"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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Weekend

Happy Memorial Day (yesterday)!

It's good to hear that you got to spend Memorial Day in Downey. I don't think it would really feel like Memorial Day doing anything else. Also, it's crazy that whit is graduated now! But it sounds like it all went really well.

We had a really good week here. First off, we pushed James' baptism date back again. He's been staying strong with the Word of Wisdom, but we talked to the Bishop here and he doesn't feel like he should be baptized just yet. We heard that from the Bishop on Wednesday, and so we had to tell James that we would be pushing his date back that night. James has been working really hard to stay away from his addictions and he is getting married this Saturday, and so we weren't sure how well he would take us telling him that his baptism wouldn't be happening that week. Well he showed up to the lesson, not in the best of moods, which did nothing to make me feel better about telling him. We started the lesson by talking about how well things have been going for him, and then we talked about how he'll be waiting a little while longer to get baptized. He wasn't too happy about hearing that, but after the lesson he called us and said that he had been praying about what we had talked about and he felt a lot better about the decision to get baptized in June. He and Melissa showed up to church this Sunday, and both are really progressing a lot. They ended up coming to the English ward, and they had a meeting with the Bishop.

I had a really neat experience this week because I was able to go back to Citrus Ridge for the baptism. I'm not sure if you remember me talking about the Termini family while I was serving in Citrus Ridge, but they're a really nice family there. The dad, Dennis, was on our reactivation list, and so for the 6 months I was there I worked pretty closely with him. He was overcoming some strong addictions, and his ultimate goal was to be able to baptize his daughter when she turned 8 in May. It was a real struggle while I was there, but by the time I had left he was attending church sporadically. Well I got a call early last week letting me know that he was going to be baptizing his daughter and that they'd really like for me to make it back for that. Fortunately I was able to find a ride over there, and it was an awesome experience. It was amazing seeing them walk into the water, and then watching Brother Termini baptize her. They asked me to be in the circle as she was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost, and it's something I'll definitely remember. The gospel has made such a change in Brother Termini's life, and it will continue to bless him and his family. You'll never find someone happier then when they're feeling the Spirit and knowing that what they're doing is right. You couldn't have wiped the smile off his face as he told me how happy and blessed he felt to be able to perform that baptism for his daughter. I loved being able to see that. Also, it was a lot of fun seeing the members that I got to know pretty well as I served there. They're awesome people, and it was great being able to catch up on what has been going on.
Our Memorial Day was a lot of fun because we were able to head over to Clearwater Beach, and we had a ward social. We didn't get to go on the actual beach, but it was fun to walk around the shops. The weather was beautiful, and I got plenty of sun. Ha the farmer's tan is probably going to be permanent.

Well I'm on exchanges up in Palm Harbor right now, and I'll let you know how it goes next week. It's fun to be back up here, and I think that we'll be able to go see Cheryl Comini today! Have a great week, and I love you so much!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

During World War II, a young bombardier was preparing to go on a practice mission. At the last minute, his General changed his assignment. While he was completing his new assignment, the plane he should have been on crashed and burned killing all aboard. I will never know who died that day, but the young bombardier was my father. In gratitude, I recognize in this event that my life is a gift that has come at a very real price. My father lived a good, long life and left this earth after being sealed to my mother in his 80’s.

I often think of my parents, but I find that my heart, in a very real sense, turns to them on Memorial Day. A day set apart as a day to remember. Let us not forget. This holiday is not just another day. Our freedom to preach the gospel is provided for us at a costly sacrifice. Let us remember.

In parallel comes the thought of another day, long ago, when words were etched on cloth and hoisted high as the Title of Liberty: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.”

And yet still another gave His life for us that we may live. “…I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me…”3 Nephi 27:13-14

A modern prophet once said that the most important word in the dictionary is, “remember”. As a mission we have committed to show Him that we remember by being “Remember This” missionaries. That which we remember, we don’t take for granted. As we pause this Memorial Day and remember the lives of our loved ones who have gone before, and our freedoms that are provided for us at so costly a sacrifice, and our God, whose hands purposely retain the marks to remind us that he always remembers us, let us remember “how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah…..he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in Him shall be saved” (2 Ne.2:8-9).

I testify in a very personal way that I have sought and felt the gift of the Atonement and the joy of spiritual redemption. I believe in Him and I believe in you.

I love you.

President Summerhays

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