"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 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

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