Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Report from Ashtab!

Dearest Family and Friends!
                                                What a beautiful week it has been! My companion and I set alot of big and specific goals that we hoped to accomplish through the Lord's help this week and we saw fruition of these goals in so many ways. The crowning event of the week was the Baptism of Lily Marie Brooks-Glenn. Friday night we had her service and we got so much support from the Ward! It was so great to see my 3 week old companion dressed in complete white with a smile from ear to ear as he was privileged to perform the ordinance of baptism with Lily. She looked like a little angle as well! The spirit was so strong and all of her non-member family was in attendance and all were truly edified by the spirit by nights end. Sunday morning I was able to confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and bestow her with the sacred gift of the Holy Ghost. The whole weekend and experience with her was a blessing. I told my companion to "cherish every second of days like this", and told him how 'Old Scratch' used to tell me I wasn't going to baptize anyone on my mission while I was sweating my behind off in the summer heat of East Cleveland, all in all it felt the the fruit of alot of sweat and tears to watch her go down in the water all dressed in white, it will always be a warm memory and a sweet vision in my minds eye. After the baptism I was able to share my testimony with Lily and I gave her a little pink CTR ring that my Mom sent for her as well as a little pink Journal from Samye, she was really touched that two strangers had cared enough to get her those gifts. We have hopes to begin teaching her family and they have really taken to us, especailly after we raked and cleared leaves in there yard for two hours this week!
                                               Right now we are in the process of teaching a young group of friends, two boys and two girls, ages 13 through 15. There names are Mike, DJ, Angie and Alliyah. They are preparing to be baptized on December 4th! It has been so humbling to watch these kids grow and learn. I am amazed that at their age they are texting us, calling us and meeting with us all the time and all out of their desire to do what is right, a testimony that the Lord is preparing hearts to carry forward the church in future generations. I can't wait for these kids to join the church and I have truly grown to love them.
                                                Work with the members here continues to progress as well. The Bishop is having us speak on missionary work this Sunday which I am really excited for. I hope to incite some enthusiasm for the work in them with the accompaniment of the spirit. We are working with a part member family right now as well which has been going great in getting them active again and getting the father worthy to baptize her 12 year old daughter. This family spends the most time at the forefront of my heart and mind, if they can become what I see in them it will be a beautiful work when it is all said and done. It has been such a blessing out here to begin to see people with an eye single to the Lord. You see their potential, there unique spirit and there great worth, you begin to feel why the Lord has proclaimed the worth of souls is great in his sight.
                                               My focus this week has been to pray for charity. This the the highest type of love as the scriptures say, the pure love of Christ. It is the type of love that filled the Saviour with pity instead of resentment for those who drove nails into His hands and feet, what a thought. Charity is the key in all of our potentials. I have realized that if I do not serve with charity, or pure love in my heart for others, than I might as well pack up my bags and come on back to Salt Lake, I can strive for numbers and compete with others in a variety of ways. It really hit me last night as I was reflecting upon the "numbers" aspect of a mission. I don't want to say that I hate numbers, but intimately and one person at a time has always been my greatest way to connect with people in a Christ-like way. It is finding a balance between keeping up my numbers but also remembering to minister with charity that I think has been my greatest challenge emotionally and spiritually as a missionary. None the less I will continue to strive for this balance. The 13th Chapter of Ephesians really sets the importance of charity to our existence as brothers and sisters. Paul explains that though he has the spirit of prophecy or revelation, if he has not charity he is nothing. If he gave his body to be burned for the cause and has not charity, he is nothing, and so it is true with us. No matter what good we accomplish in our lives, if we move a mountain by our faith and bring souls unto Christ, if the true love of God is not found in our hearts when the dust settles we have missed the grand accomplishment, the true secret. The first time I read through Paul's words I thought to myself that this could not be, how could we be nothing if we bring souls unto Christ and even give our lives for Him? Then it hit me that this work, the great work of our lives, is to love one another  or as the the Book of Mormon states, if we offer any good gift and do so grudgingly it profitteth us nothing. I know that real love, not merely affection, but sacrifice of our time, our talents and our will for God and His children is the only way to become anything.I know that we cannot generate love, we can only channel the Love that God fills us with. I hope that we may all pray earnestly to be filled with this type of Love, it is the love Christ has for us, it is the only way. And He has said "If ye love me, keep my commandments". My message is that of the Saviors, let us love others enough to do what is right and set the example for them. I am so thankful for all of you and all the charity you've shown towards me. I'll be thinking of you all this Thanksgiving. Have a great week!                                          
                                                                                                 With love, Elder Prince

Monday, November 14, 2011

Greetings from North East Ohio‏

Dear Family,
                     So grateful to be able to write you all briefly today! It has been another great week in the mission. I am learning, growing, stumbling and failing, getting back up and getting better and working out the final kinks of adjusting to the mission. 6:30 in the morning doesnt seem to bother me anymore, as I grew up being far from a morning person. The serious razor rash I have from my ever present and growing beard and daily shaving doesn't bother me anymore, after all I don't have any girls to date  this week, and my ever enlarging 5' O' Clock shadow is a sign of my ongoing quest of 'manhood'. My love handles from the imposition of members urging me to take 'seconds' and providing a desert at EVERY meal don't bother me either. I am not apprehensive to approach anyone on the street or knock on a door. I am not afraid to wake less actives up from the deep slumbers come Sunday morning. I realized it this week, I am officially transitioned!

       This week was great! A quick update on Lily. She is doing great! We finally got to teach her parents and encouraged them to read from the Book of Mormon. We will also be raking up on their leaves on Tuesday, which should provide for a nice suprise. Lily's baptism is all set for Friday night, we are trying to make it a really special service for her. She said she wants me "give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost"! I can't wait. Elder Crosland is going to baptize her! So excited for him to have this opportunity only 3 weeks into the field! He is thrilled and getting more excited and acquainted with missionary work as the days go by.

         A few weeks ago I mentioned a man who apporached us at Walmart and explained that he was from Provo and had fallen away from the Church many years back, his name is Justin Maybe. Bro. Maybe came to church yesterday for the first time in about a decade. He was warmly welcomed and even found a member who was an old co-worker with him years back! The transition was great, he asked the clerk to have his records transfered to Ashtabula and said he can't wait for next week. We also got to teach him some great lessons this last week. Friday my companion and I were at the house doing companionship study and we had an option of going to the library and doing an online course that is part of his traning but instead opted to do it sometime this week. Then came the spirit that spoke to me, "Get up and go to the lirbary", "Elder, forget everything I just said, lets go to the Lirbary". Sure enough when we walked in there was Justin! He had told us early on in the week that he was struggling to find the 'passion' in his heart. I went and studied for him that night and came the the 22nd Chapter of Alma where Aaron is teaching King Lamoni's father about how to recieve the spirit. The scripture says that Aaron expounded the Nature of God, the Plan of Slavation and then finally challenges the King to get on his knees and pray to a God he does not know. The King is humble and follows the council, offers up a heartfelt prayer and says that he will "give up his kingdom" to know the Father. So as we saw Justin we asked if we could share a quick lesson with him and he said it was no problem. We quickly got a conference room in the basment and began to expound this story from the Book of Mormon with him. It was what he needed, needless to say by the end of our lesson we were all on our knees and seeking our loving Heavenly Father, the spirit was ever present!

         One last sweet experience we had this week was with a less active couple named Jared and Missy, who happen to be my distant relatives! We had an appointment with them on Wednesday night and we taught the value of family prayer. We have been trying to help this family feel the spirit and gain activity back into the church so we felt prayer would provide a good foundation for that change. We had them both list off things they were grateful for in one another, it was really sweet to listen to, and seemed as though it had been a while since they had uttered such words to each other. They began to list off and the spirit was so strong. They both cried as they reflected and kindled their gratitude. Lastly we challenged them to now thank their Heavenly Father for making it all possible. They both prayed. It was lovely and before we left they said that we have a spot at their Thanksgiving Dinner table! So, I will again be with family for Thanksgiving this year! The Lords tender mercy are too good it seems.

         All is well. Thank you for all your prayers. They work! I am growing daily and am so grateful to be where I am. To my family and my friends, all those who receive this letter directly and those who read the blog, I want you to know that I know God lives. His blessing can be immediately given if we will but fist have the desire to seek him and be better. I know that this work is true! I love you all and testify that that Christ Lives! Love Elder Prince

Monday, November 7, 2011

Greetings from Ashtab!

Dear Family,
                      I am so full of the happiness as I take the time to write you all this week! First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to my Father in Heaven for my brother Kiefer Dane Worsencroft. Who would've thought all of this was possible my brother? I love you so much man and I have no doubts that you will be bringing souls unto Christ, what a miracle that this life is.

         This week has been specail for many reasons. Last monday, shortly after writing you all, my companion and I headed to Walmart to buy groceries and were were approached by a man named Justin. He identified us as missionaries as we were in our proselyting clothes and went on to explain that he grew up in Provo, that he moved east and fell away from the church for years. He said :"I just got off the phone with my Mom and she was telling me that I need to get involved with the Church in Ashtabula". He has had a pretty hard life. He said that his wife left him after her lost his job a few years ago and ever since he has been on job placement and it has brought him here to Ashtabula. He said he came here for permanent work and got layed off. Now he has no friends, no family and no work. We told him we would be happy to come over and getting to know him. So two days later we all met up at his house and listened to him tell his story. We invited him to come to church and to "re-learn" his testimony. He said he would love to come to church but didn't have any clothes that he felt would be appropriate. As soon as he said this I said "OK, no problem, lets go get you some clothes!". WE went to the Salvation Army thrift store and got him some pants, a white shirt and a tie. We then invited him to come to a teaching appointment that same night and told him we'd be back in an hour. You should've seen it, we pulled up outside his house and out he came fully dressed in his priesthood attire, and he took all his face and ear piercings out. He looked like a new man. We had a great time teaching him and have been meeting with him and helping him feel the spirit ever since! He is not the type to take a handout, so I know that the whole experience of buying him clothes took a lot of humility on his part, I cant wait to see what starts to happen in his life.

     I will be baptizing my first convert to the church on Friday, November 18th! I am so excited. Her name is Lily and she is 12 years old. She is the only person who will be a member in her family, we are hoping that we can start teaching them soon as well. This girl is incredible. Probably the brightest 12 year old I have ever met and she is super ready to be baptized. Last night President Sorensen came up all the way from Cleveland to interview her and he said she is prepared! I am so grateful for this girl and for her testimony. She has sincerely taken ever challenge we have given her and has recieved a witness that the Church is true. Listening to her describe how she felt when she prayed to know is incredible! Such a blessing!

       Training is going great! We role play our teaching situations every day and it can be a real challenge. One morning this week we were role playing and Elder Crosland was really struggling to teach me. I could sense his frustration so I finally just said it was time to pause, "Let's talk" I said. For a moment we needed to just cool it and talk about what was up. I told him to look up a chapter in Luke in which Christ talks about true love and how he is the vine and we are the branches. I explained to him that we need to stop relying so much upon our abilities and recognize our source. I began to bare my testimony of Christ to him and we both felt so much love for each other and for the Lord. He remained pretty quiet still so I then said we need to read from the Book of Mormon in the 12th Chapter of Ether, We read two verses at a time and the spirit just rained on us. We sobbed like children through every verse of that chapter. Faith is mentioned 37 times in that chapter and it spoke right to our hearts. The experience was really powerful and it moved us together even more. Later on last week we were driving and it was pretty quite and I asked him "Do you know the Book of Mormon is true?" he said "I do" and I said "How do you know?". He told me that after we read and cried together that he went and prayed by himself in our room and the spirit said that it was indeed true. I was so happy to hear that from Elder Crosland. He explained to me that he has never really read the Book of Mormon. He is learning right now that is truly the Word of God!

     Wednesday we went and had a trainers meeting in Cleveland. It was emotional being back in the city again. Downtown Cleveland grew on me more than I realized in my first three months of my mission. We had the meeting for about 6 hours and then went out on the streets of downtown and started contacting people and showing the new missionaries how to contact people on the street. I remember when I was the one learning and was in awe of the missionaries that I was on the exchange with! Now I was on a split with a new missionary named Elder Rial. He kept saying "You are so good at this! I wish I was better", I lovingly rebuked him right in the street and said to him "Don't  you ever compare yourself to me, or any missionary or anyone else! You are who you are and in time the Lord will make you great, but don't ever compare, for the rest of your mission!". I was pretty straight forward to this young missionary but when the day was over he came and thanked me for the exchange and the advice.

      The mission is the hardest thing I have ever done. Each day presents new challenges emotionally, spiritually and physically, but I want you my family to know that I have never been happier. The Lord provides everyday, take a look at what He has done for you. I know that OUR Redeemer lives!
                                                                       Love Elder Prince

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fair Port Harbor Lighthouse

September 6th-
A group of Elders and Sisters from the District was able to take a trip to see the Fair Port Harbor Lighthouse. This is an area where the first missionaries from this dispensation left to preach the Gosple.

The Group together...

Bran at Fair Port Harbor

Heading up inside the steep lighthouse steps!...

View from the top...
And of course, 2 super cool dudes...

P-Day, Labor Day, & Lake Erie Airshow with Bagley Family

Out to eat! - Starting the Day off right. Bran and Elder Bills share a love for Oriental Food...

The Elder`s at `Erie` Lake Erie...

Look at that water... Yikes!

The Elders with the Bagley Family, enjoying the Labor Day Air Show.

Bran, all smiles, with Nadia...
Looks like everyone`s having a good time!!

Members and Missionaries

The Bagley Family has been one of Brandon`s favorites in the ward.
They have had the opportunity to serve and learn side by side. They have had Brandon and other Elders in their home, and have enjoyed time together on many other occassions.

Elder Prince and his 3 year old girlfriend, Nadia Bagely.
Cutest little girl!!

Brandon with who he says is the `most outspoken member of the cleveland 3rd ward.`
This is his good friend, Brother Bill Coulbourne.


Elder Prince along side others he has grown to love while serving in East Cleveland.
September, 2011

In Kirtland, Ohio with District, September, 2011

Bran and Elder Rangel

Dr. Prince, and Dr. Sumsion geared up to give a blessing in the Cleveland Clinic!

Elder Prince and Elder Metcalf standing in front of the Jon Johnson House.
The Prophet used to testify on those same steps.

Brandon, it is wonderful to see these happy, smiling faces! We have no doubt you bring a smile to many! We can see the light of Christ shining in your eyes, and we watch as you live and apply his teachings. We love you, and we are grateful for your work!
Great Love to you always!
- Your Family

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Welcome to Ohio!

Bran and his good friend Elder Rangel on August 2nd in Cleveland, Ohio.
`The World is Yours!`

Elder Prince with His first companion in Ohio, Elder Martinez, on August 3rd.

Getting strong both body and spirit!
This one is `For the Ladies!!`

July 26th: Getting ready to head out first thing in the morning...
`Did you think to pray...`

August 9th: Brandon and Elder Sumsion completely drentched after biking home in a rainstorm.

August 18th: Elder Bills and Elder Prince enjoying some famous fried chicken from Hot Sauce Williams!

Study area in his mission appartment - Sept. 7th

Bran, it`s so fun for us to see these pictures. We are grateful for the effort you make to stay in touch with all of us. We can feel the spirit of the work you go forth and do each day! We are humbled by your example, and appreciate your dedicated service.
We love you!!

Experiencing the MTC

Two Handsome Brothers!
June 1st: Bradon and Travis on their way to the MTC after saying goodbye to the family.
Trav was kind enough to stop in and get Bran a nice camera, making all of these pictures possible.

Here is a bit of a timeline of Elder Prince`s experiences at the MTC:
June 5th: Elder Prince with his MTC District at the Provo, Utah Temple.

Elder Metcalf, Brandon`s first mission companion.

June 10th: Elder Metcalf, and Elder Prince, in their nice and tidy quarters at the MTC.

Bran in front of the Provo Utah Temple. June 12th

Many hourse spent in these classrooms! June 13th

June 18th: Elder Prince with his MTC District, and teacher, Brother Bytheway

June 20th:
`Onto Ohio - Where the Lord would have me!`

Brandon, How proud we are of you!
Our confidence in you is strong, and we know your incredible power for good.
We`re happy for you!
We miss you! We Love you,
And keep you always in our prayers. 
With Great Love, Your Family

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ashtab - 5 Month Report!

Dear Family,
                    I am so grateful to have a moment to tell you about one of the best weeks of my life! Wednesday I drove down to Kirtland to pick up my new trainee. It was so fun to sit in a circle like I did my first day when I met Elder Martinez and observe the nervousness of missionaries on their first day. My trainee/companion's name is Elder Crosland from Pleasant Grove, UT. This Elder is awesome and we have had a great week together. We got placed together and about 20 minutes later I was having him call ward members and telling him what to say. Right off the bat I have been showing him that his learning is going to come by experience as well as my advice. It was great for him to get his feet wet his first day as I had set up 4 lessons! We taught 7 investigators his first few hours in the field. My heart went out to him as I knew he was nervous beyond belief but I tried to show him to just treat them as normal people, be yourself and teach the gospel you have known your whole life!

    On our first night we went to the home of some new investigators, their names are Jonica and Myria, 18 & 19 year old girls my last companion and I met tracting the week before. These girls are a mircale to teach! I encouraged them last week to repent of their sins after teaching the first principles of the Gospel to them and they agreed, when we followed up they said they "felt so good as they did it that they felt like crying and that they were both becoming friend on a new level", music to our ears! Though this week presented it's challeneges. We called them Saturday night to follow up with them coming to church for the second week in a row and they said they would come until they "got answers to some questions they had", as the were fed a bunch of anti-mormon marterial. They began to text us questions regarding our validity of us being true followers of Christ and whether or not we were a "cult". These questions dont' phase me anymore as I have been hearing them my whole mission, but my companion was a bit worried by them. I told him, "we know exactly what we believe in, we don't need to defend the church, we only need to testify what we know to be true and be firm". So we text back our testimony and how we whole heartedly beleive and follow the Savior. Something must have hit these girls, perhaps that we didn't flinch to a few a bit of the adversary's lame propoganda, but they both said that would be in church the following morning. Sure enough they were their for church yesterday and they got to see the Primary Program which had a great spirit and testified of Christ the entire time, we had a great lesson with them at their home after church as well. I had my trainee extend the invitation to be baptized to them his first night, and they both said yes, it was such a great moment for him! They are still doing well and we will be following up with them as to whether or not they prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true, can't wait! I am reminded of many times when my own testimony was challenged and only when I had faith did I see victory in my life, faith always wins!

       My most favorite investigator is Lily. She is twelve years old and smarter than me! I haven't met an investigator on my mission more ready than this little girl. She is scheduled to be baptized on November 18th! It is going to be great! This girl knows that everything we have taught is true, it amazes me that even at a young age, if one excersizes their faith they gain a witness of spiritual power! Lily is going to be the only member of her family that is a member of the church so we may get lucky and get to teach her mother and brother.

     I have enjoyed my first week of training so much! I feel as though I did not stop to think of myself at all this week. I love to be lost in the work and to have investigators and members on my mind all week. Training Elder Crosland has been great for my motivation, the spiritual "plateau" I described weeks earlier has shed itself as I feel happier now that at any other point in my mission. Tomorrow is my 5 month mark and as I am explaining how to be a missionary to Elder Crosland I can't help but realize how far I have come in these 5 short months. The Lord has blessed me so much with the patience and perseverance to go through alot of hard times. I know now perhaps more than any other single time in my life that we are completely dependent on the Lord. We can plant the seeds, nourish them with our care but he gives all the increase. I can;t say enough about how much the love of the Lord has expanded in my heart.

    Last week I mentioned a less active member we were working with named Bro. Fay, (Porter Rockwell's look alike). This man still has not drank coffee and has come to church two weeks in a row since my first lesson with him. He even came out teaching investigators with us two nights this week and has committed that he is going to work towards becomign an elder and going to the temple and doing work for he and his disceased wife. I know he is doing all of this because he recognizes how much the Lord loves him and wants for him to keep growing. He also knows that we love him. This week I was also able to work with a  17 year old recent convert in our ward named Tyler. We went to teach him some doctrine and he ended up opening up to us with some addictions he has been struggling with. I apprecaiated his honesty so much and began to relay to him struggles and weaknesses I had had in the past. He said he was so grateful that I could relate and kept saying thank you to us. I felt so impressed to testify of the power of the Atonement in my life and so we read about it's effect on people found in the scriptures and we set up a relapse prevention plan with him. This is why I came on a mission. I love being on an honest level with people and feel like I am part of the solution. He said he doing great, and we will follow up with him today.

     Well that is alot of info for this week! Just want you all to know I love you. I know that my Redeemer lives, loves and heals. I hope you all know his hands ever ever extended towards us. I love you and hope you have a great week!
                                                               Sincerely, Elder Prince.

October 25th, 2011

Dearest Friends and Family,
                                            What a wild week it has been! The mission is challenging for so many reasons. Leaving East Cleveland was such an experience. The night I left I was biking down a street on my way home thinking about how much I truly love that area. The spirit whispered to me "This is the last time you'll be on this street". Also that same night we recieved a call from a man whose father we had been ministering to in the Hospital for a few weeks. He informed us that his Father had passed away a few hours prior and he thanked us for all that we had done to help their family. I called up my favorite members and the Bishop and they all left me with words of thanks and encouragement, the whole experience was bitter sweet, but I know now that the Lord has better things in store for me.
Early in the week I went back down to Cleveland to attend a trainers meeting held at the mission home. I was so excited by the new responsibilities I have in training a new missionary. I have set some goals for myself on what kind of leader I want to this good elder. Above all I want to try and think of him before I think of myself and do all I can to lead by example. I feel so privilaged to be trusted enough to whitewash a new area with a brand-new elder. The work is set for us, but I know that we can do alot of good here in Ashtabula. The work has all ready commenced and I am so excited!

Ashtabula is quite a run down place. Alot of poverty, nothing new for me, but the difference is that it is all white people! The ward is spread out with it's members from many different towns from about an hour and a half driving distance from the chapel, so working with members will be a bit of a challenge, we'll figure it out.

Right now we have 7 baptismal dates! All of which are teenagers! There ages range from 11 to 19 and all abut two are girls. I am loving teaching these young kids because they need the gospel as much as anybody and they are all so enthused about it! One of our AP's came down this week to help me get my area reading and to teach me how to work with the members and ward leaders. It was so good to have him around. His named is Elder McClellan. I admire this Elder so much, he set an incredible example for me in the three days he was here. I was like a spounge soaking in every word that he told me.

Last weekend we were tracting and we ran into two young woman, Jonica & Moraya. After meeting them they agreed to have us back and we taught them for three days in a row and they came to all three hours of church on Sunday. The lessons have been so filled with the spirit and each visit these girls get more and more committed to be better. We taught them the first five principles of the Gospel of Christ, namely Faith, repentane, baptism, recieveing the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end and following the lesson I got my bold on and invited them to humble repent of their sins in prayer that same night. WE called last night to follow up on their reading, praying and our challenge and they said that they forgot to repent, but that they stayed up together reading from the Book of Mormon until two in the morning! This is sweet music to a missionaries ears! So excited to keep teaching them and help them progress. Transfers are tommorrow and  we are driving down to Cleveland to meet my new greenie! I am going to have him extend the invitation to be baptized to thses two girls on his fist lesson, it is going to be beautiful!

I am again also finding so much joy in helping out the less actives and this week I have been particularly touched by the faith of one whose name is Garfield Fay. I have to send a picture of him because he is hard to describe other than he reminds me of what I think Porter Rockwell might look like/act like in real life. This guy is so raw, big old white and grey beard, long hair, and yet so loving humble, and what I apprecaite more than anything, honest. We taught him about faith and I expounded a few scriptures from the New Testament to him about letting go and following Christ. It must have really hit home with him because he came to church the next day for the first time in a long time and came out teaching with us all yesterday! This man's story is so incredible. He had to flee from his family with his wife and kids because his sister married into the Cleveland Mob, making him "mob family". They wanted  him to work for them and use his weaponry skills he had attained in his 12 years in the Army/Navy! He spent alot of years out in Las Vegas and has an incredible conversion story. That is why the mission is great, you get to meet people you never would've and their stories of faith humble you so much! I also have become tight with a woman in our ward named Sue Smith, who happens to be my Dad's cousin all the way out here in Ashtabula! We read her some scriptures from the Doctrine and Covenants about strong members role in bringing weak members back (a subject I know a little about i.e. Bishop Cannon and Bro. Scott). She mentioned that her son and His wife were struggling and hadn't been to church in some time. I told them I would follow up with them as soon as possible. So last night we rode our bikes across town (felt like I was in East Cleve again) and went and found Jared and Missy Smith (not Justin & Missy but close). Only Jared was home when we arrived but I explained who were were and how we were actually second cousins! He let us in and we proceeded to have a great conversation with him. He totally opened up to us about the struggles he is facing and how he has been dealing with not feeling forgiven despite having repented and changed. I related so much to what he described and began to expound the scriptures to him about how loving and merciful our Heavenly Father truly is. The spirit was so strong and it was such a blessing to connect with him so deeply. We committed him to read from the Book of Mormon everyday until we returned for a week and said we would talk about how he felt. Before we left he agreed to let us give him a blessing and the spirit flowed just the water. All were edified and grateful and blessed for the meeting.

Last night when we got home I was so overwhelmed by the love and gratitude I had felt for the day. I layed on the bed of my truck for a moment and just looked at the stars and how beautiful they were. I hadn't looked at the stars while on my mission and as I had this moment of peace and gratitude I reflected on the grandeur of it all. That the Almighty would make all of this and yet care for his children individually and intimately. I can't fathom that type of love! We are so blessed to be alive. I find that I am happier the more I lose myself. The less I think about home (don't take it wrong), myself and my worries and focus on others I am filled with love. I want you all again to know of my surety that God lives and loves. I am so grateful that there is a purpose to life and that we all have each other. In unity we can do anything. I love you all so much and thank you all for your warm words and encouragement, all is well in the Ohio.

All my love till next time- Elder Prince