"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 3, 2011

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

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