"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 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

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