Monday, April 9, 2012

Hello From North Olmstead!

Dearest Friends and Family,
So very good to be with you all today (electronically of course..). What a week it has been. My week started by first going on a "mini-mission" with a recent convert from our singles branch named LaShaun Haley. He came and stayed in our apartment from Wednesday to Friday and lived exactly like a missionary, schedule, study, teaching, etc. It was great to be with him and it gave him so much encouragement about serving a mission this fall. I really love this young man alot and feel that we will be friends for many years to come. One night we were talking about his conversion to the gospel and he said that I was the first person that he ever talked to in an LDS church and how after our conversation he was settled that he was "in the right place", that really touched me. It is funny how the little things that you do can have a profound effect down the road. Speaking of which there was a woman baptized in East Cleveland (my first area) this Saturday that I found while riding home on the bus one night. I never even got to teach her, that made me feel so good! There was also another baptism in Canton (my old area) that I was able to attend for a woman named Pam Loydle. When my companion and I first arrived in the area she had been dropped by the previous missionaries. We met back with her and she really committed to changing. She got all her life in order and was doing great when I left so was so happy to see that she had stuck with it! Her baptism was so powerful she was crying as soon as she came out of the water! It was so good to be back in my old area amidst all of my old friends. At the service my dear friend Danielle Griffiths came up and tearfully thanked me for all that I had done for her and her son. She said that her father is coming in to town to baptize her soon and that her son is now giving out Books of Mormon at school! Her thanks were so sincere, it was probably the most powerful moment of mission.
Anyways, I feel a bit jumbled in writing all of this because so many good things happened this week but perhaps the biggest news came on Thursday night. President Sorensen called and asked me how I was doing and if there was any thing going on in my personal life. This is always a red flag so I started to worry about what I had done. I told him about things that were stressful but that nothing was really out of the normal. I was not sure why I was being interrogated. He then said "Well, Elder Prince I want to extend a calling to you to be the new Assistant, will you accept?". All I could muster out was "I will". I can't explain how shocked I was. He assured me that the calling was of the Lord and the "he qualifies those whom he chooses". This call has really caused me to evaluate myself and my commitment to the Lord. As one of my friends has said "the easy part of your mission is over, from here it is high adventure". If you lose your focus in this capacity you will fall behind in a day. After much council with the Lord in prayer I have found assurance, though it has been easy for the adversary to whisper the thoughts of inadequacy to me. The promise of the Lord has been given may times that if it his His will, there will always be a way. My responsibilities this week have been quite interesting from assisting President in who will be transferred in the coming area to gathering statistics for the entire mission. Typically President has his assistance serve for four transfers which is the equivalent of about 6 months. My position is peculiar however because President Sorensen will be leaving while I am an AP. It will be a major responsibility to usher in the new Mission President, President Vallinga, as he will receive only a few hours of instruction. In other words, until our new mission President figures out how to run the mission it will be on my companion and I to show him. Last night we were in the office gathering numbers and working Excel spreadsheets (which is perhaps the most terrifying thing I've ever done) until early in the morning. President stayed until about midnight and I asked him if he would mind giving me a blessing. I told him that I was feeling overwhelmed and could really use the Lord's guidance. It was one of the most powerful blessings of my whole life. Every word uttered was what I needed. The gist of the Spirit's communication was that the Lord would qualify me and teach me His true nature. Also, that I was to be humble and diligent and that all would work together. This is the hardest things I have ever done, hands down.
The Lord has ever required more at my hand than before which I am still trying to swallow to be honest. Nevertheless I know in whom I have trusted. The Lord has lead me through "the wilderness and over the waters of the great deep". Know that my prayers are always with you my loved ones. It feels to me that the hour has come on my mission that anything less than all of me will not suffice. I am humbled to know that the Lord sustains those whom he chooses according to their faith and diligence. Pointing to my head last night I told my companion "I have nothing", moving my hand to my heart I told him "I have everything", now getting the two to work in harmony is the trick, to lose yourself is the only remedy. I am not sure how it is all going to work out, I just know it will. I really appreciate all of your kind words, your prayers and your hope. It is a great season to be called to serve. I want to leave you with some scriptures that spoke to my heart while I was in the spirit of prayer. They are from the Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses, Chapter 6:
31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant? 32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thymouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.

I do not know why I have found favor with the Lord, but I know he loves His children. He sought me when a stranger and has proven me with His matchless love. I know He lives and will bring to pass many mighty miracles for which we will praise His name forever.

-Love Always, Elder Prince

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