"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 20, 2012

Hey Family!

It sounds like we both had really fast weeks. Like Dad said, I'm not totally sure what to write because it feels like I just told you what's going on over here. Well we had a pretty good week down here in the South. We didn't get to meet up with as many people as we wanted to, but we had a few really positive lessons. One of which was with Helen. She's an older African-American lady that has been to church a few times, and she is hilarious. Helen has been Baptist her whole life, and in the middle of lessons she'll sometimes shout "Yes, Lord!". It's great, and we have had a blast teaching the Restoration to her. She loves reading from the scriptures and is very excited to start going through the Book of Mormon.

Some other good lessons we had this week were with Rainer and Christopher. They are cousins (their moms are sisters), and the two of them are extremely similar. Their moms are single parents and neither of their dads are members of the church. Within the last year Christopher's mom, Mila, decided to start getting active in church. She had been inactive for all of Christopher's life, and she speaks mostly Spanish. Christopher on the other hand doesn't speak spanish, and so for his benefit Mila has decided to switch from the spanish ward to the English one. Rainer's mom has decided to do the same thing, and we're now teaching both of them. We've met with them both this week and had some spiritual lessons. Christopher is 14 and has never really had faith in God. Rainer is 17 and his mom tells us that he claims to be atheist. We've been working hard to help them both feel the Spirit, and they both did. With Christopher we started with the Restoration and he definitely understands all of it. He's really smart and doesn't like to act like he's paying attention to us at times, but his mom has a really strong testimony and I know that she's helping him a lot. Rainer's lesson started with a little bit of a question and answer, and ended up with us teaching parts of the Plan of Salvation. He really liked the scriptures that we shared with him, and was very curious about the Spirit World. We're meeting with both of them again this week, and they are reading and praying.

We had a great showing at church this week! Helen showed up for sacrament meeting and really liked it. At one point she asked if she could kneel down and pray and we just smiled and told her to maybe just listen to the end of the talk instead. Joy and Janelle came to church as well and both of them had a good time. We'll be meeting with them tonight at the English's home. Christopher and Mila were there and stayed for all 3 hours. Also, the Zeller's came to church! During splits this week Elder Smith went to their home and had a good discussion with them. Bill is the husband and was the referral from his son in Indiana. He has been attending church with his wife for a long time, and it was great to see him come to church. We're going to be going over there this week to teach the first lesson and I'm really excited to go over there. Other than that, we're having a good time. It's the last week of the transfer and it's hard to believe that it has gone by this fast. We'll get transfer calls on Saturday so I'll let you know next week what's going on!
Have a great week and I love you!

Elder Kade Bartschi

Hey these are some pictures from the week! One of them is of Elder Smith and I after a rough day of biking around....he got a bloody nose and my pants got caught in my bike chain and tore. Ha and then this week was the big Edison Festival of the Lights (for Thomas Edison). Part of it was a 5K run that we got to participate in because the stake president here had a heart transplant a little while back and the stake decided to support him. It was a beautiful evening and we had a blast.

President's Letter

Dear Sisters and Elders,

After two weeks of Zone Conferences, I find myself invigorated! I am so happy, I love this work! I love the Florida Tampa Missionaries! I feel so good about the culture in our mission, and I feel like we have just begun. I believe that the Lord desires to make of us individually and collectively more than most of us can imagine. Your testimonies and the strength of your spirits fill me with confidence for the future. I feel such a desire for your peace and happiness. I testify that what you are doing now will have a profound effect on your present and future happiness.

I asked you in zone conference if you wanted to feel the love of God more powerfully in your life? I asked if you wanted to feel more in tune with His Spirit and if you wanted to have the heavens opened to you daily. When Elder Kikuchi visited us, he promised that if we follow a pattern set by the Prophet Joseph Smith and turn to the Lord for our answers , we can have these spiritual experiences. He counseled us to spend time each morning in prayer, meditation and serious scripture study. He asked us to seek a Sacred Grove experience. President Thomas S. Monson once taught that the key to gaining spiritual strength is to enter a “sacred grove” of our own. We have this opportunity each time we have a perfect morning.

President Hinckley promised, “Every morning…,missionaries should get on their knees and plead with the Lord to loosen their tongues and speak through them to the blessing of those they will be teaching. If they will do this, a new light will come into their lives. There will be greater enthusiasm for the work. They will come to know that in a very real sense, they are servants of the Lord speaking in His behalf. They will find a different response from those they teach. As they do so by the Spirit, their investigators will respond under the influence of the same Spirit.” PMG P 94

Prayer requires great effort. Come to your prayers showered, shaved, clean and dressed for the day. Give serious thought to your attitude and strive to pray sincerely, with real intent and with “all the energy of heart.”

If you continue to meet daily with Heavenly Father, you will come to know Him and our Savior in ways you couldn’t otherwise. Please do not procrastinate your desires to have the heavens opened and to “taste the goodness of Jesus” and to feel “with exceedingly great joy” the power of His eternal love. Learning to do it now is a great secret of time and eternity. Peace is available as we learn to do it right now. Let us fill our mornings with Sacred preparation. Let us not waste this special time with idleness. If you will use this daily Perfect Morning time to gain greater spiritual strength, you will better understand Heavenly Father and the Savior and His Atonement and the power of His great love. You will have His spirit. You will be happy and happy now means you will likely be happy tomorrow. I feel a deep and consistent commitment to your present and future success and happiness. I love you and I believe in you.

President Summerhays

Fabulous, fantastic, faithful, fearless, February finding frenzy

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