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