Monday, May 7, 2012

Big Hello from North Olmstead

Dearest Family and Friends,
What a week! I survived what they call the "crucible of AP's". We had Zone Conferences this week which are training for all missionaries in the mission hosted by us and President. We went 700 miles in 4 days and conducted meetings for 5 different zones. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed being able to teach.Teaching has become one of my new found passions since coming on a mission. Elder Hicks and I gave an hour long workshop at each conference which requires that you keep people engaged and inspired. We went through the same process of preparation by fasting and praying each day before we taught and it went very well. I have been blown away by the presence of President Sorensen this week. It is his final tour of Zone Conferences during his service and he has been doing all he can to leave powerful parting words. His main focus for all missionaries is a three part piece as follows. 1) Purpose: YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR PURPOSE, meaning you have to understand who Christ is, what He did and why He did it. President has said over and over that if we understand the 'why' of the Gospel it will change our attitudes and behaviors, we will be driven to become like Christ. 2) Vision: IF YOU SEE WHAT YOU CAN BECOME, YOU CAN BECOME WHAT YOU SEE, I have never appreciated the value of vision as much as I do now. Just being around President Sorensen motivates me to hand myself over to the Lord fully and completely. 3) Obedience: THERE IS NO OTHER ROUTE, I have oft noticed that the Lord asks us to obey simple commandments that yield incredible results. President says many times that 'the blessing of obedience is obedience",( I'll let you mull that one over) which to me means that obedience is like a circle; as we are obedient we are sanctified and cleaned, personal righteousness leads to greater faith which leads to greater personal righteousness which leads to more faith, etc... I love that it never ends. The light continues to build until the perfect day. I have so enjoyed being under the tutelage of this great man and will forever be grateful for his example. He always assures me of his confidence in me and always is willing to council and reason with me. He tells me to study the doctrine every day, find a simple way to apply it in a particular way, evaluate it during my nightly accounting in journal and prayer and then repeat until it becomes who I am. It is so amazing to me that with discipline we can take ownership of gospel trues into our lives. We literally become "the truth".
Things in the area are beginning to pick up as well. My personal belief is that unless we learn how to run the ward, we will never be successful missionaries. Serving the members is they key to finding in my opinion. We have been doing all we can to help out or members and to plan meaningful messages for them. We have gotten them so comfortable with us they they will actually role play with us in our lessons. We teach them diff rent skills in introducing the gospel to their friends. As they practice these skills they become so empowered and they have been reporting back to us that they are feeling so "compelled" to share the Gospel and some have even shared the gospel with their friends for the first time. We also got two new great investigators this week. Their names are David and Danielle Torres. They are a great young married couple who are very excited to learn the gospel. We taught them how to pray on Thursday night and they both said they felt so "warm inside" as we practiced. They told me at church that they repeated the same activity when we left. They came to all three hours of church and we have another appointment set up with them on Thursday. They are the epitome of "golden investigators"; so humble and willing. I am so happy that we are starting to get some people to teach. We met a woman the other night who was out walking her dog, as we began to talk I came to find out that she had done humanitarian work in Haiti with through the same organization I went with! There are no coincidences in this work! We taught her and her husband about the restoration of the gospel and we have a return appointment with them on Wednesday night, I am very hopeful about this great couple!
Well my friends I just want to thank you as I have in the past. Your prayers mean so much. So do your letters and e-mails. I apologize for not being able to respond. Just know that I love you and that the Lord has served me a full plate out here. I pray for all of and feel your love. My most valued possession is my testimony. I love the Lord. I love His work. I love His children. The spirit has done a miracle in my life. Though I have so far to go, I love the journey. I know that Christ lives and that knows us. I know that He is not distant and that He hears the plea of a sincere heart. I hope we can learn his doctrine in it's simplicity and find some small way to live it today. Smiling is His doctrine, it goes right along with faith in Him, so that is what I am going to apply today! I love you all so much. I know that the Holy Spirit will testify, revelate, comfort, cleanse and heal us. I thought this was an amazing quote that I'd like to leave with you today...
The Holy Spirit
The gift of the Holy Spirit adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections; and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates, and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being. (Key to the Science of Theology pg. 98, Parley P. Pratt)
Love, Elder Prince

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