"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, July 25, 2011

Happy 24th of July

Hey family! Happy 24th!

Okay, so although my Pioneer Days celebration didn't include a giant inflatable water slide, it was still pretty good. Ha it looks like you all had a blast. The pictures of Mom and Grandma going down that slide are priceless. I'm pretty sure the people in the library think I'm a big creep now because I kept laughing at my computer screen, but that's okay. It was worth it.

Now I have to tell ya, this was an awesome week for us here. We've continued working with Andrea, and she's still on for her baptismal date this Thursday! We weren't able to meet with her too often this week which made me a little nervous because she's working on quitting smoking, but things have gone really well. We were able to get over there and have a lesson in the middle of the week and taught about some of the commandment, particularly the Word of Wisdom. Andrea has been trying to quit smoking for quite a while now, and up until now she just hasn't been able to kick it. Finally, she has decided that now is the time she's going to give it up. She hasn't smoked for about a week now, and we're so proud of her. It's great because she's doing everything she can to give it up, and so she has been walking around with a big pack of chewing gum and she's constantly keeping herself busy. Yesterday at our lesson we were talking about the Holy Ghost, and she told us that even feeling the promptings of the Spirit in her life have saved her from so much, and so she can't even imagine having the gift of the Holy Ghost with her at all times. President Summerhays is coming down tonight to interview her, and if all goes well Andrea will be baptized this Thursday at 7. Please keep her in your prayers.

We have also worked with Bill pretty intensively. We've been able to meet with him a couple of times this week, and discussed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife are really funny, and have been a blast to teach. As we've continued to meet they have both been able to express a big change in their lives. Bill told us that he has felt the Spirit a lot more throughout his day, and that as he continues to learn about the gospel his criticism and questions are being replaced by faith and understanding. He came to church for all 3 meetings yesterday, and told us that it truely was the highlight of his day. Bill feels like he's ready to take the step of baptism, so this Saturday he will be getting baptized! We will be meeting with him a lot this week to keep him on track, but I'm sure he will be able to go through with it. We are so excited for he and Andrea, and it's amazing to see how it has all come together like this.

So earlier this week I got a phone call from Elder Moffett telling me that Paige has decided to get baptized! She's leaving for Massachusettes at the end of summer, and she knew that she needed to take that step before she leaves. Also, she decided to get baptized in the gulf and asked if I would be a witness. I was so excited about it, and fortunately I was able to find a ride over at 6 am. When someone gets beptized in the ocean the service has to be early enough that people aren't there on the beach already. But we got over there, and it was an awesome service. We met at the Seminole church and had the talks, and then we all drove over to Reddington Beach. It was a beautiful morning and being able to be out there in the water as a witness was an incredible experience.
I feel so blessed being here and having all of these experiences. All of these things happening are continued witnesses that the gospel is true and the work is moving forward. I love being able to serve the people here and you all as well.

Have a great week!

Elder Kade Bartschi

Kade, Elder Moffet and his companion

Paige's baptism at Reddington Beach

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

We have completed our interviews. Thank you for your labors! There is a remarkable spirit of unity and commitment in the mission. You are the best! This work is not easy. Each day seems to be emotionally demanding, mentally taxing, and physically challenging if we are giving it all of our heart, mind and strength as the Lord requires. Isn’t it beautiful? I arose this morning knowing that there would be needs and demands that I could not meet on my own. I felt my inadequacy to meet those demands. I knelt and prayed that His enabling power would be with me as I attempted to accomplish His purposes. As I sought for His strength, I felt a beautiful sense of gratitude that He was allowing me to handle the difficult challenges of this day. I am confident that the demands, and opportunities of this day will be met with the quiet miraculous strength of His enabling power. This is His work. This life is His work. His grace (or enabling power) is available in our daily walk. The circumstances in our lives will almost always be demanding. Most days will stretch us physically, emotionally and mentally. We must access His grace day by day. In that way our daily demands (our yoke and our burden) are made easy and light. We are able to submit cheerfully to all that day requires of us. His spirit attends us and the fruit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, and temperance. What a wonderful life we live if the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ lives in us. Elder David A. Bednar bears witness:

As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who “act” rather than objects that are “acted upon” 2 Nephi 2:14.

I invite you all to access the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ now in your present circumstances. Do not fuss and worry about your present circumstances and pray for things to change. Get up, go do, work hard and pray that God will strengthen you in the midst of these circumstances. I promise you He will strengthen you so that you may do and become much, much more than you could do and become in your own strength. You will eventually learn to say and believe “Come what may and love it.” I love you and feel great confidence in your ability to access the great enabling power that will allow you in all circumstances to go forward In The Strength of The Lord.”

I love this work. I love His enabling power. I love and believe in you.

President Summerhays

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baptism Dates!

Hello my family!

Wow it was really great to hear about Ty's baptism! He seems like a great guy, and I'm really happy he made that choice.

We had a great week here in Seffner. I know I always seem to say that, and just change the name of my area, but I really mean it haha. Especially this week though. On Tuesday we had our lesson with Jared and Terri. He's the inactive member from Utah, and she's his girlfriend. Anyways, we went over for dinner and had a great lesson with them following that. We discussed some of the things that Terri had questions about, like what she should wear, what would a service be like, what sets our church apart from other ones, etc. She really enjoyed our conversation together, and committed to read the pamphlet we left with her and the introduction to the Book of Mormon. Jared called us a few days letter and let us know about the big impression that we had made on her, and how much he appreciated what we were doing for them.

Also this week we got to meet with Bill a couple of times. The first time we met together was Wednesday at the church. We had left him two reading assignments, and unfortunately he hadn't read either one yet. Well, that calls for some emphasis on the importance of keeping commitments. We read together Alma 32 (one of the assignments) and discussed how he needs to build his faith. It will take nourishement and care on his part, but if he does that then the fruit he will reap will be well worth it. He really enjoyed the lesson and it was great being able to talk about that. We had another discussion with him where we covered the Plan of Salvation and he loved it. In fact, the reason why he suddenly decided he was interested is because he heard someone use the phrase, "Families can be together forever". He then said to his wife, "You've never told me that before!". You can really tell with him that his family means everything to him. Well following the discussion we began talking about baptism. We asked him about July 30th and he readily accepted. He's set for making this date and he showed up to church yesterday and stayed for all three meetings. Everyone in the ward keeps telling us how excited they are for him and how this has been such a work in progress. It's funny how as a missionary you see people who are at all stages with reguards to accepting the gospel. I guess Bill has been worked on for years, but he finally feels like now is the time that he's ready.

Andrea is really progressing as well. She has determined that yesterday was her last day to smoke, and so we will be visiting her as much as possible for the next few days to make sure she stick with her resolve to quit. Her date is for the 28th of this month, and I really do feel like she would be ready for it. We've been meeting with her twice a week, and covering the lessons from the pamphlets that the church gives us. She has a sincere desire to change her life for the better.

And we've been working over at the soup kitchen as well, and had a pretty neat experience. So we get there about an hour and a half before people start showing up to eat, and we prepare the food the clean the eating area. It's all pretty crazy and hectic, but the lady in charge, Lela, is a woman on a mission. Somehow she's able to coordinate 20 or so people in a little tiny kitchen everyday of the week. We've only been going one morning a week, but this past week one of the people who came into eat was a member of the church! She was baptized a while ago and she and her Mom just moved into the area. Her name is Victoria and she's my age. We visited them this week and are going to work on getting them to church.

Well that's just about everything that's going on here. Sorry it's a bit jumbled and might not make sense, but you're probably used to that by now.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I love being with my missionaries. I enjoyed interviews last week and I am looking forward to meeting with the rest of you. In your ZDM’s you are studying about the enabling power of the Atonement. Lamoni testified to Ammon: I know, in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things.” That is an impressive statement to be made by an investigator about their missionary. Ammon had accessed the enabling power of the Atonement which allowed him to do much more than he could maintain if left to his own means. His formula to access that strength and power was clear.

  • He was “desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish…and thus did the spirit of the Lord work with them…
  • He “searched the scriptures diligently… and had given himself to much prayer and fasting so he had the Spirit…
  • He “thrust in the sickle, and did reap with his might, yea all the day long did he labor”
  • He had humility “Yea, I know that I am nothing as to my strength I am weak…
  • He had faith “for in His strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles…
  • He had gratitude “..we will praise his name forever…
  • He had Joy and Happiness “our joy is full…I cannot say the smallest part which I feel”

I am confident we are on course to help each missionary, who chooses, to become and accomplish great things In The Strength of the Lord. I am confident that exact obedience and its attendant happiness are growing. I see some companionships developing a Passion for finding. They are striving to use each hour of the day wisely. I see some companionships developing a passion for planning. They are losing an appetite for any activity that does not contribute to affecting the people represented by the Key Indicators. I see some companionships developing a Passion for teaching. They are hungry for productive work. They feel very uncomfortable with idle or wasted time. They are studying Preach My Gospel and the Atonement. They are teaching it and its attendant doctrines with power and they are striving to inspire their investigators to keep commitments that will bring about repentance and strengthen their faith in the Savior. They are happy missionaries.

I also see missionaries whose desires are right but they lack passion for the work. There are those missionaries that are satisfied with less than their best. They are content not to stretch, reach and sacrifice in their daily pursuits. Some are not valiant in their use of time. They are not pleading in prayer and studying with hunger. Their countenances are dulled and their enthusiasm for the work is stilled. They are only as happy as their lack of valiance permits. I am inspired by the fact that the number of missionaries who are burdened by mediocrity is diminishing.

I believe that you will be able to unlock that enabling power to allow you an Ammon like experience.

I love you all. I believe in what you can become. I believe in what you can do “In The Strength of the Lord.” I pray that we may have the faith, humility, diligence and love to access that enabling power.

President Summerhays

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaching and More Teaching

Hey my Family!

So this has been a really good week here in Seffner. In my last couple of emails I've been writing about how we have been doing a lot of tracting to try and build the shallow teaching pool that we have here. Well, all of the sudden things just seemed to come together this week, and oddly enough, none of the new people that we're working with came from tracting. I think that that was definitely part of the process to help us realize that we have to do our part before the Lord is going to step in and help.

First of all, we got a text message on Tuesday from the Referral Headquarters in Salt Lake. It turns out that the mom of one of the inactive members of the ward here got onto mormon.org and requested a missionary visit for her son. The address on the phone was different then the one that was on the roster, so chances are really good that we wouldn't have been able to find him without his mom directing us there. On Tuesday evening we drove up to his house and weren't quite sure what to expect. Jared (the member) answered the door, and he was so happy to see us. He's probably in his early 20's, and you could see that he had been away from the church from a while. He was raised in SLC in what sounds like a pretty active family. We med his girlfriend, Teri, and it turns out that she's pretty interested in learning more about the church as well. We set up and appointment to get back over there tomorrow night to have dinner with them and to start teaching Teri. When we left we said a prayer with them, and Jared was tearing up as we left. The Spirit can do pretty amazing things.

We also had another really neat experience with a referral from the bishop. There's a part member family in the ward, and the bishop told us that he had visited the family, and thinks that there could be some potential there. We went and stopped by a little later in the week, and they were awesome. The wife is a member of the church, and all of their kids that are old enough have been baptized. Bill is the husband, and he had no reservations towards us at all when we showed up. We were trying to feel things out for a little bit in the beginning, when Bill just hits us with "So are you guys going to be coming over more often? I know that there's some lessons that you teach, and I'd like to begin learning more"....uh, ok? Ha it was great. We went back over there last night, and taught the first lesson. The Spirit was definitely there, and he was really receptive to what we were teaching. He likes to analyze things a lot, so he wasn't too keen on the idea of setting a date, but we're going to keep working with him. We have another lesson scheduled for Wednesday.

We've met with Andrea Denison a couple of times this week as well. Wow, she lives in a really rough situation, and I'm really humbled every time we go over there. We have covered the first two lessons with her and she loves the gospel. Her only holdup right now is with smoking. We're trying to help her find a different outlet for her stress, and we're praying that she will find one that will work.

Well that is a pretty quick rundown of what has been going on this week! Sorry if it doesn't make much sense, ha I'm lacking on time.

I love you all!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President's Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

In our last General Conference, Elder David A. Bednar reminded us that the world is being prepared for the Second Coming of the Savior in large measure because of the Lord’s work through His missionaries. We are His missionaries! Our efforts of becoming Preach My Gospel missionaries by focusing on the key indicators are helping us to fulfill the call to gather His elect. I thought you would like to read about some ways your fellow Florida Tampa Missionaries are fulfilling this great responsibility:

I also have been trying to teach with the eight fundamental lessons and “How to Begin Teaching” bullet points and it is working out great. It is so nice to go into a lesson when the investigator and I are on the same page and the spirit has a greater chance to come into their hearts and change their lives.

We were told that we need to be using at least 7 ways of finding every week. So we have been trying to do that. Getting referrals from members, less actives, investigators, going tracting, providing service, doing a missionary presentation to the youth, doing a missionary presentation to the Relief Society and Priesthood quorums, doing a car wash at the church and giving all of the patrons a tour of the church building. We are just trying to be creative and using as many resources as possible.

Saturday night during our planning session, we were setting our daily key indicator goals before planning our activities. We saw that we needed at least 6 lessons to meet our weekly goal of 23 and we needed two new investigators. We set the deficit as our goals for the day and decided to do whatever was necessary to achieve those goals. We planned activities that would help us achieve them and determined not to end the day’s work until we had. Fast forward to the end of the day - we met our goals and added two new investigators to our pool because we had used proper planning methods and listened to the spirit during the day. It has strengthened my testimony of inspired planning and inspired finding.

Knocking on doors has taken on a new perspective as we are looking to find a new investigator rather than gathering a contact number.

I look at our past week and I smile. My companion let me know last night that we were working with 29 families. The work is exploding. My response to my companion was, “Let’s keep this going!”

This missionary is correct. Let us keep this going! Let us work on becoming master planners (Ch. 8), master finders (Ch. 9), and master teachers (Ch.10) and focus on the key indicators in Preach My Gospel p. 138 . Then we will prosper in finding new investigators and helping them follow their Lord and Savior down into the waters of baptism. This is how missionaries help prepare the world for His coming.

I love you all! I know you are trying to serve Him the very best you can! My prayer is that we will strive to become the answer to someone’s prayer.

President Summerhays J

Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Happy 4th of July! (yesterday, that is)

Wow, this week has gone by pretty fast, and it sounds like it was the same for you. Ha what would summer be without running back and forth from baseball, basketball, and volleyball tournaments? I'm glad you guys had a good time though. Blake, congrats on the two tourney wins! That is really cool.

Well, things have been going pretty well around here. We're still working hard to find new investigators to teach, and have found some success. One guy that we're starting to teach is named Bruce. He was being taught about a year ago, and then slipped off the map. We followed up with him, and he was open to us starting to teach him again. We actually just had a lesson with him this morning before we came to email. He works night shifts, and actually just got home before we got there. We took a member from the ward over with us, and it went pretty well. He's really talkative which makes it hard sometimes to keep lessons on track, but he has really good intentions. He loves the structure that the gospel brings into people's lives, and really wants that for his own life. We began teaching him about the Holy Ghost today, and it went well. He doesn't have a very solid understanding of the role of the Spirit, so we're working with him on that as well.

We had a pretty cool experience this past week as well. When we went to go hop on our bikes one morning, we found out that Elder Nemelka had a flat in his front tire. That means we got to get out there and go walking. Ha while we were walking we decided that there must be someone we're supposed to talk to that we wouldn't have if we were on our bikes. Just a couple of minutes after talking about that a lady walking out of a soup kitchen called us over. She was extremely nice, and it turns out that she's the one who runs the place. Her parents were inactive members of the church, and now she's attends a different one. Well, she told us that missionaries used to volunteer at the kitchen, and she was wondering if we would be interested in doing something like that again. We jumped at the idea, and she went on to tell us that we'd be serving the food, and then following that we could go and sit down with the people and try to offer some encouragement. We're going over on Friday morning, and I'm really excited about it.

On Thursday we had a great lesson with Megan. She's the one that's inactive that we've been teaching. We read through Alma 32 with her and discussed the importance of faith, and how when you plant that seen of faith you have to continue to nourish and care for it. She was really receptive to it all, and following the reading we watched The Restoration. It's the 20 min. dvd that the church has about Joseph Smith. It's was really powerful, and we taught that in order for her to find out for herself again, she will have to read and pray. The Lord requires effort on our part as well.

Other than that, things are going well. We're working hard together, and I know that we will continue to find more people to teach.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

This week my letter comes from both Sister Summerhays and myself because this week we passed our first year of serving in the Florida Tampa Mission. And WE LOVE THE FLORIDA TAMPA MISSIONARIES!

We both have remembered our feelings recorded in my first letter to you and realize that we still have many opportunities to impact the pattern of your mission and therefore the pattern of your life. We feel a responsibility to see that you set a pattern of excellence here; knowing that the very pattern you establish here will likely be the pattern you continue in the years ahead. Happy spirit now, happy spirit after your mission; excellent now, excellence after your mission; mediocre now, and unfortunately, mediocre after your mission. There is a quote that says, ‘few if any missionaries ever rise in their entire lives above the pattern they establish for themselves in the mission field.” The pattern of excellence is full of attributes such as faith, hope, charity, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, obedience and the happy sprit of love. These attributes will absolutely guarantee one a blessed and happy life. But if you cannot give to the Lord the best that is in you here, you will not likely ever give the Lord your best. And if you do not give to Him your best, then it is you that He cannot bless with the best that He and He alone can offer. There is no other guarantee available, but His, that will deliver happiness, prosperity and love. His excellence is the only way that we can be saved from the depressing bondage of mediocrity. This is our chance. Now is the time. Today is the day. Rise up! Get up! Get out! Give this work all you heart, might, mind, and strength today and every day. Focus on becoming master planners, finders and teachers using the key indicators found on page 138 of Preach My Gospel for our daily activities. If you will do that today then you can do it tomorrow. Decide today to be men and women of excellence and Preach My Gospel missionaries. Do not let fear, doubt and discouragement be your mentors and counselors. Get His Spirit and keep it and you will be men and women of excellence. Much of those thoughts came from the letter I wrote last year. Those were my desires for you a year ago, and those are still my desires for you today. His excellence is the way.

Also, as I finished reading the Book of Mormon I was touched by the last verse as Moroni bids us farewell and declares that he will meet us before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah. The spirit whispered to me that it will be so. I also had the spirit testify to me once again, that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I felt the joy of Joseph finishing the translation and I felt the joy of the promises made to us. I love this gospel. I love the Florida Tampa Mission and I love the Florida Tampa Missionaries.

President and Sister Summerhays :)