"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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Hello Family!

It feels a little weird to be emailing you twice this week, but now I can finish some updates. Reading over my last email I could tell that I was more than a little scatterbrained when I sent that off. Ha but fortunately things have simmered down a little bit, so I can organize what I'm thinking.

So I always knew that things were probably pretty busy in the office around transfer time, but I had no idea to what extent. After I emailed you on Monday morning I saw everyone at the office kick it into high gear. We went home and grabbed our suits after a little while and enjoyed a minute of P-Day before heading over to the airport to pick up the incoming missionaries. It was really crazy seeing the airport again and having the flashbacks of my first day in Tampa. Their plane was right on time, and it was truly awesome to see 14 missionaries walk off the shuttle. After greeting them with President and Sister Summerhays we loaded up all of their things and took them to the mission home. Another place I have been to except for my first day. We had dinner there and got to know the new missionaries, which was cool. Most are from Utah, California, and one from Malad, ID. Following that president interviewed them one at a time as we gave a short training on what some of the missionary work is like here. I observed for a lot of that because next transfer I'm going to be the one doing a lot of that because this is Elder Cook's last transfer. Elder Cook is great by the way. He's the first companion that I've had from Idaho, and he went to a year at Utah State before his mission as well. Anyways, after that we entertained the missionaries until president was done with interviews (10:00 pm), and then went into his office and we started placing trainees with trainers. It all seemed to fall into place, and after about 30 minutes, we had it where we felt like everyone was supposed to be. By the time we got home it was about 11:30, and rushed to bed to get a few hours of sleep before heading out again. We got up at 3 am so that we could head down to Ft. Meyers to pick up the new trainers there and a couple on the way back up to the office. It's about a 3 hr drive, and we got all of the trainers to the church by about 9am. Not too shabby. We changed into our suits following that and got ready for the trainer-trainee meeting. Seeing as how it was tradition, I got to conduct the meeting and tell them all who their new companions would be. That was really cool, and quickly after the meeting we sent everyone on their way. I won't get into the details of the rest of the day, but we spent it moving everyone around and getting situated. All in all, we crawled into bed at 12:30 am. 21 hrs straight. Ha ffortunately we haven't had to do that again this week because I'm not sure how well my body would handle that.

So the area that I'm serving in is the Tampa Bay YSA. We cover USF's campus, and so far I love it. I almost feel like I'm back at college again, except for this time I don't go to classes and stress over homework. But instead, we're trying to help college students realize that they need the gospel in their lives. It'll be a blast, and I'm really excited about that.

Well the rest of the week hasn't been too eventful besides taking things around the mission every now and again. If nothing else, I can see that the Lord's hand is in his work. There is no possible way that we would have been able to accomplish the things that we have without Him. There were a couple of time this week where we looked at our watches and saw that we were right on time for something even to the exact minute, that I was positive that we would completely have missed. It's amazing to see how it all works out.

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

Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Assignment . . . Assistant to the President

Hey family!

This has been quite the week. I'm even having a hard time right now remembering what has taken place. Elder Nemelka and I have gone on two exchanges, so that helped make the week fly by, but also we've been looking forward to having Elder Nelson come into the mission. I was able to stay in Seffner for the first exchange and then I went to Riverview for the second one. Both of those were a lot of fun but I really like going to other areas and seeing what they're like.

This week Elder Nemelka and I have done our best to follow up with our investigators. We weren't able to have more than a door step discussion with those that we have as investigators, but that was definitely better than nothing. I can't remember if I've told you about him before, but we were able to make good contact with Eric this week. We tracted into his mom, who was raised RLDS, and he sat in on our visit with her. About a week later we tried to go back and visit and just Eric was home. He's 22 and has just graduated from school to be an air traffic controller. We tried to have a lesson with him this past week, but because of his busy schedule we weren't able to go and visit him. He called us though and promised to be to church on Sunday. I've heard people promise that before, but I really felt like he was sincere. Well, on Sunday morning Elder Nemelka and I were greeting the members at the doors into the chapel and sure enough Eric came walking in. He was able to stay for sacrament meeting, and I think he really enjoyed it.

Leading up to Saturday's mission conference, I was a little bit stressed. I've had to sing in front of different audiences before, but never for an apostle. Fortunately the missionaries that I sang with were great. Elder McDougal, a missionary in the quartet, actually arranged the version of "Be Still My Soul" that we sang. I was pretty terrified in the beginning, but Elder Nelson was so nice. We all had the opportunity of introducing ourselves and shaking his hand, which was really neat. I was still shaking a bit when I got up there, but I think it went well. The spirit could be felt and I was really happy to be apart of it. Elder Nelson's training was great though. He took questions for a little while, and then began asking us questions. He had a topic prepared for us, and before he started teaching it he paused for a second and then told us that he was prompted to talk on something else. He ended up teaching us about the Book of Mormon and how it is the main tool we should use in teaching others about the church. It is a convincing witness that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and is a great way to feel the Spirit.

Yesterday after church we got a phone call from President and he asked us to go and meet him at our church building in 30 minutes. We showed up over there and President and I stepped into a classroom and talked a little about the work. He then asked me to be an assistant this coming transfer. I'll be serving with Elder Daniel Cook from Shelley. He graduated a year before me and we actually played against each other in bkb and football. I found this all out yesterday at about 4:30 and then I had to have all my stuff packed and ready to go by 9:30. I was really caught off guard about all of that and I've been just going with the flow up to this point. President and the current assistants have been making phone calls all morning and I just have a minute to email you. I'm really excited to work with President and I hope that this all works out well. Obviously the Lord knows a lot more than I do.

Well I love you all so much! Have a great week and I think that I'll email on Saturday which I guess is when I'll be emailing for the next little while.

Blake, I'm praying for you buddy. Know that I love you and I'll keep you in my prayers.

Love you all,

Elder Kade Bartschi

P.S. Tell Grandpa and Jace happy birthday for me! I totally spaced writing this earlier. There isn't a better example in my life and I truly appreciate all that he does. I love you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elder Russel M. Nelson is Visiting!

Hello my Family!

So I must have told you wrong last week, but we don't have transfers until this next Tuesday. Hopefully I'll know what's going on by next Monday when I write. Things have changed a little bit since I last emailed though. President felt like Elder Escobar would do well with the Elders up in Plant City for the last part of this transfer, so Elder Nemelka and I are back down to a regular two missionary companionship. After having been with two other people for the last month it feels pretty different to down-size.

Everything seemed to slow down a little this week. We were able to make good contact with a lot of our investigators last week, but none of them would give us set times to come back and visit. I think the biggest issue we're running into is that the majority of the people we've been teaching recently have come from tracting. They likehearing what we have to say and learning more about the gospel, but they don't really understand the impact that this message can have on their lives. Because of that, it's been hard to get them solidly on board. When there's a member involved that's a friend or family member, they know that we're going to try and meet with them frequently, we want them to attend church and read from the Book of Mormon, stop habits that harm their health, and so on. The member is there to reassure them that the decisions they're making will help them and bless their lives, and to be the guide throughout this
process. Now it helps when we take members with us to meet the people we're teaching, but even then I think that the investigator view them as "people from the church". It truely is those that the Lord has
prepared that get baptized from tracting. We have received a couple referrals from the ward members though, and so we're hoping to follow up with them this week.

On Friday we went to a our ZLC meeting and found out something really cool. Elder Russel M. Nelson from the Quorum of the Twelve is coming down this week to reorganize the Tampa Stake, and so this Saturday he is doing an all mission conference! The entire mission will bemeeting together, which I've never seen happen, and we get to hear from him for a couple of hours. I've been asked to sing in a quartet during the conference and I'm a little anxious about that. After I agreed to it, the assistants let me know that he has perfect pitch. Haha so we'll so how that goes. I'm really excited to be able to hear from him though, and to receive the direction that he has to give.

On Sunday we were a kind of disappointed because none of our investigators showed up, but it was really neat because Andrea got up and bore her testimony. She did a great job and let the members now
that it was because of their love and support that she was prompted to learn more about the church. She's great, and although she wasn't able to go to the youth this month to do baptisms for the dead, that's
what we're working with her on now.

Our most positive follow up this week was with Lyndey. We showed up on her doorstep and she took some time to talk with us. The last time we met and taught the first lesson I know that she felt the Spirit and so I've been really looking forward to meeting with her again. Well in the beginning she tried to drop us by talking about all the doubts that she has about the church and even in God, but we weren't going to
give up the easily. Elder Nemelka and I each bore testimony to her that the only person she can ever completely rely upon in this life is her Savior. She may be experiencing hard things in her life, but He
has felt those things. He knows what she's going through, and if she's looking for lasting peace in her life then that is the only place she can turn to. She started to tear up a little bit at the end of it and agreed to meeting again. We'll see her this Thursday.

Well I hope things continue to go well at home. I loved that story of Whit and was laughing the whole time. That's definitely my sister. Haha she kills me.

Have a great week and know that I love you!

Your boy,

Elder Kade Bartschi

Hurricane Irene

August 30, 2011

My family!

So to resolve some concern at the beginning....no, we didn't get much of anything from Irene. She went past us, just making for some windy days this last weekend. Nothing too exciting. Yet. Just kidding, Mom :).

Well this has been a really busy week for us. I'll try and get it all written in this email. On Tuesday morning we were helping a family in the Valrico ward move. They have a son that's about my age and we took him out on splits last week. So I was moving one of the boxes into the trailer and read the name written on it, and it suddenly hit me that I knew his older sister. She was one of Tyler's friends that I went on a horse packing trip with a couple of years ago. Her name is Dallas Wightman, and she was in Ty's horse riding class at BYU-I. Haha it was really crazy and once I started talking to her, she remembered right away and was wondering why I looked so familiar. So we go from riding horses in Idaho to me helping her move in Florida. Small, small, world.

Once again, we did a lot of tracting this week. We have a lot of people that we've taught, it's just been really difficult to set up return appointments with them. Which means we have been going and dropping in on them. Jason had really been doing well though. He is the brother of a member of the ward, and we've been starting to teach him. It's so nice having him live with a member, because there's just something about teaching in a members home. The Spirit is there, and everyone is on board about the gospel. We had a good discussion with him about the scriptures and he has promised to read from the Book of Mormon and to pray about it all. He really is sincere, but he just got a job at Lowe's and he'll be working on Sunday afternoons now. He'll be able to go to at least sacrament meeting though.

Friday turned out to be a day when everything just seemed to work out. The members in the Seffner ward are really good about helping us out, and we got one to go with us to all of our lessons. We got Bro. Vijil to go with us to drop in on Leah and Mark, and had a good lesson on the doorstep there. Leah was home and so we shared a message with her about having trials in our lives. She has 8 kids and her husband passed away a couple of years ago. Her kids are all grown now, but they still live in Africa and it's hard on her to have them so far away. She connected with what we shared and although she didn't give us a firm commitment, said that she would try to get to church this Sunday. We had a lesson with Teri that evening as well. She has had some major apprehension about coming to the church, so we had the lesson there to try and get her more comfortable with it. They were pretty late getting there, and we had an appointment right after, so we had to make it really short. I was pretty bummed about that, but we were able to finally teach her about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I got the opportunity to share the first vision with her, and I really tried to focus on helping her feel the Spirit. She did say that she felt something and committed to praying about what we taught.

Also, we had a lesson with Lyndey. Elder Nemelka and Hunter (Dallas' brother that we took on splits with us) tracted into her last Sunday night. She's about 22 and from Colorado where she attended the air force academy and knew some members of the church. She was really open to us coming back, and so we brought a couple from the ward with us. Where we had the opportunity of teaching a couple of lessons that day, it was easy to see the difference between the lesson and the Spirit that was felt. I think the Spirit was there strongest during the lesson with her. Honestly, she's just ready to hear what we have to share. It was so much teaching her because you know she could recognize something different in the message we were sharing. She worked on Sunday and couldn't come to stake conference, but we'll be meeting up with her again this week.

We had the neat opportunity of having Elder Zivic of the Seventy come to our mission. Our stake (the Brandon Stake) got a new stake president, so while he was here he did a mission tour as well. Since he was there for our stake we actually got to hear from him a couple of times which was cool. He's from Argentina and told us how he never thought he would have to speak English, but he did a great job. He talked about purifying ourselves, and then the Spirit will be with us more fully. It's always amazing to hear a general authority talk, and is just reaffirming to me that he is a servant of the Lord.

Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you and appreciate that you do!

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I love you and it is my sincere desire to see you successful now and in the future. I thought I would share two totally different messages from fellow missionaries.

I am writing this in hopes that other missionaries can learn from my experience. Unfortunately I was not obedient. The lesson I learned was very costly. Unfortunately it was a lesson learned too late. It wasn’t as if one day I woke up and decided to go to a movie. It started with waking up a few minutes late. Before I knew it, things all caught up with me and it was too late. I was watching TV with members, staying up late, sleeping in or breaking any ‘minor’rule. I learned that any rule broken is too much. I had my limits but I walked the line. I return home knowing I didn’t give my best to the Lord. I want to apologize for all those who I disappointed and to those who followed me. I want to share my experience so maybe other missionaries can avoid what happened to me. I wish I could do it over.

Sisters and Elders, my heart broke when I read those words. Now from another missionary:

Well, I suppose that this is my last email. I've learned a lot on my mission. The church is absolutely true, and Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father have been there for me over these last two years. It's been a progression. I've grown a lot. I've felt the Atonement. I've served every single day of the last two years with all I've got. I'm tired, exhausted. I feel like I've fulfilled my calling. As I think back on that night when I opened up my call...I was called of God to do a job and I'm doing it. And I feel that Heavenly Father has accepted my sacrifice.

My heart rejoiced and tears flowed when I read those words. The truth is: if a person cannot give to each day, as a personal representative of Jesus Christ, the best that is in them, then where or when is there greater motivation to give their best? I have discovered there will never be a place or time that will present greater incentive to be the very best we can be. Each of us should ask ourselves: What pattern am I establishing today that I will surely follow for the rest of my life? Is my pattern this day one of exact obedience? Have I planned this and every day focusing on the key indicators? Do I have the courage this day to open my mouth and ask for referrals from everyone? Do I pray often this day for myself and others? Do I study this day and every day? Did I show my love for the Lord this day by loving and serving my companion and those I meet? These and other questions we could ask of ourselves to see if the pattern of this day was one in when weALWAYS REMEMBERED HIM. If we cannot answer these questions today with a heartfelt yes, when will there be a day of greater divine motivation to always remember Him? Most of the Florida Tampa Missionaries are choosing to establish a daily pattern to Remember Him by striving to do all of the Remember This commitments found in Preach My Gospel? For those few who are not daily observing this pattern I pray you will consider what you are doing to the rest of your life. I truly believe in each of you. I know you can establish a pattern of excellence now which can continue forever. You have my love and confidence.

President Summerhays