Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy New Year!

Dearest Friends and Family,
                                             It was so good to hear from many of you on Christmas, so much I wish to say and always too little time. This past week has been a very special week for my companion and I. We had Christmas Conference with half of the Elders in the mission. The conference was broken into two segments, for the first few hours the meeting was held in the Kirtland Temple. An amazing spirit attended the meeting. As we all filed in I sat down early and began to thumb through my Doctrine and Covenants and sat and read of the account of the Savior appearing at the very breastwork of the pulpit in front of me. The temple has come to mean so much to me in my mission, it was my second time inside, the first visit was in the first few hours I had been in the field. We all sang hymns together and had a testimony meeting. I felt so moved upon as I bore my testimony, it was perhaps the simplest and shortest testimony I had bore in my life and yet I felt such a surge of warmth enter my heart as I spoke. President Sorensen addressed us all and he spoke of angles, he spoke of how we are assisted in this work from many on high. He gave accounts of angelic visions that had occured to early and modern saints in the Kirtland temple. He then spoke to the mission about our baptismal service the Sunday prior saying "We attended a baptism this week in which both Elders were baptizing tw young grils, they were all dressed in white and truly looked angelic and full of light". It was very humbling that he made mention of "two of his elders". We then headed down for lunch and the latter half of the conference at the Kirtland Stake Center. We got to receive Christmas letters from our family back home and read them quietly to ourselves, the entire room was a cry fest. Then they let us all watch "17 Miracles" a movie based on miracles recorded by the Willie Hand Cart company. The movie was incredible and the needless to say, the cry fest continued.

                                             Christmas day was so much fun for us both. First thing we did when we woke up was scurry to the living room to open presents like a couple of children. It was weird opening them without family to go hug and thank. I granted my companion permission to go back to sleep, he quickly did so knowing that was probably the only time he would ever hear those words come from my mouth. I stayed up by myself in the dark living room, made some hot chocolate and played "Mr. Krugers Christmas" in my little DVD player. Lets just say I am so soft these days even Mr. Krugers Christmas reduced me to tears, I'm so happy my companion was asleep for that! After Church we got to call home, it was truly great to hear my families voices, in such a big family with so little time it was hard to let you all go. I hope that you all knew of my love and how happy I was to hear that all of you were doing so well. My shortest conversation was with Isaac who informed me of his new Gecko, it was at that moment that I realized nothing has really changed back home. We finished the night eating at one of the members homes and then out teaching one of our investigators.

                                             There is a young girl named Emily we are teaching right now who belongs to a part-member family named the Vagi's here in Ashtabula. We are the only missionaries that have been able to make progress with her and she is going to be prepared to be baptized on January 14th. I feel such a close bond to this whole family. I never want to leave when I am there and I can hardly shake them from my thoughts at times. We are working at getting all of them active again but thus far only the Mom has committed to come back. We taught Emily yesterday and she said that her New Years resolution is to go to church every Sunday! Emily and her Mom also committed to reading the Book of Mormon along a reading schedule in three months after the New Years. WE are working with an excommunicated brother i our ward right now as well who is making a lot of progress and is giving up smoking. We are confident that he can be re-baptized very shortly. We have been so guided and directed in our time here to teach the people we are supposed to teach, we'll keep you posted on further developments. WE did get a call this morning however from one of our most solid investigators who sad she has to cut ties with us because of things her family has been telling her about our faith. So that was kind of hard and its the first time it has really happened t my companion but we can rest with the surety that her life is definitely improved from the first day we met her on the street.

                                             Things are well here. The goodness of God is continually pressed upon me, I feel so full of gratitude to be in the position to help others. Thank you all for your prayers in my behalf, they work! I know that He lives and loves, that is the most important thing I could share. Hope you all have a very Happy New Years!
                                                                                                                   Love, Elder Prince

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