"..He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
"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."
Friday, July 8, 2011
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
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 :)
Bryan and Jodi Bartschi Family