Dearest Friends and Family,
My first full week as an Assistant has passed and the good news is... I am still alive! wooohhhooooo! This has been the fastest week of my mission by a long shot. I am now averaging about4.5 hours of sleep a night and to anyone who knows me, I need my sleep! Another evidence however that the Lord's hand is in this work is the fact that I am surprisingly not that tired through tout the day. I told my companion Elder Hicks that we are going to use the power of positive thinking to stay awake so when I yawn I say something along the lines of "Oh, Wow! I am so full of energy right now!" it's pretty funny. I love my new companion. He is one of the most laid back leaders I have ever met and we love to do impersonations together, we have been stuck acting like these Italian best friends all week it cracks me up. He is also very spiritual and we love to get back to the apartment and just talk about what the Lord is teaching us in our lives. Right now he and I are co-authoring an essay called "Entering the Attitude of Prayer". The idea behind the essay is to have something to read right before you pray at night that will motivate you to say a sincere prayer, to do so you must "enter into an attitude of prayer" and consider what it is that you truly are asking for and whom you are asking it of; needless to say I am excited for the final project. The work in North Olmsted is very slow right now, we essentially have no investigators so we are doing alot of finding work and trying to inspire members to do missionary work. Member missionary work is something I never realized was so very important until now; I can think of so many friends I want to share the gospel with when I get home!
I wish I had more to report on this week, it has been alot of busy work and not a whole lot of teaching. This whole experience is a big transition for me. I love to be outside and mingling amongst the people so this has been a big change. I do want to share one verse of scripture with you all that touched my heart this week it is found in the Book of Helaman, Chapter 3, Verse 35:
"Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
I received a precious letter from a very old friend this week that caused me to search the scriptures. My friend was going through some of the very same challenges I had experienced in years past when I first decided to try and change myself. She asked why I had decided to go on a mission and what helped me change. I came across this scripture as I pondered her question and felt impressed that this scripture conveyed how I feel. The steps to change are simple yet they will change you from the inside out if you let them. I want to say that the only way we can truly change, become who we truly are, and be happy is to first acknowledge that we need Heavenly Father in our lives and if we want his help all we need to do is pray and call upon Him. He longs to communicate with His children and I know that getting on my knees and asking for help was the turning point in my life. Fasting for specific needs will only make your prayers more powerful and the answer you receive more clear and direct. The pattern of the scriptures show us that when ever we call upon the Lord for help we become more humble, when we become humble He blesses us with those things we stand in need of, we experience the power of the atonement and experience the joy of forgiveness and change. Finally we become purified and sanctified or holy. The light is in us, the day looks promising as does tomorrow. You don't receive all the light in a day or in a prayer, but you do add to it every single time you try. Every time you pray, every time you fast, every time you do something kind for another person, every time you read your scriptures. There is no limit to the light we can receive, and where the light is, the darkness of the past cannot be. The gospel is simple, it only requires that we act and do what is right. Start with a sincere prayer for help if you want to change; He will answer. That is my promise and my sincere testimony. I know He saved my life. Jesus Christ is the reason for it all; He truly lives!
Love, Elder Prince