"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, August 15, 2011

Summer Closing Down

Hey family!

Wow, it's hard to believe that you're all about to get back into the school schedule. Summer is winding down and it seems like everyone here is getting in their last minute vacations. That hasn't affected us too badly because...we're still trying to find people to consistently teach.

A quick update on Andrea and Bill though, they're both still doing really well. We had a lesson with Andrea this past week, and she has still been staying strong with keeping the Word of Wisdom. She carries around a big pack of gum to fight off cravings and has taken to gardening to keep her mind busy. During our lesson we talked about going to the temple and doing baptisms for the dead. She didn't realize that she could go and not have to wait a year, so she was extremely excited. She has family members that she would like work done for, and right now Andrea is planning on attending the ward temple trip at the beginning of September. We had dinner with Bill and his family this past week and watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. That's a great film, and he and his family really enjoyed it. I love testifying of the Prophet and knowing that he was obedient to what the Lord required of him. Bill's family is really funny though, and following the movie Elder Nemelka burned a shirt because he just hit his year mark. I'll have to send some pictures of it.

We had a short lesson with Colton this week. I think I talked about him in my email last week, but he's the 20 yr old guy that is an intern at a radio station. We discussed the life of Jesus Christ and placed on emphasis on baptism, structure of the church Christ set up, and the atonement. He really liked what we covered and it fell in line with what he believes. We touched on the priesthood, but we'll have to cover that a little more this week. Colton hasn't been to church yet, and so we're really trying to encourage him to get there.

After getting back into contact with Terri and Jared, we were able to have a lesson with them on Tuesday evening. We covered a lot of the restoration, and Terri really does seem intent on learning. She listens closely to everything we say, and makes sure she understands it before we move on. We had a member there with us and he kind of took the lesson off track a few times, but he did share a lot of good things. Terri and Jared have been pretty hot and cold with us though. We called them the other night to confirm an appointment and both of them had been drinking quite a bit. I think they got embarrassed the next day when they sobered up and they haven't returned our calls over the last couple days. I hope they realize that we really do want to help them.

Other than that, we have been tracting quite a bit over the last couple days. I thought we would terrify people with three of us and with the height factor, but it has actually been really successful. Yesterday after church we went finding and have two return appointments for this week. Also the ward here has been cleaning out its roster and are setting up teaching opportunities for us, so I'm really excited about that. We want to stay busy and the ward is working hard to help us out.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for sending those things, I really appreciate it.


Your Boy

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I loved being with you last week for the specialized trainings. I love laboring with you! I know that almost all of you are doing your very best. Success on our Mission and in life is contingent on doing the right things, in the right spirit and doing them long enough.

There are things we can only behold with the eye of faith, by the influence of the Spirit. D&C 76:10 promises, For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.

As Preach My Gospel testifies, The spirit is the most single important element in this work. With the spirit magnifying your call, you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field. (Remember This: Continue to send me those tiny miracles-they bring me joy)

President Hinckley taught us how to recognize when we had His spirit with us when he said: “That’s the test, when all is said and done. Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous?...You recognize the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit—that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God.”(PMG p.97)

Do you pass the test this morning? Do you feel good? Do you feel to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, and to be generous? Do you feel enlightened? Do you feel positive and affirmative and uplifted? Do you feel to have better thoughts, better words and do better deeds this day? If not, then soon, very soon, drop down on your knees and pray for that spirit. Promise Him that you will do your very best this day. Promise Him that you will open your mouth to everyone. Open your Book of Mormon and look for a few heavenly promises and commit to act on what the words say you must do to obtain those promises. I promise you that His spirit will enter your heart and give you peace and encouragement. I promise you that you will feel His spirit as you wash your car and go to the store and as you plan, find, teach and baptize. Please don’t let another hour pass without the spirit to lift you up and bring you happiness. Lose yourself in this work by finding His spirit and you will have peace, joy and happiness. I yearn for your peace, joy and happiness.

I pray for you. I love the feeling that comes to me when I think of you in those prayers.

President Summerhays

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Investigators

Hey family!

Well it has been a good week in Seffner. It felt really slow actually to go from last week with two baptisms to this week where we're trying to find people that want to get baptized. It's a pretty big transition, but it's all apart of the work. The ward is working really hard on getting things lined up in the ward so we'll have people to work with. One of the names that they gave us is Brandon Frodge. He's a 9 yr old boy that hasn't been baptized yet. His family is fairly active, and he Mom has been waiting for the Dad to get on board with church. He was raised in it, but as of late, has kind of fallen away. Sis. Frodge doesn't want to wait any longer for Brandon to get baptized, so when we stopped by the other day we set a baptismal date for the 20th of August. He's a really good kid and was excited about us coming over to teach the lessons.

One of our new investigators this week is named Rose. She's actually married to the son of a member. She's in a really rough situation right now and is working two jobs, which makes it really hard to meet up with her. Rose has a belief in God, it's just hard for her to get past the fact that God allows hard things to happen to good people. Her mom is really sick, and so we're going to try and talk about the Plan of Salvation when we go and meet up with her again. I'm sure she will love it because a lot of the worry and confusion that she has will be answered. The Plan of Salvation is definitely one of my favorite topics. You can see how much our Heavenly Father loves us because he wants nothing more than for us to make it back to be with him again.

Also this week we picked up a new missionary. Elder Escobar from Madesto, CA is now serving with Elder Nemelka and I. Now during my mission I have yet to serve with someone that is taller then I am. Until last transfer. And this one. It's not helping that Elder Escobar is 6'7". We're a pretty intimidating trio when I'm the shortest at 6'3". He's funny, and I actually served around him in the St. Pete zone for 6 months, so it wasn't too difficult of a transition. Our apartment is pretty cramped but hopefully we'll be moving in the next couple of weeks. We'll see though.

On Saturday night it was "Mormon Night" at the Ray's baseball game, and so we all had permission to go to it. There was a huge section of missionaries and it was a lot of fun seeing people from all over the mission. In fact I'm pretty sure there was a lot more socializing going on then game watching. Ha especially because the Ray's got creamed. Not a very good night for them. It was good to get the word out a little bit though. People are becoming more familiar all the time with the church, and hopefully there was some interest sparked. I guess on average it takes people 7 times with coming into contact with the church for them to finally decide to listen.

I love you all so much! Good luck preparing for school, and I really appreciate your support.

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

This was a great month-You are really doing it! I just love serving with you.

There is a saying that: talk is cheap. Any claim our lips make to our Faith in Jesus Christ must be demonstrated by our action. Faith without action is no faith at all. The Savior taught: “DO the things which ye have seen me DO.” He testified: “I DO those things which I have seen my Father DO.” He went about DOING good. Being a Disciple requires that we DO. King Benjamin pleaded: “If ye believe in these things, see that ye DO them.” Nephi demonstrated his great faith in his commitment: “I will go and DO…” Grace or the enabling power of the Atonement only comes: “…after all we can DO.” The words of Christ will: “…tell you all things that you should DO.” The Holy Ghost will: “show you all things that you should DO.” True doctrine declares that when the Spirit creates a mighty change in our hearts that our disposition is to: “…DO good continually.” Mormon testifies that inspiration from God invites and entices us: “…to DO…to LOVE…to SERVE.” He further testifies that: “…Christ hath said: ‘If ye have faith in me, ye shall have power to DO…” Entry into heaven does not come to those who: “…saith Lord, Lord…” Entrance to heaven comes to those who: “…DOETH the will of My Father who is in heaven.” The Savior promises that if you hear His sayings and DOETH them you are a wise man (woman). If you hear His sayings and DOETH THEM NOT you are a foolish man. The sad, very sad difference between DOING and NOT DOING, between the wise and foolish man is that the wise man who DOES is founded upon rock and in spite of the storm his house stands; while the foolish man who DOETH NOT is founded on sand and when the storm comes his house falls, and “…great is the fall of it.” One who DOES is solid. One who DOES NOT is flakey. If you want to be solid today: Go and DO. If you want to be and stay solid when you go home, develop the daily habit now of Going and DOING. The Prophet Joseph made this his motto: “When the Lord commands: DO IT.” President Spencer W. Kimball had this statement carved in wood on his desk “DO IT NOW.”

I join with you wonderful missionaries in the commitment to Go DO it. Thank you for your wonderful efforts this last month-it was the best of the year. I love being on this grand journey with you. We are beginning to soar. I love you very much.

President Summerhays

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's August!

Welcome to August!

Throughout the year in Florida on a hot day, someone will make the comment "Wow, it's really hot out here." And the common response from Floridians? "Yeah, well at least it's not August!". Moral of the story: If you make it through this month, you can make it through anything.

Well here in Seffner we had quite the week. I've never had two separate baptism planned in the same week, and it kept us running. The only thing we had that was holding us back with Andrea was making sure she wasn't smoking, and also the bishop requested that President Summerhays come over and interview her. Fortunately President was able to come over last Monday, and had a good discussion with her. She has had an extremely tough past and hearing what she has been through is quite the humbling experience. Andrea loved President Summerhays, and he decided that she was ready for baptism. We visited with her everyday leading up to Thursday, and I was so grateful for how well the ward pulled together. Andrea has been going to church actively for the past year, so when the members found out that she was going to get baptized, they made it a special experience. There were probably about 40 people there, and Brother Dolphin, a member that she knew really well but had moved, came back for the service and baptized her. Elder Nemelka and I were witnesses, and it was an awesome experience. Andrea was glowing after the meeting, and everyone commented on how happy and clean she looked.

Bill had his date set for Saturday, so we balanced meeting with Andrea everyday, and were able to see him as well. I think his wife would have liked to pinch herself as we wrapped up the lessons. She has always wanted this, but I don't know if she thought it would ever happen. Bill has been so solid throughout this whole process, and immediately gave up coffee and tea along the way. He was interviewed on Friday by a missionary, and then Saturday was his big day. He's a lot more of a private guy and wanted to keep the attendance pretty small, but there was still a great turnout. Elder Nemelka spoke on baptism, and then Brother Pero, their home teacher for years, baptized Bill. It was a really spiritual meeting, and following the baptism I spoke on the gift of the Holy Ghost.

With Bill and Andrea they know that what they've done is the right thing, but they won't understand for a while what impact this will have on their lives. I'm beginning to see the long term view that our Heavenly Father has in store for us. Baptism is only the beginning, and as they stay strong to what they know is right there's so much more in store for them.

On Sunday they were both confirmed in Sacrament meeting, and President Summerhays came over from Tampa and stood in both circles. It was a pretty amazing week, and it's hard to accurately describe it all. I just feel so blessed to be apart of this all. My testimony is strengthened everytime I share it with others, but especially when I see that seed of faith grow in another person.

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

Elder Kade Bartschi

Bill's Baptism

Andrea's Baptism

Elder Ames sent Kade this picture today and thought he
might like this since Kade has a pig calendar :)

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

While serving as a Mission President in Toronto Canada, President Monson had an interesting experience. He learned that the Kingston area to the east had seen but one convert baptism in six years. He decided it was time to exert great faith. For years, missionaries assigned to “Stony Kingston” had marked their time there on the calendar like days in jail. One day Sister Monson read aloud to President Monson an entry in a book she was reading: “Brigham Young entered Kingston, Ontario, on a cold, snow-filled day. He labored there thirty days and baptized forty-five souls.”

The passage gave President Monson an idea. He moved all missionaries out of Kingston—They were happy to leave—and then he waited. Soon he announced that “a new city” would be opened for missionary work and described it as “the city where Brigham Young proselyted and baptized forty-five persons in thirty days.” The speculation began, and in weekly letters several missionaries hinted they would like the chance to open this new bonanza for missionary work. He assigned missionaries to Kingston—again—and it became “the most productive city in the Canadian mission.” All involved learned an important lesson. The city had not altered its appearance, the population had remained the same. The change was one of attitude. Doubt yielded to faith.” Indeed “they just picked up the plow and moved on.” Heidi Swinton. To The Resuce p. 191.

Proper attitude is a prerequisite to quality performance. We need Sisters and Elders with the courage to put proper attitudes into action. We need missionaries who will serve where they are called with the attitude that they are serving in an area that is a bonanza for missionary work. We need missionaries today with patience and purposeful endurance.

President Hinckley once told of an interview he had with a member of the British Broadcasting Services. The reporter asked… “How do you expect people to listen to these callow youth?” President Hinckley pointed out to this reporter that “people do receive them and listen to them. They are wholesome. They are bright, they are alert, they are ..clean.” Then in a General Conference he added speaking of the missionaries, “They are a miracle…They are speaking out of their hearts, with personal conviction. Each is an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their power comes of faith, and prayer, and humility.” Ensign Nov 1997, p.9

With a fresh transfer before us, we can ‘pick up the plow and move on’. We can have courage and patience and a positive attitude. I pray for your ability to see His hand in all things, including transfers. I pray for your ability to follow the council: “come what may and love it”.

The truth “For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7) is as applicable today as any time in history. I have looked into your hearts and they are beautiful. I have seen your desire to have every area prosper. You are ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have hope for a beautiful transfer and your beautiful future. I love you and I believe in you.

President Summerhays