"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, June 27, 2011

New Area . . . New Comp . . . New People

Hello my family!

Well I'm emailing you from a new location again. Ha I feel like I've been transferred so many times on my mission. Elder Moffett and I figured out that including packing when I left home for the MTC, I'll probably have to pack a grand total of 12 times in my 2 years. I've since decided that I will never be moving when I get home. Sorry Ma and Pa.

But things here are actually really great. Elder Nemelka is from Centerville, Utah and is actually the first companion that I've had that's taller then I am. I was a little disappointed. Ha but he's a really good guy, and is actually hoping to go and play football at the University of Utah when he gets home. He talked to the coaches before he left and they asked him to see if he could leave early on his mission. Well they requested it, and it was approved. So he actually went into the MTC at 18. He's a really hard worker, and that has made the work roll forward here.

So I'm in the Seffner ward, but basically it's just a little south east of Tampa. The area includes parts of Brandon, Valrico, and a little bit of Tampa. I think that's pretty cool because it's the first time I've ever had part of Tampa in my area. Even though it has some city in it, overall it's a fairly rural area. There's a lot of communities and neighborhoods, but there's still big open fields around. The ward is really great as well. There are a lot of really good families and people that are will to help us out. Right now the teaching pool is a little shallow, but we're working on building it. We have one investigator that's pretty solid and her name is Andrea. She's married to a member and has been investigating the church for a little while. We had a lesson with her on Saturday, and decided to go back over the lessons. Andrea gets off topic easily, but it ended up being a good lesson. She really does want to get baptized, so we set a date with her for July 9th. Smoking is something that is currently keeping her back, but she is really determined to quit this time for good. Other then that lesson, we've pretty much tracted a lot of the time. We have talked to a lot of really positive people through that. Also, we're working on some of the less active families in the ward as well. Last night we had a lesson with a girl that's 22 and was raised in the church and then went away from it. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and the Spirit was so strong. Elder Nemelka and I both testified that we know that this plan makes it possible for each and every one of us to make it back to live with our Heavenly Father. It's the only completely fair way so that all of His children could have the chance to accept the gospel. I really hope that she was able to realize how much knowing that will bless her life.

Other then that, we'll keep working hard. There's people here that have been prepared to hear the gospel message, it'll just be a matter of us getting out there and finding them. Oh, and I wasn't able to make it back to Seminole yesterday, but James got baptized! Elder Moffett said that it was really neat and he was able to get confirmed in sacrament meeting. I was bummed that I couldn't make it back, but I'm so glad that it happened. I'll email you some of the pictures next week that I get from Elder Moffett.

Well I love you all! Have a great week, and 4th of July!


Your Boy

Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, June 20, 2011

Transfers and Pictures!!

Hello my family!

For once, last Monday feels like it was a long time ago. A lot has happened in the last week, so I'll try to do a review that makes sense....

Okay, well I started this week out on exchanges up in Hudson. I was with Elder Fadely who's from Stevensville, Montana. He's a hard working rancher that has been out for about 21 months. We had a really good time together and I felt like I'd gotten my fill of biking for the summer. We had a really good lesson with a part member couple that they're teaching. Both of them are professional clowns and are probably in their 70's. Ha they were extremely nice and we were able to teach her about the Plan of Salvation. She really accepted what we were teaching, and she especially was able to connect with our message of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a really neat experience.

On Wednesday Elder Moffett drove up and we switched back after attending their district meeting. The rest of the week felt pretty productive. Unfortunately we weren't able to meet with James and Melissa this week. They've been working on getting a house and moving in, and also James is on the job hunt. He did find a place though, and will start work there today. We had a lesson with Polly this last week and it went really well. She's so excited about learning more, and keeps talking about her baptismal date. When we brought up the topic of Ensigns, she was really pumped and told us that she would really like some of them. We were able to round up some copies for her. We had an awesome lesson with Mark and Patsy this week though. Our goal for the last couple weeks has been to invite Patsy to seriously take the lessons instead of just fielding questions from her. Well they fed us dinner on Saturday night, and following that she starting asking a couple of questions. Mark made a comment along the lines of "when you take the lessons it will put things in perspective for you". That made it really easy for us to ask her if we could begin doing just that. She thought about it for a second, and then she told us that she would like to do that. She really likes what she's been hearing in sacrament meeting, and she has agreed with basically everything that has been taught. I'm really excited about what is going to be going on with her.

Transfer calls were on Saturday morning and I received some surprising news. I'm getting transferred to the Brandon Zone, and will be serving in Seffner. My new companion's name is Elder Nemelka, and I've heard a lot of good things about him. We've never served around each other but I've met him a few times, and I'm sure we'll get a long really well. Seffner is a little rural from the sounds of things, which is totally fine with me. I love seeing open fields and working with people that are a little bit country. That probably has a little to do with the fact that I'm from small town Idaho, or something. But Elder Nemelka and I will be serving as zone leaders together there, and I think it will be fun to work with a new zone. I'm going to miss the St. Pete zone a lot, but I'm sure this will be good. Yesterday consisted of saying some goodbyes to people in the ward that I've gotten close with, and then with some of our investigators as well. It's always sad to do that, but I know that there's a reason for all of it. James is planning for his baptism to be this coming Sunday so his Mom will be there for it, and I'll (hopefully) be coming back for that. He's awesome, and I'm really excited for this to finally happen. Ha I'm sure he feels the same way. He has been preparing for a long time for this. Mike is doing extremely well though. It was hard telling him that I'll be leaving but I promised to always stay in contact with him. He's an amazing guy, it will be great keeping in touch.

Well that was my week in a nutshell . Ha I'm sure I missed some parts, but overall it was really good. The gospel really does bring people together, and I'm so grateful to be apart of all of that.

Have a great week and know that I love you all!

Elder Kade Bartschi

The one with the lion reminded me of the one at the Hogle Zoo when I was little.

Mike and Me

Me, Elder Moffett, and Sister Typner

Me and Sister Hinton (she is so funny)

This is the Beckman family (Brother Beckman was Mike's fellowshipper, and the girl in the yellow is Paige)

This is of the Johnson family. He's a recent convert.

This is a bird at the Willis' and then their family (they're from Idaho and he's the ward mission leader)

The last one is of Mark and Patsy

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I have spent a beautiful week contemplating each and every one of you. The focus of my thoughts, fasting and prayers has been on transfers. I hope you can see the Lord’s hand in this process. I believe that He believes in every companionship’s ability to find, teach and baptize. I believe that He believes that each missionary can experience divinely orchestrated growth and progress. It does not mean that the transfer board is perfect but it is the Lord’s way and we can be diligent, happy and productive through humility, love and deep devotion to the daily responsibilities of the sacred service.

Time continues to fly. We have 10 days to finish reading the Book of Mormon if we want to complete it in the time it took Joseph Smith to translate it. As you continue your reading, whether you are behind, ahead or on schedule, I want you to try to put yourselves in Joseph’s shoes. Elder Neal A. Maxwell movingly tells of the wonder of the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith worked by the gift and power of God amid numerous interruptions, bitter persecutions, and even “most strenuous exertions” of those trying to wrest the plates from him (JS-H 1:60). Joseph’s life was not one of a tranquil scholar in some sanctuary where he could work at his uninterrupted leisure (By The Gift and Power Of God. Ensign Jan.1977). Joseph had chores to do and a family to care for.

Elder Maxwell writes about the marvelous nature of the translation. The speed of the translation is one of those marvels-an estimated average of eight pages a day. Compare that with an LDS Translator in Japan surrounded by references, dictionaries and colleagues who was able to produce one page a day and this from old Japanese to modern Japanese. More than 50 able English scholars labored for seven years, using previous translations, to produce the King James Version of the Bible, averaging one page a day. A second marvel is that Joseph would rarely go back to review or revise what had already been done. Emma said that after meals or interruptions, he would at once begin where he had left off, without seeing the manuscript or review. If this was a made up tale, he would have had to check and recheck himself to edit and revise. A third marvel is that Joseph was unschooled in things ancient. Once when he came across the words concerning a wall in Jerusalem he paused and asked Emma if the city did have walls. And yet a fourth marvel, Joseph worked completely without referring to any other sources.

Again, put yourself in Joseph’s place. The translation was a staggering achievement. It was completed within 85 days. Of course, not all of that time was spent working on the translation. The Prophet and his scribes also took time to eat, to sleep, to seek employment, to receive the Aaronic and Melchizidek priesthoods, to make at least one trip to Colesville; to receive and record 13 revelations that are now in the Doctrine of Covenants, to move from Harmony to Fayette, to acquire the copyright, to preach a few days and baptize several (now those are shoes to put yourself in), to the manifestations to the three and eight witnesses, and to make preparations for the publication. Considering the complexity, consistency, clarity, artistry, accuracy, density and profundity of the Book of Mormon, the translation is a phenomenal feat. “The Book of Mormon came through but not from Joseph Smith.

Sisters and Elders, as you feel the urgency to finish in time, try to feel Joseph’s urgency. I would love you to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate your insights, strengths and testimonies. When I am with you, I am strengthened, and when you are with others I am encouraged by the knowledge that you are going about strengthening them. I know you are serving the Lord. And again, I pray that you will see the Lord’s hands in everything from the Book of Mormon to transfers. I pray for your ability to follow the council, “come what may and love it”. I am grateful that I have been blessed to see you in the best of light. You have marvelous potential. I love you and I believe in you.

President Summerhays

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Fast Week . . .

Hello my family,

Well this has been quite the week. It went by pretty quickly, but I feel like a lot seemed to take place. On Tuesday we had a specialized training (which is basically a zone conference), and it was really good. President trained on burying our "weapons of war" like the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's, and getting rid of the things that might be keeping us from being the missionaries that we can be. It was really good and seemed to motivate all of us to be better. Following the conference we went on exchanges, and Elder Moffett headed down to Gulfport and Elder Meserve came up here. We had a good time together, but absolutely everything fell though that we had planned. It was a little frustrating, but it provided plenty of opportunity to get out there and work hard together. We switched back on Wednesday evening, and Elder Moffett and I got to go visit some people. James and Melissa kept rescheduling on us, and it was hard to finally peg down a time. Fortunately they came on Sunday to church, and we didn't let them leave without them giving us a solid time that we could stop by. Ha we went over to their house last night and it went really well. They fed us dinner and we got to talk about baptism with James. The bishop feels like he could be ready now, and we agree with him. While talking to them we decided that next Sunday would be perfect. So as of right now, we're shooting for that as his date. We also had a really neat experience this week with Polly. She has been meeting with missionaries on and off for over a year now, and it has certainly been a slow process. We have discussed dropping her at times, but we always seem to want to keep working with her. Well over the last couple of weeks she has really become a lot more positive. We had a lesson with her this last week and issued the challenge to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and she ended up doing it! She told us that she really felt the Spirit and then she ended up coming to church yesterday as well. She really enjoyed sacrament meeting but ended up leaving after that. Well fortunately we scheduled an appointment with her before she could leave as well. We went over there yesterday afternoon and began discussing the church with her. She expressed to us how much she enjoys it and how the scriptures have been helping her. Her phone went off at that point, so she walked into the other room to answer it. Elder Moffett and I looked at each other at that point, and both mouthed "we need to set a baptismal date with her". The Spirit was really strong when she came back in and we started to discuss baptism. She was a little apprehensive at first, but when we asked about July 17, she started to get really excited. She agreed to that date, and it's going to be awesome working with her on that.
We also had a good meeting with Mike this week. He and his wife Alene invited us over for dinner, and it was awesome. They're both really sharp people, and it was fun being able to talk to them. Alene isn't too interested in talking about religion, but her husband is rock-solid. Yesterday Mike got the Aaronic priesthood, and it was pretty amazing. The elders quorum and high priests have both been talking about who will get him ha but the bishop decided that he should go to high priests group.

Other then that, things are going really well. Sister Typner gave her talk yesterday and she did great. She talked about how she has gained her testimony, and the different ways that missionaries have influenced her. It was really neat to hear.

Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you guys and enjoy the start of your Idaho summer!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I love you! I love being with you. It was wonderful to be with you last week for specialized training. I feel your strong desire to plan, find, teach, and baptize. I know with all my heart that this is His work. I am absolutely certain that He is laboring with us in this vineyard at this time. Finding people that He has prepared must be a passion, a culture, and a mindset in this mission.

I want to remind you of the covenants we made as we buried those things that we need to let go. We must remember to continue to walk in the ways of the Lord and observe to keep His commandments and statutes. Success on our Mission and in life is contingent on doing the right things, in the right spirit and doing them long enough. Paul knew the secret when he said:

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal 6:9)

I pray for you. I love the feeling that comes to me as I think of you in those prayers. I feel a friendship, confidence and gratitude toward you that is strong and sweet. Thank you for your humility. Thank you for your faith. Thank you for your diligence. Thank you for your love. The work is true.

President Summerhays

Monday, June 6, 2011

James and Melissa's Wedding

Hey my family!

Well, our week probably wasn't as busy as yours back home, but it was a really good one. I got to go on an exchange up to Palm Harbor at the beginning of last week, and that was pretty fun. Since I was only there for 6 weeks I'm pretty not many of the members there remember who I am, but it was a lot of fun to follow up with the people that I did know. I got to see Cheryl Comini, and she is so awesome. It feels a little bit like being at home when I've stopped by her house. She has a calling now and is a primary teacher for the 5-6 yr olds.

We had a lesson with James on Wednesday night at the church and it went really well. I'd never done it with an investigator before, but we went through some of the Josph Smith History, and it went really well. I love going through that account of everything that happened, and reading Joseph's own words. James really felt the spirit, and I think when we meet with him again tonight we'll set his baptismal date for June 19. We actually got to go to James and Melissa's wedding on Saturday as well! It was a lot of fun to be at, and I'm really glad that we waited until after they got married to have his baptism. I really feel like that was another reason why his date needed to get pushed back. They had the wedding at the church, and the Bishop married them. It was really great to see, and I've never seen James so happy. This is definitely going to help him stay on the path.

Also this week we had the awesome experience of having Elder Stever Allen (the managing director of missionary affairs for the church), come and train us at a leadership confernece. Wow. It was really motivational. He didn't sugarcoat anything that he told us, and I know that it made us all want to improve. They are making a lot of changes in our mission to make everything we do line up with what it talks about in Preach My Gospel. Elder Allen talked a lot about working with urgency. He said right now we're moving along by shuffling our feet, and we need to be quicking moving ahead. "Walk twice as fast and you'll double your baptisms". That's something we're all going to be focusing on is making sure that we're moving ahead and working with diligence. I felt really fortunate for the mission president that we have though. Elder Allen told us that we honestly have the very best mission president in the world, and that if he could pick someone to have his grandchildren serve under it would be President Summerhays. He's such an incredible man, and I have really love working with him.

At church yesterday we had the most investigators that we've ever had. Tony, Paige, Polly, Misty, and James were there! I've talked about all of them (I think) periodically throughout my emails, but it was a great Sunday. We weren't able to meet up with Tony this past week, but we will this week and hopefully we'll be setting a date with him as well. I know that he's ready for that step as well. He has been reading and praying, and he told us that he feels like he's on the right path.

Well I love you all so much! Thanks for all you do, and I hope you have a great week.

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I feel so grateful and happy this morning for the privilege of having Elder Stephen B. Allen in our mission. Elder Allen is the managing director of the missionary department and spent 4 days with Sister Summerhays and me. On Friday, he spent several hours teaching our leaders in the Florida Tampa Mission. They are eager to share it with the rest of you. His presence was a remarkable “tender mercy” for the Florida Tampa Mission. Our direction is right, but our passion and focus must be accelerated. I felt with my whole heart and soul that our Florida Tampa Sisters and Elders are ready to meet the challenge. I knew that you would rise to the level of expectation that the Prophet has established. I knew that we would embrace the hard but beautiful things we are now asked to do. I knew that we all were ready to offer our full obedience, our focused eye of faith, and our exceeding diligence and tireless labor to this critical need to the growth of the church worldwide. I knew that most of us already knew that this was the time of harvest in the Florida Tampa Mission and we would thrust in our sickle with all our might. I knew that you were the best. I told him that you could and would do all that was required.

Elder Allen emphatically stated:

“Those missions that are seeing growth and increased harvest, fully embrace a CULTURE, MINDSET AND PASSION for FINDING NEW INVESTIGATORS.”

I am confident our mission believes it is time to harvest. I know we must:

Fully embrace a CULTURE, MINDSET AND PASSION for FINDING that will double, triple and eventually quadruple our new investigator pool each week.

I love this work, and it is work! I pray that He will grant you the blessing of seeing the fruit of your labors. I love you and I believe in you.

President Summerhays