"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, May 23, 2011

Ray's Game . . .

Hey everybody!

I'm glad you all had a good weekend in Boise. I'm really impressed that Whit was able to place! Due to the fact that I was quite the track specimen.....haha nevermind. But it really did sound like a good time. I'm excited to see the pictures from it (hint, hint). Also, it's crazy to think that Whit graduated from Seminary! Time really has flown by.

We had a pretty good week here. We met with James a couple of times, and he's doing really well. We had a lesson with him on Wednesday and basically just focused on the Word of Wisdom and the atonement. He had a slip up this week with smoking so we've moved his date back to this Saturday. I really feel like he has genuine motives though. He and Melissa have been making a lot of changes in their lives that are bringing them in the right direction. They've even offered to help fellowship people that we're teaching. We also taught them about the Plan of Salvation. The missionaries before us had covered that with him, and I was impressed by how much he remembered. He was able discuss a lot of it with us, and Elder Moffett has a puzzle that we use for the lesson that helps a lot. They didn't come to church this Sunday because Melissa's son got sick, but overall I think they're doing really well. James can identify the Spirit when we talk about the gospel and he really believes that it's true. We have another lesson scheduled with him for tonight so I'm anxious to see how he's been doing with his reading of the Book of Mormon and with the word of wisdom.

Now try not to be jealous, but....we got to go to a RAY’S GAME this week!! I'll give you a little background first. On Tuesday we were over at Sister Heler's (a really nice less active lady) house for lunch. She had bought us a ton of groceries and so we were taking them back to the apartment when we got a text from our Bishop. They currently have a girl from Utah living with them and she sells season tickets for the Rays. Well the in the text he told us that they had two extra tickets to the game and was wondering if we could get permission to go. Ha well of course we wanted to go, but I wasn't sure how to bring that up with President Summerhays. We just decided to call and see what he said. When he answered I explained that our Bishop had invited us to the game and that he had promised to talk about the missionary work in the ward as well. President just laughed and said "that's fine, just be back in for curfew". Haha we were really surprised, but really excited. They were playing the Yankees that night, and even though the Rays got beat....it was still a really good time.

We also had a lesson with Tony this week. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation as well, and he seemed to accept it. A lot of times when we talk about the Plan of Salvation it's really unique and different from what people have ever heard before, but he was able to understand what we were talking about. No one can deny how much sense it all makes, and how perfectly it all fits together. When we testified of the Atonement I know that he felt the Spirit and began to understand how important it is. Unfortunately he didn't come to church again this Sunday, so hopefully we'll be able to discuss that this week.

Sunday was really great. Mike gave his talk on his conversion, and it was awesome. He began by talking about how it was Glen Beck that first sparked his interest in the church. Glen talked about how close-knit and unified it was, and how it had strengthened his faith in God. Mike said that's he has found the same thing to be true. He also talked about how he has always loved his "dry wine, full bodied beer, and dark rich coffee", and that he has tried to quit some of them in the past but never had the ability to do it. But once he started meeting with us and the Spirit came into his life he was able to just stop all of it. He also bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, and that it was through the Spirit that he found out their importance and truthfulness. Wow I felt the Spirit so strongly while he was talking, and you couldn't wipe the smile off of mine or Elder Moffett's faces. He's such a great guy, and it was so good to hear his testimony and be apart of his learning experience.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for all your support and the things you have taught me. I hit my year mark this week and I can't believe how much I've learned in the past year. My testimony has been strengthened so much, and I continue to have witnesses that let me know what I'm doing is right. I've never done anything as rewarding in my life, and I'm looking forward another year as a missionary.

I love you!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I have written a lot about setting a pattern here that will bring you peace, happiness and productivity in your education, in your marriage and family, in your career and in your service to your fellow man. I love each of you and I have so much confidence in who you are and who you can become. I am confident that he has placed us here as ordinary people together in this mission, at this time, for specific present and future purposes. My heart aches at the thought that I will not help you reach your full potential. My heart rejoices at the thought that you will increase your faith and your talents and go forth in His strength now and in your future lives. I was taught and I have taught you many times that, “A young man or young woman will seldom, if ever, rise in their lives above the PATTERN they establish for themselves in the mission field.” Many of you are setting a beautiful pattern here. I thought you would like to read of some of your fellow missionaries’ rejoicings:

“It has been so long coming and I am finally starting to see the fruits of my labors. I know that as we open our mouths to our friends and try to share our beliefs by inviting them to come to an activity, or listen to the missionaries or read the Book of Mormon that we will never lose a true friend. We can only gain an eternal friend, and they will be so grateful to us, and their families will be stronger. I can testify personally that the Book of Mormon has changed my life! As I read from it every day, I gain greater faith, hope and charity, greater strength to resist temptation, and just an overall peace that comes from knowing I am on the straight and narrow path to eternal life.”

What an incredible adventure and gift we have been given. I believe sometimes that I am getting far more out of my mission than I am giving, and I am giving everything I can think of. But, I guess that is always the way the Lord works. When we follow and keep the commandments of God, He opens up the windows of heaven and pours out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

“I laid my hands on her head, and said the words at the beginning to seal the anointing, and then I just waited. I waited for the spirit to tell me what to say and the words came. There wasn’t even time for the words to register in my mind. They just came out of my mouth.”

Most of us have had or are having these types of experiences in the Florida Tampa mission. It reminds me of a quote from Elder Bednar, who reminds us of our capacity as ordinary people. “We should find great comfort in the fact that ordinary people who faithfully, diligently and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results.”

You have my confidence and affection. I love you.

President Summerhays

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