Dearest Family & Friends,
As I reflect upon the week that has passed I am grateful for how my testimony has grown. Elder Hicks and I made a companionship goal that we would fast on all day that we have to prepare workshops for our meetings and then fast additionally on the day that we teach them. We fasted 3 separate days this week in preparation for our Training Meeting with all the brand new missionaries along with their trainers. In addition we fasted for our Mission Council comprised of all of the Zone Leaders in the mission, a meeting where we discuss the needs of the mission and what appropriate actions will be taken. I had a bit of nervousness as this was my first real teaching debut as an Assistant. One thing that has been brought to my attention more times than a few is the important of setting the tone in my assignment. All of the missionaries observe your conduct and look to you for an example. It is an interesting experience all in all but I am enjoying the opportunity to spread my love and just be who I am. Early in the week we had Training Meeting which is a 6 hour meeting the we along with President Sorensen host upstairs here in the Mission Office. I had prepared by study, fasting and prayer and when the time came to conduct and teach I felt so empowered by the Spirit of the Lord. The Spirit guided the entire training and the teaching opportunities went great as all the missionaries were very involved and participated. For the first 4 hours of the meeting we have instruction and then the latter 2 hours we go to downtown Cleveland and contact people on the streets. I had the chance to take a new Elder with me downtown. Before we left the meeting for the city I felt impressed to tell them that that "someone woke up this morning and asked the Lord to send help", I then promised them that we would find this prayerful soul. As Elder Montgomery and I went about the streets the first man we talked to was a man named Jesse. After some conversation and expounding to Him he said " I was just around the corner and I was praying to the Lord to send me some help today; you two are a blessing!". It was an amazing experience as we both recognized him as the good soul who was prepared to hear us that day. Listening to the promptings of the Spirit is such a beautiful thing. As previously mentioned we also had Mission Council this week. This meeting is comprised of the Assistants, the Zone Leaders and President. It is essentially an open council regarding the needs of the mission. President has taught us so much about the importance of counselling and how it is to be conducted in the Church. As important as laboring for the souls here in Ohio is, President is also doubly concerned with making sure his Elders know how administer in the Priesthood. I am like a sponge around this man. He is always teaching us the "unwritten order of things" in regards to running the mission and officiating in the Lord's appointed way.I learned so much about the value of conducting a council. Essentially our Zone Leaders know the most, they have the answers. We are their to help them see our vision as leaders and make sure that their input is valued but also constructive. They are the ones who ultimately choose the course of the mission; we are only their to officiate, delegate, lift and motivate. That is one thing I have come to love and appreciate about President Sorensen, he truly does let his Elders run the mission, he is the great overseer. As stated before my testimony of fasting and prayer was expanded this week. In my workshop to the Zone Leaders I felt as though the Lord gave me every word to say. I didn't have a twitch of nervousness and the purpose of my workshop brought the meeting together in a spirit of unity. I liken the results to the promise given in Alma Chapter 17, verses 2 & 3:
2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
As the meeting concluded we were very pleased with the success of the council. I offered up a silent prayer for I knew that the Lord had supported me in my teaching. It particularly meant alot to me as it is that I am the 'young buck' of the group and to be able to inspire our Zone Leaders only the Spirit of the Lord will suffice as my guide. I certainly hope that the bureaucratic nature of my letters doesn't bore you all, I just hope that it comes across that I feel so supported by the Lord. Teaching by the Spirit requires that we always return the thanks back to the Lord. An analogy I like is to imagine is how ridiculous it would be for a scalpel to congratulate itself on how well it performed a surgery, when in reality it is the Physicians guiding hand that made the successful surgery a reality. So to it is when in the service in the Lord. Any good thing we can do for another human being, any good we can contribute to humanity is only because the Lord has granted us the ability and the opportunity. It is my hope that we understand that He has made possible ALL GOOD THINGS in our lives. I am grateful to be an instrument in His hands, and delight in the Master's work. I know that the Church is true and will continue to grow in it's destined course to fill the entire earth. I know that Joseph is a Prophet and the "what for?" behind his life is simply that he loved the Lord and was obedient to his purposes. I too love the Lord and pray for the strength and courage to always be about His business. If we will frustrate our distractions, the clear vision of the beautiful will of God will unfold itself to our view; it is truly beautiful. The funny thing is I am convinced we don't comprehend even an inkling of the great things in store for them that love the Lord. I have so far to go, so much to learn, so much more capacity to love and serve but in the mean time I am going to love the refining process and always take the time to see how truly blue the sky is. I am always full of thanks when I think about you all. I am so blessed by my friends and family. Thank you for your kind words, your prayers, your advice and above all your loving concern for me. These are days never to be forgotten!
Love, Elder Prince