the scriptures to connote a strengthening or enabling power….thus, the enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement helps us to see and to do and become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity.” (Ensign, Nov. 2004,p.76).
Peter said, “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our…Saviour, Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18). And the Lord added in this dispensation, “Ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth” (D&C 50:40). This grace is spiritual knowledge and power that changes how we as missionaries see ourselves, increases our capacities, and magnifies our ability to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. This grace comes as we as missionaries exercise faith unto obedience, faith unto sacrifice, and faith unto diligence. The constitution for growing in grace is Doctrine and Covenants section 4.
As missionaries we will need heavenly help to overcome challenges. Some of us need to overcome fear and selfishness, some of us need to learn to teach with love and spiritual power, some of us need to improve our exact obedience, and some of us need to have the strength to stretch long after the mind tells us to stop. With the appropriate effort on our part, the Savior will help us to become what we could not become otherwise.
My prayer is that we as missionaries, in our difficulty, will go to the Savior in prayer and remember, “and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
Sisters and Elders, be confident in who you are. I promise you that the Lord will be with you as you teach of His indescribable gift. I love you and I believe in you. Remember this: Love the Lord and serve Him the very best you can.
Bryan and Jodi Bartschi Family