Dear and Loved Family,
Hope all is well with you and that this e-mail finds you on a good day.
This weekend has been a great weekend for me. The struggle of the mission field is that opposition comes in a totally new package than being back home and part of "civillian life", back at home my struggles were very different than they are now. Most of my trials and temptations are in the mind and in the spirit. The key is to rely on the Lord in "All Things" anytime I feel like I am not accomplishing anything I turn to him in prayer.
In The scriptures we read to turn all our cares unto him and counsil him in all our comings and goings, to lift up our hearts and voices to him all day long, so after finding this in my studies this week I have been combatting the opposition anytime it comes, I must look like the crazy person in the world to some of these people because I often times just close my eyes and ask for strength. Don;t worry I'm not one of those corner preachers praying aloud to be seen of men :).
Your e-mails and letters turly warm my soul. Dad wrote me a ltter bearing his testimony to me that I carry in my backpack and his talk from Grandpa Princ'es funeral. I read it when I get home from a weary days work, it means alot to me to belong to this faith.
On thursday night Elder Martinez and I street contacted for about 5 hours and we had nothing all night, it was 8:40 and we only had 20 minutes left for the day and this voice in my head kept telling me over and over that I MUST find one investigator! One! So with time running out I wouldn't let the thought rest and we went to a train station next to our house and I saw a woman waiting for the train and asked her If I could share my card with her, she happily accpeted. Her Name is Bridgette, she is an african american woman, married and mother of 3 and she was waiting for her husband to get off the train from work. She lived around the corner from us and said that he was late today, I began to explain to her breifly what we believe and asked her if she would mind if I came by and taught her more. She said that she would love to learn more, she seemed particularly inviting after I mentioned that we believe that marriage is for eternity. We met with her the next day and gave her the Book of Mormon, she has been reading and praying on it hard and described to me in quite some detail about what she had read from the intorduction and first book of Nephi. I am so excited about her I feel that if she will stay true to the spirit she will come to know as I have that this book is not a fable but rather the life-changing word of God.
I also have been visiting with a street vendor named John who works selling food on a street I frequently contact on. He is a lonely man, ex-catholic with with depression problems. I really take the time to listen to this man and try to understand what has happened in his life. I have talked to Him about how Heavenly Father has restored His gospel and that He has given us weaknesses to draw us near unto Him and help us realize our dependance on Him. He is really open to me and says that I have a "kind and good presence", he has committed to read some chapters I showd him from the Book of Mormon and I believe that he truly enjoys our meetings with him on the street, he said " If nothing else, you have restored my faith in taking time to talk to people I see everyday and realizing the importance of that". That humbling for me to hear, we left him with a word of prayer underneath his food stand umbrella in the middle of a busy street and the love of God was truly there. He said he hadn't prayed since he was an alter boy in childhood, he looked me in the eye and told me thank you, I knew he knew that I truly loved him.
I don't have baptisms to report. I don't have miracles but what I have alot of are "small and simple things" that truly fill my heartout here in Cleveland everyday, I love this work and I love the children of men.
I recieved pictures of us all from Mom this week and I was again reminded of how incredibly good looking our family is (Zoolander quote). It is good to visualize you all. Everything I hear from back home is awesome. Isaacs toad selling business plan was probably the high light of my week. That and my good friend Taylor Doutre recieving the priesthood and Samye getting her call to Oakland, I love that! Thank you all for you e-mails I read each one and love each one.
Before I came on my mission Ken played a song that makes fun of Cleveland for 6 minutes and there is part that I particularly laugh at now, it says "don't drive through east cleveland, you will get shot!" hahaha, it was only funny when I listened to it. Like I said before my area is pretty ghetto but it is full of humble people. I was walking in the ghetto yesterday having a laugh at myself for thinking I was black growing up. This is the last place you want to live or emulate. However I have distinctly felt that I was prepared for this area, I feel somewhat at home when someone is driving their black cadillac down the street blaring their 2Pac :) All jokes aside though it really has been confirmed to me that I am meant to be here, a strong Christain man tried to tell me about how the Book of Mormon was false for sometime, upon which I really didn't argue with him, I merely shared my experinece of it's power in my life and we talked a while, at the end of our conversation, he said " You are the best Mormon I've met, you are going to do well in the black community, because you have respect". Ahh man I love black people! (Jerry McGuire quote).
Elder Martinez leaves in 3 weeks! I can't believe how much I am gonna miss him. He is super in tune with how I am doing emotionally its crazy. I'll just be thinking and if I get too deep, he'll pat me on the back and say "It's OK man, I love you", he had no idea what I was thinking or how I was feeling but he always knows what to say. The mission is HOT and I sweat all day, we have people giving us fake adresses that we just spent the last 40 minutes biking to but at the end of the day the spirit confirms to you that "You are becoming something", thats why I work hard. We are becoming something every day. I hope we never forget that . President Hinckley said the "small things we do everyday, are in a big way what we are becoming". My hope and prayer for Each and Every member of our family is to consult the Lord with what he wants you to do today to be better, don't worry about tommorrow. He IS listening, He loves us, He wants us to be happy, sacrifice brings forth the blessing, He is always with us.
Love- Elder Prince