"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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 6, 2012

Hello my family!

It sounds like you had a busy week with basketball and Britta's birthday. The pictures were great, I just can't believe that Britt is due next month. I forget that time back home moves just as quickly as time here.

Well we had another busy week here in Ft. Myers! We've been fortunate to work with a lot of people here, and the support in the ward has been great. There's a younger couple in the ward, the Burton's, that have helped us so much in the last couple weeks. They have a little moving company that they run, so their hours allow them to go to lessons with us during the day. That has helped us a lot with some of the people we're teaching. One of which is Jeanne. She's a retired lady that lives with her husband down here. She decided to take her Mom to a Unitarian church a couple of months ago, and happened to go the Sunday that Elder Smith and his last companion were invited to speak there. It turns out that Jeanne had taken the lessons about 30 years ago in Colorado from some sister missionaries. After the service she found the missionaries number online and we've been over a couple of times to meet with her. She's a really nice lady and we've been able to read quite a bit together from the Book of Mormon, but getting her to act on things has been a struggle. She was raised Catholic and the concept of praying and waiting for an answer is tough for her to grasp. In our last lesson we taught about the importance of church services, and she let us know that she'll come when she's ready. She has gotten a little set in her ways, but we're working hard to help her feel the Spirit and are inviting her to act on the things we've shared with her.

The stake president down here in Ft Myers is actually in our ward, and he is great. He and his wife are converts to the church and they really understand the importance of missionary work. A little over a week ago I went out with him on splits and we visited a part member family in the ward, the Towns. The stake president, President Pritt, is a doctor and the member in the family we visited is a nurse that he works with. Anway, the family consists of Sister Towns (who is currently inactive), her husband (not a member), and they have two kids. Spencer is 11 and has been baptized, and then Nicole is 9 and she hasn't been yet. Well Sister Towns had pneumonia and so we stopped by to give her a blessing. We talked to the family for a little bit and they were all really nice and welcoming. President Pritt asked if I would seal the blessing, and it was a neat experience. Following the blessing I was talking to Sister Towns and Nicole and they mentioned the fact that Nicole was playing volleyball right now. Now I've been to a match or two in my life, and I knew that school ball wasn't going, so it must be club. I asked, and sure enough that's what she was doing. I told her about my sisters that all played club ball, and we had a really good time talking. The next day President Pritt called to let us know that a good impression had been made and the family had agreed to let us come over and teach Nicole the lessons in preparation for her baptism. We were really excited about it, and we are praying that we'll be able to teach Brother Towns as well.

Another neat teaching experience we had this week was with Eric. He's 21, is attending FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University), and is dating a member in the ward. He met us over at the church and we were able to give him a tour and teach about the Restoration. He was raised Baptist, and had a bunch of questions about the origin of the church and need for prophets. It felt like a pretty good lesson and he seemed to understand everything well. Although he was a little skeptical about the Book of Mormon he agreed to read and pray about the chapter we had left with him.

As for CJ and Lisa, we had a lesson with him them this week as well. They had gone searching throughout the Internet and found some anti-Mormon material. They were really levelheaded about all of it though, and we were able to answer the questions that they had. We also were able to reteach the Book of Mormon and discuss Joseph Smith. It has been interesting to see how Lisa was the one who was originally interested, but now CJ is the one who is the most willing to progress. They weren't able to come to church this last week, but they should be able to come this next Sunday.

Well I love you all so much! Have a great week and know that I'm praying for you.


Elder Kade Bartschi

President's Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

Happy February! With all of my heart I believe in you. Thank you for continually striving to improve your service and your lives. Thank you for believing in and for expecting miracles. The adversary is not happy with our depth of commitment and progress. I want to remind you again how important you are to me. Your present and future happiness is a passion for me. I know that you can be happy and successful and protected from the adversary if you give your heart to the Lord and if you build your life on the Rock of our Redeemer. A few weeks ago I wrote about how Peter grew from an impulsive young man to be able to be the Chief Apostle of the Lord. The change in him was so great that some scholars can’t believe he really wrote the epistles bearing his name. This change is possible for all who give themselves to the Lord. The name Peter means small stone. The Savior called him Cephas which means seer stone. The Savior saw a man with the name meaning small rock but saw in him a Seer stone who would later be a rock on which He could rely and from which truth and revelation could come. A man upon whose shoulders the Savior had laid the burden of His kingdom in that dispensation. He could do this because Peter was built on the rock of Jesus Christ. Peter had patterned his life after the teachings of the Savior. As you build and pattern your life upon the rock of Jesus Christ, you will be happy, successful and protected.

Book of Mormon prophets have also encouraged us to build our lives upon the rock of our Redeemer:

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless woe, because the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they CANNOT fail. Helaman 5:12

We have been studying about the promises in the Book of Mormon. Here is a promise. His promises are sure. Many of you have expressed a desire to carry what you have learned here with you the rest of your lives. Here we have a guarantee: if you have your life centered on the Savior, you cannot fail. I love that auxiliary verb in this scripture-cannot. It does not say, might not, or will not, but that you cannot fail-you won’t be able to fail. The fiery darts will have no power over you.

And so remember, remember dear Sisters and Elders to continue to build your life upon the rock of your Redeemer which is a sure foundation. Continue to strive to improve. Come to your studies in the morning ready to meet the Lord and to be taught by the Spirit. Remember your covenants and repent and renew those covenants each week by partaking of the Sacrament. Consecrate your life to His service. Serve Him with all your heart, might, mind and strength then you will have loved the Lord and served him the very best you can. Then you will have patterned your life on the rock of your Redeemer. I love you and believe in you.

President Summerhays

p.s. Have a Fantastic,Fabulous,Faithful,Fearless,February,Finding,FrenzyJ

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