"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, October 17, 2011

Teaching Investigators

Hey family!

It sounds like you've had a really good week. Congrats on the games this past week Whit and Braydy.
Well I'll just hit a couple of the highlights from this past week. The missionaries in the Temple Terrace fortunately have this habit of finding people to teach that are YSA aged; consequently, we were invited to two lessons on Saturday. There were some bike racks that we needed to deliver around the mission though, so we ended up going on exchanges so that at least one of us could be there for it. I stayed with Elder Khan, and honestly I was a little anxious. One of the lessons scheduled was with a girl named Megan. I'd already met her for a lesson before, and it didn't go over very well the first time. She had brought a friend with her then that didn't have very kind feelings in regards to the church, and wasn't afraid to express them. I guess after the lesson she called Temple Terrace and apologized for how things had gone over. Well unfortunately Megan texted us and canceled for the meeting, but the other one we had scheduled ended up working out. That lesson was with David and Nicole. They're both in their early twenty's and are cross country runners for Florida College. Most of the students there are members of the Church of Christ, and generally that means they want correct the wayward LDS missionaries. Surprisingly though, they were both really genuine and nice. Elder Khan and I took them on a tour of the church and then we went into a classroom and taught the Restoration. The Spirit was definitely present and at the end of the lesson they committed to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. They had good questions at the end of the lesson like, "Why do we need a prophet?" "Isn't the Bible all that we need?". It felt like they were truly asking with intent to know, not to be contradictory.

Another cool experience was with a less active in our ward named Erin. A couple of weeks ago Elder Cook and I were trying to find some of the people on the roster that we didn't know. Our ward covers three stakes by the way: St. Pete, Tampa, and Brandon. That makes for huge ward boundaries. Anyways, she wasn't home when we went over, but we left our number with her roommate. She actually called us back that night and was interested in meeting up. Unfortunately, we kind of dropped that ball after that and took a while to get back to her. On Tuesday night we decided to give her a call, right off the bat she invited us over for dinner on Thursday night. We ended up going over there and it was a lot of fun. It turns out that she has been a member all her life, but her life got busy and she just hadn't been back to church in a while. She was interested in getting back into activities, and I'm excited to work with her. Erin knows where she needs to be, I think she just needs the motivation to do it.

This next week is going to be really busy because it's the last week of the transfer. I'm just going to try and buckle up and hang on for the ride.

I love you all! Have a great week.

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I just feel such great joy in my heart for the Florida Tampa Missionaries. I had a special experience over the week end in the St. Petersburg Stake Conference. The witness came to me of your goodness, and of the joy you bring into the lives of those you are nurturing-a companion, a member, a less active, a part member family, an investigator and your Mission President. All with the beautiful desire to grow and establish the church by loving them and serving them. I was further instructed by the spirit that you, the Florida Tampa missionaries, are the angels on my right hand and on my left hand and in front of me who bear me up. I was allowed to feel of God’s love for me through you.

In this short letter, I just wanted to thank you for your faithful service and to express my heartfelt love for you. I also feel to bless you to fully understand who you are and who you represent and serve, the Lord Jesus Christ. I bless you that your mission can be filled with happiness, peace, love and productivity. I truly believe in each of you. You have my love and confidence.

President Summerhays

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Good Week

October 10, 2011

Hello my Family!

It sounds like you've had a pretty good week. Wow, it's hard to believe that the snow has already started up back home. Like I told you, it's just starting to get beautiful here. During the summer months I forget what nice weather feels like, and I just can't understand why people would live in Florida. Then, suddenly, the late fall weather starts to kick in and I'm reminded that it can be a great place to live. In a twisted way, that's exactly what it's like in good 'ole Idaho. Just flip the summer for winter and you have the same thing.

Well, it has been a good week here in Tampa. We started the week with seven new cars that the mission needed to distribute throughout southwest Florida, and all of cars that are being retired needed to make it back to the mission office. Fortunately that worked perfectly with what we were planning on doing. We go on exchanges with zone leaders throughout the mission and at the start of this week we exchanged with the zone leaders in Fort Myers. I ended up going down there with Elder Berry, from Chubback, ID. So first off, that is pretty much the farthest south we go in our mission (with the exception of Naples), and the zone leaders we exchanged with are Spanish speaking missionaries. Haha so I was completely out of my element in two areas. I've spent my whole mission in the North half, so that was a neat experience to get to go down there. Also, it was really great to be able to experience the Spanish culture first hand. I've heard enough Spanish on my mission that I can pick up on key words and know the general idea of the conversation, but even so, by the end of our time together I was mentally fried. It was amazing to see how generous they all were though. Our exchanges last for one day, and by the time we met back up with Elder Cook we had been fed 5 times. For the sake of my waist line, I'm grateful to be serving an English mission. It was really neat to hear the gospel preached in another language though. Even when I couldn't follow the conversation, the Spirit was still definitely present.

Other than that, I was actually able to do some missionary work in a family ward this week. I love the YSA, but it's definitely a lot different than what I've done my entire mission. One of the Temple Terrace missionaries was really sick, and so Elder Cook and I went on a couple of day exchanges with them. Temple Terrace has some pretty ghetto areas, so I was having flashbacks of Gulfport. It was really fun though, and Elder Khan and I were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to an investigator. Her name is Vanessa and her daughter had been to the church before and really enjoyed it.

I hope you all have a good week! I love hearing from you and appreciate all of your love and support.

Love you all,

Elder Kade Bartschi

Monday, October 3, 2011

General Conference

Hello Family!

We have officially made it to October, and there's no better way to kick it off than with a conference weekend. Listening to the last few sessions has been amazing. There is no doubt in my mind that the leadership of our church has been called of God. The divine revelation they receive is pertinent to what we need and the challenges facing us. Now the key to all of this is going to be applying the messages that I hear instead of just listening, taking a few notes and then thinking "wow, that was really good!". Ha I'm really good at doing that last part, but I'm still working on the applying part of it.

This week has been pretty good. The institue building is located right across the street from campus. Its location is ideal for holding activities there and then invite people to come over and check out the church. The YSA is great at holding socials, and there's a monthly bbq that is great for inviting people there. Well, Elder Cook and another mission took to the corner with signs, enticing people to come and have some free dinner, and then some other missionaries and I ate food with the people who came and then invited them on a tour of the church. The members of the YSA are really friendly, and so it's easy for us to find people to talk to them. It worked out nicely, and we had a couple of people come that were really positive. There were two girls at the end that Elder Cook and I took on a tour of the church, and they seemed to really like everything that we shared with them. They especially liked the idea of a strictly college aged congregation for them to come and connect with.

Besides that we have quite a few less actives and recent converts that we're working with. One of which is Crystal Corona. I had to include her last name because it cracks me up. Ha but she is really great. She got baptized earlier this year, and is really solid. We taught her about the importance of patriarchal blessings, and a few weeks later she was able to go and receive it. She also just got called as the secretary in the relief society. They get put right to work in this ward, which is great for building a testimony and not getting lost in the background.

Well I'm sorry this is so short! We haven't had much time this week to get something written, but we're going to go watch the last session of conference!

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


Elder Kade Bartschi

September 24th

Hey my family!

This has been a good week for us here in Tampa. It's a completely different experience working on campus but I'm really growing to love it. Working with people my own age, particularly with the members of the ward, is a blast. Our church building is right across the street from campus, and the institute is built on the back of it. There is a class on every weekday taught by either an employee from the CES, or a senior missionary couple, the Leavitt's. Fortunately those classes fall on either our dinner or lunch break, so we are able to go over there and attend a class and get some food, and get the know the members really well. It's incredible to see how many members of the YSA ward are converts. I fully expected it to be a bunch of kids from out west that came here to school, or just life long members from the area. Let me tell ya, I was completely wrong. Many of them have joined within in the last year or two, and seeing how strong their testimonies are is pretty incredible. They're all so solid and fun to work with.

We're currently working with some of the recent converts at the YSA, and other than that we're trying to find some more people to work with. Now "finding" here is absolutely nothing like what I've dealt with previously. We walk around campus just trying to talk to people and strike up conversations. It's a completely different feel to walk around a University when you're not a student, and are dressed up in a white shirt and tie. Haha it has taken some getting used to, but I'm really enjoying it. Elder Cook is fun to work with, and we get along well. He has been serving here for the last 10 months, so I think it's going to shell shock the ward when he goes home. I'm trying to build as many relationships with people as possible before he goes but I'm sure it will be fine. Hopefully.

This morning we had a lesson with Eric. We're officially making the transition with the Seffner Elders so that we'll be teaching him now. He's 22 and we've decided that he would really like going to the YSA ward rather than down in a family ward. It was actually pretty cool because we ran into him on campus this past week. Elder Cook and I decided that it was definitely a sign that we would be taking over his teaching haha. Anyways, we went down to Seffner today and were able to teach him the first lesson. It was actually pretty neat teaching with 3 other missionaries and to feel the power that bearing testimony brings. When we taught about the atonement and Joseph Smith and the first vision we each took turns sharing with him our personal knowledge of the truthfulness of the message that we were sharing. The Spirit was present and I know that he felt good about what we taught. He'll be out of town this weekend, but he was excited about the idea of going to family home evening with us on Monday.

Well, that's about the extent of things that have gone on this week. I love you and look forward to hearing from you!

Love you all,

Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I know we are all anxious to listen to the messages which will be presented at General Conference this weekend. When Elder Nelson was here, he shared that he was on his 15th draft of his talk. He said that all who will be speaking have sought heaven’s help and direction as they prepared their messages for many weeks. I felt that the responsibility weighed heavy upon him and the others who would speak. Elder Nelson also mentioned that even though Elder Boyd K. Packer’s mobility has been reduced, his capacity to receive and respond to revelation is being increased. He said the brethren observe this every week. How blessed we will be to listen to him counsel us. Elder Packer frequently says, “If all you know is what you see with your natural eyes and hear with your natural ears, then you will not know very much.” His observation should help all of us to desire and seek to listen by the spirit as we are taught.

We will be privileged to hear from all of the Apostles and the First Presidency as well as other General Authorities. Elder Bednar said that, “An Apostle is first, foremost and always a missionary” which gives confirmation that we are all fellow servants of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and there will be much for missionaries in conference.

As you watch conference, I pray that you would all be as Mormon, when he was described as being “quick to observe”(Mormon 1:2). Ammaron counseled Mormon to both remember and record all of the things he observed. His ability to look, to notice, to respond and to obey provides an impressive example for us to study and to follow. Elder Bednar said that being quick to observe is vital to receiving the gift of discernment. Discernment is seeing with spiritual eyes and feeling with the heart---seeing and feeling the falsehood of an idea, the goodness of another person, or the next principle that is needed to aid an investigator. It can be easy to fall in the trap of listening without conscientiously observing, listening or discerning.

This is a wonderful opportunity for us to receive revelation if we come seeking through mighty prayer. We have been promised by the brethren that there will always be something for us in Conference. We all have questions, maybe even questions relating to our 40 day purification. Answers will come to help us, if we desire to know. If we ask with a sincere heart, having real intent, and having faith that we will receive, answers will come. Just like our investigators, we can receive answers through the Prophets, Seers and Revelators. Expect answers to your prayers and they will be given.

We are Preach My Gospel missionaries who listen and learn with spiritual eyes and ears. I pray we may be filled with the Spirit of the Lord and be uplifted and inspired as we listen and learn from conference. I love you and pray that you will always remember Him and allow the Holy Ghost to teach you what is needful in your lives. I pray that you will learn to observe, listen and discern. Learning to observe, listen and discern will bless you on your mission and for all of your lives. Conference is going to be beautiful!

President Summerhays