Mom and Dad, that's great you were able to get to California for Aunt Betty's funeral. I love that lady and her ability to keep you on your toes. One of my favorite memories with her was when she came to St. Anthony to visit, and she stayed at Grandpa and Grandma's for a while. One day Grandma decided that she needed to watch the movie Charlie while I was there. Before leaving the room to grab the movie, Grandma let Betty know that she would be crying at the end of it. Right after she walked out, Aunt Betty looked at me and with twinkle in her eye said, "Your grandma doesn't know that I haven't been able to cry since my stroke!". Haha I didn't know if that was something I should be laughing at, but once she started to chuckle I knew that she had the personality I wanted when I got to be her age.
It's hard to believe that another week has come and gone down here in Ft. Myers. I love that we're staying busy and have been blessed with the people that we're currently teaching. I still feel like we're sifting through a lot of people, and it makes me a little concerned for a second when we decide to move on from some investigators to focus on other ones. We've been able to see the Lord's hand though, because as we've moved on, individuals have fallen into place for us to teach. There were a couple really neat experiences that we've had this week. One of which was with Bill Zellers. His son is the member that I told you about a few weeks ago that lives up in Indiana. When we tried to go visit his Dad, Bill, we found out that his son had given us the wrong address. We ended up meeting a lady that had lived in Salt Lake for a while and was interested in doing family history work. During our conversation she told us about the "Mormon couple" that lived across the street, and at that point we knew that that's who we were looking for. On Wednesday we went back and knocked on the Zeller's door. Bill answered and asked us with a laugh, "who sent you here?". We started up a good conversation and ended up talking for about twenty minutes. His wife had a migraine, so we weren't able to go in, but he invited us to come back this week. It turns out that his wife and kids joined the church about 30 years ago but he never did. We're really excited to get back over there on Thursday and hopefully teach him.
Yesterday we went out with Bro. Robinson, a long time member of the Ft Myers ward, to go and visit some of his home teaching families. The older couple we went to go visit were the Bogart's. He has been their home teacher for the last 20 years, and despite his monthly visits, he said that they were still a ways from coming back to church. It turned out that they weren't home, so he had us follow him around the side of the house to a trailer in the back. A lady in her 40's answered and immediately let us in. Her name is Mary, and is the daughter-in-law of the Bogart's. She has two kids that are around 20, but her husband passed away 2 years ago from cancer. She and her sons never joined the church, but before her husband passed, Elder Mickelson from the Seventy came down to the area for a conference. He allowed the leadership from the wards to select a few families to visit, and the Bogart's were picked for Ft. Myers. The family knew at that point that Terry (the husband), would be passing away, so it was a very emotional experience for all of them to have him there. While meeting with the family, Elder Mickelson asked them if they wanted to all be together forever after this life. They were all in tears as he told them that there was a way for that to happen, and it would only be in the temple where they could be sealed. Following that experience and Terry passing away, the family lost their drive to learn more about the church. As we talked to her this time, Brother Robinson brought up that experience and reminded her of the things that she had felt. He then asked her if she would want to learn more about the church. She thought for a second and then nodded her head and said yes. With a big smile on his face, he slapped Elder Smith on the back and said, "Well that's why I brought these two!". One of her sons showed up at that point, and we were able to teach both of them about the feelings of the Spirit, and how we're prompted to act on truth. It was a good discussion, and she agreed to have us come over this week to teach more about the gospel.
On Sunday we had a couple of investigators come to the meetings. Joy and Janelle were there, and Michael showed up right at the end of sacrament meeting. It was a little hectic of a Sunday, but turned out well. Darien (a priest in the ward) and I were asked to sing in sacrament meeting, and ended up doing what we sang at the stake priesthood session. It ended up going really well, and following that we taught the Sharing Time lesson, and then taught the Gospel Principles class. Normally we don't have to teach either of those, but it just turned out that this Sunday things fell through.
Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Kade Bartschi