"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

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