Dear Family and Friends,
Another beautiful monday and an opportunity to share my mission with my loved ones. The week has been one of many mixed emotions for me. I really missed Elder Martinez as I rode through all the streets he taught me this week. It was wierd teaching the area these past few days and reflecting on when I felt so lost out here.
My new companion's name is Elder Sumsion, as in "assumption". He is from Provo and is a really funny kid. It is probably a blessing I got him as my companion because I am a bit too heavy and serious all the time and this kid just sings songs and talks in strange voices as we ride our bikes around, alot like me when I get comfortable with people.
The Zone Leaders I live with say that they want to refer me to be a District Leader or a trainer next transfer, I would really love to train. I haven't read any of this weeks messages from you all but I plan on reading them tonight. Thank you for all who have taken the time to write me and let me know what is going on in your lives. I have been really trying hard to strengthen my ward and it has been going great.
We have 2 or 3 appointments a day this week with them as we instituting a new ward mission plans which includes helping families write up missionaries goals, all of which we have to coordinate, in other words, we are the sweat behind the project. I am drenched every night when I come home. Praise to the men who invented air conditioning, deoderant, soap, and laundry.
We also got some new investigators this week, which is awesome because our most promising ones from last week wont call us back....I think the part of my mission I have enjoyed most has been strengthening less-active members. I have one in particular named Sister Gray. She is a black woman in her 40's that runs a day care out of her home smack dab in the hood. It is not your typical day care, there are parents picking their kids up at 1 or 2 in the morning, some kids basically live there. She tries to give them all the childhood she never had. Neeless to say she is most often times exhausted, but she always makes time for us to come and share a brief message with her. I have really developed a strong relationship with her and she has come to church for the last 4 weeks, and she approached me in church last week and asked me if I would teach her about "Baptisms for the Dead" because she wants to go to the temple. I am so excited to teach her and was so suprised by her inquiry.
Many of converts in our ward have shared with me how they felt the overhwhelming love and support of family spirits while performing baptismal ordinances for their dead in the temple. It is powerful to hear their testimonies, particularly from the black members of our ward.
The biking has been a challange for me but watching my new companion weezing in between appointments shows me how much better shape I have gotten. No joke we ride about 2-25 miles a day in the humid 80-90 degree Ohio sun, I have completley given up on trying to look pretty. You all would laugh if you saw how drenched I get out here, I actually like it when it rains on us now because it is like a bath. Rain is crazy in Ohio, one minute it is sunny bright day without a cloud in the sky, ten minutes later it is raining so hard and the shy is so dark you think that it will be this way for the rest of the evening, then bam its back to sun shine. As I mentioned I am begginning to understand the geographics of my area, about 80 % of my area is ghetto. People always tell us to be careful and that there are shootings all the time but I have yet to witness one. We are sometimes met with a hostility but overall the people are kind. I feel like I was meant for this area. I love the fried chicken and hot sauce and I understand all the slang from my days as a hip-hop fanatic.
The area grows on me every day. So does too the spirit of the Lord. My labor all day is dedicated to Him, I think of Him constantly. Anytime I get discouraged I am called up in rememberance of how great He has been to me. I imagine I would all ready be different to the people back home if I returned today, I cant imagine how it will be in two years from now. I want you to all know that I am trying my best and that the Lord is doing the rest. I sweat all day and I soak my pillow in tears at night. for my friends about to head to the field I tell you from my heart it is the hardest thing I've ever done but I have never been more full. I cant wait for some of you to be out here. I love you all so much and I know that God lives and loves, he is always with us.
- Elder Prince