Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cheer from East Cleveland

Dearest Family and Friends,
                                                 I am excited to write you all today! It has been a wonderful week! We have enjoyed the Christmas spirit that is all around and are having more success in finding people to teach. I found out last night that I will bet staying yet another transfer in East Cleveland which will be my 6th in the area (two separate tenures) and my 7th in the same apartment. If you could see where I live you would see that this place has so much personality. We live right next to a big towns square where you can find all walks of life and everyone knows our name and who we are. I have grown to love all the people in my surroundings here. This is also a fun time of year because everyone seems to be a little more infused with peace on earth and good will towards men. I am a bit saddened however because of the news that Elder Mo'Unga will be leaving. He has been so much fun to work with. It is funny because he says I have been a big brother to him and I think he has been a big brother to me (literally and figuratively). He has been here in the inner city of Cleveland since he arrived here in May so it will be nice for him to venture out and have the experience of serving in new places. I hope he has success wherever he goes. I will miss his protection from danger perhaps most of all.
                                                  The beginning of a new transfer is always exciting to me. It is always a time of re-commitment, greater faith and new friends. I will be meeting my new companion tomorrow and we will be getting right to work.
                                                I am excited for this coming week. I look forward to see who the Lord will have me serve with. I am excited to continue my labor for the Lord. I love this work. I can't wait to meet all those who I haven't met yet. I can't wait to teach them about the glad tidings that Gabriel spoke of. I am realizing more and more that this experience of serving in the inner city of Cleveland has far reaching effects into the days where I don't where a name tag. My work is cut out for me here. If anything is to be truly accomplished it must come from faith. I love the Lord with all my heart. I wish I could fully show you all my heart that you might know how much I love Him. I wish I could persuade those who are lost to come unto him. These things are truly the state of my heart.
                                                 Thank you all for your collective prayers and thoughts this Christmas season. I am far from alone and am surrounded by many whom I love and consider family. I appreciate all of your cards and letters. Please know of my love for you. I hope you all have a great week!                             
                                                                                 Love, Elder Prince

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy December

Dearest Family and Friends,
                                               I am sitting here trying to remember what happened this week; it is all a blur at this point. I would have to say the highlight was the specialized training that we received from Salt Lake. We had church educators here all week who had all of the leaders assemble for training. To be honest it was like boot camp mixed with Sunday school. This one brother in particular was a mission President in San Diego ad now does missionary instruction for the church; this guy ripped our hearts out. Our mission President said we all looked like a bunch of scared dogs. I loved it though. I love straight forward talk when it comes to the gospel. Way too much false doctrine is spread when we speak light and fluffy as missionaries. People will understand the love and the joy of the gospel only as they feel motivated enough to try the doctrine. We learned alot of great things and we will also need to make a few course correction in our mission. This guy was taking cultural standards we had here and flipping them on their head. Pretty funny/intense.
                                              We also had our Christmas party on Saturday and we had over 100 people show up, 30 more than expected and way more than a traditional sacrament meeting. The idea that more people will show up for free food than to worship God honestly does sadden me a bit, but the ward did a great job in making the whole party about Christ.
                                               Elder Mo'Unga and I have been blessed with some great people to teach this week; thank you for all of your prayers. We are teaching a couple in their 80's right now and its going great. The husband has been protecting Joseph Smith to his kids; it has been pretty impressive. We also have been able to re-connect with some former investigator and our YSA investigator, Sydale is also doing great!
                                              I wish I could tell you more but we are flying fast today. I love you all and hope that you are doing well this Christmas season!
                                                                               Love, Elder Prince

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Much Love from East Cleveland

Dearest Family and Friends;
                                                It has been yet another great week to be a missionary.  Our teach pool has dwindled down considerably which can be discouraging if you let it. This area seems to challenge me more than any where else I have served. This area also happens to be the place where I have spent more time than anywhere else. The culture of the inner city is a hard one for the seeds of testimony to flourish. The Lord has been teaching me perseverance and patience perhaps more than anything. We did have a young man we tracted into come to church yesterday which was great. His name is Sydale and he is from the inner city. He is very humble and is looking to improve his life so we are looking forward to continuing to meet with him. We also had a man from Nigeria call us yesterday and referred himself. He said he met with the Elders in Africa and has been looking for them ever since he came to the states and last week some Elders on the street gave him our number so that would sure be exciting if we can start teaching him.
                                               I have to tell you all the miracle of the week. Friday night as we were planning we felt impressed and madepreparations to teach one of our less-active members about the law of Chastity. The next morning we went and taught him. As the lesson began it was one of those times on my mission where you feel like the spirit grabs your tongue and you say exactly what is needed. This man began to humbly and vulnerably explain how he is struggling with an addiction to pornography and how he feels that God has repeatedly trying to reach him and help him stop. We expressed to him how grateful we were for his forthrightness and humility. We then went on to explain the scriptures onto him and testify of the atonement. After some discussion we asked the man if he would show his faith in Jesus Christ by gettinga black Hefty garbage sack and gathering all of the pornography in his house to surrender over to us. Without hesitation he rose and left alone in his living room and gathered all the materials he possessed and placed them all in the black garbage sack. Upon surrendering the sack to us we asked him, "How do you think your Heavenly Father feels about this decision?" He said "he is probably very proud". The spirit was so strong and I was touched by this mans humility. We assured him that he had won a battle that day. The sack was then placed in its rightful place; the dumpster.
                                              I am always touched when anyone will take a step of faith. I am touched by honesty. I am touched when the spiritual man inside gets an upper hand on the natural man on the outside. I am grateful for the Lord who empowers His children and whispers engorgement and healing into their hearts. I pray that whatever our sins may be that we might not value them more than the Atonement of our Lord. I hope that no sin ever becomes more precious to us than eternal life. I hope that we all might surrender our weapons of rebellion. Elder Mo;Unga have resolved to look for the small and simple miracles that happen every day and they are happening. I know that the Lord still heals.
                                             Thank you all for your prayers and support. I can feel you from all these miles away.
                                                                                      Love, Elder Prince