Sunday, September 18, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
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!
Elder Kade Bartschi
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.