"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, December 19, 2011

Christmas Conferences

December 17, 2011

Hey my Family!

It has been a really great week here in Florida. Not only is the weather beautiful, but we had the Christmas Conferences this week. I love this time of year, and it's fun to see all the missionaries as well. On Tuesday, the northern half of the mission met together in Tampa at one of the church buildings. There were 5 zones that met together, and for the most part, they're the biggest zones in the mission. In the morning we trained with President on "How to Begin Teaching" from preach my gospel, and also how to best work with members. All of the trainings were pretty light and happy. Following that we had a great lunch that a relief society group had prepared, complete with dimmed lights in the gym and a centerpiece for every table. That sounds like something my grandmas would do. Ha following that we had a slide show of pictures from missionaries, and then a musical portion of the conference. The Draper's (the senior couple that put on the musical fireside a couple of weeks ago), but together a program with a bunch of different numbers. She had given Elder Moffett a bunch of songs to accompany the week before, and after trying to practice all of them asked me to play one....I was a little anxious because I haven't learned a new song in a really long time, and this one was a little challenging. Thanks to many hours with Toni Crapo, I was able to crash through it without too many off notes. Sister Draper also asked me to sing a solo, and although I drug my feet a little, in the end I agreed. I sang "Stars Were Gleaming" from the Children's Song Book, and she played a neat accompaniment part to it. I was a little nervous for that, but it was pretty fun. One of my favorite parts of the conference though, was when we heard from President and Sister Summerhays right at the end. They each shared what they talk about with their kids every Christmas. Sister Summerhays talked about the fact that it wasn't a quite calm world that Christ was born into. All around him there was the bustling of a busy little town, boisterous inns, and the animals making noise. Our Christmas is actually pretty similar today. There are distractions surrounding us, but your Christmas will be what you make of it. Christ wasn't born into a world of peace, he came to bring peace.

Also this week we've been involved with A Night in Bethlehem. It's a big live nativity that the Tampa Stake puts on. Lots and lots of work goes into making it happen, and they have missionaries walk around talking to people and answering any questions. It's pretty amazing to see what they put together. There's a little town of Bethlehem built up with stores where you can stop at to write your name in Hebrew, eat some snacks, etc. Following that you see the live nativity and "Mary and Joseph" going from inn to inn and angels and shepherds singing and gathering around. Last night we were able to receive 19 referrals for missionaries to go and visit nonmembers. We'll be going there again tonight and then tomorrow night.

We weren't able to meet up with Michelle this week. She came to church and enjoy it, but she has gone back up to Pensacola, FL for Christmas. She's reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning, and has been praying more and more often. We'll meet up with her again as soon as she gets back.

Well I love you all! I hope you have a great week before Christmas and I'll talk to you soon!


Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

During this Christmas week, I feel impressed to express my love to you. I desire to remind you of God’s love for you as well. The words of the song that was so beautifully sung during your performance keep running through my mind. “Child of promise, do you know who you are?”

When Moroni appeared to Joseph seven years before the church was even organized, he quoted from the 2nd chapter of Joel: And it came to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.v28-29. Moroni went on to say that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. “Child of promise, do you know who you are?” Certainly you are children of this promise.

As I so often tell you, I have such strong desires for your present and future happiness. I feel certain this desire has been somewhere inside of me since before I was born. I can envision us fighting for the Savior together there, just as we are here. I feel we covenanted together there that we would continue our mission here. We are meant to be here together-now. You are the sons and daughters spoken of in Joel. Maybe I am one of the old men?

God loves you. He is pleased with what you are doing. The birth, life and death of our Savior, Jesus Christ is evidence of that love. John tells us that, ”God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”. The Book of Mormon is also a manifestation of His love. Helping others feel that love is the greatest gift we can give to them and to Him. I feel such an urgency to help you fulfill that promise. I have every confidence in you.

I add my witness to Elder Holland’s and Elder Nelson’s that you are the “hope of Israel”. YOU ARE THE HOPE OF ISRAEL!” I love you. I love serving with you. I love serving you. Merry Christmas dear Sisters and Elders. You are the children of the promise.

President Summerhays

PS. I believe in you

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


December 10, 2011

Hello my Family!

Well there goes another week, and this one flew by. At the end of transfer week my head always feels heavy and my eyelids have a tendency to droop, but fortunately it's a lot of fun as well.

On Monday we had 13 new missionaries fly in. Twelve of them were coming straight from the MTC, but we had one missionary flying in from Canada. Elder Moffett and I got to the airport before President, and found out that the flight from Canada had gotten there early. Meaning chances were good that there was a new missionary wandering the airport by himself. We called President and then hopped on the escalator to go down to the luggage collection area. Sure enough we found where his bags were being unloaded, but no missionary. Starting to get a little anxious at this point, we decided to head back to his arrival gate. While we were walking back, I looked up and caught a glimpse of a suit, tie and little black badge, as our first new missionary came down on the escalator. Fortunately the rest of arrivals went smoothly. We had 10 English elders, 1 Spanish elder, an English sister, and 2 Spanish sisters. It's always really exciting to see new missionaries. They're so pumped to be here, and the feeling is contagious. After quick introduction we loaded all of their bags into a Uhaul trailer and then headed to the mission home. There we ate dinner together and then had some short trainings. Sister Summerhays covered health, and while President interviewed them one at a time Elder Moffett and I got to tell them about the mission. We talked about the culture of the mission, and how obedience and love were a way of life here. Following the discussion we went in a circle and everyone had the opportunity to bear their testimony. It was amazing to hear all of their different backgrounds, and yet they all had the same purpose: share the message of the restored gospel. I feel like so many of them are way ahead of where I was when I got here. I can still remember my first night in the mission so vividly, and feeling completely out of my element. Many of the missionaries in this group were confident and ready to hit the ground running. It'll be fun to see how they continue to grow. Well after their interviews, and asking us any questions that crossed their minds, they all got ready for bed. Once President finished his last interview we headed into his office. Throughout the night he made notes on a card about the missionaries and we did the same thing. Following a prayer, we try and figure which trainer the Lord would want us to put with each trainee. It's always amazing for me to see how things just fit together. Before we even meet these new missionaries the Lord knows who their trainer will be, and that became so evident once we finished and looked at the results. All the combinations seemed to match up perfectly. At this point it was about 11, so we said a closing prayer and headed back to our apartment to grab some sleep.

Tuesday of transfer week generally feels like organized chaos. After waking up and getting ready we headed over to President's home to load up all the luggage for the new missionaries. President was finalizing some training with them, and they all looked bright and ready. They all loaded up and we headed over to the Carrollwood church building (it's the closest one to the mission office). Lots of missionaries use it as a meeting point when they're getting transferred from one area to another, so from morning to early afternoon it's crawling with missionaries. We showed up there around 10 and got all the trainers into a meeting with President, and the trainees went in to a short meeting with the office couples where they cover car usage, credit cards, apartments, etc. During that time we got to talk with missionaries at the building, which was pretty fun. I'm starting to feel like I've known some of these people forever. After about an hour, the trainees were done and we guided them into the chapel. They all sat really close to each other on the first two rows, and there was definitely a feeling of nervousness in the air. After about ten minutes President finished up with the trainers, and they all filed into the pews a few back from the new missionaries. I love watching their faces as they all turn around and scan each face, trying to figure out which one they're going to be serving with. I was conducting, so after that I got up and welcomed everyone to the meeting. Following the opening prayer and song, it was time for me to announce the companionships. I pulled the card out of my pocket that had all the combinations written down, and started at the top. I had the first trainer come up in front of the stand, say her name, where she was from, what area she was currently serving in, and who her was her favorite character from the Book of Mormon or Bible. Then I announced the name of the trainee, and she came up and they hugged, and then answered most of the same questions, and then they went and sat down together. This same thing happened as I went down my card and placed the companionships together. Well this is where the story gets a little embarrassing....I decided to change up the order I was reading the card in for some reason, and skipped farther down on the list. I announced "Elder Heath!", and he came up and introduced himself. He's a really animated and outgoing missionary that everyone likes. After his intro I said, "Thank you Elder Heath. You will be training.....Elder Redd!". Elder Redd jumped up immediately and came to the front, and he and Elder Heath gave each other a huge hug. I heard some whispering going on behind me, but decided to just tune it out. Elder Redd started introducing himself and while I was trying to listen I heard "Elder Bartschi! Elder Bartschi!" being whispered urgently behind me. I turned me head and saw Elder Moffett with a worried look on his face. "What??", I responded. "You read the wrong name!", he responded. My eyes got really big and I immediately scanned the card....he was right, I had announced the wrong trainee. I looked over and Elder Heath had his arm around Elder Redd's shoulders as he was finishing his 'get to know you' questions. "So.....", I said into the microphone as all the missionaries looked up, "I lied". Everyone in the chapel burst out in shocked laughter as the two of them just looked at me with looks of disbelief. "I can't believe it, but I read the wrong trainee name." I admitted, as the laughter continued to roll, and this time I couldn't help but join in. I felt so dumb, but they all took it really well. President thought it was hilarious, and as Elder Redd returned to his seat Elder Heath let me know that I would never make it up to him. I was teased plenty as I read off the RIGHT name this time, and as I finished announcing the companionships. Haha it wasn't the most reverent meeting I've ever attended, but it made for a funny transition for the new missionaries into the mission.

Now I'll give you an update on Michelle. We had a lesson with her this morning, and it went extremely well. She had read the scriptures that we had left with her, and she had prayed. She recognized the added peace that was coming into her life, and let us know that she was taking that as an answer that what we were teaching is true. It's almost hard to believe how some people are just ready. Plain and simply, she has been prepared to learn about the gospel. It's in situations like this that I know I'm just acting as a guide on her journey into the church. Michelle was going to learn about it one way or another, I just feel blessed to be apart of it. She is still set for her baptism on January 1st, and let us know that she got off work for that day.

Well I love you all! Have a great week, and good luck with basketball games and finals!


Elder Kade Bartschi

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

I love each one of you. Almost all of you are inspired in your daily service. You are giving Christ the best present ever-your hearts and your time. . We are so blessed to be serving Him in this sacred way. Giving our time in the service of others is pleasing to God and doing so draws us nearer to Him. Brigham Young taught, “We are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage and he will require of us a strict account of its disposition.”

It has been said that missionaries are like wise men of old who travel afar bearing gifts. And they find that when they’re miles away from friends and family at Christmas, they grow closer to Heavenly Father and catch a glimpse of their celestial home. Ours is the responsibility to keep our lights burning brightly for others to see and follow. We must use this precious time wisely. Elder Arden in our last conference reminds us that the poor use of time is a close cousin of idleness. As we follow the command to ‘cease to be idle’ we must be sure that being busy also equates to being productive. That is why we use our time wisely by setting goals and planning. Then we find, teach and baptize. It is our gift to Him.

Life is not perfect. It’s cut through with unexpected pain and hardships and trials tearing down our expectations and hopes. But because of the miraculous birth, life, and Atonement of Jesus Christ, because of His empathy, His mercy, and His triumph over death, life can still be beautiful. In His perfection, He was crucified. In His perfection, He lives. Through His perfect love, though we are not perfect, we can live too. With hope. We get to share this message. As you find new investigators try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for what you have to offer. To have the peace the Savior speaks of, we must devote our time to the things that matter most, and the things of God matter most.

You are becoming remarkable men and women who will meet the opportunities and challenges of your mission and your future lives. You are becoming remarkable men and women who are learning to manage time wisely. You are giving Him the gift of your time with all of your hearts. I have confidence that what you are doing is pleasing to God. I love you and believe in you.

President Summerhays

Welcome to December

December 5, 2011

Hey Family!

It sounds like you all had a good week. Finals for Bryce, Britt and Whitney, and then Christmas break will be there! The students at USF are feeling the end of the semester anxiety, which translates into less people wanting to talk to us. We actually didn't experience that too much because we had a busy week in the office. On Tuesday we started fasting, and then on Wednesday afternoon we began working on transfers. By the time 9 pm rolled around we had it nearly completed. We couldn't believe how fast it had gone. Last transfer it took us a complete day of working on it to get it about finished. There are 13 new missionaries coming in on Monday, and finding spots for everyone seemed like a huge task at first, but slowly things started falling into place. President Summerhays is sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, and because of that we know that the Lord's hand was guiding what happened. During the week I read the talk by Elder Wadell from the Priesthood Session of this October conference. He talked about the Lord knowing who your mission president will be, what companions you will have, and what areas you will serve in long before you get there. It's comforting to know that it's not our decision where missionaries will be serving, but that it was supposed to happen. As far as transfer news for me, I'll be staying here for another transfer with Elder Moffett. I'm excited to be here over Christmas and New Years, and I love the senior couples in the office. At the end of this coming transfer I'll have been serving with Elder Moffett for 7 1/2 months! I can't believe it has been that long. Ha it's still a lot of fun though, so we're happy to be sticking together over the holidays.
On Friday of this week we had a meeting with all of the zone leaders in Sarasota. We trained on keeping commitments and how important it is for us to always leave an invitation for someone to act. I learned a lot from studying that topic, and that when we fail to extend a commitment, then we aren't asking people to repent. Essentially, that's our purpose as missionaries. People come unto Christ when they have repented of past transgressions and decide to follow Him. We used the story that Elder Christopherson shared in his talk from General Conference this October. He quotes President Packer's talk, "The Bright Morning of Forgiveness", and tells of the mental and spiritual darkness that can become forgotten when we are forgiven of our sins. That's what we have the opportunity to do as missionaries: help others experience their own "bright morning of forgiveness".
We had another lesson with Michelle this week, and it went extremely well. Elder Moffett and I have been blessed to teach people that are just ready and willing to accept the gospel i.e. Mike, James, and Paige. We started off the lesson asking about the reading that we had left her with. She read 3 Nephi 11 and the beginning of Alma 32. She really enjoyed what she read, but hasn't prayed about it yet. Michelle has had a bit of an agnostic view towards God, and is currently trying to overcome that. Understanding that we have a literal Father in Heaven and not just some random higher power is an important concept that she's coming to accept. We started off talking about that topic and then moved onto the subject of Joseph Smith. We watched The Restoration with her, and she was able to identify that Spirit that she felt. She loved that Joseph Smith was searching for truth and understanding, and that God cared enough to answer him. Following our discussion we asked her about what she was feeling and thinking. The Spirit was distinctly present as she shared with us that it was all making sense to her, and that she felt God had been guiding her to this new path. We definitely felt directed after that to extend the invitation for a baptismal date. She immediately accepted, and now we're aiming for January 1, 2012 for her baptism! Not a bad way to start off her year.
Well I love you all so much! Have a great week.
Elder Kade Bartschi

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2011

Hey Family!

Happy Thanksgiving a couple days late. It sounded like there was a common theme of lots and lots of food going on back home, and fortunately that tradition is respected here in Florida as well. I'm glad you all had a safe and fun holiday. Dad, I loved that elk story. I printed out your email so I could reread all of it.

We had a great week with regards to missionary work. I was a little bit surprised by that because our area consists of a college campus and by Wednesday nearly everyone was home for Thanksgiving. Luckily we have some people in the YSA that are actually from Tampa, so we had some invitations to go to their homes on Thursday. What ended up happening was we had to take a car to Lake Hamilton, so we ran that over early on Thursday morning in just enough time to stop by Bro. Staber's for breakfast! That was a lot of fun, and then we went with the Citrus Ridge Elders to their Turkey Bowl and played there. It was a blast, and I got to see some of the members from when I served there. Following that we came back to Tampa, showered, and then headed over to our lunch appointment. Erin, who we've had dinner with a couple of times, invited us over. Her roommates that aren't members were there, and we had a good time with them. There was plenty of good food, and we got to teach a short lesson on gratitude before we left. Following that we went to Nadia's. She's a member of the YSA and her family lives in the area. We talked and laughed with them, and of course, ate some more food. I was so far from being hungry, but I've developed the missionary ability to override the impulse to stop eating.

The best part of our week happened yesterday. Throughout this week, Gene, a returned missionary in the ward, has been telling us about his girlfriend that he would like us to teach. Coordinating schedules was tough, but we finally made it so we could all meet at the church last night. His girlfriend's name is Michelle and she's a Literature major at USF. She's in the honors program and is currently writing her final thesis to get her degree. We went through the lesson on the Restoration, ad it went incredibly well. Right from the beginning Michelle was open and friendly, and distinctly sensitive to the Spirit. She hasn't had much religious influence in her life, and she feels like now is the time in her life that she's ready to learn more about it. The Spirit was present throughout our discussion, and it was obvious that she connected with it as well. Near the end of the lesson we asked her if she'd be baptized by someone holding the priesthood, if she prayed and received an answer that we were teaching is true. She took and deep breath and then looked at as both and said yes. She promised to read and pray, and we invited her to attend church with us on Sunday. After they left Elder Moffett and I were ecstatic. Nothing makes me more excited than a sincere investigator that's searching for the truth. She will receive and answer, and it will change her life.

Well I hope you all have a great week!

Love you all,

Elder Kade Bartschi

Hey here's a couple of pictures. The first is us dropping Johnson off at the airport. And then that's Brother Staber's house all decked out for Christmas already, and then with him before going over to the turkey bowl.

President’s Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

There are so many wonderful lessons we can learn as we ‘like the scriptures unto us’. Shortly after Jesus called His apostles, he sent them out to preach His gospel. After they had been gone for a while, he gathered them together for a ‘zone conference’, where they would share their successes and their testimonies. They had just come back from missionary work and they needed rest, and it could have been preparation day. And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart unto a desert place and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.Mark 6:31 Sound familiar?

But as they departed, the people saw them. When Jesus saw them, He was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them. V.34 He was tired- day off or no- he stopped to teach them because they needed it. It was painful for the Shepherd to see people without a shepherd. It reminds me of Moroni 9 when Mormon in his epistle to Moroni wrote, “notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we would be under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay. V.6. The Savior knew He had such little time ‘whilst in the flesh’ to teach His people.

The people are hungry. Jesus asks Philip “whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? John6:5 He knew how He would solve this problem but he wanted to ‘prove him’. There was a lad with 5 barley loaves and 2 fishes. Barley grain is for the very poor. There was hardly enough here to bless the refreshments, so to speak, yet in v.11 He gives thanks. He is so appreciative. This tells us something about our Savior. He is so powerful and magnificent that he can command dead fish to multiply and replenish and feed the multitude. He is more powerful than nature. He commands the bread to appear where the grain hasn’t been harvested or ground or baked or risen. He is more powerful than we can imagine. He can take small things and make them great. He can take you and make you great. Whatever we lack, he has whatever we need. He was dealing with a very small amount-yet when they pass it out, they were fed and they were filled. He can do the same with us. The impossibility of it—you cannot feed 1000’s with 5 loaves and 2 fishes- in fact to normal people it is impossible. But with God all things are possible. His grace is an enabling power to do the things we could never do on our own. Yes, resurrection and Eternal live, but beyond the next life grace is a real practical need that we have right here. He can help us right here.

I am mindful of the Lad who provided the fish and bread. I don’t know why he was there or why he had food, but there is a symbol here. The Savior can take a small offering and multiply it to bless 1000’s and we sometimes need to remember that we might feel our offerings are small in our own eyes, but God multiplies it, and it can bless even 1000’s. A small act can go a long ways. We start with the first commandment-love. A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you. By this may man know ye are my disciples. Love your companion, love your District, love your Zone, love the Florida Tampa Mission.

Elders and Sisters-believe in Him-Believe in yourselves and what you can do with Him. I believe in you and what you can do with him. Please continue to move forward in faith believing that you can do all things in the strength of the Lord. This will bless you on your mission and for the rest of your life. He will magnify your every effort. I love you.

President Summerhays