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.