Dearest Family and Friends,
It is great to write you today, sunshine fills my heart. Each week I am renewed upon hearing from you all and the good things that are taking place in your lives. I love where we stand in this moment of time. Though we are all faced with trials we have the knowledge that all may be overcome. I am particularly happy to write you all today because there is something so promising in life come this time of year; the snow is gone, the sky is open, the flowers are returning and we can always remember the promise of Resurrection of the Lord. I thought yesterday of our lives broken down into natures seasons; 0-25 yrs old being the early spring, 25-50 the prime summer, 50-75 the fall and 75-100 winter, our last season. We see how each season brings new change and new promise. I am so grateful to be 20 years old in the spring of my life. I am grateful for the light, knowledge and nourishment that sustains my life. It humbles me to think that the air I breathe, the electric charge that pumps my heart, the very seconds on the clock are all gifts from the Lord. The Lord in His wisdom gave us all these things that we might have time to "come to ourselves", know our divine purpose, and become as a child all over again. I thank my Saviour that He made it ALL possible.
This has been a powerful week for me, starting first with an exchange I was able to go on with a missionary who came out the same transfer as me. Early on in our day together I felt the prompting of the spirit say to me "Elder Prince, just listen". We went out and knocked doors for about three hours or so and in the process of our walk I truly tried to "just listen". This good Elder went on to explain to me many of the spiritual difficulties he was facing and I was very touched by his trust in me. He was truly struggling in feeling fulfilled in his work. His labors thus far have yielded minimal results as he has had very few people to teach for the entirety of his mission. As I listened my mind referenced back to a the words of Spencer W. Kimball who commented on Jesus as being "a listening leader. Because he loved others with a perfect love, he listened without being condescending. A great leader listens not only to others, but also to his conscience and to the promptings of God." As I heard him explain his problems I truly started to feel such charity for him. The conversations went on for the course of the day. The next morning during companionship studies I could sense again that there was hurt behind his blue eyes. I did all I could to encourage Him and I thanked him for the perspective that he has gained and his example to me. Around this time I just listened again and after some conversation I just looked at him, I looked into him. Few times have I felt the spirit speak through me as I did in this instance. The words seemed to flow from my lips and I am not entirely sure what I said although I know that I reverted over and over to the mercy of the Lord and the need to forget ourselves. I spoke and then as quickly as I had begun it seems that my words just halted. It was silent for a minute that seemed like an hour, finally I broke the silence and said "Tell me what you think?". This big, strong, 6' 4'' Elder cried and said simply enough, "You just said everything I needed to hear". He opened up in such a way after that that I knew he had found the diagnosis to how he had been feeling. It is moments like these that I will never forget, as we are both young seeds in the spring of life relying wholly upon the Master to grow.
Conference this weekend was so very filling for me. I thought over and over again about all the Lord has done for us. I thought over and over about how there truly is not another thing like this Church in all the world. How grateful I was for the hope of the whole message. Uchtdorf empowers me, Eyring humbles me, Bednar informs me and of course Holland rebukes me. I love our leaders so very much. How blessed we are to have a Prophet who amongst the troubled times chooses to smile and laugh.
Elder Dransfiled and I are continuing to try and find people. We were able to take our 8 year old investigator Mya to another 8 year olds baptism yesterday, she was so excited, kids truly can feel the spirit.I am almost certain that Elder Dransfield is going to get transferred in a week and a half. He has been in leadership for all but 6 weeks of his mission and I think President is going to apply mercy and let Him have rest for the final months of his service. The new responsibilities this transfer has brought me easily overwhelm me if I try to do it all myself. I am learning the art of delegating and constantly being reminded that If I don't rely on the Lord I am a stressed out piece of work. All in all things are great. I realize that I hardly ever report about things that are bad, I guess I just want to provide a refreshing alternative to the Newspaper. Thank you all for the time you take to read these things. I feel like Nephi when he says he writes the scriptures for the benefit of his family that he might persuade us to do good. This is why I end with my testimony each week. I just want the world to know that Christ is real. I want them to know who they are. I want them to know why Job said we shouted for glory before the foundations of the world. I want them to know that God communicates through the abstract but His mercies are plain as day. His laws are laid out before us. His Sacrifice is complete. He has won His greatest battle. I want them to know theonly thing left now for usis to chose. The only thing we have to give Him is our broken heart and contrite spirit. How refreshed is the heart that finally exclaims "Not my will but thine". I love the Lord. I thank Him for His patience with a wretch like me. May his goodness like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Him evermore. I thank Him for the family and friends who make my life rich. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Love, Elder Prince